Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Is Passive Resistance Putin's Achilles Heel?
The Russians came geared up for the Ukrainians to attack. When that didn't materialize the Russians ordered the Ukrainians to surrender. No takers. Then the Russians imposed deadlines, warning if the Ukrainians didn't capitulate by a specified hour Russian forces would attack. Nope, sorry, can't do it.
It's sort of like Muhammad Ali's "rope a dope" - go passive, hunker down, wait for your opponent to wear himself out. Or better yet, Mahatma Gandhi who led a resistance movement for the independence of India telling his followers that only through passive resistance could they defeat colonialism.
It's not likely that passive resistance alone will work with Vlad Putin. Not entirely. Time, though, isn't on Putin's side. He's tried his A game and his B game and now he's left with Plan C. With each passing hour, any violence Putin initiates is going to look increasingly like raw aggression.
Remember, this is the same Russia that only just got around to admitting its massacre of thousands of 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest in 1943. The parallels would be inescapable and, for Putin, probably unbearable.
Putin is still talking tough. He's still boasting that he reserves the right to attack without further notice. His boasts, however, are beginning to sound ever so slightly less assured.