EDITOR’S NOTE: Just so you know — I wrote this freaking post three days ago, and as I was finishing, my PC went into one of those paroxysms that I complained about earlier, and I had to go somewhere and had zero time to deal with it. So I’m just coming back now to finish posting it. It still works. The latest headline on the situation: “U.S. calls Russia’s actions an ‘invasion,’ readies new sanctions.”
On the same day this was leading The New York Times and every other serious news outlet:
President Biden spoke amid fears that Russia was setting the stage for an invasion that could ignite the biggest conflict in Europe in decades.
WASHINGTON — President Biden said on Friday that the United States has intelligence showing that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has made a final decision to reject diplomatic overtures and invade Ukraine, in what Mr. Biden said would be a “catastrophic and needless war of choice” in Eastern Europe.
Speaking from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Mr. Biden said “we have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” adding that “we believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people.”…
I received an email from the Democratic Governor’s association:
It was inviting me to express my approval of Joe Biden. I figured, OK, I’ll take a second. He’s my boy, even though this email is nothing but yet another particularly ham-handed attempt to get money out of me.
The “poll” didn’t have much to ask me before getting to the give-money part. But there was this page:
You can’t completely see my answer there. I said, “Dealing with the crisis in Ukraine. You know, keeping it from becoming World War III.”
Yeah, they had sort of changed topics on me, asking “Which of the following should be Democrats’ top priorities?” Which is something I don’t particularly care about. Don’t involve me in your party platform drafting.
But since I came to talk about Joe, I gave the answer I did. In a vain hope that it would be seen and sink in with somebody. It won’t, but I do what I can…
So now you can’t say that I never post anything about current events any more. Or, for that matter, that I never post anything.
But I didn’t do this for most of you. I did it for Bud, so that he can enjoy responding by saying that this stuff DOESN’T MATTER, and that all that matters is the domestic policy stuff that the two parties like to yell at each other about.
Bud is kind of the audience for this kind of email.
Democrats HATE to be told that the job of POTUS involves foreign policy in any way — especially, especially, ESPECIALLY if there’s any possibility of violence being involved anywhere. And the folks who fashion these emails don’t want to irritate them, so…
Biden is just following the time honored tradition of creating a boogeyman “over there” to try and take focus away from his failings “over here”. It was a guaranteed lock that there would be some new international “crisis” that could be spun up to keep the defense budget humming on all cylinders. Joe’s just playing the puppet. Too bad he doesn’t recall his old boss saying Ukraine wasn’t as big a concern for us.
He’s got find some excuse for worst inflation in decades and higher gas prices. Might as well blame Putin – that’s been the go to excuse for Democrats for 5 years.
You’re right that we’ll likely see higher fuel prices if the Ukraine/Russia situation starts to become a real shooting war. Need to get back to using our natural resources to raise the supply produced here in North America rather than keep going hat in hand to OPEC.
Domestic oil production in 2020, Trump’s last year was 11,289 barrels a day.
In his 1st year, it averaged 9,355 a day
In 2021, (Biden’s first year) domestic oil production was 11,135 barrels a day.
In the first year of the George W Bush Administration, domestic oil production was approx 5800 barrels a day. In his last year in office, it was approx 4700 barrels a day.
In Obama’s 1st year, it was approx 5300 barrels a day. In his last year in office, it was 8800 barrels a day.
There is no doubting the geopolitical importance of America’s oil-and-gas position. The Ukraine crisis and Europe’s energy crisis shine a light on the global impact of U.S. oil-and-gas production.
The more the US produces and can export to Europe the less leverage Russia has.
Italy imports about 90% of its gas and is one of Moscow’s biggest purchasers of gas. The US needs to help change that.
Germany should cancel the Nord Stream 2 permanently.
The big question is whether Europe will now get serious about its energy security
Well, we’re back to drill baby drill. There is so much wrong with that thinking I don’t know where to begin. Our future ability to increase supply is very limited. Fracking has bought us a bit of time but is filthy and ultimately futile. Electric cars may help as well. But sending huge amounts of fossil fuels to Europe is a fools game. We just don’t have the reserves.
Oh, ok. I guess we’ll just let Russia extort Europe. We’ll put that down as the “bud plan”.
The electrical power for those electric cars…where does all the electricity come from?
The bud plan is to first recognize reality. Fossil fuel reserves are finite. Even with extraordinary efforts over the last decades and with terrible environmental damage from fracking we still import more crude oil than we export. In November 1970 we produced a little over 10 million barrels of oil per day. In November 2021 we produced just under 12 million barrels. And let’s be clear this has taken an immense amount of effort to achieve this modest increase. We still import over 6 million barrels of oil to meet demand, That’s in spite of a huge improvement in fuel economy of our vehicle fleet.
Perhaps we’re doing better with natural gas but even so it is beyond ridiculous to suggest there is any realistic path to providing Europe with even a tiny fraction of what they need to power their economies. So I would suggest that the Bryan plan is nothing but a foolish attempt to portray the American energy sector as this potential juggernaut that is held back entirely because of misguided liberal policies. Geology and math says otherwise.
“I guess we’ll just let Russia extort Europe.”
Is this happening? HAS this happened? From my understanding, Europe considers Russia to be a generally reliable supplier of natural gas.
You are probably too young to remember, but the Reagan Administration, waaaay back in the early 80s, when you were likely still in diapers, tried to stop the initial gas pipeline project between the then-Soviet Union and Europe, claiming that it would make Europe subject to Soviet blackmail. The American right has continued to fret and issue dire warnings throughout, but, so far at least, this leverage has not been applied to force Europe to bend to Russia’s will.
Meanwhile, much of Europe HAS been diversifying its energy sources, through alternative means of power generation — such as bio-fuels, wind, solar and geothermal. Some locations have set goals of providing their energy needs from 100% renewable sources by 2030. And in the interim, they have been increasing imports of US LNG (though the environmental impact of such transatlantic shipments is problematic, in particular compared to receiving supplies via pipelines).
SOME people will want to ignore warnings about climate change – such as the recent NOAA report indicating a one-foot sea-level rise on the US coast (which could have dire consequences for places like Charleston). But the world should be capable of dealing with two different crises – in Ukraine AND the climate – at the same time without surrendering to such blinkered hysterics.
“conservatives” no longer conserve
Ummmm, I don’t think we can really say that Biden has created this situation with Ukraine/Russia. It’s been a long time simmering, and it’s now starting to boil. I would also disagree that this isn’t a crisis, or that it’s not a big deal. Ukraine as we know it is a sovereign nation, and we shouldn’t let Russia just overrun it.
“Biden is just following the time honored tradition of creating a boogeyman “over there” to try and take focus away from his failings “over here”.”
– LOL, right…….
Biden created this, sure…
Yeah, Biden ignoring Ukraine right now would be a TERRIFIC move given that the entire Congress is unified on responding to this with two options
1) Issuing sanctions
2) Issuing stronger sanctions.
If Biden ignored it, Conservative news would actually explode in anger – like real flames and lots of fire.
I’m not surprised by Doug’s illogical explanations anymore.
This reminds me of Doug blaming Mia McCleod and Joe Cunningham for the Pot Bill not passing the Republican dominated legislature (Where it is still held up in the Republican dominated House of Reps with fewer and fewer prospects of it passing because of vocal Conservative opposition).
Uniting the country is not possible and should not even be a goal because it’s meaningless.
Biden is doing well just avoiding saying utterly stupid stuff like trump did yesterday praising Putin.
What a condescending comment. But this does prove my point from a post awhile back dealing with the various political tribes. I suggested a tribe comprised of folks who focus an inordinate amount of importance to issues of war. These are the Neocons. Brad is the poster child for this camp. But no rational person can really say the events in Ukraine are more important than climate change. This ‘crisis’ will pass one way or the other in a few months. And the consequences to Americans will be limited. Global warming on the other hand might eventually destroy the planet. But through the lens of the Neocon colored glasses war is all important so let’s ignore all else.
Well, if it was a condescending comment, then I’m sorry.
But that’s what I was thinking as I wrote the post. I was thinking, “Bud will enjoy responding to this…”
The reference to “Dems HATE” is not condescending, per se. What it is is a transparently cartoonish caricature, a surrender to outlandish oversimplification. But I suppose some people find malicious delight in pushing other peoples’ buttons.
I’m sure this will all work out well like the previous “wars” of my lifetime. Oh yeah, we conquered Grenada that one weekend.
Only the warmongers in the U. S. care about this latest “crisis”. What would they do otherwise if there wasn’t some enemy to pretend they are worried about? If Putin is the problem, take him out. Shouldn’t be difficult with our firepower. Oh, I forgot, it’s better to send young men to their deaths to protect that precious crude.
There has to be a middle ground between isolationist and warmonger. I’m not saying we should drop the 82nd Airborne into Kyiv, but we can (and should) do more than send a strongly worded letter.
And just exactly what would this “middle ground” consist of?
1. We should be selling the Ukrainians just about any sort of arms they want to use to defend themselves against Russia. Airlift them anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and other weapons. Send small arms, explosives, and communications gear for an insurgency if Russia tries to occupy Ukrainian territory.
2. We should cut all Russian financial institutions off from the outside world and restrict any transactions in dollars a much as possible until they withdraw from Ukrainian territory.
3. Specific Russian elites should face sanctions.
4. Nord Stream 2 is dead.
5. Europe gets serious about energy security and gets energy in other places besides Russia. (Nuclear, solar, LNG, whatever…just not from Russia).
6. America assists with #5, which means ending the current administration’s war on fossil fuels.
7. Realize that Putin is not going to be a geopolitical partner, and do everything possible to check him.
We are at Cold War II.
work with France, Great Britain to expel every child of Russian officials from universities. Revoke their VISAS.
Expel all Russian embassy staff and their families- give them 48 hours to be out of the country.
Seize any Russian assets including property.
Revoke authority of any commercial airline operations from flying in or to Russian territories.
And then what? Double secret probation? When have sanctions ever worked to fundamentally alter the objectives of foreign countries in the longterm?
#5 and 6 won’t happen this decade. So, non-starters.
#7 is basically “status quo” — Putin is the devil, let’s keep him in check — until the next time
This reads like a press release for Lockheed Martin’s shareholders meeting.
1-4. I mostly agree.
5. As mentioned by Barry the Europeans ARE getting serious about different energy options.
6. Please. Let’s at least make a tiny effort to be serious.
7. I think that ship sailed a long time ago. Remember when Putin was shunned by the G-7?
Mostly there really isn’t much we can or should do at this point. Russia will ultimately suffer through a loooong guerilla war which could lead to a popular uprising. We don’t need to panic. Gas prices may spike a bit. (Folks with electric cars will be unaffected). But ultimately this won’t much matter. Europeans have been fighting for centuries so let’s not get caught up in neocon hysteria. History has lots of lessons to learn. Apparently Putin didn’t read the relevant chapters on starting unwinnable wars. Let’s make sure we revisit those chapters before WE go off half cocked.
Of all people, Marco Rubio today stated that he thinks biting sanctions will hurt Putin badly- but it will take time.
The only real critical point he had was that he wanted the toughest sanctions to be handed down a few weeks ago. I think that is fair.
But I also understand why the administration wanted to hold some of them back.
1) Some of that is already happening. But simply throwing weapons into a situation isn’t likely to be altogether effective if the recipient isn’t in a position to operate them properly or, more importantly, operate them in a coordinated manner. So you’d probably need to send in US military trainers as well, which gets us directly involved.
2) Some of this, too, is already happening. In a situation like this, it’s better not to let loose your entire arsenal immediately and have nothing left to follow up with in the event the Russian incursion moves beyond areas it has already been in since 2014. Especially given that Russia has amassed sufficient assets to withstand these kinds of sanctions for a period of time. More importantly, if Putin is truly serious about capturing part or all of Ukraine, such actions aren’t likely to be dissuasive. The naked truth is, Russia enjoys a position of strategic superiority that isn’t easily countered.
3) Already happening.
4) It’s “on ice” at present, not dead. Cancelling it would eliminate a potential inducement. And, if it were killed, are you prepared to make good the billions in private financing behind the project? Moreover, rather than having sacrifices fall only on others, would you be willing to tolerate gas prices well above $4.00/gal. for an extended period of time if that’s what it takes to apply pressure?
5) They are being serious. I referenced the diversification in a separate post above.
6) References to a “war on fossil fuels” is not being serious. And, like I said above, it’s quite possible to do two (or even more) things at once. Deal with Ukraine AND with climate concerns, for instance. They are not mutually exclusive.
7) Not clear what “everything possible” entails. “Bear ANY burden”??
What a out targeting the children of Russian government officials?
Many send their children to university in other countries. How about putting them on trial for made up charges?
I’m not much on punishing minors for the sins of their parents.
But beyond that, do you really think that’ll have an effect on actions in Ukraine? Seems to me more an example of flailing about in exasperation.
I think we should leave the show trials to Russia and China.
I had rather their children faced trumped up charges than innocent Ukrainians and their children slaughtered on the streets.
and no, I have no confidence it would make much of a difference.
But it’s past time someone played the game they way they know the game instead of the predicable, worthless response they expect.
Do Russians even know that their leaders choose to send their children to university in the West and their wives visit western cities to shop and socialize like bar hopping kids?
Ukraine should have already released propaganda videos and showed them throughout Russian social media using cyber attacks showing Russian bombs destroying elementary schools, child care centers, a hospital, a nursing home.
They should have had those ready to go.
Surely sympathetic figures in the London and French movie industry could have some propaganda videos ready to go in support of Ukraine.
BREAKING NEWS – Kyiv, Ukraine
At 5:53am, a Russian military cruise missile targeted and destroyed Kyiv City Clinical Hospital #5 on the outskirts of the capital city here.
Multiple on site reporters observed a massive explosion just before 6:00am that appears to have destroyed the hospital. A distraught local official, Panas Dotsenko, briefly spoke to a group of 3 reporters saying he had seen the bodies of numerous children torn apart in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. Another official stated that the hospital routinely had at least 300 admitted patients, many being sick children and elderly people.
At least one wing of an adjacent nursing home also collapsed in the explosion. No reports are yet available from the nursing home on what will certainly be multiple fatalities or injuries.
If your son was old enough, would you say this is a conflict worthy of sacrificing his life for?
For all the expert geopolitical warfare experts on this blog, please explain what the best case scenario is for this situation? Do you think there is a path to where Putin somehow backs down and Ukraine/Russia never is an issue again?
It’s always boggled my mind that we have so many people saying Putin is the problem — I still remember when he stole the 2016 election and had Trump in his pocket for 4 years. Apparently he’s a murderous thug intent on ruling the world. Yet we don’t do anything to actually remove this killer… .this heinous criminal… no, no… what we MUST do is build up a war so we can make use of all those jets, missiles, drones, soldiers, etc. and play war games spending half our tax revenues to make sure it all keeps going down that path.
NO ONE- Especially Biden- is going to war over Ukraine. He’s said that many, many times now including yesterday.
It’s a flat out lie to say he or 99% of Congress is aiming for war.
The Putin security council meeting was interesting.
His advisors were clearly terrified and nervous, and all but 2 seemed very reluctant about this strategy.
“clearly terrified” Is there nothing you aren’t willing to pass along from your media masters?
LOL “media masters” I like that.
I watched the meeting online. Terrified and nervous is a perfect word choice and I was 100% accurate.
One of the advisors is an ethnic Ukrainian (which Putin doesn’t believe exists) and he was clearly struggling to voice his opinion. He didn’t want to be there.
Heck at one point Putin was sternly telling one of them to “speak clearly” when the guy was falling all over his words.
Oh my name it ain’t nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I was taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side
Oh, the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh, the country was young
With God on its side
War had its day
And the Civil War, too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I was made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side
The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side
The Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now, too
Have God on their side
I’ve learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side
But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them, we’re forced to
Then fire, them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side
Through many a dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ was
Betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.
So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
That if God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war
Why are wars fought from the bottom up rather than the top down – especially today – when we know we have the capacity to take anyone out anywhere in the world. Troops on the ground, blowing up buildings, etc. why waste time with that? Start at Putin and his military leaders and work downward until they understand actions have actual personal consequences.
I got another of those polls today, only this one was from “Elect Democratic Women.”
No case was made for why liking Joe and wanting to elect Democratic women were the same thing, but they seemed to think I would accept that as a fact. These party people always seem to assume such things.
Anyway, they finally got to a bill of particulars, and this list was like unto the other one, so I chose “other” and typed in, “Keeping Ukraine from becoming World War III.”
But of course, I didn’t send it in, because the next line asked whether I was “committed to electing more Democratic women,” and the line after that asked for money.
So I failed the test again…