Vladimir Putin arguably may have logical goals, but the pointless death and destruction he has unleashed clearly meet the criteria for “madman.” And it is surely clear to all that we are simply not doing enough about that.
Niceties are not going to make a difference. Finding ways to help him save face, avoiding isolating and antagonizing him further by failing to take him on — head-on — seem pointless.
Military confrontation between two nuclear armed adversaries does not seem an option. But we can do something.
Let’s escalate… the rhetoric.
Words, it is said, are the most powerful weapon of our time. So let’s use them to put the Russian leadership and military on the spot:
You are enabling a lunatic.
You are perpetrating war crimes and you will all end up at the Hague.
Stop now. Remove this dangerous man.
Save your own skin. And that of so many others.
Create an overwhelming drumbeat that is heard by anyone who has influence with Russia’s top echelon.
His oligarch cronies, his few allies, family friends of the Russian leadership — all must tell the generals:
It’s time for him to go. Now. Before more damage is done.
Surely, on some level, they already know.
But if we, the world, are loud enough, we make this necessary, urgent action inevitable.
Russ Baker is the founder and Editor in Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He founded the news nonprofit after living and reporting in the former Yugoslavia and investigating war crimes there.