John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, says Russian President Vladimir Putin was provoked into resorting to force to take Crimea and destabilize Eastern Ukraine.
Writing in the (Sept.-Oct.) issue of Foreign Affairs, he said Putin is motivated by legitimate security concerns which justify his actions. The article is succinctly titled, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.” (You get one free look at this article). He writes:
The crisis there shows that realpolitik remains relevant — and states that ignore it do so at their own peril. U.S. and European leaders blundered in attempting to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border. Now that the consequences have been laid bare, it would be an even greater mistake to continue this misbegotten policy.
Of course there’s been an immediate reaction from the right-wing Front Page Magazine. William R. Hawkins writes that Mearsheimer is an apologist for might-is-right. He says there’s nothing wrong with the West seeking to add Ukraine to the Western social and economic model. Here’s Hawkins quoting Mearsheimer:
In a key passage, he notes “When Russian leaders look at Western social engineering in Ukraine, they worry that their country might be next.” But wouldn’t such regime change be in the interests of the West, and of the Russian people?
Wait a second! What was that? Wouldn’t regime change in Russia be in the interests of the West? This is nothing more than an apology for the social engineering the West orchestrated in Ukraine! It’s also an apology for meddling in Russian internal affairs. Hawkins is apologizing for the West every bit as much as Mearsheimer is for Russia.
What’s the truth of the matter?
The truth is that, as Mearsheimer writes, Ukraine is in Russia’s area of influence and it felt, correctly, that it was being encroached upon by the West. As a result, when Western meddling in Ukraine caused the elected pro-Russian government to collapse, Russia took steps to protect its flank.
You know and I know that if the same events had happened in, say, Mexico, the United States wouldn’t wait a minute to protect its southern border. The U.S. has a history of meddling in Latin America because it regards the entire Western hemisphere as its security zone (the Monroe Doctrine).
But it thinks it’s OK for the U.S. and its allies to meddle in the Russian security zone? Think again.
Read both articles. When you’re finished, write your M.P. and ask him or her to get Canada to withdraw from NATO and get its troops out of Europe.
Do it today.
We don’t need a war with Russia; not now, not ever.