Putin His Place. A Case For Action.
Lessons from 9/11: It’s cheaper to clean up a political mess than a nuclear disaster. Should we stop the bleeding before it gets worse?
Very rarely do I ever write blogs about assassination. Technically, I'd say this one is only passive-aggressively about it, as I don't want to rule out any viable options, including old-fashioned flogging, tar and feathering, or simply doxing on the internet. Maybe it's not quite qualified for the unpopular opinion category, but I think we should consider doing something about President Vladimir Putin. What I mean, is that there is a glitch in the world domination industry right now and as 'The Bobs' would say, maybe we should... "fix the glitch".
I don't know who gets the honors, but it could be a great resume builder for an aspiring serial killer, or a former Navy Seal turned specialized solo mercenary. A Jack Baur type perhaps looking for a special military operation to take on. I realize it could be a messy project, but I have a hunch it would pay off in the end, and I'd like to take the rest of this article to explain why.
Fixing The Glitch
Today marks the day after the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attacks. On this day in 2001, we were still catching our breath after getting the wind knocked out of us, yesterday morning when planes crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan.
There are a number of things I'll never forget. I'll never forget the Super Bowl where Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction. I'll never forget the time I peed my pants when I was 14 because I was in an inconvenient place where I just couldn't hold it anymore. And I'll never forget the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
Most of us remember where we were that day. You probably remember exactly what you were doing. We always say, "Never Forget" and I certainly won't.
The day before, on the 10th, I was being yelled at by a hardware store manager in New York City because (if you can believe it) I asked him to repeat himself when I didn't hear his directions to the supplies I was looking for in his store. "IT'S. IN. THE. BACK." he said. I took no offense.
The following day, on the 11th, I remember the smell of scorched steel, the sight of the rising smoke, and shell-shocked people. People who felt a sense of kinship with anyone they crossed paths with, for whom they wouldn’t have had time for the day before. No one was abrupt, except for the hundreds of handlebar-mustached firefighters working all hours to save who they could, and recover the remains of those they could not. I thought about my abrupt friend at the hardware store. Not for long, but I did.
“Quick, turn on the news. I’m okay.” I left a message on our answering machine in Indianapolis where my wife held our youngest daughter in her arms. I had very little cell coverage.
A handful of guys put in notice at their jobs to make time to steal some planes, and turn them into giant weapons, without regard for human life. Or you might say with regard because they believed it was the noble thing to do.
For a time after that, we were suspicious of anyone of middle eastern descent, which wasn't fair to most of a world full of innocent people. The term racial profiling became a household discussion, while we feared another attack from people who looked a certain way. Some things changed after that day. Government surveillance by the NSA was a reality we debated, and commercial air flight was messed up for good. Also, the premise of the show 24 ended up working out better than expected, given its release just two months after America became acutely aware of its subject matter. Terrorism.
Time has passed and now 24 is outdone by the cinema quality shows on streaming platforms. My daughter is now drinking (legally) and doesn't remember the Twin Towers. The headache of air travel to her is just air travel. The World Trade Center attack has always been history to her. To us, it was “the news”, except it was life-changing.
We took it personally, as a nation. We decided the people that architected this attack needed to pay. Suddenly, going to war was unanimous, with a handful of people who will remind you they were "always against it". For the sake of almost four thousand innocent people, we wished we could have done something much sooner. Waiting ten years would have to do. After years of war, Osama Bin Laden was killed at the order of President Barack Obama. Bin Laden's second in command and his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri would make it another eleven years, but we got him too.
But our families had already been killed. It's too bad we didn't see it coming.
In 2020 The US killed Qasem Soleimani, a military leader the US called the world's number one terrorist, ordered by President Donald Trump. This one's subject to some debate, and the UN said his killing violated international law. But we believed he was a threat to the world including to the United States. So we took him out.
Having targeted no less than three political leaders for overseeing violence against the United States, we’ve already developed a precedent for what qualifies for assassination. (1) Being a total dick and (2) Killing (or threatening to kill) our people.
There's probably a lot more nuance to making the final call, but as far as we know outside of the government intelligence community, it seems like keeping our people alive is a big part of the equation.
We fixed the glitch. But does that mean we need to intervene militarily for Ukraine?
At this point, Ukraine has reached the age of consent, they have flown the coop as a sovereign nation and need to clean their own toilets and pay their own bills. I suspect we can't do everything for them, but there's nothing wrong with lending a hand. At this point, the US has spent $15.2 billion in aid to Ukraine. Russia has cost the world much more aside, due to food and energy disruption.
And that's only one reason why Putin is not just a danger to Ukraine. He’s a danger to the whole world. For the USA, he has cited the US in speeches with a threatening tone multiple times. Sure, the odds are, he'll never attack us directly, he would lose everything. The odds were against there ever being an attack on the World Trade Center too.
The fact is, Putin's overreach by way of aggression is growing by inches. It seems inevitable that he'll continue to expand the power of his empire, or he'll be stopped.
Putin has threatened the world
Repeatedly, Putin has warned of his willingness to use nuclear weapons under various circumstances and at various times. He's already killed thousands of civilians in the recent conflict in Ukraine alone. Similar to the way I threaten to add more salt to my gourmet steak, you can't demand I adhere to a low sodium diet and trust me with a salt shaker. Nor can you trust Putin with the capacity to destroy countries and economies. It starts with a little shake here or there and ends in high blood pressure. In most cases, his comments are an attempt to instill fear and deter actions like Ukraine defending Crimea or any nation for that matter, getting in the way of his efforts at conquest.
Although it may be vibrato, even the threat is a problem. Putin surely knows the power of his demands and his threats. Similar to an insurrectionists of January 6th, Russian-backed separatists such as those in the Donbas region are empowered by their support from Putin. Besides the actions of fringe military groups, Putin's threats, even if purportedly empty, shift the weight of the Russian government (specifically when in the form of lethal threats) to force their way with foreign policy. Putin has used military threats as a tool for all of his career.
Putin clearly wants global dominance
Putin likes to play with dolls. Specifically, ones that sport tiny little mustaches and ancient knickers from the late 1600s. Putin's favorite doll of Peter The Great sits in a cabinet over his ceremonial desk, a Russian monarch and warlord to which Putin compares himself. Peter The Great (also known as Peter the Not So Great) is known for expanding the Russian Empire through conquest and for crushing any uprising that disagreed with his policies (plans, schemes).
Peter waged war to expand Russia's reach, and take seaports from other nations such as Sweden. Putin believes it is incumbent upon him to do the same today. Besides Putin's constant talk about a greater Russia, he also seems to present a sense of entitlement for more land mass, and greater dominance in the world order based on his view of ancient history. Perhaps hoping he will later be memorialized over the shoulder of a future dictator.
With a window into his thinking and his overt behavior, it's clear that Putin poses a danger to the entire world, as long as he is in power.
Putin has acted on his ambitions repeatedly
Much like Peter, Putin wants to be great, and he's bitter about the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, where he served as a KGB agent. He has acted on his ambitions to rebuild the empire through military aggression and is known to disregard innocent civilians.
It was 2008 when on false claims of genocide, Russia invaded Georgia, another former Soviet constituent republic, attacking the surrounding nation in an effort to weaken their independence and take more power into Russia's hands. Like now, the rest of the world was reticent to do anything. Understandably, foreign policy designees feel the need to keep stable relations with Russia to address other stuff in the world. So Russia got what it wanted. And the rest of us could be next one piece at a time. How far will he go? The answer is also a question. How far will the world let him?
The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament said in 2015 that "The reaction of the EU to Russia’s aggression towards, and violation of the territorial integrity of, Georgia in 2008 may have encouraged Russia to act in a similar way in Ukraine." referring of course to the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory, Crimea.
And clearly, Russia continued its campaign in Ukraine, again on false claims. And it's costing the whole world.
Should we stop the bleeding? Or will we wait until it gets worse?