A Christian periodical in Switzerland – I’m not even sure of its name! – requested an alternative view from me last June. But apparently my views were “too alternative”: They requested that I place a footnote after nearly every sentence. I felt this would require an undue amount of effort and suggested instead that the article include a list of 30-or-so Western specialists on the issue, which I use as my own sources. Interested parties could then do their own research. They said “no thanks”.
So I’m publishing the article here in a slightly longer form. It says nothing new or unknown, but perhaps it can serve as a refresher for some. All persons on this list are Westerners, or at least persons living and working in the West; it includes no one from the far right. All can be found on Youtube or Google.
Antiwar.com, Medea Benjamin, Brian Berletic (in Thailand), Max Blumenthal, Robert Bridges, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Diesen, Gilbert Doktorow, Jimmy Dore (caution, vulgar), Daniel Dumbrill (in China), Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Seymour Hersh, Gerald Horne, Larry Johnson, Caitlin Johnstone, Robert Kennedy Jr., Douglas Macgregor, Aaron Mate, Alexander Mercouris, John Mersheimer, Ralph Nader, Andrew Napolitano, Garland Nixon, Ron Paul, Nicolai Petro, Scott Ritter, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Sakwa, Ted Snider, Jill Stein, Cornel West, Larry Wilkerson, the late Stephen Cohen and Robert Parry, and many, many more
In German, for ex.:
Sevim Dagdelen, Daniela Dahn, Eugen Drewermann, Ulrich Heyden, Andrej Hunko, Gabriele Krone-Schmalze, Reinhard Lauterbach, ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Sahra Wagenknecht
May the Christmas season 2024 be a peaceful one!
The Ukraine War was Highly-Provoked
A Perspective from the Alternative West
L a d u s h k I n -- Why do Russians climb walls when they hear assurances that the Russian attack of 24 February 2022 was “unprovoked and unjustified”? In the days immediately prior to that, Ukraine shelling of Donetsk city had increased dramatically. The Kremlin had waited seven years – and nearly 14.000 dead later - for the Minsk II agreements of February 2015 to be implemented. The Minsk agreements were gutted by those who had signed them. Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Petro Poroshenko have since admitted that Minsk II was essentially a rouge device used to buy time for Ukraine rearmament.
In addition, the Russian last-ditch proposal for mutually-binding security guarantees published on 17 December 2021 was ignored. Five days before the Russian invasion, Volodymyr Zelensky threatened the nuclear arming of Ukraine.
The US-inspired Kiev coup of February 2014 was a profound provocation destroying the sensitive see-saw between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. Russia had at least since 1990 been pleading for a common security umbrella for all of Europe – the response has been NATO’s eastward march.
Bitter but true: German reunification rests on deceit. In multiple instances during 1990, the West’s negotiators had given oral assurance that NATO would not be expanding “an inch eastward” beyond Germany’s borders. But such an assurance was never signed. This lie is therefore only an untruth in the moral sense, a lie “only” in the eyes of God. It is not punishable in a court of law.
For a quarter of a century, Western academics had warned that NATO’s march eastward would in time incite a highly negative Russian response. In the “New York Times” on 5 February 1997, the legendary US-diplomat George Kennan had warned that “expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era”.
William Burns, then the US-ambassador to Moscow, had in a memo from February 2008 warned that Russia would invade Donbass if the West
invited Ukraine into NATO. The University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer claimed in 2014 that integrating Ukraine into the Western security network would lead to its ruin
In a way, this is the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 all over again. But this time, there may be no JFK willing to bite the bullet and back down. (Back then, the USA quietly removed its nuclear weaponry from Turkey.) The West is now demanding that Russia swallow what the USA would never accept: Russian tanks camped in Windsor/Ontario or pushing up to the US border near San Diego. China may yet set up a base in Cuba to mirror the long-term US presence in Taiwan. Respecting the sovereignty of nations is a good thing, but the USA has been pushing its Monroe Doctrine since 1823 and is therefore in no position to lecture others. The US demands an open door policy for NATO among the nations of Eastern Europe, yet the door in the Americas has been closed for two centuries.
Proxy war is a vile matter. At a Trump impeachment hearing on 23 January 2020, California Democrat Adam Schiff assured: “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there, and we don't have to fight Russia here.” It is no coincidence that the USA has 800-or-so military bases outside its own borders and intends to wage war only there. It was not supposed to end this way, but now we apparently have Ukrainians dying in hopes of improving Democratic chances during the US’ presidential elections of November 2024.
Vile statements from Senator Lindsay Graham and others ascertain that the war has been extremely effective and cheap: With 3% of its military budget, the US has supposedly destroyed half or Russia’s military resources. That amounts to great bang for the buck – that is, if you leave the hundreds of thousands of dead Ukrainians out of the equation.
Igniting a war, be it in 2014 or 2022, is not the sole moral issue. The unnecessary prolongation of war is also a vital question. Even Kiev’s politicians have noted that it took Boris Johnson’s hurried flight to Kiev in early April 2022 to reverse the agreement achieved during the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Istanbul.
Russia has clearly lost the popularity contest in the political West. There are hundreds of articles reporting on the professional disinformation campaign being waged by the West. Has Russia indeed blown up its own $12 billion pipeline? The Russians could have shut down the gas shipments simply by closing the valve.
The term “brutal war” is propaganda, a tautology, for there are no “unbrutal” wars. Remember the term “shock and awe” from 2003 regarding the invasion of Iraq. The implication that Slavs are brutal is present here – we heard that a lot during the first half of the 20th century.
I personally read and rely mostly on left-leaning and conservative alternative media in the USA and UK. The political left has interpreted the US’ foreign wars at least since Korea correctly and I see no indication why they should err this time around.
This global crisis will not abate until US foreign policy accepts the existence of a multipolar world and rejects for ex. the unipolar Wolfowitz Doctrine from 1992. As long as the USA cannot tolerate the appearance of new superpowers, there will be no peace. Regional powers (Germany and the UK) are content to play second-fiddle to a superpower. Yet that has not been true for certain large or ancient powers (Iran). Peaceful economic competition within a multi-polar world is the only possible global option from here on out.
In 2015, even I claimed that Ukraine should be split 1/3rd to 2/3rd with the eastern third going to the supporters of Russia. I added that the splitting of countries is never pretty, yet much easier to stomach than war. Now we are confronted with the worst-case scenario: post-war divisions.
In the failed belief that they were supporting national unity, Ukraine’s Baptist and Pentecostal unions signed a statement on 3 July 2012 protesting the attempt to introduce Russian as a second official language in certain regions of Ukraine. They reflected Western Ukraine’s “monist” view as described by the British historian Richard Sakwa. He wrote in 2018 that only a pluralist, multi-lingual and federative structure could preserve Ukraine’s unity as a state.
The bare minimum we can do is to help stop the hate, first of all our own circles. In the end, only a lessoning of hatred can lead to negotiations. I was shocked when I first noticed in January 2010 that Vladimir Putin was appearing on the title pages of Western magazines with horns or a thick, narrow moustache. That was the start of someone’s serious, deadly campaign on the path to war.
The Minsk agreements stipulated above all that Ukraine be militarily bloc-free and federative in its governmental structures. There would have been nothing lamentable about turning Ukraine into such a non-allied, neutral state. May Ukraine yet have the chance to become an Austria or Switzerland, or that which a peaceful Finland once was.
But the main issue now is that peace may reign very soon. Who has exactly how much guilt is not the primary issue.
William Yoder, Ph.D.
Ladushkin, Kaliningrad region, 22 December 2023
A journalistic release for which only the author is responsible. It is informational in character and does not express the official position of any church organisation. This release may be reprinted free-of-charge if the source is cited. Release #23-04, 1.195 words.