Thursday 2 March 2023

The U.S.’s strategic objective in Ukraine is not to save Ukraine but to prevent Russia, China and Iran from winning

I am bored with people seeking to justify Putin's war. I am also bored by people who don't see that America and Zelensky provoked this dangerous man by their mistakes. Quelle ennui.

This is my response to the people I know in Romania and abroad who back Russia in this war. 

Ukraine had nuclear weapons stationed on her soil in 1991 but not the codes to use them. She gave them to Russia in 1994 in return for an agreement signed in Budapest that prohibited Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine "except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."

Putin reminds me of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great. As I said before, he reminds me of what Lord Macaulay said about Frederick.
"In order that he might rob a neighbour whom he had promised to defend, black men fought on the coast of Coromandel and red men scalped each other by the great lakes of North America.

On the other hand, readers who do not see this war as part of a power struggle between America, Russia and China, as well as Turkey, Israel and Iran, could do well to read an article from the WSJ by Dan Henninger. A very clever friend of mine, retired from a senior position in the U.S. State Department, sent it to me with warm approval. 

It is headlined

Ukraine fatigue is not an option

I quote:

"The U.S.’s strategic objective in Ukraine is to prevent Russia, China and Iran from being able to declare persuasively to the watching world that they are winning." 


In other words, Ukraine is not nearly as important to America as the struggle between America and three countries which are not threats to America or NATO countries, but whom American behaviour has made enemies.

My American friend says Dan Henninger is "a conservative, not a neo-con, who recognizes that the stakes on the table are much higher than Ukrainians' choice for the West. We are already in the second cold war."

Unfortunately he's right. 

I quote again this phrase from a book review in Unherd by Aris Roussinos: "... t
he accretions of “defending liberalism” or “promoting democracy” with which American politicians are accustomed to shroud their defence of empire....." The article was published three months before the war and he was discussing Taiwan. 

It was an acceptable remark then.

Politics is always a struggle for power, but people see the US Civil War and the Second World War as heroic not tragic, Manichean not nuanced. They expect all our modern wars to be like this. 

Americans seem to expect their presidents to fight wickedness abroad and at home, instead of leaving this to the churches. 

How great a president Calvin Coolidge now looks. 

Why not give peace a chance? 

I know why not, of course, but America should be trying to find a way to get a ceasefire. Why is Great Britain not doing so? How are British interests threatened by Russia?

I'd like small government at home and abroad, though I see that Vladimir Putin may have made that impossible for now. Sanctions may stay, though they are obviously negotiable (there were no sanctions against the USSR), but no more cold wars, please, with Russia or China, and especially no more world wars.


  1. From the point of view of Old Whig (like Edmund Burke or Chief Justice Sir John Holt almost a century before Burke) their is a massive difference between Texas and Russia. In Texas abortion is unlawful - in Russia it is normal. In Texas there is Freedom of Speech and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms - in Russia there is neither of these things. In Texas most land is privately owned - in Russia most land is state owned. The Governor of Texas does not have his opponents murdered, President Putin of Russia does have opponents murdered.

    The attentive will note that I have been careful to type "Texas" not "the United States" - the Federal Government of the United States of America has become an abomination (I do not use the word lightly) - it is fairly safe to assume that its reasons for doing most of the things it does are very dark.

    1. I recently read this very short (90pp) book, recommended by Peter Hitchens - more an extended article - I don't think it told me anything I didn't know.

    2. Texas is the best run State out of fifty in an increasingly dysfunctional Union. How is the comparison to the Russian Federation in any way relevant?

      'The attentive' will also note that 'Freedom of Speech and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms' refer to the First and Second amendments to the Constitution of the US of A, aka 'the abomination'.

      Texas' Constitution though is a fine document on its own. It contains interesting things like this:

      Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS
      Section 32 - MARRIAGE
      (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
      (b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
      (Added Nov. 8, 2005.)

  2. Indeed, you are right. How lucky the US is to have the First Amendment and arguably the Second Amendment. Has Texas made abortion illegal?

    1. Abortion is illegal in Texas in cases where embryonic cardiac activity can be detected (after 6-7 weeks). In Russia after 12 weeks.

  3. “Putin reminds me of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great.” Better than Lenin, Stalin or Yeltsin.

  4. For peace to take place it takes two to tango. So far Putin has shown zero interest in peace. I think the US and Europe are growing more anxious about a protracted conflict at this stage than Vladimir Putin is; it would certainly relieve quite a few domestic headaches in the US for the current administration if this war were to die down.

  5. There were negotiations in April. Some say Boris Johnson persuaded Mr Zelensky to drop them but others say he didn't.

    1. For Russia it would never have turned out this way if President Boris Yeltsin had decided to run for a third term, ruling as medically incapable as President Joseph Biden,  but deferring the succession until after Mikhail Khodorkovsky had sold the Yukos oil company to the US, and the other Russian oligarchs created by Yeltsin had followed suit. Heart, brain, and liver disease stopped the Yeltsin part of that. The Vladimir Putin succession plan then failed to deliver what had been intended.

      What has remained of the plan of the destruction of Russia from those days is what there is today.

      The oligarchs survive but, according to the terms of the US and NATO sanctions war, they cannot have their assets and freedom of movement back unless they overthrow Putin, change the regime in the Kremlin, and destroy the capability of the Russian military to defend the country.

      The defensive strategy in response is obvious. Not only must the capacity of Ukrainian forces and their NATO weapons be destroyed at the front, and their remainder driven to a territorial line west of the Dnieper River, between Kiev and Lvov, out of range of Russian Crimea, Zaphorozhye, Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk. Also, each of the NATO weapons must be defeated and destroyed which the US sends to the battlefield, and the airborne and ground systems for directing them at their Russian targets neutralized. .

      If this Russian strategy succeeds, the implication for Europe – and the rest of the world (Taiwan) – will be plain. The US cannot defend NATO and NATO cannot defend its member states with a military capability that has been defeated. Article Five of the NATO treaty will become a dead letter. If and when that happens, the all-for-one-one-for-all principle of security in Europe which Article 5 promises will be replaced, first by the principle of every one for himself, and then for the principle of reciprocal security and non-aggression; that was the proposal of the Russian treaties of December 17, 2021.

    2. Rothschild is the new power behind Yukos

      The Sunday Times can identify Lord (Jacob) Rothschild as the secret holder of the large stake in Yukos that was previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil company’s chairman.

      Rothschild, 67, now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost £8 billion. This places him at the centre of a dispute with the Russian state. It is widely believed that the charges being brought against Khodorkovsky are a response to his political ambitions to succeed Vladimir Putin as Russia’s president.

      Russian prosecutors tried to freeze a 44% stake in Yukos on Thursday. Their move highlighted the previously unknown arrangement that allowed voting rights to be transferred to an unnamed foreigner — Rothschild — should Khodorkovsky be unable to “act as a beneficiary” of the shares. It is thought that Khodorkovksy, 40, took this precaution when he realised he was facing arrest. The shares are held via the Gibraltar-based Menatep Group.

      Khodorkovksy has known Rothschild for years through their mutual love of the arts and their support for Russian development via the Open Russia Foundation. Rothschild is a multi-millionaire in his own right, with a fortune estimated at £400m.

    3. [bias of narrow history beware] I see two positions vs NATO: a stance toward membership [paraphrase of official statement: 'we cannot take the collective stance instead of those by members' (owing quote)], another toward the institution [language as it may be, restraint of action]. The letter feels important - however indirect its motives. Then, 'indivisibility of security' - let it be.


    4. Quoted previously:

      I kept this in mind, since back then there hardly was any such 'collective response' - you could cut its absence in Madrid with a knife; more since, dulled by expectations of change [some baked in, my reason to be somewhat of a democrat]...

  6. I am still interested in the obscure skirmish freezing over, 'peace' sounds too cavalier.