Like a fanatical preacher, who keeps moving ahead his prediction of the end of the world as each new date comes and passes, Forbes magazine's Paul Roderick Gregory has worked himself into a lather screaming that the Russian military invasion of Ukraine is imminent! It's coming! It's already taking place!
Ukrainian defense analysts and coup-appointed military leaders in Kiev (no conflict of interest there?) are reporting on the invasion, War of the Worlds-style, and Gregory is there, his fingers burning up the keyboard, to dutifully report.
In the interest of space, we will only go back three weeks, where on March 17, Gregory cites CATO's Andrei "Is Helsinki Burning?" Illarionov to warn:
"Former Top Putin Advisor Sounds The Alarm: Putin Has Already Declared War On Kiev"
But it is an awfully quiet war. Without a single death. Unlike US "liberations" of Libya, Syria, etc.
Three days later the Forbes analyst returns to the same theme, writing again of the invasion:
"New Sanctions No Joke: Putin Risks Regime For Ukraine Invasion (Treasury Issues A Direct Threat To Putin) See Updates"
But he is wrong again, this time on both counts. The sanctions are a joke, and there is no invasion. But like all neocons, a bad prediction calls for doubling down on faulty analysis, so what to do but backtrack without apology.
After the invasion he warned about twice in three days had clearly not taken place, Gregory backtracks and reports on March 30th that Putin is blackmailing the West into accepting a federalized Ukraine in exchange for not invading:
"Putin's Brazen Demand In Return For Him NOT Invading Ukraine"
But he told us that Putin had already invaded.
The West has heretofore not accepted what he calls the Russian demand for federalization of Ukraine (actually it was a proposal), but still no invasion. So, wrong again.
Never mind, time to roll out the Hitler talk. The next day, Gregory writes:
"Putin Channeling Hitler: How About A Reichstag Fire?"
With no evidence, he nevertheless seems to inhabit the mind of his subject, confusing hysterical speculation with sound analysis:
In addition to the quiet destabilization of his tituski subversives, Putin would welcome a spectacular game-changing event, like Kobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the hostage taking of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, or the burning of the Reichstag in 1933.Still nothing has happened. What to do? Ratchet up the rhetoric!
On April 7, two days ago, Gregory wrote:
"Putin's Attack On East Ukraine Began Today: What This Means For Europe And The US"
What attack? No problem for Gregory, though...
Back to the Ukrainian "experts" he goes to tell us yesterday that the attack is imminent:
"Respected Ukrainian Military Analyst Warns Russian Invasion Imminent (But First Need Dead Protesters)"
His expert, Dmitry Tymchuk, is also given to frenzied speculation, happily lapped up by the pro-coup Kyiv Post and other publications. After repeating Washington's chutzpah-laden talking points that the protests in eastern Ukraine are an “illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state," Gregory repeats Tymchuk's detailed report of the Russian invasion plan (an invasion he told us had already taken place three weeks ago). Gregory writes that, "We imagine that Tymchuk has access to inside information from military and civilian intelligence," but is imagination really solid enough ground upon which to build such a conclusive report?
Indeed, Tymchuk's "sources" for claims of a Russian invasion are limited to "according to our information." Oh that settles it.
One can hardly wait for tomorrow's missive...
That is not to say that Russian military action in Ukraine is an impossibility, of course. Unlike the police who were unable to shut down the violent protests in Kiev in February, the new regime has dispatched a motley crew of well-armed "national guard" gangs to suppress the protests in eastern Ukraine. It is certainly possible that a violent crackdown against the protesters (which would be condemned by the US if it were in pre-coup Kiev but will be praised if in post-coup Donetsk) would provoke a Russian response.
Any invasion would be deeply regrettable, it goes without saying. However, as with Crimean secession, none of this would be taking place without the US-backed coup in Kiev. Action/reaction/consequences.
If it does happen, by then Paul Roderick Gregory will have worked himself into such a state that his fingers may actually explode, one by one, like firecrackers on the keyboard!