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Ukraine's pugnacious president
My favorite foreign correspondent, Steven Erlanger, teamed up with David and Lara to report on the NATO summit in Vilnius and the hullabaloo over inviting Ukraine to join the club.
Steven knows the difference between electoral democracy and liberal democracy, in the broadest sense of the terms. He understands why NATO member states are not inviting Ukraine to join.
I remember chatting him up somewhere in Washington, D.C. more than a quarter of a century ago. We talked about good reasons to squash the dictatorship in Belarus. My argument then was that if Team USA allowed autocratic rule in Minsk to flourish the malaise would spread to Kyiv and Moscow and, eventually, to the capitals of western Europe and the United States.
Which it did.
The pissing match today over whether NATO should declare war on Russia is not productive. Because it won’t. My position on this bloody mess: Team USA and Ukraine’s European friends should do everything possible (read: advise, assist, accompany and enable Ukrainian soldiers -A3E) to annihilate Russian invaders today, yesterday, the day before yesterday and so on.
How the effort is packaged politically is not in my field of expertise, so I won’t offer any advice other than re-stating the obvious: Ukraine is not a piano.
This brings me to Wagner PMC, which Putin used in 2014 to start the war Western intelligence agencies wanted us to believe was a pro-Russian grassroots rebellion. It wasn’t. Nine years later, the pugnacious President of Ukraine, the same one who denied scuppering an op to arrest Wagner PMC fighters, is on Twitter telling leaders of NATO member states to get their collective act together.
Uncertainty is weakness and
Surety is folly but
Cannot stop the trolley