I've held off to see what's going on. Much of what I've been paying attention to these days comes via Black Pidgeon Speaks and his regular livecasts, often featuring at least one military contractor, and more recently, "Gonzalo Lira", formerly calling his channel "Coach Red Pill", who actually lives over in Ukraine, in the encircled city of Kharkov.

He's gone from being somewhat neutral about Ze, though stating flatly he was corrupt, to stridently anti-Z and the thugs he believes are running him, the "Cokehead of Kiev", as a puppet. His current position can likely be summed up as:  he doesn't want the Russians there, understands why they are, and can point out from his own objective experience that, compared to the American "shock and awe" way of war, the Russians are absolutely tiptoeing to minimize civilian casualties. He regularly excoriates the US and western governments for their role.

I bring him up in part because of two things he's pointed  out. First, the hospital that was bombed a few days back was apparently already evacuated of civilians, and the not-at-all-neonazi militia had set up there, and on the economic war.

For he seconds my other thought as the sanctions started kicking in - that crossed my mind even as the senile fool being directed around a stage finished reading his script at the state of the union.

The US Leadership has proven itself irrelevant, as it tries to wage a deniable economic war. The only reason I don't say "total war" is because we are only shooting through the proxies of the brave, and not so brave, Ukranians to which we'll fight to the last man.

Deniable, because the US is stopping short of taking steps that would too obviously be aiding and abetting, including refusal to send jets over despite the state department not being on the same page as the DOD.

Total war nevertheless.  Anyone remembering the speech Biden delivered may remember the line about going after oligarchical ill-gotten gains. And people cheered.

Going after people who haven't actually broken a local law, and seizing their property simply because you don't like them, is not what a society based on laws does. We haven't declared war - so yes, it's "because we don't like them." Resuscitating - or at least floating the idea - of leters of marque is a bad idea when you consider reciprocity and that a good chunk of the world's population didn't go along with the sanctions and condemnation.

With these actions and the sanctions, we're acting like we're at war with these seizures and sanctions, but not declaring it, so we can appear to be the good guys. Mean girl politics is nothing if not passive-aggressive.

It's not just the sanctions. The NPC corporations, so many it's effectively impossible to completely boycott them for even everyday products, have all pulled out for virtue signaling reasons. The hysteria is palpable, and how can someone be so horrible as to disbelieve the Ukiees are in the right just because they've lied to us over and over again, as people flushed the history of exactly what kind of shit Ze and the right wing militias were up to?

Worse, is where we've simultaneously proven that yes, we are at total war, decrying the suffering of civilians even as we bring misery to entire peoples, or try, while proving we have no real power left - the SWIFT banking disconnect.

The Russians hopped on China's train and system. India and other countries that have had long-term (and contrary to western propaganda on dealing with Russians, aboveboard and honorably upheld) trading relationships for decades and so didn't side with the west in condemning Russia, are now working to directly trade with Russia and China without the intermediary of US dollars or SWIFT.

All of these - the disconnects, the illegal seizures, the businesses unilaterally pulling out and suspending banking and credit card services - show that western governments and the the corporations are not and will not be neutral purveyors, judges, and means of exchange, but instead will strip everything from you that they have control over.

Just like Canada did with the truckers.

To drive the point home - with this and the "right wing" protests of the last two years, the west has proven it's irrelevance and lack of power, while stripping off any masks or semblance of even pretending to believe in law or order, vice their power over people.

This is war, and Russia is fighting it with actual application of force. They are inconvenienced by the above, but the above also steels their resolve, while showing how little power the west has over them.