In a lot of ways what I am seeing in the United States, Europe and Ukraine vs Russia is almost identical to the parade of folly that led Europe into The Great War. Every stupid thing that could be said is being said. Every threat that can be uttered is uttered. Every single action to move incrementally to a war that nobody wanted is being pushed hard from behind in order to accelerate the movement towards inevitable war with Russia. All the same outside parties are now weighing in on one side or another, promises extended, oaths pledged and yet just as in 1914, none of the parties or people involved see what is happening right in front of their eyes. Putin, they say, is a mad crazy man and dictator. Fine. So are just about all the other main characters involved in this plot although in a few cases it would be simply safer to assume that they're senile and their handlers seek some personal advantage from egging on the various powers into a confrontation. Back in the Cold War I always assumed that a war with the USSR would at some point go nuclear but that was a Soviet Union led by some of the most ruthless and pragrmatic men to ever live. As we saw over the decades, none of them ever sought to attack ANY OF OUR VITAL INTERESTS. Oh sure, they nibbled around the edges and sold weapons to the enemy in our various proxy wars but they didn't directly engage us because they knew perfectly well that a country that could not feed itself could not win a war with the United States and didn't need to bother so long as the communists ran the Soviet Union. Those men didn't care about the Eastern European empire anymore that we ever did. We gave them away at Yalta and Potsdam and nobody in the West every even poked into just why we let them be sold down the river to a fate we knew was inevitable. There are a damn sight fewer Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians today because hundreds of thousand of them were rounded up and shipped to Siberia, never to return home again. Now, like all the old Empires and Kingdoms of the West who slobbered over the Serbs vs Austrians and started making promises and sending arms and making threats we have all got to slobber over the Ukrainians vs Russians. The thing though is that I haven't changed my position on this matter. Poking Russia by continuously rolling the NATO frontier closer and closer to Russia even though history has shown that this is ALWAYS a STUPID thing to do was not merely provocative and stupid, it left Putin no choice other than to react violently since all diplomatic efforts to resist had simply been bulldozed by European boneheads eager to make a reputation for themselves.
Did Putin turn off the gas that Europe absolutely needed this winter even as every idiot there postured and prattled? Nope.
Did even one single NATO member start to increase the readiness of their military forces as their leaders started to lay the ground work for a totally unnecessary war with Russia? Nope.
Did the United States government attempt to remind everyone that Russia was the sole heir of the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union and that a good bit still worked and even if they decided not to use it themselves, they might as well start selling a few here and few there with handy instruction books printed in Arabic, Farsi, Tamil, Irish and few other languages? I thought not.
They'll all be so surprised one night to be told that Kiev isnt there anymore. And I'm sure that there isn't a soul in any government in the West that has prepared for that eventuality. Can you imagine the Senile Idiot in Chief thinking ahead? How about the feckless Boris living at #10? What about Macron who thinks if it looks good it must be good. That's it folks. Those are the nuclear armed powers in NATO and they're all out there in Poland and Ukraine swanning around as if their brave military show means anything at all to a man they've left very little to lose.
And worst of all, they don't know it.