Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ukraine: Weakness Reinforces the ‘Malice of the Wicked’.

March 17, 2022 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Weekly Columns

( “Danger: if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”  – Winston S. Churchill

When I watch the horrific human catastrophe in Ukraine – bodies dumped unceremoniously into mass graves; pregnant women on stretchers escaping a bombed-out hospital; the elderly on crutches inching to safety; and targeted bombings of schools, orphanages, ambulances, and a nuclear facility – two quotes come to mind: one from Winston S. Churchill and the other from Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

“Democracies are apt to think with their hearts rather than with their heads,” Churchill wrote, “and a general’s business is, or should be, to use his head …”

Having used his head to plan, fight, and win wars for five decades, Gen. MacArthur understood the simple recipe for failure in war:

“The history of failure in war can be summed up in two words: Too late.  Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy; too late in realizing the mortal danger; too late in preparedness; too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance; too late in standing with one’s friend.”

Churchill is entrenched in history as the lone figure who pleaded with Britain to build up its defenses against Hitler long before war came and believed that by standing up to the mortal danger “promptly and without flinching,” a second world war could be averted.  The word “escalatory” was never in his vocabulary.  Hitler was already escalating.

“Germany is arming fast, and no one is going to stop her,” he told the House of Commons in 1934. “I dread the day when the means to threatening the heart of the British Empire should pass into the hands of the present rulers of Germany. … It has not come yet … but it is not far distant.  There is time for us to take the necessary measures …”

But the Parliament and the public, “stripped bare by the curse of plenty,” remained so drunk on the idea of peace, safety, and a nice life that fast-moving events quickly tipped the military balance in Hitler’s favor.  While Hitler gobbled up country after country, Parliament preoccupied itself with the political acrobatics of doing nothing.  Time ran out.

By the time Britain sobered up to the grave danger, it was too late.  The war they worked so hard to ignore, came to be the bloodiest in history.

After the war, FDR asked Churchill what name history should give it.  “The Unnecessary War,” he said.

“There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle,” Churchill wrote in his memoirs. “… the malice of the wicked, was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.”

While every generation has its own fingerprint, Putin is a Hitlerian figure whose head is infected by delusions of grandeur like Peter the Great, with a mission to restore Russia to its majestic glory.  Whenever the West, especially the United States, displays weakness, he sees it as an opportunity to gobble up more territory.

“From my time among criminals in prison, I know very well that the one who’s the ringleader in the cell is not the one who is physically strongest, but the one who is ready to use his knife,” said Ukranian-born Natan Sharansky, an anti-Soviet refusenik who was imprisoned in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  “Everybody has a knife, but not everybody is prepared to use it.  Putin believes that he is willing to use his knife and the West isn’t, that the West can only talk, even if it is physically stronger.”

That explains Putin’s nuclear threat, Sharansky said.

“So now he really believes he is the strongest leader in the world,” said Sharansky, “not only because he is prominent, and not only because he doesn’t have to worry about things like these silly Western elections, but also because he is ready to threaten nuclear war and his enemies are not.  He is willing to use his knife.”

Russia’s war against Ukraine is not just one mad dictator against a sympathetic democratic leader, said Sharansky, but a push to fundamentally shift the principles that the free world has anchored itself to since the Second World War.  Without fierce pushback, this is a fire that could spread throughout the entire free world.

“The whole free world is in danger …,” he said.

With Iran firing missiles at Northern Iraq, China staging threatening exercises and flying near Taiwan’s airspace, and North Korea firing ballistic missiles into the sea to test its capabilities, a “gathering storm” is emerging that could form a new bloc as they study the West’s response to Ukraine.

It could not have come at a worse time.  Leading the free world is Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and a government stuffed with woke ideologues who are taking sledgehammers to the institutional foundations of the country with an imaginary mandate of political fairy tales: climate change, critical race theory, fathom white supremacy, unlawful open borders, unpunished crime, and a more compliant and effeminate male culture and military.

Rather than meeting the danger “promptly and without flinching,” the most unfit leader of the free world in American history has created an environment where the “malice of the wicked” is every day being reinforced.

Given the barbaric horrors being committed against innocent civilians in Ukraine, we are “apt to think with our hearts” about what America should do about it.  But given the horrendous leadership we have at the highest levels of government and the military, it behooves us even more to think with our heads, not only about Russia – which may turn out to be a paper tiger – but about China, the most formidable bad actor on the world stage, today.

But because Ukrainians have stood up to mortal danger promptly and without flinching (“I don’t need a ride, I need ammo”), they’re still standing in a war that the world thought would be over in few days.

If history is a guide, that means it’s already too late for Putin. He’s become the kind of an international pariah that will be remembered for his butchery in Ukraine, for all time.

Ukrainians – east and west – are more unified than ever.  They’ve gotten a taste of freedom are willing to die for it. They’re not asking anyone to fight their battles for them.  They’re asking the free world to give them the means to fight for their own freedom on a more even the playing field.

What on Earth are we waiting for?

Columnist; Will Alexander

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