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Reality Can Be Boring

March 31, 2022 6:43 p.m.

I find myself agreeing with a lot of what TPM Reader PT says here about “Ukraine on the Verge of Defeat” …

As I mentioned, I’ve seen a fair number of different variations on the theme of “Vladimir V. Putin, SUPER-GENIUS” over the last few days; I’m sure you have as well. A thing they all seem to have in common is a presumption that Putin’s real goal in all of this was to acquire more territory in Ukraine’s east, or get a more firm grip on territory there that they already hold. I get the sense that they’re all taking a not-really-applicable analogy — making an opening bid in a negotiation that’s much bigger than what you actually expect to achieve — and applying it in a comically-inappropriate manner (specifically: ignoring the distinction that when you open with an overlarge ask it doesn’t actually cost anything to anyone, while Putin’s war in Ukraine has in fact cost Russia vastly more than if they’d just pursued additional conquest of territory in eastern Ukraine). 

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