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Efforts for Peace

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Photo: On July 9, the NATO anniversary summit began in Washington, marking the 75th anniversary of the Alliance's establishment, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: On July 9, the NATO anniversary summit began in Washington, marking the 75th anniversary of the Alliance's establishment, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

On July 9, the NATO anniversary summit began in Washington, marking the 75th anniversary of the Alliance's establishment. On the eve of the summit, July 8, under the orders of the war criminal, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, another horrific terrorist act took place—a massive missile attack on Kyiv, including a targeted missile strike on the main Ukrainian children's medical center, Ohmatdyt. Many young patients and doctors were injured, and the toxicology department of the hospital suffered significant damage.

The calculation of the Russian terrorists was clear—to show their allies in the Axis of Evil that Vladimir Putin has no "red lines" and that the Russian regime disregards the feeble attempts of anti-Putin coalitions and alliances to oppose the "second army in the world."

Whether the Russian child-killing president can intimidate the members of the North Atlantic Alliance will be shown by the results of the summit and the scale of military aid directed to Ukraine. The summit discusses issues of strengthening defense and deterrence, supporting Ukraine in self-defense, providing new air defense systems and bilateral security agreements to Ukraine, confirming military aid packages worth 40 billion euros, creating NATO command in Germany as a "bridge to membership" for Ukraine in the Alliance, and establishing a "safeguard" for helping Ukraine even in the event of a possible Trump presidency, as a tool to prevent the blocking of aid supplies.

At least in the general rhetoric of the first day of the summit, the topic of Ukraine and the increase of military assistance after the cynical attacks of Russian invaders sounded quite clear. But how convincing is it—not for the Alliance's partners or the Ukrainian military—but for the Kremlin's despot, intoxicated by impunity?

What lessons from the past should be revisited and whose examples should be turned to in order to choose the only correct strategy to counter the criminal, misanthropic plans of the Russians and their dictator? Ukrainian journalist, TV and radio host Oleh Manchura reflects on this in his column:

“75 years ago, in the spring, a ship docked on the shores of the USA, from which an aged but still tireless Winston Churchill disembarked. He wanted to meet privately with President Truman before signing the treaty establishing NATO. A few days later, a dozen more ocean liners docked one after another, bringing European leaders who signed the agreement.

Speaking earlier at the Ritz Hotel, Winston Churchill said: 

'This will become one of the most important documents ever signed by humanity.'

But the signing ceremony itself went awry. The speech of the Belgian Prime Minister, in French, was not translated into English. President Truman's speech was not heard for several minutes—neither by those present nor by radio listeners, as the microphones were turned off. Secretary of State Acheson's speech was so dull that some in the audience fell asleep. The performance of the Marine Corps band went off-key, each playing their own tune.

Today in Washington, the 75th NATO summit opens. And the best image of today's NATO is created by flashbacks to that first summit. Each plays their own part, singing banal texts in different languages, unheard by the world. But most frustratingly, they are not heard in Moscow—where they most need to be heard.

Winston Churchill was not yet prime minister when Britain and France waged the 'Phoney War'—pretending to fulfill their allied obligations to Poland in 1939. Churchill was no longer prime minister when he delivered his famous speech in Fulton. He had learned the lessons of 1939 well: an aggressor must be struck with full force. This is where NATO begins. Though Churchill had no formal role in its creation, he was its ideological godfather. This is why he came to the USA a few days before its birth.

Churchill's speech in Fulton, called aggressive by the USSR and marking the start of what Orwell had termed a year earlier as the 'Cold War,' actually had a very peaceful name. The speech was titled 'Sinews of Peace'. Efforts for peace, or better yet, in the words of Russian propaganda during the 2008 war against Georgia: 'compulsion to peace'.

Churchill was talking not about war, but about peace. The victor of World War II understood perfectly that an aggressor can only be pacified by force. We can only hope that the spirit of Churchill will finally appear at the 75th NATO summit. It will come to the festive hall of the Ritz Hotel. 

This is needed not just by us.”

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