Contempt for human life

Rooster by Alice in Chains, 1992.

No matter how old I get, it continues to shock me how little rulers care about human life.

If they care at all, it is usually with a degree of self-centered abstraction. If too many middle-class boys get drafted, the Vietnam War will become unpopular. If the Covid stats look bad, it might hurt at the upcoming election. We can determine that they have no real concern for human life by examining their actions when their power is not at risk.

The same people who despaired of each nursing home resident lost to corona now recklessly toy with nuclear brinkmanship to an extent we have not seen since 1962 – and back then the Dr Strangeloves were at least wise enough to realize the gravity of the game they were playing. They at least showed some consistency by having shrugged off the very Covid-like Asian Flu a few years earlier.

Laying out the reasoning of both sides in the Ukraine conflict will illustrate how low human lives are on the list of priorities for world rulers.

For the West, Ukraine is seen as nothing more than a tool to poke the bear. It is a pawn in the Great Game of blunting Russian influence and hopefully ousting Putin from power.

The best outcome for the GAE would be a new leader under the Western yoke, like the rest of Europe. The second-best and more likely outcome would be a collapsed state that poses no danger to Western interests like previous triumphs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and others.

Russian meddling in Ukrainian politics was a mirror-image of the West’s and served a similar aim of power projection. The current war is as much about Russia’s prestige on the world stage as it is about NATO expansion. It is also about the aging Putin’s chapter in history. Why be remembered as a mere Vespasian when you can be a Diocletian?

While it’s hard to see through the propaganda, even some Putin fans admit that the Russian military is conducting the campaign with a level of concern for its own soldiers’ lives that matches historic precedents.

To be fair, Putin probably thought that the conflict was going to be shorter and less bloody. Still, all I see are both sides calmly choosing to maim and kill Russians and Ukrainians instead of pursuing peaceful options that we will discuss in a moment.

Much of the Great Game seems to take place in the imaginations of its few thousand participants. How exactly do missiles or other forces in Ukraine threaten Russia? They have an enormous nuclear stockpile that cannot be entirely wiped out before they can launch a retaliatory strike. Western ghoul logic seems to go like this:

  1. Expand NATO/EU into Ukraine.
  2. ???
  3. Rainbow flags fly over the Kremlin and Putin cops a bayonet up the arse.

Russian ghouls seem to believe the disjointed logic of their enemies.

I may be wrong about this. Serious question for the armchair Bismarcks: how does Western domination of Ukraine threaten Russia’s stability, aside from the blow to Kremlin prestige? Answers should be specific and take into account (a) heaps of nukes and (b) Russia’s existing control of Crimea. I must be strict about this because so far I’ve only seen vague arguments that ignore the fact that Russia can blow up the world.

Great Game logic has often seemed suspect to me. Strategy Bros love explaining how control of Afghanistan is vital because of gas pipelines etc. etc. This always seemed like bullshit to me because no one ever manages to control Afghanistan and pipelines can easily be blown up by whoever doesn’t want them there. The recent withdrawal from that Godforsaken hellhole did not destroy the US anymore than it destroyed the USSR (which had bigger problems at the time), the British Empire or anyone else.

I am convinced that it is possible to be a stable, prosperous great power while staying the hell away from Afghanistan.

I could make the same argument about the supposedly vital strategic importance of other places – Taiwan, Cuba, Israel etc. – but that may take us too far from Ukraine.

The West had an easy path to peace – agreeing to leave Ukraine as a neutral state. Probably Ukraine and Russia would have been happy with a deal where it joined the EU but was formally excluded from NATO. That would have allowed Ukrainians to escape to Western Europe and work, which is the main thing they want, while limiting the perceived threat to Russia and preserving some of its dignity.

I don’t see how that would have hurt Western interests, or, to put it differently, what goddamn difference that would have made to any normal American or European. No harm done except to the feelings of Nuland-type lunatics.

Russia had a more difficult path to peace, but it was certainly there: exercise restraint in the face of Western provocations in Ukraine (especially the apparent American pressure on Kiev to ignore the Minsk agreements), restrict involvement to the breakaway provinces and generally focus instead on more important issues like corruption and (as we now know) reforming the military. All the de-dollarization it is doing now did not require a war.

Face it, Putin Stans: his country is a mess. ‘Better than it was in 1999’ is a low bar. Cleaning up Russian institutions and becoming a prosperous nation is a much harder task than conquering some portion of Ukraine, which is probably why he went with the latter.

If Russia was more like Finland, the Russian people would be less worried about shenanigans in Ukraine and the Russian state would feel less threatened by it.

Before World War I, states normally resolved conflicts through negotiated treaties. The English word ‘peace’ comes from the Latin ‘pax‘ or ‘treaty’. Why do you have peace? Because there’s currently a treaty in force. Very Roman thinking.

In old wars, once it was clear who was most likely to win, hostilities were halted and terms reached. We get this and you get that. Since the age of total war, it has become dishonourable (appeasement!) to negotiate. The West demands total victory or eternal war. Like the Romans, they ‘make a desert and call it peace’, but at least the Romans were neutralizing plausible threats on their own frontiers.

If our rulers really cared about Ukrainian lives, they would encourage a ceasefire and negotiations. For the reasons discussed, that is the last thing they want.

I do not mean that pre-1914 rulers cared more about human life than modern rulers do. Obviously that is not true. Rather, I’m pointing out that historic means of ending conflicts have been unfairly swept from the table. Not every enemy is Hitler and not every peacenik is Chamberlain. Each situation is unique.

There is a small chance that the present conflict could broaden and/or go nuclear, if only to the extent of tactical weapons. Both sides are more interested in amorphous goals of prestige and influence than they are in the deaths of potentially millions of people and the long-term contamination of a globally important break basket region.

I am not a pacifist. War is a grim necessity, such as in the case of self-defence. I don’t blame Ukrainian soldiers for defending their homeland. I also have sympathy for Russian soldiers pushed into this madness, whatever their views.

However, it is very hard to find a recent war that was deeply justified. Most involved a long period of diplomatic and strategic blundering leading up to the point where self-defence was required. Even the Second World War.

Returning to the Covidians, they would protest that they support lethal aid for Ukraine despite their earlier support for strict, supposedly life-saving containment measures against coronavirus because there’s been an invasion in case you haven’t heard.

This demonstrates yet again how imbecilic and malleable is public opinion. They forget that the US has invaded many countries, some presently. The NPC brigade said little about Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia. Sure, that was a complicated situation, but so is this one. They say nothing about the GAE-backed air war against Yemen. That gore doesn’t go viral on Twitter, let alone get displayed with horror on corporate media.

I could go on but my reader gets it.

Perhaps there are governments that care human life, at least of their own citizens. Current GAE regimes are not among them. Our rulers do not care whether we live or die except so far as it effects their own position. They do not lie awake at night haunted by images of incinerated Ukrainians or Yemenis or Americans, praying in tears for forgiveness and guidance.

They sleep soundly, get up each morning and do it again.

Cuntocracy is lindy.

14 comments

  1. Severian · 13 Days Ago

    How does Western domination of Ukraine threaten Russian stability? You said it yourself: “No harm done except to the feelings of Nuland-type lunatics.”

    The goddamn Kagans will never, ever let Russia be. They can’t. It’s unpossible. Three or four generations of them have oriented their lives around it. I’m really not joking when I call them the “Kagan Crime Family,” any more than I’m joking with the “Bush Crime Family” or the “Clinton Crime Family.” They’re like the Mafia, literally — Imagine the Corleones trying to go straight. How could they? What would they do with themselves?

    A Ukraine that isn’t, in effect, a DMZ — rigorously patrolled by both sides — will end up being a toybox for the fucking neocons, same as it ever was. Blackwater et al will happily take their money to do all kinds of dirt, and the Kagans will do the dirt until they’re physically stopped, either by being ousted from the Swamp or… other. (If Vlad were really as smart and Machiavellian as he’s made out to be, he’d send some of his polonium-tipped umbrella guys into a few Ivy League faculty lounges. That’s about the only way they’re going to get the message).

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kentucky Gent · 12 Days Ago

      I was thinking the same thing. Ukraine in NATO = access for neocons all the way to the Russian border. I hope and pray Russia wins this… whatever it is. Special military operation? More like military operation against the ((specials)).

      Like

  2. KJ · 13 Days Ago

    IMHO, Russia has moved too slowly and allowed too much space for Western neocon shenanigans.

    When it became clear that the West was going to continue to press for war, send weapons into Ukraine, and not allow any peace negotiations to move forward, Russia should’ve strategically bombed every Ukrainian gov’t building in Kiev, Kharkov, etc and sent regular sorties of heavy bombers to the western border of Ukraine and bombed anything and everything that moved in an east-to-west direction. St. Zelensky should’ve been taken out 2 months ago; let Time lionize him as a martyr, rather than the living embodiment of “leadership,” or whatever nonsense they pushed on the cover recently.

    It’s odd to me that after all these years of lies and chicanery from the West, Russia is still seemingly playing by some form of the Queensbury Rules. The West was going to demonize, impose ‘sanctions’ and spread false propaganda regardless of whether or not Russia played nice or mean in Ukraine. Russia should’ve taken the gloves off already.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ray · 13 Days Ago

    Gots your choice who’s sitting around the Doomtable:

    The Past — Gen. Buck Turgidson and Maj. T.J. ‘King’ Kong

    The Present — Gen. Mark ‘Silly’ Milley and Maj. Karen von Hyverling

    Having witnessed both milieus and systems, I’ll take the Kingbo and the Turgid One every time. Let’s go living in the past, as me buds once sang.

    Like

  4. Gunner Q · 12 Days Ago

    “Serious question for the armchair Bismarcks: how does Western domination of Ukraine threaten Russia’s stability, aside from the blow to Kremlin prestige?”

    Because NATO would directly border Russia. near Moscow no less. As soon as NATO can send an army into Russia, it will, because killing Russia has been an obsession for GAE leaders for decades. Parking an invasion force in Ukraine would be politically difficult without NATO membership.

    Ukraine joins NATO, hosts a huge army for “celebratory maneuvers”, lights off a false flag and takes Moscow before it can give a launch order. Textbook GAE strategy. But Russia preempted that plan by invading Ukraine-not-yet-NATO.

    “Answers should be specific and take into account (a) heaps of nukes”

    The conflict driver is a blood feud between Russia and the Bolsheviks that Russia kicked out, and who currently run foreign policy for U.S. It’s personal for the people who’ve already been killing off the West via fentanyl, vaxxes and replacement-level migration. They aren’t trying to stabilize or protect their empire. They’re trying to cash it out.

    I fear the Bolsheviks actively want a nuclear exchange between the West and Russia. Their control of USA is not going to last much longer, thanks to all the new ethnic imports willing & able to play the identity politics game. Not to mention the collapsing petrodollar.

    Nuclear war with Russia would cost them only what they were about to lose regardless, and would bring them the pleasure of revenge… inflicting death and suffering upon Russia for ten thousand years of radioactive fallout.

    The trick is provoking that nuclear exchange without their allies turning on them in self-preservation. Also, without Putin considering Israel a valid target, since that *would* be the Bolsheviks’ people. So long as consequences are only for the little people, however, even nuclear war is on the table.

    “(b) Russia’s existing control of Crimea.”

    That’s sufficient for Russia’s territorial ambitions. They have good Black Sea access and can always run another pipeline. But NATO needs Ukraine as a member state so it can stage the invasion force there. The Balkans would not be nearly as convenient.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luisman · 12 Days Ago

      I agree. Why would Russia not be scared by the West (better, the US military industrial complex) creeping closer and closer to them, capturing each and every former ‘eastern bloc’ state with a NATO membership. The US made it clear to Russia in the 1990s that they will never accepy an eye to eye relationship, that Russia can only become a NATO member if it submits to US rule. And Putin was the one who threw Wall Street and the City of London out of Russia. That’s why Putin is the devil.

      In addition it was reported that Ukraine cut off the water supply to Crimea and staged frequent incursions to take Crimea back, the same way they tried to reconquer the two russian dominated “independent” regions. We tend to ignore that there was a war there for a decade already, just not an ‘all out war’.

      Heaps of nukes are never going to be used. Their only danger is that one gets loose due to some technical error.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nikolai Vladivostok · 12 Days Ago

        Do you mean that the main risk to Russia of refraining from escalation would have been the loss of Crimea? That’s plausible, can’t see them going nuclear over that.
        If so, the next questions would be: could Russia survive/prosper without access to the Black Sea? Would the loss outweigh the damage caused by expanding the war? Again, all genuine questions if anyone wants to give it a shot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • luisman · 12 Days Ago

          I meant that the pre war sanctions on Russia were in place, because the US, the ‘West’, never accepted Russia taking Crimea back and out of Ukrainian (and half assed western) control. And the Crimea without a wide land corridor to russian mainland is a weak military position. Russia was at risk of loosing their only ice free harbour, through which they can project military power into the mediteranian countries (incl. Syria, where Russia has a naval base). Naval power is extremely important for international trade (otherwise everyone steals your stuff – piracy), as Great Britain demonstrated until WW2 and since then the US demonstrates, and China demonstrates in the south chinese sea.

          There were only two options for Russia: Either come to an agreement with Ukraine to remain an ally of Russia (or at least neutral forever), or to take a large chunk of eastern ukrainian land, to secure their land corridor, which is what they do now. Russia exports mainly raw materials (oil, gas, wheat, minerals), that’s why they absolutely need shipping and naval safety.

          But, as a black women recently stated, I’m not a biologist 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  5. luisman · 12 Days Ago

    Reblogged this on Nicht-Linke Blogs.

    Like

  6. dickycone · 11 Days Ago

    I know I brought up Tolstoy’s belief that history is an inexorable force that powerful actors only imagine they control here before at some point, and you said you’re not a fan of that idea. That said, I think the dominant world power always seeks to further expand its power at the expense of other nations and there’s essentially nothing anyone can do about it. Machiavelli said something to that effect in The Prince, that all nations are always in a state of either dominating or being dominated by others. I think that’s the base reason why the US and Russian leadership do all the insane, stupid, dangerous things they do. They can’t help themselves, or rather, it’s all an inevitable result of that unavoidable state of seeking to dominate that Machiavelli talked about.

    I could be wrong, but I’ve tried to think of an example in history of a dominant power voluntarily backing off and no longer trying to dominate its neighbors, and I can’t. And of course in the modern world neighbors are everyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kentucky Gent · 11 Days Ago

    Comment denied! Me sad.

    Like

  8. Dinothedoxie · 10 Days Ago

    “Serious question for the armchair Bismarcks: how does Western domination of Ukraine threaten Russia’s stability, aside from the blow to Kremlin prestige?”

    The GAE is an ideological empire that must continually expand to exist. Collapse will follow a pause it’s expansion.
    It’s Eye of Sauron has focused on Russia as the next place for that expansion to occur.

    Such expansion can take the form of military conquest. But more fundamentally it involves the transformation of competitive cultures with their assimilation into the globo-homo collective. Once proud and masculine cultures such as German and Spanish have been transformed into feminized caricatures of their former selves. The worst case is that of Japan. They morphed from proud and powerful Samurai warriors to asexual anime freaks in a couple of generations. Globo-homo sees these transformations as successes – not least because the formerly belligerent peoples have become industrial serfs producing material for Globo-homo consumers.

    Russia looks at all of that recent history with horror. And realizes that they are next in line. They don’t want to become homo-erotic parodies of Cossacks, or worse. That is an existential threat to Russian masculinity and culture that dwarfs anything done by the communists in the 20th century.

    More so, the rhetoric of the propaganda emanating from the GAE media is quite explicitly calling for and creating the conditions to justify the murder of the current Russian elites. They are called evil, worse than NAZIs (and you know what the NAZIs got in 46-47 right?). The deaths of generals is celebrated and mocked. The rich are mocked as “oligarchs” and are being attacked around the world. Seriously, how would the GAE react if Russia was organizing similar persecution of American tycoons?

    So what does Russia have to fear? The murde of their elite. The transformation of their culture into feminized serfs.
    How exactly would that happen? By the expansion of “the wests” cultural rot into their society. The funding of opposition groups within Russia. Direct military action where the GAE could get away with it, and the targeted assignation of leaders by drones and traitors. That’s not some crazy conspiracy theory on the Russians part either. It’s the pattern of behavior of the GAE for well over half a century.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dickycone · 10 Days Ago

      The sad thing is Russia was never a threat to the GAE in the way that Japan was. Japan had to be destroyed. Russia could have been a useful friend and ally.

      Liked by 1 person

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