Feb. 25, 2022

450: WAR! Russia Invades Ukraine - How'd We Get Here? (with Reed Cooley)

450: WAR! Russia Invades Ukraine - How'd We Get Here? (with Reed Cooley)

History doesn't necessarily repeat itself... but it certainly rhymes.


History doesn't necessarily repeat itself... but it certainly rhymes. At least, that's what we're seeing happen over in Eastern Europe, as the Russian Federation has officially invaded Ukraine.

 

How'd we get to this point? And how do we make sense of all of it?

 

Reed Cooley joins the program to give the Sparknotes history of the Russian/Ukraine conflict, plus what we can do in the future to avoid conflicts such as this.

 

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Transcript

Brian Nichols  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, hey there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on. I don't know if I can call it a fun filled episode. Today, we're talking about some not fun filled things. But yes, I am still your humble host, Brian Nichols. And thank you for joining us. On today's episode today I am joined by the one the only read at Cooley, thank you for joining us on the program, my friend, how are you?

Reed Cooley  
I'm great. Brian, how are you?

Brian Nichols  
I can't complain, man. I mean, all that's going on in the world. I honestly I cannot complain. I am happy. I'm in the great state of Indiana, along with all the Hoosier hospitality getting settled in. And yes, I look around the world and all the chaos that's unfolding right now over in the Eastern Europe. And I gotta say, count my blessings every single day, my friend. And thank you for joining us on the program. Let's introduce you to the audience. Rita, it's the first time we've had you in the program. So who are you What got you into this greater Liberty world?

Reed Cooley  
Well, so my life was turned upside down by a guy named Ron Paul, several years ago want to say it was a 2013 2014 was whenever I got involved in the liberty movement, I was an undergraduate student at Baylor University, which is actually what Rand Paul studied for about three years of his undergraduate career. A lot of people don't know that. Get involved with the Young Americans for Liberty chapter. They're just as an activist on campus, doing Young Americans for Liberty things, went on to a career in archaeology double majored in Anthropology and History, did several archaeological projects, and then decided that I wanted to do something a little bit more important to the present day world than digging up old people and their garbage. So I got in touch with Young Americans for Liberty again, decided that I wanted to fight for what I really cared about most at the end of the day, worked on several campaigns, I did some work for yell for several years. And now I'm doing a podcast doing writing, doing a lot of a lot of things, trying to carry the fight for liberty, everywhere I can like on this great show. So that's me, in a nutshell.

Brian Nichols  
Well, we appreciate you joining the show, especially with what you're bringing to the table. And that is a fresh perspective. And we need that today, especially as we're approaching a very topic, and that is war war over in the Eastern Bloc of Europe. We have Russia and Ukraine, Russia officially invading Ukraine, I think the last report, I saw that Russia just taken over Chernobyl, and the nuclear power plant waste and destruction site that took place there back in the 1990s 80s. somewhere in that ballpark. Now I write in there. Yeah, somewhere in there. Anyways. So we're seeing right now the the absolute just crumbling of what had been some sense of peace, or maybe at the very least stability over the past few years. But this is not new. And I think this is one thing it's important for the audience to take away today, especially people who are on as Michael Scott would say threat level Midnight is this is not something that is new, happening over in Eastern Europe, but rather, this just seems to be another chapter in quite a long set of sagas and chapters and have taken place here over decades on end, especially since 1945. So read, let's start off. How do we get here in this situation where we have Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation now currently invading Ukraine, if you could give us the SparkNotes version, if you would?

Reed Cooley  
Okay, SparkNotes. I don't want to get too historical with your audience. But I think it's a bit of an understatement to say that this is an issue that goes back decades, with respect to Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe. When we look at the rest of Eastern Europe, what is today, Ukraine, Poland, Bella ruse, you know, the the Baltic states or Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania. We're talking about a part of the world that has been just repeatedly divided, conquered, subdued, terrorized by larger surrounding powers into, you know, the, you know, the borders of what we now call Ukraine, they've not been there for a very long time. They've not really been around for anything over a century. So when you talk about, you know, the really the Eastern Bloc, you're talking about a part of the world that has been partitioned and all sorts of different ways for 700 800 years, right. So what we're seeing happen today is a trend that goes all the way back to you could say the High Middle Ages, right? I mean, I don't want to get too historical with your audience and bog them down with different details about you know, how Ukraine was divided in the in the 13th century or a few centuries later by the Mongol invasion or about you know, the partition of Poland in the late 17th century, for example, but that's really what's going on here. We're just seeing echoes of history echoes of a very long standing trend. And something that we have to understand is that Vladimir Putin has made this abundantly clear. Many times. He doesn't even really consider, you know, Ukraine, what we call Ukraine to be a country, at least not in the same way in which we in the West consider countries to be countries, right. Whenever you go around the world, you you encounter that there are many different definitions of what a what constitutes a country, right? Putin has made this clear, many, many times he doesn't consider Ukraine to be a country country, in the same way as let's say, the United States or France or whatever else, right. So this is something that is really centuries in the making, but you know, we can reflect on recent decades. Right.

You know, it's important to understand that the borders that constitute the country of Ukraine today, it's not it's not a it's not a monolithic country, in the least bit when you talk about the southern and the eastern region of Ukraine, right, you know, Crimea, Donbass, everything east of the Geneva River, you're talking about part of the country that is ethnically Russian is linguistically Russian, at least, at least in much larger degrees than other parts of the country, such as the Northeast where Kiev, the capital, is Ukraine is located. But it's it's worth acknowledging that just because speak, just because people speak Russian, and our F, you know, ethnically Russian, that doesn't mean that they want to be invaded or conquered by another country. Right. Um, and it's also worth noting that Putin in invading the Donbass region, you know, as in what we've seen over the last two days, and attempting to incorporate it into greater Russia, he's actually tipping the balance of power in the Ukrainian government towards his enemies, I got something that that has to be taken into account here, right. So obviously, we're not going to excuse in the least bit what Vladimir Putin is doing or what the Russian government is doing. But we have to understand this is something that is centuries in the making. It's absolutely intensified and decades and in recent years, going all the way back to the to the, to the infamous coup in 19. Sorry, of 2014. Right, there was the the ironically named Revolution of Dignity, as it was called where they overthrew Viktor Yanukovych for the unforgivable crime of deciding that maybe just maybe he didn't want to be a part of a greater geopolitical alliances, forged in 1919 49. Whenever Harry Truman was still president, he didn't want to he didn't necessarily think that it was to his own country's advantage to be a part of a greater geopolitical alliances, being NATO, that was forged in the geopolitical landscape of post World War Two. So when it comes to a lot of what we're seeing today, and we can say that it really intensified in 2014. Obviously, I don't think that that's a very revolutionary argument, no pun intended there. I think that, you know, it's very fair to make that sort of observation, because what we want to do you know, here is really try and what I try to do with my commentary on the subject is keep it limited to only what can be verified, which is so awfully difficult in this world of mass propaganda, at every single corner, this sort of Age of misinformation that we live in, right, I'm keeping it limited to to only what I can verify through credible sources, and really just talk about the entire situation as dispassionately as possible, that is to say, without making value judgments, necessarily about who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, anything like that, right? Or at least not operating from any such premise. So but but we can look at what happened in 2014, you know, the United States back to coup against a victory, Yanukovych, you know, for the unforgivable act of standing up for what he thought his own country's interests should be, because Providence forbid, that heads of state stand up for their own country's interests, over the interests of some greater geopolitical alliances, that they should, for whatever reason, feel, feel subjected to. So, you know, the United States obviously, has, has a lot of blame and what's going on here, right. But it's also worth noting that, you know, with respect to just trying to understand where the balance of power lies, you know, Russia really seems to have all the leverage right now like set morals aside, you're the morals of what's going on here. The the leverage really seems to be set, you know, on Russia side here so their desire for their preferred outcome in this situation is much, much stronger. Meaning that they see this conflict as something much, much more worth fighting for, than NATO in the US do like in Russia, you know, they obvious don't want NATO expanding eastward because they don't want missiles within 10 minutes or less of their capital. Right. I think that's a pretty understandable concern from any perspective. So their desire for their preferred outcome is much more intense than NATO and the United States. And they have geographic proximity, right? I mean, this is a pretty much unavoidable axiom of all things war, that geography matters a tremendous amount, right? So by by geographic proximity, I mean that Ukraine, or at least the the targeted parts of Ukraine, are much closer to Russia and much more subject to their missile attacks, as we've seen over the last few days.

Brian Nichols  
Wow. So that was a lot. And I'm wanting to just have that right there. Cuz that's a great starting off point to now bridge the conversation even more. And one of the parts that you start to bring up and I think we want to focus a little bit on this is not just the the how we got here, but also the implications of what what could happen as a result of this. So I've heard some people who they compare this to Iraq War. And I just don't think this is a fair comparison, because now we're watching a situation where if if the push is to have America, get involved and have the NATO countries get involved, we are now starting to play this really weird and dangerous game with nuclear weapons at the disposal of Russia. And I think it was in 2019, or 20 2018 or 2019, that they, the Russian Federation just went in revamp their entire nuclear arsenal. So maybe it's a little earlier than I forget that specific date. But the fact that that just happened, and the fact that now we are watching what's happening unfold over in the Eastern Bloc, and now we're seeing a growing push for war, the drumbeat of war had been beating here, especially on the say, corporate precipice at mainstream press. But Michael mass will get now mad at me. But no, the the corporate press, they they've really been beating these drum beats of war. And I let me ask it read. I mean, do you do you see a situation where America gets involved in a conflict here? In especially considering the fact that we do have nuclear implications?

Reed Cooley  
I want to plead Socratic ignorance here, a little bit of just humility and say that I honestly don't know. That's just being fair and is trying to be intellectually honest. But there are observations and correlations that are absolutely worth pointing out. I obviously, I hope that we don't go in that sort of direction. But as you're describing right now, Brian, you know, the drums of war are echoing through history again, and it really seems like the war propagandist of today are reaching into the past. And drawing from all of the weapons they need to mobilize people towards war again today, right? So if you read the Washington Post, The Atlantic Foreign Policy magazine, maybe NPR, CNN, insider magazine, you name it, any one of the you know, the sort of state media complex outlets, you'll find so many of the same old familiar, just worn out tropes. Yep, that we should know better than to listen to at this point. You know, it's a narrative of some hyper aggressive expansionist autocrat, suddenly waking up and for no apparent reason at all just deciding to attack some innocent group of people somewhere, whether they're in his own country or not, right. We saw the media spinning this narrative with Saddam Hussein. We saw it again with Bashar Al Assad in Syria, and now they're spoon feeding it to us again with Vladimir Putin, right? It's the same exact kind of story that they're telling us. But it's also worth pointing out that it was just three months ago, Putin wrote a letter to Washington communicating that they did not want NATO to expand into Ukraine, because they didn't want missiles to be in such close proximity to Moscow, right. I mean, with missiles in Ukraine, you're talking about the possibility that they could strike the capital of Russia and for maybe five minutes, you know, this is a perfectly legitimate concern from any point of view. I mean, if Russia wanted to put missiles in, let's say, Mexico, or Canada, yep. I think that the American people will have a lot of anxiety about that, and rightfully so. But it just so happens that we do have an exotic and historic example that we can point to that being you know, the obvious one Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which Jack Kennedy actually had to recruit his brother to secretly defuse because he didn't want the stupidity and the politics of the State Department at large to be responsible for trying to negotiate such a tense situation. As far as the outcome of how this goes, Brian. I don't I want to say that I don't foresee something as horrendous as nuclear war. I, my instincts tell me that, that sounds a bit hyperbolic and I absolutely hope Right. What I do, what I also hope happens from this is that, you know, people will finally see the futility of NATO, people will see that this is an obsolete institution founded in 1949. And that it's it's high time to replace it with an America First foreign policy built on non interventionism. I know that whenever people hear America first, they obviously think of our our most recent president in this country. But I personally don't shy away from the term because just from a strategic and messaging point of view, I see it as a way of connecting with an audience outside the Liberty sphere that we need to we need to connect with and that we need to win win support over with so um, I think that it's time to replace it with a pro America foreign policy built on non interventionism. And I hope that you know, that this can be a silver lining in a very dark situation in which people are dying, that we can see the futility of these entangling alliances, such as George Washington called them, you know, over two centuries ago. Yeah, well read on the weekend, Hope we'll start way from this expectation that the United States and that people like in a countries like Ukraine, this will start to move away from this.

Brian Nichols  
Yep. As I say, read in one of the things I think, you know, as we're moving forward, now, people, they want to better understand, not just how we got here, but how we can avoid this happening in the future. Now I know it sounds, it sounds a little weird to talk about, well, how can we avoid this from happening again in the future, but we need to start planning ahead. Because right now, if we're just constantly reacting and trying to put out fire after fire, we're gonna be having this conversation, again, five years, 10 years, 1520 years, it will cycle constantly on end, and it will not stop until we officially break that cycle. So let's start here, Reed, what are some actionable steps that we can recommend? And obviously, this is a little difficult, right? Because we cannot, as individuals go out and just make these changes overnight, but we can at least start to pressure our politicians in certain directions and certain elected officials in certain directions to help them do the right thing. So what's the best way to start doing that to, again, avoid this from ever happening again? Or is that possible? I don't even know.

Reed Cooley  
Well, it's important to keep in mind that war is the health of the state, as long as you have states, you will have rampant and rampant and unjustified levels of war no matter what, right? So we have to understand that this that what we're seeing right now, this is just one of many symptoms of, of the greater fight against the state. This is what happens whenever you live in a on a globe that's dominated, you know, not by not by an appreciation for liberty, but by a collection of super states, all vying for resources and interest in money with each other and willing to kill whoever they have to in order to get it. You know, we have but and but in fighting the state, we have to understand its many tricks. Right. And I think that that we can extrapolate some of them from everything that's happened lately. Right, you know, to worded the way that Murray Rothbard might have, you know, what we're seeing now is one of the state's many tricks. Actually, there's an example that just popped into my head, a very concrete one, I think that I can I can laser focus on right now. I'll never forget two days ago, it was a, you know, Joe Biden, he got this press conference, in which he told the American people that there are going to be prices here at home that the American people are going to have to pay for Putin's actions, right. I think he said, defending freedom will have costs was here at home. I think that was an exact quote, right? It's just that like, that stood out to me, because that sounds so much like the rhetoric that they spoon fed us as they were preparing to pass, for example, the Patriot Act, right? You know, it's, you know, they take something really stupid, really offensive, perhaps even something really deadly, that the state wants to do that the government wants to do, and they and they describe it as though it's some form of noble sacrifice, that the people should feel honored to make for patriotic reasons, or for nationalistic reasons, or whatever else, right. In other words, they're ascribing some sort of virtue in seating over more liberty and seating over more power to the state. And this same form of propaganda is going to be used against the anti war crowd here in the United States, you don't care about freedom, because you don't care about defending freedom in Ukraine. They will tie the prices that Americans have to pay, whether it's at the gas pump, or it's in or it's literally in terms of their liberties, to being a good American, if you're not willing to pay the price. You know, for freedom, if you're not willing to defend freedom by going to by potentially going to die in a war in a different part of the world that really has no impact on you at all, then you're not a good American. But as I'm describing that, it's also worth noting that this is not always the strategy that the state uses in order to get the people support for something like war. In many cases, the state and the state media complex they try to persuade us that there is no cost to war, or perhaps that that will even make money by going to war somewhere. It's I'm describing that you know that the example of Syria comes back to mind years ago, I remember hearing your the mainstream media telling us back then that if we go to Syria will actually make money because we'll go there, and we'll actually take the oil, right, we'll get rich. So it's worth noting, to bring it back to your question, Brian, that this is symptomatic, of, of the fight against the state war is the health of the state. And the state has a wide variety of tricks and narratives that they will employ in order to gain the people's consent for whatever atrocious thing they want to do.

Brian Nichols  
Well, I think right now, your average person is waking up to realizing that things aren't as squishy and awesome. And, you know, rainbows and butterflies as always, they thought they were. And maybe that's a good thing, because we sometimes get too comfortable in the appreciation of certain liberties and certain rights without understanding how quickly they can be taken away. So hopefully, this is gonna wake some people up that you know, it is important to start focusing on things more specifically here at home. And with that, folks, if you're interested in learning more about how Reid has been talking about things while obviously he has got a great podcast and read, we want people to be able to continue that conversation with you. So both areas, podcasts, social media contact, all that fun stuff. Where can they go ahead and continue the conversation.

Reed Cooley  
Now the best place to find me is on Twitter. You can find me at Jay Reed Cooley, that is letter j r e d, c o le y.

Brian Nichols  
Awesome already. And with that, folks, if you enjoy today's episode, please do me a favor go ahead and give it a share. And when you do, make sure you go ahead and give read a tag as well as yours truly, I'd be nickels liberty, and folks, I'll make it easy for you. By the way, go to the podcast catcher that you use of choice, click the artwork, it'll bring right to Brian Nichols show.com where you can find reads episode which just happens to be episode 450 50 to go We're at 500 Read we're almost there. And also, you know, I don't know where the time went either. But also folks if you would be so kind when you're there please go ahead and give us a five star rating and review every little bit helps. But with that being said is Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Rita Cooley. We'll see you next week. And

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Reed Cooley Profile Photo

Reed Cooley

Writer & Public Speaker

Writer, Patriot, Tolkienite, Small-l libertarian.