CNN's Fareed Zakaria claims Russia invasion of Ukraine 'is a much bigger deal than 9/11'

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria appeared Thursday on Don Lemon Tonight, where he laid out why he believes the global repercussions of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine will be greater than that of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. One reason is because unlike 9/11, in which the U.S. was attacked by a stateless group of terrorists, the Ukraine war involves an aggressor that is a nuclear power on the global stage.

“What we are seeing is the return of great-power politics in the world after a 30-year holiday. That is a seismic event. This is a much bigger deal than 9/11,” Zakaria said. “Because 9/11 was a band of thugs. All the governments of the world were against them. Eventually they were able to crush those kind of terrorist. Here, what you have is the most powerful nuclear power in the world is threatening to use that kind of strength, even to use nuclear weapons to tear up the rules of the road that have governed international relations since 1945.”

We've taken sides now on this, I think we're on the right side.Fareed Zakaria

Zakaria said that the international rules that have mostly been respected since the end of World War II, at least in terms of trying to take over another country, have now been broken, and that the world has changed on a massive scale. This comes as Russia appears poised to invade Moldova if they’re successful in Ukraine.

“No change of borders by force. No massive acquisitions of territory. All these rules have been thrown out of the window,” Zakaria said. “We really have to recognize, we are in a new world, and I think the Biden administration is doing exactly the right thing in recognizing the scale of the problem, the scale of the stakes involved.”

The U.S. and other nations have already given billions of dollars worth of aid to Ukraine, and President Biden requested an additional $33 billion for the cause, which some believe is asking too much. But Zakaria believes it is absolutely necessary.

“We’ve taken sides now on this, I think we’re on the right side. We cannot afford to lose,” Zakaria said. “And if that means Ukraine needs 10, 20, 30, 33 billion dollars more in aid, well, the alternative is that Vladimir Putin wins, the Western democracies lose.”

Don Lemon Tonight airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on CNN.

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