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The Ukraine and Middle East: Parallel War Zones
In the Ukraine and in the Middle East, there are two versions of the cause of war. Both have their similarities and differences but the opposing sides might as well be from a different universe.
The the Gaza-Israeli conflict, both have their view on the current outbreak. Yet, when the Palestinian representatives are asked direct yes or no questions about Hamas, for instance, have you told Hamas not to hide rockets in schools, not to fire rockets into Israel, not to disrupt civilians in Gaza for their own protection or gain, there is the usual boilerplate answer that is ranted on. That is, the Gaza situation of no freedom of movement , about the oppressed people that Israel imposes on them, the killing of civilians, the years and years of horrid conditions. The Palestinian leaders never really answer because the answer is , no. Hamas is like the thug in the Gaza. It bullies itself forcing the Palestinian government to acquiesce to its terms, its wants, its needs. The Palestinian leaders have no will power to stand up to Hamas because they are weak. Hamas is supported by Qatar and Iran. No wonder the Palestinian government is unable to reign in Hamas or even separate from it. Any deal made must be approved by Hamas. No wonder Hamas will do what it wants and make the Palestinian civilians their pawns and pay with their lives. What war has ever not produced unintended civilian deaths, women, children and men? What terrorist attack has not done the same?
The Palestinians blame it all on Israel because of long past grievances and injustices, yet, they fail to blame Egypt, who will not allow Palestinians enter from Gaza. They are Arab also. Egypt has denounced Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organizations. When humanitarian supplies enter Gaza legally, Hamas diverts what they can or allowed to, for their own purposes. Take the millions of tons of concrete sent in to build homes and schools etc., over the years. Hamas was allowed to use much of it to build its many tunnels into Israel. Had the Palestinian government had the strength and ability to oppose Hamas, it would not have happened. The problem with Gaza is, in part, within Gaza.
In the Ukraine, the war escalates. Each side sees it differently. Putin, who is popular in Russia because of his show of force, seeks to slowly expand Russia along the borders, to regain what was lost when Russia broke up. He sees Ukraine as always part of Russia and refuses to accept the reality that it is its own country now. Putin also sees NATO encroaching on its borders, this is more of an irritant than a fear NATO may invade Russia, which is laughable. Putin just does not want it next door- maybe down the street if fine, but not next door. Because of this, Putin is slowly raising the temperature to see what the West does, knowing all to well, not much can be done militarily. Putin will just continue to push to take Ukraine piece by piece. He already did this with Crimea.
The West sees the crisis as one of sovereign rights. Ukraine became a country in 1994, and Russia agreed. The Ukrainians see how prosperous Poland is under the free market and wants to turn away from Russia. Putin simply cannot stand this. He simply refuses to allow to happen. Since Putin really does not think the Ukraine is not part of Russia, he disregards any treaties because he did not sign the agreement. That was under a different "watch" and does not apply to him.
The only thing that would stop Putin is European sanctions, since they are Russia's greatest oil and gas customer. Europeans are fearful because sanctions would cause Putin to stop deliveries or raise prices like he once did to the Ukraine. Absent this, Putin will just continue doing what Putin does.