Biden’s Biceps and Various Other Flabby Delusions

Russia’s brazen attempt to force Ukraine into submission by threatening its territory and freedoms must be resisted.

If Russian President Vladimir Putin successfully imposes his will on an independent nation by force of arms or a manufactured political coup then the sovereignty of all nations is jeopardised. It would validate the use of coercive power, encourage dictators around the world, destabilise Europe, trigger another refugee crisis and send financial markets into free fall. And you can kiss goodbye to what remains of the rules-based order.

That’s why Ukraine matters for Australia.

Oh please. It doesn’t matter to Australia at all. This is exactly the same neo-liberal rubbish we were told about Afghanistan; that it too mattered to our freedom and democracy. How did that turn out? The hypocrisy over Ukraine is almost as huge as Mr Putin’s ego. At one and the same time, hawks dismiss the wilfully provocative expansionism of NATO while also upping their stridency towards China because its ambitions – as regards Taiwan and the sea lanes vital for our survival – are seen as a belt, road and bridge too far into Australia’s domain. This isn’t about sides or personalities but realpolitic. Russia is no innocent – nor are the AUKUS Metternichs who blew up a goodly chunk of the world and their own moral capital to capture Iraqi WMD – but it has a case for a buffer against its foes more compelling than Australia’s in the Asia-Pacific.

And the hypocrisy doesn’t end there. Inevitably, Mr Dupont raises the spectre of 1962 when “Nikita Khrushchev recklessly dispatched ballistic missiles to Cuba.” Put to one side the fact that Russia’s Cuba gambit was largely precipitated by the nuclear arms race Jack Kennedy foolishly flagged with his “missile gap” lies during the 1960 election campaign. Russia isn’t trying to park armaments on anybody’s doorstep; NATO is. Putin is not Khrushchev in the analogy; he isn’t Kennedy either but a righteously wrongheaded somebody else in between. There is nothing so twitter-friendly here as a viable chauvinism in black and white.

One thing that is genuinely obvious (and nauseating) is the same US Democrats who paid Kremlin cutouts to crash the Trump Administration waxing Churchillian about the malice of Moscow. The sadder tragedy, though, is cultural: Western Europe is now a marshmallow-Marxist, post-Christian bloc where sovereignty is so strictly controlled as to be more or less outlawed. Vladimir Putin is not a Constantinian white knight of Christian revival – let nobody say that with a straight face – but at least his cynical vice pays Rochefoucauld’s tribute to virtue. Western Europe won’t even pay for its own defence. That’s how much they value freedom.

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9 Responses to Biden’s Biceps and Various Other Flabby Delusions

  1. Entropy says:

    Nobody takes NATO seriously anymore CL.

    That is the sort of moral equivalency you would normally detest.

  2. MatrixTransform says:

    Omicron vanished and was replaced with the Ukraine and/or interest rate rises

    It’s amazing how quickly people adopt the new narrative.

    Twice yesterday people expressed dismay, shock and doubt about debil-debil-russia right after they turned off 3AW.

    When I suggested that Nato had been pretty reckless for a while now, I just got blank stares in return.

    Must be an election year somewhere

  3. Petros says:

    Putin has remarked that if it was OK for the Kosovo Albanians to cleave off that region then it’s OK for the Russians in eastern Ukraine to do the same, if my memory serves me correctly.

  4. Perfidious Albino says:

    Let’s also not forget that Ukraine has apparently been investing in its defence by investing in US politicians and their families.

  5. Rusty says:

    People forget Cuba was a response to the US parking nukes in (from memory) Turkey and Italy. Nato strolling up and sitting on the historically defensible boarder or Russia is a worse provocation to me.

    Moscow is not that far…

  6. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Daniel Greenfield has an interesting theory about this stuff:

    Is Putin Trying to Save Biden? (25 Jan)

    Makes a lot of sense since Joe is doing incredible damage to American power. So helping him to stay in the WH would be a cheap and elegant strategy for Vlad.

  7. Tel says:

    There are some similarities between Taiwan and Ukraine, in as much as Taiwan has gradually (quietly) increased it’s missile technology to include 2000 km range supersonic cruise missile capability.

    The long reach on that missile may be bluff, because similar technology from Russia in the form of the Oniks and BrahMos missiles can only do less than half that range … and to the best of anyone’s knowledge Taiwan has no nuclear warhead capability. However, you can still imagine that the Chinese are a tiny bit nervous.

    The Taiwanese are a very technically adept people and quite likely their missile capability will continue to improve. They also trade and travel extensively, and although you cannot simply buy these parts off the shelf, they can easily buy all the machines and materials they need to keep that missile program going.

    I would also expect that South Korea won’t be too far behind, when you consider their technical skills, independent spirit and distrust of China.

  8. Boambee John says:


    and to the best of anyone’s knowledge Taiwan has no nuclear warhead capability.

    It would be a courageous (in the Sir Humphrey sense) Chinese general who did not work on the assumption that Taiwan is a very short assembly time away from a nuclear weapons capability.

  9. Boambee John says:

    PS, how far is it from Taiwan to:



    Three Gorges?

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