As a veteran of the Vietnam War I am always skeptical of the reasons we are given by our government and the media for any war. Per the instructions of “Deep Throat,” I will follow the money.

War Dialogue | Angel Barrigan, El Universal, Mexico City

Yesterday, the stocks of U.S. weapons manufacturers contradicted the broader market by soaring to new heights. Could this be a hint of what is really going on here?

At the initial peace talks yesterday in Belorussia, it is reported by all media outlets that Ukraine asked for an immediate cease fire and withdrawal of Russian military from Ukraine. Most of the same media outlets did not even report what the Russians asked for, but one did report that they offered an immediate cease fire and withdrawal if Ukraine would commit to neutrality vis a vis NATO in much the way that Finland had done. That would seem newsworthy. I wonder why other media outlets did not report it.

To explain, Finland is an EU member with a long border with Russia. Many years ago, the Russians invaded Finland, asking that it commit to neutrality. This is referred to as the Winter War. The Finns made Russia pay a heavy price for the invasion, but the Russians did not quit. In the end Finland committed to neutrality to end the killing of its much smaller population. Since then, partly because of its neutrality, Finland has become recognized as one of the most prosperous and democratic countries of Europe.

Incidentally this reflects back in history to Switzerland, which became neutral under pressure from its powerful neighbor, Napoleonic France, and has become the most stable, prosperous, and democratic country in Europe.

But back to the war in Ukraine and the weapons industry. Peace was possible in Europe after the Soviet empire collapsed. Reagan, Bush, and Secretary of State James Baker told the Russians when the Berlin Wall came down that NATO would not advance into the formerly Soviet empire countries. NATO’s reason for existence, opposition to the Soviet empire, seemed to be finished. There was talk of a huge “Peace Dividend” with the end of the need for the arms race that had bankrupted the Soviets and kept the USA from providing the social services that Americans should have and the infrastructure that the USA needed. Alas it did not come to pass!

The newly independent former Soviet empire nations were carefully lobbied by the USA and weapons manufacturers to join NATO. For them to join NATO they had to upgrade their militaries with U.S. weaponry, causing a huge bonanza for U.S. arms manufacturers. But the cold war was over, wasn’t it? The U.S.S.R. was gone, and we had no enemy to perpetuate the U.S. arms race.

So the same Military Industrial Congressional Complex (MICC) created Russia as the new enemy by pushing NATO right to the Russian border. When Ukraine seemed about to turn toward Russia, the USA and its MICC engineered a coup to place an anti-Russian government in power in 2014. That is when the invasion of Ukraine by Russia really began.

Now Russia wants neutrality and will fight for it. And many people will die so that the weapons industry can profit. War is a business, a very dirty and dishonest one.

Rowland Lane Anderson is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace.


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