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Ukraine: Putin has a Plan B, Biden Doesn’t

Who Has the Better Plan B in Ukraine? (Wikipedia)

Who is better positioned to win in Ukraine? The person with a Plan B or the person without one? When the war began way back in February, 2022, no one expected the situation which now exists. Russia expected to win fairly quickly. The United States expected Russia to win fairly quickly. Only Ukraine itself expected/hoped that the Russian plan for a quick success would fail. We now know that Ukraine was correct. The Russian military, while big, bad, and ugly, was not quite the lean, mean, fighting machine it had been puffed up to being. Not only did it fail in its original objectives, it failed to hold on to what it had conquered. Time for the Russian Plan B.


Putin was ready with a Plan B not that he would have called it that. His plan was to hunker and bunker in the eastern provinces and to wait out the West. Plan B did not require any particularly imaginative or creative thinking. It simply drew on the massive forces at his disposal. They would draw a line in the sand and wait. The waiting game was the path to victory not only on the battlefield in Ukraine but on the battlefield in the United States and Europe.

In the United States, Putin’s Russian asset is poised for another presidential nomination. While the election of Trump would not mean the conflict would end in a single day, it would mean the United States would pull the plug on aid to Ukraine effective January 20, 2025. Plus the handwriting would be on the wall even earlier once the vote was known back in December formally and in November informally. So if Putin can hold out for 13 months from now it could be game over.

Depending on how the latest developments in the House of Representatives works out, it could be even earlier. His many admirers there also could pull the plug on American aid long before January 20, 2025. At this point in time, Putin has no incentive to settle for anything less than total victory until he knows the election results.


In contrast to Putin, Biden remains stuck in Plan A. It is a measured sober tit-for-tat response to whatever Putin does. The initiative always remains with Putin. Based on what is happening on the battlefield, the United States then responds with the appropriate military equipment. Biden’s response is totally dictated by the actions of Putin and his military forces. The aid is sufficient to keep Ukraine in the game but not sufficient for Ukraine to win. The United States policy lets he war drag on World War I style. Based on the American policy, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Even if one supports American aid to Ukraine that is not a winning strategy in itself. There may be no American troops directly involved. However American arms and the military manufacture of those arms are directly involved.

Right now Biden’s Plan A in Ukraine is another forever war.


There always is the possibility of a Ukrainian military breakthrough. It has opened a path in the Black Sea. Perhaps the Russian defensive fortifications will break down at a single point and the Ukrainian army will pour through cutting of the Russians from their Motherland. But perhaps not.

Just in case, here are some steps which can be taken if the United States were to think outside the box instead of remaining trapped in a rut.


After the first Iraq war, the United States declared a no-fly zone in the northern part of the country. The establishment and enforcement of the zone enabled the Kurds to build back better without having to look over their shoulder every moment and live in fear and insecurity about when they would be attacked next.

Something similar could be done in Ukraine. Roughly 80% of the country remains in Ukrainian control without the presence of Russian troops. Unfortunately, the Russian artillery still targets this area. What we need to do is to make clear to Putin that henceforth the 80% is off limits to Russian artillery.

For the no-artillery zone to be effective, the United States needs to make crystal clear to Putin in no uncertain terms, what the cost will be to Russia for the violation of the no-artillery zone. Some obvious options include the destruction of the Russian infrastructure used to support the Russian soldiers in the remaining 20% of Ukraine. This means bridges, railroads, supply depots and so on. The Russian troops should be notified by leaflets and social media of what is to come so they can prepare as best they can in anticipation of Putin violating the no-artillery zone. Could this lead to direct American-Russian confrontations and nuclear war? While theoretically such a result is possible. But all Russia has to do to prevent this is to stop being “Hamas.” Stop bombing civilians. Stop bombing women and children. Stop bombing old people. Concentrate your military power on the battlefield where it belongs.


As I have pleaded several times before to no avail, the time to start rebuilding Ukraine is now. Rubble needs to be cleared. Bombed buildings need to be collapsed and cleared. Designing the cleared areas for the rebuilt cities needs to be done now. The initiation of a 15-Marshall Plan will put Putin on notice that he will not destroy Ukraine. The most he has to fight for is his own forever war in the 20% where the battle still rages.

Somewhere along the line, even the Russian generals will realize that they have nothing to fight for. True, Russia is much bigger than Ukraine and can waste more and more troops on the frontline, but for what? Right now the war is draining the Russian military of equipment and the Russian people of men. The economy is on wartime footing. The prospects of knowing that the best they can do is the 20% where they are fighting now cannot be appealing. Somewhere along the line it will sink in that it is time to go home. And who knows what ramifications that will have inside the Russian Empire when it faces the fact that it has reached its limit. As along as Putin has the illusion of victory, he will persevere. Biden Plan B would take away that illusion as sure as a clanking prison cell would that his American asset is not returning to power.

So far there is no sign of an American Plan B. There is no sign that any thinking outside the box is occurring. All there is publicly, is same-o-same-o or more of the same. No imagination. No creativity. Nothing original. Nothing different. By contrast Putin has a plan. He can wait until after the 2024 American presidential elections. He has a plan at least until then.

Is Putin Winning?: Joe Biden’s Moment of Truth

This time it is the Ukraine. (

Is Putin winning his war in Ukraine? At first glance, the question may seem absurd. The would-be Peter the Great has had a horrible year. As we approach the one-year anniversary of his war, the war does not appear to have been going well. Deaths/causalities may be 200,000. Generals have been killed, shuffled, and reassigned. Putin is scraping the bottom of the barrel to find the cannon fodder for his war. He has no qualms about having troops without uniforms, arms, or training. So what is the basis for thinking that Year 2 may be a winning war for him?


Before exulting in the failures on the Russian side, we should take stock of the shortcomings on the American side. They mainly are acts of misjudgment or wishful thinking.

Failure #1: The oligarchs will influence the decision of Putin. The seizure of oligarch yachts has made for colorful photo-ops but haven’t amounted to much more than that.

Failure #2: The Russian people will sway Putin’s decision. So far the people most opposed to Putin’s war have fled the country. In addition the people in the country have been bombarded with a constant barrage from the Russian Foxhub as well as the American Tucker Carlson. To illustrate the point, one only need think of the number of MAGAs who continue to believe the election was stolen. Here in a society with freedom of the press, nothing has been able to shake their conviction that the election was stolen. Even African Americans know that O.J. did it. Apparently MAGAs and Russians will never re-enter the real world.

Failure #3: The sanctions have been as effective against Russia in changing its behavior as they have been with Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. The Russian economy has not collapsed. In fact, it has been the Ukrainian economy which has deteriorated. The Russian economy has barely suffered. True some products and items may be in short supply but overall the economy is doing at least as well as Great Britain.

Failure #4: The world has not rallied around American leadership in the war against Putin. Europe has but China, India, Iran, and much of Africa supports Putin. That support has translated into arms sent to Russia as well as sanctioned goods. With the support of the former Soviet republics, there is an open pipeline into Russia that sustains Russia against American sanctions.

Failure #5: The American policy of ratcheting up its supply of military equipment to Ukraine means we are always responding to Putin and the facts on the ground. It puts Putin in the driver’s seat. We have not provided Ukraine with the weapons to win the war, only with the ability to prolong it. That policy means at some point, we may be too late to respond.

Failure #6: The Russian army has not collapsed. Despite all the anecdotal evidence from intercepted phone calls, texts, and messages between soldiers on the front lines and loved ones back home about how dire the situation is, there has been no collapse of the Russian army. Whatever there reason is for not abandoning their posts, the point is that they have not done so.


So here we are practically at the one year anniversary of Putin’s war. His army now is bigger than ever, bigger than when the war started. True it may not be the best trained, armed, or dressed soldiers, but it still is a huge number of people. There is going to be a new offensive against Ukraine. Presumably the newest generals have learned from the failures of the previous ones. This time around, they may be more successful.

On the Ukrainian side, it is limited mainly to what it has. Advanced tanks and planes are months away from delivery and incorporation into the Ukrainian military forces. The new Russian offensive could start at any moment. If it were me, I would time it to coincide with the State of the Union address on February 7, but that’s just me.

There may come at time when Zelenskyy asks for American aid NOW! Not a year from now. Not six months from now. Not three months from now. But right now!  The Ukrainians are human beings. They are not Hollywood Super Dupers. Even Rambo could not defeat an army of hundreds of thousands. And if the Ukrainians lose 100,000 men that is a big deal. Russia can lose a lot more 200,000’s than Ukraine can lose 100,000s. There are limits. Suppose under the new Russian offensive which could start any day now, the Ukrainians reach that limit and ask for American help right now?

What will Joe Biden do if the Ukrainians need American assistance right now?

I do not know the answer to that question. Presumably there are people in the U.S. bureaucracy with their “what if” scenarios who are scoping out the possibilities if the Ukrainians need help right now.


If that moment of truth comes, the stakes are quite high.

The United States has expended a great deal of military equipment and moral leadership on behalf of Ukraine. Can the United States afford to just walk away from that because we fear Putin?

If we do walk away, it not only means Russia has triumphed over America, it means that China, Iran, and MAGAs have too. Far from being an isolated event, Putin’s war against Ukraine has become a world war. Think of the fuss raised over the Chinese spy balloon. Now imagine what it would be if America fails in Ukraine.

In some ways, Putin’s war against Ukraine has become Biden’s Cuban Missile Crisis. Obviously the details are not the same, but the fundamental truth is … and maybe worse. This time the Russian leader may be willing to risk all to intimidate the American President into surrendering. On the other hand, the American President has the opportunity to inform Putin that he never will be remembered as Peter the Great if he is dead.

Will Only Taiwan Be Allowed to Attack Chinese Supply Depots if Invaded?

To Boldly Go Where No American Official Has Gone Before (

There are many lessons to be learned from the current invasion of the Ukraine by Russia. Like the investigation of January 6, the story is still unfolding and the outcome cannot yet be known. Still there are some observations worth considering for where we are in the world at present and what may happen.

Lesson 1: Only Russia and China Can/Will Invade countries

When it comes to traditional wars between counties and nation-states, in the world as it exists today, only two countries are likely to invade another country – Russia and China. Yes they are two big nuclear-armed countries but the prospects for actual invasions is limited to a few specific targets. (India/Pakistan?)

For Russia, it already is in the midst of an invasion of Ukraine. The war is not going well and could even get worse. It has stalked a huge portion of its military resources on the now comparatively small goal of seizing a portion of neighbor. Given the prospects that even more of its once vaunted military force could be destroyed, the chances of any additional invasions such as to the Baltics or Poland seem slim. In the end, this may be the last gasp of a Russian military threat. In fact, its own continued existence as a Putin-dictatorship may be jeopardized.

For China, its one and only target for invasion in Taiwan. Certainly it will throw its weight around in the South China Sea, but that does not mean it has any intentions of invading any country in the Pacific yet alone Japan or Australia. Instead its preferred path to power is through economic domination and bullying the way it does over the NBA, Hollywood, and the Olympics. Like Russia with Ukraine, China considers Taiwan to be part of its country so it remains a target for invasion.

Lesson 2: Are only invaded Nations allowed to strike the invader?

The present war in the Ukraine is being fought under the rules that only it can directly strike the invading the nation on its own grounds. This is due to Russia having nuclear weapons. Otherwise the 40-mile and 8-mile convoys would be decimated and the supply depots in Russia would have exploded by now.

On the other hand, Russia is free to interfere with American elections as it did especially in 2016.

The United States and its allies are free to accept the invitation from the Ukraine to send troops to that country and to begin planning for the rebuilding of the country. As previously stated, there are vast areas in the country where there are no Russian present (Cranes for Ukraine: Build It Back Better). What are we waiting for? There is a huge amount of rebuilding which needs to be in the capital and elsewhere. What are we waiting for? The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom visits that capital city and we do not even have an embassy there? What are we waiting for?

Russia is putting practically everything it has into this war and we are not. Why not?

If China decides to invade Taiwan, will only Taiwan be allowed to strike China? What precedents are we establishing now?

Lesson 3: The Wars within Nations Are Really International Wars

The wars that we are having and will continue to have technically are considered domestic wars because of the way Europeans have drawn the maps. Yugoslavia never was a country or nation-state except that others pretended it was. That kind of division or breakup into its constituent parts is the more typical type of war that is and will be likely to occur.

How come non-Arab Kurds were part of Iraq while Arab Kuwait was not?

How come Arab Sudanese who for centuries raided multiple black African tribes to the south and independent Darfur were combined into one country instead of being three right from the start?

Pakistan already divided once politically reflecting its geographic separation. Will it separate into its constituent part as well?

At present, there are multiple nations on paper in Africa and Asia that exist solely because European colonizers drew the borders that way. The lack of stability of these entities will be a sore point for years to come as they often are already. There is no mechanism at present to undo the artificiality of these false nations except by war among the different peoples forced to live in one political entity with other people with whom they little in common besides geographic proximity. Even without climate change, the situation is ripe for emigration and refugees as is happening anyway. At some point, the so-called United Nations will have to face the fact that many of its members are nations in name only and we are not united.


The world is changing rapidly while we still use the same old playbook.

COVID was and continues to be a global threat. Who knows what the next pandemic will be?

Climate change increases whether we choose to recognize it or not? Why do we think coping with refugees is the best way to deal with climate change?

More and more countries will be destabilized. We have and are seeing it in Central America and in parts of Africa and Asia. How much longer can we pretend the United Nations is an effective way to deal with this collapse?

Finally, what happens if the United States is both unwilling and unable to be the leader the world needs us to be?  Right now we are trapped between the Woke and the Trumpicans with a weak president.

The Woke assault on the country will only accelerate as we approach the 250th anniversary of its birth. They will continually undermine the very idea of America playing a leadership role in the world. For them it is an example of American Exceptionalism that is best abandoned. Tell that to the Ukrainians.

The Trumpicans have paid no price for their blatant attempt to seize power after an election they knew they had lost. They have conned tens of millions of Americans into believing their attempted coup was legitimate political discourse. They are poised to seize power in one house of the government in the next election. If Putin can hold out, he may no longer need to be concerned about American support for the Ukraine and instead become the savvy genius the American former president says he is.

This is a critical moment in world history and we are not ready for it. Even in his prime, Joe Biden was not a dynamic visionary leader even in his prime. Now that shortcoming matters. Big time.

Putin Isn’t the Only Loser: Trump and the Woke Are Too

If everything had gone according to the plan in Putin’s mind, he would be a big winner by now. His powerful and fearsome Russian military would have strolled into the fake country of Ukraine to reunite these Slavic brothers and sisters into the great and glorious Russian empire worthy of Peter the Great. The only loser would have been the United States (Joe Biden). It would have been exposed as weak, unreliable, and unworthy of a leadership position in the world compared to Russia and China.

Alas for Putin, the real world exposed his alternate world as a farce. The shock of the transition from his fantasy to reality is starting to sink in with the worse yet to come.


Putin is losing on all fronts.

In the Kremlin, his rats and vermin are beginning to leave the sinking ship. They are leaving the country and being imprisoned at least in their homes. Putin is starting to resemble the proverbial porters on the Titanic rearranging the chairs after the ship has hit the iceberg. His recourse is to blame others for causing the captain, himself, to steer the Russian ship of state into a collision which could have been avoided. Soon his very long table will be table of one. When he gives the order to use weapons of mass destruction, will there be anyone to listen to him? Will anyone other than himself want to compound the current war crimes with even more dastardly actions? While the neighboring countries are right to be on guard for what Putin might do if he decided to lash out, it is becoming Putin himself who has to constantly look over his shoulder and wonder who will be his Brutus.

In the country, his rats and vermin are leaving. Putin is losing the battle for minds of the people. True the Russian Foxhub continues to operate at full force but with cracks. One person runs on camera with a handmade sign denouncing not just the war but the very reign of Putin. Another leaks probably real casualty numbers before they can be removed. The people who are the future of the country are leaving the country where they have no future. Putin watched the Ukraine growing preference for the West; now he is accelerating the same process in Russia. Perhaps there will be two Russias: one part of the West and the other floating free belonging nowhere for now.

In the Ukraine, the battle is stalemated and in places it is the Ukraine that is advancing. The number killed would be unacceptable in America. They are unacceptable in Russia, too, which is why the numbers are not revealed and the bodies are not returned home for a proper burial. Instead they are left on the ground in the Ukraine or cremated so no one in Russia will know the truth.

If you want to know what it is like for the Russian ground troops in the Ukraine, try an experiment. Go out to your car and remain inside through the winter night. How long would you last in your own car parked in front of your own home with no supply of food or water and cramped sanitary conditions? And suppose, instead of being at home (a training exercise), you were actually God knows where in some kind of battle (invasion). One of the dangers facing Putin is not the casualties but the collapse of the army itself. Imagine the scenes of the Russian soldiers on camera speaking the truth to their families back in Russia. What a shock that will be!


A second loser is this war is Putin’s Pence. As President of the United States he was submissive to Putin and praised him as a hero and role model. Putin was a much beloved and admired figure among Trumpicans. Now it turns out, Putin no more cares about the little people than does THE DONALD himself. Everybody is expendable as collateral damage.

The assertions of the savvy genius who gained a country in exchange for $2 in sanctions is more than wrong. They expose the would-be Commander in Chief as inadequate for his job. It turns out that Sleepy Joe Biden who is on death’s door if not already dead was able to organize an international coalition worthy of George Bush in the Persian Gulf War. Biden is providing a leadership that his predecessor never could have.

Remember how stopping one cruise ship from docking was going to save America from Covid?

Remember how stopping the testing would was going to save America from Covid?

Remember how full campaign-rally arenas were proof that he really had won the election?

The person who lacks the mental necessities to read a briefing book, understand the Constitution, and grasp the facts on the ground has exposed himself once again as being unfit for the job of President. You can get away with a simple-minded immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year old as President during good times, but when there is a crisis like Covid or the Russian invasion of Ukraine, you need an adult in the White House. When his number one issue remains rescinding and relitigating the 2020 election and wreaking vengeance on those who did not help him violate the Constitution, you are dealing with someone trapped in the past. It is hard to imagine how 2020 will still be the primary issue in 2024. Putin is not the only one who has to be concerned about Brutus … or the Republicans taking back their party from the Trumpicans.


The Woke are not faring well in this war either. The mantra of the Woke is that the United States is an illegitimate country born in sin or two sins. It has not lived up to its supposed ideals. Quite the contrary, it is a country defined by systemic racism. It is imperialist. It should not be the leader of the free world.

For years the Woke have been bad-mouthing the United States. They are an equal opportunity hate monger who have not only alienated white Republicans but who are alienating Democrats as well. For some reason best known to them, they think the number one issue for Hispanics is 1619 and the number two issue is settler colonialism.

Then along comes Putin to expose what the real world is like outside the ivory tower.

Suddenly we can see part of what happened during World War II. The Europeans remember what happened on their own land and can point to where it happened. Now we can see what London went through with Hitler as the Ukrainians are experiencing with Putin. With the communication revolution we can see not only what happened during World War II, we can see it happening today.

Suddenly we can see part of what happened during the Cold War. We can experience some of what it was like not knowing if the world will blow up at any moment. A student in my local high school expressed interest into doing an exhibit for a proposed local history museum on the shelters which still can be seen in the high school if one looks hard enough for them.

Soon we will able to see what Herbert Hoover did after World War I with the European Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and what American did with the Marshall Plan after World War. Expect China and Saudi Arabia to be billed billions for standing on the sidelines and helping the destruction in the Ukraine to occur.

Suddenly once again, the United States is the city on a hill that eyes of the world are upon. Perhaps the greatest acknowledgement of American leadership has come from Volodymyr Zelensky. He looks to America as a savior in his country’s war against evil. When the war is over and Putin is defeated, Americans will be proud of its role in history. A Democratic campaign based on their inadequate understanding of 1619 will no more resonate with the voting public than the Trumpican fixation on 2020. The country will be ready to move forward. The candidate and party which best realizes that will be the winner.

Should the United States Join the War against the Nazis?

We did it before, we can do it again (U.S. National Archives)

Should the United States join the current war against the Nazis being waged by Russia? During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies in the successful war against Nazi Germany. These allies were not friends and lived very different ways of life. Following the shared victory, a rather decisive line separated Europe into competing sides, a line that would last almost fifty years.

One striking difference in the war was location, location, location. For the United States, the war was fought over there. Some of our deepest memories are of the D-Day landing and Patton’s race across Europe over there.

For Russia the memories are quite different. The war was fought at home, here. Major battles were fought at home, here. Millions died at home, here. One should not be surprised that the war left an indelible mark on the Russian psyche. It is easy to understand why the Russians would be sensitive to even the possibility that the Nazi danger would return…and right on their own doorstep. The Russian reaction naturally would be different to such a threat than ours.

In the United States, the Nazi threat is at home, here. We are fighting that battle at home, here.


As of the time of this writing, the United States has no plans to win the war in the Ukraine. One might claim it is not our war to win or lose, it is a war between Russia and the Ukraine. Such a claim is politically oblivious to the real world. If Russia conquers the Ukraine, the world will see it as an American defeat. Certainly here at home Trumpicans led by Foxhub will continually berate Joe Biden and the Democrats for having lost the war. This means it is in the interest of Joe Biden and the Democrats to win the war even though they have no plans to do so.

The current American plan, such as it is, is for the Ukrainians to win the war. In some ways that plan may be working but at a terrible price. Yes, NATO including the United States will provide arms to assist against the Russian effort. This means the current policy is to prevent Russia from winning no matter how much of the Ukraine is destroyed in the process. Putin has carte blanche go-signal to keep bombing the country until he runs of bombs even including any received from China. He has a license to create refugees on a scale that makes the Syria refugees seem like people on vacation.

The current American plan relies on the Ukrainian people themselves never to surrender, never to give up, to keep fighting city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, and apartment by apartment if necessary. No matter how much of the country is destroyed, no matter how many people flee, no matter if it takes weeks, months, or even years for the war to be resolved, we will be there with them supplying the arms so they can fight another day.


No matter how long it takes, America has no plan to end the war until Putin decides he is ready to end it. Now everyone is trying to read Putin’s mind. How important is Peter the Great to him? How important is restoring the Russian Empire to him? How important is an obscure Russian nationalist philosopher to him? How much does he think the Ukrainians really are Russians and want to be reunited with Russia? How much did COVID and the seeing his mortality before him make him realize that he was running out of time: it’s now or never?

We may never know the answers to these questions. What we do know is that they give Putin the initiative. Regardless of what he is thinking, it is up to him based on that thinking to decide to end the war when he thinks it is time to end the war and not because someone forced him to.

The oligarchs will not cause Putin to end the war.

The Russia people will not cause Putin to end the war. Russia has its people who want to join the West, too. Now many of them are joining the West. The people migrating from Russia do not match the numbers of refugees from the Ukraine. They do show a portion of the country is against the war. As far as Putin is concerned, good riddance to these vermin; Russia is better off without these people who want to live in the 21st century.

Those who remain in the country are like their American counterparts: non-college educated rural and religious people who get their news from the Russian Foxhub network. Not even their own family members in the Ukraine can convince them that the war is not a just one for Russia to save people from Nazis.


Therefore the United States should join the Russian war against the Nazis. The only way to effectively communicate with someone is in a language the other understands. Russia understands the language of Nazis. We should use that to our advantage.

The United States should inform/negotiate with Putin that we are going to assist in the war against Nazis.

We are going to do so in the areas of the Ukraine not yet occupied by Russian troops.

We are going to do so by stationing troops in those areas to conduct searches for Nazis.

We are going to invite Russian troops to join the American and NATO troops who are conducting the searches for Nazis.

We are going to do so effective immediately.

We will show newsreels of the American capture of Nazis as proof to the world that Putin was correct about the Nazis and that we are proud to have assisted in rounding them up.

We may revise the areas where we are conducting the searches as the situation on the ground changes. Given the current stagnation experienced by many of the Russian troops, it may become necessary for NATO to extend the area of the searches to include at least 75% of the country where there are no Russian troops if all the Nazis are to identified, captured, or killed. Apparently it was part of the plan of the Russian military operation that is proceeding on schedule for there to be no Russian presence in most of the country even after three weeks.

Far from fighting the Russians or even risking fighting the Russians, we are instead joining them in the quest to secure the country from Nazis. Once again we are allies not enemies in the war against Nazis. May we be as successful this time as we were last time.

The State of the Putin Union: The Dr. Strangelove Scenario

Suppose Zelensky ends up being Leonidas and not David? (David and Nicolas Régnier)

When you are in a hole, stop digging. This well-known adage applies at the global level as well as in one’s personal life. But there is another point of view. If I had a dollar for every time a commentator these passed two days said that Putin was going to double down, I could retire as a rich Russian oligarch. The consensus appears to be that there is no off ramp, meaning diplomatic solution, therefore the only viable option in the mind of Putin is to double down.


Just because something is farfetched doesn’t mean it is not real in the mind of the believer. Think of the stolen election as the most glaring example in America of a significant number of people believing in something which had not occurred. And then they act on the basis of that belief with voter suppression laws and rigging the upcoming elections.

Putin’s artificial reality as expressed in recent speeches is real to him. There is no constructive purpose in attempting to have a rational discussion with him over his view of the Ukraine and its relationship to Russia. Seriously, what could one say that would have any impact on him except to have you thrown in jail and/or executed?

The situation is different than it was in America. When the incumbent President lost the election either all the adults in room had left or would be leaving. Instead he was getting advice from people like Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and Pillowhead. So much for sane advice.

Given how long it took to plan and prepare for the invasion, one might think that someone in the Russian military might have raised some concerns. Maybe some did. Maybe they thought the preparations were part of a bluff to intimidate the Ukraine into surrendering. Whatever the exact circumstances, at the time of the actual invasion, one presumes everyone in the inner military circle was on board.


Now that the invasion has not worked out exactly as expected, what do you do? We just experienced an attempt by the loser President to steal the election he had lost. We have seen that supporting the Big Lie has become a litmus test for endorsement by the Loser in the upcoming election. We have seen people who opposed the Big Lie be intimidated into retirement. We have seen those who did not get the message be censured, primaried, and expelled. The leader himself has been mean, nasty, and vengeful as one would expect.

There is even less chance that Putin would admit error, failure, and defeat then there is of his American asset doing the same. Putin is in a hole and he will keep digging. He will be immune to any criticism should it be offered internally. Certainly he will be immune to any criticism offered externally such as by the President of the United States in a State of the Union for all the world to hear. Instead he will double down.

The likelihood is that Putin will unleash a scorched-earth attack on the Ukrainians. He is familiar with this technique. It is standard operating procedure for him. He has no interest in precision bombs that supposedly target clearly identified enemy assets and people. He has no remorse for civilians who are caught up in the crossfire as collateral damage. Indeed, for Putin, such people are not even collateral damage … they are the targets.

Putin will make the Ukraine pay for its temerity in not welcoming their brother Russian saviors who are there to liberate them. He will have no mercy. He will seek complete unconditional surrender from those who defied him. He will cut off the leadership head of those who defied him and who became global heroes instead. He has no plans on what to do after he finishes with the barrage he is about to unleash because there won’t be much left. He will destroy the country in order to save it.


What will the reaction be to Putin’s wreaking hell on the Ukraine?

Will someone(s) in the military say enough is enough? Will they say they did not sign up to destroy the Ukraine? Will they risk saying it is time for Putin to go?

Will an oligarch(s) say enough is enough? Will the people who have the most contact with the Western world including where their assets are located, object to the new Iron Curtain being erected around him? This time the Iron Curtain is not being built by the Soviet Union but by the West to contain and isolate Russia. At some point, will the oligarchs risk saying it is time for Putin to go?

Will the forces on the ground in the Ukraine say enough is enough? Will they continue to pulverize the very people they are supposed to be saving? How many of them are connected by marriage to Ukrainians? At some point will the soldiers themselves decide enough it enough and refuse to fight as some already have?

Will the Russian people themselves say enough is enough? Their Russian money is worthless, the people are trapped in Russia, their prospects are dimmed, and they are a pariah people. For how long will they be willing to accept that status?

The sanctions are a long-term punishment. The economic restraints will not work overnight. Arms shipments help but they will not end the invasion. In the meantime, Putin’s assault will continue. Will America and the NATO countries be able to stand on the sidelines if Putin unleashes his scorched-earth attack on the Ukrainian people? Will arm shipments and sanctions be sufficient if there are daily images of Ukrainian men, women, and children suffering, fleeing, and dying at the hands of Putin?

Right now we are basking in the glorious and heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their freedom, their country, and democracy. Unfortunately the worst is yet to come. How much longer will be able to ship humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine before the access is bomb into oblivion? How much longer will Putin spare water and electrical facilities now that the Ukrainian people have rejected him? The gloves are off and carnage is the future.

We are on the verge of a Dr. Strangelove scenario. Putin will not cease in his devastation until someone stops him. If the Russian military, Russian oligarchs, and Russia people do not stop him now, he will keep doubling-down. If they do not stop him then the United States and NATO will have the most dangerous decision to make since the Cuban Missile Crisis: do they let Russia brutally destroy Ukraine or do they intervene to stop it? Do they establish a no-fly area or let the bombing continue? Do they partition the Ukraine and establish a safe area and turn the Ukraine into a new East and West Germany? Putin has decided to go all out for savage brutal victory now; how will Joe Biden respond when the going gets worse?