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What are the chances for a New War between World Powers?
The threat of war in Ukraine brings with it a specter of a more significant conflict that could involve the world. What are the chances for a new war between world powers?
It’s complicated. Global concerns about the imminent possibility of war in Ukraine are the products of an over-heated political climate in which lies masquerade as news stories; intelligence reports are constantly contradicting each other, and politicians from different countries are working tirelessly to stir the pot. Conflicting reports from the region continue to flood the newsfeeds, and political propaganda muddies the waters even further.
Moscow, Washington, and London have been carrying out a massive disinformation and propaganda war that continues to rile the world and terrify the pundits. It is fodder for their hysteria mill – and it is working.
Internally, in Ukraine, the area called Donbas in the Southeastern part of the country, where two breakaway states are attempting to return to Russia, it is already a shooting war in which a kindergarten was just blown up, allegedly by pro-Russian forces. According to intelligence sources, though, the volunteer battalion ‘Myrotvorets,’ who are also thought to be a neo-Nazi group operating to destabilize Ukraine, were responsible for that attack.
First reports said it was a rocket attack, but intelligence sources say the Myrotvorets planted nearly 70 grenades rather than firing shells, in an empty kindergarten. It was intended to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. But Washington and London took another tack. They accused Russia of carrying out a “false flag attack” as an excuse to invade Ukraine.
Early on, in this saga of international intrigue, Biden warned us of impending war as Russia, he said, planned its attack. And even after Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, begged him to stop inflaming the situation, Biden insisted that war was imminent. After all, it wasn’t his country, his citizens, who were at risk. He was out to bait the Russian bear. And our allies joined in.
On February 17, the Ministry of Defense in the United Kingdom further stroked the fires of war by publishing a map of seven possible invasion routes, which they said Russia might use to attack Ukraine.
Political and national adversaries have jumped on the bandwagon and accused each other of releasing dissenting misinformation and making inflammatory accusations. The U.S. and Europe are now playing a dangerous game with Putin, and taunting him into war.
In the meantime, Russian troops have been having military exercises for weeks in Belarus and Crimea, which surround much of Ukraine. There have been conflicting stories about possible Russian withdrawal in the last few days. Or not.
Up to 130,000 Russian troops, supported by 1,200 tanks, fighter jets, and long-range missile batteries, are still positioned along Ukraine’s borders in the north (Belarus), the east (the disputed Donbas region), and the south (Crimea).
So the question is this: Will he or won’t he invade Ukraine?
This is going to be a cliff-hanger of sorts because it’s tough to get the story straight, and there are so many stories. But here’s my take on it, and we’ll see what happens.
Despite its protestations of troop withdrawal, Russia is likely to be planning to invade. If so, it is logical that their first effort will be to liberate the eastern portion of Ukraine known as Donbas, where the disputed, breakaway territories of Luhansk and Donetsk are located. This is the logical point of attack since the majority of residents are pro-Russia, and resistance there will be relatively minimal. Then Luhansk and Donetsk will be absorbed into Russia.
In the face of a Russian invasion, Biden will rattle his saber and repeat incoherent slogans about freedom and democracy. But the Russian Nord Stream pipeline, which he warned would be buried if Russia attacked, will continue to be built, against all the best interests of the West.
The basic truth is that Putin has always wanted to annex Ukraine in his quest to recreate the Soviet Union. But there is more going on here than that. It may be that he was originally uncertain, that it all depended on the reaction he received from the White House, and what he got was words but no fist. He got a challenge from a weak and disoriented President who could not muster up either the wit or the wisdom to prevent a Russian invasion.
Joe Biden is driven by personal greed and supported by the greed of those around him, who guide him through the dangerous waters that he can’t seem to navigate himself. A barely coherent Biden is no threat to Putin. And although he rattled his sword and spoke words of warning, he is no match for the Russian leader, who now sees no impediment to invading and annexing at least part of Ukraine.
This will not be World War III. Not yet. But it may well be a prelude to a war that no one will be able to stop, once it begins.
Cover Image: A Russian T-72B3 tank fires as troops take part in drills Wednesday at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region of southern Russia. AP
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