Thursday, 22 September 2022
Those demonstrations in Russia and Iran would be illegal in Britain. So much for any libertarian Conservatives. Most people in Russia have never heard of Alexei Navalny, but he tweets from prison, and he has just treated his adoring Western fans to a video. Imagine Julian Assange releasing a video from Belmarsh. No, neither can I.
Vladimir Putin understands that if there is not a strong enough case for conscription, then there is not a strong enough case for the war in question. If a country is not under such threat that it needs to mobilise its entire healthy and able-bodied male population of fighting age, then it is not under enough of a threat to justify going to war at all.
If much of the healthy and able-bodied male population of fighting age cannot see that threat, then perhaps it is not really there, as there was obviously never any Vietnamese threat to the United States or any Iraqi threat to Britain, although that may not be the view of many Russian young men if Ukrainian troops entered Russia.
The war in Ukraine ends one way, or it does not end at all. Whether we like it or not, and we have no particular reason to care either way, Crimea goes back to Russia, as firmly understood by the former Special Assistant to President Reagan, while the parts of the Ukraine that the largely Ukrainian Soviet elite had put into the Ukrainian SSR in order to make its independence impossible become Russian satellite states, although they are economically and culturally too Soviet for today's Russian Federation. A much more stable and coherent Ukraine becomes constitutionally neutral, with all of this requiring the denazification that no one any longer disputed was necessary to some extent, nor did anyone dispute that at all until very recently.
Short of that, then there might be a lull of years or, although this would now be wildly improbable, decades, but that would be all that it ever was. Yet there would be, as there is, no reason for us to take any more interest in that than in any other humanitarian emergency. No less so. But no more so, either.
Even the argument that "they look like us" has been blown out of the water by the appointment of a Cabinet that has been designed to beat the other side in a battle that it is not fighting, while sticking the Prime Minister's two fingers up to the people who had elected her because they had thought that the British ought to be running India rather than an Indian running Britain. Ukrainians do not look like James Cleverly.
Do not demean yourself by pretending that you would be prepared to starve or freeze to death in the dark over which country Kupiansk, Izyum or Balaklyia ought to be in. Nor should you be.