Rt Hon Alister Jack
MP for Dumfries & Galloway and Secretary of State for Scotland

Dear Mr. Jack,

With £2.5 trillions of debt how can we put foreign military adventures above priorities such as properly funding the NHS and treating our nurses decently?

I wrote weeks ago asking if you would kindly explain why the UK has embroiled itself so enthusiastically in the Ukraine war.

The Kremlin thinks its intervention justified given recent history and the increasing threat to Russia’s security. NATO allies, especially America, see it as a great opportunity to wage a proxy war against Russia and profit from exploiting the huge natural resources of a wrecked Ukraine afterwards; and they have spent years preparing the ground. No blood gets spilt on American soil, of course, but what about Europe if hostilities get out of hand?

The absence of peace initiatives from more sensible Western leaders (if any can be found) is shocking and Zelensky has made it known he’s not interested in peace provided the West keeps supplying him with the most lethal weapons and there are enough troops for the slaughter…. and never mind the 8 million civilians who are already refugees.

So why did UKGov throw caution to the wind and back Ukraine against Russia knowing it would seriously hurt our own people and ruin our economy? Why did UKGov, £2.5 trillions in debt and seriously underspending at home, pledge help to rebuild a devastated Ukraine at an estimated cost of $750 billion? And why did the Government take these eyewatering decision without proper scrutiny by Parliament? A poorly briefed House of Commons “considered the situation in Ukraine” last March but that was all.

Rt Hon Alister Jack

The UK has committed or pledged £4.6 billion so far to the US-Ukraine cause and will host a training programmes for up to 10,000 Ukrainian troops. Meanwhile an estimated 700,000 households in Scotland face extreme fuel poverty and even destitution, and 18 million families (that’s 45 million people) throughout the UK are likely to be left cold and hungry and struggling to make ends meet, thanks to reckless ministers. We see every day the mess our health service, local government and key industries are in. How do you propose resolving the crisis and mending our relationship with Russia? Or isn’t that important?

The historical quarrel between Ukraine and Russia is outside our sphere of influence yet we are expected to accept – without question – that Ukraine is suddenly our bestest buddy and we must suffer great pain to provide support and risk being drawn into direct nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia.

We seem to have forgotten that during negotiations over the reunification of Germany in 1990 the Russians were assured that NATO would NOT encroach any further eastwards. Gorbachev told US Secretary of State James Baker: “It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.” Baker agreed and assured Gorbachev and Shevardnadze (Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs) that NATO’s jurisdiction would not extend one inch further eastwards. That not-one-inch promise enabled Gorbachev to agree to a united Germany in NATO.

Furthermore, it is reported that the UK’s then PM John Major told Russia’s Minister of Defence Dmitry Yazov that he “did not himself foresee circumstances now or in the future where East European countries would become members of NATO”. And Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd informed Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh that “there are no plans in NATO to include the countries of Eastern and Central Europe in NATO in one form or another”. Yet by 2007 Putin was complaining: “What happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?”

Expanding NATO right up to Russia’s doorstep was certain to provoke a military response. Nevertheless America, UK and others in NATO, instead of treading carefully, have meddled in Ukraine for years and a US-sponsored coup (the 2014 Maidan Revolution) removed the pro-Russia government in Kiev and replaced it with a fiercely anti-Russia administration aligned with US strategic goals. Regime change accomplished! The US, UK, Canada and France then began training and arming the Ukrainian military and in 2020 Jens Stoltenberg, General Secretary of NATO, announced: “We have increased our presence in the Black Sea region…. We have increased our co-operation with our two valued partners, Ukraine and Georgia.”

So Ukraine, with its history of unstable government and corruption, and mired in civil war since the failure of the Minsk 1 and 2 and Normandy Format peace initiatives, has been a NATO asset (though not actually a member) for some time, posing a glaringly threat.

Zelensky was elected in 2019 on a pledge to end internal conflict. He did the opposite. His ultra-nationalist forces, lavishly prepped for war by America and its NATO allies, continued shelling Russian-speaking communities in the Donbas. What was Russia supposed to do? Isn’t talk of Russian “aggression” somewhat of an exaggeration?

Zelensky apparently cares little how high the body-count or how much devastation it takes to achieve his and America’s strategic ambitions. He expects the West to keep turning the sanctions screw and sending high-tech weaponry, and to pay for rebuilding Ukraine afterwards, saying he wants to turn the country into a “second Israel”. That alone should make sympathisers pause.

In the last few days we’ve seen NATO’s mafia bullying German chancellor Olaf Scholz into providing top-spec battle tanks to help prolong the slaughter and turn the struggle into a war of attrition. Germany, from bitter experience, has understandable concerns about supplying advanced offensive weapons into a war zone and Mr Scholz’s reluctance ought to have been respected. A pity we too haven’t learned the lessons from the past.

By declaring economic war on Russia and arming her enemy the UK has surely placed itself in Russia’s nuclear cross-hairs. Even Stoltenberg admits that it could all go horribly wrong. Wouldn’t we be better off finding a way to avoid wholesale death and destruction and the bitterness that would follow?

Some of us remember the last cold war with Russia – civil defence, national service, nuclear bunkers, alerts, constant fear of being ‘nuked’, and the huge expense of it all. It wasn’t much fun then and will be even less fun now with the cost-of-living crisis and grinding poverty added.

And please don’t pretend it’s a fight for democracy. UKGov is more than happy to allow other countries to be oppressed, illegally occupied, their resources stolen and inhabitants slaughtered (e.g. Yemen and Palestine), and is implicated in these crimes because the perpetrators are “friends and allies” of our Westminster establishment.

Biden says the whole world is united against Putin. More likely it’s only the grubby policial elite, their bankster friends and the military-industrial complex, who see Ukraine’s destruction as their new El Dorado. America’s ‘forever war’ policy guarantees them rich pickings. Decent ordinary folk watch in disgust.

A reminder

Exactly 50 years ago, on this day in 1973, the long Vietnam war (called the “Resistance war against the United States” by the Vietnamese) officially ended for the losing Americans, although the struggle dragged on for another 2 years. The human cost is put at 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters, plus 200,000 to 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and 58,200 US troops.

Sincerely etc.
Stuart Littlewood ©
27 January 2023


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