Ukraine War – One Year On

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the Russia-Ukraine War that has just crossed the one year mark. Strictly my opinions, so feel free to disagree.

Let me begin with this horrific video montage of relentless bombardment of a major city, housing millions of non-combatants.

Btw, the above visuals are from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the great US of A and Even Greater Britain, plus a host of other ‘willing’ partners. Interestingly, next week will mark two decades of that invasion on an utterly false premise, for which the culprits didn’t face ANY sanctions whatsoever! Neither were any warrants issued by any International Courts against the chief perpetrators, as in the case of Vladimir Putin some hours back!

Instead, the victim country was destroyed to the extent that they are still struggling to stand up.

Btw, the same culprits are today collectively united in their ‘horror’ at the invasion of Ukraine by Russia!

So we know why the USA and others invaded and destroyed Iraq. They had irrefutable proof that Iraq had WMDs!

Proof, that was pulled out of thin air! Proof, that some say wasn’t pulled out of thin air, but from some other body part in the nether regions!

But then, that hardly matters, right? No one even talks about that anymore, despite the millions of non-combatants that died.

Well, who will dare talk about Iraq and the horrific abuses there, especially when the culprits themselves are the self-appointed custodians of the ‘Rules Based World Order’, no?

PS: When was the last time you hear about Abu Ghraib? Let me refresh you a bit :-

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But then, it is Ukraine that I am supposed to be talking about in this thread, so let’s go there now!

Let me start by replugging this 11 yr old tweet here:

Throughout our history, war has been a constant. So those that are aghast at yet another war, are merely trying to imagine a utopic world which has never existed. Instead, this cacophony of voices on social as well as mainstream media is, IMO, due to the fact that the collective West sees it as an opportunity to get an advantage over Russia.

It is no secret that Russia has been one of their Principal adversaries. So much so that at the end of the cold-war, instead of reaching out to co-opt broken and hugely malleable Russia as a fellow traveller in the world order, they decided to push the knife deeper.

With the disintegration of the USSR, instead of scaling down NATO (and actually promising to do so), it instead galloped closer and closer to Russia, with newer and newer members. The Georgia War of 2009(?) was one Russian reaction that should have told them that NATO was getting too close to Russian borders for their own comfort.

Of course, I am aware NATO is a voluntary organisation and any country has the right to aspire to become a member of the organisation.

But by the same logic, a country that is the exclusive target of an ever-expanding and an ever-closing military alliance to has the right to feel concerned and consequently, secure its own interests, no?

Of course, a pragmatic neighbour would have seen such red-lines, especially from a much larger and powerful neighbour and even if begrudgingly, accepted them and made their peace. But then, you had this in Ukraine:

The war started not on 24th Feb 2022, but instead in 2014 when a democratically elected govt in Ukraine was toppled with the help of Maidan protests and replaced by one that was decidedly Anti-Russia and Anti Ethnic Russians in their own country. This resulted in the Russian invasion of Donbas in Aug 2014, followed by the Minsk Agreement in Sep 2014. However, it broke and Minsk 2 Agreement was signed in Feb 2015.

Interestingly, this brought into focus, the ‘Little Green Men’ that were said to have fought against Ukraine!

Now why I bring out ‘Little Green Men’ in the tweet above was because the same phenomenon is being repeated, but with a Green Screen instead!

The ‘show-man’ is putting up a brilliant show indeed!

And he is being feted by the entire ‘civilized’ world too, as these visuals from his recent Europe visit indicate!

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In their own eyes, he is winning against the big bad wolf too! But I shall come to that in a while.

To be frank, atleast in my opinion, Ukraine is just an expendable entity so long as it is able to impose some cost on Russia before dying. Here is what folks are saying about Ukrainians being expendable, with increasing frequency!

Btw, If not the first one to say, but I think I was atleast the first one to claim copyright on this phrase – They will fight Russia till the last Ukrainian!

Heck, even Putin Ji is saying this!

And jokes apart, he isn’t wrong about it either. This is exactly what will happen.

Thanks to its unique circumstances, Ukraine was always doomed to be a fighting arena for great powers, just like Afghanistan and even Tibet have been.

Coming over to the military operations, thanks to their experiences in Chechnya and Georgia, as also Donbas, it is fair to assume that the Russians miscalculated the time required to achieve their military aims.

In addition, by delaying the launch till end of winter olympics in China, the snows thawed out & cross-country movement became much more difficult for their military vehicles.

But most importantly, they miscalculated the amount of military support the West would give Ukraine!

It pretty soon turned from a ‘Special Military Operation’, to an existential war for Russia. They took some time to recalibrate their actions. But the West took it as a sign of collapse and were V.E.R.Y quick to declare victory!

Result: Hubris set in pretty solidly.

Resultantly, the collective euphoria in the West made it nothing short of blasphemous to even talk about Russia having a point of view about their security interests wrt Ukraine! As mentioned above, Zelensky was feted all over.

And why not .. he had stood up to Putin after all!

All Russian voices were drowned out and even de-platformed by the so called CHAMPIONS of free speech!

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What that caused, however, was for the West to become prisoners of their own propaganda IMO. Now they just can’t walk off without their citizens crying out bitterly in protest!

Not one of those govts tell their citizens that they kept pushing NATO closer & closer to Russia, and that now they blame Russians for being close to NATO!

They had imposed so many sanctions on Russia that it was bound to fail in its nefarious designs, they told their citizenry instead!

But apparently the sanctions didn’t have the desired impact as had been in the case of .. say .. Iraq!

In short: Whether they like it or not, but from Russia, now it has become an existential war for the Western Nations themselves. Such has been the hubris in them, in fact, that the German Foreign Minister declared war on Russia on behalf of the Entire EU!

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Of course, she had to eat her words pretty quickly!

Btw, it is the same Germany that has suffered a direct & massive blow by the sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, some say done by its own allies! They tried to blame Putin, but by he not reacting to this bait, they are tripping over themselves to apportion blame to someone!

Neither do they tell their citizens that Russia is already in possession of over 20% of Ukrainian territory which they are unlikely to give back! Despite throwing billions of dollars in cash & military aid, all that they have to show is merely a slowed down pace of Russian advance.

And of course, a large number of bank failures! Oh wait, that happened in the USA .. My bad!

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So perhaps it is correct to say that all those sanctions have essentially failed?

Ok, so time for a short break from all that you might have read so far. Here’s a video of a reporter and her reporting of the horrific attacks on Ukraine from last year!

(PS: I should’ve said : ‘horrific reporting’ instead of ‘horrific attacks’! My Bad!)

Carrying on, let me start by posing a question: Can Ukraine even dream of a ceasefire if its western benefactors don’t want one? Especially with the leverage that they have created over Ukraine with the 100s of billions of dollars ‘invested’ in the war?

Technically, it is no longer Ukraine fighting Russia.

It is already NATO fighting Russia, with Ukraine merely as a front.

They throw money and equipment in the war, with Ukraine gambling away its sovereign territory and sacrificing the lives of its people.

Not a very bad deal for the West, no, this ‘outsourcing’ of war?

Btw, for all that have been shouting hoarse about the Wagner Group of Russia, I find practically no one even making a peep about the Ukraine Foreign Legion!

Yes, THAT’S the power that comes with the ability to control flow of information and narratives! Of course, it also helps extinguish ‘provocative’ channels broadcasting a harmless event!

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But for all the shrill narrative building, the upholders of ‘free’ speech seem to have actually painted themselves into a corner by not leaving any scope for an end to this war short of utter and complete humiliation of Russia, which, btw, doesn’t seem to be happening!

So let’s try and see what the future holds as far as this mess goes .. Some days ago when Germany placed a destroyed Russian tank in front of the Russian Embassy, instead of celebrating it, there were protesters laying flowers, seeking peace.

Fatigue and economic pain is real.

And this DESPITE their foreign minister already having declared war on Russia on behalf of the entire EU!

Btw, it is the same Germnay that is now importing much more expensive LNG from US and other sources than what it would have been getting via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia. Who destroyed the pipeline, is anybody’s guess because neither Russia nor Germany did that!

Going ahead, one thing is for sure – the moment the Russian Parliament passed a resolution to annex certain areas into the Russia State, any negotiation with respect to those is off the table.

As far as Russia goes, fight is now to ensure that Ukraine ceases to be a politico-military problem of any worth. They don’t want a Pakistan on their borders, that’s for sure. So any negotiated end to this war will be at huge cost to Ukraine – geographically as well as otherwise.

A few possible endgame scenarios that might happen are as under:-

Stalemate

Negotiated Settlement

Breaking up of Ukraine (will delve on this a bit more)

Ceasefire, followed by negotiations

Ousting of leadership, either in Ukraine or Russia or both.

Of course, there is one more potential endgame scenario that some folks are talking about in hushed tones. It is this:

The questions I asked in this tweet above still stand. I’ll add another one to it: Might it give them an excuse to finally end the war?

Unsurprisingly, there are idiots who are actually salivating even at this horrific possibility!

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Coming over to a more pragmatic (in an ideal world) solution – that of a negotiated settlement. Question is, who will ensure a fair negotiation acceptable to both sides?

The experiences of Minsk 1 and 2 agreements are all too recent and too well known in any case.

In any case, Ukraine stands to lose a LOT of territory East of the Dneiper River even in case of a negotiated settlement. However, what happens to the rest of Ukraine? Can it reasonably expect to survive as a sovereign entity in the aftermath?

Or will it become a state entirely dependent on Western aid to survive, especially after losing much of its productive lands in the East?

And most importantly, will Russia accept this?

Another question: Who will pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine? The comedian is already DEMANDING to be paid hundreds of billions of dollars to keep fighting. Do you reasonably think that his successors will not demand even more monies for reconstruction?

Will the West be able to mount a Marshal Plan for Ukraine?

Will they seek reparations from Russia instead?

Well, we all know how the reparations thing will pan out in any case.

To cut a long story short, I personally don’t see any outcome that does not involve complete and utter end to Ukraine as it existed on 24th Feb 2022. All that can be done is to try and salvage as much of it as can be done.

All in all, it is a very pessimistic outcome that seems likely. Yet, the earlier we get to it, the better it is. Western sanctions on Russia and assistance to Ukraine has not worked as they had anticipated.

If not controlled now, the war seems quite likely to expand in scope, with levels of involvement (and stakes) of outside powers may end up going even higher. The recent incident with the Russian aircraft and the American drone over Black Sea is a pointer in that direction.

Of course, there is already talk in more than just a handful of world capitals regarding getting access to nukes, in order to ensure their own safety. Poland, Iran, Japan, S. Korea come to mind as far as this goes. And they do have a logic they believe in.

Of course, one positive outcome of this war could be the revival and scaling up of the American MIC which will only come in handy in case things with China go kinetic in the near future, just like they almost did during Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year!

As I end this chain of thoughts, all I will offer is that the era of globalization is well and truly finished. The best outcome is to cut losses and sue for peace, instead of shouting about an imaginary big bad wolf outside your house.

The world order as it existed till Feb last year is well and truly finished. It took two world wars and a failed League of Nations to have come to that world order. A new one will come with much more pain, IMO.

In the end, I’ll just add this graphic here without any further comment:

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JMTs

Thanks for your patience!

On the Current Mess in Pakistan

Ok folks, sharing some thoughts on the current state of Pakistan.

Strictly my opinions. Feel free to disagree!

Been a while since I did a blog post, lets see how this one goes ..

First and foremost, I would like to start with an undisputable fact:

This is the longest that the Pakistan Army has NOT directly ruled Pakistan!

Yup, you may read the above statement again and take some time to do some mental mathematics if you so desire!

Now, why might that be, one might ask.
Well, it is NOT because they have decided to stay in their constitutionally mandated role instead of meddling in politics (and business as well, but that topic is ‘out of course’ for the time being). Instead, I would blame the Kerry-Lugar Bill of 2009(?) that forbade any aid to Pakistan in case of a military coup!

Heck that was the reason why the first elected govt of Pakistan could complete its full term under a single head of govt!

But then, the key word in the tweet regarding no direct military rule is the word ‘DIRECT‘!

The Brown Panted Ones may have gone in the background, but they never let go of their political power, so to say! In fact, they seem to have developed a taste for backseat driving!

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There can be no greater testimony to the fact that Brown Panted Ones are the real rulers of Bhikharistan, than the various political entities still vying for the ‘attentions’ of the Army in order to further their own political fortunes as Pakistan heads out to the next election.

I will come to that in a while. But first let me get on with the current situation out there in Bhikharistan. It goes something like this:-

1.   On the verge of default.

2.   Riots and murders for as little as a bag of flour.

3.   Political paralysis (as always).

4.  Increasing centrifugal forces.

 

It isn’t the first time they have faced these challenges. But it does seem a bit ‘different’ this time, no?

Perhaps because the world is no longer just throwing money at them?

Heck, even the almighty Amreeka is ignoring them!

(PS: Pl don’t bring up the Bhikharistanis dancing in ecstasy when the USA pulled out of Afghanistan not so long ago, crowing that they have defeated ‘Yet Another Superpower’! PPS: Pl also ignore the kicks on the Packie backsides being delivered daily by the same Afghanistan!)

Basically, their economic model of Begging, Borrowing (and printing FICN) to sustain their economy is under a LOT of stress because neither are they able to beg (to their heart’s content) or even borrow due to the chickens finally coming home to roost!

All those pledges for flood relief fund that the smug Bhikharistanis ‘extracted’ just a few weeks ago, turned out to be vague promises of loans that would .. GASP!! .. need to be repaid!! Understandably, there are food riots on their streets!

Do Watch this video below:-

So .. will Pakistan FINALLY default?

Well, this is a question I asked nearly five years ago, leading to yet another thread which carries on still!

Basically, they’ve been in hand-to-mouth situation since a really really long time and have somehow at the last moment someone throws some crumbs their way and they are able to live to beg another day!

In fact that should be the new motto of Bhikharistan: Live to Beg Another Day!

Of course, that penury and poverty doesn’t apply to their feudal elites or their Brown Panted Ones who continue on the path to ‘prosperity’ as is adequately indicated by their ever growing bellies!

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And as far as the mango people go, well, they can eat cake, no?

Heck, the feudal lords will at times personally deliver those cakes!

So what comes next?

This is what I will delve upon further on in the thread. The one thing that I am waiting for (and Insha’llah, it would happen soon) is their forex reserves going below the $4Bn mark.

THAT would be a good psychological blow, IMO, since it’s been a while since their forex reserves went to the ‘Three Point Something’ mark!

But Will they default?

Seems increasingly likely too. But then there is always a billion or two that benefactors can throw at them!

Any additional money thrown their way will only result in kicking of the can a bit further down the road before the inevitable happens. Now I’m no economist to hazard a guess as to how the situation might pan out in case they do default, but then I can make a guess!

Sri Lanka scenario of some months ago gives a template of what might happen. Massive protests .. toppling of govt .. occupation of mansions of the elites .. you name it!

But Bhikharistan is a bit different.

And no, I’m NOT talking about nukes!

Instead, what I am talking about is a rabid, fanatical population armed with perhaps the largest inventory of weapons with civilian citizens after America. Once they become a mob, things would be really interesting to watch!

But that might still be some time away, especially if the Brown Panted rulers can somehow ‘divert’ their attention away from empty plates within and an enemy outside.

You get my drift, right?

It may not be too long before they accuse India of stirring up troubles on their borders. But then, if they indeed do so, what happens next?

Will they muster the courage to ‘teach India a lesson’?

Especially with the experience of Balakot & loss of an F-16? And of trembling legs?

Interestingly, the average Pakistani citizen is more and more apprehensive of and at some level, even enamoured with the rapid growth that India has achieved. They do realise that India has pulled so far away that there is no way Pakistan can ever hope to catch up anymore.

Hence, heightened tensions on the Durand Line might be one way to rally their starving population!

But then, knowing the absurdities they are known for, they might STILL choose to poke India yet again! This quote from a senior military officer sums it up!

Yet, we see peace overtures (only to be quickly made contingent upon handing over Kashmir to them!) from Bhikharistan. What I make of it is pure and simple signalling to benefactors that ‘Look, we are seeking peace. Now give us alms!’

Kashmir is something they just can’t give up.

Kashmir has been the reason for their existence.

Kashmir will be the reason for their downfall!

They’ve been having wet dreams ever since their very birth about ‘freeing’ Kashmir. And to think they will move on now, is pure stupidity!

This is a song from Pakistani film Bedari of 1957. They copied the song from ‘Jagriti’ of 1954 & added the RR about Kashmir! 1957!

And u think they will give up just because they’re a few billion dollars short today?

There can never be peace till the time Pakistan exists! Period!

They are fast approaching a critical mass of sorts. Thereafter, gravity takes over and things become irreversible, even for the Brown Panted ones to be able to take care of.

Whenever the Pakistan Army have found themselves in such a situation, they have had no choice but to lash out. They have two options when it comes to lashing out – Either outside their borders, or inside.

Let me explain ..

Firstly, their default option for lashing out is of course, outside their borders. But that only happened once – in 1971. Yet that too was because they had lashed out within on their own Bengali population and things spiralled out of control!

Remember, for all the fake bravado, the survival instinct of the Brown Panted Ones is really strong. That’s why, when in trouble they mostly lash out on their own people.

After 1965, there was an internal coup and Ayub Khan was thrown out.

Thereafter, once the rout of 1971 was reasonably distant, they hanged the Prime Minister and ushered in yet another dictatorship!

Same happened after 1999 humiliation as well, when Musharraf ‘gifted’ himself to Pakistan.

Get my drift?

I fully expect another internal crackdown soon, or perhaps another military man in power, IF they are unable to create a situation on their borders. But then, as I said in the beginning of this thread, that’s just my opinion!

That is not to say that the Pakistan Army itself isn’t under any stress. This is the first time perhaps that so many of their subjects (or as they are called in normal countries, citizens) are openly abusing them! Their own rank and file too aren’t blameless either.

The intoxication which comes with unquestioned power, has really made them believe themselves to be a ‘class apart’ from the hoi-polloi! Heck, even their ‘better’ halves are in on the game. Do go thru this thread below! I insist!

Of course, it is only fair to assume that the rank and file of the Pakistan Army too wouldn’t stay untouched with all that is happening in their country. A ‘Daadhi-Wala’ Vs ‘Daaru-Wala’ clash within the Brown Panted Ones in the near future cannot be ruled out either, especially if things go farther south.

Now that would be fun, right? 😀

In such a scenario, would they swallow their pride and sue for genuine peace? Or would they go Kamikaze with an aim to take down as many ‘Kafirs’ with them as they can, just like this guy in the video below dreams of doing?

In case they do go Kamikaze, would they only concentrate on Kafirs in India?

Esp since their missiles can reach Israel?

Heck, the same missiles can even reach China!

Food for thought, no?

Basically, they are well on their way to becoming the entire World’s problem instead of merely being India’s problem. The world too is beginning to realise this. Hence the reluctance to dole out free monies any more. Of course the Ukraine War too has diverted their attention!

For the time being, it suits everyone to keep Bhikharistan on liquid oxygen – on the verge of default being their default setting – so that they are kept busy within!

Yes, there can be a future scenario wherein India sees an influx of refugees from a failed/failing Pakistan.

What might we do then, right?

Especially with the loonie brigade within, whose hearts bleed for their Pakistani ‘brethren’, even at the cost of national security! I touched upon this thought some time back.

The option I found to be the most suitable then was to establish refugee camps within Pakistani territory. I still stand by this. There is absolutely no way we can let in the hordes of radicalized loonies into our borders. Feed them. But keep them away!

Of course, that contingency may still be a long way out, if at all.

But remember, this is a civilizational conflict. It will not end with the failure of Pakistan.

It will only end with the failure of the IDEA of Pakistan.

Do read the above statements once again, if you must.

It is THIS that we need to keep in mind as we move ahead to our rightful place in the comity of Nations. The world at large is headed for days of geopolitical uncertainty over the next decade or so. We too are unlikely to remain unaffected.

That said, we need to be well prepared to achieve what we wish to/need to. For that, we need to know the desired end-state in our neighbourhood.

Might it be multiple Pakistans instead of one?

Or successors of current Pakistani State, but friendlier?

Or even an Afg on our borders?

Remember, during the first Taliban regime in Kabul in the 1990s, India didn’t have a diplomatic mission there. This time, however, not only does the Indian diplomatic mission in Kabul continues to function, but also actively engage the Taliban. What might be the reason?

Think!

As I wind up this blog post, let me come back to Bhikharistan.

In the immediate future, I don’t see any improvement in their situation because of the very fact that they might be looking at it as a problem for the next Govt, given the elections that are fast approaching!

But I wouldn’t be very surprised either if they decide to ‘make a concession’ and ‘permit’ India to sell them essential food items in the near future! Packie PM’s recent statement on this account might have been a test balloon which sadly got punctured by non-response from India!

All in all, buy some popcorn and enjoy the show unfolding out there! I finish this thread with this video of a Bhikharistani being shown his true worth. Thanks for your patience!

 

And this one too!

:End of Blog Post: