I am glad Brittney Griner has come home. Glad she’ll be reunited with her wife. I have no problem with her taking the knee (free speech), nor her specifically being released: despite idiotic comparisons with the marine who did not come home. The difference between having a small amount of cannabis oil and being a spy explains it all when it comes to why Brittney was released and Paul Whelan wasn’t. If we had a Russian spy would we treat that as the same as having a slight amount of an illegal (in some states) substance? Of course not.
Even Paul Whelan and his family understand that this was no either/or choice. Putin made it clear: Griner or no one. The case against Brittney was weak: and, no, she wasn’t “smuggling” as some right wingers claim.
I would have understood fines, a small amount of incarceration, but that’s not what happened. It’s no surprise that Putin used it to get one of his terrorist thugs out so he can help Russia create more terror.
Trump, Biden, Obama, Bush… we have a long history of either kissing Putin’s ass, or just being led by the nose into bad deals. A history of being held hostage, giving in, or helping him hold the world hostage. Either only encourages this King of the Russian Oligarchs to do it more.
How is this working for us?
Not well. Despite Brittney’s release, trading for Viktor Bout is why I find this troublesome. Bout is all about more terror, more threats, more murders, even more Brittney’s and Paul’s. The Death Merchant is a gift to Putin designed to enable murdering more Americans, more Brits, more… and serve Putin’s desire for domination. Certainly he’ll be put to work supplying those out to murder Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his family, Ukrainians not willing to submit before the next step. Probably Poland.
But at least we win getting Brittney back, right?
Sorry to thunderstorm on a well deserved release party, Brittney, but not really. There’s more here than just you. We simply traded you for more mass murder, and the next one will probably be worse. I view this like 9/11. The correct response of the people and their leaders should be to do what the passengers in Pennsylvania did, only better. Our leaders have that option. And there may be one single response that will solve it all.
Instead of kissing his ass, or giving in to this murderous Hitler-wannabe thug…
…give Putin a colonoscopy with a weaponized drone.
I know as a columnist who writes more leftward opinions that’s not very “liberal” of me. I wish I actually was a liberal. I have a lot of respect for true liberals, though like the true conservatives (NOT posers like MAGA) as I was once, I think purists tend to be naïve. Anyone claiming peaceful resistance would have ended Hitler’s atrocities truly is naïve. (The right pre-WWII was against war with Germany and Japan.) In a more free society it peaceful resistance works.. sometimes. In a dictatorship, an oligarchy, bullets, nooses and gas chambers solve are used to make sure resistance doesn’t work.
There are such situations where we have little choice. Maybe earlier we did, but we haven’t invented time travel… yet. By the time (Important caveat.) we went to war with Japan and Germany there really wasn’t a choice.
The world was headed that way, even America. During that time the were plenty of Americans pushing isolationism, and Nazi agents empowering them. You might want to read Hitler’s American Friends by Bradley W. Hart. Rachel Maddow actually does a less partisan report on this in her Ultra podcasts.
Like 30’s/40’s Germany, Putin is a special case. Despite those who tried (Neville Chamberlain) appeasing Hitler wasn’t going to happen, negotiating with Putin is a dead end. Putin will always steer towards mass murder and destroying those he negotiates with. Whatever makes him THE world leader. You know in the long run these kinds of negotiations make things worse, and next time thugs like Putin will make an even worse deal with our negotiators.
Negotiating with the devil never works in your favor in the long run, only brings us closer to Hell.
There’s only one way to deal with big bad bullies, whether it be in school or on the national stage. They stop when you beat back harder than they are beating you.
I hope for the best but, sorry, the high of Brittney coming home will be brief. Next time will be worse. Always worse. We are at that Pearl Harbor point where ignoring, or placating, thugs will explode in our face.
If we can’t stop him at Ukraine, hopefully via Volodymyr Zelenskyy, WWIII?
If we are to survive as a nation, as part of a freer world: we may have no other choice.
“Inspection” is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 50 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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