The War in Ukraine and Judeo-Christian Values

Mixing religion with politics is generally not a good idea. Still, it looks like it is one of the few remaining options to avoid what then-Senator Sam Nunn and his colleagues  described in 2020 as continuing to sleepwalk towards a nuclear WWIII.

According to a YouGov poll, most Americans think such a war will be in the next decade. Other polls and experts give even shorter terms.

For example, Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius talks about the war starting in 5 to 8 years. British Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps says that we have already moved “from a post-war to a pre-war world.”

The “Collective West’s” opinion is that the current crisis started with Russia’s “unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But others trace it to the February 2014 Western-backed “Maidan” coup that changed Kyiv’s regime from a neutral to a pro-NATO stand.

As someone who, since 1988, took part in the Track II diplomacy to promote Russia’s integration with the West, I believe that the crisis started in 1992 after George Bush, Sr. – who, after the collapse of the USSR, was interested in the idea of the new world’s security architecture from Vancouver to Vladivostok – was defeated for re-election by Bill Clinton.

The new White House team believed that a new era of a unipolar world order under American hegemony had arrived. From now on, Russia should accept the role of a subordinate vassal, not an equal partner. What was even worse, Clinton undertook the course of looting Russia and expanding NATO.

This is history, but the reality is that those who blame Russia for all misfortunes, including this one, are wrong – and presently we are talking about 50+ states, led by Washington and Brussels, who are supplying Ukraine with the most advanced weapons, mercenaries, hundreds of billions of dollars, intelligence, military training, and informational warfare while ignoring or even helping conduct terrorist attacks on Russian and Ukrainian civilians.

This approach is not shared by the “Global South” majority and those in the US and Europe who believe that war in Ukraine is the fault of the West, which needlessly produced this conflict and now is subjecting its citizens – and the rest of the world – to the risk of nuclear war.

Here are just a few well-known names that say and prove it with facts. Among them are retired military and intelligence professionals, university professors, politicians, authors, judges, and journalists like Benjamin Abelow, Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard, Larry Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Douglas Macgregor, Ray McGovern, John Mearsheimer, Andrew Napolitano, Scott Ritter, Jeffrey Sachs, and many others.

However, since the headline of this article mentions religion and values, let us start with Pope Francis, who, in his conversation with reporters from Il Corriere della Sera, said that “NATO’s barking at Russia’s doors” may have raised alarms in the Kremlin about the Western alliance’s intentions in Ukraine.

Despite angry comments from NATO countries, Pope doubled down, saying Ukraine should have the “courage of the white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia saying, “When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, it is necessary to have the courage to negotiate…don’t be ashamed to negotiate before things get worse.” Pope is definitely not on Putin’s side, but he wants to end this war, save lives, and end suffering and destruction.

One would think that since the majority in the West are Christians, shouldn’t they listen to the Pope’s arguments, if those of the distinguished individuals mentioned above are ignored? What about those in the West who claim to adhere to Judeo-Christian values?  In the US Congress, many repeat these lines at any opportunity.  If this is true, how can they justify this proxy war between two Christian nations who, for many centuries, were bound by close religious, historical, economic, cultural, and family ties?

Instead, politicians like Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, or Richard Blumenthal, and journalists like Lee Hockstader of the Washington Post openly declare that supporting a proxy war in Ukraine is an excellent bargain investment since other soldiers – not Americans – are dying.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is threatening members of Congress that he “would send your uncles, cousins, and sons to fight Russia if Ukraine aid is not approved.”

So, what is left for those of us who are not ready to face a rendezvous with extinction? Here, I think taking recourse to the power of religion may be helpful.

The Biden administration is packed with the very same neocons and interventional neolibs who somehow manage to balance their supposed Judeo-Christian values with their endless wars, and the chances that they’ll repent and change course before the inevitable fires spread across the globe are admittedly close to zero.

But who knows what would happen if their priests and rabbis, as well as parishioners in their churches and synagogues, plus those in the electorate representing the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe that the country is going in the wrong direction, began to raise their voices in protest? If a movement led by a genuine “moral majority” of citizens awakens before we pass the point of no return, perhaps we can stop at the edge of the abyss and return to life where our values correspond to the Ten Commandments rather than lunatics’ desire for hegemony and world domination.

Edward Lozansky is President of American University in Moscow.