We stand there and watch it. Every day the Russians are getting closer to Kiev. Their column, consisting of the heaviest military equipment imaginable, has become more than 60 kilometers long. “Have a nice day,” the TV newscaster said goodbye after informing us of these disturbing facts.
Thus we wait for the inevitable: the destruction of a country and the murder of a part of the population by means of cluster bombs, vacuum bombs, cruise missiles, tanks and a numerical superiority of soldiers. We listen with admiration to all those touching stories about the resilience of the Ukrainian people and its heroic president, but deep in our hearts we know: it is in vain, all those brave people will collapse under the Russian boots. After all, we have agreed that we will not intervene immediately – whatever happens there† Ukraine is not a NATO member. Too bad for Ukraine.
There are understandable reasons for keeping that promise. A new world war could break out. Putin has even threatened with nuclear weapons. This threat alone is enough to take us, the Western world, hostage, because who wants a nuclear war?
But perhaps we are secretly happy with this threat, because it provides us with an alibi not to intervene. Suppose Putin had not threatened nuclear weapons, would we have intervened? Oh no? Because no NATO member et cetera.
NATO countries individually, apart from NATO, could support Ukraine militarily, but they will have little feeling for it. “There is no treaty that obliges them to do so, not even the neighboring countries of Ukraine,” said Peter Wijninga, strategic analyst at The Hague Center for Strategic Studies. Nu.nl†
He sees only one exceptional situation in which NATO countries would come to the rescue. “If there really is a huge humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, with ethnic cleansing and huge refugee flows, then there is a chance that NATO will at some point scratch its head and think: we have to do something about this.”
Perhaps it would be wise for NATO countries to start scratching their heads in the meantime. After all, those huge refugee flows have already started – more than half a million according to estimates – and the ethnic cleansing will follow naturally once Putin proudly takes a seat on the ruins he has created.
“We have to do something about this.” Yes, it would be a nice bonus if some NATO countries, for example the Netherlands, would have that thought when a ‘massive humanitarian crisis arises’. But what exactly should we do with it? Putin will not be able to reason without military intervention. And with that, another world war is just around the corner.
Does this mean that we would rather have half or all of the people slaughtered? And that many generations after us will wonder why we allowed this genocide to happen?
They seem like rhetorical questions, questions to which no answer is expected, but I fervently hope that at some point these questions will indeed be asked and answered seriously, even if I have no illusions about the answers.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of March 2, 2022
#Lets #slaughter #nation
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