WORDS: 2,071— It seems the call for women and children first is echoing at Ukrainian railway stations as the throngs of refugees try and leave the country before falling under the “jackboot” of Russian… well, Putin nonsense. While Putin himself is blathering some contrived fiction about neo-Nazi’s running Ukraine, he’s most certainly acting like a Hitlerian fascist.. Nazism being the very thing his countrymen abhor and vilify and have not forgotten. But, there might be some interesting changes afoot as time goes on that will affect the world…. if we can avoid a nuclear confrontation.
As bloggers all we can do is project our opinions on what we observe and piece together from broadcast media and social media sources we think are telling us the “truth”, then write something about it thinking we might just have life all figured out. We don’t, obviously.. and I challenge anyone who stipulates otherwise. All anyone can do is present their observations and attempt some level of assumptions from it to the point where we might venture a conclusion that forms opinion. More often than not we are wrong, or in the least, misinformed, or mal-informed, and so are our conclusions. In fast-moving events like this I tend to favor simply commenting on observations as they pop up, rather than presume some broad conclusions. Anyone reading this can judge for themselves their own possibilities.
Below are my latest observations and some possible assumptions and interpretations.
—> 1. Maybe No Boots On The Ground in Ukraine, But Americans Are Still In This Battle, For Better Or For Worse. Absolutely no question about it.. the Ukrainians are suffering to the max and they have a truly patriotic and valiant struggle for survival, and many will suffer death as a result. On a lesser scale, and perhaps no less passionate, those of us in the West, as with many other sympathetic countries around the world, all we can do is sit watching our little (or big) screens.. helpless to help… helpless to fight back… helpless to render aid and comfort… all because one man threatens to unleash a nuclear holocaust. The best we can do is sanctions that may or may not have the impact in stopping all this. To add to the human frustration of not being able to directly help fellow humans falling victim to a sinister human, much of the West and civilized world is suffering the impact of economic inflation and energy challenges as a result of the necessary sanctions being levied against Russia. Here in America, even before the Ukrainian invasion, we were already under economic inflationary and energy constraints… on top of our ongoing political divide, challenges to our democratic republic in general, the pandemic effects, etc. Bottom line.. the whole world is in this Ukrainian struggle.
—> 2. Why I Might See Bullies Floundering. In recent months/last couple years, there’s been this media presentation that democracy, or democratic governments, are being challenged by authoritarian alternatives. The argument being that the public is tired of so-called “elites” running the show with little paid to the voices of those lower on the economic and/or intellectual social strata. A segment of the public around the world admires those “leaders” that can express defiance to conventionality, object to the incessant growth (control) of government, and with convincing rhetoric that cries a victimization to those who feel disenfranchised. Add to this the inherent (and by design) slow progress and many times indecisiveness of the democratic process itself. Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Xi, Kim, Lukashenko are just a few that top the current hit parade of bully-types in government. Take note that these guys all publicly admire each other in one form or another. Take note of the U.S. and world reaction to Putin invading Ukraine. What Putin has done in Ukraine has sealed his fate as a leader. Maybe not next week or in 6 months… but he’s finished. The sanctions alone and the worsening public demonstrations from fellow Russians will be a contributing factor. Especially since his mental health is being challenged. Let’s not forget recent revelations that the International Court is ready to indict Putin for crimes against humanity. Whether all that really happens or not is irrelevant to the point that it’s another public affirmation of discontent toward his actions… and the international embarrassment to the Russian people. Not everyone over there longs for a “make the Soviet Union great again” scenario.
—> 3. But Let’s Talk Trump, As Putin’s Bitch Lover. If you are a GOP incumbent trying to get re-elected and are trying to kiss the “old man’s” ass to stay on his good side… now you have to suck up Trump’s affinity to praise Putin’s invasion. Not a popular move here in the States at the moment. Trump is becoming more irrelevant with each passing day, and a boat anchor to the GOP. Last I heard he’s not spent one dime of all that PAC donation money on any GOP election campaign for the end of this year. I’ll have a future post on Trump’s growing irrelevancy… well.. when I get around to it. Oh, to be sure, Trump is not yet gone, but….. he’s not all here either (or “there” mentally, either).
—> 4. That Brings Us To Our Divide, The Far Right Threat, and Past and Future Insurgencies. I said in the previous post that I have a sense that the Far Right here in America will be emboldened from seeing the images from Ukraine. I think the Jan. 6th committee will achieve a greater importance in public opinion as the public perceives authoritarian leaders do not fit in a democracy… or a Republic. It’s not a stretch at all to see American public opinion begin to shift and identify the Ukrainian struggle with the mess politically over here. As the Ukraine struggle advances in the days ahead and we all watch them “die”…. there will be a shift in this insurrectionist/civil war idiocy. BTW… Biden’s approval polls with shift upward as Americans perceive the world threat.
—> 5. NATO, the U.S., A New Found Relationship? Where Could That Go? Where SHOULD That Go? NATO has regained importance and should not lose that momentum. I think “we” need to resurrect the SEATO accords to challenge China’s assertive actions on the other side of the world. Be that as it may, NATO needs to tread lightly and endeavor to re-invent itself for the coming century.
—> 6. Putin’s Mental Stability and His Nuclear High Alert. This could very easily be the crux of all that is happening. French President Macron has indicated that Putin is not the same Putin he last met a while back. Today an unofficial and unvetted and unverified FBI second hand report is suggesting a witness to Putin’s anger and rage at the sanctions and the performance of his military. Given the apparent and seemingly random and arbitrary logic in invading Ukraine at all, there’s the natural doubt in Putin’s mental stability. One would be hard pressed to imagine that Ukraine’s descent into their hell is due entirely to a single man’s mental stability, with no checks and balances built into decision-making. But then Europe has been through that before with another authoritarian madman. So.. has Putin gone off the deep end? Certainly his action toward Ukraine suggests that. But we can’t be flippant about that. If Putin is in fact displaying a declined, or declining, mental capacity this also enhances a propensity to decide if things are not going his way then it could lead to a “scorched earth”.. or more like a “Götterdämmerung” battle to take everything down (you can look up what that means). One possibility… Putin will be 70 years old this coming October. Given the mental acceptance of reaching that age with myself personally, I could possibly presume to think Putin is reflecting on the possibility that he’s got a statistical few years left on this planet. Political demagogue as he is normally, I might presume to think he may want to leave a lasting legacy as being Russia’s greatest leader… and bringing the old empire back to re-kindle lost Russian pride. But if that were his goal he might’ve started that quest way back before the few other former Soviet states became NATO members. Putin-watchers have suggested an irrationality in his more recent behavior. Certainly invading Ukraine essentially out of the blue might alone suggest that. Another possibility is that Putin might have been given some “worrisome” medical news that has affected his decision-making process. One speculation is that he might have an age-related diminished capacity affliction going on, yet undiagnosed, or certainly ignored. Regardless the speculation of his mental capacity… it’s the man he is now that we have to deal with stop all this… and I don’t see stopping him is happening any time soon.
—> 7. How Might We Stop Him? The key to that is trying to make heads or tails out of his mental condition. I have a real radical idea. If we are thinking the goal is to stop the “man”, nullifying his decision-making impact and separating him from his actions… separating his finger away from the button… well… it would require conspiring a take-over from Putin’s inside circle, likely the generals. But to do that we would have to convince Putin that any threat to him is gone… and he relaxes control long enough for the generals to take over quietly. How might that work? Ukraine “surrenders”. Zelenski admits defeat, accepts Russian rule… steps down. As Putin celebrates and relishes his victory he will reach a point of relaxed posture… then the generals could act, and once in control remove all Russian forces from Ukraine. Now, obviously, convincing Putin the Ukrainians have surrendered is the impossible mission as the patriotic Ukrainians would need to stop their resistance. Getting the cooperation of 47 million people to fake a surrender would never work… although the plan itself might…. in theory. Another plan… we already know Tom Cruise knows his way around the Kremlin. We get the IMF team to…. ok, ok…. it’s not funny. Ukrainians are getting killed in real life. But here’s to my point in bringing up a Hollywood plot. We have to have faith on the resources of the Western nations to actually form an option.. an action plan, that very well could include some sort of covert and/or clandestine to have Putin removed… and this must include coordination from Putin’s inner circle from men of good will to make it valid. I sense the clock is ticking.
On Closing… A Moral Imperative on Warfare
As of this writing the sat photos are showing a Russian convoy 40 miles long heading to the beleaguered Ukraine capitol. It’s like being up front and personal in watching the end of a country, or in the least the inevitable deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.. simply on a whim of a single man. Now.. we don’t really know what’s inside that convoy and what threat it represents. A re-supply convoy is far different from a convoy with armor and artillery and launch systems. Nonetheless, sanctions are one thing, but this single man has control of nuclear weapons and that alone keeps the international community from getting involved beyond just sending aid. No one has any idea of this single man’s mental stability. This should never be allowed to happen again… and while that’s easy to say, solving that problem will be a real international challenge. It’s not all about beefing up NATO or empowering the UN. It will involve a revised vision of what is important inside the idea of a nation’s individual sovereignty, even to its culture and identity. We all seem to comprehend the idea that our individual economics is indeed tied to a globalism… but our politics is there as well. There is little room for impulsive political nationalism. Having a nationalistic pride is one thing and is good for the collective identity of a nation’s citizens in a patriotic sense… but nationalism as a political movement that justifies action against another country or race should never be tolerated. The world is going to watch live on TV and their smart phones the fall of Ukraine. Sure.. it’s the fault of one man. But what about those that simply watched it all happen for fear this one man would destroy the world if they tried anything? Has the plot of a James Bond movie, but this is certainly not Hollywood fiction.
As for us here in America… we have an ex-President, a bully authoritarian himself, that approves of Putin, and a number of Americans that approve and support this ex-President. Some of these people have been elected to public office. Our threats are internal… for now. God help Ukraine and us all.