Let our bleeding attorney negotiate a settlement, NOW.
Since early January, the mainstream media have proven their loyalty and usefulness to the US foreign policy establishment. With unflinching show-business efficiency, they have manufactured an international political superstar, at least in Europe and the English-speaking world. Vladimir Zelensky has appeared on media screens seemingly everywhere, including during the 2022 Grammy Awards extravaganza.
Sad but resolute Ukrainian refugees became fodder for a mix of news and entertainment that firmly established, in our hearts and minds, who were the good guys and who were the bad monsters.
And we were heartened to see that, sooner or later, the Ukrainian Good Guys would prevail over the brutal Russian demons.
But lately there have been some tiny cracks in the wall of totalitarian management of perception. And now ….
It’s time. It is time to recognize reality. It is time for our proxy warrior, Ukraine, to negotiate with Russia, in good faith, before she loses everything.
Right off the bat, many readers will exclaim, “You can’t negotiate with Russia! The Russians are guilty of unprovoked and unwarranted aggression.
Unprovoked and unjustified. Like an ancient Greek theatrical chorus, the corporate media repeated this line until, now, it is permanently stuck in our synapses. An earworm, like a catchy melody.
I would ask these media opponents of diplomacy to imagine, just for a moment, a hypothetical situation: first, make sure you have a full understanding of the exposure of the drama, of all the contrived circumstances that the president of Russia faced on February 24, 2022.
Remember, the clever scriptwriters of America’s foreign policy elite had used their best cold-blooded, calculated cunning to craft the perfect diplomatic double bind for the drama’s Russian villain. (And, of course, they had choreographed their NATO dance line, to give their “diplomacy” the illusion of legitimacy.)
Now ask yourself if any American president, faced with a comparable dramatic conflict, would have acted differently?
Or pretend, for a moment, that Winston Churchill, hero of many epic films, is, by the magic of your imagination, the President of the Russian Federation. Do you have any doubt that Churchill would have firmly refused to bow down and appease the leadership of the United States and NATO set against him?
A second consideration, about Russia’s reliability as a negotiating partner: Western powers and their media mouthpieces have dismissed with contempt Russia’s stated goal of denazifying Ukraine. Western propaganda would have us believe that there is no serious neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist threat in Ukraine.
On the contrary, a little research reveals that the threat is very real. I’m talking about fierce far-right fanatics, heavily armed, highly trained, highly motivated and fiercely disciplined. Their voter base is small, but that doesn’t matter. In the media fiction of Ukrainian democracy, where the oligarchs pull many of the strings, the ability to mobilize violence in real life is a powerful tool.
And we must remember that the United States and NATO have been deeply involved in arming and training these forces since 2014, making them an even more formidable part of the ruling power structure in Ukraine. This arming and training took place off stage, to be performed in front of an audience only when the time was right – when Russian tanks rolled across the border between Belarus and Ukraine, and the well-rehearsed Ukrainian military went on a rampage, causing staggering real-world damage and death.
Not all Ukrainian soldiers are neo-Nazis or far-right ethnic cleansers. But I believe it is fair to say that these elements are the backbone of the Ukrainian army. Without them, I doubt the outsider vaunted by the media esprit de corps would be almost as robust.
Let’s do a pretend exercise. Take the insurgents who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. As a theatrical event, the staging was a mess. It barely deserved to be called a riot. But this crowd of actors did not lack motivation. Or raw talent. They clearly believed that their dramatization was real. We in the audience were mesmerized and then relieved when the play ended with a bang.
Now imagine the actors in this crowd again. The Department of Justice estimates their number to be between 2,000 and 2,500. In your mind, multiply them by twenty-five (40,000 to 50,000).
Now arm them. Train them hard. Organize them into squads, platoons, companies, battalions and brigades. Apply strict discipline. Motivate them with a continued sense of ethnic superiority.
This playwright’s little exercise in imagination, “based on” our January 6 from home, should give you an idea of the strength and influence of the ultra-right within the power structure in Ukraine.
The Russians are very seriously considering confronting Nazis and ethnic supremacists in this country which is right on their border. In Vladimir Putin’s speech to the Russian people on February 21, he did not use Ukrainian neo-Nazis as a spurious pretext in cheap melodrama.
The Ukrainian people no longer need to be highlighted by the media. Their plight needs no more daily drama presented as “news”. Ukrainian civilians need a permanent ceasefire. As the talks begin. And please remember: we are in no position to judge the sincerity of Russian negotiators in potential talks aimed at a peaceful settlement of this bloody conflict. In the fog of war, you never know what might happen until the diplomatic actors take the stage and begin their dialogue. The old cliché applies: you never know until you try.
The real blockage to the peace talks is a triumphant and misguided NATO and its sponsor in Washington. The United States and NATO are going bankrupt. They demand that Ukraine keep fighting, bleeding and dying, until the United States, NATO and their proxies achieve a decisive victory over Russian forces.
Moreover, if Zelensky and his foreign policy team decide to negotiate, before losing even more territory, they risk the wrath of the neo-Nazis, ultra-nationalists who permeate their military and police forces. They will not survive without the protection of the Godfather.
(To see this article in the Kyiv Post, about veteran Ukrainian fighters from Donbass confronting Zelensky, warning him, in 2019, NOT to seek peace in Donbass. This dramatic verbal clash happened right after his landslide election victory, playing the role of “candidate for peace”.)
It’s time. It is time for President Biden to step into the statesmanship. His NATO minions can’t object if Biden tells the Ukrainian government and people that more than billions of dollars worth of weapons won’t guarantee a final victory on the battlefield against the Russians. Ukraine’s railways, which are the means of delivering these weapons to frontline fighters, have been badly damaged by Russian air and missile strikes. And the least efficient means of transport, the heavy goods vehicles, come up against the obstacle of damaged roads and numerous destroyed bridges. And finally, as the war continues in the Donbass theatre, Ukraine will have fewer and fewer seasoned soldiers to operate the new, more complicated weapons.
Unless Biden steps in, Ukrainians face a long and bloody stalemate at best, which Russia is better prepared to endure. (So far, Russian leaders have not called for a nationwide general mobilization.) Ukraine’s total victory is a cruel chimera.
Biden must be frank with Americans and Ukrainians. The two real geopolitical combatants in this war are Russia and the United States. Ukraine is America’s tragic and foolish proxy – our ill-prepared understudy. It’s not stage blood we see on MSNB-CNN. Ukrainians are bleeding and dying as Biden & Co. prolong the agony in a vicious quest to punish and weaken Russia.
This is no way to ensure future peace. Speak. Now.