Putin is Playing Biden like a Fiddle
Vlad Putin, the evil though very calculating chief oligarch of the shriveled nation of Russia (when stacked against its predecessor, the Soviet Union), is playing chess over the fate of Ukraine, while our figurehead president and his gaggle of administration mediocrities (here being charitable) and Pentagon toadies play checkers. I’ll venture this wager -- though with modest reservations: Putin will bring Ukraine into his orbit without sending his troops en masse into said country.
On Monday, Putin recognized Russian-dominated regions of Ukraine, followed by a minor incursion of "peacekeepers," traveling by bus, not APC.
Putin doesn't need a full-scale invasion, I believe, because his approach is strategic. His eye is on the prize: take Ukraine in some shape or form (as he took parts on Monday). He’s open to the means, no doubt, and if an invasion -- likely surgical in nature -- is his only route to achieve his ends, he’ll take the gamble. The U.S. declared that it won’t send troops to defend Ukraine. NATO is in tow. Speaking of which, that woeful collection of nations called “NATO” (including the now Russia-compromised Germany, which sorely needs Russian natural gas), is in no position to stop him, short of a major war.
Sanctions after-the-fact, as our addled president is pushing, will not deter Putin. He sees weakness and irresolution among western leaders, Biden first and foremost. Chances are he’ll make the assumption that sanctions would be short-lived, anyway. Always follow the money, which corrupt Western elites are hooked on worse than crack.
Make no mistake, a major land war in Eastern Europe would not only result in significant death and destruction but risks escalation -- a broadening that can be somewhat gamed but not fully predicted. Russia, despite its diminution, is still a nuclear power, which is rarely acknowledged by those inexhaustible talking heads on cable news, by members of Congress, and, of course, at State Department and Pentagon podiums.
What do we know about war? It’s unpredictable as hell, and anyone who tells you otherwise has snake oil coursing through his veins.
Paying Putin short shrift is foolish; underestimating any enemy is. But if you live on a steady diet of U.S. media, Putin is a one-dimensional man, a cardboard cutout, made to fit the biases that the media and Biden administration project on him. “Vlad the Invader,” goes the 24/7 drone. Putin, we’re lectured, has only one song in his playbook: outright force. Putin, goes the cliché, intends to recreate the old Soviet Empire. Maybe in Putin’s dreams, but no talking head ever stops to ask, “How?”
Do the cliché spewers think that Putin intends to unleash columns of Russian tanks and troops west in a mad dash to recapture Berlin? West of Ukraine are NATO countries. War, then, becomes automatic. The U.S. is all-in, and Putin would reckon that with trepidation. Even today’s Western European Chamberlains and decadents would have to rouse themselves to oppose so great a threat.
Ah, say the chattering class, Putin could resort to subversion and chicanery to recapture those former Soviet satraps. Yet that suggests a sophistication of approach not now acknowledged in Putin. But remember this: subversion is a double-edged sword. Russia isn’t the colossus that Cold War fixated think-tank blatherers and congressional hacks present it as. Russia has weaknesses -- exploitable vulnerabilities. Two can play the game of subversion. Not to mention the many coordinated external pressures that can be brought to bear.
We can say with button-popping confidence that Putin never -- never -- would be attempting to recapture Ukraine with Donald J. Trump occupying the Oval Office. A strong man -- an apex predator, which Putin is -- takes the measure of adversaries. For Putin, Biden is prey. Trump was -- and may well again be -- a steely adversary crossed at great peril.
Biden’s intermediaries now seek talks for Biden with Putin. Biden has assented, provided Russia hasn’t invaded Ukraine. Biden may have just boxed himself in.
How does Putin regard such a gambit? Does he regard Biden as coming from a position of strength or weakness? Putin has at least 150,000 troops, weaponry, and equipment deployed along Ukraine’s borders. (Another cliché is that Putin must invade because he’s assembled this fighting force. Really? But if he’s a strategist focused on the prize, the pressure of massed troops and weaponry may alone induce the capitulations he needs to achieve his goal.)
Biden and his handlers brazenly and stupidly threw away the U.S.’s greatest leverage in stopping Putin: American energy independence, our ability to furnish much of Western Europe’s energy needs (Germany’s in particular), and Biden’s reckless approval of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which solidifies Germany’s dependence on Russia.
So, if Putin and Biden meet, what cards does Biden hold, other than deuces? From the file: “Who trusts Biden as commander-in-chief?” this speculation: In talks, Biden will grant de facto control of Ukraine to Putin. Biden will stoutly deny doing so. In exchange, Putin will “deescalate” along Ukraine’s borders. Jen Psaki and the establishment media will spin Biden as a glorious leader whose jawboning averted war. Nobel Peace Prize-worthy, without a doubt. Of course, Putin, the chess player, captures his king. Putin gains real estate and resources, as well as acing NATO out of Ukraine, while Biden champions a lie.
While Putin plays Biden, isn’t it as true that our president is trying to play us, the American people? No, the dog isn’t being wagged here, not strictly. Biden’s handlers found a crisis not to waste. We’re witnessing full diversion mode as American news outlets happily obsess on Ukraine.
Never mind that the U.S.-Mexican border has been dissolved (not breached, but eliminated). Forget that energy prices continue to climb, further fueling inflation, which is the bastard child of profligate federal spending and an obscene volume of money-printing that’s simply indefensible. Democrat-run cities are trending toward eventual collapse as lawlessness pushes these metropolises toward some primitive state. Biden renews a state of emergency under the guise of the increasingly phonied-up COVID pandemic. Affluent white progressives ceaselessly pimp racial hatred, trying to divide Americans to feed their voracious appetites for power. Illicit drug deaths reached 100,000 last year. But let’s stop. The list is too dreary to continue.
A massive diversion is underway. Putin has nothing to do with it. The nation is a cauldron of troubles, any one of which could erupt in crisis, or simultaneous crises that could result in systemic failure. In the 2020s, the nation is confronting the greatest threats to its welfare and being since the 1850s and 1860s. But no matter, Putin may invade Ukraine.
Trust Biden? Given his awful destructive tendencies, I don’t think Hunter trusts Joe. Trust Biden after his Afghanistan fiasco? Trust our intelligence agencies, like the CIA, which is implicated in the most dangerous political scandal in American history -- the Russia Collusion Hoax? Trust that buffoon, Mark Milley, who skirted sedition when he went behind Trump’s back after the 2020 elections to assure his PRC counterpart that Trump would be prevented from launching a nuclear attack on China as, one supposes, the ultimate diversion.
What about the oily Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton campaign flunky, who may be enmeshed in the Clinton campaign’s alleged efforts to destroy candidate and then-President Trump? The same Jake Sullivan who assured us that Kabul would stand.
I’m convinced we have the greatest collection of gross incompetents and most corrupted people in positions of power and authority in our nation’s long history.
Putin the chess player sees all this, and he’s playing Biden and the entire rotted establishment that undergirds Biden’s presidency like a fiddle.
J. Robert Smith can be found regularly at Gab @JRobertSmith. He also blogs at Flyover.