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Wake up, West, and stop Putin's aggression


Date published: 5/4/2014

Wake up, West, and stop Putin's aggression

My memories of many decades ago come to mind:

As a boy, I recall the summer of 1939, when the Sudeten, the German-speaking portion of the Czech Republic (my country of birth), was in turmoil, with the cry "Heim ins Reich" ("Back to the Reich") everywhere.

Hitler in 1938 was in the Sudetenland. At that point, he was still giddy from his peaceful takeover (Anschluss) of Austria, decided to finish the job and in March 1939 occupied the rest of the Czech Republic.

And the West was still "gravely concerned," yet did nothing. Hitler marched on, attacking Poland in September 1939. The Allies finally said enough is enough and declared war.

Hitler next, in 1941, attacked Soviet Russia (Operation Barbarossa). This proved to be his fatal mistake.

Here we come to the analogy with Ukraine today. It is now about time for the West to wake up and, in a Churchillian way, say "enough is enough" and force Putin to pay the piper.

Turning the tables on Russian aggression may be easier than our supreme commander may understand or be willing to do, to open the spigots of our immense reserves of oil and gas to push the price down maybe $25-$30 per barrel on the world markets. (Yes, we would need more terminals on the East Coast, and all that.)

The result? Putin would realize that exporting his own oil and gas, matryoshka and vodka will not be enough to sustain a kleptocratic regime.

My only hope is that this pipe dream (at this time) would one day become closer to reality. Hope springs eternal!

George J. Vanek

Spotsylvania