(National Review’s Noah Rothman wrote this excellent piece. June 10)  

Purveyors of or participants in what passes for discourse on social media are routinely confronted with the imminence of the apocalypse.

The airstrike that eliminated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Qasem Soleimani was said to be prelude to the end of days. Indeed, social-media users seemed to enjoy reveling in their own fatalism. Is Israel’s war in Gaza “the starting point of World War III, or the apex of U.S. empire, signaling irreversible decline?” asked Global Uplift Project founder Robert Freeman. “The difference could not be more important.” Freeman has a point there, although it’s reasonable to doubt his own comprehension of it.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the West’s response to it have met the needs of those who find some measure of personal satisfaction in predicting the coming end of civilization — a bizarre proclivity fueled, in part, by Joe Biden’s muddled thinking and irresponsible rhetoric. The latest opportunity to languish in doom and gloom occurred late last month when Biden reluctantly acceded to his allies’ demands and allowed Ukraine to use U.S.-made ordnance to strike targets inside Russia, where Russian forces are staging their assaults on Ukraine.

“Joe Biden’s move unleashes another military escalation that increases the chance of a nuclear conflict,” said the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s general secretary, Kate Hudson. “He’s put us on a slippery slope to catastrophe.” The highly excitable venture capitalist David Sacks agreed. “Never once during the Cold War would we have dreamed of striking Russia on its own soil, even through a proxy,” he remarked. “I’ll take a ‘convicted felon’ over World War 3 any day.” The Center for Renewing Democracy, run by Russ Vought, who served in the Trump administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, took the news that Biden had greenlit Ukrainian strikes on Russian targets in stride. “Globalist elites are pushing the U.S. toward World War 3!” it yelped….

[Nonsense.] “Putin indirectly indicated that Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory with Western-provided weapons do not cross a supposed Russian ‘red line’ that would result in Russian nuclear escalation,” the Institute for the Study of War recently observed…. “Putin stated that he does not think such an ‘exceptional’ case has arisen, so ‘there is no such need’ for Russia to use nuclear weapons.”…. [The full column is here.]

 

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