Putin still thinks it’s World War 2 and he’s going to liberate Stalingrad!

Otto von Bismarck once said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes. “I learn from other people’s,” the 19th-century German chancellor said. Astonishingly, the Russian army is repeating the past mistakes of its Soviet predecessor. In April 1945, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, under intense pressure from Stalin, sent his tank armies into Berlin without infantry support. Vladimir Putin’s forces not only made the same error; they even copied the way their forebears had attached odd bits of iron—including bed frames—to their tanks’ turrets in the hopes that the added metal would detonate anti-tank weapons prematurely. This did not save the Russian tanks…

The Russian president’s distorted obsession with history, especially with the “Great Patriotic War” against Germany, has skewed his political rhetoric with bizarre self-contradictions. It has clearly affected his military approach. Tanks were a great symbol of strength during the Second World War. That Putin can still see them that way defies belief. The vehicles have proved to be profoundly vulnerable to drones and anti-tank weapons in recent conflicts…

Yet Putin seems to have learned as little as he has forgotten…Putin’s control of domestic media can hide the truth from most of the Russian population, but his conscripts, forced now to sign new contracts to turn them into volunteers, are all too aware of the reality…

Against all prewar expectations, though, a Russian military collapse also looks possible. A complete disintegration of morale could lead to a humiliating withdrawal, a potentially devastating result of Putin’s inability to part with the Soviet past.

The Sunday TIMES carried an amazing GROUNDHOG DAY Tale of repetitive blunders, repeated not once or twice; but, ten times in a row. Chornobayivka, is now the most famous village in Ukraine because it has become a byword for breathtaking Russian military incompetence.

No gloating as young conscripts die by the hundreds. But, mediocre maneuvers, out-of-date by decades, illustrate how Putin’s reliance on WW2 tactics writes a new chapter of death and despair for his army as thoroughly as it does for some of the Ukrainians standing in his way.

Ukraine Invasion Issue We Aren’t Talking About


Pixabay

Let’s step back for a moment from the awful human tragedy in Ukraine as the Russian army targets civilians. There is an even bigger issue here. And until we come up with an answer it’s going to continue to plague the world…

The bigger issue is that there is no way to stop a nuclear power from invading a non-nuclear power, as America did 18 years ago this month when it took down the dictatorship in Iraq…

Three years ago I spent a week in Ukraine. Every person to whom I spoke, whether in a formal interview or casual conversation, said that Putin was going to invade their country.

Many of them expected an invasion while Donald Trump was in office. That made sense because Trump repeatedly declared his trust in and fealty to Putin…

Putin, whose words I have carefully read for two decades, doesn’t plan to stop with Ukraine. He has called the collapse of the old Soviet Union the worst geopolitical disaster of the 20th century and has said he is determined to put it back together. His words:

“Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory.

“Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.”

David Cay Johnston ain’t a beginner. He makes important points without trying to be a nice guy-nebbish. His sources are accurate, relevant, timely. As is this article, I believe. Unfortunately.

The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo

Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump’s pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo…

Early on, emissaries of the Russian oligarchs sent word of their readiness to help embarrass and undermine the Clinton candidacy. And in June 2016, the Russians lured the Trumpites to a meeting in Trump Tower with a promise of “dirt” against Mrs. Clinton only to use the meeting to harp on their hunger for sanctions relief. As the Trump family openly acknowledged, the Russians spoke at that meeting of a desire to again allow Americans to adopt Russian children. Since the adoptions were halted to retaliate against the American sanctions, it required no dictionary to interpret the oligarchs’ meaning: “dirt” for sanctions relief…

Sanction relief seems to have been discussed in some of the other secret contacts between Trump operatives and Russians. We know that Michael Flynn lied to the F.B.I. when he denied discussing sanction relief with the Russian ambassador…

Mr. Flynn, remember, was deemed so helpful to the Mueller investigation that the special counsel pleaded to have him spared any time in jail. He was “colluding” all right, but with legal policy promises, not apparently with election sabotage. And true to the campaign minuet, despite great resistance in Congress, President Trump has watered down the sanctions and otherwise appeased Russian interests, even at the expense of America’s allies. Call it the art of the deal.

I’ve posted about half of this Op-Ed piece written by the former editor of the NY TIMES, Max Frankel. Terse and to the point, he fills in more of the meat of the perpetual tryst between Putin and Trump. A worthy read. No doubt why the Fake President has filed a lawsuit over what he terms “fake news”. It is cogent, relevant, truthful, all the characteristics today’s Republican Party fears and rejects.