Victor Davis Hanson: Ukrainian Paradoxes• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Victor Davis Hanson
One of the strangest things about the American response to Ukraine has been the willingness of the Left and the establishment Right to discount completely that the war is heading toward a rendezvous with ever-deadlier weapons and staggering fatalities—even as we witness increasing nuclear threats from a weakened and adrift Vladimir Putin. They insist that Putin is merely saber-rattling. And he might be. Supposedly, in his diminished and discredited state, Putin would not dare to set off a tactical nuclear weapon (as if diminished and discredited leaders are not more likely to do so).
Proxies Versus Balloons
But while we discount the nuclear dangers of a paranoid Putin reacting to the arming of our proxy Ukraine, the brazen Chinese, in violation of American airspace and international law, sent their recent "weather " surveillance balloon across the continental United States with impunity. Only after public pressure, media coverage, and the Republican opposition did the Biden Administration, in the 11th hour, finally drop its increasingly incoherent and disingenuous excuses, and agree to shoot the balloon down as it reached the Atlantic shore—its mission completed.
Given the balloon may have more, not less, surveillance capability than satellites, may have itself been designed eventually to adopt offensive capability, and may have been intended to gauge the American reaction to incursions, the Biden hesitation and fear to defend U.S. airspace and confront China makes no sense.
Contrast Ukraine: Why discount the dangers of strategic escalation in a third-party proxy war, but exaggerate them to the point of stasis when a belligerent's spy balloon crosses the U.S. heartland with impunity? Are the borders of Ukraine more sacrosanct and more worthy of our taking existential risks than our own airspace and southern border.