The jerrycan or freedom
How can the war be stopped? By abandoning Ukraine, even before it was attacked, NATO and its allies gave up on dissuading Putin from aggressing his neighbour. A few troops, even on exercise, might have been enough...
For democracies, the question is always the same: how to oppose dictators, their shameless lies, their paranoid inebriety and their cynicism? They always serve us the same cocktail that plays on the fear of war, naivety, innocence, i.e. the honesty and good faith of democrats in the face of autocrats.
This often leads to the worst, war, misery, even genocide and always the suffering of the people.
So how can they be stopped when they threaten the international order, and how long are we going to accept seeing Ukrainian children succumb to bombs, European cities collapse under shells and the most basic rights of a country on the continent violated?
Certainly, Europeans mobilised quickly and strongly. Nearly a thousand people or entities are now under their sanctions, the most severe decided. But only force, defeat or the fear of defeat can make Putin back down. Failing that, the re-establishment of a real balance of power with the aggressor can force him to accept real negotiations and stop the fighting.
But the Europeans are hesitating. They have not yet gone so far as to imagine the strongest measures because they would affect their citizens' way of life.
Since they refuse to use military means, the most effective measure would be to stop all energy purchases from Russia, whose budget and weapons are financed by gas and oil revenues. The shells that are killing Ukrainians are paid for with the revenue from European oil and gas imports.
In this case, the price of our freedom is the price of deprivation. And as long as the Europeans do not have the courage to go so far as to deprive themselves of these resources, their grand declarations of support for Ukraine are a bit suspect, or at least not effective enough in the face of the brutality of the Russian armies.
We can understand the prudence of the German, Italian, Hungarian or Bulgarian authorities, whose bad mercantilist or political choices have made them almost entirely dependent on their energy purchases from Russia. But European solidarity could find expression here. The strengthening of the market and internal trade could compensate for these shortcomings and, moreover, would only anticipate the decline in international trade that is on the horizon.
In any case, the European Union will probably have to urgently review a number of its policies, starting with its trade relations with third parties, its agricultural policy, which will not be able to turn a blind eye to the coming food crisis, or the many constraints it has imposed on itself so as to be exemplary, for example in terms of the environment.
And this time, it will be the countries of northern and central Europe that will need the solidarity of others! This is another good opportunity to demonstrate European solidarity.
We will have to choose between our fundamental values and our short-term interests, between the long term and the comfort of the moment, between the jerry can and Freedom!