TTTT

Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

TTTT - Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

No Strategy Barry: Start With This: Let Others Fight ISIS

(1) syrian soldiersWe are about to played the sucker again. The good old USA is putting on its boots to muddle through a field of manure. In part it is because as Obama said he hasn’t developed a strategy with respect to ISIS. Leave a vacuum, others will gleefully fill it.

How can it be we have no strategy? Have we not learned anything? Is it Bush’s fault we have none? Did Obama just take office? It makes my head spin.

I’m dragged back to this topic by two news items I read today.

The first item of news is spelled out in a headline in the NY Daily News ISIS terrorists could be in America in just months if ‘neglected,’ warns Saudi king.” Many other news agencies splashed similar headlines. Fox News noted “Saudi king warns jihadists could attack US, Europe within months.”

The other item of news was in a NY Times article “ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Various Media.” 

Its an interesting article about how ISIS is using both the old tools, horror executions like that of James Foley, and the new tools, the social media with its slick recruitment videos, to intimidate people and spread its teachings.

Having read the latter article first and then the news about the Saudi king I said to myself: “the Saudi foxes are up to their old tricks. We will be suckered in to follow them.” We will if we don’t have a strategy based upon the lessons we should have learned from our history in the Middle East.

Recall Iraq War #1 under the first George Bush. Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saudi Arabia was under threat. We gathered a coalition of nations and rushed to its defense. The Saudis had us covering their back and doing the work they should have done.

Recall Iraq War #2 under the other George Bush. We went in to take down Saddam Hussein under several mistaken beliefs promulgated by Bush’s advisors who didn’t necessarily have our interests foremost in their mind. The Saudis sat back and watched us clean up another mess in their neighborhood.

An editorial this year in the Economist discussing the USA and Saudi Arabia noted: “the two countries need each other. America retains a strong military presence in the Gulf, and cannot be replaced as the ultimate guarantor of Saudi security in the foreseeable future. In the midst of turmoil across the region, and with the threat of jihadist terrorism ever-present, America still relies heavily on the Saudis as the leading local policeman.”

The problem with statements like that, and the past American policy, is that as far as being policemen, the Saudis have not left their station houses.

We are now back in Iraq without a strategy with several hundred ground forces and our air planes. We are fighting ISIS with a little help from the Iraq and Kurd armed forces who at the best of times are reluctantly dragged into the fight. It’s clear they would prefer the US to engage with ISIS while they watch from the sidelines.

That’s what the Saudi king is calling for with his dire warning. He too wants American troops to come to his aid. He too wants Americans to die in a fight that is really his.

Saudi Arabia has an army of over 225,000 troops, over 1,000 tanks, and over 500 aircraft including the latest fighter planes, attack planes and attack helicopters. If it is threatened, shouldn’t it be in the fight. What about the other Arab or Muslim countries?

I recognized ISIS is a horror show. It is the most brutal and barbaric group of fundamentalist Muslims that has existed in our time. But the fight is not ours. It belongs to those ISIS threatens.

Which brings me to the other news item in the NY Times.

It noted that a voice in a recent hour long recruitment video from ISIS said: “Don’t you know that you, your citizenship, your laws, your constitutions and your threats are under our feet? . . . Don’t you know that we are the soldiers of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and that our state will expand until it removes the thrones that you sold your religion for?”

The authors noted that nowhere “in the hourlong production — full of threats, drive-by shootings, explosions and gunfights — does an ISIS fighter mention the United States or directly mention or threaten Israel, apart from the allusion to the Aqsa mosque.”

The authors also provided information from a expert in the area, Fawaz A. Gerges who said: “ISIS had so far consistently focused on what militants call “the near enemy” — leaders of Muslim countries like Bashar al-Assad of Syria — and not “the far enemy” of the United States and Europe. “The struggle against the Americans and the Israelis is distant, not a priority. It has to await liberation at home.”

ISIS is not a threat to the United States. It is a threat, as it has said, to the Islamic states in its area, including Saudi Arabia.

Now I humbly offer President Obama some simple advice with which to formulate his strategy. Start with the proposition that the states threatened by ISIS be willing to fight their own battles. Insist that they use their armies to go into battle against it. Insist they defend themselves in the first instance for it is they who are being threatened. Be guided by the idea that Americans should not be made into suckers by others.

The Anatomy of a Lie:

clowns-072709I’m reading the book One Murder Too Many which should be titled “One Book Too Many.”  Most of what is in there the authors, Laurence J. Yadon and Robert Barr Smith, if this book is any example, write their books by copying what others have written. Many of the things they say they get backwards or they just seem to pluck out of the thick fog statements that make no sense. I’ll talk more about that later.

Now I want to discuss one statement they made. It is obviously false. I’ve read it before but never focused on how wrong it would be to anyone conversant with the happenings in Whitey’s life.

They tell how Whitey and Billy O’Sullivan were the muscle for Donald Killeen who ran the South Boston Killeen gang. O’Sullivan is murdered in Savin Hill (they get it wrong how it happened) and Donald Killeen is murdered outside his Framingham house.  They then go on to say: “Whitey said his final amen to the war when he stopped his car next to Kenneth, the last surviving Killeen brother, as he was walking down the street. “You’re out,” he told Kenneth, “no more warnings.” “ The footnote attached to it was #26 which referred me to page 164 of Pat Nee’s book. That page had nothing to do with anything the authors had stated.

It shows a great misapprehension of what occurred to write Whitey told Kenneth Killeen to get out of the business. Whitey was working with the Killeens. He’d be the last one to have suddenly tell one of them to get out of business. The only way would have been if Whitey had gone over to the other side which was the Mullens. We know that didn’t happen.

Pat Nee was one of the leaders of the Mullens and he wrote about trying to kill Whitey. In his book , “A Criminal & An Irishman” on page 127 he wrote that after the murder of Donald Killeen “For the next few weeks the atmosphere at the Mullen’s corner was pure elation. The buzz around town had us going for Whitey next. But Whitey went underground . . . .”  We know Whitey was in a panic. He needed to make peace with the Mullens. We’d learn that eventually a meeting arranged by Howie Winter at Chandlers in the South End between Whitey and the Mullens brought about a peace deal.

Whitey didn’t tell Kenny Killen he was out. If anyone did, it was the Mullens. Whitey was running scared. Nee said he wasn’t in Southie but was hiding out at Cape Cod.

I figured the authors were just passing on a lie that they read somewhere else. Where did it come from, I wondered?

I traced it back to Howie Carr’s 2006 book, page 66. He talked about Donald Killeen’s killing and wrote: “The next day, Donnie’s sole surviving brother was walking hurriedly along the street in Southie when a car pulled up alongside him. Whitey rolled down the window and told him. “You’re out. No more warnings.”  So Yadon and Smith mindlessly followed Carr who as we know backs up nothing with a footnote.

Howie makes up much of his material but I wondered if he got this from another book. The only one I could think of would be Black Mass, by Lehr and O’Neill. I remembered that they often had their facts messed up. In their book (on page 28) they put the Chandlers meeting with Howie Winter before the Donald Killeen murder. It actually took place a year or so later.

Their intent is to do everything possible to blacken Whitey. They decide to pretend that he betrayed Donald. They then suggest that he killed Donald when everyone knew it was the Mullens.

To buttress their make-believe scenario they write: “The finishing flourish occurred a few weeks later when Kenneth, the youngest brother in the Killeen family, jogged past a car parked near city Point with four men in it. A voice called out “Kenny.” He turned to see Bulger’s face filling the open window, a gun tucked under his chin. “It’s over,” the last Killeen bookmaker standing was told. “You’re out of business. No other warnings.”” It is total bull to anyone conversant with the happenings.

A lie made up to make Whitey look worse than he was is followed by another lie which is an invented event that has the words in quotes as if they were recorded somewhere and gives them the veneer of legitimacy. The lie gets repeated in book after book by writers who don’t think. They pass it on as an accepted truth when a moment’s reflection would show its falsity. Is there any doubt Boston was bamboozled?

Whitey Fabrications: Following Footnotes

(1) fool grinning

Yesterday I mentioned working on my book “Boston Bamboozled.” I’m reading the book I talked about that called Whitey “arguably the most significant organized crime figure of the twentieth century.” 

My job as I see it is to find out what there is out there that I don’t know about. So I’m reading this book and when I come upon something new or which I was not clear about I want to see the source of it. 

Now I’ve mentioned this before. There are books out there like the ones written by Howie Carr that have no footnotes. There is no way to check back to see whether he’s just making something up or there is a basis for his statement. You have to accept what he says is true without verifying it. Ronald Reagan reminded us that would be luddicrous. Another book without footnotes is the one by Ralph Ranalli. Again he wants us to trust what he says without backing it up.

So we end up with gangsters telling their lies and authors telling their stories none of which we can check out ourselves. But in the book I’m now reading there are footnotes, so when I come to something that is new to me I check out the source.

The book is about Whitey and the murder of Roger Wheeler. I’m just getting into it having read that the name Bulger is Gaelic for “yellow belly” and that “Wheeler never knew that he’d been taken out on the orders of Whitey Bulger, a thug for all seasons. . . . ” by John Martorno and Joseph McDonald. Hardly was Whitey ordering Martorano around.

The authors seemed to be lacking an understanding of what happened. They wrote Wheeler got a $33 million line of credit from a Boston bank to buy World Jai Alai (WJA) . It had three restrictions: (1) “he had to keep Richard P. Donovan . . .president”; (Donovan took over after John Callahan had to step down because of his association with organized crime people); (2) “Donovan could only be replaced by John B. Callahan”  (makes no sense because Callahan had to step down) and (3) Wheeler could not change the nature of the business or equity distribution.

There was a footnote attached to the statement. Footnote #13 referred to Donovan being replaced by Callahan. The source was Howie Carr’s book at page 160. That in itself is a bad source because Carr doesn’t source anything he writes. Even as bad as that is, nothing on that page mentioned Donovan or Callahan, never mind anything about the bank.

The next footnote #14 supported the statement that “there is no evidence that the [bank] knew of the Callahan-Winter Hill gang relationship.” The source refers to an interview of Tulsa detective Michael Huff with the author. We have no idea if Huff spoke to anyone at the bank. If he didn’t, there would be no evidence since it wasn’t sought.

The authors write: “Thus, the New York Times theorized Wheeler received significant tax sheltering opportunities from the deal but little else. (my emphasis) They supported that with footnote #15, a NY Times article from June 4, 1981. That article was written by a reporter in Tulsa although in the NT Times was not anything the NY Times was theorizing. What the Tulsa reporter wrote was: “A top official of World Jai-Alai said, further, that the main business value of the venture was that it was ”basically a tax shelter.” He also notes that Wheeler told his college alumni magazine he “invested in World Jai-Alai ”simply to make money,”  Hardly, the little else the authors would have us believe.

Although there’s a footnote 16 in the footnotes, there’s none in the text. The statement that “some suspected that sources within the Boston Police Department had alerted Callahan [that the CT state police knew he was hanging around with gangsters]“  is supported by footnote 17 which cites Ranalli, 162. There Ranalli says “investigators still believe” Callahan was tipped off without giving an reference for that.

How can you verify anything when nothing is sourced? There’s a statement: “Wheeler reportedly asked Rico to take a polygraph test. He refused.” That is sourced to Detective Huff who didn’t know Wheeler when he was living. Another statement: “said reports by a catering manager that financial statements at the Connecticut fronton showing profits were altered by WJA headquarters in Miami to show losses.” is sourced to footnote 24 which is back to Ranalli at 186. Ranalli says an unnamed “former catering manager” made that statement to unnamed the Connecticut investigators.

You see how rumor is passed on. Lies become the truth by repetition. Authors cite sources that are not supported. Unfortunately, the bamboozlement goes on full force.

Money, honey! Patriot’s New Logo

(2)moneyThe words of one of my favorite songs growing up were: “The landlord rang my front door bell; I let it ring for a long, long spell, I went to the window, peeked through the blind, I asked him to tell me what was on his mind. He said: “Money, honey”

I wrote how the Red Sox owners came up with the idea which is to get rid of the big salary players and put minimum wage guys on the field in their place. The Sox this year decided to throw the rest of the season by unloading some of their best players. At the beginning of the year they sold season tickets on the premise they’d compete all year long but then threw in the sponge half way through the season. They saved oodles of money dumping those big salaries; they also kept the big money paid by the season ticket holders. It was a win-win for John Henry the Sox owner; it was a lose-lose for those who paid for a full season and only got a half of season, the fans. Oh yes, it was all about Money, honey.

When the Boston baseball team worked its magic, Mr. Kraft of the New England Patriot’s football team watched in awe. The message was clear. He too could follow them. The seasons tickets were sold out. He could get rid of the big salaries and go with the lesser ones. His team didn’t have to compete every year. Just every so often. The fans will pay full price whether you put a good team on the field or not.

It was only two or three years ago when Mr.Kraft said: “One of the things I’m most proud of coming into the season is we knew this was coming, and we made an effort to tie up our key veterans, people like (Tom) Brady(Stephen) Gostkowski and Vince Wilfork, . . .I hope that us locking up our core veterans and bringing in these seasoned veterans, and probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon — hopefully to be a Patriot for life . . . “ 

How things have changed.

Mr. Kraft has been agonizing for a while that Logan Mankins is being paid big bucks especially since Mankins in not a suck-up type guy. He never felt truly appreciated by Mankins an all-pro offensive tackle making six million or so. Mankins had held out for several months forcing Mr. Kraft to pay more than he wanted to pay. He decided to dump him. Following the Red Sox idea, he told his staff to find a guy making the minimum salary of about a half million.

You don’t have to be Einstein to see such a swap immediately puts $6 million in his pocket. So what if the other guy is an undrafted free agent who played one year. Mr. Kraft knew the sports writers who cover his team who like all the bennies they get from him and fear his wrath will make it sound like a good deal. And, he always has his loyal employee and good soldier Bill Belichick who will take the hit if things don’t work out. It’s a win-win for Mr. Kraft. It’s a less competitive team for the fans. It’s the Money, honey.

The song goes on: “Well I was lean and mean and real hard pressed. I went to the woman who I loved best. I said tell me honey, face to face. How can another man take my place? She said: “Money, honey.”

Bill Belichick is quoted as saying: “Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate.”

If that’s the case, you might ask, “why are you getting rid of him?” Bill answered: “we feel [it] is in the best interests of the team.” How can it be in the best interest of the team to give up that type of player?  If Bill was interested in telling the truth he should have answered, “Money, honey.”

I’d suggest that Vince Wilfork did not have a good sleep last night. Vince Wilfork’s contract in 2014 is a sucker’s “pay for play” one. He’s paid by the game and number of defensive snaps he’s on the field for. He dreamt of hearing Mr. Kraft telling his loyal soldier Bill to hold him out of the games so he doesn’t make his snap bonus.

Aside from that, Wilfork walked into a trap. There’s a crafty provision that give him a $4 million roster bonus due on the first day of the 2015. Who wants to bet that he’ll be around to pick that up. So say goodbye to Vince. Just tell him it’s the: Money, honey!

That leaves Tom Brady. He’s also costing big money. Tom loves the game but he doesn’t need it anymore. He can make more off the field now than on it. He can even be a stay-at-home dad since his wife makes good money.

He’s got to be upset Mankins is gone. He knows that taking a bull like that out of the line in front of him increases his chance of injury. Having had the knee injury, he knows how vulnerable he is. Brady, like the man in the song, might be tempted to go up to Mr. Kraft and say: “How can another quarterback take my place? Mr. Kraft will just smile and say: ”Money, honey!”

Deconstructing Whitey: He Never Hit Anyone

smoking-gunI’m working on my book “Boston Bamboozled.” It’s really going to tell the Whitey Bulger Saga from a different angle than has been told before. One part of writing is doing the right research to come as close to the truth as possible in a story that been built on a bevy of falsehoods.

The leading fabricators are the gangster witnesses upon whom much of Whitey’s story depends. Their goal, of necessity, has been to turn Whitey into a total demon, for in painting Whitey as the most vile of the bunch, the better the deal they would get from the government. After the gangsters come the writers who use the lies of the gangsters and make up facts to enhance the sales of their books.

I have to read the other books to insure that I’m telling my story as close to the truth as possible. I’m not sure of this but I think more books have been written about Whitey than John Tyler, James Polk, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison combined. Just think of that a moment.

Now ask yourself, what effect for the good or bad has Whitey had on anything other than the few poor souls he murdered. The truth is Boston hardly knew he existed. It got along quite well before, during and after he walked its streets. You can point to nothing that his existence added to or detracted from our way of life. Yet to see all that has been written about him who could blame you for thinking he did something important.

When you come down to it he had as much effect on any of us as the guy who on trash day used to go through our neighborhood collecting rags out of the trash containers. We called him “Joe Shich The Rag Man”. He sometimes knocked over a barrel or two and we young kids watched him with a wary eye but when he left the scene all was the same as before he came.

I’m reading one book now that starts off by calling Whitey “arguably the most significant organized crime figure of the twentieth century.” It mentions he “was convicted of planning the murder of eleven people” which in itself is false. He was convicted of their murder, not the planning of them.

A couple of pages after making him the most significant and talking of the 11 murders it mentions John Martorano who had “killed at least eighteen people by then, many dispatched with a quick pistol shot to the back of the head , . . .” seemingly not recognizing 18 is more than 11.

Whitey’s elevation to that position is really a joke. One reason he reached such a lofty height was the FBI’s embarrassment in having him as one of its own. It put him at the top of its most wanted list to cover-up all its past dealings with him.

To put him so high one has to forget about Al Capone, John Gotti, and the many Mafia hitmen including Ice Man” Kuklinski who is “thought to have murdered over 200 men (never women, or children)”

Whitey was a gangster. He was a bad guy. But he wasn’t ever in the league with the top hitters. Plus, unlike Ice Man, he did kill women. In fact, Whitey never did a hit. His reasons for killing the 11 people are all personal.

The following because he thought they would inform or were informing on him (1) John McIntyre (strangely he never met Whitey. Pat Nee who brought him to the murder house and buried him had more to fear from him), (2) Buckey Barrett, (3) Brian Halloran and (4) Michael Donahue who was with him.

He was implicated by Martorano in the killing of (5) John Callahan and (6) Roger Wheeler neither who could jam Whitey into anything. It was Martorano who had the motive to kill them and who admitted killing them.

Whitey killed (7) Paul McGonagle and (8) Tommy King (and I believe Buddy Leonard) because they were rivals for power.

(9) Richard Castucci was murdered by Martorano in a money rip off of the NY Mafia by Winter Hill (10) Whitey abetted the murder of Deborah Hussey (buried with McIntyre and Barrett) helping his partner Stevie Flemmi’s who didn’t like his step-daughter sleeping around. (I also believe he abetted Stevie’s murdering of Debbie Davis. Stevie didn’t want her going off with another guy. She was buried where Whitey buried others.)

The one possible case it could be argued Whitey did a hit was on (11) Eddie Connors because he presented a threat to Howie Winter mostly but being part of Howie’s crew, the threat was also to himself.

A hit man is usually a hired person who has no connection with the person he is about to murder. Martorano was a hit man because he was hired by Gerry Angiulo to do some killings for the Mafia and was hired by Callahan to hit Wheeler. Whitey’s murders were personal. They were not hits.

Not only that, he never hired anyone to do a hit for him. What kind of gangster is that? Hardly one to be remembered  or lionized.

Thought Candy: The FBI’s Most Wanted Dilemma

(2) lollypopThe book I’m reading reminds me that Whitey Bulger became the Most Wanted man in America on the FBI’s Top Most Wanted List when Osama ashbin Laden passed away. That’s quite an achievement.

He earned that position for the crimes he committed between 1975 and 1990 and for having fled in 1995 to avoid prosecution.

Now all during the time he was committing those crimes he was working with the FBI. Every special agent in charge, assistant special agent in charge and fellow agents on the squads his handler was assigned to knew of his status. One person who worked in the office said that everyone in the office knew Whitey was an informant including the secretaries and file clerks.

Whitey was in the FBI’s Top Echelon Informant program. That’s a program where in exchange for information on other organized crime figures the FBI will protect the person in the program. As one agent was overheard saying to his Top Echelon Informant, “my job is to keep you safe.” In other words the FBI partners up with the criminal.

Now doesn’t it seem odd that the FBI’s most wanted guy in the world is a guy it partnered with? Don’t you think that’s what is called chutzpah when it puts the guy at the top of the crime ladder and then pretends it had nothing to do with helping him climb it? Then again, I suppose, the FBI couldn’t put itself at the top of its own wanted list since it was not looking for itself.

 

 

Thought Candy:

(2) lollypopThe politicians and the media have made a big ado about the militarization of our police forces. It all comes from the events that occurred after the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. There riots broke out and some of the police used military like equipment to put down the riots. Not mentioned in all of the lamenting over the actions of the police is that not one person was seriously hurt nor did anyone die because of the manner in which the police dealt with the situation.

Here’s today’s candy for thought:

“Would that same result have come about had the police not been militarized?”  

A Continuing Prejudice

2013 08 30_4070There are four rankings of colleges in the Boston area that I found.

Forbes:

MIT 5, Harvard 7, Tufts 25, Boston College 36, Brandies 74, Boston University 89, Northeastern 209.

U S News:

Harvard 2, MIT 7, Tufts 28, Boston College 31, Brandies 32, Boston University 41, Northeastern 49

Business Insider (Top 50): 

MIT 1, Harvard 3, Tufts 38, Boston College 39.  

About.com (12 Top Colleges in MA not ranked – listed those in Boston area)

Babson, Boston College, Brandeis, Harvard, MIT, Olin, Tufts, Wellesley

The rankings seem to be fairly consistent with MIT, Harvard, Tufts and Boston College as the top four universities in the area.

Some have suggested that the idea that a Catholic University like Boston College being considered one of our top universities was anathema to the Boston Globe.  It preferred to ignore it and did it best to do so. A little proof of that suggestion came about last week.

In the Globe Magazine on Sunday, August 17, 2014, H.D.S.Greenway, who went to Milton Academy and Harvard and worked for the Boston Globe from 1978 to 2000, rising to become editorial page editor wrote:

“from my point of view, the Globe had an advantage that other provincial papers did not have. With Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston University, and other institutes of hIgher learning in its circulation area, international news was both appreciated and respected.”  

 

An 8 year old’s letter to Ukrainian soldiers

Ukraine FlagDear Soldier,

I don’t have a dad, my grandpa is disabled and other than you, my mom and I don’t have anyone to protect us.

Thank you! For the fact that I can play at the playground, eat ice cream, watch cartoons!

My mom and I will never forget what you are doing now! When I grow up I want to be as brave as you! Because I love Ukraine very much and will protect her! And my mom! And my grandma and my grandpa! And you! Thank you for the fact that you now are fighting for my future! I promise – I won’t let you down!

–Ivan Mykhailov, 8 years old,

(1) 8 year old letter

Russian Invasion: Where’s Our President?

(1) white trucksThe Washington Post nabs the essence of the issue:

Mr. Putin’s approach has been terribly sly, from the “little green men” who took over Crimea without noticeable military insignia, to the “uprising” in eastern Ukraine of separatist fighters who just suddenly happened to possess anti-aircraft missiles. Mark Galeotti of New York University wrote recently in Foreign Policy that Mr. Putin has demonstrated in Ukraine a method of fighting with his military intelligence service that is “a mix of stealth, deniability, subversion, and surgical violence.” We would add: outrageous lies and propaganda.”

The latest trick is the so-called Humanitarian Aid Convoy of military trucks painted white. The trucks carry the Red Cross insignia but the Red Cross has no idea what’s on the trucks and has walked as far away from an association with the convoy as is possible given that it has offices in Moscow. Today the painted military trucks began to cross the border into Ukraine without permission from Ukraine.

But that’s not all. How about these photographs of military transport trucks carrying tanks toward the Ukrainian border and returning empty the next day. The tanks are in place to follow. They would have been part of the convoy already but even Putin could figure out that painting a tank white would not disguise it.

I know it’s painful for Obama to get back to business. Today on Martha’s Vineyard the day is quite overcast although rain has not set in yet, I suppose he’ll still want to hit the links but perhaps he might take a pause to figure out what he’s going to do in light of this invasion.

If he can’t figure it out, I’ll explain to him Putin’s game plan. The white trucks will go into Ukraine, many have military equipment on them, some will be hit by artillery or other explosive devices, that will be considered “an attack on Russia” and Putin will send in his troops to defend his aid workers, who by the way all dress alike and appear to most observers to be army troops.

Obama has thought he could stop the invasion with sanctions. He said he did not have to give the Ukrainians any military arms to help them in the fight because they were defeating the rebels who had been sent by Russia to take over parts of Ukraine. Now what does he plan to do now that the Ukrainians face a much larger military force.

Obama ratcheted up the sanctions slowly in the hope they may deter an invasion. That has not worked. The invasion is on.

What now Mr. President? You shilly-shallied with ISIS calling them a little league team in January. You guessed wrong on that one. They were well on their way to taking over Iraq before you decided to take a second look at them and launch air attacks. But you’re trying to do it on the cheap. We have only one aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on station off Iraq. One other is in the Atlantic. Don’t we have ten active carriers? What are the others doing?

You’ve guessed wrong with Putin. You know he has been quietly invading all along but that hasn’t worked. Now that his forces are losing he’s doing it openly. I hope he’s not fooling you with the 280 White Trucks Trojan Horse approach. I know the Europeans aren’t keen on helping Ukraine fearing it might hurt their GDPs. But you can’t defend Ukraine on the cheap! Whatever sanctions you have you’ve got to blast away and also start to give the Ukrainian army the means to defend itself.

It seems to me that you really don’t like to do the hard work but prefer to enjoy the many perks of your office. As my grand kid said to me when he was 3 years old: “Grandpa the world isn’t like you want it to be.” It seems that the world isn’t like you want it to be with all those enemies running around. You know, if you’re really not up to it anymore, why don’t you step down. Look at the Clintons, the perks get better after you leave.

I like it that you don’t want to use the military and that you also don’t like wars and killings. But when one side is doing it to our friends, don’t you think we should give them what aid we can?

Isn’t it time to get off the links and the fund raising trips? Isn’t it time to stop playing around? If you’re not going to step down then spend the next two years working the job hard. You were left a mess; I hope you don’t leave the next person a mess.