This column likes to assert that the threat to our way of life does not reflect the muscles of its enemy. Materially, the challenger is too backward to upset the world order. This applies, whether the foes meant are Marxists, traditional ethnic imperialist (Russia), religious supremacist (Islamists), or Third-Worldists who blame their poverty on those that escaped it through their own efforts. Whatever the chance of these for success might be, it flows from the fashionable self-flagellation of the developed world.
Although non-western societies join eagerly the western model that they adjust to their traditions, the ranks of the progressive world’s enemies are swelling. Potentially, in the future case of China, but presently mainly from Russia and the Islamists, a challenge unfolds. This dispute is partly cultural –it can pit Islam or a secular religion (Marxism), against modernity. In the latter area, Russia’s militarized resentment of models beyond her control is the chief threat. Tactically, Islam’s hostility might be more brutal and confrontational. Nevertheless, it does not compare to Russia’s, as the Islamist cannot produce the armaments they need to crush the Infidels.
That said; let us deal with the “internal” factor that, acting as a catalyst, converts the outside threat into a peril. We focus on the advocated proper reaction to actual or threatened war and on the ways to preserve peace through diplomacy.
In your correspondent’s case, the trigger is a local paper. (“A Good Basis for Peace” / Südostschweiz, February 13, 2015.) Neither the author, nor the paper is “important”. That exactly is what makes the material reveal, “what is wrong here”. Traits that express an “average” make the revelations “typical”.
On the day following “Minsk-2” –“Minsk-1” has expired at birth- the author –Mr. Deed- rendered here in an edited translation, revealed that it is “a good basis for peace”. Thus, “If the plan holds, it is proof that the passionate pursuit of peace negotiations can achieve just as much as does war. Merkel and Hollande have reawakened Europe’s hope that Russia and the West do not need to make their lives mutually difficult. The EU proved that there are smart alternatives to the American approach, which is ‘to make peace through more arms’. Hats off! Putin, Poroshenko, and the separatists have agreed upon a peace scenario. Its implementation will be controlled by the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). While that guarantees no peace, it will assure that reported violations will have an effect. In Minsk Putin has forced the separatists to sign an agreement that falls short of his original goals. At the same time, Poroshenko is committed to a revision of the Ukraine’s constitution and to talks to leaders previously labeled as terrorists.”
It did not require an unusual amount of local knowledge to be skeptical and to file the piece for later use. Indeed, the events that followed the “agreement” proved the deal even more worthless than Putin’s record made one assume.
What has the “passionate pursuit” of “peace negotiations” brought? In the given case, negotiations served as a substitute for the pursuit of peace with the methods that fit the crisis. France and Germany negotiated because they were reluctant to pay the price of the restoration of peace. Therefore, negotiations became an excuse for doing nothing to dissuade the aggressor.
With that in mind, the negotiations were not an exchange to achieve a just bargain –only the withdrawal of Russian troops would have fit the bill. Much rather, the idea was to convince Russia to stop its agents from taking more of what they were not entitled to. That in the hope that the carnivore was fed, therefore satiated, and only needed a face saving devise to avoid being charged by its ultra’s of not having taken enough. The shaming purpose of the approach can be seen through an analogy. If the store detective catches a shoplifter, he confiscates the loot and calls the police. In this case, “security” ignored the loot and asked the thief to desist from grabbing more than what fit into his shopping cart.
Now, to the core of the report, that tells what is wrong in the camp that wishes for its piece of peace while, in denial of reality, it makes aggression pay. It celebrates the “proof” of the “smart alternative” that the governing angels of peace have given the world. Presumably, the praise was written at great speed, as the signs, that “peace” would vanish like the air of a punctured balloon, have been immediate. No wonder: The deal bypassed critical details and the enforcement of whatever was agreed upon was left to the OSCE, which is toothless and its agents are regularly detained by the Little Green Men of the “People’s Republic”. So, suppose that the supervisors report a violation. What was to happen then? Beyond “nothing,” that is.
Here a word about the world after “Minsk-2” is needed. Looking back, “Misk-1”- it followed the violation an earlier agreement- was to preclude further conquests. Through its proxies, Moscow continued its war and was handed in Minsk-2 what it took after Minsk-1. Thereafter, the expansion continued to round out the conquest. Looking forward as sporadic fighting continues, it is likely that the Kremlin will desist from major advances in the region it has already recast. Once the economic sanctions are lifted and are followed by a recovery, a new crisis will “spontaneously” arise. Then the profitable pattern of indirect aggression will be re-applied. Submitting to what is already in the pipeline will require logical summer saults. Unlike the Ukraine, the next victim might be a NATO member: explaining inaction will be challenging. The reasonable expectation is that, the Europeans who are bad at playing chicken, and the disinterested Americans, will save themselves from “unpleasantness” by consenting to a repetition of the Ukrainian “solution”.
As the coward likes to play the role of the hero, as “hats off” is recommended to honor a major success, a dart is thrown at the Americans. To kick them happens to be safer than to anger Putin who might be “radicalized” by insolence. Thus, the deal is said to have proven through its entire five-minute lifespan, that there are “smarter” statesmen than the “Amis” who like to “make peace through more arms”.
With that, the article supports a favorite idea of those that do not understand a number of crucial matters. This is the element that does not get it that aggression responds to the weakness of the will and to inadequate physical defense.
That element likes to repeat all the errors of the Thirties although it claims to be retroactively “heroic” in its dogged resistance to Nazis. The latest news is that Hitler is gone. However, by that, systems with a commitment to violent expansionism are not of the past. As things stand, a distorted past is exploited to practice a foolish and dishonorable appeasement in the present.
Abused phrases bring to mind the one that might become the greatest source of misfortune and miscalculation.
Whenever an under-armed entity is victimized, the idea of supplying it with adequate weapons arises. Now then, the “champions of peace” like to find in weapons the origin of wars. That dogma makes the contemplation of a relationship between preparedness and security anathema. Accordingly, before Minsk-2, Ms Merkel has reacted to a whispered suggestion of Washington. It was that, after all, the Ukrainians might need some modern weapons to cope with the newest from Russia’s armory. Here the Chancellor acted “boldly” by telling that weapons will only fuel the war, destabilize the situation, and prolong the suffering.
Since versions of this argument surface when shots are fired, it is worth to pursue the pleasing idea that not men make wars but that weapons do.
The history of the Cold War is incomprehensible if weapons systems as factors of stability are ignored. Additionally, consider the history of aggression. The attacker is the party that sees himself as better equipped for war than the pray. If those lacking weapons cannot be acquired, then peace, the victor’s peace, will break out. Being unarmed might convey moral superiority - possibly even admission to sainthood. However, it will also mean that your kind will be slaughtered and that “peace” will equal submission and suppression.
Therefore, those that withhold weapons from the victims support the aggressor and spread the seeds of tyranny. Does this seem too hard to understand? Please excuse the bias; the mantra “war is no solution” ignores the birth of the present and the shaping of the past. The advocacy of weakness paves the way for a future of misfortune. Anybody that has faced a T34 tank with a pistol in his hand will be made as a result smart enough to know this much. Even smarter are those that, while they have a choice, choose to learn from the fate of the enslaved.