A Christian commentator is calling for the assassination of the Russian president over his unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
James Dobson, an evangelical Christian author, psychologist and founder of the fundamentalist Christian organization Focus on the Family declared in a recent newsletter that Russian President Vladimir Putin must be assassinated for his actions on Ukraine, saying that it would be key in saving the lives of the innocent. The idea came to him while watching footage of the war-stricken Ukraine, where hundreds of people are dying amidst the Russian forces' continued attacks.
"Some murderous tyrants need to be 'taken out' to save innocent lives," Dobson proposed in the newsletter. "That, at least, is my view."
In the newsletter addressed to the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, which is based in Colorado Springs, the Christian commentator discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and quoted Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who said in a tweet on March 3 that "The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out." The senator was referring to the Russian president.
The White House and many other foreign policy leaders, including Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas denounced Sen. Graham's statement. But Dobson appears to be supportive of it.
"Sen. Graham has been criticized vigorously for his comment. I was shocked at first, but now believe he was right," Dobson wrote. The 85 year old has spoken out about public policy issues and has been labeled by some journalists as a "kingmaker" of Republican politicians, Julie Roys reported.
Dobson's comments came after Russian forces attacked a maternity hospital in Mariupol, where shocking scenes made his "heavy heart" feel for the "multiple tragedies occurring to the gentle people of Ukraine." In the newsletter, the Christian commentator remarked that Putin implemented a strategy of "nuclear blackmail" that "could lead to WWIII." He concluded, "It does appear to me that we are entering what has been referred to by biblical scholars as 'end time events.'"
Dobson's comments did not sit well with Mark Tooley, who formerly worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now serves as the president of The Institute on Religion and Democracy. Tooley commented, "For a Christian leader to call directly for a foreign leader's assassination without careful reflection is unwise."
Tooley suggested to instead "pray that Russians reclaim their sovereignty from their tyrant, the details of which are likely outside the expertise of any Christian leader in the U.S."
Meanwhile, Ukraine has ordered more buses to descend upon the war-stricken Mariupol to evacuate civilians after Russia announced a ceasefire on the southeastern port city, Al Jazeera reported. In the Donetsk region, eleven people, including four children were wounded after Russian forces attacked using phosphorus bombs, which are prohihited for use under the 1977 Geneva Convention if they endanger civilians. Ukrainian officials allege that Russian troops use such phosphorus bombs, an accusation that Russia denies.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that Putin has made "strategic miscalculation" on his attack on Ukraine, which his advisers are "afraid" of informing him about. On Thursday, the head of British spy agency GCHQ. Sir Jeremy Fleming said that the Russian leader underestimated the strength of the Ukrainian resistance. This was echoed by U.S. officials as well.
White House director of communications Kate Bedingfield said, "We have information that Putin felt misled by the Russian military which has resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership."