Let the Devil Receive His Due
by Vito Tomasino
Putin invaded a peaceful country of no threat to Russia, attacking apartment buildings, hospitals, even a nuclear power plant, resulting in the massacre of thousands of innocent men, women and children and disrupting the lives of millions more. His own ill supplied, demoralized army is also paying a huge price in human life and material loss, all to fulfill his dream of forming a new Russian Empire. With a few notable exceptions, he has been condemned by almost every country in the world.
The United States and its NATO allies responded to this blatant disregard for human life by belatedly imposing weak economic sanctions targeting rich Russian Oligarchs, which had no effect on Putin’s ability to finance the war. Indeed, we, and our allies continued to buy his oil, and were thus personally complicit in helping him finance the very war we were condemning. It was only after we realized the war would not be over in a few days, and unable to explain this embarrassing contradiction, that we reluctantly stopped buying Russian oil.
The United States and our allies have publicly decried Putin’s actions, calling him a war criminal who will be held accountable for his crimes. Some have described him as the devil incarnate. This man “cannot remain in power,” declared a chagrined U.S. President. Yet, here we are, more than a month later with the war still raging—thousands more innocents killed and millions more displaced—wringing our hands over what we can, or cannot do to end the senseless bloodshed.
The sad truth is we know exactly what needs to be done. The Ukrainian Army has proven itself more than capable of taking on the Russians. Give them the weapons that will not only enable them to defeat the Russian soldier on the battlefield, but control the skies over it; i.e., surface-to-air missiles and Mig-29 fighter jets. Without such weapons they stand little chance of winning a war of attrition against a far bigger opponent with unlimited resources.
U.S. and NATO military experts and their government leaders know this to be true. Poland was ready to provide the Mig-29’s weeks ago in exchange for our F-16’s. The Biden administration would not allow it. We later agreed to provide the high altitude surface-to-air missiles, but they have yet to be delivered. Why? Why, given the proven capability of the Ukrainian Army to hold the Russians at bay, even drive them back, are we denying them the weapons they need to finish the job?
We have heard their lame excuses for not providing the Migs and missiles; that they are offensive weapons and might prod Putin into declaring an all-out war against NATO, which could escalate into a nuclear exchange. However, in a world in which the Soviet Union and the United States have faced each other in a Cold War for decades—each possessing enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet several times over—they have never resorted to their use. Even Premier Krushchev—during the closest event the world had ever come to a nuclear holocaust, the Cuban Missile Crisis--was wise enough to understand this. I don’t think Putin is any more suicidal, or any more likely to be allowed to press the “red button.”
What is an offensive weapon, anyway? Is there such a thing as a non-offensive weapon? Are not the weapons currently being sent to Ukraine offensive weapons? Indeed, all weapons are, by their nature, offensive, either when used by an invading army, or used by the people of the invaded country to defend itself. The only difference between the offensive nature of the weapons we have already sent, and those we have not, is that the former can only forestall the inevitable defeat of an outnumbered, outgunned Ukrainian Army, the latter can bring it victory.
If we dismiss the plausibility of igniting a Third World War in which nuclear weapons are deployed, what then are we to believe is the reason for us to deny the Ukrainians the arms they so desperately need? Could it be, that we are more fearful of Putin losing, than we are hopeful of the Ukrainians winning? This is a question we can debate after the war.
For now, send them the God-damned weapons and Let the Devil Receive His Due!
using internet and cell-phone technology in their psy-war effort, which has
apparently been effective in getting the truth to the Russian people at home. But
what of the soldier in the field? He may not have been allowed to take a cell-phone
with him. If a few did manage to smuggle one into the combat zone they only dared
use it at the risk of their lives, and trying keep it charged would compound that risk.
Thus, to get to the Russian soldier in the field, the old methods mentioned
below (leaflet drops and loud speaker propaganda) may still be the best way to
Hungary, demoralized Russian soldiers, told they would be greeted as liberators
are now aware of that lie, the world’s opposition to the war, and the protests against
it by their own people, and would be very vulnerable to psychological warfare. If
it is being used, it must be stronger. If not, it may be the most effective unused
weapon in our arsenal—one that could end the war. It would also be the most
cost effective weapon we could use, and at little cost (if any) to human life.
If needed by Ukraine, support could be gotten from any number of NATO
countries, including the United States. In past wars we used leaflet drops and
powerful loud-speakers directed at the opposing army—and they at us. Today,
with internet and cell-phone technology we have even more effective methods
of “getting into the heads” of our enemy.
I cannot imagine a situation more vulnerable to psychological warfare than
Putin’s unlawful invasion of a peaceful neighboring country.