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Alice in Wonderland may forever give up her looking glass, because nothing in her world makes sense any longer.
Oh, my! I must be living in Wonderland, because the same thing is happening in my world.
How do the civilized nations of this world allow the Russian president to do as he pleases and do nothing but shake the proverbial big stick back at him?
Here is a fictional scenario:
PUTIN: I am reclaiming Crimea, because ethnic Russians want to come home.
WORLD: OK, as long as you stop there.
PUTIN: Oh, I forgot, we have ethnic Russians in Poland, Belarus, all of the “stans” and several other places. We’re also annexing them.
WORLD: OK, Mr. Putin, as long as you stop there.
And so on and so on.
This rhetoric takes me back to the 1930s. There once was a man who told the world he wanted to “take back the Sudetenland.”
WORLD: That’s OK, Mr. Hitler, as long as you stop there.
WORLD: Oh, you are also annexing Poland, Austria, Hungary, Holland, etc.? OK, as long as you stop there.
WORLD: Now you want Paris? OK, but you have to promise you’ll really stop there or we’ll really be upset.
Does anyone but me see the silly comparison I just made? And yes, to those readers who will tell me I misstated history, I did take license with the facts to make my point.
But is what is happening in the Ukraine really very different?
When will we finally learn from history, instead of watching it just repeat itself every century?
Using Putin’s warped logic, he could also claim the Coney Island section of New York City is primarily ethnic Russians and the people there want to belong to Mother Russia again. Does this mean that we cede that section to Putin? What about the Aventura section of Miami, also Russian populated, and all of the other areas around the world that have an ethnic Russian majority? Do we just say OK?
Where does this all stop?
I think that anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see what Putin is doing. The Crimea is the only warm water port available to Russia. They need this port; they want this land and no one is really doing anything to stop them.
Can we count on Europe’s help? That’s doubtful, because they are so dependent on Russia for their fuel and economic power. They may complain and shake the same stick we do, but, in the end, they will stay away from any serious dealings. It’s not in their interest.
The old Iron Curtain countries still fear good old Mother Russia, so we really can’t count on them either.
So where does this leave us? It leaves us in the same spot we are always left in, by our allies – holding the bag and being the world’s policeman.
Don’t the civilized people of this world and their leaders realize there is no appeasing men like Putin?
How often must we play the same game, only to get the same results? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?
There, I’ve said it, are we all insane? Will we continue on this path to world domination by a defunct ex-super power that wants to reclaim its previous faded glory?
Sadly, our president and current leaders are too naive to see the forest through the trees. They still think they are dealing with a rational man who only wants to help his country, and they are correct in that feeling. The main difference between what our leaders think and reality is that Putin wants to help his country take whatever it wants. And he knows no one will really stop him.
This is sad, because we are again showing what a paper tiger we are. We walk softly and carry a big stick, but we really don’t use the stick as we should.
Things need to change and we need to use our power for the good of our world and not as a threat with no teeth.
Bruce Miller is an Indian Land resident