(LifeSiteNews) — Recent reports from major U.S. outlets have presented a startling departure from the customary narrative surrounding the war in Ukraine.
It is becoming clear that the only war the U.S. has been winning has been the information war surrounding the conflict. With the report from the RAND Corporation last month, who have been advising the Pentagon since 1948, comes the news that the ground war is lost and that no return of Ukrainian lands is likely.
The report, titled “Avoiding a Long War,” glosses over the complicated history of Ukraine and makes no mention of the many interventions and diplomatic failures directed by the US and its NATO allies, which I detailed in a long four part series here.
Instead, it focuses on the need to avoid a protracted conflict – chiefly to free up the U.S. military to concentrate on the next big war with China.
Added to this are the remarkable events surrounding Zelensky himself, whose carefully crafted persona as a warrior saint of Project Forever War is becoming so tarnished as to suggest he may now be perceived as an obstacle to the “negotiated settlement” which RAND says is the only outcome which serves U.S. interests.
General Mark Milley has been calling for the same “diplomatic solution” since November. Yet the war faction has continued to push for escalation, demanding more weapons alongside opening the door for the lucrative “reconstruction” of Ukraine by companies such as BlackRock and JP Morgan.
This past week has also seen the House Armed Services Committee state that the retaking of Crimea is impossible. The emerging picture here is resolving into an impasse between politics and practical military advice. The neoconservative position, always a heady mixture of freedom-based sloganising and corrupting destruction, has perhaps best been outlined by former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His position is that the West should send everything the increasingly isolated Zelensky demands from them, which would include jet fighters and hundreds more tanks.
The question as to who shall win this battle – the war managers or the generals who advise against them – will be clarified over the issue of escalation. Should the U.S. and its allies indeed approve the sending of fighter jets to Ukraine, then the neoconservative death cult has won. Why is this so dangerous? Those jets will be flown by Western pilots, bringing NATO into direct conflict with Russia. As early as 2019, Milley outlined the major U.S. aims to President Joe Biden.
“No. 1” was “Don’t have a kinetic conflict between the U.S. military and NATO with Russia.” The second, closely related, was “contain war inside the geographical boundaries of Ukraine.”
That the war has had a political dimension is no secret. Yet this dimension is one increasingly detached from reality, both in its indifference to the feasibility of its aims and in the horrifying consequences it will provoke. Our politicians are facing a dramatic humiliation if they return to a reality-based appraisal of their war aims and the cost of escalation.
For a year we have heard about the need for regime change in Russia, and how a Russian defeat is a matter of time. They have yet to accept the reality that the return of Crimea, the Donbass and the additional regions claimed by Russia is impossible. Finally, there is no plan for a post-war Ukraine, which appears very likely to be partitioned into a landlocked rump state.
At the center of this political theater has been Zelensky himself, who until recently represented the best photo opportunity for any publicity-hungry manager. Candles were sold of him last year, depicting him as a saint. This actor, promoted to read out lines scripted for him by people offstage, is approaching the final episode of his smash hit show.
The beginning of his end came last October, when the director of the CIA William Burns made an unscheduled visit to Kiev. Clearly Mr. Burns had come to release the hounds, as his personal presence betokens serious business that cannot be conducted over a secure telecomms line.
A series of unfortunate events then ensued, which have removed many of Zelenksy’s key allies. His interior minister and staff were killed in an unexplained helicopter crash. His minister of propaganda and one of his closest aides was summarily dismissed. Alexei Arestovich, an ethnic Russian himself, went on to announce in interviews that he considered the war had been lost and condemned Zelensky for waging war on ethnic Russians and on Christianity.
A purge of the government then took place, which is ongoing, seeing officials of state removed in a supposed anti-corruption drive that has reached the Ukrainian defence minister. Dozens of officials across Ukraine have departed, some leaving the country abruptly, in a sweep which leaves Zelensky deprived of many allies. His chief sponsor, Igor Kolomoisky, has also been subject to an investigation, in a repeat of actions taken against the oligarch in 2015.
What this amounts to is a demonstration of political ownership. These measures, coincidentally taking place following the visit of the USA’s chief spy, show Zelensky and his former master who is now in charge. Given that the USA has known since last year, from the admission of its own generals, that the war cannot be won, it is obvious that Zelensky himself is in the way of the swift end to the conflict that the RAND Corporation now recommends.
Prepare for a radical shift in the way in which Ukraine itself is reported. Reports are surfacing in the Western media which even a week ago would have been denounced as Russian propaganda. The torture of civilians in public, the forced recruitment of Ukrainian men, the sending of ethnic Hungarians from Transcarpathia to the front will all likely be aired to a stunned public spoon fed on Ukrainian heroism.
Finally, the horrendous casualties in dead and wounded suffered by the Ukrainian army have come to light.
The Russians, long fabled to have been running out of men and missiles, have amassed a vast force around Ukraine and are about to launch a huge offensive which will “crush the remainder of the Ukrainian army.” In his recent assessment of the war, retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor insists that Ukraine is facing collapse and its army will be smashed. This is no vaunting celebration, but moreover is presented as a damning indictment of the human costs of war conducted for a politics which plays to the media.
It is MacGregor’s contention that the huge losses suffered by Ukraine were a direct result of Zelenksy’s orders, concerned with the public impact of tactical withdrawal and the preservation of life, which resulted in men being sent to die in large numbers in battles which they could never hope to win. Of the many lessons buried in the rubble of Ukraine, this reveals the most about the filthy business of playing politics by means of war. People are slaughtered to save face. Yet no face has been saved. The war was unwinnable without regime change in Russia, and the saving of face has always been about the postponement of reality for as long as possible. Human beings have paid with their lives for this act of political vanity.
Where the military and political managers agree is on the need to refocus U.S. attention – and efforts – on China. A rapid exit from the Ukraine debacle is in the best of U.S. interests chiefly for a reason for a new pivot further east. The time is nigh to hold our managers to account for the dreadful cost of their disastrous policies before the country that they destroy is the one you call home.