Ukraine: Nearing September 1, 1939?

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France immediately went to war. It ended badly for Hitler and Germany. Will Putin, knowing that history, invade Ukraine? The risks of war are always huge. Sensible prudence says back off.

But why gear up for invasion and not follow through? Maybe Putin thought the threat alone would exact concessions. It hasn’t. Or he sees his manhood at stake now. Or believes his propaganda about restoring Russia’s “great” empire. He’s apparently surrounded by yes-men egging him on. May miscalculate the risks.

The supposed casus belli is concern over Ukraine someday joining NATO. Why should Russia have any say about that? And why would it threaten Russia’s security anyway? NATO is a defensive alliance. Ukraine joining would hurt Russia only if Russia actually fancies attacking Ukraine — which it still denies. But arguing such points is playing Putin’s damned game.

Actually, we should have brought Ukraine into NATO in the ’90s, as a fait accompli. Russia under Yeltsin was not our enemy. Indeed, we should have done much more then to enfold Russia itself securely into the community of decent nations.

Another thing that should have been done — after Russia’s 2014 aggression — was canceling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (not yet in operation), for delivery of Russian natural gas to Germany and Europe (bypassing, and harming, Ukraine). Giving Russia such a hold on Germany’s balls was foolish (especially after Germany rashly closed its nuclear plants).

Germany has lately been wobbly toward Russia, actually blocking some weapons for Ukraine. But President Biden yesterday, meeting with German leader Scholz, said that if Ukraine is invaded, NS2 won’t go forward. And Scholz seemed to agree.

Cutting off Europe’s Russian gas supplies would hurt both sides; costing Russia many billions. But fears about this have meantime driven up oil and gas prices — gaining Russia many billions.

Russia invading Ukraine would be a monstrous crime, a holocaust of suffering and death. And Biden has said it would change the world. Back into one ruled by the law of the jungle, where might makes right.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson defends Russia and Putin. Showing how far off the rails American “conservatism” has gone.

Conventional wisdom predicts Russia would roll over Ukraine. Part of the offensive will be cyber warfare, to cripple Ukraine’s defensive infrastructure. However, as War and Peace illuminated, what counts most in war is troop motivation and morale.

Ukrainians will be fighting for their country and its future as a modern democratic nation. That’s what Putin really fears: Ukraine as a model for what Russia could be, but isn’t. And despite Ukraine’s ancestral links with Russia, now most Ukrainians hate Russia as an enemy.

Russia’s army, on the other hand, is mostly reluctant conscripts, treated wretchedly. Morale must suck. Will they throw away their lives for Putin’s grandiosity?

We must do all we can to defeat the evil now facing us. There are things worth fighting for.

But this needn’t mean all-out war with Russia, or even sending troops to Ukraine. We must fully equip Ukraine with missiles and drones to kill tanks and shoot down planes. Make Russia pay the biggest possible price. No stinting; no squeamishness.

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8 Responses to “Ukraine: Nearing September 1, 1939?”

  1. Don Bronkema Says:

    Die Macht vs. das Recht, nein? We 11th Airborners counsel caution. Howbow: Ukr abjures NATO for 25 years, but joins EU in phases over next 12, as it sues oligarx for return of goodies & purges brain-dead apparatchiki. Hell or hoch-wasser, this nona-Kremologist, Vlad notw/standing, will retire to family dacha, visiting [a] his wife & [b] his cash. Dottir, having found hubby, stays for college year-2…If Trump returns, the maquis is one option, but consult Tovarishch Molotov.

  2. Lee Says:

    I believe Biden will fully back Ukraine. He is just waiting for Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to deliver on his side of the deal: the dirt on political rival Donald J. Trump.

  3. Lee Says:

    Is this the Cuban Missile Crisis with the roles of US and Russia reversed? Then, Russia was motivated to defend Cuba from US invasion and the US was motivated to stop Cuba from having missiles so close to its border. Today, is it that the US is motivated to defend Ukraine from Russian invasion and Russia is motivated to stop Ukraine from having missiles so close to its border?

    If so, the solution then might apply to the situation now: the US would agree not to put offensive weapons in Ukraine and Russia would agree not to invade Ukraine.

  4. Don Bronkema Says:

    Mite work if Vlad permits Ukr to join EU in phases, sikodinamics of competition notw/standing…China south of Hwang-Ho mite be 125F-wetbulb uninhabitable post 2045. Russia could join EU for help repelling Sino-Siberian hordes…Median-projection of global climagees 240M by 2080: invest in 3D-printed shelter & comestibles. Insiders say prospects poor for dehydrated water.

  5. David Lettau Says:

    Putin claims Ukraine is “ necessary”, for Russia’s security ( necessity is the tyrants plea— John Milton.) The ex- kgb officer and loyal Trump friend knows Ukraine is no more of a threat to Russia than Canada is to us. Only two things are clear about Putins character-mendacity and ruthlessness. Their are other 20th century dates— June 22, 1941.and December 7 1941. To name just two- that remind us that tyranny’s frequently bring disaster upon themselves through hubristic military adventuring.Putin may also discover that his frozen, brutalized conscripts and his nation which has many people living in desperate squalor may not long support him in the event of war. Meanwhile the most popular American in Russia is now Tucker Carlson. He is on Russian T.V. every night. He is close to becoming an American Lord Haw Haw.

  6. Don Bronkema Says:

    Au contraire, Vlad Vladich fears nothing more than the example of a prosperous, modern democratic Ukraine. His successors will fear the aforementioned Sinogees…Carlson is a conflation of Fritz Kuhn, Lincoln Rockwell, Gerald L.K. Smith, Father Coughlin, Chas. Lindberg, Ezra Pound & Tokio Rose [Mata Hari was innocent].

  7. Mark Explores Says:

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more. It’s the ethical imperative of every democratic nation on this planet to support the Ukrainian people, arm their military with the most sophisticated weaponry, and cut off Russia entirely.

    Either that or declare war.

  8. Don Bronkema Says:

    This nonagenarian quondam cold-war kremlinologist is baffled. Assume Vlad suffers trepinoma pallidum terminalis [end-stage syphilitic paresis]. Recall Schickelgruber.

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