Remember 9/11 ? Yes, that was 2001, a bit over 20 years ago. A few weeks later, the USA invaded Afghanistan, where they suspected Osama bin Laden, the organizer of the attacks, to hide. They claimed he was there and fled. I have no idea, why you’d have to invade a whole country in order to find one person, and stay for 20 years, even after the person has been found and killed in another country (2011 in Pakistan)!
2003, just around 2 years later, the USA invaded Iraq, a former ally against arch enemy Iran. The reasons for the invasion were entirely made up by the US agencies and government. The USA wanted Iraq to disarm, just as now Russia wants Ukraine to disarm. In 2003 it took the Americans 4 weeks to win. It looks like Russia has done it in one day in Ukraine. Still, the USA stayed in Iraq for another 7 years.
To complete the list of Arabic non-allies, the USA wanted to topple Gaddafi of Libya, until rebels with the support of the USA killed him, also in 2011. This was btw. just 2 years after the ‘leader of the free world’ was awarded a Nobel peace price for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”. The word ‘gunboat’ was missing in this sentence.
Now I hope I’m not too pessimistic if I say, that none of the above mentioned nations are better off, after having enjoyed US military interventions, including the aggressor. Well, maybe Afghanistan is better off, as they can now provide a brand new US-made gun to every newborn son for generations. And maybe every father of 7+ future Taliban fighters gets a new Humvee on top 😀 A Porsche is said to compensate for a small dick. A Humvee says, no matter the size, you know how to use it 😀
Sorry, I can’t list all the US led invasions and incursions during the last 50 or so years, but the same is true for the Russian war games they play. The lists are just too long. I picked the three above, because none were based on a sound reason to start a war. As Syria is still simmering, it’s the turn of Russia again, and they even have kind of a good reason to take the majority Russian parts of Ukraine back into the motherland. People usually don’t like to live in a country in which their ethnicity is hated.
We will be able to ponder the lies from both sides of the conflict in the next few weeks, and nobody (incl. me) knows what will happen next. My uneducated guess is, the more the Ukraine fights back, the more land the Russians will have to conquer right now. But unlike the USA, which leaves every shithole country they invaded in a much worse state after they leave, the Russians will stay forever. And the fact that they have to deal with the population after the war, makes it more likely they will leave anti-Russian western Ukraine alone, after they demilitarized it (= bomb the crap out of it). My guess is as good as yours.
But Ukraine is a good example of a ‘western’ country going down because it cannot control their utterly corrupt elites. Their so called military defense was overpowered in one single day. The country cannot bear the cost for an effective military, as all surplus is stolen. For the same reason, systemic corruption, they could not build up a self sufficient economy, any significant exports, or significant entrepreneurship of individuals. Understandably the people of Ukraine who are not Russians want to be ruled by their own people, not by foreigners. But I doubt the majority wants to be ruled by the current kleptocracy. Maybe this will change after they lost a war?
And that’s the reason I wrote this post, why I titled it “It will happen again”. Besides France and Great Britain, the EU has no threatening military. Basically every country between the Russian border and the Rhine river would be more or less a one day job for the Russians. Probably a 3 day job to arrive at the Rhine. The general mood in the EU, as threatening as they may sound with words, is one of cowardice and appeasement. Most EU countries have a laughable military and have for decades not spent enough money for their self defense (as Trump pointed out).
Due to the self imposed COVID crisis and decades of overspending these countries have wrecked their already flailing economies. Corruption on the highest political levels is rampant. Germany is still a net exporter, the others are pretty weak. Unless you are a politically correct ‘social’ entrepreneur with strong party links, which provides no value, but instead only consumes resources, the last two years have done you in. And if you’re still screeching along, the next few years with the glorious new green revolution (= inflation for more kleptocracy) may give you the rest. What I want to say is, the majority of the EU is just one step behind the status of Ukraine.
I made the case in the first paragraphs, that there doesn’t need to be any good reason to start a war. Any flimsy reason will do. A strong economy will protect any country, because it’s more attractive to trade than to make war. But a strong economy which doesn’t build assets, like a strong military, becomes vulnerable. Some strongman may think, he can run this ship much better than the wankers in charge. And said strongman may even convince part of this country’s oligarchy to support him. And then: It happens again.
The strong will take what they want. The weak will suffer what they must.