It was with much relief that I read the news yesterday that the West had decided to finally send warplanes to Ukraine. It has been a long wait.
And it will be a turning point in the war.
America is setting up to train Ukrainian pilots to operate F-15 or F-16 fighter jets. And while it will take some months for the aircraft to be put to use, the decision has all the markings of a game changing choice.
The underlying thinking is what I find most relevant. And that is the willingness to confront Putin. To not be cowed by his threats of using nuclear weapons.
For the longest, the West had hesitated to provide much needed warplanes fearing a nuclear escalation would follow. But no more.
The battle for Ukraine has become a defining moment for the West.
Not only is NATO in the process of expanding its membership (Finland and Sweden) as a result of Russia’s invasion, but a new resolve has been created.
Putin may boast that he has got around some of the sanctions imposed on him and may be dreaming of the pain he can still inflict by restricting gas supplies to Europe come winter, but it has become evident that his choice of massacring Ukrainians was a disaster.
Ukrainians’ blood and endless sacrifices, Zelensky’s steady and inspiring leadership, both have been critical in the new conviction that Russia can be defeated and pushed back to their own border.
All the nations that have banded together to oppose Putin and aid Ukrainians, deserve great credit for such courageous stance.
As an American, I thank president Biden for his strong leadership and commitment to uniting the West.
Inflation was an inevitable consequence of the war effort, and yet there are signs that this, too, will be manageable and the West will endure and thrive.
By contrast, Putin’s fate is sealed. He will forever be no more than a small man with grandiose ambitions who chose to ravage a neighbor nation.
History will not forgive him.
It will be up to Russians to depose him and I have no doubt they will.
He stands in the way of their political and economic development. Stands in the way of their cultural and technological growth. Whereas this was evident well before the war, the war has made it blatantly clear.
Russia cannot realize its possibilities with a man like Putin as their leader.
It is hard to say how Putin will be removed from office but I have no doubt that forward thinking Russians have given the matter serious thought.
I predict that Vladimir Putin will fall soon, perhaps even before the end of the year.
By contrast, Volodymyr Zelensky’s star will continue to rise, as will his commitment to rebuilding Ukraine into a first rate nation, a shining example of what political and moral courage are able to create.
Oscar Valdes, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts.
9/20/22 Note: I wrote this article based on information that had appeared in the NY Times or the WSJ the day before (7/26/22). Yesterday, in the WSJ, and again today, I read that the US has no immediate plans to send war planes (F-15s of F-16s) to Ukraine. Something changed. Perhaps it is the concern that Putin will see it as an intolerable escalation on the part of the West. Thank you.