Ukraine Quandary – Part 1 – This is Déjà vu

Posted on January 31, 2022

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Ukraine Quandary – Part 1 – This is Déjà vu

Monday, 31 January 2022 By Admin

Ukraine Quandary – Part 2 – Ukraine talks sense

This is Déjà vu. —- As if we are still in 2002-2003 and the USA and its allies are diligently building false grounds to invade Iraq.

Why the Ukraine story of today is so similar to Iraq story of two decades ago?

Let’s recall briefly what happened in the run up to the Iraq war, a war that smashed a prosperous country, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and left several million homeless or refugees.

It has been amply documented over the years that the Bush administration manufactured and sold the false claim that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). It was also claimed, falsely, that Iraq was harbouring and supporting Al-Qaeda. Subsequently, despite very thorough investigations, no stockpiles of WMDs or an active WMD program were ever found in Iraq.

The 2016 Chilcot Report, a British inquiry into the United Kingdom’s decision to go to war, concluded that not every peaceful alternative had been examined, that the UK and US had undermined the United Nations Security Council in the process of declaring war, that the process of identification for a legal basis of war was “far from satisfactory”, and that, taken together, the war was unnecessary.

This is happening all over again.

The USA and some its allies are spewing fiery statements on hourly basis that Russia is about to invade Ukraine.

A CNN story describes some of the American-led incitement for war.

Titled “Ukrainian official tells CNN Biden’s call with Ukrainian President ‘did not go well’ but White House disputes account,” and with byline of Matthew Chance and Jeremy Herb, the story published on 28 January 2022 has the following main points:

  • Biden warned his Ukrainian counterpart that a Russian attack may be imminent, saying that an invasion was now virtually certain, once the ground had frozen later in February, according to the official.
  • “We continue to see, including in the last 24 hours, more accumulation of credible combat forces arrayed by the Russians in, again, the western part of their country and in Belarus,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said at a press briefing.
  • US officials have continued to emphasize they were prepared to act regardless of whether Russia pursues diplomacy or further aggression toward Ukraine, and on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to sanctions should Moscow invade — including killing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and removing Russia from SWIFT international payment system.
  • Earlier this week, as many as 8,500 US troops were placed on heightened alert to prepare to deploy to Eastern Europe. Those troops include elements of the 82nd airborne division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as well as elements of the 18th Airborne Corps, the 101st Airborne Division and the Fourth Infantry Division, Kirby said Thursday.
  • CNN reported Wednesday that the US and a handful of allies are in discussions to deploy thousands more troops to Eastern European NATO countries before any potential Russian invasion of Ukraine as a show of support in the face of Moscow’s ongoing aggression, according to three US officials familiar with the discussions.

For what we know from the recent history, particularly from 2008 (Georgia) and 2014 (Crimea), if Russia wants to invade and annex a territory, it does so without much warning.

There could be any number of reasons for this deafening roar of the USA and its allies but one possible objective is to keep provoking Russia, forcing Putin to lose nerves and make a mistake. If this is the ambition, it could likely work the other way around.

The America of Joe Biden definitely wants war. Does the Ukraine of Zelensky also want war?

/// nCa, 31 January 2022

Ukraine Quandary – Part 2 – Ukraine talks sense

While the USA, in the traditions of Empires on their way out, wants a war, does Ukraine also want a war?

Is Ukraine eager to let the USA ignite an inferno on the Ukrainian territory? Will Ukraine be happy to serve as the battleground for a futile war between Russia and the West, a war that will inevitably end on the negotiation table?

Regardless of who else wants a war, a war on the Ukrainian territory, President Zelensky is certainly not a part of that crowd.

The CNN story titled “Ukraine’s President Zelensky urges world leaders to tone down rhetoric on threat of war with Russia,” published on 28 January 2022, with byline of Matthew Chance, Vasco Cotovio and Joshua Berlinger, gives a different narrative.

Here are the main points of the CNN story:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday other world leaders have been overstating the likelihood of war between his country and Russia, causing “panic” and destabilizing Kyiv’s economy.
  • Speaking to foreign reporters Friday, Zelensky said he explained in phone calls to world leaders like US President Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron that, though the threat from the Kremlin is “imminent and constant,” Ukrainians have “learned to live” with it since Moscow invaded in 2014.
  • The exact severity of the threat posed by Russia remains unclear and has reportedly been a point of contention between Zelensky and Biden.
  • “I’m the President of Ukraine, I’m based here, and I think I know the details deeper than any other President,” Zelensky said. “We don’t have any misunderstandings with President Biden. I just deeply understand what is going on in my country just as he understands perfectly well what’s going on in the United States.”
  • “People don’t understand the value of human life and that’s what it’s about. I do support serious dialogue,” Zelensky said.

The complete CNN story can be found here: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/28/europe/ukraine-russia-zelensky-biden-intl/index.html

Among other things, the sensible stance of Zelensky is driven by the economic concerns. Because of the tensions, fueled by the western rhetoric, the economy of Ukraine has already been bruised and the investor confidence damaged.

The hard fact, in the world of statistics, is the GDP of a country.

Here is a graphic that tells a powerful story:

It shows that Ukraine had its highest GDP in 2013, which was USD 183.31 Billion. Till now, it has not recovered to reach that level again.

Why is the year 2013 significant? — It was the last year of President Yanukovich in power, a democratically elected president who was ousted by the violent, western backed protests. Yanukovich had built the GDP to the highest level in the history of Ukraine.

No one wants to acknowledge that the ouster of Yanukovich was not only undemocratic, but it also caused a heavy blow to the Ukrainian economy, and to the people of Ukraine. Per capita GDP of Ukraine under Yanukovich in 2013 was USD 4030 and now, under Zelensky, it is USD 3100, a reduction of 25%.

Ukrainians are poorer today compared to 2013 because of what was done to them in the name of democracy. Never mind that it was actually democracy that was being derailed.

It is not difficult to envision what will happen to the average Ukrainians if a war actually starts now.

The west can decide when to start the war but Russia will decide when to stop it. The end result will not be to anyone’s liking and everyone will be a loser. In fact, there is every possibility that the conflict will determine its own geographical spread after the first shot is fired.

While Zelensky is talking sense, is there any sensible voice in Europe? /// nCa, 31 January 2022

To be continued . . .

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