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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.

AMERICAN WORLD WAR II HOLIDAY

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.

RUSSIAN WORLD WAR HOLIDAY   

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!

WHO IS WINNING THE WAR?

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.

MAY 9

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 (https://www.bbc.com/news)

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.

Over There, Over There: The Yanks Are Coming

Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over, over there

 

It’s time.

Legitimate Military Discourse: The Power of Russian Foxhub

Tuckyo Rose Carlson at work

You can fool all the people some of the time
and some of the people all the time
and that’s enough

Russian Foxhub is more powerful than American Foxhub, but it may not be powerful enough to save Putin.

The American Foxhub shows there are limits to its power. The United States remains a free country. There are multiple sources of news. Indeed, people have the option of choosing from among a full range of possibilities reflecting a wide assortment of political views. At this point in time, it is unlikely that any news outlet and format is dominating enough to have a single message become the uniform message of the land.

Take the January 6 insurrection to overthrow the government and the rule of law. At the time, no one envisioned that tens of millions of people would come to regard it as legitimate political discourse. Now January 6 is an expression of patriotic Americans exercising their Constitutional right to prevent an election from being stolen by taking the law into their own hands. The point for the Russian-Ukrainian war is that even with multiple media outlets tens of millions Americans believe and will continue to believe to their dying day that the con of the stolen election is true.

This reality bodes ill for the hope that the Russian people will force Putin to face the truth.

THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE AND THE WAR

By now people in the West are much more aware of the power of the Russian Foxhub than at the onset of the war. The incident of a single person with a handwritten sign denouncing the Putin lie garners a great deal of attention. There must be others who share that perspective. They must not have had the opportunity to express themselves or they are afraid to do so given that it is illegal.

It would seem that the people who are most aware of the Putin lie are the ones who have left the country. By contrast, the polls would suggest that Putin’s popularity has increased as the war continues. The anti-Russian actions perpetrated by the West have only verified the claim that America is behind the Nazis in the Ukraine and intends to establish an anti-Russian base there. In other words, for the Russians this is World War II all over again. The anti-American narrative provides an opportunity for Russians to relive the Russian greatness from the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis. It is questionable whether Russian relatives in the Ukraine, the Russian soldiers who do not return, and the wounded Russian soldiers who do return are likely to change sufficient number of minds to end the war. So far, the Russian people are prepared to rise to the occasion and stand firm against America and the Nazis.

ENDING THE WAR

Unfortunately, this does not bode well for ending the war. The world may be outraged by the horrific sight of the slain Ukrainians by the Russians, but the Russian know better. They know that Russians did not commit these atrocities. They are familiar with Fake News. They are familiar with Jewish George Soros. They know that there are no limits to what the Nazi Ukrainians would do. They know that good Russian boys would not do such things. And they know this because Russian Foxhub has a news monopoly and is delivering this message continually. China knows it too and the two countries reinforced their collective anti-American message.

There is the hope that with drones and satellites, the truth can pierce the new Iron Curtain.

There is the hope that the returning conscripts alive or in body bags will communicate the truth to the Russian people.

There is the hope that call for new conscripts will expose the lie that Putin’s special military operation is going according to plan.

However, in the meantime, Putin continues to set the rules of the engagement and we continue to let him do so. Therefore his war will end only when he has decided it should end.

AMERICAN ACTION AND INACTION

As a result we need to wake up and smell the coffee.

The oligarchs are not going to end the war.

The Russian people are not going to end the war.

The generals are not going to end the war.

The only way the fighting ends is the way it has ended in some parts of the country now – by the Ukrainian defeat of the Russian army. Such a victory seems less likely in the portions of the country that have been at war since 2014. Those areas may even include people who really do prefer Russian to Ukrainian rule. We won’t know until a plebiscite is held, not that we even have proposed one.

Consider the American example for illustrative purposes.

What would it take to get Trumpicans to stop believing in the big lie?

What would it take in a free society to convince true believers that they have been conned?

Donald Trump could tell the truth. That’s not possible.

His conspirators might tell the truth. That hardly seems likely. They don’t even have any reason to since there are no consequences for having helped organized the attempted takeover.

Now apply these lessons to Russia.

Putin could tell the truth. That’s not possible. He seems to be a permanent resident of his alternate reality.

His conspirators, the Russian generals, could tell the truth. That hardly seems likely. What reason do they have to do so? They are no more afraid of being tried as war criminals as Steve Bannon, Jim Jordan, John Eastman, et. al., are afraid of being tried for sedition.

The question to be asked is how long the Ukraine can hold out? Zelensky like the House Select Committee faces a deadline. If the Trumpicans seize control of the House of Representatives, its primary action will be to impeach Joe Biden using Hunter Biden to do so. The leader of the party already has signified what is important to him. The Trumpican votes in the House already are shifting to Putin’s favor. His fiercest supporters do not even want the United States to collect data on the Russian war crimes. By the time of the election, who knows how many will have fully embraced Putin’s legitimate military discourse.

Cranes for Ukraine: Build It Back Better

Thomas and Friends to the Rescue

There is no light at the end of the tunnel yet. But there is a growing sense that there may be an end to the tunnel.

Russia is not going to conquer the entire country of Ukraine.

Russia is not going to occupy the entire country of Ukraine.

Russian soldiers are not even going to have been present throughout the entire country of Ukraine.

Russia is willingly to settle for half of half a loaf.

The time then is now for the United States to take the initiative.

In my last post (Putin Isn’t the Only Loser: Trump and the Woke Are Too), I mentioned Herbert Hoover and the Marshall Plan as two examples of the United States helping to build Europe back better. Now it is time to start planning to do the same in Ukraine.

We know the areas which have been devastated by Russian artillery. We know that there are mountains of rubble that need to be disposed of in some way. We know that there are buildings still partially standing in a dilapidated state that will have to be demolished adding to the rubble.

We have the expertise to conduct a giant 9/11 removal project. Now instead of it being two buildings, it will be cities as it was in Europe after World War II.

President Joe Biden should immediately call for the creation of a team of nations and construction companies to begin the planning for the removal of the Russian rubble. The planning for this international effort should begin now and it should be public. Certainly China should be expected to participate given its support for Russia in creating this rubble in the first place.

President Joe Biden should then call for the creation of a team of nations, city planners, and construction companies to begin the planning for the rebuilding of the cities destroyed by Russian artillery. Working with the Ukrainians who lived in and governed these cities, city planners, architects, and engineers should begin planning for the new cities to be built once the Russian rubble is removed.

What infrastructure will the rebuilt cities need?

What buildings can be rebuilt?

What new buildings are needed?

The time to start planning for the cleaning up of the Ukrainian cities and their rebuilding is now. We should not wait until the last minute. We should not wait until Putin allows us to do so. We should show the world now that we are planning now for the future of the country. We should show the refugees that they will have a country to which to return. We should show Russia that the Ukraine will not be destroyed.

There are physical dimensions to this process. To remove the Russian rubble will require construction equipment. It will take time to begin to identify the equipment required. Where is it now? How will it get to the Ukraine? Where will it be placed in the Ukraine?

The planning for the assembling of the “Cranes for Ukraine” convoys should start now. We saw how long it took for Putin to assemble his equipment for destruction. It will take time to assemble the equipment for construction.

Start now.

We should publicly announce that we are going to secure the areas where there are no Russian soldiers. NATO is not obligated to defend the Ukraine from aggression. But it is capable of accepting an invitation to put boots on the ground there. We should secure the areas of the Ukraine where the cranes for Ukraine convoys will be going.

Finally, we should announce to the Russian people that we have no intention of cancelling Russia. The country has three paths from which to choose.

1. The Putin “Peter the Great” go-it-alone divine mission approach
2. Increasingly subordinated to and dominated by China approach
3. Partnering with Europe and the United States approach.

What does I mean for Russia to partner with the West? What does it mean politically? What does in mean culturally? What does it mean economically? What does it mean in space, at the poles, in the oceans? We need to communicate with the Russian people by every means possible that there is a life to look forward in partnership with the West. Ultimately the Russian people are going to hear from their own sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers what they were doing in the Ukraine. They are going to learn how many have not returned. They will see how many of those who return will need lifelong care and treatment. These people are not our enemy. We need to start reaching out to them now.

Build back better does not only apply to the United States. It applies to the Ukraine and to a post-Putin Russia, too.

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 THE LOSER

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!

TRUMP THE LOSER   

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 LOSER        

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.

THE UNITED STATES HAS NO PLAN TO WIN IN THE UKRAINE

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.

THE UNITED STATE POLICY IS IT IS UP TO PUTIN TO END THE WAR

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.

THE UNITED STATES SHOULD JOIN THE WAR AGAINST 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 Goliath.by 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.

WERE THERE ANY ADULTS IN THE ROOM?

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.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO DESTROY A COUNTRY TO SAVE IT

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.

THE HOWARD BAKER MOMENT

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?

Putin’s Last Rodeo: It’s Now or Never

If Putin stops there, he wins; if he continues ... (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_Czechoslovakia)

Vladimir Putin is 68 years old.

He is closer to the end of his reign in Russia than to his beginning.

He has ruled Russia this entire century.

He has ruled Russia this entire millennium.

What does he have to show for his rule in history?

One area of agreement in the effort to predict what will happen in the Ukraine is that one and only individual is the decision maker.  Learned people and experts have filled the airwaves and websites with their prognostications. All of the points they raise are no more than ivory tower debating points. But the situation is not an academic one where the outcome can be determined by reasoned discussion, aka “negotiations.”

What is being overlooked or minimized in the plethora of analyses is the recognition that the current crisis is solely one Putin’s choosing. No Archduke has been assassinated. No ship Maine has been exploded. No missiles have been surreptitiously snuck onto an island a mere 90 miles from America. Nothing has occurred which could have triggered the encircling and invading of the Ukraine with a huge proportion of the entire Russian military. The catalyst for the event is solely in the mind of its instigator. Putin launched this threat solely because he needed to.

Putin famously has asserted that:

First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. 

The century he meant was the 20th century and not the 21st when he spoke these words. The idea that one could have a rational debate on the merits of this claim is preposterous. It is what he believes and will believe until his dying day. And even though he named the Soviet Union, he was not bemoaning the collapse of communism. Quite the country, just as Stalin called upon his people to fight for Mother Russia in the darkest days of World War II, so Putin was referring to Russia, the Russia that seemingly was the co-equal with the United States in the battle for world supremacy.

Russia today is a hollow shell of what it once was. True it has a nuclear arsenal second only to the United States and still more than China. But it has no ideology that even can provide a fig leaf to its global ambitions. It has no economic success story that it can proclaim to the world. Its only world class achievements seem to be in hacking, the military, and drugged athletes.

Putin’s concern is Russia’s role in human history and his personal prowess in making that claim real. From the Middle East to Africa to Latin America, Putin is extending Russia’s limited resources in the effort to be recognized as a giant astride the globe as China has done. Russia lacks the economic resources to compete at that level but still it tries.

So if the demise of the Russian empire was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century, what does Putin have to show for having reversed it, for having undone the havoc foisted upon the Russian people? In his 2005 speech, Putin then went on to say:

As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.

Not only was the Russian empire no more, Russia did not even rule all the Russian people. So many of them were beyond the borders of what was left of Russia.

In this context, Putin’s goals are clear. At minimum, before he dies or his forced to leave office, he wants his legacy to be that at least he put Humpty Dumpty back together again for the Russian people. He wants those people beyond the fringes of Russian territory to be part of Russian rule even if they are in separate countries. It is one thing for Moslems to be separate from Russia; it is quite another for God-fearing Orthodox Russians to be beyond the pale.

Eastern Ukraine is not the Sudetenland. Putin’s dominance of this Russian-speaking area beyond Russia’s borders is not a prelude to a larger campaign to seize non-Russian empire lands in Europe and to dominate a continent. There has been no invasion from the Russian perspective because the lands have declared their independence so how can the United States claim otherwise? Russia is not invading the foreign country of the Ukraine, he is assisting the independent countries formerly dominated by the Ukraine in their quest for independence. Whether this ploy makes him a genius or not is a separate issue.

For Putin, it is now or never. It is time for him to stamp his legacy in Russian history. His Russia will rule Russian-speaking people. We have seen Yugoslavia dissolve into its constituent parts. We have seen Czechoslovakia divide into its constituent parts. We have seen the ongoing debate in the United Kingdom about both Scotland and Northern Island. We have watched Sudan split.

We know that many countries in the United Nations are lines on a map and not real national entities. Libya. Syria. Iraq/Kuwait/Kurds. If Putin is willing to stop at Russian-speaking people to affirm his place in history, then he holds the winning hand in the current Ukraine crisis. If he seeks not just the Russian-speaking portions of the Ukraine but the entire country, then events on the ground may spiral out of control, the circumstances are more dire for both him and the world. We should know in a few hours which way he will go.

 

P.S. The assertion by the alpha-male wannabe that Putin is a genius is exactly what he should have been expected to say. The hope that it will be the straw that breaks the Trumpican’s camel’s back is a forlorn one. The new Congress may very well favor Putin over NATO just as Trumpicans prefer Lee to Lincoln and support the overthrow of the Constitution.

Putin Declares Candidacy for 2020: “Make Russia Great Again”

Little Donee Waney will never be a macho macho man

Vladimir Putin declared his candidacy for the American Presidential elections in 2020. His campaign theme is “Make Russia Great Again.” He is running for re-election in 2020 based on his success in his first administration. Putin cited as examples of his triumphs:

  1. the destabilization of NATO
  2. the destabilization of the American-European alliance
  3. the destabilization of the United States
  4. filling the vacuum left by the United States in Syria
  5. filling the vacuum left by the United States in Africa
  6. making the United States an unreliable ally who will only provide assistance if compensated
  7. the abandonment by the United States of its leadership position in the world
  8. the abandonment by the United States of its view of being a “city on a hill” and American Exceptionalism.
The Shining City on a Hill: Commentary on Reagan by Bryan Caplan
Quarantined

Putin champions the “American Alone” approach where the United States has no allies, provides no leadership, and takes no action. He is not there yet but he has made remarkable progress during his first term and is dedicated to completing the job in the second.

Open items include:

1. removal of the sanctions
2. occupation of the Baltics
3. return to the G-7
4. the withdrawal of the United States from the global arena except when it suits Putin’s purposes.

Despite having a weak hand, Putin has played it remarkably well. I do not mean to suggest that he has some carefully developed highly detailed plan worthy of a spy novel or a Hollywood movie. But he has stumbled into opportunities and taken advantage of them. So even with a second-tier economy he strides the world as if he is as significant a threat to the world order as mainland China is. At some point the gig will be up and he may even face a Russian spring. In the meantime, he can take advantage of the opportunities presented him by a weak America.

Putin foreshadowed his campaign platform in an op-ed piece “A Plea for Caution From Russia” in the New York Times printed September 12, 2013.  He wrote:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.

His candidacy is based on opposition to Obama, opposition to American Exceptionalism, and opposition to America thinking it is better than everyone else.

Putin is well aware that since he is not a native American, he cannot appear on the ballot. Technically, he cannot run for President of the United States. Therefore it is necessary for him to govern through someone who is eligible to be President but who will be submissive to him. In 2016, Putin was strongly against the Democratic candidate. Her “John McCain, Republican” attitude towards Russia was completely unacceptable to Putin. She was a threat to him politically and economically given the wealth he had accumulated running an oil-and-gas kleptocracy. While he knew little about her opponent, obviously he was not a “John McCain Republican.” Far from posing a threat to him, Putin soon learned that he was desperate to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. This person was someone Putin could work with.

Everything that has happened since then has only confirmed the unexpected bonus of the Trump presidency to the “Make Russia Great Again” theme that defines Putin’s agenda. It did not take long for skilled KGB agent to get the measure of the man, or rather the immature child, after meeting with him. Putin quickly realized that his American counterpart was a passive, ignorant, simpleminded child who could be manipulated to fulfill Putin’s “Make Russia Great Again” agenda.

How hard is to figure out that Putin is doing a superb job of dominating the weeny child desperate to be a macho macho man? Think of the real photograph of Putin riding a horse bare-chested compared to the weeny faking a photoshopped “Rocky” body. Bonespur boy loves to play with his soldiers, “win” rigged professional wrestling matches, insult people, and champion Hollywood-cast SEALs. He especially loves being a bully. Putin is well aware that Bonespur boy will never go into the arena in the real world. No matter how many times Little Donee Waney plays YMCA, he will never be a macho macho man in the real world.

His shortcomings as a man are hardly a secret. An American letter-writer to The New York Times wrote:

President Trump is Vladimir Putin’s patsy. Blinded by a compulsion to become the first American oligarch, Mr. Trump cannot see how expertly he is being played. The American president struts around attacking those he perceives as weak. Yet it is the bully who is vulnerable….

Meanwhile, Mr. Putin, the master manipulator, knows a bully’s ways and sees how he can exploit Mr. Trump’s desire to be an omnipotent ruler like himself.

While this Texan does not realize Little Donee Waney is an immature child, she is spot on in her assessment of the Putin-Trump dynamic. Is there anyone in the American intelligence services who lacks the mental necessities to have figured out what this ordinary American knows? How stupid a human being would you have to be not to know that Putin is the dominant male in the relationship?

In fact, Putin, himself, may have been astonishingly surprised at how easy it has been to manipulate the American President. The Ukrainian maneuver will be remembered as one of the great deceptions in American-Russian relations. Putin undoubtedly knew that Little Donee Waney would fall for this concoction. But he probably never anticipated how far the “Chosen One” was willing to go to act on this non-existent conspiracy. The subsequent wild goose chase led to Russia’s most valuable American asset being impeached. Surely that can be what Putin had in mind when he fed this bull-trump to the American President.

Still the Ukrainian maneuver has proved that Putin could control Congress through the simpleminded President. At least the Trumpican members. How long did it take for Congressional Trumpicans to start babbling about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 elections? Historians will compare the John Kennedy of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the John Kennedy who recites Russian talking points and wonder what happened to America. Remember when Fox angrily asserted the need for “due process” in the kangaroo-court so-called impeachment hearings sham? Yet what evidence did it take to convince Fox of the Ukrainian involvement in 2016?

Putin’s dominance extends then into the American people…or at least those who accept his Pence as their lord and savior. The polls showing that Trumpicans prefer him to Abraham Lincoln as the better president testifies to the complete subjugation of the Trumpicans. It also shows that that there is a residue of Republicans left in the Confederate-dominated party. Fortunately for the Trumpicans, the Democrats have no interest in reaching out to the Lincoln-admiring Republicans. If the Democrats had an alternative for whom Lincoln Republicans could vote, the 2020 election would be a Democratic landslide by even more than 306 Electoral College votes.

In the meantime, in the 2020 elections all roads lead to Putin, especially Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

P.S. In less than a week, Duped-by-Russia Hannity’s wait will be over and the Deep State, scared for its life, will be running for cover.