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The war in Ukraine is far from over, but the Ukrainians have inflicted enormous damage on the Russians. This is a lesson for all of us on how to fight extremism in any form.
But first, three new stories from Atlantic Ocean.
Contain and conquer
This past weekend was full of sorrow and glory. Queen Elizabeth II has died, and like many Americans, I have felt the pain of loss. The Queen, seemingly an eternal part of our world, was a staunch ally of the United States and a model of dignity and duty. But by focusing on mourning and spectacle, we may have overlooked another story that could change the world in Ukraine.
Ukrainians using a combination smart strategymilitary endurance and Western weapons, defeated the Russians from a number of positions around Kharkov. These were not just defeats; Russians left their posts and leaving behind their equipment before the Ukrainians could get to them. Apparently, Russian soldiers do not want to die for President Vladimir Putin. miserable dream restore a state that had already perished before some of them were even born.
This is a huge humiliation for the Russians and for Putin personally, and Russian experts have already shout at each other in a panic on state television. State newspaper of Russia, Russian newspapereat like an analyst noted Mark Galeotti.stammering and contradicting himself, trying to brush off yet another Russian military disaster.
So what happens next? In some circles, one would expect calls for negotiations with the Ukrainians. But for what purpose? Like mine Atlantic colleague Ann Applebaum wrote, nothing to discuss. Putin has “placed the destruction of Ukraine at the center of his foreign and domestic policies and at the center of what he wants his legacy to be.” Negotiations from the first day of the war were impossible. The only answer was to stand and fight, which the Ukrainians did with valor and perseverance.
This is a lesson for all of us here as we face a global attack on democracy. Americans are generally the product of a legalistic, free market, democratic society, so we value negotiations and deals. We believe that almost any problem lends itself to rational discussion and conscientious exchange of views. Each side gives something and receives something. But what if the person at the table is not interested in compromise?
Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of 9/11. I remember how the attack sparked arguments about how we could have avoided such hostility, how we should have known that we were paying the price for our policies, how we did not hear voices warning us.
Politics has consequences, but I never believed in such accusations. The subsequent terrorist attacks over the years have proved, in my opinion, that we were attacked for reasons beyond our control. It has never been possible to prevent violence from al-Qaeda or from the misguided and pathetic people involved in senseless massacres in places like London, Madrid, Paris and Brussels. (The Tsarnaev brothers who attacked my beloved city of Boston were the epitome of nihilism masquerading as a cause. These supposed Muslim warriors were actually a young man described by a friend as “normal bowl” and his narcissistic older brother, a future boxer who was one of the first suspects in the triple murder to the Boston Marathon bombing.) We have learned over the years that compromise is impossible and that we will simply have to fight groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and their diverse group of violent underdogs.
Then we made the same mistake after the January 6 riot in the Capitol. Republicans and others wringed their hands over how the rebels expressed “law” resentment. Once again, we were told that we should have listened more to the voices of the unheard – as if we could somehow adapt and satisfy those of our fellow citizens whose minimum requirement was the suspension of the Constitution (not to mention those who wanted to see the execution of high-ranking elected officials). United States government officials).
Extremism, however, wins over compromise and deal making. There was nothing Ukraine could do but surrender immediately to stop Putin’s invasion. A large number of militant jihadists, especially in Europe, is a complex social phenomenon that cannot be reduced to a reaction to US policy. The rebels at the Capitol wanted to annul the election and hang the Vice President of the United States. Sometimes there is nothing to discuss on the table.
Last week my colleague Pete Wehner – a man of more faith and patience than I could ever hope for –wrote it in Atlantic Ocean:
But even though we shouldn’t give up on individuals, I can’t help but conclude that the time for mitigating grievances has passed. In our political efforts, the task now is to contain and defeat the MAGA movement, moving from a model of psychological improvement to a model of political confrontation.
Hold back and win. If we really should be supporters of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and basic decency, then this is the bitter truth. Politics has its limits. Negotiations should be based not only on good faith, but also on reality, and not lies or myths.
Extremist demands must be impossible: America must to convert to Islam, Ukraine must accept the power of Moscow, the elections must be canceled, and Mike Pence hanged. The people making such demands are not interested in discussion or compromise; indeed, they would be disappointed if they got what they wanted, because their anger sustains them and gives meaning to their lives. Faced with such movements and their demands, there is only one answer: containment and defeat.
- Ukrainian troops restored further territory from Russian forces in the northeast and south of the country, including reportedly most of the Kharkiv region.
- There are about 20,000 people in Edinburgh. waited in line to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who will lie in St. Giles’ Cathedral until noon Tuesday.
- Amtrak announced temporary reduction of three intercity passenger routes in response to a potential freight rail strike.
By Jacob Stern
At first, Damon Dubois’ fantasy football league punished the last-placed player rather leniently. The loser had to let the champion choose his team name for the next year, take care of the housekeeping for the next draft, or, at worst, play sports. I suck at fantasy football license plate all off-season. Nothing crazy.
But by the final weeks of each season, league members already eliminated from the playoffs were eliminated. Dubois wanted to raise the stakes. So, about five years ago, he asked the group a question: what would be a good punishment for last place? And soon the answer came: cheese shoes. “One of our league mates just started saying it, and we’re like: Dude what?!Dubois told me. “And he was like Aha! Let’s just throw a bunch of cheese in our shoes!”
More from Atlantic Ocean
Read. “Floating”, poem by Arthur Sze. “Magpies fly from branch to branch. In the slow tide of the day you sleep in my arms.”
Watch. FX A patientthe newest TV show dedicated to the dramatic potential of imprisonment.
Many of you know about my love for vintage television. Last night I dozed off on some classic and woke up to find myself looking at big-eyed, bouncing puppets. thunder birdsBritish TV series filmed in Supermarionation, a marionette-making technique pioneered by the legendary Jerry and Sylvia Anderson. This was my favorite show redone like a live action movie, but it doesn’t work without weird puppet shows. Indeed, I hope that MeTV or some other network returns Captain Scarlet and the Mysteronsthe same team’s 1967 Supermarionation show, which was better and weirder than thunder birds and had great topic. (Captain Scarlet is part of a secret army fighting terrifying alien invaders called the Mysterons, and he’s invincible because… look, this is a puppet show, it doesn’t make sense.)
I have seen a loving and nostalgic stage tribute to thunder birds in London back in the 1990s, but Supermarionation never got the proper treatment (and, in a crazy way, respect) it deserved until it was brought back by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the provocateurs behind South Parkin their movie Team America: World Police. It’s fun. But be careful: Team America almost rated NC-17 until it’s been edited and it’s not even remotely Family Film.
Kelly Maria Korduki and Isabelle Fattal contributed to this newsletter.