2023 — Comment(1)

The real 3rd World War.—

I am totally not competent to analyze the war in Ukraine, its origins, its devastation, its reach, the options (or lack of them)  at the world’s disposal to mitigate, to negotiate, to provide arms and ammunition,  to apply pressure through sanctions, to document war crimes, to provide humanitarian aid, to welcome their refugees. And to what extent is my news source accurate and objective? Do I have access to objectivity more than the Russian public has? When my western accounts of the nasty Russian Federation show not a hint of western responsibility for this mess, can that be unbiased?

Now, it is clear that the invasion in itself is wrong, and that particularly the methods used to fight there are the worst kind of barbarism and folly that only a leader deprived of any human feeling for the people of Ukraine or indeed for those Russian soldiers he put to fight there — could orchestrate. OK, the initial plan was to get in, take over and announce victory quickly. So when that didn’t happen, Russian leadership was pushed up against a wall, weakened embarrassed, humiliated, in front of the world but more importantly in the eyes of the Russian people if enough of them were to know the details.

So we all might agree that what is taking place is wrong and how it is taking place even more so. But how did Russia get to this point? Is it uniquely that they have been treated rotten by “the West” since the fall of the Soviet Empire? That re-taking territory that was once under their control is the real thorn in their side, driving them to such acts? Could the “West” have done more to include Russia, to understand their history and their much larger humiliation in recent times following the cold war? Yet, the “West” was a major trading partner with Europe buying oil and gas on tap and feeding a large part of their GDP back to the Russian coffers . Russia economically had it good and at the same time must have thought that they have enough control by threatening to turn off the taps if the rest of the world doesn’t like what they do. And seems that was the case in 2014 with Crimea. So they figured they could have a repeat when invading Ukraine. But that didn’t work, and the “West” I think have surprised even themselves by the incredible outpouring of support and the amazing cooperation between nations.

The big problem is right there. Backed into a corner, nowhere to go, and like a wild animal will do anything for survival. That amazing cooperation means that if something breaks, it breaks across the globe and we will have World War Three, a tragedy of mass annihilation with nuclear and anything else at hand. A world polluted like never ever before and at the time when our natural habitat is already at its most vulnerable through global warming. Apocalypse could become the word.

Our only hope could be that China abstains from supporting aggression and persuades Russia to back down before the point of no return. But when push comes to shove, China (and other powers like Iran and India) will no doubt remain Russia supporters.

However, Russia will not listen to a non-aggression position, they cannot — losing face is not what they do easily, and they would lose much more because their major source of revenue is gone along with even their breadbasket (Ukraine). They would be isolated and the “West” would still not treat them better than they were treated after 1989. So Russia cannot back down unless we provide them with a magical way out. But that is unlikely unless China and a few others take the major initiative. And it would need to include a change of regime and the death or exile of the current leadership. On the other hand, is this a personal vendetta or is it one embedded in the Russian leadership psyche whoever they would be?

If there is truth to the western news reports of Russia taking Ukrainian children into conversion camps, then Russia is planning for the long haul to eliminate Ukrainian patriotism from the inside. Not the first time such a disgusting strategy of having kids brainwashed and grassing on their own parents and tearing up their own society. It was Hitler’s approach from the outset. Now Putin calls the Ukrainians “Nazis”, woah! If the reports are true, then Putin’s ugly plan might begin to have an impact, particularly if the war drags on beyond 2023. It is clear that Russia knows the most impactful places from where to take kids, building on proximity to existing Russian sympathizers. We could find a reinforced Ukraine separatism and Russia will develop self-justification that they were right to initiate their entry into Crimea and to mount the “special military operation to save and protect their brothers”.

Whatever the outcome in 2023, the only non-hypocritical scenario is continued war. Everyone assumed that the situation after the cold war and the dismantlement of the Soviet Union was the new, permanent, stable world order. It was a false sense of security ignoring innate, historical elements of importance to a failed Russian Empire, naïvety by the “West”. Any new negotiated “agreement” will pose similar risk. The “West” must read history from the same books as Russia does, those books show us where the fault lines continue to be. If Ukraine wins this war, and particularly if it joins the EU, even more so if it becomes a member of NATO, the underlying issues do not suddenly go away. Rather the incredible level of humiliation to have a new massive border with NATO, including the Ukraine which it feels has been stolen from it, will satisfy no Russian regime. It would serve only to delay a larger conflict once Russia has made other allies, has built replacement revenue streams, and has become more prepared militarily.