Day 13, Phase 3
Shatterproof Cameleon Lenses
Eliot Cohen has a nice thread mentioning the editorial in The New York Times, titled “The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready,” appearing on May 20, 2022.
It’s not particularly surprising that at this point in a grinding, bloody war @nytimes, and some American think tanks as well as in the French, German and Italian governments look for a way out with a compromise that will dismember Ukraine further.
The spirit of appeasement and surrender will always be with us; the willingness to sell out people fighting for their freedom and their lives will always be with us; the fear of success in defeating dictators will always be with us.
There are plenty of hardheaded reasons to arm and support Ukraine to the maximum - indeed, it would be catastrophic on purely geopolitical grounds to sell them out. But this is also a moral issue.
The good news is that the Ukrainians are resolute, the US is doing the right thing, and the key allies - front line states above all, but also UK, Canada, and others - are in it to win. For the rest, they get the reputations of a Duranty or a Chamberlain. Deservedly.
London-based practicing philosopher on Telegram mentions several shortcomings of the Collective West’s handling of contradictions which arose in the post-Soviet space over the last 25 years.
Western elites perceived the collapse of the communist system as the collapse of Russia. The country was transferred to the category of "catching up" civilizations. This was greatly facilitated by the low self-esteem of Russian elites. Western governments did not take seriously the task of helping Russia to overcome the crisis of transition and lend a hand, as was done with Europe after World War II. Instead, they gave lots of bad advice. Left to its own devices, Russia quickly and irrevocably embarked on the path of building a "gangster state."
NATO's direct participation in the Kosovo war in 1999 and the resolution of the crisis with demonstrative disregard for Russian participation contributed to the formation of a stable Weimar Syndrome in Moscow.
The withdrawal of the United States from from the ABM agreement can be classified as a self-fulfilling prophecy. This move awakened in Russian military circles a sense of paranoia about the "first unanswered strike." It haunted Putin. Maybe it was a bad idea.
Ukraine’s revolutions (Orange Revolution - 2003/2004, Revolution of Dignity - 2013/2014) aroused expectations that Russian influence in the post-Soviet space could be ended in a historically short period of time time. This sharply accelerated the course of events. The West began to stimulate the natural and justifiable desire of Ukraine to distance itself from Moscow.
The Collective West made promises to Ukraine that it either did not intend to keep in principle, or that it turned out to be impossible to keep after the fact. The included the promise to accept Ukraine into NATO. The pledge created the illusion of the existence of a mystical political “airbag” among Ukrainian leaders and provoked “dangerous driving” on those sharp bends where a more cautious driver usually slows down. Unfortunately, real assistance to Ukraine began to arrive after accident already occurred. It was no longer "technical assistance," but "emergency care."
I’m not sure about number 3 and number 5. My eyes glaze over whenever I come into contact with the words Collective West.
In other news, I took Sam the bike to the repair shop for a check-up. We decided experiment with a new crankset, chainset and seat.
And I ordered a new pair of glasses with category 4 lenses that allow 5% light transmission. They have an anti-fog and anti-reflective coating and work well in most conditions, even when it’s 30 C and I’m scything on a hill. They’re completely shatterproof and made with ballistic material used for helicopter windshields. UAH 1,500 apiece. The frames were extra.