Blue Eyes and Blonde Hair
Why has Russia invaded Ukraine?
Apocryphal, it may seem, but the saying is that ‘if you have a friend like the United States then you don’t need enemies in this world’. Pakistan learnt this bitter truth the hard way. Right from its inception, Pakistan was ensnared or rather grew in the basket of the United States. It took Pakistan some seven decades, some 80,000 lives and more than 150 billion dollars, to realize that the line it was towing ever since did not take it anywhere. What the country reaped by remaining in American camp was devastation of its economy, balkanization and radicalization of its people and importing others’ in its home.
Whether it was the Afghan Jihad against the soviets or the War on Terror, Pakistan remained a disposable pawn on the American chessboard, and being labeled as a land of terrorists, extremists and Jihadis. While Pakistan chose to remain the proverbial fodder for someone else, obeying to every command of “Do More”, it did not know when the umbilical cord connecting it to the rest of the world was snapped.
When one sees live coverage of Zelenskyy speaking on CNN uninterrupted for hours, the mind like a kaleidoscope, takes one 20 years back recalling General Musharraf’s solo live marathon coverage on CNN and FOX News day in and day out just days prior to plunging in the ‘War on Terror’. Juxtaposed with the ongoing standoff between Ukraine and Russia, one sees history repeating itself. Right from the narrative that is presently being sold to the world to the situation on ground, except for the pawn, poor Ukraine this time, everything is the same. As of today, when another small country with its innocent and hapless population is nearing a blood bath, the United States is not doing anything except talk.
All one hears is that America and other European countries are slapping sanctions after sanctions on Russia. As if this will bring the giant to submission. Did a superpower like Russia plunge into a war without considering this eventuality? Notwithstanding the cacophony made by the Western media as part of its covert tactics, cognizance must be taken as to the root cause of this problem.
Even a desultory search would reveal that the issue is not only deep-rooted but something very personal to Russia’s security. In a nutshell, it’s all about Russia’s security against NATO’s expansion, just like the way NATO was founded against the expanding Soviet juggernaut. Russia would certainly not like to have American weapons, including nuclear missiles, under the umbrella of NATO just 35 minutes away from its territory. Whether one agrees with the Russians or not, Putin has a reason to invade. Putting the lives of his own countrymen at stake and ignoring the expected reaction of the world, knowing that he would be confronting the wrath of the world and this is not by coincidence.
It’s no secret that while dealing with the Syrian civil war the United States and NATO placed its weapon in Izmir (Turkey) (NATO Allied Command for southern Europe) to keep the Russians at bay who supported Bashar al Asad. The nuclear bombs are still there to keep the power balance with them, should a nuclear conflict occur.
The author is a retired Cavalry officer. He has spent 27 years in uniform and has a published collection of short stories By the Autumn Trees to his name. He is a historian and an avid traveller, having a number of travelogues published in leading newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org