Stopping the Killing and Destruction
Headline: “Intermediaries seek diplomatic opening, despite gloom:”
Putin doesn’t care in the slightest how much death, destruction, and suffering he causes. His only interest is in trying to satisfy his craving for power and victory and projecting an image of himself as someone who is strong and clever and a great historic leader. His megalomania may be so extreme that it is no more possible to negotiate with him than with a rabid wild animal, but if, despite indications to the contrary, he is still capable of rational self-interest, a diplomatic solution might be possible. To achieve that it will be necessary to convince him that time is not on his side. For example, if the government of Ukraine is in agreement with such an initiative, I can imagine making him what, given the alternative, he would regard as an attractive offer — the scenario I outlined in my blog yesterday is an example. Whatever offer is made to him, it must be gotten across to him that it is unequivocally contingent on an immediate and permanent cessation of hostilities, that it will expire within a stated number of hours, and will under no circumstances be renewed. He must understand that long drawn-out negotiation is not an option, that this is a chance to self-justify himself that he will never, under any circumstances, have again.