TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin in Ukraine, “C’mon man” Thursday edition

C’mon man.

We now proceed to wait-and-see mode on practically everything, as the intelligence coming out of the combat theater will be uniformly unreliable at this point.  We can at least say with some confidence that Kyiv has not fallen, and it doesn’t appear that Russia has established full control of the Odessa environs, much less the entire southern coast.

Various unrealistic claims have been made about the number of Russian weapon systems destroyed, shot down, etc. by the Ukrainian armed forces, and there’s no point in overloading on salt to go with them.  I wouldn’t assert that the Ukrainian defense minister is deliberately lying, but the chaos of combat is probably clouding the vision of battle damage assessors.  Some of the numbers don’t seem to add up because there’s been no evidence of the kind of combat that would produce such losses – but there are big chunks of Ukraine into which we have little visibility, at least in real time.

As others have mentioned, watching activity around Lviv, in the west, will be informative.  Engaging Lviv early on would be a key indicator of how far Putin wants to take this. It was interesting Wednesday night to see Fox’s reporting about signs of Russian activity around Lviv: Day 1 would count as very early engagement.

U.S. intel from reconnaissance aircraft will be much attenuated now that we can’t fly in Ukrainian air space.  It’s possible that that will be a net benefit, however, as it may at least keep the Biden administration from using intel in “innovative” ways to basically troll Russia with.

Herewith the first “C’mon man” for C’mon Man Thursday.  (Each gem has been selected from among the bait I reacted to, so you’ll see the response, largely speaking for itself.)

The takeaway here is more than just the inanity of publicly celebrating this result-free campaign of “innovative” use.  With this packaged disclosure, the Biden administration is revealing that it basically did these things so it could announce afterward that it did them, with a trumpet fanfare.

That’s farcical.  It appeared pretty likely that’s what was going on at the time, but I held fire (as I suspect others did) because explaining what the administration was doing at that point would help nothing, and in any case would take more words than it takes Biden’s team to just confess the plan outright.  The Biden team has obligingly done so.

C’mon man.

Next up, the Washington Post’s attempt to shame “conservative media hosts,” which basically turns into a classic self-own.

Notably, we’re more than 24 hours into the formal “invasion” of Ukraine, and Team Biden is still speaking as if there is some other authority that isn’t paying attention yet to our plaintive warning cries.

That can be added to the same pattern as President Biden’s decision to accede to Nord Stream 2 and back down before the handy list of threats and challenges Michael Pregent provides here – which taught Putin everything he needed to know about American will in the Biden administration.

C’mon man.

Biden himself lobbed this next one into the stratosphere.

Talking about nukes in a flippant way when a war has just started is the very opposite of being an adult in charge.  You don’t go for the cheeky joke-off with nukes.

You always have the answer at the forefront of your brain – which isn’t even hard, because it never changes.

You don’t speculate on what the other guy will do, but you don’t say you have no idea either.  The taxpayers are spending a butt-ton-load of money on a whole suite of capabilities for the specific purpose of ensuring you have a highly-informed idea.

Nukes are for deterrence; we have an effective combination of defenses and deterrent counterforce; Russia won’t be able to upset that balance and make this a matter of frightening escalation.

Never changes.

C’mon man.

For some reason, the administration saw fit to roll out another trumpet fanfare and use a loudspeaker to proclaim that the president has totally been briefed on a ton of ingenious ways to cyber-attack Russia.

‘Nuff said.  C’mon man.

In this next clip, Daleep Singh (deputy national security advisor) affirms that, “To be clear, our sanctions are not designed to cause any disruption to the current flow of energy from Russia to the world.”

So it’s just American energy whose flow to the world the Biden administration is anxious to disrupt.  We the people are chopped liver.  The lack of self-awareness in Singh’s chirpy, sincere delivery is a classic of its kind.

C’mon man.

Most of the other “C’mon man” moments don’t quite meet the threshold for a feature.  There are bound to be many more.

A curiosity, however, which some will find of interest.  This appears to be a very opportune satellite image of Russian task force ships lined up for a photo op off the coast of Syria on Wednesday.

As H.I. Sutton notes, the satellite image was taken just as the formal invasion was beginning.  The ships are in no way arrayed for either a typical transit or tactical activity – other than having their picture taken – so the “photo op” assessment is a good call.  (Just for starters, both submarines are at the head of the formation, on the surface and hence slowing it down.  Both Slava cruisers are line abreast, with the little Buyan sandwiched between them, an arrangement that would only be relevant to a task force photo.  The Buyan is a little guy, corvette-size, shiny and new with big Kalibr missiles.  At the rear of the formation, the slow coach auxiliaries have no protection from threats astern.)

So we can speculate freely as to how big a motivation it was for the Russians, who of course know when the satellites have their optimal looks in various parts of the globe, to be seen posing for a family photo as the war started.

One serious point as well.  There was a lot of disappointment on Thursday that Biden hasn’t elected to cut Russia off from the SWIFT banking transaction system.

This is one of those things you want to be careful about wishing for.  Putin and Xi Jinping can see something that too many in the West are blind to, which is that the world doesn’t need SWIFT, per se, badly enough to preserve it at all costs if it becomes a big inconvenience.

Xi and Putin have been preparing for a future without SWIFT, and everyone else knows that.  There’s a list of financially significant nations that would accommodate Russia in the event the SWIFT governing board excluded Russian transactions from SWIFT, and the U.S. is not in a realistic position to exclude those other nations from the system.

This one can’t be pushed.  If we push it, the system will break up into a hybrid-something-else – and America is not the nation prepared to protect our interests when that happens.

I said on Wednesday, and will reiterate today:  “It’s possible for the U.S. and our allies to impose sanctions that could, if enforced, be very draconian.  But by doing so, we would be dismantling the current order with our own hands.”

And again, the way to get ahead of that problem, which need only be temporary, is to stop actively throttling our own power.  Unleash the people to produce and innovate; be stronger and lead more fearlessly and compellingly than the Asian dictators, and beat them not at their game but at ours.

Feature image: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Felix Garza Jr. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

9 thoughts on “TOC Ready Room 24 Feb 2022: Putin in Ukraine, “C’mon man” Thursday edition”

  1. 1. We are ruled by an illegitimate regime of 12-year-old middle school mean girls. That means chaotic and emotional reactions to actions that only impinge upon their immediate interest. Consistency is only in the reality that they’ll lash out only at what threatens their self-image and needs. Those moments are nearly impossible to identify.

    2. Nothing the Zombie regime has done has been effective, rational, or in the US’s best interests… absolutely nothing. Had the Trump era energy policy been in place, none of this would have happened because we’d be in the catbird seat and Pootie Poot’s only revenue flows would be a trickle at roughly $40-45 a barrel, and even smaller for NG. He’d have never had the dough to do this, war costs money that he doesn’t have.

    3. This is a “clock thing”. Tsar Vladimir has to do this fast, and have it shut down quickly in the post phase. Meaning he has no armed Ukrainian insurgency harassing his occupying forces and puppet regime as he tries to reabsorb Ukraine into his dreamed PanSlavic reimagining of the Russo-Soviet empire. Muscovites have always cherished dominating and controlling the Balto-Slavic mix of folks in Ukraine. It’s like every sadist needs his power trip over some poor slob. But Vlad doesn’t have a ton of time. He’d have less time if A) We’d gotten more arms to the Ukrainians and B) we’d have made an embargo of Russian energy exports possible. We’ve done neither, leaving us with much of nothing.

    4. As to the intelligence of the Zombie Regime continually tipping its intelligence hand to “show them”, etc. See point 1, above.

    We are in a dangerous time because we are always in a dangerous time, and when we are ruled by fools we get even more dangerous events happening. The Green Socialist Anti-Industrial Oligarchy that is currently running the Zombie Regime is delusional, incompetent, and societally suicidal. They are currently succeeding in every single one of their goals.

    Maybe, ultimately Einstein was right, and World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones from caves.

    -OAB

    1. How to understand Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine?

      To what does this unilateral action compare? Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974? The border dispute, known as the Mexican American War of 1848? A more ancient act of imperialism, the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century?

      The latter example not now nearly as pertinent as the former. The issue at stake, centers not upon Russian interests to keep the Ukraine out of joining NATO, but rather the disgrace of UN hypocrisy and its silence to denounce and condemn this latest invasion by countries who dream, think France, that they should merit the status as a ‘Great Power’ in Europe.

      The UN repeats and perpetuates this continuous drip-cowardice; the UN condemns repeatedly ad infinitum the Jewish State of Israel. Yet when China pulls shtik with the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, likewise comparable to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, UN piety immediately loses its religion. Therefore, it seems to me that Nations should respond to UN hypocrisy by withdrawing membership from this House of Cards club.

      The Russia\China axis thrived during the Stalin\Mao era. China faces a similar fuel crisis as did Japan during WWII. Formosa and the Japanese Islands make control of the ocean quite formidable. Therefore China would very much like to conquer Taiwan. For China to fight and win a war that would most probably trigger multi-national involvement, it requires a secure ally which can supply it with oil and gas. Russia fits that need to a tee. Mao rejected Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin’s war crimes. That’s when Sino–Russian relations turns south.

      Russia, even after the fall of the USSR, remains the odd man out among Nato dominated Western European governments. The West, currently jabbering about sanctions blah blah. The Art of War centers upon crippling the supply lines of the enemy. A failure which defines the defeat of US imperialist invasions in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. Those supply lines represent the underbelly of the beast. Quite naturally all belligerent nations understand this critical weakness. A Sino-Russian alliance make tremendous good strategic sense for a new Cold War Russia.

      It seems to me, that the art of politics centers upon whose feet a person can singe in the fire. As a person with duel citizenship, do not want the US to go to war over the Ukraine and Israel ,,, Simply — Hell No. So who can the public hold accountable? For me there’s a simple solution. Denounce, condemn, and expel the UN from New York.

      Weaknesses to my arguments … Brought no proof of US sanctions against Russia. Sanctions constitute part of Washington’s standard operating procedures. The US frequently boycotts, for example, the Olympics. The Russian pipeline to Germany … its almost completed. But Washington opposes this economic alliance with Russia. The Ukraine invasion serves as a pretext for Washington to exert diplomatic pressure opposing the completion of this pipeline. A knee-jerk reaction which Moscow fully expects. Both Russia and China would like to take the dominance of the international US dollar down a notch or two.

      Also my opening blog made no attempt to argue, much less prove, that the UN exists as an illegitimate bastard child of the Allied victors of WWII. This seems an obvious given to me, seeing that the League of Nations spouted out of the puss of the Great Powers following WWI. The UN invites all nation who agree to honor their charter. The UN Charter mandates that the UN and its member states will maintain international peace and security, uphold international law, achieve “higher standards of living” for their citizens, address “economic, social, health, and related problems”, and promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

      What a pompous highfalutin load of political rhetoric. North Korea honors this narishkeit in the breach. The UN has never expelled a member nation for violating its “charter”. Lastly the Ukraine, originally part of ‘Mother Russia’. Russia has every right to determine its international borders which directly involve the Ukraine. States who share no common border with Russia, unlike Poland and the Ukraine, they have no business what so ever getting directly involved in this border dispute. Why? Whenever a foreign country which shares no common border with other countries, should a “hostile State” attempt to impose the borders of any country to which it shares no common borders, such a policy defines the criminal war crime known as “Imperialism”.

      The Ukraine shares a 530 km border with Poland. Its one thing for an invading army to conquer a country like the criminal Bush Administration conquered Iraq. Something all together different for that invader country to hold and maintain Order within that conquered country. This invasion, it promises gorilla warfare for many years to come.

      Unless Mother Russia commits millions of troops to enforce the extension of its international borders to include the disputed Ukraine\Russian borders. Should Moscow commit itself to such a policy, it seems very reasonable to equally assume that if the border with Poland proved itself as hostile … that the Russian military could patrol and close down the borders between Poland and the Ukraine. Poland has a long history, wherein Great European powers – have carved that country, something like a Thanks-Giving turkey, into divide ‘spheres of interest’. Russia, unlike France, it primarily fought and defeated the Nazis. Without any question or doubt it qualifies as a “Great Power” within the States of Europe.

      The French poodle, all it can do – bark like a dog. France has made noise for so long. Russia has gotten used to its empty bark which has no bite. England, remains an occupied nation by the US military forces. It hardly qualifies, especially since the total collapse of its empire, as a Great Power State within Europe. And perhaps this reality nails the 2nd world status of Western European nations, straight upon the head. Post WWII, Europe has no mandate as a Great Power in international politics. Phony attempts by these wannabe, former Great Powers, to impose their criminal imperialism upon nations to which they share no common borders, merits the respect shown to a person who farts in an elevator.

      This brings us full circle back to the UN talking puppet. The UN attempts continually to impose borders upon nations. The states who vote these criminal policies in both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, they share no common borders with the nations which UN meddling seeks to establish. The obligation of diplomacy rests first and foremost with the nations who share a border dispute eruption.

      But what so often transpires alien foreign nations, together with their Press make ad hominem irrational slanders against the leaders of a dispute country which they oppose. Nation states always have strategic interests which have thrived and lived on from generation to generation. State strategic interests vis a vis border state nations do not change like a fashion model removes outfits from off her body. Leaders, both talented and incompetent, come and go — but the strategic interests of a Nation remain permanently fixed.

      The irrational and utterly absurd ad hominem slander attacks foreigners condemn the leaders of conflict nations, this reveals the shallow hollow nature of the people who make these ad hominem slanders, not the leaders who set the policy of State to achieve strategic national interests.

    2. The non-alignment movement (NAM) promotes neutrality and opposes military alliances. The NAM provides a forum for developing countries to interact constructively with developed countries. The Panchsheel Resolution: POLICY OF RESISTING COLONIALISM, IMPERIALISM, RACISM:

      i) Mutual respect for another’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
      ii) No retaliation against one another.
      iii) No intrusion into each other’s personal lives.
      iv) Equality and mutual benefit
      v) Coexistence in harmony.

      Israel rejects and opposes attempts by foreign nations to determine the international borders of the Jewish State by any foreign nations who does not share a mutual international border with Israel. Distant foreign countries who attempt to determine the international borders of any other country which they do not share with an international border, whether conducted through “diplomacy” on an Ambassador level, or by means of the UN General Assembly resolutions and\or Security Council, that all such attempts violate international law by the crime of imperialism, and possibly racism.

      The Charter of the UN does not empower this post WWII establishment organization; the UN has no mandate to negate the internal domestic Sovereignty of any nation. How much more so, foreign powers possess no mandate to determine or establish the international borders of any non-neighboring countries with which they share no common border.

      Furthermore, any attempt to transform a stateless refugee population into an independent nation; any attempt to carve up one nation by means of an international proxy alliance, with the objective to establish any refugee non nation into a nation cut, away from any actual pre-existing nation, like British imperialism did with the artificial borders of India and Pakistan, Iraq and Kuwait, such actions define criminal militarism, colonialism and imperialism. Attempts of criminal imperialism, flagrantly/impudently\ violate International law. The illegal US military invasion into the Vietnam Civil War, the Iraq\Kuwait border dispute, and Afghanistan, these most recent examples, they serve as disgraceful attempts of Great Power imperialism.

      No foreign nation(ies) possess any moral mandate to determine the international borders of other countries to whom they do not mutually share a common border. How much more so, any and all attempts by any foreign country(ies) to impose or determine the Capital City and\or the borders of that Capital City, which any sovereign country has chosen as their Capital; which that People rule and establish order within their society and civilization. No foreign power, which includes the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council, has the power to unilaterally declare the borders or Capital City of any sovereign country on the Planet Earth.

  2. -Thankfully, casualties for both sides relatively light.
    -Some minor obstacles (to date) prevented full achievement of certain objectives on the ground. No matter.
    -Good progress in the south, majority of the population confidently awaiting their liberation.
    -The question of the final disposition/status of Ukraine’s nuclear installations and her western territory looming, I believe an axis of attack will open before long addressing both previous issues.
    -Even a window for negotiations remain open.
    -To the chagrin of those who haven’t bothered to learn a damn new thing about Russia since the end of the Cold War, to the absolutely rabid, visceral haters of all things “Russia” or “Russian”, all things considered, this business is going quite well for Russia in the ‘fraternal’ Ukraine, thank you.
    -Maybe now, we’ll be able to look at our own responsibilities for the world’s state just a little more honestly.
    -And on a lighter note. . . Confounding Russian response, utterly confounding, isn’t it? 🙂

    Peace, love, and whatever. . . 🙂

    1. Why does everyone who knows Russiagate was a hoax not understand that they now believe every word the Russiagate perpetrators say about Putin? Same hoax meant to destroy T45, and Putin.
      Everyone should read Gordon Hahn, who provides the history of Ukraine v Putin since 2013, including Minsk1 and 2:

      Coercive Diplomacy Phase 2: War and Iron Curtain Descended.
      By Gordon M. Hahn February 24, 2022 […] The Minsk Failure
      The civilians living in the DNR/LNR, the overwhelming majority of whom oppose the February 2014 putsch and Maidan regime have been subjected to seven years of occasional bombing, economic isolation, and state ostracization. For seven years Kiev has failed to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk 2 Agreement to pass a law on the autonomy of the breakaway regions and negotiate directly with their leaderships. All of the Maidan regime’s presidents have refused to negotiate with the DNR/LNR: […]
      https://gordonhahn.com/2022/02/24/coercive-diplomacy-phase-2-war-and-iron-curtain-descended/

      not /sarc ☺
      De-militarization might not be same as invasion.

      1. Yes, we have a distorted, difficult, understanding of Russia-related issues in general. The lack of any real ‘current’ firsthand experience about/with Russia and/or real exposure to Russians and/or Russian language/culture/info-sources is the reason for many. For others (mostly boomers) it’s a legacy of the compulsory Cold War indoctrination of the educational system, and/or our personal military service/experience (here, I include myself until the mid/late-Eighties). For yet others, inadequate/shallow/poor scholarship of the issue, which is inexcusable for the intelligent ones. What can I say, your question’s a big, deep, can of worms. 🙂
        In any case, nice to communicate with you once again. Hope we all come out for the better from these sad events, D4x. 🙂

        1. My boomer HS was so overloaded with the Cuban Freedom Flights 1967-68, Global History was MIA, and American History ended just before the Civil War ended. Yet, once I departed Miami, mostly read history and bios. ☺
          Thanks for your reply. Lee Smith, author of The Plot Against the President and The Permanent Coup. He does not directly ask my question:
          Why does everyone who knows Russiagate was a hoax not understand that they now believe every word the Russiagate perpetrators say about Putin? but, he certainly answers it:

          Feb 25, 2022 Ukraine’s Deadly Gamble. By tying itself to a reckless and dangerous America, the Ukrainians made a blunder that client states will study for years to come. By Lee Smith […] Why can’t the American security establishment shoulder responsibility for its role in the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine? Because to discuss American responsibility openly would mean exposing the national security establishment’s role in two separate, destructive coups: the first, in 2014, targeting the government of Ukraine, and the second, starting two years later, the government of the United States. […] beginning with the 2013-14 Obama administration-backed coup that toppled a Russia-friendly government in Kyiv. […] https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/ukraines-deadly-gamble

          And, JeD retweeted something from ASBMilitary, but, not this:

          1:09 AM · Feb 27, 2022 @ASBMilitary
          BREAKING: The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that the 302nd anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Ukrainian troops voluntarily surrendered their arms, 471 Ukrainian servicemen were detained by Russia.
          https://twitter.com/ASBMilitary/status/1497816116772716544

          Info War, until TeamO44’s Color Revolutions are defeated.

  3. We are buying Russian oil and throttling our own production. That is not something we would do if those actually in charge, I’ll call it the Obama cabal for now, actually had the USA’s interests at heart.

    Obama made two important statements revealing his heart, and those aligned with him: “the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties” and “we are three days from fundamentally transforming this country.”

    You don’t say those if you believe in our founding ideals. The Obama cabal wants to hamstring America. This is on purpose.

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