The World Is a Dangerous Place
Both at home and abroad. Plus: A conspiracy theory I can get behind.
Thursday Night Bulwark was great last night I got to catch up with Amanda Carpenter on all of the news and hear from Ian Bassin, who is one of the founders of the group Protect Democracy. He talked about the work he and Amanda are doing, how PD was founded, and his time working in the White House counsel’s office under Barack Obama. This last part was particularly fascinating. More on that below.
You can watch the replay or listen to the podcast version here. I’m unlocking this TNB so everyone go watch it, and share it! Important stuff.
1. Things Happen
We are spending a lot of time on politics and criminal trials and Taylor Swift, but the wider world remains a dangerous place and I would like to remind you of a few things that are happening.
(1) There’s a fight between Volodymyr Zelensky and the commander of the Ukrainian military, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhniy.
Zaluzhniy is the only figure in Ukraine with the political standing to rival Zelensky’s and the army seems to admire him deeply. Zelensky is reportedly unhappy that his top general believes that the war has entered a period of stalemate.
The reports this week suggest that Zaluzhniy is likely to be relieved of command in the near future.
None of this is good. Combine it with America’s dithering on military aid and the prospect of a Trump administration that will outright abandon Ukraine and Russia is in the strongest position they’ve held since the opening days of the war. They have snatched stalemate from the jaws of defeat.
The good news is that Russia can’t win this war without the aid of the Republican party. The bad news is that the Republican party is doing its best to help them.
(2) There’s trouble in the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal carries 40 percent of U.S. container traffic and it’s having a drought. With water levels below normal, authorities are only allowing 24 ships to cross a day, down from 38. That means more delays and higher shipping costs.
When the rainy season comes in April/May, hopefully the situation will resolve. But until then, there will be price pressure on this shipping route, too.
(3) The Suez Canal is a mess, too.