But that's Putin's entire goal: He wants the West to believe he has no soul. While the West, like Biden, seeks to demonstrate its bigheartedness to Putin, with "reset" buttons and U.N. resolutions and G8 summits and Olympic Games, Putin seeks to demonstrate that he has no heart. He wants to be seen as cruel and inhuman. He wants everyone to know that he will never bluff and that he will always shoot first.
Obama, Biden and the European Union somehow believe that handwringing and moral proclamations will bring Putin into line. Putin knows strength -- or, at least, the impression of intransigent steeliness -- will bring the West into line. In a game of chicken, the man who openly puts a brick on the accelerator will always win.
Putin's got the brick on the accelerator. He's had quite a hot streak: Georgia, Syria, Iran and now Ukraine. The result will be a far more dangerous world, as potential Russian targets seek nuclear weapons to deter the bear, and as Putin speeds to consolidate his gains. Obama's nuclear-free world, his multipolar United Nations geopolitics, spirals the toilet, thanks to his own utopian wishful thinking.
This is what happens when children play against adults on the world stage. This is what happens when starry-eyed post-Americans are given charge of Western leadership. Putin rolls on, evilly manipulating, grossly murdering. And Obama makes peeved faces as bodies smolder in Ukrainian fields.