Category Archives: New Cold Wars

Think Pieces: Peaceniks Still Struggle With Ukraine War Support

NOTE: On a day off from the January 6 Committee hearings, it’s a suitable time to ponder the Ukraine war, and how it has scrambled long-held beliefs & positions for many people. Here are two perspectives: first, that of an internationally-noted public scholar, and the other from a writer who interviewed & wrote about many combat veterans who strongly opposed the U. S. War in Iraq, but now feel supportive of Ukraine’s resistance to Putin’s invasion.  Like the Ukraine war, these mostly inward struggles seem likely to  continue.

#1 – The Guardian: Ukraine
Pacifism is the wrong response to the war in Ukraine
Slavoj Žižek — Tue 21 Jun 2022

The least we owe Ukraine is full support, and to do this we need a stronger Nato

For me, John Lennon’s mega-hit Imagine was always a song popular for the wrong reasons. Imagine that “the world will live as one” is the best way to end in hell.

Those who cling to pacifism in the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine remain caught in their own version of “imagine”. Imagine a world in which tensions are no longer resolved through armed conflicts … Europe persisted in this world of “imagine”, ignoring the brutal reality outside its borders. Now it’s the time to awaken.

The dream of a quick Ukrainian victory, the repetition of the initial dream of a quick Russian victory, is over. In what looks more and more as a protracted stalemate, Russia is slowly progressing, and its ultimate goal is clearly stated. There is no longer any need to read between the lines when Putin compares himself with Peter the Great: “On the face of it, he was at war with Sweden taking something away from it … He was not taking away anything, he was returning … He was returning and reinforcing, that is what he was doing … Clearly, it fell to our lot to return and reinforce as well.”

More than focus on particular issues (is Russia really just “returning”, and to what?) we should read carefully Putin’s general justification of his claim: “In order to claim some kind of leadership – I am not even talking about global leadership, I mean leadership in any area – any country, any people, any ethnic group should ensure their sovereignty. Because there is no in-between, no intermediate state: either a country is sovereign, or it is a colony, no matter what the colonies are called.” Continue reading Think Pieces: Peaceniks Still Struggle With Ukraine War Support

Ukraine: Not Losing, But Not Winning

[NOTE: It pains me to be hoping this opinion column is correct. I’m new to the business of promoting wars. But here I am, still rooting for Ukraine to avoid the destruction and erasure planned for it and its people by Putin, and knowing no other way. No surprise that I’m also thinking today of Walt Whitman, and the closing stanzas of his long poem, Song of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

[Tho in my case, that last line should be, “I am large, my doctor keeps saying, get smaller.”]

In Ukraine, is the balance tipping in Moscow’s favor? Not yet.

Washington Post: Opinion by David Ignatius
 — June 14, 2022

Russian military advances in eastern Ukraine this month have raised growing concern in the West that the balance of the war is tipping in Moscow’s favor. But Biden administration officials think these fears are overblown, and that Ukrainian defenses remain solid in this ugly war of attrition.

“We share the concerns, but for now we believe the Ukrainians are well-positioned and equipped to hold off the advances, while the Russians have their own sustainment challenges,” a senior administration official told me Tuesday.

Ukrainian officials have argued that they need more heavy weapons, fast, to hold the line against the Russian offensive in Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in the east. To take just one example, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian official, tweeted this week that his country needs 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, or MLRS — nearly 30 times what’s on the way.

The example illustrates a weapons-supply problem that worries many American experts. Just four MLRS rocket launchers have actually been delivered, officials say, with eight more arriving soon. “Twelve is not enough. Not even close,” counters retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who commanded U.S. Army troops in Europe. “It seems like we keep pulling our punches, and all that does is prolong the war.” Continue reading Ukraine: Not Losing, But Not Winning