“Today It Is Ukraine, but Tomorrow It Will Be Us”

“Today it is Ukraine, but tomorrow it will be us, if we do not stop Putin now.”

These are the remarks of Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal — babbled this week in Ukraine.

Standing next to him was Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican. He too had something to say. Thus he intoned:

If Putin gets away with this, there goes Taiwan. If Putin’s successful in Ukraine and is not prosecuted under international law, everything we said since World War II becomes a joke.

An empire such as the United States can no more sit idle in Ukraine… than a cat can sit idle as a mouse slinks by.

It must get itself in the action.

And to these senators the year is 1939. Herr Hitler is on the goose step — today in Ukraine, tomorrow in Warsaw, the next day in perhaps London.

Why Not a Blank Check?

Yet Sen. Graham further simpered that he is not requesting a “blank check” to aid Ukraine.

Here is our question: Why didn’t the South Carolina senator demand a blank check to aid Ukraine?

If tomorrow it “will be us”… if Taiwan will go away… if Russian victory would “turn the world order upside down” as Sen. Graham likewise claimed…

Why would the United States recognize any financial limits whatsoever?

If Vladimir Putin is the equal of the little Austrian corporal — again, we are told he is — it follows that his scotching must trample any financial concern.

If it empties the United States Treasury… then it empties the United States Treasury.

And in our estimation the good senator should just go ahead and say it:

The United States should issue Mr. Zelenskyy the naked check and a pen to go with it. Let him write in the dollar amount, as he deems necessary.

Tanks to Ukraine

Mr. Zelenskyy has not yet been issued the blank check. Yet he will now receive Abrams tanks from the United States Army — some 31 of them as we understand it.

He will likewise receive some number of Leopard 2 tanks from Germany and Challenger 2 tanks from Great Britain.

They will almost certainly prove inadequate to purposes. They simply lack the oomph to muscle Mr. Putin out of Ukraine.

Moreover, these paladins have proven vulnerable to anti-tank weaponry in various Middle East wars — to Russian anti-tank weaponry in particular.

We hazard most will end their service lives in junk heaps, wrecked or as trophies of war in Russian military museums.

But then what?

Up the Escalation Ladder We Go

Is a great power such as the United States to simply throw up the sponge… and walk off with its head bowed in defeat?

The calls to “do more” will come issuing. After all, “we are next” should the Nazi aggression — pardon, the Russian aggression — stand.

We cannot imagine that the United States would walk off. It has already invested too much money, material and morality into the business. It will not permit the blow to its reputation, to its leadership, to its “prestige.”

What great power would?

What then will it do once its tanks are cleared from the battlefield, smoldering and dead? Here we speculate…

It is quite possible the United States and its NATO understrappers dispatch airplanes to Ukraine. There is already talk of F-16 shipments. These are light attack aircraft, modest yet capable.

Over Ukraine they will drop aerial bombs and other munitions upon the heads of unfortunate Russian soldiers — or at least they will attempt to.

Our spies inform us that Russia boasts the most formidable integrated air defense systems on Earth. They maintain very close watch over Ukraine’s airspace and will not be easily subdued.

Come we now to the next question: What happens should this initial aerial campaign fail to turn the wartide in Ukraine’s favor? Again we speculate…

Out Comes the Heavy Stuff

Out will come the sharpest and shiniest swords in the American armamentarium — F’s 22 and 35… B’s 1, 2 and 52.

The latter are “strategic” bombers capable of delivering a monstrous pummeling to those beneath them.

Recall, the United States is very serious about defeating Russia in Ukraine. We do not believe its efforts will cease with artillery, tanks or lighter aircraft.

Would these aircraft succeed against Russian forces… where other systems have failed?

We do not know. Yet it is a very plausible possibility.

The question then becomes… how does Mr. Putin respond? Does he sit idly upon his hands while heavy American bombers let go tons and tons of ordinance upon his men?

Does he then turn around and limp away from Ukraine and beg for forgiveness — and fly himself off to the Hague to face trial for crimes against humanity?

We cannot imagine that he would, no. By all appearances he is a very determined and resolute fellow.

He will no more vacate Ukraine than the United States will vacate the NATO alliance.

His goose is well and truly cooked if he does. This he knows — and knows well.

Can You Trust the Western Media?

Incidentally, our spies notify us  — strongly against Western claims — that Mr. Putin enjoys fantastic domestic support. The people of Russia are largely with him.

To the extent he is unpopular it is because he has proved too gentle. That is, he has failed to display the requisite aggression against Ukraine.

They have seen videos of Ukrainians executing disarmed Russian war prisoners, for example, and are hot for vengeance.

Our spies further report that Russian arms factories are going night and day, producing arms and ammunition in prodigious quantities. This too defies Western reports that Russia is running out.

We cannot confirm these reports. But our men are earnest about it. Moreover, they rarely miss. We are therefore inclined to accept their word.

Meantime, Russia is shooting off perhaps 60,000 artillery shells per day. Ukraine is fortunate, we understand, if it can shoot 6,000 back the other way.

All the while, we understand the United States is scavenging ammunition depots in Israel and South Korea to keep Ukraine up and going.

We must therefore conclude that war’s grim calculus leans strongly toward Russia.

Answers Please!!!

Germany’s Iron Chancellor, Bismarck, once argued that the entire Balkans were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

Is all of Ukraine worth the bones of a single American pilot, or tanker or infantryman?

If it is then Sens. Graham and Blumenthal should notify us that it is.

But to return to the larger question, for which we also request a square answer: How does this Putin fellow react if his men in Ukraine start absorbing a true licking?

Here you have the $64,000 question, the $164,000 question, the $1,164,000 question.

Do Sens. Graham and Blumenthal have the answer? If they do, we request — and request loudly — that they share it.

We would remind them both that Mr. Putin’s Russia houses loads of nuclear toys. We would further remind them that a cornered beast is a dangerous beast.

They nonetheless appear determined to back the Russian beast into a very tight corner.

We suspect Mr. Putin is ticketed for a very hot place once he pays his debt to nature. If the senators have their way, that day is near.

Are you, senators, prepared to follow him? And are you prepared to drag millions along with you?

Answers please, gentlemen — and soon.

The Daily Reckoning