By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, March 10, 2014
My good friends, there is no doubt in my mind that Ukraine has more in common with Russia than the United States and its allies in Europe banded together into the European Union and behaving as if they have any umbilical cord stuck into Ukraine that is sustaining it.
What is unfolding in Ukraine clearly reveals the far-reaching implications of the break-up of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and why its hub (Russia) is doing all it can to ensure that nothing happens there to threaten its own viability, national security, and integrity as a former superpower.
Truth be told, Russia has strategic interests in ensuring that nothing happens in its backyard to endanger its territorial integrity. That understanding undergirds the manner in which Russia is tackling the Ukrainian crisis, even if it has a vested interest in the country. After all, proximity alone suggests that Russia won’t sit down unconcerned for Ukraine to slip away to join forces with those seeking its retrogression in world affairs.
As we wait for the March 16 referendum by Crimea on whether to join Russia or not, we are given the opportunity to know how the United States and its allies in Europe are inserting themselves into the crisis, threatening Russia with sanctions (which it has pooh-poohed) and directly pushing the button toward a military solution (which will not deter Russia but spark an ugly confrontation to endanger well-being worldwide).
Some may even predict that we are gradually being pushed to the brink of a third world war!!
Clearly, by crying more than the bereaved, the United States and its allies are deceiving themselves that threatening Russia will force it to bend back and do as they wish. The situation doesn’t seem to be so, especially if we consider how the majority 60% of indigenous Russians dominating Crimea and other parts in Eastern Ukraine are bent on having nothing to do with the new Ukrainian leadership and wanting to fold themselves up in Russia’s arms.
That is why all the manouevres by the United States and its European allies seem to be more detrimental to the Ukrainian cause than the obvious agitations by those rejecting the change-over in that country.
In the latest development, we are being told that Nato jets are to be deployed in Poland and Romania (former surrogates of the USSR in the defunct Warsaw Pact) to monitor the Ukraine border.
Russia will not sit down unconcerned for such a manouevre to endanger its interests. I expect it to counteract such moves, which will pit those external forces against its own military capabilities. Russia is set to dig in and support those in Ukraine leaning toward it. After all, existing bilateral agreements seem to favour any move that Russia makes, especially on the basis of protecting its citizens in Ukraine.
The US and its European allies have no legal basis to confront Russia. Their recourse to moral grounds is self-defeatist because they haven’t demonstrated any morality in their approaches to handling international disputes.
Neither will any claim by them to be fighting against Russia be justified by any recourse to “international law” or anything bordering on non-aggression against a sovereign state. Their own records don’t support any such justification.
Thus, by inserting themselves in the Ukrainian crisis while seeking to elbow Russia out of it militarily, they are only giving credence to fears that when force is used against force, the situation will worsen all the more.
Whatever diplomatic solution might have initially appeared on the horizon has by now vanished because of the haughty and overweening manner in which the US and its European allies have approached the problem.
By warning Russia at the initial stage that it will pay a high cost and by threatening it with sanctions and cancellation of agreements on military cooperation, the US has already discredited any effort at the level of diplomacy and flexed enough of its military muscles to incite the Russians toward either retaliation or the need to gear up at the military front.
Of course, Russia isn’t afraid of the US’ military force; neither is it disadvantaged when it comes to military armaments. To prove that it is capable of exerting its influence militaristically, it immediately tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile, giving the US prior notice of its move.
The US knew of the test but couldn’t prevent it. Russia claimed that test to be a huge success and has carried out military exercises in readiness for whatever Ukraine poses. In effect, Russia is fully aware of the implications of its moves and seems ready for the consequences. It seems prepared not to relent just because the US and its allies are aggrieved at its move. It won’t even allow itself to be dictated to.
What the US and its European allies have failed to recognize at this stage is that Russia won’t tolerate any manipulation of the Ukrainian situation to give them the window of opportunity that they’ve been craving for all these years to peek into Russia’s affairs with the view to strangling Russia in any way possible.
As Russia digs in and the US and its European allies tilt more to the military option, we are given to know the extent to which world peace is being threatened. Indeed, we are already seeing something nasty in the offing. Unless reason prevails, the world may be heading for a catastrophe.
The disaster that military options used by the US and its allies have caused in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya is enough to bother about. Other storm centres exist all over the world.
It is a pity that while Syria continues to burn, those who think that they are the Godfathers of the world will continue to do things to set other fires elsewhere.
Meantime, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, continues to sleep on the job, satisfied with his perks and not wanting to do or say anything to take food out of his own mouth. Isn’t the UN dead, after all?
I shall return…
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