Op-Ed: A Brutal Timeworn Conflict - and the Hope for Peace
By Teodora Choolfaian
This February 24th will mark the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic Russian invasion in Ukraine. But do not let this relatively short period mislead you as this conflict dates back many decades ago. So it must be a policy of Peace that America seeks now- and fast.
We cannot ignore the looming possibility of a larger conflict. The United States has become more vulnerable not by the threat of enemy’s weapons - including nuclear weapons - but by that of inner weakness brought on by an incompetent and dogmatic leadership.
A protracted conflict in Eastern Europe casts an ominous shadow. Let us not forget history and repeat the mistakes of the past.
President Zelensky of Ukraine is preparing for his own elections. Supported by greedy and corrupt Americans for years, he has recently tried to clean-up the well-justified accusations of corruption that engulf his upper leadership. Turning his once-major patron - and a well established oligarch - Igor Kolomoyskyi into a persona non grata, he hopes, would work.
Zelensky doesn't need him anymore. The Ukrainian secret service raided Kolomoyskyi’s home just a few days ago in a desperate last minute demonstration of anti-corruption activity.
Meanwhile, Zelensky's close associates are seen breezing through Kiev in luxury SUVs and attending classy parties clad in Italian designer wear. Why should they hide their newly acquired wealth? Who is truly the most corrupt actor here?
The war has made some rich, and they have no intention of working toward peace. Civilian casualties and decimated standards of living continue for millions, while Zelensky adopts an increasingly totalitarian muzzle on the freedom of expression of Ukrainians.
On the other side, Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a dirty war of aggression that kills, murders, rapes and resorts to hiring mercenaries. No exact numbers on the precise loss of civilian and military life exist. Ukrainian and Russian and other media sources largely fib with data and present well manufactured propaganda. Sadly, our mass media outlets fabricate the narrative as well to suit the specific political motives of their editors. The terror and unspeakable pain of regular folk is deliberately and chronically neglected and put out of sight.
Russia isn't a power to be toyed with or to attempt to manipulate because of the historically proven ability of its leaders to consolidate and hold onto control over its own people. It is the authentic will of Russian opposition within Russia that we must nourish. And yet, we, as Americans, have miserably failed at that and not just once or twice.
We know well what happens to grassroots Russian opposition - there is no talk of Navalny now. The American press has largely forgotten him because thinking of him now would be to acknowledge that any reasonable Russian considering peaceful protest must sign his or her own death sentence.
The path forward lies squarely on President Biden’s diplomatic bravado (where is it?). He must open up all diplomatic channels and instead of advanced weaponry, our hard earned or credited dollars and ill-conceived propaganda, he must send American diplomats who are ready and able to negotiate peace - and soon. We have seen how drastically the likes of Veronica Nuland failed. We need freshly equipped Americans whose word is where their mouth is and whose capabilities are for the goal of pacification.
The window of opportunity is rapidly closing as globally-buried conflicts rekindle and war mongers and ethnic haters gain speed and arm themselves. Let us take this as a call to action. We must all work for peace now. Tomorrow may be too late.