Putin losing Ukraine war

To the Journal editor:

Since Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his disastrous invasion of Ukraine last February, he has put forward plenty of ridiculous justifications for his aggression.

Ukraine having wanted to join NATO, one angle Putin has tried is to claim that American-led NATO somehow threatens Russia’s existence. Basically, he is claiming that NATO is some radical, trigger-happy aggressor organization that might invade Russia.

Well, first of all, nobody wants to invade Russia. That is silly talk. The legendary military genius Napoleon tried to invade Russia, and he got his butt kicked. Adolf Hitler with his incredibly powerful war machine tried to invade Russia, and he got his butt kicked. If Americans grew weary of war with tribal Afghanistan, it is safe to say that there is zero chance we will decide to invade gigantic and well-armed Russia.

Nonetheless, Putin would still have us believe that he believes we might attack. But actions speak louder than words and Putin’s own actions reveal that he has absolute confidence in the stability and the peaceful intentions of NATO.

If he really believed NATO was that trigger-happy, he would not do crazy things like, say, invading Ukraine. If he genuinely thought we might conduct a first-strike nuclear attack against Russia, he wouldn’t do things which might reasonably invite a first-strike nuclear attack, like, say, threatening a firtst-strike nuclear attack against us, as he keeps doing.

Indeed, Putin’s confidence in America’s calmness and restraint are well justified. America tried every reasonable negotiating offer to head off the invasion of Ukraine before it started. On Jan.19, our President Biden actually shocked the world by telling Putin how he could invade Ukraine “a little bit” and get away with it. Putin ignored this unbelievably frank advice. Then, after the invasion began, Putin provocatively put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert; America calmly responded by not putting our own forces on high alert.

Most recently, under tremendous popular pressure from congress to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” — and in the face of many logical arguments for doing so — the Biden Administration once again acted in a restrained manner, and declined to make such a declaration.

We — the United States, NATO, the “West” — are not the radical people in this situation. We are not the unreasonable ones. We are not the dangerous ones. And Putin knows it. And, through his actions, Putin shows us he knows it.


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