The West Is Lighting the Fuse of War

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

The Western media is a lie machine. Western governments live in a make-believe world of their own impunity. Consequently, the Western peoples lack awareness of the dangerous situation that Washington has created with Russia.

The so-called “peace conference” in Switzerland was a fraud. Russia was not included, so how was it a peace conference? It was a propaganda event to rally support around Washington’s puppet, Zelensky, whose term has expired and who is ruling illegitimately as a dictator. Many of the attendees refused to sign the statement.

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Here is a true description of the situation. The West is acting in behalf of the war continuing and expanding. The puppet’s term has expired and Zelensky continues in office despite not being reelected. The Western trained and equipped Ukrainian military has been defeated. At any time Russia can increase the offensive and clear Ukrainian forces from the Russian populated areas that have been reincorporated into Russia. The West’s response to its lost war consists of two reckless and irresponsible actions. One is to send NATO troops, with the French being the opening wedge, to replace the depleted Ukrainian troops. The other is to further provoke the Kremlin by firing longer range missiles into Russia.

Putin and important members of the Russian government have indicated that if necessary Russian troops will move into areas beyond the reestablished border of Russia, stating that the longer the range of the missiles the deeper into Ukraine the buffer region will be.

It is unclear why Washington provoked the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as it was obvious that Ukraine had no chance of winning and as the war was certain to unite the Russian people behind Putin and to destroy any trust of the West in the Kremlin. Most importantly, the West ignored that it was forcing an existential threat upon Russia. The Kremlin is convinced that the West intends Russia’s destruction.

Putin’s intention after his deception by the West with the Minsk Agreement, was only to drive Ukrainian forces out of the Russian areas that have now been reincorporated into Russia. Apparently Putin did not realize the extent to which the West would involve itself and expand the war. Now that Putin faces an outbreak of a larger war, he clearly stated the conditions for ending the conflict. He said that Russian military action will cease when the remaining Ukrainian forces are withdrawn from the Russian populated areas that have been reunited with Russia and when Ukraine agrees that the country will not become a member of NATO or have foreign bases and missiles on its territory. These are reasonable and generous terms.

If these terms are refused, Ukraine faces further conquest and harsher future conditions for ending the conflict.

When Ukraine was broken off from Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian provinces which Soviet leaders had attached to Ukraine should have been left in Russia. Whether or not this was a failure of foresight or malicious intent, it was a mistake that resulted in a conflict that has the potential of engulfing the world.

The difference between the 20th century Cold War and the 21st century hot war is that in the Cold War era the US and Soviet leadership, understanding the fatal nature of nuclear weapons, were committed to reducing tensions and building trust, whereas in the 21st century only Russia has sought mutual understanding and mutual security. Washington has fomented conflict and raised an existential threat to Russia by expanding NATO to Russia’s borders and overthrowing governments of former Russian provinces.

To avoid war Putin has accepted continuing provocations and insults. But now faced with such reckless and irresponsible proposals as NATO troops in Ukraine and missiles hitting deep into Russia, Putin has made one last effort to state conditions for ending the conflict. The conditions are immensely better than the outbreak of conflict that would destroy Europe and the United States.

The danger today is much worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis. In those days Washington recognized the danger. Today Washington does not. President John F. Kennedy realized that the US had provoked Soviet missiles in Cuba by placing US missiles in Turkey. Kennedy and Khrushchev made a mutual security agreement and both removed the missiles.

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