Focus. We need to focus in order to “stay the course”. Without focus, there is no “course”.
Why are we here? What is the problem?
A while back, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, I posted a map as part of the six-step problem solving process I learned in the Air Force, and in which I still believe. In that post, I claimed we were on Step 2 “Gather the Data”. (Step 1 being “Recognize the Problem”.)
The problem, I said, was unclarity.
In gathering the data, clarity has begun to emerge.
(I love this.)
This is going to hurt some of you, so be ready. But it’s important to be able to speak simply.
Despite that map, Ukraine is not a country.
Ukraine is not a country. As for evidence, Look around. Their not being in NATO is one, probably the second largest, piece of evidence of this. The largest piece being the fact that no country’s military, including ours, is at war with Russia.
Remember, we’re defining the problem—by definition “defining the problem” is not jumping to conclusions. So calm down. Just because Ukraine is not a country, does not necessarily mean we skip the next five steps and “implement the solution”.
I don’t believe, and you don’t believe, that Ukraine is a country. Fact.
Ukraine is not a country.
So what does this mean? It means that we’re yet again merely providing weapons to the enemy of our enemy. Like we do in the Middle East, like we do everywhere else that isn’t yet civilized.
Kuwait: country. Ukraine, not a country.
New question: Does this mean that it’s not World War 3 anymore? Have I changed my tune?
I have. As the title of this post indicates, I am changing my tune for now.
Citizens of one country are not able to will another country into existence. We don’t put a border on a map and “ta da”—a country! It just doesn’t happen that way. Ukraine must assert itself, must manifest itself. Think gang initiation or all the scenes in movies where the friend group intentionally leaves a newbie to himself during a fight to prove that he is a man. Is the newbie proving himself to his friends or to himself? Both.
Ukraine, in essence, is the newbie. It has been since the Soviet Union broke up. And Ukraine is not yet a country.
Our actions, our help, are actually keeping Ukraine from becoming a country.
Settle down. I’m not suggesting we stop. Who knows whether Ukraine should become a country or not? Not me. And not you. Only Ukraine does.
So what does this mean for the concept of World War? And how has this focus helped us? What is our course?
World War, meaningfully, can only take place between countries. We were, I was, wrong to suggest this was a conventional war. That confession is the result of my “gathering of data.” As stated, it’s got to be an attack on a NATO member country. Let’s not kid ourselves. You don’t give a rat’s arse about the Ethiopian Civil War, or any tragedies in the other parts of Africa. Me, neither. Same thing here.
War has to be between countries. Either NATO on NATO, or some non-NATO country (almost a paradox—almost) on a NATO country.
The political question, then, is, “Does our support of Russia’s enemies increase Russia’s desire to attack a country?” The answer is, “Time will tell.”
What’s our course? Our course is no different than my course. The course is life. Abundant life. America lives on. If we begin taking actions that put America’s sovereignty in question, that’s a problem.
Does helping our enemy’s enemy put America in danger? I have to believe it does at some point. But if there’s anything we also now know, it’s that our enemy, Russia, is not as strong as some supposed.
How about us? Are we strong?
I believe so. And I believe we can be even stronger if we increase our focus.
I’m feeling philosophical as the world seems passed the idea that WW3 has begun.
Why do I want to be right?
What would I get for being right?
Short answer: being prepared. I like to be prepared. I believe in being prepared. I’m an Eagle Scout for crying out loud. Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.”
But with being right about WW3, it’s more than that—especially as I’m no “prepper”.
With my belief that it’s important to know that WW3 is being actively waged right now, I also get to not be some stupid, head-buried in the sand, wealthy enough to not experience war, johnny come lately when the sacrifice really begins. Put in a simple analogy: toilet paper. That was you—not me. Over a cold.
If people lost their minds over a common cold, what do you expect will happen when the fire starts?
I know exactly what will happen. Denial. Chaos. And some sort of purification process wherein the only winners will be those who consistently tell the truth.
So today, I’m telling the truth.
The truth is this is it. The big one. Be prepared. Keep the long game in mind. And stay focused.
This one counts, if only indirectly.
Had my second ever Aldi shopping experience today. The war (not to mention what they call “co-insurance” but what is meaningfully “let’s-get-you-to-your-out-of-pocket-max-asap”) has got me especially cost-conscious these days.
In any case, Aldi is not terrible. But it is weird. From the “get back your quarter” grocery cart pseudo-rental, to no bags and bare shelves, not to mention the regulars who unceremoniously move parts of the store around in a way that is not approved at typical grocery stores, it gets the job done.
“It gets the job done”, I say. But it carries a “homeschool” quality. Hear me? Like, I know you read books and learned math, but why don’t you talk right? You like watching moving pictures? You know George Washington’s horse’s name? You finished calculus in 8th grade?
Oh well. If it keeps us out of the poor house during the war, then I guess I can hang out at this place more often. They did have quite a selection of Little Debbie cakes, on and off brand.
I don’t deny that it’s easier for a veteran to live in the state of war than in the state of peace. For one, most of my childhood and about a decade of my adulthood was one big effort to win wars. So, “I get it.” I understand that I am probably happier in WW3, I am probably more fulfilled in WW3 than in peacetime. But that’s not why I still believe we’re in the midst WW3.
I say “still believe” because headlines and news about the war are diminishing. For my money, that means that you civilian pukes aren’t convinced WW3 is really happening anymore. You’re bored by it.
“What’s next?” you ask. “Aren’t Kanye and Kim getting back together? Didn’t I read that somewhere?”
I accept your challenge. Heck, I like to play devil’s advocate. I like to show that I am willing to be wrong. So I’ll give you my ingredients for declaring I was wrong, that this never was WW3. (Apologies, but they’re fairly long term.)
Five years seems too long, one year seems too short, so I’m picking three. Arbitrary, but valuable nonetheless. I will freely admit that we were never in WW3, that I was a trigger happy vet seeing war like a hammer sees things to hit, if either of the following two events do not happen by April 1, 2025.
First, Ukraine joins NATO.
Second, another country’s military openly attacks Russia.
Regarding Ukraine and NATO, the reason it wouldn’t be WW3 if that never happens is that to draw in other nations (making it “World” war), Ukraine must be part of an international agreement.
Regarding another country attacking Russia, (whether inside Ukraine or within Russia), again, we need to see someone that makes this more than “one-on-one”.
Time will tell.
For now, I’ve got a newborn son and baby daughter to help place onto a good path. And two 12 year olds, my daughter and step-son, are ever in need of moral guidance and bravery training. Wish me luck.
Is Russia winning? Is Ukraine gonna last? Is the war about land or ideas? Finally, is the MV-22 simply and somehow too difficult to fly?
I often look at V-22 mishaps with greater interest than others as I had a chance at flying it after my venerable MH-53 was retired. I passed up flying it, I told myself at the time, in order to focus on my family, which ultimately ended in divorce anyhow. But an instructor I was with at the schoolhouse as a student died in a crash in one and they just seem to have a terrible track record, whether that’s real or not. They’re an awesome machine in any case.
Anyhow, the reason I’m sticking with my WW3 mindset is it helps me to focus. I have had many ideas floating around this noggin of mine, but none seem to offer gravity to the situation I believe that we’re in. And over the last several years, I have not found myself so easily dismissing the nonsense, the clickbait, and the ever-present distractions as I do during this world altering event.
Did you hear me?
I said there’s a positive side to living through WW3—the end of bullshyat. Put inversely, the positive side is heightened focus. Decluttering. A long overdue house-cleaning.
Even for me. Sure, I want to discuss whether it’s biblically sound for Christians to believe The Chosen is a bonafide evangelism tool in the same way that Uncle Sam approves of Top Gun, and why or why not? But that’s really not important anymore. 3 million refugees.
I do want to direct one criticism towards you and your unquenchable curiosity and presuppositional belief that “education-solves-all”: at this stage in the game only fools would be surprised to learn that other countries and other cultures believe different things about politics than us, to include time-tested and robust defenses of their notions. And only fools believe that ignorance of these differences lead to war, and awareness of these differences will somehow help end the war.
You’re telling me that Russian leadership and perhaps many Russian people believe the people are created to serve the State?! Get outta here!! And you think that I should remember that this is different than how we believe the State should serve the people? Crazy talk! I thought everyone on the earth was American. Now that I have heard some real life Russian explain that there is a difference in our two cultures’ political beliefs, in other words, now that I know there are people in the world besides Baptists, I am not worried. Whew! That was close! I thought the war would drag on forever. Glad to finally learn the truth and see the light and the end of the tunnel.
To be clear: this blog will remain focused on posts regarding WW3 until peace is declared and signed. I recommend you use the moment to declutter your life, digital and physical too.
Oh, and go to church this Sunday. Unless, that is, you don’t love the “last best hope on earth”—unless, that is, you don’t love the United States of America.
The question is not, “Should the US create a no-fly zone?” The question is, “What informs your belief that the US will create a no-fly zone?” Put another way, the question is, “For what reason(s) do you believe the US will create a no-fly zone?” Because we will create one, make no mistake. The only question is will you have seen it coming before the announcement.
For me, I’ve “gathered the data” for long enough and have committed to living under the belief—new to me—that World War III is here.
The result of this commitment is mostly mental preparation. I’m preparing my mind for the heavy sacrifice that I believe is obviously coming. The main effect of mentally preparing is so that it doesn’t feel like a shock, so that I don’t sound like the fools will, when it arrives. No more, “I can’t believe this is real,” not out of my mouth. It’s real. It’s here. Catch up. Be prepared.
No more, “gas is how much?” No more, “groceries are how much? And they don’t have what?” When you hear that, it’s not me talking.
My grandpa who recently passed was a seemingly happy man his whole life. A child during WWII. Probably a bit naïve at times. So what. I think about how he missed it. Just barely. Lucky guy all the way.
My dad, on the other hand, was not so lucky. He wanted to believe it wouldn’t happen in his lifetime. Now it’s the event that he watches until the end.
Today, for posterity’s sake, I feel like, “Of course. Of course World War III is here. Of course it is. We poor creatures utterly lack imagination and creativity, and the only thing we’ve been thinking for my entire life is: ‘World War Three’. So of course it arrived.”
I also feel like (just because I’m bitter about the lack of our creativity), “Fuck Greta.” I told y’all that a special needs child was leading you astray, was no leader, was no prophet. I told you! Even in creativity, we only saw problems. Enough. Time for the men to assert themselves. Tell the children to be quiet. Let them watch and learn. That’s a child’s place. The children are not the future. They never were. They never are. The men are the future. And here they come.
World War III has begun. America and the West will ultimately win. The sacrifices will be enormous. Enormous. 3,000 dead for 9/11? 3,000 more for Iraq? 3,500 more for Afghanistan? Ultimately insignificant. This is gonna be millions again.
My main question at this point is (and it’s a serious question which I believe has a serious answer—I just don’t happen to know it, so I ask in earnest), “What are we waiting for?”
As in, what are the reasons for keeping the US military collared? Follow-on: what events or what thinking will be the start of US military action against Russia?
I’m not hopeful to learn the answers ahead of real-time. I’ll see them when we all do, over the coming months and years and then in books decades later. But that’s what I want to know.
Why today? What makes me decide and announce my new resolution today? Poland. Just thinking about Poland’s symbolic offer of their fighter jets to us chokes me up. Everyone—literally every human being on the Earth—knows exactly who can and who must stop Putin.
USA! USA! USA!
Now we wait.
Some days I have this window of time to read. The 19-month-old settles into her nap, the wife is somewhere, doing something, and I can finally sit on my fainting couch and apply the full focus of my mind to the ink on the page. Some days. Today was one of those days.
The coffee was wonderful. The reading even better.
The climax of these days is a moment when I know time is almost up, when I feel the caffeine buzz is at its peak, and when the clock tells me if I start right now, then I can probably squeeze out a post before the pacifier hits the floor.
As usual, I started with the Bible. Today was some backwards reading of Ezekiel. Starting at the end and reading to the beginning of a section can be a tool to help bring the familiar pages to life. It worked. I came across a beautiful confession by Yahweh.
‘As I live!’ declares Lord Yahweh, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!’
Then I opened Hegel. The portion of his Philosophy of Right that I’m on is section 273, where he is detailing his view of the separation of powers. “The development of the state to constitutional monarchy is the achievement of the modern world…” he begins. Distasteful, I know. But then he brings forth an anecdote, as follows.
“It is true enough that in quite simple social conditions these differences of constitutional form [monarchy, aristocracy, democracy] have little or no meaning. For instance, in the course of his legislation Moses prescribed that, in the event of his people’s desiring a king, its institutions should remain unchanged except for the new requirement that the king should not ‘multiply horse to himself…nor wives…nor silver and gold.’”
That’s all I’m asking for.
Interact with the Bible. Don’t ignore the Bible—interact. I’m even fine if you debunk it. But to treat it as irrelevant is to reveal your most hidden motive—vanity.
You want to be remembered more than Moses? Good luck. But here’s the thing. I’ll only respect the attempt if you fight him head on. He fights you head on. Return the favor. It’s the least you could do.
For review. Note the legend on the bottom left.
In short, the “red line” (which when crossed by Russians will trigger unmentionable alterations to our lives) is actually blue on this map.
Step 3 is “List all possible solutions.” I mention it so you know. But I’m still at Step 2.
The media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is appalling. It is inhumane, inconsiderate, and inept.
Inhumane because it contains no truth. I’m not in Ukraine, so how could I possibly know I’m being lied to? Because I’m an American and tradition holds that Russian leaders are incapable of telling the truth. But more than that, because President Zelensky’s comments betray the same tone and tenor as community activists and Greta Thunberg. By his comments, he seems to revel in this oddly fortunate opportunity to become an influencer.
Inconsiderate because if some of the numbers are correct, then the gravity of the situation needs be elevated dramatically. The US troop deaths in nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan sits under 2,000. The media is asking us to believe (because some politician heard some other politician say so) that 3,500 Russians have died in three days. And don’t get me started on this Ukrainian fighter pilot. I had heard 6, and then later I heard 8 kills in one day. An “ace (five kills)-in-a-day”, the claim. The last verified ace-in-a-day was in WWII. Truth matters. But then, the media coverage wouldn’t understand that idea, because they don’t believe in evil.
Inept because at their core, the media do not believe in evil. To them, it’s a catchy word—one of many. Fun to write. But they truly are watching without any sense of evil. A bomb explodes, they wonder how their expression looked on camera. “How was I? Fearful? Hopefully not cowardly? A balance of compelling and showing the true danger I am in, that’s what I want. Can we shoot it again?” And more than this, they look to others for what just happened. “They’re telling me that sound was…” But make no mistake, the media does not believe in evil. So the coverage is inept. It’s lackadaisical. Boring. The media seems to believe it is competing with fashion news, with San Francisco school board elections regarding a pandemic that ended two weeks ago at the Super Bowl.
What did I expect? They don’t believe in evil.
I went to bed a bit unnerved. I had in mind a post which I would title, “War—At Least That’s The Rumor.” This was because everything in the news about the “full scale invasion” was seemingly based on “I heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another…”
Then I woke up and checked the news and still was not liking the tone, tenor, and lack of first-hand accounts. So I changed my tune. My post was now going to be a comparison of headlines from WW1 and WW2 opening days. The point being to show the stark contrast between what’s happening today (I believe to be a veritable blip) compared to actual war.
But then I found video which purported to be, and evidently was, a plane zooming overhead and dropping ordinance that explodes in due course below.
As a pilot, and as a former Air Force pilot, I couldn’t help but wonder what that pilot was thinking. Was he a true believer, like I was for my country? Or was he praying to his maker, “Forgive me, for I have sinned,” as he launched the weapon, under gunpoint?
We know that the pilots of Iraqi Air Force were not exactly interested to fly the night of our invasion of Iraq. The popular legend is many, if not all, defected as quick as their jet could fly. And I heard one USAF F-15 pilot tell the story of his shoot-down, very anti-climatic, and also relate that other Iraqis were shot down over the airport before they could get their landing gear up.
For me, there will always be a distinction between someone pressing a button in a remote location to launch missiles, and a pilot actually dropping bombs, when ascertaining the seriousness of the war/conflict. The distinction being: the pilot is already mobile. He could elect to not drop the bombs and instead “defect”.
So I want to know what the pilots are thinking.
But mostly, I’m just feeling confused. I will never mean to cause fear—far from it. But at this moment, I think it’s safe to say that this confusion wasn’t present two days ago. And it only slightly built last night after my bravado-filled prediction that cooler heads would prevail proved terribly naïve. And I must admit that this feeling of confusion itself is probably a sign that things are worse, than better. Again, not to cause fear, just to tell the truth.
Mind made up.
I am gonna stick with my training. “Step 1- Recognize the Problem.”
Problem- “I am unable to get clarity on the implications of the attack of Ukraine by formal Russian forces. The lack of clarity is driven by ignorance of the situation. ‘What about the 14,000 lives lost previously in some local fighting? How is this different?’ for example.”
“Step 2- Gather All the Data.”
I need to time for this step. We in the peanut gallery all do.
While we wait, I’ll conclude by saying this: I need to stop worrying about “what it means if…” Right now decisiveness on the battlefield is needed. If Ukraine is vitally important to us, let’s go win. Starting, like, yesterday. If Ukraine is not vitally important, then shame on them for not joining NATO sooner. The world could stand to learn a lesson about “choosing sides”. USA all the way.