The best part about being independent journalists is that we can express ourselves freely, unencumbered by the need to lie in order to put a diplomatic or happy face on a cold reality.
So while the West, including the United States and Europe, say they support Ukraine in its crisis, the reality tells a different story. The West has spoken and the message is: Ukraine, you are on your own in saving your nation. Good luck. We’ll extend you billions of dollars in credit and millions in aid, but we’re not going to change business as usual – or take any economic hit – by confronting Russia. We’ll jawbone Vladimir Putin all we can, but that’s it.
Some in the West are even aiding and abetting Moscow’s gangster state.
France will lose credibility if its slimy leaders go through with the $1.6 billion sale of two Mistral warships, designed to attack from the sea.
As for Germany, its business lobby won out in persuading German Chancellor Angela Merkel that an already fat and happy nation cannot shave a few points off its growth in gross domestic product by isolating Russia and cutting contracts and ties.
The United Kingdom continues its game of talking tough and doing nothing to upset the London financial system of laundering dirty money from Russian oligarchs and other criminals. It is left to Prince Charles to call out Putin’s Hitler-esque behavior.
And the U.S. continues to be led by a president who wants to get to the end of his second term without taking many courageous stands in foreign affairs. America will continue to put balm on Ukraine’s wounds with millions here and there, but it’s not going to give Ukraine anything significant in the way of military equipment, training and intelligence to defend itself.
And the global energy giants – who dictate policy to governments – will continue to do business with Russia.
The fecklessness – yes, U.S. Sen. John McCain, you got it right – is made all the more shameful by the West’s shameless retreat from the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. The current crop of Western leaders – Barack Obama, David Cameron, Francois Hollande, Merkel – will never be featured in a book entitled “Profiles in Courage.”
Courageous leaders should see Russia’s assault on Ukraine and the global world order for the opportunity it presents to get rid of Putinism, once and for all, and with it the other post-Soviet dictatorships of Ilham Aliyev, Alexander Lukashenko, Nursultan Nazarbayev and so on. Instead, these leaders will leave their successors to manage a new world order in which the use of chemical weapons, military aggression and nuclear weapon proliferation are not punished, as large nations bully smaller ones.
In remarks to Time, an odd choice for his first interview as president, Petro Poroshenko recognized the reality that no nation is prepared to guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty or protect it from further attacks. The global order is broken. “When one of the veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council has in effect become an aggressor, that shows that the old system isn’t working,” Poroshenko astutely told Time.