Still a Grinding, Deadly Slaughter
The war in Ukraine continues to grind on producing a slow rolling slaughter of mostly innocent, powerless civilians. Russia has slowly enveloped the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine and continues to take control of more territory slowly but relentlessly. Additionally, Russia is making gains along the southern coast of Ukraine and threatens to cut of Ukraine completely from the sea. The map does not look advantageous to Ukraine:
Along with this has been a steady Russian bombardment of areas in the interior of Ukraine to push back the use of modern western weapons. This has further wrecked the Ukrainian nation and brought untold misery to her people.
Concurrently Ukraine has continued to devolve politically, into a more authoritarian state. Early in the conflict Ukrainian president Zelensky banned 18–60-year-old males from leaving the country as well as outlawing several political parties, one of which comprised 10% of the Ukrainian parliament. Added to this is the embrace by mainstream elements of the Ukrainian government of blatantly neo Nazi figures.
This is in addition to the endemic corruption that has plagued Ukraine for years. A growing body of work is focusing on this issue, as can be seen here, here, and here. Even NPR has taken note of this problem in the wake of a termination of several key Ukrainian officials. All this should give us pause as to the nature of the regime we are supporting, as is outlined here.
In this country the unflinching support of Ukraine via massive arms shipment continues to exacerbate an unsustainable fiscal situation, as evidenced by the massive increases in defense spending. This does nothing but add to the U.S. debt level which has done so much to fuel a raging case of inflation. Then there is the incalculable cost of the decline in civility by those who call questioners of the war effort “unamerican”.
It Never Seems to Be Enough
More damaging than any of this is the continual mission creep of the United States and its imperial arm NATO. Initially it was only former Soviet bloc weaponry that would be provided. The targeting and use of these weapons would be done only by the Ukrainian military. Both of these are now in the past as the U.S. has provided ever more modern and powerful weapons. Along with this is a new implied approval to use these weapons on Russian positions in Crimea, which would likely be seen by Russia as a seriously provocative escalation. Also it is clear that in the short time that Ukraine has been receiving modern western arms they have not had enough time to be adequately trained to use those weapons . This means that it is likely that NATO personnel are directly assisting in the use of these weapons. This direct involvement by western intelligence agencies has occurred from the start, and has resulted in direct Russian losses. It is not as if the U.S. government has been shy about admitting to this intelligence assistance, as can be seen here and here.
The upshot of all of this is that for all intents and purposes the U.S. and NATO are co-belligerents in this war. There are those who would formalize this status and enhance it as well. Such a proposal is part of the proposed House plan to authorize the military. This would make explicit that Ukrainian pilots would be trained to pilot modern U.S. fighters. This makes western involvement extremely dangerous to global peace and security. It is unknown at what point the Russians will reach a breaking point and decide that they have no alternative other than to directly attack NATO positions. This is an especially relevant threat as the U.S. is proposing permanent bases in former Warsaw Pact nations, such as Poland. This likely would be a break from a promise that the U.S. gave Russia some time ago. Keep in mind that the “breaking point” in all this likely sees a Russian use of a tactical nuclear weapon. From that point it is highly likely that human civilization has but hours more to survive as this chilling scenario postulates. That some think this is possible was made manifest by this Public “Service” Announcement by New York City on what to do if the “big one hits”.
The salient point here is that things are being done and discussed that were explicitly taken off the table when the Russian invasion began. Those who warned of a possible dangerous escalation were scoffed at as conspiracy theorists. Now what those “conspiracy theorists” warned against has become U.S. policy and much more escalation is openly discussed. This is how the end begins.
Remember that none of this justifies Russia’s invasion, that stands as a crime. In the realm of international relations all we can do is work for harm reduction as the entire enterprise is immoral. While there is never a justification for war, there is provocation, based upon political realities. The U.S. was extraordinarily provocative toward Russia by running an adversarial military bloc up to their borders then putting Ukraine on the fast track to join said military bloc. Ukraine is held by Russia to be core to its sense of self and security. The analogy to the U.S. would be if Mexico had been invited into the Warsaw Pact. Since none of what the U.S. is doing in Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter, is needed to defend the sovereignty, territory or transit in international waters, we should…Stop! It is U.S. imperial ambitions that are driving these provocations, none of which are necessary or justifiable.
A Call to Peace
As rational human beings and followers of Christ it is long past time to demand peace form our leaders. The case for peace in Ukraine, and everywhere else, is unimpeachable. It would end the slaughter of innocent civilians, especially as it is clear that Ukraine cannot win without a direct intervention/escalation by NATO. It would dial down the risk of an escalation that could end with nuclear holocaust. It would provide some relief to a rapidly deteriorating U.S. fiscal position, and allow the U.S. some space to deal with mounting problems at home. The case for peace then, is both moral and practical.
God never intended for His children to live in this kind of fear, nor should we find it acceptable to let the power structure threaten the existence of all of creation that was given to us in stewardship. It is always a call upon the Christian conscience to work for God’s peace in this world. It’s time to answer that call before we mission creep our way to Armageddon.
Praise Be to God