The Elephant in the Room

In 1814, Ivan Krylov (1769–1844), poet and fabulist, wrote a fable entitled “The Inquisitive Man”, which tells of a man who goes to a museum and notices all sorts of tiny things, but fails to notice an elephant.1

I thought it appropriate to reference a Russian author given our current news cycle.

First, a disclaimer: I am not a Putin apologist, or a fan of the Soviet…er…Russians. In fact, I harbor a great deal of resentment for their treatment of the German colonies in Russia during the late 19th century, and especially their treatment of German civilians in Prussia and Germany during WWII. In short, I could give a rip about them. But this isn’t about the Russians per se.

Instead, this is about how the media is leading the American people by the nose so as to avoid more important issues. I plan on doing a deeper dive on who controls the media, etc, in the future.

But given recent events, I wanted to highlight, briefly, a news story that was largely ignored, but may (likely) have much more dire consequences in the near future.

First, look at where the Media✡ would have you focus:

Notice the red circles (except for USA_Today, they skipped it entirely). What is that tucked down at the bottom of the page? Let’s zoom in on the New Y✡rk Times:

Why is this big news? How can it be more important that a former President being picked on by a S✡r✡s appointed affirmative hire?

It has to do with feelings, specifically: Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia’s biggest fear has been NATO encirclement. They acted on it in Serbia in the 90’s, in Georgia in 2008, and ostensibly it was one of their reasons for invading Ukraine. Look at a map of NATO:

The second little arrow near the Black Sea is Georgia. You don’t hear much about Georgia. But this is what NATO has to say about it:

Georgia is one of NATO’s closest partners. It aspires to join the Alliance. Over time, a broad range of practical cooperation has developed between NATO and Georgia, which supports Georgia’s reform efforts and its goal of Euro-Atlantic integration. The country contributes to the NATO-led operation Sea Guardian and cooperates with the Allies and other partner countries in many other areas.

So, if you are Russia… kind of starting to look like NATO is knocking at the door. And this is not a new issue. “From the beginning, Russia strongly objected to NATO’s borders creeping closer to its territory. In 1997, Russian President Boris Yeltsin tried to secure a guarantee from President Bill Clinton that NATO would not add any former Soviet republics. Clinton refused.

The U.S. hoped that its financial support, along with diplomatic overtures from NATO, could be enough to counterbalance Russia’s displeasure over expansion…

Over the course of the 1990s and early 2000s, NATO expanded three times: first to add the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland; then seven more countries even farther east, including the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; and finally with Albania and Croatia in 2009. …For the U.S. and its Western allies, a successful and independent Ukraine was a potent potential symbol that Russia’s time as a powerful empire had come to an end. During the early 2000s, President George W. Bush pushed for Ukraine to become a NATO member. France and Germany opposed it, fearing escalation with Russia.”


Which brings us back to Finland joining NATO. Here is my concern: if Russia was already feeling “hemmed-in” or encircled, is adding Finland during a shooting-war a good idea? Is it not possible that at some point Putin might despair and take more drastic measures (ie., invade a NATO country, use tactical nukes, etc)? Look at it from another point of view (and this was written in 2016!):

“But NATO can and does menace important Russian interests without posing an existential threat. As I have described elsewhere, it would be a useful mental exercise to consider what the reaction in this country would be if an alliance dominated by another major power, say China, began to add the Caribbean countries, the Central American countries, and the northern tier powers of South America to a military alliance that it controlled. Consider further the probable reaction if the Chinese equivalents of neoconservatives campaigned to bring Canada and Mexico into such an alliance and deploy Chinese military forces in those countries. Would any U.S. leader—indeed, any prudent American—not consider that a threat to the nation’s security? “

Sure seems like this might be more important than a presidential candidate mis-filing payments to a porn star.

Amerika Erwache!