Well here we are, the place we never thought we’d be at but the place we always knew deep down we’d get to.
Russia, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, has without reason, provocation, or seemingly sanity, has invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine because…well if I could figure out why I’d be on the Kremlin Desk at the Company and briefing the bigwigs in the White House. In other words, I can’t figure it out and anyone who says they KNOW why he did it is just blowing smoke up that proverbial backside.
Some of the reasons expounded by the experts for this intolerable exercise in cruelty include: one last shot for greatness as he heads into this 70th year, having Belarus invite him and his army in two years ago so that he had a staging ground for the attack and not wanting to waste it, wanting to stop Ukraine’s infatuation with the West and dangling toes in the waters of NATO, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his efforts to counter Kremlin influence in his country (ie, arresting Vlad’s BFF Viktor Medvedchuk) and about a thousand other reasons that have been floated in the past 48 hours.
Then of course there are his Fantasyland reasons actually stated as justifications for the invasion about getting rid of Nazis or seeing it as a preemptive move against a Western alliance just aching to take over Mother Russia. Got news for you big guy, nobody wants Russia. Unless your name is Napoleon or Hitler and neither of those courting calls went so well.
My favorite of his stated reasons, from the speech announcing the invasion, sounds like it could have come from the mouths of any number of Repugnicant politicians or enablers:
They sought to destroy our traditional values and force on us their false values that would erode us, our people from within, the attitudes they have been aggressively imposing on their countries, attitudes that are directly leading to degradation and degeneration, because they are contrary to human nature. This is not going to happen.
Yeah, Russian traditional values. They don’t bother with culture wars, they just go straight to the new fangled Cossacks riding helicopters instead of horses. Excuse me if I don’t buy into your indignation Vlad, but my family has seen this movie before.
And while many see this as the end result of his manipulation of the West over the span of the last 30 years, I would argue this is just the beginning. If he is allowed to continue with his decimation of an independent Ukraine, he will take it further. Poland was once a Soviet client state and you can just bet he wants it back in his hip pocket. Same goes for Romania, the former Yugoslavian states, and all the way up to the border of Germany where he used to play his reindeer games in the East and helped the Stassi keep tabs on the local populace.
Springsteen was right, poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and the king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything. What Putin wants is to be Tsar Vladimir I, emperor of the East, protector of the Russian people, benevolent dictator of all he surveys.
Fortunately in our modern world we have ways to fight a war that don’t involve the wholesale slaughter of millions. And it is time we invoke those methods to put the hurt on this rama lama ding dong. Go all in on economic sanctions. Not the easy to get around “oh we’re not really buying their oil, we’re just trading them arms for oil” sanctions. I mean like all his billionaire oligarch friends pull up their bank accounts tomorrow morning to find them frozen or better yet empty. No sin in stealing back that which was stolen in the first place. Effectively cut his credit cards in half by kicking Russia out of the international banking system. Let all his customers know that if they deal with him they don’t get to deal with us or our friends.
The biggest margin call since Valentine and Winthrop got over on the Dukes.
In other words, run his country’s economy back into the stone age. Will it hurt everyday Russians? Yeah, sorry about that but once your troops are out of Ukraine and Vlad’s locked up in Lubyanka with all his friends and relations we’ll ease up on the sanctions and bring you back into the 21st Century. Only this time it’ll be the right way. If Norway can cut their entire population in on those North Sea Crude petrodollars I don’t see why Russia can’t.
By the way, I’m not buying those protests in Red Square. Putin’s own Rasputin, Vladislav Surkov, the true inventor of “fake news” loves to encourage opponent, or at least seemingly opponent, forces to make displays of outrage whenever Putin makes some controversial move. The crisis actors are arrested and released. The actual protesters, not so much. Surkov is another one who can spend some years behind bars contemplating his role in the destruction of truth as an absolute.
Jaime took my first choice for music and El Jefe took my second choice, so I’ll just have to go with Edwin Starr’s anthem from my youth. So tell me Vlad, just what IS it good for? Cause the answer is still NOTHIN’.