Zelensky Must Go
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.

This post is my half of a debate I have had with a childhood friend of mine regarding the war in the Ukraine:

What is your opinion regarding the Russian invasion of the Ukraine? My own opinion is that the war was entirely preventable. Only half of the blame for the war belongs to Vladimir Putin. He is to blame for his impatience. Had he given negotiations further time I believe an accommodation satisfactory to the Russian Federation could have been reached. The other half of the blame belongs to NATO. It is to blame for the hilarious hypocrisy of Jens Stoltenberg and Anthony Blinken. Misters Blinken and Stoltenberg described the concept of “Spheres of Influence” as something belonging to the 19th century and that ought to remain relegated to the dustbin of history. Whom do they think they are fooling? NATO is the American Sphere of Influence. From this episode we can see why American presidents, and the Congress of the United States, prefer to have someone from a nation not fully integrated within the European Union as the head of NATO, such as Jens Stoltenberg of Norway. It will be interesting to see who replaces him when he retires to the central bank of Norway at the end of this year.

The High Commissioner of Foreign Relations for the European Union, Josep Borrell, in an attempt to discount the argument that the European Union ought to adopt stronger military capability, has asserted that the European Union is not a defensive alliance. While it is true that the European Union began solely as an economic community for the trading of coal amongst France, Italy and West Germany, it has become much more than that. There is a defense clause in their treaty that states member nations are to come to the assistance of any other member nation that is attacked. What we see, both among some Europeans and nearly all Americans, is the unspoken effort to keep Europe within the American Sphere of Influence.

Stoltenberg and Blinken asserted the right of any nation to choose its own destiny and relationships among other nations. This was the sticking point that prevented an accommodation acceptable to the Russian Federation. Yet an accommodation was still possible in another fashion. The Ukraine itself could have reached an accord with the Russian Federation in which they pledged never to join any military alliance developed primarily against the Russian Federation. That they would at no time accept the deployment of military equipment on Ukrainian soil directed against the Russian Federation. There is also the argument I saw written in an article on the website of the EU Observer. While Misters Blinken and Stoltenberg may be determined to preserve the right of any nation to choose freely its associations with other nations, there is no constraint against any nation’s attempt to secure alternative means of preserving their security by avoiding any associations they deem detrimental to their welfare. In other words, the current members of NATO might consider it a better alternative that the Ukraine preserves its security by becoming a member of the European Union, but never a member of NATO.

Consider this: you sit on a bench in a park and a man sits down next to you. He smiles, says hello, while he holds a dagger to your chest. How do you perceive his intentions? This is what NATO has done to the Russian Federation. The dagger is the deployment of the missiles in both Romania and Poland. The intention of those missiles is clear. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is correct in his argument that it is complete nonsense to claim that NATO is solely a defensive alliance. The United States, with its partners in NATO, attacked Iraq, Syria and Libya. Those three nations had not attacked any member nation of NATO. But America chose to attack them and brought along with them other members from NATO.

The head of the German Navy resigned his post recently because of a poorly worded statement he gave while visiting India. He said that we ought show Vladimir Putin some respect because he “probably” deserved some. The Admiral’s mistake is that he should have said the Russian Federation and not Vladimir Putin. The Russian people deserve respect from NATO and the American people.

Ask yourself this question. How much different would the life of the average Ukrainian be if the Ukraine were part of Russia; if for example, it were the Ukrainian Oblast? One cannot ignore history in this situation. It is a farce to consider the Ukraine any more of a “democracy” than is Russia. Both are ruled by oligarchs, as are we. Vladimir Putin has more support from the Russian people than President Biden has, or that President Trump had, from the American people. We cannot believe the official numbers given by the Russian government, but there is no doubt that most ordinary Russians admire and support Vladimir Putin. They admire him because he is undeniably a very talented person, has endured hardship just as they have (he took a second job driving a taxi cab in Moscow while he worked for the KGB), and he, like them, loves “Mother Russia” and her history. I suppose that it is very difficult to understand this concept in America because we only trash our history, castigate the founders of our country, demolish our monuments to them and are simply just plain ashamed of what we once were. In contrast, the Russians are proud of their history and are not ashamed of their seventy year aberration as part of the Soviet Union. The Russian people themselves want to “Make Russia Great Again.”

We doubt the fairness of their elections just as they doubt the fairness of ours. We have become brainwashed by the constant bombardment of the “American Narrative”, in which America stands for goodness and light and everyone else represents darkness and evil. The reality is that more nations throughout the world are embracing the Chinese version of capitalism. Bertelsmann A.G. of Germany reports that most nations of the world should be considered autocracies not democracies. Ours is also not a democracy. Remember, we are supposed to be a democratic republic. That is not the same thing as a democracy.

I recall watching an interview of a Ukrainian resident living in the Donbas region shown by the German broadcaster DW. The woman lived through 7 years of war. Her wish was that the Russians would come and take over the Donbas region so as to halt the killing. I saw another interview of a Ukrainian woman who fled the Ukraine and had reached Przemysl, Poland. She was in tears speaking through an interpreter. All that she could say is that she was so disappointed in her “compatriots.” There is no such word as “compatriots” in the English language. I suspect that she said the word “comrade” but the interpreter avoided the use of that Russian word, which has become part of the English language. So what we see is that this woman in tears, who fled her home in the Ukraine, was referring to the Russians as her comrades. She was about the same age as we are. That means that she spent the first half of her life living with Russians as part of the Soviet Union.

The Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and before that, was part of the Russian Empire. The Russian people themselves trace their origin to Kiev, not Moscow. If one were to think of the Soviet Union in the same terms as we think of the United States, we would consider the secession of the Ukraine to be an act of civil war. Ask yourself: How much culturally different are the Ukrainians from the Russians? My answer is: Less different than are Black Americans from White Americans.

A negotiated peace settlement to end this war is no longer feasible. That hope vanished when Russia invaded. American news media bombard us with the American Narrative. That narrative presents President Zelensky as a hero. I see nothing heroic about him. He has prevented men aged 18 to 60 years from leaving the country. He has urged ordinary citizens to arm themselves and learn how to throw gasoline bombs. That is insanity in 21st century warfare. A true hero would have offered to President Putin that he and his administration would resign immediately and that new elections would be held in the Ukraine. The reality is that Zelensky is unacceptable to Vladimir Putin, and the Russian people, just as Maduro of Venezuela is unacceptable to us. Russia is doing exactly what we would do if Mexico embraced China. Was it acceptable to us that the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba? Why would we think that it is acceptable to the Russians that we have placed missiles in Poland and Romania?

Everyone overlooks that the Russian Federation has more nuclear weapons than any other nation. Their army conquered Nazi Germany, not the American, nor the British, nor the French. And they suffered a loss of 20 million Russian lives doing so. America lost half a million lives during that war. That means they get some respect whether we like it or not. We have done the wrong thing by assisting the Ukraine militarily. That only prolongs the war and the suffering. Russia will “Do Whatever it Takes” to conqueror the Ukraine. They have no alternative. How can they pretend to be standing up to the USA if they cannot defeat a nation one third their size?

This war has the potential to become World War III. Neither India nor China has rebuked Russia for this invasion. Also silent are most African nations. Both China and Russia have strong ties with most of Africa. More than we or any European nation has. African soldiers are already going to the Ukraine to fight on the Russian side. They view the Europeans as the cause of this conflict. So what we see is that this conflict has the potential of causing WWIII with Europe and the Americas pitted against Asia and Africa. Zelensky must go.