Who Is The Greatest Danger In The World?

If we are talking about immediate danger, that is Russia. They are openly aggressive, have waged war against their neighbors in 2008. 2014 and now have invaded Ukraine and are battling there for no reason other than to gain back territory lost when Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union.

If we are talking about the longer term danger, threat to international peace and to the strategic the position of the United States, that is China.

Continue reading “Who Is The Greatest Danger In The World?”

Putin Doubles Down

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that peace talks with Ukraine were at a “dead end”. He said that the Russian military invaded to protect the Russian-speaking people in the Donbas region of Ukraine and that the war will “continue until its full completion and the fulfillment of the tasks that have been set,” 

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, took issue with Putin’s claims: “Russia claimed their goal in is to ‘protect people in Donbas.’ Right now mobile crematoria are burning people’s bodies in Mariupol, the second largest city of the region. Those who survived are dying from starvation. What are you ‘protecting’ them from? From life?”

US Lawmakers for Putin

As hard as it is to comprehend, there are US lawmakers that seem to be ok with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of neighboring democratic country, Ukraine.

At the end of the day, issues of war and conquest through the use of military force are the ‘big’ issues in the world. Almost all other things pale in comparison. How can anyone still support these people?

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Biden Refuses To Stop Importing Russian Oil

If we really want to support Ukraine, oppose Russia and believe Putin is evil, why does President Biden refuse to say we will stop importing Russian oil? That is the only thing they export and from which they get money.

For that matter, we can talk about short-sighted policy and lack of thinking ahead…why would a nation voluntarily go from being energy independent to having to rely on others for energy without / before having another alternative?!

If we hadn’t made that move, we wouldn’t have to worry about whether refusing to buy Russian oil would drive up prices too much and we wouldn’t have to beg Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, as we did last week.

Russia Feels Effects Of Invasion, Not Just From Other Governments

For those who are in constant criticism of wealthy people and large corporations, we will note that several have been among the leaders in punishing Russia for the invasion of its democratic neighbor, Ukraine.

BP, the largest investor in Russia’s oil and gas industry, announced that it will divest itself from all Russian investments.  Shell Oil later joined BP in divestiture.

Russia had targeted to take down Ukraine’s internet, so Ukraine President Zelensky appealed via social media to Elon Musk for help. Musk responded quickly. “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine”, Musk responded, adding “More terminals are on the way.”

The largest sovereign investment fund in the world, Norway’s Investment Management Fund which takes oil revenues from the country and invests it for citizens, announced that it will divest all of its Russian holdings.

These are only examples. However, there are private individuals and companies that are rallying behind the effort to make Russia pay for their crime of aggression and it may very well be that the lack of foreign investment may be the thing that has the largest impact in the longer term.

Europe Leads the Way

As Russia has invaded Ukraine, the response by nations of the world has been surprisingly strong and we can only hope it did not come too late.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also done something no one else has been able to do, and also has done that which he most feared:   he has united Europe, but united Europe against him.

Continue reading “Europe Leads the Way”

Putin Goes All In…And May Have Gone Totally Crazy

Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last week, in an unprovoked attack on a democratic country.

Putin has always been a brutal, dictator who has crushed all who oppose him. He has done cruelly and inhumanely, often killing opponents in slow and painful ways. Yet he has also been cold and calculating. Last weekend, we may have seen a Putin that has gone over the edge (even more than a power-hungry brutal dictator already is).

Putin’s mindset has become that any of Russia’s neighboring countries that don’t do what he wants, he threatens. The Russian government held up Ukraine as an example and threatened action against Finland and Sweden if they cooperated with or joined NATO. But Putin was not done. In a dramatic escalation, Putin raised the alert level of Russian nuclear forces, putting them in a “special state of readiness”.  Additionally, he hinted that Russia may use tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.

These are major escalation points in what is already an unprovoked war of aggression against a neighboring country for the sole purpose of gaining more power. Russia was not facing any threat but Putin has made it clear that he has become a threat to international peace and world order.

The Soviet Union and now Russia have been threats to international peace for one hundred years, and over the last week, Putin has reminded us just how far he is willing to go to get his maniacal demands met. The rest of the world must respond, and respond in the longer term in such a way as to make sure the world will not be threatened by Russia again.

Additional note:  below is a long, but very good, article based on an interview with a long time Russian analyst who worked in Administrations of both Republicans and Democrats.


Day Late And Dollar Short?

The United States announced today that it is sending $350 million in military aid, arms and ammunition, to Ukraine to help them in their defense against the Russian invasion. It is not clear how the equipment will be delivered to Ukraine’s military or when, although a Pentagon spokesman said it would be “very soon”.

While helping a democratic Ukraine fight an invasion from a ruthless Russian neighbor is a good thing, it also points out how terribly incompetent and poorly planned the US response has been. Why is the US now announcing it is sending more aid, three days after the invasion happened and as the Russian military is already fighting in the streets of the Ukrainian capital? Why didn’t this happen earlier, especially since President Biden said last week that US intelligence told him that the decision to invade was already made by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? He didn’t think send the help then, when it could possibly keep Russia from overtaking the capital city? Or, at a minimum, have transport planes fueled and ready to go as soon as Russia invaded?

We cannot be sure if this incompetence, reminiscent of the fiasco we saw in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, comes from a US military that has become ineffective and poorly led or from the Biden Administration itself, or from both. However, the bottom line is that the most recent moves being taken by our military are poorly planned, poorly executed and send a message of weakness abroad, and increasing worry at home.

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