Ukraine: Deja Vu.

I have not wanted to comment much on the Ukraine War.  The whole affair, while complicated in details, is simple enough in principle.  Putin may well be the ruthless monster that is being portrayed in American State media outlets, and Biden is certainly no more intelligent, coherent, or honest than his own press secretary makes him out to be.  And Mr. Zelensky, the comic actor, is little more than a tool of the CIA.  Everything said about the personalities on both sides may well be true, but personalities are not at the center of this conflict nor are the atrocities committed by both parties.

The United States and its NATO puppets have been playing high risk poker, without letting their populations in on the secret.  Our ruling classes, which have profited greatly by exploiting the resources of the former provinces of the Russian Empire, were determined from the beginning to complete the job by expanding their control and influence into Ukraine and Belarus.  As I used to point out, when the implications of global conflict used to interest me, the boards of petroleum and mineral companies doing business in Eastern Europe and the "stans" have dozens of former US cabinet officials on their boards of directors or advisory boards.  These people mean business!

There has never been a Ukrainian state, and there is  no Ukrainian nation.  This border land between Poland-Lithuania and Russia is like the logical fallacy of the sorites.  Going from West to East, we can observe overall a transition from Western Catholic to Eastern Orthodox.  Ukraine will never be an independent nation--or even any kind of nation.  It is nothing more than a sandbox where NATO (taking up where Germany left off) and Russia play their games.  Where a line is drawn between the two subject spheres is not a matter of right and wrong but of who is to be master.

From the beginning I warned both my anti-Putin friends and my friends who admire Putin that this would not be a war between Russia and Ukraine but between Russia and  NATO, and I declared unequivocally that, despite my rather limited knowledge of military technology and military affairs in general, I was absolutely sure from previous contests that US military technology is superior to what the Russians have.   The comparative success of Mr. Zelensky's corrupt and brutal government in resisting the Russian onslaught seem to have proved my point conclusively.

Well, then, what comes next?  One familiar scenario may well play out.  The Polish government,  ecstatic over the prospect of getting even with Russia, is sending in the tanks, and Germany has been talked into following suit.  I don't at all blame the Poles.  I admire them greatly, and, in their shoes, I'd probably feel the same way, but then again, I might recall the last time Poland thought it could get even with another oppressive enemy nation,  Like the Czechs they overestimated their own military capabilities and recklessly provoked the Germans, and the result was a war that devastated Poland.

With German, Polish, and almost certainly American tanks rolling into Ukraine, the Russians only have two options:  Capitulate to NATO,  beg for mercy, and overthrow Putin or, if that is not possible, fight on as best they can, using whatever means they have at their disposal to even the odds.  A cornered rat will fight, and I once observed even a tiny chipmunk, which rose to the heights of heroism.  When I tried to scare it away from our bird feeders by waving my arms and roaring, it reared up its full three ounces on its hind legs, faced the monster, chirping and fluttering its miniscule paws.

It is lucky for me that chipmunk did not have nuclear weapons.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

4 Responses

  1. Dom says:

    Putin is red,
    Zelensky is blue.
    I’ll keep this in mind,
    When I’m vaporized, too.

  2. Michael Strenk says:

    Like the Chinese in Korea the Ukrainians are relying on human wave attacks over hardened positions that they, with Western help, developed over the better part of a decade. They have now suffered an estimated 157,000 killed and approximately 3-4 times that permanently disabled. U.S. technology has shown no relative advantage except in the engineering feat of fortifying an impressive stretch across the Donbass. The Russians have lost comparatively few men and have mostly stood off and pummeled the wits out of their opponents, both Ukrainian and foreign, only moving in when their defenses are substantially destroyed. Ukrainian thugs are waylaying teenagers and old age pensioners to send to the front (I wonder if they are being paid by the head as in times past). The Russians have destroyed thousands of Ukrainian combat vehicles, including hundreds of tanks. If the West can scrape up a few dozen to a hundred more they will only add to the wreckage. The West cannot even provide enough ammunition to keep Ukraine supplied. There is no NATO force available anywhere near the theater that can make any difference in the conflict except to prolong it slightly. Ukraine is all but done. A couple of thousand Polish corpses have already returned home from the fight. There is rising opposition to a war with Russia in Poland. The Poles are not, all jokes aside, stupid. They (the people that is) increasingly see what the West is and want nothing to do with being sacrificed for the increased wealth of the Western oligarchs. Aside from some psychopathic mercenaries, even Croatia seems to have come to its senses. There is nothing that the West can do to win this war, especially considering the increasing dissolution of its societies (the U.S. military is now chronically short of its recruitment goals) and the increasing resolve of its opponents. Everyone expects the war to be won or lost by the immediate conquest of territory. This, no doubt, will come, but not before the Ukrainian ability to continue to fight is almost completely degraded, perhaps soon. Why should the Russians try to hold territory that is difficult to defend when they can simply occupy the defenses already built by the Ukrainians and pick them off as they throw themselves at the artillery. Nuclear war is not a win for anyone. Russia seems to understand this. I only hope that the West is too drug addled to find the keys to unlock the button.

    The West is the demented chipmunk with Russia waving its arms, warning that being crushed by a hobnailed boot is a large price to pay for a handful of Ukrainian chernozem-grown birdseed.

  3. Joe Porreca says:

    Calls for oversight of what we are sending to Ukraine have been defeated in the past. I hope, with only moderate optimism, that somebody in the new Congress can make this a prominent issue, and force opponents of oversight to explain exactly what good reason there could be for their opposition to knowing how our money is being spent and where our equipment is going.

  4. Becky Calcutt says:

    Mr. Strenk’s observation is dead on target. This whole affair is nothing more than an attempted looting operation by the Wall Street/bank gangsters.
    Sadly, the people in the the borderland (Ukraine) are paying one hell of price for nothing in return. It may be that the Uko-Nazis can mount one last offensive with the fourteen antiquated tanks that were so graciously bequeathed to them by the Brits. The monied powers will, perhaps, have to send in the American rainbowed high-healed battalion to save the day!

    Jeff Calcutt