Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared before a joint session of Congress to plead for more billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to help Ukraine in its war with Russia.
One particular sentence in Zelensky’s address caught my attention: “We Ukrainians will also go through our war of independence and freedom with dignity and success.” The sentence prompted an enormous applause from the members of Congress.
There is one big problem with Zelensky’s statement, however. The war between Ukraine and Russia has nothing to do with freedom. Instead, it has everything to do with NATO, the old Cold War dinosaur that ginned up the crisis that led to this highly deadly and destructive war.
Operating through NATO, the Pentagon was insistent on incorporating Ukraine into NATO. Zelensky too wanted Ukraine to join NATO. For at least the last 25 years, Russia has made it clear that Ukraine’s joining NATO was a “red line” for Russia. The last thing Russia wanted was Pentagon bases and nuclear missiles installed on Russia’s border, just as the last thing that the Pentagon would want is Russian bases and nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba. Russia consistently made it clear that if Ukraine crossed that “red line,” Russia would invade Ukraine to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.
Thus, everyone knew what the stakes were if the Pentagon, NATO, and Ukraine persisted in making Ukraine a member of NATO. They knew that if they persisted, Russia would end up invading Ukraine.
Knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally ignoring and disregarding Russia’s “red line,” the Pentagon, NATO, and Ukraine continued down the road toward making Ukraine a member of NATO, knowing full-well that that would result in a Russian invasion of Ukraine to prevent that from happening.
Thus, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky was faced with a fateful choice. If he decided that Ukraine would not join NATO, there would be no Russian invasion of Ukraine. If he decided that Ukraine would join NATO, there would be a Russian invasion of Ukraine, one that was certain to result in massive death and destruction on both sides.
Zelensky chose the second option. In making that choice, he was saying that the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of his citizens and the destruction of his country were worth Ukraine’s joining NATO. That’s quite a choice. Another president might have decided the massive death and destruction that would be unleashed in such a war would not be worth joining NATO.
In any event, the war between Russia and Ukraine is not about freedom, as Zelensky said to Congress. It’s about Zelensky’s wish to have Ukraine join NATO.
And let’s keep in mind that NATO was part of the old Cold War racket that was used to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, which is a type of governmental structure that wields totalitarian-like powers. When the Cold War racket suddenly came to an end, the old Cold War dinosaur NATO should have gone out of existence, just as the Warsaw Pact did.
During the entire Cold War racket, the fear that the Russians and other communists were coming to get us was used to justify ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment and its ever-growing army of voracious “defense” contractors who loved feeding at the public trough. The Pentagon and its “defense” contractors were clearly not ready to let go of their Cold War cash cow.
That’s what NATO’s absorption of former members of the Warsaw Pact was all about. By installing U.S. military forces and missiles ever closer to Russia’s border, the Pentagon’s aim was to incite a Russian reaction, which would then bring back the lucrative Cold War racket. Thus, the Pentagon knew exactly what it was doing when it persisted in absorbing Ukraine into NATO. And it clearly got what it was aiming for — a renewal of its Cold War racket and ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess.
One of the unanswered questions is how much of the $100 billion in U.S. taxpayer money that U.S. officials have given to the Ukrainian government has been used to line the pockets of Ukrainian officials. After all, Ukraine is one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. There is no reason to believe that the Ukraine-Russia war has suddenly converted Ukrainian officials into honest and honorable government officials.
Finally, there is something else to consider that is of critical importance. The federal government’s debt now exceeds $31 trillion. U.S. officials, led by President Biden, continue spending money like there was no tomorrow. That includes almost a trillion dollars being given to the Pentagon to keep us “safe” from the threats that it itself induces. Ever-increasing federal spending, debt, taxation, and monetary destruction constitutes a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of the American people. In pleading with Congress to give the Ukrainian government even more billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, it’s too bad that President Zelensky gives short shrift to the continued destruction of our own freedom and well-being here at home.
Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.