Putin Is Convincing as “International Man of Misery”

Putin’s dirty secret: Thousands of Russian dead compounded daily

Russian troops low morale, hungry and eating “spoiled” food

Putin especially afraid of “little Russian girls”

Ukraine was once the breadbasket of Europe, and a sign of hope for the corrupt and impoverished nations of the former USSR. And Russia was once the reliable and profitable supplier of oil and gas to much of the world, with a long reputation of keeping its finger off the trigger of a massive nuclear weapons stockpile. Those were both things upon which a future might be built. But now it is all slipping away in an irrational outburst of fire and blood which threatens to open Pandora’s box of nuclear war in Europe.

Russia’s aggression – which threatens the wider international order, as well as Western security – enjoys almost no support elsewhere. Major Asian states have signed up to new export controls on semi-conductors. Neither Russia’s military performance nor its erratic diplomacy before the war have burnished it as a partner. China’s abstention in the 25 February UN Security Council vote condemning the invasion of Ukraine makes a mockery of the Putin–Xi declaration of friendship with ‘no limits’ three weeks earlier. Except for Belarus, a co-belligerent, Russia enjoys no visible support even among post-Soviet autocrats. Putin is isolating Russia from the world.

… Putin underestimated domestic opposition. His war against fellow Slavs is the most unpopular decision he has ever made. __ Moscow Times

Russia in 2022 is different from Russia in 2014. Recent Levada opinion polls show how more than half of Russians fear another world war. It is pretty clear that invading Ukraine was not a decision relying on what ordinary Russians wanted. We also do not observe the patriotic euphoria that was there in 2014.

Putin Wags the Dog … A Distraction and a Spur to Oil & Gas Prices

Ukraine Is Killing Russia’s Tanks

The Bayraktar can fly as high as 25,000 feet with a loiter time of 27 hours. This video shows about a dozen dismounted Russian soldiers grouped around a tank. The tank is then destroyed mightily by a missile from a Bayraktar drone. These unmanned attacks are encouraging but Ukraine only has 20 Bayraktars in service.

The fact is, Vladimir has already lost simply because he didn’t win. He is committed, and is committing Russia and all its people, to a long, grinding, bloody slog that is going to have severe economic impacts. Just replacing ammunition, gear, people, is going to have a severe impact. Add to it the growing official and unofficial sanctions? The Russian people are going to feel this one, in ways they never have before. Current Vladimir does not care. He’s lost to that. He has no way to go in and control the country, or even the parts he’s tried so desperately to annex. Even those are likely to slip from him given the current state of “uppitiness” on the part of the Ukrainians. __ Everyone is Laughing at Putin

 The fact that Russians view Putin’s war as being unjust and egregious makes it especially likely to prompt widespread backlash. It is moments of acute injustice that have the greatest ability to mobilize people—as when Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after local officials humiliated him and confiscated his wares, launching the Arab Spring in 2011.

The war also has famous and influential domestic opponents—and they are not just known dissidents. Several Russian celebrities have signed letters opposing the war. Russian tennis star Andrei Rublev wrote “no war please” on a TV camera. The Russian head of a delegation at a major UN climate conference apologized for his country’s invasion of Ukraine, and the daughter of Putin’s press secretary reportedly posted “no war” on her Instagram account. (She deleted it hours later.) There are even signs that Putin’s cozy oligarchs are getting uncomfortable. Former energy magnate Anatoly Chubais posted a picture of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader murdered in front of the Kremlin, on his Facebook page. Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska called for peace and negotiations.

Even if Putin’s actions don’t immediately push him from power, the war in Ukraine creates long-term vulnerabilities. Punishing economic sanctions are already shredding the value of the ruble, and the economic damage is expected to intensify. Over time, this could weaken Putin domestically. Personalist dictatorships generally cut government spending when faced with sanctions, making life even harder for average citizens and increasing the odds of growing unrest. Sanctions also tend to be more effective when targeted at personalist authoritarian regimes than when aimed at other types of autocracies because personalist dictators are the most dependent on patronage to keep power. So far, Russia’s elite have never had to choose between the life they wanted and Putin. But Chubais’s and Deripaska’s comments hint that could change as the effect of the sanctions sets in,

Beginning of the End for Putin

Putin Has Always Wanted to Use Nuclear Weapons

Putin loves himself and the idea of ruling a great Russian empire, but he hates the Russian people. His use of domestic terrorism against Russians to start a war against the Chechens way back when, reveals his utter contempt for the people he rules. His ongoing bloody “Charlie Foxtrot” in Ukraine is taking Russia down a rabbit hole that most of its people will not like. His logic was faulty all the way down the chain. Now he is stuck. And he may start to see nuclear weapons as his way out. Not the threat of nuclear weapons, but their actual use. The psychopath’s ultimate dream.

Nuclear signalling is woven through the invasion of Ukraine in a way we haven’t seen since the days of the Cuban missile crisis. Naturally, it has fed a wave of speculation on social media about the potential crossing of the nuclear threshold, either deliberately or inadvertently.

… Putin’s behaviour has been more than a little odd lately—including his apparent fascination with long-distance seating arrangements. Driven by a long list of perceived grievances, a burning ambition to recreate Greater Russia, and wounded pride, Putin might well see his own role in more sweeping historical terms.

That means, of course, that escalation is still more likely than de-escalation. Might that escalation involve nuclear weapons? Yes. ___ Putin Wants to Nuke the World

Students of the Dark Enlightenment have often been played as “Useful Idiots” by Putin of Russia and by Xi of China. Not all of them, but certainly those who are compulsively anti-semitic seem to possess an unhealthy affinity to the propaganda of the world’s largest despotic regimes.

Fortunately, there are more rational voices of the Dark Enlightenment that are urging free thinkers to not be useful idiots of the puppet masters of any side. In this case, the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

You are not going to find simple answers in your quest to reverse that process of decay, least of all skipping to The Other Side when you have a tantrum at one political party or entity. You have to look within.

When you do that, you see that everything that is odious in the West exists more fluidly in Russia and even to a greater degree in China. This means that on the shelf of political products, you have nothing but bad options, some worse than others.

To fix this, you will have to get off that easy chair and actually change how we are thinking and acting. Our solution lies within ourselves and our culture, not by choosing one set of aspiring tyrant-bureaucrats over another. __ Amerika blog Brett Stevens

Independent thinkers that have the skill and the self-confidence to step outside of pre-existing orbits of thought, are very rare. But that is the capacity that Brett Stevens is urging his readers to develop in the excerpt above. Modern education has failed most recent generations of students in that regard, unwittingly schooling them in indoctrination and propaganda, instead of teaching them to step out of prevailing and fashionable currents in order to plumb the depths.

Modern education programs students to think in terms of false dichotomies. We see that fallacy in comments, when a reader interprets the criticism of one party or point of view as being equivalent to the promotion of another point of view the reader perceives as “opposite.” Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, but in order to understand the vast universe of possible ideas, propositions, and realities, readers actually have to READ, in the larger sense of the word.

Individuals who have been ravaged by a criminal educational system and a criminal society of censorship and propaganda will need access to a body of knowledge equivalent to the US Library of Congress along with access to the larger universe out there, of which the internet is only a small part.

It is easy to feel contempt for those who fall for political propaganda which is transparently false. But if you did that, there would be very few people for whom you could feel whole hearted respect. It is best for a child to have a deeply informed and discerning mind, along with a full toolbox of practical skills.

In other words, it is best for a child to be Dangerous to the ruling order. Very Dangerous. But not violent or overly belligerent as a general rule. When the time comes to act against a particularly despicable overlord, the skill and effectiveness of the response should come as a total surprise.


Russia losing roughly 1,000 soldiers per day and counting

A historically knowledgeable person understands that when an invading army “conquers” a city, it can always be “unconquered” by the rightful owners. Russia’s forces are spread very thin over Ukraine, and are being spread even thinner as the invasion proceeds. Soldiers die or are captured, other soldiers must be assigned the task of occupying the territory that has been taken. Other soldiers must be assigned to an increasingly difficult logistical task of keeping the invading armies fed, fueled, resupplied, and defended from flanking attacks and ambush.

Russia is already several days behind schedule, and has lost thousands of troops and thousands of military vehicles and weapons. Unless Ukraine’s western allies lose their nerve, the Russian losses are just beginning.

Update: I Was Wrong — Putin’s Invasion Plan is On Schedule!

Leaving the country

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7 Responses to Putin Is Convincing as “International Man of Misery”

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    You might want to listen to Karl Denninger’s podcast over the Ukrainian thing. It is 22 minutes long and thus not too long. He provides considerable background on how all of this developed. Like myself, Karl IN NO WAY considers Putin to be “good guy” at all. He merely describes his actions in terms of blow-back from our meddling in the region, much like how 9/11 was blow-back from our meddling in the Middle-east.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Karl’s podcast is more of a distraction from the real and infinitely more immediate reasons why Putin felt provoked into going against the advice of his military when he invaded Ukraine.

      This is closer to the real provocation: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/02/25/russia-feels-provoked-by-democracy-and-loss-of-empire-a76594

      In the end, Putin will have wasted massive human resources, military resources, financial resources, and political capital, that Russia simply did not have to lose. If you saw Putin sitting at one end of the long table, about a half km from his “closest advisors,” you may begin to understand Putin’s fears and sense of isolation growing every second. He ignored their advice, and now everyone is stuck with the consequences. If they don’t want things to get immeasurably worse, they will need to do something about Putin.

  2. Abelard Lindsey says:

    The link to Karl’s podcast: https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=245281

    • alfin2101 says:

      Ukrainians wholeheartedly chose to move away from Russia, without hesitation and without looking back. Now, thanks to Putin they hate Russia with a blood-hatred that will not go away for a long time. Karl seems to believe that Obama and his minions somehow manipulated Ukraine into “suddenly” rejecting Russian oppression. He probably does not intend to be funny.

      Many Ukrainians chose Hitler over Stalin in WWII when Hitler’s army invaded. Not because they liked Nazis, but because they hated the Soviets so much. Stalin purposely starved 30 3 million Ukrainians and ethnically cleansed Eastern Ukraine and replaced the population with “ethnic Russians,” whatever that mythical being may be.

      If they were desperate enough to choose Hitler to get away from Russian/Soviet tyranny, then they are certain to choose any less oppressive approach to breaking away from Russian brutality.

      It is an old hatred, but thanks to Putin it is orders of magnitude more acute and more penetrating. Even the Russian speaking Ukrainians hate Putin and the Russian army now.

  3. Abelard Lindsey says:

    Karl’s podcast provides the context that is essential to any meaningful discussion on the Russia/Ukraine issue. I highly recommend it.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Karl does not provide any new facts that illuminate. He merely provides an analogy which has itself been repeated by others many times. Then he conveniently neglects to mention a few legally signed treaties which establish the illegality of Putin’s actions, both now and in 2014.

      This is the problem with a mal-educated populace. Without a firm grounding in both history and geopolitics, it is prone to a wide range of fantasies about how it believes things “should be.” Or “who deserves what.”

      But as Clint Eastwood’s character said in “The Unforgiven,” “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

      Putin has nukes, which means that NATO and the west will not attack Russia directly unless Putin crosses particular lines. The Ukrainians always knew that Putin might invade their country if they moved away from Russia’s influence. Now that he has broken multiple treaties and invaded, they are choosing how to respond, with their lives, every moment.

      Karl seems to be miffed about what Obama’s State Department people did in 2014. But he does not admit that the Ukrainian people may actually have agency over their own lives and choices. Draw your own conclusions.

  4. Graham says:

    I would like to see some evidence for the enormous Russian losses. They sound rather too high to be credible. No doubt the Russians are minimising their losses. The true value is somewhere between 500 and 7000, but where? The Russian Empire lost about 1300 men per day (deaths, not including wounded) in the First World War. Can they really be losing 80% of that number in a much smaller war?

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