Russia is an anomaly. It’s too big. Nearly twice the size of the next biggest country in the world, Canada, with a population less than that of Bangladesh.
Russia is in a war where they can’t afford to win or lose. Putin has forty miles of military vehicles stuck in the mud because he violated the first rule of war in Ukraine: Don’t Start A War In the Mud Season.
Putin knew his timing was off but he had promised China Boss Xi Jinping that he would not commence military action against Ukraine until the Winter Olympics in China finished on February 20, 2022.
Putin is running out of friends fast. He can’t lose Xi Jingping.
The American Press is somewhere between Ga-Ga and Ape-Shit over Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. It doesn’t hurt that he’s Jewish. Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee called him “the bravest man in the World.” Hey, Zelensky is holding things together, from his bunker, asking for help, but he’s not going to be confused with Audie Murphy or Wild Bill Donavan.
I’ve been watching mostly BBC and CNN. Fareed Zakaria does a great job. Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer are solid and make sure nobody forgets that Zelensky is Jewish.
The whole Jewish thing is not totally irrelevant. When the Nazis overran Ukraine in WW II, Ukrainians were relieved to be out from under Russian domination. How friendly some Ukrainians were with the Nazis while they were under occupation, who knows? I don’t.
What Putin and most Russians do know is that nobody did more to defeat the Nazis in World War II than the Russians. In the process they lost over 8,000,000 soldiers killed in combat. The USA lost in the neighborhood of 300,000.
In Putin’s mind Russia has a blood relationship with the ground of Ukraine.
One last thing, Blitzer and Tapper seem to be pushing to have Putin tried for War Crimes partly because Russia has employed “Cluster Bombs” in Ukraine.
Cluster bombs are nasty items. They break open into clusters of smaller bomblets that can lay dormant in open areas and detonate when disturbed. I remember reading all about them when Israel used them in Lebanon, a disgusting chapter in Israel’s history, that brought the wrath of none other than, President Ronald Reagan, down on Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and his Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. He demanded that what the Israelis were doing in Lebanon stop immediately. It stopped.
Putin needs an exit from Ukraine. He has no win.
Depending on how Putin’s mind is working, or not working, Putin may think the slow starvation of Russia and Russians, by sanctions, is justification for him to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
Because of that possibility, Joe Biden has an awesome responsibility to calibrate what we do to help Ukraine while avoiding for as long as possible, pushing Putin over the edge to Nuclear War.
My bet is Xi Jinping will play a role. He’s sane and he believes in countries with boundaries. He is next-door to Russia and is obviously affected, as is everybody. Putin should be given an out.
Invite Putin to live in China, quietly.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.