Ukraine Escalation?

Featured image The war in Ukraine seems to have faded as a topic of concern, but not because there is nothing to worry about. The Secretary-General of NATO sees a “real possibility” of all-out war between Russia and the NATO allies: There is a “real possibility” that the war in Ukraine could spill over into a full-scale conflict between Nato and Russia, the head of the military alliance has warned, in some »

Who Blew Up the Pipeline?

Featured image Who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines? Your guess is as good as mine. It does seem peculiar to think Russia would have blown up their own pipeline, but it is not inconceivable that a faction of Russia’s military is trying to sabotage Putin as a prelude for ousting him, or that Putin sees it as a kind of “Cortez burning his ships” moment to indicate that he is all-in »

Who Killed Darya Dugina?

Featured image Darya Dugina was the daughter of Alexander Dugin, one of Vladimir Putin’s close associates, a leading pro-Putin intellectual, and a vigorous supporter of the Ukraine invasion. Dugin is an exponent of “Eurasianism,” arguing that Russia is a unique civilization that has rejected Western liberalism and is the heir to the Russian Empire. Darya herself was a journalist and a supporter of her father’s ideas and Putin’s regime. On Saturday night, »

Guest Post: Emina Melonic on ‘War Chic’

Featured image Emina Melonic is the perfect person to reflect on the meaning of the Vogue cover shot of the Zelenskyys: The war in Ukraine has been odd, to say the least. At the beginning, I was following it closely, especially since I saw the echoes of my own experience, namely in war-torn Bosnia. I saw innocent people dying and displaced out of their homes. But just like most things in this strange, »

Is Russia Reeling?

Featured image A friend sent me a link to this paper, which says that, contrary to much of what we see in the press, Western sanctions are devastating Russia’s economy. The authors are all associated with Yale; subject to that caveat, here it is: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters into its fifth month, a common narrative has emerged that the unity of the world in standing up to Russia has »

Music For Ukraine

Featured image My friend John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting) emailed to say that he is releasing a video that was filmed in Ukraine in May. First his message, then the video: In the middle of May I traveled to Kyiv with an amazing humanitarian group, Save Our Allies, to film a video in the ruins of the Antonov airport with The Ukrainian Orchestra for my Ukrainian tribute song “Can One Man Save »

Whither Ukraine?

Featured image Old conventional wisdom: those doughty Ukrainians are sticking it to the Russians! New conventional wisdom: the war and resulting sanctions have been an economic fiasco, and the result will be a political settlement that could have been had long ago. David Goldman (Spengler) writes: “Biden tries to climb down from Ukraine ledge.” President Joe Biden’s administration faces a double disaster after its Ukraine miscalculation, namely a US recession and a »

Opinion Shifting Against Ukraine War Effort

Featured image As I’ve written before, Americans are remarkably united on the Russia-Ukraine war. Almost everyone is on Ukraine’s side, and almost no one wants us to send troops. So differences in opinion are relatively nuanced: how far should we go to support Ukraine’s war effort? How one answers that question depends partly on whether one sees a risk of wider, possibly nuclear, war, and partly on how one sees our support »

A Nuanced View of the Russia-Ukraine War

Featured image For me, the war in Ukraine is simple: Ukraine didn’t invade Russia, Russia invaded Ukraine. So I am on the Ukrainians’ side. But at the same time, my perspective is nuanced. The nuance consists of wondering whether it really is in our interest to send tens of billions of dollars worth of war materiel to the Ukrainians. What interest, exactly, do we have in the conflict that makes such an »

The Inexorable Logic of Dictators

Featured image Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its rapid stall out from effective Ukrainian resistance, there has been a lot of talk, backed up with appropriate quotes from Sun Tzu and other classic authors on strategy, that we need to contrive some kind of graceful “offramp” for Putin. This seems like unpromising advice. Time to recall once again the counsel of Churchill, made for a foolishly hopeful American »

Ukraine, the Russian Perspective

Featured image It is hard to think of a recent policy issue on which American public opinion has been so unified: just about everyone is pro-Ukraine, but hardly anyone wants American troops to fight on the ground. Despite this apparent consensus, various public figures, including Donald Trump, have been vilified as pro-Russia. It light of recent revelations about Russian atrocities, it is safe to assume that essentially no one–certainly no politician or »

Our Ukraine Dilemmas

Featured image A certain amount of caution is recommended about reporting and commenting on the Ukraine War, mostly because solid facts are hard to come by (the “fog of war” and all that), and judgment about what to do is in equally short supply, especially inside the head of our president. A few things appear certain. First, the Ukrainians have fought with great skill and effectiveness, and surprised the world with their »

Thanks for clearing that up

Featured image We’ve sought to follow a variety of “walkbacks” from President Biden’s logorrhea over the past week. Biden has a chronic case of the malady, but he aggravated it in Europe. That logorrhea — as in Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression,” it’s a frustrating mess. Speaking with the 82nd Airborne in Rzeszów, Poland, on March 25 — White House transcript here — Biden sought to excite them over the sights they would »

Biden’s Gaffes: A Postscript

Featured image As everyone knows, Joe Biden made at least three important blunders while he was in Europe, that had to be corrected by the White House. But yesterday, having returned to the U.S., Biden denied that any of his comments had been walked back: “What’s getting walked back? … None of the three occurred.” Biden’s assertion is implausible as to all three of his gaffes, but I want to focus on »

Got half a mind to ramble

Featured image President Biden’s public appearances in Europe this week have made for a dangerous spectacle of debility and senescence. It does not serve Biden’s interest to take notice. The media have therefore pitched in to airbrush the spectacle. That is the point Kyle Smith makes in the New York Post column “Media works overtime to clean up Joe Biden’s word salads.” In his Wall Street Journal Best of the Web column »

The Times Is Putin Us On

Featured image I wrote yesterday that the New York Times was planning on smearing conservatives as mouthpieces for Vladimir Putin. We know this because a Times reporter emailed Candace Owens and said she was working on such an article, the centerpiece of which was the claim that commentators like Candace are echoing Putin’s line that Ukraine is a corrupt country. Candace replied by pointing out that everything she knew about corruption in »

We’ve Always Been at War With Eastasia

Featured image For me, the Ukraine situation is pretty simple. Ukraine didn’t invade Russia, Russia invaded Ukraine. And Russia is our geopolitical rival/enemy, while Ukraine is not. So I am on Ukraine’s side and am happy to do what we can to help the Ukrainians, without committing acts of war against Russia. Like, say, shooting down their airplanes. So I am part of what seems to be an unusually broad consensus among »