I am putting some thoughts down on paper to maybe help clear my mind as Russia invades Ukraine. In my humble opinion, it is similar naked aggression Germany used in Poland. It is scary.
- My first thought is that the approval that our former president showered on Putin contributed to Putin’s decision to invade. Putin no doubt feels that the US is so divided he could take the chance that our response would be muted by internal politics.
Considering that the Republican Party seems with little exception to be making excuses for Putin’s invasion, Putin may be calculating correctly. Expect the Republicans to make contradictory claims on this situation both blaming Biden and calling for harder sanctions, perhaps involvement and yet not condemning Putin. Our press will not question this.
- Right wing autocracies are on the rise throughout the world. It is like a world infestation with tendrils popping up in even what are considered to be the most democratic of states. Trump was the manifestation in the US. Maintaining unity on sanctions may be one of the trickiest political accomplishments ever. Even within NATO, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, a right wing autocrat, is wavering.
- Economically Russia is not a huge player with a GDP lower than individual states Texas or California. Their big trump card internationally is their oil and gas products. Many wonder if they will be able to sustain feeding and supplying an army at war and in occupation. Here is where what China decides to do may become critical.
- Thus China may take this opportunity to press for overtaking Taiwan. Strike while the enemy is distracted. If China gets belligerent, what does the US and her allies do?
- One of the deep background movements that is certainly contributing to this instability is the extreme right’s world wide push to undermine stable governments though lies, disinformation, disruption and refusal to follow laws. Our former president is probably the prime example of this strategy in action. His continuing Big Lie that the election was stolen from him is perhaps the prime example of disinformation.
- Disinformation factories run mostly out of Russia have and are flooding the social networks with such disinformation. Throughout the world, but especially in the US there is a an audience hungry for every lie.
- Finally the US will pay a price in economic disruption especially inflation and price gouging by corporations. As always, the US will look for a scapegoat. I suspect the overwhelmingly right wing press will conveniently and lazily blame Biden.
I also can’t help but wonder if Donald Trump has any role in this at all. One of Trump’s biggest motivators is revenge on anyone who he perceives as having slighted him in any way. If you remember Trump’s first impeachment was about how he (Trump) used the withholding of aid to Ukraine as threat to get Ukraine President Zelensky to create false stories about then citizen Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter.
Since Trump never sees himself at fault for anything, my guess is that Trump has held a grudge against Zelensky for causing him trouble leading to his first impeachment. Trump haa been just waiting for that chance at revenge.
Here is hoping that Republicans can put down their constant campaigning and join the president and the world in doing what they can to condemn Russia.
Just my thoughts folks. Which means they are just something to consider, nothing else.