Good morning from Patagonia, as we thread our way down toward the Drake Passage. We’ll have some more photos later today.
Here’s a lovely comment attempted by reader “barube” on my post “The invasion brings out the kooks“, pointing out that a lot of American termites emerged from the woodwork during this invasion. Reader “berube” underscores that point.
You are a great biologist, but you are wacked out as far as politics goes. Like Sam Harris, you lack any ability to be objective re Trump. Like Shapiro likes to say, the facts do not care about your feelings. The facts are: Crimea was lost under the feckless leadership of Obama. Ukraine may be lost under the even more feckless Biden. There is no way what is happening, would be happening, under Trump. Please seek out help for your Trump derangement syndrome.
Yeah, Trump would have helped Putin take over Ukraine. Here we have another “wacked out” Trump-lover who should know that the proper pejorative is “whacked out”. I believe Trump Derangement Syndrome, which once meant those people who were (properly) driven wild by the ex-President’s lunacy, should now apply to those like “barube”, who think Trump was a fantastic President and would have saved Ukraine had he remained in the White House.
30 thoughts on “The termites email, even when I’m in Patagonia.”
Some interesting ideas on this topic: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/02/28/world-war-iii-already-there-00012340
I think Fiona Hill’s thoughts may not all be correct (who am I to judge), but she offers an informed, credible and above all chilling perspective.
The Trump loonies are here to stay. Many of them are members of congress. They hate their made up enemies much more than they like their country. They are pathetic and deserve to be ignored. Just as Trump is a puppet of Putin’s they are Trump puppets.
Personally I don’t think Putin’s timetable was much affected by who was president. Both Crimea and now the rest of Ukraine are much more driven by how western Europe responds vice the US. Had France, Germany, and the UK decided to act collectively in either case, the US would likely have bandwagoned on. Conversely, if we meet with those allies to explore a military response and they say no, they wouldn’t join in on that, then our government would probably consider that a very good reason not to militarily intervene.
I do think it’s possible that while Trump was in office, Putin may have thought he had his best ever chance of splitting NATO apart, so he pursued that, and avoided military actions that might pull the alliance closer together.
However anyone implying Trump would’ve ordered the US in to defend Ukraine is just crazy. Trump is STILL praising Russia and Putin, as the invasion occurs. And both in his rhetoric and his action, he is clearly the most isolationist President we’ve had since probably the 1930s.
Do none of these Trump supporters remember his decision to withdraw troops from Kurdish occupied Syria, ceding it’s control to Russia? We don’t need to guess how Trump would act when Russians are on the doorstep of US allied territories; we’ve seen it. When that happens, he abandons our allies and lets the Russians take the territory.
Nobody, but nobody, is expressing a wish to enter a nuclear war with Russia over [anything], so I think Putin has called it right : the West isn’t going to go to war for the Ukraine.
I doubt that even if he (Putin) launched a nuclear strike against Kiev, would the west react in a meaningful sense. Because the step beyond that would be a nuclear strike on one (or all) Western capitals. So I think there is a real chance the if the Ukrainians managed to defeat (or standstill) his ground troops), that he’d resort to the nukes.
While I agree (with the empirically confirmed statement) that the west is not willing to militarily intervene to save Ukraine, I disagree with pretty much everything else you say. I don’t think Putin’s mention of his nuclear capability factored into that decision, I don’t think he would’ve used nukes in Ukraine even if we were there, and I think that if he were to use them, there would indeed be a strong negative response on the part of the western powers.
While the nuke question has never been tested, we *have* seen western response to Russian violation of the chemical weapons’ treaty and use of chem weapons. We do respond. We do support those affected. And with the exception of Donald @#$@%@# Trump, our Presidents do not order our troops to retreat or even our advisors to leave in the face of such a threat.
Given the unwillingness of NATO forces to even support a “no fly” zone, explicitly because it would almost certainly trigger an “Article 5” (IIRC the legalistics) “attack on one is an attack on all” situation, I expect the response from NATO (and non-NATO “western”) countries to closely approximate zero.
Clearly Putin has factored in the economic response, as well as discounted the public outrage appropriately (discount to zero).
The only realistic outcome that leaves the Ukraine unoccupied is if the Ukrainian ground forces manage to bog down the Russian columns, and a lot of Mothers in Russia start to get their sons back in body bags, then go onto the streets in numbers big enough to require Putin to re-deploy ground forces from Ukraine to the streets of Siberia. That would be … problematic. So, Putin being an intelligent person, he’ll have the war graves being dug in Smolensk (etc), requiring the Babushkas to travel to the graves (which leaves them insufficient time for onto the streets). One fewer logistical problem, and less intense protesting for the propaganda Dept (MiniTrue) to remove from the public record.
Chemical weapons? Well, it’s unreasonable to believe the Russians don’t have them (or can’t make them, rapidly). Would they use them? I think the question resolves to whether the long-term clean-up costs would e bigger for chemical warfare versus nuclear warfare. The 1970s development (and 1980s deployment) of “neutron” bomb weapons would argue against the use of large nukes and large amounts of chemical weapons.
The UK response to the use of chemical weapons on the streets of Salisbury a few years back was … I think “impressive” is not a good word.
Trumpian objectvity is my new oxymoron, replacing corporate communications.
But ‘Gospel Truth’ still takes the cake as far as oxymorons go. Difficult to beat that one. I admit that ‘Trumpian objectivity’ comes close.
This guy doesn’t realize that “Trump Derangement Syndrome” refers to those who support Trump. Or as one person on Twitter posted (too bad I can’t import images into this response pane):
Trump Derangement Syndrome: A pervasive psychological need to identify with Donald J. Trump and his policies. This syndrome includes irrational subservience to authority, deficits in critical thinking, and morbid investment of one’s personal identity in Donald J. Trump.
Or from another angle (from another Twitterer):
Symptoms of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” may include:
Sudden urge to stand up for democracy
Increased loyalty to the constitution
Belief in intelligence agencies
Not wanting our elections to be hacked
Urge to defend American allies
Not wanting to stand with a traitor
Yes, but remember that for a long while after Trump was elected, those people who were outraged by his election and said so were said to be afflicted with TDS, that is, “deranged by Trump as president.” Now the meaning is apparently “deranged by still supporting Trump.”
I agree that TDS best applies to those who continue supporting and apologizing for Trump. It never made much sense to me that those of us shocked by his election in 2016 and deeply distressed by his policies, his pathological lies, and criminality could be seen as “deranged.” The 2016 election and subsequent Trump years reset how I view my fellow Americans and the world in general (for better or worse…probably worse).
What’s truly amazing is that rank-and-file Republican voters still love Trump. Check out Sarah Longwell’s “The Focus Group” podcast. This episode is with Mark McKinnon, lately of Showtime’s “The Circus”. The interspersed clips of focus groupers talking about what they think of Trump is just appalling.
Bill Maher’s show last week highlighted that Trump’s approval rating has fallen dramatically in many areas. I know, polls…
Yes, but as their focus group insisted, it is because they think he can’t win, not because he was a bad president. They like his policies and are willing to say so.
I frequently observe commenters referencing tRump’s “policies.” But for the life of me, I’m at a total loss understanding what they’re referencing. From my limited perspective, other than ensuring that he and his fascist buddies are assured all privileges in life while the bulk of the population fights for bones, he had no policies.
What specific policy or policies are you referring to?
Thanks for any insight you can provide. Same for Barry+Lyons above.
It is a mystery but here’s my take. They like the policies as described by Trump, his allies, and Right Wing media, not his actual policies.
Mostly they are just cowards with no brain of their own. Remember the people of Jonestown who willingly drank the Kool-Aid without question. The Trump cult is told to love Putin, the murdering mental deformed dictator and see what a smart guy he is. Putin will take down his whole country while there are a few Russians who speak out. Nearly every country and company is bailing out on Russia and soon there will be nothing left. Let’s give Trump a one way Ticket to Moscow. He should go over and admire him up close, not from his tax free zone in Florida.
I’d like to say this is true, “the countries bailing out” well, China has not and we know why. In fact, they are building a gas pipeline from Russia to China, the planning is underway as we speak.
…if the Orange can praise the Thug Putis for his authoritarian style then he should have no issues when China starts gunning for Taiwan.
…these tRumpers spin so fast I don’t think they know their arse from a hole in the ground they are so giddy, It’s like being at the circus for them.
Trump Derangement Syndrome may exist out there, somewhere, but its outlines are ill-defined against the honest and good reactions against the ignoble actions he carried out, right up to trying to overthrow our election. People died because of his lies. Trump has ruined the Republican Party, and made gas lighting and boot licking a career move. But I acknowledge he actually managed to do some good things. There. I test negative for having TDS.
Meanwhile, there is Hillary Clinton Derangement Syndrome, CRT Derangement Syndrome, BLM Derangement Syndrome, and CDC Derangement Syndrome among those on the right. Some over there could use some serious de-programming.
alas, plenty of derangement to go around.
Because no sovereign country has any agency at all. Give me a break.
Putin probably didn’t invade Ukraine while Trump was president as he didn’t want to interrupt Trump’s dismantling of the Western Alliance. Why buy the cow when the milk is free? Now he probably wished he had invaded then as Trump would definitely not orchestrated the strong response that Biden has. As they say, hindsight is 20-20.
The lady doth protest too much.
Didn’t President Pizza Hut oversee the evisceration of Hong Kong’s independence? I guess Xi didn’t appreciate the tremendously tremendous piece of chocolate cake.
Reminds me of the scene in Enemy of the State, where Will Smith corrects the racial slur used against him by the mobster. (Can’t find a link to just that short clip.)
I agree that the invasion of Ukraine would probably not have happened now if Trump had been reelected. Then Putin would still have his man in the WH, trying to give him everything he wanted. Division within the US, devision within NATO, casting doubt on the values of enlightenment and democracy. And always trying to achieve Putin’s goals. But Trump is done and has lost most of his value to Putin. If Trump had been reelected in 2020 the invasion would have been in 2025 or ’26.
It would not have happened under Trump, because Trump was Putin’s ally.
While Trump being in office may have delayed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, his re-election wouldn’t have delayed it indefinitely. After all, Putin sees the weakening of the Western Alliance under Trump as a key enabler for such invasions.
Paul, I may not have formulated it clearly enough, but that was exactly the point I was trying to make.
Great minds and all that.
No edit function,.
To be clear, Putin planned this invasion all along, with Trump in the WH the West was weakened. No more Trump, no further weakening of the Western alliance, so the moment is now.
However, I think he underestimated how much the West could still rally after his invasion. I think he gambled (which, I admit, I thought he would not), and he may have lost his gamble (well with Putin you’re never sure). All depends now on the courageous resistance of the Ukranian army and people.