Let me say up front that I think Russia should keep its aggressive designs off of Ukraine. Putin should back down and leave the Ukrainians alone.
Let me also say, even more strongly: But so should NATO!
Back in the 1980s, when the Soviets were trying to establish a foothold in Nicaragua, the US, led by Ronald Reagan, said no, we will not permit that. This is in our own backyard. Soviet missiles placed so close to the US is an intolerable threat — just as we had done in the Cuban missile crisis. Even though Nicaragua was a sovereign nation led by a pro-communist government, it was an intolerable national security risk to allow that country to fall into the Soviet sphere of influence.
It’s the same way with Ukraine. No, actually it’s different. Ukraine is right on Russia’s border. The simile would be more accurate if the Sandinistas had gained control of Mexico, and were inviting the Soviets in. Look:
Again, I hate the way Putin has demonized the Ukraine patriots who want independence, but looking at it through a realist lens, I see no way that any Russian leader can allow Ukraine to become part of NATO. Besides which, unlike Nicaragua, Ukraine is historically an integral part of the Russian nation. It was the birthplace of Russian Christianity: the baptism of Prince Vladimir in 988 at Kiev was the beginning of the faith in the Russian lands.
Speaking not geographically but culturally, Ukraine is not, to Russia, as Nicaragua or Cuba is to the US. You might say it is closer to New England, or Texas, to the US — but in truth, there are no parallels. Ukraine is at the religious heart of the Russian nation, and has been for over 1,000 years.
This makes the cleavage between Ukraine and Russia a terrible tragedy, a fight between brothers. One can absolutely understand why the people of Ukraine hate the Russians, given what Stalin did to them. Nothing I say here should be taken as defending the way the Russians have historically treated Ukraine, or the way Moscow is treating them now. I hope and pray that this family feud will be healed.
That said, America, and NATO, should not make this worse. I think the best we and the Ukrainians can hope for is the Finlandization of Ukraine. I see no realistic sense in which Russia can allow Ukraine to become part of NATO.
Tucker Carlson last night openly said the US has no business provoking Russia in this conflict. Watch this extraordinary clip. Thank God for his voice!
The Washington War Party, though, is likely bound and determined to make the Donbass safe for Pride parades.
It does not matter whether Vladimir Putin is a bad man or not. America has no business getting involved in provoking a war over Ukraine. It is not our business. Yet the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mississippi’s Roger Wicker, actually suggested the possibility of using US nuclear weapons to defend an independent nation that has been part of Russia for many centuries, and was part of the Soviet Union until only thirty years ago.
The madness is bipartisan, as Tucker points out. These Washington warmongers are a scourge. I feel very sorry for the Ukrainians, so close to Russia, but it is not America’s role in the world to defend Ukraine, or to provoke Russia. And, after the humiliating loss in Afghanistan, what in the world makes Washington think the American people are eager to pick a fight with Russia?