Monday, April 18, 2022

Ukraine Negotiation Kabuki

 Ukraine Negotiation Kabuki

Jim Kavanagh


Though they are not given much of a voice in the mainstream media, many people oppose US/NATO sending more arms to Ukraine and oppose direct Western military intervention, because they see that such actions would only prolong an inevitably lost fight “to the last Ukrainian” and/or they do not think it’s worth risking World War III in order to refuse Ukraine neutrality, Russia’s absorption of Crimea, and the independence of the Donbass republics (LDPR).

Good for all of them.

Among many of those, from left anti-imperialists to paleo-conservative realists, the discourse hinges on forgoing war for diplomacy. Let’s not send more weapons; let’s instead encourage negotiations! Negotiate, don’t escalate.

“Every war ends in negotiations,” they will say, and “we”—the US government and NATO—have to encourage Ukraine to compromise.

This attitude is well summed up in Aaron Maté’s citation of former diplomat Charles Freeman regarding US/NATO’s “disregard for diplomacy”: “Everything we are doing, rather than accelerate an end to the fighting and some compromise, seems to be aimed at prolonging the fighting." This is echoed in Noam Chomsky’s insistence that “the prime focus” should be on “moving towards a possible negotiated settlement that will save Ukrainians from further disaster.”

Here’s the thing, however, that is very important to be clear about in this situation: There is no possibility of “negotiations” or “compromise” in the optimistic sense implied—i.e., talks leading to a deal in which, in some mutually satisfactory way, each side gets and gives up something important to it.

There is no possibility of such “negotiations” or “compromise” because that already happened.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Twitter Censorship, Vaccine Risk, and Myocarditis Mumbo-Jumbo

 Twitter Censorship, Vaccine Risk, and Myocarditis Mumbo-Jumbo

Jim Kavanagh


I received this email from Twitter at 12:56 PM, Thursday, April 7, in response to a Tuesday tweet of mine:


Here is my transgressive tweet in the context of the thread as it displayed on Friday, with Twitter’s warning (It seems to have disappeared since):


The important thing here is, of course, the substance of my tweet, which is neither “misleading” nor “potentially harmful” but true. This incident prompts me to address one of my pet peeves in the vaccine mandate debate (because here, as always, the issue of the vaccine always becomes an issue of a mandate): the conversation in which stating the fact that the mRNA vaccines carry an elevated risk of myocarditis (especially to young males) is met with the riposte that “But Covid carries a greater risk!”—delivered, and usually accepted, as a mic drop that shuts down the concern over the vaccine.

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