We are Choosing Not to Learn from History

by Joe Marcinkowski

Russia is upset by the expansion of NATO and should be. NATO left its defensive strategy years ago when it attacked Yugoslavia, and now by breaking promises and expanding to the borders of Russia. Russia has told NATO and the US in writing that this is a “red line”, which is what President Kennedy told the USSR during the Cuban missile crisis. We were close to nuclear war, a Soviet nuclear submarine commander (who heard about the potential US action and lost communications with command) voted among the three senior offices to fire their nuclear missile on Florida. The vote required consensus and one officer voted “no” and we were spared a world-ending nuclear war by that one vote.

The White House claimed on Friday, Feb. 11 that attacks on Ukraine by Russian troops may be imminent, though Russian officials have denied these claims and denounced “dangerous lies.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, has beseeched the US and NATO powers to “not cause panic and further inflame tensions with Russia. With every passing hour, the world watches with trepidation as preparations for military conflict in Ukraine are made and Western media outlets loudly beat the drums of war. But it is not too late to avoid needless bloodshed—there is still time to avoid a catastrophic war with Russia in Ukraine.”

Fifty percent of the people in Ukraine speak Russian as their first language. These people are mostly in the East and have been attacked by the Ukraine Nazi Azov battalion. They have, with the help of the remaining Ukrainians army, killed 14,000 Russian speaking Ukrainians.**

The Russians will not allow this anymore, 100,000+ Russian troops 135 kilometers from the Ukraine border, an equal amount of Ukrainian newly trained and armed by US troops on the Donbas border. Russia will only invade to protect these people.

What can we do? We the “people” need to be involved:

  • Implementing the Minsk Agreements* that were signed & agreed by the US and the UN would be important step.
  • Both the House and Senate are rushing to send more money for weapons into this quagmire. Many of our “progressives “ have signed. Tell them NO, not to sell out to the Military-industrial-Congressional Complex, and to support the Minsk agreements*.
  • Sign the “No War In Ukraine” letter to the governments of NATO nations near the bottom of this page: https://worldbeyondwar.org/ukraine/

Joe Marcinkowski
Chair – military & foreign policy workgroup
Houston Peace & Justice Center

  1. The Minsk Protocol is an agreement that sought to end the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine. It failed to stop fighting in Donbas and was thus followed with a new package of measures, called Minsk II, which was signed on 12 February 2015. Learn more in the article by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies in Salonhttps://www.salon.com/2022/02/09/hey-america-theres-already-a-diplomatic-solution-in-ukraine–the-2015-minsk-protocol/
  2. Report on human rights in Ukraine from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rightshttps://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/Ukraine_13th_HRMMU_Report_3March2016.pdf