You’re perhaps losing interest in the Ukraine war. And you’re not alone. After all, how long can you sustain your attention and energy on something that seems to be grinding on with no immediate end in sight?
Frankly, I stopped watching the western media—CNN, BBC—just after a month of the war’s outbreak as it became increasingly clear that the so called impartial news outlets are nothing but propaganda tools of the West, spreading lies and falsehood about Vladimir Putin’s push to subjugate Ukraine as part of his grand design to resurrect the Russian empire. And the news outlets are doing so without even remotely mentioning America’s not-so-secret provocative role in the run up to the conflict.
You might be thinking: is Putin innocent? And whether I’m an apologist for the Russian dictator? Not at all: A recent article in The New York Times by Christopher Caldwell left me wondering what other options Putin had except taking military action in the face of persistent American provocation. You may perhaps recall that Putin threatened to launch “special military operation” unless the United States made unequivocal declaration that Ukraine would not be given NATO membership, which would effectively bring the US-led military alliance to Russia’s door step. As Noam Chomsky questioned, how would America react if a hostile country planned to mass its soldiers along the US-Mexican border? (This demand too was ignored but acceded to only after the war started).
So why America paid no heed to Putin’s threat despite the prospect of a full-blown war? Make no mistake; it’s primarily because of the shortsighted leadership of the United States, driven by the special interest, especially the defense industry.
This, of course, is in sharp contrast to President Biden’s affirmation that as the leader of the free world, America is morally obligated to help Ukraine protect its freedom and democracy from tyranny.
As you all know there’s not a single instance in history, at least in the past 70 years, that America has ever helped or promoted democracy anywhere—Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America. On the contrary, it has brazenly crushed democracy and democratic movements in many countries (Iran, Congo, East Pakistan, Chile, Algeria, Palestine, Middle East) through CIA-backed coups and support in favor of military regimes and brutal dictators.
It’s now crystal clear, as it has always been (Iraq, Afghanistan, for instance); the real purpose of arming Ukraine was solely done to benefit the powerful defense industry. And longer the conflict runs, the bigger is the bonanza for the arms manufacturers—Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman, Raytheon.
Otherwise, what else can explain the pumping of arms into Ukraine long before the conflict began seven months ago. For instance, since 2018, Ukraine has received U.S.-built antitank missiles, Czech artillery and Turkish drones and other NATO-interoperable weaponry. The supply accelerated exponentially shortly after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine in February, worth billions of dollars, further fattening the defense industry.
Goaded by the arms manufacturers, it appears, the United States may be playing an even more dangerous, direct role toward expanding and prolonging the war. As you already know, there are thousands of foreign fighters in Ukraine. One volunteer recently spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation of fighting alongside “friends” who “come from the Marines, from the States.” This only shows how the US is turning from a weapon supplier to waging a proxy war and then into a secret war.
To be sure, America started this proxy war in 2014 when it backed a violent uprising against the legitimately elected pro-Russian Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych. Russia retaliated by annexing Crimea, a historically Russian-speaking part of Ukraine, and home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since the 18th century.
You may discount Russian claims to Crimea, but for Moscow the matter is dead serious. For the record, hundreds of thousands of Russian and Soviet fighters died defending the Crimean city of Sevastopol from European forces during two sieges — one during the Crimean War and one during World War II. In recent years, Russian control of Crimea has seemed to provide a stable regional arrangement: Russia’s European neighbors, at least, have somewhat accepted the reality.
But the United States never accepted the arrangement and began plotting to undo it. This explains why it signed a “charter on strategic partnership” with Ukraine in November last year, calling for Ukraine to join NATO, in addition to condemning “ongoing Russian aggression” and affirmed an “unwavering commitment” to the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine.(Chomsky, in an April interview, warned against the paradoxical incentives of such “heroic pronouncements”. “It may feel like Winston Churchill impersonations, very exciting,” he said. “But what they translate into is: Destroy Ukraine.”)
That charter “convinced Russia that it must attack or be attacked,” Caldwell wrote, quoting Henri Guaino, an adviser to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
And Putin did attack, making good on his threat. The sad part, though, is America could have easily stopped the Russian leader from his dangerous venture by simply declaring that it would not make Ukraine a NATO member. Instead, it has helped turn this tragic, local and uncertain conflict into a potential global conflagration.
This is what is most worrisome, despite the fact that many of us are far away from the frontline and we don’t really face the danger of being caught up in the artillery fire or missile strikes as the Ukrainians and Russians do on a daily basis.
Still, it’s an inescapable fact that the whole world is feeling the heat of this conflict in the form of abnormal price hike of food, fuel and other essentials, sowing instability all around. But the real danger that has awoken me, and perhaps you, in the middle of the night is the possibility of the conflict’s escalation into something horrifying and catastrophic—the prospect of a nuclear war, especially after Vladimir Putin publicly threatened to use the option if the West didn’t stop arming Ukraine with lethal weapons.