Putin And His Watcher Have Waited For This Day

The Royal Janitor

Chapter Five

The Rose of the World

Victoria Bond and Miriam Starfish were conducting their morning briefing. It was Victoria’s idea to have breakfast together in order to stuff as much knowledge into their day as possible. She looked pleased with herself when her cook brought her ‘The Full English Breakfast’ that Miriam declined. She said she will bring her ‘Box Breakfast’ that she put on the table as Victoria gobbled down her first sausage, and, said a silent prayer. Looking a bit chagrined, Victoria spoke in a polite manner as baked beans tried to escape from out her devouring mouth.

It is 4:44 in the morning. Today, October 27, 2022, I am going to hear Democrats rally voters. The Republican candidate, has puled ahead. There is gloom in the air. I saw this day coming.

When I awoke, early, I thought about wearing my Merlin hat. But, I will go – as me! I am the author of the most prophetic novel written in the English language. Victoria and Miriam – live in me!

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

https://us.cnn.com/2022/10/26/politics/us-ukraine-aid-skepticism-putin-analysis/index.html

https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/oct/27/nato-russia-conduct-nuclear-arms-exercises/?latest

After a show of support from President Joe Biden earlier this month, Democratic candidate for governor Tina Kotek will receive another nationally-recognized guest in Oregon: Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is coming to Oregon this week as part of a national tour to support Democratic nominees ahead of the Nov. 8 election. He’ll visit Eugene and Portland on Thursday for rallies alongside Kotek and the Democratic candidate for Oregon’s 4th U.S. House District, Val Hoyle.

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley will join him during the Oregon visit, along with representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Peter DeFazio, whom Hoyle is vying to replace.

The Eugene event is set for 10 a.m. at the University of Oregon’s EMU Amphitheater. The Portland rally will follow, at 2 p.m. at the Roseland Theater.

His appearances in two of Oregon’s most populated cities come just about a week and a half after Biden came to Portland for roughly 22 hours as part of his Western states tour to rally Democratic votes ahead of Election Day.

Putin has been watching and waiting for this moment in Washington

For months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has waited and watched, hoping for a fracturing of the remarkable Washington consensus built by President Joe Biden on the need to do everything it takes to defend democracy in Ukraine.

Now, at last, the first cracks may be appearing.

There is no sign that the $18 billion US pipeline of military aid that has helped Ukraine drive back Russia’s onslaught is immediately in danger. But the stirrings of political opposition to an endless US role in the war are growing on both sides of the aisle just two weeks before the November midterms.

https://bdc3d3e54067eb834ca5fca072279425.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Even the slightest hint of a softening of American resolve could comfort Putin as the Kremlin strongman prepares to inflict a painful winter on Ukrainian civilians and Europeans reliant on Russian gas.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks with reporters outside the U.S. Capitol Sept. 13, 2022. (Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images)

‘People are furious’: Jayapal withdraws letter on Ukraine policy amid Democratic anger

In what can only be described as a political debacle on Tuesday, progressive Democrats published, then withdrew, a letter initially signed in June that called on the White House to match its effort to arm Ukraine with a strong diplomatic effort to engage Russia and seek a ceasefire. This came days after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the possible next speaker, warned that Kyiv could not expect a “blank check” on aid if the GOP is in charge next year.

Tamara, 50, mourns Wednesday at a cemetery in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, at the grave of her only son, a soldier who was killed during a Russian bombing raid. Tamara said she did not learn of her son’s death for four months, when she managed to escape from her Russian-occupied village in the Kherson region. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)

KYIV, Ukraine — NATO and Russia’s military alike staged planned annual nuclear exercises Wednesday as the Russian president repeated the unfounded claim that Ukraine plans to set off a radioactive “dirty bomb.” On the battlefront, Russian forces pounded more than 40 Ukrainian villages over the past day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin remotely monitored the drills of his strategic nuclear forces, which involved multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles in a show of force. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin that the exercise simulated a “massive nuclear strike” retaliating for a nuclear attack on Russia.

The Biden administration said Tuesday that Russia gave notice it intended to stage routine drills of its nuclear capabilities. The Pentagon and U.S. State Department said Russia had complied with the terms of the last U.S.-Russia arms control agreement in notifying Washington of the coming tests.

During the Russian drills Wednesday, a Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from the northern Plesetsk launch site. A Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea also launched a Sineva ICBM at the Kura firing range on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, and Tu-95 strategic fired cruise missiles at practice targets.

The Kremlin said in a statement that all tasks set for the exercise were fulfilled and all the missiles that were test-fired reached their designated targets.

McCarthy threatens to cut aid to Ukraine if GOP win midterms

02:36 – Source: CNN

CNN reported Wednesday that the GOP leader was forced into a damage control operation with national security leaders in his conference and insisted he didn’t want to cut aid to Ukraine, but merely to ensure tax-payer dollars were not automatically rubber-stamped for the war. The furor over his remarks, reported by CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Herb and Katie Bo Lillis, shows the fine line McCarthy will have to walk on the issue if the GOP wins the majority.

For example, ex-President Donald Trump, a possible future Republican candidate, has been complaining about the cost of supporting a government locked in a struggle with his hero, Putin, and that he dragged into his first impeachment by using military aid in a coercion scheme. Trump will be a huge influence on any future Republican House majority after the midterms.

Ex-President Donald Trump, a possible future Republican candidate, has, meanwhile, been complaining about the cost of supporting a government locked in a struggle with his hero, Putin, and that he dragged into his first impeachment by using military aid in a coercion scheme.

It’s clear that a bipartisan consensus for aiding Ukraine still exists in Washington. But the rumblings that Biden’s hardline on Russia may not always enjoy near unanimous support came at an especially sensitive time as the West seeks to discredit Russia’s latest round of nuclear rhetoric – a warning that Kyiv could use a dirty bomb. The claims have led to high-level talks between US and Russian military chiefs and are widely being interpreted as either more scare tactics or perhaps an attempt by Moscow to create a false flag operation that could be used as a pretext for its own use of weapons of mass destruction.

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Retired general: Russia accusing Ukraine of planning a ‘dirty bomb’ could be a warning

01:56 – Source: CNN

Seeking to highlight US and Western commitment to Ukraine amid the political chatter, Biden delivered a fresh warning on Tuesday against the use of smaller-yield nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine.

“Let me just say: Russia would be making an incredibly serious mistake for it to use a tactical nuclear weapon,” Biden told reporters after he was asked whether Russia was preparing to use a dirty bomb. “I’m not guaranteeing you that it’s a false flag operation yet, don’t know, but it would be a serious, serious mistake.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is driven along Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2022.

What is a dirty bomb and why is Russia talking about it?

The President’s comments were a reminder that the maneuvering in Washington over Ukraine aid is taking place in a critical context, with anxiety still acute over a possible escalation of the war that could spill over into direct US-Russia hostilities and put the world on a disastrous path toward a full-on nuclear escalation.

This is why signs of fraying political resolve in the United States, and in some allied nations, are so significant. They could convince Putin that a war of attrition over the winter could sooner or later cause fatigue in the West and therefore weaken Ukraine’s ability to fight.

Questions that need to be asked

And yet some of the questions raised by those who are cautious about the US stance are relevant and important. A foreign policy operation that lines up the United States against its former Cold War foe and nuclear rival must be constantly evaluated and justified by the President, given the cost and risks.

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The fact that there is no diplomatic track in the conflict – Biden has several times mused privately that he doesn’t know what Putin’s “off-ramps” might be – is worthy of discussion and, potentially, testing in contacts with Moscow. And at a time of raging inflation and economic hardship in the United States, it is incumbent on the administration and its supporters to demonstrate to American taxpayers why a war on the edge of Europe is sucking up billions in public money, even if it’s not as if Ukraine currently has the “blank check” McCarthy mentioned.

President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt relief at Delaware State University, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in Dover, Del.

Liberal Democrats call on Biden to shift Ukraine strategy

The risk, though, is that such debates still play into the hands of Putin, who has already demonstrated his capacity to exploit and widen US political divides with his election-meddling scheme in 2016 and the hold he had over Trump, even getting him to denounce US intelligence agencies in a joint news conference.

Sooner or later, the political jousting in Washington over how long the US should stay involved in arming Ukraine – and how much it would cost – will stumble on the critical questions that could decide the war and could be the motivation for Putin’s frequent escalation of nuclear rhetoric that raises the stakes.

Is the West as dedicated as Putin, whose political survival may depend on victory or at least not losing, to prevailing in Ukraine? And is it really willing to enter into a dangerous cycle of escalation that could risk wider nuclear war to do so?

Political drama on both sides of the aisle

It is with these questions lingering that the drama over a letter signed by 30 progressives played out on Tuesday. Most of the members did not endorse releasing the letter this week, and some said they wouldn’t have signed it now given the grave turn the war has taken in recent days. The anger over the letter caused Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to withdraw the letter, saying it was drafted months ago and released by staff without vetting.

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Liberal Democrats abruptly withdraw letter on Ukraine policy amid anger

02:56 – Source: CNN

The episode did not just threaten to expose vulnerable lawmakers just two weeks before an election in which Democrats increasingly fear they will lose the House. It could give McCarthy cover in a future Congress to argue that opposition to Biden’s multi-billion dollar arms packages is not just a Republican preoccupation.

And while the letter was withdrawn, some of its sentiments could boil up again.

The letter said that lawmakers were under no illusions about the difficulty in engaging Russia, given its “outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine.” But it added: “If there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine, it is America’s responsibility to pursue every diplomatic avenue to support such a solution that is acceptable to the people of Ukraine.”

The problem, however, is that the terms that Russia has set for any peace deal involve locking in its battlefield gains. Now that it has illegally annexed several Ukrainian regions, any preconditions that Putin would set would be impossible for Kyiv to agree to. And rolling back such positions would deal the Russian leader the defeat he is desperate to avoid. So while the idea of talking might seem appealing, it’s not clear how the US could shift the calculus of either side. And Biden has repeatedly insisted he will not negotiate over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s head, as Putin would like.

One progressive Democrat, Rep. Ro Khanna of California, told CNN’s Bianna Golodryga that he did not support the decision to pull back the letter.

“I think the letter was common sense,” Khanna said. “I support making sure we arm Ukraine and provide arms to Ukraine and continue to fund it, but I also believe that the President, as he said, we are at a risk of nuclear war.”

“Don’t you think our counterpart should be talking to Russia? Of course they should to be sure that it doesn’t escalate.”

There is also a risk that diplomacy at this stage could offer Putin a prize for the human carnage he perpetrated in Ukraine.

“There is moral and strategic peril in sitting down with Putin too early. It risks legitimizing his crimes and handing over parts of Ukraine to Russia in an agreement that Putin won’t even honor,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

“Sometimes, a bully must be shown the limits of his power before diplomacy can work.”

One thing that the drama over the Democratic letter on Ukraine did achieve was to show that while support for Ukraine is bipartisan, anxiety about the war is too, even if the skeptics are a smaller group so far.

What a Republican House could mean for Ukraine

The prospect of a House more squarely in Trump’s ideological image after the midterm elections and of more GOP senators who share his “America First” worldview will worry the administration.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy said in an interview with Punchbowl News last week, which was seized upon by Democrats.

But it did not necessarily mean the California lawmaker was determined to cut off aid. He may simply have been creating some political room for himself in the knowledge of the sensitivity of the issue in his pro-Trump party. In theory, a speaker McCarthy would be able to pass a Ukraine funding bill by using both Republican and Democratic votes.

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine as part of a military support, upon its delivery at Kyiv's airport Boryspil on February 11,2022, amid the crisis linked with the threat of Russia's invasion.

Watch as support for funding Ukraine erodes among Republicans

But whether his own position in a fractious GOP conference would allow him to do so is another matter. That’s one reason why there is growing talk in Washington that Democrats might try to pass a mammoth bill during the lame-duck Congress, which they will still control after the midterms even if the GOP wins, to carry Ukraine through next year’s fighting.

McCarthy is not the only Republican sounding skeptical notes. Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance said he didn’t really care about what happened to Ukraine before the invasion and that the US should worry about the influx across its own southern border. (His comment has been used by Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan, who is seeking to make inroads among the state’s significant Ukrainian exile community). Vance is one of a new breed of potential GOP senators that could prove more skeptical to aiding Ukraine than the old guard of senior leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and hawkish South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Similar sentiments to Vance’s are often heard on conservative media. But those opinions usually discount the broader implications of the war in Ukraine. The conflict is so important because it represents more than a territorial spat on the far edges of Europe. It is a fight for democracy itself. If Ukraine falls, Russia will establish the principle that a large authoritarian nation can simply wipe a smaller neighbor off the map.

This would have grave consequences in other conflicts – for example, over Taiwan amid rising concerns China could try to take back the democratic island by force. And a Russian victory in Ukraine could directly threaten America’s NATO allies and bring the US closer to a direct conflict with Russia.

This story has been updated with additional developments

McCarthy threatens to cut aid to Ukraine if GOP win midterms

02:36 – Source: CNN

CNN reported Wednesday that the GOP leader was forced into a damage control operation with national security leaders in his conference and insisted he didn’t want to cut aid to Ukraine, but merely to ensure tax-payer dollars were not automatically rubber-stamped for the war. The furor over his remarks, reported by CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Herb and Katie Bo Lillis, shows the fine line McCarthy will have to walk on the issue if the GOP wins the majority.

For example, ex-President Donald Trump, a possible future Republican candidate, has been complaining about the cost of supporting a government locked in a struggle with his hero, Putin, and that he dragged into his first impeachment by using military aid in a coercion scheme. Trump will be a huge influence on any future Republican House majority after the midterms.

Ex-President Donald Trump, a possible future Republican candidate, has, meanwhile, been complaining about the cost of supporting a government locked in a struggle with his hero, Putin, and that he dragged into his first impeachment by using military aid in a coercion scheme.

It’s clear that a bipartisan consensus for aiding Ukraine still exists in Washington. But the rumblings that Biden’s hardline on Russia may not always enjoy near unanimous support came at an especially sensitive time as the West seeks to discredit Russia’s latest round of nuclear rhetoric – a warning that Kyiv could use a dirty bomb. The claims have led to high-level talks between US and Russian military chiefs and are widely being interpreted as either more scare tactics or perhaps an attempt by Moscow to create a false flag operation that could be used as a pretext for its own use of weapons of mass destruction.

Video Ad Feedback

Retired general: Russia accusing Ukraine of planning a ‘dirty bomb’ could be a warning

01:56 – Source: CNN

Seeking to highlight US and Western commitment to Ukraine amid the political chatter, Biden delivered a fresh warning on Tuesday against the use of smaller-yield nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine.

“Let me just say: Russia would be making an incredibly serious mistake for it to use a tactical nuclear weapon,” Biden told reporters after he was asked whether Russia was preparing to use a dirty bomb. “I’m not guaranteeing you that it’s a false flag operation yet, don’t know, but it would be a serious, serious mistake.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is driven along Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2022.

What is a dirty bomb and why is Russia talking about it?

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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