Yet again the Pontiff was being a voice for decency and sanity in a troubled world. Actions, not just rhetoric, are becoming ever more belligerent and, as an article in the American journal The Atlantic detailed, once you step on the nuclear escalator, it’s hard to get off. None of the scenarios posed or “gamed” in simulations had a happy ending.
Yet it’s in danger of becoming accepted as the endplay. Last week US President Joe Biden stated: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
That from a man with his finger on the nuclear button. The danger is we’re rushing towards that scenario and little attempt’s being made to resolve this conflict peacefully.
It’s clear it’s going badly for Russia. She’s bleeding and it’s more than just a bloody nose. Some of that is the result of heroic fighting by Ukrainian soldiers defending their homeland, whilst Russians flee from a war they want no part of.
But it’s also evident that Nato weaponry’s winning this war. Another journal narrated how western electronic warfare’s closing down Russian communication systems before sophisticated missiles are unleashed. Unable to call in air or artillery support, and unable to receive orders, it’s no wonder their soldiers are taking to the steppe.
Not only is Russia being pushed back, but attacks upon their soil and their infrastructure, wherever it’s located, are being conducted. This shouldn’t be about regime change or burying Russia. The basis must be on the Minsk accords but discussions need to start now, not gloating about Russian deaths or a trial for Putin.
The reason why is because of what analysts call the Russian paradox, that the worse their military perform, the more important their nuclear arsenal becomes. And that’s when it all becomes frightening, and Armageddon beckons. It’s why we need peace negotiations now.
Kenny MacAskill is the Alba Party MP for East Lothian