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Is it too early to consider assassination?

Is it too early to consider assassination?

I am no fan of knocking off heads-of-state under almost any circumstances.  But there are exceptions.  Certainly, Hitler rose to the level of evil and harm to warrant removal by any means possible.  Recognizing the level of his megalomania, even members of his own military made several unsuccessful attempts.

In that context, let us consider the Moscow Madman Vladimir Putin.  I put him right up there with Hitler.  The invasion of Ukraine is not his first diabolical action – but it may be the one that finally earns him a death sentence.  He is not only an established murderer, mass killer and war criminal, but he – like Hitler – has now disrupted efforts to maintain a relatively peaceful world order.  Putin has come out from behind the borders of his own domain to create chaos and violence in any number of ways across the entire planet.

Virtually everyone agrees that he must be stopped.  Most Putin observers say that he will not respond to indirect actions – such as sanctions.  He only responds to force.  That means if we want to push him back inside the walls of the Kremlin, we must defeat his military in Ukraine.  Unless we do that, he wins – and he sees a green light to go wherever his malignant ambitions take him in the future.

Those same Putin observers argue that he will never cease his aggression unless and until he is removed from power – one way or the other.

President Biden has called Putin a killer and a war criminal.  He has accused him of genocide.  And in view of his bloody and brutal invasion of Ukraine, Biden flat-out stated that Putin cannot remain in power.  He said what most observers have told us.  If Putin remains in power, the aggression continues.

I do not like the idea of people killing people.  I am generally opposed to capital punishment, and I am anti-abortion.  For me, pro-life is a seamless cloth.  My only exception is lethal force in defense of human life. I do believe that if you, your loved ones or others are in immediate threat to grave harm or death at the hands of another person, you are morally justified – even morally obligated – to use potentially deadly force.

Putin is in the process of using the instruments of state to murder people by the tens of thousands.  Like a Mafia boss, Putin as directed the murders of political opponents. 

Putin did the same thing in Georgia, Chechnya and Syria without being held accountable.  He is currently the leading serial killer in the world.  Putin is PERSONALLY responsible for the deaths he has ordered.  He and he alone ordered the assassination of opponents and the invasions of nations.   It should not make a difference just because he is a head-of-state with membership in the United Nations.  

The most obvious and necessary means of restoring justice and world peace is to make sure Putin to no longer at his post in the Kremlin.  He has to go.

Having said that, removing Putin is not easy.  Many argue that it is not even possible. I would agree that it is extremely difficult – and therefore unlikely at this moment.  But still necessary.  And if events proceed the way Putin intends, the option to remove him from power will become more necessary and more difficult in the future.

Even though virtually every political figure, Russian expert, and military analyst talks about the need to remove Putin, they avoid the obvious.  How to get rid of him.

There are only six ways Putin is removed from power.  He inconceivably could lose an election.  Equally inconceivable, he could simply retire.  He could be ousted by an internal coup – as was Nikita Khrushchev.   Mother Russia could lose a global war against other nations – the Hitler model.  He could die of natural causes – but age and health suggest not soon enough.  Or he could be bumped off by insiders or outsiders.

While the United States and the western world have engineered a number of regime changes, summarily killing the head-of-state have been the last choice.  We prefer that they stand trial and be eliminated legally by local authorities – as was the case of Saddam Hussein.  Although I prefer life in prison – like the Nazi war criminal who remained in Spandau Prison until his suicide at age 93.

Putin is not the subject of a policy disagreement or even pugnacious behavior.  It is not about violating a few international laws regarding trade or marginal territorial claims.  It is not even about human rights violations within the sovereign Russian state.  It is about stopping a serial mass murderer in the act.

I would prefer he be taken into custody and stand trial for murder and war crimes, but that is even less likely to happen than his being knocked off.  It is not the preferred option but may sadly be the only realistic option to end Putin’s never-ending war on the civilized world –and millions of innocent men, women, and children.

I hope that the United States and our allies are at least doing feasibility studies on how an assassination might take place.  Maybe even working on a plan.  Are there any new technologies that create hitherto unavailable opportunities?  

It is risky business without any assurance of success – as we saw with Fidel Castro.  But that option – or plan – should not be off the table, in my judgment.  It is that or an eventual global war.  Co-existence with Putin is no longer an option.

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. Tom

    Larry I think the only viable model at this point is the Hitler model of expulsion. Here’s why: I listened to the Polish Ambassador to the USA yesterday. During his discussion he made a few key points that he emphasized more than once. 1) Poland knows Russia very well, much better than most, and has had experts analyzing Russia ever since WWII when Russia invaded Poland in collaboration with Hitler. 2) Putin will not stop at Ukraine. 3) Putin is not crazy, he has a vision that is a mix of neo-imperialism of the old days of Russian glory and Stalinism (and personally as a cold war soldier I have always seen this in Putin because Stalin’s disciples trained Putin!) 4) Putin wants back the Russian satellite states Russia once owned – Poland was never one of them though according to the Ambassador. 5) 80% of Russians support the war and have the same sort of beliefs as Putin. 6) With regard to nukes and other threats, we should not worry about Putin’s unpredictability – he and Russia have through the decades always been unpredictable. By the way, hats off to Poland because the Ambassador said they recognized the problem of being hooked on Russian energy and food a long time ago. He said in two months they will be totally energy independent because they have built natural gas stations to support their energy needs and have no need for Putin’s energy. He recommends all EU countries do the same! This is where we the USA should be leading! Along with sending lawyers, guns, and money as the song goes!

    • larry Horist

      Tom … I think virtually everyone agrees that things will not change unless Putin is defeated and removed from power. And I believe that most folks know what it will take to defeat and remove Putin. But the will to actually defeat him is weak. In fact, even the diplomatic efforts are weak and ineffective. We are a major league football team with no offense.

    • Ben

      You listened to a pollock?

  2. Randall Thorpe

    Terrible idea. It’s easier to prevent a cat from getting out of a bag than trying to put him back in. People should have thought of that before giving him the idea that he can get away with what ever he wanted. It would make us no better than him. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  3. Frank stetson

    How do you re reconcile that with you love affair with a President who says Putin is a genius to take advantage of the moment to get some good stuff in Ukraine, tried to do massive business with him, wanted him in the G8, and other places of importance, and has publicly admired him for over a decade.

    At least Biden calls it for what it is.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … are you really that deranged and obsessed with me? Your crap is just that. There was a time you posts were semi-intelligenct, but no longer. You damn well know that I have been a critic of Trump, but you like to say I love the guy. And you make everything about Trump. And obviously I am no fan of Putin. If you bothered to read the commentary, I am suggesting that he get knocked of. I think you need to have a time out to regain your faculties. I should not humor you any longer.

      • Frank stetson

        Oh, I see you say that to all the liberals.

        That’s why they all stop discussing things with you.

        You’re a useless liar who can’t own up to his own written errors while hiding in his little conservatives-only club whining in his echo chamber.

        He can reconcile hating putin while loving Donnie boy the putin lover at the same time.

        As useless as a spent rubber.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      If you underestimate Putin, you do it at your own peril. Its clear that Putin not only had this war planned to the tee, he figured out what the sanctions would be and has worked for the last ten years to mitigate them. He was smart enough to not attack during the Trump administration, to wait for the feckless Biden administration which has been outsmarted at every turn.

      And by the way if you agree with the mainstream media that Ukraine is winning, forget it. Ukraine has won a few skirmishes, but no battles and they are about to lose the war.

      • Frank stetson

        Certainly you’re not referring to me since you would be totally off the mark with your lame accusations.

      • frank stetson

        Joe the prognosticator general says: “Putin not only had this war planned to the tee, he figured out what the sanctions would be and has worked for the last ten years to mitigate them.” Gee, did he plan to get push out of Kyiv? Planned to lose his flagship? Planned to lose seven Generals? Planned to be there for months, suffering the loss of thousands of conscripts, equipment, and acquired land?

        Putin screams: “they sunk my battleship.” It was worth $750 million dollars, not rubles….. with a few hundred million in munitions. This puts a real dent in Russian air support from it’s flagship and now, the other ships that had to back off for 50 miles or more.

        Now what…… Putin has to know US salvage teams are on their way to grab technology for a look-see. He has to move fast to protect his sunken assets. More targets for the Ukrainians.

        And the fact that you believe this wouldn’t have happened under Trump is correct. Unlike Biden who is strengthening America’s alliance with NATO and NATO’s strength in the world, Turnip weakened all of that so there was no reason for Putin to attack Ukraine, Trump was doing it for him. Trump treated Ukraine as a third-world puppet nation, a place that would do Tarnishes bidden when he said: “I need a favor.” and Putin rested easy with that. Hell, Trump hired Manthefort, Putin’s puppetmaster in Ukraine who placed Putin’s puppet in power just be Zelenskyy. Then he did the same for an orangutang in America.

        I don’t see any MSM, except in Joe’s mind’s eyes, saying the Ukrainians are winning the war, just that they have pushed Putin out of Kyiv, they have destroyed over 700 tanks 2,000 armored vehicles. I have never said Ukraine is winning, or, more imporantly, will win the war. I have said the opposite. Each tank runs between $2M – $4M depending on model for a cool $.1.4 to 2.8B. That’s over $4B on ships n tanks n armored vehicles alone, close to a 10% hit on their defense budget. And that’s before you add in the 75 aircraft, over 100 helicopters, 200 artillery pieces, etc. Makes Biden’s Afghanistan pull-out look like a holiday.

        Joe the economic wizard says: “he figured out what the sanctions would be and has worked for the last ten years to mitigate them.” Russian inflation is over 12% fueled by weekly 10% increases. They are killing each other to get stuff before the price rises the next week. They are running out of staples like sugar. They stand in endless lines for medicines or, if close, run to Finland to get supplies even though not included in sanctions, just the value of the ruble. As the ruble drops in value, price increases can be daily. P&G products, for example, are up 40% — including feminine hygiene. While P&G was still there at the time of this story, over 330 other companies have left. Over 62,000 were instantly unemployed when McDonald’s left. Estimates are 7% for unemployment, bankruptcies doubled for the year.

        Joe believes that Zelenskyy has been bought off and will lead the Ukrainian army into the meat grinder and their demise. That was just before the flagship went down. No, Joe, they should not win. But, at this point, they are winning. And they most certainly has exacted quite a toll. As have Biden and NATO via the sanctions. Now as the weapons stream in, Putin threatens the US with undefined retaliations. At least that will not include a flagship. I am sure Joe will be telling us soon how, with Biden in power, we should just give up before we get hurt.

    • Clifford mckinney

      Trump derangement syndrome. I’ve never seen a worse case

      • ben

        Yes, you need to seek help.

  4. the old Marine

    Biden is a senile out of touch idiot, his whole political career has been based on what is good for Biden. The whole family needs to be prosecuted, talk about who is dealing with the enemy, read the news and see who is in bed with the commie countries. I think elimination by any means is some times the only thing to do.

  5. Ben

    Biden’s net worth is around $8m; ; hardly been robbing us blind. Turnip spent more of our money just securing his NJ, NYC, FL, and other abodes. He took more vacation, played more golf, and spent most of his time telling lies. His wife is a communist, his little kid’s about as creepy as it gets, and his sister hates him for stealing the family money.

    The guy was is bed with Russia, MK, and Turkey, and had a wet dream about the Saudi’s gifts.

    • larry Horist

      I am not sure why the defense of Biden seems to always bringing up Trump. I find them to be two different cases. You proffer the case against Trump instead of dealing with the accusations against Biden. $8 million net is not bad for a guy who never had a job outside the public payroll. And I think more digging is going to reveal more wealth. Does the $8 million include the money from Hunter paying his bill? And why? And did Biden list the money from Hunter as income on his tax form? If Biden is the grifter he is starting to look like, that has nothing to do with Trump. Biden is the man in the Oval Office. His handling the war is important. Trump’s opinion that Putin would not have invaded if he were President is irrelevant. You comment has nothing to do with the commentary. You are one of those who just uses this platform to vent you overall politics. Dialogues do not work if you do not deal with the topic at hand. And calling the First Lady a communist, the kids as creepy and a sister who hates him is more or less a series of childish insults. And it is his neice that hates him. From all reports, Trump and his sister are on good terms. Ben you are not stupid … and not a Frank … so do not let yourself get dragged into that arena.

      • Larru kuhn

        Larry I must differ about Ben’s smarts. He is extremely stupid.