Ukraine on My Mind

Since we keep hearing about the importance of linking Western values to foreign policy one wonders hoe the Washington’s and Brussels’ attempts to turn into enemies two Orthodox Christian nations closely linked by centuries-long family, religious, economic, and cultural ties correspond to these and or a larger scale Judeo-Christian values.
Ukraine on My Mind
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

During his recent visit to Washington Ukrainian President Zelensky met with President Biden and other officials, including a few Members of Congress. One of them, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), presented him with the book “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Toolkit.” Although this present raised many eyebrows one should give Ms. Kaptur credit. Almost immediately after returning from Washington Mr. Zelensky said that all-out war with neighboring Russia was a possibility. He forgot to mention that according to the opinion of many people in the know such a war would have great potential to turn into WWIII and the end of our civilization as we know it. So, thank you, Ms. Kaptur, your present was absolutely appropriate and timely.

Apparently, Mr. Zelensky was encouraged by Mr. Biden’s words underscoring why Ukraine matters so much to U.S. interests. “Ukraine and the United States have a similar value system and the strong commitment to the fulfillment of a promise … and that is a Europe whole, free, and at peace,” said Biden.

Having a value system that is similar to Ukraine’s where the government sponsored corruption, radical nationalism and neo-Nazi movement are on the full display is a dubious compliment, but Biden, some of his family members, and the foreign policy establishment – Blob, might feel that way.  

The meeting came one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and his Ukrainian counterpart signed a new defense cooperation deal at the Pentagon aimed at improving Ukraine’s military institutions and capabilities. Since the U.S.-backed coup of February 2014 the United States has provided $2.5 billion in security assistance. Comparing with over $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan this amount doesn’t look too high but Washington looks at Ukraine as a relatively cheap instrument to weaken Russia. 

The Ukrainian president said that during this trip he felt that there is a “political will” for closer defense cooperation, and, as usual, has called for a pathway to NATO entry.

Mr. Zelensky had no previous foreign policy or military experience. He was a comic actor whose job was to entertain the audience, sometime with political jokes, and sometime even by taking his pants down.  He won the elections in a landslide victory because he made ending the conflict in the Donbas central to his campaign, promising to bring peace to people who were tired of war.

With his party “Servant of People” gaining an overwhelming majority in the parliament Rada, the road to peace became wide open but   regrettably, Mr. Zelensky has betrayed his electorate. He could have gotten a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the war, which is actually a civil war among people sharing kinship and faith.  The roadmap to peace exists, as meticulously prescribed in the Minsk accords approved by UN Security Council.

Instead, Zelensky is running around begging for money and weapons, trying to drag America into suicidal war with Russia.  His efforts to bring Ukraine into NATO, an organization whose brain is dead, according to the French President Macron’s, are not just pathetic but extremely dangerous.

The former U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns who is the current head of CIA warned that for Moscow it is a read line that it would not allow to be crossed.

As Doug Bandow has written in Forbes, and as endless numbers of serious foreign policy experts agree, “NATO's lack of any serious purpose means it should retire.” The recent Afghanistan debacle is the latest proof that they are correct.

In December 2020 as a part of Christmas wishes I wrote in this paper that it is the time to transform NATO into IATO – International Anti-Terrorist Organization that should include U.S., EU, Russia, China, and other willing nations. It will be a well-armed international rapid response force ready to liquidate terrorist threats in any part of the world. 

With its present expansionist mood and insatiable financial appetites, NATO is a problem for, rather than solution to, the world's security. IATO would move the world from confrontation to so much needed cooperation, and on top of this Its budget would be a fraction of NATO’s.  So far this idea did not gain a momentum but I believe the time is now.

Not for Mr. Zelensky who keeps knocking at the obsolete alliance’s door, complaining that "We have not received a direct position on Ukraine's accession to NATO but Ukraine has been ready for a long time."

What we see here is a clear case of mixing comedy and drama. The Italian writer Battista Guarini defined tragicomedy as having most of tragedy’s elements combined with a depiction of important public events but never carrying the action to the tragedy’s conclusion.

However, in Mr. Zelensky’s case the situation is more complicated since he is being effectively controlled by the Ukrainian variation of the Taliban, which is combined of radical nationalists and neo-Nazis who control the media and streets. At the same time he has a strong support in the Blob, so a happy ending to this drama is not guaranteed.

Another former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow during the Reagan era, Jack Matlock, knows how to resolve this crisis. In a Time magazine article he asserted that "The fact is, like it or not, Ukraine is almost certainly better off without Crimea than with it. Nothing weakens a nation more than holding territory whose residents prefer to belong to another country. The premises of a solution to the Ukrainian mess are clear: 1) A new constitution should provide for a federal structure of government giving at least as many rights to its provinces as American states have; 2) The Russian language must be given equal status with Ukrainian; and 3) There must be guarantees that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO, or any other military alliance that excludes Russia."

Since we keep hearing about the importance of linking values to foreign policy one wonders how Matlock’s ideas contradict Western or, on a larger scale, Judeo-Christian values.

What does contradict these values are the Washington’s and Brussels’ attempts to turn into enemies two Orthodox Christian nations closely linked by centuries-long family, religious, economic, and cultural ties. 

To conclude, the road to peace in Ukraine and prevention of what Senator Nunn called “sleepwalking into nuclear catastrophe” lies in fulfilling the Minsk Accords and leaving Crimea to its people. In that case we could still have the happy end in this tragicomedy. The other option is too scary to think about.

Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General John E. Hyten expressed said that such an option would "destroy the world and the global economy. It will be bad for everyone, and we have to ensure that we do not go down that path." Why not run the opinion poll and ask the American people which option they prefer?