International Commentary (37)

What Makes a Superpower Weak?

Number 85, March 22, 2022

What Makes a Superpower Weak?

In the early AD 400s, invincible Rome was falling.  It was entering its last years, last days, and last hours.  Gangs of German barbarians were closing-in to conquer, loot, kidnap and destroy.  But the residents of Rome were oblivious to reality.  They were focused on fun, games, their welfare payments, exploding inflation, and the next day’s entertainment – the wild blood-sport at the Coliseum.  Every day citizens gathered there to scream for yet more vivid combat and slaughter: war games to the death, gladiatorial duels to the death, and yet more gruesome executions of Rome’s criminals.  These were slow, agonizing deaths and the crowds wanted more of it.   

On one particular day, the shouting and roaring in the Coliseum was so loud the spectators could not hear the attacks of the Visigoths who were just outside the walls of the stadium.   The barbarians were going block by block, pillaging, raping, murdering, and destroying what was left of Rome. The screams of their victims went unnoticed by the raucous sports fans, citizens of the greatest superpower on earth.

What Pride Looks Like in 2022

Today in the USA, our elite media gives us daily details of the bloody war in Ukraine.  We keep watching, enthralled by the media’s colourful and emotional narrative.  

Putin is a beast; that poor victim Zelensky is a hero.  

To this one fervid narrative we have recklessly given our attention.  The war started on February 24th.  Within a week our collective hatred for Putin had been inflamed to a temperature at which rational thought is apparently impossible.

When the war was barely ten days old, Quinnipiac University polling data[1] discovered that over 70% of American respondents favored stiffer sanctions on Russia — even at the cost of skyrocketing gasoline prices. Because? Because the media told us virtue signalling is expensive, and being virtuous will cost us something.  

The poll also discovered that nearly 80% favoured a US hot war on Russia if its forces attack a NATO country.   That’s US v. Russia.  Nuclear power v. nuclear power.  Because…why?  Why is a nation like the US so suddenly disposed to think in this belligerent, suicidal way?  

Here is one reason of many: emotional fictional narratives can replace reality if we start believing them as credible.  

Putin’s a beast; that poor victim Zelensky is a hero.  The whole world needs to war against Putin to kill him. If Lindsay Graham doesn’t assassinate him first. 

One example of our hate-driven irrationality appeared on twitter. In full public view. Beneath a short Russian video of a hypersonic missile being launched from a Russian battleship, there was a cascade of comments.  The title noted that such a missile could fly at 7,000 mph and reach London in five minutes.  

The comments represented a chorus of hysteria driven by pride, genocidal frenzy and irrational ignorance.   Here’s a paraphrase of the thread.

“That missile doesn’t look fast to me.

“Russian missiles are no problem.  Our anti-missile systems will shoot ‘em down. Am sure of it.”

“Putin tries that on America?  All of Russia will disappear in like 1 min.”

“The West has more of those than Russia does.”

“We should use them”

“We could sink those Russian boats in seconds.”

“Little Putin has his day coming.”

What Will History Say About the Americans?

After wars have come and gone, the facts about those wars speak for themselves.  What will be said of the Americans of March 2022?  We were blind, childish, emotional, proud and ignorant.  We were not thinking about the secondary consequences of our emotional outbursts.  After reading a few stories on social media, we were willing to lash-out at every man, woman and child in Russia and kill them all.

The War Against Reality

An unthinking public. This is the chief ingredient for unnecessary and unjust war. War-mongering politicians (and industrialists) can have no war until they create a self-righteously irate population which has lost the ability to see reality.  

So how can America get reality back?

Taking these two simple steps will help:

  • First, stop the childish, blinding hatred of Putin for a moment.
  • Second, get answers to the hardest questions by going after the answers.

These are the two hardest questions:

  1. What is the reality of America’s military preparedness for war, compared to Russia’s?
  2. To what extent are we being captured by the deliberately monolithic media narrative?

Russia is far more realistic about national defence than NATO or the US.  Canada just admitted she is totally helpless, having joined the hate mob, dutifully shipping all her weaponry to Ukraine. All of it.  

Russia sees the world differently.  She has not invested the last twenty years teaching her soldiers and scientists to be woke or politically fashionable, as we have.  Russian leaders have focused on the realities of hostility because they have experienced it from the West, continually, for three decades.  Western leaders seem to have a running competition on who can deliver the most biting insults to Mr. Putin. NATO spends some $3 billion a year to threaten Russia.  Russia realizes that self-righteously irate Western populations, which have lost the ability to see reality, can be dangerous to the national security of their nation.  

Russians know what we are saying about them.  We want them dead.  Our very public sanctions are designed to destroy their families and their economy.   Deliberately.  Is it therefore any wonder that Russia has been building and testing weapon systems?  Is it any wonder that their weapons have been designed to work, like their hypersonic missiles?  How many Americans know that we do not have anything comparable?  Nor do we have any missile interception defences which can stop those missiles.  

Yet Russia has operational systems which can stop our intercontinental missiles.  And there are contingencies if one gets through.  This is because Russia has a realistic attitude about a hot nuclear war. If they are attacked, they will protect their people.   They have a disaster management plan to survive a nuclear war waged by the US, to come out alive on the other side, and to continue to build an independent national economy.  The US has no such realistic plan for their own people.   

This hard reality should deter the US from an arrogantly suicidal attitude. The Poseidon torpedo can be quietly released from Kilo class subs 4-5,000 miles from target.  The underwater drone can then swim slowly and quietly at depths of 3,300 feet until it parks just off a coastal city, awaiting detonation command.  Payload?  More than any existing American weapon.[2]

As these superior weapons were developed and tested, what was the American military doing?  During Mr. Biden’s administration so far, our Department of Defence has invested over six million man-hours teaching our troops about white rage, inherent racism, transgenderism and other woke mythology. 

Answering the hardest questions

As of this writing, the world is 27 days into the Ukraine war.  The fog of war is still too dense to see the answers to the most pertinent questions that need to be asked and answered.  By early April, it may be possible.  Below are some of the first we should try to tackle at that point.  

  • Just how deeply has war hysteria and propaganda affected our ability to discern reality?
  • Prior to Russia’s special military operation on February 24th, how many threats to their national security did Russia document to the watching world?   What were they?
  • For how long had Ukraine been acting as a proxy member of NATO militarily?
  • How many billions of dollars of weaponry had been given to Ukraine by NATO and the US?
  • Did Putin consider that he was interposing himself as magistrate between the threats and the security of his people?
  • Why did he perceive the “anti-Russian project” of NATO as a weapon of mass destruction?
  • What were the four peace concessions suggested to Zelensky which could have ended the war before the end of February?
  • Why did Zelensky reject those?  Why did he continue to reject offers of peace in order to prolong the fighting?
  • To what extent is Zelensky taking orders from the US State Department?
  • Of the 50 deep-state officials who signed the letter suggesting the Hunter laptop was Russian agitprop, how many were and are involved in Ukrainian affairs?[3]
  • How much did American interference in Ukraine over the last decade contribute to the invasion on February 24th?
  • Why was the Ukraine military massing on the Donbas border in mid-February?
  • Of the US billions sent to banks and the governments of Ukraine, how much has disappeared through corruption?
  • Is it true Ukrainian sources accounted for the largest international donations to the Clinton Foundation for a period of fifteen years?
  • Is it true the invasion failed militarily for Russia, or did they succeed in demilitarizing Ukraine and forcing Zelensky to the negotiation table?
  • What are the Nazi origins of the Azov Battalion?
  • For the last eight years, and the last eight weeks, what has been the character and conduct of the Azov battalion and other units of the Ukrainian army funded by Western interference?
  • Was it the Ukrainians who created the corridors for civilian evacuation, or was it the Russians?
  • Which units have been charged with genocide and war crimes in the Donbas?  The Ukrainian military or the private Ukrainian military companies like the Azov battalion?
  • Which army did a better job at protecting civilians from live fire, the Russians or the Ukrainians?
  • Which army will be remembered for better observing International rules of war?
  • How did the Ukrainians treat volunteer mercenaries who travelled to fight? Were those volunteers treated with honour and professionalism, or were they trapped, abused, cheated and used as cannon fodder?  How many are now dead combatants?
  • At the negotiation table, which side was more determined to achieve an immediate peace settlement? 

Highly Relevant Proverb

Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors (Prov.1:17-19).