Ray interviewed May 2, 2022
The May 1 VIPS Memorandum for the President — perhaps our most important so far — provided the initial peg for the discussion. In that Memo we advised President Biden NOT to dismiss as idle threats President Putin’s public reminders that Russia has nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles to deliver them. ( See: https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2022/05/01/intel-vets-nuclear-weapons-cannot-be-un-invented/ .)
If the experienced military officers I trust are correct in predicting substantial Russian advances in Ukraine in the next few weeks, this will come as a rude shock to Americans conditioned to believe the emerging corporate media narrative that Ukraine government forces have all but won.
What then? I speculate that this might be the time for a (false flag) chemical attack blamed on the Russians — and further escalation.
The Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Soviets tried to put nuclear missiles in Cuba was cited in the interview as an apt analogy. (I included a related episode from my own personal experience as a newly arrived 2/Lt at the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning in the autumn of 1962.)
Most will remember that President Kennedy saw Khrushchev’s daring move as an existential threat that the U.S. could not tolerate. Similarly, a preponderance of evidence suggests, to me at least, that Putin saw an existential threat from U.S. missiles being emplaced in Romania and Poland (but not in Ukraine — yet) and decided that Russia would not tolerate this threat in its own backyard. Putin apparently got a nihil obstat from his powerful ally, Xi Jin-ping; waited until the Beijing Olympics were over; and launched the invasion.
I am not suggesting that the Cuban-like existential threat, together with a waiver on Westfalia (so to speak) given by Xi to Putin, were the only things prompting Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. I think “denazification” played a significant role in his decision. In addition, there were signs early this year that Kyiv was about to mount a major attack on Donetsk and Lugansk in March. The bulk of the Ukrainian army were in position to do so at very short notice. And OSCE observers reported in February an uptick in the kind of shelling in Donetsk and Lugansk that had already killed some 14,000 people since the coup d’etat in 2014.