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My Take: Putin’s messiah syndrome drives the invasion

Robert S. Becker

The Holland Sentinel, Apr. 9, 2022

Why this unilateral, overwrought plunder against Ukraine now? Why devastate a nation full of what the invader brags are “brotherly” kin? Why instantly threaten weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear, chemical or biological? Why exalt the primitivism of might makes right, inciting global outrage (and all the more mortifying when it fails)?

Is Putin’s aggression the smartest, most defensible response to prolonged western pressures — or a self-defeating set of blunders? Whether “evil” or justified, is there method in the madness of this war? Is it worth the cost, per historian Benjamin Sawyer, “Ukraine is now bringing Russia to the verge of financial ruin once again”?

As this era teaches all too well, genocidal war crimes don’t just happen: they result from a mania to crush an already bloodied (sub-human) foe. Especially in the fascist mode, unprovoked takeovers seek not just economic predation but to co-opt the heart and soul of a (decadent) culture. Putin’s militarism qualifies as a messianic bombardment by a presumptive master race — plus warning others not to impede Making Russia Great Again.

— Robert S. Becker’s writes on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks.

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