The End of Empires
Many proposals have been made regarding ending Russian aggression in Ukraine. Many have offered off-ramps surrendering to Russia's and Putin's supposed need “to save face” thereby forging a frozen conflict. Ukraine has insisted that the only end of war reality is a return to January 2014 borders. Neither proposal is a solution in the long term.
As long as Russia remains an empire, global security and Ukrainian sovereignty remain at issue. Accepting the Ukrainian proposal means simply that the next Russian aggression is temporarily postponed. People cannot live in constant fear.
Since the second phase of the war on February 24, 2022 at least three movements have evolved. The first was the Free Nations League, a coordinating body in Europe comprised of nations currently held captive within the Russian empire known as the Russian Federation. The second was an American association of nations within the Russian empire as well as several outside of it but within the sphere of continuous Russian pressure. And now these nations have agreed to join efforts with nations held captive or repressed by another evil empire, the Chinese People's Republic.
“The end of evil empires” is the mantra of this joint effort. Looking back to a time during the Cold War when the United States in its wisdom with significant prodding by East European nations, passed legislation designating the third week of each July as a time to remember those nations that were a part of the Soviet Union or its satellites known as “Captive Nations”. Ultimately but not fully, this action prevailed.
In July 2023 there will be a march in Washington from the Capital to the White House displaying the flags of some twenty nations, currently suffering under Russian and Chinese oppression. The significance of this event lies predominantly in its creation. These are very different nations, entirely different cultures with little in common except for the desire to be free.
Why should the United States pay any attention to this movement? The first reason is an obvious moral one. In this regard America has a role to play in view of its own history. However, even a cynic can find justification to support this cause.
Since World War II, a conscious effort has been made by the global democratic community to ensure global security. As the League of Nations faltered, the United Nations has ensued and persevered albeit not successfully on all fronts. Its purpose was multi-fold but its foremost goal was directed at global security. A monster, however, was forged, the UN Security Council. People throughout the world disparage the work of the UN and scoff at the waste of the UNSC. This is a lesson learned.
However, the ridicule is misplaced or misapplied. I recently spoke with a representative of the Uyghur people who are being mercilessly and intentionally slaughtered by the Chinese in East Turkestan, known in China as Xinjiang province. He laughed at the lack of efficacy by the UN. Rather, he suggested, the repressed nations should seek a dialogue with the United States, Congress and the White House.
He is right and wrong. Freedom and global security need a champion, but the United States cannot do it alone. God knows we have our own problems. However, the United States must continue to lead the global community. It is easy to disparage international structures because so far in history they have proven to be feckless. However, international organizations and associations are the future. The Internet, the global economy, global environmental issues and poverty have proven that.
I refrain from domestic criticism because that merely evolves into bickering. I certainly wish that Ukrainians in America, Democrats or Republicans would wake up on a single issue. That issue is Ukraine and that issue ultimately mandates the end of the Russian empire. Let us widen our horizons and work towards the end of all evil empires. I certainly feel for the Uyghurs in China and pray that they feel for the plight of Ukrainians, suffering from Russian aggression. I try to stay away from John Lennon, but in this instance, the phrase “The world will be one,” resonates. But, John, there must be nations and religions because people need both. Imagine if there were no empires. The world will be free and secure and only then will it be one.