The news this morning tells us that Vladimir Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and demanded Ukraine’s army give it up. Speaking on state television early this morning, Putin claimed that Russia was not planning to occupy Ukraine but vowed to punish those who stood in their way.
“The goal is to defend people who have been victims of abuse and genocide from the Kyiv regime. And we will strive to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine,” Putin said. “All responsibility for the possible bloodshed will be fully and completely on the conscience of the ruling regime.”
Ukraine’s President Zelensky also appeared on television this morning. He addressed the country from Kyiv and called for opposition and resistance by Ukrainians. I have embedded video of his remarks below with translation through Australia’s ABC News. His remarks also addressed Russian citizens. “This is evil,” he observed. He must be a brave man.
Is it wrong to think of Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland in 1938? The Ukrainian authorities don’t seem to think so. Putin isn’t Hitler, not by a long shot, but he is an evil bastard with the same lame pretext as Hitler’s. He has initiated a war of aggression with a stupid pretext and a barrage of threatening innuendo to keep outsiders from intruding. Unlike the 1938 scenario, no one in his right mind buys the pretext. As in 1938, we wonder what else the madman is thinking.
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) February 24, 2022
Observing the events from a distance and attending to the persistent yammering of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Blinken, I have found the Nixonian phrase “pitiful, helpless giant” echoing in my mind.
“If, when the chips are down, the world’s most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world,” Nixon said in his famous April 1970 speech. The time has come today.
The chips are down. The world is watching. What have we got to offer?
With its war on American energy, the Biden administration has effectively empowered Russia’s oil economy. With its surrender and withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration gave us the preview of “a pitiful, helpless giant” in action.
The administration ardently seeks to finalize a deal with Iran’s mullahcracy. They would happily facilitate and fund Iran’s nuclear program if only they can secure the requisite fig leaf.
China looks on. They too have an evil bastard at the helm. He truly represents “the forces of totalitarianism.” Indeed, he represents the state of the art in totalitarian control. He also leads the country that unleashed the pandemic and covered up its source with complete impunity. He’s got his eye on Taiwan.
What about us? We have a pitiful helpless fool nominally at the helm and Putin has taken his measure. That’s the way it looks to me this morning.