Putin Commits a Costly Blunder at the Worst Possible Moment

He should have stopped Iran

Shankar Narayan
8 min readApr 16, 2024

I had nearly published a story titled “Putin and Khamenei May Have Committed Their Biggest Mistake Ever.” However, I had to halt its publication because some of the content shifted from future tense to present tense.

After Iran launched the largest missile and drone attack in history, the Western nations are still in shock.

According to their latest position, which I don’t believe, it was a significant victory. Iran fired nearly hundred missiles and two hundred drones, but they were successfully intercepted by Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, and the United States.

Western leaders are making the case that this is a huge victory.

The attack that unfolded on Saturday night is the known part. Today and tomorrow are the unknown part. The West won the known part, I agree. But do they have a plan for the unknown?

The Middle East is akin to a tinderbox, where even a small scratch can swiftly unravel the situation. The public efforts by leaders like Biden and Macron to persuade Israel against retaliating to Iran’s attack serve as compelling evidence of their lack of complete control over the situation.

The Western world clearly understands that it is not in the interests of Russia’s Putin and Iran’s Khamenei to let the world slip into peace.

Putin nearly fractured the allies with their response to aiding Ukraine. The United States got stalled, Germany’s stance was a hit and miss, and Britain and France were beginning to diverge from the coalition’s direction. “All over the place” aptly characterizes the West’s position regarding Ukraine.

The tug-of-war, which was pulling in multiple directions, aligned into a singular force on Saturday. The US, Britain, and France ceased their bickering when Iran notified Jordan of the impending attack and subsequently launched 100 missiles. The fact that all three nations participated enabled Saudi Arabia and Jordan to join forces in thwarting Iran’s aggression.

Numerous visible and invisible barriers shattered that night. The attack also shattered the Western assumption that the conflict in the eastern end of Europe was inconsequential and that maintaining a passive approach would somehow lead to a resolution.

It feels like an eon to me. Almost a year ago, I wrote that Israel was making a big mistake by not helping Ukraine because the Iran-Russia nexus would continue to grow, reaching a point where the relationship would become an existential problem for Israel.

What happened on Saturday is just one small step in that direction. There is plenty more to come. Iran is Russia’s biggest weapons supplier. The day Putin sells his Sukhois to Iran is not too far away.

The West has a desperate desire to avoid delving deeply into the implications of the growing Iran-Russia nexus. But just because you turn your head the other way does not mean you cannot hear the bomb exploding 100 feet away from your feet. You cannot keep Iran away from Russia.

Similarly you cannot handle Ukraine and Isreal as isolated problems. They are all connected.

Iran went overboard with its attack, and it may have prompted the GOP’s pro-Israel contingent into action. This is a powerful bloc that the Republican Party will find difficult to dismiss. House Speaker Johnson was finally brought under intense pressure to act on the Israel aid bill. Iran’s massive attack forced him to act, as he lost his leverage to keep pressing the delay button. Consequently, he has decided to bring four different aid bills to the House for a vote this week.

  1. Aid for Isreal
  2. Aid for Ukraine
  3. Aid for Taiwan and other allies
  4. A list of Republican proposals (I am extremely curious to see this one clear the House. Speaker Johnson needs to get every single one of his party members to vote yes. If he accomplishes that feat, he will make history.)

I believe it was a wise decision to break the bills into four different pieces. Combining them into one bill would have given the performers on both sides, Republicans and Democrats, the opportunity to create chaos. Allowing these red and blue theater artists to go on record will reveal their true face to us. While it will still require a lot of effort to pass all four bills individually, there is at least a possibility of success. Conversely, a single bill for all would undoubtedly fail in the realm of MAGA artists and SQUAD performers.

The kind of name these people come up with.


For over a decade, we’ve become accustomed to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi(Democrat) skillfully shepherding bills through the House with no margin for error — something only she could achieve. The GOP, even with a solid majority, has never demonstrated the ability to move bills effectively. Currently, we have a House that is split down the middle. On both sides, there are those who would prefer all the bills to fail, as well as those who want all the bills to pass.

Passing the four bills will still be a significant challenge, requiring the collective effort of people from both sides of the aisle. It will demand the intellect and strength of all involved to push through. Thanks to Iran’s actions, we’ve reached a point where Speaker Johnson, the most significant obstacle, has been compelled to act.

He has the convenient cover of Iran’s attack to bring the bills to the floor.

Regarding these aid bills, the Senate GOP will not be a hurdle. Frankly, they were the ones advocating for more action from the outset of Putin’s invasion. The primary delays typically stemmed from the White House. Once the bills, in any form, clear the House, I am highly confident they will swiftly pass the Senate, and President Biden will promptly sign them into effect.

The responsibility to see these bills through falls squarely on the shoulders of House Speaker Johnson and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. This will be a significant test of their leadership abilities. I hope both of them can achieve a substantial victory for the world. The United States cannot afford to send the message that it will not aid those in need. That is precisely what Putin, Khamenei, and Xi desire.

That is not what Americans want.

Two-thirds of Americans believe that aiding Israel and Ukraine is in their best interest. Rarely do we see the Americans align themselves so decisively towards a singular position. This is akin to landslide territory.

If you are not American and you’re reading this, please understand that Americans have always aspired to do what’s right. It’s the political class, aiming to appease the extremes of their respective parties, that has allowed things to veer off course. So, the notion that America is irretrievably lost is simply nonsensical. As long as popular support remains in the right spot, the trajectory of politics can always be altered.

What is in the bill?

That is the $96 billion dollar question.

Speaker Johnson has not pulled the rug out from under the Senate proposal that was sent to him. As seen in the table created by security analyst Colby Badhwar, citing sources from inside Congress, Speaker Johnson has made a few changes. It appears he wanted to slightly improve upon the one he received.

Fair enough…. He wants his name on it. That’s why you become the Speaker of the House, isn’t it? So be it.

“We know that the world is watching us to see how we react,” Speaker Johnson told reporters yesterday. “We have terrorists and tyrants and terrible leaders around the world like Putin and Xi and in Iran, and they’re watching to see if America will stand up for its allies and our interests around the globe — and we will.”

Nearly 60% of the money is expected to go into defense manufacturing in the United States. There is nothing wrong with this.

There are two things that the United States needs to do:

  1. Increase its weapons production capacity. The war in Ukraine has shown us very clearly that there needs to be a realignment of weapons production. There are things that we thought we would never need in high quantities, such as artillery shells and air-defense missiles. The entire West assumed stockpiles would be enough to win. That is not the case. This war has already transitioned into a production war. Either we increase production and win, or we refuse to invest and lose. The aid bills will allow the United States to boost its weapons production capacity in the right areas.
  2. The United States has to become the production backbone of Israel and Ukraine. They need to continue streaming weapons to both nations to defeat anything Iran and Russia throw at them. Once the aid bills are cleared, the Biden administration must also keep a lend-lease program prepared and waiting in the wings. That should be their fallback. Having the lend-lease signed and ready will allow the United States to avoid facing any contingency problems, such as not having money appropriated by Congress to send weapons. It will be a massive deterrent to anyone who thinks political divisions in the US House of Representatives can be used to stop America from rallying in favor of its allies.

Not for a second am I ready to believe that the Kremlin was not aware of Iran’s plan to attack Israel. Iran notified the allies of its attack. It was part of their plan to control the escalation ladder.

The Kremlin knew, and yet they did not persuade their ally to stop the attack.

Putin has lost it.

It happens when you keep spewing propaganda day and night. At some point, you are going to start believing in what you are saying. Putin took a huge gamble. He may have assumed that stoking further fire in the Middle East would force the allies to drop Ukraine and shift their focus to Israel. However, it’s going to be the contrary. Instead, it has brought the allies together, forcing them to overlook their differences and pool their resources to help Israel.

Now they no longer have any cover to treat Ukraine as the unwanted child. Ultimately, politics is about perception. Western leaders are now fully aware of the steps they took to help Israel and recognize that their excuses for not assisting Ukraine have fallen flat. Consequently, there will be a readjustment.

Speaker Johnson moving the bill to the floor of the House is one of those adjustments.


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Shankar Narayan

He didn't care what he had or what he had left, he cared only about what he must do.