Hi Ed - You're right except for one thing. Whatever the emotional satisfaction of any sort of military response against his pipeline or that idiotic palace in Sochi - which even has a strip club room with a pole! - the US cannot ever do that. I'm very glad that Biden has stated publicly that that's not going to happen. After all, the US & Russia are both still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.
So, once again, we do have a sane person in the White House, who understands the gravity of the situation. Thank all the deities in heaven for that.
You're correct, of course, that Putin's ruling mafia elite would get hit with sanctions if Putin invades, and they won't be happy supporting his continuing rule for an Afghanistan (the Russian invasion) level flop.
Also, that Nordstream 2 pipeline would get shutdown and a lot of oligarchs would be losing mucho $$$.
You bring up another good point: China. True, Putin had to go begging to Xi for friendship & support, but Xi has the upper hand & will not risk his export market in Europe & the US for anything more than a kind slap on the back for old Vlad.
It's Monday, Feb. 14. and nothing military has happened yet...
Also, someone made a good point in the news yesterday, that Putin might opt for doing some sort of cyber attack on Ukraine instead. That's interesting. I don't know how much good that would do him, but keep an eye on that.
Thanks for your response!