Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Root Cause of the Ukraine War

I believe that the Ukraine War is primarily a dispute between the USA wanting Ukraine in NATO, and Russia wanting Ukraine neutral.

I could be wrong, so I read this Quillette essay:

During a May 2022 debate on the conflict in Ukraine, John J. Mearsheimer—one of the world’s most prominent political scientists and international relations theorists—vehemently denied that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country is an imperialist war of conquest: “There is absolutely no evidence to support that argument,” he told the crowd. “There’s no evidence that he thinks that’s desirable. There’s no evidence that he thinks that’s feasible. And there’s no evidence in the public record that he’s ever said that that’s what he intends to do.” This was an odd claim in the spring of 2022 after Putin had ordered 190,000 soldiers across the border to conquer Ukraine.

These remarks were not exceptional—Mearsheimer regularly contends that the annexation of Ukrainian territory is not imperialist in nature and that Russia merely wants to address its own perfectly legitimate security concerns. ...

Mearsheimer is a foreign policy “realist,” which is to say that he is primarily concerned with how power is distributed in the international system. Realists believe that states (especially great powers) are the most important actors in that system, constantly vying to maximize their relative power in the absence of a centralized global authority. ...

Mearsheimer is fond of quoting diplomats and scholars who warned that NATO expansion was a “fateful error” (in the words of George F. Kennan). In this sense, realists see the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a form of vindication.

The essay goes on to criticize Mearsheimer in various ways. He seems to be more right than wrong to me.

It appears to me that the Biden administration wanted war with Russia. It deliberately and unnecessarily provoked Russia, and escalated the war by supplying massive amounts of weapons, carrying on an economic war, and blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline.

It is alarming how pro-war our leaders are. You might not have even heard of this anti-war protest.

Here is what Putin said in a recent speech:

1. “The U.S. has used Ukraine to prepare for a large war. They have publicly admitted that.” ...

2. “The West is guilty of escalation.” ...

3. “They [the West] want to have a strategic defeat of Russia. … It means they want to have no more, anything to do with Russia. They want to have a global resistance against Russia.”

Also, according to this tweet:
- Anglican Church plans to consider idea of gender-neutral God, they don't know what they're doing
- Russia would never yield to Western attempts to divide its society
- We'll never be like Western elites, who are engaged in witch hunts
We should try to understand Putin, even if we disagree.

Donald Trump says:

World War III Has Never Been Closer ... I was the only President who rejected ... Victoria Nuland and many others just like her ... corrupt globalist establishment ...
He is correct. No, the globalists are not all Jewish.

Ukraine is a corrupt country, and not worth risking a wider war. Andrew Joyce reports:

While it’s become commonplace to note Volodymyr Zelensky’s Jewishness, and perhaps also that of Volodymyr Groysman, the first Prime Minister to serve under Zelensky, I have yet to read a detailed discussion of the major Jewish players in the ongoing saga of Ukrainian oligarchy and its political affiliates. If anything, the present conflict is a huge distraction from the fact that, for decades, the biggest threat to Ukraine hasn’t been Russia, but financiers and speculators operating with impunity within Ukraine’s borders to exploit ethnic Ukrainians and plunder their resources.

Speaking in general terms, of course, Ukraine is an extremely corrupt country, with the culture of fraud and graft stemming in large part from the Soviet legacy and saturating all levels of society. Crooks of all ethnic backgrounds are ubiquitous in the nation. Bribery is systematic, where it’s accepted as a basic fact of life by ordinary citizens and extends even to such mundane tasks as vehicle inspection. As well as infesting politics, bribery and other forms of corruption remain endemic in the police force, higher education, health care, and the justice system, with the result that Ukraine ranks alongside some of the worst African nations in Transparency International’s assessment of corruption perception. According to 2015 data, politically connected businesses accounting for less than 1 per cent of companies in Ukraine owned more than 25 per cent of all assets and accessed over 20 per cent of debt financing. In the capital-intensive mining, energy and transport sectors, politically connected businesses accounted for over 40 per cent of turnover and 50 per cent of assets.

Far from being the beacon of freedom presented to us now by the mass media, Ukraine is a nation bankrupt in social trust and well-accustomed to the yoke of exploitation. There has been little internal outcry over the massive trafficking of its women for sex, both inside and outside the country, with coastal cities such as Odessa becoming sex tourism hubs for the worst of the Turkish and Israeli middle classes. Ukraine now has the highest adult HIV prevalence outside Africa, with sexual contact outpacing injection drug use as the primary form of transmission since 2008. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that substance abuse in Ukraine has been at epidemic proportions for the last 15 years.

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