What possible connection could there be between Georgia and Austria, the Donbass Region and the Ruhr, the Crimea and Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine and Poland?
When that harried British politician waved that piece of paper aloft and declared Peace In Our Time he contributed to the biggest propaganda fail of the last century, Appeasement, and what followed gifted the world the death of millions upon millions of innocent people.
Here in The West we cherish and enjoy our freedom. We, however, never had to fight in a World War for that freedom. People of our grandparents’ generation fought and died for a collection of values that they believed in, and as a result most of us, and our children and grandchildren, have largely enjoyed relative peace in our time and the enjoyment of a notable level of freedom.
In the next short period we will learn of the possible fate of Ukraine, and we hope for the best. The response of The West to this Russian provocation, which the Russians say is their response to the provocative expansion of NATO, is quite informative.
On the quiet level we have been shipping ammunition and missiles to not only the NATO countries that border Ukraine, but also to Ukraine itself. We are also stationing a couple of thousand US soldiers in the near region as an underwhelming show of supportive strength … underwhelming from the Ukrainian point of view that is. All of that implies that Ukraine will be left standing alone, and should the unthinkable happen, Ukraine will be left to defend itself.
On the overt level, the level where we truly show our determination and intent to defend the freedoms that we so cherish, The West has threatened to target Russia with sanctions. Well, North Korea, Iran, and Russia itself, still happily exist despite the soft weapon of sanctions that The West has rather hopefully lobbed their way.
It is irrelevant whether this moment in time is a piece of grand geo-political theatre on Putin’s part. If he can gain what he wants through diplomacy or threat or ominous theatre then we would be silly to think that he would then quieten down and not want more.
If he ultimately decides to invade Ukraine then the precedents of Georgia, the Crimea, the Donbass Region, the ever tightening control of Belarus, and the growing fear in Latvia and Estonia of over-spill consequences should Ukraine be invaded, would simply inform Putin that Russia might well get away with it if he unleashes the tanks.
Have we in The West lost the ability to think the unthinkable? Have we fallen into the trap of thinking that our freedoms, our values, our lifestyles, our societal processes and institutions, and our various forms of Democracy, will forever go on seriously unchallenged?
Last century two powers, one European and one Asian, plunged our planet into World War. Initially we appeased them. It did not work.
It was only a few days ago, in our century and in our time, that a power on the European landmass and a power from Asia stood together and stared down The West. Over the last decade we have chosen to appease them both.
War is our last resort, it always has been for most of us the last resort, we do not want it. Appeasement, however, almost guarantees that we will ultimately get what we definitely do not want.
The West is right to want to avoid all out war, that is our peaceful aim, but we are wrong to think that we will manage to retain our values and freedoms with only words and soft diplomacy and economic sanctions.
The West needs to quickly find a firmer form of solidarity, we need to plan for the unthinkable and therefore hopefully, eventually avoid it. Standing back and simply hoping for the best will not ensure that the freedoms we enjoy will be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!
402 total views, 4 views today