First Reactions On This Day

The world in general deserves this moment, having invited it lustfully for years; but the Ukrainian people do not.

Vladimir Putin has been an authoritarian punk for his entire career, and since becoming Russia’s “president” for the first time, has systematically carried out the dismantling of all of his country’s flimsy structures of post-Soviet reform. Every world leader that played footsie with him during these two decades has blood on his or her hands tonight, and I hope they will all be sleepwalking through the hand-washing nightmare of that guilt forever. I hope for that, but I doubt it.

This is the Vladimir Putin for whom Donald Trump carried water for four years, whose cause he pleaded to the world, whose ongoing violent aggression against Ukraine he dismissed as a fait accompli and perfectly understandable. It is also the same Putin to whom Barack Obama begged for more time, promising that he could satisfy “Vladimir’s” wishes after his last election. The last two American presidents were cowardly weaklings bowing before Putin like lackeys. The current one, a doddering old fool, is now in the position of facing an international crisis the likes of which — well, the likes of which could have been avoided if Trump and Obama (especially the former) had not been such drooling slaves to Putin for years.

I assume Tucker Carlson’s monologue explaining how Putin’s security concerns are understandable, his methods merely a natural response to NATO hostility, and his greatness alone reason enough to dismiss Ukraine as a nuisance worthy of annihilation, is being rapidly translated from the original Russian as we speak. There is not enough contempt in the universe to satisfy the just deserts of that pipsqueak today, or of his on-air defenders at Fox, such as Laura Ingraham, or of the Fox News network that continues to enjoy its profits on the high ratings of Vladimir Putin’s most popular mouthpiece in the global media.

How many millions of Americans, having given their brains to Trump and his alt-right propaganda machine for years, are admiring Putin’s power today, and wishing to God that Trump had had the unlimited time in office Putin has had, in order to prepare his own show of strength, such as by invading Mexico?┬áSo remind me again, who “won” the Cold War? And who got buried?

Anger at a lot of people is justified right now, which is why I have expressed a bit of it here. But the overriding sense of the situation is more sad than angry. This should never have happened, because the world should never have been this weak.

But the Russian people should never have been this weak either. Putin is their problem above all, and they above all had the opportunity to solve it. After all, he can’t poison everyone. Russia is an object lesson for the world regarding the fate of a people that gives itself over to fear of the unknown and the craving for a big strong leader to make the fear go away. What you get for that wish, and what the Russians got, is much more fear, and much more real cause for it.

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