The End Game?
We've been pretty well bombarded the last few weeks with stories about Vladimir Putin's supposed bout with cancer- a bunch of new ones have emerged in the last couple of days. Of course, given the mainstream media's disinterest in really getting to the bottom of any real news, we have no idea of whether these stories have any substance, or are just noise designed to distract from real issues. Still, I think the newest stories, which are alleged to come from high-ranking people within Russia, are at least worth the following speculation, which of course is absent from much of the media coverage.
Experts have generally foreseen two possible scenarios for an end to the failed Russian invasion of Ukraine: Either a humiliating defeat and surrender, which for obvious reasons most people believe Vladimir Putin could never tolerate, or an escalation to something too terrible to really contemplate- the use of nuclear weapons, which, whatever damage they do to Russia's opponents, would bring about the end of Russia as a legitimate state. Now, there is a third possibility: Putin is found to be "too ill" to continue ruling Russia, at which point the Russian oligarchs and military leaders sadfully determine that without his brilliant leadership, Russia is not capable of sustaining their wholly justified battle against the Nazis, and must regretfully withdraw. This would, at least in the minds of the gullible, defuse both Russian humiliation and the threat of world annihilation. It would save the Russian generals' jobs and the oligarchs' fortunes, and for this reason, my money is on this happening. Putin will then retreat to a "well deserved retirement," and the world will move on, except, of course, for the horrors that the Ukranians suffered, but most followers of the God of Realpolitik (in the US case, the Republicans) will just shrug their shoulders and move on to their next abomination.