One of the reasons that truth is on the decline is that truth is becoming emotion-based, not evidence-based. It is all about feelings. This seems to have begun with feminists, but teaching women to trust their feelings, that feelings are truth, couldn't be kept just in the women's locker room. It has spread into the men's as well and is now also an affliction of some of the younger men.
I have learned this from readers' emails. Some are puzzled by what seems to them to be a switch on my part from being for Putin to being against him. They want to know why I stopped liking him. In other words, they interpret my growing concern about his policy as an indication that I don't like him anymore.
I am writing about Putin's policy, not about my feelings for Putin. His policy of ignoring provocations made perfect sense for a while. It demonstrated to Europeans that Putin, unlike Washington, is level-headed and non-confrontational. Putin's openess and responsible behavior was contrary to the image of "Russian threat" that Washington had put in European heads. The hope was that Europe would switch from being an enabler of Washington's aggression to becoming an obstacle to it.
The problem with a policy of turning the other cheek is that it can encourage more provocations and that the provocations increase in intensity. The question I raised is about the policy, not about Putin. How long do you stick with a policy that is encouraging more provocations instead of achieving its intended goal?
There has been some movement from some European politicians toward a more responsible attitude toward Russia, but this might simply reflect disgust with Trump or be a ploy to encourage larger subsidies from Washington to buy them back into the fold. Is it enough movement to compensate for the ever more provocative and ever more insulting behavior of Washington and the British government toward Russia?
This is the question that I raise. It has nothing to do with my feelings for Putin. It is an expression of my concern that the intensifying provocations will result in nuclear war. Putin's policy of mild or zero response has not resulted in Europe becoming a brake on Washington's aggressive attitude toward Russia. Instead, Putin's policy is inviting ever more intense provocations. Washington has now said that it is going to attack Syria if Syria attempts to liberate Idlib province. Washington is putting more sanctions on Russian elites, which will make them more hostile to Putin. Russian nationalists are becoming angry with Putin for failure to defend Russia's honor. Putin's policy does not seem to be a formula for success.
So the question is whether Putin should continue this policy.