Why not Peace talks?
On October 21st, 2022 at about 3pm. I just heard the U.S. and Russia agreed to “keep the lines open”. They assured the world that they were not talking about peace or any serious subjects, but they are going to keep the lines open. I reckon some assurance that at least they're talking. I am reminded of something Prime Minister Winston Churchill said during the threat of the second World War. He said, “Jaw-jaw is better than war-war".
The question I would ask is why not peace talks? Why not announce to the world that their respective governments and allies are having continuous peace talks. I wrote a few days ago, I along with others had strongly urged U.S. and NATO leaders and their allies to use all their influence to demand:
Settlement that would be mutually beneficial to both combatants.
Surely the peoples of the world will feel more comfortable knowing that the most powerful nations are working towards peace.
President Zelensky has a different approach. He has said that, “there ought to be no talks with Russia”, as always in his remarks the catalog of Russian crimes trying to persuade the world or his allies that President Putin is a devil as is killing, bombing, destroying innocent civilians and their life sustaining infrastructure.
Honesty compels me to confess after studying President Zelensky’s words, facial expressions, body language and granted it’s from a distance. I get the feeling that he wants war or some kind of victory and that he is prepared for war in which no one wins and the people will continue to bear this suffering.
He constantly, with the American press and U.S. leaders help after painting these horrible images, then comes the beg. More money, more sophisticated weapons and his demands are being met. Russia responds militarily in some way and threatens to use nuclear weapons. As I reflected on the words of these officials and the war in Ukraine with no sign of peace or negotiations. I recall an article that was written by Michael von der Schulenberg touching on some of the various points I have been making in my articles.
I admit that I have been influenced by his writings. I am going to take the liberty to quote excerpts from his article “For Peace and Ukraine, Europe must finally find its own voice”.
The mood in Germany continues to be one of war, sanctions, arms deliveries, accusations of Russian war crimes and reports of Ukrainian victories. There seems to be no room for peace. Now, the media and parts of the political establishment are also promoting the view that this war against Russia can be won militarily – if the West only supplies Ukraine with heavy weapons. Under these circumstances, peace negotiations with Russia, or as we like to say pejoratively, with Putin, may not only appear morally reprehensible, but also unnecessary. For Europe, this would be a dangerous delusion.
Europe, for its own interest, should strive for a negotiated peace settlement in the Ukraine war and not risk intensifying the war in the hope to gain a military victory over Russia. If Europe continues to supply large quantities of weapons, especially heavy weapons, without at the same time thinking about peace, it will increasingly end up carrying a share of the responsibility for the senseless destruction and continuing bloodshed Ukrainians are suffering.
This war is taking place on European soil between two European states, and yet it is not Europe but the USA that is determining the Western approach to this war – and this even though the USA is more than 10,000 kilometers away from the war. This indicates that even 30 years after the end of the Cold War, Europe, and in particular the EU, has still not found its own voice. Europe appears only capable of finding a minimal consensus on sanctions and arms deliveries; reflections on how to achieve peace and what peace should look like are missing from official European statements.
The USA has no major economic interests in Ukraine, nor is it directly threatened by political developments there. The overwhelming presence of the USA in this conflict and its enormous and highly risky military deployment can only be explained by the geopolitical goals of the USA. Having Ukraine as a NATO Member would decisively increase American influence in Eurasia, as Brzezinski once called it.
For Europe, the situation is different. Ukraine is first and foremost a neighboring state and a valuable economic partner. It is also a bridge between Europe and the growing economies of Asia. While the American economy suffers little from the effects of sanctions, Europe is disproportionately more affected. Its attempt to completely decouple itself economically from Russia while the war in Ukraine is cutting Europe’s land bridge to Asia means Europe is cutting itself off from its eastern economic areas, its access to essential raw materials, and important markets in Asia. Through these actions, Europe is hence losing one of its great comparative advantages that result from its geographical position. Even more than during the Cold War, Europe’s economy would now have to orient itself almost exclusively towards the West. Since only a few countries worldwide support these sanctions, Europe is virtually committing some kind of political economic self-castration.
The greatest danger, however, for Europe would come from a strategy aimed at achieving a military victory against Russia in Ukraine. Such a strategy could result in unpredictable reactions from Russia. For Russia, the Ukraine war has become a question of national survival, and we must assume that Russia will use everything it has to avoid leaving the battlefield as a loser. But how far would the nuclear power that is Russia go? Do we really want to test this? And, in the event of a looming Russian defeat, wouldn’t we have to be prepared for China’s involvement as a forced reaction to prevent what it may see as an USA encroachment? Suddenly, the Russia-Ukraine war could turn into a dangerous confrontation among three nuclear powers.”
A victorious peace seems unlikely.... Stay tuned for the next article with more on Ukraine.