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Putin to Biden: Finlandize Ukraine, or We Will

By Patrick J. Buchanan | December 7, 2021

Neocons and Republican hawks such as the late John McCain sought to bring Ukraine and two other ex-Soviet republics, Georgia and Moldova, into NATO. Putin, who served in the KGB in the late Soviet era and calls the breakup of the USSR the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, is now saying: Enough is enough.

Either the U.S. and NATO provide us with “legal guarantees” that Ukraine will never join NATO or become a base for weapons that can threaten Russia — or we will go in and guarantee it ourselves.

This is the message Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending, backed by the 100,000 troops Russia has amassed on Ukraine’s borders.

At the Kremlin last week, Putin drew his red line:

“The threat on our western borders is … rising, as we have said multiple times. … In our dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on developing concrete agreements prohibiting any further eastward expansion of NATO and the placement there of weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of Russian territory.”

That comes close to an ultimatum. And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg backhanded the President of Russia for issuing it:

“It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. … Russia has no veto, Russia has no say, and Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence trying to control their neighbors.”

Yet, great powers have always established spheres of influence. Chinese President Xi Jinping claims virtually the entire South China Sea that is bordered by half a dozen nations. For 200 years, the United States has declared a Monroe Doctrine that puts our hemisphere off-limits to new colonizations.

Moreover, Putin wants to speak to the real decider of the question as to whether Ukraine joins NATO or receives weapons that can threaten Russia. And the decider is not Jens Stoltenberg but President Joe Biden.

In the missile crisis of 60 years ago, the U.S., with its “quarantine” of Cuba and strategic and tactical superiority in the Caribbean, forced Nikita Khrushchev to pull his intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which could reach Washington, off of Fidel Castro’s island.

If it did not do so, Moscow was led to understand, we would use our air and naval supremacy to destroy his missiles and send in the Marines to finish the job.

Accepting a counteroffer for the U.S. withdrawal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey, Khrushchev complied with President John F. Kennedy’s demand. Russia’s missiles came out. And Kennedy was seen as having won a Cold War victory.

Now it is we who are being told to comply with Russia’s demands in Ukraine, or Russia will go in to Ukraine and neutralize the threat itself.

The history?

When the Warsaw Pact collapsed and the USSR came apart three decades ago, Russia withdrew all of its military forces from Central and Eastern Europe. Moscow believed it had an agreed-upon understanding with the Americans.

Under the deal, the two Germanys would be reunited. Russian troops would be removed from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. And there would be no NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.

If America made that commitment, it was a promise broken. For, within 20 years, NATO had brought every Warsaw Pact nation into the alliance along with the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Neocons and Republican hawks such as the late John McCain sought to bring Ukraine and two other ex-Soviet republics, Georgia and Moldova, into NATO.

Putin, who served in the KGB in the late Soviet era and calls the breakup of the USSR the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, is now saying: Enough is enough.

Translation: “Thus far and no further! Ukraine is not going to be a member of NATO or a military ally and partner of the United States, nor a base for weapons that can strike Russia in minutes. For us, that crosses a red line. And if NATO proceeds with arming Ukraine for conflict with Russia, we reserve the right to act first. Finlandize Ukraine, or we will!”

The problem for Biden?

In Ukraine and in Georgia, as we saw in the 2008 war, Russia has the tactical and strategic superiority we had in 1962 in Cuba. Moreover, while Ukraine is vital to Russia, it has never been vital to us.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized Joseph Stalin’s USSR in 1933, Moscow was engaged in the forced collectivization of the farms of Ukraine, which had caused a famine and the deaths of millions. We Americans did nothing to stop it.

During the Cold War, America never insisted on the independence of Ukraine. Though we celebrated when the Baltic states and Ukraine broke free of Moscow, we never regarded their independence as vital interests for which America should be willing to go to war.

A U.S. war with Russia over Ukraine would be a disaster for all three nations. Nor could the U.S. indefinitely guarantee the independence of a country 5,000 miles away that shares not only a lengthy border with Mother Russia but also a history, language, religion, ethnicity and culture.

Forced to choose between accepting Russia’s demand that NATO stay out of Ukraine and Russia going in, the U.S. is not going to war.

Biden should tell Putin: The U.S. will not be issuing any NATO war guarantees to fight for Ukraine.

December 7, 2021 - Posted by | Militarism | , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Straight-forward assessment, here, by Patrick Buchanan and it deserves acknowledgement. Thank you for it, Mr Buchanan. You’d have my vote if ever you throw your hat into the ring.

    Why can this Biden shuffle along and say he “…does not accept anybody’s red line…”

    Is he trying to sound tough? Like he did with the Popcorn story?

    What is he saying? That he’ll cross a red line? Does he think what he says ends a situation?

    And in this case, he’s not backing Israel, for example, as it’s acting tough to one neighbor or another, or endlessly calling for everybody to join it to make Iran another smoldering Iraq makes easy sounding tough. Easy to blame the Palestinians for their plight. They should just move out. That’d solve the problem, is probably how Joe “I’m a Zionist” Biden thinks.

    No. This is not an overwhelmingly outnumbered Iran, facing off against an aggressive, total equipped military and nuclear-armed and delivery capable country as Israel is. Consider what Israel has done to its neighbor countries. Or to its non-jewish population. Ever seen the amputated, crippled? The jailed, ‘administratively detained’ forever? The rubble of destroyed homes? The now leveled, thoroughly destroyed villages? That’s what they’ve shown as capable of doing, to say nothing of one spy after another, the Lavon Affair. Or the USSLiberty. Or the World Trade Center. Or JFK assassination.

    And that’s just what they’ve shown to a country which calls Israel an ally.

    He doesn’t know what he’s up against. It’s akin to his choice of a vice president running mate who fit a model and is modeled as a fit. What a disaster awaits America if Biden’s brain short circuits any further.

    Imagine Kamala cackling if asked whether she knew where the Ukraine is located or if she was going there soon…

    Like

    Comment by michael | December 7, 2021 | Reply

  2. sadly the author spreads the myth the famine was caused by the government

    Like

    Comment by lex | December 8, 2021 | Reply

    • Plow horses and seed grain were siezed by the state for urban consumption. Successful farmers were sent off to Siberia or simply shot. The land was collectivised and managed by apparatchiks with no knowlege of farming. All of this played out over many years.

      The Ukraine had previously survived innumerable droughts and locust pestulence without suffering such devastation.

      Russia would benefit from acknowleging these crimes rather than denying them.

      Like

      Comment by aletho | December 8, 2021 | Reply

      • sadly you to regurgitate the myth/propaganda the famine was caused by the government

        There was a very serious famine in the USSR, including (but not limited to) the Ukrainian SSR, in 1932-33. But there has never been any evidence of a “Holodomor” or “deliberate famine,” and there is none today. The “Holodomor” fiction was invented in by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators who found havens in Western Europe, Canada, and the USA after the war. In 1932 Soviet agriculture was hit with a combination of environmental catastrophes: drought in some areas; too much rain in others; attacks of rust and smut (fungal diseases); and infestations of insects and mice. Weeding was neglected as peasants grew weaker, further reducing production.

        University of Alberta Assistant Professor Dougal MacDonald raised hell on November 20 by writing in a personal Facebook post that the 1932-33 genocide of Ukrainians referred to as Holodomor never happened but was rather a “myth fabricated by Hitlerites”
        “Popular media and most historians for decades have described the great famine that struck most of the USSR in the early 1930s as “man-made,” very often a “genocide” that Stalin perpetrated intentionally against Ukrainians and sometimes other national groups to destroy them as nations… This perspective, however, is wrong. The famine that took place was not limited to Ukraine or even rural areas of the USSR, it was not fundamentally or exclusively man-made, and it was far from the intention of Stalin and others in the Soviet leadership to create such as disaster. A small but growing literature relying on new archival documents and a critical approach to other sources has shown the flaws in the “genocide” or “intentionalist” interpretation of the famine and has developed an alternative interpretation,” Tauger wrote in his research work “Review of R.W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933.”

        Paradoxically, supporters of the “Holodomor” myth remain silent about the fact that Russia (including the territory of modern Ukraine) had suffered from periodic devastating famines since the end of 19th century, long before Bolsheviks came to power in 1917. They also ignore the fact that there were serious famines in 1920-21, 1924, 1927 and 1928.

        Interestingly enough, official Soviet Ukrainian primary sources show that the 1928-29 famine, caused by natural disaster, mainly drought, was very serious, and Ukraine received more aid from the Soviet government, than the Kremlin sent to other parts of the USSR. This obviously disproves the false theory of the Ukrainian nationalists’ “malicious” conspiracy against Ukrainian peasants in the Soviet Union, noted Grover Furr in his book “Blood Lies: The Evidence that Every Accusation Against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands Is False.”
        Holodomor Hoax: Joseph Stalin’s Crime That Never Took Place.

        Collectivization of Agriculture – The Reality

        Russia and Ukraine had suffered serious famines every few years for more than a millennium. A famine accompanied the 1917 revolution, growing more serious in 1918-1920. Another serious famine, misnamed the “Volga famine,” struck from 1920-21. There were famines in 1924 and again in 1928-29, this last especially severe in the Ukrainian SSR. All these famines had environmental causes. The medieval strip-farming method of peasant agriculture made efficient agriculture impossible and famines inevitable.

        Soviet leaders, Stalin among them, decided that the only solution was to reorganize agriculture on the basis of large factory-type farms like some in the American Midwest, which were deliberately adopted as models. When sovkhozy or “Soviet farms” appeared to work well the Soviet leadership made the decision to collectivize agriculture.

        Contrary to anticommunist propaganda, most peasants accepted collectivization. Resistance was modest; acts of outright rebellion rare. By 1932 Soviet agriculture, including in the Ukrainian SSR, was largely collectivized.

        In 1932 Soviet agriculture was hit with a combination of environmental catastrophes: drought in some areas; too much rain in others; attacks of rust and smut (fungal diseases); and infestations of insects and mice. Weeding was neglected as peasants grew weaker, further reducing production.

        The reaction of the Soviet government changed as the scope of the crop failure became clearer during the Fall and Winter of 1932. Believing at first that mismanagement and sabotage were leading causes of a poor harvest, the government removed many Party and collective farm leaders (there is no evidence that any were “executed” like Mykola in the film.) In early February 1933 the Soviet government began to provide massive grain aid to famine areas.

        The Soviet government also organized raids on peasant farms to confiscate excess grain in order to feed the cities, which did not produce their own food. Also, to curb profiteering; in a famine grain could be resold for inflated prices. Under famine conditions a free market in grain could not be permitted unless the poor were to be left to starve, as had been the practice under the Tsars.

        Like

        Comment by lex | December 8, 2021 | Reply

        • I’m sorry but calling people Nazis is just not a compelling argument.

          In fact, famine in New Russia was not documented under the Tsarist rule though Ukrainians did live in serfdom until they were freed by Russian imperial order in the 1860s.

          The horrors of Stalinism are well researched and based on physical, documentary, and witness testimony evidence unlike the holocaust which is quite lacking in the first two classes.

          Like

          Comment by aletho | December 8, 2021 | Reply

  3. 0000 would be a good hour to do something.

    Like

    Comment by 5 dancing shlomos | December 8, 2021 | Reply

  4. Never be tempted to consider “Joe Biden” more than a Puppet of our Jew-Government.
    He opens mouth…Yiddishe Mama comes out.

    Like

    Comment by Xander | January 5, 2022 | Reply


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