Op-Ed: The 10 Lessons The West Should Learn From Putin’s War On Ukraine

Howard Rotberg
Howard Rotberg

ONTARIO, CANADA – Let’s get straight to the point. Here is the list: To make sure the West is energy self-sufficient and not reliant on “bad actors” for energy supplies or anything else that is crucial. This is exemplified by the error of America and Germany in agreeing to the Nord Stream pipeline linking Russian oil to Germany and other Europeans, (and circumventing Ukraine to stop the fees it was getting) at the same as canceling the Keystone pipeline bringing Canadian oil to American refineries. Media in the free world must do a better job of writing about the relationship of energy to national security.

To never again be silly enough to let a then seventeen year old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg (Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019) and a young radical 32 year old Democrat, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, set priorities for America. Biden catered to his young leftist voters to end oil fracking and drilling and pipelines to such an extent that energy self-sufficiency was lost and America finds itself importing large amounts of oil from a Russia whose leader threatens nuclear war. In my opinion, the climate activists who persuaded the weak Joe Biden to give up American self-sufficiency in energy and whose European counterparts cheered as Germany closed its nuclear power plants, all have blood on their hands because they had no understanding of the effects of their naïve policies on world peace..

In fact, America is poised to make an even worse decision by allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and end sanctions so that Iran will have even more money as it ships its oil to a morally depraved West, and uses the money, like Putin, to fund terrorism and military incursions against innocent countries. Not acting on this very clear lesson can only mean that the elites of Europe and America hate Jews to such an extent that they want us dead. But, bravo to the new German chancellor for breaking a longstanding German law against exporting military equipment to be used in war. In one day he took Germany from a major enabler of evil Russians and may signify, if morality trumps financial gain, that Germany is reversing some of the troubling steps that I have written about here.

Germany’s commitment to increase its defense spending to 2% of GDP and America reversing Biden’s reductions on defense spending will help in achieving “peace through strength” Retired American General Jack Keane opined on Sunday that America cannot deal with the threats from Russia, China and Iran at the current level of defense spending. We hope that America wakes up and decides whether it wants to continue to be a force for good in the world or listen to the leftists and Islamists who hate it and would rather see America marginalized in an evil world.


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When Putin justified his invasion of Ukraine on the basis that in his opinion they are Nazis and Ukraine doesn’t exist as a sovereign nation, we should all be very worried about those who call Israelis Nazis and say Israel has no right to exist. Delegitimizing and demonizing an enemy is the first step in genocide, and no one knows this better than the ex-Ukrainian Natan Sharansky.

The bravery of the Ukrainian people and their social resilience are clearly similar to the bravery and resilience of Israelis as victims of unprovoked warfare. America must learn to give up the fantasy of one-world globalist and socialist dreams and adopt a renewed nationalism. The self-hatred of American elites and the teaching of Critical Race Theory and the obsession with replacing merit with inclusion and diversity are watched closely by America’s enemies. The Trumpers understood this, and the athletes who take a knee before sports events do not.

The naive leftist Jewish ladies of New York and Los Angeles who are such an important part of Joe Biden’s base must learn that madmen like Putin will, as has been done to date, bomb oil depots and drive heavy trucks over the nuclear site at Chernobyl (stirring up radiation), and care not about the health effects or pollution they create, or the people it kills). The best defense against this kind of environmental degradation is to teach our children that national security is even more important than a clean world, and teach them to beware of activists who are “virtue signalers”. That excessive tolerance of evil men, whether it is Putin, China’s Xi Jinping or Iran’s Mullahs, what I term Tolerism in my book of the same name, may seem noble for a while but eventually will destroy all freedoms and become outright appeasement.

When a madman like Putin makes threats and amasses more than 190,000 troops on the border with Ukraine the lesson is to believe him. Hopefully it is not too late for Putin to be stopped militarily or forced into a settlement that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty.

It is better to be friends with Jewish comedians (Zelensky) rather than Russian KGB operatives (Putin). And it is better to be strong than weak. One of the most pathetic actions by a weak Biden was sharing important classified information on dealing with Russia’s aggression with the Chinese – who then turned around and shared it with Russia!

That NATO is an important body that must be strengthened; and the Abraham Accords need to be completed to help counter the obvious threat from Iran. Hopefully, the War on Ukraine and Putin’s evil will awaken those who have been tolerating Iran. And Russia must be stripped of its role as mediator in the discussions for the new Iran agreement. China has unjustly been released by Biden from the investigation into China’s theft of intellectual property rights. If Biden cannot stop that theft or the practice of its graduate students in American universities taking home military information, then we can’t expect to see some kind of pressure to stop China from taking Taiwan.

It is clear that the American Democratic Party is increasingly anti-Israel and gives honors to and special powers to Islamist women like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan has been given the honor of delivering a far-left response to President Joe Biden‘s State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1.

I suggest that despite the tragic situation for Ukraine, we would all feel a little better if the West learned some or all of these lessons.


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