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Will Western Leaders Start World War III to Distract From Their Political Failure?

© AFP 2023 / VELKO ANGELOVAn anti-submarine rocket blasts off a rocket launcher from the Bulgarian navy frigate "Drazki" during the BREEZE 2014 military drill in the Black Sea
An anti-submarine rocket blasts off a rocket launcher from the Bulgarian navy frigate Drazki during the BREEZE 2014 military drill in the Black Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
As Kiev’s allies appear set to escalate tensions with Russia once again, controversy is deepening over governments’ obsession with the Ukraine proxy war to the exclusion of domestic concerns.
The West faces an ongoing crisis of political legitimacy, with approval ratings among the G7 countries ranging from 44% for Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to a mere 20% for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The situation is particularly dire in the United States as the country enters another presidential election season featuring two major party candidates with underwater approval ratings. Three-fourths of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and societal institutions from Congress to the courts are broadly viewed with distrust.
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Given such grim political and cultural indicators, will leaders seek global conflict to distract from their own failings? That’s the fear of author Jeremy Kuzmarov, who appeared on Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Friday to discuss the increasing desperation of the Western ruling class as the US-backed Ukraine puppet state nears collapse.
“These leaders seem to want a world war,” said Kuzmarov, the managing editor of Covert Action magazine. “Maybe that is what they want. I mean, they're losing, they've lost legitimacy as far as governing at home. My feeling is that this is a strategy, that they're provoking conflicts abroad to divert the attention of the public from their misrule at home and corruption.”
The tenor of political debate throughout the West has become increasingly contentious over issues such as immigration and the economy, with insurgent candidates rising to the fore to challenge establishment parties.
Increasingly, support for the Ukraine proxy war is seen as connected to such domestic concerns. In Germany, sanctions on Russian energy have cratered economic growth while the lifting of tariffs on Ukrainian food imports has led to farmers’ protests throughout the continent.
Moscow’s success on the battlefield has caused “desperation” on the part of the United States and NATO, noted host Jamarl Thomas. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly breached his own self-imposed “red lines,” ultimately providing Ukraine with Western weaponry such as ATACMS missiles after previously refusing to do so. Now Secretary of State Antonoy Blinken is publicly urging Biden to allow Kiev to use US armaments to strike targets within Russian territory.
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But deepened commitment to the proxy war – and the prospect of NATO troops eventually being deployed to the battlefield – risks further controversy.
“The Russians are winning and Ukraine is running out of ammunition and personnel,” noted Kuzmarov. “You might start to see protests like in the Vietnam era if [there were] American boots on the ground. I think the public would really start to question more what's going on.”
“So, I don't know if they could do that politically unless they resort to more and more authoritarian standards at home, which seems to be what's going on. But, again, you're going to sustain a domestic political backlash. So, I think they're in trouble, and that's why we see these reckless threats and very reckless behavior. And I hope it doesn't provoke a third world war, which is where it could be leading.”
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