June 4, 2022

The United States should strongly pressure President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government to accept Russia’s peace offers, ceding the Russian-speaking territories in the east and south to the control of Russia and agreeing to Ukrainian neutrality in the geopolitical conflict between the West and Russia.  Also, over the longer term, the United States should encourage normal economic relationships with Russia and not continue to pressure Russia to align more closely with China. 

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Somewhat to my surprise, I find myself in agreement on these issues with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has recently urged Ukraine to accept an agreement to cede territory in exchange for peace.  His reason is apparently a desire to avoid an alliance between Russia and China, a reason similar to that for his earlier advice to President Nixon to open relationships with China, so as to discourage China from having a close relationship with the Soviet Union.

Russia’s defensive concerns

Russia has been invaded multiple times in its history, most recently in Operation Barbarossa during World War II, an invasion which Russia defeated at the cost of millions of lives.  In addition, events of recent years give Russia good reason for its current defensive concerns, including NATO’s persistent expansion toward Russia, U.S. military support for the Ukrainian army through training and weapons supply, U.S. technical assistance for biological research laboratories in Ukraine, and public statements by high U.S. government officials calling for an overthrow of the government of Russia.

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Cuba and the Soviet Union

The United States did not tolerate any Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962, yet the United States now expects Russia to accept Ukraine as a possible additional NATO country on Russia’s border, only a short distance from Moscow.  In 1962 United States insisted that the missiles be removed from Cuba, and the United States imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, risking an open war with the Soviet Union, until the Soviets backed down and then removed the missiles.  U.S. missiles in Turkey were later removed by the United States, though without publicly admitting any agreement with the Soviets to do so.

Although containment of the Soviet Union was a reasonable U.S. foreign policy prior to 1991, more than thirty years have now passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union that year, and Russia is no longer controlled by the Communist Party. 

Media reporting

Vilification of Russia is pervasive in the U. S. media, now including the uncritical repetition of Ukrainian government allegations of human rights abuses by Russian soldiers and by Russian-backed forces, most of which reports have later been shown by reliable sources to be false

Satellite images of supposed mass graves near Mariupol are also false.  The supposed mass graves have been shown to be individually marked graves located near an existing cemetery