We remain hopeful that other nations and their leaders still know how to lead with integrity. At least, we hope so. They just seem unwilling to lead now, when it matters most. Russia is not solely to blame for the awful, deepening crisis in Ukraine, of course. So are the United States, the European Union, Japan, NATO, and Ukraine, itself. Their collective response to Putin’s aggression has been too timid, too measured, and — obviously — too badly ineffective.
Today, only because of our collective ineptitudes, Putin’s army, his mercenaries, and his stooges in Ukraine advance, persist, and wreak havoc against any just and peaceful conclusion to his original, ill-considered gambit in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin threatened the security of Europe long ago, when he invaded Georgia six years ago, and then again when he stole Ukraine’s Crimea earlier this year, but the West sat on its hands in both instances and waited weeks before deciding upon even the most rudimentary, incremental, and limited sanctions, which have proven unsurprisingly ineffective. Putin has only solidified his Crimean and Georgian land-grabs during his reign.
What, after all, was the West’s response to Putin’s most recent conduct of a Duma session in Ukraine’s Crimea on Aug. 14? It was nothing. Not a peep.