Early into the war in the Ukraine I got into a few heated arguments. I was told by a relative that my views on the matter are “incomprehensible and unacceptable.” Our conversation ended in a shouting match. Not unlike the ones about Covid. The point of these discussions is always, somehow, about morality and the vehement emotions in support of that moral conviction.
Just like with all the Covid discussions, the views are polarized, moralized and emotionalized. The things that are missing from all of them are nuance, logic and knowledge on one side and often too much (bordering on speculation) on the other, making reasonable discussion practically impossible.
In the case of the Ukraine war, I tried to make the point that I also look at it in moral terms, that I am also outraged, that I also find the support of subversion, interference and outright intervention in the affairs of a sovereign nation “incomprehensible and unacceptable,” but I had a feeling that my points fell on deaf ears. So here I am, trying to summarize my views, my puzzlement, and the foundation of my moral outrage.
Because this is a question of morality indeed.
Most people I meet expressing an opinion on the subject know next to nothing about Ukrainian history, geography, ethnic composition, economy, past and recent political conflicts etc. It is a complex place with many details, festering past conflicts and conflicting aspirations for the future. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Ukraine is a very new country. It never existed as a truly independent nation state before 1992.
It is the birthplace of today’s Russia (The Kiev Russ) and it has a long and complicated history with the Russians.
- The present borders of Ukraine were drawn, then changed a few times by the soviets.
Ethnic enclaves of Poles, Hungarians, Rusyns, Romanians and Romanies were attached to Ukraine in 1918. The Crimea was given to it in 1954. Russian are the largest minority in the Ukraine and an overwhelming majority in many regions.
- The Ukrainians have a checkered history in their relations with their ethnic minorities.
- A significant number of Ukrainians have understandable animosity toward Russians, as they blame them, Russians, not just communists for the Holodomor (mostly in the Western, Ukrainian majority parts).
- They also have a dark history with fascism. The Banderites were more cruel and ferocious exterminating Jews than the Germans.
- After gaining their independence in 1991, Ukrainians went through the same post communist adjustment pains as the rest: former communists turning into kleptocrats and oligarchs; poverty, high levels of corruption, but most importantly, no capital for business development and no real expertise in business management.
- The cold war did not end with the fall of communism, it just morphed into a strange mixture of American imperialism, Western (mostly liberal) cultural domination, and globalist led philantro-capitalism, each sucking the lifeblood out of whatever was left behind by the communists.
- George Soros established outposts for his “philanthropic” organizations even before the independence of Ukraine was declared. He never stopped meddling ever since.
- The CIA did not miss a beat either in switching from fighting the communists to treating any Russian regime as the reincarnation of their old enemy.
- Politically and culturally Ukraine is divided, more-or-less along the two sides of the Dnieper.
The Western part wants to be culturally and economically Western, the Eastern part wants to stay closer to its Slavic roots. The Western part wants European integration, the Eastern one does not.
- The CIA never stopped its subversive meddling in the Ukraine. That meddling led to the 2005 Orange revolution. The Western backed and groomed candidate lost, the result was challenged, another vote was called and the Western backed candidate won.
- The globalists must have been asleep at the time of the presidential election in 2010, when Yanukovych won again. The problems started when he tried to balance the nation’s interests between the opportunities presented by an alignment with the East or the West, the EU or Russia. In the end, he decided that the future of the country will be better served by a trade agreement with Russia than by pursuing EU membership which came with far too many strings attached.
The association agreement Yanukovych was supposed to sign was designed to sneak NATO rules in through a back door.
- When, eventually, the democratically elected President (Yanukovych) said no to the EU and NATO, the CIA with the help of the Soros organizations staged a coup using neo-Nazi paramilitary organizations who turned the protests into bloody confrontations.
Soros was so proud of his achievement with the Maidan ‘revolution’ (a.k.a. ‘putsch’ or ‘irregular executive transfer’) that he even bragged about it later, on record.
Yanukovych never had a chance.
- The coup was straight out of the CIA cookbook, dubbed a ‘digital blitzkrieg.’ It was used in Egypt, in Georgia and even in Ukraine, in 2005.
- The fascist thugs in the Maidan ‘revolution’ were used exactly the same way their BLM, occupy, and antifa brothers were used in US politics.
- After the toppling of the Yanukovych government, the new cabinet was hand-picked by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department, while the US Ambassador was handing a “Do not prosecute” list to the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine, containing the names of all the corrupt actors under US protection.
- One of the many consequences of the coup was yet another successful referendum in the Crimea resulting in it joining the Russian Federation. The closure of this chapter was the signing of the Minsk Accord.
- The new president, Poroshenko, immediately signed the EU Association Agreement.
- US Military aid was increased by $200 million/year.
- Corruption in Ukraine turned from bad to worse. Much worse. Even the Biden family made a few millions on it. Poroshenko turned out to be the most corrupt of all, turning into such an international embarrassment, that he had to be replaced in 2019.
- After the Massive desertion of ethnic Russian soldiers in the Donbass and the refusal of the reservists to show up, NATO ‘advisers’ replaced them by incorporating all right-wing militias into the Ukrainian army.
- NATO moved into the country de facto, trained, ‘advised’ and supplied its military.
- The US also started heavily investing into bioweapon research giving grants to 26 research labs in Ukraine to do research they would have never been able to do on US soil.
- The US turned Ukraine into a vassal state and was prepping it for a proxy war.
I will skip the details that led to Zelensky as they are just as irrelevant as the person itself….
Eventually, the Russian Federation had to respond to the relentless provocations, and to expose the war crimes committed by the fascists and the Americans.
Putin did NOT start this war, Zelensky did when he first declared that he will not abide by either the Budapest memorandum nor the Minsk accord; when he publicly expressed his intention to reconquer the Crimea and ordered his army to escalate the bombardment of the Russian minority in the Donbass. Tenfold. Putin crossed the Border on the request of the duly elected representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk, after properly declaring his right to do so to the United Nations. Putin did everything by the books.
The Ukrainian army is no match for the Russians, but this is not a war between Russia and the Ukraine, but between Russia and the whole Western world, NATO and the European Union. If there ever was a proxy war, this is it.
NATO personnel is deeply embedded in the Ukrainian army, the Banderistas and the Azov battalion were trained by Americans, many of them in the US itself. The US is providing the army with intelligence they couldn’t possibly get on their own. They are given weapons that they could not have dreamed of getting on their own.
If it was just the Ukrainians they would have lost this war a long time go.
If it was just the Ukrainians, the War would not even have happened.
The war is fought dirty and on many fronts.
- The economic sanctions represent the biggest heist in history, the repudiation of the very concept of a rules-based international order. The consequences are enormous, as it may create a whole new world order, but not exactly the kind the perpetrators of this conflict are hoping for.
But I should address this in a separate post.
- The propaganda war is also quite astonishing in its scope and power. An army of media minions whipping up a frenzy in the woke mob which is ready to sacrifice millions and risk the lives of billions for a virtue signaling opportunity. These virtuous people are ready to fight the war down to the last Ukrainian soldier and building standing. It is a sacrifice they are willing to make.
The only thing they are not willing to do is to “Give peace a chance”
Calls for a negotiated settlement are slandered, derided or simply ignored.
- The propaganda war is also getting both more ridiculous and scarier by the day. Nothing can be trusted. Today’s atrocity will turn into tomorrow’s hoax. The main stream media have no credibility left.
- There are some serious war crimes happening, but they are reported in a highly unreliable manner. Atrocities attributed to the Russians have a tendency to turn out to be crimes perpetrated by the fascist militias. The claims can be ridiculous and still serve their purpose.
- The hot war is escalating by the day and it is getting less covert by the day. Talks about it going global and nuclear are also on the rise.
Russians were not properly prepared for this war. They went into it with an expectation of at least some decency, with some adherence to international norms but these seem to be too much to expect from the Americans.
What Russians want
We don’t really know what the Russians want, what we do know is that contrary to some Western media reports, Putin’s popularity went up, not down. They are clearly in support of what he is doing.
Every vocal critic of Putin seems to know exactly what he wants, while completely dismissing anything he actually says he wants. The newly created Russian Federation made it very clear in the Budapest memorandum in 1994 what they want: No NATO at their borders. They want security with guarantees.
Putin made his position clear at any opportunity he got since 2014. He has three demands:
- Ukrainian constitutional guarantees to ensure that the country will not seek membership in organizations hostile to the Russian Federation (No NATO or EU membership)
- Official recognition of the autonomous status of Donetsk and Luhansk
- Official recognition of the status of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
Reasonable demands, especially the second and the third which are based on the will of the people involved. Putin has no imperial ambitions, he never expressed any, but he made it clear that he feels responsible for the life and safety of Russian speaking people. The ones that are targeted for annihilation by Ukrainian fascists.
Besides demands, Putin gave a very clear ultimatum as well. If his demands are not met, if the war on ethnic Russians does not stop, he will have to ‘de-nazify’ Ukraine himself. No Nazis, especially not in the parliament or the government.
What Putin wants is geopolitical security assurances. The formalization of previous agreements, such as the Budapest memorandum and the Minsk Accord into a comprehensive peace treaty.
Economically, the Russians want to develop. Recognizing the fact that they are primarily a resource economy, they want to develop infrastructure so that they can exploit those resources. They have several spectacular megaprojects in progress. They are building pipelines and deep-sea ports on the North to service a planned year-round navigable trade route between Asia and Europe.
What Putin wants is international acceptance and recognitions as a major economic and political player on the world stage. Not dominant, but not subservient either. Just accepted and respected.
What Putin wants at this point and for the past several years is to talk about Russia’s needs and expectations on the world stage.
What the West wants
There is no such thing as the will of the West, but there is a bouquet of concordant and colluding interests.
“The West” in this context can mean any of the following:
The European Union, NATO, the USA, the IMF and the World Bank, the globalist, the philantro-barons and global mega corporations.
- The European Union is a failed project trying to save itself by expansion which could mask its problems a little longer.
The EU also needs more control over the natural resources it needs for its members. Full control over Ukraine would decrease their reliance on Russian sources.
- NATO wants to continue with the encircling and isolation of Russia, which it still considers to be its main geopolitical rival. NATO also wants a venue to use up their old military equipment and their ordinances so that they can be replaced with new ones. Poland, for example, was very quick to offer their old MiGs for the fight so that they can ask for new ones from America.
The US, meaning Obama and Biden, left about a hundred billion’s worth of weaponry and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that clearly did not satisfy the appetite of weapons manufacturers.
- The USA is trapped by the logic of its status of being the leading power of the planet, but also by its own pathologies of being an aging empire, of being overextended, of having their monetary dominance threatened, of the (relative) decline of their economic power, etc.
Expanding their power is risky, but apparently appealing to many. The US is also trapped by its exceedingly corrupt political system which favours the influence of socialists, globalists, and a slew of highly corrupting industrial and financial interests.
- The IMF and the World Bank thrives on failed states and they are a major source behind political changes that favour globalists and global corporations.
- The globalists of the WEF envision a world where heads of states are puppet bureaucrats that are subservient to the globalist agenda. Zelensky is a good example, fitting in perfectly with fellow clowns like Macron and Trudeau.
- Philantro-barons like Soros want to corrupt and profit from fishing in the murky waters of the chaos they helped to create.
- For the past thirty years, global corporations are in competition with the oligarchs for the control of natural resources. They need globalist governments, a globalist framework and corruptible politicians to take control of those resources in nominally sovereign nations.
The essence of this conflict is to render Ukraine open for globalist predation.
All of these interests are set against Ukraine and against Russia. They all represent some sort of colonization. None are for the benefit of Ukraine and its people. There are no higher values or humanitarian considerations in the picture.
What the Ukrainians want
Peace would be a fair guess, but not an answer. There are too many conflicting wants and interests.
The Nationalists (the Banderites, the Azov battalion, the Right Sector and their kin) want a racially cleansed Ukraine. They are far too stupid and ideologically possessed to understand that they are just tools of interests they cannot possibly control. But they are not alone. Ukrainians liberals of the Western parts yearning to become part of the ‘West’ are also deluded.
When John Mearsheimer was asked about the future of the conflict, he said:
“…Putin in my opinion is not going to quit. I don’t see the Americans quitting and I don’t think the Ukrainians have the agency by themselves to stop this one and for that reason I find it hard to see how this one comes to an end anytime soon.”
And that is the point: it does not matter what the Ukrainians want. They have no agency over their own fate. They lost it in 2005.
Zelensky may have a title, but he has no agency over the fate of his nation. He has no more actual power than he did when he was playing a president on television. He is still just playing the role, only on a somewhat larger stage.
The people of the country whose vote never seemed to mater, are voting with their feet. About six million went to the West, while over seven hundred thousand escaped to Russia.
Where the war is going
There are three possible outcomes:
- It could happen, by some miracle, that reason and decency will prevail and the parties involved sit down for some serious talks. They give Russia the security assurances it asked for in return for some assistance in rebuilding the country. Sanctions on Russia are lifted and everything returns to ‘normal’. The billions the Americans were to spend on destruction, could be used for reconstruction.
Please understand that this is a fantasy. Look again at the actors of Western interests and show me the ones with enough decency and reason that can override their short-term self-interest.
- Possibility #2 is a nuclear war. The details are too insane to contemplate and we can hope that it will not go that far.
- What is most likely to happen is the total destruction of the Ukraine, the continuations of the Zelensky puppet regime, the turning of a country with enormous potential into a wasteland just so that the interest of some corrupt scumbags can be served.
Where do we stand?
Let me make my position as clear as possible.
I believe that Russia (or Putin, if you will) is the victim, not the aggressor in this conflict.
Ever since the fall of communism, Russia made several attempts to join the West, to gain acceptance and maybe even some respect. It was snubbed on every turn.
Russia made several attempts to formalize its relations with the West with various treaty proposals. Again, it was snubbed on every turn, at times even mocked as in Hillary’s ‘reset button’ visit.
Putin did everything in his power to stave off this conflict, but yet again, he was snubbed on every turn.
Putin made it absolutely clear what his limits are and showed exceptional restraint when those limits were tested. As I said earlier: Putin did everything by the books.
The West DID NOT. What the Western powers did in the Ukraine would have been considered acts of war in any other universe.
The war that was instigated in the Ukraine by Western powers and interests represents a betrayal of the very principles Western civilization was built upon.
I have difficulties finding words to properly express my moral outrage over it. I have difficulties talking to people who are ignorant of the facts, too stupid to understand what they mean, blinded by propaganda or too lazy to think long enough to see trough the lies.
I cannot excuse these failings, as they have consequences. Beyond a certain point, ignorance, laziness and stupidity turn into a question of morality.
Anybody who is in support of this undeclared war on Russia, this shameless exploitation of the Ukraine, this endangering of the very survival of humanity by not opposing the escalation toward a nuclear war is not only dangerously stupid, but fundamentally immoral.
The only moral actions are:
- Demand an immediate cessation of hostilities
- Demand internationally mediated peace talks
- Demand an investigation of all alleged war crimes
- Demand a stop to all military aid to the Ukraine
I could make this a longer list to include the investigation of various subversive activities that led to the conflict, the investigation of corruption, the limiting or even the dissolution of NATO, the investigation and prosecution of Soros, etc., but that would go far beyond this conflict.
What’s important now is to make a stand. To make your voice heard,
Because this IS a question of morality.
Where do YOU stand?
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I am doing a little experiment with this post. First, it is much longer than my typical posts; second, it is not peppered with hyperlinks. The reason is that I have far too many references and I decided that instead of interrupting your reading, I will post them at the end with some comments.
I made many categorical statements above. I can back them all up with evidence, so feel free to challenge anything I say.
My next post is a long list of commented references to this one.
First, I don’t understand all the past history you sited, I’m not an historian. So none of it means very much to me.
Second, I don’t understand what morals can be drawn from such a complex situation.
Third, I see the situation like a failed marriage. What he did, what she did, what he said or what she said. Moral issues on all sides.
Forth, one day the husband come home, Stangles the small children and smashed his wife’s head with a hammer. The moral issues don’t mean a thing.
Fifth, A crime has been committed, the only action now is punishment.
Sixth, Putin put his troups provocatively on the boarder of Ukrain. Putin told the world he would not invade, then he sucker punched Ukrain, he lied. He has been indiscriminately slautering inosent people ever since. There is no moral issue here, he is like the husband. Guilty of war crimes.
Thanks, Terry, I love critical reviews, but I feel I must answer them in a similar vein – critically:
You may have read my words more than once, but it seems that your preconceptions and presumptions got the better of you. Maybe, you should read the post again, calmly. Every one of your points is addressed in the post and every one of them is addressed by several sources in the follow-up references post. I would encourage you explore them so that you can have a better-informed opinion.
FIRST, I am not a historian myself, but before I voice an opinion, I like to understand what I am talking about. History means a lot to me, and so it should to you.
SECOND, how about: Don’t poke the bear! Honour your treaties and international agreements! Don’t be a fascist! Do not instigate paramilitary coups in a foreign country, especially not using volatile fascist militias! Do not install puppet governments to serve your interests that are clearly contrary to the interest of the majority of the people. Do not use civilians as a shield! Do not promote terrorism and ethnic cleansing! Should I go on?
THIRD, yes, this is like a failed marriage. One that requires an understanding and fair-minded mediator, not a blood-sucking lawyer riling the parties against each-other for his own financial benefit. It is a perfect analogy. The divorce was amicable until the US, NATO, the EU started stirring the sh….tuff, revitalizing fascist militias, instigating coups and ethnic cleansing. YES, there are moral issues here, but they all point toward the side you seem to be standing on.
FOURTH, you don’t have to tell me about domestic violence. I was on the receiving end of my stepfather’s hammer. I survived to understand that these issues are not moral, but pragmatic, hence my suggestions at the end of the post. Saying that “the only action now is punishment” means more war, more death, more suffering for the Ukrainian people. I want a cease-fire, negotiations, justice and a permanent, international agreement binding to all parties.
…and yes, I happen to think that my position is the decent one.
FIFTH, many crimes have been committed. Every single one I know of, has been committed by Ukrainians, starting with the general practice of using civilians as a human shield. There is a section in my second post with evidence of the many crimes from many sources.
SIXTH, there was no sucker punching here. Biden announced the start of the war two days before it started. How did he know? Simple: Zelensky announced publicly, that he will not abide by neither the Budapest memorandum nor the Minsk Agreement. (Pesky history again)
At the same time, Zelensky ordered the Azov battalion (those are the repurposed fascist militias) to increase their bombardment of the ethnic Russians in the Donbass – TENFOLD! – to provoke a Russian response. How did they know that Putin will respond? Simple: Putin stated several times that he will not stand by to watch the genocide of his people. His help was requested by the governments of Donetsk and Luhansk. He dully notified the United Nations invoking his right to help them under article 51 of the charter of the United Nations. READ IT!!!
As I said in the post, Putin did everything by the books.
You should really stop believing everything you hear in the mainstream media. They are lying to you.
What concerns most critics of Russia is the apparent ill-treatment of Ukranian citizens. That is a legitimate criticism.
But I think Putin’s move into Ukraine is understandable and may have been inevitable.
Early Warning Report, my favourite investment newsletter, provided me with a couple of perspectives on this situation. First, Russia has been invaded many times over the centuries and wants buffers between it and its enemies. This war could have been prevented if the “West” had told Zelensky to agree to the Budapest memorandum and the Minsk Agreement.
Second, Maybury explained Westphalia, the 1555 and 1648 treaties that said no nation could invade another unless the other was a clear and present danger to them. “… Clinton’s attack on Serbia and Bush Senior’s attack on Iraq were precedents replacing Westphalia with a more primitive Roman one.” They provided the precedent for Putin to invade the Crimea and the Ukraine.
I have found that the best way to avoid shouting matches, especially when you should be expecting them, is to ask if they were aware of some fact, one that might change their perspective on the situation. If they don’t accept your fact, give them the references.