God, I hate to be prescient…again…but a good ol’ war would certainly be a boost for Joe Biden’s poll numbers, and perhaps would provide the needle the must eventually be stuck in the festering boil that is our contemporary politics.
Enter one Vladimir Putin. It looks like Val is about to attempt to take a bridge too far in his lust for bringing the Ukraine back into the fold. We’ve pledged lots of economic sanctions when he moves on that country, including, with Germany’s blessing, pulling the plug on the Nord Stream pipeline. That, apparently, doesn’t seem to faze him.
What could upset his calculations, though, as I’ve recently read, is our willingness to turn the Ukraine into another Afghanistan. That would be Afghanistan I, where we were able to support an insurrection that bloodied the Soviet’s nose and precipitated the fall of their empire – and, in turn, permanently destabilized the Middle East. Here we’d be back doing things that we know how to do, unlike Afghanistan II, where we fumbled in fighting insurrection.
Even Republicans, when they have one of their brief moments of distraction from the parallel reality in which they currently live, love to beat up on Russians. So when the Russians come in and Joe starts training Ukrainian freedom fighter with offensive weapons in neighboring NATO countries, arming them with offensive weapons and letting them slip back into their country to pile up Russian bodies, the focus will shift from his failures on things like Build Back Better and Voting Rights to political consensus. He’ll become everyone’s favorite Commander in Chief.
Of course, as in Afghanistan I, there could be unintended consequences. The Russians might unleash a couple of their hypersonic undersea torpedoes to incinerate New York City. But Putin is not an ideological madman. He’s a thug. And you can always deal with thugs in a predictable fashion. So my guess is that Joe will be willing to roll those dice, especially with the support of all of Europe.
Sure, he had a son in combat and he doesn’t want to send our boys and girls over there. But he won’t have any problem sacrificing a few thousand Ukrainian pawns in this chess match while watching his poll numbers rise. And the timing couldn’t be better: Frozen ground to tempt the Russians, and a mid-term just 10 months away. Serendipity!
Of course, I hope none of this happens. I don’t know many Ukrainians. In fact, I don’t know any. And it seems preposterous, in the 21st Century, that human beings are still killing other human beings for no good reason. But I had to write this to get ahead of the Friedmans, and Goldbergs and Wills who will be writing this same thought in the very near future. Remember. If/when the fur starts to fly in Eastern Europe, you heard it here first.
© 2022 David B Bucher