It began when the Biden regime and the press misrepresented Russian aims in Ukraine. All else has flowed from it.

U.S. President Joe Biden after delivering remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Feb. 24. (White House, Adam Schultz)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

What were the policy cliques, “the intelligence community” and the press that serves both going to do when the kind of war in Ukraine they talked incessantly about turned out to be imaginary, a Marvel Comics of a conflict with little grounding in reality? I have wondered about this since the Russian intervention began on Feb. 24. I knew the answer would be interesting when finally we had one.

Now we have one. Taking the government-supervised New York Times as a guide, the result is a variant of what we saw as the Russiagate fiasco came unglued: Those who manufacture orthodoxies as well as consent are slithering out the side door.

I could tell you I don’t intend to single out the Times in this wild chicanery, except that I do. The once-but-no-longer newspaper of record continues to be singularly wicked in its deceits and deceptions as it imposes the official but imaginary version of the war on unsuspecting readers.

As Consortium News’s properly suspecting readers will recall, Vladimir Putin was clear when he told the world Russia’s intentions as it began its intervention. These were two: Russian forces went into Ukraine to “demilitarize and de–Nazify” it, a pair of limited, defined objectives.

An astute reader of these commentaries pointed out in a recent comment thread that the Russian president had once again proven, whatever else one may think of him, a focused statesman with an excellent grasp of history. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Allied Control Council declared its postwar purpose in Germany as “the four D’s.”  These were de–Nazification, demilitarization, democratization and decentralization.

Let’s give David Thompson, who brought this historical reference to my attention, a deserved byline here:

“Putin’s reiteration of the de–Nazification and demilitarization principles established from the Potsdam Conference is not just some quaint tip of the hat to history. He was laying down a marker to the United States and the United Kingdom that the agreement reached at Potsdam in 1945 is still relevant and valid ….”

The Russian president, whose entire argument with the West is that a just and stable order in Europe must serve the security interests of all sides, was simply restating objectives the trans–Atlantic alliance had once signed on to accomplish. In other words, he was pointing out said alliance’s gross hypocrisy as it arms the ideological descendants of German Nazis.

From left, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Soviet leader Josef Stalin during the Potsdam Conference, 1945. (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons)

I dwell on this matter because the imaginary war began with the Biden regime’s and the press’s quite irresponsible misrepresentations of the Russian Federation’s aims in Ukraine. All else has flowed from it.

You remember: Russian forces were going to “conquer” the whole of the nation, wipe out the Kiev regime, install a puppet government and then drive on to Poland, the Baltic states, Transnistria and the rest of Moldova, and who could imagine what after that. De–Nazification, we can now read, is a phony Kremlin dodge. 

Next Edition

Having lied outright on this score, the next edition of the comic went onto the market. Russia is failing to achieve its imaginary objectives. Low morale, desertions, poorly trained troops with not enough to eat, logistical failures, lousy artillery, inadequate ordnance, incompetent officers: The Russians were riding for a fall on Ukrainian soil.  

The corollary here was the heroism, courage and battlefield grit of Ukrainian troops, least of all, the Azov Battalion, who were not any longer neo–Nazis.  Never mind the Times, The Guardian, the BBC and various other mainstream publications and broadcasters had earlier told us about these ideological fanatics. That was then, this is now.

The problem at this point was there were no battlefield successes to report. The defeats, indeed, had begun. In May, roughly when the Azov Battalion, heroic and democratic as it is, was forced to surrender in Mariupol, it was time for — this just had to be — Russian atrocities.

We had the theater and the maternity hospital in Mariupol, we had the infamous slaughter in Bucha, the Kiev suburb; various others have followed. Just what happened in these cases has never been established by credible, disinterested investigators; plentiful evidence that Ukrainian forces bear responsibility is dismissed out of hand. But who needs investigations and evidence when the brutal, criminal, indiscriminately ruthless Rrrrusssians, must be culpable if the imaginary war is to proceed?

My unchallenged favorites in this line come courtesy of CNN, which went long this spring on allegations — Ukrainian allegations, of course — that Russian soldiers were raping young girls and young boys right down to months-old infants. Three such specimens are here, here and here.  

The network abruptly dropped this line of inquiry after the senior Ukrainian official disseminating these allegations was removed from office because the charges are fabrications. A wise move on CNN’s part, I think: Propaganda does not have to be very subtle, as history shows, but it does have its limits. 

Just after the atrocities narrative had ripened, the Russians-are-stealing-Ukrainian-grain theme began. The BBC offered an especially wonderful account of this. Look at this video and text presentation and tell me it isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, as many holes in it as my Irish grandma’s lace curtains.

But at this point, problems. Russian forces, with their desertions, antiquated guns, and dumb generals, were taking one city after another in eastern Ukraine. These were not — the fly in the ointment — imaginary victories.

Out with the war-is-going-well theme and in with the brutal Russians’ indiscriminate use of artillery. This was a “primitive strategy,” the Times wanted us to know. In the awfulness of war, you simply don’t shell an enemy position as a preliminary to taking it. Medieval.

The New York Times building. (Thomas Hawk, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Lately, there’s another problem for the conjurors of imaginary war. This is the death toll. The U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission reported May 10 that the casualty count to date was in excess of 3,380 civilian fatalities, bumped up in June to 4,509, and 3,680 civilians injured. (And both sides shoot and kill in a war.)

Goddamn it, they exclaimed on Eighth Avenue.  That is nowhere near enough in the imaginary war. Desperate for a gruesomely high death toll, the Times, on June 18, published “Death in Ukraine: A Special Report.” What a read. There is nothing in it other than innuendo and weightless surmise. But the imaginary war must grind on.

The Times’s “special report”— dum-da-da-dum — rests on phrases such as “witness testimony and other evidence” and “the thousands believed killed.” The evidence, to be noted, derives almost entirely from Ukrainian officials — as does an inordinate amount of what the Times publishes. 

There is a great quotation:  “People are killed indiscriminately or suddenly or without rhyme or reason.” Wow. Is this damning or what?

But another problem. This observation comes from one Richard Kohn, who is emeritus at the University of North Carolina. I hope the professor is having a good summer down in Chapel Hill.

In late June, Sievierodonetsk fell — or rose, depending on your point of view — and in short order so did Lysychansk and the whole of Luhansk province. Now come the ’fessing up stories, here and there. The Ukrainian forces are so discombobulated they are shooting one another, we read. They can’t operate their radios and — an artful back flip here — they are running out of food and ammunition and morale. Untrained soldiers who signed up to patrol their neighborhoods are deserting the front lines.  


(raw pixel, CCO)

There are the holdouts. The Times reported last week that the Ukrainians, done for in Luhansk, are planning a counteroffensive in the south to reclaim lost territory. We all need our dreams, I suppose.

To the surprise of many, Patrick Lang, the ordinarily astute observer of military matters, published “Unable to even fix its own tanks, Russia’s humiliation is now complete” on his Turcopolier last Friday. The retired colonel predicts the Russians are in for “a sudden reversal of fortunes.” No, I’m not holding my breath.

Have you had enough of the imaginary war? I have. I read this junk daily as a professional obligation. Some of it I find amusing, but in the main it sickens when I think of what the American press has done to itself and to its readers.

For the record, it is hard to tell exactly what occurs on Ukraine’s tragic fields of war. As noted previously in this space, we have very little coverage from professional, properly disinterested correspondents. But I offer here my surmise, and it is nothing more.

This war has proceeded, more or less inexorably, in one direction: In the real war, the Ukrainians have been on a slow march to defeat from the first. They are too corrupt, too mesmerized by their fanatical Russophobia to organize an effective force or even to see straight.

This is not a grinding war of attrition, as we are supposed to think. It has proceeded slowly because Russian forces appear to be taking care to limit casualties — their own and among Ukrainian civilians. I put more faith in the U.N.’s numbers than in that silly, nothing-in-it “special report” the Times just published.

I do not know why Russian forces approached the outskirts of Kiev from the north early in the conflict and then withdrew, but there is no indication they intended to take the capital. There were battles, but they were certainly not “beaten back.” That is sheer nonsense.

I await proper investigations — admittedly unlikely — of the atrocities that have certainly occurred but without, so far, any conclusive indication of culpability.

Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, remarked recently Russia’s objective remains to take most of Ukraine. In a speech at the end of June in Ashgabat, the Turkmenistan capital, Putin appeared notably at ease and asserted, “Everything is going according to plan. Nothing has changed.” The objective, he said, remained “to liberate Donbass, to protect these people, and to create conditions that would guarantee the safety of Russia itself. That’s it.”

Putting these two statements side by side, there is vastly more evidence supporting Putin’s than there is for Haines.

Intentionally or otherwise — and I often have the impression the Times does not grasp the implications of what it publishes — the paper put out a story Sunday headlined, “Ukraine and the Contest of Global Stamina.” The outcome of this conflict, it reported, now depends on “whether the United States and its allies can maintain their military, political and financial commitments to holding off Russia.”

Can they possibly not understand down on Eighth Avenue that they have just described Ukraine as a basket-case client? Do they know they have just announced that the imaginary war they have waged these past four and some months is ending in defeat, given there is no one in Ukraine to win it?

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

52 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Imaginary War

  1. delia ruhe
    July 15, 2022 at 16:48

    “I do not know why Russian forces approached the outskirts of Kiev from the north early in the conflict and then withdrew, but there is no indication they intended to take the capital.”

    The capital city is where Ukrainian troops expected to find Russian troops because that’s where invasion forces begin, since they need to capture and occupy the capital and break the chain of command causing confusion among the troops. But, as Scott Ritter intimated, that was a ruse: for while the Ukrainian troops were preoccupied with Russian troops at Kiev, many more Russian troops were entering Mariupol, where they ultimately “de-Nazified” the city by decimating the Azov battalion, which was using the city as its headquarters.

    Secondly, with Russian bombers presumably awaiting orders to start trashing Kiev’s infrastructure, especially—as per “demilitarization”—those areas of the city dedicated to military command-and-control, Russian troops on the ground created and guarded a corridor so that civilians in the densely populated city could flee, heading north for the border as safely and efficiently as possible.

  2. Alan Ross
    July 15, 2022 at 09:37

    It is very satisfying that Patrick Lawrence puts the blame where it belongs, on the NY Times. They have been the largest spreader of lies in the world for many, many years. But they would normally do it via half-truths to preserve credibility among so many people without either sufficient access or desire to find out the truth. It is upsetting that the NY Times now thinks they can tell unalloyed lie after lie about what caused the situation in the Ukraine and what is happening there now. I hope that journalist after journalist tells the truth about how so many Americans have been misinformed for years by the NY Times.

  3. Libero Andreotti
    July 15, 2022 at 04:39

    Thank you, thank you for this eloquent take-down! This is political journalism of the highest order!

  4. Bill Helmer
    July 14, 2022 at 20:47

    The issue of the war in Ukraine is being debated on the Left. I suggest listening to KPFA’s Morning Show with Philip Maldari on Sunday, July 10, 2022. It is an informed perspective on the war in Ukraine from the Left perspective of guest Bill Fletcher:

  5. Tobysgirl
    July 14, 2022 at 16:46

    I have found on-the-ground sources such as Patrick Lancaster’s videos, the Dutch journalist and various Americans in the Donbass on Covert Action Magazine, the Donbass Insider, etc. There is information available, but when one feels the necessity of reading the NYT and WaPo it probably doesn’t leave a lot of time for roaming the web and finding people who are actually there and not boozing it up in a hotel in some capital city or other.

    • Dienne
      July 15, 2022 at 11:07

      It’s not just a matter of not being able to find information. Most people refuse to look at information directly presented to them if it doesn’t conform to the narrative they already believe because that’s what NYT and WaPo tell them. Even if you show people articles from CN and other independent sources, they will automatically tell you those are “Russian disinformation” without reading word one. They can’t refute a single fact presented, but they just know it’s Putin’s propaganda.

      • Azraelo Keller
        July 16, 2022 at 17:53

        I can refute every “fact” presented by russian MoD, I’ve read their bullshit briefings. Even have “luck” to live near a place in Vinnitsa where they had “found” and “officers meeting”

  6. Caliman
    July 14, 2022 at 14:43

    A beautifully written article including the coda:

    “Can they possibly not understand down on Eighth Avenue that they have just described Ukraine as a basket-case client? Do they know they have just announced that the imaginary war they have waged these past four and some months is ending in defeat, given there is no one in Ukraine to win it?”

    The thing is though, if one considers that the point is running a racket to transfer money and power to the people who matter, and that whatever “facts” are needed will be assembled and reshuffled by the agents of empire like the Times as needed to obfuscate in support of the racket, then you realize that the Ukraine caper has already been a great hit:

    – Tens of billions $ immediate additional funds for the MI masters
    – Re-upping public support for the NATO dinosaur, the biggest excuse for the trillion $ war budget
    – Closing off Europe from its natural trading partner Russia (and long term perhaps even China?) and forcing Europe to buy much more expensive American goods
    – Reduction of Europe as a global economic competitor with the US
    – etc.

    A great and famous victory!

    • irina
      July 16, 2022 at 14:27

      Not to mention the fracked gas (aka methane disaster) which the US will be shipping to the newly constructed LNG ports
      in western Europe, at the expense of our own fuel needs and contaminated water tables (among other things), when
      Eastern European natural gas is readily available at better prices. Environmentally, this is the worst of all possible outcomes.

  7. John Zelnicker
    July 14, 2022 at 14:42

    Thank you for such a perceptive analysis, Mr. Lawrence.

    Your characterization of the imaginary war being waged by the Washington Consensus is revelatory. I have to wonder if Jake Sullivan, Anthony Blinken, Avril Haines, and the others even know about the Potsdam Conference, much less what it was about and the fact that it is still valid.

    Dick Cheney said that when we (the US) act we create our own reality. Not working so well this time, IMNSHO.

  8. Frank Lambert
    July 14, 2022 at 13:42

    More excellent commentary by Mr. Patrick Lawrence on the false narratives of MSM, aka big corporate media, by using, in Paul Craig Roberts words, the “presstitutes” for writing these articles or spouting the same propaganda on television “news” programs.

    Aside from the imploding and imploding Unites States and the vassal nations of Europe, where news censorship is now acceptable,and a violation of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, the public is kept in the dark, intentionally, as part of the New World Order or Great Reset for global conquest or Full Spectrum Dominance, or whatever term one chooses to use.

    My Best to you, Mr.Lawrence & to Mr. Lauria and the Staff of Consortium News and to the writers of articles which CN posts on this website, for their courage and integrity by informing us readers who are not duped by the propaganda machine, be it the NY Times or any other publication or TV program and are eager to learn the “truth of the matter” on current events.


  9. LeoSun
    July 14, 2022 at 12:25

    “This IS what happens when Con$umers order a President (Biden-Harris) through the U.S. Mail.”

    Questions abound…”WHAT ends first, US/NATO war in Ukraine; OR, the Biden-Harris presidency?”

    WHEN did Joey “Dementia Addled, Truth Challenged” Biden, yell “Go, Nukes!” from his bargain basement’s “imaginary” Campaign HQ’s for POTUS? DID he “promise” to risk a nuclear war w/Russia &/or China?

    What we know is that Biden-Harris & their Party of War, Democrats & Republicans, have played the central role in preparing a NATO war against Russia, for over more than a decade. “In fact, we started our assistance to Ukraine before this war began, as they started to do exercises along the Ukrainian border — the Russians — starting in March of last year,” 2021. (POTUS, March 16, 2022)

    POTUS’ “GOT” history, i.e., “JOE BIDEN, as a leading Senate voice on foreign policy, as vice president tasked by Obama with running Ukraine policy; and, NOW as president, is deeply implicated in this long-running operation.”

    “The American people are answering President Zelenskyy’s call for more help, more weapons for Ukraine to defend itself, more tools to fight Russian aggression.  And that’s what we’re doing.”

    $1 BILLION!!! “That brings the total of new U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to $1 BILLION!!! JUST THIS WEEK.” (Wednesday, March 16, 2022) “These are the lar- — these are, DIRECT TRANSFERS, direct transfers of equipment from our Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military to help them as they fight against this invasion.”

    POTUS does the yap’n. Congress does the clap’n, “AND, I THANK THE CONGRESS for appropriating these funds.” Joe Robinette Biden (March 16, 2022)

    • Jorge E Macias Jaramillo
      July 16, 2022 at 07:32

      Esta guerra ficticia con sus falsas noticias traen por un lado más de lo mismo a los siempre buenos EU. Y los siempre malos adversarios. 2. Como todas las guerras de E U. Una nueva y jugosa guerra que dejará muy endeudada Ucrania que pagará con sus recursos minerales y su preciado litio hasta esta fecha 500,000 toneladas. 3.El negociado de enviar armas desde las fábricas en E U. Vía OTAN que irán sin control al mercado negro de armas para surtir a los mercenarios, neonazi et. Estos ya armados se refugiaron en África donde será difícil localizarlos, apresarlos. Allí esperarán órdenes de sus. Amos para reiniciar actividades de terror, asesinatos y desestabilizar a los Gobiernos que EU. Les indique y el cómics continuará.

  10. Valerie
    July 14, 2022 at 12:15

    I love the satire in this piece. Thankyou Mr. Lawrence for the much needed laughs.

    • July 14, 2022 at 15:54

      Most welcome, Val. It’s either laugh or the other thing.
      My thanks to all of those commenting. I learn from these remarks each column, as I did from David Thompson’s on Potsdam.

        July 16, 2022 at 04:46

        H/T for the byline, Patrick. I was confident you’d see it, and appreciate the credit. Kinda rare, that.


        July 16, 2022 at 05:07

        On the “de-Nazification”, recall ‘La Maison Rouge’ in 1944 (yes, before the war had ended)?

        From 2005 – hxxps://

        Time to Rid America
        Of the ‘Dulles Complex

        And, just yesterday, from a damn fine practitioner, formerly of the University of Sydney, Aus (I’m in Melbourne);


        You put those 2 together, and you have the essence of why Putin decided on the SMO.

  11. Charles Carroll, U.S. Navy Retired
    July 14, 2022 at 12:09

    Amen and thanks to all the commentaries!

  12. July 14, 2022 at 12:04

    Re: “I do not know why Russian forces approached the outskirts of Kiev from the north early in the conflict and then withdrew, but there is no indication they intended to take the capital.”

    Scott Ritter (USMC and trained in military strategy and tactics) said that the Russians did this to “shape the battlefield”, i.e. divert Ukrainian defense forces from the eastern lands they were really interested in.

  13. Jeff Harrison
    July 14, 2022 at 11:33

    In reality, all countries lie when it comes to the progress of a war. Your assessment based on territory controlled is one that does tend to cut through the crap. I did ask the question at the outset, what happens when the Russians reach their objective and stop? I think Haines could be forgiven for a lack of comprehension when confronted with a country that actually does what it says it will do, unlike his employer who never saw a war aim that couldn’t be expanded however disastrously. It appears to me that the answer is to go back to doing what they were doing before, shelling their own people only now with new and improved weaponry provided by our friends in the EU and MIC. The only good thing that I can think of here is that the US appears to be giving the Ukraine intelligence information. If it is as good as most of the rest of the intelligence we’ve had in Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and elsewhere, the Ukrainians would do well to be cautious.

  14. Tom Dionne-Carroll
    July 14, 2022 at 11:17

    Very impressive summation of the state of affairs in the country that used to be called Ukraine-Pres Putin also stated that Ukraine was being fashioned as an anti-Russia and it is intolerable that an enemy is being constructed on your border by the US & Western Europe
    the only solution is the breakup of Ukraine- Kharkov to Odessa will rejoin Russia at some point or this is the beginning of an attack on Russia itself -in any case Ukraine like Austria -Hungarian Empire will not exist in it;s present form

  15. July 14, 2022 at 11:05

    Back in the days when Katherine Graham ran the Washington Post, the mantra was that no article would be published without verification by at least two independent sources and preferably more. Sadly those days are long gone and mainstream media will now report any gossip they hear from any source without blinking an eye.

    I never cease to wonder why anyone subscribes to the New York Times after all the lies that led the American people to support an illegal, immoral, unjustified invasion of Iraq. That should have been sufficient to financially destroy the Times, but sadly it continues on.

  16. forceOfHabit
    July 14, 2022 at 11:01

    Well written. But I think maybe you could do another piece on how the West declared financial war on Russia in retaliation for the invasion of the Ukraine. The grandiose self-delusion, the mindless propaganda in that war is just as egregious. And, sadly for those of us in the West (especially Europe), the outcome is definitely not looking good for us. (Not to mention the collateral damage, especially in food security, to non-aligned nations around the globe.)

  17. Humwawa
    July 14, 2022 at 10:45

    Ukraine is losing the war on the battlefield and the West is losing the economic war because both believed in their own propaganda. That prevented them from taking the correct decisions based on a rational analysis of the facts.

    If you still think that our leaders know what they are doing, you are in for a shock. The Iraq war has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that our leaders don’t know what they are doing. They haven’t got a clue. At least during the Iraq war, dissension was still possible because Germany and France openly opposed the war. Today, dissension is no longer permitted.

    • Newton Finn
      July 14, 2022 at 11:35

      J dissent right here by seconding your perceptive comment. The SMO in Ukraine is not only about East vs. West, multi-polarity vs. American hegemony, but is also the decisive battle between virtual reality (appearance, image, spin, propaganda, etc.) and actual reality involving actions and consequences. The West thought it could defeat a resurrected superpower, engaged in a military conflict, with fiat money and manipulative media. But try as you might, you can’t “cancel” brute facts.

      • Tobysgirl
        July 14, 2022 at 16:32

        Very well stated. We are so lost in our fantasies that we are incredibly vulnerable to manipulation. But reality, however much one denies it, will always win out.

  18. Rob Roy
    July 14, 2022 at 10:40

    Well done, once again, Mr. Lawrence. Thank you for this clarity. The reason President Putin wanted to “de-nazify” the Donba region was that (because of Obama, Biden, Clinton and Nuland) the Nazi Azov Battalion murder nearly 14000 Russian speakers there in the past eight years following the Maidan coup in 2014 by those named Americans. The invasion was the result of USA foreign policy which, as Putin says, “never changes.”

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    July 14, 2022 at 10:34

    Am I the only one so damn tired of all these machinations? All these lies? All this double talk? Utter lack of integrity? Hypocrisy? With all the different scandals coming to light, our ‘respected leaders’ are falling like dominoes…and good riddance to all of them. Better the devil we know? Too many devils…

    • July 14, 2022 at 11:10

      No, you are not the only one but sadly, too many Americans have drunk the kool-aid and are obsessed with their own amusements and self indulgences to care.

    • Valerie
      July 14, 2022 at 13:05

      You are not alone Ms. Gottlieb. But it seems there is only a small minority who question the rhetoric of the MSM. And voting doesn’t work very well. We still end up with idiots as leaders.

  20. Bart Hansen
    July 14, 2022 at 10:33

    What most irks me about the Times is how much of their Ukraine coverage is presented in one long stack of articles at the end of which one finds that comments are never allowed. No way to call BS on Sanger and crew of liars, misinformers and sinners by omission.

  21. July 14, 2022 at 10:15

    The sad reality is that the “Western” press has always been full of male bovine excrement. So while nefarious and terrible for us all, this latest chapter is nothing new.

  22. Detroit Dan
    July 14, 2022 at 10:11

    Yes! This captures what I have been thinking and feeling. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

  23. Newton Finn
    July 14, 2022 at 09:27

    Down the pipe. May the trickle of truth in the West become a gush of a flush, and the stinking American status quo go down the toilet. Yeah, this American is scared but even more sick of the crap that’s accumulated in his government over the past 50 years.

  24. Christopher M Carafino
    July 14, 2022 at 02:09

    Excellently described for us. Would you do a piece on how Gates, Bill is buying all the farm land to strangle American food source and bring upon Americans a new crisis of food scarcity and price increase? Or perhaps, how this war has now pushed Russia and Iran into each others arms with China covering their backs? How Russia will begin to look the other way in Syria as weapons flow more into the arms of Hezbollah? How a confrontation with Russia and Israel is a possibility because of the turn in events with the West. How, IF Arabia does not provide Biden with what he claims to need, the war hawks in the Pentagon may begin to look the other way and pump up the Houthis with weapons from Iran. What a tangle web they have weaved.

  25. firstpersoninfinite
    July 13, 2022 at 23:52

    Patrick Lawrence: “The Emperor has no clothes!” The New York Times: “The Emperor’s clothes are the only fashion line to be had this year. Everyone not wearing them is naked.” Great take on reality, Mr. Lawrence, as usual. The “newspaper of record” has only “all the news that’s fit to slant.” One wonders what their editors hope to achieve besides survival in a propaganda hell.

  26. Vincent ANDERSON
    July 13, 2022 at 23:35

    Great summary, Patrick ol’ chap. There are a few reliable sources I follow regularly.

    Brian Berletic, near-daily updates on UKR and generally worldwide CIA/NED misdeeds. This link should show a long list.

    Alexander Mercouris, ditto: today, esp. at 50 ff. RE Jake Sullivan et al on ‘Iranian drones’. He also credits many foreign sources, as something of a polyglot.

    Mercouris also co-hosts The Duran, but explains at start of above program that ‘it’ is at least temporarily on youtube hold, due to something that co-host Alex Christoforou supposedly said a year and a half ago. This was their last installment.

    I add one DIShonorable mention, Ian Bremmer. Also host of weekly PBS ‘GZero World,’ he pretends to be an objective commentator but is basically a worldwide investor. Here;s the drift.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  27. JGarbo
    July 13, 2022 at 23:05

    The “stalled advance” on Kiev was a feint to hold UAF troops back from joining the real assault in the east. It was “advertised” – lines of tanks, trucks, noisy radio comms – to fool the Ukies and their CIA bosses. Worked. Of course the Nazis then murdered any hungry citizen who accepted a Russian aid package.

    • Sobachka R.
      July 14, 2022 at 23:06

      The “feint” worked beautifully. Hundreds of Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers were destroyed trying to advance on Kiev, and many Russian soldiers perished, too. Ukrainian civilians died, many of them ethnic Russians. The brilliance of this military strategy is beyond doubt.

  28. Cesar Jeopardy
    July 13, 2022 at 22:48

    This is why I unsubscribed from the New York Times. Unlike Patrick, I don’t have a professional obligation to read the nonsense they print, nor do I have the time to be called “Boris” for suggesting that what is being printed is nonsense. This is why I subscribed to/unsubscribed from The Washington Post, all in one day. I couldn’t believe what was being printed and I found it astounding that readers believed every word of it. Same for other blogs like Yahoo, Daily Kos (who banned me for questioning their narrative wrt Ukraine), etc. What has happened to my country???? Well, to begin with, as Scott Ritter has said, the American people are the most ignorant people in the world.

    What will happen when the American people realize, if they ever do, that their government and the media fed them nothing but lies regarding Ukraine? I suspect nothing will happen because the American people will never come to that realization.

    • July 14, 2022 at 11:17

      I only read the Post for the comics. There is more real news in the comics than there is in the paper. Lacking comics, the Times has no real news.

    • C. Parker
      July 14, 2022 at 14:50

      What will the Americans do if they ever realize that their government and media fed them nothing but lies? The same damn thing they did when the American people (taxpayer), did when they learned we kidnapped and tortured some folks, that there were no WMD in Iraq, and Obama’s excuses used for protection of banks and Wall Street “let those who broke it fix it.” No one in government is ever punished. So, Americans wait for the next atrocity and believe more lies.

      Americans still call me a Russian bot, or Putin puppet. It seems they still buy into the Russia-gate hoax. It is all so exhausting.

      Scott Ritter is correct, Americans are ignorant and I believe they are so by choice.

      • Mark Stanley
        July 15, 2022 at 12:11

        I think it comes down to the psychology of denial.
        Example: I work with a lady that has a heart as big as a mountain, but she buys into everything orthodox society shovels at us: Trust in higher authority, Democrats, The Church, the USA, the military etc. When confronted with data illuminating the falsity of any of the above, she flips into a Disneyland mode, and with a goofy smile starts spitting out platitudes. It’s all about a little carefully maintained box of belief systems.
        I usually keep my mouth shut, but when she offered me a Girl Scout cookie yesterday and I refused, instead went into a rant about Jimmy Dore’s expose of that organization—the obnoxious salaries of the CEO (over 900K) and 30 other “employees” (well over 200K), all from the sale of cookies by unpaid girls and moms. A racket.
        She became Daisy Duck producing word salad. That bubble must not be popped—at all costs.
        The American people have a very carefully maintained bubble of denial.

    • Tobysgirl
      July 14, 2022 at 16:44

      One thing to remember is the very large percentage of people who are either illiterate or functionally illiterate. I always try to remember when I read books with a lot of detail / statistics / complexity, that many people would find the books very difficult to read. A second thing to remember is that quite a large percentage of NYT / WaPo readers ONLY READ THE HEADLINES, which are often contradicted by the story itself. One more trick of hoodwinking the papers apparently pride themselves on.

    • Heidi Walter
      July 15, 2022 at 02:19

      If Americans are the most ignorant people in the world, the Europeans are not far behind them. I’ve never seen such openly published lies distributed by the press and people are still falling for them. The press can only be impressed by cancelling the subscriptions because the have, as most everyone, vulnerable pockets. Once the money flow will stop, they may start to think. But this reporting is nothing new. John Swinton knew about it a long time ago.
      “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
      There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
      The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
      We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” -John Swinton (1830-1901) to a journalists’ gathering NYC, 12 April 1893
      The same goes for the Western Euopean press

  29. bobzz
    July 13, 2022 at 22:43

    The media are more than presstitutes; they are media-warriors.

  30. ricardo2000
    July 13, 2022 at 21:40

    William Casey (CIA Director 1981-1987): “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    The only thing White western media cloaca have learned is to lie to themselves and feel proud about it. These ‘people’ are still willing to believe whatever some Nazi politician states after all the US – NAYOYO lies told since WWII. The Guardian will never admit its complicity in war crimes, its support for Banderite Nazis, or change its arrogantly stupid opinions, as Solnit still thinks Azov provides lessons in moral courage.

    H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”… or the arrogant gullibility of so-called ‘media’.

    The US now, and always, makes allies of the most corrupt, violent collaborators. Recently, US trained military yahoos have committed 8 coups in West Africa. Of course, military coups are cheaper than honestly negotiating Oil & Gas rights with responsible, democratically elected, popularly supported leadership. ‘Los Zetas’, Mexico’s worst narco gang were trained and armed by US ‘special forces’. Honduras, where democracy was recently restored after a US-OAS coup installed a president and family now facing decades in US prisons for drug trafficking. El Salvador, where ex-President Cristiani is facing murder charges for the executions of 6 Catholic priests, housekeeper, and her young daughter that advocated for negotiations and peace. NAYOYO welcomes military coups and death squads everywhere so long as it favours corporate greed and human rights violations terrify popular dissent. Only the most savage, racist, drug-dealing monsters are embraced as worthy NAYOYO allies because they have NO LOCAL support, and know their lives and future depend on following CIA instructions.

    Max Born (November 1960, Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientist): “Should the human race not be extinguished by nuclear war it will degenerate into a flock of stupid, dumb creatures under the tyranny of dictators who rule them with the help of [ignorant media liars] and electric computers. This is not a prophecy but a nightmare.”

  31. John Drewe
    July 13, 2022 at 21:40

    I think the original push to kyev was to draw the Ukrainian forces from their strong holds in the east making it easier to attack the eastern provinces

  32. Betsie Weil
    July 13, 2022 at 19:20

    I want to address one of the comments, below, as I have been listening to The Duran daily about this conflict.

    “I do not know why Russian forces approached the outskirts of Kiev from the north early in the conflict and then withdrew, but there is no indication they intended to take the capital. There were battles, but they were certainly not “beaten back.” That is sheer nonsense.”

    According to The Duran, surrounding Kiev was a “fixing” operation–in other words the Russian military wanted to prevent thousands of Ukrainian military from joining the battle in the Donbass area. So they froze many of them in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. The Russian military was outnumbered 3 to 1 in the beginning of the war–so all was carefully calculated.

    At present hundreds of the Ukrainian military are being killed and wounded daily. In this fraternal war, even President Putin stated that it was a tragedy. It becomes more obvious to the Ukrainians that in this U.S. proxy war against Russia, that the West is willing to fight on–now sacrificing older men, women, shopkeepers, etc.– down to the last Ukrainian.

    • July 14, 2022 at 11:21

      Sadly, the U.S. is willing to “fight on” with Ukrainian blood and will continue shipping them weapons until every last Ukrainian is dead.

    • Tom Dionne-Carroll
      July 14, 2022 at 11:30

      Excellent point-much the same seems to be occuring in the Sumy region with weekly attacks on Ukr forces-it should be noted that Russia has committed around 8% of it’s forces according to many experts-they rotate for R&R–Russian pilots & forces are now getting real time experience fighting against Nato weapons
      This war will end in Russian victory but it will be followed by more attacks on Russia-The US & it’s unfortunate allies are being continuously weakened by these adventures-i await the other shoe to drop in Latin America or West Asia

      • Kev
        July 16, 2022 at 11:56

        Yes, there is a lot going on and despite the American’s bloated military budget they might be stretched a bit thin with so many areas of the world standing up to USA domination.
        China has positioned itself with 80% of the renewable energy production and materials at this time when fossil fuels are being rejected due to global heating. China is also standing up to the USA navy incursions into the South China Seas – saying “we’re not going to take it anymore”.
        South America’s Pink Tide has surged forward with Columbia finally getting the socialist government of their choice as only the latest example.
        The sanctions on Russia have backfired to create economic chaos around the world (except, perhaps, in Russia?).

        I am probably missing some other example of where the American dominance is failing, but suffice to say their old ways of corrupt military spending and controlling the world with oil might not be working anymore.

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