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Blame Canada (Ignore Russia)
The gates of Janus are closed. Check back tomorrow.
As I write this, there’s a pretty good chance that Russia and Ukraine are at war. Troops moving across borders tends to mean that. We should acknowledge what exactly that could, and probably will, entail. It means bullets thudding into bodies. It means bombs and shells falling on cities, homes, hospitals, schools. It means husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children being killed, whether in direct action or as collateral damage. War is hell, and one probably just started. And America’s Putinists, professional and amateur, should be made to say clearly what they’re actually arguing for.
I know they won’t. They’ve insulated themselves very, very well inside a friendly media and political echo chamber. I know we can’t reach most of these figures. But we should absolutely cause psychic pain to those people in their lives who parrot their self-serving lies.
The US and Ukraine have a strategic partnership treaty. They’re allies. Helping your allies when they get invaded is basically the point of an alliance. Hell, I’m reasonably sure Canada still has special forces somewhere in Ukraine for “support”. So what does that alliance actually mean to your average person? Are they OK with America breaking their international promises? Do they expect America’s allies to come to America’s aid when America is attacked? Why should they, given this clear abandonment of an ally?
These aren’t rhetorical questions. The USA is poised to enter a near-unprecedented withdrawal from international affairs to busy itself with lies about election fraud and insurrections and vaccines and if that means that America can’t be counted upon to keep its word, then other countries, especially the allies, will - and should - conclude its word is worthless. “We will support you against any aggression, provided it’s polling domestically at 55% or better” is not really a promise one can take to the bank. Realpolitik, perhaps, but also a betrayal. We’ve taken note up here, and not just because Candace Owens wants to invade Canada (“We need to form a full assault!/It’s Canada’s fault!”). Americans sure seem to be keen on war. You’ve still got one of the world’s biggest militaries. Presumably it’s not all for parades. Dropping bombs on Near-Eastern countries that can’t really reply is still broadly popular, so why the cold feet? You’ve entered dumber conflicts for less.
I’ve been told before that my superpower is to see the absolute worst in everything, so I may as well try here. Ask your pro-Putin friends and family: Are you comfortable with Americans being seen as traitors and liars? Are you happy betraying our allies? And are you okay with other countries treating us the same way? Because that’s what’s being argued for here.
The USA made a promise to the Ukrainians, and that promise turned out to be bullshit. Maybe they’re okay with how that makes them look. Maybe they’re okay being treated the same way. (maybe that’ll factor into whether they’re invited to Thanksgiving this year)
If they are, they should say so.