We may be on the brink of war, but this is not Munich


And there it was; the same tired old historical cliché – Munich – taken away again by someone who really should have known betterour own Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace.

What might Mr. Wallace mean when he said that some in the West feel the “fragrance of Munich” in finding a diplomatic solution to the threat Russia poses to Ukraine?

What was the point of his remark – to somehow distance Britain Brexit from France and Germany in its approach Ukrainian crisis? In this context, the EU’s main economies are our allies. We really need, as Benjamin Franklin said, to all hang together or, most certainly, we all hang separately. It’s bad enough when President Putin nails a wedge between us; the situation hardly needs Mr. Wallace’s help.

There is also no ambiguity in the European position. It may be true that German institutions are still riddled with Russian sympathizers and spies – remnants of the former East Germany – but as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reminded us yesterday, no country has done more to stand by Ukraine and its democratic ambitions. . like Germany – both in terms of financial and political support.

As far as I’m concerned Putin ‘s alleged detention of Germany via Nord Stream 2, no, that’s not the real view of it. Nord Stream 2 was increasingly a way for Russia to turn the screw towards Ukraine, whose alternative pipeline would be essentially obsolete.

This leverage is removed if Germany refuses to use Nord Stream 2. Certainly Germany needs to be stronger and louder on this spot. Nevertheless, it is wrong to think that Putin has Germany completely over the barrel; it is as dependent on Europe as it is on the market for its gas, just as Europe is dependent on it for its own energy needs.

In any case, the reference to Munich is incorrect. Beyond the superficial, there is no comparison between the world today and the world in Europe in the 1930s, or between Hitler’s maniacal quest for world domination and Putin’s plans for Ukraine. It is sad for both our European allies and Russia to hint that it exists – insulting the efforts of President Macron and Chancellor Scholz to reduce the situation and find a solution that will not sell Ukraine all along the river. And insulting to the Russians, compared to what was implied by the German Nazis, who almost completely disregard the unimaginable sacrifices they made eighty years ago to remove Hitler’s nuisance from the face of Europe.

And yet there is – the word “a”, which is used almost universally and lazily for virtually all diplomatic attempts to avoid conflict with alleged enemies of the West, from Putin to Saddam Hussain and from Colonel Gaddafi to Iranian mules and Chinese Xi Jinping . “Reassure” means to show weaknesstherefore, to further strengthen their infernal ambitions.

I am well aware that by criticizing Mr Wallace, I run the risk of presenting myself as an apologist for Putin’s Russia, so there should be no room for misunderstanding. Putin is a robbery gangster and murderer; you should have the smallest possible truck with it, and the city with its moneyas much as possible. But you will not deter Russia from invading Ukraine by comparing him to Hitler, who, by the way, is not even close in relative military and economic power.

Today’s jaw may fail. As far as I know, Putin’s tanks are already rolling across the border. But the West is not in a position to prevent Putin from invading if it has that in mind, so it is worth trying if alternatives can be found.



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