Toward an honorable Ukraine ceasefire

Here are some suggested win-win steps that Kyiv, Moscow or Washington should take to shut down the Russo-Ukrainian war. These steps are designed to initially be taken by just one government so that they can be taken NOW. Each of these moves would “succeed even if they fail” and would stand a good chance of moving the conflict toward an honorable ceasefire. 

Now that they have had some successes against the Russian government…Washington or Kyiv should make a tiny humanitarian gesture or other conciliatory gesture aimed at sparking a response-in-kind. For instance, a small-scale prisoner release or slight reduction in some sanction that only hurts the people. This should be videotaped and done with much fanfare. It should involve an implicit request for the enemy to reciprocate, in some tiny popular way. If Moscow fails to reciprocate, this will enrage the world further and strengthen Kyiv or Washington’s positions.  And the gesture can always be repeated in some new form until it works.  If Moscow does reciprocate, that opens the door for Kyiv or Washington to make a new, larger ameliorative gesture and so on. The goal should be an “escalating” series of conciliatory gestures until the shooting is much reduced. Each side should  gain a benefit each step of the way regardless of how the other side reacts.

Moscow, for its part, should not wait for western governments to do this. It should propose and implement a small unilateral ameliorative gesture of its own, also well publicized. Western media censorship of Moscow’s statements…is becoming a serious problem, however. They can always call FreeTalkLive.com and reach 200,000 people!

This idea of “escalating humanitarian gestures” is a long shot, at least coming from a not-very-important-person like me. But back channels may have saved the world during the Cuban crisis. Maybe this will inspire someone more influential to try a back channel of their own or forward this simple idea.

Moscow has proven it can wreak enormous damage and is willing to do so when you move your empire too close to Russia.   Various territories are now its to lose, and the sooner the fighting stops the less chance it loses them all…or loses everything in a cloud of ICBM’s.

Ukraine has already proven it can fight in the best traditions of Estonia’s war of independence and Finland’s Winter War.  The West and/or Ukraine could easily aim for objectives similar to those which the Finns successfully achieved, during their solo war with Moscow in 1940: Capture the world’s imagination, be its heroes, put up a stunning fight, but limit and end the war in a negotiated settlement which gives Moscow enough ground to bury its dead. Finland’s Winter War was technically a draw, but it put Finland on the map as a place not to mess with and drew a line against USSR expansion.  Ukraine is already on the path to accomplishing this, if it can just figure out how, when and where to stop.

These are not pro-freedom objectives par se, but they would end the war (and perhaps the nuclear exchange likelihood) without appeasement.  No one today would argue that the Finns “appeased” Moscow; they disemboweled its army as Ukraine is now doing.

Once the shooting stops, or at least is dramatically reduced, the long path toward toward Ukrainian healing and world progress can continue.

Dave Ridley
NHexit.com

Ukraine no fly zone: Insanity of the First Magnitude

While out here trying to do my bit against the Kremlin’s re-incarnation of September 1, 1939…It’s important to raise concerns about some of the apocalyptic Moscow-fighting ideas that are getting put on the table in the excitement. It’s shocking my fellow Kremlin foes are advocating a U.S. led no-fly zone over Ukraine. This is a move which has perhaps 10 percent chance of ending civilization as we know it, since it would require direct, large-scale combat between the U.S. and Russia…inside Russia!

The real solution is deadly but a lot less deadly: Peaceable civil resistance inside Russia, at the discretion of Russians. Guerilla war and civil resistance inside Ukraine, funded, peopled and supplied from across the globe. The Kremlin can be beaten, but it has to be without direct conflict between the two top nuclear powers. This is a long established and proven concept; it’s already been done once in much tougher circumstances. Ideally it should happen at private rather than taxpayer expense, definitely without foreign military presence; each of us does need to do our bit without waiting for governments. We also need to do our bit to prevent Russian bystanders from suffering and prevent the Resistance from going nuclear. Most people are probably reluctant to say this; maybe I can say it since I was a volunteer inside Bosnia during that one and am hopefully doing my part for Ukrainians and friendly Russians during this one.

Dave Ridley
NHexit.com
“Independence without enmity”

NHexit.com statement on Kremlin invasion of Ukraine

1) The Russian government’s act of all-out conventional war is wildly excessive. Any individual or voluntarily funded institution wishing to help defend Ukraine against this overstep is far within their rights, recent Kremlin threats against this non-withstanding.

2) The initial success of the attack on this Western-leaning nation…is a reminder that Washington cannot be relied on to defend New Hampshire. Counterintuitive as is sounds, NH would be better off – and the Western world should benefit – if we handled own defense and diplomacy. Instead of being tied the weirdly aggressive-yet-impotent D.C. zombie, we would find a wide range of better options for our security. These range from the happily de-militarized neutrality of Costa Rica to the gun-heavy but non-aligned preparedness of Switzerland. We would also have the option of doing something better for future nations-under-threat like Ukraine: We could insist that any government we ally ourselves with…free its own people from invasion-enabling gun control laws:

https://freekeene.com/2022/01/14/the-porcupine-peace-plan-how-nh-independence-could-boost-american-security-and-stop-armageddon/

3) Ukraine’s government has made this invasion practical by doing something most European governments and even American governments are still doing: They limited the private possession/carry of firearms up until the week of the invasion, when they finally let civilians carry them without permission. This is roughly what happened in the ill-fated Spanish Republic during the 1936 war. Ukrainians are now reported to be desperately mobbing gun stores, for good reason but probably too late. GunPolicy.org lists Ukraine as having only 7 civilian firearms per 100 persons…a foreign invader’s dream. Civilians in the average U.S. state, including New Hampshire, reportedly possess over 115 per 100.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_Ukraine

4) Washington has unnecessarily provoked Moscow over the last 30 years. By moving NATO so close to Russian borders and arguably sponsoring a Ukrainian coup in 2014, it ignored the Rodina’s security concerns. Since 2001 especially, it has bombed, blockaded and invaded many nations with little good reason but much abuse of local civilians. It has cast away the relative ethical high ground, against the wishes of most New Hampshirites. It has also become a direct physical threat to all of us with its unconstitutional rules and raids inside our libertarian-leaning state. It has become incapable of credibly condemning Russia’s actions the way it did during the Kremlin’s invasion of Finland in 1939.

5) U.S. ruler Joe Biden’s statement of Feb. 24, 2022 is partially worthy of condemnation: “Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.” By speaking in this manner, he equated the Russian people with their quasi-dictator…that would be like equating General Franco with the Catalan anarchists he so victimized in the Spanish Civil War. Individual Russians and the Russian nation should be treated as potential allies against Putin; many have already risked their lives this week to protest against him

6) New Hampshire, unlike Switzerland and Costa Rica, is currently on the nuclear target list as a result of its membership in the United States system. This would be one thing if the U.S. were generally in the right and generally humane. It is not and thus is not worthy of *our* lives. Both D.C. and Moscow deserve opposition; neither deserve support.

7) Moscow’s move may be designed to divert attention from a planned attack on Taiwan, where invasion-friendly gun laws are even more severe than Ukraine’s.

8) The appropriate New Hampshire move is to peaceably declare independence from the U.S. (as Rep. Sylvia’s current legislation at Concord is attempting to do). Then it should set a clean foreign policy of its own crafting. This policy should be one that does not overextend and does not aggress but does keep faith with foreign allies by insisting (as a minimum condition of continued partnership) that their governments end all the gun controls they are imposing on their people.

Dave Ridley
NHexit.com
“Independence without enmity”


The Constitutional Case for NH Independence (CACR 32)

This is an e-mail I sent to NH state reps around Jan 26, 2022.

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RepFolk: Here are some reasons you should feel “Constitutionally comfortable” voting for CACR 32…the right of the people to vote on whether we keep being ruled by an empire that starts a new war at our expense every three years or so.

What’s nice about the U.S. Constitution is that you generally don’t have to be a “Constitutional scholar” to understand it.

1) The Tenth Amendment makes the U.S. Constitution innocent of banning independence, until proven guilty. It reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By default, “the powers,” thus includes the power of states and/or their voters to divorce D.C. In order for the U.S. to lawfully wield a power preventing that, such power would have to be “delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” Where does that Constitution clearly grant such power to D.C.? Why are the “anti-independence” Constitutional passages cited so unclear on this question when compared to the clarity of “The Tenth?”

2) Even if we were to assume, for the sake of discussion, that the Constitutional arguments against independence were valid…that leaves a different problem for Remainers. No one could credibly argue that the U.S. government has complied with its Constitution…not even during the last two hours, let alone the last two centuries. Have they voided their contract, perhaps millions of times? If they are not required to follow their Constitution, why are we?

3) If one could argue that the U.S. Constitution forbids the public from voting on independence this year, one could just as easily argue that the pre-existing NH Constitution *demands* it this year. Article 10 reads: “…whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government.” Has Washington endangered – or not endangered – “public liberty?” Are you currently able to “redress” your grievances with D.C.?

4) You face, perhaps for the first time, legislation which would actually end the central government’s practice of running employment bans and overseas TORTURE CHAMBERS* at NH taxpayer expense. Why have some of your House colleagues apparently picked *this* moment to begin pretending they follow either Constitution?

Dave Ridley
NHexit.com
“Independence without enmity”

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagram_torture_and_prisoner_abuse



The Porcupine Peace Plan: How NH independence could boost American security and stop Armageddon

if it wants continued NH military support, Taiwan should let its civilians defend themselves .  Photo by Wang Yu Ching / Office of the President Lcns. CCA 2.0

Here’s an edgy proposal which is closer to realization than you think: New Hampshire should withdraw from the United States and its alliances, then request a significant reduction in gun control within member states as a minimum condition of rejoining. Why?  Because NH is more humane than DC, and because nations with significant gun control are too vulnerable and costly and for us to help defend.  First let’s discuss the elephant in the room:  NH independence and some of the incidents which have driven it forward.

On March 12, 2006 five U.S. soldiers violated, then murdered, 14-year-old Abeer Hamza in her home at Yusufiyah, Iraq. Then they covered up the killing by wiping out most of her family, partly at NH taxpayer expense. 1

Fifteen years and four days later, several dozen U.S. policy enforcement officers stormed a quiet neighborhood in America’s Pleasantville: Keene, New Hampshire. After using a battering ram connected to an armored vehicle, they flew a drone through the window of a home studio housing the state’s top radio discussion show, Free Talk Live. Washington claimed that some of its libertarian hosts had been selling significant amounts of Bitcoin without government permission and filed charges of “unlicensed money transmission.” The imperial capitol is seeking life imprisonment for at least one of the arrestees, with no credible claim that he even victimized anyone. 2

Though different in a hundred ways, each of these Federal excesses exemplified the numberless grievances which have sparked a growing pushback against D.C. in the “Live Free or Die” state. Local activists and legislators reacted with the New Hampshire Independence Amendment, also known as CACR 32. This constitutional revision would allow all NH residents to vote in a 2022 referendum on whether the state will continue being governed by Washington.

New Hampshire already has a long history of example-setting. But by striving for independence – and a more humane world security protocol – its citizens may be able to do something better. With your help, and the careful placement of a new idea on the geopolitical board, maybe our tiny new nation could even stop a world war.

NH independence proponents make a simple case. The FedGov, they say, has bloated beyond the point where normal individuals can meaningfully oppose its atrocities with conventional civics. They point to the successes of Estonian and British independence movements as well as the global trend toward “smaller nations.” In 1900 there were roughly 60 countries in the world. Now there are about 200. Meanwhile, thanks to these and other national divorces, the harm-inflicting capacity of various empires is less than it would be if they were still full-sized. Successful independence drives in America, too, should have a limiting effect on U.S. warmongering in faraway places.

But what of, say, Chinese government warmongering outside its borders? Whatever cruelties the U.S. government may have imposed, the nations bordering China do seem to generally prefer alliance with Washington over alliance with Beijing; some rely on D.C. for their security more than they should.

One of the main criticisms of NH independence is that it could undermine U.S. defense capability or, more accurately, American capacity for carrying out the existing commitments to NATO and Taiwan. The latter is of special significance, and we’ll use it as the focus of this discussion. But the arguments here apply to every U.S. ally.

Critics argue that America is overextended, much as Britain was overextended in the 1939 era when it guaranteed Poland against the Nazis. In those days the perception was that London had only two available courses of action: Wage war on Germany or appease Hitler by abandoning Poland. Today people imagine that we face a similar unthinkable choice as China flexes its new powers against Taiwan. An invasion of the island could trigger these same two ruinous impulses against a great resurgent Power, this time with the likelihood it would escalate into nuclear war. Taiwan’s friends, the thinking goes, would either have to commit another Munich…or defend the quasi-nation by risking civilization. Wouldn’t a New Hampshire independence drive damage America’s ability to follow the second option to victory?

Actually, there is a third option which could prevent both the evils of “big war” and the abandonment of overseas promises. An independent New Hampshire, or prospect thereof, is one way to put that path on the table. Let’s call this option the “Porcupine Peace Plan” for now…in honor of a less-threatening but better-defended posture some of us envision for America’s alliances.

This plan rests upon the barely-discussed idea that there is a great, untapped defense capacity among all reasonably-prosperous peoples, especially in Taiwan. Unlike military buildup it is a power which, when exercised, saves tax dollars rather than spending them…increases freedoms rather than reducing them. It possesses little potential for starting wars of aggression but has a proven history of discouraging them. Nevertheless, this power is often suppressed by the rulers of vulnerable nations…even as some of them face invasion or treat nuclear first-strikes as a legitimate method of self-protection. 2b

This seemingly magical ability…is the power of armed, individual self-defense…weapons freedom for the private citizen. And it is a power that the government of Taiwan has systematically denied to its people, at grave risk to a nervous world. The island’s gun control laws are so strict that WorldPopulationReview.com lists the number of civilian firearms there at literally zero per 100 persons (the U.S. has 120). Historically, the relative gun freedom of America helped it win the Revolutionary War and limited its risk of invasion over the following centuries.2c

We must respect the wishes of Taiwanese regarding their internal laws. But Taipei should respect our wishes when it comes to whether we risk our lives for them over their willful self-emasculation. We currently are doing exactly that at their government’s request; every last American is potentially on Beijing’s target list.3 And Taipei has unnecessarily increased the chances for war with Beijing…by keeping its civilians disarmed.

This policy cannot help but cause Taiwan to be a far more attractive target for invasion than it would be if it had weapons freedom for the average citizen. The island’s well-meaning government has formidable armed forces, but there is no substitute for the “defense dispersal” and individual initiative which comes from civilian weaponry. Gun freedom, in 1940, made fascist-surrounded Switzerland impractical for Germany to invade. 4 Norway, by contrast, was heavily defended by the British Empire and nowhere near surrounded…but fell quickly when Hitler’s forces mounted an attack on “central points of failure.” 4b

Gun availability for the average person can solve only so many problems, but nations which acquire this freedom also acquire a ready-made, widely-dispersed guerilla arsenal ready for use against any occupier. It lets a tiny nation do what Sun Tzu suggested, and “be like water.” When added to Taiwan’s existing military deterrent…this “scary freedom” should be enough to prevent invasion indefinitely.

Skeptical? Then you tell us: How well has the U.S. “nuclear government” fared against Afghan riflemen? Why is Beijing so terrified of guns that it has enacted some of the world’s strictest prohibitions against civilian-owned weaponry? 4c

Thanks to Taipei, the mainland communists don’t have much of that to be terrified of in Taiwan. They don’t have to factor civie-guns much into their “invasion equation” as Hitler did when he abandoned his plan to attack Switzerland. Ending this citizen-dis-empowerment could be just enough to prevent the expected attack on Taiwan. And New Hampshire can gently make the case…either through government policy or constructive private action. Here are the suggested steps to get us there:

1) The New Hampshire Independence Amendment must get a full and fair hearing by our State and Federal Relations committee and face the full legislature without substantial alteration. This will give NHexiters new clout to advance the Porcupine Peace Plan. In the unlikely event Independence obtains legislative super-majorities on this first try, it would then go before the people. If they vote “yes” then…?

2) Neutral by default, the newly independent nation could begin negotiations on whether it will re-join the alliances it has just departed.

3) The negotiators should request, as a minimal precondition for re-joining, that Taiwan and other countries take steps of their own choosing to undo the invasion-friendly types of laws we’ve outlined above. It would be on the Taiwanese themselves to figure out how they want to handle this…and on us to decide whether their reforms, if any, are sufficient to win us over as renewed allies. The more weapon freedom they can offer their people, the more we’d want to join.

4) If Taipei can’t accept this suggestion, loyally and responsibly given, New Hampshire could simply remain neutral and is probably better off that way anyhow. As Switzerland and Costa Rica have proven, neutrality can be much safer than joining an alliance. But we will have kept faith with the beleaguered island.

Even if New Hampshire doesn’t get past step one in 2022, we should at least be able to put the gun-control-helps-invaders issue on the table. And the same weapon freedom concerns which apply to Taiwan…should apply toward any potential ally, even as new personal defenses begin to replace firearms. A cheaper and more humane way of looking at security…may start to set in. (more…)