The Last Of Biden’s Privateers

Republicans introduce bill to issue Letters of Marque for privateers against Russian oligarchs.

Actions - H.R.6869 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): To authorize the President of the United States to issue letters of marque and reprisal for the purpose of seizing the assets of certain Russian citizens, and for other purposes. | | Library of Congress?

Jesus, i know these guys want to roll back the clock to a time when women and “the coloreds” knew their place but this is some 19th Century, Age of Sail, Horatio Hornblower-type nostalgia.


Maybe some Republican Senator will pull these guys aside and tell them the United States signed a treaty making privateering illegal.

Jeez. When they talked about filibuster reform, this is NOT what they meant.

Every sensible part of me says that this is an extremely bad idea.

I have to admit there’s a tiny little maritime lawyer tragic in me that thinks this is the funniest, coolest thing I’ve heard of, from the R’s, ever.

It’s a trap. I just haven’t figured out how yet……

It sounds like an attempt to give Putin ammo to use against us. “How can you be against us? While we are just defending our border, those Americans are openly planning to employ pirates!”

What could go wrong?

Looks like it just one Republican who sponsored it, Lance Gooden of Texas. Let’s see what other bills he’s introduced:
“Resolution to end the inquisition of President Donald J. Trump.”
“Stop COVID Act of 2020” (something about suing China for releasing a biological weapon)
“No Tax Dollars for the United Nation’s Immigration Invasion Act”

And a bunch of “End Child Trafficking” laws that are really just anti-immigration laws.

So, legislative performance art.

His constituents must be so proud.

I would not be surprised if many of his constituents would be in favor of all of those bills.

Agreed. I was trying to be sarcastic but I realized it may be literally true.

The Republican Party has made a shambles of Poe’s Law.

“Art? That sounds like a librul plot! I’d never have anything to do with it!”

At first I thought Putin was trying to scare the United States and NATO away from involvement with his “Special Military Action”, but I have come to suspect the opposite, that he is trying to lure us into full scale war.

I realize being inscrutable and unpredictable is his standard manner of proceeding, and that brinkmanship is a hallmark of cold war tactics, but I bet he has held his best troops in reserve in case he gets to fight against the real NATO!! He has always wanted to be considered worthy of inclusion – of being equal, and what better way to demonstrate he is “our equal” than to be in a shooting war against us??

I really cannot point to any one thing, or even any chain of events, but everything he says sounds to me like: “Oh please don’t throw me into that brier patch!!”

(Only if one could snap one’s fingers and guarantee 100% conventional war-- no nukes!)
I do not believe for a second the Russian military is represented by the Barney Fife competencies they are showing so far. US airplanes, or even NATO planes without any help from America at all could wipe up this whole operation throughout Ukraine in a few weeks. Once there is a no fly zone (which would require destroying SAM sites in Russia proper) the Russian troops already in Ukraine would be easily defeated without resupply which would require air superiority.

If that were to happen I would not expect Putin to push the button. No one writes a history after total annihilation, so there is no hero to be remembered as the hero.(*) The whole thing looks like a feign to me-- Don’t chase me, I am limping and old and weak! Were the West to become involved, I would expect the Kestone Kops who are currently invading Ukraine to become quite formidable in an instant! I think the reason they are attacking hospitals and residential spaces and escape corridors is to bate the US into action so they can throw off their costume and fight for real for a month or two before negotiating a very favorable cease fire. Even though Trump is not in power, he has managed to telegraph that he would fall for this ruse (if that is, in deed, what it turns out to be) hook, line and sinker.

Thank goodness someone as wise and restrained as Biden is calling the plays right now. He is doing as much as he can without escalating and he is also growing partnerships on every front. He is even wise enough to realize the risk involved with the fighter jets – I would have blundered into that deal in a red hot minute I am so eager to release Ukraine from the suffering they are having to endure. I can hardly watch the news (or even read very graphic stories), it is like what I imagine watching torture porn would be like – almost like being forced to watch a snuff film.

I might be rash enough to reward those who like myself, want to take matters into their own hands and smash those evil bastards with every tool. We call those who sacrificed in the early 1940’s the greatest generation. Not just the ones who went and fought and sometimes didn’t come back-- but also the ones at home who walked to save gasoline for the soldiers who needed it more, and went without sugar and a thousand other comforts in support of on the pointy end of the spear. Well, it seems like things might have been even worse for those in Ukraine where some of the battles were fought. And now they are needing another ‘greatest generation’.

(*) Unfortunately, one can not make plans based upon the most likely action of one’s opponent but upon all the possible actions of that opponent.

This is awesome. Such a clever way to make a political statement and basing it on obscure & archaic clauses in the Constitution? He’s a genius.

Oh wait. You mean he’s serious?

I retract my earlier statements.

His reserves better be fucking awesome, given the apparent disparity in strength between Russian and NATO forces.

Couple of things from that link:
First nuclear capacity. Yes they win, but this fact cannot be denied-- Six-Thousand is not enough and One is way, way too many! Nobody wins a nuclear war and everyone, even those appearing insane know it. Moving to conventional . . .

I am not saying it makes sense, I am just saying I have a strong suspicion Putin is trying to bait the entire West into something rash and ill advised. Maybe it will make him feel all manly and worthy to be in combat with such a superior force, maybe he wants to cause trouble in order to eventually negotiate with all those world leaders, maybe I am completely wrong?

If the most simple answer is the correct one, in my limited and perhaps uninformed view, that makes as much sense as any other explanation of what he is doing. I mention it here because the very concept of issuing Letters of Marque sounds like some are being lured into an escalation that is less than ideal.

This reads like the analysis who were claiming that Gorbachev’s perestroika and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union was all a KGB-directed ruse to ‘lure’ the West into complacency (and was arguably part of what caused the United States to be so standoffish to the nascent Russian democratic reforms instead of wholeheartedly supporting the transition, leading to Putin’s oligarchy). That turned out to be complete nonsense and the economic analysts who had long observed that by nearly every measure the Soviet Union was completely bankrupt and only propped up by selling oil for hard currency used to purchase needed staples were correct and often even underestimated the desperate condition of the Soviet economy.

In truth, even if the Russian Army had large reserves of ‘competent’ fighters and well-maintained equipment waiting in the wings to rush into Ukraine, it just does not have the logistic capacity in terms of refined petroleum, air transportation, and effective communications to support a sprawling European campaign. What Russia has shown here is entirely consistent with the wars in Chechnya and other regional suppressions; using conscript troops as cannon fodder while using its relatively large Spetznaz forces to take or destroy critical infrastructure. The miscalculation was in the size of Ukraine (and the difficulty of operations in the Rasputitsa of early spring) making the logistics of incursion a much greater problem, which is the kind of error someone more versed in subterfuge than warfare would make. That the Ukrainian people are also extraordinarily resistant to Russian incursion is sauce for the goose (and entirely expected to anyone familiar with Ukrainian history and its culture).

There is no way Russia can prosecute a wider European land war, and frankly I doubt they even have enough reserve to continue an effort into Moldova or the Baltics. They’d be lucky to be able to regroup and successfully attack Georgia, something that would almost certainly bring NATO into the fight. This isn’t some elaborate plots-within-plots by a genius strategist; this is Putin being a massive troll who took reports of the readiness of the Russian armed forces without due skepticism and assumed an ease of subduing Ukraine that no student of history would have counseled.


Back to the topic at hand…

And a ‘Q’ adherent, too, I would wager.

What is the Ukrainian word for Antelope anyway?