"How the West provoked the war in Ukraine" by Benjamin Abelov read by Tullio Fazzolari
It should go without saying that Putin's Russia is the aggressor while Ukraine is an attacked country. But it is often appropriate to do so if you intend to say something that is not politically correct and yet you do not want to be labeled a servant of the Kremlin. At first approach Benjamin Abelow with his How the West provoked the war in Ukraine ( Fazi Editore , 108 pages, 10 euros) starts off on the right foot by saying that his goal is not to defend the invasion but to explain why it happened. And so far it is a shareable purpose. The need to re-examine the causes of the conflict, according to Abelow, is motivated by the fact that so far "most Western citizens have heard a one-sided and simplistic explanation of how this war was born. Or that the West is all good and Russia is all evil”.
There is some truth in this statement by Abelow. The more frequent American Weltanschauung has always tended to divide the world in a Manichaean way: the United States (and whoever is on their side) is the kingdom of Good, the rest is the empire of Evil. And following this paradigm, countless mistakes have been made by supporting pro-American dictatorships and fighting liberation movements. Except then realize you were wrong. There is no such risk now because the margins of error are extremely small. Ukraine is undoubtedly an attacked country. Putin's Russia is and remains evil for initiating hostilities. Judgment on the West remains pending (the United States, NATO, the European Union) and Abelow's book focuses on this without sparing criticism. The result is a pamphlet of ruthless hardness, in some respects even courageous and in others excessive in tone, whose title could easily have been "nothing good in the West".
But, in order not to fall into the error of being Manicheans, it is advisable to read it making some opportune distinctions. The facts that Abelow tells are all true and documented. What he calls provocations against Moscow are decisions taken by the US and NATO which, as in the case of installing missile bases capable of striking Russia in Eastern Europe, were inevitably seen as a threat. And the same goes for NATO's expansion towards the East. Other negligence could be added to the negligence of the West, such as having refused requests for financial aid from Ukraine or not allowing Kiev to join NATO when Bush proposed it and Putin at that moment would not have been able to object. The final consideration to reflect on is that for too many years not enough attention has been paid to Ukraine and Abelow is not wrong in saying that a unilateral explanation of the conflict is not enough. Certainly the West has made some serious mistakes in the past few years. From here to say that it caused the conflict, however, there runs. It would be more correct to say that he was unable to prevent war. Otherwise, even without intending to, there is a risk of "justifying" Russian aggression.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/come-occidente-ha-provocato-la-guerra-in-ucraina/ on Sat, 11 Mar 2023 07:31:46 +0000.