It’s time for Europe to face the brutal reality.
In my opinion, John Lennon’s “Imagine” was famous for the wrong reasons. His lyrics, “[You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,] I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one,” is what will lead to Hell.
The people who stand behind their pacifist morals when faced with the Russian attacks on Ukraine are in a way singing their own version of “Imagine:” Imagine a world where tensions will no longer be solved through war. Europe continues to live in this sort of utopia and ignores the brutal reality outside its borders. It’s time to wake up.
The hopes of both Ukraine and Russia for an immediate victory are lost. Russia is moving forward with a clear goal in what seems like a prolonged stalemate. We no longer have to read between the lines when Vladimir Putin compares himself to Petеr the Great: “On the face of it, he was at war with Sweden, taking something away from it. He wasn’t taking anything away, he was giving back. He was giving back and strengthening; that’s what he was doing. It is clear that it fell to us to give back and strengthen, too. And if we proceed from the fact that these essential values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks we face.”
Instead of focusing on specific questions, such as the return of Russia and what that would mean, we must carefully decipher Putin’s demands. This is a conclusion pointed out by one observer: It is clear from Russia’s statements that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Finland, the Baltic states and Europe as a whole fall into a second category.
We now know what it means for Putin to save face: It doesn’t mean accepting some small compromise regarding Donbas. It means accepting Putin’s ambitions. The reason why those ambitions must be unconditionally rejected is that in today’s global world, in which we are all haunted by the same catastrophes, we are all “in between” — in an in-between state, neither sovereign nor conquered. To insist on full sovereignty in the face of global warming is sheer madness; our very survival depends on close global cooperation.
But Russia is not just ignoring global warming. Why was it so angry with Scandinavian countries when they expressed their intention to join NATO? With global warming, control of the Arctic passage is at stake. That’s why Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark.
Because of the explosive development of China, Japan and South Korea, the main transport route will run north of Russia and Scandinavia. Russia’s strategic plan is to take advantage of global warming: to control the world’s main transport route, plus to develop Siberia and control Ukraine. In this way, Russia will dominate the production of so much food that it will be able to blackmail the whole world. This is the ultimate economic reality behind Putin’s imperial dream.
The people who support Ukraine to a lesser degree, and who want it to accept territorial losses, love to constantly state that Ukraine won’t win against Russia. This is true; it is also the reason why I consider the Ukrainian resistance to be great. They are taking many risks and, at the very least, we owe them our support. What we need is a stronger version of NATO — but without the influence of American politics.
The counter-strategy of the U.S. on Europe is not obvious. Both Ukraine and Europe are becoming proxy war zones for Russia and the U.S. Europe has only two ways of escaping: Play the neutrality game (a path to failure) or become an autonomous agent. Think of what the situation would be if Trump were to win the next U.S. election.
Despite the claim by some that the war is for NATO’s military-industrial complex — despite NATO’s efforts to avoid the crisis, to avoid profiting through pushing for advanced weaponry — their actual message to Ukraine is this: Yes, you are the victim of brutal aggression, but don’t rely on our weapons, because in doing so, you are playing into the hands of the military-industrial complex.
The disorientation caused by the Ukraine war leads to strange alliances, such as the alliance between Henry Kissinger and Noam Chomsky. In short, they abide by the same type of pacifism that would work if we ignore the fact that the war is not for Ukraine, but is rather a part of the brutal attempt to change our geopolitical situation. The real motive of the war is to destroy the unity between European countries, which is something that American conservatives, Russia and the European extreme conservatives and extreme liberals all support.
The most insane idea is that in order to stand against the U.S. and China, Europe and Russia must unite and create a third Eurasian front, based on Christian heritage and free from excessive liberalism. The whole idea of a Eurasian front is a form of modern fascism.
And so, what will happen? The answer is clear. European heritage will be lost and Europe will be separated in two parts: one led by Russia and one led by the U.S. In short, Europe will become the ground for endless war.
Something that is absolutely unacceptable for a modern liberal is not only the support of Russia, but a defense of the more humble, centrist argument that liberals are split between pacifists and the defenders of Ukraine, and that this separation should be treated as unimportant and should not affect the fight against global capitalism.
Today, a person cannot be liberal and not plainly stand behind Ukraine. To be a liberal who “understands” Russia is the equivalent of being one of those who, before Germany attacked the USSR, took the German “anti-imperialist” rhetoric for the U.K. seriously and were neutral during the German war against France and the United Kingdom.
If the resistance fails, it’s game over. Ukraine claims to be fighting for Europe, while Russia claims to be fighting for the rest of the world against Western unipolar hegemony. Both claims must be ignored. This is where the difference between liberals and conservatives comes into play.
From a conservative perspective, Ukraine is fighting for European values and against anti-European authoritarian countries. The liberal perspective is of a Ukraine fighting for global freedom, including the freedom of Russians themselves. Thus, the heart of every true Russian patriot beats for Ukraine.