Category Archives: FTAC – From The Awesome Conversation
If — in my own head — I hit a universal note just about right in Facebook or other conversation, I may simply wrench it from context and publish it here in this category as a mix of observation and, I hope, a writer’s wisdom.
I haven’t been writing much here of late, and I have been wasting time every day with the following of the #RussiaUkraineWar and passing along assorted articles YouTube video to the BackChannels page on Facebook and Twitter. For the sake of a missed (mis-tracked) or insufficient education, I’ve opened (and have made it to the fifth notebook) Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, and for old ambitions involving creative writing, have been moseying through Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only (Kindle version). For brevity, in the end, I thought to share here a little bit of the daily engagement (due for diminishment in the cause of personal change and perhaps restoration) with the “awesome conversation” online.
https://conflict-backchannels.com/…/a-note-on-the…/ Russia–Russians–need a modern state, not a barbaric feudal-medieval monstrosity. Of course, Putin’s not well in the head, not rational. As a malignant narcissist, he defends his projection of a courageous heroic self as cover for the weakling he really worries about. Until that pernicious psychology is understood in Russia–I believe the psychology of dictatorship (and related aggrandizement, manipulation, and theater) is well understood in the west–the world will simply suffer through with it and wherever it leads.
Facebook, September 12, 2022. Note: Facebook, unlike Twitter, doesn’t seem to have an exact and impersonal location-sharing feature, so just trust me: I wrote the above in response to an appropriate prompt.
I have reached a point where becoming absent from “social media” feels a little bit (a lot) like death and its isolation, so small has my world become offline and so ephemeral at the desktop. Nonetheless, and with advancing age, getting on to other things–reading Aurelius, reading fiction, playing guitar and singing, housekeeping (oh, the neglect!), driving around, perhaps, or settling down to learning French, say, or just finding that place that lends itself to taking a long walk in the countryside appears to require absence (a wag would have written “Absinthe”, and that would have been fair too).
Macron fears a nuclear exchange with a deranged Putin, but compromise anywhere along Ukraine’s writ will not damp that possibility. Putin’s criminal narcissistic psychopathy has been such as to compel ever greater distancing from the “narcissistic mortification” that derailed him on to a false heroic course in the first place. The only western solution for him and his codependents will be to reverse the tide in its entirety and get the demilitarized zone on the Russian side of the fence. In no way has Ukraine been at fault in relation to Russia’s aggression and barbaric caste. Putin, whatever demonic fantasia he may have as regards his own medieval revanche and resurgent and thug-reliant absolutism, may have just made himself Russia’s Last Emperor, Rus, and Varangian. Even Ukraine’s modern Russian-speaking citizens hate the onslaught driven by his delusional derangement.
I wrote that comment two hours ago here:
Russia’s despotic President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has escalated his real black politik to threatening the world’s food supply and nuclear security, and to think that encouraging him with a small morsel of eastern or southern Ukraine will appease either him or the weak men fully inveigled in his criminal madness should seem to the cool headed among political analysts and politicians worldwide irredeemably delusional. “Vovo” has succeeded primarily in making himself Russia’s Last Emperor, Rus, and Varangian, and beyond that, he has ruined Russia’s character, credibility, integrity, and reliability as a modern and responsible.
I had heard in the high school classroom of the 1970s that Russia’s history had long involved “taking one step backward before taking two steps forward.”
Although I lack the scholarship for filling out that statement with examples from the 10th Century to this day, I would suggest that Putin’s Feudal-Medieval Revanche has accomplished nothing for ordinary Russians and post-Soviet neighbors (viewed by Putin as still client states or satellites in a cooked-up Russian “Near Abroad”) but to associate the obscenity of breathtaking corruption with wealth (as with Ukraine’s former bullying political mafioso Viktor Yanukovych) while otherwise crawling along, if at all, with modern economic development and law. In place of Russia’s cooperation, friendship, and trade in the international sphere, Putin has through his actions and words put on full display his own brand of barbarism, enslavement (of Russian soldiers, no less), ethnic cleansing, and the crudest leveraging having to do not only with basic energy and food resources but with the pride and spine of greater leaders whose accomplishments he may never hope to achieve.
Putin has ruined himself, his image, and his stature in history while Russians left behind have paid the price for his ambitions and crimes internally–and they will pay a price too for his crimes at war, but with one caveat: Ukraine and the rest of the world need the healthier, modern, and much higher integrity state that a post-Putin & Company Russia needs must become.
Of course there’s much else related online, but at this point, the actively engaged may noodle through the news and opinion themselves. While I may return to bibliography, I wonder if with short opinions whether a need for it remains. With some posts–and some unwieldy writing–the scope of coverage has required reference as dots for connections. Here where Putin has brazenly and stupidly fashioned a gambit that comes to “Step up, step down, or step back–or else!” neither experience, knowledge, prudence, nor wisdom counsel appeasement.
After the dissolving of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, some KGB elite found themselves driving cabs, i.e., out on the streets, stripped of power and privilege. It didn’t take long for part of that set to determine to regenerate themselves, perhaps through their former networks (I’m mythologizing but keeping to milestones in the greater narrative arc), and set about taking revenge against the west.
9/11/2001 – I would call the event a Russian “Reflexive Control” operation by proxy against NATO. Whatever the truth of the matter, it provoked the proud flesh of a wounded west into a far rightward motion, i.e., the “New Nationalism”. In France, and with Putin’s blessing, Marine Le Pen picked up on the pride.
I’ll add another one or two touchstones here.
2011 – the Arab Spring and desertification lead to protests in Syria against a callous regime quick to respond with violence to any challenge of its authority. The same had also a mighty lever in enjoining the “War on Terror” against any enemy it wish to call a terrorist. Spillover: mass migration -> NATO, starting with Turkey, the same became a stimulus for greater nationalism accompanied by xenophobia. Most affected: Hungary, Italy, Poland, and the United States.
In the listing of years as the perhaps KGB penchant for clever aggression, the whole has gone with the “ones” — 1991; 2001; 2011; and if the invasion of Ukraine had been squeezed in right, 2021.
Putin’s Russia has been cooking on all of the medieval burners, numerology somewhat included, and, indeed, NATO has now to catch up with the array of conditions and threats fashioned by Moscow since the end of the Cold War, and Moscow, representing the Russian “Mafia State”, has some advantages given European and North American appetites for every illicit good and service moving around the planet. It and its buddies among dictators and thugs view the west both as turned toward nationalism (sadly true in part) and morally degenerate — but in Ukraine it has drawn a response remarkably different from what it had imagined. The key to that has been its criminality and barbarism. The cruelty displayed over time and across the post-Soviet Russian space of interest has been effective as regards inspiring hate for everything associated with Moscow. Whether the New Nationalists, Le Pen included, view themselves as part of the problem in light of Putin’s behavior, we shall see. One thing they won’t want will be domination by the Stalinist Russian.
The West had perhaps thought the Cold War over on December 25, 1991 with the announcement at noon of the Soviet Union’s dissolving itself in bankruptcy, but here with are with a post-Soviet KGB/FSB President Putin in power who while demonstrating his idea of logical reasoning repeatedly proves himself barbaric, inhuman, and irrational and only best in his expression of unhelpful and wholly destructive madness. He appears to have no insight as regards his own malign and narcissistic disorder, but his army knows it, his generals see it, his inner circle suffer for it and none appear able to stop him.
For Ukrainians, who are but the latest to catch Tsar Putin’s cross-hairs, the question comes up as to why EU/NATO so far refuses Ukraine offensive weapons sufficient for controlling its air space. The Atlantic Council circulated a germane answer in the form of a survey of experts and simple chi-square chart, and this morning when both plea and question came up on Facebook, I felt bound to respond.
From the Awesome Conversation
In what follows, I’ve added URLs where they would be otherwise absent in plain text.
Out of laziness, perhaps, I’ve chosen to plant surprises, helpful ones, in the URLs and forego the creating of standard reference (a “Related Online” section has been otherwise a BackChannels desktop publishing tradition).
Here’s the thinking regarding NATO’s official avoidance of war with Russia beneath the black cloud of Mutually Assured Destructed attached to any exchange of nuclear weapons and related and possibly out of control (worse: computer-controlled, according to Putin) escalation.
Putin has cause to believe he has the edge in defense and energy assets as well as global positioning and latency or staging (as global defense assets existing in peace may be turned toward war with an order). As “gifts” to the developed world, Putin also has 2000 tactical nuclear weapons and a number of hypersonic (hard to hit) missiles, and at the very least, he will plant those assets on NATO’s border to sustain his program of intimidation.
By the west’s measured response to Putin’s aggression, it is merely enabling the same while giving up on its principles and values by keeping itself in the respondent mode when the more powerful option, which will come due, will be to seize the initiative and take Putin’s power from him–and, frankly, that for the sake of the Russian People too who have been deeply subjugated by Putin’s governance.
Whoever or whatever it was — or remains — if it was evil, we should collectively appreciate its import, ameliorate its damage, if comparatively recent, and pack it away not to be repeated if the semblance of the same may be prevented or damped.
As lies are told to hide something or to get something, those who counsel the excising of history — erasure of the past, in essence — would seem most of all ashamed of themselves and sensitive to their own hidden predilections for control and conquest. Only the pulling down of the despot’s statue at the time of the revolution proves liberating and signal of liberation. Yanking old generals off their pedestals? That’s something else.
While the Modern West most certainly appears to be at war with feudal-medieval, narcissistic, and totalitarian forces and tendencies worldwide, there seems a part in which the Modern face off with the Modern over the management of corruption and greed. This note From the Awesome Conversation may be accompanied by a minimum of inline or separate references, but I do believe each claim or implication easily substantiated with a little bit of online research effort on the reader’s part.
From the Awesome Conversation (Now Growing Old as I Grow Old) 🙂
Inline URLs have been added to the original plain text.
Moscow’s “Absolutism”, “Active Measures”, “Hybrid Warfare”, and Medieval “Realpolitik” have been somewhat proven against EU/NATO, which by “Reflexive Control” (see “Business Insider, Zawahiri, Russia“) has itself been pushed toward the “New Nationalism” with Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey motivated most of all to march forward into the feudal-medieval past.
Add the arc of Soviet / post-Soviet alliances x Areas of Control x Regions of Influence, and one may glimpse the persistently barbaric and feudal world Moscow has in mind for the global future.
Not only Zawahiri but Jeffrey Epstein as well had Moscow stays in Russia], and the medieval emphasis on “kompromat” — and potential public embarrassment — may have come through most clearly during the Trump Administration (and Trump especially had relationships involving criminal elements and substantial sums of Russian money — start with Craig Unger on all of that).