Putin Invades Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin launched a brutal, unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a smaller neighbor that shares with Russia brotherly ties of history, ethnicity, language, religion and culture. This was an act of pure evil. In just a few months, Russia inflicted death and injury on many thousands of Ukrainians who sacrificed themselves in defense of their country or who were targeted by Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in residential areas, schools and hospitals. Millions more were forced to flee their homes and are now refugees.
Why did Putin unleash this suffering on so many people? We cannot be sure of his personal beliefs and motives, but he was raised a Communist and has ruled Russia for 21 years as a fascist, combining some of the worst traits and behaviors of 20th century tyrants such as Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler, monsters who oppressed their people and committed countless acts of unjustified aggression against other nations.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the latest in a history of blatant acts of evil that stretches back to the first human family, and in particular the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. In this book we explain that the pattern and course of the relationship between the archetypal figures of Cain and Abel is the central dynamic of a Divine Providence. The Cain side of this history, representing the progress of evil, reached its pinnacle of success with the advent of Marxism in the 19th century. This atheistic ideology was then embodied in Socialist, Communist and fascist regimes. These regimes waged wars of aggression that made the 20th Century by far the bloodiest in history. Putin’s invasion marks a 21st century continuation of those Cain-type regimes.
Encouraged by Weakness in the West
As with all ruthless predators, Putin struck when he judged the West to be at its weakest, distracted by crises fabricated around Leftist issues such as systemic racism, climate change, transgender rights and the proper use of human pronouns. He calculated that the international community would wring its hands but do nothing significant in response. After all, there had been no serious repercussions when he invaded Georgia and Crimea.
He was encouraged in this view when the Biden administration refused to impose preemptive sanctions, and when, for example, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, told Congressional leaders on February 2nd that Kyiv could fall in 72 hours, signaling that the West believed a Russian victory was inevitable and that there was likely nothing NATO would do to stop it. In other words, the West would leave Ukraine to be conquered by Putin.
Indeed, despite Putin’s record of violating international norms and agreements—and previous brutality towards the Chechens, Georgians and Crimeans—America and Europe were reluctant to believe that a 20th century-type invasion of a major European country was possible in the 21st century. Under the influence of this wishful thinking, they were slow to accept the reality of the threat posed by Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border and were not willing to take the necessary deterrent action to thwart this danger. Their failure to respond to Russia decisively was due to the lack of a clear policy on how to confront and deter aggressors like Russia, combined with undue caution—in fact a lack of moral clarity and courage.
In a perfect demonstration of predatory, Cain-type behavior, Putin exploited this weakness by first denying that Russia planned to invade Ukraine and then, once he had launched the invasion, by blaming the NATO allies for provoking his “special military operation” to “denazify and disarm” Ukraine.
To get what he wants, Putin uses an effective strategy taken right out of the Soviet playbook. While deflecting blame for his acts of aggression, he simultaneously tries to neutralize opposition by intimidating the West into inaction. He threatens economic harm (cutting off oil and gas supplies in this case), military escalation and even nuclear war, knowing that the West wants to avoid a wider conflict by all means.
But Putin Misread Ukraine and the World
This strategy has all too often been effective, and it worked at the outset of his recent belligerence towards Ukraine. But Putin misread the Ukrainian people and their leaders, as well as public opinion in the rest of the world. Despite what Milley—and almost all of the other ‘experts’—said were impossible battlefield odds, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky rose to the challenge. He immediately made it clear that he would not run from his enemy but stand and fight. This was an Abel-type response to the aggression from his much more powerful neighbor. His clarity, courage and resolve galvanized his people and moved the conscience of the world. People everywhere instinctively realized that the conflict in Ukraine is a battle between good and evil, and they have therefore been moved to support Ukraine.
Thus once the world witnessed the raw evil and cruelty of the Russian army in Ukraine, and the bravery of the Ukrainian response, governments and individuals across the globe were finally spurred into action. Nations and multilateral alliances and organizations have ratcheted up sanctions on Russia, corporations have pulled out of the country (some after many decades of doing business there), and hundreds of thousands of Russians horrified with their country’s behavior have left it. At the same time, tens of billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid has flowed to Ukraine, and many individuals and groups moved by the plight of the Ukrainians have come to its aid.
Because of this robust response to evil, many of the abovementioned experts have now changed their positions 180 degrees to realign their opinions with the unexpectedly positive direction of the war. They now say Ukraine can win.
The Cain-Abel Paradigm Separates Evil from Good
Viewed through the prism of the Cain-Abel paradigm—which explains whose behavior is evil, and whose is good—we can recognize the relative positions of Russia and Ukraine in the current conflict. Putin’s Russia invading Ukraine is an attempt to repeat Cain’s murder of Abel. Although not a perfect country, Ukraine nevertheless has every right to defend itself in a just war to preserve its freedom and independence. If successful, Ukraine will be a victorious Abel.
To put such a victory in its historical context, over the last few centuries the Abel side of providential history has witnessed great strides in spiritual and scientific enlightenment, advances that have been embodied in nations being established based on God-given rights and democratic government. Most importantly, America was established by individuals who recognized the guidance of providence in their work and succeeded in establishing a government of the people, by the people and for the people. This was truly revolutionary and it established America as the leading Abel nation in the worldwide providence.
The contest between Cain-type and Abel-type ideas, individuals and nations is ongoing, always with the object of realizing the Divine Providence. World War II was a decisive point in this movement because the Abel-type allies gained a total victory over the Cain-type Axis powers, which surrendered unconditionally. This victory permanently liberated tens of millions of people from totalitarian oppression.
Ukraine’s Victory Must Be Complete
Unfortunately, since the end of WWII all the wars fought by America against evil regimes have ended short of full victory, as can be seen in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. This pattern of misplaced caution leading to unfinished wars (often because of the threat of nuclear war made by Cain-type nations) was most consequential in the case of China. Due to Soviet subversion of the US government during the WWII period, America betrayed Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists by cutting off support for the Kuomintang and thereby allowing Mao’s Stalin-backed People’s Liberation Army to gain victory in the civil war and claim mainland China for Communism. How much better the world would be today if the Communists had been defeated at that time!
We see, then, that since WWII, compromise with evil actors has become US policy, the preferred path to ‘peace’. In fact, this policy has only led to more war. (The exception is President Ronald Reagan who saw the fallacy of seeking détente with the “evil empire” of the Soviet Union. He summed up his policy in these words: “We win, they lose.”) Compromise with evil never works because if evil is allowed to survive it will reemerge emboldened and vengeful, greatly increasing the cost of defeating it. Thus for America and its Western allies, pursuing détente with, or containment of, the world’s bad actors is not sufficient. It is actually suicidal. Evil regimes must be defeated once and for all for there to be lasting peace.
In the war now raging, there must be an unequivocal victory for Ukraine, which means it must regain full control of all its territory. No deal should be made in which Russia keeps any of its spoils of war. On the contrary, Russia must be held accountable for its war crimes, and must pay reparations to Ukraine for the suffering and damage it has inflicted on its neighbor.
America is critical to achieving this goal. The United States should fulfill its providential mandate by leading the world to help Ukraine achieve complete victory over Russia. If Ukraine is victorious, this could become an inflection point in the providence. Abel-type nations would gain ascendency in the world while Cain-type regimes would have to relinquish their evil grip on their long-suffering people. Citizens of countries like Russia, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Iran would finally be free.
In an Abel-type world, every nation will be secure within its borders. Every nation will derive its just powers from the consent of the governed. Every nation will protect the God-given rights of its citizens. And all nations will join together in a true brotherhood of nations, a world without war.
This book explains how we can achieve that triumph of good.
May 21, 2022