Monday, February 28, 2022

I need Shooters, not an Uber...

 This is a political post.

At this point I check everyday for the news that I'm certain no one wants to hear: that a Russian team has tracked down Zelensky. This comedian turned actor turned politician turned honest to god hero is defying the odds with both his bravery and his charm. "I need ammo, not a ride" he responded when the US offered to airlift him out. He's doing what all of us hope we have the ability to do when we're attacked - Stand your ground and fight. And it looks like he's pulling off this long-shot play for the most part. I hope he does, for Ukraine's sake. The problem for Putin now is if he kills him, it will only make things tougher. Because you can stop a man, but a legend is a hard thing to put into a cell. And a Zelensky who goes down swinging defending his country is the kind of guy whose name you scream before you go over the top.

Which means Putin has no out.

Because the longer it takes, the more likely that the Ukrainians finally drive them out. After taking much ground the first few days, the grand Russian might has been unable to hold onto much. And as it turns out their soldiers don't really have the stomach for what they're being asked to do, as errant men show up at farms asking for gas for their useless tanks, surrendering en masse and others using dating apps to find more amenable company. And with each passing day, the furor and outside support in form of weapons and money pours in. The longer this takes, the worse the eventual failure to a grass roots guerilla army would look for a modern "world power."

 But to get victory in this invasion the Russians may have to destroy the country. Only the idea was never to take a shell, or just the territory, but a functioning country. Yes, they needed Sevastopol, but Putin claimed he wanted to reunite the former USSR. And yet despite bold claims that sanctions would only strengthen his position, being kicked out of SWIFT, the bank run, the collapse of the ruble to loss of outside investment in general, the motherland doesn't have the resources to rebuild their new holding if it comes to that. Russia's economy is basically the size of the state of California's. Or rather it was. And that won't change anytime soon as long as Putin remains in power. The term Pyrrhic victory might be changed to a Ukrainian victory if he keeps this up, with the whole of Russia collapsing under the weight of one man's ego.

Which leaves capitulation and retreat. Which would leave this world leader looking weak, which might just be the ultimate insult in Putin's mind. One believes that the self imposed isolation caused by Covid, along with an apparatus designed to keep bad news at bay would mean that when the real news that he can't win finally, inevitably shows up, it's not gonna be pretty. As it stands, he'll have to back down on his nuclear deterrent threat and in the near future will see that that thing he feared most of all - a united Europe and NATO that includes Ukraine, Finland and Sweden, placing all access to the Atlantic via a NATO window - actually coming to fruition. And although it's really a old geopolitical situation that may or may not be still as relevant in this age of non-state actors, it was the thing he was working most diligently on, with international election interference and a world wide disinformation campaign to avoid. 

I'm not sure who told him this invasion this was a good idea, but I can say this with certainty: They were wrong. 

Yeah, the real problem now is that Putin has no out that he's willing to accept. 

I'm not going to get into all the other sundry items - the detainment of Africans trying to escape the conflict by some Ukrainians, why this time the world seems to have stood up and taken notice, etc and so forth. Or the buffoonery that is Cheato's response. No, I say let's just get through this and get to the other thing - back to virus that's still could kill us all if we're not careful.

Uncle Joe, call your boy Barry.

If you want we take this outside, ain't nobody gots' to know...