Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Who Are We?

 ("Ukraine and the Crisis of American Self Belief")

Who but us, indeed.

Putin is not blind. He sees we have grown weary, and wary, of wars in far off lands. That we have no appetite, whatever misgivings this creates, to preserve and protect with our bloodshed, the rights of those being trampled upon by the likes of an obsessed autocrat.

Putin knows full well that we have weakened ourselves and our standing in the eyes of the world with our internal struggles. A former leader who attempted to bring democracy in this country to its knees. And a Congress that can only agree to disagree. Our sense of moral superiority, or at least moral integrity, deeply compromised.

It is a damaged America that Putin looks upon as he calculates and triangulates. One that he has determined has not the psychological wherewithal, not the unbridled commitment to cause, even as it purports to have the stated intention, to keep him from planting the Russian flag deep into Ukraine.

Who are we? Putin is answering that for us with every mile his forces move closer to their goal.


Anonymous said...

should be in the nytimes lois

Bruce said...

In the lead up to WW2, the British PM, Neville Chamberlain, was okay with appeasing Hitler when he marched into Czechoslovakia, calculating that The Czechs could be sacrificed so that Hitler's expansion effort would cease right there. It didn't turn out too well and history has told us that appeasement to a dictator never works. In the early 1960, the communist menace from North Viet-Nam sought to invade and take over South Viet-Nam. First JFK and then LBJ wanted to learn from the WW2 error and committed tens of thousands of American troops to fight a jungle guerilla war. Didn't turn out too well either. This means that the free world must protect its turf from bullies and dictators early on. I believe that NATO is doing this, because if it were to ignore Putin's incursion then NATO would be looked upon as a weak, indecisive paper-Tiger. None of this will fully work out--not for Putin and not for the West. At best we will have a stalemate for a while and Putin will be able to occupy and cede certain parts of Ukraine for Russia. But, by and large, most of Ukraine will remain intact. Within a month or two, though, the question will be asked if Ukraine gives as much of a damn as the west. That answer is likely 'no'. Zelensky will have to go back to comedy and a real leader will have to step up to defend Ukranian sovereignty. This is not likely because most Ukrainians are non-plussed by it all. More likely, the current battle will be a proxy war for both the west and east with a confused and uncertain outcome to abide.

pameliafabiano said...
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