72 Comments

"...comically obtuse MAGA village groveller..." I nominate this for TheLine's 2024 phrase of the year.

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So many people think that nothing matters except what directly affects them. Other people don't even exist.

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founding

Frankly you have completely missed the mark on this.

Reality 1: The West has no more artillery shells to give Ukraine. The US war stock is so low that it fears a conflict emerging that will require massed fires. They just don’t have the bombs to fight that kind of war. Nations like Canada are, despite all their promises, still not producing more artillery shells. This late summer Canada will begin producing 18,000 shells, and none of those are earmarked for Ukraine. Why? Because the Canadian Army in Latvia has only a days worth of ammunition to fight with. 18,000 shells are about a month’s worth of shells at the rate Ukraine uses them btw.)

Specialized artillery ammunition is another issue. Germany’s much acclaimed anti armour artillery shells (SMArt155) have yet to restart production due to sub component availability issues. These are not expected to start production until 2027, even though the order was made back in 2022!

The same is true for other systems as well. Tanks? lol good luck, production is slow and parts are difficult to come by. Small arms? Still woefully low production rates and at the rate Ukrainians are burning through it we probably don’t make enough to keep them supplied unless we dramatically increase production rates.

Why is it all so slow? For one, Globalization. We depended on it, and it’s not working anymore. Another issue is that NATO didn’t ever really plan of fighting a major conflict in Europe after the end of the Cold War. Even the USA required its defense industry to provision a limited conflict. The idea of massed fires, high losses of material and people was not on anyone’s mind when they designed our current war production capabilities.

The result is that we simply do not have the means to adequately support Ukraine and our own immediate pressing needs.

Reality 2: It is highly improbable that the Ukrainians can win this war. By win I mean take back all the Russia has taken. This is a fact that no serious military thinker finds contentious. Even if the war takes 10 more years and the Ukrainians get every bit of ammunition they ask for, it’s just not possible. They are 10x smaller than Russia. They are running out of fighting age males. Their economy is destroyed, they may not even have the population left to be a country after this war is done. So what is to be done with this reality?

Choice one. Get the Ukrainians to fight the Russians on behalf of NATO until the last Ukrainian draws their last breath.

Choice two. Find a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

Choice three. NATO goes to war against Russia.

You would have to be a genocidal maniac to want the first or third choice so I think it’s appropriate to look for an exit for Ukraine that offers at least a hope of survival.

Reality 3: This isn’t a MAGA, conservative or Progressive liberal issue. The war must end because the West can’t afford it, Ukraine can’t take it, and no one wants this escalating further. Biden is pushing for peace( he really doesn’t want this as an issue on the upcoming election) France and Germany are pushing of peace, and oh, Trump wants peace too.

Reality 4: War is really really awful. We don’t get clean tidy wins very often. Almost always there are terrible unintended consequences to the decisions to go to war. Russia is experiencing that right now, but so is NATO. This conflict will end in the next 6-12 months. When it does the lesson should be, find peaceful solutions and never ever trust the assurances of the USA that they will get your back when you turn down a fairly reasonable peace offer from your enemy. (Cough cough… Minsk Accords…cough..)

Oh yeah orange man bad. Conservatives are stupid…. Got it.

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As someone whose grandfather came to Canada after fighting with the British all over the world in WW2 (he was a Polish school teacher in his early 20's in 1939), I am disgusted that anyone with even a sixth grade understanding of world history wouldn't want to support Ukraine with every fiber of their being.

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Robert suggests that 'the west can't afford it". I wholeheartedly disagree. The 18,000 shells we ordered are earmarked for Latvia? Then order 18,000 more. We have not ordered Any extra shells since the war began, 24 months ago, yet we profess - both sides of the house - to support Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'. For as long as it takes them to run out of ammo?

Canada and its allies spent enormously last century in the defeat of fascist Germany. The Americans spent enormously firther with the Marshall plan and Berlin airlift so secure that peace. We invested fifty years and untold billions fighting a Cold War with the Soviet Union. These expenditures did not seem to cripple the postwar western economies, rather the opposite. And now we're not Really sure who's at fault over the Ukraine Invasion? It's appalling. This is the only reason we've Ever needed 155mm shells - a war with Russia. Now they're on a war footing and we don't want to get our arms makers excited with a few extra PO's? Because the long-tail supporters of our major parties are either marxist flunkies like Niki Ashton or Trump-fogged Putin sympathizers. Both parties need to stop kowtowing to their respective fringes. The MAGA fans are not going to vote Liberal, and the anti-colonial/capitalists are not going to throw Justin under the bus in favor of the conservatives. So - again, to both parties - stop reading polls and start selling and educating a responsible position here with some leadership.

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Canadians are living in a bit of a dream world and our geography has permitted this. We don't really feel endangered and so we do a lot of tut tutting and shoulder shrugging. Ukraine ain't so lucky.

But what we don't perhaps grasp is that we have signed up for a very serious treaty called NATO. We are obliged to go to the wall for Latvia, Finland, Poland and other 'frontline' states. We can fight in Ukraine, or we can fight at a disadvantage in front of Riga. Can you conceive of Canada actually mobilising its armed forces to meet our commitments? Can you conceive of Canada actually sacrificing 'butter' for 'guns' in order to fulfill our obligations? Pretty hard to so imagine. We have dental programmes and pharmacare to fund - with debt so that our children can pay for it at their leisure.

We are a mess but, good news, as noted by Potter, we are not alone. There is much company in the Ostrich Farm in which we seemingly reside. I sometimes wonder if we have the mentalite to actually buckle down and sacrifice as was done during the Great War and the Second World War. We all believe such atavistic forces are ancient history never to be repeated. I'm not so sure that we are that secure but I am sure we are stunningly complacent about the world in which we live.

Things may get more real, God forbid, in the coming decade depending on what happens down south, which is looking pretty alarming these days, as well as with flash points linked to China, Iran, North Korea and Russia - all of whom are running out of rope to play with. Lashing out on foreign adventures has always been the option of distraction from domestic troubles. The table is well set for that eventuality.

Not fun times.

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Beautiful ending. Ukraine is certainly more of a real country than Canada feels like these days.

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I hate being lied to. Republicans aren't the issue. Trump isn't the issue. Let me ramble a bit:

I'm a genX'er. Grew up during the cold war. Russia was the undoubtable enemy. Reagan, evil empire, Tom Clancy novels, stuff like that. I've noticed a change in myself, and I don't know if it's age or cynicism or wisdom.

Looking back on the last decade, I would have backed Ukraine unconditionally. I have friends of that heritage, and they're great people. It would have been great for them to have a homeland to go visit from time to time. Definitely pro-Ukraine.

Until: the moment of Victoria Nuland's "Fuck the EU" blip while she picked the next Ukraine leadership. At that point I can say I became neutral; it's just another puppet regime of American interests.

When Putin took Crimea, I thought, OK, not great, but there's some claims Russia can make. Let's hope it ends there. Even Obama said Russia had "escalatory dominance". He's no military man, but he gets it. He sends blankets.

When 2022 happened, I was thinking this was a bluff, a negotiation tactic against the Nuland-gang. Let's see what happens. Ukraine puts up a valiant defense, good for them, but there's no way they can keep it up. They're kidding themselves. They burn through a decade of NATO production in a few months. Who knows what their KIA count is.

Then: Nordstream is blown up. German-owned civic infrastructure. At that point I can say I dropped all interest and sympathy for Ukraine. Sorry. It's like Germany is the beautiful girlfriend and her jealous boyfriend USA smashes her cell phone to keep her from talking to her neighbors. I'm not going to believe ANYTHING coming out of NATO (article5?) mouths. Yet we're supposed to believe the lie that Russia blew it up when they could just close the taps.

All the lies. Putin's got cancer, they're running out of rockets, the Ruble will be rubble. Akin to the WWII "japanese soldiers have bad eyes and can't fight in the night". Total bullshit.

I am not sending my sons to fight and die for these lies. It has nothing to do with MAGA or nasty Conservatives. Why hasn't Canada spun up 155mm ammunition production? Don't need Trump for that. Don't need Republicans for that. EU can do it but they won't either. Why not? Do we even have the upgrades to our pistols yet? We've got tampons in men's bathrooms, tough. Pathetic. We send a handful of M777 and leopards. Probably burned up or broken down by now. A fucking free trade deal? That's our big move?

The issue isn't Poilievre. It's people who talk big but won't make a real decision, a real sacrifice. People who kid themselves that it'll be easy to beat Russia, just a gas station masquerading as a country. Some gas station. Some country.

I'm so sick of being lied to I'm prepared to give Putin's lies a chance and watch Tucker's interview. Lies in a new language at least.

Maybe deep down we all know we're being lied to. That's why we're not building 155mm ammo. Or anything. That's why we're betraying them.

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Feb 9·edited Feb 9

Well said! I for one, don’t understand any reluctance to support Ukraine. Putin has a long term vision and it doesn’t stop with Ukraine. He needs secure borders that he can hold with a minimum number of rapidly dwindling troops. Russian demographics are terminal. Its now or never. Those secure borders are the Baltics (where we have Canadian troops stationed), Poland up to Warsaw (anchored on the Baltic Sea and the Carpathians) and well inside Romania in the Bessarabia Gap (anchored on the Black Sea and the Carpathians.

If this doesn’t come to a negotiated settlement soon and Russia takes Ukraine, Canada will need to rearm heavily or prepare for another Hong Kong moment for our troops in Latvia. WWIII is on our doorstep.

"Si vis pacem, para bellum"

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The US perspective makes no sense:

-the war is an opportunity to destroy one of the democratic world's biggest threats without putting US military personnel at significant risk

-most of the weapons will be purchased from American companies

-American companies will gain many of the contracts to rebuild Ukraine

-drawing Ukraine into the EU and NATO will open up new markets for American companies

-wiping the last vestiges of Soviet culture off the map would send the right message to other autocratic regimes

-eliminating Russia's military capabilities now will be far easier than doing so when it makes a move on one of the Baltics or Poland

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the US and EU should issue secondary sanctions against all nations who continue to interact with Russia, and for NATO to prepare to throw everything non-nuclear that it's got at Russia and end this soon.

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I think there are many things at conflict here, starting with how critical thinking really isn't encouraged in schools, and the favored lever to pull is instead to censor things as misinformation and disinformation. (Some of those things ARE misinformation and disinformation - but some of those things are just things that are inconvenient truths that go against the story that is being told to most people and narratives seem to matter more than truth these days.)

What is the truth of Ukraine? I don't know if any of us truly know. Which makes me fall squarely in the position of not being invested in the war in Ukraine. There are Ukrainians who support Russia, and there are Ukrainians who don't. Who am I - a Canadian - to believe is in the right? I think it's wrong for those of us outside the country to have any strong opinions about the situation. I can denounce war crimes. I can say that some of the things Russia has done aren't right. But what about Zelensky? How trustworthy do I really think he is? (I don't think he's trustworthy either - he's spent a lot of time touring and selling the "woe is me" narrative of the Ukraine - but aside from some photos, he doesn't seem to have been an active participant in the war.)

There are many things wrong with the Ukraine and Russia situation. I would generally say that I don't think it was right of Russia to start the war. But I certainly won't claim to have any opinion on how it should end - and I don't really support Canadian funds going to support Ukraine when there are so many people homeless and addicted to drugs on our own streets. If we can't take care of meeting the basic needs of Canadians, I fail to see why millions or billions of dollars should be sent to Ukraine - or why we should involve ourselves in a complex international conflict that is beset with propaganda from both sides.

Tucker Carlson may be a tool. (I think he's likely fickle and is riding his 30 seconds of fame right now.) BUT I also don't think this interview should be censored. I think it's much more important that light be shone on truth - and people be encouraged to learn how to identify truth. (What resources do you use? How do you know when you're being exposed to propaganda? What is the goal of the propaganda? Is all propaganda negative? Is all propaganda false or can it also be truthful? Where does "mostly truth" become a lie? hint, anything that isn't truth is a lie, but it's pretty well known that the victor gets to write history.) There are conversations that need to be had that I think largely aren't happening. Maybe this article is a start - but I would suspect most people will pick out what they do or don't agree with rather than really engaging in the more difficult discussion of when is aid more than just words? What are we willing to give up from our own peace and security in the interest of helping another nation? (We took in a whole lot of refugees - so we removed people from Ukraine - not sure if that is a net good or net harm though given the current inflation and cost of living crisis happening here. Are those who came to Canada living a better life here? Safer, most likely. But I don't know about better.)

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It's pretty simple, and obvious at this point. Western Conservatism on both countries is an arm of Trump's GOP. It's allied with Putin, and seeks to enable him while destroying democracy here. Most western foreign policy experts describe the abandonment of Ukraine as an "own goal" of epic proportions that will take decades to recover from. Canadian Conservatives are running the same policies, the same idiotic attacks on trans and gay people, abortion(you can pretend it doesn't exist in Canada; it does) to get everyone riled up, and cause them to ignore what is really going on; the completion of the oligarchs retaking the power they had in the 1800s as a new form of royalty. Conservatism as we knew it is gone; it has morphed into modern day fascism. Trudeau is a complete and total disaster....yet he's light years better than what is on the horizon.

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You just had to know that Western patience would eventually ebb as it always does when help is required. Throughout the war it seems as though there was just enough help contributed to keep the Ukrainians from being completely overrun instead of going full defence from the outset. The initial quote that the West would help until the last drop of (Ukrainian) blood was shed doesn’t seem that cynical anymore. Heads up Europe. You’re next.

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Let's face facts. The Liberals haven't been able to deliver on what they've already promised. The Free Trade deal is fluff. We've exhausted our resources and have nothing left to give, We can't outfit our own Armed Forces, we have no capacity to build materiel. We aren't Ukraine's ally and owe more to Nato than we will ever be able to deliver. If there weren't so many Canadian-Ukrainians this government would have treated Ukrainians the same as they treated the Uighurs.

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Perhaps the citizens of North America and Europe see their elected leaders as "the orks". Lots of fear mongering! Our governments lost so much credibility following the lockdowns that many of us just don't believe anything they profess to us. Our Leaders are obsessed with providing tens of billions $ in Ukranian assistance and totally ignore negotiations. Who wins under this strategy? Definitely not the voters.

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Excellent and, unfortunately, very realistic article. I wanted to share the article on FB, but

"News content can't be shared in Canada: In response to Canadian government legislation, news content can't be shared.".....

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