Manchuko

Vladimir Putin, like Adolf Hitler, challenges the world (Updated)

In 1938, Adolf Hitler, with German troops massed to invade Czechoslovakia, challenged the world.

The capitulation at Munich turned out to be the first step in the final collapse of the international legal order….

Putin’s threat may be parochially perceived by some in Europe as a threat to the “European Security Order”, but in fact it is much more than that. It is a frontal attack on the international legal norms and institutions which safeguard the security from military attack of every country in the world, and every territory with an established international demarcation line, such as Taiwan.

The U.S., NATO members, and other countries in the region have not risen to effectively meet the threat, or are only belatedly beginning to do so.

If the threat is as great as that outlined above, how could it be sufficient to simply threaten economic sanctions and other non-military measures in the event Russia invades Ukraine?

If these deterrent threats do not appear to be working, as preparations for a Russian invasion continue while diplomatic negotiations show no promise, is not more required?

Once the evil of war is loosed upon the world, no one can predict what course it may take. One should recall the rosy predictions in August, 1914 of those who launched WWI, expecting six weeks of hostilities. It didn’t work out as that way.

Germany should state clearly, immediately, and unequivocally, that it will support expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system if Russia invades Ukraine. Germany’s ambivalence on this point has greatly diluted the deterrent force of threats to adopt this measure.

Germany should also state unequivocally, and immediately, that if Putin invades Ukraine, it will kill the Nordstream II gas pipeline project and will never authorize it to operate in its territory.

Germany, which was responsible for the collapse of the international legal order beginning in 1938, owes the world at least these two measures.

Politically and financially, these steps will not be easy to take. Germany now stands at the center of the world stage, with a potentially decisive voice in Putin’s calculations. International law and international order require sacrifices. These, however, are minimal when compared to the sacrifices of war.

Politically and financially, these steps will not be easy to take. Germany now stands at the center of the world stage, with a potentially decisive voice in Putin’s calculations. International law and international order require sacrifices. These, however, are minimal when compared to the sacrifices of war.