I am so glad you accepted being proven wrong in your (relative) pessimism you held only a few weeks ago, as you now declared in your “Week 20”.
My gut feeling told me at the moment Putin started this campaign (to a considerable surprise for practically everyone, as he broke in a measured but daring way with years of principled self-restraint) that this would mark a turning point in geopolitics and a huge bright shine of hope at the very moment, where things turned to the markedly worse for my country, Germany (refugees, and “refugees”). I learnt from you, but also knew in my heart, that (a) Putin meant business (as he always does), (b) Putin would not act rash or get provoked by or into anything (the campaign starting slowly being NO negative sign), and (c) whenever Putin picks a fight, he intends to win, and he has as a great a chance of winning as any core resistance to the empire has (as the maniacs still have their clutches on the nuclear trigger).
I have never wearied of my basic optimism and I’m so happy you even sort of “declared defeat”.
Though it’s certainly an honorable way to err on the wary side; after all, as a public writer, you cannot just disseminate “gut feelings”, as a closet know-it-all like me. I just got the impression all along that you did branded a bit more people than really deserved it as bravado patriots and flag wavers. ! (Know what I mean?)
A great cheers to you, and keep up the good work,
Thanks for your email and kind words. Alas, I think that you are misreading me. The fact that the Russians did better and more than I expected them in no way changes the fact that there were, and still are, plenty of flag waving hurray patriots who 20 weeks ago never understood how dangerous this entire operation was and who still do not understand how dangerous and tenuous the situation still is. Think of a tightrope walker who manages to cross over a precipice on the day of high winds. I admire him and I am delighted that he made it, but those who expressed smug confidence just based on the fact that they liked the tightrope walker never understood how dangerous it all was. Please believe me that I am absolutely delighted that the Russians did as well as they did, I could not have hoped for better, but I am still acutely aware of how fantastically tenuous the situation still is. So far, the US and his own military commanders have, apparently, reigned Erdogan in. But in less than 24 hours we still might be looking at a nuclear war breaking out. As we did when the Turks shot down the Russian Su-24. So while I readily admit that, to my delight, the Russians did better than I thought, I do not in any way admit that the flag-waving cheerleaders whom I call the “hurry patriots” were right. They were wrong then and they still are wrong today.