Why I Support Sanctions
I understand the sentiment, behind opposing sanctions on Russia, but refute it on two points:
1. People get the government they choose. Yes, Russian elections are rigged and yes, there are dissident factions inside Russia. But they do not have popular support. By making life difficult, there is a chance that something similar to 1989 will recur and topple Putin.
2. Russia has turned this into a total war. There’s evidence his strategy is reminiscent of the old Soviet doctrine of waging war on civilian populations with the aim of forcing the government to lose legitimacy. So far, it isn’t working – but by doing so, he’s opened his own population to a different version of total war, an economic one.
War is hell, and to win you have to be willing to be inhumane. Think of Sherman’s March to the Sea, or the way the Allies hammered Germany. Ending WWII by nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki certainly wasn’t humane. You worry about winning the peace after you’ve won the war, not before.