I greatly appreciated the perspectives of Bill Janhonen and Christine B. Mayfield in the News + Record’s “Viewpoints” pages last week [March 31-April 6 edition, page A5]. Add the angle of Special Forces intelligence officer and jump school and Davidson College graduate D. G. Martin, and we readers were provided a broad look at complex possibilities in this tragedy. (D.G.’s dad was president when I was at Davidson.)
Labeling this “Putin’s War” seemed to be a viable strategy after Zelensky stood his ground and did not flee to a government in exile, and the only excuse for not responding early with a prevent the war buildup of NATO force. For this to work with sanctions and not U.S. troops, Putin must be “bogged down,” NOT “backed into a corner.” Recent rhetoric tends to back him into a corner. “War criminal” was off the cuff walking from one group to another. True, but not compatible with “bogged down.” “Removed from power” was added to a prepared speech. These are either our president’s famous gaffes, or a major shift in policy. Either way, these remarks have made Putin’s powerful propaganda to the Russian people more effective. Putin may still end up isolated by failure and find himself a dictator with no one to dictate to. Putin’s war was NOT shock and awe. And there would be no purple fingers, only middle fingers.
Or, Putin may actually be branded a war criminal (which he is) and taken to the Hague for trial. A wonderful outcome for the future, but not likely.
Another way out would be to install Putin as an endowed professor at Harvard, teaching about the stress of running a nation transforming from a Communist state where every pitchfork was owned by the state to a wild west free market where the strong grab what they can.
The irony is that Russia should be an active part of Europe and an active ally of the U.S. Only it should not be two thugs collaborating in a rape of both treasuries. “Every War Is An UnCivil War.”
John Dykers, M.D.
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