Tuesday, February 8, 2022

OPINION:

As the drumbeat of war in Ukraine that may spill onto WWIII is sounding loud here are some messages that might help to avoid a worst case scenario.

OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


Excerpts from ISTANBUL DOCUMENT 1999

8. Each participating State has an equal right to security. We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States.

9. We will build our relations in conformity with the concept of common and comprehensive security, guided by equal partnership, solidarity and transparency. The security of each participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others. We will address the human, economic, political and military dimensions of security as an integral whole.

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Opposition to NATO Expansion

We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S. led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion will decrease allied security and unsettle European stability…….

Signed by 50 prominent US foreign policy experts comprising former Senators, retired military officers, diplomats and academicians who sent an open letter to President Clinton outlining their opposition to expanding the alliance.

Among the signers such distinguished individuals as Sam Nunn, Gordon Humphrey, Bill Bradley, Fred Ikle, Richard Pipes, Susan Eisenhower, Jack Matlock, Stansfield Turner, Robert McNamara, Arthur Hartman, Paul Warnke, Mark Hatfield, Paul Nitze, and many others.

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David Vine, Professor of Anthropology, American University

Given the death, injury, and destruction that 20 years of endless U.S. led wars have inflicted, shouldn’t we all ask ourselves if we have taught about the wars?

The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the U.S. and abroad.

Over 929,000 people have died in the post-9/11 wars due to direct war violence, and several times as many due to the reverberating effects of war.

Over 387,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting 38 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons.

The U.S. federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $8 trillion.

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George F. Kennan, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

“Bluntly stated…expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking … ”

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Top Weapons Companies Boast Ukraine-Russia Tensions Are a Boon for Business

As the United States weighs more involvement in the growing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, some of the largest weapons companies in the world — Raytheon and Lockheed Martin — are openly telling their investors that tensions between the countries are good for business. And General Dynamics, meanwhile, is boasting about the past returns the company has seen as a result of such disputes.

The statements come as the U.S. government escalates arms shipments to Ukraine, among them the Javelin missiles that are a joint venture between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. House Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to quickly push through a bill that would significantly increase U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, and impose new sanctions on Russia.

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Historian Anton Chaitkin, author of Who We Are: America’s Fight for Universal Progress, from Franklin to Kennedy (Volume 1, 2020, Amazon.com)

Those who cherish our country’s legacy are horrified by America’s headlong rush to war. We used to be the source of world progress and higher living standards. We betray that legacy by making military threats against those who are advancing great powers, as we once were.  We changed course after Kennedy’s murder. The gravest danger now comes from America abandoning its own historic mission, which is to elevate the common man.

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A group of American researchers published an article in the American Journal of Public Health, pointing out that, “Since the end of World War II, there have been 248 armed conflicts in 153 locations around the world. The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.” To be sure, each of these wars was duly explained and justified to the American public and for all those Americans who believe that their government would never deceive them; each war was defensible and fought for a good reason. Nonetheless, the fact that one country has initiated more than 80% of all wars in the last seventy years does require an explanation.

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For America and Russia, Deadly Perceptions Can Lead to War

George Beebe, a former director of Russia analysis at the CIA

There is still time for diplomacy to avert such an escalation. But it will only be possible if Washington and Moscow recognize the need to move past mutual threats and find a face-saving compromise on their core concerns: the Russians’ demand that NATO back away from their periphery, and the West’s insistence that Eastern Europe be safe from Russian attack.

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Incurable anti-Russia attitude in Washington is self-destructive

Colonel Douglas Macgregor, Former Pentagon senior adviser

We could have been an honest broker and tried to help the two sides come to some sort of arrangement but we did everything we possibly could to cultivate hostility to Russia in Ukraine

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Who ya gonna believe about Russia invading Ukraine?

Andrew Bacevich,  President, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

While the danger of miscalculation persists, a nonviolent resolution of the ongoing war scare is eminently plausible. Which makes the incessant warmongering of the American media all the more disturbing and repugnant.

Americans are experiencing one of those who-ya-gonna-believe moments. Yet another full-fledged war scare is upon us with reports that Russia will invade Ukraine. This one involves an adversary possessing considerably greater military capabilities than Afghanistan or Iraq, where, you will recall, our side did not fare well. It bears remembering that Russia possesses the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.


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