Sunday’s With George Thatcher: Point Of Decision. A Sobering Reminder That The Events That Created A Need For Memorial Day Are Still Unfolding All Around The World Right Now For American Troops.

Point Of Decision

Point of Decision: An Updated View

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian invasion, the Russians have been lobbing long-range missiles, firing heavy artillery, and launching hundreds of aerial sorties from within the borders of Russia proper. At the same time, the U.S. has denied Ukrainian requests for fighters, to be delivered from Poland or maybe another convenient country. Up until this week, the U.S. has also withheld the delivery of our own long-range rockets to the Ukrainians, while giving the reason for all of this that it would cause a dangerous provocation to the Russians.

Let me see if I’ve gotten this right. The bad guys get to wage unrelenting, all-out war from the relative safety of their own borders, while the good guys take one crushing strike after another without the ability to retaliate in kind. As the major sponsor to this proxy war, we make the incredibly dovish call to decline to send good guys the very support they need most: aircraft and long-range weaponry. This in the face of a terrible pounding that is slowly sapping the vitality of the Ukrainian army and citizenry. Am I deluded here, or is this right from the Russian offensive playbook, whereby they slowly but surely reduce the enemy’s capacity to fight back? And has this not been their modus operandi since World War II, when they learned it the hard way, by having Stalingrad and Leningrad completely destroyed by the Nazis? Surely I haven’t gotten this analysis right, right?

But in all fairness, one has to admit that we, the ultimate proxy sponsors of the Sovereign Republic of Ukraine have finally, at the eleventh hour, decided to relent and supply our allies with powerful rockets that have a range of over two hundred miles. Somehow, during the past couple of weeks, it must have dawned on our Administration that we (and the Ukrainians) were going to ultimately

lose this war, if the playing field were not made more level. As it was, the possibility of winning back territory already lost to the aggressor, was beginning to look doubtful. Surely the Russians wouldn’t think to come to peace negotiations with the notion that they’d give away even an inch of territory that they’ve already gained. Is it not obvious to anyone who has ever dealt with the Russians that they only deal from a position of total power?

So what has been the Gorilla in the Room, when it comes to facing down this most barbaric of invaders? For one thing, given the fact that they’re operating with precariously low cash reserves, Russia is having trouble replacing materiel losses. It is reported that they’re running low on long-range missiles. Casting a backward glance at the Vietnam War’s ultimate conclusion, our enemy ran out of air defense missiles in December 1972, giving our forces free rein to bomb all the targets we could locate in Hanoi. I suggest that Russia is beginning to face the same kinds of shortages, while at the same time we are ramping up our deliveries of vital weapons and supplies to Ukraine. To further weaken their ability to wage war from inside their own country, would it not make the best of military sense to cause increased attrition of their offensive weaponry by enhanced tactics of our own? Not only would it begin to cause serious morale problems from within the Russian population, it would result in a mighty boost to the spirits of our allies.

The Russians, having lost over a quarter of their combat personnel in these three months, say they’re ready to conscript another million men from their homeland. Given the poor performance by their current standing army, I’d predict that it would result in just throwing good rubles after bad. Russia doesn’t need more of this kind of disaster, even though new recruits would likely come from the Siberian hinterlands. They would provide little more than cannon fodder, as if human life meant anything to Putin’s minions.
But turning again to The Gorilla, what is our real concern about a dictator with megalomaniacal designs, whose finger seems to be the only one controlling the “red button?” The threat of a nuclear holocaust is holding back the most meaningful measures we might take to help bring this war to a close.

Is employment of “the nuke” actually likely to be the result of a Russian loss? We have to look closely at the balance sheet. There is speculation that Putin is mentally deranged. He has a pronounced tremor in one hand, which could be just nerves, or it could be from some more serious underlying cause. There are also rumors – call them no more than that – that Putin is being treated for a kind of blood cancer. I put little stock in this kind of rumor, as it sounds like something out of National Observer. But the fact is clear that this reincarnation of Stalin has designs on re-establishing the former Soviet Union in his lifetime. If he should accomplish that feat, the rest of Europe would be likely to be sucked into his orbit. If he should win through constant threat and intimidation, we will have lost the game on the biggest bluff in history.
The question remains: Would he actually dare to begin the war to end civilization?

If we continue to limit our participation in Ukraine through any level of appeasement, Putin would see that as weakness and exploit it to the fullest. He may be threatening Gotterdamerung right now, as we prepare to send Ukraine those long-range rockets. We’re testing his resolve, and so far there hasn’t been a major response. If we pushed the limits a step further, and sent Ukraine that squadron of MiGs, it would be just another way of watching for him to blink. Russia’s use of tactical nukes, if it happened, could also be interpreted as an act of aggression against other NATO countries, and so draw them into the conflict.

I carried nukes in my bomb bays for many years, and we never thought the USSR would be so foolish as to actually use their own in an offensive capacity. We faced them down in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and they know there’s still enough nuclear capacity in this country to obliterate Russia several times over. I’d like to think that even a maniac would find himself opposed, in the final analysis, by his own army, and by popular opinion, in time. I haven’t fully answered my own questions, because there’s still that outside chance that a delusional mind could risk it all. But I hope it provides enough food for thought that we can ultimately approach the poker table from the perspectives of strength and confidence.

George Thatcher, 2022

George is an American Bad Ass. He grew up in Jersey, flew B-52s in Vietnam, taught English, Spanish and other languages to children around the world, makes his own salsa, has been known to enjoy a beer or two and has called Lubbock home for a few years, just to entertain the locals. Welcome to Raiderland, Major. We are going to feature some of his writings going forward. Some new, some old. Some rhyme, some don’t. When it comes to George, there’s no box. So… enjoy our friend and enjoy his writings! – Hyatt