“I Looked the man in the eye”

Does it fall in the hands of the Chinese and can they stop Putin?

I doubt it but I do believe they can influence him and try to reach some kind of three way agreement with the United States. If this would happen Ukrainians would also need to be onboard but as it stands they are being decimated as Nato sits on the sideline. It is a measure of risk to get involved and many believe it is a matter of time.

Now we have a madman, a crazed leader who is threatening the basic safety of our western civilisation and there is little we can do except worry about the outcome. Any provocation is not helping and political leaders have neglected the importance of maintaining nuclear treaties, and I won’t mention the insanity of the past 5 years of western politics with Trump. He seems to have disappeared without much shame leaving behind a weaker Nato and a stronger Russia.

I see no good reason for any international leaders of the free world to insult him to his face, and when we do not agree with his politics, we can either shut him off, engage in war, or seek negotiation. I an not trying to simplify matters but the arms race started a long time ago and it really never went away. We are all in the middle of a crisis which has been brewing for years and the time has come. Russia is taking control of the Black Sea a key strategic point of interest for Turkey and many others. It has and is happening from right under our noses and not much can be done without the threats of nuclear warheads.

The President of United States of America can hardly put together a sentence and he seems to be using lots of rhetoric, some more important than others. He seems like the type when given a chance will say the wrong thing and he does. I remember reading in March last year an interview with Stephanopoulos and it is well reported. Joe Biden meets Putin and stress him in the eye and says you don’t have a soul with a reply by Putin, “we understand one another” – I sit here and ask myself is this a line from a movie but it isn’t. There is a fundamental problem with western politics as we all know, so when we are still talking about Putin’s soul or character we are adding insult to injury.

“You said you know he doesn’t have a soul,” Stephanopoulos said in an interview with Biden recorded in March 2021.”I did say that to him, yes,” Biden said. “And his response was ‘We understand one another.’ I wasn’t being a wise guy, I was alone with him in his office. That’s how it came about

Joe Biden President of United States of America

Putin rose to power on 31 December 1999 and the world has been unable to process the change from 1999 to 2000. Now we face the foes of a man trying to engineer a different kind of global system, the destruction of the liberal international order and a new era of war.

We sit here in awe trying to figure out how we ended up in this situation. I can’t give any history lessons but I remind readers of my memories growing up, and the conflicts between superpowers and the eventual outcome when the Berlin Wall was torn down. The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989 – so what the hell happened between 1989 and 2022.

Did George W Bush completely misjudge his Russian counterpart when he said, “I looked the man in the eye,” Bush famously said after their first meeting in Slovenia in 2001. “I found him very straightforward and trustworthy… I was able to get a sense of his soul.” We ask ourselves the charm offensive with Putin leading him down the democratic path or did he discover America isn’t a reliable ally.

Bush visited Russia more than any other country including, as a personal favour, two trips in 2002 to Putin’s home city, St Petersburg. Then in 2008, Bush’s final year as president, Putin invaded Georgia what was called a “peace enforcement operation”. The Kremlin argued ever since Washington war in Iraq, it was seen as a violation of international law.

Wind the clock forward to 2014, John McCain is in Ukraine with a Connecticut Democrat, Senator Chris Murphy. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, McCain said: “What we’re trying to do is try to bring about a peaceful transition here, that would stop the violence and give the Ukrainian people what they unfortunately have not had, with different revolutions that have taken place – a real society. This is a grassroots revolution here – it’s been peaceful except when the government tried to crack down on them, and the government hasn’t tried that since.

“I’m praising their ability and their desire to demonstrate peacefully for change that I think they deserve.”

John McCain

Asked about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s role in the crisis, McCain said: “There’s no doubt that Ukraine is of vital importance to Putin. I think it was [Henry] Kissinger, I’m not sure, said that Russia, without Ukraine it’s an eastern power, with Ukraine it’s a western power. This is the beginning of Russia, right here in Kiev. So Putin views it as most highly important and he has put pressure on Ukrainians – the price of energy, different kinds of activities. The word is very clear that he has made certain threats. Whether he would carry them through I don’t know.”

“He’s put pressure on Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia – all of the so-called ‘near-abroad’. And of course Ukraine is the crown jewel.”

John McCain

Barack Obama sought to reframe US-Russian relations with his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. But Putin knew that America, after its long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, no longer wanted to police the world. When Obama refused in 2013 to enforce his red-line warning against Bashar al-Assad when the Syrian dictator used chemical weapons against his own people, Putin saw a green light. By helping Assad carry out his murderous war, he extended Moscow’s sphere of influence in the Middle East when the United States wanted to extract itself from the region. The following year, he annexed Crimea, and established a foothold in eastern Ukraine. 

Defenders of Putin’s revanchist policies could conceivably argue that Russia isn’t trampling international law and the United Nations Charter, but merely building on precedents set by Washington with its military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and especially Iraq, where U.S. forces invaded in 2003 without a U.N. mandate. Even allowing for the fact that this particular argument is almost always made in bad faith, it nonetheless presents a problem, because it contains a kernel of truth.

Thanassis Cambanis  Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Politicians made morale-boosting trips to the square, drawing denunciation from the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, for “crude” meddling in Ukraine’s affairs. Despite being told by Obama to “cut it out,” Putin even sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in the hope that Hillary Clinton, a long-time nemesis, would be defeated. Trump publicly criticised Nato, weakened the US post-war alliance system and became such a polarising figure that he left America more politically divided than at any time since the Civil War.

We all somehow rely on US politics and we have watched war being raised all over the globe. We blame war on the challenges to control oil and gas and at the same time we rely on energy to maintain stable economies. Each time there is a conflict in the Middle East many raise their eyebrows without realising the importance of having a stable Middle East.

The intensity of Middle Eastern politics dominates our news and headlines with many people asking how or why it’s so important. If you look back you can see that we are not only worried about resources but we’re worried about the wrong leaders having the wrong arguments. How do we get away from the system where evil is sheltered nuclear arms, and those who feel protected by their values are weaker by nature.

None of us are safe by distance and the world is now discovering the importance of treaties and leadership we can rely on. This can only happen through the respect of each others values, we can maintain a peaceful existence if we all look beyond our own pockets.

I said, I wouldn’t talk more about war but I sit here in pain watching the bombardment of Ukraine and not only. The Russians have exercised their powers to kill, and destroy human life in Syria. If we allow them it won’t stop here and that’s not good news.

Categories: Kitchen Facts