by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker blog
I am not here to write about historic, strategic and military details pertaining to the issues surrounding the Ukraine crisis. Apart from those fabricating Hollywood material, there are many excellent analysts covering these areas competently.
But as a Syrian/Lebanese, within my limited capacity, I have a duty to show support and reciprocate Russia’s support to Syria where it is due and, in this case, it is as it is one that is based on truths and moral issues that cannot be overlooked, even if Russia did not support Syria at all.
What I want to discuss is the justification and morality of self-defence.
War is a heavily-loaded word, a word that implies man killing man, humanity fighting humanity, armies pillaging nations, creating orphans and widows, refugees, sex slaves, destroying civilizations, economies, beautiful ancient architectural icons and a whole hoard of other atrocities that often are never repaired or resolved.
But there are wars and there are wars.
One cannot place the actions of the USA’s invasion of Iraq in the same basket as that of resistance against Nazi occupation.
People, and nations, have the right of self-defence. Self-defence is not an act of aggression. It is an act to prevent further aggression.
Not surprisingly, when the rules of the jungle prevail, just like in La Fontaine’s fables, aggressors on one hand conjure up for themselves the justification to kill, and on the other hand, they vilify the victims of their aggression when they try to exercise their right of self-defence.
The USA has been engaged in wars ever since WWII ended. Beginning with the Korean War, the West moved the theatre to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq I and Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria; not to mention other smaller wars. In reality, there was never ever any justification for any of them and the national security of the United States of America was never under threat by any of those much pooper and much less equipped nations.
What is ironic is the fact that even though the odds were always in favour of America, and this is an understatement, America never won any of those wars. Some cynics argue that America’s objectives were not about winning wars but about leaving mess and destruction behind. Whilst I partially agree with this sentiment, I cannot accept that America has intentionally invaded Iraq to hand it on a silver platter to Iran any more that it invaded Taliban’s Afghanistan to hand it back to the Taliban. Those who believe that America has always been successful in achieving its target of havoc seem to give it more kudos than it deserves. I genuinely believe that America has been a total failure and that its performance as the world’s self-appointed custodian of the post WWII era had been abysmal to put it mildly.
Perhaps America could be excused for it actions during the hot Cold-War era. It was a period of uncertainty, fear, and what was behind the ‘dreaded’ ‘Iron Curtain’ left little surprises to be desired.
But, using American administration rhetoric, with the dismantling of the USSR this hot-cold War era was also supposed to cease.
Contrary to the commonly-held belief in the West, America did not win the Cold War. The Cold War ended when Gorbachev negotiated with Raegan the terms of disengagement. https://sputniknews.com/20190402/gorbachev-nato-expansion-reasons-1073764558.html
The rest is history. The manner in which America broke all of its promises to never encroach into Eastern Europe, how it coaxed former Warsaw Pact nations to join NATO, how it positioned missiles close to Russian borders, how it pillaged Serbia, how it tried to create a puppet regime in Georgia in 2008, how it sponsored a coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014 putting Neo-Nazis in charge, how it bombarded the Eastern provinces for eight long years, how it reneged on the Minsk Agreements, how it refused to reach a deal on Ukraine in Jan 2022, a deal that took into consideration Russia’s legitimate security concerns, are all acts of provocation that can only lead to war; a Russian war of self-defence.
Western arrogance remains high despite the fact that Russia has clearly demonstrated red lines in Georgia and Syria. But Kiev is not Damascus. Kiev was the capital of the Russian Empire long before Texas was a state of the Union.
Furthermore, Russia is not Afghanistan or Somalia. Russia is not only a nuclear superpower, but also one with weaponry that is far more advanced than the West’s.
The Western bully has been picking on the wrong would-be adversary, and for a very long time.
What is most unbelievable about the current situation is the Western European compliance with America’s stance. Americans may well be distanced from the history and internal politics of Europe, but Germany, France, Italy and Spain must surely know better, but they are behaving in a manner as if they are either totally ignorant or extremely callous.
Puppet states of Eastern Europe should look over their shoulders and see what real support Ukraine is receiving from America after America promised Ukraine the world and then hung it out to dry.
This brings us back to the issue of drawing the line between instigating war for no reason other than imperial gain and fighting legitimately for self-defence.
The West and its media are taking the line of presenting Russia as the aggressor, portraying Putin as a crazed Tzar who wants to rebuild the USSR; not only ignoring the events of 2014 onwards, but also ignoring past and present atrocities of the West that had no justification at all.
Have we forgotten Iraq’s WMD blunder?
Russia did all it could to avert a military confrontation in Ukraine.
For eight long years, Russia refused to acknowledge the independence of the eastern provinces.
Russia continued to keep all bridges of communication with the West open in the hope of reaching an agreement to end the impasse.
Russia made it clear to America time after time, that it has red lines that cannot be crossed, including not accepting Ukraine to join NATO.
But all that America did was to ignore and continue to intimidate. When the talk about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine was flagged on Western media, it was because America had the full intention to make sure that the January 2022 Switzerland talks with Russia must fail leaving the military option alone on the table.
The actions of Russia to neutralize and de-Nazify Ukraine are acts of self-defence. Any fair and proper court of justice would attest to this, but not in the West, where media is the echo chamber of the Western globalists and the only key to the hearts and minds of people in the West who unquestionably believe what their media dishes out.
But why are some of Russians so surprised and dismayed now by the new wave of anti-Russian propaganda? Lucky enough to visit Russia a few years ago, I found myself in an alternative paradigm; not a ‘Truman Show’ little bubble, but a huge world that did what it believed was right and didn’t give a pig’s butt (excuse the French) about what the West and Western media thought and decreed.
I was able to see the so-called ‘iron curtain’, way after the USSR was no longer, but not from a Western xenophobic vantagepoint, but from a Russian one that did not seem to care much at all about the views and the attitude of the West.
It was disappointing to see Western franchises like Starbucks and McDonald’s, but Russia looked like a proud stand-alone nation that is big enough, strong enough and rich enough to dictate its own directive and destiny.
If anything, a few years later, Russia is now in a much stronger position to dictate what it wants to the old ailing West and the stronger sanctions today are not going to be any more effective than previous milder ones.
President Biden now represents the West in many more ways than one. Not only he is meant to be the leader of the so-called ‘Free World’, but at his old age, a mental state that borders dementia, he represents the global hemisphere that has lost its technical edge and rationality; not to mention economic clout.
It is very sad that the once developed West that paved the rest of the world in technology and innovation has put its leadership under the hands of short-sighted impotent leaders like Biden, Merkel (formerly), Johnson and Macron. Those weak and shortsighted leaders are pushing the West into the corner of cultural suicide.
They represent the political legacy that led to the exodus of Western manufacturing base.
They are the legacy that destroyed family values, cultural values as well as moral values.
They are the ones forcing Russia to create an alternative global power with China; the West’s main and primary competitor.
But the problem with Western political leaders is that they are not serving their own people; they are serving their sponsors and their own profit and loss statements.
Nations are not corporations, and the corporate aspect of Western political leadership is bursting its own bubble. It is not ready to confront the challenges of either Russia or China, let alone both of them combined. The West continues to live in the euphoria of a bygone era in which it had the upper hand by way of being a leader in technological advances and manufacturing which are the basic foundations for strong economies. It has lost its technical edge, placing itself in a conflict it can neither win, let alone be able to fight.
The West needs to learn to accept humility as a desired value. For the sake of humanity as a whole, it needs to learn this lesson before its obstinance and arrogance leads the world into further and deeper wars and disasters.