This simple and profound question is the fundamental issue when it comes to deciding how to respond to Putin’s declaration of war in Ukraine. All of the usual suspects in terms of bloviating politicians and frenzied pundits are filling the airways with the modern version of “Remember the Maine.” They are desperate to rally the American people for a new military venture overseas. Our military industrial comple has no qualms about feeding gullible Americans into a war meat grinder. The usual approach is to sucker patriotic folks into believing they are defending freedom, protecting democracy or destroying tyranny.
And they do this without any self-awareness or irony. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants flood across our southern border and the cast of despicable characters hollering about the sanctity of Ukraine’s border with Russia do not same a damn thing about protecting our border. Just count up the number of Republican Senators and Representatives who are saying we must act strongly against Russia and have remained mute on our own border security.
The Washington political class–both Democrat and Republican–think you are a fool. Apart from ignoring the threat of illegal immigration and the accompanying flood of lethal narcotics, the political class tolerates the descent into hell of our major cities wracked by violent crime. No, they want you to fight the Russians.
The political class, enabled by the toady pundits that masquerade as media, screams that we must protect freedom and liberty in Ukraine from Russian tyranny. These same cretins say nothing of the hundreds of political prisoners in the United States who are rotting in jail for the alledged crime of “insurrection.” But they had no weapons and killed no one. The only ones who died that day were murdered by Capitol Hill police. Chew on this fact–our so-called democratic Republic is holding more political prisoners in the United States than Vladimir Putin is holding in Russia.
We need to start paying attention to facts. Fact number one–Vladimir Putin is dead serious about protecting Russia from the encroachment of NATO on his Western border. Here is a snippet of Putin’s speech last night announcing his decision to send the Russian military into Ukraine:
Citizens of Russia, friends,
I consider it necessary today to speak again about the tragic events in Donbass and the key aspects of ensuring the security of Russia.
I will begin with what I said in my address on February 21, 2022. I spoke about our biggest concerns and worries, and about the fundamental threats which irresponsible Western politicians created for Russia consistently, rudely and unceremoniously from year to year. I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border.
It is a fact that over the past 30 years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries regarding the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe. In response to our proposals, we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic alliance continued to expand despite our protests and concerns. Its military machine is moving and, as I said, is approaching our very border.
Why is this happening? Where did this insolent manner of talking down from the height of their exceptionalism, infallibility and all-permissiveness come from? What is the explanation for this contemptuous and disdainful attitude to our interests and absolutely legitimate demands? … ”
If western politicians, pundits and analysts persist with the childish rant that Putin is intent on conquering the world and that this is the first step (e.g., just like Hitler entering the Sudentenland), they are making a fatal error. Vladimir Putin has the strong backing of the Russian people when it comes to national defense. Here is what the Russians see from us:
- We broke our promise to not expand NATO to the east. There are now NATO members on Russia’s border.
- We are arming the Ukrainian military with offensive weapons.
- The CIA is providing para-military training to Ukrainians believed to have ties to the neo-Nazi AZOV battalion.
- The United States has invaded Iraq twice, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, Libya, Syria, Somalia and the Balkans all in the name of defending freedom or some other interest trumped up as a deadly threat.
- The United States repeatedly refused to rule out Ukraine as a member of NATO.
This is the redline for Putin and the decision to send troops into Ukraine followed a carefully scripted legal kabuki theater–he received a formal request from the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk, he then secured the approval of the Russian legislature.
Retired Colonel Pat Lang (former Chief of the Middle East Division at the DIA) wrote a piece apologizing for being “wrong” in his analysis about what Russia would do. But I think he got it right. Pat always emphasized that Putin would not act recklessly and would pursue clearly defined military objectives. That is what the Russians are doing now. They are defanging the Ukrainian military and removing foreign military advisors from Ukraine. This is not a first step to the conquest of Europe. This was a last resort because the West insisted on making Russia into a convenient villain and ignored legitimate concerns about turning Ukraine into a western military outpost.