Ukraine’s Friendly Fire

Boris Johnson thought for a while there that he is Margaret Thatcher and forgot that history only repeats itself in the form of disaster. Therefore, he started beating the drums of war in Ukraine, urged the United States to take arms, and called on the heads of the Old Continent to stand in the face of Russia. He, himself, put on the mask of made-up heroism and entered the lion's den without realizing where his peacock feathers drove him. He sent his foreign minister on the eve of the war to meet his Russian counterpart. Despite the British Minister’s lack of experience, her speech in the Kremlin echoed similarly to the sirens of the British fleet in the 19th century. She did not understand that even though Russia had lost its role as a superpower, it was still an influential regional power, sometimes more powerful than the US, not to mention its nuclear arsenal. Nevertheless, the political stupidity or losing political maneuvers were at play. Johnson wanted to overcome his internal crisis by escaping forward, as he faced an issue in terms of his credibility and his blatant lying and deception of the English people, who neither forgive the liar nor forget him.

He had lied to his people to exit the European Union only to bring down his predecessor Theresa May and replace her, without actually having any conventions towards leaving the EU. He also had to accept a vague agreement on Ireland and the British are suffering from its repercussions. Like any imminent pragmatist, his goal was to get out of Europe at all costs. He did not care about the details that threatened an economic war between Europe and Britain amidst the increasing fears of the secession of Scotland from the British crown. He had no interest but to become the prime minister, to hold parties while the country was suffering from a complete lockdown as per the orders of his government. He was later subjected to a criminal and political investigation. He kept lying and evading, taking advantage of his wit and ability to ridicule and endure insults, which saved him more than once from a confidence withdrawal, whether from the parliament or the Conservative Party. All this while he was a warmonger in Ukraine, adopting its president who used to be an actor and was not familiar with the world of politics until his candidacy and his success in elections that do not require experience, but only mastery of playing on the strings of traditional and virtual media. This has produced a generation of presidents who do not understand anything but hijacking the spotlight. As for the lived reality, they do not care about it, neither about the peoples who have faced several crises because of the Ukrainian war, no matter how far the distance. Unfortunately, Johnson attempted to be as brave as Thatcher and forgot or turned a blind eye to the fact that Thatcher had two PhDs, one in law and the other in chemistry. She was also prime minister from the late 1970s until the early 1990s, a time of ideologies and polarities and the results of the winds of change preached by Macmillan, the successor of Churchill and Eden, who was famous for his address to the British people, “Most of our people have never had it so good.”

The man was right. The mid-1960s was the last happy chapter of the era of colonial prosperity. Thatcher was the product and the outcome of this era. She relentlessly mobilized the US to expel Saddam from Kuwait, which is the model that Johnson dreamt of without having the financial, economic and military capabilities, thinking that history will repeat itself. He did not understand that the world today is not as it was in the 1990s and that the Russian bear has come out of its winter hibernation. Russia was a decisive player in the Syrian crisis, as well as in Libya and to some extent in Korea, at a time when the US turned its back on the NATO and let the old European continent manage its affairs by itself 75 years after the last global war. The US participation in the NATO does not exceed its involvement in the withdrawal processes of drug addicts. Moreover, all European countries no longer maintain the large numbers of armies for economic reasons, in addition to their hidden conviction of the impossibility of new international wars. Their armies, therefore, have become a display of honor.

In its war on Iraq to expel Saddam from Kuwait, the US took more than seven months to assemble an international force estimated at half a million, which is a much smaller number than the current Russian army. However, it does not withhold exercising financial and military generosity to Ukraine. Its strategic goal, after all, is to change the security and strategic environment in Europe first and in the whole world second. Ukraine is considered the main gateway to this change. The issue at play is also a warning of re-polarity in managing the world after it dismantled with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The question is, who is on the second end of the pole? Is it Russia or the Chinese dragon that sparked fears after a press conference of the directors of the American FBI and the British M15, who publicly announced that China’s espionage activities in the West have multiplied more than seven times to what  they were in 2018? This announcement was made in a public press conference and not behind the scenes, which reflects true fears coinciding with leaks that were published by Germany’s DW. It revealed secret discussions to search for diplomatic ways to end the Ukrainian war, a solution backed by the majority of Europeans given the repercussions of the economic crises that have hit the Old Continent due to a futile war.

Therefore, it is expected that Johnson’s stepping down will open the doors of political solutions with Ukraine losing the Donbas region or its autonomous rule guaranteed by Russia. As for Crimea, there is no hope for Ukraine in it. Johnson will continue to bite his fingers in regret because he did not learn from history that did not and will not allow to borrow the politics of the last century to address the problems of this century. His consolation is that he stepped down unrepentant, bowing neither to the fire of his enemies nor Ukraine’s friendly fire.