Trump on Roe vs Wade, Putin and the War

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He’s standing in front of the window of his office in Mar-a-Lago, which looks out onto the golf course.

‘Finally… my vindication… Roe vs Wade is overturned because I put in those judges. My vision and determination have been proven right.’

He smiles to himself, rubs his chin gently.

‘And this marks the beginning of my return to the White House. I feel very excited.
The nation is longing for sanity. What are we doing in Ukraine?
Unbelievable.
If I had been president, as I should have because the election was stolen from me… there would not have been a war in Ukraine. We wouldn’t have had this god awful problem with inflation, people wouldn’t be suffering with high gasoline prices… and thousands and thousands of Ukrainians and Russians would be enjoying their lives with their families.
All that upheaval, the mass migrations, lives destroyed or turned upside down, buildings demolished… unbelievable… all of it… I cry when I see the scenes… all of it was preventable… but the democrats didn’t see it… they just can’t… it’s not in them… they’re an inferior brand of politicians.’

He shakes his head ruefully.

‘If I had been in office, Putin wouldn’t have had any reservations about picking up the phone and calling me up, “Donald… I’m feeling very uncomfortable with Zelensky in Ukraine carrying on about wanting to apply for membership in NATO… I don’t like it. I need your help. I’m feeling like they’re setting a trap for me.”
Yes… Putin would’ve been honest with me… because we had that kind of relationship… and I would’ve helped. I would’ve asked him what he wanted… and he might’ve said something like, “I need to take Ukraine back… like when we had the Soviet Union. Since then, they have been a shambles, riddled with corruption and now they have all these neofascists infiltrating the government…’’
And I would’ve said… “Vladimir… make it quick… if it drags on it becomes a problem… so do it fast… it’s the humanitarian thing to do, anyway, so we can spare lives. Can you do that?”
And we wouldn’t have had this disaster that the democrats and the EU have created.
Amazing. What a difference a man can make in the course of history.’

Next to the window stand a few golf clubs. He crosses and selects one, which he now holds in his hands and start to motion as if he were about to tee off.

‘What this obsession with freedom? If you feel unfree take a vacation… that will do it. If you feel unfree, go out and make money, lots of it, that will do it.
With me in the White House… the moment the EU members would’ve felt rattled by Putin’s move to take over Ukraine, I would’ve invited them over and said, let’s be practical, what use is Ukraine to us? And they would’ve looked at each other and nodded. And I would’ve added, if we put sanctions on Russia, then they will retaliate and cut your oil and gas supplies… which will hurt the economy and nobody will be happy. Anyway, I’ve been onto you guys to increase your defense spending to 2% of GDP and you haven’t done it, so why get all upset now?
Go with the flow.
“But what about Ukraine’s freedom?” some would’ve asked, and I would’ve answered that it’s up to each nation to deal with it. We can’t do it for them. I’ve known men who were in relationships where they were henpecked and they loved it. So it’s up to each individual nation. If Putin is still president of Russia is because Russians like it that way, otherwise they would’ve thrown him out.
Same with the Chinese, if they haven’t revolted against Xi Jinping is because they love it.
We’re not created equal. Law of nature. So with freedom.’

He swings the golf course. And again. Still dreaming with that hole in one he’s never got. But the Roe vs Wade decision has come close to giving him that sense.

‘If I had been in office there wouldn’t have been this horrible problem with inflation and people starving. Instead the markets would be soaring, everybody getting richer and richer. But the democrats, instead of putting Zelensky in his place and telling him to cool it, fell for his act. Freedom!’

He laughs.

‘If I had been in power I wouldn’t have insisted on any sanctions on Putin and said to my fellow Americans, let’s not push Russia onto China’s arms… instead let’s build a good relationship with them. I’m more worried about China wanting world supremacy than Russia. But I can work with China, too. For now we got the tariffs that I put on them and they’re working.
With me in power, American businesses would not have had to leave Russia and would be making all kinds of money. And when I returned to Moscow aboard Air Force One, I would’ve been able to get myself a Big Mac.’

He smiles to himself as he returns to the window and to look out onto the golf course again. In the distance he sees his son in law, Jared, and Ivanka, walking on the greens, golf clubs in hand.

‘This overturning of Roe vs Wade has made up my mind. I will run again. The hearings on the January 6th incident will amount to nothing, since I never incited any violence, all I wanted was for American patriots to remind the people counting the electoral ballots that there might be some cheating involved… but it got out of hand. I regret the loss of lives.
So… I will run for president in 2024 because the nation needs me. The country has lost its way and I can set it back on the right path. Get the wall finished also.
As far as running mate is concerned, I’ll have to think about it some more. But I’m starting to think of Nikki Haley. Between the two of us we’ll cream Biden – Harris. They won’t have a chance. And after 4 years I’ll retire as the most consequential American president ever.’

He looks up at the ceiling.

‘God, you’re with me, ain’t you? Ha! I know you are.’

Oscar Valdes, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts

A Military Solution to an Economic Problem

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The news today is not uplifting.
Russia continues to gain against Ukraine in the Eastern regions, is now targeting grain terminals in Ukraine’s port of Mykolaiv (WSJ) to damage the country’s food exports, is increasing cyberattacks on the western alliance (WSJ), while Turkey goes on obstructing Finland and Sweden’s push for NATO membership (NYT).
Meanwhile, the growing costs of inflation have spread widely and the rise in interest rates is slowing down the economy globally, all of which weakens the collective resolve of western nations to support Ukraine.
How long before Ukraine stops getting what it needs and is then trounced by Russia?
Not long.
Not all countries in the EU have contributed equally to the war effort, Germany and France underperforming significantly, yet public shaming seems to go only so far.
Nations are protesting they have limits.
If we keep going at this pace, Russia will devour Ukraine. And everyone watching will shake their heads and say, ‘what a shame… but really… there’s only so much we can do. Now we just hope they won’t invade us. So let’s be nice to Putin and the Russians.’
Something like that.
Do we want to live that way?
Hell, no!
If we do so, it amounts to a grand failure of leadership.
We started out giving much support to Ukraine but have not gone all the way.
Hasn’t Ukraine’s courage earned them the right to get all the arms they need?
Do we allow all their suffering and lives lost to be in vain?
Judging by the increasing protests of western nations, their economic concerns with the soaring price of energy, there is not much time left to act decisively.
So the time to give Ukraine all they need is now. That may not assure a victory but it will say we did all we could.
The slowing of the support given to Ukraine is a veiled effort to ask them to give up.
But they will not. It is their land and they won’t have it.
Which then throws it back in our face.
Ukraine will go all the way, help or no help from the West.
Are we expecting them to die in the battlefield and then live with the notion that we didn’t do all we could? That we didn’t give them the proper weapons?
The idea that our giving Ukraine fighter jets to push back Russia is going to trigger a nuclear war is a farce.
Putin may well be infuriated by it but we are as well armed as Russia and China combined.
Acting decisively now by giving Ukraine all they need is allowing ourselves the chance of victory.
Once victorious, sanctions should be lifted partly or completely, and the world economic crisis will begin to resolve.
The sanctions have been only modestly effective and there is no way we can influence China and India to stop buying Russian oil. Why, even western nations are asking for exemptions from the sanctions on one or another commodity.
We’re too interdependent to cut things off quickly and expect a powerful result. That will take time to plan.
But a military victory today is possible. Which will then permit the lifting of sanctions.
For us not to push for a military victory is a failure of courage.
It is saying we allowed Putin to frighten us.
Today, we stand awash in over caution, while letting Putin throw at Ukrainians everything he has.
Let us act now, damn it!
We should not back away from this confrontation without the sense that we gave it our best. And our best is to arm Ukraine to the fullest, short of nuclear weapons.
Ukrainians are saying to us, here we give our lives, helps us!
Who in recent history has said that loudly for all the world to hear?
No one.
So let us act.
Putin should not be allowed to intimidate us.
He needs to be confronted now.

Note to Mr Biden.
You’re heading out to the Middle East in the days to come. Word is that you’re expected to meet with MBS (Muhammad Bin Salman) who, our intelligence agencies have determined, is responsible for the murder of journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 after he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Ankara, Turkey. He had been publicly critical of the Saudi regime.
I understand that Saudi Arabia can play a role in stabilizing the tensions in the region and is willing to ally with us to counter Iran’s threats.
As our president you need to look at the big picture.
But that does not mean you have to bow to that nation’s leadership. It sends a bad signal.

Oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.

Putin on The Way It Is

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The war rages on – almost 4 months now – inflation is hurting the world economy – food shortages are forecast – while Putin gloats in Moscow, ‘I made this happen,’ he says proudly.
‘I command the world’s attention. This is my moment. I have killed and killed Ukrainians and still millions and millions of people adore me and hold me up as a model. People in China, in India and all those smaller, peripheral countries destined to never amount to anything.
All the while China and I have a lock on the United Nations. Interesting organization… yes… and toothless, too. A place where every country can come in and blah blah blah until they run out of spit but where Russia and my great ally China hold veto power in the security council. So if we say no, then it is no. Never mind the secretary general. Without us he’s nothing.
The West talked about sanctions. I laugh. I have worked around them. I keep selling my oil and gas and our profits are growing.
And I have done it all because I know how to scare people.
I say I have nuclear weapons and most leaders pee in their pants, run around in circles crying, oh no, he will fire his nuclear weapons!
Don’t confront him, he’s dangerous, please, he cannot be humiliated!
Poor things. Afraid of a little inflation. Afraid of protests because the price of gasoline has gone up. I laugh. I would send the fire department with their water cannons to hose them down and wash them off the street and into the gutters, and those who insist on protesting I’d throw in a dungeon. That’s how you govern. And to be sure, Russians love my style. The want to be like me. Ha!
On this war, America started out with enthusiasm, with determination, but now they’ve lost their oomph. Now they’re back to their citizens complaining about the price of gas and how they don’t know any Ukrainians and how they’re so far away and what’s in it for them.
Of course, that’s when true leaders come in and set the record straight. Tell the complainers what needs to be done and why and enough with the whimpering. But they can’t do it. So it’s my game, all the way until I conquer all of Ukraine. All of it, damn it. All of it. And I’ll have Zelensky tried on charges of crimes again humanity. I’ll do it because no one will stand in my way.
What a joke the West is. Promising missiles and this and the other. But it takes them forever to deliver. Meanwhile I gain more and more ground. I love it. Before long I’ll have all of Ukraine’s eastern region under my foot. Beautiful. Then we’ll finish off occupying all their coast. Then back to Kyiv. Then push West, all the way to the borders with Poland and Rumania, scare them and their NATO bullshit.
I’m making the world my world. Slowly. This is the start of Putin’s world. And I’ve done it not with diplomacy but with bravado. With daring. With guts. With flair.
While the mighty West shits in their pants.’

He laughs.

Now, if I were them… from the very start I would’ve said, Putin, you can’t do it. Don’t do it. You’ll be sorry. Look, we have intelligence telling us you’re going to invade. We’re going to give planes and missiles to Ukrainians so they can defend themselves. We won’t let you slaughter them. Don’t do it.
But I can see how Ukrainians had not yet proven themselves on the battlefield. But they have now, so what’s the excuse to not give them all they need to fight me?
What’s amazing in their story, is they’re willing to fight so hard for what they believe. That’s what’s amazing. I would love to have them on my side instead.
The reason Ukraine is so important today is just that… the show of commitment in defense of what you believe.
But the world is not getting it. The French and Germans are not getting it.
The Poles, on the other hand, have got it. From the very start.
In fact the French and Germans seem to be in a hurry to sit down to negotiate a deal to cease hostilities. And Macron wants France to be the mediator. Works for me, since Macron doesn’t want me to be ‘humiliated’ but if I were Zelensky, I’d choose the Poles to be the negotiators. Doesn’t matter to me that much who it is because in the end, if it’s not going my way, I’ll get up and leave and start shooting and bombing again.
One of my greatest achievements, of course, is to have convinced Europe that they could rely on me for all their energy needs. Convinced them that I was not just a nice bear, but a teddy bear. And they fell for it. Mind you, all this time I have been teaming up with Assad in Syria to slaughter their opposition, so it’s not like I was hiding anything. We’re Europeans, not Syrians, it won’t happen to us, they told themselves. We’re so chic. Oh, so cultured. So distinguished. So unique. Oh, dear, you name it. Until it happened. Denial is the word for it.

He laughs.

I was born for this moment. As far as China is concerned, they’re stuck with me. Who else are they going to turn to? India? No. They can’t stand each other. China doesn’t have anywhere near the nuclear warheads I have, and I’ll keep close tabs on them. I’m going to keep building even more, and if they start to pile them up, too, I’ll give Xi a courtesy call, say Xi, you can’t keep building so many warheads. Look, we’ve been good friends but you got a whole lot more people than I have… so you could run me over… but so long as I have more weapons, you’ll have to chill. So please stall on the building of nuclear weapons. I know your politburo designated you a ‘historical figure’, but that’s the way it is.
And they will do as I say because, in a confrontation between the two of us, they don’t have a chance. I have the upper hand and will keep it that way’
Life is beautiful… yes, indeed.
As to the next American elections, haven’t made up my mind whom to campaign for, using my team of cyber experts. Not Trump, though. I think his time has passed. I liked him. But now I need someone with even deeper isolationist sentiments. Someone who wants to isolate into oblivion. Build a wall in the South, in the North, East and West. The more chances for Russia and my buddy Xi, to go deeper into Africa, South America, the Middle East, the rest of Asia.

Pause

But what could America do to counter me at this time’
Give planes to Ukraine? More missiles? Sure. But what they should do yet I know they won’t because they don’t have the nerve, is to make a commitment to Ukraine and say, we will give you anything you need, planes, missiles, anything – except troops, of course – because we want you to win. And if in the end you don’t win, we’ll settle for whatever land you were able to defend, and we’ll help with negotiations, even the lifting of sanctions on Russia and so on, and we’ll do what we say we will, because with your heroism, you have behaved like no other nation in recent history… and so earned a place in our hearts and minds. Forever.’

Please see Ifw-Kiel.de. Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Ukraine Tracker

Oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts

This is the Moment to Act

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Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve Bank raised the nation’s interest rate by .75 bps. Forecast had it that the figure would be either 0.5 or 0.75.
Markets went up after the news but today lost all the gains and are back down to where they were before the announcement.
To the extent that financial markets anticipate the state of the economy, the news is not good. We’re heading downhill.
The Federal Reserve may have been too aggressive, particularly since the markets had been heading down steadily. The bank’s chairman, Jerome Powell, had talked of a soft landing as he raised rates but instead gave in to the hawkish wing of the bank that pushed for the 0.75 hike.
Now think of how different things could be if we were winning the war instead?
Vastly different.
Optimism would fuel the markets and we would feel much more positive about being able to prevent a recession.
If only we were doing what we should be doing.
Macron, Scholz and Draghi (from France, Germany and Italy) met today with Zelensky, Ukraine’s president.
The public statements of the officials are all for supporting Ukraine’s fight for independence, but what happens behind close doors is likely very different.
For one, neither Germany nor France have delivered the heavy equipment Zelensky has called for.
Instead they are likely pushing for Zelensky to settle. To negotiate with Russia, to agree to terms.
Both Macron and Scholz would love to see themselves as the grand negotiators that brought the warring parties to the table. They may be already dreaming of the Nobel prize they’d be sharing for bringing peace to the region.
Zelensky should not give in.
Macron and Scholz are telling Zelensky, ‘look, inflation is hurting us badly. We have done enough. You need to think of compromising. We can’t get all we want in life, so give in a little.’
Zelensky should not give in.
The real problem with inflation is the war.
Russia has been able to circumvent the sanctions and managed to sell a good deal of its oil. They are filled with cash and confident that they’ll keep finding ways to do so.
Today I read that Russia has now cut back further on their gas supplies to Europe. The squeeze is on.
So why isn’t Zelensky and Ukraine getting all the help they need?
Because many nations in the western bloc are chickening out.
Surely there are real life obstacles to delivering the heavy equipment needed but if you’re dragging your feet then you’re chickening out. Then you’re saying, ‘Putin is really scary, he’s out of control, he just might target us. Oh, no. What will we do if that happens?’
The real problem with today’s inflation is the war.
Yes, it has to end, but not without first giving Ukraine all they need to fight back and that should include war planes.
Otherwise Ukraine should not negotiate with a killer who has butchered their nation.
Mr Biden, I’m not letting you off the hook.
I’m sure you were told in detail of Macron, Scholz and Draghi’s mission. Do not be a party to that weaklings’ effort.
Step up, do not back down now.
You’ve been courageous until now, but this is not over and not the time to call it quits.
This is a unique moment in our history, indeed, the world’s history.
We can’t let the bully win.
Ukraine wants to fight till the end. How often do you hear that from a nation?
Ukrainians who left are returning to their land in the middle of the war. It takes guts to do that.
If you do not fully back Ukraine you will lose your presidency. Period. But back Ukraine with all they need and your standing will be exceptional.
Damn it, make the difficult choice! You’ve been there before. Don’t join with the appeasers.
See, even if Ukraine doesn’t beat back Russia, if they get all the equipment they need they would have fought an exceptional battle. We haven’t seen anything like this since WWII.
It is your turn to shine, Mr Biden. Take the chance. Don’t back down.
Putin can be beat. He will not trigger WWIII. He won’t because he’s not crazy and has a lot to lose. But he’s good at scaring people and has been getting away with it.
Don’t let him scare you, too.
He’s already got Macron and Scholz in his back pocket.
This is your moment, Mr Biden, win or lose, this is your moment. Don’t flinch. Go forward.

Oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.

Mr Biden. Sell us the Story of Ukraine. Now

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Yes, sell it to the American public. Sell it now. In this century there is no story as compelling as theirs.
Take the bull by the horns. Do not underestimate the capacity of the American public.
Maybe diehard isolationists will blow you off, but the majority will not. When they go to the pump and see the high price tag, they just might think, ‘we’re doing it for Ukraine. A sister nation that is being massacred, not just pushed around, but massacred by Vladimir Putin, the man you rightly called ‘a killer, a war criminal’. No other leader had the guts to call Putin that. You did.
So, please, concentrate your efforts. We need you now more than ever.
Putin has been trying to scare us with the threat of a nuclear war. We cannot afford to be scared into inaction. Cannot afford to let his threat of firing his nuclear weapons keep us from arming Ukraine with the best weapons we have.
You have placed the restriction of not sending in American troops. I agree with that.
But Ukrainians urgently need to have war planes to stop the wholesale destruction Putin is inflicting on their people and push Russians back and out of their land.
A while ago Poland stepped up and offered to give Ukrainians Mig jets, aircraft Ukrainians are familiar with and so could put to use right away.
Poland was right. The Polish people have distinguished themselves for the enormous assistance they have provided in the war effort. Unlike Germany or Hungary.
The story of Ukraine is unique. Sell it to us, Mr Biden.
There are no assurances Ukraine, even with all the war planes we give them, will beat back Russia, but they will put up a fight unlike anything we’ve seen.
So let us help them now.
Giving Ukraine war planes will anger Putin. He will cry out loud that he has weapons he can fire at us. But so do we. He is not crazy. He and Russia has everything to lose in this confrontation but so far, he has got the upper hand because he has made us fearful.
There is no room for that.
Arm Ukraine fully, Mr Biden. Do it now. We will not regret it.
Ukraine is not a distant nation anymore. With the blood they have poured on the battlefield they have become one of us.
Mr Biden, go in front of the cameras and tell us their story. Again and again. If you are fearing that inflation is going to beat the democratic party in November, think of Ukraine’s story and their possible victory as providing the momentum to help democrats win instead.
Stand up for Ukraine fully and the American people can put the inflation woes in context.
You have the courage.
This is a unique opportunity to shine, Mr Biden. Do not let it pass. You will regret it dearly if you do.
By the way. I think it was Putin who came up with the idea that if we helped Ukraine, we would be seen as co combatants. So be it. We should not let that stop us.
As far as your upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia is concerned, I understand that you’re doing it in the interest of our nation benefitting from their oil producing capacities. But as our representative, please do not bow to them.
Not only do they not deserve it but bowing is a bad habit to get into. We should bow to no one. King, Queen, God, Pope, whatever.
We are a creative and industrious people who are not afraid of hard work.
Trust us. We are behind you. Lead us.

Good luck

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.

The War. The Economy. Our Psyches

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The war has had a profound effect on inflation.
One is the obvious impact that sanctions on Russia have had on the energy markets with shortages raising prices everywhere.
Another is the lingering supply chains snarls generated by the pandemic, now worsened by the conflict.
And then there’s the enormous effect on our psyches. The corrosive effect of seeing the count of dead people grow, buildings destroyed, lives wrecked.
When will it end?
How much more pain will be inflicted?
Now we are beginning to suspect Russia will not be pushed back and out of Ukraine.
We are beginning to suspect that Russia will subdue and demolish it. With impunity and the whole world watching.
If Putin wins, we will have to worry about his future behavior and how it emboldens China’s quest for dominance.
Putin may be tempted to invade another country. Tiny Moldova, for instance, sitting on the southwest border with Ukraine, where Russian separatists already occupy the Transnistria region.
How long will the sanctions against Russia be kept?
The cumulative effect of these factors is not only weighing on markets but on our minds.
Central banks are raising interest rates. Companies’ forecast for earnings are decreasing while the price of stocks plummet and plummet.
Uncertainty and more uncertainty.
Can anything be done about it? Or do we watch impotently?
There is something unsettling about feeling a lack of control.
We were recovering from the pandemic, which we knew would be difficult anyway,
and then Putin chose to start his war. And his war became everybody’s war.
Nations have taken sides and the world has divided into two camps.
The United Nations has become an impotent body. Russia, the grand aggressor, holds veto power in the Security Council, as does China, rendering that distinguished body ineffective.
With energy prices rising and rising, the possibility of a recession grows greater and so does the chance of a depression.
But can anything be done to change the present course of events?
We have two options before us.
In one, we do nothing. And Putin wins, the world cements its divisions and the economy goes into a long slowdown.
In the other, we fight back. We challenge Putin. And we do it now.
Public figures like Henry Kissinger and Emmanuelle Macron have come forward in favor of accommodation, Kissinger stating that there’s a role for Russia (a role depriving others of their freedom?) and Macron saying that we have to learn to live with Russia (why?).
But those statements sound weak when a nation like Ukraine is willing to offer its people in battle, when they have already sacrificed thousands upon thousands of men and women, for the sake of their freedom from the Russian boot.
They cry of the Ukrainian people keeps piercing our minds, the pain of their agony keeps intruding into our daily lives, ‘Help us,’ they cry, ‘Give us the weapons to defend ourselves!’
And we have, to some extent.
But not enough.
The war has changed our minds and hearts since it started on February 24th.
Back then we didn’t know how courageous a nation could be.
Ukraine’s is a lesson for the entire world.
Short of nuclear weapons, they have earned the right to get all the assistance the West can provide.
They have earned it with their blood.
Macron of France, was quoted as saying that it would take years and years, maybe 15 for Ukraine to become part of NATO. How wrong can that man be?
There are just so many Ukrainians to die in defense of their land, of their right to be free.
We in the West, those willing to do so, need to do all we can to assist them now.
History will record which nations chose not to help, but that’s for them and their conscience to settle. For now, it’s those willing to go all out that need to step forward and make a full commitment to the freedom of Ukraine.
And that means a willingness to challenge Putin.
If Ukraine falls even though they got all the help we could give them, so be it.
But our consciences will be at peace, that in the hour of need, we didn’t cringe or surrender to our fears, but stepped front and gave our full support to a courageous people.
Ukraine’s fight is telling the world, ‘this is what is needed to step up and say We are Free’ while Russians and Chinese, and the rest of the subjugated people in our world, watch with admiration, envy and remorse.
This is the time to go all out for Ukraine.
Or we’ll have to live with the regret of not supporting those who deserve it.

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts

Putin on Intimidation and Biden

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A group of high ranking officials and generals have gathered in an ample room below ground in a bunker in Moscow. Seated in rows and files they face Putin at the front, who addresses them.

Putin – After a slow start, owing to a few mistakes we made, we are now winning the war in Ukraine.

His audience gives a warm applause.

Putin – And we are winning because we have used intimidation successfully.

Nods and murmurs of approval from the audience.

Putin – Intimidation requires persistence. And so I keep reminding the West that we have nuclear weapons… I say so again and again… implying that I’m willing to fire them… at any moment… and so abruptly end their decadent lives.
Americans and the West compare themselves with our country and say, ‘Russia is much less wealthy than we are. We have more to lose than they do.’
Exactly. And so I keep repeating, ‘We have nuclear weapons.’
It’s working.
We have been sanctioned economically, which hurts, but we still manage to exploit the cracks in the system and sell our oil and other resources. China and India have been most cooperative and so our coffers are full. In consequence, we have been able to lower our interest rates.
True, we are dependent on the West for parts for some industries, including the military, but the black market will continue to help us counter the sanctions, at least for a while, which gives us time to push for the complete occupation of Ukraine.

Warm applause.

Putin – The defeat we are about to inflict on America will be decisive. We are slowly degrading their morale, exposing the fact that they cannot present a united front consistently. Germany’s indecisiveness keeps undermining the alliance and so with our friends the Hungarians. Meanwhile, Macron of France keeps doing a masterful job of reminding his partners that I should not be humiliated, that I have feelings.

Laughter from the audience.

Putin – And Erdogan, in Turkey, manages to brilliantly obstruct Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join NATO. A very nice vacation spot Turkey is, so thank you Mr Erdogan, for not joining in the sanctions against us.

Applause.

Putin – There is significant isolationist sentiment in America, which helps our case. We will keep using our sophisticated cyber operations to foster that sentiment. Lots of Republicans are saying, ‘no more help for Ukraine.’ Good.
Slowly then, with the help of American isolationists, we will neutralize their resolve to support Ukraine.
We’re almost there.
Notice how I’ve been able to keep the West from providing warplanes to Ukraine. Poland had the right idea when they pushed to hand over their Mig jets, but the coalition balked. I was staring them in the eye with my message ‘I have nuclear weapons,’ and the subtext ‘and willing to use them’, when they blinked. So they turned down Poland’s offer.
Instead of shortening the war with the war planes, they have prolonged it.
My bet that the West’s indecisiveness would give us Ukraine, was correct. For they keep thinking, ‘We have so much more than them’.
I have been pleasantly surprised to see how effective our strategy has been. Though I was confident of our eventual victory, I did not anticipate the tremendous impact I would cause on inflation and the world markets.
I love seeing how the market indices keep dropping and dropping, how they overreact to inflation concerns, a mark of their lack of conviction in their government and in themselves.
But it is the result of my clear strategy. I knew I could scare them into inaction and I have.
I do not know if giving Ukrainians war planes would have been decisive, or could be decisive, but fierce Ukrainians, defending their land with the right weapons, would likely have made a difference. They could have forced us out of their territory.
Would I have been humiliated by such action? Don’t know. But I would’ve been reluctant to commit most of my air force to blunt it, for it would have left me too exposed.
I am as impressed as the rest of the world with the bravery and resolve of the Ukrainian people and have to admit that I misjudged Zelensky. He’s a far stronger leader than I thought.
But the momentum is now in our favor.
The West had an opportunity to seize the moment and it didn’t.
And so the totality of Ukraine will be conquered.

Applause.

Putin – I do worry, that the tenacious spirit of Ukrainians might lead to a resistance movement, a form of guerrilla response which could be bloody and lasting. I worry because if it keeps killing our soldiers it may become too costly.
Before I take questions, I’d like to make a comment on Biden and Afghanistan.
The prevailing opinion has been that Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan influenced my decision to take over Ukraine. That is not correct. In my view, Biden did the right thing. He cut his losses. That was a never ending war. Pakistan would have continued to support the Taliban making an American victory impossible. The question is, why did it take them so long to get out?
My decision to invade Ukraine was due to my conviction, that the isolationist sentiment Mr Trump had stirred, along with America’s growing internal acrimony, would be long lasting. I was right.
Biden’s pulling out of Afghanistan had nothing to do with it.
In fact, Biden’s resolve has surprised me. He has shown tremendous commitment to the cause of the unification of the West and the defense of Ukraine. But the economic upheaval the war has caused has diminished his influence.
Still, this is not yet over.
Biden could, against all critics, decide to agree to give Ukrainians the war planes they need.
He could still make the choice to challenge me.
He’s a risk taker. Will the rest of America allow him to do so, I’m not sure.
Although I didn’t like it, he publicly called me a ‘killer’ and a ‘war criminal’.
How would I respond to a challenge of his, I don’t know, but this I can say, though we don’t have as much as the West does, we do have something. Russia has something. And we don’t want to lose it.
Questions?
Official (standing up) – Mr President… what do you think of America’s Right to Bear Arms, their second amendment?
Putin – It wouldn’t happen here, I can say that…

Laughter from the audience.

Putin – … I just read that, on average, there’s a school shooting in America every month.
And they can’t agree on how to stop them. They’re bleeding to death. Advantage Russia.
Next question?

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.net, anchor.fm, buzzprout, apple and google podcasts

Mr Biden -We’re Losing the War in Ukraine

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With the advantage in numbers and equipment Russians have, Ukraine, in spite of their tremendous fighting spirit, will be slowly beaten back by Russia.
Unless we step up and give them what they need.
Imagine looking at the map and seeing Ukraine under Russia’s control?
How can we live with that?
The Ukrainian people, dying by the hundreds every day that passes, keep calling for more assistance, and telling us ‘we will do the dying but give us a chance, give us your weapons.’
Zelensky has been consistent in his plea, ‘we need more weapons.’
Putin, meanwhile, a smile on his face, watches on and tells us, ‘don’t dare confront me because I have the nuclear weapons.’
But confronting him is exactly what must be done.
Dear Mr Biden, you have witnessed poor decision making before. As vicepresident, you were close to the decision making when Obama chose to give Putin a pass in 2008 in Georgia, disguising the move as a ‘reset.’
You were close to the decision making when in 2014 Putin took over Crimea and Obama did nothing.
You were close to the decision making when, in 2015, Obama drew a red line in Syria on the use of chemical weapons and Assad promptly crossed the line without repercussions.
In each of those instances standing up to the adversary was what was needed.
Because it didn’t happen then, we now have what we have today.
You have done an exemplary job in pulling together diverse players to form a united front. You have had to contend with Germany’s repeated weakness, Hungary’s outright collaboration with Putin, Macron’s recurring calls to not ‘humiliate’ Putin, as if a man guilty of massacring thousands of Ukrainians deserved such gentility.
And yet you persisted.
But more than 110 days after the war started, a general malaise has gripped the world.
There is the downward spiraling of the economy, the prospect of food scarcities and world hunger, the rising price of energy. Yet another dimension in the malaise is most troubling. Day in and day out a bully holds forth on the world’s pulpit, going on about the great weapons he can fire and how he can keep getting away with massacring a nation.
This repeated behavior, Putin’s daily intimidation, is having a disastrous effect on our morale for it is profoundly disheartening that a tyrant has such control over the world, regardless of the sanctions imposed on him.
Every day his troops continue to kill more and more people in Ukraine, taking more and more territory, and every day he’s getting away with it.
China, in another instance of poor judgment of its leadership, has embraced the role of full accomplice to the tyrant of Moscow.
But will confronting Putin lead to a nuclear war?
I don’t think so, for China would be quick to remind Putin – if they haven’t already – that if he tried such an attack, then the West would retaliate against China, too.
Right now Putin sees fear in our eyes so he keeps repeating his threat.
He’s betting that we’ll think we have more to lose than he has.
But I say that if we don’t confront our fear and challenge him, such inaction will undermine our resolve and position as a force for freedom in the world.
We didn’t win World War II because we gave in to fear.
And so here, today.
By virtue of their profound courage, Ukraine has vaulted itself to a position of prominence among the nations of the world. They have become one of us.
Committing to giving Ukraine the warplanes they need to make it a fair fight with Russia is essential.
Stand fully with Ukraine today and tomorrow the world will stand by any nation which is being subjugated by any tyrant.
Ukraine is, thus, opening a new standard for cooperation with nations in distress.
Why should we not act when a nation like Myanmar is massacred by their military?
Why should dictatorships like Russia’s and China’s hold veto power in the UN’s Security Council?
Ukraine’s plight and example is a call to the conscience of the world to act on behalf of the bullied.
A new world order dawns.
A well armed Ukraine, with warplanes at its disposal, may still lose to Russia. But the world will know that it wasn’t because they didn’t have the weapons.
It wasn’t because America, and the West, did not dare Putin.
Confront him now and the malaise we’re living in will lift, certain as the world will be, that America and the West answers a challenge.

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts

Putin Must be Confronted

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His troops, better armed and more numerous than Ukraine’s, are gaining ground in the Donbas area, with the possibility they may encircle their adversary.
A day or two ago Russia fired missiles that landed on Kyiv. More are expected.
And Putin warned the West about giving Ukrainians longer range missiles.
There is a side in this war that seems eager to negotiate with Putin so he is not ‘humiliated’, which I take to mean that Russia gets to keep territory they didn’t occupy before the invasion.
I think they are wrong.
Putin must be confronted and the only way to do that is to better arm Ukrainians.
In providing them with missiles, Biden got guarantees from Zelensky that the weapons would not be used to fire into Russian territory. I think that’s a sound request.
So why not get the same agreement with war planes?
As the war has pressed on, the West has got bolder. Bolder because Ukrainians have shown amazing resolve in defending their land.
So why not give them the kind of weapons that can make a huge difference in this conflict?
Putin needs to be confronted.
He cannot be allowed to continue to make threat after threat.
Ukraine was never his. Never Russia’s.
In 1994, as the Soviet Union dismantled, Ukraine surrendered their nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees from Russia and the West. But those did not stop Putin from invading it.
Why shouldn’t, then, the West arm Ukraine with the very best, short of nuclear weapons?
To date, the only deterrent has been Putin’s threats.
It is time the West confronted them.
Biden has made clear that NATO forces won’t be used unless a NATO nation is attacked, nor that he would put American troops on the ground. Good. We should keep those commitments.
But Ukraine is being ravaged by the war and they have shown the determination to defend their land.
I read that Ukrainians that had left their country at the start of the war are now returning.
They are eager to fight for their nation.
The missing piece so far has been war planes.
If Ukraine gets them and loses the war, so be it.
But they just might turn this around and drive the Russians out.
If Ukrainians are willing to risk everything in their fight against Russia, we should step up and help them with all we can.
Will Putin be ‘humiliated’ by a defeat of his armed forces? I am sure he would be.
But that’s his problem. We should not ‘buy’ peace with timidity or acquiescence.
Putin is a thug. Thugs understand force. Ukraine has what it takes to push him back.
Let us arm Ukraine with all they need and let them determine their fate.
If Russia wins, so be it.
But they may not. And if so the world order will change.
This is the time to act. Now.

Oscar Valdes, oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.

Where Biden and I Differ

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As citizen of a democracy – a remarkable notion conceived and bequeathed to humanity by Athenians – I have the option of publicly differing with my President which I will proceed to do.
Russians wished they had not let such privilege be stolen from them by Putin. Had they not allowed it we wouldn’t be having this war.
But to the point.
The war in Ukraine has been hard fought. Ukrainians have been exemplary fighters, and yet the greater number of Russian soldiers and armament give them the advantage.
Slowly, I fear, the Ukrainian resistance will begin to wear down.
Though the West has provided much equipment to counter the Russian offensive, it is not enough to stop the invaders.
Mr Biden has been very clear with the American people. He does not approve of any attack on Russia, will not place any American soldiers or NATO troops on Ukraine and strictly forbids that weapons given to Ukraine be fired into Russian territory – the land Russia now occupies in eastern Ukraine exempted.
Ukraine is dependent on the West for weaponry. If we don’t provide them, regardless of their courage in combat, over time they will be overrun and quashed by Russian forces.
But can we move a step further and provide Ukraine with parity in armaments? Can we give them enough to not only hold against the Russians but beat them back and out of their nation?
After three months of uninterrupted warfare, the struggle is entering a period of fatigue.
Ukrainians have excellent leadership but that may not be enough.
Our main worry – Biden’s worry – about weapons assistance to Ukraine is that Putin will consider such assistance to be an escalation on the part of the West. And so providing Ukraine with war planes has been forbidden.
Putin has repeatedly reminded us of his nuclear arsenal and how he is willing to use it.
All along his calculation has been that Ukraine is more important to him than to the West and that sooner or later we will tire out and Ukraine will be asked to be reasonable and urged to negotiate with him.
In fact, those forces are already at work.
But we would be making a huge mistake to give in and accommodate with Putin.
True, there is the risk of a nuclear confrontation, though I believe it is much less than at the start of the war. The reason is that Putin has discovered western resolve which he did not expect and realizes he has as much or more to lose from a nuclear war than we do.
China will be the first to tell him not to dare go down that path because they don’t want to be a target of a western response.
So now is the time to step up the lethality and reach of the weapons we provide to Ukraine. Now is the time to provide them with fighter jets.
I am sure there is a way to make sure those jets don’t go over into Russian territory. But with such weapons, the direction of this war can be turned around.
Ukraine, with enough weapons, can beat back Russia. We should let them do so.
If Putin is humiliated by the defeat of his forces, good. He deserves it.
We should not give less arms to Ukrainians to ensure Putin can save face and say to his people, ‘well, we did gain some territory. As to the rest of Ukraine, let’s pause for now and invade again next year.’
Now is the time to let Ukraine win.
Putin should not.

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts