Saturday, January 14, 2023

Europe & Russia's Tortured History

Since Roman times and the beginning of the city state and eventually nation states,  Europe and Russia have suffered countless wars over control of the land and resources.  The result has been millions of deaths.  World Wars I and II once again redrew the map of Europe, however, country boundaries have changed for a thousand or more years.  In some sense, what is happening in Ukraine is nothing new, just the latest bloody battle for land and control.  After World War II, Europeans and in particular France and Germany hoped that by creating the European Union just maybe by forging a United States of Europe it would end the constant wars.  Obviously, it has not happened.  

Ironically, in modern times it has taken the United States in essence to keep the peace in Europe.  Europeans do not get along very well because they are different cultures, religions etc. So here we are again with the United States giving Ukraine billions of dollars in weapons to defend against Russia that sees Ukraine historically as part of Russia.  United States taxpayers are funding 80% of Ukraine's defense when this war is at the doorstep of rich European countries.  There is something very wrong with this picture.  Highly doubtful it would have happened in the first place had President Trump still been in office.  

In any case, it is the failure to understand Russian history that has led us to this point.  The notion that NATO now surrounds Russia feeds their understandable paranoia.  This is a country that has suffered numerous invasions for centuries from the West and Asia.  They attempted to create a buffer zone after World War II by controlling Eastern Europe.  When the Soviet Union fell apart it was only natural for these countries to seek NATO membership as a defense against Russia.  And so now Russia is surrounded by NATO countries.  Ukraine was the last straw related to the potential for Ukraine joining NATO.  None of this is a defense of the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia; but these are the reasons it has happened.  

Russia will Never accept defeat in Ukraine.  They will destroy Ukraine either by conventional weapons or tactical nuclear weapons to force a surrender.  This whole saga is starting to feel like World War I.  It would be very easy for this local war to turn into a World War.  President George Washington warned of foreign entanglements.  President Eisenhower, the General that defeated the NAZI's in World War II warned of the Military Industrial Complex in the United States that obviously benefits from numerous foreign wars.  Sadly, feckless Joe Biden is not up to dealing with the mess in Ukraine.  

We need new thinking to stop the fighting in Ukraine.  Russia should be invited to join NATO because China is the big threat we must face.  Perhaps if Russia was a member of NATO, we could end this war in Ukraine.  Clearly, something must be done because the direction we are going will not end well.  Europe and Russia's tortured history has reared its ugly head again in this century.  When will we learn the lessons of history.  I guess Never.  

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