German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a striking photograph showing her pointing sharply at Vladimir Putin, has offered a powerful symbol of the attitude the West and other civilized countries should adopt toward the Russian dictator:
–Call him out for his aggression in the Crimea and the eastern Ukraine, at every meeting, and every time he speaks.
–Earnestly rebut every argument Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, make to justify their seizure and annexation of the Crimea, and their invasion of the eastern Ukraine.
–Don’t let Putin and Russia forget, not even for a moment, that none of their arguments and lies have any persuasive power, given the lies they have told and the ongoing Russian aggression against the Ukraine—in open and flagrant violation of the prohibition of the threat or use of force contained in Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter and mandatory or peremptory international law (jus cogens)
–Be as relentless as Putin and Lavrov and any other Russian official or propaganda mouthpiece in defending the most basic values of the civilized nations of the world, embodied in the U.N. Charter’s fundamental principles and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
–Follow Winston Churchill’s advice to the graduating class at his high school after World War II:
“Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”
See the photograph of Merkel pointing at Putin, and the context, in the article below:
LAURENCE NORMAN and GIOVANNI LEGORANO in Milan and JAMES MARSON in Moscow, “Leaders Make Little Progress in Ukraine Crisis Talks; Merkel, Putin Spar Over Crimea in ‘Terse’ Exchange,” Wall Street Journal, Updated Oct. 17, 2014(2:37 p.m. ET).
The Trenchant Observer