The title is meant to be controversial, but it is literally and empirically correct and I will explain why.
I am compelled to write this article because I have seen a great deficiency of historical knowledge in the majority of left-wing and liberal commentaries that I have read so far.
This article is by no means a rhetorical argument that somehow supports the far-right. Hitler and Putin are both murderous dictators, however, Putin may even be worse than Hitler because he is literally threatening to kill many more people than Hitler ever killed. Everyone is aware by now that Putin is threatening nuclear war while Lavrov is using the typical Kremlin tactic of blaming this unprovoked aggression on the victim. If Putin does what he is saying he could do, he may very well kill many more millions than Hitler did.
Some people, seem to understand the gravity of the situation: good. But the same commentators who are demanding a ceasefire in Ukraine, and appeasement with Putin seem to have a very dim view of history and its extreme complexities. It also boils down to an understanding of how the world works or a rudimentary understanding of what literally moves people and objects across the world.
Let’s make this very clear, first of all. The relationship between Russia and the West will never be the same again as long as Putin remains in power. We are not only in a Cold War political setting, as we are closer to direct confrontation with Russia. To put it simply, we are in the middle between a Cold War and the beginning of a total war with Russia. We have never been in this geopolitical state before at a time when there were nuclear weapons around. Clearly, we can agree, also that Russia is the aggressor here and, surely, things are not going togo back as they used to as long as Putin runs Russia or Russia retains its bellicose imperialist policy.
We know very well that appeasement with Hitler in the 1930s did not work. Hitler had a worldview and wanted to apply it. Putin is doing something similar in his Russian manner: he wants to apply the Russian worldview on the world by force. China has been flirting with doing this too. I would assume, that China will now re-consider its imperialist ambitions given the impacts of Western sanctions on Russia are totally crippling and will result in isolation and total economic disengagement of Russia from the West. If China allies itself with Russia in its common interests against the West, it will also be financial and economically isolated. Russia is getting wrecked economically and financially and China does not want this. In addition, it should be said that the idea that an anti-Western block can successfully create an alternative to the Dollar is a stupid pipedream – it’s not going to happen. China knows this too, that is why it has one trillion worth of US Dollar treasuries, not because it can use this as leverage for a new global currency. Gold is useless too in this scenario because China and Russia would trade gold with Dollars or Euros and not for their respective currencies. Everything is connected to the Dollar. Russia will fail to apply its world-view economically or financially because it is out of the Dollar system now, and its only way forward to preserve its imperialist policy is by waging war and being self-sufficient. This puts Putin in a serious dilemma.
Back home, Putin’s potential adversaries are not necessarily only the communists or the liberals, but also other nationalists. History has also shown us that Russians do not like being humiliated by losing a war simultaneously while suffering grievous economic problems and food shortages. Putin is most probably wary of ending up like Tsar Nicolas II assassinated by either furious nationalists or communists.
Therefore, there are three ways in how this war can end: either by Putin admitting he is in the wrong, withdrawing his forces from Ukraine, and risks facing backlash at home – highly unlikely this is going to happen given this is not in Putin’s interest. Or, we can appease Putin by allowing him to detach from the West, isolate Russia, and turn Ukraine into another Syria whilst supporting the Ukrainian resistance.
Then there is the war and potentially nuclear scenario option.
Somehow, we have to admit that in this situation, either option chosen will result in many people being killed. Syria’s murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad has survived his revolution thanks to Putin’s air support and with around half a million Syrians dead and more than five million Syrians displaced from their country. Already, Putin’s victims are running into the millions. I don’t have an answer to the world’s problems but I’m neither obnoxious enough to dismiss anything. Because the obnoxious left-wing intellectuals who are stupidly clamouring for peace and ceasefires should stop, and ask themselves, at what cost? How many more millions will have to die because of Putin’s aggression?
Europe’s red line with Hitler was Poland. Are we saying so confidently that a nuclear state is allowed to wreak havoc and kill millions of people at will without any limits? I, personally, as an EU citizen don’t agree with this pseudo-pacifism and I subscribe to the principle that we should get rid of Putin to restrict as much as we can the damage that he intends to do. I do not know if this is possible or obtainable – I want many things in life. But morally and principally, I believe that it is the starting point of any policy or action that our politicians should be guided with: Putin must go and face trial in the Hague for war crimes. Bashar Al-Assad should follow him too.