Realism on Ukraine War

The Biden Administration continues to fan the flames


Justice Politics

U.S. conservatives are now able to openly voice criticism of Washington’s continued pro-war stance in Ukraine — able to openly voice meaning they can do so without being accused of being pro-Putin. The Overton window on discussing the Ukraine war has moved, making room for intelligent discussion and views that question the D.C.-establishment line. After all, it shouldn’t take 20 years for Americans to recognize terrible foreign policy, after the lessons we should have learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. If only American voters could muster interest in our nation’s foreign exploits — would it take a TV drama to achieve this? — then perhaps some lesson-learning would occur.

A good summary of recent history — which is the basis of the conservative, realist position — is offered today in an article by Doug Bandow at The American Conservative (“Russian Realism,” March 2). If one wants to understand what drives patriotic Americans to say no to this war, Bandow’s essay is a good start. It begins by stating that Putin’s attack on Ukraine was wrong. No one disputes that. Bandow goes on to say that, in fact, Putin’s war “almost certainly will be remembered as one of history’s great military blunders,” and that the course of the war has “confirmed Moscow’s status as China’s junior partner, while undermining Russian influence elsewhere.” These points attract easy agreement. But the ongoing warmongering of the U.S. (and its junior partner, Europe) is far from unassailable. Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden Administration and its mainstream-media lackeys have fanned the flames of war and spurned any thought of peace. Bandow’s look at recent history makes this clear.

A link to his full article is below. First, some highlights:

  • “To start, the invasion was not unprovoked. Allied [U.S. and EU] officials ostentatiously lied about their plans to expand NATO, violated promises made to Moscow, and ignored the latter’s security concerns, leading to multiple Russian complaints and threats.”
  • Contrary to the American media’s messaging, “Moscow poses no threat to the U.S. other than nuclear, which is an argument for avoiding, not initiating, conflict.” In fact, rather than Moscow, “Washington has been by far the most aggressive military power since the Cold War’s end.”
  • Putin “did not enter office with any evident animus toward America.” Bandow writes, “Unfortunately, it was American behavior—NATO expansion, dismantlement of Serbia, color revolutions on Russia’s border—that most caused Putin to change his views.”
  • “In 2008, the Bush administration insisted on NATO’s promise to induct Tbilisi and Kiev, which caused Fiona Hill, lately of the National Security Council, to warn that such moves ‘would likely provoke pre-emptive Russian military action.'” Hill was correct.
  • As for the EU: “Russia does not pose a conventional threat to Europe,” and — again, contrary to hysterical claims — “Moscow has shown no interest in rolling westward to the Atlantic.”
  • Considering all the above, Western leaders’ “claim that the ongoing fight is one between autocracy and democracy is nonsensical.”
  • Bandow writes, “Perhaps the most dangerous argument for Western involvement in the current conflict is to weaken, if not break, Russia by ousting Putin, overthrowing the current regime, and dismembering the country.” Putin’s successor would likely be worse, and nuclear-armed Russia’s breakup would be many times worse than any possible comparison case, such as Iraq.

Read it all here:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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