PUTIN’S WAR ON UKRAINE (PART II)
By Akin Ojumu
The last time I took a class remotely close to international relations was decades ago at high school and the subject was Government. So, I’m a novice when it comes to understanding the struggle over the control of geographical entities with an international and global dimension, and the use of such geographical entities for political advantage is not a subject in which I’m familiar. The science of medicine is my profession, political science and geopolitics are not my areas of expertise. The dynamics of the relationship among nations is a subject in which I’m as thick as two short planks.
That being said, my lack of a master’s degree in political science does not mean I can’t differentiate between good and evil. While I may not hold a Ph.D. in international relations, I can certainly tell the difference between right and wrong. Injustice sticks in my crawl, and I have a bee in the bonnet about the oppression of the weak by the strong.
In the war that Russia is waging in Ukraine, it is sad to know that there are people out there taking the side of the oppressor. They are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to justify the evil of a lunatic. What seems so obvious to rational observers, that Vladimir Putin is the aggressor in the ensuing conflict, is completely lost on folks who see him as the unfortunate victim of unnecessary provocation.
The following exchange between Trey Gowdy and Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd) typifies this pro-Putin mindset.
Trey Gowdy: First, thank you for joining us. Why do you think Putin is doing this? What is his end game?
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): Well, Vladimir Putin is carrying through on something that he's been warning us about at least for the last 15 years. Which is that he will not tolerate US forces or their missiles on its borders, much as we would not tolerate Russian troops and missiles in Cuba. And we ignored him, and he finally acted. He was not going to allow Ukraine under any circumstances to join NATO.
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): What's happened now is that the battle in eastern Ukraine is really almost over. All the Ukrainian troops there have been largely surrounded and cut off. You have a concentration down in the southeast of 30 to 40,000 of them and if they don't surrender within the next 24 hours I suspect that the Russians will ultimately annihilate them. That's why Zelensky is meeting with Putin’s representatives right now. The game is over and he's gonna have to negotiate the best deal he can get. And we've already told him – the President of the United States – says that if he opts for neutrality for Ukraine, we'll back him.
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): And I think that Vladimir Putin will do that for western Ukraine, that is the Ukraine beyond the upper river. But behind it in the east, where he is now, I'm not sure what he has planned there. Whether he forms another Republic and annexes it into Russia because historically it has been Russia. But the territory West of Ukraine is not. He knows that and he's happy to live with that as a neutral state.
Trey Gowdy: I am not a military expert. I'm not even an expert on geography. But if he (Putin) takes Ukraine, and Ukraine abuts Poland, then he's going to have a NATO country abutting him. So, if that's what he doesn't want then isn't he gonna just have to keep going until he runs out of NATO countries?
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): I guess I should say it again. He (Putin) has no interest in crossing the Dnieper River and heading west to the Polish border. I think you're gonna find from these negotiations he's quite willing to neutralize that territory on the Austrian or the Finnish model. Right now, Russia already touches Estonia and part of Latvia. White Russia of course touches Lithuania.
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): He (Putin) is not interested in going to war with us (United States) and he has an army that's too small for that purpose. And he knows it. His economy is smaller than that of South Korea’s. So, this is not something that he's looking for. We are impugning to him things that he does not want to do in our usual effort to demonize him and his country.
Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd): We need to remember that Ukraine is fourth from the bottom of 158 countries in the world, as corrupt. Russia is perhaps three or four places above them. This is not the liberal democracy, the shining example that everyone says it is, far from it. Mr Zelensky has jailed journalists and his political opposition. I think we need to stay out of it. The American people think we should stay out of it.
As a footnote, Trey Gowdy is a retired Republican Congressman and now a TV Host on Fox News. Col Douglas MacGregor (Rtd) was nominated by Donald Trump as the US Ambassador to Germany and when his nomination failed to garner support of his fellow Republicans, Trump appointed him as Senior Adviser to the Secretary of Defense.
People like Douglas MacGregor are Russia’s apologists within the ranks of the Republican Party. This former senior office in the US military is one of the propagandists disseminating Putin’s lies in western societies. These are the folks the Russian intelligence agency derogatorily call the “Polezni Durak” i.e., Useful Idiots – and they are naive individuals who knowingly or unknowingly serve as pawns manipulated and exploited by the Russian intelligence to advance the agenda of the Russia state.
The mind of the polezni durak must be a really dark place. They freely carry out their mendacious acts on behalf of a despot while enjoying the privilege of living in democratic societies where everyone is free to express themself without molestation or fear of repercussions. The polezni durak exploit the very liberty that exists in their own society to promote the evil agenda of a murderous authoritarian who deprives his own people of the very same liberty. What an irony that is.