When Tyrants of a Feather Flock Together

(Graphic: Brian Covert / Photos: Politico, EPA)

The world watches in horror as an act of genocidal war unfolds before our eyes, with Russian president/dictator Vladimir Putin unleashing his country’s full military might against the sovereign eastern European nation of Ukraine, located next door. The Ukrainian people are fighting back bravely for their lives, with no other choice but to confront this modern-day Hitler and his fascist fantasy of a new Russian empire.

The invading Russian forces have so far caused more than 3 million refugees to flee Ukraine, most of whom are women, children, elderly or disabled people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II and shows no signs of slowing down. Russia’s targeting of civilians in Ukraine, meanwhile, now opens up the real possibility of war crime charges being filed against Putin’s Russia under international statutes.

The world stands mostly aligned against Putin and in support of Ukraine and its embattled president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It is safe to say that regardless of how this war turns out in the short run, Putin and Russia will lose in the long run. As a national leader on the world scene, Putin is now finished. His legacy will end up in the garbage dumpster of history. Russia also faces a long, anti-occupation insurgency by the Ukrainians from this point on, and as we all know from the United States military’s own experience with insurgencies in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq (to name just a few), guerrilla insurgencies fighting an oppressive colonial power often succeed.

What we’re seeing now is a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that actually began in 2014 with Russia’s military annexation of parts of Ukraine. Since then, Ukraine had been trying to stave off Russian aggression and seek stronger support from the United States and other western democracies.

But while Putin is certainly to blame for all that is happening right now, another so-called “leader” needs to share the blame for all the death and destruction Ukraine is facing. That “leader” is Donald Trump, the U.S. president from 2017 to 2021. Trump, like Putin, must be held accountable for his role in the Ukraine catastrophe that we are witnessing.

It was Trump who, back in the summer of 2019, during an official phone call between him and Zelenskyy of Ukraine, tried to basically extort the Ukrainian president. In exchange for more American military support that Ukraine desperately needed against Russia, Trump wanted Ukraine to help dig up some dirt on Trump’s political rival, presidential contender Joe Biden. “I would like you to do us a favor, though…” were Trump’s exact words, and they landed him straight into a 2020 impeachment hearing (the first of two such hearings during his corruption-ridden presidency).

Trump had long admired the extreme-right-wing tendencies of Russian president Putin, so much so that Ukraine never did get the military aid it needed from the USA while Trump was in office. Trump later admitted that he did indeed withhold military support from Ukraine. Thus, he emboldened Putin and left Ukraine in the lurch at a very critical moment in time. Three years on, Putin now feels confident enough to invade Ukraine outright and kick off Cold War Part 2. Trump has publicly blathered on about Putin in recent days, alternately praising and criticizing him for the invasion of Ukraine. Now, it is time for Trump to finally join Putin in the trash heap of human civilization.

And we will be more than happy to help him get there. The final solution for Trump and Putin goes something like this: Once this Ukraine invasion has been investigated and the deaths of Ukrainian civilians at the hand of Russian forces have been thoroughly documented by independent observers, Interpol issues an international arrest warrant for Putin. Trump gets a code-red ticket from Interpol too, as an accessory to the crimes. Both are nabbed and extradited to The Hague in the Netherlands to stand trial before the International Criminal Court.

Putin and Trump are found guilty by the ICC, and instead of executing the two traitorous criminals by firing squad, hanging or lethal injection — which would be so uncouth and so (ahem) un-American — Putin and Trump are sentenced to life in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But not to any little old prison, mind you: These two are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in a Russian prison camp based in the snow-covered territory of Siberia. There, behind barbed wire fences, guard towers and a coterie of U.N. peacekeeping guards, the two VIPs are issued orange-colored uniforms to be worn in the facility 24 hours a day. (This certainly works for Trump, who has claimed orange as his favorite color of all.) From there, the prison clock begins ticking and Putin and Trump are free to adore each other and swap all the war stories they like for the remainder of their lives. The rest of the world could then, thankfully, forget about them both.

As attractive as that scenario sounds, right now we still must deal with one president (Putin) who is waging war on democracy in his own country and beyond, and another former president (Trump) who is waging war on democracy in his own country. God forbid that Putin survives the Russo-Ukrainian war unscathed and Trump gets re-elected U.S. president in 2024: If these two ever got back into each other’s good graces again, the world would literally be doomed. We can’t allow that to happen.

When tyrants of a feather flock together, they can do much damage. Putin and Trump have shown that fact, without a doubt. On the other hand, tyrants are always their own worst enemy, and they rise and they fall. They can be put in their places by the rest of humanity. If Putin and Trump were truly the evil geniuses they like to think they are, they would act now in hiring the best tailors they can afford and getting themselves fitted with the finest textiles money can buy for that new prison garb they’re going to be wearing for the remainder of their legacies, in this world and beyond. In the court of global public opinion, they both stand guilty as charged for their crimes. The two have earned their orange prison pajamas; now let these tyrants wear them to the beds they’ve made.

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