US Provocation in the Ukrainian War
Putin is behaving like a monster, but he's not alone.
Putin is unquestionably a brute that few would miss. But is the war in Ukraine really all his doing? Let's take a look.
Should you go on the Kremlin website and read Putin's speeches, what you will see is that, time and again, something he talks about constantly is the offer of NATO membership made to Ukraine and Georgia by GW Bush in 2008. He considers it a total violation of Russian sovereignty. He invaded Georgia because of it later in 2008. He's referred to it constantly in his action in Crimea and the Donbas. Even in his speech of Wednesday morning, immediately before invasion, he refers to it time and again.
This 2008 offer of NATO membership was made by Bush, against opposition from France and Germany. It was widely denounced as blatant provocation of Putin at the time, but the US used their clout to push it through. Check this quote from a Guardian article, written at the time...
Germany and France are leading opposition from within the EU to such a move, arguing that it would needlessly antagonise Russia and provoke a new crisis between Russia and the west.
Even the existing director of the CIA, William Burns, and former US ambassador to Russia in the mid 2000s, in a memorandum to Condoleezza Rice back in 2008, said that it would be "hard to overstate the strategic consequences" of offering Ukraine NATO membership.
So everyone high up in both the US and EU administrations knows that this offer is very, very antagonistic towards Putin and Russia.
And, moving on to the latest crisis, is there really any reason to keep the offer on the table? It's obviously provoking Putin. He's on about it all the time in his public statements. He's building troops up on the Ukraine border. And, anyway, does the offer even mean anything anymore? If Putin invades, and the US or the EU want to send troops in, they still can. Why not just take the offer off the table and see if it placates him? He's saying that this is what he needs. At least if it's done, and he's still aggressive, things are more clear.
So, for over a decade, Putin has been very clearly stating exactly what he needs to feel safe. Yet, in December 2021, Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State) still refuses to withdraw the offer. Many political commentators in the US shook their heads, surmising that the only reason for this action was to deliberately push Putin towards war.
So, Putin is unquestionably a brute. And many in the West for sure would like to see the back of him. But at what cost? The US, apparently, believes that sacrificing the people of Ukraine is worth it, if it results in Putin being drawn into a situation where his presidency becomes unstable. They're not interested in taking the old offer of NATO membership off the table, even though it's what Putin has been saying that this is what he needs for years.
Thousands of lives hang in the balance and the US is simply using the Ukrainian people to forward its own political agenda.