Mores and More, Yet Again

Long time readers will know that I’ve been jumping up and down on the topic of mores (pronounced More-As) and the inability of many leaders in the West, particularly the U.S., to grasp that Russians aren’t just like us but speak funny since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. That they have a very different history, culture, and world view. That Russkiy Mir is a very real and defining document, and much like Hamass has been very clear on what they want to do in the world, Russkiy Mir defines what Russia wants to do. When your enemies tell you what they want to do and how, pay attention.

Then again, I’ve been jumping up and down on this topic since the late 1970s/early 1980s. Aside from the Reagan years, it has fallen largely on deaf ears. Boss got it, then again he knew it before he ever came into office. Would that others had done the same, or were doing it now.

One who gets it is Cdr. Salamander, who brings it up in a very good discussion on the Russia-Ukraine war. He makes very good points, and I agree with most if not all. I would note that a good case can be made that Vladimir is attempting to use two things against us: the lack of patience of the American public and economic warfare that mirrors what Reagan did to the USSR.

The American public is not known for patience, and since WWII has little interest in or patience with wars that aren’t over fast. Some of that is from cultural shift, some from Gramscian damage to our culture (see also modern higher ed), and some to political realities. Vladimir is counting on this, and is even stoking it (and trying to sway upcoming elections) by thanking Republicans for their efforts to defund Ukraine. His comments along these lines are pure malice and he loves the Pavlovian response of the progressives to them.

Also, America is in economic trouble and everyone knows it, even those saying otherwise. There is some very black humor in Russia doing all it can to push America into more economic trouble by military spending to support Ukraine. After all, Reagan forced Russia into military and other spending to help push the USSR under. If you think that is not a factor in Vladimir’s thinking, you are mistaken.

My own take remains that we do have an obligation to help Ukraine courtesy of Bill Clinton; that depleting our stockpiles and engaging in massive spending is not the best way to do it; that while the war is dangerous in that it could spread and/or nasty things could happen, better to do it now (though I do wish there were a good exit ramp); and, that if the war ends with a peace forced from outside, we will see a far worse and nastier conflict within two decades, more likely one. That one will involve NATO as Russkiy Mir calls for taking over Poland, the Baltics, and more. There is a reason those nations have a very different view of things than the rest of NATO. For all that I would love to see this war ended, I think how it is ended matters. I also still very much think that the only way we will get a true and long-term peace in the region is to have the Russian Federation come apart.

The Biden Regency is effectively Obama II. Obama I was committed to ending American military and other power. From the purge of the warfighters to gutting critical programs and planning, they did a good job of damaging our military. When you add the incompetence that is the hallmark of the Biden Regency to such an effort, I can make a case for using the term catastrophic as a descriptor.

My take on the intelligence and leadership failures that led to the invasion actually taking place is in the archives. Given that Obama I had shown we would not live up to the promises made by Clinton, Vladimir had no doubt the feckless incompetents of the Biden Regency would do nothing other than talk.

Then again, Vladimir was wrong on two counts. First, he thought that he had a short victorious war (never happens at scale), and that dusting off the 1968 Czech plan (down to using a number of the same Russian units) would work. After all, with his 2014 invasion all Vladimir got from Obama I was talk and a lot of important territory. Instead of the one- to three-day war he expected, however… Second, I think he was surprised that the U.S. and the West would respond at all, far less supply the massive amounts of ammunition, equipment, and other support required of a modern conflict. Then again, he trusted what he was told about his military, which has a long tradition of gundecking reports that predates the USSR…

If we had had competent leadership of any type in the White House, I don’t think the invasion would have taken place yet. If we had competent leadership, they would have worked to find ways to respond that don’t put us economically or militarily between a rock and a hard place. A competent administration would not be foot dragging replacement of critical supplies, replacement that they were forced to do by Congress. Then again, a competent administration would be working on some fundamental changes to our military planning processes as well. Topics for another day though.

Just some quick thoughts, and a link to a good and thought-provoking post. Sorry, just not up to more than that today.

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