Has the West capitulated to Putin?

A monument to Putin

A monument to Putin 

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Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine and the West’s failure to stand up to him shows what can happen when there is “a world-class hooligan without a world-class policeman,” Vadim Zaydman says, a horrific situation that may continue for decades if Putin remains in office and the West remains in the state where it is now.

Everyone is familiar with what happens when there isn’t an effective police force in one or another city: the worst emerge and impose their will on the innocent. But that situation has now spread to the world as a result of Putin’s actions and the unwillingness of the Western powers to force him to live according to the rules.

And they are well aware of something else: what will stop hooliganism when it first appears is relatively small compared to what will be necessary to do the same when the hooligans have gotten away with their crimes and assume that they will be able to continue to act with impunity.

For 15 years, the West has deluded itself about the nature of Putin, hiding behind the question “who is Mr. Putin” as if it were not clear to the unaided eye as a result of his actions in Chechnya, Georgia and now Ukraine what kind of a criminal he is and why stopping him will be ever harder, the commentator says.

Had the West taken a hard line against Putin after he invaded Georgia, he wouldn’t have seized Crimea. Had it imposed the kind of sanctions now in place immediately after his Anschluss of the Ukrainian peninsula, he wouldn’t have expanded his aggression into eastern Ukraine. And tragically, it appears this is not the end.

“Ukraine has been betrayed as at one time Georgia was betrayed,” Zaydman says. Not only has the West refused to live up to its responsibilities under the Budapest Memorandum, but it is apparently going to continue to refuse to provide Ukraine with the arms necessary to effectively defend itself against the hooligan Putin.

“’The conflict in Ukraine does not have a military solution,’ Chancellor Merkel and the other European leaders love to repeat as a mantra.” But they are wrong: Ukraine will have a military solution. It will be Putin’s military solution, one that the West has allowed by its inaction. And it won’t be the last one if nothing changes.

Perhaps because the prospects of that are so horrific, many believe that Putin and/or the West will change. But Putin has been remarkably consistent: he uses force whenever he thinks he can get away with it; and the West by its failure to oppose him with force has allowed him to assume he can get away with ever more of it.

Or such optimists have assumed that things will change because Putin will leave the scene or because the West will come to its senses. But there seems to be little prospect of either. An article in “Vedomosti” suggests that Putin could be in power for another 30 years, wreaking havoc on the world all that time.

And Vytautas Landsbergis, the Lithuanian leader who knows more than a little about Moscow’s willingness to engage in criminal activities when the West refuses to oppose it, suggests the current situation provides little basis for optimism and much for fear.

Landsbergis says that the West is now “so stupid” that Putin doesn’t have to try to “stupefy it.” Western leaders won’t even challenge Putin’s assertions that Russia isn’t a participant in the war in Ukraine, let alone do something about it. Indeed, one has to ask whether the West has already “capitulated” to him.

The West now is “afraid to respond to Russia, and if that doesn’t change,” the Lithuanian leader points out, “Russia will be able to continue to behave badly in Ukraine and later in other neighboring countries.” Indeed, he says, the West is so afraid that it doesn’t even want to impose more sanctions, let alone do something more effective.

There is a solution, he points out. “How does one overcome fear? By not being afraid. To be afraid is a defeat and a capitulation.” And Landsbergis cites the words of US President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks: “they’ve attacked us and we must respond because if we are afraid to do so, the terrorists will win.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  1. Avatar Charles J. Kollman says:

    I believe the world now know Putin and his mentality and that being a Tyrant as was in The Soviet Union.

  2. Avatar Michel Cloarec says:

    Many hooligans the last 70 years !
    How long time did Mussolini last ? Hitler ? Franco ? Cauescu ? Sadam hussein ? Khadafi ? Idi Amin ? and so on ! Now the modern hooligans are Boko Haram, Putin, Daesh , Zakharchenko , Plonitsky and the ones all over Europe supporting them .

    1. Yet the world’s worst threat continues to grow like a malignant cancer. Primarily because the braindead American neotard Is too stupid to stop aiding the communist takeover of the world. Truthmonger.info

  3. Avatar Czech Friend says:

    Georgia. That was the turning point at which Putin revealed himself once and for all.

    Yet Germany continued to sell arms to Russia after that and world did nothing.

    My view is this. If we want Putin to fall we should make him invade Ukraine in full. It would be his grave and he is clearly afraid of it. If he was sure it would be the same smooth sailing as was with Crimea he would have done that already.

    Do you think for all his blackmailing and fascist militarism and propaganda a paranoid dictator like him wants a big military confrontation? What for right now? Because such war would be hard for him to control and that is what scares him the most. Do not rock my boat, slaves!

    Obviously it would be Ukraine who would suffer the most but in the end everybody would benefit from Putin’s domestic meltdown. I am afraid this is and has been always the only short term and most likely solution to put Russian dictator down. Because apart from his words he never acted boldy in the right sense of the word. Show me a proof of his alleged “adventurism”.

    Will this idea be dismissed as delusion across the board? No doubt about it.

    Will West continue to empower Putin by lack of its resolve falling for his bluff and making him really strong or deluded enough and thus capable to deliver on his threats in the future? Ja.

    So again a summary of this “crazy” theory. For all his bluster Putin doesn’t want a big war in Ukraine, he is scared of consequences he could not control. In case of such awar chances of his immininent fall would be very high. Big even huge casualties on Ukrainian side almost certain. Any help or involvement from twofaced West needed? No.

    Does West want Putin to stay on Russian throne? It looks like it.

    1. Avatar LorCanada says:

      Some have said Putin is trying to take advantage of the remaining Obama term in office in order to push his agendas. Having a new president who would be more militant towards Putin could change the political scene. We shall see.

  4. Avatar Rods says:

    Until WWII the UK was the world’s policeman where they had the world’s most powerful navy. After WWII this was taken over by the US who have faltered twice in this roll. The first time was during Carter’s presidency where he was clearly out of his depth over Iran and the second time has been the current total disaster with Obama and Rice. The turning point where everything has stemmed from was his useless response over Syria and chemical weapons, which assad is still using, but even more disastrously was allowing Putin into the chair as chief negotiator over a war where he gave his full backing to Assad.

    From the rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq Obama left a power vacuum which ISIS were happy to fill and this will also happen in Afghanistan.

    Obama’s I must keep my Nobel peace prize at all cost is taking us down the same path with Putin as we were with Hitler and it will have the same very predictable result, where Putin like Hitler will get bolder and bolder with each successful action until things go wrong, like MH17, or he attacks one country too many and the West have no choice but to defend themselves. This will start an avoidable WWIII which will end with a full nuclear exchange. So, far from this constant appeasement stopping wars and saving lives, they will do the opposite.

    The choice is very simple, arm Ukraine now and contain the war there or accept that humanity and western civilization is going to in the not to distant future. I suspect by the time the next US presidential elections take place, we will be too far down the world to WWIII to stop it.

    1. Avatar LorCanada says:

      Well said, but I still think Ukraine is the “sacrificial lamb” at present, unfortunately.

  5. Avatar LorCanada says:

    It isn’t so much a civil war because it is Putin who is supporting the terrorists and rebels. It is Putin’s “proxy” war against Ukraine.
    Poroshenko has had to deal with spies in his military ranks who gave away vital info to the Russians regarding Ukr. troop positions. They’ve been arrested and hopefully Ukr. defence will improve.

  6. Avatar Alex Shenderov says:

    The West has capitulated, and Putin has little to do with it. Putin has little to show on domestic front for his 15 years in power, so he uses the easy way to support his stellar ratings in Russia – siege mentality. Every once in a while he needs something to show for THAT, and there is the danger – he has no alternative to escalation. The only question is, where? Options include China, former USSR republics that are not yet in NATO, and those that are. Once the third, easy, option is exhausted, the choice will be between the West (which does not want even to give Javelins to the Ukrainians) and China (which has both manpower and weaponry, not to mention every imaginable reason, to take Siberia in a week). So it’s really the battle between the West and China, and China is winning without firing a shot. Yet.


    “The hack also revealed evidence that Team Themis was developing a “person management” system — a program, developed at the specific request of the United States Air Force, that allowed one user to control multiple online identities (“sock puppets”) for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grass roots support. The contract was eventually awarded to another private intelligence firm.”

    This cyber warfare is clearly not just in the capacity of ‘improving international reputation’ as military commanders are claiming on record (just like there is ‘no such thing’ as domestic spying and it’s only for terrorists). Instead, we’re talking about running a major network of computers that are constantly running code specifically written to post to social media and news comment pages. Something that was revealed all the way back in 2011 by RawStory and brushed off in the name of national security by the military.”


  8. Hmm. The original title on this post by Paul Goble on his own blog was this:

    Putin ‘a World-Class Hooligan without a World-Class Policeman,’ Zaydman Says


    Is there a reason EuroMaidanPRESS can’t syndicate a column with the title under which it first appeared, and instead replaces it with another title which makes it seem like the West, and not Putin is the problem?

    Is this an issue with directly confronting Putin?