When Ukraine wins the war, Putin will build his own
Agree with every word. I would just add the observation that, by introducing appeasement options into the conversation, we also take a considerable - and possibly irrevocable - step towards normalizing and rewarding Russian behaviour. The process is similar to the attempt to "both side" fundamental discussions on such things as democratic norms, climate change, health science or evolution. Each time we make a concession to "the other side" for the sake of making the conversation less absolute, we end up diluting what is objective truth. In the case of Ukraine there is no room for fudging the conversation, lest we loosen our understanding (and our condemnation) of genocidal aggression.
As we spend today honoring the sacrifice of those who fought and died for our freedom, let us also pause to honor the Ukrainians who now fight and die for theirs.
Right: "When we start the story from Putin's psychic needs and run it through our own misunderstanding of Russian politics, we push Ukrainian democracy to the side. Rather than acting like allied democracies, we behave like amateur therapists for a dictator. We are no good at that."
Unfortunately this is a similar misconception as the one (especially in Germany), Russia is indispensable for the world order and stability. And this despite the fact, that Russia has been trying to destabilise and interfere in other countries‘ policies.
It is an existential threat for all of us to support a world where there is no truth, no values, only power and the willingness to use it along the usual variety of supportive lies. The "off ramp" narratives are only mirror images of these lies masquerading as sagacious gravitas. Ukraine must win, not just for its own sake, but for all those who hold essential such things as truth and basic human decency. A cynical "realism" is the enemy of all of us.
Thanks for this- listening to John Mearsheimer hector people for not kissing Putin’s um, ring is tedious and unhelpful.
We could predict his response and act irresponsibly because of our prediction. Or, we could forthrightly aid in his defeat, acting responsibly. Say little. Act responsibly. Tim is right as usual.
"We are asking the people who are the victims of a genocidal war to comfort the perpetrator. We are expecting Ukrainians, who know that Russian politics is all about fiction, to make sacrifices in the world where their families and friends live and die."
Thank you for posting this! I was on my soapbox yesterday while meeting with one of my circles, and I was sharing how ridiculous it is to expect Ukraine to cede territory for any reason really. It is not as though taking more land will stop Putin (it certainly didn't stop with Crimea). It is also not as though giving up land would protect the people who live there. Instead, they would likely be annihilated in the most brutal ways possible.
Appeasement seems like such a bad idea when dealing with someone who has insatiable greed for power. And blaming the victim, blaming Ukraine for the Russian regime's actions, is unconscionable. Again, thank you for sharing your astute observations.
Thank you Professor. The West seems so off the mark to be trying to push Ukraine to compromise in an effort to appease Putin. After Biden’s admin indicated that the US would be with UKR till this was won with the goal to weaken RU so it would not do this again - I had thought we turned the corner on talk of appeasement . Is the new focus on “off ramps” caused by the sea blockade + those EU countries not willing to wean off RU energy?
Agree 100% that there can be no appeasement here. The West needs to be all in to support UKR. Any appeasement or ceding UKR territory to RU would be a victory for RU and would encourage Putin to do this once again.
Exactly right. And, as Kasparov has suggested, there is another angle, as he suggests in the below thread:
I don't think Scholz, Macron, and Draghi want Putin to win, not exactly. But they are afraid of Ukraine winning and the world changing, of becoming less relevant. A new European security structure won't see them as leaders after their appeasement.
7:02 PM · May 29, 2022·TweetDeck
The complacent Western European old guard want to keep having it both ways. They claim the moral high ground & posture about human rights while funding Putin's police state and the war machine that is now slaughtering Ukrainians.
Now they have to pick a side. They pretend they can be peacemakers with evil and compromisers with war criminals. No. There is honor only in helping the Ukrainians who are fighting for them, no honor in helping bury them later.
Thank you. And a complete sidebar: I feel there’s a deep-seated link between the unwillingness, inability of the police in Uvalde TX to take steps to save children from a single, mad destructor, and the inability, unwillingness of democratic states (apart from the NATO alliance), afraid of Putin's nuclear sabre ratting, to provide on-the-ground assistance or a no-fly zone to save Ukraine from a sole destructor, Russia. Neither assault weapons in the hands of civilians nor nuclear weapons are good for anything but wreaking death -- or creating paralyzing stand-offs. And the madmen know it.
"Everyone who matters in public discussions ought to be aware that Putin governs in media rather than reality. . . . And yet, for some reason, some Western leaders ignore this basic structural fact of Russian politics when they advocate appeasement." Someone should have awakened the nonagenarian Henry Kissinger from his comfortable snooze in the sunshine of the realpolitik mind. Clearly he is unaware that the "real" is precisely what is now absent in Russian affairs. The other, younger appeasers, as Prof. Snyder writes, ought to know better. Since they don't, I hope this Thinking About post is the precursor of a longer essay for a widely read news site or magazine. Ukraine must win this war with its sovereignty and territorial integrity intact, and the EU and NATO must support the Ukrainians until victory is won.
It is a possible fallacy that Putin has any type of cancer and even if he does succumb to some illness, there are other actors waiting in the wings. He perpetuates fear and he loves it, wallows in it. He taught his boys in our country very well. The majority of sane people in the US may have to very well take up arms against our own enemy, the Pro-Rape and Open-Carry party. Like the very brave Ukrainians, our arms should be locked together to defeat the enemies from within by demanding equality and justice for all.
I try and help the Ukrainians with sending money to Razom and Jose André’s group as much as I can, while giving to the candidates who can change our lives.
Tout ceci fait penser à la fin du pouvoir du Chancelier Hitler, avec ses armes magiques qui devaient changer le sort de la guerre. L’adhésion des peuples à ces fictions est profondément troublante.
We should fight again Putin's Big Lie the way we should fight against Trump's Big Lie.
Thanks for laying the truth on the line.