Ukraine War, January 23, 2023: Scholz has already failed NATO and sent Putin a signal that will confirm his belief in his strategy: Divisions will emerge in NATO and over time military support for Ukraine will decline

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, and you will see a list in chronological order.

To understand the broad context within which current developments in Ukraine should be considered,see

“Ukraine War, October 26, 2022: The context for analysis of current developments; The “dirty bomb” as a Russian propaganda distraction from current war crimes,” The Trenchant Observer, October 26, 2022.

Dispatches

1) Simon Tisdall, “Ukraine is fighting for all of us. Now Europe must fight Putin too,” The Guardian, January 22, 2023 (08:00 GMT);

2) Samantha Lock, “Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 334 of the invasion; Germany will not “stand in the way” of Poland sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine; Russia claims more progress in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region,” The Guardian, January 23, 2023 (99:31 GMT);

3) Elena G. Sevillano, “La coalición alemana afronta su mayor desafío con el suministro de Leopard a Ucrania; Los socios de Scholz presionan desde el Gobierno para que Berlín acceda a enviar los tanques a Ucrania,” El País, el 23 de enero, 2023 (23:49 EST);

4) Elena G. Sevillano, “The German coalition faces its biggest challenge with the supply of Leopard to Ukraine; Scholz’s partners pressure the Government for Berlin to agree to send the tanks to Ukraine,” El País, January 23, 2023 11:40 p.m. EST);

Analysis

The Guardian reports,

Norway’s army chief has estimated 180,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in over the course of the conflict, while the figure for the Ukrainians is 100,000 military casualties and 30,000 dead civilians. Norwegian chief of defence Eirik Kristoffersen gave the figures in an interview with TV2, without specifying how the numbers were calculated. The figures cannot be independently verified.

These figures from Norway’s army chief confirm our previous conclusion that the figures being given out by the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights grossly understate the number of civilian deaths in Ukraine, due to the extremely conservative methodology, which they don’t explains, and reporters domnot demand that they explain, when they publish their extraordinarily misleading statistics.

We will come back to this issue later.

The story in Europe today still centers around German Scholz’s maddening failure to approve the transfer to Ukraine of German-made Leopard 2 tanks by Germany itself and by other nations.

This last week Scholz has confirmed that he is the wrong person to lead Germany in the greatest military and security crisis since World War II.

Often it is the the role or fate of a foreign affairs columnist to blurt out the truth that everyone knows but no one will say, to shout out the truth to the powers that be in the hope that they will somehow wake up and take appropriate action.

That truth us:

Olaf Scholz is the wong person to lead Germany in the greatest challenge to European security, and our civilization, since World War II.

It is clear that whatever his words regarding the turning point in history (“Zeitenwende”) represented by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he does not have the will and the ability to lead Germany through these perilous times. His words are often duplicitous. Beholden to the pacifists and pro-Russian elements in his own Social Democratic Party (SDP), he does not have the vision and the fortitude to lead his party, much less the German nation, is what is developing into a nearly all-out battle between Europe and the West, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, over the future viability and effectiveness of the U.N. Charter and international law.

In the midst of a gigantic struggle in the heart of Europe, where not Cold War II but a very hot war is being fought to the death–by a lot of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, and also Russian soldiers and recently-conscripted civilians–Scholz is essentially handling burning issues like the Leopard 2 tanks as if he were still the mayor of Hamburg deciding an issue between competing parking authorities with a view, above all, toward maintaining his electoral majority in the next election. And with a view toward showing everyone that he can’t be pushed around by strong pressures, from anywhere.

The main point of the exercise is to show that he is the man in charge, and he can’t be pressured into making a “hasty” decision–even if the question has received intense scrutiny for the last six months.

Scholz and the SPD have been a huge drag on supplying Ukraine with the weapons it needs within in the time frame within which it urgently needs them, since the very beginning of the war.

Scholz moves and acts in German bureaucratic time, not at the speed of war, in which dilatory decisions can lead to the destruction of cities and the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent soldiers and civilians.

Yes, the Ukrainian soldiers who are killed by invading Russian troops are innocent victims of what in moral terms are large-scale murders organized by and carried out under the direction of war criminals orchestrating the commission of the international crime of aggression, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the international crime of genocide–as defined under the explicit terms of the 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide.

In moral terms, the taking of a human life without a valid legal justification (e.g., self-defense of an individual, or execution after conviction in a fair judicial proceeding (i.e., in accordance with due process), is murder.

At least since 1945 and the advent of the U.N. Charter, there has been no legal justification for the taking of a human life by a soldier participating in an illegal military invasion.

In short, every Ukraian soldier’s life taken by an invading Russian soldier is, in moral terms, a murder.

Scholz and some Germans excuse their blundering dilatoriness as resulting from their experience 80 years ago attacking all of Europe.

This argument is essentially b.s., and a handy excuse for letting the U.S. cover Germany’s defense expenditures while growing rich on cheap Russian gas.

Look, Germany!

History has already happened! Get over it!

German aggression in 1939 (accompanied by Russian aggression against Poland and others) is hardly an excuse for not vigorously resisting military aggression by Russia against Ukraine in 2022 and 2023.

Scholz has already demonstrated he is not capable of leading Germany in wartime, not in committing aggression but in defending Ukraine, the U.N. Charter and international law, and indeed our entire civilization against Russian aggression and barbarism.

If he had been leading the D-Day invasion, people in Britain would be speaking German today.

It us time for Scholz to go back to his peacetime occupation of settling disputes between parking authorities, in his own German bureaucratic tine, with a view toward maintaining his leadership of his party and winning the next elections.

And it is time for Germany to appoint a dynamic Chancellor who is deeply committed to victory in Ukraine, and doing everything possible to assist Ukraine in achieving that victory, moving at the speed of war and not in bureaucratic time.

The Trenchant Observer

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