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As I watch with the rest of the world the horrors in Ukraine, I find it hard to believe that we are living at almost the end of the first quarter of the millennium. One can only recoil at the déjà vu of a madman attacking an independent state. Killing and displacing a huge population and destroying the infrastructure of the country.

I recoil from the site of the rest of the world looking on while such insane and dangerous behavior is allowed to continue without the world doing all it can to stop it. I listen to the arguments of the leaders of the West when they refuse to provide a no-fly zone because of their fear of nuclear war.

If the West had stopped Hitler when he took the Rhineland I, as do many others, believe that would have stopped Hitler. The lack of response by the West emboldened Hitler to take more land and more territory.

The West will pay a heavy price for not confronting Putin now and allowing the killing and destruction to continue. This is not only unconscionable but a terrible miscalculation. Putin will not retaliate with nuclear weapons. I believe that those in power in Russia will ensure that Putin is not capable of deploying and firing nuclear weapons.

Putin is under a lot of pressure. The war is going badly. It is embarrassing to Putin and to Russia. The sanctions placed on Russia by the rest of the world will be felt by the Russian people. Those in power and close to Putin will become economic targets in the rest of the world.

The pressure on Putin can only grow. As Russians feel the sanctions and cannot use their credit cards and supplies dwindle, the pressure will increase.

The Army can’t be happy with Putin. He has planned and carried out this operation negligently and has embarrassed the Russian army.

In terms of public relations, it has been a disaster for Russia and Putin. Their inability to carry out their plans in Ukraine has been a stunning defeat in the eyes of the world. The effects of the war will mean Russia will no longer be the power in the world it once was.

I have to believe that there are powerful people in the highest ranks of the Soviet system who are personally suffering substantially from Putin’s actions and the subsequent sanctions. There must be amongst those powerful and influential people enough to plot the overthrow of Putin and his cronies who are behind the war. Putin must surely be weakened in the eyes of the military, the oligarchs, and the people of Russia. It is amazing how one can lose political power and go from the diamonds in the sidewalk to the dirt in the gutter. I am sure many other leaders, including leaders of Russia and the former Soviet Union, found themselves in power one day and out the next. All you need is the right group of people with the will to change the leadership and the means to do it. We can only hope.

This has been a catastrophic defeat and embarrassment to social, military, political, and economic activity in the Soviet Union and the world. The world has watched while Putin has deliberately destroyed the infrastructure of Ukraine and mercilessly killed its citizens. This will take a long time for Russia to recover in the eyes of the world, and may not.

The best move for those powerful Russians opposed to what Putin has done to them in the eyes of the world would be to arrest Putin, stop the war, pay reparations for the rebuilding of Ukraine, apologized to the world, and blame it on Putin. It is the only way they have any chance to reestablish any kind of positive relationship in the eyes of the world and save their economy. Otherwise, Russia will live in the shadow of this war and is unlikely to recover.

Pelosi and Schumer Must Step Aside.

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Pelosi and Schumer, and yes both of the Clintons have served the American people for several decades. America needs a change.

On November 9, 2016, the American people experienced one of the greatest failures in the history of  democracy. GOP and Democratic voters alike turned their backs on the elite political ruling class of both parties. This was born of the frustration of watching their political system descend into a paralyzed and uncivil sideshow. It was that anger and that rejection that brought Donald Trump to power.

The danger in Donald Trump, is that he cares only about Donald Trump. The Russians were ahead long before they appeared to have a President of the United States that they could blackmail. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the West threw up their hands in victory and fell asleep. Putin divided Russia up amongst his friends. He then used Russian money to buy his way in to the upper echelons of the political and economic elite around the world. The Citizens United decision by the Republican Supreme Court, was the first nail in the coffin of American democracy. It has provided an unlimited source of untraceable money to buy American politicians.

Trump was just a continuation of the deterioration of America is a world leader. One of the worst things he has done is to appoint Cabinet Secretaries who all hold views in direct contradiction to the purpose and missions of their departments. They’re spending their time dismantling the strength and functionality of these departments. They are attacking and destroying the social and political gains that made America a beacon of freedom and liberty and hope and the leader of the free world.

The last chance for American democracy is for the Democrats to retake both houses of Congress. That will not happen with the already rejected, Pelosi and Schumer. They must step aside for the good of the party and the good of America. There are plenty of fresh young voices and leadership in the Democratic Party. They must come up with bold, practical and meaningful proposals and turn them into action.

If Pelosi and Schumer lead the Democrats into the midterms I fear they will again be rejected for the same reasons they failed before. This time the stakes are high. The survival of American democracy.