Words of Advice:

“Stand back and stand by.”— Trump’s orders to American Nazis, 9/29/2020

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Second Thought on Trump's Settlement Move

Besides what I posted yesterday, there is another way that Trump's move benefits Putin.

Since the end of the Second World War, the gain of land by a nation through conquest has been heavily frowned upon. Doing so has been regarded as illegal; when nations have done that, their conquests have not been recognized by most of the rest of the world.

Russia, as you likely know, obtained the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine by conquest. Russia's conquest has not been recognized by nations of the world that are either, in essence, Russian puppets, or nations that similarly seek to keep conquered territory. American recognition of Israel's conquest of the West Bank, which is what Trump's reversal on settlement policy is, serves Russian interests in that Trump is fracturing the global consensus against wars of conquest.

So, one again, with Trump, all roads lead to Czar Vladimir IV.


MarkS said...

Good catch. As with the betrayal of the Kurds, the initial blood pressure spike at the sheer wrongness of it overpowered any cool assessment of the implications.Friends are going to thin on the ground when the dust settles.

Stewart Dean said...

Any way you look at the Ukrainian Charlie Foxtrot, Putin wins...if Trump goes down in flames (or even not), our government is in disarray, as are our alliance commitments
= no nation can trust our commitments, competence, effectiveness or professionalism. Maybe even our sanity or ability to reason in self-interest
= Trump has blown up the institutional memory and competence of every part of American governance, willfully seeking out and destroying it whenever and wherever he is conscious of its existence.
= Trump has made it clear he's spineless, purposeless and corrupt, that he can be and is played by Putin....or anyone else like Netanyahu or Eerdogan.
= He's destroyed our distrust of Russia
= He's destroying the military's integrity and professionalism.
= He's made one of our two parties his lapdog, complicit and accessory to his destructions.

While the immune system of our democracy struggles to mount an effective counter, our state drifts largely rudderless and incapable of decisive, purposeful and sensibly directed action. What's not to like for Putin? Forget conventional and asymmetric warfare, getting Trump in hock to the Russian Mafia and providing the opportunities for his blackmailable Russian escapades was the cheapest, most deadly blow to an adversary in the history of super-power contention. Napoleon: N'interrompez jamais un ennemi qui est en train de faire une erreur and how!

The New York Crank said...

While I agree with your analysis, I must say that there ought to be a difference between simply setting out to conquer a nation as Russia did with Crimea, and taking another country's land when fighting back after that country has attacked you. The latter is the situation that applies to the West Bank, after the '67 War.

During the '67 War (aka "The Six Day War") the Jordanian army, in cooperation with Egypt, attacked Israel. The West Bank had previously been Jordanian land. One can argue, I suppose, that the even though it was defending itself, Israel still should not take and held the territory. On the other hand, if I can invade you whenever the whim strikes me, and suffer no long term consequence, what is to stop me from attacking over and over again? Losing a substantial portion of the Jordan River Valley was a price, exacted from Jordan, that seems to have kept them peaceable ever since.

In short, there is a very substantial difference between what Israel did and what Russia did in Crimea.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

CenterPuke88 said...

Mr. Dean, I believe that contrary to your assertion, our distrust of Russia is about to come back around again, fueled by the revelations that will dribble out over the next decade. I think Putin has overplayed his hand here, because Donnie is dumber than expected. With the Russians occupying part of Ukraine, and Donnie actively working for them, who would think Donnie would do something this stupid, IN UKRAINE!

The interesting aspect of this will be China. China can attempt to weaken Russia by dribbling out information on Russia’s attacks on the U.S. China can play the U.S. against Russia to distract from its activities, helping itself.

pigpen51 said...

New York Crank,

That is exactly my thoughts as well, concerning Israel and the West Bank. If a bully tries to take your lunch money, and you kick the shit out of him, and instead, take his, I figure he deserves what he got.
Israel is of course not always in the right. But when the so called peaceful Palestinians lob rockets over at them, or kites or balloons with fire to try and set things on fire in the nation of Israel, or Hamas, does the same, and Israel's response is to fire back at them, even if it is in places where the peaceful people put civilians and fire from those places, to get sympathy from the world, for having the Israeli's shoot at a hospital of a school, that is just too bad.
It is no different if Canada did the same thing in Maine, or if Mexico did it to Texas, hiding their military fire in schools and hospitals, and America fired back at them, in the places they fired from. During time of war, America was not afraid to drop bombs on civilian areas, like in Tokyo, or Berlin. Trying to stop the production effort of those countries, by either killing civilians, or destroying their homes. We tend to avoid that now, since we are not technically a nation at war, but I have no doubt that we would do so again, if the need were to arise.

CenterPuke88 said...

Pigpen51, the one problem with that analogy is it ignores the fact that the Israelis started out by kicking Arabs out of home in the 40’s (with the approval of the West). Not justifying either side, just pointing out the flaw in that argument.

pigpen51 said...


It wasn't so much with the approval of the west, but more at their insistence, or behest. I support Israel, but I am not so naive as to think that they are always right, or righteous. Many times they have done the wrong thing. But anti semitism is a very real thing, that exists not only in the UN, but also within the halls of our government.
Things like the BDS movement, actually have gotten much vocal support from many in this country, including 17 members of congress, who voted against a resolution condemning the BDS movement back in June of this year.

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, remember that the UN resolution on partitioning Palestine was contested by the armies of the neighbors, which sought to "throw the Jews into the sea".

The Arabs don't come to the table with clean hands. Not by a long shot.