Emmanuel Macron caused a furore after saying NATO can't rule out putting troops in Ukraine.
Emmanuel Macron caused a furore after saying NATO can't rule out putting troops in Ukraine.Handout

MAKICHUK: Macron sparks firestorm with call for troops in Ukraine

Well, well, well.

We have come to this.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said his refusal to rule out the prospect of sending Western troops to the Ukraine conflict was intentional, despite the uproar it has provoked.

In fact, he spit in the face of NATO members, such as the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain, by not backing down an inch.

To quote the famous Napoleonic Guard, "La Garde meurt, mais ne se rend pas,"... "The Guards die, but do not surrender."

Macron, for his part, chose his words carefully.

"These are sufficiently serious issues; every one of the words that I say on this issue is weighed, thought through and measured," he boldly told reporters during a visit to the 2024 Olympic village near Paris.

“We will do everything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war,” he said, adding that the notion of sending troops to Ukraine should not be taken off the table.

Only Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis backed Macron, suggesting they should consider the French leader's idea of allied boots on the ground in Ukraine.

"Europe’s fate is being decided on the battlefields of Ukraine," he said. "Times like these require political leadership, ambition and courage to think out of the box. The initiative behind the Paris meeting yesterday is well worth considering."

In Canada, our top level politicos Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland ducked the question, leaving Defence Minister Bill Blair to articulate our position.

"We will continue to provide Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance, but as a NATO member, Canada has no plans to deploy combat troops to Ukraine," said Diana Ebadi.

So, is the French leader right? Is it time to consider a new, more muscular and effective approach to dealing with the rogue Russian invaders?

Is it time, we give them a big, fat punch in the face? Get some skin in the game? Our boys, fighting and dying on Ukrainian soil?

The comment from Macron even seemed to rile the Mad Russian, who shook the nuclear sabre yet again, in a staged PR show designed to put the fear of God into the West.

Putin warned of a “real” risk of nuclear war if Western countries sent troops to Ukraine, during an annual address to the nation.

“There has been talk about the possibility of sending NATO military contingents to Ukraine," Putin said, in his latest unhinged threat.

"But we remember the fate of those who once sent their contingents to our country’s territory. But now the consequences for possible interventionists will be far more tragic.”

But isn't the situation already tragic? Haven't things already escalated?

Ukrainians will soon be flying newly supplied F-16s, after being fully-trained in the West. At one point that too, was a line in the sand.

It appears that red-line has been crossed, leaving Putin's rhetoric in the dust.

And should Putin really be that surprised, if Western countries act to ensure that Russia makes no further progress in Ukraine.

In fact, foreign troops are already there.

According to the Washington Post, leaked documents confirmed that some NATO countries — including the US, Britain and France — have deployed small numbers of special forces and military advisers to Ukraine in unspecified roles.

The CIA has also funded and partially equipped a sprawling network of spy bases across Ukraine that aid Kyiv’s efforts to track Russian troop movements.

Commenting in an interview with Russia's Pervy TV channel on media reports claiming the CIA has built 12 “secret spy bases” along the Russian border in Ukraine that act as the “nerve center” of Kyiv’s military, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "it is not a secret."

"There are for sure not 12 CIA bases, but many more. It's not a secret, and we all know it perfectly well. We are the enemy for the CIA… We are opponents for them. They are working against us," he said.

Furthermore, though official numbers are a bit murky, some 20,000 foreigners from more than 50 nationalities make up Ukraine’s international legion, according to Ukrainian officials.

Other volunteer brigades fighting for Ukraine include detachments of Belarusian fighters opposed to the Putin-backed dictatorship in Minsk, anti-Kremlin Russians and ethnically Turkic nationals from Russia, and post-Soviet states such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the Washington Post reported.

Russia too, has reached out much further afield to boost its ranks. Nationals from Syria, Cuba, Nepal and India have all reportedly been deployed on the Russian side of the war.

In other words, there already are plenty of foreign fighters on both sides. And if Russia can field them, why can't we?

Do we cower to his threats? And if so, what are the consequences if we let Putin have his way?

An inkling of what is to come was supplied Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who was recently interviewed by Kaitlan Collins on CNN.

Romney warned that walking away from supporting Ukraine would jeopardize the United States’ role as leader of the free world.

Putin will not stop at Ukraine, he said — and the invasion of a NATO nation will eventually pull the US into conflict.

Furthermore, failure to stand united with friends and allies would give an opening to authoritarian states such as China to emerge as the dominant power — threatening freedom and global stability.

"If we don’t pass aid for Ukraine, then I think Ukraine has a very difficult time preserving their geographic integrity and life — you’re going to have a lot of people who lose their life as Russia runs across Ukraine," said Romney.

"And that will make it very clear to people around the world that you really can’t trust America’s word."

Romney went on to paint a dire picture, of what could happen if Putin succeeds in Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin will not stop. He may take some time to rebuild his military because it’s been decimated, but he will ultimately go after other nations — in the Baltics, Latvia, Lithuania, potentially Poland. Those are possibilities, he has indicated he wants to rebuild the Russian Empire."

This suggests, that sooner or later, we will have to stare down Russia's mad emperor. If not now, then later.

A strong argument for putting boots on the ground.

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