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Did the west provoke Putin into war?

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. John Hewett

    Since the beginning of this, I’ve felt biden was constantly egging and daring putin to invade Ukraine.

  2. R. hamilton

    Given that Putin’s ambition all along seems to have been to restore the former Soviet Union’s spheres of control (all the former SSRs) and dominance (the former Warsaw Pact), I can’t say that anything done or not done provoked anything more than the TIMING of his invasion.

    • Tom

      Well said! As a cold war era and Vietnam Era soldier, I feel exactly the same. And Putin needs to be stopped. Get the tanks rolling and the missiles flying!!!

  3. Frank stetsoN

    You know, I actually agree with the story, perhaps not every little bit but the majority.

    The fact of the matter Larry is that you and I are the perfect example of what’s wrong with America. It’s not so much that we disagree, you and I. What’s wrong is that we can no longer agree to disagree. We can’t even discuss things civilly.

    We hate each other‘s ideas, we hate each other‘s plans, we hate each other‘s ideologies, we even hate how we talk to each other. So much so that we can no longer compromise. When you lose, you tell us we cheated. When we lose, we tell you you collaborated with the Russians. Neither of us can agree on either of those two points nor any others. Lies are accepted practice from our leaders. Cabals, dark forces, and mobs run our institutions The Supreme Court, DOJ, CDC, all political. We can no longer even compromise because we can no longer even agree to disagree. There are no win-wins anymore, just win-lose and in the long run, that’s a lose-lose.

    Until we fix what’s wrong with America, Putin or anyone else like him basically has America by the balls and they can feel free to squeeze as hard as they want. Over here, we can’t get our act together to do fucking anything anymore . We can’t even agree on infrastructure. We don’t rally around the president in the time of war, we don’t join together to combat disease, we are basically act like caged monkeys in the zoo screaming at each other and throwing our feces.

    We should be ashamed at what we are teaching our children.

    • Dennis

      Things aren’t like they were in past years. The two parties were close enough then that it didn’t matter as much who won elections. But starting in the 70’s the democrats started taking a hard left turn and many of their policies became geared for tearing down the capitalist system that has served us well and it’s gotten worse over the years. Fast tracking forward, liberal teachers are teaching our kids that America is evil and being white is shameful. And lawless mobs are in charge of several of our cities. And anyone who disagrees with it is destroyed and accused of racism. Joe Biden flapped his jaws about gun control after the recent tragedy in California but his silence is deafening after it was revealed that the suspects were already banned from having guns due to past felony convictions. And also illegal full automatic weapons were used. It seems that it’s ok to release violent criminals back on the streets. New York is a fine example. Believe it or not, we are headed straight into a Marxist society. And republicans aren’t the problem. That’s just to name a few points. But I think that most people get it. It’s now or never to save our country.

      • frank stetson

        Ah, I see. It’s totally the Democrats problem.

        That’s probably not the best way of looking at it, but just blaming the other guy for all of it. But that’s a perfect example of where we are in America today. No matter what it is, the problem is the other guy’s fault.

        It’s our problem. You say Dems went to far left in the 70’s. Bullshit! Are you really trying to claim Bill a liberal? Yeah, right. And from the Tea Party out to the Trumpist’s seditious storming of Congress to overturn a duly administered election is not a hard turn to the right?

        Dennis, it’s everyone’s problem. We are all to blame equally. It’s not the ideas that have changed, it’s our values regarding integrity, truth, and polite discourse. We have thrown all that out the window and now we just blame the other guy, scream at them, and throw feces in their general direction.

        As have you.

        • Dennis

          Well, so much for civil discussion. So tell us. Who wants to overrun the country with illegal immigrants and have the taxpayers keep them up and wipe their asses? We are a nation of laws, as long as the democrats keep their corrupt paws off of it. Qualified people, meaning properly vetted with clean records, can get visas and come in legally and be welcomed. But it’s interesting that they catch gangs, drug dealers and human traffickers try to cross the border. And many others don’t get caught. And I’ll give the devil his due realizing that Biden isn’t even in charge. He’s nothing but a puppet. He’s too damned stupid to govern. But we are sounding the alarm and will do whatever it takes to save our country. And don’t forget to vote and vote often. And hold a seance and call up your dead relatives and friends to vote. You people are going to need them.

          • ben

            Well, so much for civil discussion. Like your response was meant to foster civil discussion. You just blamed the entire thing on Democrats and call that civil. Narcist is more like it. And then your Republican rant of lies about some other things Dems did.

            You just don’t get it.

            It is our problem and you are part of it. Me too. But as least I acknowledge I am part of it. You take a different tach: the blame game. Win-lose. We bad, you good. Nothing will fix this shit with thoughts like that.

      • Tom

        Now Dennis, you gone and done it, you gonna get Frank pissed!!! I like some of the things both parties have done over the years. So you got me pissed too!!! We were having a love thing here and you Mr. Staunch Republican, gone and ruined it!!!

    • Tom

      Frank you ole softy you!!! You bring tears to my eyes! I have been saying this for a long time but both you and Larry bashed me. But now its a love thing and my heart is all warmed and squishy over it all. We all need to give each other a hug and work together for the good of our nation, and, as the leader of the free world, for the good of all free nations!!! I wonder if Moe (Ben) agrees?

  4. Dennis

    You lefties definition of civility is being shouted down by you commie bastards. You think that we should shut up unless we agree with you. Well agree on this. Go fuck yourselves

    • Ben

      Nice Job Dennis. If you go back to my original post, you will find that you have now gone to the far extreme and now you’re basically la monkey in the Joe zoo screaming your head off blaming anyone who comes by while throwing your feces at them.

      Have a great weekend, hope you got your rocks off with your useless banter here.

      • Stan

        What I posted was absolutely true. You people don’t want civil discussion. People in your circle aren’t allowed to be free thinkers. I happen to think that our country is excellent and we don’t need people like you trying to fundamentally transform us. Famous words of Obama. I will take responsibility for myself and my family. You expect us to sit down and shut up while the left ruins the country. Not on my watch.

      • Perry

        You said that the problems with America is out problem. That’s true. And the democrats are the problem. If we can get rid of the democrats things will be fine.

        • ben

          Yes, if we “can get rid of” 30% of the population, all your problems will be solved. That’s Trumpism Democracy for you. If you can’t convince them, don’t compromise, just “get rid of the democrats.” Putin’s a genius but he’s got nothing on Perrywinkle.

          I would say you are being cute, but we know you really mean it.

          Republicans never were very convincing or creative with their solutions.

          • Perry

            Frank you shouldn’t post as Ben. It’s not making you seem smarter. You both are idiots I saw an article saying that Nancy Pelosi is Covid positive. Join me in a chant. Die bitch !!!!

    • Tom

      Dennis, as an independent non-partisan voter I do find your comments disgusting and of no value to helping our nation heal and be a strong leader. You are a perfect example of what I never want to be. I like Larry, Moe (Ben) and Curly (Frank) and enjoy their viewpoints. And as an independent, I agree with Moe’s (Ben’s) analysis of you!!! I think you are desperate for a huggie!!!

  5. Tom

    Larry, I agree with you 100%. We cannot allow Putin the childish excuses of “You made me do it.”

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