Could the Russian-Ukraine War End Peacefully With Mr. Putin et al. put to Justice?

by Bobby Reyes

Ukrainian diaspora in Brussels protests the Russian invasion | Photo by Bartosz Brzezinski via Wikimedia Commons

Part VI of the “Ukrainian Crisis” Series

This columnist coins the phrase “Barbarussians at the Gate” because of how the Russian government has invaded the democratic country of Ukraine. Yes, today’s Russian soldiers — as backed up allegedly (soon, if not now) by mercenaries from Chechnya and Syria — are like the foreigners that invaded the Roman Empire of old. The Russian-Ukrainian War is now on its third week.

The term “barbarian” was used by the Romans to denote anyone who was different, or who lived outside of the Roman Empire. The expression “barbarians at the gate” was also used by the Romans to describe foreign attacks against their empire. Many Roman cities were surrounded by walls and gates during the fifth century and as such, this expression was also used in a literal sense. And thus, “Barbarians at the Gate” was coined.

Here are two questions for serious students of history, especially the readers of this column: Question No. 1: What if Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler — after he decreed the arrest of Jews and begin executing the first of them — was ordered by the Allied Powers to face trial for war crimes and genocide, among other charges? Of course, Chancellor Hitler would just laugh at the demand for his arrest. But what if the Allied Powers offered a reward of a billion American greenbacks or in English pounds to any person or group of persons that could arrest Mr. Hitler? Or even two billion dollars or pounds?

Remember that in Part IV of this series, this columnist mentioned the fact that more than 5,000 members of Nazi Germany’s armed forces staged an ill-fated coup in 1944. Some 4,700 of them were executed after a court-martial found them guilty of the unsuccessful plot to eliminate the Führer.

“Is the idea a figurative “dream” scenario for ending the war in Ukraine doable — by arresting Mr. Putin and his cronies, et al, and let them stand trial in an International Court of Justice?”

Remember how Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators attempted to eliminate Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Nazi Germany? The attempt to end the war happened inside the German dictator’s Wolf’s Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The name “Operation Valkyrie” nearly succeeded on July 20, 1944. It was the code name of the conspiracy to replace Adolf Hitler and seek peace with the Allied Powers.

What if the offer of a billion bucks or pounds (or more) was made in 1941? Or even as early as late 1940? Would Colonel Von Stauffenberg and his group move earlier? And succeed — especially if an intermediary would demand an advance payment of at least a third of the reward money to finance the coup? And arrest Mr. Hitler and company? Would the move to arrest Mr. Hitler, et al. not save millions of lives and trillions of currency in war damages as a result of World War II, which could have been shortened?

“After all, the soldiers, their generals, and other career officers did not want to commit mass murder by shooting at, and/or bombing, millions of Filipino peaceful demonstrators. And the cronies wanted to save their lives and at least a substantial part of their fortunes.”

If a majority of the readers would reply that the idea of arresting Mr. Hitler, et al. would have been feasible and doable, here is Question No. 2: Is the idea a figurative “dream” scenario for ending the war in Ukraine doable — by arresting Mr. Putin and his cronies, et al, and let them stand trial in an International Court of Justice?

Readers may want to read again Part IV that explained how Mr. Putin could follow in the footsteps of the Filipino dictator. As what happened in Philippine history, Dictator Marcos’ cronies and many of his generals abandoned him and supported the Filipino people’s bloodless uprising in February 1986. After all, the soldiers, their generals, and other career officers did not want to commit mass murder by shooting at, and/or bombing, millions of Filipino peaceful demonstrators. And the cronies wanted to save their lives and at least a substantial part of their fortunes. They surrendered of course to the new government what they claimed as part of the Marcos looted fortune that they held in their firms — as dummies of the dictator.

Yes, what happened to Mr. Marcos can also happen to Mr. Putin. Or even a repeat of the Hitler-Von Stauffenberg episode of Nazi Germany’s dramatic national destiny? After all, history just keeps on repeating itself. Right?

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