Whenever I think of Henry Kissinger, I think of Harvard and, specifically the “Harvard Cheer.” As I recall, it goes something like this:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. But, after a while, give up and don’t be obnoxious about it.”

Henry has been up and about lately. Writing an article in The Spectator on Russia and Ukraine and appearing by Video at Davos, where he also spoke about the war in Ukraine. He didn’t recite the above referenced cheer, but he might as well have.

What he said, in The Spectator and at Davos, to each of the combatants and the World, was that it’s time to stop the killing. Take a break. Call a “Cease Fire.” Both sides have shown courage and fortitude. Now is the time to show intelligence and wisdom.

A Cease Fire is designed to buy time and save lives. Parties can adjust positions to conform to what is real and possible. Name the Cease Fire after Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish Philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt born in 25 BC, who famously said “Be kind to everyone you meet, they are fighting a mighty battle.”

The Philo of Alexandria Cease Fire. Why not?

And, bring in some new personalities. Both sides need to feel respected. In the Cuban Missile Crisis, some of the parties were itching for a war…like “bombs away” General Curtis LeMay. Kennedy established a channel he could trust and kept LeMay safely tucked away.

Now is a good time for Joe to put someone like Barack Obama to work, secretly, to get both Putin and Zelensky to embrace the idea, plus set time, place and surrogates if the Principals are not ready for face to face.

Most wars end in a negotiation. Even in World War II, Japan would not quit until the US, acting through General MacArthur, allowed Japan to keep its Emperor in a Ceremonial Role. That’s what they needed so we gave it to them.

Humiliate an opponent and you’ll have to fight them again.

Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.