Before It’s Too Late

The phrase “before it’s too late” has been bandied about quite a bit, lately, on talk shows, news shows and in the social media. The scariest way it is being applied is as a possible justification for Putin’s invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.  This justification, if at all valid, is only valid inside the mind of Putin and the nodding bureaucrats he surrounds himself with.  

You’ve seen them in Putin’s gold-leafed conference room, right? They’re like old fossils, little more than eye candy, sucking up air that could be better used by, well anyone else.  They are “still lifes,” tattoos covering the actual government style currently being practiced in Russia, “Kleptocracy,” with a thin dermis of democratic/socialism, which Putin thinks is the main prereq for getting into the cozy NATO bed with all the other fat and sassy European countries as a respected, legitimate, friend with benefits.

A large and powerful country such as Russia doesn’t just launch a full-scale invasion of another country on a “whim.”  The first shots, with the small, friendly invasion force of 200,000 or so may have looked like a total failure to the rest of the world and gave free-thinking people everywhere the opportunity to celebrate punching the big bully in the nose.

If you’ve ever punched a bully in the nose, let’s say on the playground when you were 6 or 8 years old, you’ll probably remember that it didn’t go too well for you, that is unless your parents had previously trained you in Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu or the like. Like me, you probably got a bloody nose, a scuffed knee, or a seriously bruised ego.  Maybe you confronted the guy a couple of days later, caught him by surprise, and bloodied HIS nose before he, once again threw you on the ground and stomped on you.  In today’s dangerous schools, maybe you got shot in the face by a kid who stole his daddy’s pistol and brought it to school just for fun.

That’s kind of what’s going on with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  I don’t mean to underplay the suffering of the Ukrainian people here.  People are getting blown to smithereens live on the internet.  Russia’s brutality is disgusting, and wrong on every level.  Standing around haranguing at the TV about it and making demands that it must stop, and asking for a cease-fire, a withdrawal, a surrender, a.. all these things, all this noise is just noise, and it’s not going to do any good.

Because Putin has a plan.

Yep.  He has a plan.  According to Trump, it’s a “genius” plan.  I doubt that, but there is a high probability that it’s a crazy plan, a stupid plan, or possibly an evil plan.   But it is a plan.

Nobody knows the plan but
Putin, his lackeys, and a few others.
I could speculate as to who these guys might be,
but it would just be deductive reasoning.

The trouble with plans is that, if you stick with your plan, starting with item 1 and going all the way down to item 327 or whatever the last item is, then, you are very likely to carry out your plan.  Especially if nobody else knows what you’re doing.

The rest of the world, of course, doesn’t have a plan to “defeat Putin,” because everyone is just reacting to Putin’s plan (whatever it is.)

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”  

The man who said this was not a genius speculating on what a jarring blow to the face might do to one’s consciousness.  It was said by a guy who got punched in the face. A lot:  Mike Tyson.

That may be what happened to Putin’s army recently, the way the expeditionary force was slowed down by the gunslingers of Kyiv. 

But, true to the script called “invasion by an invading horde,” Putin is following up with an invading horde.  Miles and miles of fighting machines, trundling maliciously, inexorably to their assignment: whittling down the population of Kyiv, a little town of 3 million souls.  It’s kind of like Chicago, with rockets flying overhead, or down on your head. Consider what it would be like to be driving to work in your Prius, doing your makeup in the mirror and talking to your mother on the phone, and a supersonic fighter jet screeches by and strafes your car.  That’s what Kyiv is going through and it ain’t funny, in the least.

In past international conflicts, this kind of invasion would be met by the armies of the invaded countries’ allies, as well as their own forces.  But that was then.  This is now.  Because now, we are in the NUCLEAR AGE.  And the threat of lobbing a nuke over the pond, or anywhere, is always in the back of the MAD mongers of war.  (If you don’t know, MAD is the acronym for “Mutually Assured Destruction,” the actual military doctrine currently in use by the US and the 7 other BOMB owners on earth.)

Knowing the enemy’s next move has, historically, been a great weapon.  It enabled the U.S. to finally make a devastating blow to the Japanese navy in WWII, to avoid the large spearhead of Nazis in the Invasion of Normandy, and to dominate their submarine fleets.  We cracked the codes, and if it’s anything like what happened in movies like “The Imitation Game, ” it was brilliant.

Why do countries invade other countries? It’s been going on since the invention of countries, and before that, when one tribe of hunter/gatherers would go El Kabong on another tribe on the other side of the forest for some reason. 

One thing you can be 100% SURE of, no country invades another without a reason.  It may be unprovoked, or crazy or stupid to everybody else, but you can be certain that the invader has gamed it all out in his head, and he’s come to the conclusion, in has addled mind, that it’ll work. And, he’s made the decision to risk everything to carry out his plan.  He’ll kill anybody that gets in the way, even his own troops – hell, even his own MOTHER – to win.  

Well. . .with one exception.

Himself.  The perpetrators invasions have no intention of being personally harmed in any way.  How is this possible?  Aside from getting his vodka zombified, suppressed citizenry to do the dirty work, a psychopath, such as Putin, believes that he is invincible, beyond harm.  He believes he’s always right, and everybody else is always wrong.  He believes this so profoundly and completely that he would rather be DEAD than WRONG.

You don’t have to agree with the psychopath’s point of view to be harmed by it.  Especially if he own’s a few nukes.  Because, when a psycho gets backed into a corner, and everyone around him is telling him he’s wrong, he’s stupid, he’s a pariah, he’ll never work in this town again, we’re going to destroy your country, take all your money, etc., etc., etc.; one can imagine that psycho-Putin may be feeling kind of threatened. All the other BOMB owners in the club get the joke: these billions of dollars worth of useless weapons were NEVER intended to be USED. You’re supposed to just hold them behind your back, like Roosevelt’s “big stick.”  Nobody, not US, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Pakistan, India or China is threatening to shoot nukes at Putin. (Kim, over in North Korea is, compared to Putin, a second-rate psychopath, a story I won’t attempt to unpack right now.)

The more desperate and “caged in” a psychopath feels, the more frantic he gets and the more likely he is to do something brash, bold and destructive, before….before….

Before it’s Too Late.

This is the exact reason Hirohito ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor in ’47.  The Americans were getting too strong, The Japanese military was at its peak, but Hirohito was seeing his power begin to shift. Got to attack the Yanks now before its too late. Too bad they kicked a sleeping giant and unleashed a seething undercurrent of violence that always percolates just below the calm façade of the US.

This was the reason Hitler invaded Russia in ‘41.  Take Russia out, the war is over. Too bad they forgot to consider the dangers of winter on the steppes, and how difficult it is to get the necessities of life to your troops when they’re hundreds of miles into enemy territory.

There are countless other instances of justifying war with before it’s too late. This is why the Mongol Hordes destroyed Rome, why WW 1 was started, why the Korean war was fought, and why we’ve been on the brink of war with the north ever since….

The frantic, the threatened, the psychotic leaders of failing countries whose natives are restless all feel the same way.  As if ANY day might be they day they are hung by their heels in the city square and flayed alive – often a kinder treatment than they deserve. Something has to be done, they feel, for their very survival.

Before its too late.

The launch of the first nuclear weapon as an act of war is the definition of “too late.”

Nobody knows what will happen if Russia shoots off a tactical nuke, because they feel threatened, and must act before its — well you know. What if it’s just a little tactical, you know, the kind that will only kill a thousand or so people?  One smallish city?  Would we let that go?  Or would we ‘release the Kraken’ so to speak.  We’ll threaten to do that, of course, because that’s what you do in the MAD strategy.  Threaten, cajole, threaten, fluff feathers, piss farther, show how big your balls are, etc.. But never actually shoot off a nuke.  That’s reeeeely crazy and suicidal.

The only country SO FAR who has used a nuke as a weapon of war was us the US. If anybody else had owned a nuke to shoot back at us, I doubt that we’d have been so cavalier about murdering 70,000 people in a flash. Historians say we probably saved a million lives by killing 70,000 because, in an invasion, every Japanese man woman, and child would have fought to the death, as the Ukrainians are right now.

In the present situation, will other countries actually retaliate with their own nukes?  

What would France or Germany or Israel or the UK do, if the Russkies popped off a little tactical nuke?

Nobody knows.  

I sincerely hope it’s NOT the MAD strategy, because, well, I’d like to live a bit longer, and watch my kids grow up.

In closing, I must reveal my greatest fear in the Ukrainian situation.  When Russian’s ambassador to the UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya says things like this:

The Americans “themselves are whipping up tensions

and rhetoric and provoking escalation.

You’re waiting for it to happen as if

you want to make your words become a reality

even though we are constantly rejecting these allegations.”  

Then, when a week or so later they invade Ukraine, proving all U.S. allegations quite accurate. They were lying to us all along. We knew it. It gives me the impression that we are not dealing with a government that has has any concept of what “telling the truth” is by any standards.  They assume we do nothing but lie to them, and from their point of view, that might be true,  I really don’t know. A lot of this communication break down could be attributed to the Russian language’s insistence on specificity, and rejection of metaphors, alliterations, etc. — all the things that make the English language such a bugaboo to master. But that’s another story.

Nevertheless, one must choose a side, and the side I choose is the one that includes the US, NATO, Europe, and Ukraine, and the idea of allowing sovereign countries to rule themselves.  

When an ambassador to the UN says something along the lines of “we will only use nuclear weapons if we are threatened, if our survival is threatened,” I must wonder:   If Putin wakes up tomorrow and feels like he’s about to be hung by his heels in the middle of Red Square, does he have the absolute authority to shoot off a nuke or two to shore up his bad mood? Will anybody stop him? Is there any difference between PUTIN and Russia? If there isn’t any difference, then a direct threat to Putin’s survival (not the country or government of Russia) could provoke a nuclear “first strike.”   Who did Ambassador Nebenzya mean by WE? Is WE Putin?  Or is WE the government? Obviously, it’s not the people of Russia, although that’s what Putin claims that’s the WE. Ha!

Who is WE? That’s the question that needs an answer.  

The goal of any plan made to counter Putin’s plan must be to get past this conflict without accidentally touching off a civilization-ending nuclear exchange.  Of course, we must stand with Ukraine against the tyranny of Russia.  But there has to be a plan.  

I still have faith in, if nothing else, sanity.  And I like to believe that there already is a plan being implemented on some level by the good guys, which will overcome the bad guys. Surely, the CIA, FBI, and other agencies are on top of this thing? Doesn’t look like it, but. . . they have to be! Right?

Or am I just a devoted optimist?

Putin, a known psychopath, is driving the bus. — even though his destination couldn’t be anything other than some place crazy, evil, or just bad.  Waiting, and reacting to what Putin does next is not a plan, it’s civilization suicide.

Putin is the one who is implementing his plan.  

Those with plans achieve results, good, bad or ugly. 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” – Lewis Carroll, from “Alice in Wonderland.”

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