War is horrible. The death and destruction that results from war, is the reason not to fight them. However, there are times when humanity has no choice. A time when man or men decide to take drastic action to solidify their authority and to continue to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for power. Putin is such a man. What I can’t fathom, is despite all the lessons of history, humanity continues to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
When Putin invaded and ultimately annexed Crimea, the world sat back, as usual, and did nothing despite the illegality of this invasion. It violated international law and the world did nothing. Flashback to 1938 and it’s difficult not to draw the comparison of Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland. While I have no intention of discussing in detail the complex history of Europe that would require 1,000 pages, the Sudetenland was an area of Czechoslovakia that contained millions of Germans that were placed under Czech rule as part of the Treaty of Saint-Germain, following the end of WWI. Hitler, against international law, invaded and reunited that part of Czechoslovakia, with Germany. One year later, Hitler invaded Poland, and so began the second World War in Europe.
While Putin annexed Crimea, eight years ago, the illegal invasion of Ukraine, parallels Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Therefore, the free world must come together and stare him down despite his threat of nuclear attack. Such an attack is unlikely and would be suicidal. It would mean Putin is insane. Perhaps he is. But one thing I do know for sure, as should the rest of the world, the act of placating a bully never, ever works. The bully will only grow more bold. After Ukraine, what country is next, Poland? Belarus? Romania? And then perhaps Germany?
This cannot be allowed to continue and must not go unpunished. Putin MUST be stopped here, in Ukraine or the rest of the rest of the world will be accountable for what follows. Putin must be told, in no uncertain terms, that not only will he and the innocent Russian people face dire consequences, but that he alone will be held accountable for a completely unjustifiable invasion of a sovereign nation, in clear violation of international law. He will be brought to justice and his fortunes separated from his person. Threatening a nuclear attack should be answered with, “it will mean the end of Russia.” But sanctions alone may accomplish that. There can be no compromise on his withdrawal from Ukraine and he must be charged with war crimes. Putin needs to be removed from power so that the innocent and very resourceful Russian people, can move on with their lives and build on what was supposed to be much promise, following the fall of the Soviet Union.
We are at a very serious crossroad of history. How history will judge this moment, remains to be seen.