Select Page

Putin must not be allowed any measure of victory

Putin must not be allowed any measure of victory

Putin has reached the Hitler stage.  Diplomacy will never work against a person who is insane.

We hear a lot from both Republicans and Democrats that the American mission is to stop the invasion.  There are even some vague references to having Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine.  But there is little said about actually defeating Putin – and what that means specifically.

We first much realize that Vladimir Putin is a psychopath – the most dangerous head-of-state since Hitler.  He makes China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un look like peacemakers.  For all their tough talk and saber rattling, Xi and Kim have not invaded any sovereign democracies. Only Putin has disrupted the world order with his military.  This may be the worst example, but not the first.

Ukraine is now in the crosshairs of Putin’s maniacal vision of world domination – but his enemies and future victims are in plain view.  He has made no secret of his ambitions.  He is not seeking Russian domination of the world.  No. No. No.  He is seeking Putin domination.  His ruthless attacks are also directed at the Russian people who will not submit to his authoritarian rule.  

In his recent speech, Putin has hinted at a genocide among his own people who will not support his madness.  He calls them “traitors,” “bastards” who should be “spit out like a bug that entered the mouth.”  (The man has a way with words.)  His rhetoric has a ring of ethnic superior not unlike Hitler.

 The world will not be safe as long as Putin is alive and in power … period.

All the rhetoric coming out of President Biden, NATO, the European Union, and the feckless United Nations allude to some sort of secession of the fighting as the goal.  That is nothing less than appeasement and a victory for Putin.

What are the terms for Putin ending his invasion? Does he get the sanctions lifted?   Does he get to keep the Crimea?  Does he keep the Donbas region – those phony puppet republics that he declared and recognized in eastern Ukraine?  Does he get an assurance that what is left of the Democratic Republic of Ukraine will never join NATO?  Does he get a de-militarized Ukraine?

When western diplomats talk about finding an off-ramp for Putin – or some face-saving resolution – they are handing the Madman of Moscow a huge victory.

The fact that Biden has consistently assured Putin that neither America nor NATO will engage in anything that Putin would consider provocative, is a step toward appeasement and partial surrender.  No no-fly zone.  No jet fighters.  No offensive weapons.  Biden’s policies mean that total victory over Putin is not even a consideration no matter how many red lines he crosses.

Biden even echoes Putin’s contention that a no-fly zone or military involvement by the west is provocative … escalatory.  How can you impose one in the future if you already told the world that such action would lead to World War III?  Why Biden would give away such options as negotiating points is inexplicable.

Calling Putin a thug … a bully … and even a war criminal has no meaning – no impact. It only proves the legitimacy of the old children’s couplet, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  In fact, Putin is willing to have a few “stones’ hitting his soldiers, his people, his friends, his oligarchs … as long as he is safely ensconced in his physical and psychological bunker working his maniacal plans.


That means the commitment must be for Russian troops to be driven from ALL of Ukraine – including the Crimea and the Donbas region.  Russia must be required to pay reparations for the damage that it has done to Ukraine.  Putin must go.

(How about we offer the Oligarchs who are holding Putin’s money that the sanctions will be removed, and they can keep all their money – and Putin’s too — as long as they have him assassinated.  Kind of a bounty.  Okay, I know that is extreme – even impractical — but it would be a multi-billion-dollar reward for anyone making it happen.  But, I digress.)

Realistically, there is only one way that a victory over Putin can be attained.  NATO and the European Union must engage with Putin militarily at some point.  The attacks on civilians should have been that point.  The atrocity of the attack on the theater harboring women and children should have been that point.   There must be a no-fly zone imposed. A Berlin-style airlift serving the cities under siege.  The world democracies must reject Putin’s empty threats of a nuclear world war and go on the offensive.

Putin is a rabid dog that must be put down.  There is no other option – unless we want to watch his heartless military continue to wreak havoc on the world order.  Stopping him later will be a much bigger problem.  And in the meantime, millions of innocent men, women, and children will endure the most inhuman suffering and horrible deaths.  

Using diplomacy against a deranged leader — who abuses negotiations with strategic delays, irrational lies, and habitually broken promises – is the method of losers.  It has been repeatedly said that Putin will only respond to force.

The choice is very simple.  They say that Putin will never back down without some measure of victory.  It is critical that he does not have such a victory.  And there seems only one way to stop him sanctions and diplomacy.  Yes, it is unfortunate.  And yes, it would broaden the war.  But is there really any other choice?

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. Frank stetson

    And yet you support the guy who has nothing but good things to say about Putin. Recently, he called him a genius for invading Ukraine. Before the election, his people, met with the Russians over 100 times and I don’t think it was to tell them to stop that or give back Crimea. Remember, Putin supported Trump for president and took actions to till the election towards him.

    I agree, the longer the war goes on the worse our decision not to enter looks. However, it is a joint decision across NATO, and if we do go in, unlike you, I find the risk of nuclear war on a global basis should give us great pause about taking arms up against Russia. The size and number of bombs in our nuclear stockpile is still quite large and still capable of altering life on the globe as we know it.

    In the past, you seem to think that nuclear war survivable. It is not. You seem to think it is manageable, it is not. Once the bombs fly, they all fly. There is no such thing as a tactical nuclear war, even though Russia has a number of tactical nuclear bombs. We are still building hours I think

    I do agree that the longer the war is on the worse our decision to stay out looks and feels. However, I hope we take great pause before we enter a global conflict with Russia. FYI: I would feel the same way about China, North Korea, or even Pakistan. However, that feeling rises 100 fold when dealing with Russia given the number of nukes. the size of some of these nukes, and the various delivery systems for said nukes. Neither China, North Korea, or even Pakistan, get anywhere close to that kind of potential Armageddon.

    The sanctions are crippling Russia’s economy, the body bags of Russian soldiers are heading home, the Ukrainians continue to hang on and tried, we continue to supply weapons to help that fight and we continue to protect the border of NATO. It’s a tough course, I truly wish we could’ve done more earlier to prevent the course we are all on, but I think we need to stay the course for now. Yes, Ukraine may fall, but that was as true on day one as it is on day 30.

    • Nathan claypool

      You are always babbling bullshit.

      • frank stetson

        Hey, you’re the one in love with a Putin lover.

        • Nathan claypool

          I assume that you’re referring to trump. What would you have him do? Start a war with Russia? It’s the duty of presidents to get along with other leaders if possible. But you’re a moron and try to second guess what you don’t know. President sundown Biden has allowed Putin to invade Ukraine.

          • larry Horist

            Nathan … NO, I would never start a war with Russia. But I would certainly rise to the occasion to defeat a war started by Russia. Starting a war with Russia is not the issue. Putin’s war against the democracies has been ongoing for years — and this is just one more escalation. Just because we failed to adequately respond in the past does not mean we should surrender to Putin this time.

      • Guilo

        Really? I find Mr Stetson QUITE coherent and persuasive! Always have!

      • Will

        Really? I find Stetson to be a clear, potent communicator. Always have!

        • Perry

          So you admit to stupidity

        • larry Horist

          Guilo/Will Why do you use two screen names to express your same opinion. Are you one of those Democrats who like to vote twice? LOL

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson. Again you fail to see nuance. True, Trump had a tendency to flatter Putin. I have been critical of that habit. But it is equally true — as strange as that may seem to you — that Trump was tougher on Russian than any previous President since Ronald Reagan. As a self-appointed researcher, surely you must know that. You policy of surrendering under threat of the use of nuclear weapons give Putin the most powerful weapon on earth. It makes the US impotent and NATO useless. You yield to the bully. And … in my opinion, you vision of the use of nuclear weapons … all or nothing at all … total earthly destructions … is more in line with post World War II movies than a real assessment of the situation. Where we differ is a matter of opinion. Create a no-fly zone and shoot down a Russian jet and the world goes up in a nuclear Armageddon. I believe that Putin would not use nukes — and if he did, they would be strategic. My question to you …. is there ANY red line that would justify greater involvement of NATO in direct confrontation with Putin. Use of chemical warfare? Belarus entering the war? Russian cyber attack? Invading another nation — such as Moldova? More war crimes? In my opinion, Ukraine was invaded because the west has bought into you knee-shaking concept of foreign policy.

      • Joe Gilbertson

        Just to extend what Larry is saying, Trump was a business guy, he had the talent for schmoozing, even if it was someone he didn’t life. This isn’t build-a-bear, you don’t get to choose who other leaders are, you have to work with the ones you have.

        My buddy George points out that there is a lot of history behind this invasion, it was not spur of the moment. It was promised long ago that NATO would not include Ukraine in NATO, and the election (legitimate or not) of leaders who were pro-West seriously impacted Putin’s access to Sevastopol one of its very few warm water ports and where a good deal of his navy resides. Not that this justifies an attack, but Trump would have understood Putin’s concerns because he knows how to listen like a businessman, and likely would have stopped the Invasion before it started.

      • Frankbstetson

        Yes Larry my knees do shake anytime someone suggests having armed conflict with between nuclear nations. Call me weak not to knee-jerk our kids into a war.

        I never thought I’d see “nuanced” used to describe Trump… Yes Larry I on paper based on the policy sanctions, that Trump is tougher on Russia perhaps than any other president after Reagan but certainly not as much as Kennedy. At least if we were to judge who got closer to nuclear war.

        Larry, you say once again that I have TDS and hate Trump and that Trump is not president. Gee, Larry, I must’ve missed the part where Trump conceded the presidency. But yes, I do hate Trump. But he’s fair game as a leader of your party and the voice of all Republicans. And compared to the trashing these folks on Biden, I believe I’m well within the PBP name calling guidelines.

        However, Larry,, “as a self-appointed researcher,” and Dr of Snark, you must know that Trump also cozied up to Putin in ways that no other president ever had

        Before the election, Trump was negotiating for a hotel in Moscow all the way up to when he entered the oval office. He told you he wasn’t doing business with Russia, but he lied. Therefore, was his conversations about Russia before the election truth or just negotiating for the deal. As he begin to run, Trump made one major change in the Republican platform taking out any aggressive words about Russia. He also did business in the real estate with many Russian and rented a hunk of Trump Tower to the Russian mafia, an investment firm that he also received money from.

        After the election, Trump wounded NATO with his rhetoric And said he would quit the organization in the second year., insulted most of our allies, and had nothing but good words for Vlad. He wanted Putin to be in the G7 even though his economy looks more like G23. He said that Crimea should belong to Russia because they speak Russian. In Syria after the Russian chemical warfare attacks, he lobbed 69 tomahawks, none of which were aimed at Russian facilities. On the second chemical attack, Nikki Haley spoke about massive sanctions that will be brought out on Russia until Trump forced everyone to walk those words back as he did nothing.

        Trump’s wife was raised communist, her father was a member of the party. They have invited this communist party member over to the White House for a family gathering.

        You asked where I draw the line. I draw the line right where Biden draws the line, or NATO draws the line. Would I do something different if they were chemical or other horrendous attacks? The answer to all of that will always be it depends and everything is on the table.

        You say that I have a movie version of nuclear war and that you believe nuclear war survivable. You then say that perhaps “strategic“ nukes will be used, I think you may have missed labeled that and it should be “tactical“ bombs may be used. Putin does have such bombs that are much smaller than the ones we used in Japan. We do not. We have thought of it but I do not believe they were designed as it was probably deemed a fairly stupid thing to do. Fact is Larry once someone lets loose a tactical nuclear bomb, chances are the bets are off. The bombs in Japan were less than 20 kt. Our bomb start at 500 kt, the Russians have one 1.2 Mt. We have thousands of these. On the smaller ones we have, you can be killed by flying glass at 140 miles away from the center. I think it is you that is invested in a twilight zone episode where after the bombs come off, you come out of the cellar to a brave New World. Yeah very, it will be a brave New World with billions of dead people rotting creating the second wave of death through pestilence. Atomic war is not trivial . Especially at the amount of overkill that both the US and Russia have.

        You say it would never happen because who would do such a thing. World War I was started over the assassination of one guy. Millions died. Who would ever do such a thing?

        So, no, Larry, I am not gung ho to send our children into war, to die, and to risk nuclear obliteration of the planet.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … a few quick points.

          1. I would never knee jerk into war. But I will rise to a clear existential danger. You will not. That is where we differ.

          2. Virtually all the post WW II presidents were tough on Russia — at least up until Dems started going soft with Carter and Clinton.

          3. You trashing of Trump is based on your admitted hatred. My criticism of Biden is policy and fact base. I do not hate the guy. I just believe that he is the most incompetent president of modern times — even more dangerous than Carter. Carter lost Iran over four years. Biden lost Afghanistan … and could lose Ukraine … in barely over a year.

          4. I just completed a commentary that will educate you on the facts of Trump and NATO – indisputable facts. Stay tuned.

          5. Good God. That slime on the First Lady is inexcusable. We won the space war by turning over or rocket program to a former Nazi. You must really be upset with Biden’s pick for Comptroller of the Currency — former Communist Party member Saule Omarova.

          6. Be specific. What would you do differently it chemicals weapons were used? And remember … you are already giving a war criminal a pass.

          7. So, you approach is to let any old autocrat with the bomb to take over as much of the world as he wishes — and causing an existential threat to American security. No one — with the possible exception of Putin — wants a nuclear confrontation. But we have also worried what would happen is an insane autocrat has nuclear weapons.. The surprise is that the nutcase heads one of the super-powers. We were more focused on the lesser nations … North Korea, Pakistan or Iran.

          8. As far as sending “kids” into war … no one knows the pain of such sacrifice more than me. The saddest part of losing my grandson in Afghanistan is that Biden made his courageous death in vain when he surrendered to the enemy. And there are another 2400 souls who also died in vain. They were sent into a way that the folks in Washington had no desire to win.

          Throughout history men and woman have stood up for freedom from the despots — and millions have died. But because of the bravery and courage … and sacrifice … the people of the world enjoy a lot of personal freedom. It is not because of the folks who ran and hid.

          Yes Frank, I do believe you base your feelings on those old movies.

        • Ben

          Poor Frank. He’s shaking like a queer at a weiner roast

          • Ben

            Poor Evil Ben, his gaydar is overheating again. He’s such a brave man not to shake at the thought of the nuclear war as he bravely is willing to send other people‘s kids to die. Brave armchair warrior. Anyone who’s not as brave as he is must be queer he postulates. .I guess that’s because Evil Ben may not be afraid of nuclear Russians but he certainly fears the gay community. Those freaking closet cases are like that, aren’t they?

          • Tom

            The problem with your analogy of Frank shaking like a queer at a weiner roast is what kind of queer? How are you using the word “queer”? And what type? A gay? A lesbo? A bi? A tranny? A queer that is not sure or flips to much to be considered solidly as one of the others? An I which is inbetween? An A which does not want sex at all? Or a Pan which will have sex as long as you have two legs and anything inbetween??

    • larry Horist

      Frank .. I should add that your snarky comments about Trump — and your distortion of my views — is totally irrelevant to the issue. In case you have not noticed, Trump is no longer President. I assume you just needed to vent you spleen with your jaded views — and mischaracterizations of both Trump and me. You have no objectivity in the matter — and your arguments show it. Unless I am making a specific policy point, you do not see me jumping in with ad hominin attacks of Obama or Clinton. Your obsession with anti-Trumpism undermines your credibility. You just cannot stop yourself from litigating old cases. It gives rise to accusations of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Let it go … or at least wait until he is on the ballot again … if he ever is. Or when an issues is actually about Trump. The most important part of your comment is that we seem to both agree that the current President blew in both Afghanistan and Ukraine.

      • Frank stetson

        You really need to qualify my criticism of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan and Ukraine. Your generalization is one of simplification that does not adequately describe what I said.

        I have criticisms, but I clearly sad that leaving Afghanistan was the right thing to do. Especially since Trump had already announced it along with the timeline something that no president should ever do. In Ukraine, I clearly said that due to time our decision looks worse and worse. It would’ve been the perfect decision if you’re great at falling in one day. The brave Ukrainians would not let that happen and now our level of involvement seems weaker than any of us would like given the atrocities that Putin is willing to allow. How many are saying in hindsight Putin has tipped his hand, in Forsyth, there was no way to really tell how he was going to wait just war and how far he would be willing to go. Especially after he started suffering some losses So decided to reverge his game to what we could call “back up mode,” which means slaughtering civilians in order to create fear and havoc across the country in order to force them into submission.

        So, I do not fault Biden’s decision at the time, it’s only that overtime it looks like we could’ve made a better decision. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

        But given where we are today, I still hold with what I said and still do not believe, like you, that we should send our kids to die yet. It may come, but I do not think it is now

      • Larry kuhn

        Ben gets pissed off if someone mentions queers. I think he must be a faggot

        • Ben

          Of course, you were the one who first mentions queers. And keeps bringing it up. Over and over…

  2. L.

    Thank you Mr. Horist for being so succinct. You are much more subtle than I would have been. I agree that the ultimate red line was the attack on the theatre with the women and children.
    The fact that nothing was done about that, shows me that the West is as morally bankruptcy as Putin.

  3. L. Harvey

    Thank you Mr. Horist for taking the thoughts in my head and putting them into words.

  4. Tom

    Overall, I think Larry, Moe, and Curly all have some good points. But the real issue here is how do we keep the love thing going between the three while advancing the discussion into a plan to clip Putin’s wings?

    • Ben stetson

      Considering all free may the same person…

      Perhaps one would respond to you if they can figure out which one is Curly Larry or Moe……