By Dmitry Orlov for the Saker Blog
Or maybe he, like Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz, grandson of Fritz von Scholz, SS lieutenant-general who supervised the slaughter of Jews in Poland and the Ukraine, thinks that genocide is a joke? Let’s explore…
A reader has asked me to comment on a recent post by Roberts titled “The Kremlin Has Missed the Opportunity to End the Provocations of Russia that Are Bringing the World to Nuclear War.” And so I took a look at it. At first, it made me angry, but only for a moment, because there is no possibility of actual harm from his scribbling: his unsolicited advice to “the Kremlin” will pass unnoticed and therefore unheeded. Rather, it made me sad. I used to think highly of Roberts, but now he is just another confused old man who, like our friend Brendan, has missed a perfectly good opportunity to hang it up and fade away. Mind you, I am trying to be kind and polite here.
Roberts saw it fit to write that “If Russia had hit Ukraine with a devastating conventional all-inclusive attack, the war would have ended before it started,” and, after some additional musings, that “the failure of Russia to impress the West with an overwhelming exercise of military force in Ukraine means another step has been taken toward nuclear armageddon.” And then he rambles along to “The Kremlin’s inability to be proactive and unwillingness to clear Washington’s fifth column out of Russia’s ruling circles will be the hallmarks of Russian defeat.”
Really? No, not really.
I should make no assumptions on what you or Roberts know or don’t know about the Ukraine or “the Kremlin,” so I will simply state the obvious.
There is no easily discernible difference between Russians and Ukrainians: same culture, language, religion and history. As a state, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is a failed state; as a territory, it is part of Russia. Therefore, an all-out attack on the Ukraine would be essentially an attack on Russia itself. Apparently, Roberts feels that Russians should kill millions of other Russians in order to impress the West. That’s really cute, you know, in a genocidally maniacal sort of way, but completely impossible.
The complexity of the Russian Special Operation in the Ukraine had to do with disentangling the civilian population (which needed to be evacuated) and the regular Ukrainian military (which needed to be given a chance to surrender peacefully) from the Nazi battalions (which need to either be killed in battle or captured, convicted by a tribunal and shot). That is not something that can be done quickly.
There are other, less important but still very significant reasons to take it slow:
1. There is a rather large group of Ukrainians who wanted the Ukraine to be part of Europe, not part of Russia. These are now departing Ukrainian territory, mostly to Poland, and that, from the Russian point of view, is a wonderful thing because the Ukraine isn’t Europe, it is Russia, and those who believe it is Europe or want it to be Europe should be given a chance to go to the Europe of their dreams and stay there forever, helping Europe’s general dire demographic predicament and specific shortage of white people. For this reason, it has been important to keep the Ukraine’s western border open to exiting migrants, even though this allows weapons and mercenaries to filter in (for the Russians to blow up).
2. The Europeans’ willingness to absorb millions upon millions of Ukrainian migrants, whereas they balked at accepting anywhere near similar numbers of migrants from the Middle East or North Africa, exemplifies their essential racism. As it is, two-thirds of the world is either neutral or supports Russia in its effort to reclaim the Ukraine; as the message that the EU and NATO are essentially white supremacist organizations sinks in around the world, more and more countries will shift from neutral to supportive without Russia having to lift a finger to convince them. From this point of view, it is really helpful that a lot of the Ukrainians like to draw swastikas on monuments and shout Nazi slogans such as “Slava Ukraini” (of World War II Nazi collaborator vintage) and “Ukraina ponad use” (the Ukrainian version of “Ukraine über alles.”
3. Russia has a great and prosperous future as a wealthy, well-educated, civilized, vast and resource-rich country, but this future has nothing to do with Europe or the rest of the West, which are going to collapse. The fact that Russia has been rather tightly integrated with the West ever since Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg has complicated its transition away from the West and its turn eastward. Western sanctions, rampant Russophobia and the application of cancel culture to Russian culture has made this transition inevitable in the eyes of most Russians, but the process takes time. It would not be helpful if tensions with the West decreased prematurely or if anti-Russian sanctions were removed before they are made completely irrelevant. Also, the West’s unwillingness to buy Russian energy, metals, fertilizer and other essentials speeds up its collapse timeline and that, for Russia, is also a positive.
4. Immediately after Russia commenced its Special Operation in the Ukraine, much of Russia’s remaining fifth-columnists departed for other lands. They already had no impact on Russian politics, but they still exerted some amount of influence in culture and education, and their departure has been most welcome. Given the absolutely overwhelming public support for the Special Operation in Russia, those liberals who have spoken out against it have thereby excused themselves from Russian public life, making room for new talent and new blood. This is also a process that needs to run its course and should not be rushed.
5. The Special Operation has allowed Russia to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of its armed forces vis-à-vis NATO. All of the weapons that the West has managed to infiltrate into the Ukraine are either being destroyed by rocket attacks or are accumulating in stockpiles after being abandoned by retreating or surrendering Ukrainian troops. None of the obsolete Stingers, Javelins or other military junk has made much of a difference at all. There is very little of any significance that the West can do to hurt Russia’s careful and measured progress in the Ukraine. Once more, time is on Russia’s side: it will take another few months for it to register in the West that all those billions spent on aid to the Ukraine have gone into a black hole with nothing to show for it.
6. Finally, there is what Russia has to do beyond taking care of the situation in the (former) Ukraine, and that is to dismantle NATO. This will require some sort of small demonstration project: take over some small, insignificant NATO member and watch all the other NATO members run away instead of going to war against Russia over it. The myth of NATO as a defensive (as opposed to an offensive) organization would be dispelled and NATO would be no more. The demonstration country could be Lithuania, for instance: Peter the Great purchased the Baltics from Sweden for 1000 pieces of silver at the Treaty of Nystad on September 10, 1721, so it’s Russian territory. Unlike the Ukraine, which is huge, Lithuania is tiny and the entire campaign would be over in about a week. But if Finland or Sweden would like to volunteer for the role of exemplary victim by attempting to join NATO, that would be fine too. Finland’s security is guaranteed by its commitment to neutrality, based on which Russia (USSR at the time) removed its military base from Finnish soil. If Finland moves to renege on that treaty, it would forfeit its security.
Roberts seems to believe that Russia’s refusal to destroy the Ukraine with overwhelming force makes nuclear war more likely because it “gives Washington control of the explanation.” Russia’s superior position with regard to any potential nuclear provocation is subject for another article, but I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with “Washington’s control of the explanation” because how the hell would Washington explain its desire to commit national suicide over the Ukraine? The thesis that “Russia’s failure to quickly destroy the Ukraine raises the likelihood of nuclear war” is… I am grasping for a word here… stupid.