By Ulson Gunnar
Ukraine was not exactly clamoring to get into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the antiquated military alliance created in the wake of World War II to prevent a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.
In order to even raise the prospect of Ukraine’s inclusion, first NATO itself would have to overthrow the elected government via an armed coup. Then it would have to ensure its new client regime remained in power. To do that, it organized, trained, funded, armed and militarily backed a patchwork of military units, including “volunteer battalions” openly founded upon Nazi ideology.
The incredible shrinking state…
In the process of building this obedient client regime, Ukraine would entirely lose the Crimean peninsula when its population voted to join the Russian Federation. While Kiev and its NATO patrons claim Crimea was “invaded” and is now being “occupied” by Russia, the people of Crimea are clearly counting themselves lucky to have escaped the fate of other regions with large Russian demographics.
Several of Ukraine’s eastern-most oblasts were not so lucky. Upon coming to power, the regime, tainted with Neo-Nazi ideology imported by coalition members such as Svoboda, began instituting anti-Russian policies which included rolling back many of the privileges and compromises long made by previous governments to accommodate Ukraine’s large Russian minority. Neo-Nazi “volunteer battalions” were sweeping the country, imposing Kiev’s authority and attempting to preempt any counter protests that might threaten its grip on power.
Their heavy handed tactics coupled with the people’s deep-seated hatred for their Neo-Nazi political and ideological stripes quickly provoked violence. Several oblasts rose up in armed rebellion against the new regime and its Neo-Nazi enforcers. As a result, Ukraine now has effectively lost Donetsk and Luhansk as well.
And while Ukraine shrinks territoriality, what remains becomes increasingly divided within.
The halls of Ukraine’s government have of late become notorious for outrageous scenes of violence and disorder altogether locked in absolute dysfunction, incompetence and inaction. While many of the scenes making headlines in recent months may appear comical to outsiders, the world should note that the lives of millions are subjected to the decisions (or indecision) of these politicians.
For many nations, both East and West, the idea that one politician would attempt to pick up and physically remove the Prime Minster from his podium is almost unthinkable. Yet just such a scene played out just before a large, violent brawl unfolded shortly after. Onlookers must remember that the current regime in Kiev has all but expunged any semblance of real opposition, so those physically assaulting each other in Ukraine’s parliament are actually, supposedly, on the same side.
Another scene unbecoming of the halls of political power, played out as the ex-Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, vocally berated Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, provoking him to throw a filled glass of water at Saakashvili. It should be noted that Saakashvili has inexplicably become the governor of Odessa, despite obvious questions regarding his nationality, political and criminal past, and qualifications to even hold such a position.
Saakashvili isn’t the only foreigner now running the Ukrainian government (this openly). There is also David Sakvarelidze, also from Georgia, now Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor general.
It seems in NATO’s new Ukraine, all of Eastern Europe is one big happy family/front with which to fight Russia, and the norms that generally govern national sovereignty and those allowed to lead one’s nation have been shown the door, together with dignity and statesmanship.
Suffering the insufferable…
When NATO’s new Ukraine is not losing territory to those disinterested in living within its borders, but equally disinterested in leaving their homes, and when the Ukrainian government is not busy fighting itself in pauses between fighting its own people, NATO sits them down to literally lecture them on how to run their country.
US Vice President Joseph Biden recently traveled to Ukraine to lecture the parliament. In his talk, he went on at length like a father scolding his son, over the harm corruption does to a nation.
And speaking of Vice President Biden’s son, and also corruption for that matter, it should be mentioned that at no time during Vice President Biden’s talk, was it explained how the appointment of his own son, Hunter Biden, as a director in Ukraine’s Burisma gas company, was not a perfect example of abuse of power, nepotism and of course, corruption.
The BBC’s article “Vice President Joe Biden’s son joins Ukraine gas company” explains further by stating:
The younger Mr Biden isn’t the only American with political ties to have recently joined Burisma’s board. Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and a college roommate of Mr Kerry’s stepson HJ Heinz, signed on in April.
Mr Biden and Mr Archer are also managing partners at Rosemont Seneca Partners, a Washington, DC-based investment company.
Perhaps Vice President Biden’s talk was actually about irony? Or hypocrisy?
For a Ukraine that claims it overthrew an elected government to escape Russian “domination,” one now must question that decision seriously as clearly Ukraine is now under NATO domination.
Ukraine, a warning to others…
There are other nations the United States and NATO are courting. But considering the fate of Ukraine, it will likely take coups, terrorism, and coercing, unparalleled even to what Ukraine has suffered, in order to strong-arm them into the alliance.
The loss of territory to those disinterested in NATO membership and all that it entails, the loss of national sovereignty or dignity as NATO imports foreigners to run their country for them, the prospect of ethnic persecution at the hands of NATO-backed extremists, the loss of any sense of destiny or progress with inept, infighting proxies intentionally kept needy and dependent on Washington and Brussels, are all not exactly ideal “enticements” on their own.
Ukraine had been doing far better playing both sides of the NATO-Russian coin, a strategy many nations throughout history have used to avoid being dominated by any number of competing foreign interests. With the NATO-backed coup in 2013-2014, this balancing act has been upset, and Ukraine has come tumbling down from great heights. It will take years, if not longer for the nation to recover from the damage its courtship with NATO has wrought.
This tumble is something the rest of Eastern Europe, and indeed, all other nations globally must consider before trading in careful balancing acts for the close embrace of geopolitical hegemony.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.