In his Law & Liberty essay, Theodore Dalrymple permits a brief note of optimism to creep in to his writing when he surveys the surprisingly strong and unified—albeit, only compared to the typical weak and ineffectual Western standard—response to the Russian invasion in the Ukraine.
I hope that I shall not be regarded as cynical if I say that, if I were Vladimir Putin, I would remain unimpressed by the west’s response. He is, after all, no sentimentalist; he has spent his life devoted to an evil cause which he mistook for good, a cause which never counted the cost of human life, even by its millions. A thorough training in dialectics enables him to reconcile, without cynicism, the most flagrant kleptocracy with the transcendent national cause. He had been acquainted with brutality and ruthlessness all his life, and it has given him a certain type of realism.