Is Ukraine a New Cuba in Reverse? 

Published March 2nd, 2022 - 07:24 GMT
The carnage of war in Kharkiv
A view of the square outside the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv on March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling. (Sergey BOBOK / AFP)

The Cold War often referred to as the “détente” era between West and East that replaced the real global war in 1945, did not cool down in the early 1990s, when the Soviet communist bloc started to crumble the minute the Berlin wall was hammered down by thousands of jubilant then East Germans and other sympathizers.

The said Cold War was a kind of pseudonym meant to reassure all Europeans on both sides of the newly-marked border lines between the two blocs - NATO founded in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955 - that the time of actual fighting within the boundaries of the old continent was over and should be out of question for ever.

The time lapse between the founding of the two blocs, however, should be a useful reminder of who took the initiative in opting for mobilization and who reacted to it and why? 

However, politicians and strategists in these two opposing camps would not give themselves the leisure to relax or reap the fruits of the new established peace. They kept their eyes open and minds busy with what the other side was up to, simply because the next-immediate results of the Great War were not good enough for either of them. 

The Soviet Russians thought they were the ones who won the battle against Nazi Germany, recording the loss of nearly 25 million of their own people, military or civilians as a price for that victory. The Americans and their European allies on the other hand, managed to keep their losses at minimum.

It is worth remembering also the American involvement in the war on the side of Europeans, did not occur in earnest until Dec. 1941 when Japan attacked the American Pearl Harbor in the Pacific and soon after, Germany and Italy, declared war on the US. 
The US boosted its firm action forcing Japan to surrender on the other side other side of the hemisphere when it resorted to a most controversial method of subjugating the enemy, namely by using the nuclear bomb!  

As the Russian military campaign against Nazi Germany steadily gained momentum, west Europe became more wary of further Russian plans after the latter managed to seize Berlin. They and their American allies interpreted the Russian drive as a new potential threat that could easily replace the Nazi nightmare that has just evaporated, especially as the new ghost was disguised behind a communist, non-Christian ideology. 

This double-edged Russian arm of growing ideology and obvious military superiority was an enough reason for the western powers to unite and claim part of the victory achieved in Germany and in Berlin in particular. 

Interestingly enough the three victors in the war against Germany, the Soviet Union, US and Britain, convened in Yalta in Feb. 1945, on the coast of the Crimean Peninsula, the front courtyard of the Soviet Union to discuss the new borders of the world.

Discuss they did, but full agreement was never reached. Every country sought to mend its own wounds in their home country's leaving many issues outstanding.  

Fifty years or so of détente go by without fixing those pending issues. On the contrary, new problems between East and West have arisen, including terrorism, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. The so-called Cold War, never reaching a really cool temperature, like a dormant volcano, it was always waiting to erupt at a very short notice!

Instead of reciprocating positively or in good to the quick dissolution of the Communist Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s, which was considered as an existential threat to the western democracies of Europe, the West led by the US kept pushing to expand the sphere of NATO eastwards in Ukraine, in a way reminiscent of turning Cuba into a launching pad against big brother in the north!

One way to look at what is happening now could be something like this: What Cuba was versus the US in 1962, is Ukraine versus the Russia Union today!

After all, sadly the days of the Cold War do not seem to want to come to an end. Like a dormant volcano, its eruption point has just moved from one hemisphere to the other. The players are the same while their pending objectives from the real hot war seem too far from being achieved!                                  

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