You don’t have to be David to fight Goliath, and you don’t have to be Atlas to shrug.
The Russian military doesn’t do shock and awe. It does grind, advance . . . and win. Contrary to Western propaganda, it is well on its way to achieving its objectives in Ukraine. In what looks like a watershed moment, most of the holdouts at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol recently surrendered. (The New York Times couldn’t bring itself to use the term “surrender” in its account of the capitulation.) This gives Russia a land corridor on the Black Sea from southwestern Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.
Left to their own devices the Russians and Ukrainians would eventually reach an agreement that leaves eastern and southern Ukraine in Russia’s hands or closely aligned with it as one or more autonomous states, with pledges from what remained of Ukraine not to join NATO or station nuclear weapons on its territory. Some such resolution was available before the war began. Facts on the ground mean it would now be more far more favorable to Russia than it would have been if war had never started. The war may cost Ukraine direct access to the Black Sea.
The $40 billion war appropriation indicates that the U.S. has no intention of leaving Ukraine and Russia to their own devices. Instead, the U.S. wants to promote a long Ukrainian insurgency that drains Russia politically and economically and in the best of all possible worlds, topples Putin. The concern has been expressed that backed into a corner, madman Putin might then take the conflict nuclear. The more pressing concern: that is the outcome America’s madmen and madwomen want. A generally unrecognized possibility (in the Western media) is that it could be the American contingent who find themselves backed into a corner.
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The U.S. may get its Ukrainian quagmire, but it would be a quagmire for both sides, with all sorts of unintended consequences and ramifications. Is the Biden administration adroit enough to create a tar baby for the Russians without getting itself stuck? Is the Biden administration adroit enough to turn on the White House’s Christmas tree lights? As it became clear that Vietnam was a quagmire, some advocated a nuclear strike on North Vietnam. Finding itself stuck, whoever makes the decisions may decide, unlike the Vietnam experience, that nuclear escalation, either outright or in response to a false flag, is just the answer for the situation.