Mark Twain said that history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. When Hitler began his conquest of Europe piece by piece, world leaders tried to make deals with him along the way. It was called “appeasement” and Hitler played them for fools. He promised that if given the Sudetenland that he would be satisfied. They agreed and then he took the rest of Czechoslovakia . . . . on and on it went. Every concession made to him just reaffirmed the weakness of the Anglo-French.
Putin is using Hitler’s playbook and French President, Francois Hollande is in the role of former British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain. Putin steals Crimea and then feigns a cease-fire to gain the tactical advantage in eastern Ukraine. This is his Sudetenland. The West puts crushing economic sanctions on Russia but he doesn’t concede, which unnerves them. Putin has them wanting to make deals with him instead of the other way around. So Hollande suggests conceding eastern Ukraine and eastern Ukraine autonomy as a concession to Putin, for what? . . . to make him stop??? That would actually reward Putin for breaking the last peace accord, which was really no more than a phony war.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel opposes arming Ukraine saying that she can’t imagine any situation where giving Ukraine more arms would cause Putin to believe that he could not defeat them. Yes, but Merkel is showing weakness by saying the conflict cannot be solved by military means. Want to bet? … Putin is using the separatist rebels as his stand-in army and has armed and supported them well enough that Ukraine can’t defeat them. The Separatists can’t defeat the Ukrainian army either so there is a standoff.
Putin can solve this militarily by committing Russian forces to sack Kiev but then all the illusions would be wiped clear. Any deal Putin makes for a demilitarized zone Putin will not keep just as he never abided by the deals made previously. Merkel and Hollande are pursuing “peace at any price” and Putin will win such a contest with weaker wills. Europe’s NATO member nations are supposed to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense and only four of them do. What amazes me is that Putin is winning with the weaker hand. He doesn’t have Hitler’s resources.
Putin thinks that we will not arm Ukraine, therefore, we need to arm Ukraine. The oncoming new U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, says that is being considered. If we don’t, Putin will see this as having been just a bluff and will treat every other threat as a bluff in the future.
The only way that a bluff works is that you actually have to first follow through once. We can call the weapons given to Ukraine defensive but I would have a loose interpretation of what that is
Anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons would be first and most critical. Money is too. The West is pussy footing around aiding Ukraine financially. They provide some financial aid but far short of what is needed.
They can all delude themselves that they can reason with Putin but we are at war . . . and there is nothing cold about it in Ukraine. Give Ukraine the military and financial resources to bleed that Russian SOB. Russia has moved from monarchy to communism to fascism in less than a century. Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said that if Russia is denied access to the global international banking system’s communications network called SWIFT, which would further isolate Russian banks from Europe, that it would be considered “an act of war” threatening that their response would be “unlimited.”
That is really the oligarchs talking. According to the Wall Street Journal, 110 individuals own 35 percent of Russia’s wealth while half of all Russians have a net worth of less than $900. Food inflation is over 15 percent so the government is subsidizing the price of vodka in order to depress the level of sobriety. Now we have identified what it is that they fear most and they need to be made to realize those fears. If Russia shuts off the gas to Europe, Russia’s economy would just collapse faster.
Another message that could be sent is for President Obama to bring in John McCain for consolations of U.S. policy toward Russia. John is pretty much nuts and they know it. Don’t you wish you could hear Army General, George Patton’s consultation today on how to handle Putin? Russians need to be made to know that Putin is taking them down a road that will not be tolerated by the rest of the world … or at least not by the U.S.
The media cries over 5000 deaths to date in Ukraine. There could be 50,000 before this is over, which may be necessary to prevent 500,000 or 5 million deaths.
Europe has never made these kinds of decisions well and the U.S. ends up cleaning up their messes. The German-French peace proposal representing appeasement is not going to work and Putin is just going to keep on doing what he has been doing, forcing the West to offer him more deals to appease him in what will be incremental continued aggression.
History has provided us with very clear examples of how the world should respond to despots like Putin. Looks like Putin has already picked out the gays to serve as his Jews to blame things on. The Nazis had their scapegoats. Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook, is gay, reopened the company’s online store in Russia after a temporary shutdown to reprice after the collapse in the ruble. Isn’t that sort of like the Rothschild’s doing business with Hitler? Cook is essentially banned from entering Russia and a memorial to Steve Jobs was removed from a St. Petersburg college to protest Apple having a gay CEO. Yes . . . History rhymes if we’re paying attention.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.
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