There still rests heavily on my mind President Biden’s press conference on June 26, 2022 on his return from meeting with the G7 leaders and the suffering people of Ukraine and the rest of the world.
It is hard for us to know the truth of what’s going on in Ukraine. The first casualty of war is truth. No nation has a monopoly on stupidity or sagacity. The American press, for the most part, seems to be on a mission to make sure that we see the worst of war waged by Putin (not President Putin or the Russians but just plain Putin. It’s Putin's war.)
All day long, for those of us who studied the media, we hear or see bombed hospitals, residents, supermarkets, playgrounds, old folk homes; old women crying in the streets wondering about homeless babies crying for their mommies, families held up in bomb shelters and the rumination of villages and cities. All of this could end if the U.S and NATO would give President Zelensky and the Ukrainians all the money and military weapons they need. Blame this idea on the media. They have helped to feed this idea that Ukranians can defeat Russia or wear Russia down to the impotence in a long protracted military and boycott operations. Some people believe it explains why the peace supposedly was rejected.
America has already given 15 billion and 40 billion more has been allocated, and sophisticated weapons. But still, they want more sophisticated weapons. President Biden has been reluctant to provide more highly sophisticated weapons less Russia decides to do the same and there is an intensification of the escalation. President Zelensky has demanded 5 billion per month.
All the while the leaders are talking tough while they are tucked away in safe places, some of them enjoying luxurious amenities.
It brings to mind one of the most memorable experiences I had in the UN Security Council. In 1977 President Joshua Nkomo came to New York to speak at the UN Security Council. Joshua Nkomo was called The Godfather of the Southern African Liberation Movement. He was president of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Unity (ZAPU) along with President Robert Mugabe, who was president of Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). The two organizations made up the patriotic front. They fought for the freedom of Southern Rodessa. Once they had gained their freedom, they named the country Zimbabwe.
We had raised funds for ZAPU. I had become very friendly with ZAPU’s representative at the United Nations, Christus Ndove.
So, when Mr. Nkomo was on his way to speak at the UN Security council. He sent information to me to join him. I was very proud to be in his delegation as he addressed the security council. After his presentation other member nations proceeded to ask him questions. When it was over they stood around shaking hands, patting each other on the back, in a rather friendly setting. I could not help but reflect while some of the men were very cordial to each other on the battlefield. Men and women were locked into military conflict, lives and properties were being destroyed and here the leaders were acting as though nothing was happening at all.
At the news conference already alluded to. President Biden was asked “How long will America support Ukraine?” his response, “As long as it will take, Ukraine will not lose the war.”
President Putin is equally defiant. Russia is not going to be defeated. President Zelensky said, “we will never give up one inch of land for peace”. But according to Michal von der Schulenberg, there was a proposal that Zelensky did not have to give up one inch of his land.
“The key elements for a peaceful solution have already been worked out by courageous Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in the first two months of the war. According to these, Ukraine would renounce NATO membership and not allow any foreign military bases on Ukrainian soil, while Russia would commit to recognizing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdraw all Russian troops from Ukraine and accept international security guarantees for Ukraine. It had also already been tentatively agreed to give a special status to the Donbas within Ukrainian territory (as already foreseen in Minsk II) and to resolve the future status of Crimea at a later stage through purely diplomatic means.
Certainly, this is not a complete peace treaty – not yet; many difficult details remain unresolved. But the outcome of these peace negotiations, even if only provisional, represent an astonishing achievement at a time of war. There is and will be no other peaceful solution than to agree to some form of Ukrainian neutrality in return for preserving Ukraine's territorial integrity. It would be completely illusory to assume, as some Western governments like to claim, that such a peace treaty is a purely Ukrainian responsibility and that they should stay out. To use this to justify the West's silence on Russian-Ukrainian peace efforts is highly disingenuous.”
We still do not know the reason for the rejection of the above proposal and who rejected it? As stated above some people believe there are those who want the war to continue. So I guess we ought to prepare our children’s children for war until the present leaders or future leaders with the same mindset put an end to life on the planet.
In the meanwhile, death and destruction are the daily lot of the people in Ukraine and hunger, disease, and poverty engulf the world. Back home, in the USA, inflation is still high, food shortages are increasing, fuel prices continue to rise, war in the streets of America, violence of every description, women and others rights are being eroded; the January 6th hearing continues to show how close America came to losing it all, at the insurrection orchestrated by the former President. Covid-19 is on the rise with competition from monkeypox; and heat waves spreading across the USA making living conditions unbearable for millions of Americans.
38 million Americans are food insecure with 12 million children. 42 million Americans are below poverty level and 600,000 are homeless. Such is the state of America at this time.
Our traveling President is off again to heal wounds of the world. He will first stop in Israel to reassure Israel that Iran will not have nuclear weapons. It is rather hard to believe that nations with nuclear weapons are now going to dictate whether a sovereign state can have or not have nuclear weapons. In addition, the ancient tension and conflict between Israel and the Arab nation, in particular the Palestinians will surely be under discussion. And so the world continues to spin apparently toward no good end.
Before or during or after World War II Winston Churchill is reported to have said, to the best of my recollection, “We seem to be drifting toward some catastrophic end. Everybody wants to do something to stop it. But is unable to do so. So we continue to drift toward a catastrophic end.” I don’t know if the words are accurate but the sentiment expressed seems most appropriate for our time. Except that the leaders, some of them, seem not to be working hard or doing all they can to avert the catastrophe toward which we’re headed. God help us!