Ukraine has somehow lost ground in its counter-offensive. The NYTimes buries it under a false headline, but Russia has actually gained territory (a net 188 miles²) since January 1st. Given that attackers usually take higher casualties, hideous amounts of Ukrainians have died for less than nothing.
All of this carnage is incomprehensible unless you follow the cash. As Caitlin Johnston writes, American officials openly boast about what a good ‘investment’ Ukraine is for them. As the craven columnist David Ignatius writes, “for the United States and its NATO allies, these 18 months of war have been a strategic windfall, at relatively low cost (other than for the Ukrainians).” Ignatius, of course, supported the Iraq war saying, “The decision by George W. Bush and Tony Blair to defy global opinion and invade Iraq was a hasanna — a good deed. Perhaps it will bring the United States a reward in greater security, perhaps not. But it was a virtuous act that freed a desperate people from a tyrannical regime.” Now he’s dropped the virtue signalling and simply supports the US doing what it wants, with Ukrainian suffering in parentheses.
The American military-media-industrial complex is just saying the quiet parts out loud now. As the Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said, “We haven’t lost a single American in this war… Most of the money that we spend related to Ukraine is actually spent in the US, replenishing weapons, more modern weapons. So it’s actually employing people here and improving our own military for what may lie ahead.” And bear in mind, this is a war started by the Democrats. America is a one-party state when it comes to war.
The only difference is that Democrats seem to believe their own bullshit. Hence you get Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal saying the same thing as his ostensible opponent. He said, “Even Americans who have no particular interest in freedom and independence in democracies worldwide, should be satisfied that we’re getting our money’s worth on our Ukraine investment.” America’s corrupt leadership openly uses the language of business, while trusting all the marketing bullshit about ‘freedom’ and ‘independence’ to cover it up.
Today the Wall Street Journal just matter-of-factly says, “The War in Ukraine Is Also a Giant Arms Fair.” This war is advertising for arms dealers, and the WSJ profits from carrying it. As some corrupted British soldier/consultant said in that article, “Successful operation allows manufacturers to write ‘proven in combat,’ which helps sales.” As I said in the beginning, you can safely ignore the territorial gains, which are going backwards. Just follow the blood money. That shows you what’s happening.
This is the great innovation of American Empire. They have figured out that there’s more money in losing wars. American oligarchs have figured out how to loot their own treasury, make the world less secure, and make a killing doing it. America has run this con in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc, and faced no consequences. The same politicians keep getting elected, the same arms dealers cycle in and out of government office, the same columnists keep inciting the violence. As much as they fail, they can only fail upwards.
Even the places where America/NATO ‘win’ end up completely ruined (ie, Libya), making any victory literally Pyrrhic. It doesn’t make any sense unless you look at the dollars. Forever wars mean a forever orders for arms dealers. It means forever programming for the western media. And it even means forever funding for NGOs and think tanks, to bemoan the last war while getting into the next one. America is completely corrupted by cannon-makers and cannon-marketers and the entire world is just cannon fodder. Ukraine is just the latest country shoved down the barrel and blasted out. As Henry Kissinger said in a moment of rare honesty, “It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.” If you’re asking what Ukraine should have done in this situation, it’s more what was done to them. They should have maintained peace with their Russian neighbors and own citizens, but they unfortunately got couped and corrupted by the Americans, for whom this is just another deadly ‘investment’.
How many Americans even know that Ukraine is losing this proxy war? How many know how much that country is losing? Ukraine is being absolutely wrecked and poor conscripts are being thrown against prepared defenses as helpless infantry. Because arms dealers don’t want to see their tanks burning, and no one reports on the actual casualties. All Americans see is marketing. The simple fact that Ukraine is actually losing ground is obscured by the very publication that publishes it. You can see the loss clearly in the numbers, but the headline is “Who’s Gaining Ground in Ukraine? This Year, No One.” This of course just isn’t true, but who’s reading? Who’s thinking? At this point, the Ukraine counter-offensive offends only the human conscience. Ukrainian people are getting slaughtered to put on a show in the cable-TV Colosseum, and if you’re still cheering at this point, it’s sickening.