Daniel DePetris, fellow at national security think tank Defense Priorities, in his November 7 Chicago Tribune op-ed, “Despite Russia’s abhorrent actions, the US has to take a thoughtful path toward resolution,” took nearly a thousand words to admit the obvious: It’s only negotiations, not endless weapons, that will end the Russo-Ukraine war.
DePetris continues to place all the blame for the war on Russia, totally ignoring 14 years of US/NATO provocations of possible NATO membership and NATO missiles on Russia’s Ukraine borders. But he then makes this astonishingly false statement: “U.S. and Russian officials are slowly coming to grips with the reality that an outright severing of communication links wouldn’t be prudent.”
“Slowly” only applies to the US. DePetris deletes from this narrative that Russia has been promoting, indeed pleading for sensible discussion of their security concerns, since President Putin’s 2007 “Munich Speech,” a year before the US began floating possible NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. How did DePetris miss this cogent, blunt and prescient Putin quote: “I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernization of the (NATO) Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended?”
DePetris omits any mention whatsoever for the overwhelming, critical reason for this continuing pivot of US baby steps to return to diplomacy. The current policy of endless weapons with no direct talks to end the war is destroying Ukraine as a functioning country, sowing increased division within Europe’s NATO members facing a bitter winter without Russian energy resources, and shunned by a majority US public either oblivious of, or against US squandering its valuable treasure on a lost cause America largely provoked.
It’s instructive that DePetris’ claims of many US discussions with Russia do not include a single substantive one on how to actually negotiate an end to the war.
The Trib Editorial Board should do its own sensible research to resume its own editorials on the Russo-Ukraine war. Relying solely on a member of the national US security state, dedicated to promoting US unipolar exceptionalism worldwide, is not meeting its journalistic responsibility to its readership.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.