(05.03.2022) War, destruction and human tragedy on a scale Europe hasn’t seen since WWII. Everybody is talking and the opinions are all over the place. The most puzzling part for me is the discussion about what the West could have done and should have done to prevent or mitigate this. Should we feel responsible for not doing enough diplomacy and pressure or having the wrong approach?
Here is my piece of mind: these are all the wrong questions. They start with the false premise that Putin’s actions can be influenced by our words or behaviour (whatever that might be). Everything so far in his actions shows one thing, as long as he is in power nothing won’t. For example, any diplomacy is just theatrics for him, just to show his people how important he is. He hates Western democracy and civilization partly because he does not understand them but mostly because if accepted in Russia, he wouldn’t last long.
He is an ageing paranoid tyrant with a strong sense of mission to reinstitute the USSR or anything that resembles an empire (his dream).
The Marxism/Leninism ideology of the not-so-distant past provided some humanistic-like excuse for claiming power, in the name of social justice and a brighter future. As the future has stayed more and more distant, a new narrative came into play: the past. Russia is great power (Second World War as proof) and deserves its role in deciding what happens in the world. One thing stays the same: all that is just a power play to stay in power as long as possible.
Is there a way out for the world and Europe? The only way to change the tyrant with someone more progressive (civilized) is from within and having in mind the sheepish ethos of an average Russian (since forever), I don’t think that is in the cards in the foreseeable future. The oligarchs of his kleptocratic regime can take almost any damage when considering the alternatives.
I envy those of you who do believe that the nuclear option is completely off the table. Sorry Ukraina, sorry Europe but some KGB guy with total disregard for human life and access to a nuclear arsenal has some demands…