By Mel Pearlman
Everywhere 

A speech without purpose; A policy without impact

 


On March 26, 2022, with much fanfare and staging in the Polish capital of Warsaw and with the whole world watching, the President of the United States and the leader of the Free World, made a speech which can only be described as, employing the Shakespearean line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

In October of 2021, when the Russians were increasing their verbal and actual threats directed to Ukraine, and were increasing their military buildup along several strategic points along the Ukrainian border, including Ukraine’s shared border with Belarus, Russia’s puppet ally, I wrote that history has demonstrated that relentless diplomacy in the absence of hard power leads to catastrophic consequences; and could once again lead to human disaster in several current contentious and unstable areas of the globe.

Barbaric acts of violence and unprovoked aggression against a peaceful democratic country must be met with a proportionate or greater military response. A unified coalition of peaceful democratic countries must engage the aggressor, not for the purpose of bringing the aggressor to the negotiation table, but to utterly defeat the aggressor; and to deny the aggressor achieving any objective he could attain through military victory or negotiated concessions.


Such a time is at hand; defeat of Ukraine by Russia is not an option. It will only whet the appetite of Putin the Terrible for more territory, more control over Eastern Europe and more aggression from a more empowered enemy. A unified diplomatic NATO on paper is a poor military deterrent to a dictator who has made significant territorial gains and military victories in the face of the West’s relentless diplomacy.


One does not have to be a brilliant military strategist to understand that liberating territory by force is a much more difficult and expensive pursuit in terms of personnel and equipment than defending territory in the first place. History of World War II should have taught us that lesson.

The doling out of defensive weapons to Ukraine is not working. With every delivery of these type of weapons and the application of new sanctions, Russia bombs another apartment building, killing and maiming innocent men, women and children and conquers more of Ukrainian territory.

Action is demanded and required now. If this menace is not eliminated in the early stage of threatening the international order, we will be facing instability for a substantial part of this century. Only in a world of peaceful and respectful relations among free and democratic sovereign nations can the human race hope to create the cooperation necessary to undertake and overcome the dangers of climate change, personal insecurity, malnutrition, economic inequity, pandemics, and whatever else nature and the future may have in store for us.


Since the president’s speech in March, he has continued to pontificate how the Russian invasion of Ukraine had unified the member nations of NATO in a manner not seen since the days of the Cold War; and he proudly announced the strongest implementation of sanctions against the aggressor the world has ever seen.

“Russia would pay dearly for this aggression,” he orated. Democracy and freedom would be defended wherever it is threatened according to the president. He warned Mr. Putin that NATO would defend every inch of the territory of member states, and NATO would supply Ukraine with military equipment, economic and humanitarian assistance to fend off what we now know is the barbaric bear preying on a smaller, but valiant democratic nation fighting to maintain its independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and democratic society chosen by its own citizens in honest, fair elections.


While the president’s message was well received around the world, the free world’s policies implemented in reaction to this great threat has so far proven ineffective in preventing Mr. Putin from continuing his barbaric, criminal and successful war against the Ukrainian people.

Since the March 26, 2022 speech, the president’s subsequent words and action have been full of sound and fury. However, they signify worse than nothing; they signify equivocation in defense of freedom and democracy.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.

 

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