Learn From The Past - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1910719

Learn From The Past

Vladimir Putin tried to put the day behind him as he laid his head to rest in his lavish Novo-Ogaryovo estate located west of Moscow. Typically, his precious sleep isn’t interrupted by conscience.

There was an image in the darkness he couldn’t quite make out at first. As it moved closer, he recognized the human figure. It was Adolf Hitler, and half his head was gone.

As Hitler moved closer to Putin, he spoke:

“What were you thinking? Didn’t you learn anything from me and the others before you? I suggest you stop. You don’t know what happened to me since World War II. Visit the hole in the ground in Iraq and ask Saddam Hussein how it worked out for him, too.

“All of your lies. You never fooled anyone. You never heckle a comedian like Zelenskyy; he’s not a clown like Trump.

“Did you think you would be greeted in Ukraine with citizens who would be compliant? Are you deaf? Blind? If you succeed in overtaking their country, it will be the worst part of Russia. Like a bad tenant who spawns others, it will tarnish even your Russian citizens. It will be your nightmare to deal with. In the end, you will be a pariah, even in your own country.

“But it doesn’t have to end that way. Many leaders have blood on their hands but have left a different legacy behind. Richard Nixon sabotaged Vietnam War peace talks yet became the 37th president of the United States. You can still turn another page.

“Stop the war now. Tell your people whatever story you need to (that’s nothing new for you). Start a cease-fire while you negotiate your golden parachute.”

With that, the disfigured Hilter left Putin alone in his bedroom. As surreal as the experience was, it didn’t leave him with a change of heart. He wasn’t convinced that he should be compared to these other leaders or that his country would outcast him. “Weak. Weak. They’re all weak,” he repeated to himself repeatedly.

Putin turned over attempting to fall back asleep. Seconds later, the bedroom door exploded and smoke filled the room. He couldn’t breathe. His eyes began to tear up from irritation. He searched on his hands and knees for his emergency mask, but it was nowhere to be found.

A soldier entered the smoky room. He was Ukrainian and introduced himself. “I am The Present. You know what’s happening.”

Gerald Rosengarten