Niebuhr, McFaul and Putin

Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine is the focus of today’s weekly roundup. A 5-minute segment from yesterday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC included analysis from Richard Haass, Michael MdFaul and James Stavridis.

With deep emotion, McFaul described Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine: “It’s tragic. It’s irrational. It’s also evil. … There’s good and evil in the world, and this … will come back to haunt him. … It will come at a terrible price….” Madeleine Albright‘s February 23, 2022 New York Times guest essay, “Putin Is Making a Historic Mistake,” wrote: “Ukraine is entitled to its sovereignty, no matter who its neighbors happen to be. In the modern era, great countries accept that, and so must Mr. Putin. … It defines the difference between a world governed by the rule of law and one answerable to no rules at all.”

McFaul’s description of Putin’s action as an “act of evil” reminded me of Reinhold Niebuhr’s 1944 book, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness. This moment challenges me to ask how we can discern right from wrong, healthy from unhealthy, and oppose injustice–while living into the fullness of loving relationships? I need to sleep on this one, and pick it up tomorrow.

From “Ukraine Isn’t the Only Target of Putin’s Aggression,” by Ian Kelly and David J. Kramer, The Bulwark, February 22, 2022

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