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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/27/22

A Combined Response to the Comments Received on my Column "Why is the War Continuing

Steven Jonas
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"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, Aug., 2018)

Minsk Protocol.  If only it had been implemented.  Whose fault was it, it wasn't? You can be sure each side will blame the other --- in perpetuity.
Minsk Protocol. If only it had been implemented. Whose fault was it, it wasn't? You can be sure each side will blame the other --- in perpetuity.
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First, let me say that I have been posting columns on OpEdNews for some years now, and never has any of them released a torrent of comments like this one has. I want to thank all of the commentators for their endeavors. Second, the commentators will all forgive me please if even in this format I do not respond specifically to every comment each of you has made, but only to some of them. Third, I want point out that I have written a series of columns on the "Ukraine situation" as well as the one to which these comments were directed.

I have made two observations on the possible causes of the conflict that I have not seen elsewhere. One is that Putin began the war for the primary reason of "wanting to make the world safe for plutocracy;" the second that the war is one result of what Putin and his elements in the Russian ruling class have invented: a product of the new form of the State which I call "Industrial Feudalism." In the immediate past column, which got so many people so upset, to whose comments this column is a response, I raised the question, using an apparently neutral source, of why Pres. Zelensky (and the element of the Ukraine ruling class he represents, which phrase I did not use in the column) have dismissed virtually all of the elected leftist elements from the government.

On a few specific points raised, not that I expect all readers of this column to have read all of my previous columns on the subject (lots of words[!]), but I have previously raised the question of why Ukraine refused to move ahead with the implementation of some version of "Minsk." Thanks to those who did think that I did a good job here. I don't see where I "sanctioned the murder and mayhem of Putin," but maybe it's in there somewhere, and if it is, I do retract that! I would like to remind all of the commentators that the title of the column is "Why is the War Continuing: There is Fault on both Sides." But I would also like to point out that in all of the words I have written on this subject, there is not one that supports what Putin is doing, for whatever reasons he might be doing it.

Replying to one specific comment, by John Lawrence Re, "One point I disagree with Steve: '[T]he Russian attempt to essentially conquer the whole of Ukraine or make that whole into some sort of puppet state, was, for whatever reasons, unachievable for the Russian military.' I don't believe it was ever an objective. And even if it were, it's not so much that it would be unachievable, but that it would be totally unmanageable." On a broader perspective, in my commentaries on Ukraine, which go back some years now, I have always pointed out the significant modern-Nazi-type (the German type being unique) presence in the Ukrainian poltico-economy, going back to their alliance with the Wehrmach t. Thus on further consideration, especially given how the war is going and the level of Ukrainian resistance supported by increasingly heavy weapons from the US/NATO which the Russians are encountering, I think that my friend Mr. Re is quite correct.

As for Mr. "Becket Thomas" (what a wonderful play on a name), I don't agree that the U.S. is the "worst war criminal" in history. I have been a strong critic of U.S. imperialism since I began writing on the subject decades ago. But I think that the "worst" title goes to Nazi Germany, which set out to murder/completely-destroy various ethnic groups (and not just the Jews), just because they were certain ethnic groups. I think that it is just fascinating that this Comments space eventually became a space for an ongoing discussion between two of the commentators. Bravo for that. And once again, bravo to all the commentators for engaging in the extended discussion. Very enlightening.

Finally, my position on "Putin and the Ukraine War" (written about, as noted, at length in previous columns) can be summarized as follows: Putin started it; NATO expansion was real and broke agreements that the US/NATO had made with Gorbachev/Yeltsin; ADD SOMETHING HERE NATO expansion has nothing to do with this invasion --- Putin has had NATO on his borders for several decades (see Estonian/Latvia); Putin may yet achieve his goal of "making the world safe for plutocracy" (see e.g., Hungary, NOT Slovenia (NOTE THIS), Serbia, how China is responding to the crisis, how relatively well LePen did in France, but most importantly on the onrush to establishing Republo-fascism --- which will, if indeed it is established, be the most virulent current form of Plutocracy) in the U.S. is increasing in speed).

Let me provide a brief summary of what I wrote about (at great length, as per usual with me. I have been writing on politics since I was in high school in the 1950s. I am fond of saying that [very luckily for me] I have never had writer's block . . . I have frequently had writer's diarrhea).

(A) I do think that war is "Russia's fault," but not because of the totally illegal (and one might add unethical) NATO expansion which the US had guaranteed would never happen. Russia has had NATO on its direct border since Estonia and Latvia joined.

(B) As I said in the second column in this series (ref.) I think that Putin's primary motivation was to "make the world safe for plutocracy," although it now seems also that he would like to get his hands on the resources rich Eastern Ukraine, permanently.

(C) Then, in the column to which all the comments have been directed, I raised the issue, which has received little attention in any press that I have seen, mainstream/pro-Russian/anti-Ukrainian-Nazi (which latter is a reality) of why Zelensky has apparently dismissed the significant left-wing elements that has existed in the Ukrainian government/parliament from both, and did not pursue peace talks with, shall we say, more vigor (although maybe he was as vigorous as possible, and Putin just wanted his war, whatever the costs to Ukraine and, as it has turned out, Russia).

I appreciate all of the input from folks on the various sides. And in those comments, I have had one unique appellation that I have never before been the subject of in my 6-plus decades of writing on politics: being called a "creature," as it happened by one Dr. Sadeghian. He might have not been so antagonistic had he had some familiarity with my writing on the Armenian Genocide (in the historical context of others (Click Here). As it happens, I read "The 40 Days of Musa Dagh" as a child, and I still get choked up (right now) thinking about it.

(Article changed on Apr 27, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY). As well as having been a regular political columnist on several national websites for over 20 years, he is the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 37 books Currently, on the columns side, in addition to his position on OpEdNews as a Trusted Author, he is a regular contributor to From The G-Man.  In the past he has been a contributor to, among other publications, The Greanville PostThe Planetary Movement, and Buzzflash.com.  He was also a triathlete for 37 seasons, doing over 250 multi-sport races.  Among his 37 books (from the late 1970s, mainly in the health, sports, and health care organization fields) are, on politics: The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022; A Futuristic Novel (originally published 1996; the 3rd version was published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, Brewster, NY, sadly beginning to come true, advertised on OpEdNews and available on  (more...)

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