On Sunday, president Macron of France was quoted by a French newspaper as stating that he did not believe Russia’s goal was to seize Ukraine, but instead to ‘clarify the rules of cohabitation’ with NATO and the EU. He added that Russia had a right to seek security guarantees from the West.
But who is doing the threatening in Ukraine?
Who has encircled it with 130,000 troops?
Who annexed Crimea in 2014, biting off a huge chunk from Ukriane?
Who has fueled a war in the Donbas area in eastern Ukraine with cumulative deaths estimated to be 14,000 and counting?
The West is racing to help arm Ukraine with defensive weapons only, not the kind they could use to attack Russia. And the West is doing it so Ukrainians can put up a good fight when the Russian tanks start rolling and their airplanes start strafing their people.
Mr Macron’s need to seek attention seems to have outrun his common sense.
Maybe it’s the prospect of national elections later this year that is the key motivator.
Mr Macron went further. He stated that one of the models on the table was to make Ukraine like Finland during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, when the Finnish were allowed to remain ‘independent’ but they could not join NATO, and Russia was permitted to have ‘considerable influence over their political options.’
So the West allows Ukraine to be ‘considerably’ influenced by Russia?
Doesn’t that sound like betrayal?
To please Putin’s paranoia?
In another article, mention is made of a spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, a woman declaring that the West was demonizing Russia, so as to take public attention away from their domestic crises, invest huge sums to arm ‘fragile democracies’ (as in Ukraine), and bolster an image of invincibility that has been weakened by the Afghanistan collapse.
But do we have political prisoners like you do?
What about releasing Alexei Navalny, whom you poisoned and nearly killed?
What about your branding every dissident organization you find upsetting, a terrorist one?
In democracies we sometimes elect people to govern us who are not fit, but we can throw them out at the end of their terms. You can’t do that. You’ve been stuck with Putin since 1999.
Yes, we parade every day our million flaws so that the whole world wonders how it is we still function.
But we do.
And we prosper.
Unlike Russia, where, with no free press, the citizenry is daily growing convinced that it is America who wants to invade them.
Quoted statements for this piece come from articles appearing in the New York Times on 2/7/2022. The reflections and judgments are my own.
Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net. anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts