When Winston Churchill wrote “The Gathering Storm” he was describing the pre WWII years between the end of WWI and the west’s capitulation to Hitler in Munich. An honorable man like Chamberlain felt he was dealing with an honorable man in Hitler. Churchill knew better. He knew that tyrants respect only strength.
Unfortunately there was no Churchill writing from the wilderness this time. We, that’s the west, enabled a tyrant by funding his plans (through oil purchases) and put ourselves in a untenable position by listening to those who would ensure that we are weak and unprotected. So be it.
Where have the heroes like Churchill gone. Apparently to Kyev. Ukrainian president Zelensky is a leader with heart and soul. When asked if he needed a lift out of the Ukraine to save his life, his response is now viral: I need ammunition, not a ride.
With a population a quarter the size of its opponent, it would seem to be a country that would quickly fall to Mother Russia. However the Ukraine has been planning for an assault for the past decade. Its military is relatively well armed and well trained. The Russians seemed confused, il prepared, and riddled with mistakes. What should have been a cakewalk, turned out to be mired in supply chain problems and mud.
No one can predict the outcome of this crisis. However much like England in 1939, the Ukrainians seem to be weathering a terrific storm and holding on. Experts in this feel that time will defeat the Russians. The question remains, Does Zelensky have the time?
Strategic bombing can be devastating, but as proved by Churchill and the English during the blitz, a society, well led and motivated, can survive.
Heroes are made, not born. Zelensky may have what it takes. He certainly seems to have so far.