Monday, March 28, 2022

Biden needs to go on the attack on domestic issues against the GOP as he did in Warsaw on Putin

Update: March 31, 2022 Biden's plan to reduce gas prices at the pump, including a huge dump on the market of strategic reserves, the largest in history to increase supply, and levying fees on those with well permits on federal lands who do not begin drilling and pumping.  FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Plan to Respond to Putin’s Price Hike at the Pump | The White House    As Biden said in announcing this, it will take a few weeks before the prices at the pump come down and the retailers work their way through the inventory of more expensive fuel first. 

Biden needs to go on the attack on domestic issues as he did in Warsaw on Putin.  It is a gut thing. and in political messaging gut feelings count. Outrage and indignation count.    

OMG. Biden said publicly what most were saying privately, "For the sake of God, this man cannot remain in power". Unfortunately, that sentence eclipsed the rest of his important speech on March 26 in Warsaw. That was an adlibbed outcry of moral outrage, It did leave the impression that US policy was to encourage regime change in Russia and it did create a diplomatic flap. Biden's spokespersons tried to walk back the regime change implications, but Biden has not walked it back himself. (Later in the day, Biden confirmed "he was not walking anything back"; he was expressing moral outrage.) Maybe he intended to be ambiguous. The use of "cannot" seems awkward and contrived for the purpose of ambiguity; Why not "should not", or "will not" or "ought not"?  Republicans in the US tried to make hay from it as a gaff and used it to step on his main message and powerful delivery, but the fire he lit may have been an appeal to the gut of others as well as sending a message to Putin in terms Putin could understand. It was in the context of a message to the Russian people. Putin got a message indeed and snapped buck by text, that was for the Russian people to decide, not Biden.  Biden's chunk of a lifetime of dealing with Putin is an experience none of us have had. Biden's speech in Warsaw was a passionate attack on  Putin, calling him a butcher and, earlier, a war criminal. It is hard to get more inflammatory than that except to do what Biden did, to send a message to the Russian people themselves, that hit at the core of  Putin's attempt to remain a dictator for life. Biden says he was expressing 'moral outrage' when he said Putin can't remain in power: 'I make no apologies for it' (

Continuing with the original post:

 As Biden went on the attack in Warsaw he needs to go on the attack  in tone and substance on domestic issues as well,  perhaps  more  explicitly expressed. .There are some opportunities to do so. Painting Trump supporting candidates with the broad brush of Trumpsterism is fair game. Using candidate's own words praising Putin and his "strong man" leadership style against them is a good strategy given the revelation that Putin's war in Ukraine was brutal and the work of an evil mind.   Biden was  on target  about framing the Ukraine war as Putin's, and putting it in context of democracy v autocracy. That is a message that have relevance to domestic politics as well, since Trump spent four years extolling the advantages of autocracy in his bromance with Putin.80 times Trump talked about Putin -

Updated comment March 30 posted on Facebook: For the third time in Trump's political life, he calls on Putin to help him. The first when he asked Putin to find Hillary's missing emails; the second,, got him impeached when he tried to pressure Ukraine President Zelensky to find dirt on Hunter and Joe Biden, using the provision of Javelin Anti Tank weapons as a bargaining chip, and yesterday, calling on Putin to once again provide dirt on the midst of our country giving full support to Ukraine in their resistance to Putin's War invasion.. Columnist Charlie Sykes called him a traitor. I agree. Here is why. Why defend Ukraine? Because it is in the US's national security interest to defend NATO now,, to avoid an eventual World War III by making it clear to Putin we will not roll over and let him get away with such invasions, including his announced goal to re=establish the empire of the USSR>. Trump spent four years trying to defang NATO, refusing to support the heart of the mutual defense clause, saying the Baltic states were not worth defending, and praising the management style of Putin as a dictator while licking Putin's ego boots.. While the US considers Putin an acute threat to the European continent, Trump still looks to Putin for his support, Trump is a traitor with no concern for US national security interests in his obsession to relitigate the 2020 election. The term "acute threat" was clarified by the Pentagon spokesperson meaning" at this time, relevant, a threat to the European continent" in a press briefing March 30.

 While Biden's poll numbers remain dismal, his taking leadership of the free world has added nothing to his popularity,  Historians of this moment will see what he has done as pivotal to the continuation of democracy in the face of autocracy. History may give him praise, but right now, no one seems to give him credit, yet. ,However,.  I have noted a cultural shift in social media postings and in local tones and stories in local press that is not yet showing up in the polls.  Blue collar workers, firefighters, and law enforcers get it and have been quick to donate surplus equipment  and fly the colors of Ukraine.  They understand that Putin is a threat to their way of life in the long run even if they are not inspired by political science theory of democracy v autocracy. It is a gut thing. 

Using the same passionate delivery style as in Warsaw, Biden can lay the groundwork for messaging which can be used by challengers to incumbent Trumpsters running for re-election  in the midterm elections...On a district by district advertising  strategy, Democrats in the general election (and more traditional Republicans in the primaries) can replay opponents' records of bootlicking Putin such as " Putin is so clever and smart and it is a worthy goal to have his one man power rule" with comments that are on the record, to remind voters that  that particular G OP  legislator was a danger to our democracy. 

Soft on crime is another GOP  talking point attacking Biden and democrats that need to be called  out for what it is.  He should turn on his outraged counter attack on this issue, too. Biden's record is not and never has been that, but it is understandable since most of the per capita murders take place in Trump country.  Therein lies a counter attack: Trump supporters ought to pay attention to what is happening in their own districts. That crime increase is due to Democrat's soft on crime policy is a bunch of BS given a study that showed 8 out of 10 highest per capita murder rates occur in states voting for Donald Trump. .   Per The Red State Murder Problem – Third Way

  • "In 2020, per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden.
  •  8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century."

COViID is fast fading as an issue, at least until this next variety hits us, but there is also a correlation between Trump counties having the highest death rates and those that do not.  Trumpsters have been bad for the health of the ones they love the most in promoting their anti-vax messages.  Counties That Voted for Trump Have Higher COVID Death Rates | Healthiest Communities Health News | US News

Inflation is still a quagmire and hopefully the fed slowly raising rates will begin to take effect and the COVID hangover will slowly work it way through the supply chain and readjustments., Slowly may still be too slow to help by November midterms.  

 It is critical that Biden do what he can to lower the price at the pump . It is a matter Biden cannot fix himself easily, but to claim this is due to his policies is a matter of  ignorance or  of the willfully ignorant spreading ignorance to the more ignorant.  This one is a hard one because prices are mostly set by international cartels seeking to maximize their profits and this  runs counter to self serving interest of producers who do not see it in their interest to reduce prices by increasing the supply by pumping more.  . The US is at the mercy of the international cartels and energy interests who love the inflated prices. They can manipulate supply by refusing to pump more at this time. They love those margins.. Biden has little ability to affect oil and gas prices so long as we are so dependent upon fossil fuels..,  When it comes to Ukraine, the best he can do is to minimize the impact of stopping our Russian imports.  This, too, is a gut thing.. Over 75 percent of those polled in the US like not importing Russian oil and support sanctions and  more complain about high prices at the pump.  Rational thinking is a tough sell in politics, but calling out  BS  in some explicit terms may be the best Biden can do. 

With gas prices high, Colorado oil production is ramping up | Colorado Public Radio (

CBS News poll: Strong support for Russian sanctions even if gas prices increase - CBS News

Poll: More voters blame Biden, not Russia or oil companies, for soaring gas prices - Washington Times

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The economic reasons Russia wants to annex Ukraine ..oil and gas sales to Europe

In 2014 a column I wrote was published in the local paper, the Sky Hi the wake of Russia's takeover of Crimea. I found it in my blog archives, and it explained why Ukraine was so important to Russian sales of natural gas to Europe. It is an element of why Russia wanted to take over Ukraine...not only because of so religious/political manifest destiny but of naked economic interests. It is an angle lost in speculating what was motivating Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine was essential to Russia's sales of oil and gas to Western Europe...and especially Germany. It also explains why elements in Germany made it difficult for Biden to get them on board for a unified NATO response to the invasion and the earlier takeover of Crimea by Russia. Liquefied natural gas needs special handling at specially built ports if it is going to be an alternative to Russian gas, but Germany has no such ports, though some are under construction. It was planning to rely on the pipeline avoiding Ukraine with Nord Strom, now paused as part of the objection to Russia's war on Ukraine. This policy was influenced by a former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder who now sitis on the board of a Russian oil company. Other European countries have such ports already built. LNG_in_Europe_2018_-_An_Overview_of_LNG_Import_Terminals_in_Europe.pdf (

Whatever the outcome, the Crimea and Ukraine crises have made western Europe painfully aware that they had become so dependent on Russian gas and oil , they were unable to react forcefully. Russia had become the master of their foreign policy souls. A western European backlash, to seek more energy independence, would mean unintended long term consequences for Russia.
Our family has been dismayed at the return of tense relations with Russia. Post Communism so many of our east European friends have enjoyed the warming of relations, the freedom to immigrate or travel, and a much improved standard of living. However, we also have been close hand observers of Europe’s recent and ever increasing dependence on Russian gas and oil. One third of Western Europe’s energy comes from Russia and other countries once in the Soviet sphere of influence depend 100% on Russian oil and gas.
Much of our family is related by marriage and blood to Austrians and Croatians and over the past 40 years we have made nearly annual trips to that part of the world. We have observed Croatia’s increasing dependence on Russian energy. In Croatia, my sister in law’s apartment is heated by its gas. (around 30% of Croatia’s natural gas is Russian). On their Dalmatian coast, Russia’s Gazprom has recently bought service stations to fuel the tourist trade.
On a trip through Romania three years ago, we crossed the Ploiesti oil fields, site of World War II air battles. Rusting oil refineries and storage tanks dotted the fields and a large pipeline carrying Russian oil bordered it. “ But why?””, I asked our guide, remembering Romania was once a famous oil producer. “ It is cheaper to get it from Russia”, he replied.
That viewpoint is changing, however. Romania is 25 to 35% dependent on Gazprom gas, but it has 15 years worth of gas reserves itself, which it will soon begin tapping . Their energy prices will rise, but they have already planned to take advantage of lower consumption to gain more energy independence.
SETimes ( shed more light on the dilemma facing Europe using oil and gas policy to bridle Russian ambitions. Boycotting Russian oil and gas could backfire on them. Gazprom is the sole provider of their energy for Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Finland, and the Baltic states. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia also are strongly dependent on Russian gas.
Petro policy can also backfire on the Russians. 53% of Russia’s annual gas export pipelines cross the Ukraine. Control of the Ukraine is critical to them.. But any loss of Western markets could seriously damage the Russian economy fed heavily by petro income and diminish Putin’s domestic support..
In June the EU will present a plan for reduction of energy dependence on Russia, including developing more renewables and their own shale gas, increase imports of liquified natural gas from Qatar and the US, improving pipeline infrastructure within the EU and reviving eastern European gas fields. While the plans will take time to realize, just the threat of implementation being formalized now should give Russia some serious second thoughts as they ponder the long term unintended consequences of their recent policies.
A version of this was published in the today...print and on line.
Russia’s unintended Ukrainian fallout |
Russia’s unintended Ukrainian fallout | My column published April 18, 2014
Note: April 16, 2014; FiscalTimes thinks that unlike in the past, Europe this time will actually take action to establish an EU energy policy and that they can call Putin's buff because they have large reserves of gas after a mild winter.
From SETimes April 16
Kremlin threatens gas supplies to Southeast Europe
Several nations receive Russian gas via Ukraine. In other business news: Albania's credit rating sees improvement and Turkey's military spending surpasses Canada.
The EU says Russia should not politicize its contractual shipments of gas. [AFP]
In a letter to several Southeast European nations, Russia's President Vladimir Putin threatened to shut off gas supplies to Ukraine. The letter, which is intended to increase pressure on Kyiv as Kremlin-backed troops stir insurgency in eastern Ukraine, warned of action unless Ukraine starts repaying its debt and unless the EU agrees to joint talks with Russia on the country's economic future. The European Commission responded in a statement and said it expects suppliers to stick to their commitments. The letter was sent to 18 European heads of states that depend on Russian gas transit via Ukraine, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Turkey..

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Watching birth and rebirth of term "free world" and its unchanged meaning.

Updated: May 8, 2022 My views of democracy have roots in the Cold War, the birth which I experienced firsthand, up close and personal.  I have lived long enough to see the term 'free world" re-emerge.  Now in 2022, I am witnessing the rebirth of that term again. I am watching a country, Ukraine, fight to death or victory, to preserve that form of democracy I support, in the face of an autocrat who wants to take it away and reassemble an empire of old.  My support of Ukraine's resistance to Russian aggression runs deep in my soul.

The key to identifying who belongs to the "free world" and who does not, is whether a country has  a government that  has the rules  laid out in their laws and constitutions, that provide protecting individual rights to express themselves freely, but also reflect the will of the people through democratic elections that are fair and follow the rules that ensure their freedom.. There are shades. degrees, and nuances of democratic  governments  but in practice they practice, honor, and observe these concepts.   The opposite of that is a government with a political party, a dictator,  a ruling religious body,  an autocrat that decides what the rules mean, to whom they apply, and who enforces  rules without permitting contradictions in media, from  an independent judiciary, from, a freely elected legislative body. For nearly 250 years elected presidents have followed those rules for the process of changing regimes without the violence of a coup. or  distortions and lies to justify distorting and abusing the laws...until January 2021.,  Updated note: May 8 2022. Not every country in the free world supports US support of Ukraine strongly enough to identify themselves with the policy. There are various reasons. Standouts include India and Israel, who see either economic or national defense in their interest to play both sides.  Those willing to support Ukraine publicly, if attendance at a meeting of the willing in Germany recently is one measure,  are the NATO nations and fourteen others  From Jordan to Japan: US invites 14 non-NATO nations to Ukraine defense summit - Breaking Defense
The designation of those who stand in opposition to Russian expansionism in Ukraine as the "free world"  is " Deja vu all over again" for me and very personal.  It's meaning is unchanged as it lay dormant after the fall of the Soviet Union and the tumbling of the Berlin Wall . Once again it refers to western style democracies who stand in opposition to Russian's style of governance, this time ruled by  autocratic a strong man who is driven to resurrect the empire of the old Soviet Union  Putin himself caused the revival of its use with the invasion of Ukraine.  It also stoked some vivid memories of my personal encounter with the term's birth.
In the late 1950's I attended the Free  University of Berlin. I had met a young medical student from a communist country, Yugoslavia, and fell in love. (It was a marriage that lasted over 50 years, so let me ruin the ending of that romantic story) . I decided to learn all I could about Yugoslavia and I took a course in the constitution and law of that country. On paper, it sounded like ours in the US, with of course giving lip service to rule of the proletariat in keeping with Marxist dogma.  What I observed resembled nothing in practice, with allegiance to Drug (Comrade) Tito on everyone's lips and with no one daring to speak in private or to strangers that contradicted the party proclamation of the day.  There were whispered stories of disappearance of those who did not follow those unspoken and spoken rules and tattletales and spies to report to authorities the names of those who stepped out of line.  It was every bit as restrictive in private, professional, and public life as the Nazi's had been over twenty years before. The ideology was different, but government's total control over its citizenry was the same. I watched the East German communist rulers began to control the thoughts and actions of the surviving Germans with Stalinist tactics in the territories they ruled and those who could, fled to the West. The brain drain of those thinking professionals led two years later to the infamous Wall. (My husband to be became part of that brain drain by fleeing to Switzerland in 1959, and a couple of years later  with  PhD and MD diplomas from the University of Basel in hand, he came to the US).


Friday, March 25, 2022

With friends like these, democracy needs no enemies.

Perhaps the most frightening phrase texted by the fanatic Trump supporting wife of Justice Clarence, Ginni Thomas, to Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was “the most important thing you can realize right now is that there are no rules in war.” She was urging Meadows to overturn the election.  That is how she and others saw the importance of overturning the 2020 election, a war. To her, it appears, the rule of law and the Constitution be hanged because Trump would be saving democracy.  It is not only that her husband was sworn to uphold those rules laid out in the Constitution, it was also a view held by many others: to save democracy you had, in effect, to destroy democracy by violating its intent, rules, and laws..  It was not only that she believed the election was stolen that fueled her passions, it was her trust in a variety of conspiracy theories, the what ifs and what abouts. that were just unproved theories... Even a year and a half since then, there has been nothing  that provided either proof or evidence that sufficed to change the result of the election. Initially the claims reviewed by  60 judges were thrown out of court because of no evidence, The president's own Attorney General attested he could find no evidence the election was stolen. Nonetheless,  it remains a mantra spoken by so many in the GOP that the belief is the truth, This blind belief is being used by many to justify ignoring and defying  the rules of how democracy is conducted  so they could install their preferred candidate as president, the one who lost the election.  They wanted the freedom for themselves to rule as they pleased, but not as  the majority wished. With friends like these, democracy needs no enemies. 

This next section is  reposted 3/26/2022 as "Watching to birth and rebirth of term "free world" and its unchanged meaning.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Why aren't those Polish MIGS being delivered to Ukraine "yet"?

Maybe later? Why aren't those Polish MIGS being delivered to Ukraine "yet"?

Reading between the lines and some speculation.  Listen carefully what is coming out of the Pentagon this past week..

 Russia is under scrutiny for war crimes in targeting civilians..and their generals are liable. (per the Hague war times trials in the Bosnian war)Corridors are being announced to give civilians a chance to evacuate. Russia is threatening to use air attacks on EU and US supply lines to resistance fighters.. Yet...listen to what is being said: by the Pentagon " now is not the time, maybe later, via the migs." So far neither the resistance nor the Russians have made full use of their air capabilities.  So what are they waiting for? I wonder if the air war is in a pause to give resupply and evacuations a chance...and then the migs will deployed. It is not supplying the migs that risks direct confrontation with Russia and WWIII. It is who is flying them and pulling the triggers. Also within Russian boundaries, their anti aircraft missiles have a 200 mile range. Just my surmise. Let's see if this plays out. Once we get the civilians out...then the migs will be delivered to the resistance. The original estimate of refugees was 6 million and half of those are still internally displaced.

Angry about gas prices at the pump?

Update March 31, 2022 Remarks by President Biden on Actions to Lower Gas Prices at the Pump for American Families | The White House

Update: March 30, 2022: Those who claim energy production, oil and gas, has been reduced under Biden, so therefore he is responsible for the price hike at the pump, ignore data that shows production levels at least equal Trump era ones, that Biden has issued more drilling permits, that production will increase, per the Administration's figures.

 Update: 3/17/2022  Gas prices measured in cost for crude by the barrel have fallen this past week based on several factors: China cut usage in a COViD surge and market speculators who drove up prices are taking out their profits.  Steve Rattner on MNBC this morning calls the market volatile and maybe due to Russian oil still being sold.  Europe's pledge to reduce dependence on Russian energy is incremental and within an end of year timeline, so that has not yet been felt.  There will be a lag ime before lower prices of oil will be felt at the pump as retailers have to go through their inventory they bought at higher prices.  This makes it hard to predict what the price of gas at the pump will come down when. ..  So easy to predict: The GOP is trying to exploit the rise in gas prices for their political advantage. They are counting on the ignorant to join in.   Here's my answer: Cutting Russian imports to hurt Russia for the Ukraine invasion has bi-partisan support but not the support of the whiners who don't care or are the members of the MAGA glad for vlad crowd..  Second, understand that gas and oil are commodities, and the prices are set by oi cartels located outside the US. By limiting supply, they can rake in more profits.What Determines Oil Prices? ( There are two things that would help, release strategic oil reserves to increase supply, which Biden is doing, and the other is declare a federal moratorium on federal gas taxes. That will impact the US budget. In the meantime, Biden is threatening action for price gauging since oil company profits are at a high and awash in profits. The other concerns increase drilling which is not yet at pre covid levels and the other is for oil companies to drill on the nearly 8 thouand permits they hold and are not drilling. Biden did issue a pause in more oil leasing on federal lands, but he did not ban drilling. Even industry admits the impact is on their fears for the long term, but not on the short term. In the longer term, let's go greener and reduce our dependence on oil and gas. The GOP has been fighting tooth and naile against any green measures. Which ones of these are you willing to support.?. And if none, shut up.

Exxon posts biggest profit in seven years on high oil prices | Reuters

Energy prices lift BP profits to 8-year high | Reuters

According to the Department of Interior, the oil and gas industry "has stockpiled millions of acres of leases," and is "sitting on approximately 7,700 unused, approved permits to drill

."Biden issues broad moratorium on oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters | S&P Global Commodity Insights (  Note; (  This is the petroleum  industry answer.  The upshot is that Biden's moratorium could have long term impacts but in the short term there is a surplus of inventory of leases to drill. Biden's moratorium did not include any bans on drilling...just  a pause in leasing.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Delusions and amnesia as the GOP tries to pin Putin's wars on anyone but themselves


From a Facebook post trying to blame Biden for Putin's war. Under what administration was Crimea taken? Obama worked with the Russian to accomplish this!!!

Delusions and amnesia affect so many of us in the blame game of who is guilty for Putin's Ukraine war. 

Every single president until Biden since the fall of the Soviet Union can be accused of doing their part in trying to bring Russia into the more peaceful world with economic ties and pussyfooting around Putin's travesties. for over 20 years.. Putin was deep in his  KGB heart the old Soviet Union and fixated on restoring Russia to the greater glory of the USSR. He made no secret of that, but we brushed off his words, actions, and writings. We tisked tisked when he poisoned his rivals and those who challenged him or raised a weak voice when Navalny's poisoning failed and instead he was imprisoned. We shook our heads when rumors circulated he was the richest man in the world, and it did not even raise a Western eyebrow. We ignored his grabs from Syria to Crimea/Donbas and Georgia...No wonder he had the fantasy that he was indeed the new czar. We all left and right, contributed to his delusions. The worst was Donald Trump, who praised him, who wanted to be a strong man like him, ignored his power grabs, and had done business in Russia with hopes to someday build Trump Tower Moscow even while he was running for office. We should have wised up and got educated with that telephone call by Trump to Zelensky threatening to withhold Javelin sales unless he found dirt on Hunter Biden and his dad. The first impeachment trial was the wake-up call, but most of the GOP was blowing Trump's horn to drown out the implications. You may forget that, but historians will not.

The history of that era was thoroughly investigated in the first Trump impeachment trial on the narrow issue of whether or not Trump tried to extort dirt on the Bidens.  Donald Trump was a delusional player in this tragedy. One wonders where this would be if Trump had been elected in 2020. At the beginning of th Russian invasion, Trump was glad for Vlad. Trump Calls Putin 'Genius' for Move on Ukraine - Rolling Stone  In the long run the first impeachment process had some impact on whether Putin felt comfortable about getting away with invading  Ukraine. Whether the javelins were delivered or not was not the GOP's trust in Trump's defense team. It was based on parsing English. and sheer partisanship. The lesser impact was the sniping and division in the US indulged by both parties that had us tied us up in accusatory knots, country too weak to get its act together, .and unable to look at the big picture. By far the greatest impact was Trump's attempt to undermine NATO. Putin miscalculated fueled upon these factors and a long history of the US raising only minor objections as Putin learned he could get away with Syria, Georgia, the Donbas, and why not Ukraine. His delusion (and the world's too), as he thought he could just walk into hugs and flowers to Ukraine because they were ethnic brothers. Eight years of an emerging democracy based upon the Maidan people's revolution in 2014 to shake off a corrupt leader, to look west, not eas.t, and growing prosperity, and experience with the Stalinist type of justice in the Donbas. all had changed the Ukrainian population. As a Ukrainian parliamentarian said today "They didn't want to be ruled by a crazy dictator". . "Another said, "it was better to die for freedom than to die on their knees". That is part of the universal message of Ukraine.. There are people willing to die for democracy while there is a large number in this country advocate an autocracy for us. 

We, too, were delusional. about Putin. He, we thought, was a rational actor or he would not dare to invade. .But Putin's useful idiot was sitting in the White House while Putin was sharpening his knives for his long-planned invasion and praising the leadership of such a great leader.  Even as Trump sits in Mar A Lago he was still praising Putin and the Russian invasion, . Now the GOP is focused on pointing fingers at the other side and trying to divert attention from Trump's role in feeding Putin's delusions as a way to escape blame.

As Putin's blitzkrieg failed and it morphs into a scorched earth operation bringing death, destruction, and terror,. the West responds with a slow burn diddling over supplying Migs, to Ukraine to police their own skies, If we do not put our boots on the ground and our US manned jets in the air, the chances for a mad Putin to pull a nuclear trigger is a diminished gamble of mutual self-destruction that I cannot even fathom. . If the only issue is who pulls the trigger in the battle for air superiority and an urban ground war, NATO or Ukrainians, then, dangit, send those Polish Migs. There is no time to retrain anyone. I am puzzled about one other attack weapon that Ukrainians know how to use and I wonder whether it is being used now.. Last summer, Ukraine bought twenty armed drones from Turkey in a "private" sale deal and another 40 are purported to be on the way. One of the problems in supplying planes and armaments to a former Russian satellite is that they are trained on Russian weaponry. Croatia in the 1990s did make the switch as did all of the NATO allied nations. Croatia had time in the midst of the war with Serbia to retrain forces on western weaponry while the focus was on the ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by Serbians in Bosnia. That phase of this conflict was resolved by jets from the US 6th fleet knocking out the Serbian airforce and enforcing a no-fly zone. However, Serbia was not a nuclear power and the future of the earth's existence was not in question. So far, Putin is right to think he is at war with NATO though is within a limit of direct confrontation, but if he has designs on Poland and the Baltics and uses this as his rationale, then Poles are right to be the ones to supply the Migs since they are the ones most at risk.
Update: March 8, 2022
Another Vlad in east European history was from 15th century Romania...Vlad the Impaler (better not ask how he got that nickname). His better-known last name was Dracula. I like the Vlad the Mad title for Vladimir Putin; he deserves it. Either he was mad in the British sense of the word (crazy) or angry as he miscalculated that a blitzkrieg in Ukraine would be a cakewalk,,,, and he has reacted with a scorched earth strategy, destroying all in his path, buildings, and people, in his rage. What the two Vlads have in common other than their names is a cruel disregard for human suffering which they weaponized..

Thanks to the New York Post for pinning the "Vlad the Mad" on Putin.

Keith Sanders