While I support helping Ukraine as much as possible in this conflict, I do see how unwise it was to move the Eastern edge of NATO as far as the Russian border. Certainly, the best way to help turn Russia into the old Soviet Union was to treat them as if they were still the old Soviet Union. It does not justify their invasion, but it does help give them domestic cover/support for trying to put the band back together.
As an American who happens to be an ethnic Pole, I did support moving NATO somewhat East, but there should have been left in place a clear buffer between NATO and Russia in the form of Belarus and Ukraine. I will admit my view may be clouded, as my grandfather returned to Poland and fought against the Russians (and Ukrainians) from 1919-1921 before coming to the United States a second time in 1924 and becoming a full fledged US citizen in 1927.
Regardless of how we got to this point, leaving the Russians go unpunished for their invasion is no longer an option.
Cool family history, Ski. I recall you mentioning your Polish heritage but didn't know about your grandfather. He must have had some fascinating stories to tell.
One of my grandfathers was a Wexford man and joined the IRA as a teenager before leaving Ireland for America. It was actually not clear to me whether he simply left...or fled...one step ahead of a Brit posse.
Re your closing paragraph, a fair amount of punishment has already been doled out to the Russians, and they've also been doing a pretty good job of punishing themselves. The problem is how to punish them without punishing ourselves...or the Ukrainians for that matter. There's been a lot of blowback, and I'm very concerned it's going to get worse.