The U.S. conducts air strikes on Iranian positions inside Syria after Iranian forces strike U.S. military installations inside Iraq. The BBC reports that according to the Pentagon, 16 attacks by the Iranians based in Syria, have injured at least 20 Americans. At the UN, Iran warns the U.S. will not be spared.
Israel, continues strikes on Gaza, apparently preparatory to a full ground offensive. Not that far away, an Egyptian resort town has reportedly been hit by a missile strike.
Pundits argue that it’s possible to support Israel’s right to self-defense, while, at the same time, supporting aid to Gaza. They also talk about the links between Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran and that Lebanon, is about to get dragged into the conflict.
Russia, an ally of Syria, is reportedly sacrificing soldiers as fighting continues in Ukraine. One report puts the number at 25-hundred in six days. The report claims the Russians are shooting their own soldiers, if they refuse to fight.
The AP reports that over the South China Sea, a Chinese fighter came within ten feet of a U.S. B-52 bomber.
When does it all tip over into qualifying as a world war?
Is it immoral for NATO and the U.S., to refuse to send troops into Ukraine? How about the MIGs?
Is it okay for Russia to march into Ukraine as a conquering force but wrong for NATO to march in to defend freedom? Why does so much of what the West and NATO are doing feel so terribly inadequate, particularly in light of Russia’s history of pushing others around until others, finally, push back?
Are the U.S. and NATO simply trying to avoid the inevitable, while the body bags of innocent Ukrainians pile up, or is NATO correct in its current assessment that its best option is to stand back, without putting any boots on Ukrainian soil, while Putin blasts Ukraine into dust, murdering thousands of innocents in the process?
Doesn’t it feel like the U.S. and NATO have a moral obligation to punch back with more than military and humanitarian supplies? If Putin can do whatever he wants by threatening World War III, then where will this stop? Will Poland, be next?
From the beginning, Putin has been dictating where and how this conflict will take place. NATO, has waited for his next move and then reacted. Would declaring a “no-fly zone,” and sending in the MIGs help to draw a line in the sand? Doesn’t it feel like NATO is making the same mistake that was made in 1939, of trying to placate a monster? The Ukrainians are obviously tough enough to fight this battle. Are NATO and the U.S. up to it, or will this be another Crimea, or maybe something even worse?
I cringe every time someone from NATO or the U.S. makes the point that they will not send troops into Ukraine. Every time they say that they are sending Putin a message, and it is the wrong message to send.
So the Russians want to get together for another high-level conversation with Secretary of State Blinken, to take place late next week. Does that mean there won’t be an invasion until sometime after the meeting, or is it simply a clever diversion? With Putin, who can tell?
Maybe he’s following suit with the Japanese Ambassador to the United States who was in what were ostensibly “peace talks” with the U.S. Secretary of State, while, at the same time, Imperial Japan was dropping bombs on Pearl Harbor which pulled the U.S. into World War II.
Speculation about why Vladimir Putin is doing any of this varies from his being an ego-maniac to his advancing age, and his possible need to leave a legacy of being the big man who began the process of putting the Soviet Union back together again.
You have to wonder if the invasion of Ukraine hasn’t been in the works since the invasion of the Crimean peninsula, back in 2014. Any number of scholars think Putin has always intended to take back all of Ukraine, by one means or another. If not by political collusion, then by military invasion. I think he was probably counting on Donald Trump to be his “kompromat,” a “convenient idiot” that would help him get it done. That is to say he was counting on Trump to get re-elected and to then just sit by and cheer him on as Russian troops marched across the border into Ukraine. All signs from the Trump Presidency point to the possibility that Trump would have been more than accommodating to whatever Putin wanted.
The question continues to demand an answer, “what have the Russians got on Donald Trump?” In the final analysis it may not mean much as Putin’s plans were thrown asunder when Trump lost the election. But an autocrat’s ego being what it is, Putin, decided to push forward with his plan anyway, thinking NATO and Joe Biden, might take the coward’s way out and back away from a fight.
But that’s not what happened. Nobody has backed away and the whole hot mess has blown up in Putin’s face.
With more American troops and hardware being flown in and NATO only growing stronger, one must wonder whether the Russian oligarchs and the military don’t see this as being potentially very costly, both in terms of losing billions of rubles as the world places sanctions on the Russian economy and in thousands of unnecessary deaths as Russian troops face serious opposition from the Ukrainians. And all of it for what? For Putin’s need to be the biggest bully on the block? Why does he need that? Do the Russian people really care? One would think their principle concern might be their quality of life?
In terms of economies, the United States is number one in the world. Russia, isn’t even in the top ten. But it is a nuclear power, and it is that and not his economy, which gives Putin his leverage as a bully. It’s really all he’s got, even though nobody’s talking about it. And if war breaks out in Europe, potentially going beyond Ukraine, how long might it be before it goes beyond old-fashioned tanks and troops, and doesn’t the obvious nuclear deterrent play into this at some point and doesn’t that that make everything Putin is doing antiquated and even silly?
Are we in the middle of our second Cuban missile crisis, without anyone admitting that it’s really happening? Is it so horrible to contemplate that no one dares bring it into the conversation? Or is the country so young, that most among us don’t realize that nuclear warfare is still a very real possibility?
One can only hope the Russian generals and oligarchs have enough common sense and raw power, to stop their old KGB boss, Vladimir Putin, from making the massive mistake of invading Ukraine. Something that will benefit no one. Something that might even leave a legacy of Putin being such a miserable failure as a leader that he felt the need to start an unnecessary war as a diversion to how bad things were in his own country in comparison to the world’s democracies.