There is so much talk on every side about what to do amid horrible scenes we witness on TV. Some use the war as an excuse to criticize opponents, others talk of appeasement, all would like it to stop. However there are some realities we need to face.
1. As Sting said in his lyric “the Russians love their children too”. BOTH the WEST and RUSSIA do not want a nuclear war.
2. Putin has alone threatened nuclear war and by doing so seemingly stopped moves to make him cease what he is doing. This is a lesson for him as well as other nations considering getting a nuclear weapon. We cannot allow such thinking to succeed. Putin’s bluff needs to be called now or we will pay a price later.
3. There is a lot of talk about an “off ramp”. All the talk is giving one to Putin. The reality is that there IS an off ramp for Russia BUT there is not for Putin. AND there also has to be an off ramp for Zilensky and the Ukrainians and for the West as well. No nation or leader can end the conflict without having someone pay the price of all the tragedy we have seen. Lucky for the Russians, Putin alone has been blamed so his removal from power opens up the doors to compromise. No one is going to let a War Comitial off the hook and the Ukrainians certainly will not nor should they. The sooner we realize that the better for everyone.
4. The COMPROMISE could look something like this: A. If Putin is arrested and delivered to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes AND all Russian troops leave Ukraine the West will immediately end all sanctions – on banks, oligarchs, oil, EVERYTHING. No general or government official below Putin will be blamed nor prosecuted. B. Ukraine will agree to let the Russian section of the Dombas hold elections monitored by the UN and if the region decides to leave Ukraine and join Russia the Ukraine will end its claim to that region. The same goes for Crimea. C. Ukraine will agree NOT to join NATO provided Russia agrees to demilitarize its border area with Ukraine AND to recognize Ukraine as an independent sovereign nation. D. Ukraine WILL be free to join the European Union if it wishes to and is invited to do so. E. No offensive weapons will be placed in Ukraine.
The reality is simple. A compromise can be reached BUT there is one thing stopping it and that is PUTIN. Incentive must be given to the Russian people AND to the Russian generals and government leaders to make a compromise possible. Give Russia an off ramp but NOT Putin. Give Zilensky and the Ukrainian people an off ramp as well. With those off ramps this horrible war can end.