Paul Craig Roberts

As readers know, I often make reference to Putin’s forbearance ("Nachsicht"), that is, to his tolerance, patience, and self-control. I admire Putin’s forbearance which persists despite Putin never receiving any recognition or credit for it.  My concern is that Putin’s forbearance does not serve him or Russia well.  The reason is that the Western world no longer recognizes or values the moral code that once defined Western civilization. Today in the Western world there are only two values–money and power.

It has been a long time since any American or European military leader said anything resembling what Robert E. Lee told the soldiers who comprised the Army of Northern Virginia:

“We make war only upon armed men, and we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all those whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies, and offending against God to whom vengeance belongs.”


Putin’s problem is unique in the modern world.  His virtue of forbearance is what is driving the world to nuclear war.  His virtue is seen as weakness against which more threatening pushes can be made. The question is real whether Putin’s forbearance will bring on Armageddon.

This is the reason, not bloody-mindedness, that I have said that the Kremlin’s use of military force in Ukraine needed to be awesome and quickly concluded in total success in order to establish in Washington and the capitals of Europe that the policy of poking the bear is a fools game that brings certain death and destruction.  

If Russia had delivered blitzkrieg to Ukraine, the governments of Europe would be disengaging from NATO, not trying to join it. Washington would gain recognition that the neoconservatives’ policy of American hegemony was extremely costly.  It would be possible for voices to speak in favor of a more restrained policy.  

Instead, what we have is a narrative of Russian loss and defeat, and not a single country the least bit scared of offending Russia.  Weapons, money, diplomatic support for the Ukrainian Nazis is flowing in from the Western World. 

Yesterday the national newspaper in the capital of the Western World, the Washington Post, editorialized: 

“The world must not forget Mariupol’s defenders.  They are heroes.”


The “heroes” are the Neo-Nazi Azov thugs, a collection of war criminals, many of whom are likely to be tried in Russian courts for war crimes. 

This editorial should tell us all we should know about the depraved West. 


Does it tell Putin anything ?






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