After the collapse of the U.S.S.R. many Ukrainians, including members of the Rada, had a new agenda, writes Edward Lozansky. But Washington wasn’t interested.
The war in Ukraine has become a crisis of Western civilization.
Wall Street Journal Editor-at-Large Gerard Baker writes that the West is “losing our soul, our sense of purpose as a society, our identity as a civilization. We in the West are in the grip of an ideology that disowns our genius, denounces our success, disdains merit, elevates victimhood, embraces societal self-loathing, and enforces it all in a web of exclusionary and authoritarian rules, large and small.”
Baker nevertheless reminds us that “liberal capitalism has done more for human prosperity, health and freedom than any other economic or political system” but he forgets to mention at what cost.
When it comes to prosperity, it was achieved not only by the hard work or technological innovations but also, to an unfortunately large degree, by colonialism whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world, often to the detriment of the people already living in those colonized lands.
Shall we remember that most of the looting was never compensated or returned?
When it comes to freedom shall we also forget the deadliest extermination of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia, Africa and Asia? What about slavery? According to the Wilson Center the great contradiction of American society was its birth as a self-proclaimed bastion of human freedom even while it created theories of race to justify slavery.
The ‘Elbe Spirit’
Closer to our times, at the end of World War II, there was a spirit of camaraderie, if not brotherhood, between Americans and Russians, sometimes called the “Elbe Spirit” that was symbolized by the meeting of American and Soviet soldiers on the Elbe River in the German city of Torgau on April 25, 1945, on the eve of their joint victory over Nazi Germany.
Unfortunately, this spirit was betrayed almost immediately when thousands of Nazis and their collaborators were invited to settle in the United States, Canada and other Western countries, often with the direct assistance of U.S. intelligence officials who saw them as potential spies and informants in the Cold War against the Soviet Union.
Since World War II, the U.S. has initiated, or has been directly involved, in many military conflicts; with wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria among the major ones. This republic of liberty has caused over 5 million civilian deaths, over 50 million refugees and huge devastation in these countries.
As for the current war in Ukraine, the whole country was engaged by the collective West in a proxy war against Russia with whom for many centuries it was bound by close religious, historical, economic, cultural, and family ties.
I placed religion first to underscore that those who declare their adherence to Judeo-Christian values and democracy have provoked the war between the two Christian nations not to promote democracy but rather, to use Ukrainians as cannon fodder to preserve the geopolitical advantage of the U.S.
Many leading U.S. politicians, starting with the leader of the Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, openly declare that supporting a proxy war in Ukraine is a very good and cheap investment since other soldiers, not Americans, are dying.
Benjamin Abelow in his book, How the West Brought War in Ukraine, lays out the relevant history and explains how the West needlessly produced this conflict, subjecting its citizens — and the rest of the world — to the risk of nuclear war.
Many other well-known international experts say this war was avoidable, and it is the West who provoked the crisis and who keeps preventing its ending.
The biggest lie coming from those who want to continue this war “for as long as it takes” is that after winning in Ukraine Putin will move further west.
Russia has no interest, desire or means to do it but those who benefit from the wars — like the Military-Industrial Complex, corrupted members of Congress, think tanks, President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign and the media keep repeating this lie.
[Biden himself, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cranked up the lie last week to try to frighten Congress into turning over $40 billion more to the Ukrainian lost cause before President Volodymyr Zelenksy arrived in Washington. He left empty-handed.}
After the collapse of the U.S.S.R. many Ukrainians, including members of their Parliament – the Rada – had a different agenda which can be summarized as follows: free from the communist yoke, having strong industrial and agricultural sectors, a favorable climate and fertile land, Ukraine had great potential to become one of the most prosperous European countries.
Effective anti-corruption reforms, a certain level of autonomy for the regions with large Russian ethnic populations, and neutral status with no membership in any military blocs would have made Ukraine definitely a happy and prosperous state.
In 1993, Washington Not Interested
However, Washington was not interested, which was out on full display in May 1993 when there was a trilateral meeting on Capitol Hill organized by some American NGOs with legislators from the U.S. Congress, Russia’s Duma and Ukraine’s Rada to discuss what the U.S. was prepared to do to help Russia and Ukraine in their difficult transition from communism to democracy.
Congressman Tom Lantos of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who chaired this meeting, said that had Mikhail Gorbachev told the U.S. in 1989 that he was prepared to dissolve the U.S.S.R. and the Warsaw Pact — and requested a trillion dollars to do it – Congress would most likely have agreed, authorizing $100 billion annually for a period of 10 years.
However, as it turned out, the Russians did it all by themselves. So why spend U.S. taxpayers’ money when the job is already being done?
“You are on your own, guys,” said Lantos.
C.I.A. Director James Woolsey and other members of Congress who spoke afterward more or less repeated the same lines.
But what they said was totally misleading since the U.S. did not leave Russia and Ukraine alone — Yankee didn’t go home. Billions of American tax dollars were poured into Ukraine, not to boost its economy but to reformat public opinion that was predominantly in favor of neutral status and against joining NATO.
That led eventually to the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. And here we stand on the edge of the abyss.
Edward Lozansky is president and founder of the American University in Moscow and the U.S.-Russia Forum. He is also a professor at the Moscow State and National Research Nuclear Universities.
Source: Consortium News
Photo: April 1945 – William Robertson of the US Army and Alexander Silvashko of the Red Army commemorate the meeting of the Soviet and US armies (William E. Poulson, US National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons).
Benjamin Abelow: How the West Brought War in Ukraine (The Brainwaves Video Anthology, 10.04.2022)