Did the west provoke Putin into war?
There are those on both the right and the left who proffer the argument that the western democracies actually provoked Putin to the point where he had to invade Ukraine. He was only concerned about the security of Mother Russia.
One way that the west was to have provoked the Kremlin’s crazy despot was by adding all those European nations that were once part of the Soviet Union. In one of his demands to not invade Ukraine was that the NATO weaponry should move back to the pre-Soviet collapse line – disarming the eastern section of NATO. That one did not get much traction, but the fact that he made that demand tells you something about Putin’s mindset.
Putin is also perturbed by what he considers America’s meddling in Ukraine – tossing out the corrupt Putin puppet government in Kyiv – and establishing a successful western style democracy.
One of Putin’s rationales for the invasion and annexing of Ukraine is because he did not want that nation to join NATO and put guns on the Russian border. Of course, if Russia were to absorb Ukraine, NATO would have guns on the new Russian border – and vice versa.
That is the kind of demand despots make because it is neither reasoned nor reasonable.
It is lost on Putin that NATO is not an aggressive alliance. It is a totally defensive alliance. As long as he does not attack the interests and security of NATO nations, they will not attack Russia. The debate over the Putin invasion is whether he has already attacked the interests and security of NATO nations. NATO must believe that he has or why are they fortifying the Alliance’s eastern border.
Putin has certainly destabilized and disrupted NATO nations by causing the biggest refugee problem since World War II. There is both a human and economic cost in caring for the millions of people Putin displaced.
And he has economically attacked virtually every nation on earth by further disrupting not only the oil markets, but the entire international supply chain – including food, essential minerals and consumer products.
There is no question that Russia has been responsible for any number of cyber attacks on western democracies – undermining their security.
And yet there are those who say that WE provoked Putin. If we had only not built a better and stronger NATO — or had not brought the advantages of democracy to the people of Ukraine — maybe he would not have found it necessary to invade.
Frankly, we should not give a damn if Putin feels provoked. What we did was in the best interest of the free world. That is the side we are on. That is what we do.
Whatever may have provoked Putin, it should not, in the least, excuse what he has done. He has used his power to become the world’s leading mass murderer. Being provoked is no excuse for the kind of reaction he has had. He is no different than Hitler or his old hero Josef Stalin.
He cannot be allowed to use the excuse that “you made me do it.” No, we did not. No, he was not provoked in this needlessly brutal invasion. No, he is not entitled to take over an independent nation and kill tens of thousands of people – including his own soldiers — just because he is pissed.
President Biden was correct when he said that Putin cannot be allowed to remain in power. Yes … I know that such a sentiment cannot easily be implemented, but that does not make the sentiment wrong. Biden was spot on – at least until his international establishment told him he was wrong. Biden literally went off their script.
The one thing we should not do is give Putin any comfort for what he did. It is all on him … period. And we should make sure he does not win the War.
So, there ‘tis.