The West has made known its intention to prolong the war and pile on the agony through its proxy, Ukraine until Russia is defeated and humiliated. That has been the aim behind NATO’s huge investment of money and effort over the last decade: to bring about regime change and then train and equip Ukrainian troops for battle.
Yep, war is a wonderful thing and thanks to this carefully created Ukraine ‘opportunity’ the arms industry is enjoying a bonanza. Britain’s largest engineering company, BAE Systems, has an order backlog of £59 billion as demand for its weapons, ammunition and military equipment soar in the rush by countries to bolster their defences. And think how brilliantly the American military-industrial complex is doing – that’s what really matters to the US of course.
Is the war worth the ‘prize’? What is the prize, exactly?
All this time, as far as I’m aware, the UK Parliament has not accurately briefed on Ukraine and the background to the war, nor has the Government come clean with taxpayers whose money is being used to cause even more bloodshed.
Some of us remember the last cold war with Russia – civil defence, national service, nuclear bunkers, alerts, constant fear of being ‘nuked’, continuous NATO exercises, and the huge expense of it all. It wasn’t much fun then and will be even less fun now with the cost-of-living crisis and grinding poverty added. And this time it could turn into a hot war since we’re belligerently arming Russia’s enemy and making ourselves a target.
Maybe we’re supposed to accept that all this human misery is deemed ‘worth it’ for the prize of plundering Ukraine’s rich resources, which many suspects is the West’s (or at least America’s) true motive. But please let’s not pretend it’s a fight for democracy. The UK, US and EU governments are happy for other countries to be oppressed, illegally occupied, denied self-determination and have their resources stolen and inhabitants slaughtered (e.g. Yemen and Palestine). We actually revel in being implicated in these crimes because the perpetrators are “friends and allies” of our Westminster élite – though not, I suspect, of the British public.
As to who is the aggressor in the Russo-Ukraine war, we’re invited to remember only as far back as last February and Russia’s “unprovoked” invasion. But try going back to 2014 and the US-sponsored Maidan Revolution which removed the pro-Russia government in Kiev and replaced it with a fiercely anti-Russia administration aligned with US strategic aims. Then consider what followed – the training and equipping of Ukrainian troops by the US, ourselves and other Western allies, preparing them for battle and treating them as a NATO force albeit without formal membership.
In 2020 Jens Stoltenberg, General Secretary of NATO was pleased to announce:
“We have increased our presence in the Black Sea region… We have increased our cooperation with our two valued partners, Ukraine and Georgia.”
So Ukraine, with its history of unstable government and corruption, and mired in civil war since the failure of the Minsk peace accords, has been a NATO asset for some 9 years. How could this be seen by Russia as anything other than a deliberate move to instal NATO weaponry right on their doorstep?
In the meantime, the unresolved struggle between Ukrainian forces and Russian-speaking regions of the Donbas who want self-government has continued. Zelensky was elected in 2019 on a pledge to end the internal conflict but has done the opposite. His ultra-nationalist forces, lavishly prepped by America and its NATO allies, continued to repress Donbas. This eventually became Russia’s excuse to invade.
After a whole year of devastation and bloodshed, there’s no sign of a sensible peace move and no (audible) demand for one in Westminster. Our politicians seem to prefer gung-ho escalation, which means even more destruction, more thousands – possibly millions – killed or mangled, and many more millions displaced.
And who will pay for rebuilding Ukraine at an estimated cost of $750 billion? Will Westminster approve eyewatering contributions when we cannot afford to run our own essential services properly?
Time for an honest and critical look at NATO
Assuming the US and its NATO allies finally beat Russia to a frazzle and reduce the Kremlin’s nuclear capability to zero, how will they then win the peace and repair the damage done to international relationships in that part of the world? It will take generations, just as it’s doing in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other places they’ve interfered with.
And what happens to all those high-tech weapons Zelensky demanded and received? Will Western countries ever get them back, or will Ukraine end up the most powerfully armed nation in Europe with a comedian in charge?
Aren’t we slightly nervous about Ukraine’s reputation for shady arms dealing and the possibility that much of the lethal hardware that was originally ours will end up on the Used Tank market for Isis and co to snap up and use against us? It doesn’t take a 5-star general to figure out that this monster giveaway of advanced weapons (and their technology secrets) reduces our own defence capability to an uncomfortably low level. So whose bright idea was it to make us so vulnerable?
And will the promises we make to Putin (if he’s still alive and in charge by then) be worth any more than the pack of lies we told Gorbachev in 1990 when he was assured – as part of the deal allowing the reunification of Germany within the NATO alliance – that NATO would never expand any further eastwards?
And will Ukrainian Forces be permitted to carry on bombing, shelling and killing their own people in the Donbas as soon as their protector – Russia – is brought to its knees?
As for NATO, when are we going to receive an honest appraisal of this war machine’s past performance and future purpose? And how will NATO’s warmongers compensate all those Ukrainian civilians who have sacrificed their homes, their husbands, their businesses and livelihoods, and their very country on the altar of NATO expansionism? NATO’s expectation to encroach on whoever’s territory they please is clear enough, and we can guess at the Kremlin’s ambition to recreate its former empire. I wouldn’t like to say which side is worse.
Meanwhile, it seems to me, the players in this latest grand tragedy including Biden, Zelensky, Johnson, Truss, Sunak, Macron, Scholz and of course, Putin, deserve no praise whatsoever. They have made the world a much more dangerous place. And they glory in it.
©Stuart Littlewood, 28 February 2023
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, he has produced two photo-documentary books – Paperturn-view.com.
Also, check out Stuart’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper. It tells the plight of the Palestinians under brutal occupation and explains to me why the Zionists who control Israel should be brought before the International Criminal Court.
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