Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Why we don’t hear a word on fleeing Ukrainians, 9m of them 

You leave your home one day. 

That is, all the womenfolk and children with their cats or dogs you won’t leave behind. 

Elderly you would like to but they could turn into corpse by the exertion in freezing winter, not to say a destination where neither the warm bed, food nor medical care is guaranteed. 

Men of course aren’t allowed with the caravan, directed as they are to the front often perforce by a pitiless State. They head East to their family’s miles on West, different roads but identical future, preordained doomed. 

Ukraine, like all other wars, shows humans at their ugliest worst. Some nine million Ukrainians have fled homeland, most likely never to return. Majority hitch themselves to Poland or Germany, quite a few to France where social security system is most generous. They no longer call it “asylum” but “protection” in France. Besides, Frenchmen pride themselves for welcoming the persecuted. 

The European Union has done everything to live by its religion of “human rights.” It has offered temporary protection to fleeing Ukrainians and every European state under its umbrella has to oblige. For a year at least, possibly three, Ukrainians get their residency rights in whichever State they choose to stay and have access to labour market. There is financial support, education and free energy. 

Only, if things were as easy as it appears on paper. 

Volunteers, who opened their doors in compassion, are showing fatigue for guests haven’t left after months and there is no end in sight either. Energy bills, already a drain, have only shot skywards.  States, such as Germany, were already beset with a crippling housing shortage. Berlin has turned its abandoned airports into temporary housing; France has lined up ferries, Ireland has managed hotel rooms. But all of it appears no better than band-aid to a gaping wound. 

Housing is one of multiple issues. How do you address the language part in schools or jobs? Child care when a single woman answers the call of her employer? A reluctant employer who isn’t sure if his new recruit would still be around in a year or three? 

Most know these sorry Ukrainians would never return home. The Kiev government itself has asked its fleeing citizens to not return home. Ukraine has no economy left; its living off Western loans which it surely would default on. Even International Monetary Fund (IMF), beholden to the United States, is dithering. If so is the case with IMF, which investor would be pouring his money into a black hole? There is little business so little job. Tax revenue, as can be guessed, has dried up. On its own, Ukraine simply can’t raise money on the market. Donors, both individual and institutional, could only do as much despite their bleeding hearts. 

Ukraine’s debt, even before Russia’s intervention last year, was spiralling. It now is mammoth. Its budget shows a deficit of $36 billion and much of expenditures are headed the way of army, police or military sustenance. 

Ukraine has gone dark. Once the guns fall silent, it would have the kind of debt which won’t be repaid for generations. Zelensky, but for his Western donors, isn’t anyone’s man of the year. 

The pity is all of this was avoidable. A war hoisted on citizens by ruthless elites in the name of ideology, security, call it what you may, when all you needed was respect for each other’s space. 

All Russia wanted was the Kiev regime not to run on neo-Nazis who had made life hell for Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. If the coup on an elected government in 2014 wasn’t bad enough, the Minsk Agreement, I and II, were signed in bad faith by the West. As Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, the then leaders of Germany and France have confessed, the Minsk Agreements were only a ruse to arm Ukraine to the teeth. It was deceit, treachery, fraud from those who are expected to walk the talk on “rules-based international order.”

Ukraine is a classic example of how meek citizenry, like rats, are slowly fried lifeless on a tub growing hot by the minute. It ought to have reacted when oligarchs were siphoning off Western aid, political opponents were being jailed, books of Russian authors were being burnt in thousands, media was silenced and hell was raining on their fellow citizens in Donbass for the only crime of being Russian in origin. Now generations, and not just the present ones, would live on doles and taunts, with little human dignity or rights, in slums of their Western hosts. 

The worse, we all know, is yet to come. The European citizenry, or the one in West, appear no different in letting their rulers run away with its agenda. They all have fallen for the propaganda that Russia is eyeing Berlin, London, Paris or New York when all Moscow wants is protection on its endless borders, the same as the United States desires in its neighbourhood under the Monroe Doctrine, or China yearns for in Taiwan. 

So prices have hit the roof. Industries, transport, supply chains have all taken a hit due to economic downturn. The money which ought to have been a shield for Europeans is cascading down the bottomless pit of Ukraine. And when employment takes a hit, we all know crimes spiral, the ethnic mosaic turns into ghettos, the cultural and religious animosity of centuries come to the fore. 

Ukraine is today Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya of Europe, overnight turned into a failed state. Like it happened in Kabul, Baghdad, Mosul, Basra or Tripoli, the seeds have been sown for extremists and terrorists to take hold of the rump of an Ukraine. We already know that weapons meant for Kiev are ending up in black market and into the hands of anarchists who won’t let Europe live in peace. 

This has few parallels in European history. Of course there were two World Wars in the 20th century; for sure we have read on 30 years and 100 years wars amongst the British, Germany and French antagonists; there were Napoleon and Hitler; Genghis Khan once overran its plains and Ottoman Empire was a nemesis at door for centuries. But migration of this scale, of Europeans within Europe, possibly happened only when Rome ceased being a power between 300 and 800 AD. 

A burning Europe of course suits the United States, as it did for them in West Asia, or by lighting chaos on borders of India and Pakistan in the form of Taliban’s Afghanistan. They won’t let Europe or Asia, or for that matter Africa and Latin America live in peace. War feeds its financial czars and military-industrial complex for, as we know, nothing is more profitable than war. It doesn’t lose its men nor its dollar is affected, fake as it is, subject to only print command of its treasury. 

What is happening to Ukrainians could happen to rest of humanity. Elites don’t give a damn if we live or die. They rely on a sinful media to take hold of our mind with propaganda. So it has been endlessly for the last few centuries, first under the British Empire and later with the American Century. 

This though is no other war. Any loser in this conflict, the fear is, could resort to Nuclear option. And that’s because neither West nor Russia could afford defeat. West would lose its hegemony of last 500 years for once Dollar goes so would its hold on the world. Russia, if it loses, would be carved up into many states, its resources up for grabs by imperialists who have instincts on loot and plunder bred over centuries. 

Citizens, on their part, could make a last-minute effort to rein in their rulers. They alone could stall the approaching doomsday. For once in graves, six feet below the surface, they won’t matter. 

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