The Ukraine Conundrum
We are involved in a chess game with Putin where he feels convinced that the West will not be willing in the final analysis to trade significant portions of our comforts for the defense of the Ukraine. Our hope is that if we can talk with Putin long enough, thus allowing him to annex more and more Ukrainian territory, he will become sufficiently engorged to be willing to negotiate. In the process the tyrant would have reduced Ukraine to rubble, and we would force the Ukraine into settlement as a slave state under Russian hegemony, allowing the West, us, to enjoy another generation of schizophrenic peace.
Let’s not count without the host. The Ukrainians will fight to the death, for to lose their country is to die, and fighting is the nobler cause.
Russia has no intention to stop their land grab at Ukraine and they are better set to accept ultimate trade offs than we are in the West. They are governed by a megalomaniac, and we have the diplomatic, moral and legislative burdens of democracies. They seem willing to trade St. Petersburg for Berlin, or maybe Sochi for London, or Moscow for Washington, D.C. Are we?
Of course there are lots of policy proposals and decisions that could play out in the space between bars, but the several thousand civilians that Putin will kill in the Ukraine will not bother him in the least. Leaders of Russia’s recent past have conditioned that country to mass murders, and more specifically to mass murderers. Lenin killed millions of his own people in establishing the Soviet Union, including the entire royal family, and especially Asian hordes. Stalin killed more millions in his purges to establish his grip over the institutions of State, and now comes Putin with the power to outdo them all. Don’t expect compassion or feelings of guilt about wiping out nations from this Russian leader!
It would be interesting to think of our options if Donald Trump were President of the USA at this inflection point in history. Think of the Art of The Deal and play with your own conclusions.