In Passing…….

This is inscribed in the floor of the old Duomo in the walled town of Erice, that looks down from about two thousand five hundred feet over Trapani, Sicily. The inscription tells us that Fredrick II, King of Sicily, Germany, Italy, Jerusalem and Holy Roman Emperor has restored the interior in the name of his royal family – AD1314 according to Google.

Frederick was an interesting guy according to his Wiki entry;

“He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Queen Constance of Sicily of the Hauteville dynasty.

His political and cultural ambitions were enormous as[ambiguous]he ruled a vast area, beginning with Sicily and stretching through Italy all the way north to Germany. As the Crusadesprogressed, he acquired control of Jerusalem and styled himself its king. However, the Papacy became his enemy, and it eventually prevailed. Viewing himself as a direct successor to the Roman emperors of antiquity,[1] he was Emperor of the Romans from his papal coronation in 1220 until his death; he was also a claimant to the title of King of the Romans from 1212 and unopposed holder of that monarchy from 1215. As such, he was King of Germanyof Italy, and of Burgundy. At the age of three, he was crowned King of Sicily as a co-ruler with his mother, Constance of Hauteville, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily. His other royal title was King of Jerusalem by virtue of marriage and his connection with the Sixth Crusade. Frequently at war with the papacy, which was hemmed in between Frederick’s lands in northern Italy and his Kingdom of Sicily (the Regno) to the south, he was excommunicated three times and often vilified in pro-papal chronicles of the time and after. Pope Gregory IX went so far as to call him an Antichrist.

Speaking six languages (Latin, SicilianMiddle High German, French, Greek, and Arabic),[2][3] Frederick has a reputation as a Renaissance man avant la lettre, as scientist, scholar, architect, poet and composer.[4][5][6] As an avid patron of science and the arts, he played a major role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, beginning around 1220, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian. The poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature and on what was to become the modern Italian language.[7] He was also the first king to formally outlaw trial by ordeal, which had come to be viewed as superstitious.[8

I thought of our Colonel; I think Frederic II sounds like his sort of hard hearted empath. I lit a candle for Pat, in front of a Byzantine Madonna, probably looted from Constantinople.

Sicily is covered in the remains of previous civilizations that are way older than mere Romans and Greeks. Greek colonies like Selinunte go back to circa 600BC. but there are few pointers to the previous occupants like the Nuragh people of Sardinia; the one thing most of them had in common was a huge fear of the violent men – pirates – who came from the sea, judging by the almost inaccessible locations like Erice (2500 ft) and Caltobellotta (3000ft) they chose to fortify and inhabit.

We can look at these structures and pontificate about art and design but the reality is that all of them are monuments to the bloody violence of war and conquest. I sat on the beach at Gela last week eating excellent Gelato. I thought of the United States First Infantry Division. In Eleven days time and exactly Eighty years ago, they crossed that same beach under fire. They were opposed by the Italian coastal defence troops and the Fourth infantry division and, contrary to received wisdom, these Italian defenders could and did acquit themselves well.

I listen to the BS, on both sides, being talked about Ukraine and Russia. In my opinion we are not covering ourselves in glory. The casualties from this little affair, whatever the outcome, will include the entire Western media establishment as well as what little is left of our reputation for trust and good faith we might have had in 1943. Think of the troops on both sides and do what you can to at least call an armistice.

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43 Responses to In Passing…….

  1. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Thank you Walrus

  2. TTG says:

    I’m glad you’re posting again, Walrus. Hope you can do so more often. That’s a fascinating story of Frederick II. And you’re right, he does sound like a 13th century Pat Lang.

    In regards to your call for an armistice in Ukraine, if Russia was a benevolent occupier, I could see the logic in it. Given Russia’s track record in the occupied territories, I can only support the Ukrainian desire to resist the invader and free their brothers in sisters in the occupied lands.

    • The question is:
      Who is the real occupier?
      And occupier of what?
      There are people living in the territory claimed by Ukraine who support Russia.

      Do not those Russia-preferers deserve some accomodation to their interests?
      To me, calling them traitors and Quislings, and persecuting them, is offensive.

      The questions then are:

      1.Where should the boundary between Ukraine and Russia be drawn?
      2. Within thus-defined Ukraine, how much variation should be allowed between its regions, to allow for different preferences?

      And the absolute requirement should be that missiles which threaten, say, Moscow
      (e.g., )
      must not be allowed.

      • TTG says:

        Keith Harbaugh,

        Identifying the occupier is obvious. Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia is the occupier. The boundary was drawn in 1991 and agreed to by both Ukraine and Russia.

        Ukraine will eventually develop or buy missiles that can hit Moscow. Russia already has missiles that can hit Kyiv and they do so on a regular basis. Should they also not be allowed?

        • The U.S. has missiles that can hit Canada, Cuba, and Mexico.
          Should any or all of the above have missiles and their launchers, equivalent to, say, the Mark 41 that can hit Washington and the missile fields in the Western U.S.?
          What would the Monroe Doctrine say?
          We saw how the U.S. reacted to missiles in Cuba in 1962.
          That was and is an asymmetry in capabilities.
          Clearly one can argue it is unfair, or in today’s popular parlance, “inequitable”.

      • Sam says:

        Russia thought it was a power like the US and Putin decided that whatever Ukraine was up to was unacceptable. And invaded to get Ukraine to heel. After a year of fighting with his “superpower “ military, he’s no further than when he began in subduing the Ukrainians.

        If the US is unhappy that Mexico has CCP or Russian missiles that can hit New York and invades Mexico and if the US after a year is no further along in enforcing its will, then likely Mexico will get the missiles. Thucydides saw how power, strength and weakness worked.

  3. Babeltuap says:

    Having experienced war one thing that many forget is it’s way more than the Soldiers killed and wounded. Their parents, siblings, spouses, children, relatives, friends. Every person lost or wounded impacts 10 fold if not more. It’s beyond horrible.

    Not much of anything was done to avoid this outcome. We kept poking at it. It’s time to stop. Enough. I am a now a single issue voter. End it. Everyone lost.

    • cobo says:

      So, the endless wars the United States ran/runs in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Somalia – all good. But, one time, let a nation, Ukraine, fight a just war, because…. IT WAS INVADED, no,no,no – it must be stopped! The great Pooteen deserves to win. War is bad – NO SHIT

  4. leith says:

    An engaging post Walrus. Fridericus II appears to be extraordinary person. Banning trial by ordeal! Putin should follow his example and outlaw the trials by ordeal he has imposed on the Ukrainian people. Trial by fire on women and children, let God sort out the good from the Nazis he has delusions about. Trial by poison & defenestration on his dissenters and any journalist that dares question his Special Military Op.

    Speaking of reputation, the biggest casualty from this monstrous war is the tyrant in the Kremlin that started it. It’s not just the West that is dissing him. It’s now his own troops, many of his own people, his neighbors in the former SSRs, China, India et al.

    • PeterHug says:

      Go take a look at the Sixth Crusade. He basically rented Jerusalem and called it a victory.

  5. English Outsider says:

    “Hard – hearted empath”. Or maybe disciplined empath, which is rare. Also the same enviable facility with languages and dialects.

    The ease with which he worked things out, captured all the cross-currents, was astounding. His account of the neocon penetration of State is a masterpiece. Quite casually, just in passing, he divined the secret of how Michael Collins operated in Dublin.

    Collins, another truly exceptional man, had an uncanny ability to avoid detection and capture. He’d be strolling our through the front door while the police were coming in the back. Often commented on, often marvelled at. Collins himself never said how he did it and the Irish historians I’ve read also don’t know. The Colonel, on minimal data, worked it out in a flash.

    Yours is a lovely glimpse of a period of history I’ve never looked at. I see your subject banned “Trial by ordeal”. Quite right. We’re more enlightened now. We do it by lawfare. Comes to much the same and the results about as reliable. Waiting for Mr Willman to bring me up to date on Trump’s turn on the wheel. “Espionage Act” my foot.

  6. Wunduk says:

    This inscription and coat of arms belong to king Frederic of Aragon, IIIrd of his name in Sicily, not Emperor Frederic II of Hohenstaufen (died 1250). Frederic of Aragon claimed of course descent from the Hohenstaufen (explains the eagle), and through them from the Hauteville. Ruled a Sicily that was in the 14th century no longer multi-religious, but still very much in the center of the known world. What reminds me of the Colonel in him is that he had an open and animated court where many different opinions could be held, protected the Franciscans and even the Fraticelli.

    • walrus says:

      Thank you Wunduk, I have my Fredericks mixed up. I still believe our Colonel was channeling the spirit of these early kings.

  7. walrus says:

    With respect Leith, truth is the first casualty of war. There are contradictory accounts of almost every action in this conflict. Both sides believe that the other is the devil incarnate and both sides can point to plenty of evidence to support their case.

    Both sides suffer from ancestral fears of the other. The Russians it’s invasion from Europe by Teutons who don’t follow the orthodox church. For The Baltic states and Ukraine it’s the russian hordes from the East. Both sides have recent traumatic memories of such events. I have friends whose grandparents inflicted their stories on their grandchildren.

    Those stories range from the neighbour who calls herself “Princess Xxx hyphen xxxxx” when drunk and repeats her grandparents accounts of how the Soviets stole the family’s great wealth, which are today rightfully hers, to the old neighbour who cheerfully recounted his exploits as a teenager killing germans as a Polish partisan in WWII.

    These people escaped Europe to build a new life here. Those left behind were doing their level best to build modern economies. Then what happened? The Kagans, Nulands and their ilk thought it would be commercially advantageous to restoke the fires of racial hatred in Eastern Europe and have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    We started this. We provided the fuel. and continue to do so. Racial hatred provided the spark. . It will continue until either Ukraine is destroyed or America and Russia are incinerated in a nuclear exchange, taking Europe along with them. Russia isn’t going to give up. They didn’t in WWII and they won’t now. In my opinion, anyone who believes the WSJ, ISW, Atlantic and NYT and thinks differently because of it is delusional…….and that includes the likes of Peter Zeihan with his beautiful demographic shtick.

    • leith says:

      Walrus –

      You are right that Russia won’t give up. But then neither will Ukraine submit. The war will continue until Putin is pushed out of the lands he has stolen. There is no possible way he can take the entirety of Ukraine or even the Dnipro’s left bank.

      • wiz says:


        Don’t be so sure.
        Yes, Russia has a lot of problems with corruption and mismanagement and can and might implode quickly as recent events showed.
        But then again, Ukraine has many of the same problems.

        Unlike Russia, Ukraine has a clear idea of what they are fighting for and it helps them with the mobilization effort. However, as the example of US shows, you don’t have to be in an existential struggle to be able to “justify” invasion and destruction of foreign countries.

        The pressure is rising on all sides, not just Ukraine and Russia.
        Is it going towards a point of implosion or explosive release ?

        Could be both. The Japanese have some experience with things that implode and then explode.

    • CBridge says:

      Unfortunately, my knowledge of the current events are limited to what I have read recently. I do not recall reading about Russian ancestral fears of Ukraine. Is there a reading you (or anyone else) could point me toward?

      • I have researched this enough to understand what Russia quite properly and appropriately fears.
        See the first few videos in this playlist, and then the lessons from the CIA’s former top Russia analyst, Ray McGovern
        at the end of the playlist:

        I think everyone should acknowledge that Mark41s, loaded with Tomahawks carrying nuclear warheads, in territories immediately adjacent to Russia,
        are a real threat to Russia.
        Is it too much to ask that Russia’s neighbors not pose a threat to Russia?
        We should acknowledge, and even cater to, Russia’s legitimate concerns.

      • Sam says:

        Both Russia and the Eastern Europeans have legitimate security fears. It seems that those “analysts” and media personalities who stress Putin’s viewpoints here in the US always dismiss the Eastern Europeans security concerns and forget that the Russian military was an occupying force in their countries for decades.

        What is missing in this debate is that the Eastern Europeans want to ensure that Russia doesn’t throw its weight around the neighborhood anymore which Putin considers his prerogative as he fancies himself as leader of a superpower on par with the US. This war has proven that is not the case.

        There can be no long-term settlement until and unless Russia is willing to accept non-intervention in the internal affairs of Eastern Europe. A Westphalian model. That implies that the Eastern Europeans will have to rearm at scale and build a military on par with the capabilities of the Russian army as human societies don’t do kumbaya. As Thucydides observed, “Peace is an armistice in a war that is continuously going on”.

        • jld says:

          “There can be no long-term settlement until and unless Russia is willing to accept non-intervention in the internal affairs of Eastern Europe. A Westphalian model.”

          Yes, of course.
          But that’s the pot calling the kettle black!
          WTF is the US doing all over the world with 800+ military bases?

          • TTG says:


            You are absolutely right that we, the US, are not blameless. But we have left bases without being driven out. We left the Philippines and left Iraq. We were invited back by both. We should leave Guantanamo and Syria and probably a few others. We should also learn to say no to some who ask our military to come and stay. Poland now wants us to station nuclear weapons on her territory. I think that’s a bad idea, but more Aegis Ashore in Eastern Europe is fine with me. Even the possibility of a permanently based German brigade in Lithuania doesn’t bother me.

            There’s a reason all these East European countries try so hard to join NATO. Ukraine wants to join for the same reason. That reason is Russia, both historically and in her present incarnation.

          • Sam says:


            WTF is the US doing all over the world with 800+ military bases?

            Read Thucydides – “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. Nothing has changed in human affairs in millennia of human history. Forget about utopia when humans are involved.

            Putin exercised hegemony in his near abroad for decades. He Didn’t count on Ukraine and their supporters to resist so fiercely. Now, the Scandinavians and the Eastern Europeans are pushing for a stronger military alliance to deter future Russian military adventurism.

            The US will have as many bases as it wants until it can’t exercise military hegemony. Russia and China are doing the same to their abilities. Great power rivalries are not new. This idea of equivalence is nonsense. In every epoch someone or the other used their military and economic strength to do what they could. No value judgment here. Just the reality of human affairs.

          • billy roche says:

            Bismark called it real politic. 800 bases ehh. How many are there b/c America was asked? How many are there to countervail the Chinese? And how many are there b/c of hubris/stupidity. gotta count em up man.

        • jld says:

          “Forget about utopia when humans are involved.”

          Very appropriate to refer to Thucydides, this is not about utopia but about good governance: avoiding the Thucydides trap.
          Remember how the Peloponnesian War was run and ended according to Thucydides himself?

          • Sam says:

            jld, Good governance?? Lol!

            Name one major power that has good governance currently? Every major world power is ruled by a kleptocratic elite who’s only raison d’être is power.

            The US is by far the cleanest shirt in the laundry. And at least in general, the governmental apparatus recognizes that strength is important in world affairs. Wanna live under Xi’s “good governance”?

          • jld says:

            No, no, no, no that’s not what I meant by “good governance”.
            I meant, don’t blow off your own (collective) arse by falling into the Thucydides trap! 😀

          • Sam says:


            The US is far from falling into a Thucydides Trap. It is a relative world. Xi, Putin and the Iranian mullah are working hard to grow their strength to exert more influence and weaken the US-led alliance which remains unmatched globally.

            The US will continue to project strength globally as capricious as it maybe as demanded by its domestic politics. You may not like it but will have to live with it until US strength is surpassed by the next rivals.

            Nothing has changed in human behavior in millennia.

          • wiz says:


            ah, your post is a breath of fresh air.
            Absent are the usual attempts to put a positive spin or downplay the US/West’s often criminal behaviour.
            You simply state: the US does what it wants, to whoever it wants because it can.

            You also say that nothing has changed in human behavior in millennia.

            Well, there’s one important change, maybe not in human nature but in tools it uses to fight wars.

            Unlike for most of human history, we now have the means to destroy ourselves quite thoroughly.

            We’ve dodged the bullet a number of times already, but if we don’t change our ways our luck will eventually run out.

          • Sam says:

            It is entirely appropriate that the judge in Missouri v. Biden issued an injunction against the Biden Administration’s “Ministry of Truth” on July 4th.

            The capacity of the American experiment to renew itself will never stop astonishing me.

            Happy independence day!


            There remain remnants of checks & balances in the US system.

            It is the majority of American people who have changed. They don’t fear the depredations of the state like our forefathers. Instead our current generations use state power as a tool to enable an oligarchic tyranny domestically. The populace is largely engaged in partisan & ideological warfare as the oligarchy prefer.

            However, there is a latent sentiment among a minority that don’t want the government and corporations nosing into their private affairs. As Tocqueville warned when folks catch on to the pork & boondoggles then it is over. Patronage networks to launder government spend form. This minority also is keeping the candle of truly limited government with enumerated powers and absolute transparency, meaning state secret defense can’t be used to obscure malfeasance.

            The US remains the most vibrant society in today’s relative world. Chinese are fleeing Xi’s CCP utopia running across our southern border. The dreamers & entrepreneurs from around the world prefer to live their dream in America.

            Maybe some generations down, it may become fashionable to live the values of a sovereign free people.

          • Sam says:


            There’s a school of thought that nuclear weapons have become impotent. Even if Biden or Putin or Xi or Macron order a nuclear strike, the command & control apparatus may not execute. Everyone knows that the retaliation for a first strike will be complete annihilation. Of course if a death-wish cultist came to power in a nuclear weapons state anything can happen.

            Unfortunately we can’t banish wars. That’s baked in our DNA. There maybe a time however when humans are bioengineered and who knows what that generation will engineer.

    • billy roche says:

      Walrus: “we” d/n start this. Ukrainians did when they asked for independence from the Czar and Emperor Franz Joseph in 1900. They were denied but what cheek! Who did they think they were!! Ukrainians re-started this in 1917 when Russia left WW I and Austro-Hungry was on the ropes. They were again denied by the Russians (communist this time). Communist showed the Ukrainians “who was the boss” (quoting Stalin) in 31-32 with the Holodomore and 6MM Ukrainians starved to death. Damned obstinate people. Ukrainians continued to be difficult and some even donned Nazi uniforms (as did many Finns, Balts, Slovaks, and Armenians BTW) to help drive out the Russians (still communist). At the fall of the SU in ’91 Ukrainians (Balts, Armenians, and Georgians) declared themselves free men. How insensitive to Russian security could they be? Anyone interested in Slavic affairs KNEW Russia would never agree to a free Ukraine on its border. Putin chose Feb. 24th of 2022 but Ukrainians fought back. The only racial hatred comes from the Russian side. Russians believe they are superior Slavs and their neighbors inferior. NATO HAS provided the weapons. But the spark has been there since 1900. Contrary to what some would say the war is not about Russian scty. Since 1914 Russia has been invaded once (1941). OTOH Russia has invaded Germany (’14), the Baltics, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Czekoslovakia, Georgia, and Afghanistan. BTW, shall NATO accept the needs of Russian secty in the Baltics and Finland as well? The history and geography is very similar. Let’s call a spade a spade. This is a war of colonial oppression. Period.

  8. d74 says:

    Thank you, Walrus.

  9. different clue says:

    My limited knowledge allows me to risk making the following prediction.
    There will not be an armistice of any sort. The UkraNATO side and the RussiaGov side will fight eachother until one side or the other is so depleted and/or so delaminated and collapsed that it has nothing left to fight with.

    Until one side or the other side has been rendered totally combat-incapable at the brute physical depletion and destruction and/or disorganization level, neither side will stop fighting.

    If an armistice happens before one side or the other collapses into functional non-existence as a coherent entity, then my limited knowledge will have proved itself unable to get even so simple a prediction right.

    • English Outsider says:

      Different Clue – yes. It’ll likely go the distance. The war aims of the West and those of Russia are so different that it’s difficult to see how it can be otherwise.

      Even more so now that the war aims of Russia seem to have extended. At first they were after little more than a modified implementation of Minsk 2. But the blunt Russian statement of aims at the very beginning showed that there was more to it than that. “Demilitarisation and denazification” could scarcely have been done only with a Minsk 2 type arrangement. Even the later peace proposals did not go that far – and that’s if those “peace proposals” were anything more than Russian PR!

      But the main point is that any settlement of this conflict that was or might have been on the table concerned only a possible settlement in Ukraine. It seems recently, however, that the Russians have extended those aims and are linking any settlement to their December 2021 European security demands.

      A settlement between the West and Russia that involved only Ukraine was doable, if unlikely. Just possibly something might have been devised that saved face for the Western politicians and met the essential Russian demands. Can’t quite see how, myself, but the diplomats and PR men are ingenious so the necessary “off ramp” might have been found.

      But any settlement that leads to the West budging on those European security demands? No. Not for the West. Not for NATO. In practice such a settlement would mean the withdrawal of missile bases near Russia and troop concentrations stationed further away from the Russian border. There is no way that could be done without a loss of face for the Western politicians that no PR, no diplomatic legerdemain, could conceal.

      So if the Russians are serious about linking any settlement to those 2021 demands there will be no settlement arrived at. As Borrell says, this conflict will be decided on the battlefield and nowhere else. There will, as you say, be no armistice “before one side or the other collapses into functional non-existence as a coherent entity.” This war is now “existential” for both NATO and Russia and one side or the other is going to have to lose it.

      It’s been pretty obvious to me since February 2022 that that side is going to be us, merely because of the military and economic reality.

      Not that big a deal, as I saw it. The West, and particularly Europe, has been on a downward slope for years and any fiasco in Ukraine could only ever be a blip on the graph of that downward line.

      I see on the dissident sites the hope that the Ukrainian fiasco will “wake us up” and thus lead to us as voters taking action to arrest that general decline. Not a hope, my view, at least as far as my own country or Europe generally is concerned, so whatever comes of the Ukrainian venture will be largely irrelevant for us in the long run.

      Not, of course, irrelevant for the Ukrainian PBI. We’re running out of proxy. That, for me, is the main issue of this war. I regard it as a criminal act, a major war crime no less, for us in the West to be using our proxies so, whether they are willing or unwitting proxies or not.

      And it’s there that your conclusion may turn out to be premature. An end to this conflict may come about in another way.

      There are too many unknowns when it comes to Ukraine itself. We simply don’t know how much more of this the Ukrainians themselves will be prepared to take. We don’t know how deep the ultra-nationalist indoctrination of the last few years has gone. We don’t know how strong a grip the Zelensky administration has on the bulk of the people in Ukraine. We don’t know, in spite of all the floods of speculation, whether there are any factions in that administration that might be in a position to force change. We do know that the Ukrainians are taking horrendous losses and that from a rapidly diminishing population base. That is all we know for certain.

      It’s not enough to give us any firm bases to predict whether the Ukrainians themselves will call a halt. We do know that a country in extremis tends to fight on. In 1945, when it was obvious as could be that their war was lost, there were still German patriots fighting up to the last minute. And the fact that we, correctly, now view their cause as wrong doesn’t mean those German patriots didn’t fight like heroes. Similarly, though I have no time for the excesses of Ukrainian nationalism, it still has to be acknowledged that many of them are courageous and determined fighters too. The sort that will fight a lost cause to the end.

      We also know that the Ukrainians are disillusioned with us. We’ve pitched them into this war but have not backed them up. We’ve told them they are in the front line fighting for our values – and then leave them in the lurch as they fight for them. Forget about ISR assets and the latest Wunderwaffe. We have supported them with little more than words when it comes down to it. They have noticed. It may be, therefore, that we in the West will not, as is so often said, fight this war to the last Ukrainian.

      So that’s another way this war might end. It won’t end, neither of us believe, with an agreed settlement. It’ll end, many still think, with the victory of the West or, as I think, with its defeat. Or, maybe an unlikely end but still a possible one, when our proxies decide independently of us to stop the fighting.

      • different clue says:

        Thank you for your considered and heavy-time-investment reply. The thought of a ” third outcome” . . . . the “revolt of the proxies” is an intriguing one.

        I remember how up to a few years ago various outside observers admitted to the basic fact of there being some naziform and nazi-esque groups and players in Ukraine. But once Russia invaded, all the spinmasters went to work re-casting all these ultra-mega-hyper nationalist groups as ” good boys” who merely used symbols they didn’t even understand for some sort of shock value. They were NOT nazis. They are NOT nazis today.

        Yeah . . . okay. So since they are NOT nazis, I have decided to call them notzees. As in ” NOT nazi”. Notzees. Get it?
        So the Banderis, Azovis, Svobodis and Pravy Sektoris control Ukrainian politics and government by virtue of their willingness to assassinate any Ukrainian who tries for any kind of armistice with Russia, or Greater Putinistan, or whatever we want to call it. If Zelensky tries to negotiate any sort of armistice whatsover on behalf of the Ukranormal Majority if it starts facing partial functional extinction from the endless grindingness of the ongoing war, the armed members of the Ukranotzee Minori” will kill Zelensky and every member of his family. And everyone knows that everyone knows it.

        The only way that the Ukranormal Majority could achieve a “revolt of the proxy” would be if they could win a civil war of extermination against every individual member and supporter of the Banderi, Azovi, Svobodi and Pravy Sektori communities. And these communities would at the very same time try exterminating the Ukranormals into re-compliance with Ukranotzee wishes, or into extinction as the price they “deserve to pay” for not realizing the Ukranotzee Dream.

        I remember reading somewhere that Hitler, when facing his final end, wished for the German People to be entirely exterminated from the earth as the price they “deserved to pay” for “letting him down” and “failing to realize his Greater Germany dream.”

        • TTG says:

          different clue,

          Pravy Sektor, Svoboda and their most ardent supporters reached their highpoint in 2014-2016 in the Ukrainian government, military and security services. From that point, they lost influence dramatically. The tattoos are still there and they remain effective fighters, but their political power is gone. Even in their heyday, a lot of them were ardent reformers as well as being ultra-right nationalists.

          As the war dragged on and especially after 24 February 2022, Ukrainians naturally became far more nationalistic. But that nationalism was not transferred to the remaining Pravy Sektor and Svoboda types. We went through a similar burst of nationalism immediately after 9/11.

          • different clue says:

            I hope you are correct and that all this turns out better than the worst of all possible outcomes.

  10. Sam says:

    There can be no long term settlement as Putin and the Eastern Europeans have diametrically opposite aims. Putin wants to retain regional hegemony and be on the same pedestal as China and the US. The Eastern Europeans reject Putin’s regional hegemony.

    The current war could reach a temporary settlement when either side gets exhausted. Thucydides analyzed human behavior in power rivalries best.

  11. It does seem that to the state that is Ukraine, it is a civil war, between the european oriented western side and the Russian oriented eastern side. With Russia and Nato backing each side.
    Yes, there is a lot of animosity, much as there is in many regions, among peoples who have pushing and pulling on each other for hundreds and thousands of years.
    Eventually both sides will tire of this, even if it takes decades and yet they will still be neighbors.
    To our cultures, good and bad are some cosmic conflict between the forces of righteousness and evil, while in nature, it’s the basic biological binary of beneficial and detrimental, the 1/0 of sentience. What is good for the fox, is bad for the chicken.
    We can root our teams and wear the colors, or we can try to be objective. We can’t be both.
    As I say of horse racing, there are ten winners before the race and one after it.

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