One month before the 2020 elections, Oona Hathaway at justsecurity.org published a two-part summary of Trump’s disengagement with the democratically minded world as his neofascist, white-nationalist cadre of goons (my characterization) arbitrarily and systematically “withdrew from international agreements.” While our allies reacted in horror and our enemies rejoiced, Trump swaggered around the world stage confirming the worst instincts of authoritarian leaders, who totally played him, correctly diagnosing a pathetic wannabe who was green (well, orange) with envy of the kingly powers denied him under our system.

These two articles complement today’s blog and are well worth the read. Part 1 recounts all the ways (too many to relist here) Trump acted in bad faith as he embarrassed and weakened the US internationally during his tenure as “leader of the free world” (face palm); Part 2 suggests ways to reverse the damage once Biden assumed office: https://www.justsecurity.org/72656/reengaging-on-treaties-and-other-international-agreements-part-i-president-donald-trumps-rejection-of-international-law/ ... https://www.justsecurity.org/72690/reengaging-on-treaties-and-other-international-agreements-part-ii-a-path-forward/

Volodymyr Zelensky is getting an object lesson about the West’s penchant (influenced heavily by the US) for weasel-word treaties. It’s no doubt not a shocking lesson, since everyone on the planet knows our own dishonorable history of breaking treaties with indigenous people on both American continents. Trump’s four years breaking the china in the shop is just more of the same throwback mentality of racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry that has plagued humankind since the dawn of civilization.

Infamous world-class fools like Donald and Vladimir (See, we don't even have to use their last names.) will always rise to the top of inherently corrupt societies. Before the sands of time run out, Homo sapiens need to realign their priorities and disavow the rubric that wealth equals power. The first step is to hold out-of-control titans of finance and tyrants with armies accountable without collapsing the world economy into a new Dark Age or triggering a nuclear holocaust. Otherwise, there is no second step.

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Great history lesson about a simple agreement. But, we did not blow this agreement up (pardon the pun), Putin/Russia did. And let's face it these days, Putin IS Russia.

Bless President Zelenskyy, he has hung in there, while someone threatens to murder him and his family and they are murdering his nation. Heaven knows the man has not slept in a couple of weeks. I think it shows in what he is saying, because he should not focus on what allies are not doing, but what Putin is doing. A unified message from him going out to the Russians is more valuable than criticism of a "no-fly zone" we have already told him he is not going to get.

If he talks about the Budapest agreement, he should be talking privately to us and publicly about Putin breaking it.

The world and the UN has learned from this, and it's all about unity when facing a madman.

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This agreement has been violated by only one country, Russia. Russia is solely responsible for this war, and solely to blame for all the death, injuries, refugees, and economic damage to all the countries of the world. The world has stood up to Russia dramatically and in many areas, including economic, trade, diplomatic isolation, and increasing military aid to help Ukraine defend itself. These things are helping to deter Russian aggression! The agreement says we will seek UN Security Council action, which we have done! Who prevented it? Russia!

The pressure and even the suggestion that another country should join the war against Russia is frankly disastrous and just plain wrong. Ukraine's churlish insistence that the world is not doing enough to help them is counterproductive. Their unified resistance to the invasion is admirable, and they should continue in that course without conditions on the rest of the world because it is the heroic and patriotic thing to do. They are not finding Russia to save Europe; they are fighting Russia to save Ukraine!

I strongly believe that other countries or NATO entering the war against Russia will not benefit Ukraine, will only lead to a wider war, and will help Putin by convincing his citizens that he was right: their enemy was NATO all along!

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I know 50-50 hindsight won't help Ukraine but can't help thinking that we could have supplied Ukraine defense forces under this agreement while Russia arranged their attack forces for months along the border.

Perhaps we should start referring to Putin as Stalin rather than Hitler. He's starving the Ukrainians that he won't allow out of the country and what western voices that got through to the Russian people would key their thinking to the enemy within.

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Another fantastic, on-target piece, Thom !! Thanks for reminding us about the Budapest Memorandum. Given that Putin has already violated items 1 & 2 of that accord by not respecting Ukraine's border nor refraining from attacking Ukraine, I agree with you that something more needs to be done by the other two signatorees of that 1994 agreement. You mentioned the

other day a possible no-man's land established by the West just inside Russia's border with Ukraine. Here's another option: 1) The USA & UK give Putin a 24-hour notice to remove all of its aircraft from Ukrainian air space---or be shot down. And 2) the USA & UK give Putin & his military 48 hours to announce & implement a total ceasefire of their forces inside & outside Ukraine--else all Russian & allied land & sea forces will be attacked & eliminated. Also, the USA & UK would directly communicate to Putin & his military--and also announce simultaneously to the rest of the world--that the USA & UK WILL NOT USE ANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS in this limited, peace-restoring operation inside Ukraine. This will be a limited military operation to restore Ukraine's security as promised in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum--and that's all. Would this be risking a nuclear WWIII ?? I think not doing so has the same risk because Putin is not going to stop until someone stops him--remember Syria & Chechnya !! I don't see why the Ukrainian people & government should suffer our lack of resolve to keep out commitments after they trusted us & gave up their nukes. As you reminded us today: What a lesson for other wannabe nuclear nations liked North Korea & Iran....eh? What kind of world do we want to live in going forward?

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