Guest Commentary - War and Peace Reversed? Will Russia Rewrite its History in Ukraine?

By D.J. Blutarsky |

As I write this, the free world faces the risk of a global war not seen since WWII - in other words not during most of our lifetimes, mine included. Russia has amassed an invasion-sized force on the border of Ukraine that appears poised to pounce; our intelligence agencies report the Russian invasion will occur on Wednesday; our Secretary of State is on the phone with his Russian counterpart; and President Biden is scheduled to reach out by phone to Vladimir Putin shortly thereafter in an effort to avert war.

Russia's great novelist, Leo Tolstoy,  wrote 'War and Peace' in 1869 about Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. Well, 210 years later it appears that the tables could be turning, and let's hope a new updated novel is not in the works. Instead of France invading Russia, will Russia be invading Ukraine? 

When the USSR collapsed in 1991, 14 former member states gained their independence, Ukraine included. I will not pretend to get inside of Putin's head, but it must be insulting to the Russian national pride to see their once-mighty empire collapse and to add insult to injury, to possibly see Ukraine (and others) someday be welcomed into the NATO alliance. But gobbling up countries to satisfy a personal goal of greatness is as unacceptable today as it was back in Hitler's day. I do not see the Russian people out in the streets pushing their government to take down other countries. 

We don't know whether this is a high-stakes bluff on Russia's part to obtain a guarantee that NATO will never admit Ukraine into their alliance, or whether this is Russia's first actual step of forcibly rebuilding its empire one country at a time. Could this be Russia's version of Make America Great Again, but in this case, MRGA? 

Leaders of the free world and of the controlled world must resist the temptation to play God and to create a world in their own vision. The free world is indeed justified in repelling any move Russia might be making in this regard. There is a world order and a balance of power that gives peace and solace to some, and insecurity to others.

Diplomacy and intellectual dialogue are how we should handle things, not the brandishing of swords like Napoleon did in Russia. Let War and Peace stand!

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