Western imperial dominance and militarism will not settle Ukraine in peace
Published: Apr 14, 2023 05:36 PM
Illustration: Liu Xiangya/GT

Illustration: Liu Xiangya/GT

The EU and NATO sail in troubled waters. In the field of external relations, the EU has never realized its Lisbon Treaty about making peace and speaking with one voice. NATO violates its Treaty 24/7 for it is basically a copy of the UN Charter. And the US conducts an economic war against Europe through the Nord Stream destruction, the costs of reacting to the Ukraine crisis, including energy prices.

French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen showed rather different attitudes and abilities to listen during their recent visit to China. But, both appealed to China to help solve the Russia-Ukraine conflict while the US has turned down every negotiation, mediation and diplomatic initiatives - rejection of any good idea now being a US standard.

This de facto NATO-Russia conflict - the West's attempt to use Ukraine to "weaken" Russia once and for all and then turn on China - is, of course, way more than it will be able to handle intellectually and economically. The EU/NATO has done nothing but knee-jerk reactive policies, cancelled everything Russia, made no analyses of consequences and argued hawkishly that there shall be no negotiations and Ukraine shall win this war.

Nobody asks: What does winning mean? And who shall pay the price for this anti-intellectual, militarist policy that stands no chance to succeed quickly or after years of fighting? The EU and NATO will, I predict, cause more harm to Ukraine's innocent citizens than the conflict itself. Two things could have prevented and also stop it now: A declaration that Ukraine shall be secured by creative neutrality, not by NATO membership, and that diplomacy, not weapons, will be the main tool to co-existence.

The EU/NATO narrative falsely frees the US, Europe and Ukraine from every responsibility, making Russia guilty of everything. Conducting policies on such intellectual banality and self-deception by definition cannot succeed.

Ukraine itself is not without blame: The manifest historical nationalism and politico-military connections with neo-Nazi attitudes and symbols (although suddenly deleted from the West's perception). Furthermore, up to the conflict, all Ukrainian opinion polls showed very small minorities for NATO membership; the people wanted cooperation with Russia and that the country's future orientation should be decided by referendum. We know now that the Minsk agreement was just a way to fool Russia and buy time for Ukrainian re-armament. And then came the special US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership from November 2021.

All Western baseless black-and-white narratives - including China as a threat - deserve scrutiny and de-construction. But mainstream "free" media promote them. Realpolitik must stop being deceptive, dishonest and irrational before humanity's existence is at stake.

The Ukraine war is one that will have no winners. This Western tragedy is significant because it grows out of the dangerous combination of intellectual and moral disarmament coupled with extreme re-armament and because all participants lose due to their own actions, not due to what others did to them. If Ukraine would become the last major war and the end of the dead dangerous Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC), it may be said that it served a purpose. With the decline and fall of the unipolar world, NATO and the worldwide national MIMACs will become redundant.

Peace is incompatible with deterrence by conventional and nuclear weapons. But it is possible through common security thinking, civil conflict management and mutual beneficial cooperation that makes war and other violence unattractive. Peace can be learned through education.

In contrast to the West, China's Global Security Initiative is promising from a professional peace point of view: The Belt and Road Initiative has a built-in win-win philosophy. A principled UN Charter-based approach to mediation and conflict-resolution must be the basis of worldwide brainstorming about better futures. A security initiative must build on purely defensive military with a heavy emphasis on civilian conflict-resolution aiming at co-existence in diversity. 

The human race must stop its short circuit arms race. The history of the West proves that imperial dominance and militarism are self- and other-destructive.

What is dearly needed is intensive research, creativity and dialogue to secure peace with peaceful means and free human civilization from fake peace by militarized "security."

The author is director of the Sweden-based think tank Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn