After the humiliation of Afghanistan, the West – and most especially America – cannot allow Ukraine to be defeated without forfeiting any trust it can be counted on to make good on its assurances. The West would allow a negotiated partition of the country; in fact that’s precisely what it’s hoping for. Unfortunately Ukraine will hear none of it. Ukraine could have entertained such an end to the conflict were it not for Bucha and Mariupol. But Bucha and Mariupol were Putin’s Rubicon.

After he failed to take Kyiv in that first week, Putin can no longer win the war. But neither can he afford to lose it, since that would mean the forfeiture of the Donbas, of Crimea, and of tens of thousands of Russian mothers’ sons for less than nothing. In short, Putin’s ‘special military operation’ was the worst military gamble since the Second World War. Not exactly the resurrected Peter the Great he was hoping for!

Some leaders aspire to be great. Others have greatness thrust upon them. Prior to February 24th, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was covered by the Western press as something of a sniveler. Thereafter he has earned the stature of a Nelson Mandela.

I am not prone to hero-worship. Nor has it ever made sense to me to take pride in the heroism of others. But in this case I think I’ll make an exception. That Zelenskyy happens to be Jewish is utterly irrelevant. But in this case I think I’ll just pretend it’s not.

Categories: Editorials, Everything You Wanted to Know About What's Going On in the World But Were Afraid to Ask

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1 reply

  1. I thought this was provocative from someone who initially opposed military assistance to Ukraine but is now willing to say why he might have been wrong, for rather dark reasons. Pawn lost to the game and all that.
    Subtitled: Why providing American military aid and not pushing for peace might make sense

    One quote: “It has nothing to do with the well-being of Ukraine itself. That nation has been destroyed, and as already mentioned, it’s impossible to imagine a situation in which it wouldn’t have been better off just letting Putin dictate the terms of its surrender. That being said, one could respectably make the case that supporting Ukraine has been a benefit to humanity.”

    I don’t see President Zelenskyy as Mandela. More like Churchill. Both situationally and, I hope, as men, with all their warts and vices.


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