“Watching, in real-time, the rape of the Ukrainian nation by President Putin should fill any well-meaning observer with a sense of shame. Particularly those at the helm of Western nations and others who could have done more but didn’t or who could do more but won’t.
[Ukraine President] Zelensky is right. We have left a young, emerging ally of the West alone to the wolves. We might well have invited this onslaught through months of diplomatic waffling and the promise of inaction.
Now, the best we offer the sons and daughters of sovereign Ukraine is a regime of modest sanctions, protestations of solidarity, dollops of humanitarian aid, hashtags, memes, and Ukrainian flags galore adorning a million social media profiles.”
Since the 1945 United Nations Charter outlawing war (no guffaws, please), no major country in the world has legally declared war on another. That of course hasn’t stopped countries warring with one another, only from the legal nicety of formally announcing it and being careful not to use the word “war” in press releases. This has led to fuzziness and obfuscation from our political leaders and military when defining the objectives of fighting. In the last four major wars–oops, armed conflicts–the US has fought in, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, there was no declared goal of victory and surrender by the enemy, which led to them dragging on and on until the people, wearying of the body counts, had enough and we withdrew, with little or nothing to show for the years of carnage.
All of this is to preface the question in the header: does Putin really know what he is getting into? The situation in Ukraine bears a strong resemblance to those of countries this country has fought post-1945 (also to our own Revolutionary War). The Ukrainians have a strong and fierce fighting tradition; they despise the Russians, and, to quote Mr Churchill, they will never surrender.
Putin is facing a long, unwinnable guerrilla war with a brutal and dedicated foe, who will stop at nothing to drive the hated Russians out. War is hugely expensive. If (and that’s a big “if”) the US and NATO follow through with their sanctions, and if (a much smaller “if”) China doesn’t come to the rescue, Russia could run out of money, though Putin won’t.
In my last post I wrote Putin “is no dummy.” That was relative of course to our turnip brain in the White House. It may turn out he is not as clever as he thinks.
Just how bad are things going for the wishy-washy, directionless Biden administration? So bad, even mainstream media is having at the Administration, as nicely illustrated in this clip of Norah O’Donnell of CBS(!) hammering Secretary of State Blinken over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken is a study in weakness. His endless repetition of the “swift and severe” sanctions to be levied against Russia before, during and after the invasion is almost comical and certainly lame. So much so, O’Donnell, obviously frustrated, bluntly asks Blinken if the “swift and severe” sanctions have failed. Not at all, replies Blinken, they’ve “unified” our NATO allies, for all that’s worth (Ukraine doesn’t belong to NATO) and besides, he’s got even swifter and severer sanctions at the ready, if needed. (I’d love to play poker with this pathetic, four-flushing fool.)
It’s a pity O’Donnell didn’t point out to Blinken an obvious fact concerning the “swift and severe” sanctions. Putin is no dummy and he obviously considered all the penalties to be incurred should he invade and decided he and his fellow Russians could live with them. Since Russia is not a democracy it makes no difference to Putin whether or not the Russian people suffer over his actions (I bet Biden’s handlers are green with envy over that). He certainly won’t suffer, having billions of plundered dollars tucked away in various safe locales. We can bet President Xi of China and the mullahs of Iran long ago determinated similarly and have been cooling their heels until the appropriate zero occupied the White House. I think we may safely conclude their moment as come. Taiwan and Israel are likely thinking so as well.
New Mexico’s Governor Finally Lifts the Mask Mandates.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham unexpectedly removed most state mask mandates at the close of her press conference on 19 February. The Governor’s reason for this sudden reversal (just two weeks after she announced the mandates would continue indefinitely) is not, I am certain she would insist, that her ratings are tanking in internal polls, with Election Day looming.
No, the Governor claims, it is because of the decline in cases of the Omicron edition of the COVID-19 virus, a horrific scourge known for causing in the vast majority of those to whom it afflicts moderate cases of the sniffles.
While many, if not most, New Mexicans are rejoicing not having to wear the wretched masks anymore, for which are still no credible studies proving their effectiveness, there are politicos in Taos appalled by the Governor’s decision. One of them had the brass to complain that without the Governor’s mandate in place to “back em up” [sic] . . . things could become volatile in government buildings and private businesses if customers are asked to don masks.”
So much, then, for the notion of public servants: ours seem to want to continue the mandate not to protect themselves or others from the virus, but merely to protect themselves from getting yelled at by their employers.
Thus continues an old New Mexico tradition: bureaucrats high and low, as well the clerisy in the nice neighborhoods and the academy, ignoring the moods of all those other people in our state known as the general public.