At some level, it is understandable that, as soon as a serious battle or war begins, some adopt the view that the best course of action is wait until the enemy dies of natural death or commits suicide because that seems to be the safer and the easiest course of action. Similarly, with a bit of fantasy, one can also always fantasy about waiting for another easier, safer, and more pleasant (perhaps because not real) battle or war than the one has or has an obligation to fight and then even present this as the acme of wisdom, strategy, prudence and fearlessness.
Similarly, in some way popular these days, it has also become possible to make an argument out of the absence of heart, spirit, and thought.
As a runner, one can also similarly think or dream of all the splendid races one could have won if the race and competition had been either always in the future or just always different than the actual ones.
And this also sums up the problem with the so-called left--nearly all the left has left the real actual battlefield--for a vision of all the "inevitable" battlefields in the future which would not even need any fighting on their part.
To wait, for example, for “a meltdown of the financial system,” while one is walking away from one’s own principles, is a formula for one’s own political and ethical suicide. So is exchanging an on-going actual war for a wish of a non-existent battle or some magic solution instead, especially the one which would not require sacrifice or courage.
Moreover, one should not forget that Putin is not and never was a member of the Left whether old or new.
While the New Left likes to think of itself as more or less revolutionary without actually meaning it (as it does not actually mean to engage in any actual battles), Putin, a prudent conservative, has never sought revolution.
All he has ever hoped was arrangement, marriage of convenience even open marriage with the West or even some sort of pragmatic, business-like relationship (or civic union or polygamy) in which he could combine his authoritative conservatism with promiscuous discourses of the post-modern, post-mortem West.
Putin whose wish has been to maintain a heartless, but pragmatic and hence unprincipled marriage of convenience with the West, has been trying to strike a business deal of "equals" with the West, for whom all the words "heartless," "pragmatic," "unprincipled" in addition to "greedy," "exploitative," "nihilistic," "antagonistic" and other similar certainly apply. Except for the "marriage" or even "partnership" (Putin's favorite).
Putin seems to be in love with the sound of the ostensibly respectable word "partners" (partnyory) whether in relation to the West or the Kiev junta. But instead of trying to sneak some deal with Merkel or the EU elite under the nose of the US and NATO, he should have put his energy where the heart and spirit is--the German people and other peoples themselves. In a word, instead of listening to Merkel, he should have listened more to those Germans whose Romanticism is neither pink nor brown, but grounded in the dignity of human spirit, natitonal liberation and clarity of emancipated reason.
The key, as always, is to win the battle for the hearts and minds---the battle of the spirit.
Moreover, to win the battle of the hearts and minds, one also needs to have oneself both in the first place.