Leaders define their country. Democracy is an effort to find leaders who are defined by their country. It sometimes works, not always. Dictators destroy their country. Putin is a complex beast as he pretends to be democratic but killing all those that oppose you is a sign of dictatorship in desperation. Biden is a simple beast, methodically doing what he thinks his constituency wants. Putin ensures that people say they want what he does as they are fully and realistically afraid of death.
The rule of law means the American system relies upon a legal framework enforced through constitutional structure based on what has worked. So does the Russian system. The difference is that political criminals are given due process. Biden is brave enough to let the legal system operate independent of the executive. Putin is not brave, he hides behind a compliant Duma that correctly fear for their lives should they oppose him, Alexy Navalny is a clear example of a hostage to trumped up charged. Trump and his more ardent followers are evidence that Biden does not expedite the slowly grinding wheels of justice.
America is not perfect, it deserves criticism for its foreign relations but it is ‘on the right side of history’ (whatever that phrase means, it seems to mean this). No list of millions of deaths is associated with Biden or Trump’s policies. America has committed acts of war but not this time. This war also offends most of the world: the safety and sanctity that citizens is the first of their demands of government. To protect all citizens.
The USA is not the safest country in the world to live in, insofar as the balance of law enforcement over organised criminal activity, but it is not totalitarian. You can hope that the state will not accidentally kill you. It could. There are tens of thousands lost to gun violence in America. In the UK, you are a little more confident that the Government or its police force will not accidentally kill you because it does not happen that often. The colour of skin is not as great a factor in the UK, in fact the reasons that police become violent in this country are more varied. An old man who stole a can of beer gets tasered and kicked while he is prone and paralysed and someone filmed it. Individuals who lose their lives to police murder are remembered for longer.
Putin’s war in Ukraine has killed or maimed over 200,000 Russians soldiers plus 100,000 Ukraine soldiers and more than 100,000 civilians. How many Russian civilians have been killed in this war? Not many. And yet Putin can sell this war as one to stop Nazism. The dilemma is that his own people can not know how many of them do not believe him because protesting can land people in jail. The acts of his own army are dishonourable and despicable acts of cruelty. Rape and torture are the tools of terror inflicted upon millions of people who chose a different path. A path of independence from the domination and enslavement of a cruel empire. Colonialism is ugly and historically, the West has inflicted its own cruelty upon the world but now, it is Russia that is damaging itself with a huge criminal debt that it will have to repay for decades, impoverishing its future.
Declaring war on Putin and his criminal enterprise is obviously difficult as his dark threats are believable.
So, how does ‘the West’ solve this problem? Disturbing Trends will attempt to identify solutions to this terrible conflict that threatens the entire world. Is war between the West and the East inevitable?
BBC: Has Putin’s war failed and what does Russia want from Ukraine?
Peter Zeihan: Putin Announces Withdrawal From START Treaty