Letter 2 America for May 19, 2022

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Dear America,

I try to avoid bellicosity as a matter of general principle.  But every time I hear on the news that Vladimir Putin has brandished Russia's nuclear arsenal, the bile rises in me and a bellicose response comes to mind.  Now, with Sweden and Finland applying to NATO for membership, Putin is feeling more hemmed in, but continues to refuse to acknowledge that he has left the rest of the free world, particularly the parts within his reach, no choice but to fine ways in which to ensure their own independence and the integrity of their borders.  Thus, when Putin threatened Sweden and Finland with placement of Russian ICBM's within Russia but on their borders, Dirty Harry slipped into my consciousness. 

I thought first of Ronald Reagan tossing around Harry's signature line all the time: "Go ahead.  Make my day."  He said it more than once, and at least once to congress when something he wanted didn't seem to be coming his way.  It seems an apt way of implying to Putin, despite what seems to be his density on the subject of his own vulnerability in the event of nuclear conflagration, that he is as vulnerable as anyone else in that respect, and he should probably keep nuclear threats unspoken in his own interest.  But beyond his imperviousness to the peril to which he has exposed his whole nation is his lack of verity as a matter of general practice.  It started with his insistence that his amassing of troops on Ukraine's borders was just a military exercise, and persisting in the lie until the invasion actually occurred, then looking for a way to convince the world that it was provoked by the government in Ukraine.  No one bought the lie in the first place, and Putin's efforts to float a pretext that would lend credibility to his crocodile tears over being previously accused of the invasion preparation by the United States and the rest of the western alliance in NATO fell on deaf ears, further impugning the little Napoleon.  There must be some point at which the rest of the world will say to him, enough is enough.

President Erdogan of Turkey seems to be an ally of Putin's on the issue of Sweden and Finland matriculating in NATO.  He claims that Sweden has been arming and supporting Kurdish terrorist elements that are trying to undermine his government, and he also insists that one of those elements was implicated in the coup that was attempted against his authoritarian government in 2019.  All of it seems as pretextual as Putin's claims of Ukraine being rife with Nazi sympathizers, this despite the fact that Ukraine's president, elected with a large majority of the vote, is Jewish and lost family to the Nazi's during World War II. I wouldn't bemoan NATO cutting Turkey loose in exchange for Sweden and Finland, both of which have genuine democratic governments as opposed to Turkey, which has one more of the autocracies that seem to be eventuating now at the beginning of the twenty-first century. 

It comes to this.  I think the next time Putin tells The West that it better watch out, the West...NATO...should respond that Putin should be careful what he wished for regarding nuclear threats and the submission he thinks he can gain on account of them.  Someone should say to him through back channels that NATO and the western nations would be devastated by a nuclear attack, but Russia would become just a footnote in history that would never be permitted to emerge as a world power again, and that from the point of a Russian nuclear attack on, Russia would be a hinterland devoid of prosperity, or even the pursuit of happiness by its people...that no one would ever take anything a Russian said at face value again, much less deal with a Russian without onerous safeguards that would guaranty what ever the Russian promised.

That kind of consequence of Russia's actions to date may already be the fate of the Russian people.  I know that I will never take it for granted that a Russian is telling the truth in that the nation, by a large majority, keeps reelecting Putin, a proven, obtuse and shameless liar.  The Russian people's tolerance of a leader, an icon like Putin suggests values that are not consistent with trust and comity.  So, the next time Putin blandishes his nuclear arsenal, someone should send him an anonymous email telling him to go ahead, and make everyone else's day.

Your friend, 


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on May 19, 2022 4:42 PM.

Letter 2 America for May 3, 2022 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for June 17, 2022 is the next entry in this blog.

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