Procatalepsis (pro-cat-a-lep’-sis): Refuting anticipated objections.
We’re going to invade Ukraine, or I should say, accept their invitation to stop the Russians from stealing a pretty big chunk of their country. First, you may say that American soldiers, sailors, and marines will be put in harm’s way. Well, no sailors will be killed unless unless it’s some kind of tragic boating accident, or our ships get blown to bits by Russian missiles. Our intelligence tells us that won’t happen. Putin wants to save his missiles for better things—like Afghanistan. No Marines will be killed because they have been assigned to wait it out in North Carolina and at IKEA in Newark, New Jersey where they will trained in following complex furniture assembly instructions. Now, the Army will responsible for conducting the invasion. There will be soldiers killed. When they sign up, they know it’s possible. They are brave defenders of democracy and should be lauded.
Now, the big question is set, as it has eternally been, under the threadbare business metaphor of costs and benefits. In monetary terms the invasion is cheap—about what Mitch McConnell’s birthday party costs every year. Ha ha. I can’t give you a solid dollar amount, but suffice it to say it’s bigger than a bread box and smaller than South America. And, as you know, I’m not a reckless spender, notwithstanding the Google Glass devices for the Navy. So, we’ve set up a flex account to underwrite the invasion. Given our estimates, it won’t run out for six years, giving us plenty of time to mop up and also, dump dollars into the US economy for military purchases over the course of the conflict.
Now we come to the hardest question: will the invasion’s cost in lives outweigh the gains the invasion will make? To that, I can give you a firm probably. As the great sage Robert Storm Peterson said, “It’s hard to make predictions—especially about the future.” We’ve tried our best to anticipate the human costs, but because military engagement against Russia has never happened before, and we don’t know how resolute they are in their goals, and just how ferocious the shooting and the killing will be, we can’t say with certainty what will happen. We just know that it will happen and it will be what it will be. We’ll know when we get there whether we’re there.
The protection and preservation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is well worth the material and human costs. In sum, victory will most likely be ours. I am pretty hopeful we’ll prevail, and that’s what I told my wife this morning.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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