It seems we’re living in a sort of bad TV series made of reruns being dubbbed in different languages and played by different actors – but with the same plot.

Let’s go back to the invasion of Iraq by the Americans.

Bush said “We’re liberating a country from a tyrant – We are protecting our country – It’s a question of national security – Iraq has nuclear weapons”.

Sound familiar? Putin took a page from the American playbook to stage his own invasion and is misleading his people with fake news about the invasion. What happened to the US? Nothing – except it nearly crippled the economy, created a whole new slew of terrorists, and it dragged on for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. The difference here is that there are talks of “Sanctions” (which no one was brave enough to inflict on the US – I call that “the power of MacDonalds”) and which Putin shrugs off with his usual blank stare.

Putin wants something, and he learned from Bush that if you have enough tanks and money you can bulldoze your way into any country. He has the gas reserves to keep his people warm in the winter, and he made sure that Europe was dependent on them these past 20 years by consolidating the gas lines. He’s got his weathy (obscenely wealthy) enablers all over the world, with bank accounts all over the world (thank you The Guardian for leaking the Swiss Bank papers just before the invasion…) and he does not care about his people, he cares about some sort of illusion of an Imperial Russia; but Russia is not the US. The Russian economy is not particularly robust, and Putin wants China and India to take his side. China, as usual, is waffling. It’s not in a particularly good position either – its economy is based on trade, and a complete boycott by Europe and the US would be disastrous. China wants Taiwan and Thailand – so it’s looking closely at this war to see how Russia fares. If Russia succeeds in annexing the Ukraine, China will attack. If Russia fails, China will most likely realign with the US and Europe. India is in the same position as China – it wants to remove the thorn that is Pakistan from its side.

As I type this, there is talk of removing Russia fromm SWIFT. I’m not sure that would do as much damage as people think – China has its own SWIFT platform and Russia will just switch over to that. I’m all for punishing Putin and his cronies, but the Russian people should not be punished. They are like the Americans when Bush invaded Iraq – misinformed, misguided, and many of them are against this war.

I don’t have a crystal ball (well, actually I do) and I can’t see what will happen. But if the past has any bearing on the present, then Putin has just sunk his country in a long, unwinnable war. Putin does not care. He has more money than practically anyone on earth. If we want to stop the war, we have to find his stash and completely remove it. He needs to have a real worry – and taking his wealth away will hurt him more than actually losing this war. What if, when the US had invaded Iraq, the other countries around the world had suddenly grown backbones and put a stop to it by cutting the US off from SWIFT? It would have caused a lot of short term havoc, but it would have saved countless lives, and contributed to a more stable world order. Now any lunatic with an army thinks that invading another country is PERMISSABLE. We should have stopped the US 20 years ago. We have no choice but to stop Putin Now.