The Third World War is already being fought, whether the West wants it or not. The die was cast by Russia long ago.
So far we have been able to ignore it, pretending nothing’s happening. But how long can it continue?
Back in 1939, the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland. The United Nations didn’t expel Russia for invading Ukraine in 2014. Russia remains a permanent member of UN Security Council and has right of veto.
The UN is dead. But we keep on feeding it, hoping that it will rise up again like Frankenstein’s monster.
NATO doesn’t look like a military alliance either, more like a cuddly Teddy-bear club. When Turkey shot down a Russian bomber jet over its territory over a week ago, NATO was fast to say that it would have been better if Turkey just escorted it out.
For the last two years Russian planes have invaded airspace of the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Baltic states and Turkey. A Russian submarine hunt was a major scare in Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden; and Russia’s bully President Vladimir Putin brought the entire Russian Navy fleet with him to the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Up until Turkey’s proactive response, Russia was able to do everything it pleased with minimal consequences. No one dared to stop Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, no one paid attention when Russia brought down Polish President Kaczynki’s plane in 2010, and by witnesses’ accounts shot all the survivors. Russian aggression in Ukraine has triggered only some minor sanctions, the purpose of which were not to put pressure on Russia, but rather to save Western face.
Being proud of exercising “soft power” in Europe, and “strategic patience” in Washington, no one is ready to respond to Russian power plays.
The lastest cuddling of EU President Jean-Claude Junker with Putin last Tuesday doesn’t leave any doubt Europe just can’t wait to jump back into business as usual with Russia.
But fortunately for everyone, save corrupt politicians, it’s no longer possible. The Russian authoritarian regime needs war to stay in power. The Russian economy is falling apart, as it is corrupt to its bones, and the autocracy is always in search of an external enemy, to pull the population off thoughts of the economy. Also, it is of extreme importance for Russia to get Ukraine. Russia is a Golden Horde’s illegitimate child that figured out if it steals Kyivan Rus history, from when a Slavic state reached its height in the 11th century, it would be on top of the world. And of the modern states in the region, Ukraine is the sole bearer of Kyivan Rus legacy.
So now Russia expands to a second air force base and more army bases in Syria. The Western media are staying quiet about Russians targeting schools, hospitals, bakeries, residential areas, far away from ISIS positions. Oddly enough, Russia wants to be a part of the coalition against ISIS. That’s most likely because it wants the world to forget about Ukraine and all its other war crimes for the last two decades.
With so much buzz in the Russian media about the downed “defenseless” bomber over Turkey, one wonders why they didn’t cry as loudly about their own passenger jet downed over Egypt with so many civilian lives lost. There’s only one answer to that question. Russia doesn’t care about human lives. It’s a stunt because all of a sudden someone actually stood up to them, refusing to play “soft power” game.
So the longer the world is trying to avoid the fight already going on, the worse it will get. A soft power, or a strategic patience won’t cut it today.
Of course we can fool ourselves that there’s no good war or bad peace, or that the best warrior wins without using force, but Albert Einstein said once: “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”