Analysis And Conjecture Regarding The Ukraine Crisis
Like everyone else, I am not privy to the plans of Vladimir Putin, nor am I able to guess his endgame. But unlike many, I’m unwilling to just accept the explanations given to me by the experts within the intelligence agencies, knowing they have an agenda and secrets of their own. For God’s sake, they won’t even tell us what they know about the Kennedy assassination yet, let alone provide any evidence for their assertions regarding current events. With that thought in mind, I decided to perform a brief little analysis of the facts as I know them, along with a little conjecture.
Some view Vladimir Putin as John Wayne, others as Adolph Hitler, but in either case we’re talking about someone who’s not afraid to state his true ambitions. And he stated quite openly on more than one occasion that his desire is to change the unipolar world in which we’re living into a multi-polar one. In other words, and I think having lived in Russia that Putin would see this more clearly than others, the direction of the world for the last three decades has been dictated by the United States. You can argue whether or not it has gone in a positive direction, but it’s hard to argue that any other nation has been at the helm.
This can perhaps be seen most clearly in The Project For The New American Century, a think tank dedicated to the idea that the United States must not merely lead the world, it must also do so with a robust military in case anyone should object. Their defining moment was the Iraq War. Embracing America’s right to not only lead the world but do so militarily was played out during the Bush Administration, which was heavily stacked with members of The Project (which we shall hereafter refer to as PNAC).
With Iraq in 2003, as was the case in NATO’s attack on Serbia in 1999, Russia was in no position to dispute these military incursions, though they surely did not sit well. Russia did what any weak country would do with such an option, it acquiesced to the greater power while stating its concerns.
As Russia watched the military might of the United States extend itself around the globe, it also watched as NATO, the military alliance directed by the United States, reached further and further towards Russia, until it abutted its borders.
It is said the Russian soul is a patient one. Perhaps it is the very vastness of the country itself that has shown its people the wisdom of ceding territory until the enemy has overextended itself. I’m not sure if Putin saw the United States as an enemy the way we so often throw the word “enemy” around when referring to countries that pose obstacles to our interests, but he must have clearly seen the direction the United States was heading and its intent as laid out by PNAC. With the fall of the Soviet Union, there was no countervailing force that could stand in the way of the United States shaping the next two decades.
It’s pretty easy to spot the overall intentions of PNAC, but their individual priorities can sometimes be hard to discern. Evidently, Ukraine was an essential piece of the puzzle, as PNAC founder Robert Kagan’s wife, Victoria Nuland, was put in charge of operations there. Type in “F*ck The EU” and you can listen to her explaining who the United States would choose to lead the country after the democratically elected president would be deposed in the kind of inserrection that would make January 6th look like a Downton Abbey tea party. In the audio, she clearly says Joe Biden was overseeing the project. Oddly enough, nobody in the U.S. government or media likes to make mention of that.
I’m not sure exactly why Ukraine seems to be such an essential part of the puzzle regarding Russia. Perhaps it is merely the capstone that would finish off the Western encirclement of Russia, which already included recently added Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Perhaps it is that once one becomes a serious collector there is always a need to add one more to what you possess. Perhaps it is that Russia and Ukraine are so intimately tied to each other that it’s hard to tell the difference between the history of one or the other. While I cannot provide an authoritive explanation, suffice it to say that both Russia and the United States see it as a critical square on the chessboard.
Why did Putin decide to make this rather bold move now? Perhaps he had long ago drawn a red line in his own mind which he vowed never to permit the United States to cross. Perhaps, patient though he may be, he realized that he would soon reach an age where he would no longer be vital enough to rise to a crisis and thought he better deal with this long planned-for confrontation before he reached the point Biden is at now.
Or perhaps he sees the moment as supremely advantageous. Perhaps he sees weakness in the United States and its hold over its allies that is not quite so obvious to the rest of us. He is, after all, not unaware of the costs that Russia will have to pay in the foreseeable future. The U.S. will throw every possible sanction at Russia and twist every arm of every ally to make sure they follow suit. Whatever you think of Putin, he is not stupid, and he did not make this bold move lightly.
Putin does have certain advantages. The propaganda ploys of the Russians are crude, but they are for the most part not divisive, unlike the sophisticated propaganda the U.S. uses on its people. The Russian people are more or less united, whereas the propaganda employed by the United States divides the people in order to conquer by making them hate each other according to which political party they support. It is hard to think of a time when the American public was so divided, so unable to agree on any single issue. And so willing to take to the streets in protest on either side of the political divide.
Putin knows, too, that his people have not forgotten the history of the last world war. They know of the tremendous sacrifices and the tremendous victory achieved by the Russians and others that were part of the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War, though the West has seemed to all but block any memory of it from their minds. Whether it be through propaganda or a genuine grasp of the situation, the Russian people have a sense of impending danger from the West, and they have the memories of great deeds and sacrifice that will permit them to endure things like slightly higher prices on produce or car parts.
It’s hard to see the American people uniting behind a great patriotic war fought thousands of miles from home, especially if they’re paying more for gas as a result. Consider the fact that in the best of times and with some of the world’s lowest gas prices, paying a few more cents at the pump can drive the typical American to vent rage at whatever political party holds office.
I have no way of knowing what gave Putin the confidence to back independence for the breakaway Ukrainian regions. Perhaps in meeting with individual NATO members he has assessed a certain reluctance among one or more of them to always toe the Washington line on things. Perhaps Germany, already forced to take in vast numbers of immigrants that are fleeing from America’s wars of choice, now feels doubly burdened by the idea of having to rely on more expensive and perhaps less reliable gas supplies from the U.S. when they have spent a considerable amount of energy and time making Nord Stream 2 a reality.
China is another unknown factor, and when I say unknown I mean to myself, at least. One would have to assume that Putin has a degree of confidence that China is to be relied upon in the days to come when the West will do its best to isolate and ostracize Russia into submission. Russia and China must share some important objective in order for Putin to push forward on the offensive.
The biggest question to my mind is how Putin expects to resolve the crisis he has clearly had a hand in creating. At what point does he feel he is ready to come to the negotiating table? And perhaps more importantly, with whom does he negotiate.? Not to be rude, but I cannot see Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov sitting down to negotiate terms with Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Antony Blinken.
Quite frankly, these are not serious people. One cannot hope to get serious commitments from people incapable of talking intelligently. They are, all of them, geared for 30-second sound bites rather than hammering out very serious and very involved discussions and meaningful commitments. No offense intended, but if I were to conduct a transaction at a convenience store and any one of them were the person in charge of the cash register, I would count my money before walking away from the counter.
Perhaps, in the end, Russia will insist that Victoria Nuland come to the table to negotiate. Or perhaps she will be one of the bargaining chips Putin insists must be sacrificed in order to make the deal acceptable. Or perhaps those truly responsible for our foreign policy will be forced to reveal themselves. From them only can ever come assurances that can be relied upon. The rest is spectacle. The vast majority of American voters may believe they know who runs our country, but Vladimir Putin knows there is little to no difference between the administrations he deals with.
At the bear minimum, Putin and others in Russia are aware of something that the U.S. media will never permit the average American to know. I ask these questions and speculate in order that I might get the input and enlightenment of others. Make no mistake, I am frightened by the situation we are now in, have blame to share for all parties, but I am only slightly more frightened by the events of the last day or two than I was before. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows the situation’s long been coming to a head.
Whatever comes of this, we need to work towards a world where our leaders do not have the power to put the lives of all of us and the life of the planet at risk every time they feel the need to assert power. We need to build systems where ordinary people have more say in how their governments run and that give less power to the kind of sociopaths that tend to find their way to positions of power. And we must do whatever it takes to limit the kinds of weapons they are permitted to play with.