Commentary: Start Talking Peace In Ukraine Before It Is Too Late

For the men and women of the Uni-Party Ukraine seems like the perfect conflict. We pour in money and arms. Defense contractors get filthy rich. The Russians and Ukrainians do all the dying. Putin has no choice but to quit or continue to bleed…

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FILLER

nfortunately, for Biden and the NeoCons, the enemy gets a vote. Putin does not actually have to sit by and take the punishment he is receiving. He can escalate, and the closer he gets to the cliff we are trying to push him off the more likely he is to do so.

Last week when President Vladimir Putin said his country is suspending participation in the New START nuclear arms control treaty with the US, he explained it was to “ensure security, strategic stability” for Russia.

In Sunday remarks given to state TV channel Russia 1, he explained more about what he sees as the West’s goal in its deeper involvement in opposing Russian forces in Ukraine while seeking to punish Moscow with continually ratcheting sanctions and attempted isolation on the world stage. He warned in the new comments that the Russian people may not survive if NATO countries succeed in imposing a “strategic defeat” on Russia. 

He presented the proxy war in Ukraine and Western arms being pumped in, which has recently included authorization for US and German tanks, as an existential threat to his country and people. 

“In today’s conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal as inflicting a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions? I do not even know if such an ethnic group as the Russian people will be able to survive in the form in which it exists today.” 

It’s not the first time he’s cast the Ukraine war in terms of a global conflict and confrontation, but such heightened rhetoric which shows he doesn’t see losing as an option has grown and come more frequent of late. Last week he had said the following, echoing a similar theme: 

“Western elites aren’t trying to conceal their goals, to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ to Russia,” he said last Tuesday. “They intend to transform the local conflict into a global confrontation.”

Putin spoke those words headed into Friday’s one-year mark since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine while charging it was the West that “started the war.”

“We aren’t fighting the Ukrainian people,” Putin had asserted in a speech, saying Ukrainians have “become hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, which have effectively occupied the country.”

Meanwhile, the only remotely positive sign to come in recent days has been Kiev’s somewhat positively greeting China’s 12-point ceasefire plan for ending the war. Zelensky had acknowledged that at least the Chinese are talking about Ukraine and that this is a welcome start. The Ukrainian leader even went so far as to say that he and President Xi Jinping should meet.

Putin is not alone in laying out the Russian position. This is an existential battle for them. They believe the West wishes to destroy Russia as a nation.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev currently serves as the deputy chairman of the powerful Security Council of Russia. He said last week that continued weapons shipments to Ukraine made negotiations impossible.

“Of course, the pumping in of weapons can continue and prevent any possibility of reviving negotiations,” Medvedev said.

“Our enemies are doing just that, not wanting to understand that their goals obviously lead to a total fiasco. Everyone loses. A collapse. Apocalypse. When the former life will have to be forgotten for centuries until the rubble ceases to emit radiation.”

Sounds like a pretty clear threat to use nuclear arms to me. Especially in light of the fact that Russia has always reserved the right to use nuclear weapons unilaterally in the face of “aggression” even if its opponents only employ conventional arms.

Medvedev also said that if Ukraine attempted to take Crimea it would result in the “flaming” of all of Ukraine with all the forces at Russia’s disposal, including nuclear weapons “All Ukraine that remains under the rule of Kyiv will burn,” Medvedev said.

Let’s be clear. The most powerful men in Russia are threatening to use nuclear weapons if we continue our current policies in Ukraine. We are ignoring the threats and plowing ahead.

In fact, from the sidelines the ever-helpful John Bolton is advocating we do more than that. He is suggesting we stop being such wimps and get serious about this thing. “We’re intimidated by the threat of tactical nuclear weapons,” Bolton told The Sunday Times radio in an interview last Saturday.

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“I think for one year, Putin has bluffed. It’s been entirely an effort to psyche out the United States and the West, and it’s succeeded. I think we need to make it clear to the Russians generally that any use of tactical nuclear weapons would result in devastating retaliation, including a direct attack on Vladimir Putin’s life personally. Now, if there’s a better way to deter Putin, I’m happy to hear about it. But what I’m looking for is the most convincing argument to convince the Russians that they can just leave their tactical nuclear weapons in their arsenals where they are now.”

“We have not provided adequate weaponry to the Ukranians,” Bolton said. “We don’t have a strategy to win.

“It really endangers support for the war, at least in the United States, when we’re afraid to say conclusively that our objectives are the removal of all Russian troops and the restoration of full Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty — meaning and including Crimea.”

Bolton added Putin is “all-in now” and “this is not a European war anymore; this is a global war,” pointing to China’s growing support for Russia.

A global war? Stop and think about the breathtaking madness of this rush to the apocalypse. We have gone from providing support to Ukraine to repel an unwarranted attack by Russia to cavalierly talking in terms of starting World War III and waging nuclear war. Ever since the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear devices we have worked overtime to manage the threat of a nuclear exchange and recognized that no one can win a nuclear war.

And, now we talk about this possibility as if it is of no great significance. In fact, the reality is, even as we dance up to the edge of the cliff, we generally don’t talk about what is happening at all.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unjustified. Putin thought he could win in days. He was wrong. His blitzkrieg became a horrible war of attrition. His army is bleeding to death. Russia is exposed in the eyes of the world as a paper tiger. The Red Army that broke the Reich no longer exists.

This tiger still has nuclear weapons, however, and increasingly their use seems like Putin’s only hope. He is cornered and men do desperate things in such circumstances. Pushing him harder and further without providing a way out will only guarantee he lashes out with what means he has left at his disposal.

Bring the parties to the table in Ukraine now. End this conflict. Stop pushing. Start talking. Before it is too late. ✪

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