Does anyone think there is any chance that the plane crash that killed Putin’s most dangerous rival is anything but an assassination orchestrated by him? The targeted leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, Vevgeny Prigozhin, and his loyal following was the only leader capable of leading any meaningful coup in Russia. This is a no-brainer. But it’s also a wake-up call for the West, particularly President Biden and the U.S. isolationist crowd, both left and right, about the nature of the brutal politics that dominate Russia’s governance and what will be necessary to stop Putin. It’s also a message to the Republican Party whose presidential candidates were on the debate stage yesterday and whose disappointing responses to questions about the war in Ukraine were far short of the attitude that should be forthcoming from a serious presidential candidate, which is that the U. S. must do much more and much faster in leading and helping to make sure that Putin is not only defeated, but humiliated. In Reagan’s terms, we win, they lose. And don’t give me this stuff that several of them, including Ron DeSantis, are peddling about how we should prioritize control of our own borders, as if doing both at the same time is mutually exclusive for a world power and leader of the free world.
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