How Will Putin’s Madness End? – By Tony Okoroji

The nation of Iraq used to be one of the most admired nations in the Middle East. The beautiful nation had developed great infrastructure and there was high standard of education for much of its citizens. With huge oil revenue, Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, lived large in palaces and mansions lined with precious metals and stones. Humility disappeared and power got into his head. The gun totting Saddam who was born after the death of his father, began to flex his muscles against everyone and waged war against the Kurds and Iran.

In August 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded the nation of Kuwait, Iraq’s smaller southeastern neighbor. Saddam wanted to gain control of Kuwait’s significant oil wealth. Led by the United States, several nations asked Saddam to withdraw his troops from Kuwait. He refused. America amassed troops in the region in what was nicknamed “Operation Desert Storm” and Saddam boasted of a “mother of all wars” to come. In a few weeks, Iraqi soldiers were driven out of Kuwait but as the Americans soldiers approached Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, they stopped, leaving Saddam still in power.

Anyone would think that the loquacious Saddam would learn his lessons and humble himself. He did not. He continued to boast. In 2003, the Americans came back after the 9/11 attack of 2001. In Desert Storm 2. Saddam who used to reside in the most luxurious homes on earth, was on December 13, 2003, found by U.S. soldiers hiding in a six-to-eight-foot -hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. He was. picked up, tried and executed by hanging like a common criminal. For several years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and their nation have paid a huge price for the madness of Saddam Hussein.

Has anyone forgotten Muammar Gaddafi, the incredibly glamourous and daring leader of Libya, who was captured in a gutter and killed on October 20, 2011? Gaddafi also tasted oil wealth and became power drunk and believed he was invincible. At the end of the day, he died in a most humiliating way. Libya, one of the most developed nations in Africa, with significant oil revenue, has remained unstable since.

Adolf Hitler, the Austrian born German leader wanted to control the entire world and his mad ambition led to the 2nd World War, the Holocaust and the death of millions of innocent people. At the end of the day in 1945, Hitler committed suicide.

There must be something about oil money that drives leaders crazy. How else does one explain the horror currently going on in Ukraine? For months, the world has begged Vladmir Putin not to invade his smaller neighbour to kill innocent Ukrainians who have done nothing to him.

Several times, U.S. President, Joe Biden at virtual meetings, pleaded with Putin. French President, Emmanuel Macron had to go to Moscow to beg Putin. German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, also went to Moscow to beg Putin. Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban was also in Moscow and repeatedly, Vladmir Putin, the new world movie superstar, showed off his expensively paneled office at the Kremlin on TV as world leaders begged him to show mercy om the poor citizens of Ukraine. He did not just show off his expensive offices, he showed off his heart of stone.

I have developed a new respect for Joe Biden. Everything he said that Putin would do, has come to pass. Putin’s lies and subterfuge have played out for the whole world to see. The innocent men, women and children who today are being bombed and slaughtered recklessly in Ukraine are just like rats and cockroaches in Putin’s game as he seeks to expand his territory and fiefdom.

I watched Putin on TV this past Monday as he rattled on and on and distorted history, trying to find justification for his open land grab in Ukraine. I used to have a little more respect for Vladmir Putin. I thought he was a strategic thinker with a fairly good understanding of history. The money from Russia’s oil and gas may have got him drunk. At the end of the day, Putin’s dream will not become reality. Vladmir Putin will never be King of the world. He has cooked for the world and now the world is cooking for him. Unfortunately, the ordinary people of Russia will pay a big price for the misadventure of their leader as Russia is degraded.

Putin betted that the world cannot do without Russia’s oil and gas and that the Germans cannot shut down the Russian multi-billion-dollar Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Germany has just shut down Nord Stream 2. He betted that with the softening of the NATO Alliance by his friend, Donald Trump, the alliance will scatter and not be united enough to take him on. He underestimated Joe Biden. NATO is today more united than ever. He betted that the people of Ukraine will melt away at the oncoming shock and awe of the huge Russian army. Did he witness the insurgency in Iraq or Afghanistan? He betted that he is such a talented actor and that he world fool the world with his choreographed drama on TV. No serious person is fooled.

Tragic as this episode is, Vladmir Putin has done great service to the world. He has helped the world to settle the recent debate about which is better: democracy and autocracy. He has exposed the huge danger of autocratic regimes.

Vladmir Putin has before now got away with everything. This time, he took on too much and is guaranteed to be an international pariah for whatever remains of a life that sure will be miserable.

See you next week.

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