Inadvertent Virtue

I’d been negotiating intermittently with my Russian publisher for months: backlist titles up for renewal, a new collection of short stories. We’d been poking back and forth since November. Everything was in coming together.

Then Putin went ballistic. The wall came down. The paperwork was done but no money had changed hands—so, the contracts remain unfulfilled. Maelstrom, Echopraxia, and βehemoth are no longer legally available in Russia, and the collection is off the table.

The timing keeps me from bandwagon bragging. I couldn’t have behaved unethically even if I’d wanted to; the rights to those titles just happened to expire when they did, the wiring in Putin’s head sparked just so when it did, and the deal was off (at least, it better be off; AST doesn’t seem to be answering emails these days). Fate made ethical behavior the default option in my case, unlike most other authors who’ve taken a stand. Not even the Kings and Gaimans of the world can legally break a done deal; they have to wait until the rights expire before refusing to renew. Right out of the gate, four of my titles are down for the count.

I would very much like to renew the others as they expire in turn, because that would mean Russian forces had withdrawn from Ukraine (which in turn would probably mean that Putin himself had been deposed, which is the only way I can see a withdrawal happening at this point). But I won’t be signing anything within those borders until that happens.

To be clear, I’m under no illusions that this will make a damn bit of difference. (In the short term I may even be helping the Russian economy some infinitesimal amount: ten grand that was going to leave their country now gets to stay.) I’m told I’m relatively popular over there, but I am also supremely unimportant. Not to mention that Putin has apparently just made piracy legal in Russia (not that it was ever especially frowned-upon), so it’s not as though anyone’s going to be deprived of my deathless prose regardless.

Still. If I’m gonna be a drop in an ocean, I suppose this one is as good as any. I’ve been told the Russian fans call me “Grandpa” or “Uncle”, which kind of freaks me out but is apparently meant affectionately; if any who regard me thus are paying attention to these words, maybe it’ll help penetrate the disinformation (and at least no one who’s read this ‘crawl for any length of time can accuse me of being any kind of a lackey for the US).

In the meantime, the reports and the images keep coming in, watered down by both sides. Anderson Cooper, voice wavering, admits that there are things they can’t show, can’t even mention on TV. Too exploitative of Human suffering; too graphic for delicate western stomachs. Maybe that’s why I’ve yet to see any mention of rape in the official coverage, despite the fact that someone I know over there tells me that it’s “everywhere”.

Or maybe rape just doesn’t count any more. In an invasion where you explicitly declare ceasefires to allow civilian evacuation, then mine the evacuation routes and shell the evacuees as they flee; in a war where the only nonlethal escape routes lead directly into Russia or Belarus (a situation roughly akin to telling Nemo to take shelter in Bruce’s mouth); in a war where, frustrated by an uppity population that refuses to roll over and play dead on command, the invaders resort to the indiscriminate bombing of breadlines and apartment buildings and a fucking nuclear reactor, to hiding in hospitals so they can use the sick and injured as human shields while taking potshots at defending forces—maybe mere rape drops off the bottom of any bullet list that would fit into CNN’s powerpoint template.

For any who don’t know, there are plenty of curated lists that let you funnel bucks into the resistance while avoiding the scammers. “Humanitarian aid” causes seem way thicker on the ground than those which directly support the Ukrainian military (and the latter are not always, shall we say, the most user-friendly sites on the planet), but a lot of causes take PayPal (PayPal provides a list).

It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. Apparently Russia’s already expended most of its precision long-range weaponry, meaning the missiles raining down on Ukraine will be increasingly indiscriminate (if that’s even possible). Syrians are being brought in to bolster the increasingly-ragged Russian ranks, and as I type these words, Mariupol appears to be falling at last.

On the other hand, if you’re desperate for even the faintest whiff of good news, here’s something: Putin has already lost, in a sense—because (as a Ukrainian friend recently pointed out) if you were really winning the war, you probably wouldn’t feel compelled to jail anyone saying otherwise.

And if that’s not enough—well, at least the hopepunks have shut up for a while.



This entry was posted on Friday, March 18th, 2022 at 11:23 am and is filed under politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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Anonymous
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Anonymous
2 months ago

If you still care about the truth, you might want to check your sources as some of the things you say about what’s going on in Ukraine are verifiably false

Anonymous
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Anonymous
2 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Then why aren’t you providing any reliable sources that disproof the statements from his post?

Do you really think it would be smart for anyone to change their opinion because an anonymous comment said so without even trying to provide any argument?

Or are you just voicing your grievance because it triggered you to read something that didn’t agree with your preconceived notion of the situation?

Jamie Langan
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Jamie Langan
2 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

“Anonymous” says it all. Sigh.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
2 months ago

What a stark difference of response from when you happily toured Israel in the middle of the 2018 Gaza border protest massacres.

Why do your arguments defending that not apply here, where you are just as much a drop in an ocean as then?

David Roman
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2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Just checking in to see whether Peter’s politics remain infantile as ever, and his sources solidly aligned with the US State Department. They would never lie to you, Pete! The man is a bundle of contradictions who writes great sci-fi novels

The K
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The K
2 months ago
Reply to  David Roman

Wait, are you accusing Peter “I despise the USA with every fibre of my being” Watts of being an US-Shill? Have we read the same blog over the past decade or so?

Mate, the whole world is watching what happens in the Ukraine. The difference is that in the evil west, we are allowed to talk about it freely without the threat of 15 years of Gulag for “spreading misinformation”.

We really live in the most absurd timeline.

David Roman
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2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

I appreciate the kind words, Peter, thanks. I remain a huge fan, and will buy your next book hot off the presses. Also, I’d like to let it be known that I’m also a former employee of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, and live in DC itself. For context.

rosy
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rosy
1 month ago
Reply to  David Roman

I’ve got some kind words for you, too, David.

Well, I’ve got words, anyway.

Many of them seem to only have 4 letters in them.

Last edited 1 month ago by rosy
Joe K
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Joe K
2 months ago
Reply to  The K

Indeed, it does suck that the Kremlin won’t free Julian Assange, the Gutenberg of modern journalism, from Belmarsh.

We in Oceania have so much to teach Eastasia about press freedom.

Anonymouse
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Anonymouse
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Stop using people you’ve hung out with to try to deflect criticism of your own actions. Nobody here is attacking someone like Adam, who reads as a genuinely good person, any more than they would attack anti-war protestors in the streets of Russia.

The criticism is squarely on yourself. I encourage everyone to read the section you’ve highlighted as exculpatory, “The Elephant on the Blog,” where you double down on dehumanizing unseen Palestinians as “the enemy” holding mere “accusations of injustice.” How has your aside that “extranational voices [have] insisted that comparisons to apartheid are off base” aged following extensive reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to the contrary?

To bring this back to Ukraine, why don’t “war crimes have nuance” when perpetrated by Russians and enumerated by yourself? What calls for conditioning the signing of new contracts in Russia on withdrawal from Ukraine, but doesn’t apply to Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian Territories? Do you at least recognize the schism of your responses?

David
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David
2 months ago

Do you have any idea how deeply the US and its stalites have stuck their nose into the affairs of Ukraine over the past 30 years?
How much have they fanned pro-Western and anti-Russian propaganda all these years?
Have you heard about numerous biolabs in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia, sponsored and controlled by Pentagon contractors, some with BSL-4 level patogen? There are already serious proofs (not russians only).
How about NATO instructors who trained Ukraine soldiers to use simple people like a human shield, preventing evacuation from the cities like Mariupol? There are already video evidences from people who managed to escape.
Globalist propaganda is an ultra-powerful thing, but we must not forget how much they usually distort and crop the picture of reality. This war is part of the inevitable transformation of the whole world. Obsessing with insane Putin (which may be true) is simple not serious.

David
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David
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Are links not allowed here?
Even so, here it is:
dilyana bg/pentagon-contractors-worked-in-ukrainian-biolabs-under-80-million-program/
telegra ph/Voennye-biolaboratorii-pravda-ili-kazus-belli-03-14-2 (hope the built-in browser translation works properly)
eadaily com/ru/news/2020/05/13/kazahstan-dvoynogo-bionaznacheniya
lenta ru/news/2018/09/11/usa/

By the way, it is very interesting that Hunter Biden has a connection with these laboratories, despite other business in Ukraine, his Rosemont Seneca funded Metabiota (If to say it very short). Hope the story with his laptop will move on.
nytimes com/2022/03/16/us/politics/hunter-biden-tax-bill-investigation.html

It turns out that Hunter has already had to go into debt in order to start paying off the US Internal Revenue Service, from which he hid the dirty money earned in Ukraine. Since 2014, Hunter has been a member of the Ukrainian firm Burisma, engaging in overt lobbying. At the same time, he did his best to avoid official registration as a foreign agent, which is required under the FARA law.
On the eve of the 2020 election, the entire liberal army unanimously denied the authenticity of Hunter’s messages, calling them “Russian disinformation.”
twitter com/jrpsaki/status/1318382779659411458 Accounts in social networks were massively blocked for the publication of these letters.
Maybe this was one of the reasons why the White House was so stubbornly pumping weapons into Ukraine – in the hope that it would be possible to provoke a big conflict that cross out everything – and the Biden corruption scandals would be wiped off the face of the earth along with Ukrainian statehood.

I know that you were critical of the United States. But nevertheless, you are exactly repeating its globalist propaganda about the crazy Putin. As if the rest of the world simply had nothing to do with it and did not contribute in any way to this catastrophe that is happening now in Ukraine.
That’s why I’m asking you questions, do your sources tell how the globalists have destabilized Ukraine all these years? Orange revolutions for example. Or Maidan, which led to the overthrow of the legitimate president. How did they erode her military neutrality that guaranteed them peace?
And as soon as the war began, NATO abandoned Ukraine, as Zelensky himself recently said. Only weapons are sent for even greater Afghanization of the country.
These are all obvious and undisguised facts, but they are not noticed, as it have nothing to do with it, as if Putin just fell out of the sky and decided to start a war.
What is happening now in the Western media and social networks, directed against the President of Russia, is the work of the SAC / PAG (Special Activities Center / Political Action Group).
t me/shadow_policy/6105

Picture is the way way bigger, and I tried to show some of its revealing parts, with my shoddy english with the google translator support, for which I am very sorry. It is extremely difficult to sew them into one short and clear text.

A few more important aspects:

  • The Russia and Ukraine, provides 30% of world wheat exports, 20% of world corn exports and 76% of sunflower supplies.
  • 40% of wheat supplies from the Black Sea region go to the Middle East and Africa, where food prices have already risen sharply.
  • Hungary, Argentina and Turkey have imposed export restrictions on food commodities, arguing that they need to maintain sufficient supplies for their own population.
  • China has also signaled that it is likely to curb the export of rice, another major source of global nutrition, in order to improve its own food security.
  • China already holds half of the world’s wheat in storage. Which may soon be very useful for increasing influence in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Ukraine is a major producer of neon gas critical for lasers used in chipmaking and supplies more than 90% of U.S. semiconductor-grade neon, according to estimates from research firm Techcet. About 35% of palladium, a rare metal also used for semiconductors, is sourced from Russia.
  • Some EU factories have already stopped due to a lack of components. The sanctions have severely disrupted traditional supply chains.

By the way, could the coronavirus pandemic have been a preparation for all this? And the cancel culture, which is now directed against all russians?

  • Biden’s unsuccessful oil negotiations and steps towards de-dollarization in the EAEU countries and China with India.

Kyiv is playing for time, putting fantastic scenarios on the negotiating table with Russia. It is clear that Kyiv is waiting for Western’s decision. The West (England, US and Europe) needs to drag out the war as much as possible, the Afghanization of the war will strike Russia very bad. The Afghanization of the war will hit Europe no less hard (millions of refugees in the heart of Europe, the economic crisis, the energy crisis), so the main beneficiaries of the Afghanization are England and the United States.
For the US, this is:
1) the export of capital from EU and patching up economic its own holes before the fight with China;
2) the destruction of the most important Chinese trading partner – EU. It will be more difficult for the Chinese to refuse to export to the United States.
In 2020, the China-EU trade exceeded the US-EU trade, and in 2021, China-US as well.

The events in Ukraine are just a small fragment of the global transformation.
Once again, sorry for my language level.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Asked to provide evidence for your extraordinary claims, the best you can do is “Hunter Biden’s laptop”? Incoherently jumbled up with angry-peasant whining about the Great Reset?

Dude, your propaganda is at least two years behind the curve. What’s going to be your next argument – “but her emails” and pedophiles in pizzerias?

David
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David
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Dear dude Fatman, just read the first links, official documents are provided there.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  David

“Official documents” provided by Russian authorities, which the UN has already stated can’t be verified? The links don’t work for me, do you have an independent source?

David
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David
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Hope Pentagon is convenient for you.
media.defense gov/2019/Aug/02/2002165966/-1/-1/0/CPC%20OUTREACH%20818.PDF
here also
reddit com/r/conspiracy/comments/te5oei/chinese_government_officials_why_wont_the_us/i0ox1t7/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  David

The first link did open, thanks. Linking to an article that does not quote sources (other than alleging it’s from a “Pentagon” secret briefing that also includes a Breitbart post), does not state what you allege it states, and references a claim that has been discredited. So well done, I have been trolled, and you can notch up another score.

nosleepdemon
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nosleepdemon
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Aah yes, the biolabs. I hear they’ve spread! First in Ukraine, now in Georgia and Kazakhstan! I fear the new founding fathers of democracy – vladolf and winnie, shall have to soon denazify those particularly evil regimes as well.

listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
2 months ago
Reply to  nosleepdemon

Throwing around arguments ab absurdo will not save you now. The western media has put itself into flat spin with all attempts to cover their lies with further lies, they have nowhere to retreat and nowhere to recover their credibility, only to stave off their incompetence and irresponsibility until it crashes down on them like avalanche.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago

Ah, but it wouldn’t be a war without fictional WMDs, would it? Learning from the best, I see, albeit in a limited manner.

Interesting how the “secret lizardmen bio-bases” nonsense only started making the rounds after the Russian army got their asses handed to them in direct confrontation, and pivoted tactics to “denazifying” maternity wards, theaters, and civilian bomb shelters, no?

David
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David
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

The info about the laboratories has at least 5 years already. You don’t look at my links, don’t you?

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Gotta say the “ancient aliens”-level conspiracy theories you espouse in the rest of your post don’t exactly make you a reliable source, friendo

David
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David
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Right, conspiracy theories accusation after the covid pandemic, classy 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by David
Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  David

I take it you’re not familiar with the “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” approach, are you.

nosleepdemon
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nosleepdemon
2 months ago

This is an almost admirable attempt at redirection, but let’s not forget that unlike the Americans and their pet Tony, the Russians were SO BAD at lying to justify war that they made their WMD story up AFTER their catastrophe of an invasion. It’s not as if Vladolf Putler went on TV and said ‘yeah they got some biolab stuff going on over there, real nasty pidgeon powered shit’. No, instead he rambled about NATO and making Russia whole again, told his tankies to take the next right and before half of them knew it, they were in Ukraine.

Last edited 2 months ago by nosleepdemon
listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
2 months ago
Reply to  nosleepdemon

Just because your NPC brain doesn’t remember or knows anything that happened before that psy-op campaign started, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Russia has been warning about biolabs for years before, and not only in Ukraine, but also in Georgia and other countries who signed their privileged agreements with US. These agreements have been proved to include human experimentation, deadly pathogens, and funds from military, and if there’s any more red flags that could have been raised, they would surround the place with barbwire and name it “Buchenwald”.

Or maybe we should have started from the other leg – namely, sending billions upon billions of “lethal” aid that ends up in the hands of radicals so fervently anti-Russian and racist they will readily sacrifice as many of bystanders as needed to attract attention of “international community” (of the likeminded war criminals aka NATO).

Last edited 2 months ago by listedproxyname
Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago

You claim “psyops”, yet keep repeating utterly disproven nonsense about “Nazis” and “radicals”, while mindlessly bleating out Russian government propaganda points. Propaganda points, I may add, that the Russian government itself is so insecure about that it has implemented a complete blackout of all information offering a contrary opinion – which is not the case in the “west”.

You probably have your reasons for that, but hiding behind a propaganda wall without being able to factually argue your positions seems kind of… IDK… like a chickenshit move? Just my $0.02.

Jamie Langan
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Jamie Langan
2 months ago

All good. All relevant. But a cornered rat with chemical and nuclear weapons. Jeez.
I’m a bit fuzzy but weren’t some of the guys who put your Blindsight animation together from that part of the universe? Anyway. Any PW fan is a friend of mine. X

gator
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gator
2 months ago

Apparently you are popular in Russia! You are certainly drawing the Russian commentators!

N/A
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N/A
1 month ago
Reply to  gator

There is an army of pro-government commentators sitting on the payroll here in Russia. And there is a bunch of fresh laws providing for prison terms of 15 years for an alternative opinion. Just so you know 🙂

The K
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The K
2 months ago

I refuse to believe the world will go down in a nuclear holocaust before our host has finished Omniscience.

But man, am i happy my wife and me have decided against kids.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Seconded on the disposable income. ‘Tho I’m kind of bummed that the world might disappear in a nuclear Holocaust just as I’m securing financial stability for retirement. Cthulhu certainly has a wicked sense of humor.

The K
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The K
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

So far i had fervently hoped that, having accumulated a nice nest egg, i could continue to snarf pork rinds and play videogames for a few decades more before the house of cards collapsed.

I still nurture that hope, to be honest. Im totally not cut out to be a postapocalyptic survivor, i have neither bulging muscles nor do i look good in leather. Altough i do have a pretty nifty LARP costume lying around.

grisha
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grisha
2 months ago

Peter, don’t get me wrong, I have no love for Putin or the the current state system as a whole. I participated in liberal protests back in 2010-2013. What happened to journalism, courts, and public politics in my country is atrocius and I’m not gonna argue with that. 

I also have relatives in Ukraine, I spent every summer back when I was 5-12 years old at my babushka’s place just south of Donetsk. 

However, over the last 8 years Ukranian state has passed discriminatory laws, formed multiple explicitly neonazi paramilitary organizations and killed more than 3000 russian-speaking civilians in its eastern regions (also please read up on odessa union massacre). Now imagine having at your border a 40-million strong country whose military leadership has fucking swastikas on their uniform, give their street names to mass murderers of russians and jews, while also having access to soviet WMD tech. This is an existential threat. 

That’s why this fuckup of a war had no alternative. We should’ve stopped the “revolution” back in 2013 or invaded in 2014 when the Ukraine had no army, but our leadership is a bunch of soviet spies and apparatchiks who think that they can outsmart and outbribe everyone else, so that’s what we ended up with. Now we’re fighting nato-equipped nazi squadrons who use apartment blocks as fortifications and untrained conscripts as meatshields, all the while fighting for their land with the ferocity of any eastern slav. It’s physically painful for me to read about civilian deaths for the reasons stated above, but there were no options left for us.

This all is of course tribalistic thinking on my side, I get it. We “chose” eliminating hypothetical threat to our country from crazy fanatics over waiting and watching them fulfilling their promises of “killing as many russians as possible” over another 10 years. 

Last thing. I read lots of ukranian and western sources, along with our propaganda and reports from the fields, and I’m not even going to try to convince you that your sources are lying too, that ship has sailed a long time ago. You’re one of my favourite authors and I’ve been giving your books as gifts to my friends for 4 years and it’s a pity that they’ll disappear from the shelves now. I guess I’ll have to fish out Omniscience from IRC piracy channels, alas that’s the world we live in now. 

Ocean
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Ocean
2 months ago
Reply to  grisha

>>>I participated in liberal protests back in 2010-2013.

Most likely nazi from Limonov’s party.

listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
2 months ago
Reply to  Ocean

Pretty sure he’s talking about Navalny and his supporters, who is by large considered to be a foreign NGO funded puppet. Recently even Western media started to expose him as nationalist who advocated Russian supremacism before his breathtaking career as “future president”. Their strategy to explode country from within has failed.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago

“Their strategy to explode country from within has failed.”

True, but only because the country chose to implode first, though.

listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Oh, allow me to remind you who said these same words 8 years ago, when it all started.

Repeatedly insult the very people who are supposed to be on your side of history against “mad dictator”?. Incredible, mindboggling gaffe, if you ask me.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Ocean

Indeed. Zhirinovsky, Eddie Limonov, the Wagner Group’s little green men in irredentist Donbass and Crimea. A sputtering Vladimir Putin channeling Aleksandr Dugin’s mythomaniacal nationalist delusions prior to launching an aggression against Ukraine.

But it’s the Ukrainians who are the Nazis. Go figure.

singingwhalebone
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singingwhalebone
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Will you shut up?

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago

But don’t you agree it’s an inconsistency that ought to be addressed? How can a far-right government sympathetic to fascist ideology and using neo-Nazi paramilitaries to invade their neighbor’s territory then flip the argument around and claim that it’s the neighbors who are “nazis” and “radicals”?

What about the Donbass civilians being used as human shields for an illegal irredentist land grab – doesn’t this move deserve equal condemnation? Curious to read your thoughts about this.

The K
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The K
2 months ago

Must be hard to understand that not every place in the world is a repressive shithole like Russia where you can just MAKE people shut up because they say things you dont like.

Certainly not this blog as it stands, where even nincompoops like you can have their say.

The K
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The K
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

No kidding, there is an infowar about, and i certainly havent forgot how blatantly the US lied to the world about those WMDs back in the day.

Then again, i am highly allergic to people that tell other people to just “shut up” instead of even trying to argue in good faith. Fatman certainly presents his arguments more lucidly and with way more patience than i could.

On the other hand, it doesnt really matter, does it? To use your vernacular, im fully in “Snarf pork rinds and play videogames” mode by now, all this arguing at the sidelines wont change a thing, except maybe make oneself feel as if we are not totally at the mercy of the fates/a lunatic in the Kremlin.

Im living in Germany, so if push comes to shove, i am pretty certain to get nuked even if half of Vladimirs arsenal is currently rusting in its silos.

Andy
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Andy
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

In all fairness, the Azov types are the ones you probably want out front. If they get the job done they get the job done, and if they don’t no big loss

Andy
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Andy
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

>That said, my understanding is that Mariupol is an Azov stronghold

Only for a few more days, the way things seem to be going over there.

After that, it’ll be rubble.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy
Joe K
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Joe K
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

PW: “It’s possible that every platform from Facebook to Mother Jones is naught but an arm of the US State Department. But honestly, that doesn’t seem to be the most parsimonious explanation.”

The rhetorical moment of your conclusion there seems to call for a wide spectrum of heterogeneous and competing *biases*, of a sort that the template

“from [mega tech platform] to [legacy boomermag]”

fails to fill, IMHO.

Maybe it would be good to remember how the CIA once made it its business to curate the media landscape, to play all the legacy boomermags in unison, like the keys of a Mighty Wurlitzer when necessary.

The advent of mega tech platforms like facebook make that all the easier, via automation and centralisation.

Seems quite parsimonious to me.

Nestor
Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  grisha

We’re a pretty understanding bunch around here. We understand realpolitik and biological determinism. We can understand a psychopath murderer or a paedophilic rapist. Understanding Russia’s geopolitical moves does not imply condoning them.

I understand you’re following the “My country right or wrong” algorithm here, but you should ask yourself if Putin’s goals and the goals of the Russian people overlap comfortably. What he has done, from a comfortably macro perspective, is to give the world an unambiguous just war to cheerlead.

And yes, there is propaganda and both sides are made of fallible human beings, but for Ukraine right now all they need to do to produce highly effective propaganda is point a cellphone at the latest mess your people have made.

And what a mess! Thousands of Russian men and materiel, captured and dead and downed – Hollywood would not have the budget to fake even a tenth of all I’m seeing every day.

And the atrocities? Grandparents and parents machine gunned in their vehicles, with before, during and after geolocated video! Pregnant women crawling out of bombed hospitals! Yesterday a Holocaust survivor blown up in his apartment. An entire town (Ten miles from your fucking border) razed to the ground but still resisting. All Ukrainian psyops, right? Again, Occam’s razor – point a phone camera at a real atrocity vs. elaborately stage one with actors and makeup and special effects. You tell me.

Here’s the thing about marching 100.000 badly trained heavily armed retards into a neighbouring country: Even if they’re all stellar lads (Which is statistically unlikely) they are going to fuck up. Machine gunning those grandparents in their car because you’re scared and shaken because you saw your mates blown up, or because you have an itchy trigger finger and want to see something explode like in CoD makes absolutely no fucking difference to the dead. It’s just a statistical certain consequence of the decision to set this ball rolling.

Are there Nazis in Ukraine? I would not be fucking surprised, there are Nazis everywhere, mostly edgy kids larping between football matches. Did bad stuff happen in the separatist regions? I expect so, but as medicine, firing missiles against Lviv seems a little out of proportion.

My point is that this was a Mistake. The rest of the world tolerated Putin because he was an interesting character, a sort of Bond villain former secret agent. But the main thing is we thought he was stable, after Yeltsin we did not begrudge Russia it’s delusions of strength as long as they had someone responsible at the helm. His brinkmanship and mind games and geopolitical moves – hell even the assassinations were deplorable but entertaining (In a “glad I’m not involved” kind of way). But he overplayed his hand, thought he could do a repeat performance of the bloodless takeover of Crimea and now he’s got your hand caught in a bear trap.

The only way forward for Russia at this point, to avoid becoming North Korea XXL is a democratic revolution, deposing Putin and switching over to a modern government that the rest of the world can trust. I suggest a comedian instead of a KGB spook, they seem to work surprisingly well.

It’s unlikely, but the Russian people pleasantly surprised us all in the 90s so perhaps it can happen again.

suneater
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suneater
2 months ago
Reply to  Nestor

as with a lot of times when people say “the world,” you seem to mostly mean the west.

(that’s still enough to ruin Russia though, so what’s the difference really?)

Nestor
Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  suneater

I’ve seen Chinese people wearing “Bayraktar” t-shirts, Brazilians and Indians volunteering to fight in Ukraine and African UN ambassadors asking pointed questions about the so called “Virus labs” so no, I think “the world” is pretty accurate.

suneater
Guest
suneater
2 months ago
Reply to  Nestor

ah, im sure you can find some amount of pro-ukrainian sentiment everywhere, but its obviously a lot less common in china or india or iran than in germany or whatnot, and some governments are definitely playing their cards closer to their chests than others.

but who gives a shit, this is clearly a losing move for russia all the same

Oge
Guest
Oge
2 months ago

“The Omniscience truce was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of the Third World War around the release date of the novel, Omniscience, by Canadian author, Peter Watts.”

—Wikipedia (2025)

Gordan
Guest
Gordan
2 months ago
Reply to  Oge

a nice novel it will be… 🙂

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 months ago

Just a few thoughts:

  1. As I mentioned in comments below previous post, West is still sponsoring Russian aggression. As of 18/03/22 $16 bln had been already payed to Russia for its gas and oil since the beginning of war (https://www.newsweek.com/eu-paid-russia-16bn-fossil-fuels-since-start-ukraine-war-1689448). Russian military and colonial nature wasn’t such a secret since at least 2008 (aggression in Georgia) but Europe somehow decided not to opt out of buying Russian natural resources.
  2. It seems to me that there’s at least one step before global nuclear holocaust – local nuclear strike at Ukraine. I’m not at all a military analytic (just a mere programmer) but it looks like natural move for Russia in case if Putin decides that conventional warfare has failed in Ukraine.
  3. Normal/liberal/educated Russians should not blame themselves and feel guilty for what is happening right now. Even if they burned themselves alive at Red square, it wouldn’t affect Putin and his gang. I personally, never voted for Putin, signed many petitions, took part in street protests at 2010-2011 but haven’t been able to change the course of events even a little bit.
  4. It looks like insanity had spread everywhere: while Putin’s is the most dangerous one, other countries try to stay on par (e.g.https://www.businessinsider.com/yuri-gagarin-name-removed-fundraiser-space-foundation-2022-3). Cancel Culture is starting to cancel people/things at global scale.
  5. There might be a technological level a civilization can’t go above. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case now (see this, for example: https://www.nickbostrom.com/papers/vulnerable.pdf)
Fatman
Guest
Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

“Russian military and colonial nature wasn’t such a secret since at least 2008 (aggression in Georgia) but Europe somehow decided not to opt out of buying Russian natural resources.”

Very valid point. Hopefully the era of “squint through the fingers” appeasement is finally over, and the EU gets its shit together to cut off Russian oil/gas exports as much as possible.

“Normal/liberal/educated Russians should not blame themselves and feel guilty for what is happening right now.”

I feel for non-nekulturny Russians, as I remember the shame and guilt of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions only too well. The massive brain drain of the 1990s has left a profound mark on Russian society, and now a second wave is underway. Hard to tell if a better ratio of civilized humans to orcs in Russia would have prevented Putin from seizing power, but speculation is all we have left.

Martin Schröder
Guest
Martin Schröder
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

As I mentioned in comments below previous post, West is still sponsoring Russian aggression.

Sure, Russia still gets money from the West. But that money is useless, as the West does not sell anything to Russia. And the weapons used by Russia are surely produced in Russia. So what?

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 months ago

While I’m not specialist, it seems to me that elemental base/electronics, needed for Russian weaponry, could be bought in China. Servers/PCs could still be bought in US or in China (as our company hardware provider told me this Friday). The prices are in USD and they just became higher. That’s all.

Again, I’m not aware of Russian military schemes and budgets but looks like dollars are still in use there.

Also, it should be mentioned, that damage has already been done. Russia might have enough weaponry to rip Ukraine apart or to start nuclear holocaust without any further sponsoring.

Callmesalticidae
Guest
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

It’ll take time for Russia to fully transition their supply routes.

Tim
Guest
Tim
1 month ago

I praise your answer as totally optimistic, assuming that anyone (e.g. Russia) still has enough time. Let’s stick to this hope.

mnr
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mnr
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

It seems to me that there’s at least one step before global nuclear holocaust – local nuclear strike at Ukraine.
I can’t believe you are serious

asd
Guest
asd
2 months ago

Seems like your head’s been pretty messed with. Exactly by the kind of networked hybrid-intelligences that you like writing about.

asd
Guest
asd
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

The situation has changed a bit since Iraq. Technology has advanced at the same time as the rate of profit has fallen. Apart from being easier to control, dissent is simply a lot less affordable now. As apparently are diplomatic concessions and doing anything beyond levying sanctions and sending toy guns—not exactly actions that scream big, strong, and solvent.

Ukraine was assumed to be the new territorial acquisition of an endlessly expanding political-economic system. It turned out a limit was hit. This is what the screeching is about, and why anyone that can be heard is screeching about it.

Normal people living in a territory being torn apart in a great power conflict? Don’t think anybody cares much about the people of Yemen Ukraine, lol. A lot of people posting about “psychos” in these replies: the real psychos are those on the sidelines egging this shit on, cheering on untrained civilians on the other side of the world to go pick up AKs and run at a tank. Those willingly mobilizing themselves in informational and economic warfare. How exactly did this become their fight, I wonder…

Nestor
Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  asd

Point of apparent fact, the image that the Ukrainian army vanished on the first days and the fight is now an insurgency, like in Iraq or Afghanistan appears to be wishful thinking on the same level as the “We’ll be welcomed as liberators”. The Ukrainian military appears to be intact and doing the bulk of the fighting. It’s looking like WWI level casualties for Russia – more than the Afghanistan war in a tiny fraction of the time.

Fatman
Guest
Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  asd

Doesn’t look like you have much to offer in an argument about intelligence(s), bud.

Richard Morgan
Guest
2 months ago

Cue Peter singing “My milkshake brings ALL the fuckwit totalitarian slaughter apologists to the yard.”

Fatman
Guest
Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Morgan

Apologists – or cheerleaders?

Andy
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Andy
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Well, they gotta be somewhat more circumspect ’round these parts than straight-up shout “Onwards comrades! For the motherland!”

Richard Morgan
Guest
2 months ago

Hi Peter – I guess we all got that genuine psycho contingent lurking in our fanbase, but man, have you got me beat here 🙂

Richard Morgan
Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Yeah, kudos to ANYone in Russia who dares to raise objections to what’s happening right now. I mean, I did my fair share of raging against the Iraq war back in the day; not at all sure I would have acted the same if speaking out had carried a prison term, even a short one, let alone 15 fucking years!

On the Palestinian thing, yeah, I mean you could complain about any random atrocity across the globe and some fuckwit is going to swing by with “Huh, why do you care so much about that and haven’t once mentioned Gaza?” Almost like there’s some magical extra dimension to Palestinian suffering, that people brutalised by a Jewish state apparatus somehow suffer MORE than those brutalised by China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Russia, what have you, that the actions of that state are somehow more uncommonly evil than any others. It’s odd, isn’t it – can’t for the life of me imagine what the extra evil factor might be???

gator
Guest
gator
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Morgan

This being the Richard Morgan TERF who banned me from his blog because I disagreed with him and posted links with stats. “Genuine psycho!”

gator
Guest
gator
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

It wasn’t for using a term, it was simply because he didn’t want to argue based on facts. (He called me “lazy”, “idiotic, “ill-conceived notions”. In the end he just blocked my posts.) His blog, his rules. He seems like an interesting guy, I have read most of his fiction – but his trans stand is harmful and def a certain kind of British tribal. He seems certain that trans women are an ever present rape threat to cis women. That’s a big British trope. So I guess, yes, you know where you stand with the man – he is anti-trans rights, which I see as an important part of the spectrum of human rights.

Sorry, I don’t mean to turn this into a Richard Morgan thread. I won’t respond further unless asked. He’s pretty open about his trans rights views, got banned from twitter. Anyone interested can chase that down themselves.

gator
Guest
gator
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Interesting question to ask – a quick google search shows basically this is a non-thing. In the meantime, if you’re a trans woman you’re being told you’re not welcome in a woman’s locker room or restroom because *someone else* might be a criminal. Where are those people supposed to go? You think sending people passing as women to a men’s locker room will end well? It seems like a very thin reason to deny a whole class of people basic rights.

Nel
Guest
Nel
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

I will be very upfront in this response, I am a very new reader, if you could call me that even. It’s more a manner of readership infancy that was blossoming well… only to have been suddenly squashed down into the mulch under an unexpected boot.

I found this specific post initially through a series of Facebook links. I have been, for perhaps the past two hours, slowly digesting and working my way through understanding everything written up until this point. I read every word in this blog post- then the comments, because I was completely encapsulated. Horrified, interested, learning things new things and until this reveal of opinion, found myself to be agreeing with you on every subject. Not that one has to agree with everything a person says- but I am so taken aback by the hypocrisy I feel the need to speak with you about it. I am not trying to attack you with the word hypocrisy itself either. I am extending my thoughts to you- so far my reading of your words gave me the view that you are a strong willed mind, and are inspiringly good at displaying your opinion in a way that I at least find extremely comprehensive, well thought, conscience of human struggle, and of moral stability. 

This will be a long read, and I hope that you will read it until the very end. I have tried to put my words together carefully, and I hope that by the end of it you will become more understanding of how much this is a dangerous stance. How dangerous it is for the rights of all women, to even flirt with the idea of this possibility. The idea that a cis male sexual predator will put on his master disguise to look like a trans woman, for the goal of raping women, is a thought-concept used as a weapon against transgender people’s rights.

I myself am a gender non conforming person. Many, many of my friends, people who I consider my true family, are transgender. The people that are closest to me- are even specifically trans women. I myself am not a trans women- and I could never be considered one because I am a dfab (designated female at birth) genderfluid person. I still go into woman’s bathrooms. If I were in a sport, I would be in the woman’s league, all of this is true for me because I am legally a female on official documents. Bathroom choices are not an issue for me, I simply use the women’s room for the convenience. As far as anyone can tell by looking at me, I am a cis woman, who is maybe just a bit unusual in their fashion choices. 

A trans woman, who is actively engaging in presenting in the way she truly desires and feels is right, which will often be as feminine as any other cis woman, as she is a woman, does not have that simple luxury. She can not enter the men’s room, that one is a true danger for her. If she were to encounter men inside… cis men pose a violent threat. 

Violence against trans women is not an unlikely factor, it is something that is happening all the time. Every single time she might think to go into the boy’s room it could be her last choice. Any man inside that room could decide to attack her. Best case scenario would be they call her a faggot, a he-she, spit at her and degrade her before leaving. Worst case scenario is she is murdered, or perhaps “just” horribly beaten. Are you aware of what happens to these men who are attacking innocent women? They get away with it. They get away with it because they can say they were defending the rights of “Real Women”.  They were just confused, and acted out suddenly and emotionally. Can we truly fault them, honoured judge and members of our moral jury? It passes in court. The offenders might get a slap on the wrist at most. Now a victim has to face the trauma and the physical pain caused by a hate-crime with no justice, not even reparations, and she has to suck it up. 

Misogyny and trans-misogyny is at play here. Women are degraded to the status of “the weaker sex”. They can not play important parts in anything, whether it is helpful or harmful. They are so very fragile and soft that we can not consider a real women to ever be a perpetrator of anything truly harmful. This can be seen in cases of cis woman raping cis men. When a cis adult man is reported in the media to be guilty of raping a younger girl, unquestionably so due to perhaps video evidence, we scorn them as they should be. Now, when we see a cis adult woman who is guilty of raping a younger boy, under the same degree of evidence, we start to hear chuckling all around the subject. This is especially so if the rapist herself is a conventionally attractive cis women. People will comment that the young boy is lucky, to have such a hot woman come onto him and bring him into manhood. Rape is rape in both circumstances. This is something I’d like to hope can be agreed upon without further explanation.

Now, the difference between a trans woman and a cis women… The “fear” surrounding it, is that she will use her “masculine” strength… her “male genitals” perhaps, to penetrate and defile an innocent woman. I want you to ask yourself, do you think that every cis woman is built the same? Do you think every cis man is strong? Do you think because someone has a penis, they might use it to penetrate someone unwillingly? In a world where knives, guns, and all manner of tools that can overcome raw human strength is available, why would a penis, or muscle mass matter? 

The solution to provide some safety for trans women should then be, at least for a start, is for all women to use the bathroom that is for women. When a trans woman enters a woman’s bathroom, she is entering a space which is honestly and truly hers to be in. Cis woman can be extremely awful in this regard as well- often vulnerable minded women manipulated into believing in, yes, TERF ideology that trans women pose a threat to them for merely existing. A trans woman poses a threat to any woman, as much as any cis woman might pose a threat to another cis woman. Any given person has the capacity to be a criminal of any varying degree. A murderer, a rapist, a war criminal, or a petty thief. 

The truth is, that most trans women… are not physically strong. Most trans women you meet don’t even want to compete in sport. Yes, there are some that do, and I support their endeavours. Most trans women you meet will honestly, as I have experienced, be of the side of femininity interested in more of the softer side.  HRT (hormone replacement therapy) physically changes the body as well, more estrogen and usually T-blockers (testosterone blockers) are used. The body now works to soften features. 

Any given trans women, who has started hrt, could even have more estrogen than a cis woman. A cis woman won’t likely ever be on a T-blocker, which means their natural testosterone levels are allowed to be higher, as every living person has a combination of estrogen and testosterone. Being in a combination of increased estrogen and lowered testosterone makes a trans women an extremely unlikely candidate for her being the perpetrator of sexual assault, as a large dip in testosterone causes a reduced or depleted sexual drive. This is not to say that every trans women should have to be on hrt to be able to identify her true gender, or that every trans woman’s fate on hrt is to become nun-like in her sexuality. The likelihood of lowered sexual drive, as it is a common side effect of hrt, makes the vast majority of trans women more likely to be less interested in sex than her cis counterparts, and certainly less than any testosterone heavy cis males. If she hasn’t even the sexual drive, what is her motive for harming others sexually?

Bottom surgery, which is surgically altering an external penis to create a neo-vagina through a type of inversion, means the genitals are not visibly different from a cis woman’s. A trans woman who has undergone this surgery now has no penis, no natural extended limb used for penetration. They are now no more likely to penetrate someone unwillingly, as any given cis woman, who could just as easily decide to rape someone with an object. 

Now I want you to consider how difficult and dangerous it is to present as a woman at all when the people around you can be of bigoted anti-trans opinions…and they can “tell” you are trans. It isn’t only a danger when going into a bathroom either, it is a danger when you simply leave your house presenting femininely. It can become a danger in your own home. Many people have come to believe that being a transgender woman, that daring to present in a feminine manner while being a penis-haver, is an evil itself, an sin that should either be forced out in conversion therapy, or killed outright. At best these people will keep their opinions to themselves on public spaces, but their opinion allows violence to take place. It normalizes the thought that violence against transgender people is acceptable, which means the more volatile of our population will actually go out and take the extreme action that even people who say they “tolerate” lgbt culture but dislike it wouldn’t do. 

When you are outted as transgender to the people in your neighbourhood, or doxxed online, many things can happen. If you are extremely lucky, you live in a tolerant area. Most people will be friendly, and only some will be rude in words. If you are a young trans girl still living with her parents, you could be thrown out. If you live in any of the many many areas where being any kind of lgbt is a serious danger, people who desire your end now know where you live. If you’re doxxed online, it may not even matter that Your Neighbourhood is safe. Now the entire world’s population- including bigots with big heads and trigger happy fingers, have the chance to hunt you down for sport. 

They might start by vandalizing your home, which could very well be likened to the bread they serve at restaurants to tide you over while you wait for your real meal. The real meal being of course- the complete destruction of a trans woman’s life. They could murder her themselves with their own two hands, or force her own hand into such fear that she feels there will never be safety, and takes her own life. They didn’t even have to dirty their fascist hands with ‘’tangible” blood. They will however likely need to wash the gunk and crusted garbage out of their nails and keyboard, as they’ve been spending many hard working hours writing their withered hearts out in witty hate mail and stalking an innocent woman trying to just live her life. 

If you feel like I must be exaggerating, you must be unaware of the internet’s favourite sport. Harassing vulnerable minorities of many kinds endlessly, even documenting their every move for fun and cruel laughter is vastly popular. People have, and will continue to take their lives because of this, especially so for gender minorities and neurodivergent people whose only “safe” space is the online world. 

In the online world, no one can strike you physically… at first. You can talk about your true feelings and experiences, find others who are understanding and kind, people who maybe are like you. That is, until the wrong person sees and decides you need to come to an end. They make your existence an invitation to the rest of their kin, whose hunger for drama and amusement have crossed the barrier of morality. Now it is a group activity as well. Your responses to their cruelty and your visible anguish are just so enticingly engaging. They just think your life is so funny and ridiculous they prod you until that life is completely unbearable. Endlessly unless you become boring to them. And to bore them is to try to escape the online world, and try to live unassumingly in public, untrue to yourself, of which you will likely be unsuccessful of. Or you simply can’t be beaten down anymore, because you are literally dead.

Now, again, I want you to consider how difficult and dangerous it is to present as a woman at all when the people around you can absolutely be of bigoted anti-trans opinions. Simply going outside in a skirt with a “masculine” build is an immediate “red-flag”. 

Cis male sexual predators are absolutely assholes, you are correct. Then, let’s please talk about this hypothetical man, who is posing as a trans woman to get into safe spaces to specifically rape women. Do you really think, a straight cis male, who desires to rape women…. is willing to even look feminine in most cases? I want you to think about the toxic masculinity present in most male rapists. Then, I want you to consider how trans women actually often behave and present. 

All the difficulty, all the danger, all the effort it would take to be perceived as a trans women is unsurmountable to a cis male. A trans woman can go out on any given day, be met by someone they’ve never seen on the street, and beaten by them. I’m not saying this happens every day to the same woman, but to say this isn’t something with statistical probability is outright false. This hypothetical man would have to be okay with taking on the danger and risk, of being Perceived as a trans woman, to the rest of the populace, even if merely from point A (the lie that they are a woman- even for one day- in order to enter the space) to point B (raping women). Now, they not only have to convince cis women that they are a trans woman, they have to let their peers who might see them do this in on the scheme. 

It is very hard to be so stealthy that you can’t be found in this age. Someone could take a quick snap of you out in your little dress that you apparently put on because you think it will fool women enough to get close to them in order to specifically defile them. Now that picture can be sent to anyone- someone in your circle, the people of your real world life could find out you’ve dressed this way. They come to the conclusion that you Are a trans woman, and start questioning you relentlessly. Now, this hypothetical rapist has to deal with the repercussions of being perceived as trans. Can he then say, lol you guys, I’m playing a joke so I can rape women? If he can’t say such a thing to his acquaintances, co workers, friends, family, with absolute trust in all of them that they won’t tell anyone, he now has to deal with mis-directed trans misogyny pointed at him. If he can’t admit that it’s a lie, then he will face brutalism himself, in words or in physically violence.

Would a cis male sexual predator, who values Himself over the rights of women and actively defiles women, want to be seen as lesser? As a faggot, as a he-she, as a target for violence? Why would he do this if he is well aware of the opinion that the only good thing for anyone to be is a straight male. And, in his mind, a straight male who has the right to rape women as he pleases. Would someone with this type of mindset, truly and actually be capable of playing the role of a trans woman with everything I’ve explained to you now?

This hypothetical cis man, this imaginary rapist with no respect for women, is really out here, Actually ending Real women’s lives. This thought-concept, Our hypothetical predator, of who there is not even a statistic of, is being allowed to take away the rights of women. A trans woman is a women who has the right to be a women as much as any cis woman. 

The people come up with these extremely unlikely possibilities, these stories of fiction, are people who can’t quite wrap their heads around real humans wanting to be something different than what our rigid society tells them they must be due to their genitals alone. Because of This, real actual existing women become victims of incredible violence. Disrespected and misgendered to the point of every one of them being out-casted instantly as “potential predators” to those who believe this sort of fantasy scenario to be so true it must happen constantly even. A trans women is only as much of a statistic possibility to be an offender as any given cis woman. Should we start having single-stalled bathrooms only then, so that no person of any sex, race, gender, disability and etc, in the whole wide world, may be targeted under a master disguise while taking a needed piss or shit?

The rights of trans women are important. They are just as important as any minority facing oppression. They are the rights of women. They are the rights of identity, of not living in shame as a perceived lower-cast. If a trans women is being accused of a crime, it must be under actual evidence based guilt. It should be under the same dignity and effort for truth as any other person on the planet receives. We do not bring someone into the court and call them guilty for mere existence. Suspects are not guilty-until-proven-innocent. They are innocent-until-proven-guilty. A trans woman should be treated the same as any woman who happened to be born with a hole instead of the reverse. Women are not mere walking genitals. 

If you did read to the very end, I thank you very much. I will be checking in to hope I have a response, and my hope is that you will understand how dire this is.

Nel
Guest
Nel
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Hi, Peter. Also, wow.

I want to start by thanking you, for actually taking the time to read everything I wrote, and actually… consider it in a serious manner. I don’t know if this will surprise you, but everyone else I’ve encountered did not want to hear an actual answer to the question that fired me off to write very suddenly to you. Most of the time, it isn’t a question at all, absolutely. More of a statement they believe already to be of unshakeable truth that it can’t even be debated. I’ve tried in other scenarios to start an actual conversation about it, only to be ridiculed, rebutted with offensive nonsense before I can even make my full point.

I wouldn’t say I’d given up at all on trying to tackle it though, but obviously if I was gonna give this another go it would have to be speaking to someone I think might actually listen to me. That, and I tried writing everything I could possibly think to write all at once so I’m not interrupted mid point…

Well I have to say I feel like my three hour venture paid off. And yeah actually, I would absolutely be glad to help you lift your head out your ass with an explanation as to why that question isn’t the same at all as identity with gender…. Especially since I’ve become endeared to you after one response, it’d be a real shame to see you looking remotely like Ted Cruz. Hahahaha!!!

However I have suddenly become really busy, and I’ll be real busy for at least a good week and a half I imagine. I had to sort of rally my wayward artist friends together for our upcoming fine arts & crafts show/sale that’s on April 9th. I thought everything was taken care of and sorted out with the owner of the building, because that was not suppose to be my job haha… I was talking casually with the owner since we’re pretty good friends already, I mention the craft sale and she just goes “huh?”

So I’m just like, well, uh oh. I sorted everything out in time though so wow, phew.

I have lots of things ready to go, but I really want to concentrate on having a new exciting piece to debut. So that’s what I’ll be focusing on.

Absolutely though, I am returning to this. I already know what I want to say, just gotta write it all down in a cohesive manner. That might be another three hour venture, or more, but absolutely worth it in my book. I also have replies to a lot of other things you mentioned swimming around in my head.

Looking very much forward to discussing with you further. You seem like a pretty serious guy, so I don’t know if this is too cheesy for you, but I was absolutely smiling genuinely by the time I was done reading your reply.

Tipo deIncognito
Guest
Tipo deIncognito
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Sorry to intrude, but before you go dark, I’d like to thank you both: this dialog has given me priceless info that I didn’t know how much I needed. Also, reading you two dimished to a bearable level my shame for being human. And Jesus Fuck I need that now.

Nel: I studied fine arts, I would love to see your work. Anyway, good luck with the show.

Peter Watts: I’m glad the mysterious knife-throwing asshole didn’t kill you.

gator
Guest
gator
1 month ago

I’d echo the same as Tipo. I’m not trans; I appreciate hearing from Nel and seeing your replies Peter.

Richard Morgan
Guest
2 months ago

well, at least the hopepunks have shut up for a while.

Spat out my coffee………..:-)

madbobul
Guest
madbobul
2 months ago

Hello,

I am long time reader (and fan), but it is my first post on rifters.com. I am from Poland so as you can imagine I am vividly interested in the subject and I can see some things first-hand (like unprecedented refugees wave).

Anyway, I am strangely relaxed and tranquil when I read stuff like that:

Eastern Antarctica sees record temperatures 70 degrees above normal – The Washington Post

In short/medium term we are all FUBAR.

The K
Guest
The K
2 months ago
Reply to  madbobul

The fear of an imminent nuclear apocalypse has certainly dampened my fear of a slightly less imminent global biosphere collapse.

I mean who cares that we will probably go the way of the dodo in 20-30 years if we manage to go extinct right tomorrow, eh?

madbobul
Guest
madbobul
2 months ago
Reply to  The K

True. And sure imminent threat triggers all alerts in our wiring.
But after I spent a few days chewing that, the questions is: “Do I have any impact on stopping lunatic from pressing red button”? I guess no. I can do some little things to diminish (infinitesimally) someone’s suffering.

And if for some reason (completely independent on me) lunatic will not press red button, I still may do some little things to diminish someone’s suffering when approaching biosphere collapse (which will happen probably sooner or later).

bookworm1398
Guest
bookworm1398
1 month ago
Reply to  madbobul

Maybe a small nuclear winter (if only part of the nukes were used) would counter the effects of global warming and we all would be saved! Well, the Southern half of the globe anyway.

Gordan
Guest
Gordan
2 months ago

We were part of the Non Alignment movement… I continue to share the same values…Balkans need to stay out of this. That goes for all the wise people of the world.

Richard Morgan
Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordan

Putin would certainly agree with you. Has just said much the same thing to Finland and Sweden. Classic schoolyard bully tactics. “Back off unless you want some of the same that this kid on the ground is getting.”

Go read some recent Russian history. Go read Putin’s unhinged ranting just before he cheerfully broke his word and rolled his tanks into Ukraine.

There is no “staying out of” shit like this. Why do you think pretty much the whole of eastern Europe stampeded to get a seat in NATO?

suneater
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suneater
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Morgan

you absolutely can stay out of things like this. india lived and died on this principle for a pretty long time

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 months ago
Reply to  suneater

India is also a nuclear power with enough manpower ro probably fight WW3 by itself.

Stayouofitism is a luxury few can afford.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy
suneater
Guest
suneater
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy

eh, india is emblematic of the non-aligned movement but there are plenty of examples that with far less in the way of military power. i dont imagine egypt will do much either, for example

Fatman
Guest
Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  suneater

India also does not share a land border with either Russia, or any of the NATO countries, so this is not really relevant. When it comes to the risk of being invaded by a more powerful and aggressive neighbor, e.g. China, Indian neutrality and “non-alignment” quickly (and rightly) flies out the window.

suneater
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suneater
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

sure, and if i were finnish i would be thinking of joining up with nato right now. the balkans seem fine enough though.

please do not mistake a general disillusionment with great power politics for sympathy with russia, by the way. i am under no illusions about the comically flimsy pretense they cite as the reason for this war

Peter Davies
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Peter Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  suneater

India’s a bit further away from Ukraine than the Eastern European and Baltic countries are though, and hasn’t been conspicuously successful at staying out of conflict with its neighbours in recent years.

Gordan
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Gordan
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Morgan

No… We said no to Russians back in 48 snd we should have said no to Nato…and I can raed history in Russain and Ukrainian….no translation…You should read some history of the Balkans, there are interesting details and all the world powers were involved…

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordan

It’s also worth reminding you that former Yugoslavia, while nominally “friendly” with the Soviets, kicked out the Soviet “liberators” in ’47, and spent the next 45 years in a heightened state of military readiness, with the specific aim of resisting potential Soviet aggression through the surrounding satellite states. I.e. to avoid the fate of Czechoslovakia in ’65, or Hungary in ’56.

“Non-aligned” never meant “stupid”, “naïve”, or “ignorant”.

Russian imperialism has worn many greatcoats over the years – royalist, then faux-communist, and now neo-fascist – but the garbage wrapped inside it has always stunk the same.

Gordan
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Gordan
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

W. Passports from Yu were welcomed to east and west Berlin in a single day.

Fatman
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Fatman
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordan

It was a better time, no question about it.

Joe K
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Joe K
2 months ago
Reply to  Fatman

Does “Russian imperialism” stink because it is imperialist?

What is the function of NATO? Do you think that NATO is not a tool of American imperialism?

Fatman
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Fatman
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe K

“Does “Russian imperialism” stink because it is imperialist?”

Certainly. It also stinks because of its proven track record of corruption, mass starvation, repression, and misery. Impoverished peasants make excellent bandits, not emperors.

“Do you think that NATO is not a tool of American imperialism?”

No.

NATO doesn’t really have a function. It’s a largely obsolete bureaucracy operating on Cold War momentum, which until recently couldn’t so much as shame its members into paying their dues. Russia’s barbaric aggression on Ukraine gave it something of a shot in the arm, but that probably won’t last.

American imperialism is alive and well, but does not depend on, or require, NATO.

Joe K
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Joe K
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatman

Too bad the president of Ukraine didn’t ask your opinion on NATO’s utility a month ago. Thousands of lives could have been saved, had Zelensky agreed to Russia’s demand that Ukraine renounce its ambitions to join this supposedly “obsolete” military alliance.

Strange that NATO member states should commit to increasing defence spending up to 2 percent of their GDP, for the privilege of belonging to a gigantic Cold War zombie propelled by sheer momentum –as you put it– directly toward Russia’s borders.

I must say that what you call “barbaric aggression” looks like prudent and timely self-defence to me.

Fatman
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Fatman
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe K

Well bud, if you envision a world where sovereign nations accede to “demands” from more powerful neighbors without putting up resistance, I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

“Strange that NATO member states should commit to increasing defence spending up to 2 percent of their GDP”

Again, as a result of Russian aggression on Ukraine, and overt (if ridiculous) threats made against certain NATO member states.

NATO has neither the means, nor a valid motive, to attack Russia, and vice versa. The Cold War is over, and NATO’s Big Evil Enemy has been dead and in the ground for thirty years. Now more than ever, it’s abundantly clear that it won’t be resurrected anytime soon.

“I must say that what you call “barbaric aggression” looks like prudent and timely self-defence to me.”

Actually, no. Russian actions in Ukraine meet the “aggression” criteria set out by the UN General Assembly Resolution #3314, as well as the 1933 Convention on the Definition of Aggression. Both of which Russia is a signatory to. So “timely self-defense” flies out of the window, by Russia’s own standards.

I guess you could quibble over whether shelling maternity wards and slaughtering civilians in bomb shelters qualifies as “barbaric”, but I don’t see why you would want to do that.

SomeHistoryGuy
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SomeHistoryGuy
2 months ago

I imagine it’s becoming pretty difficult to keep rewriting historical events into your books. You must have your work cut out for you writing Omniscience with all the pandemics and wars that we know happened in “their past”.

Lars
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Lars
2 months ago
Reply to  SomeHistoryGuy

Charles Stross has found this to be increasingly irksome and requiring the rewriting of significant portions of recent books-in-progress.

Arthur Tazhitdinov
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Arthur Tazhitdinov
2 months ago

Technically piracy is still illegal in Russia. It was just a suggestion by one of our bullshit-spouting senators. It was not made into law (yet)

Jake`
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Jake`
2 months ago

Don’t want to overstate this (ie making too much of a hypothetical apocalypse when there are very real kilotons of conventional explosives currently battering innocent civilians) but I can’t help thinking what a massive fucking blow this whole affair is to nuclear disarmament, and therefore humanity’s (and my own) chance of surviving the next, say, decade.

A month ago I was convinced that MAD is madness, that the only chance we have as a species is nuclear disarmament. And now there’s this crystal clear example of a state voluntarily getting rid of it’s nukes (in exchange for security ‘guarantee’ from the British, ie my, government – nice going there lads) and getting absolutely shafted by a bunch of cunts rattling their WMDs. It just makes me so sad.

Not that I necessarily think the use of nukes would be a silver bullet for Russia or Ukraine, in the sense that they could turn the tide of the military engagement – it’s not like there are any huge concentrations of armour (now that tank column at Kiev has dispersed) or a convenient carrier group to make a juicy target. So it would be Nuclear Holocaust, or bust. But even so, I just wish (despite myself) that Zelensky had his own little red button, if only to make Putin piss his fucking bunker.

Also, Peter, you do have some (overrepresented?) creeps on here, but you know what props to you for letting them defend their (mostly wrong) positions – I’m guessing you have to approve all the comments that appear? Genuinely, I haven’t seen another forum that’s such a window into how the other side thinks, and that’s what we all need to understand right now. Or at least, I do, if only to distract from the dull terror and my suffocating lack of agency.

Jake`
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Jake`
2 months ago
Reply to  Jake`

Also about the lack of coverage of (presumably widespread & horrific) rape as a weapon of war – hardly surprising that this barely gets a mention, given how widespread Russian army use of sexual violence is against their own fucking soldiers

https://english.pravda.ru/society/87441-army_prostitute/ (from 2007)

Mark Pontin
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Mark Pontin
2 months ago

Jake: “And now there’s this crystal clear example of a state voluntarily getting rid of it’s nukes … and getting absolutely shafted by a bunch of cunts rattling their WMDs.”

This assumption constantly crops up, even from people like Peter, who should know better.

Ulam-Teller boosted fission thermonuclear devices — H-bombs — are absolutely not some item of ordinance like an artillery piece or manpad launcher or even a simple A-bomb, where if you happen to have one in your possession and you can aim it at an enemy you can use it.

To the contrary. They’re some of the most complex items of technology on the planet, whose original development required both contributions from the brightest physicists then living and John von Neumann to develop the electronic computer to model the explosions. Most critically, great effort was invested in ensuring that they don’t go off unless you have the codes; that was the original purpose of Sandia Labs, to ensure surety as the Z Division of Los Alamos.

So possession of H-bombs would have done Ukraine no good without possession of the codes. The best they could have hoped for was to turn the radioactive material into dirty bombs, at some risk of whoever tried to take the device apart. That is one big reason — maybe the only real reason — why Ukraine gave up the H-bombs on its territory. They were worse than useless without the codes.

*****

As regards the main topic of discussion:

Anybody who hasn’t noted that Kagan, Nuland, Blinken, and every single one of the neocon crowd — except Wolfowitz and Cheney — responsible for the Iraq/ Gulf Two War under Bush II are now back on Biden’s foreign policy team, and that they’ve been busy building up the Ukraine for the last decade as an attack dog to incite conflict with Russia, is being extraordinarily naive.

And naive is a charitable word.

Fatman
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Fatman
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Pontin

“Anybody who hasn’t noted that Kagan, Nuland, Blinken, and every single one of the neocon crowd — except Wolfowitz and Cheney — responsible for the Iraq/ Gulf Two War under Bush II are now back on Biden’s foreign policy team”

An astute observation. However, the conclusion is flawed. The only nation inciting a conflict with Russia is Russia itself.

Russia attacked Ukraine twice. Once in 2014, carving up internationally recognized Ukrainian territory to arm irredentist mobs in Donbass, occupy Crimea, and set up illegitimate breakaway territories. Again in 2022, an armed aggression ineptly (and bizarrely) masked as a “military exercise”, with no prior Ukrainian provocation, and not justified by defensive necessity.

Anyone who hasn’t noted that both instances of conflict incitement have been committed by Russia is being purposefully obtuse.

And obtuse is a charitable world.

listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatman

23 years ago, to date, NATO acted against UN resolution, bombed and destroyed Yugoslavia, partitioned the region and openly supported killers, terrorists and criminals. Bombed out everything that could even remotely resist them, with no regards to civilian life, and flooded the streets with invaders and extremists.

The rules didn’t change since then:
1. What America does is legitimate.
2. What anybody else does is not legitimate.

We’ve been through it more than one can count, more than sane person can take – it has been sufficiently proven it is useless to object. We are going to let these people destroy their own world now, hopefully in another decade there won’t be any government on this side of the world who would deal with them in other than insults and spite.

Fatman
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Fatman
1 month ago

A somewhat understandable error – but an error nevertheless. I will assume ignorance on your part, and not an argument in bad faith.

Yugoslavia was not “partitioned”. Yugoslavia was a country comprising six federal states and two autonomous territories, with clearly defined borders and the right to self-determination enshrined in the national constitution of 1974. When it collapsed, it split precisely along those recognized borders, and the former federal states (and later one of the autonomous territories) were recognized as independent nations within those borders, under international law. So there was no “partitioning” involved.

A rogue government in charge of one of the post-Yugoslavian states initiated a campaign of ethnic cleansing in their internationally recognized neighbors, bombed, besieged and starved urban areas, and flooded the streets with invaders and extremists parading WW2 Nazi insignia. The actions of said government were roundly condemned by the international community as genocide. For that, they paid a heavy, and well deserved, price.

“hopefully in another decade there won’t be any government on this side of the world who would deal with them”

Yet it is your government that launched an illegal and savage aggression against a sovereign neighbor, and it is your economy that has collapsed in a staggering manner after less than a month of (rather limited) sanctions. That invokes “traditional values” as it mobilizes jihadis to shell Orthodox churches. It is your government that arrests anti-war protesters, and whose most senior functionaries develop inexplicable “health problems” and vanish after the dismal collapse of your military forces in this “short and victorious special operation”.

Which system is more likely to survive another decade or so?

listedproxyname
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listedproxyname
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

Hypocrisy is of course is not something that is lost on us. However, I came to conclusion that average commentariat person is not aware of the scale and extent of hypocrisy in 21st century – even when they know it is nominally in effect. They act as if the world before 24th of February simply doesn’t exist, and all agreements, all diplomacy, all sacrifices are null and void. To them, this war is “unprovoked”, “unlawful”, “pointless” and “a failure” simultaneously even though some of these arguments contradict the others.

“They are no respecter of persons, places or things.” “They are without mercy.”

Condemning Russia for invading Ukraine in no way constitutes a defense of US foreign policy, even if the US happens to be standing with the rest of the world on this particular issue.

“Condemning Russia for invasion” is the US policy and claims about “standing with the rest of the world” (even when they’re clearly not) are a part of it as well. That is before we consider their actions like supplying weapons, training foot soldiers, spreading propaganda, forging military alliances and enforcing economic sanctions which will affect billions of people across the world. This absolutely aggressive policy didn’t start yesterday, not even month ago, not even 8 years ago when the all the shooting and screaming started.

That would be understandable and credible claim with a third party where there’s no involvement of US or NATO detected, but for a country which has written the military alliance into it’s constitution, it’s supposed “moral defense” turns into conviction. US openly declares it’s intentions towards Russia and it’s people, scarcely covering itself behind veil of “inaccurate statements” and paper-thin lies. Russia finds itself engaged in the proxy war with “self-interested hyperpower” and pulling punches in faint hope that the enemy will somehow soften their assault is not just dangerous – but simply suicidal.

And when I say “punch” it is not only about killing or destroying the war machine. It is much more important to save lives and liberate people from oppression and violence – every such actions will put much bigger dent into foundation of the hostile and criminal regime.

Maybe (just maybe) you have a choice to say which bad side you support the most, but people of Russia have not, as hegemonic US empire offers them no moral ground for that – either total capitulation and tremendous humiliation or fight to the last man standing. Neither it provides any choice to people of Ukraine when they are taken hostages by the very people who are supposed to protect them.

We get it. We got it back in the seventies. It’s old news.

If the conflict is unavoidable – strike first. That’s the old news. That’s why we didn’t get slaughtered like a cattle.

What I’m trying to deliver to you is that you are not immune to the same problem, some day the reality may blindside you too.

Joe K
Guest
Joe K
2 months ago

In case anyone is interested to read the Russian president’s own words regarding the Russian state’s asserted rationale for its present military intervention in Ukraine, below are (if I’ve typed them correctly) links to archived english transcripts of two pertinent addresses I think are interesting and informative.

I post the archived links, instead of the original sources at kremlin.ru because from my location, the archive.org servers are more accessible/reliable than the Kremlin’s at the present time.

21 Feb 2022, on recognition of Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics

https://web.archive.org/web/20220319040348/http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/67828

24 Feb 2022, on the invasion of Ukraine

https://web.archive.org/web/20220318220543/http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/67843

Anyways, here’s to more light and less heat.

Good luck everybody.

rosy
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rosy
1 month ago

Man, oh, man. If you could just see my face as I scrolled through so much apologia for Putin. Some of my frowning muscles will never recover, I think

Lars
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Lars
1 month ago

Peter – don’t know if you would have seen this – https://theportalist.com/best-sci-fi-books-from-the-2000s?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=port_tweet
Perhaps not the most appropriate place, but there’s no knowing when you’ll next post, or on what.

boratborat
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boratborat
1 month ago

Peter Watts, I just want to mention one simple fact about Ukraine. Ukraine secret police KILLED Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, to provoke civile unrest in Russia. Putin put Navalny in jail for his own good, because like Nemtsov, Navalny is target #1 for Ukrainian KGB. This country is run by terrorists and provocateurs, under direct control of an entity called US and A.
Current political elite of U. used this method of political killings thru all its career during last 20 years. Many politicians , journalists of Eastern Ukraine were killed, blackmailed, poisoned etc, so that current Western/Lvov fanatics took all the power.
Your image of what is happening in U. and between Ru. and U. will never be full, unless you can also read or translate Russian texts, and compare them to Western media, currently your position is cheap propaganda. no more no less.

boratborat
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boratborat
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Watts

I don’t know how much of a “lawyer” you are, i.e. a useful thief employing logical trickeries of law systems. To me sovereignty is basically the WILL of people. It can be objectively measured by referendum.
 
When Ukranians elected Zelensky many of them hoped
he will de-escalate the situation in Donbas/Novorossia (Donets, Lugansk), but Zelensky
become even more aggressive than previous president Poroshenko. (big surprise? no!)
 
Why Zelensky essentially betrayed public hopes? Because the so-called sovereignty of Ukraine was already non-existent, it is just the extension of the WILL of a dum, treacherous, and malevolent entity named USA.
Although, for a “lawyer” the sovereignty may still hold in his world of fiction.
 
Imagine, the situation when Spain was bombing and demolishing Catalonia for 5-10 years and suddenly desided to invade it to “cleanse” what remained alife there.
That is what Ukraine did to Donbas (Novorossia) and Ukraine had already planned the invasion, and this plan, in turn, provoked a Russian operation to defend Donbas.
 
Of course, everyone would be on Catalan side, every SANE human being would think that Spain is a crazy, ultra-right force abusing its sovereignty over Catalans, who have rights for their land and language. Even more so, that “Spain” is a simple puppet of the USA i.e. infected by “the Thing”.
 
PS
I’m not a fan of Putin personally, but Putin is a soviet-type bureaucrat, he is not a type of person who kills or poisons (absurd image of western media).
Like bureaucrat he employes/abuses laws to put his opponents in jail “legally”,
and that is a BIG progress, compared to the methods of the bloody Ukrainian KGB.
Maybe you prefer Ukrainian KGB – your choice!

Ninsei
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Ninsei
1 month ago
Reply to  boratborat

He is murderer.

People are dying in Ukraine, 2 millions Ukrainians are refugees in my country, and your peace loving criminal Putin is still shelling cities. Your notion of ‘western media’ and bunch of false statements about ‘Ukrainian invasion’ clearly shows how limited is your worldview.

In the time when practically everyone (provided some dedication and sometimes limited amount of money) could access satellite images only tens of hours old in reasonable quality, and when everyone has a device capable of documenting reality by recording pictures or movies Russians really thought that nobody would be able to do fact checking and calling ‘bullshit’ every time Putin’s propaganda feeds the world with lies? Honestly, unbelievable insolence or plain stupidity. I suspect the combination of both – we can all see how second army in Ukraine (not in the world) performs. They might still succeed by sheer amount of raw солдат meat they put into grinder on Ukrainian steppe, and later they will declare it ‘second patriotic war’ or something similar, forgetting that they themselves started it in the first place and were indeed the aggressors, like with Second World War.  

Ninsei
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Ninsei
1 month ago
Reply to  boratborat

Citation: ‘This country is run by terrorists and provocateurs’ – you forgot to add few things: and mafia and mad nazi murderous dictator, who gained his position by orchestrating bloody bombing in his own country killing his own people and it was just a beginning – country is named Russia, and mad dictator’s name is Putin. As you can see I fixed that for you, it was easy.

Gordan
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Gordan
1 month ago

It seems we are left in the dark, and the stage is set long time ago. The new maps are laid, and USA, Russia, China, Israel and India have the libretto. EU and the rest just -Pretend and play.(This is written on a cash register-toy my daughter likes). Just like the economy-Pretend and play.
People are just emotionally tired. Russia is making a shift on the field with fresh soldiers, put a new Z named-satellite in orbit( probably an upgrade to some weapon system).People are suffering and dying…New environmental disasters are waiting around the corner…
I prefer reading clusterfucks like this in your books Peter, not in the newsfeeds… Please let us know what is going on…

z l
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z l
1 month ago

i’m surprised that in almost 200 comments over 2 threads, no one has bothered mentioning the 2014 nuland-pyatt recording that got leaked a week before maidan, to say nothing of putin’s attempts to join NATO in the early 2000s and the NATO internal memorandums to preserve the neutrality of warsaw pact buffer states in the immediate post-collapse 90s. the last of which is vigorously denied by the official NATO website, of course.

people are so mad over the ostensible violation of ukrainian sovereignty that they forgot to question whether or not it ever existed in the first place, trapped between the bush-era pnac ghouls on one end and yanukovich equivalents on the other.

ultimately, it is the ukrainians and europeans who stand to lose the most from this conflict engineered for american profit, but with the way things are going financially and geopolitically, i can’t help but wonder if the USA was a bit penny-wise and pound-foolish in pulling the trigger this time.

Daniel
Guest
1 month ago

I was in Ukraine a few days ago, delivering donated first aid kits and radios for the soldiers and clothes and baby food for the refugees. The will to battle I saw was enormous. Militiamen everywhere, improvised checkpoints and tank barriers all the way to the Polish border. Private individuals showed me guns that I’m pretty sure not even their government knows about, and everyone hates Putin with the ferocity of their home-made hard liquor. There’s no fucking way that after the US failed miserably to suppress the resistance in Iraq, far weaker Russia succeeds in the far bigger, far more populous, far better supported Ukraine.

Optimism is probably out of tune here, but I don’t think a cheaper way of getting rid of Putin was available. Yes what’s happening in Mariupol ruins the good reputation of atrocites. Still that asshole was never going to go down without at least a civil war, and the Ukrainians have fought the Russian army to a standstill that might still keep the overall lives lost below 100000.

Maybe if we can find out who in the FSB pocketed those bribes that were meant to make the Ukrainian army roll over (and who informed western intelligence services of the planned false flag operations hoping the invasion that was going to uncover the theft would be cancelled) and give those guys the equivalent of a Petrov Day. Because Putin’s Russia is going down, and destruction of this magnitude is never pretty but sometimes it’s better that something ends in tears than that it continues to produce more tears.

John
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John
1 month ago

I appreciate the ability of Peter Watts’ blog posts to bring out the deeply held beliefs of people who are ostensibly here to read the thoughts of an author they love (or love to hate).

Not everyone is a troll simply because they have shitty, half-baked opinions. A lot of people just think shitty things to justify their worldviews, regardless of the reality before their eyes.

In any case—I love the provocative posts!