Talking about Ukraine

Iowa City Nuclear Free SignPoorly considered ideas of what the U.S. should do about Ukraine have been circulating in the media. A friend passed these points along to me, and here they are for my readers. They provide a perspective one doesn’t find in the corporate media.

The Putin-led invasion of Ukraine is unacceptable and has been universally condemned. At the same time, it should be recognized for what it is. The Ukrainian people have expressed their desire to integrate into the European economy and rejected what they perceived as coercion from Moscow. Moscow’s behavior is in large part motivated by the failure of their economic and political policies.

Putin’s move demonstrates that he is playing a weak long-term hand.

The wisest and likely the most effective response to Russia’s annexation is not military, it’s diplomatic and economic. No serious figure supports military action. The only people who gloss over the serious risks of escalation are those with no real responsibility for the outcome.

Increasing sanctions, taking punitive economic measures, and rallying the international community is the smartest course and thus far those are the steps that the US and our European allies have pursued– with good reason. Smart policy will balance economic and diplomatic carrots and sticks and avoid pointless provocations such as further NATO expansion.

It is downright bizarre that there are politicians and media commentators who apparently relish the prospect of another Cold War– a time when millions of people lived in fear of annihilation and hundreds of billions were spent on a pointless nuclear arms race.

Americans don’t want a Cold War and they don’t want a hot one either.

This misguided nostalgia for the Cold War misunderstands and misrepresents the current situation. This is not a global clash of ideologies.