It was perfectly legitimate to criticise the Vietnam War, it almost developed into a popular movement over the years. And it was also right and proper to criticise George Bush and the wars in Afghanistan and, above all, Iraq. Even the wars in Libya and Syria can be questioned, there is nothing strange about that. After all, we are peace-loving people?
In the Iraq war alone, between 150,000 and a million people died, depending on the source. Hundreds of thousands dead because of suspected weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist. A cause of war that was criticized even before the war began. A lie, pure and simple. If the Russians had killed as many in any war, the media would be talking about it around the clock.
But the war in Ukraine is somehow sacred. NATO’s involvement and the arms shipments to Ukraine cannot be questioned, then you are a Russian bot or Putin lover.
Few world leaders advocate peace talks and de-escalation. Instead, they fan the flames of conflict, promising to send even more weapons.
Has the world gone mad?
Yes, but it’s different this time, is the common response; we must stop Putin’s aggression and imperialist ambitions.
Ok, admittedly it is the US that has started most wars in modern times. But sure, Putin may have such ambitions, who knows? But anyway – wouldn’t it be better to have a truce and peace talks? After all, the Russians are slowly taking more and more ground, and above all, the Ukrainian army is shrinking considerably. While Europe has an energy problem because of the sanctions, a situation that is rapidly developing into a larger economic crisis.
Why is no one waving the white flag?
Perhaps it’s because the West has painted itself into a corner? They have seriously underestimated the Russian military. The limited special operation has swelled, and the Russians have expanded their forces into a full-fledged army of occupation. It didn’t look that way at first. They were much more cautious, not knocking out power grids or infrastructure, but concentrating mostly on military targets. The effort was limited to scaring the Ukrainians to the negotiating table.
As with any war against Russia, it is a war against time. Once the Russians have mobilised, and directed their industries towards military production, then the situation becomes increasingly difficult for the other side. It is, after all, a country with a space programme, nuclear bombs – and clean subways.
Perhaps they thought the Russians would tire of it? And that the Ukrainians would somehow win the war. Unclear how.
NATO can’t go to the negotiating table now, they’ve flushed that option down the toilet, to put it mildly. The two Minsk agreements – which would guarantee that Donetsk would not be shelled, as well as the right to use the Russian language and some autonomy – were not honoured. Senior Western leaders, even Merkel, have publicly declared since the outbreak of war that they never intended to abide by the agreements, but only to buy time.
So, the Russians will certainly not want to sign any more worthless papers, which mean nothing. They have learned their lesson, and will continue to grind on with the war until the other side gives up. Moreover, the war has become existential in nature, partly because of the exclusion from the Western economy and partly because of the intolerance of NATO nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil, so close to Moscow and the Russian heartland.
And since Western guarantees (demonstrably) mean nothing, the Russians themselves must ensure that Ukraine is demilitarised and no longer poses a threat. Fairly logical from a Russian perspective, if you bother to put yourself in their shoes.
It is a deeply sad story; we Europeans are so fond of killing each other, instead of building on the Western civilisation that has also done so much good and achieved remarkable progress. The war in Ukraine is pointless and unnecessary, and could be ended this minute if the will was there.