Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire, famously said:
“People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt.”
We can be sure that as a comitted practitioner of “Realpolitik”, Bismarck knew best about the truth of that statement.
Most of the time both before elections and in war, politicians and leaders are trying to convince people to do something that is against their own self-interest, hence the need to lie, mislead and manipulate.
As a young man I was naive and unaware of the propaganda we are exposed to. Later, after the wars in Yugoslavia and Kosovo I became more aware of the lies and propaganda we were told. By the time Donald Trump ran for office and then became President I was amazed by the amount of lies, disinformation and propaganda coming from the mainstream media both in the USA and in Europe. It was on a level I never thought possible before.
If that wasn’t bad enough, starting with the wuhan virus pandemic the lies and propaganda went to whole new unimaginable levels. It went nuclear. Combined with an unprecedented level of censorship and violations of free speech rights never thought possible in free Western societies, the result was that our countries resemble more and more totalitarian states like China or “managed democracies” like Putin’s Russia.
What I find amazing is that many of the same people who, justifiably so, distrusted the media during the two years of the corona “pandemic” now suddenly seem to buy the media’s narrative vis a vis Ukraine hook line and sinker.
It’s the height of naivety to believe that the same media that lied about the wuhan virus all the time are telling you the truth about Ukraine, Russia or anything else.
What I find saddening is that some “conservatives” and Republicans are employing the same abysmally stupid tactic of calling anyone who diverges from the mainstream orthodoxy Putin sympathizers, Putin’s propagandists and Putin’s useful idiots.
That’s the same stupid tactic as calling everyone who diverges from the mainstream corona orthodoxy anti-vaxxers.
To all those a**holes who are employing this primitive logical fallacy called ad hominem: Unless you can make a convincing argument based on sound information you won’t convince me that you’re right. That might work for weaker characters but not for me. Neither will cheap appeals to emotions work. Emotionalism is the weapon of choice for those who don’t have a rational argument and it is the tool for manipulation of people since time immemorial because it bypasses one’s rational faculties.
All those clowns who are calling rational sceptics of mainstream propaganda, Putin propagandists, are free to scan this website or the internet for anything I wrote. You won’t find any sympathy for Putin from me.
Putin is a ruthless thug who wouldn’t hesitate blowing up appartment buildings to justify a war in Chechnya where he bombed the capital Grozny into rubble with no regard for the civilian population.
However, painting Putin as Hitler is just propaganda. He’s a cold calculating killer but he’s no madman. Putin has stated what he wants: To restore Russia to its former glory, to regain what the USSR has lost and to halt NATO eastward expansion. No doubt, he’d love to see the end of NATO but that won’t happen anytime soon because there is almost no chance that the Russian army could defeat the combined armies of Europe and the US.
The idea that Putin will go ahead and attack more NATO countries if he’s not stopped in Ukraine is ludicrous. A Russian army that has so much trouble defeating Ukraine, let alone occupying it is in no shape to successfully invade and occupy any NATO country because that would trigger automatically article 5, which obligates all NATO members to defend the attacked country. Only NATO could destroy NATO. If its members didn’t honor article 5 and refused to assist, say any of the small Baltic countries, if attacked by Russia, then NATO would be finished.
Putin hasn’t attacked NATO during his two decades in power. He hasn’t invaded all of Ukraine in 2014 when he had the opportunity to do so. A madman like Hitler wouldn’t show such restraint. He would have attacked a long time ago. The idea that Putin suddenly, in a fit of madness, would completely go bonkers, is nonsensical. Anyone who thinks so, please tell me why that should be the case.
All those who say that Putin is Hitler are either clueless or they are shameless propagandists. No, there won’t be Russian tanks rolling through Berlin or Paris, even if Ukraine was to fall.
Don’t switch off your critical thinking just because you’re being told so.
I’m always sceptical even if something seems to confirm my own point of view. I try to check it and I use logic to test if something is plausible.
When Mark Levin interviewed Allen West, I was surprised that West said that the Russian airforce had no air supremacy yet. By the time the media were calling for a no-fly zone, I wanted to know if that was still the case. In an interview of an defense analyst specializing in air power and Russian military affairs in “The Aviationist” four things became clear:
- The Russian air force still had no air supremacy.
- It wasn’t used even remotely to the extent expected.
- It was still plagued with many problems.
- Ukrainians had many shoulder-launched missiles.
If the air force was just sparly used what good was a no-fly zone? It doesn’t help against rocket/artillery attacks.
A no-fly zone wasn’t needed because it added little protection for civilians. It only made sense if the goal was to involve NATO in a war with Russia.
All sides are lying to us. Both sides have a motive to do so. Putin wants to convince us that his invasion is justified and that his military goes only after Ukrainian nazis.
Zelensky wants to drag us into war on his side. He wants us to believe that the Russians are monsters, that he’s fighting for us and that Putin will invade more countries in Eastern Europe if Putin isn’t stopped.
Our media has picked one side and want us to believe that it’s evil Putin and Fascism vs. Zelensky and Democracy/Freedom and that we have an obligation to help Ukraine. It’s not about Putin vs. Democracy. It’s about power. It’s our ruling mafia vs. Putin’s mafia.
If they cared about freedom, our goverments wouldn’t behave like totalitarian regimes. They don’t give a crap about China’s genocide or the brutal crushing of freedom, democracy and human rights there.
To cut through all the lies we are fed it is often enough to use logic, common sense and to heed the lessons of history. For instance, when weeks ago “experts” warned that Kiev could fall within 96 hours my thoughts were: Are these the same kind of experts who were wrong about the wuhan virus all the time. I’m no military expert but I know that urban combat is a very ugly, painful and bloody business and that it takes an awful lot of time to take a big city in house to house combat. Seems these “experts” have never studied Stalingrad, Beirut or Falujah. Kiev is still standing.
It’s very cheap and easy to virtue signal and to wear an emblem in Ukrainian national colors or to put a Ukrainian flag in your social media profile but the questions we have to answer are these:
Is it in our own national interest to go to war with Russia in order to save Ukraine?
Establishing a no-fly zone would mean that NATO-planes would have to shoot down Russian planes.
Would more people die in a war with Russia than they do now? Is it worth it?
Is it all about humanitarian motives or are our goverments after something different?
Is Ukraine worth getting your son, brother or husband killed?
Lastly, do we have an obligation to help Ukraine militarily?
Since Ukraine is no NATO member, NATO is not obligated to provide such help.
What about the US and Britain?
I’ve always thought that the US and UK had given the Ukraine security assurances in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.
So, I read the damn thing myself and to my surprise I didn’t find such assurances. This is the text of the Budapest Memorandum. I’ve omitted the diplomatic mumbo jumbo in the preamble (full text here):
1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;
2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;
4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;
5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclearweapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;
6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.
As you can see, the only concrete assurance of assistance is a “commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine” and that’s only if Ukraine is attacked with nukes.
Never mind that the Memorandum was never ratified by the US Senate, therefore lacking the binding power of a treaty.
Furthermore, the Obama administration violated point 1 (to respect the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine) when it orchestrated the overthrow of a democratically elected Ukrainian goverment in 2014, as documented in the infamous taped phone call of Victoria Nuland (“f**k the EU”).
This gave Putin the pretext for his Crimea annexation.
Biden blatantly violated point 2 (to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest …), as it is documented in a video in which Biden brags how he forced Ukraine to fire a prosecutor by threatening to withhold 1 billion dollars of help.
So no, you don’t have to take the same people seriously who crapped all over the Budapest Memorandum when they say that the Memorandum obligates the US to help Ukraine.
Different players have turned Ukraine into a playground for their power games. They operated in the shadows and they never asked for our consent. Why should we pay the price for the mess they’ve created?
2 thoughts on “Bismarck, Bombs And Budapest”
You’re welcome, Tom. Until recently I didn’t know myself the extent of the commitments of the US and UK. Yes, like you I knew what some talk show hosts and writers who are fore the most part solid, have said or written. As Reagan said: Trust but verify.
There are Conservative talk show hosts that have been saying the USA under Clinton obligated itself to defend Ukraine if Russia attacked it. Yet Zelensky has not demanded that the USA do that. Until I saw your post I had been puzzled by that. Thanks.