Alfred McCoy Ukraine

How to End the War in Ukraine

A solution beyond sanctions
Natali Sevriukova reacts next to her house following a rocket attack in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

By Alfred McCoy / TomDispatch

As the war in Ukraine heads for its third month amid a rising toll of death and destruction, Washington and its European allies are scrambling, so far unsuccessfully, to end that devastating, globally disruptive conflict. Spurred by troubling images of executed Ukrainian civilians scattered in the streets of Bucha and ruined cities like Mariupol, they are already trying to use many tools in their diplomatic pouches to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to desist. These range from economic sanctions and trade embargoes to the confiscation of the assets of some of his oligarch cronies and the increasingly massive shipment of arms to Ukraine. Yet none of it seems to be working. 

Even after Ukraine’s surprisingly strong defense forced a Russian retreat from the northern suburbs of the capital, Kyiv, Putin only appears to be doubling down with plans for new offensives in Ukraine’s south and east. Instead of engaging in serious negotiations, he’s been redeploying his battered troops for a second round of massive attacks led by General Alexander Dvonikov, “the butcher of Syria,” whose merciless air campaigns in that country flattened cities like Aleppo and Homs.

So while the world waits for the other combat boot to drop hard, it’s already worth considering where the West went wrong in its efforts to end this war, while exploring whether anything potentially effective is still available to slow the carnage.

Playing the China Card

In January 2021, only weeks after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Moscow began threatening to attack Ukraine unless Washington and its European allies agreed that Kyiv could never join NATO. That April, Putin only added force to his demand by dispatching 120,000 troops to Ukraine’s border to stage military maneuvers that Washington even then branded a “war threat.” In response, taking a leaf from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s tattered Cold War playbook, the Biden administration initially tried to play Beijing off against Moscow.

After a face-to-face summit with Putin in Geneva that June, President Biden affirmed Washington’s “unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” In a pointed warning to the Russian president, he said,

“You got a multi-thousand-mile border with China… China is… seeking to be the most powerful economy in the world and the largest and the most powerful military in the world. You’re in a situation where your economy is struggling… I don’t think [you should be] looking for a Cold War with the United States.”

As Russian armored units began massing for war near the Ukrainian border that November, U.S. intelligence officials all-too-accurately leaked warnings that “the Kremlin is planning a multi-front offensive… involving up to 175,000 troops.” In response, over the next three months, administration officials scrambled to avert war by meeting a half-dozen times with Beijing’s top diplomats and beseeching “the Chinese to tell Russia not to invade.”

In a video conference on December 7th, Biden told Putin of his “deep concerns… about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine,” warning that “the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

In a more amicable video conference just a week later, however, Putin assured China’s President Xi Jinping that he would defy any human-rights boycott by Western leaders and come to Beijing for the Winter Olympics. Calling him his “old friend,” Xi replied that he appreciated this unwavering support and “firmly opposed attempts to drive a wedge into our two countries.” Indeed, during the February Olympics opening ceremony, the two of them publicly proclaimed a de facto alliance that had “no limits,” even as Beijing evidently made it clear that Russia should not spoil China’s glittering Olympic moment on the international stage with an invasion right then.

In retrospect, it’s hard to overstate the price Putin paid for China’s backing. So desperate was he to preserve their new alliance that he sacrificed his only chance for a quick victory over Ukraine. By the time Putin landed in Beijing on February 4th, 130,000 Russian troops had already massed on the Ukrainian border. Delaying an invasion until the Olympics ended left most of them huddled in unheated canvas tents for three more weeks. When the invasion finally began, idling vehicles had burned through much of their fuel, truck tires sitting without rotation were primed for blow-outs, and the rations and morale of many of those soldiers were exhausted.

In early February, the ground in Ukraine was still frozen, making it possible for Russia’s tanks to swarm overland, potentially encircling the capital, Kyiv, for a quick victory. Because the Olympics didn’t end until February 20th, Russia’s invasion, which began four days later, was ever closer to March, Ukraine’s mud month when average temperatures around Kyiv rise rapidly. Adding to Moscow’s difficulties, at 51 tons, its T-90 tanks were almost twice as heavy as the classic go-anywhere Soviet T-34s which won World War II. When those modern steel-clad behemoths did try to leave the roads near Kyiv, they often sank deep and fast in the mud, becoming sitting ducks for Ukrainian missiles.

Instead of surging across the countryside to envelop Kyiv, Russia’s tanks found themselves stuck in a 40-mile traffic jam on a paved highway where Ukrainian defenders armed with shoulder-fired missiles could destroy them with relative ease. Being enveloped by the enemy instead of enveloping them cost the Russian army most of its losses to date — estimated recently at 40,000 troops killed, wounded, or captured, along with 2,540 armored vehicles and 440 rocket and artillery systems destroyed. As those crippling losses mounted, Russia’s army was forced to abandon its five-week campaign to capture the capital. On April 2nd, the retreat began, leaving behind a dismal trail of burned vehicles, dead soldiers, and slaughtered civilians.

In the end, Vladimir Putin paid a high price indeed for China’s support.

President Xi’s foreknowledge of the plans to invade Ukraine and his seemingly steadfast support even after so many weeks of lackluster military performance raise some revealing parallels with the alliance between Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, and China’s Mao Zedong in the early days of the Cold War. After Stalin’s pressure on Western Europe was blocked by the Berlin airlift of 1948-1949 and the formation of NATO in April 1950, the Soviet boss made a deft geopolitical pivot to Asia. He played upon his brand-new alliance with a headstrong Mao by getting him to send Chinese troops into the maelstrom of the Korean War. For three years, until his death in 1953 allowed an armistice to be reached, Stalin kept the U.S. military bogged down and bloodied in Korea, freeing him to consolidate his control over Eastern Europe.

Following this same geopolitical strategy, President Xi has much to gain from Putin’s headstrong plunge into Ukraine. In the short term, Washington’s focus on Europe postpones a promised (and long-delayed) U.S. “pivot” to the Pacific, allowing Beijing to further consolidate its position in Asia. Meanwhile, as Putin’s military flattens cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol, making Russia an outlaw state, a mendicant Moscow is likely to become a cut-rate source of much-needed Chinese fuel and food imports. Not only does Beijing need Russia’s gas to wean its economy from coal but, as the world’s largest consumer of wheat, it could achieve food security with a lock on Russia’s massive grain exports. Just as Stalin capitalized on Mao’s stalemate in Korea, so the elusive dynamics of Eurasian geopolitics could well transform Putin’s losses into Xi’s gains.

For all these reasons, Washington’s initial strategy had little chance of restraining Russia’s invasion. As retired CIA analyst Raymond McGovern argued, drawing on his 27 years studying the Soviet Union for the agency, “Rapprochement between Russia and China has grown to entente.” In his view, the sooner Biden’s foreign-policy team “get it through their ivy-mantled brains that driving a wedge between Russia and China is not going to happen, the better the chances the world can survive the fallout (figurative and literal) from the war in Ukraine.”

Sanctions

Since the Russian invasion began, the Western alliance has been ramping up an array of sanctions to punish Putin’s cronies and cripple Russia’s economic capacity to continue the war. In addition, Washington has already committed $2.4 billion for arms shipments to Ukraine, including lethal antitank weapons like the shoulder-fired Javelin missile.

On April 6th, the White House announced that the U.S. and its allies had imposed “the most impactful, coordinated, and wide-ranging economic restrictions in history,” banning new investments in Russia and hampering the operations of its major banks and state enterprises. The Biden administration expects the sanctions to shrink Russia’s gross domestic product by 15% as inflation surges, supply chains collapse, and 600 foreign companies exit the country, leaving it in “economic, financial, and technological isolation.” With near unanimous bipartisan support, Congress has also voted to void U.S. trade relations with Moscow and ban its oil imports (measures with minimal impact since Russia only supplies 2% of American petroleum use).

Although the Kremlin’s invasion threatened European security, Brussels moved far more cautiously, since Russia supplies 40% of the European Union’s gas and 25% of its oil — worth $108 billion in payments to Moscow in 2021. For decades, Germany has built massive pipelines to handle Russia’s gas exports, culminating in the 2011 opening of Nordstream I, the world’s longest undersea pipeline, which Chancellor Angela Merkel then hailed as a “milestone in energy cooperation” and the “basis of a reliable partnership” between Europe and Russia.

With its critical energy infrastructure bound to Russia by pipe, rail, and ship, Germany, the continent’s economic giant, is dependent on Moscow for 32% of its natural gas, 34% of its oil, and 53% of its hard coal. After a month of foot-dragging, it did go along with the European decision to punish Putin by cutting off Russian coal shipments, but drew the line at tampering with its gas imports, which heat half its homes and power much of its industry.

To reduce its dependence on Russian gas, Berlin has launched multiple long-term projects to diversify its energy sources, while cancelling the opening of the new $11 billion Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia. It has also asserted control over its own energy reserves, held inside massive underground caverns, suspending their management by the Russian state firm Gazprom. (As Berlin’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck put it, “We won’t leave energy infrastructure subject to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin.”)

Right after the Ukraine invasion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a crash program to construct the country’s first Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals on its north coast to unload supplies from American ships and those of various Middle Eastern countries. Simultaneously, German officials flew off to the Persian Gulf to negotiate more long-term deliveries of LNG. Still, the construction of such a multibillion-dollar terminal typically takes about four years, and Germany’s vice-chancellor has made it clear that, until then, massive imports of Russian gas will continue in order to preserve the country’s “social peace.” The European Union is considering plans to cut off Russian oil imports completely, but its proposal to slash Russian natural-gas imports by two-thirds by year’s end has already met stiff opposition from Germany’s finance ministry and its influential labor unions, worried about losses of “hundreds of thousands” of jobs.

Given all the exemptions, sanctions have so far failed to fatally cripple Russia’s economy or curtail its invasion of Ukraine. At first, the U.S. and EU restrictions did spark a crash in Russia’s currency, the ruble, which President Biden mockingly called “the rubble,” but its value has since bounced back to pre-invasion levels, while broader economic damage has, so far, proved limited. “As long as Russia can continue to sell oil and gas,” observed Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson International Economics Institute, “the Russian government’s financial situation is actually pretty strong.” And he concluded, “This is the big escape clause of the sanctions.”

In short, the West has seized a few yachts from Putin’s cronies, stopped serving Big Macs in Red Square, and slapped sanctions on everything except the one thing that really matters. With Russia supplying 40% of its gas and collecting an estimated $850 million daily, Europe is, in effect, funding its own invasion.

Reparations

Following the failure of both Washington’s pressure on China and Western sanctions against Russia to stop the war, the international courts have become the sole peaceful means left to still the conflict. While the law often remains an effective means to mediate conflict domestically, the critical question of enforcing judgements has long robbed the international courts of their promise for promoting peace — a problem painfully evident in Ukraine today.

Even as the fighting rages, two major international courts have already ruled against Russia’s invasion, issuing orders for Moscow to cease and desist its military operations. On March 16th, the U.N.’s highest tribunal, the International Court of Justice, ordered Russia to immediately suspend all military operations in Ukraine, a judgment Putin has simply ignored. Theoretically, that high court could now require Moscow to pay reparations, but Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, could simply veto that decision.

With surprising speed, on day five of the invasion, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) at Strasbourg ruled in the case of Ukraine v. Russia (X), ordering the Kremlin “to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including residential premises, emergency vehicles and… schools and hospitals” — a clear directive that Moscow’s military continues to defy with its devastating rocket and artillery strikes. To enforce the decision, the court notified the Council of Europe, which, two weeks later, took the most extreme step its statutes allow, expelling Russia after 26 years of membership. With that not-terribly-painful step, the European Court seems to have exhausted its powers of enforcement.

But matters need not end there. The Court is also responsible for enforcing the European Convention on Human Rights, which reads in part: “Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.” Under that provision, the ECHR could order Russia to pay Ukraine compensation for the war damage it’s causing. Unfortunately, as Ivan Lishchyna, an adviser to Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice, points out: “There is no international police or international military force that can support any international court judgment.”

As it happens, though, there is a blindingly obvious path to payment. Just as a U.S. municipal court can garnish the wages of a deadbeat dad who won’t pay child support, so the European Court of Human Rights could garnish the gas income of the world’s ultimate deadbeat dad, Vladimir Putin. In its first five weeks, Putin’s war of choice inflicted an estimated $68 billion dollars of damage on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure (its homes, airports, hospitals, and schools), along with other losses worth about $600 billion or three times that country’s total gross domestic product.

But how would Ukraine collect such a sum from Russia? Any Ukrainian party that has suffered damage — whether individuals, cities, or the entire nation — could petition the European Court of Human Rights to enforce its judgement in Ukraine v. Russia (X) by awarding damages. The Court could then instruct the Council of Europe to direct all European corporations buying gas from Gazprom, the Russian state monopoly, to deduct, say, 20% from their regular payments for a Ukraine compensation fund. Since Europe is now paying Gazprom about $850 million daily, such a court-ordered deduction, would allow Putin to pay off his initial $600 billion war-damage debt over the next eight years. As long as his invasion continued, however, those sums would only increase in a potentially crippling fashion. 

Though Putin would undoubtedly froth and fulminate, in the end, he would have little choice but to accept such deductions or watch the Russian economy collapse from the lack of gas, oil, or coal revenues. Last month, when he rammed legislation through his parliament requiring Europe’s gas payments in rubles, not euros, Germany refused, despite the threat of a gas embargo. Faced with the loss of such critical revenues sustaining his economy, a chastened Putin called Chancellor Scholz to capitulate.

With billions invested in pipelines leading one-way to Europe, Russia’s petro-dependent economy would have to absorb that war-damage deduction of 20% — possibly more, if the devastation worsened — or face certain economic collapse from the complete loss of those critical energy exports. That might, sooner or later, force the Russian president to end his war in Ukraine. From a pragmatic perspective, that 20% deduction would be a four-way win. It would punish Putin, rebuild Ukraine, avoid a European recession caused by banning Russian gas, and prevent environmental damage from firing up Germany’s coal-fueled power plants.

Paying for Peace

Back in the day of anti-Vietnam War rallies in the United States and nuclear-freeze marches in Europe, crowds of young protesters would sing John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s hope-filled refrain, even though they were aware of just how hopeless it was even as the words left their lips: “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” But now, after weeks of trial and error over Ukraine, the world just might have a chance to make the aggressor in a terrible war at least begin to pay a price for bringing such devastating conflict back to Europe.

Perhaps it’s time to finally deliver a bill to Vladimir Putin for a foreign policy that has involved little more than flattening one hapless city after another — from Aleppo and Homs in Syria to Chernihiv, Karkhiv, Kherson, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Mykolaiv, and undoubtedly more to come in Ukraine. Once the world’s courts establish such a precedent in Ukraine v. Russia (X), would-be strongmen might have to think twice before invading another country, knowing that wars of choice now come with a prohibitive price tag.     

Alfred W. McCoy

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular, is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (Dispatch Books). His new book, just published, is To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change.

69 comments

  1. Because history is interesting and analysis is somewhat helpful but he has no solution. He’s like everyone else this far it is clear about how there was some western missteps and even provocation but seems mild on the fact that this was an aggressive uncalled for action by Putin and really doesn’t present any solution

    1. Fine, Dave. What’s your solution?I Think you had better look at this from another prospective. The aggressive action was indeed called for and Mr. Putin had been very clear of the solutions he set about to achieve. And it looks like he is about to achieve what he set out to do.

    2. That is incorrect. This has been a years-long conflict between the people of Ukraine – those who want to align with NATO/the West vs. those who want to maintain their alliance with Russia. The key point regarding your comment: Since taking office, Biden moved tens of thousands of US/NATO troops into Eastern Europe (in bold violation of the 1990 NATO agreement), along Ukraine’s border, and very recently, along a segment of Russia’s border — a direct threat to Russia, provoking war. Clearly, the plan is to trample over Ukraine, turning it into a US puppet state, and installing missile bases along the Ukraine/Russia border. Russia will not allow that, just as the US will not allow Russia or China to build missile bases in Canada, near the US border. The bottom line to what we are seeing: Joe Biden is recklessly putting us on the brink of a nuclear world war.

    3. This war is about history yes, but more pertinently it is about energy and resources and control of them. Power and control means profits. Nevermind that it takes lies, theft, murder and war to succeed. Corporations, using our government and military, and whatever desperate or delusional people they convince to die or lie, steal or murder for them have plotted and competed against Russia since before WW2. Why? This quest is a needless disaster in the service of the tyranny of corporations. In this case, more specifically, the tyranny of LNG gas profiteers. Let Russia exist. Would people in Ukraine be dying if the US had not blocked Nord Stream 2? It is suicide to try to rule the world.

  2. I can summarize very easily what this man is proposing. He feels that Russia decided on Thursday to invade Ukraine because it was there. He doesn’t mention the extension of NATO; He doesn’t mention the civil war because in his mind there was none; he doesn’t mention the Neo Nazi Azov battalion and other groups; he doesn’t mention that the president was elected to stop the bloodshed in the Donbas that had been going on for eight years and found himself powerless to do so for fear of his life; he doesn’t mention the part that the US played in making this tragedy inescapable; he doesn’t realize that the Russians have lost faith talking with anyone in the West since they never gave the them the time of day in December when they suggested a new security agreement. Yet, he feels that because the war has already started he can snap a finger and it will all go away. My God in heaven! where does this man come from!

    1. Extension of NATO? That’s a diplomatic way to put it. It’s in gross violation of the 1990 NATO treaty, in violation of international law. The reason a country moves tens of thousands of troops 4,000 miles from its own border, is to invade another country. Wage war.

    2. robert sinuhe,
      Every point you made is accurate. I thought the same thing. Alfred McCoy is a smart guy generally. I can barely believe he wrote this.

    3. I noted his lack of mentioning the aforementioned in your comments and wondered why the author was so myopic.

  3. Here is how you end the war in Ukraine:

    1. Disband NATO.
    2. Remove all of the NATO weapons from Ukraine.
    3. Arrest and prosecute all the Nazis.

  4. One thing more:

    Allow the Crimea and the other Russian speakers to be part of Russia.

    1. Yes, after all, they are Russian-speakers in the Donbass and Crimea has been Russia’s naval base since 1783. Crimea is part of Ukraine only because Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in 1954; he himself was Ukrainean and born there.
      How easily this could have been prevented. It was a gift to the weapon makers. And Biden has never wanted peace. He is a warmonger. Big money there.

  5. Zero in this article about NATO expansion to Russia’s borders or attacks on Russian speaking civilians in the Donbass since 2014 resulting in the deaths of 14,000 civilians according to the UN. I’m not surprised by the lack of context, just disappointed.

  6. If Russia must pay Ukraine for war damages, then the US must pay Afghanistan and Iraq the same.

  7. Alfred McCoy uses so many false premises that it’s hard to know where to begin. His conclusion isn’t any better. In fact the whole piece is on the whole, garbage. I expect better from TomDispatch.

    You can’t have peace when one side doesn’t want peace. It is the same side that relentlessly provoked this manufactured crisis and who are gleefully leading the world toward it’s doom. They have cracked the very foundations of global order, creating a economic, political and cultural schism with half the population of the world.

    Russia will not fold. Russia will not collapse. Russia will not revolt against it’s political leadership. Russia will weather the storm…they have energy and they have food and an entire continent of natural resources. Their people have suffered hardships in recent memory that Americans cannot even imagine and they have time and again risen to the challenge. Ask Hitler. Ask Napoleon.

    But don’t ask Alfred McCoy because he doesn’t dabble much with the history of the region or the players.

    1. err, isn’t the side that does not want peace usually the one which starts and perpetuates the war? putin won’t even pause his [mostly indiscriminate] shelling and bombing for peace talks, so for you to insinuate that this is all Ukraine’s fault is pretty insane
      saddam Hussein ‘provoked’ the U.S. plenty but i seen nobody blame Iraq for the war…
      i blame the aggressor, whether it’s Israel, Bush’s America or Russia.
      none of this ‘they had it coming’ shit….
      yes there is a side which does not want peace, it wants land and control of resources, and this side is Russia…..

      1. Nice to have the other side but I suggest you do more research and read the comments here – you may be on your own at present but this doesn’t invalidate your points. We can all learn new things from our peers, it’s the way science used to work before it was taken over by Big Pharma. Follow the money:

        As ‘Mr Total Oil’ said: “Shortly before his death, Christophe de Margerie, the late head of French oil giant Total, said: “Anything can be bought, including men, it’s just a question of price”.

      2. @Argo, you should be very careful with word aggressor here as it is a strict term of international law. What we have here is fulfilling duty of defending an ally.

        Russia fulfilled duty of defending Donbas after 8 years of war and Ukraine final refusal to implement Minsk II peace agreement Russia, France and Germany supported. Nuland hated .

        It is the same mechanism of international law what underlies US defense doctrine of NATO countries.

        US would legally attack RF if any NATO member is directly attacked by Russia. It is a law you can condemn it disagree with it but it is the legal reality NATO, Russia and most of countries conform to. Legally Russia did not commit supreme crime of war of aggression against Ukraine.

        If Israel was attacked by Russia would US attack Russia? you bet. It is their legal treaty obligation.

    2. agree and the “American People” have become so soft, we’d rather die than fight

      it’s what you get when you raise a nation of connned-sumers

  8. Why doesn’t the author review the illegal invasions by the US and its puppy dog, Britain over the last 30 years and the death and destruction it has caused all around the world. He is talking bollocks.

    We all know what this is all about and Putin has called out the Globalists and it is they that will pay the price with the death of weaponised dollar hegemony.

      1. I am not totally sure Paula but it looks good for freedom lovers at present. The unipolar, weaponised US dollar hegemony is beginning to collapse as the Eurasian global counter offensive takes effect. It will take some years for this to unfold and in the meantime we are all going to suffer stagflation and supply chain disruption exactly as I predicted in my book referenced in my Substack weekly ‘Letters from Great Britain’. Chapter 13 and the Appendices will be of interest for those wishing to understand what is happening now and in the near future:
        https://austrianpeter.substack.com/p/more-from-partygate-ukraine-ultimate?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyOTUwMzA1MCwicG9zdF9pZCI6NTIzNjkzMzYsIl8iOiJFcW5BRSIsImlhdCI6MTY1MDIzMTg5MywiZXhwIjoxNjUwMjM1NDkzLCJpc3MiOiJwdWItNzYyNzkyIiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.dX83BUt1wLPbs9VphbGP01jWAFIHnLtyKElDhL4d87E&s=w

  9. Very interesting. Haven’t read that stuff about the olympics, china, freezing ground, etc, etc. anywhere else at all.
    Great look inside the whole mess.
    But after that concrete nitty gritty he seems to get lost in boardroom academic talk of ifs and buts and legal shmegle garbage.
    The fact is USA etc. pressured Russia constantly for decades.
    USA etc. reneged deliberately on Minsk.
    USA is fomenting and running this war right now.
    USA will not let Zelensky make a peace deal.
    But the facts are clear:
    Honor Minsky accords and keep NATO out of Ukraine and that’s it, all over.
    Putin had ‘stop aggression in Donbas’ in there. I think we can take that as an ambit claim, negotiable. He would have settled for the first two.
    I do believe he probably still would. My ‘leaders’ will not let us know anything about what Putin is saying, asking, demanding, telling, so I don’t know.
    But I do know they are blocking it. Which does not endear them to me. One bit.
    This learned discourse is very interesting and worthwhile but it misses that one simple thing that needs to be said and asked and answered and screamed out everywhere all the time:

    Will Putin accept Minsk accords and NATO exile?

  10. Alfred McCoy (another of the intellectuals I used to respect)-
    Here gets both Ukraine (See Scott Ritter and Jacques Baud
    Both of whom you published) WRONG as a good Uncle Scammer would and Syria where both Vanessa Beeley and
    Eva Bartlett put the lie to his grotesque mischaracterization of Russia’s actual role in beating Uncle Scam’s ISIS headchoppers in Raqqa and Aleppo and Homs-
    which McCoy also gets dead wrong.
    When did McCoy start drinking the empire of lies KoolAid??
    This is a long way down from the Politics of Heroin in SouthEast Asia.

  11. If nations had to pay for the damages that the illegal wars they start, then the U.S. and its European NATO allies would end up in the poor house. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. etc. have been victims of US/NATO.
    And let’s not forget the deaths caused by US illegal sanctions on countries like Venezuela, Iran, etc. Shouldn’t the US pay for the unnecessary deaths that its sanctions have caused?

  12. To.late to end the war,
    America does not care with awol Biden. A prelude to the real WW 3, ( Third Woe ) coming to your screen soon. That’s if the Chinks, don’t kn ock our satellites.

  13. Is this some kind of sick satire? Or is Rachel Maddow using Alfred McCoy as a pen name?

    I put this site into my set of home pages so it opens with the browser because I was under the belief that Scheerpost has integrity and doesn’t publish dreck agitprop. Now I have to rethink that proposition.

    PS, this war started in 2014, and for those 8 years the Minsk Accords stood as a path to ending it. The election of Zelensky was grounded on his promise to sign Minsk. See Aaron Mate’s piece here entitled, “US Sabotaged Zelensky’s Peace Mandate.”

    1. I’m glad that in obvious articles that shill for the death merchants of the imperial funhouse…..the comments section let’s more light in the room. Using wapo as sourcing for charges of Russian brutality is very disturbing for what I believed was a respectable academic. I don’t claim that Putin et al are noble crusaders but the lack of history within the context of the post maidan event in this article…and the very questionable allegations in the Syrian debacle(Douma deception) make this a borderline cheer leading piece for the democracy building crowd. They are quite adept at filling our cups with right to protect and humanitarian intervention koolaid. A side dish of soft power cookies and it’s a nice snack for those gorging at the table of the imperial good guys.

  14. How sad to see such an article full of lies and misrepresentations. Pretending that suddenly Russia worried about NATO enlargement a few weeks ago, not since 2007 or even before. Top US diplomat Blinken pretends he did not think NATO mattered to Russia, while it is an existential issue since NATO declares (with no foundation) that Russia is its enemy. All the US intervention and encouragement of far-right and violent military buildup are ignored, as if Russia had any choice to move away. IT LIVES THERE, next to Ukraine which could be neutral and a buffer if following its constitution and common sense.

  15. This article is complete insanity full of ethnic hatred resembling rhetoric of a Nazi cult of extermination of entire Russian nation. Pseudo attempts for infantile geopolitical or military analysis are nothing but pure absurd MSM propaganda dictated in Kiev devoid of any discernible facts or using any faculty of reason. What it is peddling is US Russophobic agenda and political expediency.

    Few major points:

    Poor Ukrainians are defenses against brutal aggressor? Right? Wrong.

    Total of AFU ( Ukrainian military) active, reserves and territorial defense plus Nazi battalions many trained and armed by NATO instructors for eight years is 600,000+ (Second or third largest military in Europe ) versus 260,000 of total RF military and LDPR militia combined almost 3 to 1 advantage AFU. Scott Ritter called it Russia’s kid glove approach, force that is not nearly enough for full scale invasion as that requires 3-1 advantage Russia and hence special operation in Ukraine was always planned as limited intervention not invasion from the start.

    Russians are losing big time and hence killing civilians in revenge. Right? Wrong. It is a blatant lie.

    Four weeks after intervention started pentagon reports stated that 600,000+ strong AFU lost all the ability to launch any offensive operations required to remove Russian forces from Ukraine and virtually without fight retreated to cities that were purposefully not evacuated.

    De facto as Scott Ritter posited Kiev regime effectively declared those cities militarized fortresses protected by mostly ethnic Russian hostages used as human shields and by that AFU committing war crime. That is why in cities like Mariupol there is substantial damage due to this criminal tactics of ambush jumping from building to building purposefully drawing Russian fire as seen only top floors of building are damaged where AFU and Azov set their anti tank or sniper positions while residents were robbed and herded to basements for month with little water and food .

    Since late March no one inch of Ukrainian territory was regained by AFU in direct combat, all small local counterattacks failed as one may expect as Russia achieved air supremacy. Majority of Russian causalities were hit and run ambushes of Russian logistical and supply convoys initially unprotected. About 50,000 of Ukrainian soldiers were disabled dead, wounded, AWOL, MIA or captured by Russians. Mostly died in trenches due to artillery and aerial bombardment.

    With all the publicity and hysteria around Bucha and then blatant AFU war crime using traced to AFU stock tactical ballistic missile attack killing Ukrainian civilians at Kramatorsk rail station blamed by Kiev on Russia, Pentagon concluded they cannot confirm or deny Kiev allegations in those two cases (meaning that they know who did it and it was not Russia ) adding that over all they do not see any evidences of any genocide committed by Russia troops.

    Ritter added that from what he can discern Russian army behaves professionally and with utmost concern of civilian lives quoting constant opening humanitarian corridors and immediate evacuation of civilians from combat territory they control according to Geneva Conventions . Also Russia is using only 5% of their military might and so far never used strategic bombing capabilities that may cause huge collateral damage.

    Russians were defeated near Kiev and ran way? Right? Nonsense.

    Whole operation was brilliant. As Ritter pointed out, at the beginning formidable AFU had to be bound in place and blocked so military aviation could destroy AFU command and control structure, logistics and supply routes as well as fuel and ammunition depots and by that Kiev was denied strategic offensive capabilities to defeat much smaller Russian forces early on before air supremacy was established. Then Russian military group V moved for R&R and to regroup to fight over 150,000 of AFU entrenched in fortifications in Donbas.

    What we face is unprovoked Russian aggression. Right! Wrong if we consider facts on the ground.

    Russian intervention happened while 8 years old war on LDPR in Donbas already started to flare up. War did not start when Russians came in on February 24th but on February 18th when AFU began massive artillery attack on LDPR including crossing frontlines in few critical points which forced massive evacuation of about 100,000 people to Russia.

    LDPR defended itself for almost a week before RF military intervened on LDPR side.

    Factually there was no unprovoked attack by Russians on Ukraine.

    It was February 18,, military escalation, increasing ten fold shelling of free Donbas territory by AFU, from 100 shells a day in January to up to 2000 a day after February 18, Such shelling constituted double the shelling rate of what was 2014 war worst day and likely was preparation for invasion of free Donbas by 130,000 strong AFU. It is AFU escalation that directly started this war.

    Such unprovoked attack of AFU on LDPR territory was nothing but open declaration of war against LDPR after Minsk II was openly rejected by Zelensky in 2021.

    Russia responded legally according to UN charter to fulfill its military obligations to LDPR ally under ongoing AFU attack. After that Russia informed UNSC as UN charter calls for and opened up negotiations.

    Attacking country that is attacking your ally is not only legal but it is a founding principle of NATO and US promise to Western Europe and was a legal foundation of US incursion to Iraq by US forces during operation “Desert a Storm” in 1991. Intervention in Iraq required no UNSC resolution to support it and appropriate UNSC resolution correctly did not cover it.

    We used all diplomatic tools to prevent or limit this Russian aggression. Right? Wrong.

    Ultimately futile and self defeating Economic Sanctions, blockades, embargoes, removal from international bodies, smear campaigns, ethic hatred, intimidation and terrorism against Russia citizens, artists scientists worldwide etc., are not diplomatic tools. Those are acts of war according to international law. Diplomacy was purposefully abandoned replaced with Russophobic hysteria.

    Since when diplomacy means refusal to talk between sides of conflict and their backers as good professor insinuated in this article. Since when a decade old refusal to talk about pan European collective security that would nullify need for confrontational NATO and prevent conflicts in Europe is called diplomacy.

    No diplomacy but perhaps failed gunboat diplomacy is what NATO applied to Russia , a strategy of clandestine and recently open aggression against Russia gangster style. US and the west is seeking to dictate not interested in diplomatic solutions.

    Whole world condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine, Russia is isolated internationally. Right? Wrong.

    About 90 countries (of about 5 billion people) imposed no sanctions or gave lip service to sanctions against Russia, most did not ban Russian airlines from their airspace. Many continue to depend on Russian trade especially agricultural commodities and cheap energy. Russia was not kicked out from powerful OPEC+.

    Russia must pay. Right? No she won’t. Not alone.

    It is peaceful people of Ukraine who resent Nazi ideology of hatred and death and we who watch all that on TV or media in the west who will ultimately pay for belligerence, warmongering of Western delusional political elites and their insane oligarchic backers fanatically set for bringing nuclear Armageddon to our neighborhood.

    It will be the west that will pay price for centuries of neo colonial enslavement, international bullying and hooliganism including capriciously destroying sovereign countries on flimsiest pretexts like Korea, Indochina, Iraq, or Libya or Syria or Yemen or Afghanistan where in 2021 we witnessed outright defeat of suposedly greatest army in the world by a bunch of shoeless peasants. For twenty years Americans were told they were winning. Author should wait twenty years before declaring Russian defeat in Ukraine.

    And all that nonsense would be excusable by apparent author’s complete ignorance of facts except for his hysterical Nazi rhetoric borrowed from UkroNazis about treating Russian nation as subhuman brutal monsters exactly exactly attitude of Nazis toward Jews and Slavs. And that sets dangerous precedent that must be opposed and it’s propaganda dismantled.

    1. Well said, sir. I don’t know where you get your inside information as to what is actually happening there but it sounds authoritative to me, I believe it. It is what I would expect. I suppose that means it feeds my prejudices which isn’t good so if you could direct us to where we could check these things that would be good. Better.

      ‘Our’ side has clearly lost all contact with reality. After getting us to swallow the covid scare and lies about medications and vaccines etc, etc, they think we now will swallow absolutely anything.

      They don’t seem to realise the last two years have created a constantly growing mass of cynical and analytical citizens that believe nothing of what they say. They don’t realise that daily they get more transparent. They don’t realise that one after the other layers of deception and manipulative self interest have been revealed to where today they stand just about totally exposed.

      They are farcical except you can’t really call warfare a farce. It’s a tragedy.

  16. It is so shocking to read what this guy has written that makes no sense at all and anyone can know that it is totally biased and only in support of what the West and the blind slaves would want to read. I am neither Russian nor am I from the West and I am not a beneficiary of any of the two sides but I will say the truth is as bitter as it is. here are my takes below:
    a. NATO had provoked Russia to Attack Ukraine. They are to be blamed and if they have conscious they will know deep in their hearts that they caused this war.
    b. NATO is out for military domination over the rest of the world and other countries should know that and save their countries before it is too late.
    c. Some countries including the EU have already sold their countries to alliances and they are subjected to US bullying. They no longer think rationally for themselves and are only focused on negativity.
    d. NATO and its slave countries which support it have great hatred and anger towards Russia and somehow it is kind of envious as well. They brag about how they have all the money in the world and how they have power over others because the countries of the world’s stupidity allow the US dollar to be a global reserve which was a big mistake. They are supporting this war out of hatred and anger but to be honest, hatred and anger never win anything. it will only destroy those who are angry and living in hate. It will eat them up gradually and painfully and before they realize it will be too late. For now, they think they have power over the finances of the world but they are so foolish to be reminded that everything under this sun has a time limit and when a nation reaches its zenith and has no way to go higher they will start to fall because no one goes up there and stays. NATO, the US and the EU know that their time is up so they think by exhibiting power over control of finances through sanctions or militarily through supplying weapons will give them victory; then I am so sad to tell them that they are doomed to fail. Anything did out of deep anger and hatred never succeeds.
    e. Russia is rather fighting a more careful war to reduce civilian death compared to the US wars she is found. It does not mean that Russia was pushed out of Kyiv. That is a lie. If Russia wanted to really destroy Kyiv to rubble they were going to do it but the war being fought is a careful war even though there will always be a few civilian death especially if the Ukrainians are using their civilians as shields to protect them. The trick here is to put civilians ahead so that when Russia shoots at them they will raise human right concern. We are seeing this from afar. If Ukraine is really ready to face off with Russia with their western aid, let them civilians leave and then we will all know what Russia is capable of.
    many people’s analysis of the war favouring Ukraine winning is blind. They should know that this is not a war to overrun the entire country. If that was so, then Kyiv would have been in ruin long time including other cities. Russia is trying to protect the Russian Speaking Ukrainians who have chosen to break away from Ukraine because of the treatment from the Ukrainian government and people. No one is talking about the number of people killed by the Ukrainians in the Donbas since 2014 and the remarks from their leader but because of anger and hatred, they are blinded by these negative emotions to start saying all kinds of foolishness.
    In conclusion and this is a declaration I am making. if you like you can ignore it but it shall surely come to pass: Russia will liberate the Donbas and Ukraine will have to be a small country than it once was. The Western military aid will continue to fail and achieve nothing and they will foolishly continue to send arms until they themselves go bankrupt in their stock. They should remember that everything under the sun can finish. Their arms will either be destroyed or some will be seized by Russia. Sanctions on Russia will only work for a while but they will totally fail. The west will come to realize they cannot do without Russia and will go begging Russia to cooperate with them. If Europe cut off Russia’s gas that will be the beginning of the end of the EU and their citizen will rise up against the foolish leaders who do not have the brains to think better. Ukraine will need to realize that their country will be reduced and they will not continue to receive the kind of support they are getting because the West will also get fatigued. In the end, they will need to accept the situation however bitter it will be. Lastly, this is the beginning of the end of the western control of the world and they will have to live with it. No empire had ruled forever.

    1. Excellent. I agree with your analysis entirely. No signs whatever of the West attempting to end this war. None. Absolutely the opposite.
      I am not blind to the fact that I’m now sitting behind a wall of censorship, denied any access to anything the Russian side might want to tell me, denied access to truth and my own right to see and judge for myself.
      And ‘my side’ expects me to love them for this?
      Expects me to believe them for this?
      Expects me to think they are ‘the goodies’ ?
      No, they don’t. We just saw it over two years and still continuing with the Covid: they don’t expect me to love them or believe them or trust them or anything – they don’t care, they simply don’t give damn, they just want me to obey and leave them alone to continue doing what they want to do.
      And ‘what they want to do’ is not rule the country and administer the country according to the wishes of the people and in the interests of the people – no, it is to maximise profits for themselves, big pharma, the military industrial complex and to enjoy exercising power while they clumsily and stupidiy destroy the whole nation.
      You think I like that?
      You think I’m some long time disaffected trouble maker with a grudge against my own country?
      Not at all. Quite the opposite. I’m a long time patriot proud of the what I thought my country and our Western world had done and was doing.
      But beginning slowly and then gathering pace over the years I’ve seen all my certainties eroded and destroyed culminating in the deliberately contrived war today and me under a blanket of authoritarian censorship – while the impositions of the covid madness are still current and they’re still maniacally pushing vaxing everyone with a suspect potion that doesn’t even work.
      Yep.
      I am not on Russia’s side nor on Ukraine’s side (but there’s two sides in Ukraine, maybe three, depends how you count). I’m on people’s side.
      Not leaders. Not manipulators. Not profiteers. Not warmongers.
      People.
      The people of Ukraine and the people of Russia do not profit from this thing. Not at all.
      It should stop.
      And the way to stop it is and was always clear. Stop trying to destroy Russia.
      Honour the Minsk accords.
      Pledge to keep Ukraine out of NATO.
      They won’t even attempt any of that.
      On that alone they stand condemned.

      1. @arthur brogard

        The easiest way to end this war is for Russian troops to go back and stay in Russia!
        Ukraine has already agreed to stay out of NATO and to discuss ways of resolving the situation in Donbas. The Minsk accords are irrelevant once DPR and LPR declared independence and Russia recognized it ( in total disregard of same Minsk accords!!)

      2. how can you say irrelevant if Putin makes his withdrawal conditional on them?
        clearly totally relevant.
        what you’re doing is perverting the argument. you mean that in law they would become irrelevant because of a transgression by one party. Invalidation of a contract according to breach.
        but the argument is not about legal performance in a court. It is about today’s situation in a war zone.
        it is this kind of switching of the argument – what I call ‘perverting it’ – that screws up nearly all discourse today.

    2. @Jahgang Kingjehjeh

      It may be that because you are not from the West you have 0 understanding of what it is or it can do.
      NATO is an consensus alliance of 30 countries, some of them de facto Russia allies who will never agree on an attack on Russia. Your affirmation that NATO provoked Russia to attack Ukraine is not based on any fact and even Russia did not use this as a pretext for invasion. Beginning your argumentation with such a shallow affirmation shows how really disconnected from reality you are.
      Your next affirmation that NATO is out for military domination over the world is so stupid is not even funny! Do you see countries like Albania, Iceland, Hungary ( one of Putin best friends), Luxembourg, Norway, Turkey agree to go on war to conquer the world? ( because they will have to qagree in order for NATO to make any kind of move) !
      So please try to limit you comments to matters you have at least a minimum understanding of!!

  17. “Washington and its European allies are scrambling, so far unsuccessfully, to end that devastating, globally disruptive conflict” – Really? The US is fueling the conflict, not trying to end it. c’mon. It should be clear by now that we have discouraged Zelenskyy from negotiating. We armed the right wing Nazis in his own country, who will kill him if he tries to cut a deal with the Russians. This opening statement is a fantasy…

  18. I agree with other commentators. The author is not impartial and is a propagandist, since he arbitrarily interprets facts and appeals not to reason, but to emotions. A short comment does not allow you to parse the entire article by the bones. All this nonsense with such helpless, constantly stuck tanks. Ignoring the fact that Russia has been unsuccessfully calling for many years not to pose a threat to its security by the movement of NATO troops to its borders. In the end , on 05.02.1997 George F. Kennan warned in the article “A Fateful Error” in The New York Times: “The view, bluntly stated, is that expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era”.

    1. @George
      Where and when did NATO troops moved to Russia borders? There are 4 NATO countries with a land border with Russia and the length of these common borders is less than 5% of Russia’s borders !!
      Very, very scary!!

    2. The trivia of stuck-up tanks and the timetable with the Olympics and seasonal thawing bothered me too, mainly because this region is not part of McCoy’s expertise. It sounds like some of the Marvel Comix stuff coming out of the US State Department, some of the loopy talking points they repeat for months and years, things Hillary or Vickie Nuland would say giving a speech to Wall Street, after they were rewarded some manipulable stock. Often charlatans claim expertise about weapons systems for credibility, without these products proving decisive in battle. It’s like doing a commercial for MIC contractors: “Hey, send some of our junk in there and turn the tide.”
      It’s so sad about Germany having to pay for F-35s to carry a new generation of nuclear weapons (Nukewatch- John LaForge).

  19. As long as the powers in charge are not held accountable for their war crimes there will be no justice. Starting justice from now on because of the war in Ukraïne is not alone hypocrite but also too late at this moment. Everything and everyone is connected. Thinking otherwise leaves smelly sores with all who suffered from these committed crimes by US and the US-EU pundits, in the past now and coming future. Far too long has this collective amnesia of these superpowers been used to minimalise their own crimes. Internet has helped a lot to reveil of what was once hidden. Keep walking this same narative as by Alfred Mc Coy and so many others who suffer from this collective memory loss is even more looking away and not wanting or willing to recognise the hurt of the other. A neverending story?

  20. McCoy’s original work was on the drug trade in SE Asia, would he consider that the US Government pay reparations to the African American communities for the damage done by the heroin trade it promoted to finance the war and buy off its local allies? How about the damage done in the US by the cocaine trade to finance the Contra war? How about the 18 billion dollars the World Court said the US owes to Nicaragua for the contra war? The destruction of Iraq and Libya, the illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran and Venezuela? Shouldn’t the US pay reparations? The illegal boycott of Cuba rejected by the UN General Assembly dozens of times? Surprisingly there is no mention of the lack of implementation of the Minsk II agreement. Of course this is all just labeled whataboutism so it is easily discredited and dismissed. McCoy is a good historian, but we can also say he is, euphemistically, hypocritical.

  21. The war in Ukraine is part of a hegemonic struggle, primarily between Washington and Beijing, but also involving Moscow. It has all the factors for world war. And history predicts that will be the end result. All the powers fail to realize – or if they do are unable to alter course – that it has become impossible to fight global war since the dawn of the atomic age. But historically, countries have often found themselves dragged into the wars they don’t want, leading to their own destruction. For more on this download my free e-book at: https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

    1. You are so right Peter. The only thing I missed in my book was the probability of WW3 because when I wrote it in 2013, and published the 4th edition in 2020, I had not studied the nature of nuclear exchange in the 21st century. I am 77 now and was relying on the MAD stand-off of the 1970s.

      Now I realise that the clean bombs of today create nuclear fallout lasting rarely longer than 2-5 days and the Globalists know that it is survivable; and they have their bunkers to boot. I have written extensively in my weekly ‘Letters from Great Britain, in particular this from last month:
      https://austrianpeter.substack.com/p/as-ukraine-unfolds-no-nuclear-war?utm_source=twitter&s=w
      Scroll down to the Daily Mail article towards the end.

  22. If an author is going to propose a solution in terms of effects, he needs to build from a premise of causes. This article is not an analysis, but only a compendium of displaced foctoids suiting the views of an armchair general who offers a gambit without comprehension of a complete game.

    This article’s proposal suffers from a bizarre confusion about orders of abstracting and the meaning of history which I think can only be explained in terms of minds disturbed by TV culture.

    When sorting through the dependencies of what’s possible and the nature of war, you have to begin from the comprehension that access to resources lead to the courts; courts do not lead to the resources except when other more fundamental supply chains are proven and stable. In the U.S. we collective maintain a broad variant of this authors error via a mental distortion that our meaning drives our “freedoms” whereas its our historical freedoms that drive our law, where the relative freedoms of settlement of a vast expanse of rich territory for growth has enabled profits which have far outshone the costs of subjugating natives and defending borders. The American experience gave rise to the U.S. Constitution, not the other way around. And as the U.S. has never paid any direct internal price of conflict to maintain its power, with our Civil War being an internecine orgy over the manner of subjugation within our domains, free from coercion from without, we operate with an elitist attitude that all disagreements will ultimately be rectified by our inevitable continued growth. What we openly acknowledge but fail to comprehend is that what we see as manifest destiny of ultimate expansion of neoliberal policies doesn’t have to look or feel good to other civilizations.

    In the U.S. which obviously is a direct extension of the English Empire, we feel secure in the sense of costs that most be borne by others for the promulgation of our ideology, and the perfection of a civilization of panoptic control in which people are driven by arrangement of their minds by electronic means to overcome their instincts and prefer their own subjugation by industrial force. We call this “opportunity.” When the cage is in the mind, there’s no need to pen the body.

    This Ukrainian conflict presents a ripe opportunity for the West’s self examination of its pretenses to human rights by our own standards wherein anyone who looks can see we are shamefully lacking by our own measures, moreover not only do we have no intentions to improve, but we are bragging proudly that we are backwards picking up speed of regression, lead in our retreat by our own conservative factions.

    The right place to advocate human rights is here at home, and if we believe we are a standard-bearer for justice, let us reckon with our own history and let our example be a beacon to others.

    Unfortunately, no one understands how cheap and disposable life is like an American.

    If were are supreme, then we must accept responsibility for the world we create. And if we’re not, then we have something to learn… You can’t have it both ways and be sane.

    Go ahead and argue for insanity!

    And here we find ourselves squarely in front of our TVs.

  23. This is clearly a unipolar article by someone who believes in a unipolar world. It would fit nicely into the Guardian. An article byMax Blumenthal in today’s Consortium News is the perfect response:

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/20/zelenskys-hardline-internal-purge/

    By turning a blind eye to Ukrainian atrocities, McCoy and those like him become indirectly complicit in atrocities yet to come. Plainly stated, McCoy is a Nazi sympathizer.

    1. Which is so strange. Up to this article, McCoy has been sound and reasonable. I don’t get it.

      1. @Rob Roy
        Look in a mirror!
        Not agreeing with your opinions does not automatically makes one unsound and unreasonable!

  24. Scheerpost:

    There are a number of red flags that went up as I read this article, some of which others have noted:

    *No mention of the civil war since 2014 in the Donbas, or the history that led to the Donbas region seeking independence
    *Govt under Zelensky outlawing, jailing and evidence of torture of opposition parties (often pro-Russian). Article from Consortium News is a difficult read (images of torture), but thanks to Jan for the link.
    *The US seeking peace? The US has voted several times to ship arms to Ukraine. The US military industrial complex is not mentioned, nor the role of the CIA. The US seems to be -the- barrier to peace in the region, just look at Hedge’s latest articles on this site as an example.
    *Expansion of NATO not explained

    Scheerpost, what are you thinking? Some of the hypocrisy from the article:
    “For all these reasons, Washington’s initial strategy had little chance of restraining Russia’s invasion.”
    Excuse me? Doesn’t McCoy mean restrain Washington’s efforts to provoke Russia and encourage said invasion? Certainly the US govt claims to desire peace, while making Ukraine a de facto NATO member, including providing arms and training to Neo Nazi battalions.
    *”Once the world’s courts establish such a precedent in Ukraine v. Russia (X), would-be strongmen might have to think twice before invading another country … ” What about the precedent in “USA vs the world”, given how many countries the US has invaded or disrupted? Which country refuses to be part of the Int’l Criminal Court for fear their own presidents might be convicted?

    The piece by Alfred McCoy is an opinion, and I while I disagree with many of his conclusions and their premises, the article is worth considering. Even if I want to dispute its claims, I understand that censorship of pro-American articles is as dangerous a precedent as Twitter censoring Trump. However, when Scheerpost presents an article I often take it as an editorial, or that Robert Scheer shares its opinion and largely supports the claims the article presents. Perhaps preface more articles with “the opinions presented are not necessarily those of Scheerpost” or “this piece is meant for debate, but does not represent the position of Scheerpost”?

    1. A very naive opinion, not in line with McCoy’s previous courage.
      This guy stood up to the CIA and the Pentagon by writing well-researched books and testifying before Congress.

    2. @Cynical Rex
      Let me at least explain “NATO Expansion”
      It happened because former Communist countries in Eastern and central Europe with a long history of Russian invasion and occupation wanted to be protected against more of the same as part of an international alliance based on democratic principles and strong enough to stand up to Russian imperialism. NATO did not expand to the East, the East of Europe moved West ideologically and politically.
      Russia did not have a problem with this and in the 1997 NATO Russia Founding Act de facto agreed that NATO ( under certain conditions) has the right to accept new members (not excluding Ukraine for instance).

  25. So, you are saying that Putin owes reparations for the war in Ukraine, which I would support. And along the exact same lines, you do not say that the U.S. owes reparations to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. You have a “double standard”. If Putin has to pay, so should the U.S. for its destructive wars in the Middle East.

  26. Several commentators here cite something fishy in Alfred McCoy’s recipe for peace, and his tone raises questions for me too. This work is from an analyst who has repeatedly predicted the demise of American Empire and has offered strong reasoning in those arguments. Since the article was originally written for Common Dreams I at first thought he was pulling some punches for the more sensitive and less radical audience there. But as I re-read doubts arose.

    First, he starts out claiming that the United States and NATO are seeking a peaceful settlement , which has never been the case. And I don’t recall him saying anywhere in this how desperate US Empire has become. And it doesn’t sound like a McCoy graduate class (at University of Wisconsin) when he re-hashes Cold War strategy with a patriotic slant, comparing Putin to Stalin and Xi to Mao; excavating the Berlin Wall and the Korean War. My assumption has been that Alfred is a Boomer (1945, age 76) researching mostly events of his own time, like Marcos in the Phillipines and CIA drug trafficking.

    Then there are the uninvestigated assumptions about war crimes in Ukraine being mostly committed by Russians. He totally forgets possible revenge killings by Azov type Nazis, and the proxy use of right wing extremist forces in Maidan (and since). Never does he mention the US role in the coup. No one over here knows the complete facts of these things partly because of the war blitz in media and information filtration under a bubble.

    Resorting to several layers of courts that the USA never supports or submits to seems a wimpy argument. He’s insulting common sense. Enforcement as he recommends would amount to another layer of warfare. Can’t he understand the effects of economic warfare? And if he wanted to mine history some more he might recall the reparations Germany paid after WWI, or those Haiti paid France, or the compensation Great Britain gave slave masters when the trade was abolished.

    The Alfred McCoy I’m familiar with would not excuse the use of NATO to crowd Russia. The Federation is just the typical corrupt petro state, some of which are enabled by US Empire and proclaimed allies, except for having a nuclear arsenal. And if they’re gonna be treated as a pariah, maybe they have to take a North Korean attitude. See what happened to Libya once Khadafi surrendered their nuclear program. No, this new Alfred McCoy fails to emphasize the dangers of nuclear war and estimates that climate collapse can be delayed if Germany will burn less coal.

    This contradiction is puzzling. But if you look at how a ghost entity arose on Twitter (NewScottRitter?) after the actual Scott Ritter was banned it’s frightening and eerie. Alternatively, think of speculation about how Zelinsky is being extorted by Nazi elements. Are there real credible (official) threats against McCoy’s career and family? Maybe we’ll never know. What I do know that this article gives me intellectual pain.

  27. @ Red Hornet
    So not agreeing with your pro Putin position is proof of either intellectual dishonesty or external threats?
    Did you entertained the possibility that perhaps you are wrong?

    1. Can you entertain the likelihood that you are being lied to, that you are not being well-informed, that you do not know it all? The fixated opinion is nationalism and war fever (your opinion) that disregards human suffering in deference to jingoism, that doesn’t take into account the possibility of nuclear war. My position is that I require verifiable evidence before I go hog wild about sending howitzers for women and girls to defend their kitchens.
      I am ashamed how Joe Biden jumps to conclusions and fuels conflict. He’s proving no better than insane and sadistic Ron DeSantis. Just two short sighted egos diverting and making political points, at public expense.

      1. @Red Hornet

        I am 100% that I do not know all and that my opinions will be based on incomplete information and maybe wrong.
        That does not prevent me to have opinions which I try to develop based on multiple sources, as objective as possible.
        My distaste for Russia aggression is based also on history and on sense of fairness .
        Accepting Russia position just because they threaten nuclear war will not solve anything as they will do the same until stopped (they are already threatening additional countries with invasion).

  28. The best way out of a miserable, dangerous and developing hair-trigger situation is that Russia occupies the south and east of Ukraine and destroys the Ukrainian armed forces as an effective instrument of war.

    Suggestion: Russia should name the south and east “Russian Golan.”

    The clear and humiliating defeat Biden wants will provide Russia an incentive to “save” the situation with nuclear strikes. It will also create an appetite for additional US meddling in what was, essentially, a Ukrainian civil war.

    Putin is very unlikely to be pushed aside because of defeat, except for an even more nationalistic and determined successor. The idea of nuclear-armed Russia descending into political instability with who-knows-who in charge is too disastrous to even contemplate.

    With Russia more assured of its security, there will be time for everyone to contemplate the horrific damage and human cost of this misadventure.

    Most of all, after their welcome wears out in the West, the Ukrainians may want to soberly consider the actual cost of provoking their larger neighbor.

    Are they better off?

    Was it worth it?

    1. I agree with your proposal and think that was likely Russia’s goal and a necessary one all along. Russia needs reasonable access to large energy markets without going through other states. That seems safer for all. Alas, other energy, financial, and industrial giants, mostly US ones, will rather I think, see millions upon millions die rather than be reasonable in their greed and will continue this suicidal push for more and more war. Trying to back other major powers into corners seems the quickest way for a resourse deficient empire to implode, during which, the traitorous giants can scramble off to save their skins and to invest in the next great and powerful. LNG loves this war and chaos. Consumers will pay for it all and then some.

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