The loss of lives of soldiers in the Ukraine war is horrific. We don’t know how many are dying, but nobody doubts the number is terrifying high. A recent study gives us a glimpse of what is going on. It shows that 63% of the Ukrainians respond that they have at least one close relative or friend who died, 78% if we include the injured. This is insane. The US, NATO and EU say this should continue for “as long as it takes”. Do they have a good reason for letting this bloodbath continue?
Most of the European and North American left considers itself as guardians of universal rights and values. They are campaigning for sanctions and – if needed – military intervention against countries or “regimes” that are not living up to these universal standards, and they expect their governments, the US, EU and NATO to carry out the necessary punitive measures to enforce the standards. They haven’t noted that this is no longer possible. It is imperial overreach.
The mainstream thinking in the West is that Ukraine and NATO are winning the war. So the main discussions is how a desperate, defeated Russia will act. You know, wounded animals are dangerous. But what if – hypothetically, of course, against all the clever military expert opinions – it is the other way around? How will NATO react to being defeated in Ukraine? Will it be total war?
Sometimes you wish you were wrong. In an article on this website around two months before Russia invaded Ukraine, I predicted that war was the most likely outcome, as US and NATO had clearly stated they didn’t accept Russia’s “red line”: the demand that NATO stop its eastward expansion. I asked whether NATO believed the Russians were bluffing, or whether they had decided to throw Ukraine under the bus. Unfortunately, it seems the decision was to sacrifice Ukraine.
To Russia’s demand for a stop for NATO’s eastward expansion, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has answered that Russia has no say in which countries are becoming members of NATO, a viewpoint that has been repeated by the G7 countries, warning that there will be “massive consequences” for Russia if it intervenes in Ukraine. So Russia’s “red lines” have been rejected, well knowing that this may mean military conflict. What is contradictory is that by defending Ukraine’s right to NATO membership, NATO actually risks throwing Ukraine under the bus. So has NATO decided to sacrifice Ukraine? Or are the Russians bluffing and NATO calling the bluff?
Russia's risky decision to get directly involved in the Syrian civil war has been met with furious protests from the Western powers. BBC reports that NATO has urged Russia to end air strikes "on the Syrian opposition and civilians". But who is it that we want to defend against the Russians bombing raids? Are they the long sought for “moderate secular” opposition forces, which now are being destroyed by the Russian raids? Hardly.
Real revolutionaries do not just seize power. They also break down the existing power structure of the state and construct a new one from scratch, substituting the old administrators with people from the revolutionary movement, expecting in this way to get rid of not only all the people from the old system, but also all the old ideas. This was the recipe for the October revolution in Russia in 1917. And this is the recipe that NATO has been using today. In Iraq. In Libya. In Syria. This seems to have been be very good for NATO – it has never looked stronger. But is it good for us?