Sleight of Hand

We all know the trick. The magician gets you to look at his hand, the coin disappears only to reappear later somewhere you least expect it.

For days we agonised over the contents of the ‘humanitarian’ convey about to enter the Ukraine. All our eyes were on it, guns or food?  Guns or food?  And then the master craftsman, the genius of deception, moves (or didn’t) his forces into the very south of the Ukraine, opening another front in this ever more volatile war.

Putin is a bit of a genius. One has to admire his ability to deceive, to distract, and now to deploy.  For months he has peppered special forces into the Ukraine, and the west has been pretty silent.  Initially it was a big gamble, Putin calculated that the West, especially America, would be pretty silent.

Why would he think this?  Well, president Bashar-al-assad managed to get away with murder (literally) this time last year.  Despite talks of ‘a line in the sand’, nothing of consequence really happened.  Bashar-al-Assad is still in power, no-one has ever stood trial for the chemical attack outside Damascus last year.

For months now Putin has been behind a steady stream of Russian troops and equipment into the Ukraine.  A friend of mine is originally from one of the areas currently in the middle of the fighting.  His mother still lives there, and provides some very interesting information.

They live about 30 KM from the Russian border, and at about 4 AM many mornings the tanks and equipment begin to pass.  Local people do not know any of the pro-Russian fighters. Recently, a trolleybus was run over by a tank.  Another day she saw a bus swerve into a bush so as to avoid an armoured column.  And the tanks in that column were all freshly painted.

At this stage it’s hard to guess what Putin’s end game is.  But it is certain that he’s not going to back down.  Hard to believe, but for the first time in a long time, a Russian/Soviet leader has uttered the threat of nuclear weapons.

God help us all.

In the meantime the master-illusionist has his home audience dazzled and eating out of his hand.  One of the big newspapers in Russia is Pravda.  Look at it’s homepage and you will see articles such as ‘Ukraine prepares to steal Russian Gas Legally’,USA or United Totalitarian Police States‘, or (cruelly) ‘James Foley Execution Video Hoax?’

And what will the West do to oppose him?  Against a fast-moving army, our politicians spend days talking about sanctions.  More needs to be done, lest more people die as pawns in his game.

<Note: Pravda accessed online 30/08/2014>

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