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When people show courage…

I can’t at the moment find the source, but I remember a story about General Lucius Clay being sceptical about breaking the blockade of West Berlin after the Soviet Union closed off the city in 1948. It didn’t seem feasible to him to supply some 2 million Berliners from the air. But the courage and defiance of the locals impressed him so much, that he overcame his doubts and supported the project, that would eventually save the city.

I have a similar impression about the Western response to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Only after the first two days, when the Ukrainians showed that they were willing and able to resist, did Western powers takes sanctions against Russia seriously. Only then did Germany get off the fence and agree to provide weapons, and only then did the rest of Europe agree to the ‚nuclear’ SWIFT option. Without ‚Go fuck yourself‘, ‚Put these sunflower seeds in your pocket for your grave‘ and ‚I want ammunition, not a ride‘ Ukraine would already be a part of Russia.

Dealing with Bullies

Is it the best strategy dealing bullies, to tempt them to cross a line they would not otherwise have crossed, so that you can beat up on them in a way that you couldn't have if they hadn't?