Giulio Meotti
Giulio Meottiצילום: עצמי
"Sure, we won't do anything." This was the admission of Claude Cheysson, François Mitterrand's foreign minister, after the coup in Poland in December 1981. During the Cold War, everyone knew that America and the free countries could not solve every crisis. When the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in 1956 and again when the Soviets used Warsaw Pact forces against Czechoslovakia in 1968, Western leaders recognized that there was little to be done. This did not mean showing moral indifference to the sufferings of the Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians, who today are among the truest and strongest Europeans in their own identity. Today it is the same behind the big words and the high-sounding slogans of the Western camp, more cowardly than ever, after Putin's terrible war on Ukraine.

Outraged Western democracies are paper tigers. They will be satisfied with the usual protests and economic sanctions, for which the middle class and small and medium-sized enterprises will pay the entire price.. If the threat is indeed the one described by the European Union and the United States, military mobilization had to be necessary. But, as the French historian Jean-Francois Colosimo says in Le Figaro, "Westerners have no desire to sacrifice the life of a single soldier to defend the integrity of Ukraine".

Putin knows it: he is free in his actions, facing an unarmed camp. The master of the Kremlin can barely control the contempt that these talkers inspire in him, those who light candles, sing hymns they don't understand and display yellow-blue flags.

Where were the talkers a year ago, when the Azeris and Turkey (the second NATO army) massacred 5,000 Armenians in Karabakh where the Armenian alphabet was born (another self-proclaimed republic in defiance of international borders) and in the absence of the support of the Western "democratic bloc" democratic Armenia needed authoritarian Russia to survive authoritarian Turkey?

"This is the Sudetenland region," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the one who likened Trump to Hitler, of Russia's attempt to justify its war as a defense of the separatist "republics" in Luhansk and Donetsk. It is definitely a serious act of aggression, but not Nazism, and irredentism has many other precedents (from the Armenian Artsakh conquered in an offensive war in 1991 to the Israeli Judea and Samaria conquered in a defensive war in 1967).

What Putin wants in Ukraine is clear: to secure the two separatist republics after the violation by both sides of the Minsk agreements, to "demilitarize" Ukraine and install a power non-hostile to Moscow that will seal the "Finnishization".

We all knew that the American and NATO defeat in Kabul would be the beginning of a more general capitulation and that Joe Biden would not be up to the civilization shock (from Libya to Ukraine, American Democrats also have a strange instinct to generate chaos). Yet, on TV and in the newspapers these days there is not a single analysis of the American debacle. We are in a climate of a moralistic crusade and the next will be nuclear Iran, so much so that Israel, which does not hesitate to bomb any military truck that passes over and under the Litani, does not follow the American script in these days of Ukrainian war.

Pierre Lellouche, former president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, is right when he writes in Le Figaro that "in the end 'Monaco II' produced the worst possible result. We did not want to learn the lessons of history:- that we do not build peace by humiliating and establishing ourselves militarily on the borders of others and Westerners, primarily the Americans, will eventually have allowed Putin to begin to realize his dearest dream: to rebuild the Empire. Please, Sir Winston Churchill, come back! ”.

Indicating the responsibility of the European countries, NATO and America in the decline of history does not mean being in the pay of Putin, it means not accepting the fomenting of a clash of civilizations with Russia (John McCain, peace to his soul, defined Russia as "a gas station"). It means not accepting defining "Hitler" as the president of a country of 150 million people, the largest in the world and with which we have cultural and economic ties Words have weight and "Hitler" must be left to those who gas and kill millions, the reduction ad hitlerum is an empty moralistic shortcut, while "Stalin" should be left to those who imprison and kill millions in the Gulag. It would be enough to read not the Kremlin press office, but the freest man of the XX century, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, to understand that this Ukrainian story is not black or white.

Russia is much more than Putin and Ukrainians deserve the freedom they claimed for themselves in 1991.

Everyone knew that Ukraine was not the Poland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia and all the other countries that joined the Atlantic Alliance and which we will now have to defend with a new Hadrian's Wall and that inviting you to join NATO risked being a casus belli. Yet, we followed that road and not that of realism, as Henry Kissinger asked, as George Kennan asked, the architect of containment and as European atlantists of various degrees (from Sarkozy to Merkel) asked. It was a short step from "open door politics" to open warfare.

Putin did exactly what he warned us he would do.

The Ukrainian war marks the definitive failure of the post-Cold War international system, which in the heady days of 1989-1991 led us to declare the "end of history" and the beginning of a new era of liberal and rational hegemony. The first great awareness that we were not all converging at the same table came with 9/11 and the rise of Islamic extremism, which has since destabilized Europe like Putin's tanks.

Is the wind from the West still blowing? But what has this "West" become?

The Russian regime is violent. Blaming Putin for defending his Russian (yes, he considers them his), history and area of ​​influence, will not make us forget that these are values ​​considered out of fashion by the prevailing Western "progressivism". "Putin is smart, our leaders are stupid", summed up Donald Trump.

Only realism can help us make better decisions than our leaders have made since the end of the Cold War.

And we must know that decay excites our enemies.

In 2014, while Putin paraded the soldiers on Red Square and then in Crimea, Eurovision awarded Conchita Wurst, the Austrian born Thomas Neuwirth, a bearded transsexual whom the parrots of the press acclaimed as the symbol of "tolerant" Europe, when it was the product of the ideology in vogue that refuses to differentiate between sexes, cultures and peoples, an interchangeable world without identity. Conchita summed up the lack of ambition of a declining Europe and which can be read in the cynical pleasure that the new Tsar Putin now feels in humiliating it on Ukrainian soil.

It is our decadent futility that in Kiev they pay for with their lives and we Europeans in the form of a frightening destabilization.

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentar