Kiev, October 10, 2022: Now it really begins. This is the end-result of American “foreign policy.” We’ve been Poking the Bear since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. We had the (actually stated!) opportunity back then to be “one, big, happy family” in the West, along with Russia. The Soviets had completely thrown in the towel, and a New Era could have begun right then and there. To his credit, Bush Senior actually lived up to his agreement with Gorbachev and Yeltsin to not move NATO “one inch east” toward Russia, but this changed, beginning with Clinton and continuing down to the present day. NATO should have been abandoned by the mid-1990s, when it was clear that the Russians were not going to revert to Soviet-style politics, economics and philosophy. Their Warsaw Pact alliance had already dissolved; we should have reciprocated with a dissolution of NATO, whose only valid purpose for existence was to protect western Europe from Soviet invasion. This was never going to happen, ergo, NATO was suddenly unnecessary. Unfortunately, that reality was ignored.
But it wasn’t just ignored! The alliance was expanded. The NATO alliance in place in the mid-90s actually grew in its membership, and Russia was progressively encircled with a closer and closer radius, with seven former Warsaw Pact countries entering between 1999 and 2004. This culminated with NATO even *touching* the border of Russia directly in the form of Estonia and Latvia becoming NATO members in 2004. NATO memberships have continued along even since then, with Montenegro added in 2017 and North Macedonia added in 2020. Sweden, and Finland (ALSO bordering Russia directly on an 800 mile line!) are about to become members. And, of course, it has been loudly “discussed,” since 2008 at the Bucharest NATO summit, that Ukraine (also, obviously, *bordering Russia directly*), should eventually be added. The Russians have “duly noted” ALL of this, you can be sure!
Look at a freaking map, people! The Russians are completely encircled to the northwest, west, and southwest, from Finland through Turkey, with two countries directly on Russia’s border in the northwest, and six more countries: Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and North Macedonia, all with just one buffer country (Belarus – a Russian ally – or Ukraine itself) between them and Russia. The West has become increasingly bellicose in its rhetoric all through the 21st Century, sanctioning the Russians over and over again with increasing severity for…what, exactly? Their continued objections to this constant menacing behavior from the US and the NATO alliance? Someone please point out exactly what the Russians have done to Europe since 1991 that would merit our behavior towards them. I’ll wait…
Meanwhile, we have been doing intensive and intricate war games in their face for years, in the Baltic Sea and Poland, particularly. The Russians have been extremely patient with this, merely asking “why” through deep-level diplomatic channels. They have only been more vocal about these provocations since about 2018 or so. Would *we* have been nearly as patient, under identical circumstances? To ask the question is to know the answer….
We have been particularly aggressive with the Russians in our orchestration of this whole Ukrainian situation since 2014. WE created and facilitated the Maidan Uprising of 2014 (Victoria Nuland’s infamous phone call is Exhibit A in this!), with the resultant uber-pro-NATO government WE installed, creating regime change in an area we have NO legitimate vital interests to be in save for the foundation of what’s happening now. We wanted Ukraine in NATO, we have been training Ukrainian troops to NATO standards since at least 2015, we have been slowly swapping-out Ukrainian munitions for those used in NATO since about the same time. We did nothing and said nothing about the shelling of the Donbas and other ethnically and linguistically Russian areas of eastern Ukraine since 2014, which have resulted in no fewer than 15,000 civilian deaths. We effectively put the Ukrainians up to this as yet another naked provocation of the Russians, trying to goad them into a response, which the Russians worked hard to avoid activating till late last year. When the Russians learned of an impending Ukrainian invasion of the Donbas scheduled for early-March 2022, they counter-invaded eastern Ukraine to circumvent this on February 24, 2022.
During their “Special Military Operation,” the Russians have been deliberately fighting with one hand tied behind their back. They are aware of their extremely close ethnic relationship with the Ukrainians, and are trying to avoid civilian casualties and infrastructure damage as much as possible. They have never had more than 150,000 troops in-country at any given time, so they have been numerically outnumbered – intentionally. And they’re STILL winning nearly all of the battles. They have left the door open for a negotiated settlement since the beginning; it is the US that refuses to allow Zelinsky to negotiate. We don’t want that! If the Ukrainians can’t pull this off (they can’t), then we can at least try to get them to drag this out for years, to bleed the Russians dry of their military capabilities. IOW, to do the same thing to them again that we did to them in baiting them into Afghanistan in the Soviet era. The Russians, in the last month or so, have finally awakened to the reality of the situation: this will never end, until they make it end.
There is much more to be said here, but that will have to do by way of background. Let’s bring it home. The Russians are being encircled by hostile forces for no damn good reason. They have done nothing to us, nor have they done a blessed thing to the Europeans. We have expanded NATO multiple times since 1999, and will have NATO directly on the Russian border with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and Georgia if we get our way. No sane country would put up with this! The Russians have been flat-out stupid in trying to appease the West all these years, and have borne exactly zero fruit from it. We have taken advantage of their appeasement, and fomented regime change in Ukraine with a view to making it a member country of NATO, where we can station missiles with a 7-10 minute flight time to Moscow. THAT’S the real point to all of this! We actually believe that, if we can get as many missiles as possible onto or very near the Russian border, we can actually take out enough of their missile batteries to “win” a pre-emptive first-strike with very few American losses. This is madness! It won’t work, but the perception, not the reality, is in play here. The Russians appear, again, to have finally realized all of this. They have been backed into a corner (FOR NOTHING!!!!!!), and they are responding accordingly.
NATO = USA. The rest of NATO can’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag. Everyone knows this, including the Russians. The Russians know how to fight, are inured to fighting under hardships we can’t even imagine, are historically willing to take casualties we also can’t even imagine, can fight in extreme conditions found in northern and eastern Europe with demonstrated success, and have slightly more nukes than we do. Why in the hell do we keep poking this bear?
The Russians are now very impatient with our behavior. They fought with kid gloves for 7 months, and left the peace-talk table open the whole time. It seems to me that they are done with all of that. As I said above, they now know that they will never be left alone by the West (that is, the US) until they *make* us leave them alone. The Nord Stream attacks and the Crimean bridge attack were the last straw. This missile attack on Kiev is the first salvo of the next stage. I think they mean business. They are definitely going to stop messing around with their “kid gloves” approach. They probably were going to wait till the ground freezes in Ukraine to get that stage underway; it doesn’t bode well that they moved the common-sense beginning of their schedule up 2-3 weeks. Meanwhile, Biden keeps talking – in an almost wishful-thinking way – about “Armageddon.” Here’s the bottom line…
Do we want to live? Do we want our children and grandchildren to live? We are all running out of time and options to make that even a remote reality. WE must stop this craziness, while we have a chance. This goes double for the citizens of Western European countries, whose political “leaders” are in complete thrall to everything we tell them to do.
God help us! We need it.