The Ukraine Crisis

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In her latest newsletter, Heather asks a question related to the Ukraine crisis that I thought would be interesting to ask as a standalone to see how my readers would respond.

Prior to her question, she wrote about how in 2019, Trump tried to skew the 2020 election by withholding congressionally appropriated funding for Ukraine to support its defense against Russia — and how Republican senators declined to convict him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

With this background in mind, she mused about how the Republican Party will respond to the Ukraine crisis.

She then went on to ask this question …

And how will America as a whole respond?

What are your thoughts? IF Putin does carry forward his plans to invade Ukraine, what do you think America should do? Biden talks about sanctions, but will this be enough? Many feel it will be. Or should the U.S. demonstrate its military power?

Let me add that I’m a neophyte when it comes to world crises … and can only sit back and watch what happens. Sure, I might have an opinion (like I tend to agree with some others that Russia is bluffing), but I definitely have no background, knowledge, education, or training to offer an informed opinion.

But I think some of YOU can. I think some of you have followed this crisis from the start and have some strong opinions on how it will play out.

So here’s your chance. Share your thoughts.

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Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay

71 thoughts on “The Ukraine Crisis

  1. No one knows how it will play out. Anyone who claims to do is lying.
    How will America respond? Your media will raise enough war furore the public will be convinced into thinking you are facing an existential threat, just like it did with Bush. That is to say, I doubt the majority of your country folk have learned anything from all the disastrous wars you get into.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Sanctions are unlikely to deter Putin. The US (and other Western countries) will not send troops to fight the Russians — since Ukraine is not part of NATO, we have no legal obligation to do so, and the public would not support sending troops.

    What will be effective is supplying the Ukrainians with large quantities of Western weapons. This is already under way — not only the US but other Western countries are sending weapons. Ukraine has a tough professional army and can resist an invasion all the more effectively with that kind of assistance from us. Putin doesn’t fear economic sanctions, but he does fear large-scale casualties among his forces. There’s not much enthusiasm among the Russian people for a war in Ukraine. A prolonged, bloody fight à la the Soviets in Afghanistan would stoke anger and discontent, posing a real threat to Putin’s regime.

    This is the appropriate response. It is up to the Ukrainians to defend their own country. Our role is to help them do so as effectively as possible.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Well, Putin is a GREAT guy. I mean, Trump loved him, and when was Trump ever known to love someone who wasn’t a decent, kind, empathic leader? Huh! When!!?? Never, that’s when! So, if Trump believes Putin’s rump is firm ‘n sexy enough to crawl up into, why shouldn’t the rest of America and the world. Like very wise people on the internet have said, “Trump’s a great guy and we all should do whatever he says and love whomever he loves.” Great advice, and when, oh when has stuff you find on the internet EVER been known to be biased or inaccurate. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I am a pacifist. I see no advantage in war. It kills people and other living beings with total disregard for why they are being killed. But IF Putin decides to commit war, maybe America should drop a small bomb on the Kremlin after making sure Putin is in it. Or better yet, just put a bullet in Putin’s skull. One death to save millions of stupid deaths makes more sense to me. Invading Ukraine is only an ego-thing for Putin, he gains nothing by it, and loses a hekkuva lot. People like him and Trump need to be silenced, one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

      • If I thought war could be conducted in a peaceful way, I wouod be all for it. But since war is a senseless act, when forced to confront it, best to try to do it in the most sensible way possible. Stop the one who wants the war. He or she is the real danger, but they never put themselves in danger, they let others do that for them. So inhumane!

        Liked by 4 people

  5. It is a bloody mess because the US responded like the US always does and the way Putin knew they would – a militarily. Sending troops was not good idea. Biden thinks this was what he had to do to look strong. What Putin is doing is bullying (or not), but the US should call on all nations to oppose what Putin is trying to do to Ukraine, put in moral terms even China would sign on. Russia shouldn’t have any friends if they invade a peaceful country and the world needs to tell them that. GROG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I almost never follow news of any sort, as you lot probably know by now, including this.But I decided to follow the link and read the entire article.I did not read anywhere, exactly WHY Putin wants to invade Ukraine.
      If there is a reason then it wasn’t in the article or I am blind as a bat – quite likely,I’ll add.
      So, if anyone here can fill me in on what the devil Putin wants Ukraine for I’d be grateful.

      Gracias

      Liked by 2 people

      • Putin’s deranged speech yesterday explained: he wants to revert back to pre-World War II Russia, when many of the now-democratic states were in Russia’s thrall. A democratic Ukraine on its border is a direct threat to his oligarchy.

        As to the claim that the US acted militarily, that is untrue. Biden and his team have won great praise from NATO allies and US Russia experts for their tireless and creative efforts at negotiations. Yes, we’re helping the Ukrainians defend themselves—that is in our self-interest and the interests of democracies everywhere.

        If it hadn’t been for Putin’s disinformation campaign, we might well not have wound up with his buddy—the former guy. Putin wants chaos worldwide and doesn’t care how many are killed—including Russians.

        Liked by 2 people

        • He sounds deranged.

          It’s seems a bit like if Scotland gained independence, established a working government and all the relevant infrastructure, then the next English government decides it wants to reincorporate Scotland back into the UK by sending troops and tanks to invade Edinburgh.

          Liked by 1 person

        • As Simple and Straightforward are my middle names, this I can grasp …
          and yet, Ukraine has no natural wealth that Russia desperately needs, so to invade stills seems like a deranged thing to even contemplate.

          Like

        • Well Ark, I guess another way of explaining it may be to find out why Ukraine 15 years ago did not want to join NATO but now wants to. And then compare and contrast that ‘national’ desire with the rise and fall of the oligarchs… Putin’s Lieutenants. Putin is in power because he heads up the oligarchs and those who threaten him and his supremacy are murdered inside and beyond Russia’s borders. But Putin’s soldiers – unlike other lesser Dons throughout the world (we’ll allow the irony – or perhaps insight – into Trump’s first name alone so as to not get diverted) – are real soldiers and he has complete control of state media and every large company. Ukraine is just another ‘territory’ that needs to be controlled – whether taken as a whole or dismantled bit by bit or in utter capitulation. It doesn’t matter. It’s the result that matters.

          Now imagine Ukraine as a liberal democracy inside NATO and a country that blossoms economically as all NATO members do AND protected from Russian bullying with the peace and security that comes with that membership… but able to withstand the rampant corruption that keeps Putin in power. The oligarchs would not be happy and Ukraine’s Russian neighbours seeing this difference play out in all ways might not be so satisfied with their lot under the Big Boss.

          What’s a crime boss to do? Well, exercise power when the exercising works. More discussions are going to do absolutely nothing.

          What will do something is perhaps a lend-lease armament program for Ukraine, but that’s never going to happen openly; the doves and peaceniks throughout NATO will do Putin’s work for him (and so those foundations and non profits and Institutes that do this disarmament work often receive indirect funding as well as information and intelligence and anything that might be useful selling this message in exchange for feeling virtuous) by vilifying and making any such meaningful aid seem like the Worst Thing Ever. And, beside, the West is always the real problem under the new ‘progressive’ banner and almost always responsible for causing it – whatever the ‘it’ may be that advances an authoritarian’s power (ie. NATO is to blame generally and the US specifically for ‘encirclement’ of Russia in this case so to invade and take over Ukraine is a DEFENSIVE measure, donchaknow!); also, the US is also responsible for both meddling too much and never enough and so is responsible for failing to fix all the real problems in the real world because, well, greed and capitalism and colonialism and systemic whatever… you know the list… and of course morally corrupt for trying to address any of them with effective action. Today, even liberal values are considered toxic. We’re really incredible dupes.

          So… heads, Putin wins. Tails, the West loses. Clever, huh?

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think Putin attacked because of reasons within Russian inner politics. He is a quite typical rigth wing conservative populist nationalist leader, whose power is based on his strong man image, the claims of exeptionalism of his people and fear of other people. He has good reason to expect Russian patriots to gather to his banner, as he sets up the game to match his propaganda about everybody else against them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Our religion and our politics determine where we stand on this issue, but it has been going on since I can remember. Hegemony is a disease. It lurks in the minds of every authoritarian leader. They spend years planning how they can take over their neighbors without actual combat, but failing that, war is never off the table.

    The U. S. has been and continues to call on other nations to stand up against Putin, and has engaged Putin himself in the effort to resolve the situation, peacefully. Following the past administration which presented no evidence of a functional spine or national policy, Putin thinks he now has an invitation to return Europe to Russian satellites or subjugate them altogether. What Putin is demanding is that the rest of the world agrees to give him free rein.

    Use your birthday as a starting point and search for the number of conflicts, of all types, that we have been involved in year by year. I started in 1941 and end with today. During that time we have been either in a conflict, going into a conflict, or leaving one. The time in between is short and filled with political and religious wrangling to place blame, excuse an action or inaction that always points at someone else, as well as the next point of conflict.

    I expect, and I hope, that we and our allies convince Putin to pull in his horns. If not, I hope we expend a great deal of our military budget, it’s huge, in arming all those nations Russia wishes to over-run, and preparing ourselves, as the only democratic nation with the means to meet the moment as though democracy and freedom are still worth fighting for.

    NATO was founded just after WW II. It didn’t prevent the Korean war, but it proved that free people can band together to stop the authoritarian, despotic, a**holes who want to rule the world. Hitler never found a place or time that pleased him to end his campaign.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am a pacifist. I am a liberal. I am an atheist. I was not always any one of those things. Though it may be up for debate, I am not an idiot. Well, not certified, anyhow.

    “A man who has the same opinions at 50 as he did at 25 has not grown at all.”

    Muhammad Ali
    aka Cassius Clay

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Putin seems to enjoy going toe-to-toe with the Great Satan, as a means of bolstering his image of Russia still being a great Power. Putin is shorter than Napoleon, so if Nap had a “small man syndrome problem,” imagine what Putin’s is. At least he hasn’t played a round of golf shooting 18 consecutive holes in one, as Korea’s Dear Leader did once.

    As to whether we will support Ukraine is iffy. Since Ukraine is not in NATO, do we have a mutual aid treaty with them such that we are obligated to fight for them? Or are we just making it up as we go, as usual?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. If Trump’s coup had been successful, Putin would have invaded the Ukraine a year ago, and he would have had Trump’s support, the sycophantic Republican party support, (Dems would have been painted as weak and ineffectual.) and the 35% insane base voter support. and of course media support from FOX news, i.e., Tucker Carlson. Putin wants the Ukraine to build his flagging economy and to show himself to be a strong man in world affairs. But Trump lost which was a terrific loss for Putin, but he’s counting on (and is correct) a weak and indecisive America.

    Biden’s sending troops is mostly a nod to NATO, and an attempt to show himself a helluva guy…well, whatever. He’s a politician after all.

    Sanctions would be a headache, but not a great deterrent. I totally agree with Infidel753. The best bet is with the Ukrainian fighters, (including civilians). They will not be a push over, and even if Putin blows into the capital, what the hell will he do once he gets there? He’ll find himself in a hot, dirty war with a feisty nation. And too, we’ll give them all the guns they want. In short Putin will get mired into a no-win Afghanistan type situation. I think eventually, the huge costs of maintaining an invasive army along with sanctions, and a disapproving world may make him simply give up.

    Had Hillary won, none of this shit would be happening. Trump’s world has given Putin, Xi jinping, Kim Jong-un, Erdogan, et. al. plenty of hope. I’m sure China is thinking if Putin can go in well Taiwan here we come.

    Liked by 9 people

  10. In addition to HCR, I also read Stephen Beschloss. Today he quoted Frederick Douglas:

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

    Oh yeah, and George Washington, too:

    “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community…they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    Liked by 5 people

  11. From Scottie’s blog …

    Mark my words: if Russia invades Ukraine, the same Republicans in Congress who were silent when Trump cozied up to Putin will criticize Biden to no end.

    — Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 21, 2022

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I see Biden’s response as relatively cautious. And I support that.

    I do mostly blame Putin.

    Yes, I understand that Putin does not want Ukraine to join NATO. The best way for Putin to achieve that, is to have friendly relations with Ukraine. Putin is going about this the wrong way. His first serious mistake was when he grabbed Crimea, back in 2014. Yes, there were many Russian nationals in Crimea, that was Putin’s excuse. But Russian nationals in Ukraine would be likely to incline the Ukraine government toward friendly relations with Russia. So I see that Crimea land grab as an opening mistake. And Putin has been doubling down on that.

    Liked by 4 people

    • “Yes, I understand that Putin does not want Ukraine to join NATO.”

      That’s what Putin says. That’s not what Putin wants. That is pure Russian disinformation. NATO has nothing to do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Nan, this crisis, subject, and what you’ve asked us to comment about requires (at least for me) some very considered thought. I personally feel I should carefully compose my final comment/answers to your three questions to us in a bit when I have more free time. For now this very moment, I will rely on Putin’s and Russia’s recent history of expansion into OLD Soviet Block nations as well as Putin’s world-broadcasted speech—and his own rewritten version of USSR history 😆—just before the staged “diplomatic signing” by Putin and supposed representatives of Luhansk & Donetsk regions.

    By the way, regarding known propaganda tactics, Authoritarian Dictators throughout history have always utilized… Putin also has stated on a number of occasions that Poland caused World War II.

    Nevertheless, based upon these events today it appears likely that Putin’s Russia will indeed invade, but more likely in segments, piecemeal, gauging how NATO and the world respond to him. This is very reminiscent of what Nikita Khrushchev did with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

    On a cheeky note: Did someone tell (lie to?) Putin that “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD’s) from the West were being harbored (armed?) in eastern Ukraine and other parts of the Ukraine? If so, as one of only three superpowers in the world today who typically NEVER abide by established International Laws of Humanity, Civility, and Diplomacy, then by the behaviors of the other two superpowers… he and Russia have every right to invade nations with WMD’s! 😉 🙄

    Anyway and seriously, I will return with my answers to your three questions Madame. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Nothing has happened yet to gripe about. Putin can play with his military as much as he wants right up to the point where he starts the invasion. Until then it’s sabre rattling.

    If he indeed invades, I’m with cagjr, send them (Ukraine) as many Javelins as they can manage, along with anything else they might need. I’d stop short of getting invovled militarily, unless direct action against us, or our NATO allies has been taken.

    Honestly I hope this fizzles out and Putin puts his toys back in the box.

    Or from another perspective, puts his pecker back in his pants. Pardon me ladies 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Hello Nan. I am late to the party and as we all know by now Russian troops have entered into the disputed territory that Putin has said he is welcoming into Russia. To me that is an invasion. He took those areas. I liken it to Mexico simply moving into Texas or Canada into North Dakota. Pretty annoying places but they are ours and we want to keep the country whole, so another power moving troops into them to stop the rightful legal control over them is in fact invading the sovereignty of the country.

    I would like to preface my remarks by saying that being against wars and having to fight them when needed is common. Sometimes you must stand up to the bully or have your friend do it to make an adverse action stop. As may have been mentioned before 1945 borders were fluid, changing by force regularly. After 1945 with the deadliness of the weapons most nations understood that escalating such a conflict could destroy not just the ones involved but everyone else. Since 1945 borders have mostly stayed the same with one glaring exception is the breakup of Yugoslavia, 1990–1992 and what we are seeing Putin do. I do not count the breaking away of the satellite countries from the USSR to count.

    On thing I did not see addressed here I would like to, is what level of US involvement is crossing the line or is there any line? Things have drastically changed since the first Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the US supplying the defending war lords / Taliban with weapons. We have drones. We have spy capabilities that are extremely good and will be of great help if we can get them to the Ukrainian resistance / military. We have armed drones that could not only free pinned Ukrainian troops but also do surprise attacks on Russian convoys. Forget satellites but for the fact that Russia just recently destroyed one of their satellites simply to show they could as a warning to the countries that have them to watch what they give to Ukraine. Biden promised no US troops on the ground fighting in Ukraine. Does that mean no drones? No piloted drones? Do we let Russia set the rules on that?

    I am willing to bet that all the Militaries and all the defense contractors are champing at the bit to try their most expensive and not battle tested goods. They want their newest toys used and the ones they have tweaked to see how they would work if they were needed for a full scale war.

    The hurt and harm won’t be limited to the deaths and tragedies in the fighting countries. The rest of the developed nations will be involved with deploying sanctions and fighting disinformation along with cyber-attacks. I have already noticed attacks on the web have increased. I saw the bots tripled yesterday. I am already fight disinformation from both sides in the misleading right wing media cartoon comment sections over Ukraine and Russia. I am sure the sanctions and blow back from enforcing them will hurt the US economy. When that hurt hits home how will the public take it. Will they blame the Democrats and demand the sanctions come down? Will the US population care enough about the Ukrainian people to take the economic hit? Will the Republicans see blood in the water and either push for total commitment in Ukraine or a total pull back to mind our own business. Seems even the right wing media is torn on that one.

    Thank you, Nan, for letting me get a few of my thoughts out on the subject.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scottie, I have heard from 3-4 news sources that Putin—knowing full well beforehand that HIS Russian-marked military vehicles, tanks, artillery, and soldiers COULD NOT accomplish their first objective if they were all clearly MARKED Russian military units—and Putin’s top generals intentionally disguised their soldiers and equipment without Russian insignias, in order to seize the DNR and LNR regions first along with their already in-place Russian insurgents there the last 8-years.

      Therefore, it is difficult to confirm with 100% certainty that actual “Russian” units have crossed into Ukraine. Of course Putin will deny this until he no longer can. And the fact that Ukrainians are culturally similar to Russians in many ways helps this first incursion/invasion. IOW, it is relatively easy for Putin and his military units to infiltrate/invade, blend-in those two regions in NON-military Russian insignia units. This buys his forces more time to setup for further aggression.

      However, further expansion into Ukraine could provoke someone’s trigger-happy “defense” there with tensions so high, someone fires, and then Putin immediately calls his “peace-keeping” forces attacked. Ukrainians were violent against the DNR & LNR people. Thus, everything goes bad and he & Russia launch a full-scale invasion. This is the covert nature of insurgent warfare with no marked insignias and “official” military units.

      I personally believe that the U.S. Biden Administration, the Ukrainian leaders, and the Western Allies against Putin/Russia are playing this smart so far, but READY to hit Putin’s Russian oligarchs and people HARD if, and I strongly emphasize IF, the International community—including China’s billions of Yuan ¥ already invested there and their government?—all are unified in hitting Putin and Russia’s economy hard! Will this happen? TBD for now.

      Russians at home do NOT want another Afghanistan where thousands upon thousands of body-bags come home to Moscow from Ukrainian non-uniformed Partisans/Resistance and insurgents, along with help from the West. The key here is the total unity of the International Community against Russia/Putin. Russia CANNOT win that (extended) battle against the major powers of the world. Period. 🙂

      Respectfully Scottie. 😉 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Professor. Well said sir. One question. The rebels were not known for having heavy military equipment. Even unmarked wouldn’t it be hard for the sudden appearance of these tanks, troop carriers, and heavy equipment to be assign to anything else than coming from Russia on Putin’s orders. It is not like the rebels could afford to by such a large force. Also I wonder did not Putin claim he was sending peacekeepers? To make his plan to have a reason to attack work wouldn’t they need to be marked so they could be targeted? I have to admit I am glad I am not the one having to device the counter strategies to this invasion. Best wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well Scottie, it seems like you earlier, I have now arrived later still to this ongoing “party,” eh? 😄 As I know you can imagine since we sometimes converse personally, privately, via phone texts or email or phone calls… I’ve been incredibly busy this week, especially yesterday, today and tomorrow. 🙄 Ugh. I thought that when I commented first—my own comment, then mine to you here—I was probably biting off more than I could chew this week, probably this coming weekend too. When will I learn, right? 😉

          Even as I comment now, a lot has changed in Ukraine hasn’t it? So some, if not most, I respond to now is mute and already outdated. Hah! Also, I do want to state that I remember your own military service with our military and that you are not at naïve about military capabilities, conventional or gorilla/insurgent warfare, etc. So please note that my Friend. And I am CERTAINLY not one of the Pentagon’s analysts or consultant! BWAAA!

          Your question(s) Scottie were good ones, certainly. Yes, the “big” military equipment would certainly be very expensive. Expensive for bands of pocket armed-resistance, either Ukrainian militia/civilians or any anti-Russian groups. Now the Armed Forces of Ukraine could have (or still have?) Russian-made equipment, yes? And we KNEW for the last 8-yrs that the supposed “Pro-Russian” rebel forces (insurgents) already well embedded in the LNR and DNR. But they most certainly have Russian-made equipment. That said, UNmarked military vehicles, soldiers, and equipment cannot be—at the time you and I began this thread yesterday(?)—including even Ukrainian forces unmarked so that already knowing that IF they are killed or taken prisoner with Ukrainian (or Russian?) insignias on them, Putin and Russia’s brutal police (old & new KGB operatives) would absolutely torture them, imprison them (for life?) in Russia, and do similar acts upon their family members left behind.

          But now the 100% confirmed identification of specific Russian units had now been video-confirmed by at least 1-2 CNN reporters right there in the combat zones, some zones EVERYWHERE throughout Ukraine. Therefore, it is indeed time for the entire democratic world to act as one and act as swiftly, painfully, and if necessary and when warranted, act forcefully thru multi-dimensional “fronts” and means. As President Biden spoke just minutes ago to the world, “the entire world of freedom-loving nations MUST BE RESOLVED and never let up on Russia, its invasion forces, the oligarchs and their family members, and now (I’m sure) Putin personally!

          Our precarious position—unfortunately for Ukrainians—is that Ukraine is not (yet) a NATO member right now. 😒 And it seems the Ukrainian people, at least, were completely shocked that Putin would invade the entire country, not just the eastern regions & the LNR and DNR. But that was not at all a surprise to Biden, our military intelligence, nor me personally, that Putin and his invading forces were going to do this. We simply needed 100% confirmation, no errors or maybes whatsoever. That’s all. We now have that.

          Peacekeepers? Well, as we’ve seen on Western television coverages there has been Russian military ordinance, equipment, and I believe a Russian helicopter shot-down too, all verified as Russian. The actual Armed Forces of Ukraine would NOT be firing those weapons and blowing up their own residential buildings or military installations would they? But I’m quite certain that Putin will say they did. We all know and recognize what aggressor propaganda is and looks like and sounds like, don’t we? Joseph Goebbels of the Nazi and SS of WW2 Germany showed us vividly how it’s utilized. Stalin was another from that horrible era.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Ukraine kept publicly denying an invasion was coming while the U.S. kept saying an invasion was imminent. It seems that, in spite of saying it would fight, Ukraine is totally unprepared to deal with the attacks and invasion they should have known was coming. During the missile attacks tonight, I saw no anti-aircraft fire nor were any sirens sounded in the cities. All of the city lights remained on. There seems to have been no instructions and communication to the population as to what to do in the event of attack. I hope this assessment is wrong but so far no indication of a response from Ukraine. It seems the Russians will walk in pretty much unopposed and that the Ukrainian leadership was living in a fantasy world where US sanctions would save them.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As of right now it looks like the invasion of Ukraine is well under way and I don’t think there was any way to prevent this. Putin is — complicated.

    Remember he’s a former KGB officer who had personally benefited from the old Soviet Union. It gave him considerable power and authority. It made people afraid of him, and a certain type of person finds that addictive. When the Soviet Union fell apart it wrecked his world in a way. Not only had his country fallen apart and was no longer considered to be the “world power” it once was, it hurt him personally because he no longer wielded the fear and power he once enjoyed. He comes from an environment where any sign of weakness was something others would take advantage of. He and his country, Russia, had now become weak, and that was something he personally couldn’t deal with.

    Once he moved into politics in 1991 he began to move in directions which would re-establish both his own personal power and to increase the power and influence of Russia. He didn’t want to establish the old SU because I don’t think he ever personally agreed with communism. But he did want to put Russia (with himself as its leader) into a position where everyone was afraid of it, and him, once again. Just look at all of the propaganda that came out. Images of him, shirtless, on horses, interacting with soldiers, hunting, etc. All of it was carefully designed to make him look larger than life, powerful and confident. In actual fact he is anything but those things.

    Early on in his political career he aligned himself with several of the “oligarchs”, the ultra wealthy who took advantage of the fall of the SU to snatch up huge amounts of the resources, often by questionable means. This gave him additional influence through the use of their money and their own contacts in both the business and political world.

    Then there is Russia’s whole attitude towards the Crimea, going back to before the Crimean war in 1853 and… No, I’m not going to go down that rat hole because then I have to drag in the Ottoman Empire, the Orthodox church and a dozen other things…

    Putin is, right now, in a rather fragile position. He is getting old, 69 or 70, I think. And he’s getting weaker and losing his influence and control. He’s been desperately trying to hang on to power. All you have to do is look at the increasingly draconian laws and restrictions being placed on human rights groups, news reporters and minorities. That kind of thing is generally a last gasp effort to try to suppress opposition to his policies.

    Basically he’s reached a point where he is desperate to do something, anything, to try to re-establish his reputation as a “strong man” and a decisive leader, and maintain his control. And the people backing him, the ones who are really running the country, need to keep him in power as well because if a true reformer comes into power they’re going to get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    Putin quite probably thought he could get the West to back down on certain issues by his threatening behavior, and that he wouldn’t need to actually use the military. If he could get the West to concede on just a few issues, he could back off and would have been able to claim that he forced the West to back down and would be able to maintain his image as a strong man. But when the West didn’t blink, refused to make any concessions, he had no choice but to pull the trigger, literally.

    Meanwhile, there is China… (like I said, it’s complicated). China is watching this very closely, because of Taiwan. It has taken a more aggressive stance towards Taiwan of late, with escalating displays of military power in ocean around the island, with even incursions into Taiwan’s airspace. If Russia is allowed to get away with this, I suspect Taiwan may be next.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Nan, I assume that you know tRump (and his remaining kiss-butters) is/are now on official record as, at the very minimum, PRAISING Putin and his force, power, and total authoritarian control imposed on a people who did not provoke them?

        What’s much more telling about tRump’s mental delusions and arrogant self-absorption including distorted logic is that he tried to compare Russia vs Ukraine to U.S. vs illegal Hispanic/Latino immigrants on our southern border!!! 🤣 Is that not just the most asinine, imbecilic B.S. we’ve heard (yet again) come out of that mouth he can never keep shut!!!??? 🤦‍♂️

        Liked by 3 people

  18. Nan, Scottie, and anyone else…

    I’ve been overhearing late last night and early today certain federal Congress members, mostly (or entirely?) with an (R) in front or back of their names, press and goad Biden’s Administration to do much, much more in Ukraine. Jeff Fortenberry – Nebraska, and other (R) congressional members are using their on-air, emotionally charged pleas are primarily this: ‘Send a LOT more American (Western) weapons, armament, and military equipment!

    I have a SERIOUS problem with this unbridled, very short-sighted instruction from these American civilian Congress members! If those loud mouth (R) Congress members have NO military background or combat experience, they too should keep their mouths SHUT on what our in-place 3-, 4-, and 5-star military generals—most of whom have wagon-loads of actual military-combat experience!—and supporting Intelligence analysts, supporting staff, and Pentagon staff & advisors know FULL WELL that we can’t just immediately start pouring and dumping in all of our American and Western weaponry & equipment into Ukraine, for OBVIOUS GOD-DAYUM REASONS!!! Why?

    #1 — If there exists only 40,114 (2021) Deployed military personnel, and/or 220,000 (2022) Reserved personnel,* and many of those not YET trained to handle, maintain, and utilize those sophisticated weapons, armament, and equipment, then whatever arsenals DO NOT reach or fall into the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces… we are merely handing over to Putin’s Russian forces!!! DUH, right?

    Why hand over our weaponry secrets to Putin/Russians when there exists very little, or dwindling Ukrainian forces to actually use them!? What effin sense does that make Jeff Fortenberry (R) and all other loud-mouthed Congress members yelling the same thing? Pfffft. 🤦‍♂️

    ——————
    * – Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armed_Forces_of_Ukraine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe these (R) people haven’t listened to Tucker. Could it be that the Party is talking out of both sides of its mouth? Support Putin (well done, Tucker) on the one hand (to make Biden look weaker) while urging more ‘military grade weapons’ on the other (to make it look like Biden hasn’t done enough). Yeah, that sounds about right. It’s all about partisanship politics, where people are divided into two camps: anything Democrat is The Greater Enemy to half the population and anything Republican is The Greater Enemy to the other half… no matter how the world burns. Golly gee whiz, I wonder who that fundamental division in the US serves most?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Valid point(s) Tildeb.

        I simply wanted to point out the naïve short-sightedness from a military point-of-view. That’s obviously Putin’s one and only lens… at the moment or always will be, if he’s vision was ever different than Russian military might, that is, in his Theater of USSR Reborn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Professor. When pressed by an overwhelming force that is in the open the trick is to do what our forefathers did, guerrilla warfare. The Ukrainian military will fight hurting the Russians as much as possible while losing ground. They are not going to win and they know it. The object is to slow down and cause fear that the tank under you will explode type stuff. Then it becomes a war of attrition to let the sanctions weaken the Russian government while the harassment of the Russian military continues to weaken them. It is Afghanistan again. The fighters will be invisible in the general populations until they strike or do the act of sabotage. The Russians will be brutal to stop it, causing great casualties. That will harden the world and the Russian people against the government. Putin is hoping that he can win quickly, and the population will just go back to life as it was. I doubt they will.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed Scottie. Very well stated. 🙂

          And not just Afghanistan again or our Revolution against the British in the late 1700’s, but all throughout history’s military conflicts of a Goliath aggressor nation against a smaller weaker, but determined people… ala Viet Cong vs USA, Iraqi insurgents vs USA, even 18th – 19th century Native American Tribes vs USA!

          Scottie, you’d THINK that today’s Superpowers would’ve learned these painful lessons by now, right!? 🙄 But sadly it seems every or every other generation has their bully-monsters like a Stalin, Hitler & his SS, Tojo, al-Bahir, Carles Taylor (Liberia, where I played semi-pro soccer for 10-mons), William Calley (Vietnam), Doc Scurlock (AL-USA), Karadžić & Milosevic (Serbia), Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and the list is practically never-ending. With tRumps constant endorsements of these type men, I wouldn’t be shocked one bit if he made this list of history’s most notorious war-political criminals and extreme racists.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Forgot to add here to Scottie a link of many many men & women that were near inhuman, completely oblivious to human suffering, slaughter, tortures, etc. Literally ice in their veins. Also, there are several U.S. President’s who might arguably be on this list, particularly during our expansionist decades throughout the 17th & 18th centuries. Fortunately, then and now—though it seems less so since Reagan and his Iran-Contra scandal—we have our Checks-n-Balances that have to large degrees SAVED those Presidents from going atrociously dark.

          Point being, true greatest leaders are marked by many qualities, but to also maintain compassion, humility when warranted, and mentally stoic/balanced are invaluable qualities too. I’ve always held that these necessarily qualities were BEST manifested by Generals Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., and Colin Powell… to name two most recent examples of exemplary true-blue leadership greatness.

          —————————
          Source/link: https://www.thefamouspeople.com/war-criminals.php

          Liked by 1 person

        • Slight correction: “…our expansionist decades throughout the 17th & 18th centuries.

          It should read more specifically & correctly: our expansionist decades throughout the 18th thru early 19th centuries, primarily in our Pacific & Pan-American expansions and “interventions.”

          Like

        • I am impressed by Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He was a YV personality and comedian with no political experience. But he has grown into the job. He seems able to listen to the advisors and military people who have better understanding of the situation and knowledge of what can be done. I wish him luck and hope he can stay out of the hands of the Russians because they will torture and kill him and if they are still there his family.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, just as many of Putin’s strongest opposition figures have disappeared or more-less out of any level of a free life in normal society (imprisoned) Zelensky, for all intents and purposes will disappear from public life. 😔

          I have been THRILLED to hear so many mega-wealthy sports figures, even Russian athletes, and sports leagues & billion-dollar generating tournaments have cancelled their upcoming events inside of Russia! Now, hopefully leagues and tournaments will ban all Russian teams too. 😁

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well, the first President since Carter (joined only by Ford in this very short list) not to enter US troops into a new conflict? Is that what we might expect from one of history’s “most notorious war-political criminals and extreme racists?”

          See, this is the kind of extreme partisanship that generates untrue hyperbole (‘extreme racist’ with a Jewish son-in-law high in the President’s esteem? With more blacks and hispanics and gays voting for him in 2020 than in 2016? I mean, come on!) and relegates what’s true in fact to be unworthy of much if any consideration in the service of a narrative.

          Selling a narrative by allowing reality to play no role in arbitrating its truth claims demonstrates swallowing the blue pill. That’s not a good strategy. It’s a faith-based strategy, Prof.

          Sure, Trump is owed vast and truly justified criticism of his governing in many respects (not least of which is the Jan 6th insurrection) and I think a very strong case can be made that he is one if not the worst US Presidents, but to ignore relevant facts regarding warmongering does not serve understanding or even respecting what’s true. Also conveniently ignored in the fact that Trump brought UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco to normalize relations with Israel. This, too, is a real world achievement towards facilitating peace that hardly fits the narrative of joining the name Trump to history’s most notorious war criminals.

          Come on, Prof…

          Like

        • I think such hyperbole is exactly the problem when the narrative it supports is pushed to be ‘true’ and reality is suppressed when it doesn’t support the narrative. Furthermore, it is a caustic and divisive method to silo people either supporting and agreeing with the ‘good’ – meaning the narrative – or members of those who are ‘bad’ – meaning what’s actually the case.

          Think of the situation like you might of an evangelical faith: being ‘good’ if one believes and goes along with the narrative (assigned by fiat to belong to the moral high ground) or ‘bad’ if one doesn’t (assigned by fiat to belong to the immoral cesspool).

          What’s actually true describes Trump adequately. We don’t need hyperbole to do this job. But inserting such hyperbole – and going along with it as if true – has consequences. Those consequences are caused by assigning and describing 77 million citizens who voted for Trump in 2020 as the agents of this ‘evil’, turning non-Biden voters with real enough concerns into collaborators and supporters of someone who is one of the “most notorious war-political criminals and extreme racists.” You have eliminated any common ground with them and vilified them permanently. More importantly, you have eliminated any need to understand and appreciate WHY they thought Trump was the better alternative. You simply wave them away – and all their concerns and grievances and worries – and in effect call them not just deplorable but despicable for empowering an extreme racist (not true) and one of the worst war criminals (not true).

          This narrative follows the religious good/bad model based on faith rather than reality and I think is deeply toxic to liberal democracy because it is only destructive. It builds nothing but resentment. Hard as it might be to hear, I honestly think such hyperbole demonstrates exactly why so many other citizens voted for Trump: they have no reason to think well of those who decide to think so poorly of them.

          Like

        • My good Friend, sometimes (not often) I feel you take MY opinions, MY imperfect viewpoints, a bit… umm, too serious, to weighty. I do not have a HUGE following of “minions.” Would never want to actually. I merely express my logic, thoughts, and sometimes flawed opinions. Let the cards fall where they may in the WordPress blog-o-sphere.

          But I do thank you kindly & respectfully for such flattery that MY words and flawed opinions carry such weight in the world. Thank you sir. 😉

          Your friend,
          The Professor

          Like

        • Please note that my criticizing a thinking tactic (belief in a narrative) you are using in no way means I am criticizing you as a person, your moral character, your deep intelligence, and your obvious good heart. I am pointing out how seductive is the tactic because I think it promotes a good feeling associated with virtue no different than the same feeling in many religious people I know who share exactly the same admirable qualities. No doubt I am just as ‘guilty’ of doing this as any one else but, unlike many ‘firm’ believers, I actually appreciate criticism if someone notices if I commit what I call the same thinking ‘error’ because I know that empowering faith-based belief is never the best way forward; there are always better reasons than relying on what I think are ‘dishonest’ narratives. And at the head of the list is respecting reality enough to allow it – rather than any narratives – to arbitrate our beliefs about it.

          Like

        • Anyone notice that Ukraine’s Minister of digital tech appealed to Elon Musk to get Starlink up and running? No other large Western tech company has stepped up to help (yet). Now, I know everyone here will feel bad that Musk has lost a third of his net worth in the past 2 months and urge the government to offer him a tax rebate from having to pay according to his highest net worth. (Okay, maybe a bit of snark here.) But that aside, notice that Musk has agreed to provide that coverage. This is risky and not without a bit of courage.

          This bears very close watching (for many reasons but mainly) because this means he’s got his SpaceX Starlink crew working overtime to ‘harden’ the system that Putin’s effective and experienced counter-IT capabilities will undoubtedly attack. But how? That’s the interesting thing: by interception, hardware destruction, and/or interference? We’ll see. Starlink provides satellite coverage from many, many satellites and so the military of Western nations will see how these methods of communications might be affected and learn both how this is done and how best to counter it. But I don’t think Musk would have taken sides like this unless he had reasonable confidence to withstand such Russian possibilities. So… we’ll see. Musk, and at the end of the day, I think is a good guy to have working with rather than against.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. The narrative has to be that this is an invasion of Ukraine by Russia. There are many efforts by Russia to present the narrative as USA, NATO, UK, EU against Russia. This is done to detract from their invasion of a sovereign country. Whether the USA acts directly is a matter for USA citizens and their government. As a UK citizen I would like to see the USA extend sanctions to shipping so no goods flow between USA and Russia, then to deny new visas to Russians trying to enter the USA and revoke visas of Russian oligarchs. However, I also think there are decisions we take as individuals and I think support for Ukraine is a supporting of freedom, sovereignty, human rights and everything else these brave people are fighting for. It is not about whether I support NATO, the USA or whatever, it is about values and the people of Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am not American but I am anti-communism. The love for evil so gladly displayed by American democrats, their love for atheist totalitaniarism, their deceitful nature, their support of the Antichrist, is sickening. It is an insult to our Loving Creator Yeshua.

    Like

    • So nice of you to stop by, anonimix, and share your misguided thoughts about American Democrats while mentioning nothing about the post topic — the very severe Ukraine crisis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not misguided, but many across the pond are. In bashing Trump, you bashed a man chosen by God, clearly identified in the visions of a 99% accurate prophet a century ago. But Americans follow opinions and not facts. First concern yourselves with the human crisis you started when leaving Afghanistan, tail between the legs. Your POTUS flees one day, next day growls at Vlad the Impaler. Meanwhile, we sit and watch how atheist communism washes over America, Democrats welcoming it in the delusional state of mind. I am not misguided, I see how prophecies get fulfilled. Perhaps you guys should stop idolising an Elizabethan Bible and learn to worship the Almighty God in it. But then, a recent survey showed 86% of Americans believed there’s no God. Perhaps that’s why we see what we do. Distance gives perspective, really.

        Like

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