A decline in courage

Maja Kocijančič, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU led by High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton, said that by end of September European Union is going to consider easing of sanctions against Russia As soon as Putin started to imitate the visibility of termination of active military actions in Eastern Ukraine we are ready to turn tail, go back down. Have the Russian armed forces withdrawn from the territory of Ukraine and sent to places of permanent deployment? Have Putin repented and abandoned his plans for the disintegration of Ukraine? What should be done with threats to the West and provocations on the borders of the Baltic states?
It is likely that such complaisance is consequence of signal by Barack Obama who rejected Ukraine’s NATO non-member ally status and military assistance. Similar was the reaction of Poland prime minister Ewa Kopacz. She stated that Poland won’t supply
weapons to Ukraine: “I consider, we shouldn’t become an active part of this military conflict. Poland should act like a wise woman – our main target is our security and prosperity of our country, home and children.”
Then, what Ukraine should do? “Ukraine can’t protect peace and order only by blankets”, declared Petro Poroshenko.
I’m not talking about Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, which initially opposed the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Germany, despite its declared support to Ukraine and condemnation of Russian aggression, first of all tries to defend its economic interests. It may be right, but the question of choice of values must be strongly guarded. If the Western countries discussing isolation of President Putin punished him for annexation of Crimea by exclusion from G8, canceled the EU-Russia summit, why does Australia open the doors in civilized society by inviting Putin to take part in G20 summit. I consider it appropriate and timely in current situation to give a few quotes of the last Russian classic , who entered the world literature as one of the most uncompromising critics of the Soviet Union and communism – Alexander Solzhenitsyn The spirit of Munich has by no means retreated into the past; it was not merely a brief episode. I even venture to say that the spirit of Munich prevails in the Twentieth Century(it should be read in the 21th century). The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles. The spirit of Munich is a sickness of the will of successful people, it is the daily condition of those who have given themselves up to the thirst after prosperity at any price, to material well-being as the chief goal of earthly existence. Such people — and there are many in today’s world — elect passivity and retreat, just so as their accustomed life might drag on a bit longer, just so as not to step over the threshold of hardship today — and tomorrow, you’ll see, it will all be all right. But it will never be all right! The price of cowardice will only be evil; we shall reap courage and victory only when we dare to make sacrifices.(Nobel Lecture in Literature ,1972, Alexander Solzhenitsyn) A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.
Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales as to how realistic, reasonable, and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. (A World Split Apart — Commencement Address Delivered At Harvard University, June 8, 1978, Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn)
These and many other speeches of the writer have received world resonance. It is clear what is the power that threatens us and how it is dangerous to Europe and the United States to relax now.
If not to demonstratively punish Putin now, if USA and EU allow to intimidate themselves by impoverished and weak, but armed and aggressive Russia, it would mean not only a shame but also a signal to activation of the world’s scum – from Kim Jong-un to all sorts of separatist and fundamentalist.

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