It started out with a title drawn from the Uncle Remus tale of the Tar-Baby from the late 1800s. I had not got past the title and the wife was accusing me of a racial slur. It’s not,” I replied. “The tale is a metaphor for entrapment by what you are fighting.”
And this is my stock in trade. I love the English language and I often come at my readers with metaphors that, hopefully, help in the understanding of a point of view. I do not ask you to always agree with me. I have fascinating correspondence with those who threaten to never read my diatribes again. They come back.
But back to the Tar-Baby. I have now forgotten what I was going to write about. It was something political of course. So instead, I will refer to the situation in Ukraine. Foolish, mean and autocratic dictator Vladimir Putin of Russia is displaying the metaphor in the Ukraine. The harder he pushes his army in the Ukraine, the less progress he is seeing. He is fighting with a Tar-Baby.
What frustrates Putin is that he is fighting with Ukraine as a proxy for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He dares not fight NATO itself as that would lead to a self-destructive nuclear holocaust. In effect, he is actually strengthening NATO. NATO’s commitment to supporting Ukraine grows stronger every day. New countries such as Finland and Sweden are getting in line to join NATO. Those artillery shells landing among Soviet forces are courtesy of NATO.
As much as the Russian leader might complain that his generals are incompetent and his soldiers unmotivated, he is looking for a way out and there really is no redemption for him. He started the war—thinking it might mean a few weeks of cleaning up. Here it is months later and he has killed thousands of civilians and soldiers, earned the country’s long-term enmity and only blocked its grain shipments and is having a see-saw battle in the eastern region of Donetsk.
You would expect by now that there is intense pressure on Putin within Russia to settle for keeping the Donetsk and bring what is left of his army home. The only problem is that Ukraine is going to want billions in reparations. When you mess with a Tar-Baby you are marked for years to come.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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