March 10, 2022
Holy Trinity Surrenders to Veto.
The Post-WWII architecture, including, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), is having a seizure while we tip toe towards nuclear annihilation. The euphoria from the Holy Trinity, authored by presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman of the United States, Joseph Stalin of the USSR and Winston Churchill of Great Britain, has long since given way to a multi-polar world, with the five Permanent Members (P5) of the UNSC able to self-immunize any action, lawful or even a war crime, by merely wielding a “Veto.” The essential job of UNSC is to prevent WWIII, and it has done it with resounding success for 75 years – including, the Cuban Missile Crisis – until now. Even the lofty Responsibility to Protect (R2P), born out of Rwanda’s avoidable genocide, is impotent now, when generally, it’s feared that R2P is a tool for regime change that leave no sovereign safe from P5.
Russia must Be Secure to Be Great Again.
To be concise, it is presumed that the reader is familiar with: the 2016 ironically named movie “Ukraine on Fire,” (https://rumble.com/vwxxi8-ukraine-on-fire.html) by Oliver Stone and Igor Lopatonok, wherein President Putin, at ease, makes his best case, in his own voice, for the need to rewind the events since the 1991 collapse of USSR, with special focus on Ukraine; and my prior Op-Ed, “Need Win-Win, Not Lose-Lose,” published two days before Russia Invaded Ukraine, with 9 predicate links that document Russia’s credible insecurity: from 1975 Helsinki to February 17, 2022 “Written Reaction” by Russia to the US response (https://www.america-times.com/need-win-win-not-lose-lose/). In essence, NATO incrementally surrounded Russia and made her feel insecure, as recently, Russia surrounded Ukraine and made her feel insecure. Mr. Putin’s fight is primarily with NATO-expansion, and to a lesser degree, economically, given the wholesale loss of state assets without any residual benefits to Russia in 1991 – a classic case of legal malpractice – which President Putin well comprehends and articulates, being a lawyer who knows he would do better.
Putin’s Unjust War Against Ukraine Is Wrong.
President Putin’s War against Ukraine is unjust, and wrong. Ukraine is not part of NATO, yet it is being attacked, her men, women and children being killed, their homes and lives destroyed, and a tsunami of refugees, who are cold and hungry, perhaps as many as ten – fifteen million will have to be absorbed by Europe and a sympathetic world, including, us. Critically, President Putin’s trigger for this illegal and unjust War is NATO’s expansion, and his credible feelings that Russia is rendered insecure as a result, both militarily and economically. All that said, it remains a fact that Mr. Putin has attacked a non-NATO country, and created a nuclear holocaust scenario waiting in the wings: in silos, and by possibly bobby-trapping the water reservoir at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to create a “mushroom cloud,” while Chernobyl is available to be a “dirty bomb.” This madness must stop. In the catalog of ugly wars, this misadventure by President Putin will be his Viet Nam, but only worse. Since each soldier is a hero and a patriot in his or her country, their political leadership must not expend them as a chess-master does a pawn.
WWIII Has Started.
Now, since February 24, 2022, with Russia having invaded Ukraine, some say that WWIII has already started. But all understand that Nuclear Winter is waiting in the wings, since President Putin made that expressly clear by putting his nuclear forces on high alert, and expressing in sum and substance: who needs the world without Russia in it! Translation: Mr. Putin is fighting to keep Russia alive and if he can’t, no other nation needs to live either. That’s what we are up against: a tough pill to swallow.
The time for mis-diagnosis and mistreatment, including, sleight of hand in the necessary turnover of Polish Mig29s to Ukraine for self-defense are over. Appeasement requires the world to surrender, including, the Senior Partner of the recently announced “No Limits Partnership” in Beijing, President Xi Jinping, and all other world leaders have to agree to become part of Russia, and subservient to President Putin – a Tsar like none other. Methinks, even President Putin would blush merely thinking of that impossible scenario. Indeed, forcing a return to reality, President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedic actor turned head-of-state turned Winston Churchill, I am sure, will not agree. After all, he rejected even being evacuated, and said: “I need ammunition. I don’t need a ride.” His recent Churchillian address to England’s Parliament sadly reminds that politicians are not statesmen, and statesmen are not politicians.
I fear that Mr. Putin’s Unjust War is his Viet Nam, only worse. Just as we misjudged the Vietnamese, so has Mr. Putin the Ukrainians, who are better equipped and unyielding zealous nationalists. Whatever Afghanistan was for Russia (forget about us), Ukraine is that by a factor of a hundred, educated as they are at KPI of National Technical University of Ukraine, National Aviation University of Ukraine, etc..
Great Powers Court (GPC): C.J. John G. Roberts, C.J. Vyacheslav Lebedev, and a Third.
His two prior legal efforts – in 2009, and again, on December 17, 2021 with draft twin treaties – were all aimed at us and NATO, and deserved a respectful and substantive legal response, with an offer to accept mediation or arbitration if necessary; or, perhaps, the ICJ can decide, or better yet, set up a special Great Powers Court, made up of Chief Justice Vyacheslav Lebedev, who luckily has been serving since December 26, 1991, our Chief Justice John Glover Roberts Jr., and a third judge agreeable to both. Let both Russia and NATO present their case, and let the GPC decide. It’s time for nations, even great powers, to honor the rule of law – just as we expect people in every nation to do so.
Out of Options; Conclusion: Settle Security, and Rebuild a New Architecture.
No president or Tsar is empowered to thrust all of humanity into nuclear annihilation merely to feel more secure at home. Hypersonics will make this Ukraine moment into a serial tragedy. The supply chains, essence of globalization, are all coming home. Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage is also dying on the alter of Income Inequality, sovereignty and territorial integrity, public safety and public health. Now, Business is becoming like politics: always local.
War Crimes are of no moment, absent an absolute victory – a thought recently expressed by China’s Global Times’ Editor @HuXijin, which I agreed with – and hence, comparisons to Nuremberg Trials are both offensive and fanciful. Neither appeasement nor madness is a virtue. Sanctions are becoming parking tickets, as the current ongoing Unjust War in Ukraine proves, and even SWIFT is being replaced by an alternative financial system owned by China, Russia and Iran, not to mention block chain-based crypto currencies, NFTs, Metaverse, and 6G horizons that will challenge nationality and sovereignty. Eight billion humans, and many more billions of species, yearn to continue living – and President Putin – you are not authorized to destroy us all. Clearly, the post-WWII trade, finance and security architecture need to be scrapped and replaced, as UNSC with a Veto is no longer a right worth giving to any P5, now, or evermore.
On March 7th, President Putin proposed a four-items Offer to end this war. A counter-offer to end this Unjust War and secure Russia is needed, and I humbly propose that a fair and just resolution is: an immediate and simultaneous cessation of war by both, and Russian troops’ withdrawal back into Russia; autonomous zones for Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk; Ukraine gets NATO Art 5 security guarantee without membership, in satisfaction of all its rights under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum; and Russia secures itself with President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and any security issues not agreed to can be submitted to the Great Powers Court for binding decision. The lawyer in President Putin ought seize upon this opening, and start substantive negotiations. One thing needed to help in securing peace, beyond the typical mistrust and suspicion, is public and private “respect,” and warm protocol, and excommunicating “insult,” the cancer of added-strife. As Mark Twain said – knowing that most leaders across the world do not meet Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Covenant of being a government “for the people” – “patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” We are all Patriots. Let’s secure our families, homes and nations, so that people feel safe, healthy and secure.
The ball is in your court President Putin – you can stop your war now, and win a negotiated settlement, or lose it all, for all. I hope and pray that you will engage with great vigor on the negotiating table, get a good settlement, maybe even join NATO and EU. After all, you lose nothing by stopping this war now, as you keep the same right as us to start the mother of all wars that forces the Doomsday Clock to hit midnight.