Astonishing: the president of one of the most corrupt countries in the world lecturing Western parliamentarians while they give him a standing ovation. Even by today’s standards of deceit, the elevation to the status of champion of freedom of a person who has had the head of his country’s democratic opposition arrested, closed the opposition’s media and banned the activities of eleven opposition parties is astounding.
We seem to forget that the irresponsible Ukrainian government could have avoided this conflict but refused to do so: a week before the brutal Russian invasion the German Chancellor asked Zelensky to declare his country’s neutrality and renounce NATO membership, reasonable conditions to which the Ukrainian leader (i.e. the US) refused. Since after the conflict Ukraine will have to accept both, the sacrifice of the Ukrainian people will have been futile. While the Ukrainian president is trying to drag us into the World War III and, with his neat staging of three-day beard and military-style green T-shirt, is full-time dedicated to win the battle of propaganda among the Western public opinion (something irrelevant for Putin, who had it lost anyhow without invading anyone), the Russians are dedicated to achieve most of their military and strategic objectives.
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, said Santayana, especially in the face of a war in which we may not be able to know the truth, but we can apply logic. For example, the US claims that a “cornered” Putin may use chemical or nuclear weapons (so why do they corner him?). However, logic dictates to us that dirty weapons are used by the loser (and Russia is winning) and that, before using them, other modes of destruction that have not taken place would have been exhausted, such as shutting off gas to Ukraine, razing its grain fields, destroying its infrastructure, leaving Kiev without electricity and running water, or reducing it to rubble by carpet bombing (an Anglo-Saxon invention, by the way). In fact, the American press revealed a few days ago that the alleged threat of chemical warfare was only a disinformation campaign by the US government and that there was no intelligence evidence whatsoever that Russia was going to use them. According to the same source, the same would apply to Putin being supposedly misled by his entourage.
A healthy skepticism also leads us to avoid jumping to conclusions in the face of the horror of Bucha, which must be investigated to the end. It just does not seem logical that Russia, which dominated the area and calmly abandoned it after announcing its retreat days in advance, would leave behind evidence of a massacre of civilians with all the corpses arranged in a street. Of course, the Russians are very capable of doing such carnage and HRW has accused Russia of war crimes (one rape and seven civilians summarily executed up to March 14th),but it may also be a false flag operation (yet another one) by the Ukrainians, who have been accused of torturing Russian prisoners of war, according to HRW, and even executing them. That a video and photos provided by one of the contenders are enough for Western public opinion to draw conclusions indicates how easy it is to manipulate us. First we sanction and then, maybe, we investigate, right? We don’t know how many civilians have died, or who killed them, or when, or how. War is always a horror, but it is not the same for civilians to die as collateral damage in armed clashes as it is for them to be executed in cold blood by Russian soldiers. If the investigation runs its course, we will know who the culprit is, and if it is not investigated at all, we will deduce who it was.
Likewise, we could apply logic to find out who is obstructing humanitarian corridors in besieged cities. Cui prodest? Who benefits from it? The Russians encircle and attack the cities because Ukrainian fighters have taken refuge in them avoiding open field clashes and de facto using their population as a human shield. So, who is interested in preventing civilians from leaving the area, the besiegers, who cannot shell at will, or the besieged, who benefit from that very fact? Who prevents hostages from a bank robbery from leaving the bank, the robbers or the police who have them surrounded? It is the weak who take hostages, and I think it is significant that Ukraine accuses the International Red Cross of “working for the enemy” for facilitating the voluntary evacuation of civilians from Mariupol (a majority Russophile city in Donetsk) to Russia.
Taking the global view
The war on Ukrainian soil is a conflict between the US (the provocateur) and Russia (the aggressor). A factor that adds complexity and is often overlooked is that Ukraine, engaged in a civil confrontation of varying intensity and independent only since 1991, is a non-nation within a more or less artificially created State. These are not Putin’s inventions: the unsuspicious Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a staunch anti-communist survivor of the Soviet Gulag, denounced in 1994 “the false Leninist borders of Ukraine, with Crimea as a dowry offered by the despot Khrushchev“.
The proximate cause of the war has been NATO’s unnecessary eastward expansion despite constant warnings from Russia and Western experts that a Ukraine belonging to NATO posed an “existential threat” to Russia. The Russians may be paranoid, but they are not the only ones: the US Defense Intelligence Agency considers the Russian military (even if it does not leave Russia) “an existential threat to the US“.
The US is not only defending its hegemony but its economic interests, for almost all US wars since 1991 have had a religious component in the name of that god called money. Thus, one of the US objectives in pushing Russia into war was to derail the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which would allow Russia to supply gas to Europe without passing through Ukraine and would bind Eurasia’s peaceful trade ties more closely together. Let us remember that the US views Europe with condescension, as a distant relative come to grief, but also as a competitor, like Russia. So, Biden first gets us into the mess and then sells us American LNG, much more expensive than Russian gas, and nobody asks any questions?
Western fine diplomacy
Under the baton of the US, the West is bent on prolonging the war with an unprecedented rhetorical escalation. The French Economy Minister declared “total economic war on Russia”, a US Senator and Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister called for Putin’s assassination and Biden called the Russian autocrat a killer, a war criminal and a butcher. This stands in contrast with an interview with Trump in 2017. When a journalist spat at him that Putin was a “killer”, Trump did not flinch: “There are a lot of killers…. Why do you think our country is so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done…remember the Iraq war…a lot of people died, so, believe me, there are a lot of killers around”. Naturally, no journalist asks Biden if he believes the Saudi crown prince is a “killer” despite the fact that the CIA openly accuses him of having approved the “heinous murder” of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, exiled for denouncing the actions of the Saudi dictator and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body was sawed and dismembered on the spot, but the case is not touched because “the risk of damaging American interests is too great”, according to the New York Times. Foreign policy is not about defending values but interests, and Ukraine is no exception.
The senseless warmongering rhetoric is incompatible with the de-escalation we desperately need and is leading us to a new Cold War that will not confront NATO against an oppressive Warsaw Pact, but a twilight West (15% of the world population) against a resurgent East (the remaining 85%), and it will be the West that will be gradually isolated from the rest of the world. From globalization to autarky.
Is anyone in the West taking note of what is happening? The Indian government, after announcing that it will continue to buy Russian oil and that it may do so in rubles, cancels the visit of a group of British parliamentarians who were going to mess around about Ukraine, but receives the Chinese Foreign Minister instead on that same day. Turkey and Brazil say publicly that they will not sanction Russia, Saudi Arabia announces that it will accept yuan instead of dollars for part of the oil it sells to China, and China states that “everyone knows” who provoked the war in Ukraine, in direct reference to the US. Countries representing more than half of the world’s population do not support sanctions against Russia.
Governments blamed “covid” for the 2020 recession, but it was not true: the recession was not caused by the virus, but by the absurd, illegal, harmful and sterile measures taken by the various governments. Similarly, the worsening of inflation and the huge economic crisis in the making is not mainly the responsibility of the Russian invasion, but of the sanctions whimsically taken by the US and its obedient European “partners”, despite the fact that the track record of sanctions (Cuba, Venezuela or Iran) shows that they are a resounding failure: regimes do not fall, people suffer unjustly and the world balance suffers.
I sympathize with those who defend that the flagrant violation of international law through the use of violence that the Russian invasion has entailed cannot go unpunished, but the reactions must be proportionate, law-abiding, effective and surgical, and in no case self-harming. As we shall see, they have been just the opposite.
First of all, the restriction on the import of raw materials from one of the world’s main exporters has aggravated the stubborn, pre-existing inflation problem and has pushed up the cost of fuel, electricity, fertilizers and food. Inflation is all the more dangerous because central banks cannot raise interest rates as they should, trapped in a cul de sac of their own making. Do not forget that for rich countries the increase in the price of bread is an inconvenience, but in poor countries it can mean the difference between life and death, and it is not for nothing that international organizations have warned of a possible famine.
Secondly, the US State Department warmongers who play Napoleon do not understand that in a globalized world any sanction has a boomerang effect. Playing at sinking the ruble (something in which they have so far failed, as it has recovered all of its previous losses) is dangerous, as was demonstrated with LTCM and the 1998 default of a then much more irrelevant Russia, which nearly sank the world financial system.
On the other hand, having governments “freeze” assets without a court ruling and without the accused having been able to defend himself is a clear attack against the rule of law and against private property, and creates a dangerous precedent. The freezing of Russian reserves abroad means the demise of the international financial system based on trust and, among other pernicious effects, will empty the West of reserves from Eastern countries, particularly China, and will contribute to the loss of the dollar as a reserve currency, since the East has taken note that rules and private property are no longer respected in the West. Equally serious are sanctions against individuals who have not been accused of any crime, even if they are certainly sinister oligarchs. It is unacceptable that a government can prevent at will a citizen from disposing of his property because he belongs to a certain nationality or because of who his friends are. This abuse of executive actions without judicial support is yet another sign of the totalitarianism that is descending upon us in the West, with no one protesting.
But the big loser of all this will be Europe, which will understand too late that it cannot obey the US, wagging the tail with dog-like fidelity, when their interests clearly diverge. China and India are densely populated countries with few resources, while Russia is sparsely populated and has lots of resources. It is therefore only natural for them to do business. Thus, in a world of scarce resources that Europe has no surplus of, what we are achieving is driving Eurasia’s main reservoir of natural resources, which was eager to trade with us, into the arms of the East. The US doesn’t care, but for us it is sheer suicide. Is it so difficult to understand that the German government’s duty was to defend the interests of the German people, which obviously included obtaining cheap Russian gas through the pipeline, and not to adopt an aggressive attitude towards an important trading partner with which it had no conflict whatsoever? Germany’s bizarre U-turn from kicking Russia out of Eurovision’s song contest to announcing that it would send missiles to kill Russian soldiers has meant Germany’s economic suicide, its third defeat at the hands of the US and the sad realization that, despite appearances, it is still an occupied country. In the same way, the duty of the Spanish government was to defend the interests of the Spanish people, but it has also decided to sacrifice us committing suicide with Germany and defending American interests, with Ukraine and with the Sahara.
The senseless escalation of the West may provoke an economic, financial and humanitarian crisis of unforeseeable consequences. They are leading us into the abyss, once again.
 Inside the Power Struggle Breaking up Russia and Ukraine | Time
 Zelensky suspends 11 Ukrainian political parties with Russian ties | The Times of Israel
 Vladimir Putin’s 20-Year March to War in Ukraine—and How the West Mishandled It – WSJ
 The U.S. is using declassified intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn’t rock solid (nbcnews.com)
 Ukraine: Apparent War Crimes in Russia-Controlled Areas | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)
 Ukraine: Apparent POW Abuse Would Be War Crime | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)
 Video appears to show Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian soldier captured in an ambush outside Kyiv, New York Times reports (yahoo.com)
 Vereschuk accused the Red Cross of cooperation with Russia (strana.today)
 El Problema Ruso al Final del s. XX, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Ed. Tusquets, 1995.
 Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment – 2021 > Defense Intelligence Agency > Speeches and Testimonies (dia.mil)
 «Faut-il mener une “guerre économique” à la Russie ?» (lefigaro.fr)
 Luxembourg Foreign Minister Calls Putin “Physical Elimination” Remarks A Mistake (chronicle.lu)
13] Biden says ‘killer’ Putin will ‘pay a price’ for election meddling – YouTube
 President Biden slams Putin calling him a ‘war criminal’ – YouTube
 Republicans slam Trump for suggesting US as bad as ‘killer’ Putin – YouTube
 Saudi Prince Approved Khashoggi’s Death, U.S. Report Says – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 The Third Anniversary of the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi – United States Department of State
 Saudi Prince Approved Khashoggi’s Death, U.S. Report Says – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 Trending news: UK PM Talks To Modi: Modi refuses to bow down to British pressure! UK delegation’s visit to India canceled amid Ukraine war – Hindustan News Hub