Tag Archives: Ukraine war

The impossible is now — gulp! — possible

What once was deemed in my own mind to be an impossible occurrence has dramatically become possible … even remotely so.

I mention this only because what I once thought would never occur very well could happen in about 10 months, when we have our 2024 presidential election.

The idiot whom President Biden defeated in 2020 just might reverse that outcome when they count the ballots at the end of this year’s campaign.

All of this begs a question that has been tearing at my gut for the past little bit: How in the world is the president of the United States going to respond to the formalities associated with handing over the keys to the White House to the president-elect?

Joe Biden is steeped in tradition. He knows what he’s supposed to do, in that he knows to extend an invitation to the man that defeated him to meet in the White House. Again, though, how does the president do so when the invitee is an individual who:

  • Never acknowledged losing the 2020 election.
  • Savaged the current president during his entire term in office.
  • Has vowed to run the country like a dictatorship if only for a day.
  • Cozies up to the very dictator against whom this nation has been aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
  • Has told Russia he would bless any effort for that rogue nation to do “whatever the hell they want” against any NATO nation that doesn’t pay its fair share of dues?

Joe Biden vowed to seek to save the “soul of this nation” when he declared his 2020 presidential candidacy. By my reckoning, he has largely succeeded in that mission. Now, though, he just might have to surrender to the nitwit who preceded him as our commander in chief and head of state.

So help me, it pains me to acknowledge what might occur when they count the ballots on Nov. 5. Just try for a moment to put yourself in Joe Biden’s shoes as he ponders what well could be stirring in his own mind.

GOP channels Democrats

Yep, it’s true. What passes today for a once-great political party is channeling the backbiting, backstabbing, in-your-face accusations of another great political party.

The Republican Party today is mirroring, more or less, the shenanigans of Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a big difference, though, in the context of these struggles.

In the 1960s, Democrats were at war with themselves over the conduct of an actual war, in Vietnam. Today’s Republicans are at war over something far less grim, but equally significant. They are feuding over how to govern this great country.

You had Hawks vs. Doves in the 1960s. The Hawks in Congress supported our involvement in the Vietnam War; the Doves wanted us to get out of there sooner rather than later. It was policy, man, that drove that internecine fight.

The policy this time is driving by those on the far right, the MAGA crowd, is throwing obstacles in front of mainstream Republicans who cling to the notion that they need to work with Democrats to enact meaningful public policy. The MAGA crowd — led by The Former Guy — obstruct efforts at, say, immigration and border security reform. They tie border security to funding the Ukraine war against the Russian invaders. They also tie the border to our continuing aid to Israel, which has declared war on Hamas over the terrorists’ hideous attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023.

What’s TFG doing about it? He’s cheering on the MAGA followers, encouraging them to stop our government from doing its job.

Just as Republicans were virtually unified in their efforts in the ’60s and ’70s to wage war in Vietnam, Democrats today lock arms and don’t lift a finger to stop the battle that’s underway across the great political divide.

Wow! I think I’ll continue to hold on with both hands.

We cannot hold Ukraine aid hostage

The United States has gone all in on aid to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression. Therefore, it is imperative that congressional Republicans stop holding our aid to Ukraine hostage to security issues relating to our own border.

They are jeopardizing our standing as the world’s leading defender of democracy as it seeks in Ukraine to fend off the advances of the autocracy run by Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Of course, that seems to matter little to the MAGA crowd that calls the cadence for Republicans to follow. The MAGA cultists have swallowed the poison blathered by Donald Trump who continues to extol the “virtues” of Putin’s alleged toughness.

What’s at stake is the possible involvement of NATO nations in a ground war with Russia if Putin decides to extend his territorial land grab to nations that belong to NATO. Were that to happen, then, well … all hell is going to break loose in eastern Europe.

Do we really want that to happen? Do we really want to send U.S. forces into battle with Russians, which would appear to be imperative if Russia attacks a NATO nation? We have that clause in the treaty that declares that an attack on one NATO state is an attack on the entire organization.

We cannot possibly in good conscience turn away from helping Ukraine defend its sovereignty against a foreign aggressor, which attacked Ukraine without provocation more than a year ago.

Putin is an evil despot whose misadventure in Ukraine must be stopped. Period!

That the GOP would seek to hold our assistance hostage to an unrelated issue is unconscionable on its face.

Don’t ignore Ukraine … OK?

Pssst … here’s a secret. OK, it’s not really a secret but it just seems like one.

It is that while the world worries how the Israel-Hamas war plays out, another conflict continues to rage on and on and on.

In February 2022, Russian troops, tanks and artillery invaded Ukraine in an attempt to take over a sovereign nation. The Russians were met with ferocious resistance aided by the steadfast support of the United States, NATO and the European Union.

Ukrainian forces have beaten back the invaders. U.S. aid continues to pour into Ukraine, despite resistance to that aid from the MAGA caucus within the congressional Republican conference.

We cannot predict when this war will end. It has become a stalemate, according to sources in the field. Still, the Ukrainian resistance to the supposedly vaunted Russian military machine has been awe-inspiring. The world has witnessed that Russia in fact is a third- or fourth-rate conventional military power. Yes, the Russians have those nuclear weapons. However, they dare not deploy them!

It appears difficult at times for the world to concentrate on multiple crises as they are erupting in real time. The Israeli offensive against Hamas is the real thing and it requires the world’s attention.

So, though, does the Ukrainian effort to defend its sovereignty against a foreign aggressor. Vladimir Putin has delusions of grandeur that he sought to play out against a sovereign nation; he concocted bogus threats against Russia from a country that posed no threat at all. Putin’s adventurism is delivering a heavy price that the Kremlin appears unable to pay.

President Biden’s steadfast resistance to Putin’s aggression has brought NATO and EU together to stand firm against Russia.

Let us not forget what’s at stake in Ukraine. It is the future of a democratic republic that is fighting for its survival.

Polls are testing my faith

All those national public opinion polls showing Donald J. Trump with surprising strength in the Republican primary are testing my stated belief on the outcome of his quest to become POTUS once again.

They tell us he is the favorite to be nominated by the GOP next summer … and that he well could defeat President Biden in the November2024 election.

I have said from the beginning I had serious doubts about either his nomination or his election.

You know what? I am going to stand by my earlier suggestion.

Trump is going to be a convicted felon before the primary season begins. He will stand trial on any number of allegations. He faces a civil verdict soon in the case of his defrauding the government over the value of his estate and property. He could be convicted of pilfering classified documents from the White House. He could be convicted also in Georgia court for seeking to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. He could face conviction over whether he incited the assault on our government on 1/6.

Is this country really going to elect a multiple-times convicted felon, allow him back into the White House, give him the launch codes to our nuclear arsenal, allow him to embark on a vengeance campaign against his political foes or back out of defending Ukraine against the immoral and illegal invasion by Vladimir Putin’s forces?

If it comes true and we elect this traitor to the nation’s highest office, then we are in the deepest trouble imaginable as a nation.

Many of us might be stupid, but I refuse to believe that most Americans are that stupid.

Take it back … from whom?

Understanding that I live near the heart of Donald Trump Country, I still was taken aback today at the sight of a pickup festooned with Trump stickers with assorted slogans.

One of them had a “Trump 2024” insignia emblazoned with the phrase, “Take it back.”

My first thought? From whom do we want to retrieve the country? From an administration that has experienced the greatest job growth in history? From a president who has firmed up our international alliances against blatant aggression in Ukraine? From a government that seeks to foment democracy over autocracy?

These all speak to the kind of demagogic lies that the MAGA crowd keeps blustering, that the country somehow has been hijacked by those who want to obey the rule of law, who want to restore “regular order” in our legislative process, who do the bidding of Americans and not the moneyed special interests.

What slays me, too, is that the owner of the pickup reportedly is a proud Marine and yet Donald Trump has called those of us who have worn our country’s military uniform “suckers” and “losers.”

What a pair of chumps … Donald Trump and his devoted North Texas Marine.

Partisan fight over aid to fight Russia?

You live  long enough and you’re liable to see all kinds of manifestations of principle you once thought were set in steel-enforced concrete.

Take the U.S. position regarding aggression by Russian armed forces … for example.

Russia invaded Ukraine a year-plus ago. President Biden said this country would stand foursquare against the Russian aggressors. He vowed to stitch together a strong alliance of nations to resist the Russians. He succeeded.

We have helped Ukraine turn back the Russians. Ukrainian armed forces launched a counteroffensive. You’d think the Democratic U.S. president would enjoy the support of long-standing anti-Russian pols who belong to the Republican Party. Right? Guess again, pilgrim.

We now have the MAGA crowd resisting efforts to back Ukraine … for reasons that totally escape me! It has to be that their guy, the former POTUS, thinks the sun rises and sets on Russian goon/strongman Vladimir Putin.

The MAGA cult seemingly doesn’t believe as much in democratic principles as their political forebears — the real Republicans who fought the Russians and the Soviet Union with a passion. Then again, I don’t consider the MAGA morons to be real Republicans. They are political perverts who have twisted longstanding U.S. policy into something unrecognizable.

It is an evolution I never envisioned I would see.

Why does GOP ignore Russian aggression?

Some things you never expect to see up close … such as congressional Republicans turning their backs on Russian aggression in Europe.

Think about this for a moment. Republicans from Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and two presidents named Bush all considered Russians to be our nation’s foremost adversary. Operating under the guise of the Soviet Union, Russia sought to spread its form of autocracy via armed conflict.

Such action was deemed an existential threat to everyone who didn’t adhere to their policy.

The Russians are doing so at this moment in Ukraine. They invaded that sovereign nation in February 2022. Ukraine has pushed back — hard! — with help from the United States, NATO and other freedom-loving nations.

But not, apparently, from this country’s Republican Party. The GOP congressional caucus has approved temporary spending legislation that suspends he military assistance the United States is providing Ukraine in its effort to repel the Russian aggressors.

Where, though, is the Republican Party led by the MAGA cult that is calling the cadence within GOP headquarters?  Is it insisting on diverting that money to domestic programs to help Americans in need? Is it seeking funds to assist veterans, Social Security recipients? Nope. None of that.

It’s just sticking it in President Biden’s ear because of the president’s stated commitment to help the Ukrainians beat back the Russian invaders … and preserve democracy in Ukraine!

Today’s Republican Party is following a foreign-policy script that would make past GOP leaders cringe.

How much can Russians take?

It’s fair to ask of our fellow travelers who happen to live in Russia: How much more of their country’s squalid leadership can they take as they watch their young soldiers get slaughtered in Ukraine?

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin launched an illegal and immoral war against Ukraine in February 2022. He reportedly expected a quick-and-dirty finish to the conflict, with the Ukrainians buckling under the weight of the vastly superior Russian army.

Not so fast. It damn sure didn’t happen.

Now the Ukrainians have launched their long-anticipated “counter offensive” and have retaken much of the land captured by Russian troops.

Putin’s armed forces have performed miserably. Putin surely must know it. Every international observer worth a damn has declared the Russian effort a tactical defeat for Putin.

Back to my question …

Russians cannot possibly be so gullible that they believe the propaganda put forth from the Kremlin about the so-called “success” of the military effort in Ukraine. They have access to worldwide media accounts that tell a stark story of incompetence, malfeasance, desertion among the troops and draftees fleeing the country to avoid conscription into the Russian army.

It all makes me wonder just how much longer Putin can continue to (mis)manage this conflict.

He is being offered a bitter but nonetheless important lesson, which tells him something like this: You do not invade another sovereign country expecting it to roll over just because you demand it. 

The Russians should have learned that lesson already in Afghanistan. It reminds me of the truism about “those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.”

Putin gets his payback

Yevgeny Prigozhin seems to have died in a plane crash today.

I say “seems” because Russian authorities haven’t yet declared that he is indeed one of the 10 people who died when the plane plummeted to the ground.

Who is this guy? Two months ago, he mounted a mutiny against Russian strongman Vladimir Putin with his mercenary army  marching within spitting distance of Moscow. Prigozhin called off his challenge to Putin, retreated to Belarus, and then Putin declared that he wouldn’t exact any punishment against Prigozhin.

Then this happened. Coincidence? Hardly!

The death of this thoroughly bad actor shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone. Putin’s promise to let Prigozhin live on was pure BS and those who follow Kremlin intrigue knew it when Putin made the declaration.

I am not mourning Prigozhin’s apparent demise. I am just aghast that Vladimir Putin would follow the script from which he has been reading once again … while the world is watching how he is prosecuting an illegal and immoral war against Ukraine.