It’s Showtime in Ukraine!

But victory is a cruel NATO fantasy, staged for, and promoted by, our war-loving corporate infotainment media

Let our bleeding proxy negotiate a settlement, NOW.

Since early January, the corporate media have been proving their loyalty and their usefulness to the US foreign policy establishment. With faultless show-business efficiency, they manufactured an international political superstar, at least in Europe and the English speaking world. Vladimir Zelensky appeared on media screens, seemingly everywhere, including a turn on the 2022 Grammy Awards extravaganza.

Sad but resolute Ukrainian refugees became fodder for a blend of news and entertainment that firmly established, in our hearts and minds, who were the Good Guys and who were the Evil Monsters.

And we were encouraged to see that, sooner or later, the Ukrainian Good Guys were going to prevail over the brutal Russian fiends.

But lately there have been some tiny cracks in the wall of totalitarian perception management. And now ….

It’s time. It’s time to recognize the reality. It’s time for our bleeding proxy-warrior Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, in good faith, before it loses everything.

Right off the bat, many readers will exclaim, “You can’t negotiate with Russia! The Russians are guilty of unprovoked and unjustified aggression.”

Unprovoked and unjustified. Like an ancient Greek theatrical chorus, the corporate media have repeated that line until, now, it’s stuck permanently in our synapses. An ear worm, like a catchy melody.

I’d ask those media-addled opponents of diplomacy to imagine, just for a moment, a hypothetical situation: First, make sure you have a complete grasp of the drama’s exposition, the entire, contrived, set of circumstances which the President of Russia was facing on February 24, 2022.

Remember that the clever script writers of the US foreign policy elite had employed their best calculated, cold-blooded cunning to devise 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 whether any American President, facing a comparable dramatic conflict, would have acted differently?

Or pretend, for a moment, that Winston Churchill, hero of numerous epic films, is, through the magic of your imagination, the President of the Russian Federation. Do you have any doubt that Churchill would have stoutly refused to bow down and appease the US/NATO leadership arrayed against him?

Azov Battalion fighters with Nazi flag (WikiCommons)

A second consideration, on the subject of Russia’s trustworthiness as a negotiating partner: The Western powers and their media mouthpieces have contemptuously dismissed Russia’s stated goal of de-Nazifying Ukraine. Western propaganda would have us believe that there is no serious neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist threat whatsoever in Ukraine.

To the contrary, a little research reveals that the threat is very real. I’m talking about ferocious, far-right fanatics, who are heavily armed, highly trained, strongly motivated and fiercely disciplined. Their electoral base is small, but that doesn’t matter. In the media-fiction of Ukrainian democracy, with oligarchs pulling many of the strings, the ability to mobilize real-life violence is a powerful tool.

And we should remember that the US and NATO have been deeply involved in arming and training these forces, since 2014, making them an even more formidable part of Ukraine’s governing power structure. This arming and training took place off-stage, to be played out for an audience only when the time was right — when Russian tanks crossed the Belarus-Ukraine border, and the well-rehearsed Ukrainian military was unleashed, causing awesome, real-world damage and death.

Not every Ukrainian soldier is a neo-Nazi or a hard-right ethnic cleanser. But I believe it’s fair to say that those elements are the spine of the Ukrainian military. Without them, I doubt that the media-touted under-dog’s esprit de corps would be nearly as robust.

Let’s do an exercise in make-believe. 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 that mob of actors was not lacking in motivation. Or raw talent. They clearly believed that their dramatic enactment was real. We in the audience were mesmerized and then relieved, when the play came to a sputtering end.

Now, picture the actors in that mob again. The Justice Department estimates their number to have been between 2,000 and 2,500. In your mind’s eye, 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. Enforce strict discipline. Motivate them with a continued sense of ethnic superiority.

This little exercise of the dramatist’s imagination, “based upon” our home-grown January 6, should give you some idea of the ultra-right’s strength and influence within the Ukraine power structure. ((From a report on hard right activity in Ukraine since 2014, from

… [C]urrent polling data indicates that the far right has no real chance of being elected in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in 2019. Similarly, despite the fact that several of these groups have real life combat experience, paramilitary structures, and even access to arms, they are not ready or able to challenge the state.
Extremist groups are, however, aggressively trying to impose their agenda on Ukrainian society, including by using force against those with opposite political and cultural views. They are a real physical threat to left-wing, feminist, liberal, and LGBT activists, human rights defenders, as well as ethnic and religious minorities.
In the last few months, extremist groups have become increasingly active. The most disturbing element of their recent show of force is that so far it has gone fully unpunished by the authorities. Their activities challenge the legitimacy of the state, undermine its democratic institutions, and discredit the country’s law enforcement agencies.

Freedom House is a non-profit, majority U.S. government funded organization in Washington, D.C., that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.))

The Russians are very serious about confronting Nazis and ethnic supremacists in that country which sits right on their border. In Vladimir Putin’s February 21st speech to the Russian people, he was not using Ukrainian neo-Nazis as a flimsy pretext in a cheap melodrama.

The people of Ukraine don’t need any more media spot-lighting. Their plight doesn’t need more daily dramatizing presented as “news.” Ukrainian civilians need a permanent cease-fire. So let 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 cliche applies: You never know until you try.

The real blockage to peace talks is a triumphalist and misguided NATO and its Godfather in Washington. The US and NATO are going for broke. They are demanding that Ukraine fight on, bleeding and dying, until the US, NATO and their proxy achieve a decisive victory over Russian forces.

Furthermore, if Zelensky and his foreign policy team decide to negotiate, before they lose even more territory, they risk the wrath of the neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalists who permeate their military and police forces. They will not survive without the Godfather’s protection.

(See this article in the Kyiv Post, about veteran Ukrainian Donbas fighters confronting Zelensky, warning him, in 2019, NOT to seek peace in the Donbas. This dramatic verbal clash occurred just after his landslide election victory, playing the rôle of “peace candidate.”)

It’s time. It’s time for President Biden to assume the rôle of statesman. His NATO minions cannot object if Biden tells the government and the people of Ukraine that more billions of dollars worth of weapons will not secure a final battlefield victory over the Russians. Ukraine’s railroads, which are the means of delivering those weapons to frontline fighters, have been severely damaged by Russian air and missile strikes. And the less effective means of transport, heavy trucks, face the obstacle of damaged roads and many destroyed bridges. And finally, as the war grinds on in the Donbas theatre, Ukraine will have fewer and fewer seasoned soldiers to operate the new, more complicated weapons.

Unless Biden steps in, Ukrainians face, at best, a long, bloody stalemate, which Russia is better prepared to endure. (So far, Russia’s leaders have not called for a nation-wide, general mobilization.) Total victory for Ukraine is a cruel pipe-dream.

Biden must come clean with Americans and Ukrainians. The two real geopolitical combatants in this war are Russia and the United States. Ukraine is the USA’s tragic, foolish proxy — our poorly prepared understudy. That’s not stage blood we’re seeing on MSNB-CNN. Ukrainians are bleeding and dying while Biden & Co. prolong the agony in a vicious quest to punish and weaken Russia.

That is no way to ensure future peace. Talk. Now.

Dave Clennon can be reached at: Read other articles by Dave.