Things have been moving fast these last few weeks. The Canadian truckers’ convoy, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China increasing pressure on Taiwan, and the Covid state of the union, all happening seemingly at once. It is time to take stock of various situations to see what we have learned from them, and who has failed their lessons. We begin with Canada.
The Freedom Convoy and who won and lost
The Canadian truckers who were peacefully occupying Ottawa to protest a vaccine mandate as well as the loss of freedoms as a consequence of government mandates have now dispersed and returned to their homes and roads across the land. Trudeau did his little “victory” dance while showing his magnanimity in relinquishing his emergency powers. He, the Mayor of Ottawa, and Deputy PM Freeland, among others, have all shown their true colors as hard-core Fascists. In truth, Trudeau and his fellow travelers have only won a skirmish in a much larger battle and seem to have little idea what they have ignited.
Governments tend to think of all organizations as similar to themselves – arranged as top-down hierarchies. If an organization stands in opposition, remove the leaders and the organization dissipates. Trudeau had the “leaders” of the Convoy arrested, thinking that would kill the protest. What he doesn’t realize is that for the most part, the Convoy was a distributed peer network, where leaders would arise as appropriate from a loose organization of equals. Now he has sent the vast majority of truckers back to their homes, to their support networks, and communities – sent them with vivid memories of his injustices and power tactics.
These truckers are the people on whom the bulk of Canada’s commerce depends, and who are not well disposed to taking arbitrary orders. Much will depend on what happens in the next few weeks – whether the Covid mandates will be withdrawn, whether the promised retaliation against participants is carried out, and whether the government restores frozen funds and accounts. A general strike is not out of the question. Unlike a gathering of truckers that can be forcibly dispersed, it is much more difficult to force people to go to work.
Lessons for Canada and Canadians
Perhaps the foremost lesson is that the fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly, promised in 2c of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and by extension, the entirety of the Charter, is nothing more than a polite fiction to be abrogated at the whim of government. The Freedom Convoy was one of the most peaceful protests I have ever seen, going back as far as the Civil Rights protests of the mid-’60s. One does not bring children and bouncy castles to a violent protest. The whole thing more resembled a massive street fair, at least until the police showed up in force. Can a government initiate violence and use that to justify terminating a protest on the excuse that it became violent?
This brings us to the second lesson. It is now clear to the world that there is a large number of thugs and bullies among the police forces of Canada. This condition is always a danger when people are given power and sheltered from the consequences of its use. It is incumbent on leadership in such organizations to watch for the development of such tendencies and to stop them from growing. Clearly, this has not happened, not just in Ottawa, but apparently throughout Canada. I recall a time not so long ago when the RCMP and other Canadian police were exemplary models of good service. No more. It is said a fish rots from the head down. I would say the Canadian police fish smells pretty rank now.
A third lesson is just how far a Fascist government will go to retain power. The promises of retaliation against Freedom Convoy participants and supporters are not to be taken lightly. Add to that the actual freezing of bank accounts and seizing of assets under questionable legality show just how quickly the government will deploy new and existing tools when it feels threatened. The Canadian people now have clear evidence of just how trustworthy is their government and how much concern they have for the average citizen.
A dual lesson not only for Canada, but for all the rest of the world is: for governments, an all-digital currency is a great and wonderful tool for control – it can be turned on and off on demand, all the way down to the individual level, and it can be very difficult if not impossible for an individual to protest before they starve. For the general populace, the lesson is how terrifyingly powerful government control over financial resources can be, what a very, very, very, bad idea it is for a government to have such power. It makes a good case for cryptocurrencies, and for hoarding cash and assets. Was gold the first cryptocurrency?
Russia and Ukraine
So now Russian troops have entered Ukraine. The event has been met with much glee by the mainstream media as they now have something more exciting to talk about than inflation and Biden’s favorite ice cream flavor. Many of them are comparing Ukraine to Vietnam or Afghanistan. Others, including much of Europe, see the conflict as something more fraternal – more akin to our Civil War. Indeed, for much of its history, Ukraine was part of Russia. That NATO troops have disposed themselves to protect the borders of NATO countries rather than preparing to attack Russia says much. Most of Europe doesn’t want to get involved in what they see as a family feud.
Although reliable, unbiased news is difficult to obtain, it appears that most of the Russian strikes are against military targets and supplies. This implies that Russia is trying to force negotiation, rather than to conquer the country. Even now, Putin is continuing to hold open a call for serious negotiations. Although Biden made a feeble attempt (could we expect more?) to negotiate peace, he returned saying that Russia had rejected his perfectly reasonable suggestions and was headed for war – much to the delight of the Left who need to portray Putin as a warmongering tyrant just like Trump. We know that whenever the Left uses the phrase “perfectly reasonable suggestions”, what they really mean is “we are going to propose something you really won’t like, so we are going to set things up so that if you disagree, we can portray you as unreasonable, irrational, tyrannical, and probably a MAGA supporter”. We see that consistently in their gun control proposals. The Left gets so tiresome in their manipulation attempts.
Ukraine initially stood defiant against Russia, probably feeling that the US and NATO had their back, and any incursions would be opposed by those forces. This was a gross miscalculation. NATO is only going to protect its own interests, which include assuring reliable supplies of gas, oil, and electricity from Russia. Germany has closed its nuclear plants, most of its coal-fired power plants, and is now dependent on Russian gas for electric power generation. Its unreliable wind and solar systems provide for only a small fraction of its needs. Much of the rest of Europe, outside of France is in the same boat. France, oddly enough, retained and even expanded its nuclear generation capabilities, with only modest requirements for foreign oil.
What Russia wants
It seems clear to me that Putin has three non-negotiable objectives. The first is to ensure that Ukraine does not join NATO. Since NATO was formed to “contain” Soviet aggression, and since Russia is the heir of the USSR, the objective of NATO is now to “contain” Russia. Russia, like most reasonable countries, does not want to be “contained”.
Second, Russia wants secure and reliable land access to Crimea where its principal port facilities at Sebastopol are located. It needs this access not only to support its navy but also to support commerce through its European Russian cities in western Russia.
Lastly, it wants to ensure reliable passage of its gas and oil pipelines to Europe. Ukraine has frequently threatened to cut off the flow of gas and oil as a way to gain concessions from Russia, in spite of numerous agreements. Russia cannot afford to be blackmailed by such threats. Reasonable negotiations would recognize these requirements and would find acceptable terms to compensate Ukraine. Clearly, one side or the other is unwilling, although the media is working hard to put all the blame on Russia, it is certain that Ukraine has contributed its share of obstinacy to the situation.
It would seem that the Russian economy is in worse shape that has been suspected. It needs the port access and pipeline routes. It knows that Europe is unlikely to support Ukraine so long as the Russian incursions are limited. Europe needs Russia as much as Russia needs Europe. Russia’s only alternative is a closer relationship with China – a relationship fraught with peril not only for Russia but for the rest of the world as well. The media portrayals of Putin as a warmongering tyrant seem largely a fabrication to support the Leftist created image of Russia as a boogeyman meddling in Western affairs.
A lesson for the world
Under the destructive Biden regime, the US is proving to the world that it is an unreliable partner. The Afghanistan debacle should have given any government pause to question the reliability of any assurances of American support. It was an object lesson on the world stage that America is no longer reliable. Now we have Ukraine failing to learn the lesson, perhaps relying on its “special relationship” with the Biden family to ensure its support. What support they are getting are a few Javelins. Presumably those are the anti-tank missiles, and not throwing spears, although one can never tell with this regime.
The lesson for the world is that under the current regime, America can no longer be relied upon to serve as an effective intermediary and deterrent to aggression, and cannot be counted on to provide military support.
And along comes China
While world attention has been distracted by the Russia/Ukraine situation, China has been making stronger moves against Taiwan. They have been increasing their airspace incursions, and closely observing Taiwan’s responses, as well as those of allied nation fleets in the area. These incursions have great military significance.
A major purpose of such probes is to learn how an opponent responds. Where are his launch points? How quickly can he respond? What patterns does he show in his responses? How much coordination does he exhibit? Where are radars and other information sources, and what are their characteristics? How does he change his responses to different kinds of probes? All this and more is part of military planning for a swift attack to quickly destroy an opponent’s ability to resist and defend himself. Taiwan has to take each probe seriously as it may be the first move in an attack. It has to avoid the “crying wolf” complacency that would ignore an actual attack. There will be a strong tendency to become tired and less effective in response, especially with such a great difference in resources between the two countries.
One of the great deterrents for China is the defense agreement that exists between the US and Taiwan. China has been closely following the ways that the Biden regime has operated in regard to its commitments, as well as its military readiness posture. It has learned well that the US may well back down from a confrontation, especially if it might involve recapture of a heavily contested island, with its attendant commitment of significant forces and other resources. It has also observed the fracturing of our military cohesiveness with CRT training, witch hunts for “domestic terrorist” supporters, mandates for vaccines that kill and disable troops, lowering performance standards, “woke” leadership and other debilitations of our warfighting capabilities.
China is learning that even if the US had the will to oppose a takeover of Taiwan, we might not have a credible capability to implement that will. They know that the longer the Biden regime remains in power, the more the will to oppose will diminish, along with our ability to execute. Time is on their side.
They also know that the Biden family is unlikely to bite the hand that feeds them. There may come a time when Biden gives China a green light to take over Taiwan, much like when Chamberlain announced: “peace for our time” when the major powers agreed to give much of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany without asking the Czechoslovakians what they wanted.
Whether China moves on Taiwan now or later is an open question. There is little doubt of their intentions, and we can expect them to act when it is most to their advantage. Ideally for them, they want to acquire Taiwan much as they did Hong Kong, with little or no damage to valuable infrastructure. The chip foundries in Taiwan supply a major portion of computer and communications components for the world. Acquiring these intact would give China enormous leverage over the rest of the world. Anyone up for a global Chinese social credit system? Remember, comrade, you represent a valuable source of spare parts. It gives the term “deconstruction” a whole new meaning.
Covid is finally over, or is it?
Omicron is now dominant world-wide. Its symptoms are mild, it is rarely lethal, and recovery confers immunity across the Covid spectrum, much like a cowpox infection provided immunity from smallpox. Many governments are disappointed. Covid vaccines are still being pushed, even though it is now well known that the vaxen do not prevent infection, do not prevent spreading of infections, cause serious debilitating conditions including death in a large number of recipients, and weaken the immune system to future infections by other diseases. There is a large inventory of vaccines that must be used up before it spoils.
We will see, but it appears that Mr. Brandon will announce in his State of the Union address Tuesday that there will be a major overhaul of our response to Covid. It is expected that the announcement will acknowledge that there is no path to return to normal. After all, Covid is too good a crisis to allow it to go to waste. The fact that it is likely to return again and again like the seasonal flu, means that we must always be prepared to surrender our rights and freedoms at the drop of a needle. The Constitution must yield to the diktats of public health.
You are where you work
I recently was in DC. Walking in the Mall area, and the Federal triangle, one is surrounded by massively imposing architectural examples. Greek and Roman columns abound, stories are nearly twice as high as normal, and every building seems to need lots of concrete, stone, and gargoyles. I was reminded of other Imperial cities. Vienna most of all, although their buildings often had more visual appeal. London is rather understated, although it has its share of imposing structures.
This sort of architecture gives the impression that affairs of great importance are conducted there – affairs of a moment to world history. Such structures also give those who work in them the impression that they, too, are important – more important than those who work in lesser buildings in other parts of the country. After all, only the best, the brightest, the most educated are worthy of such grand edifices, so the rest of the land should bow to the superior wisdom of those who are worthy to work such buildings.
The nearby NIH complex is equally grand and also gives the impression of immense power and wisdom. How could any lesser beings dare to question the wisdom of those who inhabit those hallowed halls? Just as it has been said that the clothes make the man, so it can be said that the buildings make the authority. The great cathedrals of Medieval Europe that supported the power of the Church have given way to the modern edifices of secular government, cloaking their inhabitants in the trappings of power.
We are in a time of transition when most work can be dispersed and the need for imposing architecture is reduced. What effect will that have on how power is established and dispensed? Who will have influence and status? At least with buildings, we know where to find those who represent power. How shall they be identified and located in a dispersed system?
The times, they are a changin’
The Covid Pandemic has initiated changes that we are only beginning to experience. It has wreaked profound changes in civil liberties, the role of government, the nature of work, the sorts of work, and even the relationships between nations. Will it be a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?
Featured photo by Ivan Radic, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Content syndicated from TheBlueStateConservative.com with permission.
Agree/Disagree with the author(s)? Let them know in the comments below and be heard by 10’s of thousands of CDN readers each day!