Original Sin And Planes In The Air
Original Sin And Planes In The Air
The original sin of the current catastrophe in Ukraine was the failure of the US and UK to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine when Putin’s Russia seized control of Crimea as they promised to do in the Budapest Accord of 1994 when Ukraine gave up the third-largest stock of nuclear weapons in the world. They are also now in violation of that Accord now by their weak effort to save Ukraine. They can and should enforce a no fly zone over Ukraine, which I believe they can enforce. This is not about NATO; it is about right and wrong. This is not boots on the ground; it is planes in the air.
A “no-fly zone” in Ukraine is a catastrophically bad idea
The West can’t treat Putin like he’s Saddam Hussein.
By Zack Beauchamp@email@example.com Feb 27, 2022, 10:21am EST
As the war in Ukraine gets bloodier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly urged members of the NATO alliance to “close the skies.” This appears to be a request for a “no-fly zone” — deploying NATO aircraft to Ukrainian airspace in order to block Russia from using its air force in support of the invasion.
This notion is attracting support in the West. A leading Ukraine expert, a retired US general, and even some politicians in NATO states have proposed such a move. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), for example, tweeted on Friday that the US should “declare a #NoFlyZone over Ukraine” designed to disrupt Russia’s air operations and “give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight.”
This is a catastrophic idea. Stripped of cant, the US announcing a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be an American declaration of war on Russia — the first major conflict between the two nations that, put together, control 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.
“A No Fly Zone is not a magical umbrella that prevents planes flying in a given area. It’s a decision to shoot at planes that fly in a given area,” explains Olga Oliker, the International Crisis Group’s director for Europe and Central Asia. “To put in a no fly zone is to go to war.”
The Biden administration appears to recognize the risk. In a Thursday press conference, President Biden categorically ruled out direct US intervention in Ukraine: “Our forces are not — and will not — be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine.” This effectively takes any meaningful no-fly zone off the table, and there is no sign the president will change his mind…
[A NFZ over Ukraine is being considered in the EU though. Whatever keeps the nuclear bulls from butting heads is better than glowing in the dark.]
With a no fly zone what happens when a US or NATO plane gets shot down?
It crashes :<)
Exactly . . .
US direct confrontation will only drive the issue to another level. You don’t need to be in the air to shoot a plane. Give Ukraine the ManPad missiles.
They “can and should enforce a no fly zone over Ukraine”? Neither the should nor the can in this formulation is even close to certain. Does Rosser think that the Baltics and Poland and possibly farther west are not going to be attacked in short order if NATO goes into this war? If you want a big war, okay make the case for it. A no fly zone = NATO all-in on this and not just in Ukraine.
I wonder where you draw the line. Are we so afraid of the Russians that we will let them take over the world one threat at a time? I don’t think the Brits (not even Chamberlain) were so stupid they thought Hitler would stop with Czechosovakia, but they bought enough time to catch up with their readiness to fight a modern war.
Biden may be doing that…though we have had 80 years to get ready and spent a lot of money. I am not smart enough for subtleties here. Biden et al may be smarter than I am. But my experience as far as it goes says Putin could have been stopped either before or during the first hour of the invasion. That would have been a good lesson for everyone. Even now, the russians could be stopped in a couple of hours if we hit them …inside Ukraine…with what we already have.
I am pretty much of a pacifist, but sometimes the best way to maintain the peace is with a fist.
All we had to do in the relative outback of Syria was shoot down a couple of Russian jet fighters to prevent them from deliberately bombing hospitals and schools and anyplace else they could have thought where they could inflict max civilian casualties — to assist Assad in systematically carpet bombing his entire country into submission.
More than 400,000 have died because of the Syrian conflict since 2011, according to the World Bank, with 5 million seeking refuge abroad and over 6 million displaced internally, according to UN agencies. By June 2017, the UN also estimated that 540,000 people were still living in besieged areas.
5 million seeking refuge abroad and over 6 million displaced internally, according to UN agencies. By June 2017, the UN also estimated that 540,000 people were still living in besieged areas.
Estimates of the total number of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, by opposition activist groups, vary between 494,438 and about 606,000 as of June 2021.
At some point you have to get your guts up. The Russians deliberately shot down 2 Korean airliners for the sin of getting lost in their airspace — how much offense could they take?
But not for shooting down the Russian air force en masse on the border of their heartland. Too much danger for losing too much face over that.
“All we had to do in the relative outback of Syria was shoot down a couple of Russian jet fighter”
Hard to even measure how insane this thought process is.
Ron and Eric,
This is not about NATO, at least not from me. This is about the responsibility of the US and the UK to protect the “political independence” and “territorial integrity” of Ukraine, which Russia also agreed to do in 1994 under the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding to give it its precise name, when Ukraine gave up the third largest pile of nuclear weapons in the world. We failed Ukraine in 2014, but we really owe it to them now.
This is also not about Syria. The US never signed any agreement about doing anything in Syria, and Russia has long been deeply allied to the Syrian government going back way into the Soviet period. Not the same at all.
And to all of you, for all the scare talk of this being catastrophic, the US air force is still way far superior to that of Russia. Our people would clean their clocks if they dared trying to contest it.
Germany’s chancellery announced Saturday evening that it will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine “as quickly as possible.”
Netherlands supply 50 Panzerfaust-3 anti-tank weapons and 400 rockets, the ministry said in a letter to parliament. Also sends 200 air defense rockets.
Czech Republic has already agreed to donate some 4,000 pieces of artillery shells and hand weapons
Slovakia sends artillery ammunition and fuel worth a total of 11 million euros.
France and Belgium are also in support.
The European Union is also buying supplies for Ukraine.
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lativia, Lithuania, etc. have all condemned Putin and Russia.
When I traveled through parts of Europe, the US was always an issue. There is not a hole big enough for Russia to hide. and yes, Ukraine’s veterans are fighting back also. You are right on the US air force. Land forces are good also.
Already understood that this is not about NATO, but it is about where things might go if the US and Russia were going head to head over Ukraine. I was just posting an alternative view from Vox. I am 73 and what with climate change, then I do not believe the stakes are really so high that we should not risk WW-III thermonuclear war. I just do not have that much to lose now myself, but younger folk might think differently about this.
In a way though it is also about NATO, since NATO’s actions are US actions by proxy. So neither NATO nor the US can actually enter into military action against Russia without entering a war that the world has been fearing for over 70 years.
The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances refers to three identical political agreements signed at the OSCE conference in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994 to provide security assurances by its signatories relating to the accession of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers: the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. … (Wikipedia)
Signed by (representatives of?) Boris Yeltsin, Tony Blair & Bill Clinton, and parties from the 3 former SSR’s. Ostensibly to remove from the latter states the nuclear warheads they had received from Russia, which were considered a grave security risk. Ostensibly their national security was to be guaranteed by the Memorandum. How that was to be implemented was apparently never worked out. Perhaps a ‘Scout’s Honor’ sort of agreement.
Not the finest hour for Blair, Clinton, or Yeltsin, as it turned out. The big powers got the nuclear material, the lesser states got not much as it turns out, in the face of Russian intransigence by Yeltsin’s successor.
I am afraid it comes down to just how crazy Putin is. I assume he is bluffing with the nukes, but can we take the chance? It is clear that some people at AB don’t want to take the chance, but I worry that stops them from thinking about other ways to help Ukraine.
In any case, it is clear that Putin must be stopped, or he’ll be knocking at the gate again very soon. and giving China bit ideas.
clearly if we are not willing to cut off his oil trade, we are not serious about stopping him.
or maybe the President’s men are smarter than I am. hoping, not betting.
Failure on the part of Russia might give China a warning.
Everything is in the balance right now.
it works both ways. if they shot down KAL007 for violating it’s airspace. what might they do if we shot down enough of their air force to get their attention?
It is far from clear that KAL007 was shot down as a result of a deliberate decision, rather than as part of a series of blunders. As when USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655.
When things heat up, nobody and no country is innocent.
EVERYTHING is far from clear. But we always have to work from our best guess. not that ‘oo shot ‘oo is relevant anymore.
…and if your comment was a reply to mine, note that I said “if…”. and my point was in reply to Denis’ logic that since the Russians shot down one of ours first, they coud have no objection to our shooting down some of theirs, especially since KAL was “innocent” and invading Ukraine is not.
personally I am all for shooting down Russian planes bombing Ukraine, but I felt the need to point out that “ethical equivalence” is not a reliable predictor of human behavior. Urprisingly enough “tit for tat” is…according to the psychologists who study animals in laboratories. but among people tit is always bigger than tat in the eyes of the beholder and things go to hell from there.
but invading another country behind a nuclear bluff is a very dangerous act. and if we have the power to stop it…or had the power to deter it, we MUST act. I am hoping at this point that our beloved leaders are doing someting more intelligent than what i had in mind.
i think Ukraine is a bit different from Saddam, maybe not so different morally than Grenada, Panama, 2nd Iraq, Afghanistan , but those cases did not amount to a practical threat to the rest of the world, so they were not sufficiently provocative for the rest of the world to impose sanctions on us, let alone shoot down our planes.
How does one simultaneously embrace the idea that Putin is a rational actor (which Rosser must be thinking if a no-fly zone is rational for the US and/or GB to impose) along with “Vladimir V. Putin Loses His Mind And Becomes A War Criminal? Have I entered the Twilight Zone?
but since i did not say either of those things, why are you asking me?
for what it is worth, i have learned in a long lifetime that you can’t trust anyone to be a rational actor. but neither can you safely cave in to the threats of a bully. of course you hear that sort of thing all the time from fairly stupid and not-honest people. all i can say is you make your best guess and take your chances. so far, it is looking to me like Biden’s guess may be better than mine, but we’ll have to wait and see since we can’t do a damn thing about it.
It is always wise to stay away from zones of conflict or war. We tend to shoot and say, “Aww shit” later and ” what the hell were you doing here?”
off topic and maybe irrelevant: I was catching up on my old childhood stomping grounds “six-corners.” It appears they are going to convert the Sears building to upper income housing with 7 set aside for lower incomes and give a $2 million donation to Chicago. My comment was buried deep in a thread belonging to Ken Melvin. Gentrification of what were working class neighborhoods. Jack Paschen of Novak is heading up this conversion.
Paschen is a familiar name to me from the fifties when Chris Paschen had a construction company where my father worked. Chris died and Paschen Brothers followed up. They went out of business. Then Mertes came into being. I worked for Mertes for a while before the Corps. Rigging scaffolds and laboring then.
Speaking of Chris Paschen, there is a small park in Chicago (1932 W. Lunt Ave.) named for him, that may well be – and certainly should be – renamed for the Pollard family https://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/rogers-park-west-ridge-looks-to-honor-the-pollards-its-first-black-family/
Nothing is forever and it appears there is good reason to do this renaming. Besides his many achievements . . . He has to be a good person; he went to Lane Tech like I did! That in itself is notable. It appears Lane Tech is renaming their football field after Fritz Pollard. More people will know of Fritz due to the renaming.
Do you know Professor Tassos Malliaris over at Loyola? I am assuming you may be faculty.
It is very reassuring & comforting, at least, that most democracies around the world are joining in support of the struggling democracy in Ukraine. There’s a lesson in this.
the delicate state of democracy
Sacramento Bee – Feb 27
(Democracies may be imperiled around the world, but they &
their citizens are speaking & acting up, which is most impressive.)
UN calls rare General Assembly session on Ukraine
Reuters – Feb 27
The Budapest Accord was hardly a defense pact. Basically, the Ukraine wanted it for the money and to get the damn nuclear weapons out of their territory, and the rest of the signees wanted nuclear weapons restricted. The response to Crimea was exactly was the Accord called for. Love the idea that an appeal to the UN Security Council meant anything when it was signed with Russia having veto power.
Does anyone understand the Russian Central bank’s actions today?
They’re providing liquidity (by reducing reserves) and at the same time increasing interest rates. Are the interest rates just to prevent a run on the banks? Does the central bank dictate the common lending rates?
Think you are correct in trying to prevent a run on the banks. Hard to imagine it will affect the decisions of the vast majority of the public. No one is really interested in the interest rate on a couple of shekels.
I do not see where you are coming from with your claim that the response to Crimea was just what the Budapest Memorandum. Heck, Putin’s grab of Crimea was also in violation of the UN Charter. it probably was popular in Crimea at the time, although things have not been all that great for people there since except for pensioneers, and it was popular at the time in Russia. There is a strong case for Crimea ultimately belonging to Russia, although I think this should not be internationally accepted until after Putin is gone, given how he did it.
The bank run in Russia already started, so the central bank actions may be more about stopping it rather than “preventing one.” Too late for the latter.
Here is the response called for by the Budapest Memorandum in the case of Ukraine being attacked. Total waste of time, particularly when Russia has veto power over this “immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine.”
4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;”
4 hours ago – World
Scoop: Zelensky pushes Biden on no-fly zone
Jonathan Swan, Zachary Basu, Sophia Cai
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging President Biden and NATO to impose a “no-fly zone” over “significant parts” of the country, telling Axios in a statement that Ukraine “can beat the aggressor” if the Western allies “do their part.”
Why it matters: President Biden has ruled out sending U.S. troops to fight Russia in Ukraine. That pledge extends to a no-fly zone, which would require the U.S. military to potentially directly engage Russian air forces, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stressed on Monday.
Driving the news: Zelensky, who remains in Ukraine under siege from Vladimir Putin, said in a statement to Axios provided through an adviser: “If the West does this, Ukraine will defeat the aggressor with much less blood.”
But, but, but: “Here’s what’s important for everybody to know about a no-fly zone: What that would require is implementation by the U.S. military. It would essentially mean the U.S. military would be shooting down Russian planes,” Psaki told MSNBC.
The big picture: Zelensky’s passionate appeals to the West have yielded major steps on sanctions and military aid that would have been unthinkable two weeks ago. But direct military engagement with Russia via a no-fly zone has so far been a red line.
Between the lines: In Washington, only a very hawkish minority is publicly advocating a no-fly zone.
Kinzinger’s call was met with prompt criticism from members of both parties.
and then there is this:
How the US Started a New Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It
Nothing justifies the Russian invasion, but there is a more insidious reality at work beneath the surface of this classic morality play.
MEDEA BENJAMIN, NICOLAS J.S. DAVIES
February 28, 2022
I report. You decide.
I did. Nicely. Didn’t even use the “F” word.