2022 Jan 30 - Ukraine

Arnold Schwarzenegger was involved in a nasty car accident, so presumably the police are looking to speak to Linda Hamilton or Robert Patrick
The Conservative Party has put in some paperwork with the Electoral Commission to rename itself “The Conservative Work Event”
Professional attention-seeker, conman and part-time magician Uri Gellar has claimed that an alien invasion is imminent, although perhaps he just doesn’t know how to spell “Russian”

Because this week’s main story has been the growing build up on the Ukrainian border with everybody itching for war, except those who live in Ukraine itself. They stand to do about as well in a war with Russia as Bermuda will do competing with Russia at the upcoming Winter Olympics. There were quite a few options for that metaphor, other competing sides include Eritrea, Trinidad, Togo and famously snow-free Saudi Arabia who were possibly only invited so that the Chinese hosts could boast about their comparatively clean human rights record.

Anyway, Russia has hundreds of thousands of troops mobilized and up against them are of course Ukraine's smaller and less well equipped army but also a population of 44m people who seem willing to arm themselves and fight an insurgency if the worst should happen. You also have the US, probably and perhaps other troops from the UK and anyone else who needs a distraction from home affair. Perhaps Emmanuel Macron will commit French troops if he thinks it will give him a boost in the polls, just as Boris is looking at it largely with an eye to causing a distraction from Partygate. I heard the expression “killing 2 birds with one stone” but this distraction would be more like the stone that killed the dinosaurs. Probably with similar global repercussions too. I saw snow falling the other day and after glancing up up I asked my neighbour if the bombs had started dropping in Kiev yet. The most interesting commentary on the whole question on what to do comes from America where both the right and left and split on the decision. The democrats spent 4 years complaining about Trump not standing up to Putin but also don’t want to spend the next decade grinding out an expensive war. On the right it’s the usual arguments of Imperial Exceptionalism vs telling countries in Europe that they should maybe spend a bit more on defense and stand up for themselves for once. There’s a lot to be said for how President Trump was only one in modern history to not drag the US into a war and if the US does end up sending thousands of troops to their death in Eastern Europe it will be interesting to see Trump on TV explaining how to left wing news commentators about how it never happened on his watch and how if they want to stop the war they should have voted for him.
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