Tag Archives: Ukraine war

War with NATO? Seriously?

Now we are hearing reports that Russian madman Vladimir Putin is telling his people they should prepare for war against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which makes me believe more than ever that Vlad has a screw loose in that spook’s brain.

I cannot think of a worse outcome for Putin’s illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine than for him to send missiles into NATO countries bordering the Russian frontier.

We have this “thing” called Article V, which states that an attack against one NATO nation is an attack on all of them. All of them includes the United States of America.

To be clear, President Biden has said he will do everything within his immense power as U.S. commander in chief to keep our fighting men and women off the battlefield against Russia. I believe the president.

Putin, though, has far more to worry about than just the U.S. presence among NATO’s alliance of nations. The combined NATO military force constitutes an overpowering adversary. Does the Russian madman really intend to wage war against NATO? I want to believe the answer is no.

These chilling reports from Moscow, though, give me cause to think Putin really is mad.


NATO stands as one

It is impossible to overstate the diplomatic victory that President Biden has scored as he seeks to get Russia to stand down in its military invasion of Ukraine.

The victory involves the unanimous support for Ukraine by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which leads me to hope — if not yet believe — that Russian goon Vladimir Putin will resist launching an attack on any of the NATO nations that border Ukraine.

NATO has this document called Article V, which declares that an attack on a single NATO nation is an attack on all of them. It reminds me of the warning President Kennedy issued in October 1962 when the USSR was erecting missile launch sites in Cuba; JFK told the Soviet leadership that an attack against any nation in the Western Hemisphere would bring a “full retaliatory response” from the United States.

President Biden has made essentially the same declaration, as has NATO, which is that the organization formed to protect Western Europe against the Soviet threat would respond collectively if the  Russians attacked any NATO state.

Think of where U.S.-NATO relations have gone since the Donald Trump administration. Trump castigated NATO over whether European members were paying their fair share of the cost. Yes, many of the nations have stepped up their financial load, but they did not trust the U.S. president to be there if a crisis exploded.

President Biden has helped restore that trust and in the process well might have acquired some leverage to keep the Russians from committing an act of utter foolishness.


Rules of war have changed … or have they?

Those of us who can recall earlier conflicts between nations can remember a time when civilians lost their lives when military machines attacked unarmed targets indiscriminately.

Then the rules changed — supposedly — when the Geneva Convention adopted prohibitions against hitting “soft” targets. Nations would (more or less) follow those restrictions.

Now we have the horror unfolding in Ukraine. The carnage and destruction brought by Russian missiles, artillery shells and bombs on apartment complexes, schools, hospitals, houses of worship is beyond the pale.

The scenes being televised around the world of entire neighborhoods in Mariupol leveled by Russian ordnance should fill any of with rage.

Ukrainian forces repelled Russian invaders in their effort to take the capital city of Kyiv. The Russians pulled back, reorganized and have begun an all-out assault on the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine. The armed forces under Vladimir Putin’s command have acted in a throw-back fashion, reminding many of us of the brutality inflicted throughout Europe and Asia during World War II.

In this era of “smart bombs” and precise targeting of military installations, seeing the images from Ukraine should serve as a graphic reminder that Russia is governed by a monster masquerading as a world leader.


Devastation eclipses motive

Our world is aghast at the depravity, depredation and destruction brought to Ukraine by invading Russian armed forces, so much so that we seem to have lost sight of the motive for the unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

Whatever the hell it was …

That brings me to my point, which is that the result of the Russians’ cruelty toward Ukrainians has eclipsed whatever motive the Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin might have concocted to “justify” this illegal and inhumane attack.

He said something about protecting Russian “security.” Against what? Or whom? What threat did Ukraine pose to a nation many times larger geographically than itself?

Putin sent his troops into battle. They have retreated from some sites, leaving behind evidence of the abject destruction he has brought to entire cities. He has killed entire families. Putin has subjected people to untold and unthinkable horror.

And for what reason?

President Joe Biden is correct in expressing his moral outrage. There can be no way on God’s good Earth that “this man,” Putin, can “remain in power.”


Trying to understand Putin

I am acutely aware of the difficulty involved with analyzing what goes through the mind of a tyrant, a killer and a despot particularly when this individual is committing war crimes while invading a sovereign nation.

That won’t stop me from seeking to understand what Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is thinking as he wages war against Ukraine.

The Ukraine War has gone badly for Russia, at least in terms of the expected “quick conquest” Putin surely expected when he launched the invasion two months ago. Russian armed forces have suffered tremendous casualties, making me wonder: Does Putin send letters of condolence to parents, siblings and spouses of fallen Russian soldiers, the way U.S. presidents have done? Does he thank them for their sacrifice and for the service of their deceased warriors?

Putin is widely considered a war criminal. President Biden has accused him of committing genocide against Ukrainians. Russian athletes are being banned from international competition. World leaders are walking out of global meetings when Russian government officials stand to speak.

How does someone such as Vladimir Putin justify his actions? How does he explain to the people he governs (with an iron fist) the nature of what is transpiring in Ukraine?

We hear via leaks that Russian oligarchs are rebelling against Putin. They oppose the war, too.

It’s troubling in the extreme for me to assess what must be passing through this individual’s mind and for what tugs at what passes for his heart. I realize it’s an exercise in futility. However, it illustrates the complicated path over which Putin’s adversaries must travel as they deal with the machinations of a madman.


War with Russia? No way!

Let us settle down for a moment or two, shall we? I want to offer a word of assurance, admittedly from the cheap seats, about the prospect of American fighting forces marching into battle with Russians.

It won’t happen!

The Russians are getting their butts kicked in Ukraine, as they try to subvert the sovereign nation along Russia’s western border. The Russians appear set to conquer the seaport of Mariupol. Their attempt to take control of the Ukraine capital in Kyiv met with failure.

Neil Steinberg, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, seems to think war with Russia is possible. He writes:

Is the United States heading toward war? It seems a very real possibility. Some arms convoy in Poland will be hit, and the gears of general conflagration will start to turn. It’ll all seem inevitable, afterward. Then we can be haunted aplenty.

Just to be clear. I’m not saying the United States shouldn’t continue arming Ukraine. We have to. Which means we must accept the possibility of war. We don’t like to think about that. The whole strategy of handing weapons to Ukrainians and letting them actually pull the trigger is a tactic designed to avoid dragging ourselves into actual fighting. The easy way.

Read his essay here: Are we going to war with Russia? – Chicago Sun-Times (suntimes.com)

President Biden has pledged on numerous occasions that there is no way on God’s Earth that American forces will fight Russians … on the battlefield, or in the air, or at sea. I am going to take him at his word on that pledge.

Americans are sick and tired of war. We cannot tolerate another protracted ground fight with Russia. Period. Full stop.

We should continue to aid Ukraine with arms and related supplies. I have no trouble supporting that effort. That is as far as it should go. We can speed up delivery of the materiel and we should do so.

I can see no circumstance where we will commit young Americans to a ground war with Russia.


Moskva sunk!

The Moskva — once the pride of the Russian navy — now apparently lies at the bottom of the Black Sea, sent to its watery grave by at least one missile fired from a Ukrainian battery.

The Moskva, a guided-missile cruiser, weighed in at 12,500 tons; it spanned 600 feet in length and carried a crew of 500 sailors.

Then it ran into trouble while Russian armed forces got bogged down in their effort to subdue Ukraine.

Info on Moskva, Russian flagship sank by Ukrainian missile (nypost.com)

What’s at stake now? Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin clearly is shocked that the Ukrainians would be able to inflict this most serious ship-sinking since World War II.

If only the Ukrainians’ stunning battlefield success would persuade Putin to give up his horrendous effort to subdue a sovereign state.

President Biden has labeled Putin a war criminal and accused him of committing genocide against the Ukrainians. Most of the world is reeling in horror at what Ukrainians are discovering on city streets as Russian troops retreat; they are finding corpses of civilians who were shot in the head.

Putin won’t give up the fight easily. That much seems clear. It also lays bare the brutality that lurks in what passes for this individual’s heart.

I am left only to hope that the Ukrainians can continue to inflict as much damage as possible on the invaders to the point that Russians will say “Enough is enough!” … and rid themselves of Vladimir Putin.


How does POTUS tell his story?

Someone will have to explain to me why President Biden continues to struggle to win Americans’ approval over the way he is conducting himself in the office to which he was elected in 2020.

Maybe he just isn’t telling his story in a convincing fashion. Perhaps he is being outshouted by critics who continue to adhere to matters such as, oh, The Big Lie about the so-called theft of the presidential election.

I admit my bias. I want Biden to succeed and I want him to be able to sell his story to Americans who just aren’t buying into the Biden presidency. OK, so I have gotten that out of the way.

The economy continues to add hundreds of thousands of jobs each month; joblessness is less than 4%; we are winning the war against the COVID pandemic; we have restored our alliances around the world; the president is leading the worldwide response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is crippling the Russian economy.

Life isn’t perfect. Inflation is hurting Americans. However, Joe Biden keeps reminding us that so much of the skyrocketing costs come from (a) supply issues created by the pandemic and (b) Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the cutting off of Russian oil and natural gas to markets around the world.

The president needs to do a better job of securing our southern border. I acknowledge mistakes there. However, the border isn’t anything approaching an “open door” for anyone to walk into this country.

I am open to hearing from readers of this blog who has an idea of why Joe Biden continues to win the kind of approval from my fellow citizens that I believe he deserves.

So … with that I’ll sign off from this post.

Let’s discuss.


Biden calls it ‘genocide’

President Biden has ramped up the rhetoric in his face-off with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian troops’ conduct in Ukraine an act of “genocide.”

It remains for international courts to make that official determination, but I happen to have no difficulty with our president calling Putin out on with the strong language he is using to apply maximum pressure on a despot who is waging what looks to many of us to be an illegal war against Ukraine.

Putin invaded Ukraine with the stated hope of capturing the capital city of Kyiv within, oh, a few days. It didn’t happen. Russian troops have retreated from the area around Kyiv and are reportedly staging in the eastern part of Ukraine to launch another massive assault.

They have left evidence of enormous destruction and the slaughter of thousands of civilians. Ukrainian forces have discovered thousands of bodies with single gunshot wounds to their heads; the men and women executed by the Russians had their hands tied behind their backs.

Why do this? President Biden labels it “genocide,” which by definition is the planned extermination of people based on their race and/or their ethnicity.

We have known for a long time that Putin is a bad actor. He has demonstrated beyond any possible doubt that he is incapable of being an effective partner at any level with this or any nation that values human decency.

He also has shown that President Biden’s moral outrage, which he expressed during his recent trip to Europe that “for God’s sake this man cannot remain in power,” is spot on.


Why not respond in kind?

My perch in the cheap seats as I watch the Ukraine War play out way over there gives me a chance to wonder about something: If we are so fearful of Russian cyberattacks, why don’t we threaten to unleash our own cyber weapons against them?

The U.S.-Russia cold war might be taking a new form to replace the one that formerly featured nuclear weapons pointed at each other back in the days of the Evil Empire, when Russia was called The Soviet Union.

I don’t want my retirement account to be sucked dry by some cyber spook hunkered in some Moscow bunker. However, we live in the world’s most technically sophisticated nation. We have uber-geeks prepared to do all kinds of harm if given the lawful order from on high to do so.

It seems we are capable of crafting a cyber policy that we could make public — without revealing, of course, the tactical aspects of what we intend to do. Tell the Russians what kind of damage we can do to their cyber system and then — as we did during the other Cold War — dare them to launch an attack on us.

It would be a form of Mutually Assured Destruction 2.0.

It therefore would be equally MAD for the Russians to perform any funny stuff if we are ready to respond in kind.