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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.

Xi Has a Deadline Too

Timing is everything … or is it location, location, location? For the House Select Committee, the deadline was fairly clear. It knew it had to conclude prior to the pro-January 6 party taking control of the chamber. Similarly, on the federal level, the Special Prosecutor knows he has a deadline of the presidential season and, of course, the possibility that the person he is indicting may soon be his boss. In the real world, people do not have all the time in the world, so the question then is what is the deadline for Xi to invade Taiwan?


One change which has or will soon happen is that India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world. It is doing so not because its rate of growth is greater but because China’s population is declining. Once a population decline begins, it is very difficult to reverse course. Traditionally, the most favored way is through immigration. Of course, there is no chance that China will open its doors to a wave of non-Chinese people. There also seems little likelihood that such a group seeking to emigrate to China even exists.

The elevation of India’s position does not mean the country suddenly has become a superpower. The change in standing is more symbolic than it is concrete. However, it does mean that India is more likely to take advantage to press its claims against China if the latter is distracted by an invasion against Taiwan. What better time to open a two-front war against China then when Xi is preoccupied with Taiwan? The United States also is working with India to switch to American weapons. Regardless of the exact details or timing, the longer Xi waits the weaker his position becomes.


With Russia, Xi’s cozying up to this once vaunted superpower may be an example of short-term gains at the expense of long term benefits. For the moment, China’s supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may seem to be a winning hand. Xi is joining with fellow autocrat Putin in a joint alliance against Western, specifically American, hegemony and leadership. Xi has no interest in the Nazi card which Putin keeps brandishing about, but he does see the advantages of a Russian victory in Ukraine.

In this regard, Xi, like so many others, may have succumbed to the image of Russian military might. Now that image has been exposed in a special military operation that has backfired. Ukraine has not fallen to Russia and there seems little likelihood that it is going to. Quite the contrary, it is Ukraine which is now on the offensive although the term used is counter-offensive. It is Russia which is struggling to maintain what it holds in the Ukraine. Although in the early stages, some predictions suggest Russia will be lucky to hold anything and will instead surrender huge numbers of people and areas of land.

Russia is even facing troubles back home. There are people who are fleeing further into Russia in the face of Ukrainian drone and land attacks. There has been a symbolic attack on the Kremlin itself which is hard to spin. There even has been a hack of a Russian TV station with the delivery of a non-Putin-originated “fake news.”

What started as a simply walkover that should have been concluded in days has become a Nazi-threat of World War II levels in Putin propaganda. As the condition continues to deteriorate, the idea of Putin being displaced becomes more and more believable.

Consider the three paths forward that Russia has.

1. The “Peter the Great” scenario where Putin and Russia have a divine mission to be at the center of the world. This approach seems very unlikely even if Putin manages to remain in power until he becomes weak and feeble.

2. Vassal of China – Already in the diplomatic arena, Russia is referred to as the “little brother” whereas China is the “big brother.” The world of diplomacy can be verbally harsh in piercing through the spin. Russia can huff and puff all it wants at Asian conferences but it cannot prevent the truth from being seen. The war in Ukraine has exposed the weakness of Russia.

The odds on Russia with or without Putin wanting to be a vassal of China are nil. At some point, Russia is going to confront its loss of prestige in the international arena. When it arrives at that point, it will reject the little brother scenario.

3. Partner of the West including the United States – This option already is partially underway. How many Russian-Americans are there? How many Russian-Chinese are there? How many Russian oligarchs set up shop in China? How many did so in the West? Finally, when Russians fled the country to avoid Putin’s war, how man fled to China and how many fled west?

The answers to these questions are clear. Russians have voted with their feet and their money and both to be part of the West when given the opportunity to do so. That desire will continue to be true even after the war with Ukraine ends and even if Putin remains in power. In the long run, the people of Russia like the people of the Baltic countries, Georgia, Belarus, and Iran all want to be part of the West even though they have not all succeeded so far. Most likely after this war is over, both Ukraine and the Russia people will signal their preference to be part of the West.

These decisions do not mean that the next day, American or NATO troops will be on the Russian-Chinese border. Perhaps it will only be Russian troops. Russian troops being rearmed and retrained by the United States into being a more effective fighting force. So it is quite reasonable to suppose that the longer Xi waits to invade Taiwan, the greater the chance of having to fight on multiple fronts.


Meanwhile at home, all is not well. The population is in decline. The population is aging in a country notorious for not having a safety net and for having fewer and fewer young people to support more and more old people.

The generation of “Wolf Warriors” is peaking. This high testosterone male cohort is gradually working its way through the demographic time line. Time is not on Xi’s side when it comes to be able to draw on an inexhaustible supply of Wolf Warriors to fight for the conquest of Taiwan. Again, it is not an immediate issue, but it is one that puts constraint on Xi’s actions.

In a few years, Xi will face another fake election. At that point he will be asked what he has accomplished in his current term. He will be asked if he has fulfilled the goals he has established for himself. Or will he be forced to punt? Will he have to kick the can into the next time period for the invasion of Taiwan?

In the meantime, other countries have caught onto to the Chinese imperial policy. They are not as willing to be little brothers to China. They are not as willing to be bullied as they once were. They see the true costs of their economic relationships with China. Now that the United States has stood up against Russia and actually pivoted towards Southeast Asia, they are more willing to join international groups for their own protection. Again time is not on Xi’s side.


China has worked very hard and very successfully to erase the memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989. There are no physical reminders of the events surrounding that confrontation. There is nothing for tourists to see. No selfies to take. The memory lives on through the people who participated in it but they are now 34 years older and dying out. Hong Kong regularly celebrated the day until in the past few years, China squeezed out all public events. Refugees from China have kept the event alive in the China diaspora. In New York, a Tiananmen massacre museum has opened. In London, the emigrants from Hong Kong have kept the memory alive. And, of course, in Taiwan, the emigrants from China remember the event alongside the Taiwanese who already do.

So for now, China has been able to successfully suppress knowledge of the Tiananmen Square massacre from the general population. But how long can it continue to do so? How long before the Chinese people demand to know the truth?

There are many unknowns in the questions posed in this blog and in the trends identified here. What they have in common is that time is not on Xi’s side. There is no way to know what will happen when his current term in office ends and he has nothing to show for his openly expressed desire to occupy Taiwan, but certainly we would seem to be approaching the sweet spot for such an invasion before the call simply becomes hollow rhetoric.

Putin, Passover, and Ramses II

Which one is real?

The war in Ukraine is Putin’s war. It will end the same way it started – when he decides he wants it to end … or when he is no longer capable of fighting it. To ask him to voluntarily cease fighting in Ukraine is the equivalent of asking him to give up his dreams of being Peter the Great. What does he have to live for then? All the external forces that the United States and the West have touted as deterrents to his stopping the war are meaningless especially given the wide spread support Putin has throughout the world including, of course, by China.

What can we learn from the past that will help us to understand Putin’s dilemma?


There is more to the figure of Ramses II than Cecil B. DeMille included in the movie. His reasons for excluding such information are not the subject of this blog. True, he was not an Egyptologists but by the 1950s sufficiently more was known than he showed. The same charge could be made against Disney for its cartoon Exodus decades later.

Without going into too much detail, here are items which should be included in the event there is a remake of a movie about the Exodus.

1. Thutmose III

Thutmose III was Ramses’ Peter the Great. Thutmose III in Egyptology is known as the “Napoleon of Egypt.” He earned that nickname due to his constant successful military campaigns, mainly in the Land of Canaan, following his succession from Hatshepsut, his step mother who ruled as Pharaoh.

He launched many campaigns and took many captives into slavery in Egypt. Foremost among his campaigns was the Battle of Megiddo early in his career. Megiddo is a well-known site in Israel today, the basis for The Source by James Michener, and the site of Armageddon in the Book of Revelation. Less well-known is that during World War I, Gen. Allenby consulted the (translated) records of what Thutmose III did in planning his own campaign against the same site.

When Thutmose III fought at Megiddo, he had a decision to make. He to decide which route to take when he approached the city. The Canaanites and their allies including the prince of Kadesh in modern Syria, anticipated that Thutmose III would choose one of the two easier possibilities. They guessed he would go around the mountains and they positioned their troops accordingly. Instead, Thutmose III, on his own initiative and against the advice of his counselors, boldly chose the middle and more risky route through the mountain passes. During the march, his military forces could touch the walls on both sides that is how narrow it was.

There also was the risk that when the forces emerged from the mountains they would not do so immediately in large numbers. Thus they would have been exposed had the enemy forces positioned themselves there. As it turned, the enemy had not. Thutmose III had prevailed. This campaign and others by him set the gold standard for subsequent Pharaohs – to match the decisiveness and success of this vaunted warrior king. His victory was displayed in color like a giant billboard in Times Square. Thutmose III was the man as well Ramses II knew.

2. Seti I

Closer to Ramses II, was his own father, Seti I. This warrior king also bears no resemblance to the figure in the movie or the cartoon. He launched two major successful military campaigns particularly during the early years of his reign. Ramses II was only a child then. He did not accompany his father on these campaigns. In fact, when he became king, he erased (chiseled out) the individual who had participated in these campaigns and then replaced him with himself. This action was rare in Egyptian history. When Hatshepsut and Akhnaton were cancelled, the erasures occurred after they were dead. It also means that that erased person who had help plan the military campaigns of Seti I and participated in them had been to the wilderness and the Land of Canaan and had logistical experience in moving large numbers of people from Egypt.

3. Ramses II

When Ramses II became king he was aware of his predecessors and his rival. He knew he had to live up to the glorious standards and achievements of the warrior kings who had proceeded him. He sought to do so in the Battle of Kadesh in year 5 of his reign as a young man in his 20s. At this point in his career his was not Ramses the Great. He was an unproven king trying to make a name for himself.

He lived in a capital city that bore no resemblance to the cities in the movie or the cartoon. The city of Raameses was military city. It was not a religious city like Karnak or Heliopolis. It was not even a political city like Washington. It was a military city where the military was the single most diverse institution in ancient Egypt to borrow a modern term. The Egyptian army in the time of Ramses II was multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious. It was not the type or organization that simply accepted someone as commander in chief because his father had been one. Seti I came from a warrior family in the northeast Delta (Land of Goshen). His father was a chariot officer from that area. Recent kings like Horemheb and Ay had proven military careers before they became king. Now this youngster, Ramses II, had become Pharaoh. He had a lot to live up to.

He failed to do so in the Battle of Kadesh. He did not have the success of Thutmose III. He did not have the success of his father Seti I. He did not smite the enemy. Instead he rushed pell-mell into a trap set by the Hittite king and barely escaped with his life. Naturally he could not accept blame for his own misjudgment in battlefield strategy. He needed a scapegoat, maybe more than one. He chose as a scapegoat his own military. He claimed that his army had deserted him on the field of battle. He claimed that he had had to fight alone to extricate himself from his self-created dilemma.

Need-less-to-say, that claim was not believable. The military who had been there knew the charge was false Egyptologists today know the charge was false. No matter how much Ramses II controlled the official record of the battle in monuments he erected throughout the land, the word of mouth proved stronger. Especially in the capital which was a military city of a mixed multitude, the people knew that Ramses II had failed. It was in the aftermath of that failure when the Exodus occurred, again, not in the movie or the cartoon. But Ramses II remained in power because departure in the Exodus and not replacement in a coup was the goal.

At some point the Russian people may learn and face the truth about Putin’s failure in the Ukraine, that Putin is not Peter the Great. Putin will never admit but the Russian people will. That moment will mean the end of Putin’s reign and that China backed the wrong side.

Biden Boldly Goes Where No President Has Gone Before

Kirk never took a ten hour train ride. Beam me up, Scotty.

Joe Biden has boldly gone where no American President has gone before. His journey into a war zone where there are no American troops will be remembered with alongside previous American Presidential combat trips. Who can forget John Kennedy’s proclamation that he was a Berliner at the Berlin Wall or Ronald Reagan’s call to tear down that very wall in Berlin or Donald Trump’s clearing of Lafayette Square for a photo op. These are the defining moments of a presidency producing images that endure throughout history.

As one hears about the intricacies of the trip Biden undertook, one can almost hear the theme from Mission Impossible playing in the background. But now that the journey is complete, one has to ask what did it accomplish, what difference did it make?

This blog will be a bifurcated one because the significance on the global stage does not correlate with that in the domestic arena.


With this trip, Biden asserted his position as leader of the free world. He is not the leader of the unfree world. However those countries have been put on notice that he is the leader of the free world. In particular, this applies to NATO. That organization has been reinvigorated, unified, and is set to expand. None of these developments are what Putin sought when he launched his special military operation which ended up being war. The Donald Trump era of America alone and thrashing NATO is over … at least until the 2024 presidential election.

As the leader of the free world, Biden has drawn a line in sand in Ukraine. He can no longer allow Ukraine to lose. North Korea/South Korea and North Vietnam/South Vietnam divisions of Ukraine are unacceptable. There are no negotiations possible since only victory is acceptable.


With this trip, Biden has put Putin on notice that his dreams of Peter the Great will not be fulfilled … at least as long as Biden is President. Biden’s visit serves as a declaration that he will not allow Ukraine to fall on his watch. That means however Putin ratchets up the intensity of the Russian effort, it will be matched by Biden. There is no victory in sight for Putin.

Way back on February 6, I asked Is Putin Winning?: Joe Biden’s Moment of Truth. I wondered what Biden would do. I wrote:

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.

I was not expecting an answer so quickly. One might think that Putin has received and understands the message. Now he is relegated to waiting for Western unity to crack or his lackey to return to the White House in 2025. Only then if Biden is re-elected may we learn that Putin is willing to live in the real world. Whether or not the Russian/elites military are willing to wait that long is another matter. We need to convince them that Russia is not our enemy, Putin is, and that we have a common enemy in China.


For someone with one foot in the grave – assuming he was not already dead – Biden has had a remarkably active and robust first two+ years that would make a younger President proud. Given his domestic legislation triumphs and his world leadership role against Russia and its authoritarian allies, it is hard to imagine any Democrat challenging him. So far none has. No Democratic office holder has undertaken any actions that would signify a move towards becoming a candidate.

But one needs to keep in mind that the 2024 election is a long way off. Joe Biden easily could step down on the grounds that he has achieved what he sought to achieve and then some; now it is time to turn the ship of state over to someone else. The sticking point including for those who say they don’t want Biden to run again is who that someone else should be? At this point there is no obvious successor despite the longstanding tradition broken by Obama of choosing one’s Vice President to be the successor. On the other hand, there is the example of John Fetterman. At lot can happen in a couple of years. Great athletes tend not to retire at the top of their game; they tend to wait until they have started to decline excluding any career-ending injury.

One should keep in mind that Biden does not get any credit for his achievements. He has every right to be proud of what he has accomplished. Yet somehow that has not translated into any boost in his popularity. People still say with a straight face and in all sincerity that he has not done anything. One wonders what if anything can break through that mindset.


“The President of the United States chose Ukraine over America, while forcing the American people to pay for Ukraine’s government and war,” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) “I cannot express how much Americans hate Joe Biden.”

“Breathtaking that President Biden can show up in Ukraine to ensure their border is secure, but can’t do the same for America,” January 6 co-conspirator Rep. Scott Perry tweeted.

Rep. Matt Gaetz Gaetz and Greene are co-sponsors of the Ukraine Fatigue Act that aims to undermine support for Kyiv as the Russian invasion of its European neighbor moves into its second year. Greene wrote. “We must impeach this America Last fool before it’s too late.”

So far the Republicans have the upperhand over the MAGAs in Congress. How long that will last remains unknown. MAGA’s think differently. They have no interest in the President of the United States being the leader of the Free World. They prefer Putin to Biden. So while the call for premature withdrawal has no traction now, the situation could change.

For the moment at least, Biden has created a historically defining moment with his visit to Ukraine and speech in Poland. In the future Railroad One may become a tourist trip. If the Democrats are smart they will contrast Trump’s submissiveness to Putin at Helsinki with Biden’s defiance at Kyiv. They will contrast Trump’s “perfect phone call” to undermine Ukraine in his first impeachment with Biden’s “One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.” One year ago today, Trump praised Putin for his genius, the savvy leader who had a strong army for peace. Putin expected to be in Kyiv shortly afterwards. Instead the war has not only been Zelenskyy’s moment of glory, it has become Biden’s too. Will the American people realize that?

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.

What Do Putin and Trump Have to Look Forward to?

What do alpha male Putin and alpha male wannabee Trump have to look forward to? The two losers are forever linked by the dual frontpage headlines above the fold on the print edition of the New York Times, November 10, 2022. Across the top, headline read “those who passed the litmus test to become approved Trumpican candidates lost in key states.” Just below, the headline read “In another major retreat in the special military operation, Putin withdrew his forces from the city he had just proclaimed annexed by Russia forever.”

At this point, the two men have an aura of loser surrounding them. What do they have look forward to in Ukraine or in the American political arena?


How many strategic retreats in a special military operation can one have before admitting defeat?

Putin failed in the effort to capture the capital.

Putin was pushed backed in the northeast.

Putin was pushed back across the river at Kherson.

Putin has had one partial mobilization.

Putin has scraped the bottom of the barrel to find bodies to throw into the battle.

Putin searched the globe for additional bodies so desperate is he for cannon fodder.

It is getting to the point where he could not defend Russia from an invasion by the Baltic States!

We are used to Russia absorbing the invasions from the west by Napoleon and Hitler before turning the tables. Now it is the Russian military forces which have reached their limit and have begun pulling back. Do you think there is going to be a second land offensive into Ukraine by Russia? Do you think the withdrawal of forces from Kherson is the last Russian withdrawal? Quite the opposite. It will be Ukrainians who will be pressing their momentum this winter.

More and more Russian families want to know what has happened to their loved ones. The task of hiding the truth will become more and more challenging.

The hope that European unity will collapse over the winter seems like wishful thinking. The American arms pipeline to Ukraine will continue. At some point the combination of sanctions and the spending on the war will take a toll on the lives on the Russian people.

Could what is happening in Iran also happen in Russia?

How many shoulders does Putin have to look over?

The course of events in Russia does not loom well for Putin because the course of events in Ukraine do not either. Since the Kremlin is far from transparent, it is hard to say what will happen. Putin could keep renewing his term in office until 2036 when he will be 86, but somehow it is hard to imagine him lasting that long. Putin’s “savvy” move to fulfill a Peter the Great destiny may turn out to be the dumbest thing he ever did. The moment of truth will occur when Putin no longer can maintain the illusion that he is Peter the Great, that he is restoring, that he is winning in Ukraine. When that moment comes, he my go ballistic.

What will happen then? He cannot just push a lever, turn a key, or press a button. Other people will have to carry out his orders. Will they?

Once before, an American President had to show the skill, foresight, and patience to let the Iron Curtain fall and the Soviet Union collapse in what Putin regards as the “biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Now another American President may have to do the same for the collapse of Putin.


Even as everyone in America is caught up in the election on 2022, life still goes go in the legal arena for the Loser. In one case, a judge ruled that Trump lawyers had to pay fines and receive sanctions for a frivolous lawsuit about a vast conspiracy of perceived enemies arrayed against him. Although I am not a lawyer and have not read the ruling, I get the impression that the judge had had it with the complete and total nonsense of Trump lawyers abusing the legal system for the political agenda of an immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year old.

The case delivered a doubled message:

1. MAGA means “Make Attorneys Get Attorneys” meaning lawyers accept Donald Trump as a client at their own financial and legal peril.

2. Pay attention to the little case that don’t get much attention.  For example in case against the Trump Organization involving former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, we already have seen the Trump lawyers show their willingness to throw him under the bus – it was all Weisselberg. Now Controller Jeffrey McConney has testified about the mechanics behind the financial skullduggery behind the payments to avoid taxes. One wonders exactly who is going to defend the actions of the Trump Organization. One wonders if other people are catching on that no matter how loyal they have been to him, he will not be loyal to them as Michael Cohen has been saying for years.

The Georgia Senate runoff scheduled for December 6 means any indictments either by the DOJ or in Georgia or both will be pushed back until after that time so as not to interfere with vote. Assuming the Democrats lose control of the House by no matter how small a margin, the House Select committee will be issuing its report shortly thereafter as well. In other words, it will not be “Happy Holidays” for the Loser.

It’s hard to see what Trump can do to escape the taint of being a loser. We know that stigma was something he has strove to avoid at all costs practically since childhood. We know that he made he made his loss the 2020 the litmus test for receiving his blessing in 2022. We now know that even though he is name was not on ballot in 2020, he is the President who is being blamed for being the loser while Joe Biden is taking victory laps.

On November 15, he will try to assert his power in the Republican Party. He will be meaner. He will be more insulting. He will be nastier. He will dare any wannabee from running against him. He will demand fealty. He will make the lives of McCarthy and O’Connell a living hell. The new litmus test will be supporting his candidacy in 2024 right now or feel his wrath.

While the Freedom Caucus has been garnering all the attention, what about the Real Republican Caucus. There were ten who voted for impeachment in the current Congress. How many will there be in the new Congress? Republicans who have had enough and are ready to move on? We may know soon from some votes.

Did anyone think he would appear before the House Select Committee on November 14? As expected, he is trying to run out the clock so his red wave can rescue him and on his income taxes. But there is no red wave. What happens if despite his ranting and raving, the House Select Committee recommends the House holds him in contempt for not compliance?

They are not afraid of the Loser anymore

At times, it is starting to look like “Murder on the Orient Express.” Everyone is coming out of the woodwork to castigate Trumpty Dumpty’s failure.

He is not used to being the ridiculed figure of failure from his own supporters. He lacks the maturity to deal with a situation where Republicans are eager to make fun of him and to talk about moving on.

Like Putin, Trump will have a moment when goes ballistic. However when that moment comes it means he will implode and become even more deranged. Even as we prepare for his announcement of his candidacy for 2024, he just may be a loser spouting hot air.


Russians Reject Putin’s Big Lie

Russian "Field of Dreams"



What will Putin do? I ask that question as someone with access to no secret sources, no classified government materials, and no friends in the know. I ask it as someone who reads articles and watches news and talk shows. We are witnessing a battle between the real world and the mind of someone with a Peter the Great complex who knows the price for attempting to impose such greatness and failing. At some point eventually, the real world wins. The Soviet Union was not the wave of the future.


Back in February when this special military operation began, I am not sure how many people thought we would be where we are today. The invasion was hardly a secret although it still seemed to have taken some people by surprise. There seem to be people who believed that it was a bluff of some kind.

In the initial Russian run up and invasion of Ukraine, the consensus was that the war would be a short one. The Russian forces were massive, a word one heard frequently. The Russian forces also were state-of-the-art, a true 21st-century military machine what would steamroller over the smaller and less well-armed Ukraine. Russia had military experiences as well. Perhaps Putin’s asset, the former President of the United States said it best.

“I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said in a radio interview with “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.” “He used the word ‘independent’ and ‘we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy.”

As we all know, Russia’s initial onslaught was both brutal and unsuccessful. The Russian proclamations of quick victory had to be filed back in the drawer. Instead, the Ukrainians were more like the Russians valiantly fighting the Nazis from capturing the country. Those early weeks of the war have become Ukraine’s finest hour so far.

Zelensky then became a media darling. Ukraine was front page news and he was front page news. He spoke via giant screens to the people of Europe. They gathered together to hear him just as they had when Matt Damon was successfully rescued from Mars to the cheers of millions. He was David defeating Goliath. The Russians had failed in their efforts to seize the capital. Perhaps soon Ukrainians would even push the Russians out of their country. Those were heady days indeed.

The moment did not last long. Ukraine stopped being the lead story. It was not even mentioned in daily news shows, talked about, or printed about in the daily newspapers. The battle had switched to the “east.” It has become a slugfest. There were no stirring defeats. There were no stirring victories. It just continued day after day, more of the same, with no light at the end of the tunnel, a forever genocidal war.

Then the tide change. Suddenly Ukraine was on the offensive. Ukraine was regaining territory. The Russian army seemed on the verge of collapse. What would Putin do?

Now we now know the answer: partial mobilization. Will it work?


Let’s examine some of the changes which have occurred and the hoped-for changes which have not.

1. NATO is more unified than it has been in decades. How long that will last remains unknown but so far one result of Putin’s war is a revitalized NATO that takes very seriously the Russian threat. This can’t be what Putin wanted.

2. NATO has expanded. Finland and Sweden are in the process of joining NATO. Even beforehand, their militaries are working with NATO as if they were members. This can’t be what Putin wanted.

3. World food and energy prices are in turmoil leading to disruptions in many places. For Putin this unexpected collateral damage has been weaponized into an attack on the West. It will not help him win in Ukraine but it will inflict pain on others. Putin does not care.

4. The oligarchs have had no effect on Putin’s behavior. The seizure of yachts has made for many dramatic photo-ops but they are immaterial.

5. Economic sanctions have not worked … yet. Remember how being cut off from SWIFT was going to be a devastating blow! So far the economy has shrunk but less than it did with Covid. The high energy prices and willing customers in China and India have helped keep the coffers full … so far. Ever more Russian people have been placed under sanctions. This is a little like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you are patient and can hold firm, they can have a major effect on the Russian people. Putin may not care how much the Russian people suffer for the greater cause of his being Peter the Great, but combined with other events, they could prove troublesome to him. At some point sanctions may become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

6. The army has underperformed and the situation is getting worse not better. Even Russian pro-war hawks have become speaking out on social media calling for heads to roll. The facts on the ground ultimately may be the biggest game changer of all.

At this point Putin seemingly has nothing good to which to look to forward, so he threw a Hail Mary.


Like “special military operation,” “partial mobilization” is a code term. The former is for an invasion and the latter is a Hail Mary.

Putin already had succeeded in generating one rush to emigrate with the start of the special military operation. Now with the partial mobilization he has sparked another. The first one was mainly Western-oriented people of all genders and ages who said “enough is enough.” These are the people who were in the forefront of the efforts to westernize Russia and promote democracy. The departure of the best-educated people enabled Putin to say “good riddance” to these enemies of the state regardless of the loss to the future economy of Russia.

With the second group fleeing the country, the situation is different. They are young men, Russian and non-ethnic, perhaps not as well educated as the first group, perhaps more loyal to Putin before, who are now leaving.

Here we see the failure of Russian Foxhub. Officially the special military operation is succeeding perfectly according to plan. One might think the young men would be eager to participate in this glorious undertaking for the greater good of Mother Russia. Yet for some reason, they think going to the battlefront in Ukraine means going to die. They see the draft not as a call to arms but as a death sentence.

How could they think that? The fleeing following the partial mobilization decree tells us that Russian Foxhub was telling them the Big Lie that no longer works. The Russian Big Lie of victory was tolerated as long as it did not affect the average individual. In other words, the Russian people knew Russian Foxhub was spinning the Big Lie. Once Putin called for a partial mobilization, they knew the Big Lie was a Big Lie and they knew who was responsible for it. They were being asked to sacrifice themselves for Putin’s Big Lie. They are not being asked to fight for Russia, they are being asked to fight for Putin. How many troops does Putin need at home round up the people needed for the partial mobilization in support of the Big Lie?

And now he will be arming those recruits or at least trying to. He will be arming 300,000 men who know that Putin is the problem. There already are tens of thousands of men in the Ukraine who know the war is the Big Lie and Putin is the problem. So while everyone in the West is concerned about whether Putin will use nuclear weapons, we should also be looking to the facts on the ground. Winter is coming for the exposed troops in the Ukraine. Winter is coming for new recruits however many are rounded up. The West will do a better job arming and supplying Ukrainians this winter than Russians will do their own armed forces. The winter that defeated Napoleon and Hitler is more likely to defeat Putin too.

What will Putin do when the Big Lie no longer works and the facts on the ground can no longer be denied even by him? That is when he has to start looking over his shoulder and watching his back if he is not already doing that.



Zelensky versus Putin: The May 9 Showdown

David Slaying Goliath by Peter Paul Rubens (The Norton Simon Foundation )

Storytellers love stories of the stark clear-cut one-on-one showdown between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. The story we hear most now is the one between David and Goliath. While Putin and Zelensky will not meet physically in such a confrontation, they did meet cosmically on May 9, 2022 in the celebration of the victory of evil decades ago. The words and images also were weapons in the current war which convulses the land and wreaks havoc throughout the world. The current confrontation provides insight into the story that was told millennia ago and which is still relevant today.

1 Samuel 17:1 Now the Russians gathered their armies for battle; 3 And the Russians stood on the mountain on one side of the border, and the Ukrainians stood on the mountain on the other side of the border, with a border between them.  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 09: Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on the screen as he delivers a speech during 77th anniversary of the Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2022. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

4 And there came out from the camp of the Russians a champion named Putin, of Moscow, whose height was six cubits and a span and who rode horses bare-chested. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had greaves of bronze upon his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of the Ukrainians, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Russian, and are you not servants of me? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Russian, “I defy the ranks of the Ukrainians this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”


21 And the Ukrainians and the Russians drew up for battle, army against army. 23 As David talked with his brothers, behold, the champion, the Russian of Moscow, Putin by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. 32 And Zelensky said, “Let no man’s heart fail because of Putin; I will go and fight with this Russian.”


33 And Trump said to Zelesnsky, “You are not able to go against this Russian to fight with him; for you are but a loser, and Putin has been a man of war from his youth and he is a savvy genius.” 37 And Zelensky said, “Yahweh who delivered the Ukrainians me from the paw of the Nazis and from the paw of the Communists, will deliver me from the hand of this Russian.” 38 Then Biden clothed Zelesnky with his armor; he put a helmet of bronze on his head, and clothed him with a coat of mail.


Ukrainian service member holds a Javelin missile system at a position on the front line in the north Kyiv region. Credit: Reuters Photo

40 Then David took his staff in his hand, and chose five Javelin smooth stones from the brook, and put them in his shepherd’s bag or wallet; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Russian. 41 And the Russian came on and drew near to Zelensky with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when Putin looked, and saw Zelensky, he disdained him; for he was weak and small.

43 And Putin said to Zelensky, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” And Putin cursed Zelensky his gods. 44 Putin said to Zelensky, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then Zelensky said to Putin, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a convoy of tanks; but I come to you in the name of freedom, Yahweh, the God whom you have defied. 46 This day Yahweh will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head and your generals; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Russians this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in the Ukraine, 47 and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is Yahweh’s and he will give you into our hand.” 48 When Putin arose and came and drew near to meet Zelensky, Zelensky ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Russian. 49 And Zelesnky put his hand in his bag and took out his drones, his Javelins, his Stingers, and slung them, and struck Putin on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.


50 So Zelensky prevailed over Putin with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Russian, and killed him. 51 Then Zelensky ran and stood over the Russian army, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and destroyed it, and cut off generals. When the Russian people finally saw that their army was defeated was dead, they rioted.

It is surprising how little the wording needed to be changed to tell this 21st-century version of the story.

Right now Putin does not know what to do.

The Ukrainian people did not welcome him.
He failed to take the capital.
His is failing to take the east.
His pride-and-joy ship sank.
He is depleting the Russian military so much that soon Poland and the Baltic States will be able to invade Russia instead of fearing an invasion by Russia.
He has strengthened NATO.
He has awakened the “arsenal of democracy” just as Japan did at Pearl Harbor.
His future is one of more and more pounding as the American arsenal becomes the Ukrainian arsenal.
At some point, even his generals will be able to read the handwriting on the wall.
He has no idea how to get out of the hole he has dug for himself so he just keeps digging.

It’s time for Joe Biden to send a special emissary to Moscow to find out what it will take to end this madness. It is time to send the Russian asset, the only American Putin trusts because he can dominate him. It is time to send Donald Trump to the Kremlin.


May 9: V-U Day or V-R Day?

V-E Day, Times Square (AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons)

More and more the current war in the Ukraine resembles World War II. It has bombed out cities, tanks galore, genocide and even a budding world alliance against the perpetrator of the war. It also will soon have its equivalent of V-E Day and V-J Day. The United States celebrated Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945. The USSR celebrated on May 9, 1945, and that day continues with the Russian nation that replaced it.


The United States does not really have a World War II holiday. The anniversaries of famous war events like the Day of Infamy, D-Day, V-E Day, and V-J occur annually without much recognition. Memorial Day often contains a World War II component. But in general terms the memory of the so-called “Last Good War” by the greatest generation is fading from the national consciousness even faster than the generation that fought it dies.

The same cannot be said for said for the Civil War aka the War of Northern Aggression. That war lives on. We all saw the Confederate flag waving in the Capitol during the attempted coup on January 6, 2021. It is much more alive than World War II. One major difference between the two wars is that one was fought here and the other was fought over there. It is with the Russian invasion of Ukraine that we can glimpse some of the damage which General Sherman wreaked on Georgia. When we think about the Ukrainians have reacted to Russians we can start to understand the lasting hatred for the Yankee invaders and their modern elitist woke descendants evoke in the Confederates.


By contrast, in Russia, the celebration of the victory over Nazi Germany is a big deal. The war was fought on Russian land and not just over there. Russian cities paid a steep price. And the millions dead due to Stalin blur with the millions dead due to Hitler. So when Putin declares a war against Nazis in Ukraine, it resonates far more with the Russian people than it does when the term is used on Foxhub, in school board meetings, and over masks and vaccinations. We have trivialized and diluted the meaning of the term “Nazi” in a way that would be unacceptable in Russia. Putin is wrong about Nazis in Ukraine but he is right about the power of the term to the Russian people.

When the war began, Putin was ready to proclaim victory even beforehand. An article by the propaganda publication RIA Novosti was to be published after the pending occupation of Ukraine. By mistake, it was published prematurely before being removed from the website. It reveals the big plans the Peter-the-Great admirer had for his special military operation. The article describes Putin’s imperial plans for the total Russification of Ukraine and Belarus and change of the world order.

A new world is being born before our eyes. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has ushered in a new era – in three dimensions at once. And of course, in the fourth, internal Russian. Here begins a new period both in ideology and in the very model of our socio-economic system – but this is worth talking about separately a little later.

Russia is restoring its unity; the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome.

The victory press release continues in this vein. Putin has risen to the occasion to right the wrongs of history and to launch a new world order. Say what you want about the validity of the claims. It reveals a person who is thinking big. To convince him that his dreams will never be fulfilled and that instead he is a loser will not be easy. Look how hard it has been to convince the American Presidential loser that he is a loser!


Is Putin winning his war to fulfill an historic destiny? Based on American press coverage, the answer is “No!” The Russian army routinely is described as inept, incompetent, and damaged. A guessing game has ensued as to how many tens of thousands Russian soldiers are dead, wounded, or captured thereby undermining the efficiency of its “massive” forces. The Ukrainian fighters are always valiant. Shades of World War II, the American arsenal has been ramped up and is providing ever more powerful weaponry to confront the forces of evil. The pride of the Russian fleet sank. The Ukrainian capital was not captured. The battle has shifted eastward to a smaller setting.

Nonetheless, there are continued reports that Putin thinks he is winning. Not the Russian people who are restricted in the information they have access to and, of course, think Russia is winning but the leader himself. Is he being fed false information by his subordinates who are afraid to tell him the truth? Is he living in an alternate reality? What then?

Let’s keep in mind some other considerations.

The Russian economy has not tanked yet despite the most massive sanctions ever.

Much of the world supports Russia – China, India, huge portions of Africa and elsewhere. We cannot afford to take our eye off the Pacific while China uses the opportunity of the focus on Europe to insert itself into the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific.

Europe is not united against Russia. While Sweden and Finland consider joining NATO contrary to Putin’s wishes, Hungary supports him. France did not abandon its position in the war, but the election just concluded shows what could happen especially if the war drags on.

The United States is not united either. So far there is Congressional approval for the war effort. Still a significant part of the Trumpican party in the House of Representatives refused to condemn Putin. The presumptive nominee of the Trumpican party for the presidency in 2024 thinks Putin is a savvy genius AND WILL NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OPPOSE HIM. If the wars drags on and Americans tire of more pictures of massacred Ukrainians, destroyed cities, and refugees and if Western arms are not sufficient to stem the Russian tide and Western bodies and aircraft are needed, what will happen then? Will Americans still support the Ukraine then? I don’t know the answer but it is understandable for Putin to think that if he can hold on, he can eventually prevail in some form.


That brings us to May 9. Putin will have to declare victory in some manner over Nazis in the present at the time when Russia celebrates it victory over Nazis in the past. In some ways we are approaching the most critical time of the war. May 9 could become Putin’s January 6 – the day when he failed to seize even the eastern Ukraine just as his American asset failed in his attempt to seize the Capitol. We need to deliver our own message on May 9 (or better May 8 when we celebrate V-E Day) that Russia will never succeed in conquering Ukraine and is failing everywhere. It is time for American stop being reactive and to take the initiative.

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.