Sunday, August 31, 2014
Putin is acting in a manner that looks dangerously like a situation way back in the 1930’s re another leader! OK, let’s just name it. Hitler took Europe and the world to war and the lead up to that was one characterised by nations paralyzed into non-action in the belief that giving in to the dictator would lead to world peace (‘in our time’). That did not happen. Are we in a similar situation re Putin and his taking Ukraine to the very edge of all-out war because he wants to absorb the former nations that once were part of the USSR? Would he in fact stop at the eastern areas of Ukraine or does he have a more sinister plan? He is very hard to read and he encourages this aspect of his foreign policy, re the nations of Europe and NATO. There are noises coming out of Russia that he merely wants the people of eastern Ukraine to be able to choose which country they want to be part of or at the very least be an independent Eastern Ukraine. We all know what his idea of an independent ‘referendum’ is like. It is one that is totally controlled by his forces and any voices raised against his master plan are quickly quelled. If such a ‘plebiscite’ were to go ahead, it can only be conducted through the works of the UN. Any other plan is tantamount to playing into the hands of Putin and his ‘bullyboy’ things who would rule in his name. In the meantime Europe and NATO are becoming increasingly uncomfortable re the aspirations of the man who would take us back to the bad old days of the ‘Cold War.’ His every move, each and every small thrust into the territories on his borders, gradually adds up to him swallowing more and more territory. The world must stand up to him. Yes, there have been sanctions and perhaps they have made his position more desperate as the Russian economy gradually slides into recession. Like many before him, he realizes that the only way to garner support behind him is to ‘go to war,’ to expand the territories of Mother Russia, calling on that age-old Russian instinct to ‘love a strong leader,’ one who is prepared to risk all in the name or Russian aspirations.’ Europe must be united if it wants to stop this crazy dictator. That he even alludes to the fact that Russia is one of the world’s strongest nuclear powers is disturbing in that he would even go down that pathway to achieve his goals. What is equally worrying is that any voices within Russia prepared to speak out are being gradually silenced; those doing so simply disappear or the means by which they attempt to get their messages out are taken off the air. Putin and Russia need to hear a very clear message that they cannot go against the body of nations that Europe (and others) represent, that they cannot flout international law (yes we know that Putin will point the finger at the USA for doing something similar!) and that at some stage, there will be a counter reaction; one that Putin no doubt fears will sweep him the corridors of power in Russia. That is the conundrum Russia and the world faces---it is all about HIM---Putin---the modern day Stalin! The days ahead are fraught with danger!