President Biden has shown ample signs of weakness and the Russians believed they could get away with whatever they did.

It is true that man (as a species, not as a gender) constantly struggles to leave his animal past behind, but this exercise in humanity is not always wise. In the jungle there is a basic principle of behavior: the weak fuel aggression. I repeat in case it wasn’t clear. It is the weak, not the strong, that drive predators to eat them. The fort usually attacks in the best conditions. Why take a chance with another more or less equal if there are weaklings, naïve or young ones unable to defend themselves adequately? It is not the law of least effort, it is the law of minimal risk.

No one wants to hear about the start of the war, or should I say the Russian invasion, in Ukraine. I really don’t know why. But I would like to bring up one fact. Putin annexed the Crimean peninsula and berated Ukraine's eastern border in 2014. Under Obama. Did he not risk another raid for seven years, four of which were under the presidency of Donald Trump. Coincidence? I don't think so.

What has changed since 2021, when Trump was voted out of the White House? It all comes down to one name: Joe Biden. Both in his daily activities (lately he has been invoking dead congressmen, such as Jackie Walorski or greeting a non-existent audience, with his back to the real one) and in his policies (hasty and catastrophic exit from Afghanistan, a peddling and unsuccessful tour of the Gulf countries...), President Biden has shown ample signs of weakness. Advanced age and cowardliness in the face of real threats were the perfect combination for the Kremlin’s to believe they could get away with whatever they did. China is the leading superpower, not the United States.

Now, perceptions are sometimes misleading. And there are two things that Putin and his advisors have been wrong about. First, in not counting on the fact that when a Western leader, such as the president of the United States, who is still the main power of the West, is publicly perceived as very weak, his political advisors always lead him to respond aggressively to a crisis, in order to improve his image. Back in Washington in January of this year, they were still not taking seriously the possibility of Putin invading Ukraine, so warmongering rhetoric from the White House could only result in a more serious and assertive presidential image. The problem is that once the president commits to helping Ukraine no matter what, once the invasion begins, there is no turning back. And when the Russian troops fail in their initial plans, support for Ukraine turns into a desire to punish Putin. And, finally, to pursue defeating Russia itself.

The only hope we have left is that Donald Trump runs for president in 2024 and wins. Even if Europeans are disgusted by his character. Then perhaps we will go back to being a safer world.

The second misinterpretation about the Kremlin’s has to do with Europeans. Russia did not understand that the traditional European reluctance to get involved in a war could be left behind if the EU thereby overtook NATO as the essential organization for peace in Europe. And neither did the Russians understand that NATO was not going to let itself be given the chop by resigning. Competing with each other, also on the Old Continent which is structurally pacifist, they generated a war rhetoric with little reflection and without ever defining what we Europeans want in this conflict. The famous automatism that dragged Europe into World War I is a joke compared to those that seem to be leading us to the economic precipice and nuclear apocalypse.

This week, Donald Trump volunteered to seek a political solution to the war. And he has been vilified for it. Unfairly, I might add. Even Spain, whose diplomatic tradition has always been to serve as mediator, is not about to reach an agreement. The manipulation of information is such (has anyone ever seen any casualties caused by the Ukrainians, in the context of this war pornography that on a daily basis shows us amputated children, women and men, burned or shot by Russians?) that in the political scene there seems to be only one side: that of those who want the Ukrainians fight to the last of their men and not only until they take back their soil, but until they dislodge Putin from the Kremlin’s. Those who oppose the war, the nationalists of us first, as well as the realists of national interests first and foremost, dare not speak out, marginalized by the pro-Zelenski media steamroller.

But also those who advocate for a negotiated solution are being pushed into a corner. Kissinger just reminded us of another important law of the jungle: the wounded animal becomes more aggressive and lethal if cornered than if given a way out. And I am afraid it is a law also valid for the current circumstances. Because those who say that allowing Putin to remain in control of Russia is simply postponing dealing with the threat are not thinking through what they are looking for. What can be expected from a further collapse of Russia? In my opinion, a more unstable Moscow will only bring us more problems. But that seems to be something no one wants to stop and think about.

The only hope we have left is that Donald Trump runs for president in 2024 and wins. Even if Europeans are disgusted by his character. Then perhaps we will go back to being a safer world.