“Accidental War”

Spread the Word

by Jeanne M. Haskin

I read the latest on the Ukrainian standoff and have been seething ever since. Why? Because, last week, Ukraine’s President Zelensky begged President Biden to stop saying that a Russian invasion was imminent. Not only did it heighten tensions between the United States and Russia—people need to understand that the pressure within Ukraine must now be unbearable.

To prepare for a Russian invasion, Ukraine has already conscripted men and women of combat age, regardless of their profession. Photos were shown of secretaries, farmers, and so on training with props for weapons. So… what happens now that they’re armed? With every citizen of Ukraine hanging on by their last nerve, they will be so hypervigilant that they will fire at the drop of a pin.

A possible result? War by accident, inexperience, external hype, and Western refusal to give Russia an inch (all because Russia did the unthinkable when it defaulted on its sovereign bonds in 1998, then had the gall to refuse another IMF bailout that would have done far worse).

So what? Russia refused to be broken. Deal with it. Or don’t. I am sure that US taxpayers would rather pay for therapy than find the world at war.

It seems that President Putin would too. He is not asking to restore the post-Cold War security agreement that the West has honored only in the breach. Nor is he demanding the disarmament of former Soviet states, much less their withdrawal from NATO. He asks only that there be no new NATO members and no new armaments. The (mostly Russian) people of Crimea voted in a referendum to join Russia, and Russia accepted them, making peace with the status quo.

Now the West would like Ukraine to be the next “Yugoslavia”—its bastion against “Russian militarism and expansionism.” And this, of course, is intolerable, not to mention unworkable. No other Great Power has had its borders threatened with so little regard for the consequences. President Putin has also pointed out that Donetsk and Luhansk (collectively called Donbas) could become autonomous provinces of Ukraine and then breakaway regions that seek Russian unification (à la Yugoslavia), thereby inspiring Russian loyalists in other former Soviet states to break away as well.

Throughout, President Putin has spoken plainly. This is not something that a megalomaniac does or that the West should stupidly squander. But we are.

Particularly when President Putin told the world that Russia had “nowhere to retreat to” in the so-called negotiations that turned deaf ears on Russia’s justifiable post-Cold War grievances. I say “justifiable” because we would never put up with what Putin has in our own sphere of influence.

Let that sink in. Putin told us that Russia needed a way to be secure and that a non-NATO Ukraine would be as safe as if it were a NATO member, but Russia would not be secure if Ukraine becomes part of NATO. Russia feels that more Western influence in Ukraine is a mortal threat. To reduce this unbalanced situation, Putin asked, should Russia be expected to take on NATO? Naturally not.

Now Ukraine has fired a warning missile and this, too, could cause war by accident.

Why? Now that American troops are there, what does President Zelensky think? If there is no war and everyone goes home, will the Americans come back next time Russia threatens Ukraine? Maybe. Didn’t a Senate delegation travel to Ukraine in an open show of support? Yes, but this may change after US midterm elections.

If the tension we helped to escalate is unbearable now for Ukraine, why on earth would its citizens want to risk that again? On possibly less favorable terms?

Put this way, war by accident is not only possible but probable. And rooted in America’s sour grapes since 1998.

But you know what? We get it. The US invested massively in efforts to block and defeat the Soviet Union’s political, economic and military influence. No one in the West wants a Soviet-style resurgence, much less the terror of re-living every day at risk of Mutually Assured Destruction.

The point is that Ukraine can be expected to act in its own interests, which, contrary to US planning, does not mean that Ukraine is on the war path, although I have shown how war could happen by accident. Instead, Ukraine resents the panic created by the West, which it says is unrealistic. To quote President Zelensky from an article in USA Today:

‘Do we have [Russian] tanks on the streets? [N]o. When you read media, you get the image that we have troops in the city, people fleeing. That’s not the case.”

Meaning: we shouldn’t be there, yet we are. So apparently Western interests are spurring on Ukraine to create a window of opportunity for the West to come down on Russia with finality, once and for all. Why else would we be ratcheting up the fears of Americans as well? We saw how unbearable it was when the US needlessly blundered out of Afghanistan. Now US military intelligence is reporting that tens of thousands will die “when” (not if) Russia invades—that the war will be horrific—terrifying. Meanwhile, NATO is mustering 40,000 rapid-reaction troops, who wouldn’t dress up for nothing.

Lastly, President Biden told China that it will be “embarrassed” if it chooses to side with Russia. And that’s what this is about. The US has been counting the days to being outclassed militarily, economically, and strategically by a Russian-Chinese partnership. The US is literally racing the clock to prevent undeniable domination and, since leaping ahead is impossible, the only way to foreclose the seemingly inevitable is through massive preemptive action.

That is why the US is pedantically building its case and frightening Ukraine, which it expects to bear the blame, should there be “accidental war.”

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2082022-the Ukrainian Standoff Continues – Jim's Blog
9 months ago

[…] link to “Accidental War” – FEBRUARY 6, 2022 – by Jeanne M. Haskin – the Ukrainian Standoff  […]