The Three Things to Win the War

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One – Give Ukraine all it needs to push Russia back to behind its borders.

Time is critical. Zelensky has called for fighter jets.
The sooner we provide them, the quicker the benefits.
We don’t have to idealize Ukraine to acknowledge their tremendous courage,
their commitment to defend their land and affirm their right to self determination.
They have their flaws, like all of us do, but they have made their choice.
Victory or death. And they have been brilliant.
Can anyone recall any western nation making that choice since the end of WWII, as they fight a foe much more powerful militarily than them?
No western nation has done that.
Does Russia have the commitment Ukraine has?
No.
The majority of Russians have been living in a trance induced by Putin. They have swallowed whole the lies they have been fed.
It will take some time for that nation to come to terms with the historical costs of such passivity. Eventually, other leaders will arise and the necessary self scrutiny will take place. Meanwhile, all consenting Russians are accomplices in the atrocities committed against Ukraine.
A Russian not lifting a finger to dissent with Putin is an accomplice of his.

Two – Stop Russia from firing missiles into Ukraine from Russia itself.

This is unacceptable. It keeps happening because we’ve been afraid to confront Putin.
Why are we allowing this advantage to the Russians?
We should say to Putin, stop firing missiles from your territory or we will provide Ukrainians with the same capability.
Since when are Ukrainian lives less dear than those of Russia?
With their actions, Ukrainians have been loudly saying to the world, this war is winnable.
They are right and in need of our full backing.
Ukraine is standing today because of the effort made by the West to arm them. But we also have pressing problems of our own that need our resources and attention, the more reason to bring the war to an end as soon as possible.
So let us gather our own courage to put limits on Putin.

Three – The moment that Russia is pushed back to behind its borders we should declare Ukraine to have all the protections of a NATO member.
Given all the sacrifices Ukrainians have made and the atrocities committed by Putin and his fellow Russians, Ukrainians are deserving of such protection.
I am sure this could be agreed upon.
Turkiye’s president may object, as he has in blocking Sweden’s and Norway’s membership, but the man likes to play both sides and has yet to agree to the sanctions on Russia imposed by the West. So NATO should boot him out of the organization, let him cozy up to China instead and good luck with that.

This war should not go on and on. Ukrainians have limits. The nations forming part of the western alliance have limits, too.
The sooner the war ends, the better for all.
We should give Ukraine everything it needs now.
Ukraine’s commitment to succeed can push back Russia to behind its borders, and with NATO’s protections have the security to start rebuilding what will be a remarkable nation, the envy of all Russians and all other nations living without human beings’ basic freedoms.

Bolder, Mr Biden.

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After long delays the approval for sending tanks to Ukraine was given. But it will take months before they arrive. A delay measured in lives lost.
The delay was largely due to German obstructionism. Chancellor Scholz, for whatever reasons, putting up obstacles to assist Ukraine.
This delay has given Putin an advantage. Not only can they keep firing missiles from their own territory but, with greater number of soldiers, now they can push more effectively against Ukraine’s resistance.
Zelensky has called for fighter jets and longer range missiles to defend his nation.
We should give them to him as soon as possible.
Mr Scholz will likely put up other obstacles to not do what is needed, but if Germans themselves don’t bypass him, then we should. How? One option is to come to a consensus that, in the upcoming rebuilding of Ukraine, contracts to companies to do the work be awarded in proportion to how helpful their nations of origin were in assisting Ukraine. Scholz’s obstructionism should put German companies at the bottom of the list.
Ukraine’s enormous effort, dying in defense of democracy, is being underestimated.
So far, we have been intimidated every time that Putin talks of his nuclear weapons.
We cannot allow him to brow beat us.
His threats need to be met with resolve. And arming Ukraine with all it needs, short of nuclear weapons, is the answer
At this time China is going all out to bypass the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Putin. They are afraid of a victory by Ukraine because such victory will empower the growing resistance in China against the dictatorial powers of their communist party.
Ukrainians have made the commitment to push back Russia to behind its borders. Doing so will transform not only Ukraine but also Russia.
By now we know the courage is there. What is needed is to arm it.
For that, Western boldness is needed.
There are nations in the alliance that will prefer to scream loudly against such a position but to delay assistance is the equivalent to siding with Putin. We cannot allow it.
So it falls to you, Mr Biden, to be bolder in the interest of all nations.
Imagine the power of a fully recovered Ukraine with all its borders reclaimed and rebuilt with the assistance of the West?
Such light will shine so bright that it will move Russians to carefully examine why they have subjected themselves to the authority of Putin. They will realize they have consented to devaluing themselves by not fully exercising their political and economic freedoms.
When that starts to happen, if Putin has lasted that long, he will be asked to leave.
The same process is likely to happen in next door China and other nations farther away.
Ukraine’s uniqueness deserves all the support it needs and the resulting benefits will be great.
A nuclear war is a very distant possibility because China will act as a check on Putin.
China does not want a nuclear war. They know that if one is triggered, they would be caught in it because we would have to fire on them also.
You have done a great job, thus far, Mr Biden. Greater boldness is needed to finish the job.
You can do it.

To The War Reporter

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You go to the source of the action,
You take the risk,
The Ukrainian soldier tells you as much as he’s allowed
And you sift through it all to capture the essence,
Their humanity, their fears, their courage.
At those moments, when you’re listening and carefully observing
all that you’ve been allowed to immerse in,
you become one of them.
A Russian missile could be about to land where you are taking notes,
yet you steel yourself to capture all that is noteworthy before your senses.
Sights, smells, sounds, taste and touch,
And then you send it all to us,
To anyone who’s open to taking it in,
You send it condensed into words that leap across nations and oceans
to elicit thoughts and emotions that then carry us back
to your side,
at that soldier’s side,
and a bridge is built.

By your actions you enlarge our minds,
Sharpen our judgments,
make possible the flowering of empathy,
the deepening of solidarity,
the evincing of conviction in the purpose.

For some of the soldiers you interview,
that moment you shared with the rest of us may become the paper clipping
his family will treasure, maybe even the only memento if the soldier is blown up the next day
and doesn’t get to return from the front to embrace his wife and children.
With your writing you reach out and capture life,
You enrich, expand and lengthen it,
You frame the heroism of those men
Fighting against forces of darkness that seek to entomb them and us all.
Your efforts help create a new consciousness that is critical to embolden the world’s fight for freedom.

Gifted men and women,
warriors in defense of ideas and humanity,
Press on!
we are most grateful for your strength,
your vision and commitment.
Dare on!
Without you the world would be darker and cripple our minds,
Our thoughts and feelings wouldn’t take wing
and instead crash on the rocks of ignorance.

From all those whose lives you’ve touched with your reporting,
Thank you.
The pursuit of liberty would not be possible without you.

China and India. War Profiteers

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The war needs to end. It is a major disruptor of the economy and great driving force for inflation.
The Western alliance has supported Ukraine with America being the one carrying the heavier burden.
Sanctions on Russia are working and energy experts say the consequent lack of access to western technology and knowhow is gradually shrinking Russia’s productive capacity.
This is important because revenues from oil and gas are the dominant component of their federal budget. In 2021 they represented 45% of such budget.
But even at discounted prices, Russia continues to sell its oil.
And who are the major purchasers? China and India.
Judging by the bar graph in a recent article in the WSJ (see link below), China and India appear to account for over 65% of such purchases.
So why not put sanctions on those two countries?
By their purchases they are helping prolong the war and so the killing of Ukrainians.
They are fueling inflation and all its devastating consequences.
Will India get upset with the West if sanctions are applied? Most likely. But what alternatives do they leave us? The cost of the war is too high and they have become war profiteers.
The war in Ukraine affects everyone and India and Modi are not accepting their responsibility in bringing it to an end.
Over the years they chose to purchase their weapons from Russia instead of the West, so they, too, got fooled by his Highness Vladimir.
They may take some comfort in the fact that Germans also got snookered, with Angela Merkel believing Putin’s tricks.
To be fair, in America, we have a long history of that same gullibility. For just one example, I’m sure George W Bush is still kicking himself for having invaded Iraq in 2003, resulting in all that destruction.
The war in Ukraine is telling India that it is time to accelerate its pivot to the West. Stopping the purchases of Russian oil would be a great step in that direction.
India’s talents would make a remarkable contribution, as we already see from the many heads of industry of Indian origin now in America, as well as in other fields of endeavor.
Will sanctions on China upset Xi Jinping? Yes. But they, too, are a war profiteer.
China became the powerhouse that it is now because of the enormous transfer of talent and technology from the West which they then used well by applying their own gifts.
But their current system of rigid hierarchical structure with suppression of freedom of speech will not keep fueling their expansion but slow it instead
China, too, by their support of Putin is contributing to the economic malaise the world is struggling with. By their purchases of oil from Putin they become his accomplice.
Economic sanctions need to be levied and if they scream, so be it.
The world needs respite from the war. And it needs it now

Mr Scholz. Can You Be a War Chancellor?

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There are no doubts about your talents, sir. Under your leadership, Germans have made strict adjustments in energy consumption. And Germany’s productive capacity has also shown in the speed with which the LNGs (liquified natural gas terminals) have been built.
So thank you and Germans for that.
But there is still the matter of the Leopard tanks.
They are sorely needed.
In one of your last statements you said you would send the tanks only if America sent their own Abrams tanks.
But why put another roadblock?
Hasn’t America done more than you have to help Ukraine?
You saw recently how Putin bombed a residential building in a suburb of Kyiv, killing at least 40 people.
How did you react to that?
Is the West enabling Ukrainians to fire missiles on Moscow? No. But why not?
Putin, with the consent of his sleep walking population, just shoots them at random. Did they land on a maternity hospital? Oh, well, we’re in a war, will be his reply.
Precisely, chancellor. We’re in a war. The killing is indiscriminate, and you are saying to the Polish government’s request to you to send their own Leopard tanks (German built), ‘no, we have got to think about it’.
Think about what, sir?
By now, your timidity is such, that the Polish would probably get applause by telling you to go fry yourself in hell and send the Leopards to Ukraine without your permission.
We’re at war and you are stalling.
It’s not like you don’t have a precedent. Didn’t England just approve the sending of their own Challenger tanks to Ukraine?
Did they insist on America sending their Abrams tanks also? No.
Chancellor, Russia is rebuilding. I just read that Putin is going to enlarge his army to 1.5 million, up from 1.35 million. The West is not giving men to the war effort but equipment, knowhow, and munitions. We are not dying in the battlefield, it’s the Ukrainians doing the dying.
Germans, are not dying in this war.
Ukrainians now have a hard earned advantage. We should not let it slip away.
Resolve is needed now. And tomorrow, too. And the day after.
In 1948, when the Soviets had encircled Berlin, it was General Lucius D Clay, the American in charge of allied occupation forces who convinced all concerned that an airlift was essential to save Berlin. He did not hesitate. He spoke up. He convinced the doubters. And so the airlift was instituted and lasted almost a year. Berlin lived on.
When squeezed those in charge need to answer the call.
It is you turn, Chancellor.
Now, it could be that this decision does not fall within your range of talents.
If so, do us all a favor and resign.
Germany can still use your talents when peace returns.
Please act.

Something is Off in Putin’s Inner Circle

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A few days ago, an article in the NYT spoke of the Wagner group claiming that it had taken over the town of Soledar in the Donbas area, only to be quickly contradicted by Russia’s defense ministry and Ukraine’s military.
The head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has also criticized the Russian military for their management of the invasion.
So how come the Wagner group, a force of mercenary soldiers, which recruits prisoners to do the fighting, and whose chief and creator is reported to be a convicted criminal, has risen to such prominence in military affairs? (Before this he was in the restaurant business)
This is not new. The Wagner group has been active in Africa and in Syria supporting dictators.
Mind you, with the right approach, convicted criminals do turn their lives around and become contributors to society, and maybe Prigozhin is a standout talent, but to go from prison to becoming a close associate of Putin and then being entrusted with leading military actions in Africa and Syria and now in Ukraine, arouses a measure of interest.
Does Putin trust his own military, or is he more comfortable with Prigozhin?
Is he afraid that a career military commander may distinguish himself on the battlefield and grow to become a rival?
Russia’s failures in combat have been mounting and this is likely accentuating divisions in the armed forces.
Has Putin, deliberately, kept his military weak?
Did he believe it would be easier instead to control a former convict and his mercenaries?
In recent years there had been much talk of Putin modernizing his military, but it appears the changes were not substantive enough. Was he afraid of giving too much power to an institution that could overthrow him?
The war is not over and turnarounds are possible but, so far, Russia’s military’s performance in Ukraine has left them with a black mark for all the world to see. With their pride wounded, will they choose to stage a coup against Putin?
How is it that Putin thought that a mercenary group, even if 10 times its current size, could hold up against a trained and committed Ukrainian force fighting for their land?
There is no way that such group could win.
Present developments keep pointing to grave structural flaws in Russia’s management of the war, another reason why it is critical that the West continue its support of Ukraine’s fighters.
It is also important to find out which way does the Russian military lean politically.
Could it be that, as an educated group, it may be leaning more toward a democratic form of government and toward building stronger links with Europe?
Maybe the Russian military does not share the ultranationalist sentiments of some of Putin’s staunch supporters and, because of it, Putin has preferred to keep them relatively weak.
Otherwise, why not send Russian soldiers to Africa in place of the Wagner group? Wouldn’t that give them precious battlefield experience?
Something is off in Putin’s inner circle.
Maybe his dominance and control are not all that tight.
I am sure China is closely following these developments and acting on them to increase their influence.
There may even be a pro China faction and a pro Western faction in the Russian armed forces, both tugging with each other.
Educated, self respecting military officers are likely questioning the conduct of the war, Putin’s meddling and the loss of prestige their institution has suffered.
Is that institution now questioning their role in Russian society?
Is Putin’s savagery in Ukraine not something worth standing up to?
Are they not demeaned enough as Putin carries on unopposed in Russia?
Have they become lambs for the great Vladimir, future czar or king of their land?
Will the Russian military now forget what they are capable of, as when they beat back Hitler and changed the course of WWII, and instead bow as they wait for instructions from the head of the Wagner group?
The world is watching.

When Will The War End?

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There is no way of realistically predicting that time but the more relevant question is, how will the war end?
I see two main camps at this point. One stating that we should hurry up and look for a deal enabling the contending parties to put down their weapons. Another saying there will be no talks until Russia has left Ukraine entirely, including Crimea, which they took over in 2014.
Zelensky is a strong advocate of the latter option.
And it makes sense.
Pushing Putin out of Ukraine entirely would be a complete victory.
So long as Ukraine is willing to put in the heroic effort, the West should back them up.
The West needs to take the long view and make the necessary sacrifices. The advantages are enormous.
A deterred Russia is more likely to see the anti Putin ferment rise and eventually lead to the deposing of Putin.
An increasingly united West will help work out internal differences and hasten the path to energy independence. The western alliance has the intellectual/technological/industrial capacity to accomplish the task.
A complete Russian retreat from Ukraine has important consequences for China’s present leadership. It will be clear to all Chinese that the global West, in mustering the resources needed to assist Ukraine, will be ready to make the same commitment to aid Taiwan.
The Chinese people are a capable people but the present leadership is preventing their political maturation. Xi Jinping is another Vladimir Putin, likely to be as truculent, murderous and brutal as the Russian in his effort to keep himself in power.
The Chinese communist party has been able to control the population only because of its repression of freedom of speech. When the Chinese people gain such freedom, all their potential will be unleashed to the benefit of their nation and the world.
The US has been broadcasting into China through Radio Free Asia (rfa.org) in Mandarin, Cantonese, Uyghur and other languages. Chinese authorities consistently jam the transmissions so this needs to be improved.
China will retaliate, of course but they won’t be able to wall off their country.
A steady flow of information from the free world will be critical to create the necessary conditions in China so they begin to move toward democracy.
Both Russia and China are fond of looking at the West and saying ‘Look at all the chaos that you have.’ But free societies learn to face those conditions and find answers to them, spurring civic growth as a result.
The heroic effort of Ukraine is opening a new path for nations to cooperate and rid the world of the devastating consequences of dictatorial regimes.
A word about Zelensky and his tenure as president of Ukraine. New elections for the post will not be held until the end of March 2024. Zelensky is permitted to run again.
Will the war have ended by then?
I hope so.
If it has not, the holding of such an important election should be postponed. It would be very difficult for the opposition to campaign while the nation is at war.
Zelensky should then say that he will continue as president only until the end of the war and not run again. And the nation should set a limit for such tenure, say a year or two at the most, if war were to drag on further.
Where would Zelensky go next?
I believe he would do a great job as head of the United Nations.
One of his tasks ought to be to lead the effort to redraw the terms of the body’s charter, so as to not allow countries like Russia and China to hold veto power in the UN’s Security Council.
The world needs to break the chains to authoritarian governments.

Chancellor Scholz. The Leopard Tanks

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With the war slowing down because of Winter, the need for tanks has become clearer.
Ukraine has the advantage at this time.
Just writing these words seems unbelievable. Only 11 months ago, when Putin invaded, no one foresaw that Ukrainians would rise to the task and say to Putin and his troops, ‘Go screw yourselves!’
They didn’t have the guns but they had the voice. And their voice rose and flew all over the world asking for help fighting off the invader. They would do the dying, they said proudly, we just need the guns to do the fighting.
When was the last time the world heard such a plea?
And the West heard it, heard the anguish in the voice of Ukraine, their willingness to give it all to defend their land. And the West said, ‘this is real… and we will back you up.’
Some western leaders heard the anguish more clearly than others, but gradually a consensus emerged. And the help to Ukraine started to flow.
What they have done with it is extraordinary.
Day in and day out they battle a superpower bent on enslaving them, bent on destroying their identity. A superpower who has more weapons than they do but a superpower without the moral resolve that Ukrainians have.
Ukraine’s courage has pushed the West to ask itself, is this not our fight also? And to answer, yes, it is. And to again ask, must we not sacrifice also? And to answer, yes, we must.
Ukraine’s heroism is a triumph for democracy and freedom.
Russia does not know what that is and neither does China.
And so Ukraine’s incredible performance has split the world into three parts. The one part that is privileged to have seen democracy and freedom in action; the part that lacks the wisdom to struggle with its uncertainties and thus settled on autocracy; and the part that does not want to make the choice and prefers to drift.
That Ukraine has fought Russia to a standstill is a story for the ages.
This is not the time for the West to waver but to commit to seeing Ukraine triumph over Putin. Nothing less.
All parties backing Ukraine have been making sacrifices but more will be needed to complete the task.
Germany’s Leopard tanks must be made available to Ukrainians as soon as possible.
It will be a grave mistake to be timid now for it will only embolden Putin and his allies.
Ukraine has a right to recover all its territory, all the way to its border with Russia.
Chancellor Scholz, what good are your tanks while in storage?
Do you think they will deter a Russian attack on your soil?
They will not.
Germany has cast its lot with the West. We will defend each other. You either believe that or not.
The Leopard tanks in Ukraine’s hands will help them keep the advantages so painfully earned.
Chancellor, please think of the judgment of history.
To not act now in full defense of Ukraine is a grave mistake that will forever stain your name.
In this hour of need, please, do not choose to be timid.

The Power of Xi

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He sits alone in his office. Reflecting on the condition of the world, his position, the war in Ukraine, the futility of free speech and other matters.
He’s feeling strong. China has emerged. He’s just been elected to a third 5 year term as leader of China. A fourth term will likely follow, and maybe a 5th, if he feels up to it, as he’s sure he can keep his rivals in check. In fact, he would like to die in office, like Mao Zedong before him.
He can imagine the entire China going into mourning for a week, whenever he dies, with continuous speeches paying homage to his greatness as multitudes wail uncontrollably.
He thinks of Elon Musk, his travails with Twitter, and how he’s lost the position as richest man in the world.
Musk was the richest but he, Xi Jinping, is the most powerful, for he commands the second strongest economy, soon to surpass America’s and leave them far behind.
He, Xi Jinping, a name that is already part of the history of mankind and about whom books and books will be written, does not have to worry about the legalities that constrain the president of the United States.
For instance, he can call up Elon Musk and tell him, ‘You need to appoint a Chinese administrator to lead Tesla here in China. You’re getting a little too distracted with your affair with Twitter and I don’t want to worry about that.’
Musk might answer, ‘Well, I have my people who I have confidence in…’
‘You’re not hearing me,’ Xi would interrupt, “I need a Chinese administrator with full executive privileges… Now… and my preference is that he be a member of the Chinese Communist Party. You have a great company, one that we can keep learning much from, but you’re spreading yourself too thin and I don’t like it. Understood?’
To which Musk might reply, ‘I hear you… but I have investors I have to answer to… complex technical matters to address… it’s not as easy as you think…’
‘That’s why you would be at his disposal,’ Xi would say, ‘so you can answer what questions he/she may have during the transition…’
Musk would counter, ‘The change you propose is equivalent to a transfer of power… I’m not ready for that… and that would not go over well with the foreign business community in China… there would be significant repercussions worldwide… it would affect the entire Chinese economy…’
But Xi would insist, ‘Mr Musk… we are ready… China is ready… we fear no one… we have the markets and all the nations of the world who prefer to be governed by autocracies, who don’t want to be bothered with the details of free speech… and who are in the majority.’
Musk might reply, ‘I would need time to think about it… I can’t give you an answer now…’
‘This discussion does not have to be made public… If it pleases you…’ Xi would continue.
‘Do you intend to have this type of arrangement with other foreign businesses?’ Musk may ask.
And Xi would return, ‘You do not need that information.’
Musk again, ‘I mean, Tesla has been very cooperative with China… so I don’t see why I should be treated this way…’
Xi would then play hard ball, ‘The world is changing rapidly Mr Musk… and you have chosen to provide valuable Star Link support to the Ukrainian resistance, enabling satellite communications for their military, which is hurting my good friend Putin’s heroic effort to defend his beloved Russia from the brutality of Western aggression.’
Musk stalling, ‘I see… and if I stop providing such satellite support you would not be interfering with Tesla?’
Xi, smelling victory, ‘It just might affect my judgment, let’s put it that way. There comes a time when businesses must choose, in the interest of the future of the world. China and Russia have common goals. We believe that personal freedoms must be surrendered for the higher purpose of having a caring, benevolent ruling class. Autocracies are the way forward. We are right and democracy is wrong. Ukraine must be squashed. Eliminated. Your assisting them is not aligned with our overall objectives. But you do not have to reply this minute. I will give you 24 hours. Have a good day.’

Xi reflects on the conversation he might have with the former richest man in the world.
He feels ready for it. And why not?
Nothing will stop China. Soon enough he will take over Taiwan. Much sooner than the West is expecting. And following the example of Putin, he will rain thousands of missiles on the island. Never mind where they land. Until they drop to their knees.
Long live, Xi!

For Or Against Putin

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Russia’s president chose to invade Ukraine because it’s part of his quest for glory.
There is no other credible reason.
An envious man, seething with rage because he has not been able to elevate his nation past others with fewer resources, angry at the realization that he’s not a statesman and never will be – and running out of time – he chose to invent that a threat to his future lay in neighboring Ukraine.
How to deal with it? Just take it. And if they don’t surrender, then exterminate them.
He can do it because he has nuclear weapons.
He can do it because he has built a reputation for being ruthless.
He can do it because the West is afraid of him.
Stalin is one of his heroes.
And like for him, people are mere numbers. Disposable. Expendable.
If things didn’t turn out as well as he expected during the invasion, and he has been ‘forced’ to indulge his appetite for killing other human beings, there are plenty of anti western countries that sympathize with his plans.
Anti western countries governed by autocrats and thugs.
The invasion happened and it’s been 10 months. Putin has been unsettled by Ukraine’s resistance but not very much, because knowing that he has Russians on their knees – something he is very proud of – he is sure he has the time and room to maneuver.
His main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is in prison. At one point he had chosen to kill him through poisoning with a nerve agent but his operatives bungled the job. Navalny thought he could continue to build a movement against him so he made the mistake of returning to Russia, which left Putin with no choice but to grab him upon landing. He could just as well have ordered him shot on the spot but there is a part of him that likes to toy with his prey before putting it away. Surely, one day soon, the poor man will fall down a set of stairs and break his neck. One way or the other, he won’t leave prison.
Ukraine’s resistance has given Putin more trouble than he expected. And a headache or two. But he’s dealt with such trifles before. Russia has plenty of mineral resources the world needs and friendly countries willing to purchase them and thus help him sidestep the sanctions the West has imposed.
It may now appear as if Ukraine will win the war but it’s only an illusion, says Putin. Sooner or later, their will to fight will crack. And there are so many more Russians than Ukrainians. Docile Russians. Russians willing to do his bidding.
And in the United Nations, with Russia and China both sitting in the Security council with the power to veto, nothing against Russia or China will get through.
Interesting, how such a large organization lost its teeth.
Now and then some idealistic soul calls for talks to end the conflict. But what’s in it for Putin when, if he perseveres, he can conquer all of Ukraine?
He will have Ukraine even if he has to burn it down. He will have Ukraine even if it is without Ukrainians. Minor matter. He’ll repopulate it. Better that way so he can extinguish any traces of what was there before.
And the world will say nothing because the world is afraid of him and his nuclear weapons.
The world will say nothing because they know he can go crazy. Yes. Lose control.
Except, that he is not crazy at all. Just more determined than his opposition.
If he were the West, he would ask the rest of the world, ‘are you for or against Putin?’
If you are against Putin, then line up over here so you can get favors and trade advantages. If you are not, then go to the back of the line and wait.
If he were the West, he wouldn’t be afraid of dividing the world, forcing nations to choose.
Has he not made it clear, with his repeated missile attacks, that he’s willing to exterminate Ukrainians?
What else do they need to see?
Gas chambers?
So it’s only a matter of time. A matter of more killing. Repeated. Methodical.
He will not stop. And he’s good at it.
Keep killing and he will win. He’s sure of it. And after a while people will get accustomed to the carnage.
So he just has to wait. He will say no to negotiations unless he gets what he wants and then set up to invade again when he’s ready.
In the West, they have to deal with free speech, which is not at all helpful to a man like him.
So long as Russians are willing to be silenced, so long as the rest of the world is willing to help him, he will keep killing Ukrainians.
Until there are no more.
It would take an uncommon type of courage for the West to unify and standing up to Putin, say, ‘Enough! Except for nuclear weapons we will arm Ukrainians with everything available so they can push you back to behind your borders and have you stay there. That way the fight you picked will be fair’.
But the West won’t do it.
They may have nuclear weapons also, but they don’t have the resolve.
Until then, if ever, Long live King Vladimir!