25 February 2022

The blunt truth

I don't think hyperbole in a time like this is helpful. But I think this is the blunt truth. Set aside that there are legitimate Russian security concerns. That there are historical factors complicating the Ukraine/Russia symbiosis. That the expansion of NATO involved some going back on assurances given the Russians. Not as significant as the assurances Russia gave to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons, but, never mind; set all that aside.

The truth is that Putin will take whatever he can get away with and will not stop until he is stopped; until he is up against force he knows he cannot overcome. Putin is the most dangerous Russian tsar since Stalin. The postwar Soviets... Kruschev, Kosygin, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and especially Gorbachev... all seemed to at least understand that nuclear Armageddon was unthinkable. Putin has all but overtly threatened the use of at least tactical nuclear weapons if anyone "interferes" with his aggression against a sovereign country, a country whose territorial integrity his nation had assured. That's all but indistinguishable from the kind of stance taken by Hitler. Power justifies aggression in his mind.

For the first time since at least the 1973 Middle East War I am in actual terror for the fragile global peace, and seriously worried that our world may be coming apart in ways we have not seen since World War II. And the game has changed incredibly dangerously since that time, as we all know.

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