Monday, 21 July 2014

Off-Topic: Vladimir Putin, the Face of Evil

I am a very fortunate person. I was born in England after 1945, which means that I have never experienced war in my own country. My mother, who was a child during World War 2, told me about the sheer terror of the nightly bombing raids, how her family had to run to the bomb shelters, and how she saw buildings destroyed in her home town of Walsall.

All my life I've heard the patriotic chants in England about how We won the war, about how England beat Germany, etc. I'm patriotic, but I'm also realistic. It was Russia that won the war, with assistance from England and America. It was Russian troops that drove the German army back. It was Russian tanks that rolled into Berlin. It was Russian soldiers who raped German women in every town they occupied.

For America World War 2 was a casual affair. At the time it was called "the war in Europe". America sent its forces overseas, while in America life continued as usual. England was caught up in the war and would have been totally annihilated without foreign help. America entered the war to help England, but American assistance wasn't enough. If the war had been fought by America and England alone, England would have fallen, and American public opinion would have caused them to cease fighting against Germany and concentrate on the war against Japan. Only Russia had the military might and the manpower to squash Germany.

And who gained any advantage from the war? Only one country. Russia increased its borders by permanently occupying land it had captured during the war. As well as this, nominally independent states such as Poland and Romania, the so called "Eastern Block", became puppet states that were only allowed to make decisions with approval from Russia.

Yes, I know that the country was called the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) from 1922 to 1991, but that was just a politically induced renaming to put itself on a par with the USA, calling the occupied countries such as Ukraine and Georgia "states". For me the correct name of the country was always Russia.

For 40 years after the Second World War there was a state of tension, called the Cold War. There was fear that there could be an armed conflict between Russia and America. This tension reached its peak in 1962, when Russia threatened to station nuclear missiles in Cuba. After this there was a relative calm in America, but there was still a lot of unease in front line countries like Germany until the 1980's. Nevertheless, despite all the tension, there was peace. In the West people could go about their daily lives unhindered.

This could change soon. The person pictured above, Vladimir Putin, is the single most evil person on Earth. In his lust for power he could plunge the world into a new World War. Russia invaded Crimea, part of Ukraine, and is still occupying it. Russia is arming rebels in Eastern Ukraine, letting Ukrainian terrorists do the fighting while giving them instructions and logistical support. Ukraine is the first step in his goal to reconquer all the countries that Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin gave independence in the 1990's. Putin thinks, probably correctly, that Ukraine is not important enough to the West to be worth fighting for. Technology has increased greatly since the 1940's. If America waged war against Russia now it wouldn't just be a war in Europe. Missiles would be fired at American cities.

For all their complaints, America and the West have given up Ukraine. Russia might as well have it. After all, there are a lot of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, which was Putin's excuse for invading. But what will they do when Russia attacks the next country? If Moldovia, also a country with over a million Russians, is next, there will be complaints from Romania, but hardly anyone else. But what if Estonia, a NATO member, is attacked? That could be the push that the West needs to declare war on Russia. Over the past few months Putin has been testing the West's air defences. Russian fighter planes have approached America, England and Holland to test their reactions. America and England passed the test, launching planes to challenge the Russian planes before they entered their airspace. Holland was unprepared and let the Russian planes fly deep into their territory before challenging them. Russia is preparing for war. Western countries like England are reducing their armed forces to save money.

What can be done to stop Putin? The easiest thing would be to shoot him. Crack marksmen from England or another country could assassinate him at a public function. "Off the books", of course. While there is the danger of him being replaced by another extremist, it's highly doubtful that the successor would be anywhere near as evil as Putin. The West could use the time of chaos after Putin's death to make an armed incursion into Ukraine to drive back the Russians.

Sanctions are another alternative, but there has to be a united effort for them to work. Some countries that are dependent on trade with Russia, such as Germany, which uses Russian gas, might break ranks and continue to trade. The sanctions have to be extreme. As well as freezing the assets of all Russian companies in the West, there has to be a travel embargo. All flights to and from Russia need to be stopped. This could cripple Russia's economy in the short term, but in the long term it would fail, unless there is political reform. What I mean is, Russia is a large country, rich in natural resources. The immediate effect of sanctions would be harmful, but over a period of 10-20 years Russia could become self-sufficient and stronger than ever. And Putin might still be in power.

While sanctions might seem the better, i.e. more moral alternative, assassination would be more effective. If anyone in the world deserves to die, it's Vladimir Putin. If he's allowed to live millions of people will die. An opportunity was missed during the World Cup in Brazil. That would have been the best time to kill him. Let's not wait too long. I have been fortunate enough to live in an era of peace. I want my children to have the same privilege.

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