Something is off, isn’t it? Putin gets to shoot what missiles he wants onto Ukraine – hospitals, hotels, homes, streets, power generating plants, transportation hubs, defenseless citizens and children – anything. But Ukrainians, lacking the means, cannot give Putin the misery he deserves.
Isn’t this an argument to give Ukraine everything it needs to defend itself?
Short of nuclear weapons we should ramp up deliveries of the weapons they need to attack Russia itself.
And let Putin feel what Ukrainians are feeling.
We haven’t done it thus far, because of the fear of appearing to be ‘escalatory’ in the war effort and so angering Putin.
So what would his wrath be like?
Will he move his nuclear weapons into position?
He may, and if he does, then we’ll move ours.
Will Putin risk seeing Russia go up in flames?
Xi Jinping, in China, will be the first to say, ‘Hold on, Vladimir. I didn’t sign up for this. I mean, I said we were going to be friends without limits, so it is clear to the West that we are your accomplice in killing Ukrainians because we are propping you up. But if you fire a nuclear weapon, not only will you be fired upon in response, but we will be a target too. You’ve been around for a while, but here in China we have just got started on our plans to take over part of the world – the other part going to you, of course. So I don’t want to see Beijing or Shanghai burn. Please, let’s think this over.
Ukraine has a point. If missiles rain on Kyiv, why not on Moscow?
If it weren’t for the missiles, Ukrainians would have pushed your army back further.
So, it looks like you’re losing this war, Vladimir.’
‘They’ve been scared to stand up to me, the West has,’ replies Putin. ‘They’ve been very careful to not give weapons to Ukraine that I will see as escalatory. So I think I can get away with it. It’s not that they’re being cautious, it’s that they’re scared.’
‘Maybe… and maybe not’ returns Xi. ‘But once you start readying those missiles, something could go wrong, and the West will not hesitate to fire in your direction and mine.’
‘I can’t accept that I’m losing this war, Jinping… can’t accept that they’ve pushed my people back. Thousands of Russians have left the country… good people… smart people… to avoid the draft… my international reputation is in tatters… my soldiers have committed war crimes… I’m relying on prisoners as soldiers…’
‘You’re getting desperate, Vladimir. That is not good. I need you around for when I invade Taiwan, so you can back me up.’
‘Trust me, they have more to lose than I do…’ says Putin.
‘I don’t like how you’re talking. This is not about you, Vladimir. It’s about Russia. And about China.’
‘I am Russia, Jinping… like you are China.’
‘No. No and no! Look, I want to be in power forever, just like you… and I will not hesitate to eliminate my adversaries to accomplish my goals, just like you have done… but I’m definitely not China… and you are definitely not Russia. There’s a whole lot more here than you and me…’
‘You won’t back me up?’ asks Putin.
‘What does that mean?’ presses Putin.
‘If you push on with your wish to fire nuclear weapons… ‘
‘I’m not going to fire them, just scare them…’
‘Once you get in that mode, things can go wrong. I can’t accept that,’ replies Xi.
‘I’ll have to tell the West that I’m no longer supporting you… and I will do so because I don’t want to see any of my cities burn… as I’m sure they will… even if we were to land some missiles on America in retaliation.’
‘You’re backing out, Jinping… I can’t believe this… you said we were friends without limits…’
‘I did… but I didn’t say crazy without limits.’
‘I will not accept defeat, Jinping… will not.’
‘Then keep fighting… but stop raining missiles on Ukraine… or the West will arm Ukrainians to the teeth and push you all the way back to your pre 2014 borders. And how are you going to explain that to Russians?’
‘Ukraine does not want to negotiate… they want everything back,’ says Putin.
‘Surprise them. Get creative. Give a little. Offer them all of the occupied territories in the East but you keep Crimea.’
‘They may not accept that, either.’
‘They would be saving a lot of Ukrainian lives… put it in that context. Stress the saved lives. And sweeten the deal…’
‘Sweeten the deal?’ asks Putin, puzzled.
‘Yes… add that you would accept Ukraine as a NATO nation.’
‘What?’ replies Putin, with a flash of anger.
‘You’re losing the war, Vladimir,’ says Xi calmly. ‘Ukraine was never a threat to you. You made that up.’
Putin hangs up.
Xi puts down the phone. He swivels in his chair. He is alone in his office. He shakes his head slowly, concerned with the turn of events.
‘Biden needs to step up and escalate. Putin won’t be able to handle Ukrainians being better armed. But the West needs to act now… not give Putin time to rearm. This is the time.
As far as him using nuclear weapons… he won’t do it… but he’ll walk to the edge… maybe he’ll scare the West… rattle their nerves… but maybe not… and if not… China has to be ready.
We can’t afford a mistake by Putin.’