The thing that I wish our media talked about more often, and that we discussed more openly amongst ourselves, is how our governments are complicit in causing things like this war against Ukraine. There is a history here, leading back to the oh-so-celebrated “End of the Cold War”, which I remember clearly as I neared the end of high school.
But the facts of our own nations’ behaviour after this celebrated end, have been ignored, forgotten, or perhaps suppressed; I don’t know. Perhaps we are too happy to believe we’re the Good Guys and Evil Commie Russia is the Bad Guy.
But no, at the end of the Cold War, and repeatedly since then, it is us — NATO allies — who have been “bad guys”. At least, it sure does look that way, if you were to stop for a moment and take a Russian perspective.
For example, immediately upon the Cold War ending and Russia reaching out to us for a new alliance, we said no, screw you, and also we’re going to expand into Eastern Europe just as fast as we can. Yeah, yeah, we know we promised we would not expand NATO, “not one inch eastward”, but hehe, we didn’t really mean it. Sorry/not sorry.
We then broke our treaties to not militarize near the Russian border. We then interfered with Ukraine’s democracy, supporting a coup that replaced a leader who favoured Russian interests with one who favoured NATO’s. And say what you will about those two respective leaders, but from Russia’s perspective, it sure as hell would look like the CIA just waltzes in and takes over countries whenever it wants, pitting them against Russia in order, basically, to prop up the West’s grotesque military-industrial economy.
And, it is noteworthy, to say the least, that it has been the United States, primarily, who has backed out of their international commitments to nuclear arms de-escalation and non-proliferation. It’s been the United States taking the lead on R&D into next-generation nuclear and mini-nuke weapons. Etc….
Now, don’t get me wrong. Putin is, in the proximal sense of what’s happening right now in Ukraine, the bad guy. He’s the one throwing the first punch in the schoolyard, so to speak. But we, Canada, the US, and our NATO allies, are the bullies who picked on that kid until they threw that punch.
Again, not saying Putin is some innocent kid; my analogy certainly doesn’t go that far; Putin is far from innocent. But my point is, neither are we, and pointing fingers at an aggressor, without acknowledging our own provocation of this aggressor, is simply lying to ourselves. It’s avoiding taking responsibility. It’s being weak, hypocritical, and ultimately, it will prevent us from truly moving forward into a peaceful future.
So in my opinion, while condemning Putin and while supporting Ukraine, we also must look at our own hypocrisy and lying, as nations, and realize how many of the causal factors that led to this horrible war, were set in motion by us.
And why? As always…. $$$.
NOTE: If this is a history you don’t know, this article is an excellent, succinct, starting point. All the best —