War Is the Health of the State, 21st Century Edition

I don’t have a firm conclusion about just what we should do about the Ukraine crisis (beyond not sending Kamala Harris to Munich to embarrass the country). We ought to arm the Ukrainians with all the weapons they can use (short of nukes), impose serious sanctions on Russia, and perhaps some heavy cyber actions. But it is also worth considering that if Germany won’t stand up with the rest of the NATO alliance to naked Russian aggression, maybe they deserve to be ruled by Russia. It would be a deserved irony if Putin tells Germany that eastern Ukraine is “my last territorial demand.”

The economic dislocation here could be significant. If global oil markets are roiled, it will be interesting to see how the Biden Administration handles $7 a gallon gasoline at the pump. Suspending the 18 cents a gallon federal gasoline tax won’t help very much.

And is it even remotely possible the Biden team is contemplating direct U.S. military involvement in eastern Europe? Don’t entirely rule it out. A century ago Randolph Bourne famously said, “War is the health of the state.” Here’s the 21st century version that appeared in the Washington Post:

The ultimate Keynesian dream!

Don’t think this is completely fanciful. “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”, Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright  once demanded of Colin Powell.

Chaser—It turns out that Ukrainians are pretty good at creating memes suitable for the situation. A reader sends along these:

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