What a difference a decade makes. There was a time when the United States would talk to Russia with at least the pretense of respect. Remember this exchange between then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and then Barack Obama before his reelection?
That was then. Mr. Medvedev is singing quite a different tune now. He made this public statement yesterday:
It is useless and unnecessary to appeal to the prudence of our enemies in the West, the enemies must be forced to ask for mercy in the lost economic battle and end it with their complete and unconditional surrender
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I do not believe that Dimitry Medvedev was drunk or insane when he said this. I believe he is serious and reflects a view that is widely shared among the Russian leadership. The last seven months has been an eye opener for Medvedev and his colleagues in terms of discovering that the Americans and Europe see Russia as a piece of meat to be carved up and consumed. There is no solution based on compromise or negotiation with the west. Medvedev laid it out starkly and concisely—“complete and unconditional surrender.”
I have seen zero media coverage of this. That is alarming. The American people need to understand that Russia ain’t playing and is not going to roll over and submit like a beaten dog just because the United States insisted it will continue to funnel arms and money to Ukraine.
Put yourself in the shoes of the Russian leaders and people. Here is what they have seen over the last 8 years since the democratically elected President of Ukraine was ousted by a western backed coup:
- While professing a deep commitment to democracy, America and Europe ignored the voters of Ukraine and helped orchestrate the illegal removal of President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych on the 22 of February 2014.
- In the aftermath of that coup, the newly installed Ukrainian government embarked on a war against Russian speaking Ukrainians. Ukraine wantonly killed civilians and the west remained silent.
- Despite repeated warnings from Russia that it would not tolerate western efforts to bring Ukraine into NATO, the United States and Europe conducted annual military exercises with Ukraine and provided military training and training.
- Russia’s attempt to negotiate in December 2021 with the United States over the status of Ukraine was rebuffed.
- In response to Russia’s Special Military Operation, the United States and Europe imposed “draconian” sanctions and embarked on a full-scale attempt to punish not just the political leaders of Russia, but all Russians, including denouncing Russia’s rich cultural heritage.
- The United States and Europe continue to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition that is being used to kill the newly incorporated citizens of Russia that reside in the Donbas, Kherson and Zaporhyzhia.
- Russia’s effort to negotiate a peace with Ukraine was shutdown by the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
- The United Kingdom, Poland and Ukraine announced a trilateral pact to promote Ukraine’s defense and independence in February 2022.
- The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and leading US officials are calling for “decolonizing Russia”—ie, breaking up Russia into geographic regions.
- Russia’s Nordstream gas pipelines were sabotaged.
Now there is something more ominous. Ukraine and Poland are rattling nuclear sabers. Let us start with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called for the international community to take “preventive action” to deter the potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine by attacking Russia:
In an address to the Lowy Institute, a nonpartisan international policy think tank in Australia, Zelensky underscored the importance of “preventive strikes, preventive action” so that Russia can get a better picture of the potential consequences if they move to use nuclear weapons.
Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reacted firmly, clearly reflecting President Putin’s position about Zelensky’s foolish remarks:
The United States, the United Kingdom de facto lead the activities of Kiev, and therefore they should be responsible for Zelensky’s statements
Poland made mattes worse by claiming this week that it asked the United States to base nuclear weapons in Poland. Polish President Duda told Bloomberg News:
“The problem, first of all, is that we don’t have nuclear weapons,” Duda said in an interview with the Gazeta Polska newspaper published on Wednesday. “There is always a potential opportunity to participate in nuclear sharing.” . . .
In April, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s de-facto leader as the head of the ruling Law & Justice Party, told the German Welt am Sontag newspaper that his country was “open” to hosting US nuclear weapons.
“We have spoken to American leaders about whether the US is considering such a possibility” of Poland sharing the weapons, Duda told the newspaper. “The topic is open.”
I was a youngster when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviets reacted to the United States placing nuclear missiles in Turkey and decided to give the United States a taste of its own medicine. The United States was horrified at the prospect of having Soviet missiles 90 miles from our shores and reacted strongly. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and a deal was cut that committed the Soviets to removing the missiles from Cuba by the United States followed removing the nukes from Turkey. Why would anyone sane person think that the west could now place nukes almost on the border of Russia and that Russia would not care nor react? This is madness.
Vladmir Putin is not a delusional paranoid. He is taking the west at its word and accepts the reality that the United States and Europe want to destroy Russia. Putin is committed to preventing that and it is now clear that the members of his government and the people of Russia are awakened to this threat. If you were in Putin’s place, what would you do? How would you react?