Crazier than anything in Dr. Strangelove

Someone, let’s anonymize as “E”, says (as many do),

“I just don’t buy the notion that Putin is only reacting to U.S. policy…”

I say:

Remember that time Putin did a coup d’etat in Virginia, and installed the KKK in power, and claimed Norfolk, Virginia as home to the Russian fleet? Huh. I don’t remember that either.

“E” says,

“Your analogy fails.”

I say:

The analogy is on target.

  • Virginia is Ukraine.
  • KKK coup regime installed by Russia in Virginia (in 2014) is Nazi coup regime installed by USA in Ukraine in 2014.
  • Norfolk is Sevastopol.

Some details could be added. For the situation to be historically symmetrical, Virginia would have become an independent nation in 1991 (as Ukraine did), by treaty agreed to by the United States. Part of the foundation of Virginia as an independent nation would have been an additional treaty establishing the long term lease of the United States’ most important Naval Base, Norfolk, which the US would lease from Virginia, with annual payments made to Virginia. From there the analogy would continue with 5 billion dollars worth of Russian investment in Virginia regime change groundwork, coup planning, and coup implementation. On day 1 after the coup in 2014, the KKK in Richmond, now installed in power, would outlaw the English language, mandating some dialect instead, and also on day 1 would announce intent to renege on the Norfolk base lease treaty with the United States. This would be backed with Russian military occupying Virginia, making good on the years prior stated intent on the Russian side to bring Virginia into a Russian military alliance.

The conversation was on Facebook, so continued:

John Mensing says,

“The position you expressed in your comment here is that of a xenophobic, warmongering ignoramus. What you don’t know about Russian history and politics could fill a library, yet you write with the authority and certitude of an accomplished scholar. Your ignorance is dangerous, your opinionated hyperbole repulsive. You’re foolish, stupid and repugnant. You don’t advance a position, you merely adopt a posture, and pontificate as though you had wisdom. Did you read the interview? Did you understand what Vitali was saying? How dare you call rapprochement with Russia, “sucking up to Putin”. What infantile prejudice gives you the right to use such vulgar language?

A few years ago, your remarks could have been dismissed as reactionary right wing piffle, a holdover from the days of Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater, and the John Birch Society. But ever since Hillary used unfounded belligerence against Russia as a campaign tactic, and the rump of Mrs. Clinton’s defeated coterie has used Russophobia to hide the failings of her campaign and distort the logic of her loss, your position moves from untenable to damnable.”

[Letter from Washington] | The New Red Scare, by Andrew Cockburn |…

“E” said something about being attacked ad hominem, and that “Putin only respects power.”

John Mensing answered:

You have such insight! I didn’t realize. To be able to discern that personal viewpoints are inherently biased: Quelle formidable! Clearly we are dealing here with an intellect of no mean achievement.

But wait. You want to deliver ad hominems against the leader of a State, a man you have never met, a man whose actions and policies and accomplishments and achievements you know only through the reports you’ve read in the Washington Post, and the diatribes you’ve imbibed from Rachel Maddow? You want to sit in judgement of him, from a position of wise-ass knowingness, and yet you blanche at having your behaviour, nee you very character, described to you in evocative terms? Quelle dommage! This is a failure not of intellect, then but of moral character?

You don’t know Trump’s personality, and calling him a “fragile narcissist” is at best projection. If you were an astute political observer, you would choose your words more carefully. If you were an activist, indeed, if you were anything but a dilettante, you would describe him only in terms which advanced your understanding of him in relation to the issue you were seeking change over.

You know jack shit about Putin. You know jack shit about Russia. If you knew anything, you wouldn’t post like an asshole. My own intellectual biases and limitations? The nerve. I have some curiosity and empathy. You’re a close-minded bigot.

Shut up and learn something, for fuck’s sake. Ignorance is dangerous in this political environment, with warhawks and neo-McCarthyites trying to march us off to greater belligerence and more widespread deprivation. There’s probably nothing you or I can do to stop it, but waving your pom-poms? Really? Go, Team!

Your point was very stupid. Simple, yes, but also very stupid. Rapprochement is not capitulation. No negotiation with Russia would result in supine capitulation. It could not. Your verbiage here is more detestable than your previous formulation of, “sucking up to,” which at least had the virtue of being puerile, and hence indicative of your character.

Putin only respects power? That’s your insight? Do you read comic books? Do you think in any way more complicated or nuanced than the cartoon? Putin certainly respects many things, power among them. To be so abjectly reductionist at the introduction of your discourse indicates how hopeless it would be to expect a walk-back to an argument which proceeded from known things.

You claim to have read the article, and yet you start out your comment with the (hilariously self-aggrandizing), “I don’t buy . . ” and then go on to misattribute, “. . . the notion that Putin is only reacting to U.S. policy . .” You could view it as another case of reductionism, you could chalk it up to not reading the article carefully — nowhere does Shkliarov advance this notion, always taking a more nuanced approach — or else, as previously stated . . . Russia isn’t invading anywhere.…/

Anticipating some may doubt the analogy, I do not advocate independence of US states, including Virginia. Of course, once Ukraine became independent in 1991, peacefully, by treaty with Russia, that should have been enough. But for the US it wasn’t. We wanted our military control (NATO) in there, and we wanted to boot Russia out of its strategic position on the Black Sea, Crimea, which has been integral to Russia since before the US existed. Paramount, really, to Russia, culturally, historically, strategically. This the US wanted to strip away. It’s crazier than anything in Dr. Strangelove (that was just one lone lunatic, General Jack D. Ripper). What we’ve done, we’ve done at the direction of our entire political culture gone insane.



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