In response to an FT article by Philip Stephens on 20th July 2014, entitled 'Putin's next move - invade Eastern Ukraine'
AS AT 22nd APRIL 2016 ALL READERS' COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE HAD BEEN REMOVED. I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THAT OCURRED.
"The accumulating evidence points to a Russian-made ground-to-air missile fired from territory held by Russian separatists. Western intelligence agencies think, but probably will not be able to prove, that the missile battery was under the control of Russian military personnel.
This was not how Moscow had planned things. In the weeks before the downing of MH17 military analysts at Nato had noticed a steady build-up of Russian military forces near the Ukrainian border. By the time the aircraft was blown from the sky, senior alliance figures had calculated that Moscow had plans and forces in place to mount a full-scale invasion of the region now held by the separatists. The question was when?...
…Less certain is whether the risk of international pariah status will deter Mr Putin. It is quite possible to imagine the Russian president could draw the opposite conclusion – pressing ahead with an invasion of eastern Ukraine under the guise of a peacekeeping operation. Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, Barack Obama’s administration has pulled its punches as Europeans have wilfully underestimated the Kremlin’s ruthless contempt for international law and norms. The fate of MH17 is unlikely to have changed Mr Putin’s worldview. Will it spur western resolve?" - Philip Stephens
This is my opinion. It's not factual and it carries no more or less 'truth' than this article, which reads like Mr. Stephens has being bugging the Kremlin and the Pentagon for the past few months and knows exactly what everyone is thinking.
I see 300 innocent souls that are dead because a group of hate filled people wanted to exact revenge on people they thought were their enemy. I don't believe they targeted the murder of innocent civilians. However, if my loved ones were on that plane I would want to exact revenge on their killers. That's how hatred starts and how it gets passed on. And politicians fuel such hatred because it supports their agendas and justifies their criminal activities.
I believe that the Ukrainian separatists have been egged on and supplied by Moscow because it suits their agenda - which is to create a buffer between them and 'the West'; they don't want to be surrounded by NATO bases, and I have no doubt they have other more expansionary and less defensive objectives. None of their objectives justify the murder of innocent people.
I also see that the US does exactly the same thing all over the world. It has an agenda, it takes a side, it de-stabilizes regimes it doesn't like, it supplies arms and training to paramilitaries ('terrorists' when on the other side, 'freedom fighters' when with the US), it inadvertently kills and supports the killing of innocent people, and it issues misinformation and 'propaganda' to support it's causes.
So personally, I'd like to take Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama into a room and have a frank conversation with them, involving boxing gloves, about the actions they take and the games they play. That's not going to happen of course.
But equally I'm not going to sit here and say nothing when I read an article like this - which is written as if the world is a simple game of good and bad, and we're the good guys. No, Mr. Stephens - the West is not blameless here. When the US supported the overthrow of a Russia friendly government, what did they think was going to happen? That Vladimir Putin would blow a few kisses to Victoria Nuland, and say 'OK guys, you win some, you lose some'
Mr. Stephens - you seem to be a regular drinker of the Washington Kool-Aid - have you ever read the Wolfowitz doctrine? Let me remind you of one of its objectives: one of the ones that were hastily altered after it was leaked:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
So before you get me all worked up and I start baying for Russian blood, I've got a question for you Mr. Stephens - You ask "Will it spur western resolve?” I ask you - resolve to do what? What are YOU looking for Mr. Stephens? What's YOUR agenda?