“Mr. Putin’s approach has been terribly sly, from the “little green men” who took over Crimea without noticeable military insignia, to the “uprising” in eastern Ukraine of separatist fighters who just suddenly happened to possess anti-aircraft missiles. Mark Galeotti of New York University wrote recently in Foreign Policy that Mr. Putin has demonstrated in Ukraine a method of fighting with his military intelligence service that is “a mix of stealth, deniability, subversion, and surgical violence.” We would add: outrageous lies and propaganda.”
The latest trick is the so-called Humanitarian Aid Convoy of military trucks painted white. The trucks carry the Red Cross insignia but the Red Cross has no idea what’s on the trucks and has walked as far away from an association with the convoy as is possible given that it has offices in Moscow. Today the painted military trucks began to cross the border into Ukraine without permission from Ukraine.
But that’s not all. How about these photographs of military transport trucks carrying tanks toward the Ukrainian border and returning empty the next day. The tanks are in place to follow. They would have been part of the convoy already but even Putin could figure out that painting a tank white would not disguise it.
I know it’s painful for Obama to get back to business. Today on Martha’s Vineyard the day is quite overcast although rain has not set in yet, I suppose he’ll still want to hit the links but perhaps he might take a pause to figure out what he’s going to do in light of this invasion.
If he can’t figure it out, I’ll explain to him Putin’s game plan. The white trucks will go into Ukraine, many have military equipment on them, some will be hit by artillery or other explosive devices, that will be considered “an attack on Russia” and Putin will send in his troops to defend his aid workers, who by the way all dress alike and appear to most observers to be army troops.
Obama has thought he could stop the invasion with sanctions. He said he did not have to give the Ukrainians any military arms to help them in the fight because they were defeating the rebels who had been sent by Russia to take over parts of Ukraine. Now what does he plan to do now that the Ukrainians face a much larger military force.
Obama ratcheted up the sanctions slowly in the hope they may deter an invasion. That has not worked. The invasion is on.
What now Mr. President? You shilly-shallied with ISIS calling them a little league team in January. You guessed wrong on that one. They were well on their way to taking over Iraq before you decided to take a second look at them and launch air attacks. But you’re trying to do it on the cheap. We have only one aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on station off Iraq. One other is in the Atlantic. Don’t we have ten active carriers? What are the others doing?
You’ve guessed wrong with Putin. You know he has been quietly invading all along but that hasn’t worked. Now that his forces are losing he’s doing it openly. I hope he’s not fooling you with the 280 White Trucks Trojan Horse approach. I know the Europeans aren’t keen on helping Ukraine fearing it might hurt their GDPs. But you can’t defend Ukraine on the cheap! Whatever sanctions you have you’ve got to blast away and also start to give the Ukrainian army the means to defend itself.
It seems to me that you really don’t like to do the hard work but prefer to enjoy the many perks of your office. As my grand kid said to me when he was 3 years old: “Grandpa the world isn’t like you want it to be.” It seems that the world isn’t like you want it to be with all those enemies running around. You know, if you’re really not up to it anymore, why don’t you step down. Look at the Clintons, the perks get better after you leave.
I like it that you don’t want to use the military and that you also don’t like wars and killings. But when one side is doing it to our friends, don’t you think we should give them what aid we can?
Isn’t it time to get off the links and the fund raising trips? Isn’t it time to stop playing around? If you’re not going to step down then spend the next two years working the job hard. You were left a mess; I hope you don’t leave the next person a mess.