Steve Sailer has come out as an essentially uncritical supporter of the NATO/US/Ukraine side and of the Zelensky government.
One detects little gap between his and the standard, “mainstream media” position on this matter.
This from the man who coined the subversive slogan “invade the world, invite the world” as a satirical summation of the prevailing U.S. Regime foreign-plus-domestic policy-package, which had support from both sides for years but was generally bad for the nation and its core population, as well as reckless and destabilizing in other parts of the world.
What do we make of Steve Sailer’s new pro-Ukraine, pro-war, pro-intervention position in 2022?
My intention here is to make an overview of the lopsided war-coverage situation, then a brief calculation of changes in territory held for a bird’s-eye-level view of the “great counter-offensive” they are crowing about. Then, the bulk of this post consists of selected material from some of the best of the Steve Sailer commentariat, full of excellent insights.
The Steve Sailer commenteriat is mostly critical of Sailer for his promotion of the Ukraine side in the war, his apparent “pro-Ukraine, pro-intervention, pro-NATO, pro-war” stance seen as some combination of based on faulty assumptions or bad info, politically naive, unhelpful, risky, dangerous, unproductive.
More than a few are reminded of the basic idea behind the “Venn diagram” I proposed in March 2022, between the overt Ukraine supporters of 2022 and the active Corona-Panic supporters of 2020-21 (“In search of a “Ukraine-War-Panic”–“Corona-Panic” Venn diagram,” Hail To You, March 2022). Some of the Sailer commenters make this same connection to varying degrees in this September re-warming of the Ukraine unpleasantness.
There are many good insights from the Sailer commentariat, some quite directly addressing this question of “Why does Steve Sailer support the war in Ukraine.”
Despite all the insights, I still do not see a fully satisfactory explanation for why Steve Sailer has embraced the US “Deep State” / NATO / Ukraine-regime cause. I have to consider it an open question worth asking and thinking about, one small part of the Ukraine Question.
Ukraine war cheerleading surge, September 2022
In the second week of September 2022, after some months of usually-minimal and sporadic interest in the Ukraine war, the U.S. media began a lockstep and enthusiastic promotion of the idea of a bold and stunning offensive, majorly successful, by the Ukrainian military. All Russians in its way, we hear, have fled in disorganized terror. The Russian military and government are humiliated. Will Putin survive?
We see stories in big-media outlets that resemble, in outline, what you’d expect in the old Stars & Stripes military newspaper in wartime on behalf of U.S. forces, such as “heroic president hoists flag over town liberated from enemy”; “enemy abandons equipment after bold thrust liberates latest city.” You get the picture. The New York Times and such ran puff-pieces to the effect that “Townspeople rejoice at liberation from evil enemy occupation.”
Here is a very recent actual intro-paragraph to a Business Insider article. See if you can count the ‘loaded’ or propagandistic words and phrases here:
“Following a weekend of conclusive military defeats at the hands of Ukraine’s unexpectedly capable troops, Russia is being forced to confront its glaring manpower problem — and an obstinate president who refuses to offer reprieve.”
By my count, there are a lot more propagandistic words than neutral ones there. This is a news article and not an editorial. (I know, it’s gotten hard to tell the difference.) If you’re one of those who just skims news-titles, the recent trend in ‘loading’ titles with content to make them almost mini-articles in themselves gets you the message: “Putin’s insistence that the war is going great is shooting Russia in the foot as it desperately tries to find new soldiers, experts say” (Business Insider, Sept. 14, 2022). The credited author is an Erin Snodgrass (born circa 1998; previous work as a Congressional intern, where she “Wrote constituent letters, press releases, media statements, social media posts, and policy memos” according to her LinkedIn — which sounds a lot like what this Ukraine war article is).
The idea is the Ukrainian military is taking the country back from illegal incursions and occupation by foreigners — a great positive good for truth, beauty, honor, and cosmic justice in defense of a holy nation (For them. DON’T YOU DARE even think of doing the same in your country, Western Man.)
The idea is the holy Ukrainian nation’s glorious forces are rapidly and easily routing the Russians, and that this means something for us. A characteristic Bloomberg editorial informs us on our duties to the holy Ukraine: “Give Ukraine What It Needs to Win” (Bloomberg News, Sept. 13, 2022). Bloomberg’s editorial board demands the pipeline of billions of U.S. government dollars continue to flow to Ukraine, to keep up the pressure on the evil Russian oppressors while the iron is hot. There is talk of regime-change in Russia. Stupid, stupid, talk; reckless.
I cannot detect any pushback against this. Tucker Carlson has apparently been silent throughout the first half of September on the Ukraine war amid this jubilation and crowing and calls for expanded war. Instead he sticks to his script of Biden-bashing in his characteristically choreographed way.
I notice also that the big prestige-media in the U.S., acting in unison, all call it a “counter-offensive,” as if there had been one of those “policy memos” dispatched to all loyal media outlets that this shall by the term used (“policy memos” of the kind which the new Business Insider reporter used to write). The way they are using this term is not a technically accurate usage.
A “counter-attack” or “counter-offensive” should refer to an immediate attack by your forces, often against an ongoing enemy offensive to disrupt it or try to break the enemy’s offensive in progress. It doesn’t work for a fresh attack against a static or already-withdrawing enemy. The neutral designation of the action of early September 2022 in northeast Ukraine would be “an offensive.” “Counter-offensive” is a good PR term, which, as usual, makes the Ukraine side look saintly and heroic. This would be like the British press all calling the U.S. Civil War “the War of Northern Aggression in America,” acting like that were a neutral term.
Sailer and the “feint”
As for Steve Sailer, the great coiner of “Sailerisms,” he did something similar to the murky “counter-offensive” business. He has begun claiming that a previous Ukraine offensive in the south some weeks ago, which was defeated, had actually been a giant “feint” all along.
Not many are pushing back hard against this claim of a “feint” — be it dubious or false or otherwise, it’s possibly interesting speculation — but one of the estimable members of the Sailer commenter of long standing, Intelligent Dasein, is pushing back. Intelligent Dasein compares the “feint” business in direct analogy to Steve Sailer’s 2021-22 promotion of the idea of “deaths of exuberance” explaining away the mysterious rise in death rates unrelated to the flu virus obsessed over by two years or more in the social phenomenon I like to call the Corona-Panic.
The idea is, Mr. Sailer has still today not yet been able to fully look the CoronaPanic-Monster in the eye. He instead chooses to look elsewhere and explain-away the Monster by other means when possible.
Intelligent Dasein sees the “deaths of exuberance” line as a cover for the lockdown and CoronaPanic-disruption-and-dislocation-related deaths, ongoing in the early 2020s. Steve Sailer coined “deaths of exuberance” in about April 2021, as a cutesy analogue to “deaths of despair,” an idea he had promoted back to the 2010s as the sign of malaise in White Middle America (after White life-expectancy, and only White life-expectancy, dropped).
Intelligent Dasein was one of the early, consistent, uncompromising, and evangelistic Anti-Panic voices in 2020 and even before that had won the respect of intelligent men for this contributions to the Sailer commentariat. He is one of those whom I quote below several times, in the main part of this post.
He is also one of the many estimable members of the Sailer commentariat whom the pro-Ukraine, pro-war, pro-intervention side would call “pro-Russian,” but is actually basically a neutral and critical of NATO and the U.S. imperial commitments and the “Deep State” activities, who over the years have endeavored to make of the Ukraine regime a quasi-protectorate, with powerful “swamp creatures” like Paul Manafort and the Biden family all involved. The goalposts have shifted, and Neutrals do now look like partisans of the other side. Ground-up “goalpost shifts” can only come from outsiders applying pressure, and Steve Sailer is not willing to do so in this case.
The scale of the Ukraine offensive
It’s hard to believe much of anything on the Ukraine war, but one line, widely quoted and originating with the Ukraine defense ministry, claims the Ukrainian army had taken control of 6000 square kilometers in twelve or so days. Possibly some thousand more square kilometers when all the smoke clears and the apparent Russian readjustment is complete.
The “scale” is this: Ukraine gained 1% to 1.5% of total land area of the country. The total of Russian-occupied territory within Ukraine was about 21.7% before the offensive, and is now about 20.5% (+/-).
This kind of scale gives credence to the view of some neutrals and pro-Russians, who say the whole thing was just NATO-armed and perhaps heavily-NATO-assisted Ukraine regime forces scooping up easy gains after Russia began readjusting its forces to focus on the areas more critical, just as they withdrew from north-central areas entirely months ago to focus on the disputed east and the land-bridge to Crimea, both of which they hold firmly.
To Ukraine’s fighting men’s credit, they performed well, a lot better than the kleptocratic Afghanistan government which did almost no fighting after Biden pulled out the rug in mid-2021 and allowed the Taliban to walk into Kabul.
But the result in the northeast Ukraine was pre-ordained, if Russia was already in process of strategically re-adjusting. Celebrating as a major victory such gains during a strategic readjustment, if we accept that framing, really does amount to thinly-veiled, one-sided war propaganda. Reminiscent, it is, of peak-Ukraine-War-Panic conditions in late February, March, and April 2022.
Before returning to the puzzle of the Sailer position on the Ukraine war and the views of his many critics, I derive the territory loss in the “counter-offensive” in this ay:
Territorial losses and gains in Ukraine, quantified
UKRAINE, Jan. 2014 borders: 603,000 square kilometers (100% of total area) (comparable in size to Texas without its northern “panhandle”).
— Crimea: 27,000 sq. km. (4.5% of total area)
— The disputed “Donbas” region of eastern Ukraine: 65,000 sq. km. (10.5% of total area)
—– of which, occupied by Russia or pro-Russian forces, circa 45,000 sq. km. (7.5%)
—– of which, occupied by Ukraine military: circa 20,000 sq. km. (3%)
—– (no substantial change in this split in recent weeks)
As of August 2022:
— Russian-occupied territory in southeastern Ukraine, excluding Donbas: up to 45,000 sq. km. (7.5%)
— Russian-occupied territory in northeastern Ukraine (Kharkov/Kharkiv area): up to 14,000 sq. km. (2.5%)
— 21.7%: approximate TOTAL area of Ukraine was occupied by Russia as of August 2022 (i.e., Crimea + occupied portions of “Donbas” + occupied portions of southeastern Ukraine + occupied portions of northeastern Ukraine) (131,000 sq. km.; 21.7%).
As of mid-September 2022:
— Territory supposedly retaken by Ukraine in the Kharkov/Kharkiv area of northeastern Ukraine: 6000 sq. km. (1%).
A fluid situation, but if reports are correct Ukraine has re-occupied up to half of the territory which, as of August 2022, had constituted the “Russian-occupied territory in northeastern Ukraine” excluding the disputed Donbas region (where there has been no movement). There could be more territory added to this when all is said and done, the total plausibly rising to 1.5% of pre-2014 Ukraine territory re-occupied by Ukraine in September 2022.
The new total: The Russian-occupied area of Ukraine in late August 2022 was about 21.7%, and in mid-September is around 20.5%, but virtually none of that 1%+ net change in land-holding is in the key disputed area (Donbas) or the other key strategic area (the land-link to Crimea).
Crimea has been fully under Russian control and administration since spring 2014 and has not been not part of the war, except as a base-of-operations for the original Russian offensive into south-central Ukraine.
The eastern “Donbas” region has been a fortified and largely static front-line since the chaotic civil-war conditions of 2014 yielded to stalemate in 2015 and ever since, little change until the intervention by Russia in early 2022. (Within international-relations theory, there is nothing shocking or even surprising about a major power wanting to resolve frozen conflicts that are literally on its border.)
Parts of the disputed region were long occupied by the pro-Russian militias. small-scale actions continued into early 2015. The most dramatic was the weeks-long fight between lightly-armed militias over control of the key buildings of bombed-out regional airport, the leaders of which became social-media stars with cool noms-de-guerre (one pro-Russian militia captain called himself “Motorola”). The airport battle was the final one, and after he pro-Russian militias finally won out, an unstable ceasefire deal came into effect, repeatedly violated by both parties ever since.
The Russian intervention that began in late February 2022 allowed the Russians and pro-Russians to take a lot more of the Donbas, but they still lack control of key parts of it, as the US-backed now-substantial Ukraine regime military is very forward deployed in parts of the Donbas disputed region, having focused on fortifying a lot in the 2015-2021 period. The rationale for the Russian invasion, for its apologists, was that the major fortification of the disputed area was a Maginot Line situation, and to resolve the problem only thrusts through other areas would make sense.
The Ukraine offensive retook around 1% of Ukraine territory in conjunction with a Russian readjustment but it does not change the fundamentals of the war, despite the tone of the U.S. and other Western media.
The hype, and the hands visible behind the curtain
The German foreign minister, Baerbock, paid a personal visit to Kiev to celebrate the “counter-offensive” at its height, September 10. She gloated over the supposed major Russian humiliation and vowed billions in aid. In previous days, Ukraine’s government had again attacked Germany for not “paying up,” for failing to deliver enough unliteral aid which holy Ukraine deserves and Germany is morally bound to give for [reasons].
Foreign minister Baerbock is a left-wing Green politician of the usual type. She follows in the footsteps of the first Green foreign minister of the politicak sick-man of Western Europe (capital: Berlin). This earlier Green foreign minister was a curious man of the Sixty-Eighter generation named Fischer (he went by the kid-like nickname of “Joschka”). Fischer made a name for himself by self-righteously, angrily, and insistently demanding a war against Serbia to protect Muslims in the 1990s. He got his wish, including German military involvement with the NATO/US mission, the first such case of German military operations since 1945, but it was okay because they were protecting holy Muslims (?) in Europe against ogre-like Christian oppressors.
The creation of the NATO client-state protectorate of “Kosovo” followed that series of 1990s-interventions in the Balkans, along with a quasi-permanent occupation of a new country called Bosnia, the elevation to the pantheon of European political-mythology of something called the Srebrenica Massacre in which evil Christian-nationalists had supposedly killed a holy minority through which Europe is so blessed (though the Oppressor did not use Zyklon-B this time).
Also following the Balkan interventions of the mid-late 1990s was a demonstrated, and ongoing-implied, commitment to keep “down” Christian-nationalists or any Russia-friendly forces in Europe. There is a clear through-line from this 1990s Balkans policy by the NATO countries, through to today and the current Ukraine war.
I could go on like this, but suffice it to say the complicated situation in Ukraine yells out as a voice in the night for neutral analysis from the West which is neither pro-Ukraine nor pro-Russia. We seem to get none of this. So one-sided is the coverage that “neutral,” to the extent it exists at all, is seen as “pro-Russia.” The USA is far too closely involved, as if Ukraine were a territory of the United States itself, or at least a member of NATO. I expect large numbers of people do believe Ukraine is a member of NATO; and who can blame them, from the coverage they see, hear, and read.
(It’s also arguably true that the Ukraine regime is a kind of quasi-protectorate of the United States’ informal empire, an embarrassing one, a kind of Wild West. Consider how much of the endless headache-inducing “RussiaGate” of the late 2010s was really about Ukraine; recall that Alexander Vindman, a Ukrainian-Jew and military officer promoted by the U.S. media as a heroic whistleblower during one of the Trump impeachments, was a Ukrainian with regime ties. Why was the decades-long Washington D.C. political operative “swamp creature” Paul Manafort so deeply involved in Ukraine for years? Why was Biden’s son involved, also for years and so lucratively?)
When a commentator like Steve Sailer refuses, in such a situation, to provide neutral commentary or analysis, and instead cheerleads for one side, it is disappointing, maybe a little troubling, and worth asking “Why?”
The Sailer commentariat speaks
Much of the regular Steve Sailer commentariat has pushed back on the pro-Ukraine, pro-war, pro-intervention views Steve Sailer has offered up in the past six months. The pushback is similar to his enormous “wrong call” on the Corona-Panic in 2020 and beyond, and many of his critics make cautious or not-so-cautious approaches to why.
Some comments of the critics:
“I find it disappointing that Steve is toeing the deep state/MSM party line on the Ukraine war. He’s all in on the MSM media strategy of being silent on the downsides of the geopolitical debacle caused by this war of choice, like the self-destruction of the EU economies, the realignment of half the world into an anti-US economic bloc, the movement to de-dollarize world trade, the mass slaughter of Ukrainian cannon fodder, and the spectacular waste of US tax dollars. That kind of trivia just isn’t on the “noticing” radar. But any temporary success for this retarded neocon project is suddenly super-interesting and cause for celebration.
For example, Steve parroted the MSM by touting the big Kherson offensive to come. When it came and was a military disaster, that just wasn’t worth noticing. But when a second offensive caused the Russians to pull back, that was really interesting and Kherson was retconned as just a “feint.” (But wait, I thought only Pootin stooges believed in “feints,” like the attack on Kiev).
Oh well, Steve’s entitled obviously to draw his own conclusions based on available data. I guess he reads that data as saying it’s now a good policy for the U.S. to invade the world as long as it does so by proxy. After all, if Victoria Nuland and the CIA came up with the plan, and it’s being enforced by the MSM, you know it’s a good one. These people are so transparent, smart and aligned with the interests of the American people that nothing could possibly go wrong. Slava Ukraini!”
[End quote from Hypnotoad]
Greta Handel writes:
Beyond serving as copium denmother for disaffected white guys, Mr. Sailer himself AFAIK has scarcely dissented from the Exceptional! narratives in which Americans are marinated from infancy by Hollywood, sportsball, and every other Establishment source.
We live in the most thoroughly and constantly propagandized society ever. And most of us…succumb most of the time.
What has been revelatory about Mr. Sailer’s twin COVID and Ukraine obsessions these past few years is watching commenters who have always been welcome here in the HBD tree fort because they’re clever at denigrating black people show their true colors.
[End quote from Greta Handel]
Intelligent Dasein writes, in response to a Steve Sailer post titled “Some Technical Details on How the Ukrainians Pulled Off Their Strategic Feint”:
No. You are not going to be allowed to meme your stupid idea of a “Strategic Ukrainian Feint” into existence the way you did with your equally stupid “Deaths of Exuberance” idea. This is not a game. The kind of pure propaganda you’re up to, running cover for some very nefarious Deep State machinations, has real world consequences which now include the deaths of millions of people.
It seems as if The Narrative has nominated you to be its apostle to the contrarians. You peddle narrative ideas to the dissidents, wrapped in a candy coating of HBD to make it palatable to them. It’s all very Jesuitical.
There won’t be many here who wake up and see the truth, but for those who can, you have been exposed.
[End quote from Intelligent Dasein]
Someone questioned Intelligent Dasein’s use of the phrase “the deaths of millions of people,” to which Intelligent Dasein responds:
I’m including all deaths attributable to things Steve has been wrong about. It’s not just the war in Ukraine, but deaths due to Covid lockdowns, deaths of despair, suicide, economic hardship, lack of proper medical care, and of course the mRNA injections. Steve’s idiotic “Deaths of Exuberance” is a particularly cynical and sadistic attempt to shoehorn lockdown deaths into an HBD narrative that has nothing to do with it.
Now he wants to propound the “Ukrainian Strategic Feint,” when it’s quite obvious a mere 24 hours later that the Russians made a planned, orderly withdrawal and are using this opportunity to smash what’s left of Ukraine’s Nato-reinforced army. The only ones feinting here were the Russians, and they did it so wonderfully that everybody was fooled, even their own partisans.
[End quote from Intelligent Dasein]
An anonymous commenter says:
The USA is at war with its geopolitical foe, Russia. A war by proxy but a war nevertheless. Basically, all the boomers – like Steve, Charles Murray and Greg Cochran – fell for the patriotic duty to support their country. It’s that simple.
They will be disappointed. Russia cannot lose this war and will not lose. The Ukrainian soldiers are motivated, brave and smart. But even with all the support of the entire West, they are outmatched – and that’s a simple reality. Ultimately, Russia, in the same way as Ukraine, will pay whatever it takes for the victory. It’s going to be a tragedy for both Slavic countries and a very dangerous development for the world. Because once Russia does decisively defeat Ukraine in what is going to be an incredible bloodbath, it will want to punish those who instigated and made this war possible.
[End quote from Anonymous-131.]
In response to steady stream of criticism from his commenters asking why he is doing it, Steve Sailer inserts this one-liner into the discussion:
“I’m against starting wars of conquest in Europe.”
To this, Mr. Sailer got nine replies, each one of them critical.
There are some pro-war, pro-Ukraine voices in the commentariat, including two right-wing Jewish regulars, Jack D and HA; also on the pro-Ukraine, pro-war side is the longtime commenter AnotherDad, a hothead named Pixo, and on the of the resident contrarians, Corvinus (as the bulk of the Sailer commentariat is ‘contrarian’ when it comes to mainstream matters such as you would see in prestige media or hear on NPR, Corvinus is actually a contrarian-contrarian, always taking the “politically correct” or Regime line on everything, this Ukraine war being no exception). An unusually vulgar commenter named SimpleSong also adds his voice to this group of the pro-Ukraine, pro-war, pro-intervention minority in the Sailer commentariat in 2022. This man, SimpleSong, makes a point not just of attacking skeptics and critics of the pro-war/pro-Ukraine side, but celebrating Russian deaths in a tone outside the norm for this venue.
A handful of other commenters, besides the above-listed, express pro-war, pro-Ukraine, and/or anti-Russia views, but on the whole they are outnumbered by a margin of at least two-to-one and maybe three-to-one or so, by those against the Ukraine government and/or against US/NATO involvement and meddling and adventurism and all that has gone on, or who find need or cause to take an anti-anti-Russian line for any reason. This view is corroborated by the lopsided margins seen in the use of the “Agree” button.
PhysicistDave writes, addressing Steve Sailer:
Like you, I am against war in Europe, but this war was basically started by the US Deep State.
The Kremlin tried for years (and some Western powers gave some cooperation) to work out a peace deal via the Minsk accords. But the West[‘s] Ukraine puppet regime, with strong, material US backing, kept violating the Minsk accords.
Finally, Putin had enough and decided to counter the aggressive actions facilitated and encouraged by the US Deep State in Russia’s own back yard.
I don’t think anyone can counter the facts I have just laid out: this has all been very, very public knowledge.
Steve, you popularized the phrase “Deep State”: I think you are the main source for the phrase now being widespread across dissident media.
But you are still naive about the actions of that Deep State, even when those actions are very public knowledge.
Here is PhysicistDave‘s appraisal of the war at its six-month mark:
I thought it would be over quickly because I thought Putin would be much more ruthless and much less humane than he has been.
And because I thought Zelensky would be much more humane and much less ruthless than he has been.
Putin could easily have knocked out the Ukrainian infrastructure: electric power plants, water and sewage treatment plants, bridges, etc. So far, he has chosen not to do so — I think because he wants to have friendly relations with the Ukrainian people when the war is over.
And Zelensky has thrown his people into a meat grinder even though they have no hope of winning this war militarily.
Probably not a good idea to let a pornographic standup comic lead your country: not the best background for dealing with reality.
[End quote from PhysicistDave]
Buzz Mohawk, a moderate of long standing in the Steve Sailer commentariat, writes:
Vietnam…was another case of our America sticking its dick into a deep, dark hole it should not have. We do not belong in the Ukraine — but we are there virtually, remotely.
We are there to the tune of $Billions, and we are there with our Jewish Hollywood personalities shaking hands with the Jewish “Volodymyr” (Vladimir) Zelenskyyyyyy, and we are there with our Jewish rock-n-roll photographer Annie Leibovitz glamorizing the Jewish leaders of the Ukraine.
Steve’s support of all this is suspicious. I will just say that, and I could be wrong, but remember that Steve is himself Hollywood.
Please don’t include the Ukraine as “just trying to survive as an independent people/nation”…It isn’t, and it isn’t. It’s something else entirely and you and I and Steve don’t understand it and we don’t belong there.
[End quote from Buzz Mohawk]
You still seem to be focused on taking or holding territory.
That is not what war has been about for more than two centuries.
The goal is to get the other side’s army to stop fighting — either because they can’t fight (they are dead, captured, or injured, bereft of their command or unit structure, or out of supplies) or because they are no longer willing to fight (they see that the struggle is hopeless, or that it is just not worth the cost, or that they no longer have popular or regime support).
That is all that matters.
Again and again and again, armies have taken huge swathes of territory and lost. IN WW I, the Allies never invaded Germany; on Armistice Day, the Germans still held part of France.
But they still lost.
Gain territory, lose territory, advance, retreat, none of it matters until one side or the other either cannot or will not fight.
I’m surprised you do not know this: most of the guys in your and my generation had a rather keen interest in war — WW II, which our dads or uncles or grand-dads had fought in, and Vietnam, which our brothers or ourselves might have to fight in. Both wars are examples of my point.
[End quote from PhysicistDave]
Back more directly to the topic of why Steve Sailer has embraced a role as a pro-Ukraine partisan, Greta Handel asks:
[C]an anyone around here recall any coolly detached posts about Warball preceding Ukraine? It reminds me of how COVID inspired Mr. Sailer’s sudden interest in virology, another field beyond HBD where he has accepted the Establishment narratives. […]
My take is that on COVID and Ukraine he’s chosen to Notice only the overwhelming Establishment propaganda. […]
What do you make of a long-standing dissident public intellectual on HBD, who also dabbles in pop culture and sportsball, obsessively amplifying Establishment narratives on two subjects in which he’s apparently never shown much interest?
[End quote from Greta Handel]
James B. Shearer has one hand grasping the Corona-Panic banner as he responds to Greta Handel:
What’s the mystery, [Steve Sailer] agrees with the conventional wisdom about many things.
As for ‘obsessively’[:] covid and Ukraine are both topical. Naturally he had little reason to post about them 5 years ago.
He might post more about covid for which there is lots of data to analyse which is sort of his thing except that so many of his commenters are lunatics on the subject.
[End quote from James B. Shearer]
Steve Sailer supported the nationalist uprising in Ukraine in 2014, as did many of us to the extent we followed it, but Sailer found distasteful or worse some of the events related to the “making of the sausage” of which caught glimpses, namely the Neoconservative operatives who inserted themselves into the scene.
The mystery of what motivates Steve Sailer’s position on Ukraine in 2022 rather deepens when the commenter Hypnotoad drags up something Sailer had written in 2014, before the revolution.
(The ‘revolution’ refers primarily to events over several days in late February 2014, which started when pro-government snipers shot hundreds of people, aiming presumably for anti-government nationalists who were among tens of thousands camped out for months in the Maidan Square in Kiev demanding the government resign over corruption. When the situation reached a critical point and organized teams of nationalists had begun storming the police/sniper positions, many were shot, about one hundred killed. But those special-police snipers were not evil monster movie-cast villains. They were mostly drawn from the same general population as the protestors. Such men don’t “sign up” to shoot protestors. In the chaos, the snipers’ morale broke and they fled. The nationalists then seized control of events, fully activated their militias for immediate action and moved to seize armories and prepared to fight a civil war against the government if it refused to step down, knowing that momentum was totally on their side. The government rapidly collapsed as senior leaders fled to Russia; the civil war in the east began as pro-Russians there rapidly organized their own militias. The first battles were in April 2014 or so, a few weeks after the Maidan revolution of late February.)
Steve Sailer had written in early February 2014, on the Neocon operative and curiously permanent State Department fixture Victoria Nuland (a woman as well-connected to power as any you will find in Washington, a relative of the power neocon Kagan dynasty, and someone who does well no matter who’s in the White House):
“[I]f the 2016 election is between, say, Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan, [Victoria Nuland] won’t be sweating about whether or not she’ll have a job in 2017.
Considering their catastrophic track record on Iraq and their continued ascent in the stratosphere of power players, is there anything the Kagan-Nulands could screw up that would hurt their careers? (Other than publicly recanting and apologizing, of course.)”
[End quote from Steve Sailer, Feb. 7, 2014]
In the 2022 Ukraine crisis, we see none of this spirit in the Sailer commentary on Ukraine. Why?
Hypnotoad666 comments on the contrast:
“2022 Steve could learn a lot from 2014 Steve, who had more skepticism of the neocons and anticipated their cosmic screw-up in Ukraine.”
Steve Sailer doubles down in TakiMag
Steve Sailer publishes articles in Taki’s Magazine every Wednesday morning, and his latest bout of interest in the Ukraine war made it a safe bet what he’d write about this time. Sure enough, rah-rah for Ukraine it was.
The success of Ukraine’s surprise northeastern offensive suggests a fundamental problem for the invaders: When it comes to seizing and holding land in Ukraine, the average Russian soldier’s heart just isn’t in it.
But why should it be? After all, unlike Patrick Swayze’s guerrilla in Red Dawn, the poor Russian doesn’t live there.
That the modern male is less interested in conquest than his progenitors were seems like a general pattern. Men will still fight bravely for their homelands or for what they see as a good cause, but less so to raise their flag over their neighbor’s fields. […] (end quote from Steve Sailer, the first lines of his TakiMag article of Sept. 14, 2022)
In response, Hypnotoad666 offers this:
You are pushing the propaganda line that this war was a sudden, unprovoked, illegal attack by Pootin, to conquer the freedom loving Ukrainians for profit. (Except that he’s too stupid to figure out that he will lose money on the deal). But if that’s true, why have the Russians offered peace if only Ukraine would stay out of NATO and the DPR and LPR Russians would be respected? (These offers were both pre-war in December and in April in Istanbul but were rejected by the West).
Rightly or wrongly, this war is waged for national security, not profit and conquest. The US wanted to threaten and dominate Russia with a militarized puppet state, and to have an excuse to crash the Russian economy with sanctions. So far it’s the US and EU which have miscalculated. If they were “coldly rational” they would have chosen peaceful coexistence. But they have other agendas. There is a whole worldwide security and trade realignment at issue. That’s what’s going on. It’s not some cartoonish scheme to steal land.
Finally, this Ukrainian “victory,” is a PR victory only. The Russians retreated in good order from a relatively useless part of the front. They are keeping their reserves available to crush the next Ukranian offensive (probably starting tomorrow in the Donetsk area), like they did at Kherson a couple weeks ago.
So your article is basically wrong about everything. The facts, the motives, the consequences. Everything.
P.S., Believing anything you read in the MSM is the surest way to be misinformed about the Ukraine war.
[End quote from Hypnotoad666]
Loyalty Over IQ Worship says this on the Sailer TakiMag article:
A lot of mind-reading and acceptance of the Narrative in this piece.
Everyone in the Lying Media keeps telling us what Russians are doing, as if they know. But what the Lying Media tells us doesn’t agree with what Russians say. So who knows. Russia has never referred to this as a ‘war of conquest’ or anything like it. That was our Lying Media’s spin.
Steve Sailer responded to his critics with a long quote from a New York Times article that triumphantly proclaims the glory of Ukraine’s latest unstoppable victories.
A word to the wise, beware of bias confirmation in this raging information war.
It’s similar to during the 2016 election. Whatever else you might say about her, Hilary was indisputably the most unlucky candidate ever. That made me wary every time the media, especially that of the prestige variety, announced her latest royal straight flush.
The war will continue but Ukraine has lost. Yet, with the midterm elections weeks away, the illegitimate Biden regime has conjured a glorious victory and renewed hope just in time.
Believe me, no one has more respect for your incisive thoughts than I do. But “I read it in the New York Times” should have led you to find a better occasion to reprise them on wars of conquest.
[End quote from MLK]
Cagey Beast writes:
The New York Times is an unreliable source, especially now and especially on this topic. As far as I can tell the same is true of the other prestige media outlets.
The rest of us need to learn to live with not being able to trust what the media and our officials say. We have to live with the current state of Russian forces in Ukraine as a “known unknown”. We are told things about this but the people telling us are proven liars who admit they’re engaging in an “information war”.
If the local newspaper had a decades long track record of deliberately lying about local events and inaccurately printing the flyers from local stores, wouldn’t we be fools to build a shopping trip around the news that prime rib is on sale at store X for five cents a pound?
“Trust but verify” doesn’t even apply here. We should not trust and not put too much time or effort into verfiying the verifiable.
[End quote from Cagey Beast]
Steve, You’re getting caught up in the sportsball cheering, and it’s breaking your brain. The forces in that region were outnumbered by the Ukrainians. When you’re outnumbered, you retreat. If they get the drop on you, maybe you have to leave quick. (And maybe, just maybe, there’s some propaganda in that article, too.) However, if the decisive factor were that Russian soldiers simply don’t have the will to fight, what happened to the Ukrainian offensive around Kherson?
Or, do you have a explanation for why the Kharkov troops lacked the will to fight but the Kherson troops didn’t? What’s that rattling sound? Are you searching for a butterknife?
[End quote from Chrisonymous]
I could continue with more to this effect, but these are among the best, most incisive, and also representative of the majority of the commentariat’s views. Recall that these are mostly long-term fans, reader, and followers of Steve Sailer. It’s telling when one’s own ‘base’ turns against you to such a degree.
Conclusion: Why does Steve Sailer support the war?
As we have passed the six-month mark, the “Ukraine-War and ‘Covid’ Venn-Diagram” comes back to mind.
In the representative excerpts I have posted here, from (generally) well-established members of the Steve Sailer commentariat, we cannot avoid that some of the same voices as were backers to some degree of the Corona-Panic (or at the least not opponents of the Corona-Panic) are also on the pro-Ukraine, pro-war, pro-intervention side in 2022. The two things do not seem to be related and the alignment is surprising at first glance.
I started here with a question, Why does Steve Sailer support the Ukraine side in a complicated war the details of which are often slimy to the touch?
This is an especially interesting question because in the 2000s and 2010s, Steve Sailer was known in part as the man who coined “Invade the world, invite the world” as the six-word summation of U.S. ‘Regime’ policy, especially embodied in the person of John McCain at the time.
A lot of answers are proposed for what happened to this Steve Sailer, the man against foreign-adventurism at the expense of the interests of the USA. (In some thinking of late, there is no distinction between domestic concerns and global meddling.)
Many of the critics focus higher than the immediate matter of Ukraine (and its sacred and holy borders) onto the kind of position Steve Sailer occupies in our politics, with the Ukraine business supposedly symbolizing his role.
The sharpest critics essentially outline a theory to the effect that Steve Sailer is a gatekeeper, intending to corral ethnonationalist-leaning dissidents and keep them on the political reservation. I have quoted from some such comments here. The ‘gatekeeper’ allegation is not new and could already be heard in places in the late 2000s. A long-running theme is that Steve Sailer’s curious proposal of “citizenism” is a form of gatekeeping. Defining what a ‘gatekeeper’ is, that’s not easy to do. It’s too relative. THe concept is useful.
One long-standing member of the Sailer commentariat, Buzz Mohawk, darkly insinuates that Sailer may have been paid off by Ukraine agents or something to take a pro-Ukraine line. I suppose that is meant ironically.
The more general criticism is that he is now a man over age sixty who remembers to an extent Peak-America and the leftover flag-waving from that era. This blinds him to certain things younger men see rather more clearly (according to this theory).
I briefly mentioned Tucker Carlson in this post, to the effect that during this upsurge in Ukraine-cheerleading, he has been silent. He had been one of the view to give a platform to anti-war voices, but this time has not (as far as I know). Tucker Carlson is also sometimes called a gatekeeper.