GARLINGTON: A Smidge of Restraint Might Help in Ukraine

The international order continues to burn in the flames emanating from the Ukraine.  At this point we would all do well to consider the virtues of restraint and neutrality.  It is the lack of those two things that has gotten us where we are:

 . . . the facts really aren’t complicated. Russia’s recent invasion, far from being “unprovoked” (as shamelessly claimed in mainstream media), follows eight years of the US-backed Ukrainian regime’s deadly shelling of ethnic Russians near the border of Russia itself, in fighting that has killed more than 13,000 civilians in territory Vladimir Putin’s administration pledged to protect long ago.

And that carnage had a fairly obvious cause, too: it was precipitated by the US-supported coup that toppled Ukraine’s elected government in 2014, ostensibly because of human rights abuses but more fundamentally because that government had refused to convert the former Soviet republic into a vassal state of NATO.

The machinations resulting in what is now called the “Maidan coup” destroyed Ukraine’s neutrality between Russia and the West, unleashing in its stead a violent and bigoted nationalist movement for which the inhabitants of the Don River basin, mostly ethnic Russians, have been paying with their lives ever since.

That much should be clear to all unbiased readers – like the fact that NATO’s relentless march toward the Russian border (in direct violation of U.S. officials’ promise to Russian leadership as far back as 1990) is the real story of “aggression” behind the manufactured outrage over the Russian “attack” on Ukraine.

But the tossing aside of restraint by the West wasn’t haphazard, continues Michael Lesher, the author of the essay linked above; the goal was to continue the push for a ‘Great Reset’ that covid began:

In a very real sense, this propaganda campaign is an extension of the lockdowns imposed on the populations of the Western “democracies” (I add the quotation marks mournfully but advisedly) in early 2020 – and of the attacks on the freedoms of their citizens for which COVID-19 is no longer as sturdy a pretext as it seemed to be two years ago. For most of us, that is really its primary significance.

In other words, the agenda underlying the new Cold War – and mind you, it’s already a pretty hot “cold war” when Atlantic Magazine, formerly a storehouse of liberal antiwar pieties, is chiding the US for not being sufficiently “bloody and brutal” in Ukraine – is not aimed at Russia (despite the US-led economic warfare that mainly targets blameless Russian citizens). It’s not even aimed at Ukraine (notwithstanding obvious US efforts to exacerbate the conflict by flooding the country with weapons).

The real target is us. And whatever news we see from Ukraine in the mainstream press – now, tomorrow, a month from now, whenever – that’s one point we mustn’t forget.

Remember the rapid erosion of free speech throughout the West as the COVID coup started to intensify? Well, that was just a foretaste of the censorship we can expect to see on social media as our opinion-makers shift to a Cold War footing. Remember the marginalization of news sources whose information about SARS-CoV-2 didn’t square with the Official Message?

The senseless banning of RT in many “free” countries since Russia’s invasion suggests how that trend will proceed. Remember the way accurate public comment about Anthony Fauci or Bill Gates became an act of sedition as of 2020?

Today, arbitrary government crackdowns (no warning, no trial, no proof of illegal acts) are already getting worse; war hysteria will further aggravate them.

As for the economy, Reuters is reporting “wild swings in the prices of oil, metals and other raw materials” – surely a harbinger of worse things to come.

In fact, rising consumer prices, shortages, fiscal contraction, increased unemployment – all products of lockdowns – are already showing signs of spiraling out of control as the super-rich fatten off war profiteering and the rest of us are lectured about the “sacrifices” expected of us in the fight against the Russian Beelzebub.

If anyone denies that these things represent the actual goals of the warmongering over Ukraine, I have one question for him: can you please suggest a more persuasive explanation for what otherwise resembles a case of collective insanity among the war promoters?

. . .

So the senseless violence the U.S. and its allies have provoked in Ukraine is not really a new war at all. From the perspective of the Western citizenry – for the purposes of people like me and most of my likely readers – it’s only another front in the war for the New Normal, a war that has been waged against us for years and which shows no sign of stopping.

Recognizing that is not to dismiss the genuine suffering caused by the violence, nor does it require us to overlook other reasons for seeking to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

But it does warn us against limiting our attention to suffering in a distant place while our own freedoms are under attack. It reminds us that specific pretexts for dismantling democratic government come and go, but that the appetite of the ruling class for increased power is permanent and insatiable.

It cautions us against complacency, reminding us that no one will protect our rights if we ourselves don’t – especially when our press is full of lies and our public intellectuals endorse mass surveillance and war hysteria.

Yes, we are at war.

But it’s a war fought on our own soil and against oppressors much closer to home than a Russian president. Our enemies are human automata who want to strip life of the freedom without which life is meaningless. Our principal weapons are the only ones that work against such enemies: truth, compassion, dignity, determination and love.

To give credence to what he is saying, one only has to consider the admission by certain US intelligence officers about feeding doubtful intelligence to the media to stoke the fires of war in the US population.  Via Ron Paul (with more details here):

Last week an extraordinary article appeared in, of all places, NBC News, reporting that the US intelligence community is knowingly feeding information it does not believe accurate to the US mainstream media for the American audience to consume.

In other words, the article reports that the US “deep state” admits to being actively engaged in lying to the American people in the hopes that it can manipulate public opinion

According to the NBC News article, “multiple US officials acknowledged that the US has used information as a weapon even when confidence in the accuracy of the information wasn’t high. Sometimes it has used low-confidence intelligence for deterrent effect…”

Readers will recall the shocking headlines that Russia was prepared to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, that China would be providing military equipment to Russia, that Russian President Putin was being fed misinformation by his advisors, and more.

All of these were churned out by the CIA to be repeated in the American media even though they were known to be false. It was all about, as one intelligence officer said in the article, “trying to get inside Putin’s head.”

That may have been the goal, but what the CIA actually did was get inside America’s head with false information meant to shape public perception of the conflict. They lied to propagandize us in favor of the Biden Administration’s narrative.

Rather than yell and scream for more offensive weapons for the Ukraine, considering the manipulation we’ve all been subjected to, now is the time to opt for neutrality and restraint.  Not only has non-interference been a key part of traditional US foreign policy since Washington’s time, it is also an integral part of Western culture that we have inherited from the ancients:

Countries that wish to remain neutral on Ukraine, moreover, find themselves in a political pickle. For just as corporate America cancels citizens it deems too reactionary; the American State can, and will, cancel entire countries.

But, what do you know! Some countries have opted for political neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, choosing the classically liberal position—it opposes sanctions, as these are as useless in achieving political ends as they are ruthless in their effects on the most vulnerable. As far as their ultimate outcome—embargoed are counterproductive. What works is high-level diplomacy.

Chief among the countries that wish to remain politically neutral toward Russia and commercially engaged with it—while urging a diplomatic resolution to the conflict—are Hungary, Serbia (which sagely “bans its citizens from fighting in conflicts abroad”), China and India.

Spurred on by puppet President Volodymyr Zelensky and his American puppeteers, these countries, especially China and India, have been menaced by the Biden administration for maintaining military and commercial ties with Russia.

The concept of neutrality is an important part of Western Civilization. As expounded in one scholarly tract, “the concept of respect for neutrals appears early in Greek history and remains a nearly constant feature of Classical wars.”

By threatening to punish nations for practicing detached political neutrality in the matter of Ukraine and Russia, even as these neutrals call for comity between countries, and urge a diplomatic, peaceful resolution to the conflagration, things China and India have done—The Empire is working to sunder, as in obliterate, the time-honored, civilizing concept of political neutrality. Judging from its silence, the Stupid Party seconds the Evil Party on the matter.

No matter, though!  Engulfing Europe in the fires of war will be worth it!

It will be worth it when diesel shortages hammer trade and economic activity even harder they already have been.

It will be worth it when peaceful trade relations are replaced by an antagonistic, bifurcated structure with the West on side and Eurasia on the other.

It will be worth it when Finland and Sweden join NATO and provoke further turmoil in the world.

It will be worth it when toxic Western cultural exports like LGBT Pride Parades become entrenched in every corner of the Ukraine (supported by the angelic Pres. Zelensky, as noted in the linked article).

It will be worth it when the world collapses for the sake of defending the most corrupt country in Europe.

If folks in the States feel the need to combat a bogeyman, there is one just to our north who really does need to be reigned in:  Justin Trudeau.  His recent treatment of the dissident pastor Artur Pawlowski is reminiscent of the Soviet gulag:

Pawlowski was taken to Calgary Remand Centre, where he alleges he was treated poorly. He said he was placed for a time in a small metal cage, not given water for a whole day, and deprived of both his glasses and a Bible for several days. He claimed he was strip-searched repeatedly, spent many hours in solitary confinement and was made to sleep on cold concrete.

Some prison guards were respectful and even intimated to him their belief that he was a political prisoner, but he said others exhibited cruelty. Protests gathered daily for more than 40 days outside the jail, which he said prompted the prison administration to punish the other inmates on his behalf by placing all of them on lockdown.

“They were punishing the entire prison because of me,” he said. “And then they paraded me in front of the inmates, saying, ‘That’s the guy. You’re being punished because of him. So if you have a chance to do something, that’s the villain, that’s the guy.'”

“And I think that was the scariest time,” he added.

“I was told by inmates, and they’re willing to testify, that they were approached by different people from within the administration — and the guards bribing them with different incentives to beat me up,” he said, recounting how his cell door would sometimes be left open, which terrified him.

. . .

Shortly before his release on bail, Pawlowski was transferred to Edmonton Remand Centre, which is the largest prison in Canada. There he was placed in the psychiatric ward, where he shared a cell with a paranoid schizophrenic who told him he had killed his own brother with a machete.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, please. While I’m sleeping, please protect me,'” Pawlowski said.

“But you know, I was able to minister to him and pray for him,” he recounted about his cellmate.

When a worker from Alberta Health Services (AHS) checked on him and asked why he had been placed in the mental ward despite not having been diagnosed with a mental illness, Pawlowski said he had no answer.

Claiming that dissenters from the approved government opinion are mentally ill is a classic tactic of Communist rulers.

Yet in the hysteria being drummed up over the Ukraine, the tyranny growing on our northern border receives little more than a yawn.  One wonders what else Trudeau will have to do before politicians in the US decide that maybe a few sanctions are warranted for Trudeau and the globalist, dictatorial pals and gals in his government.

In the same way that we don’t have to go far overseas to find bad leaders to fight in the name of freedom, we can also find inspirational people close to home.  For instance, there are several place names in Louisiana named after important Christian events and saints that we would do well to learn about and keep often in mind, following the admonishment of St. Paul (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1-3).

The Powers That Be in politics, the media, etc., however, want us to find inspiration in morally questionable characters in the Ukraine, like this one, who openly praises the Islamic State:

Despite openly neo-Nazi groups, such as the Azov Battalion and the Right Sector, being embedded in the Ukrainian Republican Guard (which is under the command of the Interior Ministry), was not bad enough, now prominent members of the President Zelensky’s administration who have shown public appreciation and admiration for the so-called Islamic State (previously known as ISIS and ISIL).

One of Volodymyr Zelensky’s closest friends and associates, Aleksey Arestovich is a controversial figure, to say the least. He often boasts about being one of the architects of Ukraine’s psychological and information warfare strategy.

During his attendance on a Ukrainian political talk show (most likely in previous years), Mr. Arestovich openly stated that he “admired and respected” the methods used by the infamous Islamic State, a global Islamic terrorist group, widely known for the absolutely horrific crimes, destruction and simply havoc they have brought on the peoples of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and even the Philippines, in addition to numerous individual terrorist attacks all across the globe. This was what Mr. Arestovich said:

“The commanders of ISIL are considered some of the more wise and successful commanders that there are currently. Everything is thought through in detail, even the degree of cruelty. Cruelty for show – it is inhumane, but it is of a very high level, a wise strategy, taking their particular interests into account.”

In another talk show, Mr. Arestovich reiterated his admiration for the terrorists once again:

“They are acting very correctly, I even have a notebook where I analyze ISIL in great detail, the best practices of running their business, the way they govern. Those methods, the world needs them, even though this means terrorism, medieval levels of cruelty, burning people alive, shooting them or cutting off their heads, etc. This is absolutely the way of the future.”

The Ukraine is home to a wonderful, ancient Christian culture and to many good people.  The annual Cross Procession across the country that meets at the Kiev Caves Monastery is a sight to behold.

The US and NATO should never have gotten involved in her affairs.  The best thing we all could do now is to encourage the leaders of Ukraine to negotiate a lasting settlement with Russia so both countries can resume normal, friendly relations as soon as possible, with one another and with the West.

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