Brigitte’s pet flunks Russia

Flying home after the Munich Peace Conference, Manny Macron delivered himself of a speech that shows how much work his teacher Brigitte still has to do.

M et Mme Macron

Oh well, a woman’s work is never done, as they say, which may explain why they get paid less. Still, as a former teacher myself, I think I can discern a few areas colleague Brigitte should focus on, logic being the prime one.

But judge for yourself: “I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine,” said Manny, “… but I am convinced that the end will not come militarily.”

How else, out of curiosity? Defeat and its dialectical antithesis victory are, in the context of war, strictly military concepts. Most wars end with the victory for one side and defeat for the other. Sometimes the warring parties fight to a draw followed by negotiated peace, but in that case the word ‘defeat’ doesn’t apply.

I do hope the fence Manny is trying to sit on is wide enough, for otherwise he may develop proctological problems. He did, however, come off the fence to attack those who prefer more comfortable intellectual seats.

“I do not think like some people that Russia should be totally undone [and] attacked on its own soil. These observers want above all to crush Russia. That has never been France’s position and never will be.”

First, I’m not aware of any Ukrainian politician, nor of any Eastern European ones Manny seems to have in mind, who see their war objective as marching into Moscow. The Ukrainian government clearly defines victory as kicking every Russian soldier out of every inch of Ukrainian soil. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

For Putin that outcome would indeed constitute a defeat, a crushing one. And, as we’ve already established, Manny wants Russia to be defeated. That means he wants it crushed, except that he doesn’t.

Time for Brigitte to give him six of the best… on second thoughts, pause that suggestion. Manny might like it.

Then Manny clarified his position, or rather didn’t, by explaining that he supported a decisive – though evidently not crushing – Ukrainian offensive, but only to “disturb the Russian front in order to prompt a return to negotiations”.

You can return only to something that has already taken place, which no negotiations so dear to Manny’s heart have. Here his deficit of logic is exacerbated by intellectual vacuity and moral turpitude.

He doesn’t understand, or rather chooses not to, that for as long as Putin is at the helm he’ll never accept the existence of a sovereign, West-leaning Ukraine. For losing the Ukraine would put paid to Russia as a once and future empire.

Russia can no more be an empire without the Ukraine than Britain could be without India. Except that Britain can retain her functioning polity without an empire and Russia can’t. Imperial ambitions are her primary, increasingly sole, legitimising claim.

Hence, even assuming for the sake of argument that Putin will agree to some sort of negotiated peace, even Manny should realise that he’d only use it as an operational pause. The moment he has caught his breath, replenished his arsenal and recruited a new army he’ll march again, with renewed strength.

However, even if Manny doesn’t realise that, the Ukrainians certainly do. But it’s not just such pragmatic considerations that will make them treat any peace offer from Putin like a gift of syphilis.

I can explain the far deeper reasons in but a few words: Bucha, Irpen, Mariupol, Borodyanka, Gostomel, Izyum. You know, all those places the Russians occupied and turned into torture chambers and charnel houses.

You want more words, Manny? Then how about genocide of the Ukrainian people? An attempt to turn the Ukraine into a Russian colony? The kidnapping of tens of thousands of Ukrainian children, with their subsequent ‘re-education’ in Russian camps? The systematic rape of Ukrainian women as a way of humiliating their men?

Anyone who thinks that Zelensky or any other Ukrainian president will be happy to negotiate with Putin knows nothing about the situation – and understands even less about human nature. Not every nation is prepared to swallow its honour and dignity to play footsies with a fascist invader, Manny.

But perhaps he means that for negotiations to take place Putin will have to go? Not at all.

Manny is opposed to regime change in Russia because many attempts to engineer that sort of thing in other countries have failed. That’s true, although some have also succeeded, especially in the wake of a military defeat. That’s something Manny desires for Russia, as long as the defeat isn’t so crushing as to drive Putin out.

Because, you see, all other options could be even worse. “Do we seriously think that a democratic solution will emerge from Russian civil society… in the middle of a conflict? I strongly hope for it but I do not really believe so. And all the other options to Vladimir Putin in the heart of the current system seem worse.”

Actually, I don’t believe so either, for reasons I outlined yesterday. And, unlike Manny, I’m not even holding my hopeful breath. But I like the disclaimer in the last sentence.

That seems to imply a logical conclusion, except that by now we know that Manny doesn’t do logic. If the current system offers no hope of improvement, then surely we must do all we can to make sure the system is changed?

But that can’t happen without Russia’s military defeat, something Manny both wants and doesn’t want. What he definitely wants is that: “… the regime change in Russia occurs in a democratic way according to the wishes of civic society.”

I wonder if Manny still believes in Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and little elves. Where with his myopic mind’s eye did he see a civic society in Russia? The mildest of anti-war statements is worth years in prison – and yet a vast (if possibly dwindling) majority of the people support the war and adore Putin.

Then there’s that logical dissonance again. For something like that to happen, a sweeping – indeed crushing – revolution has to break out in Russia. That means, as the first order of the day, a regime change, which Manny doesn’t really want because… well, just replay the earlier tune.

Let me tell you, Brigitte’s pedagogic skills must be getting rusty. She has been out of that gig far too long, and it’s a case of use it or lose it. I know, I used to be a teacher myself.

2 thoughts on “Brigitte’s pet flunks Russia”

  1. “a sweeping – indeed crushing – revolution has to break out in Russia.”

    Events in 1917 were preceded by the events of 1905. But up until this time Vlad has had it all his way. Chechnya, Abkhazia, Georgia, Crimea. Vlad sort of like Hitler prior to 22 June 1941. A “can’t lose guy”.

  2. “Here his deficit of logic is exacerbated by intellectual vacuity and moral turpitude.” I think you just described every politician in every Western government for the previous 40 years.

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