By Muhammad Al-Ghazali
I posited at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent response of the West, that Putin intended to play the long game to win the conflict, and that is becoming more probable by the day.
In the first place, with its eastward expansion and the promise of NATO membership to Ukraine, the West, led by America, wanted Russia to tolerate what it could not when the defunct USSR sited offensive missiles literally on its doorstep in Cuba in the 1960s. Allowing Ukraine to join NATO would have amounted to the same with Russia!
Only a comedian like the Ukrainian leader, or perhaps people with a poor sense of history, would have thought otherwise or doubted the swift Russian response.
It was a clear red line, which has been devastating for ordinary Ukrainians and those impacted by the conflict in other parts of the world. Now the rest, as it is often said, is history!
Confronted with a nuclear-armed foe, the Western response was always predictable to me! It was always going to be timid and largely symbolic.
It was always never going to exceed rhetorics coupled with nocturnal visits to Zelenzky’s bunker by American and European leaders. It was all so predictable. It wasn’t rocket science!
If the West could not tame a nuclear-armed North Korea, with its far weaker economy since the 1960s, what led anyone to believe Russia could be quickly whipped into line in this conflict in the first place?
As I predicted in my earlier prognosis, the long game is certainly paying off for Russia.
For the pampered Western population, the conflict has become a rude awakening. Europe is not only experiencing a major conflict since the 1940s, life has become difficult with higher inflation and unbearable gas prices.
The palpable frustration could flow over into election cycles as we have already seen in France 🇫🇷! The backlash or domino effect may well extend to the UK and America.
Sadly, as this is going on, Ukrainian cities are being pummelled into rubble in real-time! And quite inevitably, the theatre has also provided an opportunity for Western defence contractors to test their new weapons!
And while that is going on, Russian cities are guaranteed to be spared of the same fate because of the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) evident in Russia’s status as a nuclear power!
They know it. We know it. The world knows it!
Who did this to Ukraine?