Monday, 9 June 2014

Avoiding Another Cold War

Image sent by Alex  Wishlow. Source:

For weeks I have been thinking about a peaceful solution for the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine. This is the territory of my Doukhobor roots.

How can another Cold War be avoided?

This week a peace scholar who I highly respect, Johan Galtung, gave 2 answers in an interview about this issue which got me thinking. I agree with his 2 answers, to which I add my thoughts below.

Question 6: … Russia and Ukraine … what … can … ensure a peaceful resolution …?
  • Focus more on the USA, please, and the Bush 2004 idea of enrolling Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, going even further in breaking the promises to the Soviet Union/Russia.
  • Look also at the clumsy Georgian invasion of South Ossetia to provoke war in 2008, and
  • above all at Khruschev’s gift, Crimea, to Ukraine in 1954 under conditions that no longer apply after the fall of the Soviet empire, and you get a more nuanced picture.
  • Ukraine means, at the border, one state; two nations cry for a federal solution: to elect a president from one of the nations will never work.
  • Look for Swiss-type solution. Putin took Crimea back under these circumstances and now works for a federation; the step-by-step withdrawal is de-escalation inviting reciprocation from Kiev.
  • But Putin should have given the Tatars the autonomy he wants for the Russians.
Question 9: … advice … to young scholars … in peace and conflict resolution studies?
  • Stop studying international relations, a misnomer for inter-state studies, by using Anglo-American texts, given their track record of colonialism-imperialism and continued warfare.
  • Travel all over, talk with people, ask them what is the best and the worst thing that happened to their nation and state, what are the conflicts, what are the solutions.
  • Study history for creative solutions. Try to understand their deep cultures hidden in the collective subconscious.
  • Pay much attention to culture and nation, less to threats/bribes and states.
  • Be solution-, not victory-, oriented – also in your daily life.
Koozma adds:
  • Drop all sanctions against the Russian Federation.
  • Cease demonizing Putin and begin working together for a common solution.
  • Pulling NATO out of eastern Europe would be a good beginning.
  • Drop participation inRapid Trident military exercises in the Ukraine and eastern Europe. Be statesmen, not warrior propagandists. Search for nonkilling alternatives.
  • 'Regime change' is not an option in today's world. USA ought to close down its 1000 bases in 150 countries (including Hawaii), and divert the military budget to improving conditions at home.
  • Work towards international recognition of Crimea's decision to join the Russian Federation. Russia wants the oil and gas, and naval ports.
  • Use United Nations diplomacy to mediate a settlement between Kiev and the break-away provinces.
  • Recognize the Russian Federation as a nation with legitimate interests in the world community that has much to contribute to world civilization.
  • Acknowledge the fact that the former Soviet Union (composed of Russians, Ukrainians and others) lost 27 million people (including 7 million soldiers) fighting to stop Hitler's regime.Without this huge support, the West would no doubt have been invaded.
  1. Al McKay. Interview – Johan Galtung, E-International Relations, Transcend Media Service, June 2, 2014.
  2. Dr. Andrey Fursov, Battleground Ukraine: A Comprehensive Summary (From a Russian Perspective) : Oligarchy Typology of Ukraine. Published April 26, 2014. (70 minute video in Russian with English subtitles and transcript). — Fursov, historian and sociologist, explains 4 business syndicates in Ukraine competing among themselves and against Western tycoons who targeted Russia for 200 years.
  3. Michel Chossudovsky, Ukraine Crisis Today: Bandersctadt. Global Research News, May 30, 2014. (87 minute video). — Atrocities by the Kiev regime not shown in Western media.
  4. Robert Parry, 'New York Time's One-Sided Ukraine Narrative'. Consortium News, in Transcend Media Service, June 2, 2014. — The biased U.S. press, especially the NYT, blames Putin.
  5. Jan Oberg, 'Why Obama's Speech Should Make You Think' Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research, in Transcend Media Service, June 2, 2014. — Hope is replaced by fear.
  6. Robert Parry, 'The Only Standards Are Double Standards 'Consortium News, June 4, 2014. — Obama intervention provoked a civil war.
  7. Jim Albertini, 'Beacon of Freedom and American Exceptionalism'. Transcend Media Service, June 2, 2014. — If the U.S. wants to be a 'beacon of freedom', then its addiction to militarism must end.
  8. Mairead Maguire, 'Peace Movement's Common Vision: The Abolition of Militarism'. Nobel Peace Laureate, Transcend Media Service. Keynote address at Sarajevo Peace Event – 6 June, 2014.
  9. Alberto Portugheis, 'My Thoughts on Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire's Speech on 6th June, 2014 in Sarajevo'. Transcend Media Service – 7 July 2014. 
  10. Video: 'Cold War: Crash Course US History #37.' 14 minutes.
  11. Video: 'All Wars Are Bankers' Wars', written and spoken by Michael Rivero,  4 Feb. 1913. 44 minutes. A written version is also available.
  12. Update: Roger Annis, The Propaganda War Over Crimea's Break From Ukraine. Truthout, December 10, 1014, 


  1. Theresa Dunn, Arnprior, Ontario11 June 2014 at 12:09

    Thanks Koozma - I found it a good summary of some concrete steps towards a different outcome.

    Theresa Dunn
    The Delfi Group
    Mediator/OD Consultant

  2. Peter Stockdale, Ottawa, Ontario11 June 2014 at 12:11

    Great stuff on Galtung!