That grass on that other side of that hill


Gene Marks, “Turns out the Great Resignation may be followed by the Great Regret,” Guardian, March 20, 2022,


Volodymyr Zelensky keeps warning about World War III,[1] we certainly see the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bending over backwards to avoid World War III,[2] and Vladimir Putin has already threatened nuclear war,[3] which obviously and certainly merits NATO caution, but I never see Zelensky’s logic, how he infers this possibility. The logic I do see here is my own, in short that I see no real limit or even a logic for a limit to Putin’s ambition short of utter defeat and abject humiliation.[4]

Barring Putin’s defeat and humiliation, I see the West being drawn into war much as it was in World War II, with appeasement (in the modern form, allowing Putin to grind Ukraine to dust, then to take Moldava) failing, a dawning realization that Putin must be confronted, just as Adolf Hitler had to be confronted. How such a conflict fails to go nuclear escapes me.

Locally, I am counting on Pittsburgh not actually being a target. The steel industry here is all but gone; high technology remains centered in Silicon Valley, much closer, I’m afraid, to my mother. But the chaos that follows a nuclear strike, perhaps on Washington, D.C., or New York City, all well within a day’s drive of here, should not be underestimated.

Throughout my life, so-called ‘preppers’ and survivalists, who prepare for armageddon, have always been considered wackos on the fringe. I no longer feel we have the luxury of complacency. The ham radios I ordered have all arrived but the Geiger counters are, annoyingly, taking a while. I am also ordering a sleeping bag and emergency water filter. Thanks to COVID-19, Uber passengers are still not permitted in my car’s front seat, so I can keep all this there.

Philip Gourevitch, “Is It Time to Call Putin’s War in Ukraine Genocide?” New Yorker, March 13, 2022,

Luke Harding, Peter Beaumont, and Lorenzo Tondo, “Russia missile strike on Ukraine base close to Polish border kills 35, governor says,” Guardian, March 13, 2022,

Jennifer Maloney, Emily Glazer, and Heather Haddon, “Russian Prosecutors Warn Western Companies of Arrests, Asset Seizures,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2022,

Amy Davidson Sorkin, “The Trumpist Ukraine Blame Game,” New Yorker, March 13, 2022,

Richard Spencer, “Putin wipes out entire Ukrainian city of Volnovakha,” Times, March 13, 2022,

Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes, “Russia Asked China for Military and Economic Aid for Ukraine War, U.S. Officials Say,” New York Times, March 13, 2022,

Henry Zeffman, “Russia ‘using banned white phosphorus bombs’ in attack on Ukrainian city,” Times, March 13, 2022,

Rodion Ebbighausen, “Why China thinks the West is to blame for Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Deutsche Welle, March 14, 2022,

Martin Farrer, “Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 20 of the Russian invasion,” Guardian, March 14, 2022,

John Ismay, “Russia Deploys a Mystery Munition in Ukraine,” New York Times, March 14, 2022,

Robert Mendick, Nataliya Vasilyeva, and Nick Allen, “China ‘willing to supply Russia’ with weapons and military support,” Telegraph, March 14, 2022,

Nomaan Merchant, “US View of Putin: Angry, Frustrated, Likely to Escalate War,”, March 14, 2022,

Ashley Parker et al., “U.S. warns China not to assist Russia,” Washington Post, March 15, 2022,

Yaroslav Trofimov and James Marson, “Russian Forces Kill Civilians, Loot for Supplies in Occupied Ukraine, Residents Say,” Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2022,

Jon Allsop, “The biases in coverage of the war in Ukraine,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 15, 2022,

Associated Press, “China Says it’s ‘Impartial’ on Ukraine, Denies Aiding Russia,”, March 15, 2022,

Isobel Koshiw, Jon Henley, and Julian Borger, “Ukraine will not join Nato, says Zelenskiy, as shelling of Kyiv continues,” Guardian, March 15, 2022,

Poppie Platt et al., “Volodymyr Zelensky says talks with Russia were ‘pretty good’ as Ukraine pushes for ‘a fair peace,’” Telegraph, March 15, 2022,

Helene Cooper, Julian E. Barnes, and Eric Schmitt, “As Russian Troop Deaths Climb, Morale Becomes an Issue, Officials Say,” New York Times, March 16, 2022,

James Crisp, “Russia and Ukraine ‘draw up 15-point peace plan,’” Telegraph, March 16, 2022,

Julia Ioffe, “Inside Biden’s Ukraine War Room,” Puck News, March 16, 2022,

Molly Jong-Fast, “The Far Right Is Now Anti–anti-Putin,” Atlantic, March 16, 2022,

Rick Noack, “U.N. court orders Russia to halt its invasion of Ukraine, in a largely symbolic ruling,” Washington Post, March 16, 2022,

Grace Segers, “‘There Was Barely a Breath’: How Capitol Hill Reacted to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Plea for Help,” New Republic, March 16, 2022,

Daniel Boffey and Dan Sabbagh, “Vladimir Putin accused of war crimes as school and theatre are hit in Ukraine,” Guardian, March 17, 2022,

Larisa Brown, Charlie Parker, and Richard Spencer, “Ukraine forces ‘counter-attack’ as Russia loses estimated 7,000 troops and 230 tanks,” Times, March 18, 2022,

Isabel Coles, Alan Cullison, and Yaroslav Trofimov, “Ukraine Awaits Word of Deaths, Survivors After Russia Hits Theater Turned Bomb Shelter,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2022,

Yuka Hayashi and Eliza Collins, “House Passes Legislation to End Normal Trade Relations With Russia,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2022,

Loveday Morris, “In Ukraine’s second city, a furious rain of bombs and rockets takes a toll: ‘There are no coffins left,’” Washington Post, March 18, 2022,

James Mackenzie, Natalia Zinets, and Oleksandr Kozhukhar, “Russia getting bogged down in Ukraine, Western nations say,” Reuters, March 17, 2022,

Rachel Roubein with McKenzie Beard, “Health care is becoming a target in Ukraine,” Washington Post, March 17, 2022,

Dan Sabbagh, “Is an outright Russian military victory in Ukraine possible?” Guardian, March 17, 2022,

Joshua Goodman, “American gunmakers help Ukrainians fight back against Putin,” Associated Press, March 18, 2022,

Rebecca Ratcliffe and Abené Clayton, “Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 24 of the invasion,” Guardian, March 18, 2022,

Michael Levenson, Marc Santora, and Valerie Hopkins, “Deadly Strike on Ukraine Barracks Punctuates Russian Military Gains,” New York Times, March 19, 2022,

Warren P. Strobel and Michael R. Gordon, “Reported Detention of Russian Spy Boss Shows Tension Over Stalled Ukraine Invasion, U.S. Officials Say,” Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2022,

Devan Cole, “Zelensky: “I’m ready for negotiations’ with Putin, but if they fail, it could mean ‘a third World War,’” Cable News Network, March 20, 2022,

Loveday Morris, Annabelle Timsit, and Jennifer Hassan, “Russia bombs Mariupol art school where 400 people in besieged city were sheltering, Ukrainian officials say,” Washington Post, March 20, 2022,

Liz Sly and Dan Lamothe, “Russia’s war for Ukraine could be headed toward stalemate,” Washington Post, March 20, 2022,

  1. [1]Devan Cole, “Zelensky: “I’m ready for negotiations’ with Putin, but if they fail, it could mean ‘a third World War,’” Cable News Network, March 20, 2022,; Jake Epstein and John Haltiwanger, “Ukraine’s president warns a Russian invasion would spark a ‘fully-fledged’ European war,” Business Insider, February 1, 2022,; Julia Ioffe, “Will Putin Get His World War III?” Puck News, February 22, 2022,
  2. [2]Simon Lewis and Sabine Siebold, “NATO rejects Ukraine no-fly zone, says ‘not part of this’ war,” Reuters, March 4, 2022,; Brett Samuels, “Biden: Direct conflict between NATO and Russia would be ‘World War III,’” Hill, March 11, 2022,
  3. [3]Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s New Iron Curtain,” Puck News, February 24, 2022,; Yuras Karmanau, “Putin puts nuclear forces on high alert, escalating tensions,” Associated Press, February 27, 2022,; Tom Nichols, “How Should the U.S. Respond to Putin’s Nuclear Provocation?” Atlantic, February 27, 2022,; Jordan Michael Smith, “Would Putin Really Go Nuclear? Well …,” New Republic, March 7, 2022,; Robin Wright, “What Does Putin’s Nuclear Sabre Rattling Mean?” New Yorker, March 1, 2022,
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Where does Vladimir Putin stop?” Not Housebroken, March 18, 2022,

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