There is something about the Western liberal worldview that insists that every problem is solvable through dialogue. Just yesterday, as Russian bombs fell on Ukraine, President Macron spoke with Vladimir Putin. “It didn’t produce any effect so far as you can see, because the Russian president has chosen war,” Monsieur Macron mumbled. Indeed.

The temptation to talk has always been perilous. Over the past few months, President Putin has used Europe’s disposition for dialogue in the classical fashion, leveraging it to gain his objectives at the lowest possible cost while at the same time carefully preparing for an invasion. Conceivably, Europeans — and the broader West — could have learned their lesson.

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