Learn from Wuzzy Fuzzy Angels

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After rolling my ankle on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, I asked one of our local guides, the grandson of a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, if he had any bush cure. He pulled leaves from the seemingly impenetrable jungle and rubbed them on my right knee. The feeling was that of a thousand angry fire ants. I asked, ‘what about my ankle?’ He replied, ‘You no longer have an ankle problem’. He got me there. From there, I was thinking more about my knee and less about my ankle. This is the predicament facing the people of the United States as President Joe Biden escalates war rhetoric against Russia. A war to defend Ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries in Eastern Europe.

A lesson to be learned from walking the Kokoda Trail with the guides is how much they can tolerate compared to suburban adventurers – many guides do the trail in flip flops.

Biden’s self-inflicted domestic problems range from inflation, an invasion on the US southern border, the worst crime wave in a generation, a fentanyl epidemic and labeling parents as domestic terrorists. Now, Democrats face a potential midterm washout this year.

In this context, there are three points to consider. The first is the idea of ​​a diversionary foreign policy. With problems at home, distract voters with war. From King Henry V and the third installment of the Hundred Years’ War against France to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, there are many case studies suggesting that war was used to resuscitate a ruler’s political fortunes. . Remember Operation Desert Fox when in 1998 President Bill Clinton launched a dodgy bombing campaign on Iraq amid his Monica Lewinsky impeachment scandal? Even the Islamist extremists got into it. They went from near enemy to far enemy during the 1990s until the recent period with Isis. Realizing the implementation of their interpretation of Islam was ruinous, better to blame it on others. Focusing on foreign threats and playing the victim is what we expect from dictators, not Western democratic leaders. This is easier to do today with plenty of media demonstrating the critical thinking abilities of hand-fed pigeons.

The second point is to fight a conventional army with nuclear weapons that has never cared about human rights. When waged with extreme prejudice, war is brutal and violent, and its bloody reality offends Western leaders and commentators. In Afghanistan, the use of night raids by US special operations forces was scaled back after the BBC, NGOs and Western politicians agreed that one of the most effective tactics against the Taliban bomb-making network was an affront to the “human rights” of the jihadists. The disparity between Russia’s perception of the war and that of this new awakened Western generation was highlighted during military recruitment campaigns in 2021. Last year, the US military ran recruitment ads animated by cartoons animated with flowers and all diversity boxes checked. Think Tinker Bell. The Russian ad showed some seriously bad guys, fit and with no prisoners. Maybe new American recruits can cast spells.

It’s hard for many to accept, but we just have different values. A survey of history will reveal the untold hardships endured by the Russian and Chinese peoples over the generations. These shape the evolutionary psychology or moral DNA of a people – a concept rejected by the inclusive crowd. Twice in 2021, the US military has been beaten in wargame exercises. Once against the People’s Liberation Army of China and the second against the British Royal Marines. The team with the best and most military equipment on the planet lost – twice. Not so surprising, given that these days the US military under General Mark Milley is focused on reading Marxism and trying to understand “white rage.”

The third point is Biden’s Russian policy. It was a Chamberlain-type disaster. From removing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, thereby ensuring that Germany and France become dependent on Russian gas, to handing Putin a list of sixteen US industries he would rather not be hacked. Guess what, now everyone is scrambling to supply gas to the EU in case Putin turns off the tap.

Biden’s response continues to be weak. Virtually no financial sanctions were imposed on Putin or his cronies. Russia has deployed around 120,000 troops to the border with Ukraine, along with a pile of military hardware. Biden put 8,500 US troops on high alert without an ultimatum. That doesn’t mean they’re on the tarmac with face paint. It is once again the debacle of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The art of war is to shape the mind of an adversary. This can be done by pulling financial and economic levers as well as reducing trade and energy sources. For some it could be their reputation because they have a big ego. The goal is to avoid the fight. Napoleon said, ‘morale is physically three to one’. The ancient Greek general Epaminondas (418 – 362 BC) understood this in how he finally defeated the Spartans. His political masters were furious. They wanted a fight. Most modern Western leaders have been largely bolstered politically by a generation obsessed with social media. They lack what former US national security adviser General HR McMaster describes as “strategic empathy”. When considering how to destabilize an opponent, the opportunity lies somewhere between what they value most and where they are most vulnerable.

Once you understand this, you can have strategic empathy, rather than the current strategic narcissism. After the kidnapping of Soviet diplomats by Hezbollah in 1985, the head of the KGB was sent to deliver a message to Ayatollah Khomeini. During the conversation, something was mumbled about not always controlling nuclear weapons. The Ayatollah asked to check the translation to confirm that he had heard correctly; that the Soviets would hate for a bomb to land on Mecca or Medina. While these negotiations were going on, the Alpha group of the Soviets abducted members of the kidnapping cell and returned the castrated bodies to their cronies. It ended quickly after that.

It’s always possible that Biden and other Western leaders really know what they’re doing.

Yet, it seems no one has figured out what Putin values ​​most and what makes him most vulnerable.

Meanwhile, Biden is distracting Australia from the gravest threat to freedom in our region. The last thing the US and Australia can handle is a two-front war.

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