Will Europe Backtrack on Ukraine? It’s only a Matter of Time
The war in Ukraine is not going the way the West expected, despite what is being said in the context of the hybrid war that usually accompanies military conflicts. The Biden government, after cancelling overnight Donald Trump’s isolationist policy and waking up the monster of inflation, is watching in confusion and bewilderment. They activated a crisis that they are unable to control and after November [they could be] will be facing --it is a matter of time--impeachments.
But if there’s someone who will pay a heavy price for all this, it’s Europe. Brussels failed once again to pursue an independent foreign policy and followed the Americans, leaving everything up to NATO—the Alliance for which they didn’t pay what they should (with the exception of the Greeks) and left the Americans to cover all the costs. And when Trump told them he did not understand why American taxpayers would have to pay for Europe's security, they had to put up with the US President, who had taken them out of the comfort zone and forced them to pay.
Watching Ukraine spiraling into chaos, Europeans are terrified. Politicians in Europe don’t want to hear about war. The societies of the Old Continent, addicted to liberal and social democratic policies, which after World War II have sought to eliminate the root causes of fascism and during the Cold War the root causes of communism, were not ready to face a war in Europe. They should have realized, though, that the neoconservatives, who seem to survive all administrations in Washington, were inciting this disaster from the days of the Maidan Uprising (in 2013) and ever since. But once again, they underestimated Moscow’s reaction.
Several years ago, in November 1989, many in the West celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. A number of current left-wing politicians in Europe, though, have been trying from day one to find a new narrative, to replace the pro-communist narrative, which has dominated left-wing academia circles, with something more “digestible” and to bring communism, transformed, back to the forefront. They remembered the nihilist teachings of the Frankfurt School and engaged in social engineering projects that dissolve Western societies from within. Their goal is the elimination of European Christian culture that was already crumbling under by liberal influences.
On every occasion, a new well – funded movement emerged, whose aim was to cancel almost every element of Christian and Western culture. One result was the so-called cancel culture that demonizes the European and American past. The Russians did not permit these kinds of “protests” to succeed, and, when Pussy Riot members tried in 2012 to stage a performance interrupting the liturgy in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, they got arrested. Sacrilege has nothing to do with liberty but that’s not the idea that prevails in the ranks of the elites in the West.
Europe is currently suffering from Western sanctions imposed on Russia. What about a plausible settlement, though? Is demonizing Moscow a wise practice? No, but that’s simply the kind of psychological approach that turns occasionally into a tool of war in the hands of wicked media manipulators and propagandists. What we are watching right now is not the kind of responsible statecraft we have enjoyed in the past, at least in the Old Continent.
In the West the elites in media and government insist on judging by their own criteria, and this doesn’t give them a clear picture of the situation. At the same time, they are constantly confronted with their lies. They talk a lot, unlike the Russians, and try to win a propaganda war that is evolving inside the West but does not really affect anyone else. They fail to convince Europeans; many of them are now asking Kyiv to back down, even accept the loss of territory once again. And somehow, a 30-year-old Western policy is practically canceling a “hero” they lately created. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, will soon be thrown to the wolves, whether or not he accepts what the West chooses for him. It’s a matter of time. He’s trapped and his future is ominous.
As for Europe, it was trapped within its own project. It neither went forward promoting its federalization, nor back to a Europe of Nations. It doesn’t have a defense policy, and within its ranks national interest remains the main driving force. Germany, the country that used the EU as a vehicle to advance its geopolitical and economic agendas, now appears weak, dependent on Russian energy and embarrassed. French President Emmanuel Macron keeps the line of communication with Russia open, as do many other Europeans, who have no time or appetite to hear the screams of the Poles and the politicians from the Baltics.
For their part, the Russians are selling oil and profiting from the wreckage of the European economy. The question now arises: How patriotic is it for many European politicians to adopt sanctions that are actually ruining their own economies? How much time will it take for them to find the courage to tell Washington and the (former Marxists) bureaucrats who now run NATO that the policy pursued is disastrous for their countries? Forget the British. Ages ago they lost their empire, and they have never found a new role. But for the continent, where the economy is causing great pain, and radicalization’s begun to show its face, it is only a matter of time before Europeans backtrack on Ukraine. Zelensky’s fate is no longer a priority.
The last thing that the Republicans want is a blow out victory resulting in an overwhelming majority and they are doing everything in their power to prevent this from happening. If they won such a victory they would be expected to deliver results, but, by and large, they are very happy with the results that are currently being achieved.
Ukraine has been in chaos for more than thirty years now ruled by the most vicious, violent and voracious kleptocracy outside of D.C. and Brussels. The people and the land have been beaten down and ravaged by a minority and foreign class backed up by the most murderous gang of cutthroats since the Ustasa of WWII. Order, at least in part of the country, is in the process of being restored. It will take time and sacrifice.
The Europeans were more than ready to face a European war when the U.S. bombed Serbia and Russia was not a threat. What they can’t face is losing a war, and badly, and thereby having their mask ripped violently off to show that instead of a lovely vibrant young woman, what the world was really admiring so much is a broken down old courtesan, be-wigged, with cracking pancake makeup and shattered rotting teeth.
Michael Strenk makes several strong points. Mr. Hidiroglou’s perspective is unusual, being the expression of a conservative-minded Greek journalist who keeps his fingers on the pulse of Greek and EU policy and attitudes. Conservative Greeks, although Orthodox, have not nurtured especially warm feelings toward Russia, even since Stalin backed an attempted communist revolution, but their sad experience as a betrayed American ally and a victim of socialist policies and EU exploitation have put their country in a precarious position. It is from such a perspective–peculiar if not entirely unique–that this sort of Realpolitik view of policy has developed. Russia is no longer the enemy that it was, no longer the source of communist subversion and influence, but Greeks are not particularly enamored of Russia either, which gives this analysis an authentic objectivity.
Thank you for the perspective. My view is also colored by the fact that we currently attend a Greek parish that celebrates on the Julian calendar. Despite our neither being Greek nor speaking Greek and despite it being a very Greek parish from a particular area of Greece, they have been very welcoming and kind to us. Those with whom I have spoken on current events are, while deploring war, very much sympathetic to the plight of those whom the Russians have endeavored to liberate, including about 150,000 Greeks in the area of Mariupol, in Russia since the time of Catherine and persecuted with all non-Ukrainians (whatever that is). Our beloved fellow parishioners have also been violently persecuted by their own people for their conservative non-ecumenical theology, including the calendar controversy.
It takes a long time to re-establish a trusting relationship. The Russian speakers, and others, who have long felt betrayed and abandoned by Russia are on the sharp end of things, having to adjust their attitudes very quickly in order to survive, but actual trust will certainly not happen overnight. I think that they, and much of the rest of Eastern and Southeastern Europe will come around as the rebuilding process takes place and the people achieve the prosperity that they deserve given the rich soil and mineral wealth of the region and high competency of the population.
“How patriotic is it for many European politicians to adopt sanctions that are actually ruining their own economies?”
How patriotic is a “European Union”? It’s the opposite of patriotic.
Any jurisdiction featuring the word “united” or “union” in its title is the opposite of united or a union. It’s a signal that tyranny is unfolding.
Greeks in America used to be somewhat suspicious of outsiders who visited their church, and they naturally resented being lumped together with other less-hardworking and law-abiding groups from the Mediterranean. I shared a house with a Greek bar-owner from Thessaly, a good guy but he had a dim view of non-Greeks. In general, I find Greeks among the kindest people in the world. They are extremely hospitable and not prone to violence, though Mussolini learned to his cost that they are willing to defend themselves, if attacked.