President Vladimir Putin of Russia: “People in some countries protest against me and call me killer, but they don’t see that I am at war with Nazis. I don’t rebuke those who are against me today, because people are not guilty. Some media has been able to trick people with their lies and provoke them against me and things are not what they seem. Today, tomorrow or someday the people of the world will understand everything”.
RUSSIA: THE LATEST VICTIM TO READYMADE MEDIA WAR PROPAGANDA
In a world where it seems not possible for someone to make soberly comments that others may interpret as offensive to their parochial interests, then the vital right to freedom of expression is dead. This is the world in which we live today. The situation is even worst in Africa where some leaders do things contrary to the demands and aspiration of their citizens. And all these do not make coverage in the corporate media.
I know few people will not agree with this piece of opinion because to them everything in the media about Russia’s action in the Ukraine is the gospel truth. To these people one must not speak good things about Russia or you risk persecution or even declared persona non grata.
For the few of us who believe in democracy and freedom, the current malicious media war propaganda against Russia and in particular against the integrity and personality of the Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin is not new, and this won’t stop here, as long as one stands for the truth, justice and wellbeing of humanity. It is a game, and this game is being played everywhere, mostly in natural resource-rich countries, such as Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia, the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Chad, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Iraq and so on, and so on-the list is endless.
Coming to the main contents in my piece of opinion, I want to start by saying that in the aftermath of the collapse of the former Soviet Union and demise of the WARSAW Pact, the United States felt much more desperate in its quests for supremacy and to own the title of “only super power on earth”. I need not to discuss here how former President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika politics pulverized the hope of Soviet citizens; that is a matter for historians to write home about.
Consciously or unconsciously, former US Secretary of State during the first Gulf war in 1990, James Baker told journalists that the US had spent trillions of dollars to dismantle the Soviet Union. Well, he said it all as official policy of the US government. But my understanding after the fall of the Berlin wall was that, with the demise of the Soviet Union and WARSAW Pact, there is no need for another tailored cold war or arms race in the world. But this is not the case as actions of the United States and its partners depict contrary to my thought.
With the current crisis in the Ukraine, I beg to ask some pertinent questions: Who is responsible for war in Russia’s neighbor? What is the purpose of NATO after the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact? Who is to blame for the crisis in the Ukraine? Is NATO’s continued existence is part of a ploy to implement a new “Monroe Doctrine” that gives the United States the right to intervene in the former territories of the Soviet Union?
The war in Ukraine provides a vindication of early fears that NATO’s move eastward towards Russian borders would set a bad motion, if not the beginning of a new cold war, which Moscow will reject and react with whatever the Kremlin may deem necessary to defend Russia’s interest against any threats from outside its borders. Indeed, media disinformation and misinformation campaign agenda to distract domestic opinion is winning the war in Ukraine. But in reality Ukraine and the Ukrainian people bear the brunt of insensitive leadership. Sorry to say that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy doesn’t know the difference between being a leader of a nation and being a comedian or film actor.
On the question of NATO’s continued existence should not be a headache no more. I think immediately following the demise of the Soviet Union and WARSAW Pact, NATO has outlived its relevance and should be dissolved if the world is to avert another arms race or cold war. The tragic mistake of the United States is that, how can it build it military bases all over the world, if there are no ulterior motives? In a May 2, 1998 New York Times interview, George Kennan, the architect of America’s containment policy during the Cold War warned against the danger that would follow if NATO move eastward. But the US and allies did not give ears to Kennan’s assertion.
I agree with all amount of honesty that the US had enjoyed the status of the sole super power since the demise of the Soviet Union, and this has been given prominence in the headlines of news outlets for decades now. Others may prove me wrong, because I am not an expert in military affairs. Depending on how one sees the game play in the international arena. What is clear is that, the US attempts in recent years to make Ukraine and Georgia imperial satellite states cannot but should be seen here as provocative acts to prick the anger of Russia. One can now understand why Russia was complaining and warning all these years in the belief that the US can see reason and act in a friendly manner, to promote peace and security. Some will say it took Russia years waiting the United States to abandon its territorial ambition over eastwards. I will leave this for discussion at diplomatic circles.
In what supposed to be a warning alert to Washington and its allies, in his 2014 memoir, Duty, former Secretary of Defense in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Robert Michael Gates acknowledged that “trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching.” That initiative, he pointed out, was a case of “recklessly ignoring what the Russians considered their own vital national interests.” Again the US ignored this and called Gates a bluff. Current CIA Director in the Biden administration in Washington, William J. Burns, had in 1995 warned against NATO’s provocative games towards the Russian Federation.
Rather than addressing the issue in its proper perspective, the Trump and Biden administrations opted to provoke the anger of Russia, pretending not to know the danger that would follow behind such a move. Washington saw President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the good guy to use the territories of the Ukraine as staging posts to destabilize Russia. For many years now, Washington has been moving weapons to the Ukraine, conducted joint military exercises between U.S. and Ukrainian forces, and even pressured NATO to include Ukraine’s membership into the alliance. In response, President Vladimir Putin has time and again made the position of Moscow very clear in this matter, and had warned that, if NATO continued its unfriendly actions that are informed by the US territorial expansionism, Russia would be left with no other option but to make serious resistance, and even to respond with military action if that is what the situation will demand.
During this period of the demise of the Soviet Union, the US took the opportunity to advance its military hegemony around the world, and feathering NATO’s wings, feet and military closer to swallowing the Russian Federation. These actions do not end at eastwards, but extended also southwards to include poor countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean Region (With Venezuela in particular having sleepless traumas as the day passes on). The result of these is what we see currently in other countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc with the attendant destruction of lives and property, and no one dares to question, not even the International Court of Justice has shown its concerns over what is really happening in those countries that I have mentioned above.
The threat to peace and security, and wellbeing of people goes on and on with no end in sight. If I am to believe sources from outside media outlets, there are reports suggesting that the US is working ceaselessly with a new plan to visit Venezuela with the same fate as in Libya, with the government of Colombia acting as the willy-nilly tool to US ill-intentioned agenda. Colombia is bordering Venezuela, and only recently the Venezuelan Security forces have arrested and detained armed terrorists from Colombia trying to infiltrate into Venezuela, and confiscated thousands of explosives and various types of narcotic drugs found in their possession. This development is creating panic in Latin America, a region that suffered greatly under the US Monroe Doctrine, which has left trails of misery, poverty, impoverishment and economic disarray in that region.
The Sahel region in Africa is already having its own share of the global destabilization efforts, for control of Africa’s rich and abundant natural resources and wealth. But recent events in Mali and Burkina for instance, and more importantly, Russia’s second coming to Africa, this time to help the continent to rid itself of the criminal activities of mushrooming terrorist outfits, Africans are now having a sigh of relief that a Daniel in the Holy Bible has come to justice on the side of poor, destitute and impoverished Africans.
As for the criminal wars currently being waged against Mozambique and Nigeria, the media claims are the activities of Islamic terrorist groups that are hell-bent on spreading their beliefs in those countries. The question now is who created, trained and armed these so-called Islamic groups, and who supplies them with intelligence about the security of those countries? I don’t have to wait for a soothsayer to give me answers because the blueprint of attacks from these groups in their terror actions speaks volumes. Suffice it to say that the wars in Nigeria and Mozambique I want to believe are proxies that are created to protect foreign oil and gas demands in Africa. Nigeria and Mozambique are endowed with rich natural resources; both countries have natural gas, which is badly needed in Europe and the US.
My view as African may be slightly different from that of an American or European. A sober minded thinking person will agree with me that the wars against Nigerian and Mozambique have three goals. First, to sabotage Russia’s economy by making European countries less attractive to Russia’s oil and gas; second to counter China’s growing economic thirsts in Africa; and thirdly, to see the continued merciless rape of Africa’s rich natural resources, by the same good guys. There may be other sinister goals, but the ones mentioned above are very visible.
Of course apologists of the good guys may find it difficult to indict Russia of stretching its military muzzle and stationing its troops in Africa to stash away the continent’s rich natural resources. But the truth of the matter is that, at the time when the US and Europe were propping the apartheid enclave in South Africa, and even helping the monstrous bandwagon (Apartheid) to design with the intent to produce, stockpile and use nuclear weapons against black freedom fighters, the Russians stepped in on the side of Africans to defeat the monster and clear the last clutches of colonialism on the continent. The media has also kept mute on the role of Russia in the African liberation struggle. Needless to mention again, the role of the Patrice Lumumba Friendship University in Moscow, which gave education to many Africans under Russian international scholarship programmes for Africa. This institution was named in honour of the murdered Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Hemery Lumumba.
In Syria, Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua, while the US and allies opted military intervention behind humanitarian aid, undeclared economic war, sanctions, embargo, and other coercive measures, Russia pursues peace, internal political dialogue, understanding and development. Inside Russia, I am one African who rejects tailored misinformation and disinformation circulating in the corporate media about the leadership role of President Putin. I refuse to be misled about Russia’s uncompromising action against the rise of Nazism and its vestiges in Europe.
It is now time for African leaders to stop being used as cheap pawns or goal keepers for the policies of foreign powers. In the case of the crisis in the Ukraine it would be naïve, if not ingratitude for any African leader to tow the malicious propaganda media campaign against Russia. What should preoccupy African leaders for now is to focus on fighting their own problems of corruption and poverty, other than throwing stones on Russia and Russian President Putin. I believe problems in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) should be left for Russia and other members-states to handle.
To explain this in a simple but rather diplomatic construction, the problems in the African Union (AU) should be handled by its members; the problems in the European Union (EU) should be handled by its members; The Problems in the Organisation of the American States (OAS) should be handled by its members; the problems in the British Commonwealth should be handled by its members; the problems in the League of Arab States should be handled by its members; the problems in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should be handled by its members; the problems in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should be handled by its members; and above all, the problems of the world should be handled by the United Nations-here also there are serious cracks in the interpretation of UN Charter, Principles and International Law.
After the economic devastation and looting of Russia in no small measure aided by foreign powers, President Vladimir Putin has able to patch up the pieces and Russia is back on track. Under President Putin, Russia has successfully rejuvenated. This development has frustrated the US, which now looks unto former territories of the Soviet Union, particularly the Ukraine and Georgia, to stage military posts against Russia.
I have been monitoring the situation in the Ukraine with keen interest through the controlled media since there is complete news blackout here and there is no way one can get the side of Russia. What I have gathered in the corporate media hysteric war is that the Ukrainian conflict is not the making of powerful forces outside the CIS, notably the US and NATO. It blames the Russians, and the Russian government on its side has defended its action as a step to protect territories of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the civilian population that had been under attacks by the Ukrainian government. Russia has also claimed that its action is directed at quenching the increasing activities of Nazis occultism in Ukraine.
Obsessed stealthily with the selfish ambition to emerge as the sole superpower in the globe, the US has placed itself above international rule of law. It can commit crime in any country it wills. The war in Iraq would have been averted in 2003 had the US owed respect towards United Nations Charter, Principles and International Law. The presidencies of Bill Clinton, George Bush II and Barrack Obama in the US, for instance, are on record to have murdered millions of innocent civilian lives in all the countries they had invaded. For a long time the US tried to repeat the strategy it had employed to destabilize former Yugoslavia in order to seduce other countries, say for instance, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, et cetera, into submission.
To my candid opinion, Russia wants peaceful co-existence with Ukraine and all other members of the CIS. This, the Ukrainian government had refused because of the vague promised it received from the US and NATO allies. Suffice it to say that the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saw himself as the good guy, who is ever willing to pay back the US and NATO allies for helping to destabilize the legitimate and democratically elected government of former President Lukashenka. The agenda in Kiev is to allow the US to use the territories of Ukraine as staging posts to export the Yugoslavian-type destabilization into Russia. This has been the US project in the 21st century and NATO has been put in place to do its clinical execution. The notion of a ‘balance of power’ angers the US most. The European Union, United Kingdom and other allies in NATO have no say but to remain satellite states for US foreign policy implementation and world domineering ambition.
The US claims to be the police man of the world, calling itself the apostle of freedom. Where are the American values when they denied others of their peace, freedom and development? It claims Ukraine is a sovereign State and is free to choose a path that pleases it by joining NATO. Why then is the US fighting countries like Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, Iran, which want to be left alone to choose the path pleases them by pursuing their own development agendas? Why is the US threatening African leaders to accept gay marriage or risk losing US aid?
Russia’s case for stopping the expansion of NATO towards its borders cannot be judged from mere media hysteria, but on Moscow’s security concerns and the threat of the increasing activities of Nazis groups in that part of the world. Those following the discussion between Russia and NATO will agree that the situation in the Ukraine is a provoked reaction. Russia was left with no other option but to attack the Ukrainian military and its neo-Nazis outfits, to protect civilians against Kiev’s terrorism and to stop the advance of any threat to its (Russia) borders.
Russia is the biggest and largest country in Europe with a population of over 144 million people. Russian population swallows the whole of Europe. The current war had started since 2004 when Ukraine started unleashing attacks on its Eastern side against Russian speaking population. Russia had warned the Ukrainian government to stop its heinous military attacks against the civilian population; to stop the activities of Nazis groups in the Ukraine and desist from provoking confrontation with Moscow. But this, the Ukrainian President Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had ignored, and instead took President Putin for a child’s play.
The current crisis would have been averted should the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy acted wisely, and placed peace first before any vicious foreign agenda. It is only regrettable that this battle is not on the mahogany table, but involves blood-spilling, which I condemned outright. There is no good war, and no war is justified. Had U.S. abandoned its thirsts for weakening Russia militarily and economically, using President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the good guy in order to achieve stated goal, there would have been no war either in Georgia or the Ukraine.
The democratically elected government of the Ukraine led by constitutional President Alexander Lukashenka, like former President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was overthrown in a coup with the support of the US and Israel because Lukashenka had refused to be used against Russia. It comes to say that the legitimacy of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not go beyond forceful overthrow of constitutional order in the Ukraine. Besides, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is an Israeli citizen, who was imposed on the Ukrainian people. I am happy to understand that the vast majority of American and European citizens do not buy the agenda of their ultra-nationalist leaders, for unipolar world dominated by the US.
I want to make a point here to avoid my opinion being misconstrued as supporting war. No war ever fought in history was good; war is not good; every war is evil, because it destroys innocent lives and makes people to suffer. It doesn’t sound decent when watching the body of the murdered Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Iraqi Saddam Hussein, the slaying of Palestinian children, the killings and maiming of unarmed civilians in Yemen, Syria, and the list goes on, being displayed on international satellite TVs. No sane-thinking person can support war anywhere. Suffice it to say that the right to self-defence when attacked or threatened to be attacked is a moral principle and right, which every members-state of the United Nations reserves.
I can understand the frustration in Washington and Western Europe about the crisis in Ukraine. But who is to blame? You can blame anyone, depending your understanding of the truth or how one looks at it from a moral viewpoint, and not from what is being peddled and disseminated in the corporate media. I may differ in my own opinion, which is informed by my understanding of the situation that prompted the Russians to launch military action on Ukraine. What the corporate media is saying is that President Putin should just sit idle, while the threat to Russian borders is visible. The US 21st century policy of containment towards Russia can be understood from the childish behavior of the Ukrainian leader.
The US and NATO allies cannot escape blame that their activities are in effect the result of the current crisis in Ukraine. As one analyst rightly puts it: “One can readily imagine how Americans would react if Russia, China, India, or another peer competitor admitted countries from Central America and the Caribbean to a security alliance that it led—and then sought to add Canada as an official or de facto military ally. It is highly probable that the United States would have responded by going to war years ago. Yet even though Ukraine has an importance to Russia comparable to Canada’s importance to the United States, our leaders expected Moscow to respond passively to the growing encroachment”.
Totting a military alliance that one super power (the US) dominates, and pushes it towards the borders of a great power like Russia is tantamount to destabilization and provocative action. When two elephants fight a battle, the grass suffer, so says the wise African adage. And this is where the Ukrainian people find themselves today. The US and NATO armed the Ukrainian government against its people and by extension against Russia and now the Russians are fighting back to remove the threat to its security along its borders. Students of International Relations should look at this crisis from a moral view point.
As the situation stands now, the only solution is peace! And I join other voices around the world to demand an end to the crisis and return of the Ukraine to normalcy. There should be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire; a corridor for the safe return of refugees and displaced persons, ending all military operations and the media hysteria, which only pour fuel to the ugly situation. The immediate dismantling of NATO will go a long way to ensure peace and security, not only in Europe, but also the world over. European leaders should be seen to be honest in their response to the Ukrainian crisis.
In Africa, we are still fighting to grasp with the debilitating effect of NATO’s led military campaign and destruction in Libya, including the brutal murder of Colonel Muammar Kaddafi. One wonders if NATO would start a war against Russia who will really suffer; it’s the ordinary European citizens who have nothing to do with decisions, policies and activities of European politicians. I am afraid if not now, but in the future that Europe may risk becoming another battlefield for NATO’s territorial expansionist ambition.
The position of the Global South in the Ukrainian conflict contrasts with that of its Western European counterparts. This is normal in a world where one supports peace and the other sees war as an avenue to stash away natural resources, and to claim supremacy over the rest. From a moral standing, countries like South Africa, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Eritrea. China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Mexico and Vietnam have blamed the US and NATO for creating the crisis in Ukraine. These countries represent the Global South and views of the majority of the world’s population. While more countries have decided to remain neutral, Western European powers due to pressure from Washington have imposed sanctions on Russia.
I am not surprised at the decision of European leaders to impose sanctions on Russia to promote US hegemony in the world. How can an institution like the European Union accept the membership of the Venezuelan fugitive Leopoldo Lopez into the European Parliament? What would other countries, particularly African countries learn from this, democracy or what? This piece does not represent the opinion of any government or organization. It is the expressed opinion of an African from Sierra Leone. It is subject to discussion.
Those who have hurt humanity so much are the very ones confusing us that Russia is a bad guy. Where is it written in the Holy Books or International Law that slavery, colonialism, apartheid or State sponsored terrorism are justifiable? I believe NATO members-states and Russia should try to do the world a noble service-to find appropriate antidote to their political differences. The killings in Ukraine and other war torn countries should stop now