Needed: A World Class Hostage Negotiator

Last week, Putin ranted that four provinces of a neighboring country are now sacred Russian soil and claimed that Western countries, particularly the United States, are Satanic forces bent on tearing Russia apart. In lieu of having a reasonable argument to make, he waved his nuclear saber in the air.

Here we have a mad man, or someone pretending to be a mad man, or some mix of both, holding Western countries (i. e. all of us) as hostages. We need a world-class hostage negotiator to talk with him. The West needs to accelerate becoming energy independent of Russia, step up its support of Ukraine, and keep Putin engaged and hopeful. Chances may increase that his compatriots will gently persuade him to step aside. The hours before he is stripped of power may be the most dangerous ones the world has known.