Today is a reminder why you made a good choice to sign up for the Bulwark. Before we get to the gravamen of today’s Morning Shots, make sure you read:
Will Saletan’s comprehensive run-down of the new Putin appeasers: “Who’s Soft on Russia? Meet the Republican Anti-Ukraine Caucus!”
Cathy Young’s “The Bucha Atrocities and the Kremlin Apologists.”
The scariest thing you will read today.
Scary, as in, bat-shit crazy.
RIA Novosti is basically a Kremlin mouthpiece. The other day, it published a lengthy article titled "What Russia should do with Ukraine,” which, as Steven Pifer noted, “calls for deNazification of Ukraine -- and advocates Nazi-like methods to do so. Russia is applying such methods in Mariupol and Bucha.”
This manifesto of hate provides a chilling glimpse into the minds of the men who are waging this war of genocide.
The screed argues that every Ukrainian who has taken up arms must be eliminated. De-Nazification also means the destruction of the idea of Ukraine and its national identity. It also means the elimination of the country’s political elite and the infliction of all of the horrors of war on Ukraine “as a historical lesson and atonement for their guilt.”
The Nazis who took up arms should be destroyed to the maximum on the battlefield. No significant distinction should be made between APU and the so-called national battalions, as well as the territorial defense that joined these two types of military formations.
All of them are equally involved in extreme cruelty against the civilian population, equally guilty of the genocide of the Russian people, do not comply with the laws and customs of war. War criminals and active Nazis should be exemplarily and exponentially punished. There must be a total lustration.
Any organizations that have associated themselves with the practice of Nazism have been liquidated and banned. However, in addition to the top, a significant part of the masses, which are passive Nazis, accomplices of Nazism, are also guilty. They supported and indulged Nazi power.
The just punishment of this part of the population is possible only as bearing the inevitable hardships of a just war against the Nazi system, carried out with the utmost care and discretion in relation to civilians. Further denazification of this mass of the population consists in re-education, which is achieved by ideological repression (suppression) of Nazi attitudes and strict censorship: not only in the political sphere, but also necessarily in the sphere of culture and education…
Denazification can only be carried out by the winner, which implies (1) his absolute control over the denazification process and (2) the power to ensure such control. In this respect, a denazified country cannot be sovereign.
The denazifying state - Russia - cannot proceed from a liberal approach with regard to denazification. The ideology of the denazifier cannot be disputed by the guilty party subjected to denazification. Russia's recognition of the need to denazify Ukraine means the recognition of the impossibility of the Crimean scenario for Ukraine as a whole. However, this scenario was impossible in 2014 and in the rebellious Donbass. Only eight years of resistance to Nazi violence and terror led to internal cohesion and a conscious unambiguous mass refusal to maintain any unity and connection with Ukraine,
The terms of denazification can in no way be less than one generation, which must be born, grow up and reach maturity under the conditions of denazification. The nazification of Ukraine continued for more than 30 years, beginning at least in 1989, when Ukrainian nationalism received legal and legitimate forms of political expression and led the movement for "independence" towards Nazism.
The name "Ukraine" apparently cannot be retained as the title of any fully denazified state entity in a territory liberated from the Nazi regime...
Denazification will inevitably also be a de-Ukrainization - a rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic component of self-identification of the population of the territories of historical Little Russia and New Russia, begun by the Soviet authorities…. It must be returned to its natural boundaries and deprived of political functionality.
Unlike, say, Georgia and the Baltic countries , Ukraine, as history has shown, is impossible as a nation state, and attempts to "build" one naturally lead to Nazism. Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian construction that does not have its own civilizational content, a subordinate element of an alien and alien civilization.
Debanderization [the elimination of Ukrainians current government] itself will not be enough for denazification - the Bandera element is only a performer and a screen, a disguise for the European project of Nazi Ukraine, therefore the denazification of Ukraine is also its inevitable de-Europeanization.
The Bandera elite must be eliminated, its re-education is impossible. The social "bog", which actively and passively supported it by action and inaction, must survive the hardships of the war and assimilate the experience as a historical lesson and atonement for its guilt…
Historical experience shows that the tragedies and dramas of wartime benefit peoples who have been tempted and carried away by the role of an enemy of Russia.
“Putin is in control of large parts of Ukraine, and we know atrocities are occurring there,” Frederick Kagan, a military expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told me. So far, Kagan said, the West has mostly been providing Ukraine with smaller weapons that help defend territory. But for Ukraine to retake territory — and to stop the violence there — it also needs weapons that are useful on offense.
At least two European countries, both on Ukraine’s border, seem open to providing some of the weapons that Zelensky wants. Slovakia, which owns S-300 missile systems, has said it is willing to send them to Ukraine, while Poland has offered to send MIG fighter planes. But both countries want the transfers to be part of a larger agreement that includes the U.S. or NATO — so that Slovakia and Poland, suddenly without key weapons, do not feel more vulnerable to a Russian attack.
The Biden administration has blocked both deals, out of a concern over Putin’s reaction. Some members of Congress have criticized the administration for not being more willing to take risks to help Ukraine, as Josh Rogin of The Washington Post has explained.
Kasparov’s warning to the West
The outcome in Ukraine will define a new world order, for good or ill. Taiwan and China are watching closely. Xi Jinping’s natural alliance with his fellow dictator is looking less attractive after the free world’s outpouring of support for Ukraine. The U.S. can restore its leadership of the free world, or it can lead from behind while democracy continues to lose ground.
The West fell asleep when the Cold War ended. Ukrainians are sacrificing everything to shake President Biden, the White House and the world awake.
Samuel Ramani @SamRamani2BREAKING: The U.S. will ask the UN General Assembly to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council
Philip Melanchthon Wegmann @PhilipWegmannBiden: "You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal. Well, the truth of the matter – we saw it happen in Bucha – this warrants him – he is a war criminal."
It’s all about the pedos
I regret to tell you that the gap between MTG, the right-wing media, and the GOP senate (looking at you, Josh Hawley) is shrinking:
And we get this revolting insinuation from Federalist editor and Bradley Prize winner Mollie Hemingway:
Mollie @MZHemingwayThe only new info since he voted against her a few months ago was increased awareness of her “soft-on-pedos” approach, which makes this new Romney position super interesting. https://t.co/n0oWhqiZUz
1. Walking the Transgender Movement Away from the Extremists
Jonathan Rauch warns that “today's radical gender ideologues are harming the transgender community the same way left-leaning activists harmed the gay and lesbian rights movement in the early 1990s.” Via American Purpose:
A generation ago, in the early 1990s, the gay and lesbian rights movement (as it was then called) came under the sway of left-leaning activists with their own agenda. They wanted as little as possible to do with bourgeois institutions like marriage and the military; they elevated cultural transgression and opposed integration into mainstream society; they imported an assortment of unrelated causes like abortion rights. To be authentically gay, in their view, was to be left-wing and preferably radical.
A loose collection of gay and lesbian conservatives, libertarians, and centrists watched with growing concern. We thought that the activists were dangerously misguided both about America and also gay people’s place in it. We resented their efforts to impose ideological conformity on a diverse population. (In 2000, a fourth of gay voters chose Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.) We saw how they played to the very stereotypes that the anti-gay Right used against us. We knew their claim to represent the lesbian and gay population was false.
And so we pushed back.
2. Is The Party Over?
There was a time when sensible conservatives could take a realistic, instrumental view of the GOP and find it reasonably useful for our ends. The job of the Republican Party was to serve conservative interests — not the other way around. That has become complicated in two equally significant ways: One, political tribalism has done its awful work on conservatives as much as it has on anybody else, and many on the right today see advancing the electoral prospects of the Republican Party as, in effect, the whole of the conservative agenda per se; second, the Republican Party is today a much less able and reliable vessel of conservative policy than it was ten or 20 years ago, because it has been deformed by vulgar populism and infantile nationalism, to such an extent that certain important factions within the GOP have discovered a strange new respect for everything from heavy-handed and politically tinged antitrust regulation to economic redistribution to Vladimir Putin — and a positive loathing of free trade, free speech, the military, and the libertarian sensibility that Ronald Reagan famously described as “the very heart and soul of conservatism.” Down with Reaganism, up with Orbánism; down with Margaret Thatcher, up with Marine Le Pen.
3. Reaching Sin City and Beyond
Fantastic read from our art director Hannah Yoest, who has been chronicling the pain and pleasure of running an unsanctioned ultra-relay race through the desert. Very much worth your time:
I have spent months in a garage with two space heaters propped up and teetering on overturned plastic buckets pointed at the center of a treadmill I bought secondhand. I have watched entire seasons of teenage vampire drama television shows on Netflix while running on this treadmill after abandoning audiobooks I dutifully tried to get through. I have worn holes into the backs of three pairs of running shoes clear through to the heel counter. I’ve had my gait and running biodynamics analyzed by a sports therapist.
I have stood naked in an insulated octagonal chamber filled with liquid nitrogen. I have fought inflammation and won.