Putin heats the water hotter for the frog

Vladimir Putin: 1952 - ?

 

2016/01/24 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Many are expecting that the conclusion of the British judicial investigation into the murder of Aleksandr Litvinenko that Vladimir Putin was behind that crime will lead to a sea change in the reaction of the West to Putin and his regime. As much as one would like to believe that, the prospects do not appear to be good.

The reason is simple: Western leaders and indeed Western publics are like the proverbial frog who might have jumped out of a kettle of boiling water but quietly accepts their position if the water is simply warmed up, ultimately to boiling. Each rise in temperature is accepted as the new normal, and the overall trend toward the boiling point is ignored or at least discounted.

Rescuers digging for survivors after bombing of an apartment building on Kashira Road in Moscow, Russia, 13 September 1999. This and other similar terror acts in Russia were used by Putin to start another war in Chechnya. According to former FSB officer Alexandr Litvinenko murdered by his former FSB colleagues in London and other experts, the FSB conducted the bombings on Putin's orders to boost his election chances. (Image: Wikipedia)

Rescuers digging for survivors after bombing of an apartment building on Kashira Road in Moscow, Russia, 13 September 1999. This and other similar terror acts in Russia were used by Putin to start another war in Chechnya. According to former FSB officer Alexandr Litvinenko, who was murdered by his former FSB colleagues in 2006 in London, and other experts, the FSB conducted the bombings on Putin’s orders to boost his election chances. (Image: Wikipedia)

Putin began his rise by killing 300 of his own citizens to restart a vicious war in Chechnya, but most in the West refused to accept the findings of experts and the evidence from Ryazan on that and continued to look at him as the continuer of the market oriented policies that the West cared more about than democracy and freedom.

Putin arrested and in some cases had his opponents killed, and again Western leaders said just as they had in the 1930s about Hitler that the stories were overblown and that the Kremlin leader was someone the West had a compelling interest to cooperate with rather than contain and work to remove.

Putin laid out his plans for a revanchist policy in Munich, and these were dismissed in Washington and other capitals as playing to his domestic audience. Then he invaded Georgia and more recently he has invaded Ukraine. But instead of supporting those victims of Russian aggression, the West chose to negotiate with Putin about them without them.

In every case, the logic has been the same:

  • First, some constantly try to blame the victims, suggesting that Putin had to act the way he did.
  • Then, they insist that he couldn’t be as bad as his critics say.
  • And then, such people argue that even if he is, he is still someone they have to talk to because of Russia’s power.
One of the groups of Russian special forces and mercenaries that started the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine

One of the groups of Russian special forces and mercenaries that started the Russian invasion in Donbas, Ukraine

Because of such attitudes, there has always been a market for those who argue that they can establish rapport with Putin and his regime and achieve a breakthrough. Those who suggest they are deceiving themselves on that point and even being played are dismissed now just as consistently as were “the wild Churchill men” who opposed Hitler.

What is perhaps the most appalling and hypocritical aspect of this situation is that many Western governments do in fact take small steps indicating they understand the situation but do not refrain from saying how sorry they are to have to do even that or from dispatching their diplomats to Moscow to negotiate with Putin about his agenda.

The time has come to recognize that Putin, like Hitler and Stalin before him, will keep moving in increasingly horrific directions both at home and abroad unless the rest of the world clearly recognizes his evil and takes steps to block him for its sake and for the sake of Russians as well because despite Putin’s megalomania, Putin is not Russia and Russia is not Putin.

But as of yet and despite the Litvinenko case findings in London, there tragically does not seem to be much of a willingness to recognize the reality we find ourselves in: the water that the frog finds itself in is getting hotter and hotter and unless something is done, the water will boil – and the frog as a result will die.

Devastation in the Donbas - the product of Putin's military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy)

Devastation in the Donbas – the product of Putin’s military aggression into peaceful Ukraine. (Image: Slavyansk Delovoy)

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    … And putin laughs and laughs and laughs at the foolish west.

  • Dirk Smith

    The West enabled this sociopath. The West now has to destroy their creation.

  • Nowhere Girl

    This factoid about frogs in boiling water is actually false – at some point the water will get too hot for the frog and if it can jump out of the pot, it will. But I agree that Putin is – metaphorically – behaving in such a way.
    Exactly like this: people trusted Hitler too. In Germany the public thought it will be just another short-lived government, behind-the-scenes politicians like von Papen thought that Hitler would be easy to manipulate – unfortunately for the whole world, he turned out to be more clever than them. Some American journalist in the 30s – in early period of Hitler’s power – did a simple thing: he read “Mein Kampf” and wrote what Hitler would probably try to do. The journalist was right, all the others were eager to ignore warning signs. Why is everyone willing to repeat the same mistake?
    The League of Nations did nothing to prevent the tragedy, so it was replaced after the war. Now United Nations are powerless to stop Putin. The very least one could do is to suspend Russia’s membership in the Security Council or cancel veto right. Russia is completely free to obstruct their proceedings.

  • Brent

    Putin bombed his own people in their apartments….the West turned a blind eye

    Putin invaded and destroyed Chechnya….the West turned a blind eye
    Putin imprisoned Mikhail Khodorovsky…..The West turned a blind eye
    Putin assassinated Litvinenko, Anna Politkovskaya and others….the West turned a blind eye
    Putin invaded Georgia….the West turned a blind eye
    Putin invaded Ukraine….The West turned a blind eye
    Putin had Savchenko, Sentsov and others kidnapped for show trials….the West turned a blind eye
    Putin had 298 innocents aboard MH17 murdered….the West turned a blind eye
    Putin kills citizens in Syria….the West turned a blind eye

    When is the West going to wake up to this monster and stop wanting to ‘do business’ with such a mass murderer?

    • Scradje

      It would appear that only Marco Rubio has a clear strategy for dealing with the chekist dwarf; see his website. Who are you backing for next POTUS?

      • Czech Mate

        Marco would be my choice too but I’m afraid he lacks the “leadership toughness” appearance. Something (or perhaps the only thing) that Trump seems to be having a plenty of.

    • Mephisto

      and what exactly do you expect “the West” to do? There are sanctions, Russia is isolated internationally and everybody knows by now that Putin is a psychopath.
      Do you want the West to declare war on russia because of Krym? Its not going to happen. Nobody wants war. The West is trying to wait it out, wait for Putler to go – maybe there will be a coup in russia, you never know.

  • Czech Mate

    I am inclined to accept the sad true that today’s leadership of free world isn’t much better in their principles than their rogue criminal dictator counterparts.

    I think that in powers that be there is an opinion that nuclear Russia being led by a strongman is better than Russia in chaos and lawlessness. Maybe they truly believe that you have to sacrifice “some” in order to save many. Or maybe they are just too scared, lazy and incompetent to do anything. I don’t know.

    What I do know is this will backfire big time, like it did throughout the history of mankind. One thing I will remember Obama for is that he made pure evil think it can get a chance to get away with murder (pun intended)- something I’ ve never though would come back in this day and age.

    I wonder these days: have our leaders been forced (either by their weakness or stupidity) to act like this, to scrap transparency and fight for fundamental human rights. Or were they like that from the start only the fair weather made us fooled? I look at Obama, Merkel and others and think: these people are not THAT stupid surely…

    Chilling conclusion is: they know what they’re doing, all of them.