Thursday, April 13, 2023

Zombie War: Plan B for Ukraine

Zombie War: Plan B for Ukraine

Jim Kavanagh

© xbrchx / Adobe Stock

 Something’s Gotta Give

Voices on all sides—U.S., Ukraine, Russia—assure us that a major break in the military situation in Ukraine is imminent. Even as the Russian forces (RF) advance steadily in the area of Bakhmut and Avdivka, the Ukraine army (UA) is said to be poised for a last-ditch major offensive, driving toward Crimea on the southern front, which it must launch and must win.

It’s impossible to know what’s true and what’s feint about all this, and one can never be certain of the outcome once armies start blowing each other up, but I feel comfortable saying that: 1) There will be a Ukrainian offensive. The Ukrainians will throw everything they have into it and will make immediate territorial advances. 2) It is very unlikely that Ukraine will advance far enough to seriously threaten to re-take Crimea, and impossible that it will drive Russia to capitulate. 3) It is likely that the UA will exhaust itself, that enormous, irreplaceable, quantities of its manpower and materiel will be destroyed, and that the massive Russian force that has been held back until now will begin its own offensive that will be able to advance at will. It will be evident and undeniable that there is no longer any military impediment to the RF moving as far west in Ukraine as it wants.

I understand that surprises can come from many directions—incompetence of key commanders, political pressure from citizens in various countries, immediate NATO intervention, etc.—but I think it’s important to address the predicament that last outcome—a decisive military defeat of Ukraine—will create. That outcome will be an urgent crisis for the US/NATO/Kiev, requiring immediate decision and action. It’s also the outcome they expect and fear, and for which they are already considering their choices.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Arresting Development: The ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin is A Weapon of War

 Arresting Development: The ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin is A Weapon of War

 Jim Kavanagh

Ann Telnaes/The Washington Post

The accumulation of ludicrous moves by the United States and its pawns over the past few months has reached a stage that would be risible if it were not so dangerous. The danger is exacerbated by the insistence of American media on, first, ignoring the most provocative and reckless moves, then proposing explanations for them that can't withstand three minutes of critical thought. The object is to keep the American public ignorant, make it stupid, and maintain the national-security state’s prerogative to do anything it wants.


High on the list, of course, is the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline and the various attempts to divert attention away from the obvious culprit. The US and its poodles’ initial story—that Russia blew up its own pipeline—was put forward under the correct assumption that compliant media would report it as implied fact and then forget about it.


Seymour Hersh's detailed and plausible account of a Biden-ordered sabotage operation, combined with the public statements of Biden and other administration officials announcing their intention to destroy the pipeline and celebrating its destruction, made it necessary to say something seemingly apposite. The result—a tale of five guys and a gal (fans of Ukraine but totally freelance) in a sailing yacht, which happened to appear in U.S. and German newspapers right after a hurried meeting between Biden and Scholz—elevates the diversion(ary discourse) from the ridiculous to the comic.


Garland Nixon suggests that this story—which I doubt a single sentient adult in the world believes—must have been concocted by deep-state dissidents and masters of irony, who wanted to undermine the Biden administration and the media by having them tell it. I can’t—and as a fan of irony, don’t want to—rule that out. But I tend to see it more like Dan Ackroyd’s classic, precognizant, SNL spoof ad for the three-bladed razor: “Because you’ll believe anything.” The tragedy is that Western—certainly U.S.—media do pretend to believe it, search engine algorithms will be adjusted to promote it, and the U.S. government, ostensibly non-governmental Western media, and impartial international organizations will refuse to investigate it. You are meant to believe it, whether anyone thinks it’s true or not.


But the epitome of delusional and dangerous gestures was reached with the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.

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