WORDS: 1,526 — WTF.. his hairdresser, you say?? We’ll get to that reference in a moment.. But this idea that Putin’s decision to invade the Ukraine is “imminent” seems a bit out of whack to me given what’s being shown to us via the media as “proof”. I’m guessing that (as usual) we, the people, are not getting the entire picture. That’s not one bit to suggest we should, at this point. Negotiation is always a new language between the parties involved… and there are times we, the people, are best served by not telling us everything. That’s called having trust and faith in your leadership. That in itself is a rare thing these days.
Regarding Putin’s hairdresser having all the intel regarding his next move toward the Ukraine… well… you have to be a Baby Boomer to understand that reference.. and an older boomer to boot. I refer you youngin’s to the composite image below showing a Miss Clairol TV commercial, circa 1957, where their commercial slogan became the popular uttered phrase in society at the time (and thru the 60’s)… “Does she or doesn’t she?” [pregnant pause to suggest a sexual entendre] “Only her hairdresser knows for sure.”
(If you truly need to watch a couple of these commercials from a period of white entitlement… HERE.)
Okay, enough with the Boomer metaphors already as an excuse to go back in time. My point is that with all the talk of Putin’s “imminent” invasion plans there are a few things that I can call into question at just how “imminent” it really appears. Now, we should acknowledge here that those of us not in the Presidential loop truly have no idea of the entire international picture in order to accurately or with any sort of credibility impose our opinions onto the world. In fact, all any of us have to judge “imminent” or not is what is pretty much mentioned in the media. Some of us might have had some background experience in policy, intel gathering to draw some measure of analysis with a fair amount of logical thought. Others might be just spit balling. I’ll accept this is me spit balling.
For me it all hinges how we might interpret all those satellite photos alleging the Russian military buildup. near the Ukrainian border. But there’s a bit more narrative one might suggest beyond just photos. So, here’s my rundown that suggests there’s no “imminent” invasion.
Observation #1 –
Earlier in this post I alluded to the idea that what we tend to see as troop movements, dialog between parties released to the press about demands, diplomats traveling here and there in photos… all this is a form of a language between all concerned parties. When we see these things on the news there’s a tendency to accept it at face value of the moment… the event occurs, hence we respond to the event at the moment. In reality it can be part of a greater non-verbal communication; a part of negotiation. This all means that us in the public world should not accept it all at face value and respond accordingly. To make the point, as long as this “language” is being spoken, then there is no fighting and dying going on. One day at a time.. and each day a victory for life.
Observation #2 –
My obvious faith and optimism aside, Putin and his military know all too well that while a “conquest” of the Ukraine by Russia would be a given in any all out conflict because of the comparative Russian military prowess, the reality is that a lot of Russian military will go home in body bags back to their families and loved ones. In fact, it would be a protracted conflict because of the inevitable guerilla warfare to follow… and a constant trickle of more body bags going home. Russians remember all too well their own debacle in Afghanistan. The taking of Crimea was a cakewalk… the taking of the Ukraine will not be a cakewalk. Given that, Putin himself honestly fears the crowds in the streets calling for his removal.. and fearing that could be by force in a coup. Yep.. seems remote at the moment, but when the dead start coming home and the sanctions take effect, things will change. Putin wants to be a national hero to retain power. When he was in East Germany with the KGB he was scared as hell when the collapse came and the crowds took to the streets. He may be the dictator calling the shots over there but the Russian people do have certain status quo living expectations that have to be met.. and let’s not forget the oligarchs who do wield some power over there. Dictator or not, there’s a certain measure of Russian prosperity going on.
We should also keep in mind the extreme humanitarian effort the “conquered” Ukrainians would require from Russia. Infrastructure will likely be damaged, the economy in a shambles. Just occupying the Ukraine would be a huge drain on Russian society. Does Putin want that? Even if his military only advances to the point of, say, the Dnieper River, if he invades from the less populated east… he could partition the Ukraine to get his “buffer state”.
Observation #3 –
Then there’s those sat photos. Let’s explore those. Here’s two of them to make my point. Care to guess the obvious similarity between just these two?
Well, to me these look simply like big parking lots. Tanks, transport vehicles, armored, un-armored. Yes.. these places for the most part have been carved out of the Russian wilderness and they look to me to be “staging areas”.. parking lots. You see anything truly threatening here? Do you see these vehicles lined up along the Russian frontier with Ukraine, poised to invade across the farmlands and steppe in some blitzkrieg fashion? You seeing these vehicles staged along the roads leading into Ukraine.. lined up along the highways to smash across the Ukraine border? Do you see any military barracks or living quarters of soldiers at the ready to man all these vehicles in a quick response when Putin gives the word? Looks to me from this second photo that when Putin gives the word someone will need to shuttle troops out to this place to get to their vehicles. This place rather reminds me of one of those parking lot annexes at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.. and the only why to get in and out of there is by airport shuttle bus.
In fact, where are all the sat photos of emplaced artillery, positioned armor along the countryside ready to attack? Let’s go even a step further. We are currently in the middle of a Russian Winter. Are these vehicles even going to start up right away when the go-word is given? You see any support vehicles, trailers, to keep these vehicles warmed up for starting?
Look, I am fully aware that there are likely some military installations with troops bivouacked for rapid deployment. I am also fully aware that plans are very likely in place by the Russian military for the actual invasion itself if for no other reason than to allow Putin with actionable options. But we really need to see these photos for what they are more than what we are being allowed to conclude on the surface. To me this is NOT a force ready to invade anything. No question it’s a force in some form of preparation for a possible military action.
I think we can also assume that our own intel services are getting live video and can monitor movements in real time. These photos reveal to me there is no immediate plans for deploying these forces as it would take a measure of time to get operationally ready… much less being formed into a strategic strike position. I can only assume such activity would be readily picked up by our intel folks as well as our allies. I also noticed that these sampling of photos don’t seem to suggest any staging of aircraft, more specifically rotor aircraft. Likely fixed wing strike aircraft would be located at regular air facilities inland. But you’d think support helicopters might be more visible… not that they can’t be in hangar structures. But choppers being inside structures take time to get operational. Helicopters would be part of any first strike invasion action if for nothing else but rapid troop deployment to specific strategic targets.
Putin may yet invade, but it will certainly NOT be a surprise, no Russkie “Pearl Harbor”, because there seems there’s a lot his military would have to do to get it all in gear. Also consider another thing from these photos… Putin knows satellites are seeing all this. Honestly, these staging areas seem “posed” for the sats. I firmly believe he wants that to present a visual threat of his POSSIBLE intentions. That much seems to be working. But, wait… we live in the age of drone strikes! Every one of these locations is known and hence is a target. You see any SAM sites? Missile launch vehicles? So who is really the most vulnerable here?