Of course music matters. How could it not?
So, I was in the yard earlier today, cleaning up my grill for the winter and otherwise minding my own business when up there in the sky a rather large formation of USAF C-17 military transport aircraft rumbled by a few thousand feet overhead. Then an even larger formation of F-15 and F-16 fighters came along, tailing the transports. Heading northeast, as it happened.
But, you see, the thing is, there is a huge military base not far from here that focuses on preparing US ground forces to fight under extreme winter conditions. Also, I live fairly close to the Canadian border and the only relevant things northeast of here are the airways used by airliners – and military transport aircraft like the C-17 – flying between North America and Europe. But this was no big deal, I reasoned, because I didn’t see any long range refueling aircraft accompanying these formations.
So of course, cue the KC-10 Extender refueling birds, entering the scene from stage left and now dutifully following the transports and fighters on their way to heaven only knows where, yet by then I was having a full-blown moment of raging paranoia.
Why, you might ask? And why should you even care?
Well, because of a short article in the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, which earlier this week exhorted the people to begin stockpiling food. Why? Well, the first reason mentioned in the article was that climate change has been disrupting traditional sources of food. Okay, so what does this have to do with my raging paranoia? Well, first let’s take a step back for a moment. The analysis I am referring to was in a daily China brief I receive as part of a subscription with Foreign Policy, a respected (read: not really too biased) journal put out by and for diplomats and other assorted foreign policy wonks (yes, this includes yours truly, once upon a time, anyway). So, the analysis concluded that both recent flooding and ongoing supply chain disruptions have really put a big dent in the Chinese food supply system. Okay? With me so far?
But also hidden in this article, in the CCP People’s Daily, was another little tidbit, namely that people needed to stock up on food because war over Taiwan now appears inevitable. Read that last sentence again and let the implications wash over you for a moment, then let’s put that in our pipe and smoke it for a while, because as funny as this information is…it is not by any stretch of the imagination the funniest thing that happened last week.
No, for an advanced course in human levity we need to amble on over to Ukraine and to a press conference held by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, late last week. Mr. Zelenskiy advised that multiple intelligence services had uncovered a plot to overthrow the Zelenskiy government, and that approximately a billion USD had been invested by sources in Russia to initiate a coup d’état on or about the first of December.
Okay, so no big deal, right? Putin is always pulling off this kind of crap. It’s his main thing, ya know?
Except that Putin has been moving elite armored and other mechanized units to the west, amassing these units along not just Ukraine’s border, but also into a position to strike Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. Into NATO’s eastern flank, you might say.
So, two big questions come to mind now:
- Russia and China are allegedly allies these days, so is there a coordinated effort to divide US forces at play here and now?
- Has intelligence exposing the coup attempt changed the timing of any potential invasion of NATO and/or Taiwan?
And why now? In December, of all things? Well, Russia has a much shorter supply chain to protect, and any effort by NATO to resupply a winter campaign would face the usual extreme weather challenges. Implicit here is Russia expecting to fight a brief war with very limited objectives. So…
Why Taiwan? Why now? Well Xi can no longer appear weak on the issue as he’s been pushing the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland for too long, and guess who’s facing an election? Well, kind of an election, because, well, you know…let’s not go there right now other than to say that Xi dare not appear weak on the issue RIGHT NOW.
And in the United States? We have Sleepy Joe Biden in the White House.
Sleepy Joe Biden. Let’s put that in our pipe and smoke that, too.
Because if Russia and China are banking on Biden being an indecisive dove, well, shit, about all I can say is they’ll be making a really big mistake, a mistake of historic proportions. Joe Biden is about as articulate a president in the foreign policy arena that we could have at a time like this, yet Republicans have painted a portrait of Biden as a doddering incompetent who is drooling his way to the old folks home. Putin knows better, so I assume Xi does as well, so why is the Russian’s propaganda machine (and by that I mean Fox News) piling on the ‘Biden has dementia’ byline? Could it be they want to set the stage for another little coup attempt over here to get things going again? Another January 6th action to really shake us up? Destabilize the US so our response to protect both Taiwan and NATO would be hamstrung by domestic political divisions?
So yeah, food for thought.
There’s another narrative floating around out there in the Facebook Metaverse that’s been gaining traction since the beginning of the pandemic, and this one is absolutely loaded with raging paranoia.
So yeah, one of the Big Things floating around in places like Davos is this thing some people have been calling the Great Contraction. The GC has a simple premise, namely that there are too many people on the planet and the best, most expeditious way to save the planet from climate collapse is to, well, get rid of a bunch of people without destroying the planet in the process – because, let’s face it, global thermonuclear war would get rid of a bunch of people but the rest of the planet would pretty much be gone, too. Not exactly an optimal outcome, ya know?
So why not make an easily modifiable virus and turn it loose?
Well, the thing is, when you drink enough Paranoid Brand® KoolAid, all this virus stuff begins to sound pretty good. Logical, even.
That’s why the “good vaccines” are only making it to the places where you find the “good people” – aka White Republicans who watch Fox News or OAN. Except those folks aren’t exactly lining up to take the vaccine, are they? And both Fox and OAN claim that vaccines are laden with microchips or guacamole with too much cilantro or God only knows what, so taking the vaccine makes you, at the very least, a commie sympathizer. Which is bad. Except that Trump and Putin, well, you know.
Again, let’s not go there. Really, why bother?
That’s the problem with paranoia. Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, right?
So, what’s the point here?
Well, there are a bunch of people out there who still think that nuclear wars are ‘winnable’ and unfortunately a bunch of those people are in the Soviet, uh, no, that’s the Russian Duma, their version of our Congress – only a little less bat-shit crazy. Maybe Mr. Putin thinks he can win a short war over Ukraine, and maybe even a couple of small Baltic states thrown in for good measure, too. And maybe Xi thinks getting his hands on Taiwan will be an easy, bloodless affair. And maybe Putin and Xi think that Sleepy Joe Biden will be the biggest pushover since Chamberlain.
But here’s my takeaway, my two cents – for what it’s worth, if you will.
The skies over central Wisconsin were full today. Full of troops, I’d say. Well trained, battle-hardened troops. Troops being sent in harm’s way, full of angry purpose, because the defense of Europe is as vital today as it has ever been. My guess is troops are headed out over the Pacific, if they aren’t out there already. I hope that Putin and Xi pay close attention to this and pull back from the brink. Failing that, I hope someone reminds them to watch Dr. Strangelove, because war is about nothing so much as it about unintended consequences.
As for all this vaccine bullshit? Well, so far I’ve had three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and I’m now absolutely convinced my jabs were absolutely full of extra guacamole. And I know this is true because my farts now smell like cilantro, so what else could possibly be behind it all?
Sorry. Bad pun.
Must be time to go.
Really, I’m so sorry. I just can’t help myself.
But remember, Christmas is almost upon us, so get out and spend some money. And don’t forget to spend a little on yourself, just go easy on the guacamole.