Many in the West are looking for reasons to toughen their sanctions against Russia, while countering Kremlin’s disdain for international alw, it disinformation campaigns and its blatant interference in democracies.
There’s any number of reasons to get tougher on dictator Vladimir Putin. The West should cast aside its caution and unite around vice-like economic sanctions, including a broader ban on Russian financial transations abroad, trade and technology transfers. Ukraine must follow suit.
Why? The chemical weapon attacks on April 4 killing dozens of civilians, including children, launched by Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad are reason enough. Assad would not be in power today without the backing of his fellow dictator in the Kremlin.
Western democracies, while working slowly and facing internal disagreements, are moving in the right direction. U.S. President Donald J. Trump, despite all his faults, has the right instincts in seeking to bolster American defenses by $54 billion. NATO is showing signs of revival as its 28 members move closer to spending 2 percent of national gross domestic product on defense.
The sooner that Putin is out of power, the better it will be for the world, including Russians. His successor will likely not be a democrat, but we haven’t lost faith yet that democracy will ultimately prevail in Russia.
Credible investigations have shown that Putin started his reign of terror in 1999 by bombing his own people, killing children sleeping in their own beds in apartment buildings. The aim was to whip up frenzy that led to his carpet-bom destruction of the rebellious Chechen province.
Putin’s terror, though on a vastly smaller scale than Joseph Stalin, continues today with the unpunished murders of whistleblowers, journalsts and anyone else who dares criticize him and his kleptocracy.
As far as Ukraine goes, Putin has never considered Ukraine to be an independent nation. Ukrainians will never surrender their country. But the nation should be able to count on more help from the West than it is currently getting to win this bloody war and regain its lost territory.