Thursday, September 4, 2014

If I were Russian


Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at

September 4, 2014


                I’m a bit appalled at current US press coverage of events in Ukraine, where Putin is cast as the imperialist and leader of the Russian military, who must be backed down as by moving US troops and arms into Baltic NATO members, and by Western economic strangulation will eventually, we hope, be forced to be reasonable and get out of Ukraine.  It is one of a history of military-economic siege of Russia that President Woodrow Wilson first declared on the heels of the Bolshevik Revolution.  After Russia lost 20 million lives to crush the Germans from the East, President Truman declared a cold war upon them.  Now we resume the war rhetoric on one front, while Vice President Joe Biden makes a religious declaration to send ISIL leaders to hell, in turmoil in Iraq and Syria that began when the US invaded, killed Saddam Hussein, and blocked all members of the former Sunni majority Baathist party from holding office.  ISIL is to a large degree a creature of the US.  For the moment, it builds ties of common military interest with Shiites in Iraq and with Iran itself.  ISIL brutality is intolerable, and it is possible that regional military alliances will help build a force for religious tolerance and ecumenism in the region.

                To me, making peace with one’s adversaries requires empathy, a capacity to understand the reasons another behaves as s/he does.  In the face of the one-sidedness of US press coverage, I offer my take on how I would feel if I were Russian.  I would accept President Eisenhower’s prophecy as come true, that today a US-led global military-corporate economy is gaining supremacy, and with the fall of the Soviet military-economic Union, the pressure grows for Western capitalists to penetrate the economy of Mother Russia, once again at its borders, a land where so many died defending the motherland against the German military-industrialists.  From Ukraine to the Baltic, former parts of the Soviet military-economic union have fallen to the German-dominated European Union.

                In a sensible world, NATO and the EU and Russia would have agreed already in negotiation with the Ukrainian government that Ukraine become a Switzerland of Eastern Europe, unaligned militarily and economically, its neutrality guaranteed.  It is not too late for the West to consider backing off offering Ukraine NATO membership, and to let Ukraine negotiate its own trilateral trade agreements with Russia and the EU without belonging to the EU.

                I find the US still now, in 2014, once again leading the military-economic charge to strangle and isolate the Russian economy, and the Ukrainian government bombarding and killing many of its own people.  I find the US once against trying to spread the growth of global privatization and corporate accumulation of wealth and militarily-backed power.  If I were Russian, the ownership of my motherland’s own means of production, of its own economy, would be at stake, threatened to be imposed and enforced by NATO on behalf of predatory Western capitalism.  Coming from the US as I do, I empathize, and wish my leaders and media would get their moral high horses and let Ukraine have her independence.  Love and peace, hal

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