The Right To Shoot Back Doctrine

The Ukraine War has reached a crucial moment. Russia is trying to advance in the East while threatening an attack through its client state, Belarus. The Ukrainians have battled the Russians into giving up some territory, but their civilians are taking a beating. Ukraine needs more and better weapons to maintain momentum.

There can be only one winner in this war. It would seem a no-brainer for the U.S. and its allies to go all in to ensure a Ukrainian victory. If Ukraine drives the invaders out of their country, Russia no longer threatens our NATO allies, and we will avoid direct involvement in a European war. If Russia doesn’t lose, given time, it will rebuild its military to resume aggression towards Ukraine and its neighbors. 

Recently, Ukrainians arrived in the U.S. to train on the Patriot air-defense system. The question is, why can’t we give Ukraine the tools to win in a timely fashion? Instead of shipping needed tanks today, we’re witnessing Germany refusing to O.K. the transfer of German-made Tiger tanks unless the U.S. contributes some of its Abrams tanks. 

The Russians pummel civilians and infrastructure with drones and rockets sent from bases out of the range of Ukraine’s present weapons while the Ukrainians wait. Many of these bases are in Russia. 

The situation calls for a simple logical policy change. You don’t restrict your friends to knives in a gunfight. Just give Ukraine weapons to shoot back. If someone shoots at you, the right of self-defense says you can return fire. You’re not escalating, just leveling the field to protect yourself. If bad guys have guns, law enforcement has to have them, too, if they’re to be effective.

A simple solution is to give Ukraine the means to hit back. If Russia sends rockets or drones from bases in Russia or Crimea, give Ukraine drones and rockets to take out whence they come. Do the same with planes. 

An agreement with Ukrainians to only use long-range weapons to take out these bases is quite doable. With our satellite and trajectory computing, we know exactly where the Russians are launching attacks. This action is only returning fire. The Russians are placing the bullseye on these locations—no attacks from there, no return attack.

Early in the war, it was reasonable to fear that any long-range weapons provided to the Ukrainians might result in hitting Moscow. After a year of close cooperation, an agreement only to assail identified targets are reasonable. The deal is in the interests of both the U.S. and Ukraine. A resulting irrational response from Putin isn’t in anybody’s interest.

Lessening or eliminating air, drone, and rocket attacks from the previously out-of-range bases gives the Ukrainians military, economic, and morale boosts., while having the opposite effect on Russia.

Facing losses in people and equipment, an unpopular Belarus government might find getting involved in Russia’s war unattractive. Knowing you’re getting hit back focuses the mind.

Older planes, drones, and long-range HIMARs exist in our inventory—only a short time is needed to bring them to bear in the field. The Ukrainians have proven very adept at mastering a wide variety of arms.

Once available, we establish a website showing where attacks on Ukraine originated. Then we have a choice of immediately retaliating or warning Russia and Belarus to expect to be hit wherever an attack on Ukraine emanates. 

The first option would yield immediate results. The second option puts Putin on the horns of the dilemma. He could divert resources to protect his bases and continue using them or cease using them, thereby avoiding heavy losses, resulting in a significant plus for the Ukrainians.

If Russia opts for the second choice, the new equipment can return fire anywhere within Ukraine. For instance, the Crimean area lies within Ukraine’s recognized borders and is the main staging ground for drone attacks. Only lack of range has prevented this in the past. 

The beauty of this “Right to Shoot Back” doctrine is that it leaves it up to Russia and Belarus whether the war widens geographically. Just returning fire isn’t escalation. It simply matches what your opponent does. Whatever Putin decides, Ukraine is in a much stronger position. Without safe bases, we’ve significantly weakened Russia and Belarus. We get this result without endless discussions with our allies. This policy is a win-win any way you look at it.

He’s Back!

The new year is off to a bizarre start. My last post featured Paul Erlich’s debunked “Population Bomb” theory as an example of a phony crisis. The book was published decades ago, so I was going back in history to make a point. I later learned that Paul Erhlich appeared on 60 Minutes simultaneously with my post. Here he is on the nation’s best known News Show, again spouting that the sky is falling. Too many people doom us at a time of Global Warming.

Winner of multiple Emmys and writer’s guild awards, Scot Peely, conducted the interview. The 60 Minute anchor intently listened while Erhlich told us we faced extinction. Peely, as an example of species extinction, cuts to an interview with a Native American lamenting salmon extinction. Charged with grilling Salmon for our non-meat eaters on Christmas Day, I found no lack of Salmon choices. Just the opposite, plenty of steaks and fillets. Somehow this had something to do with our causing biodiversity loss, dooming us.

Species are always going extinct. Sometimes humans are responsible. If early North American inhabitants hadn’t hunted horses to extinction, they might not have had to wait for Spaniards to reintroduce them. 

The interview highlighted every point I attempted to make in my last post. Propagandists posing as journalists with awards attesting to their abilities continue disproven narratives.

 Wikipedia devotes a whole section to the bet, but this supposed great journalist couldn’t find it? Scott Pelly should have made more effort to provide Erhlichs’s challenging back history. No mention of his humiliating wager loss to Julian Simon.

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Why Do They Lie and Suppress?

My last post noted leaders on both the left and the right tell whoppers, but only the right punishes. The left not only stands fast behind their lies but actively works to suppress embarrassing facts. What accounts for this disparity? The answer may reside in society’s historical makeup. 

My series on “The Long Journey To More” stated there were only three ways to gain”More,” take it from somebody else, trade, or innovate. Before the 15th century, the first two were prevalent. Innovation was a slow and uneven process. The wheeled axle took many thousands of years to develop. The idea only made it to the new world after Columbus.

As people became agrarian and settled out of necessity, humankind across the world formed stratified societies. The lack of materials limited the ability to read, write and use numbers to less than 10% of any population. Because they knew the literate dominated. 

The educated group was mostly hereditary and governed, ran the military, and performed religious functions. As a result, most of the good things in life accrued to them. The rest of humanity led near-subsistence lives. 

The exceptions to this elite-peasant split were artisans and traders. Reading, writing, and arithmetic likely started with these people. The necessity to record and total transactions or make measurements demanded a specific literacy.   

Change threatens the stability of privileged positions; it enhances the prospects of others. Of course, this meant tension between the relatively comfortable elite and those striving to do things better and more profitable. Accommodations between these classes were constant to reduce friction. Still, the two made up the literate one in ten.

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We Know They’re Lying

Few things are more upsetting than people lying to you when both know it’s a lie. Pushing falsehoods is more important than telling you the truth.

We went through this in the midterm election with Trump-backed candidates. They signed on to the “Big Steal,” the lie the former President lost unfairly. Even though there is no evidence of any cheating, that would’ve changed the outcome. Adhering to this falsehood is the litmus test for Trump’s support. With his endorsement, a primary victory is possible. It worked. Even with lesser qualifications, those toeing the Trump line made it on the ballot.

However, the people signing on to the lies to get ahead mostly lost. People rightly conclude you’re loyalties aren’t to us. Voters made their displease known by sending candidates down in flames.

As I recently pointed out, those administering the pain to these prevaricators were Republicans and like-minded independents. We know this because those turned off by the lies voted for other Republicans that avoided them. 

The punishment for the liar candidates isn’t only they lost, but most likely lost any future in public service. Republican voters meted their retribution to those lying to their faces, and they won’t forget.

The burning question is why Democrat leaders and their media allies can tell whoppers and Democratic voters not only accept them but cheer them. They put out stories, such as Trump’s Russian collusion, Afghan’s withdrawal success, and Hunter Biden’s laptop being a Russian plot. Covid-related falsehoods and ignoring the border problems. All wrong, but none punished. For instance, our Afgan withdrawal was an unmitigated disaster, leading to the Ukraine war. Yet, not one person involved has lost their job. 

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No, They Aren’t The Same

On his Saturday CNN TV show, Michael Smerconish had as a guest Victoria Cobb, the Christian organization’s President, that was refused service by a Virginia restaurant. The host acknowledged the Restaurant was wrong, but he saw no difference between its action and the marriage website designer, Lori Smith, in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis before the Supreme Court. He held that both the Restaurant and Smith broke the law. 

This conclusion is a jolt coming from a lawyer. Even more shocking, his stance mirrors Supreme court justice Sonia Sottameyer. “This would be the first time in the court’s history,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in the 303 case oral, that it may rule that “a commercial business open to the public, serving the public, that it could refuse to serve a customer based on race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.”

Our anti-discrimination laws are rooted in the refusal to serve southern blacks at lunch counters. If your menu offers items for sale, you must not discriminate. It’s a simple contract, the Restaurant proffers, and you agree to pay the asked price. We do the vast majority of transactions this way. Refuse certain groups, and you’re breaking the law.

Failing to honor the Christian group’s reservation is prohibited. The Restaurant offered its menu and accommodations to all. The group agreed to pay. Nothing in the transaction required any further meeting of the minds.

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