Caitlin Johnstone: This Proxy War Has No Exit Strategy

A committee of the Democratic Socialists of America’s statement urging a negotiated peace settlement is coming under the usual attacks for being Kremlin propaganda. That shows the shrunken spectrum of debate over this conflict

During an April 24 trip to Kiev, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, in suit, greets an official as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, second from left in foreground, looks on. (DoD)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

The International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America has released a statement opposing the U.S. government’s ongoing proxy war in Ukraine, saying the billions being funneled into the military-industrial complex “at a time when ordinary Americans are struggling to pay for housing, groceries, and fuel” is “a slap in the face for working people.”

The statement advocates a negotiated settlement for peace, saying that continuing to pour weapons into the country will “needlessly prolong the war, resulting in more civilian deaths” and that it “risks escalating and widening the war — up to and including nuclear war.”

In response to this entirely reasonable and moderate position, the DSA is currently being raked over the coals with accusations of Kremlin loyalty and facilitation of murder and bloodshed by blue-check-marked narrative managers on Twitter. This is because the only acceptable positions for anyone of significant influence to have about this war range from supporting continuing current proxy warfare operations to initiating a direct hot war between NATO and Russia.

That’s how narrow the permissible spectrum of debate has been shrunk regarding this conflict: status quo hawkish to omnicidal hawkish. Anything outside that spectrum gets framed as radical extremism.

As Noam Chomsky said:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

This spectrum of debate has been shrunk on the one hand by imperial spinmeisters continually hammering home the message that any support for de-escalation and diplomatic solutions is “appeasement” and indicative of Russian sympathies, and on the other by hawkish pundits and politicians pushing for the most freakishly aggressive responses to this war possible.

By forbidding the spectrum of acceptable debate to move toward peace while shoving it as hard as possible in the direction of warmongering extremism, imperial narrative managers have successfully created an Overton window wherein the only debate permitted is over how directly and forcefully Russia should be confronted, with calls for peace now falling far outside that window.

Which is a problem, because both direct NATO hot war with Russia and continuing along the empire’s current course of action in Ukraine are stupid. Direct conflict between nuclear powers likely means a very fast and very radioactive third world war, and the status-quo proxy warfare approach isn’t stopping Russia as more and more territory is taken in the east in cool defiance of Western claims that Ukraine is bravely vanquishing its evil invaders.

Biden administration officials have told the press that they doubt Ukraine will even be able to reclaim the territory it has lost already.

Unless and until something significant changes, Ukraine has no apparent path to victory in this war anytime soon.

In short, there is no exit strategy to this proxy war. There are no plans in place to deliver Russian President Vladimir Putin a swift defeat and the Biden administration remains steadfastly dismissive of even the slightest gestures toward diplomacy with Moscow.

Before he announced he was stepping down, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had reportedly been buzzing around admonishing Ukraine’s President Volodymyr ZelenskyFrance’s President Emmanuel Macron and who knows who else not to work toward peace in Ukraine. The doors to ending this war quickly by either winning it or negotiating a peace settlement are both bolted shut, all but guaranteeing a long and bloody slog.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky walking around the center of Kiev on April 9. (President of Ukraine)

Which as it turns out suits Washington just fine. Biden administration officials have stated that the goal is to use the Ukraine war to “weaken” Russia, and the U.S. already has an established pattern of working to draw Moscow into costly military quagmires as we saw in both Afghanistan and Syria.

Continuing to pour weapons and military intelligence into Ukraine while working to cut Russia off from the world stands no chance of ending the war in a timely manner, but it does stand a pretty good chance of bleeding and weakening Moscow.

And since this is the course of action that has been taken by the empire, we can only assume that this is its desired outcome: not victory, not peace, but a long and grueling war.

One of the major recurring criticisms of the Iraq invasion was that U.S. President George W. Bush rushed into it without an exit strategy, without a plan for ending the war once it had been started. This proxy war with Russia not only lacks a strategy for ending the war, it apparently only has strategies for not ending the war. No exit strategy is the strategy.

Whenever you point out the insanity of this approach, you’ll get useful idiots of the empire objecting that by criticizing U.S. proxy warfare and supporting a negotiated settlement you are guilty of “appeasement” and exactly the same as Neville Chamberlain, because the only argument empire apologists ever have is to compare every U.S.-targeted government to Nazi Germany.

According to these propaganda-addled empire automatons, having the story of not compromising with Putin and not committing the sin of “appeasement” is worth sacrificing everyone in the entire nation of Ukraine. They will happily throw every Ukrainian life into the gears of this war while they sit safe at home eating Funyuns and tweeting, just so they can have that “we didn’t compromise with Putin” story hanging on their mental mantlepiece.

How many more lives are such people prepared to feed into an unwinnable war which the West knowingly provoked? How many more of other people’s children are they prepared to sacrifice? How long does the bloodshed need to drag on before their “no appeasement” story loses value to them? How long until people wake up from their propaganda-induced comas and realize we’ve been manipulated into supporting a proxy war which benefits ordinary people in no real way, and in fact impoverishes us and threatens our very lives?

There is no morally consistent argument for continuing this proxy war in the way it has been going. If you actually value life and peace, the only way out is through negotiation and compromise. I point this out not because I believe it will happen, but to hopefully help a few more people open their eyes to the fact that we are being deceived.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

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

37 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: This Proxy War Has No Exit Strategy

  1. July 19, 2022 at 10:33

    No exit being the strategy is consistent with the fact that we have been at war continuously since 2001 and almost continuously since 1941.

    1984 has arrived. War is contrived to maintain control over the population. Stop a war here and create a war there so there is no break in continuity. The narrative is controlled to eliminate dissent. Surveillance systems watch our every move and listen to our every word. Unchecked police forces, armed to the teeth, now serve the roles of enforcers, juries, judges and executioners all in one. In the meantime, the Sheriff of Nottingham is happily robbing the poor and giving to the rich who control government. The only thing missing is “Big Brother”.

  2. C. Kent
    July 18, 2022 at 13:23

    There is plenty to approve of in the US no-exit strategy, given a proper perspective on history and a mind cleared of the accumulated rubbish of mindless US exceptionalism and MSM jingoism and cold US Wall St financial calculation.

    The Russians are leading the way in doing the US the greatest favor since France sold us Louisiana. When it comes to the death of US Ivy League & think tank led exceptionalism, one can only hope this decline comes on fast & achieves rock bottom. As Jalaluddin Rumi taught; “Many demolitions are actually renovations.” While it’s not the American way as of yet, given the current state of leadership in the US across the spectrum, a person with historical training can understand the value of an old fashioned fill-up-the cemeteries purge.

    We NEED the US defense industrial establishment to be knocked over backward on it’s heels and the defense budget halved. We NEED the delusional “freedom & democracy” hegemonic vision that infests our State Department to be proved wrong. We NEED public unrest in favor of spending at home & against the Investor Class war & nation building projects. We NEED MSM Deep State pawns to be broken and replaced by independent information sources.

    None of these needs were going to be met given US business as usual in an environment of career professionals cashing in on the status quo. I’d like to be the first to offer my heartfelt thanks to Russia for getting this ball rolling, and invite the Chinese, Indians, Africa, and the rest to jump on the anti-US side of the seesaw.

    • July 18, 2022 at 21:23

      Nice post. Can UK abject poodlism to the Washington consensus also be obliterated in this revolutionary process, not to leave EU cretinism out. Let the whole be swallowed up in the alt-polar assertion (may its manifestation also encourage the more progressive forces within its borders).

  3. July 18, 2022 at 12:13

    Even the attempt to use the civil war in Syria as a means to weaken and isolate Russia is a failure, as the Assad government isn’t going anywhere any time soon and the so-called “moderate rebels” are all but finished. The only parts of Syria not under the government’s control are held by the illegal occupying powers of the United States and Israel, and it’ll be sooner than either cares to think that they find their forces finally, permanently pushed out.

  4. Jeff Harrison
    July 18, 2022 at 11:54

    As Marshall Auerback said, the Ukraine will be NATOs Waterloo.

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    July 18, 2022 at 11:03

    Anything that doesn’t suit the West/USA is Russian propaganda. How much more lying are we forced to endure?

  6. Guillaume Dohmen
    July 18, 2022 at 11:02

    What is strange is that the present war is encouraged by those European countries that did not fight much or helped Nazi Germany and some often persecuted or executed minorities during WW2. A lot of these countries did not come out of WW2 with a clean slate.

  7. J Anthony
    July 18, 2022 at 07:18

    This is sickening beyond words, any fool that supports the perpetual warfare are deluded beyond words, and render themselves enemies to humanity and all life in-general. how can we stop it? Mass general strikes? Mass rebellion, disobedience, dissent? What will it take for we little people to collectively rise up against the war machine? These endless proxy wars are at the root of nearly every environmental, sociological, political and economic problem we face.

  8. JonnyJames
    July 17, 2022 at 14:23

    Exactly. We are only allowed to talk about what the oligarchy wants us to. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists? No we don’t need no stinkin’ science, the Masters of the Universe create “reality”.

    The Unified Hegemonic Narrative means the only foreign policy discussion allowed is how much MORE should be spent on war, destruction and weapons. The threat of provoking (wittingly or not) a full-scale nuclear war is almost never mentioned. If so, it is quickly dismissed as hyperbole. (No facts allowed)

    Back during Cold War 1.0 if you questioned US policy, you were branded a “pinko” “commie”, “Bolshie” Kremlin stooge, communist sympathizer, “anti-American” a traitor etc.

    Now during Cold War 2.0, the pervasive perception management and censorship is even worse. They have taken the you are “with us or against us” war mentality to a new level. The mass media/internet/social media oligopoly virtually dictates discourse. “They tell you what to believe and what to think” as George Carlin said years ago. The censorship is more flagrant now, and the persecution of journalists open for the world to see (even though we are told not to see it). Full Spectrum Surveillance by the security/surveillance complex is not allowed for discussion either.

    If you dare ask the wrong questions, no serious discussion will come of it. Instead, as Caitlin outlines, you will be bombarded with ad hominem smears, childish insults and other diversions. “Doth they protest too much?”

    If one is not sufficiently fervent and zealous during the Two Minutes Hate, one is smeared and ostracized.

    Narrative management and circumscription applies to economics, and politics in general. In economics, one must espouse mainstream neoclassical/neoliberal economic theory, or one is attacked and insulted. In US politics, we are only allowed to choose between Pepsi or Coke. D or R, blue team or red team – between two flavors of right-wing authoritarians.

    Only emotionally-manipulative social issues are allowed in public discourse. no discussion about hard-core issues like foreign policy, finance, economic history and theory, monopoly price-gouging, corruption, institutional criminality are allowed.

    So, instead of McPropagnda junk info, we support outlets like CN. As Carlin would say if he were still alive “f@#ck ’em” they aint gonna tell me what to believe.

  9. ray Peterson
    July 17, 2022 at 13:58

    “No morally consistent argument” because there’s no morality in America’s
    power elite and our military state corporate media isn’t about to negotiate
    Putin’s reasonable security demands as “there’s no profit in peace” (C. Sorensen,
    Understanding the War Industry).
    Chomsky’s description of fake debate sounds like the UK courts fake justice
    silencing Assange.

  10. John R
    July 17, 2022 at 13:24

    One of the most depressing things for me about reading informative and beyond the official narratives offered at CN, like this one by Caitlin, is that so few fellow Americans are also reading them.

    • July 18, 2022 at 14:53

      The point of US imperial power domestically is to insulate foreign policy, among other things, from public opinion anyway. Retired Col Doug Macgregor has made the point that the military elite in the US are very much focussed on extending the status quo of US global domination and subversion of threats – Russia and China being foremost – however dangerous that aggressive process would be. They have moved on from small poorer developing countries to nuclear powers, under a Democrat Party administration. Biden was picked by the Democrat Party bureaucracy precisely because he has no political, intellectual or moral content. He is the ultimate hollow man. Ukraine is primarily a cannon fodder factory in this process. These are psychopaths who make calculations in Washington, and have this blowhard attitude that there is no limit to the expression of US global domination. They are delusional psychopaths.

  11. LeoSun
    July 17, 2022 at 13:09

    “Follow the bees if you wish to eat honey;” NOT, “a committee of the Democratic Socialists of America.”

    The DSA has no shame. The Democratic Socialists of America were unmasked, years ago, as the fraudulent, manipulative, deceptive, destructive, wing of the DNC. 90,0000 Democrat Corporatists preying on “The Public.” Posing as Socialists. Masquerading as “democratic,” delivered Biden-Harris in the Selection Election 2020. The worst is yet to be. Word is, The DSA’s Corporatists’ Democrats Agenda, “a Peace Plan,” is D.O.A.; and, the “Good” is their 2020 Science Fiction Project, “The Nightmare on Main Street, Biden-Harris,” is coming to an end; BUT, their WARS, rage on.

    Outta the gate, The Democrats’ jackass (horse) bolted. Totally on board “The No Brakes. No Reverse. “Go Fund Me” Train. Destination, Ukraine!!! US/NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine.

    “The FIGHT For SOCIALISM is incompatible with SUPPORT for US imperialism; AND, the DSA is NOT a socialist organization.

    – Like the viciously pro-war Green parties in Europe, its social base is a section of the affluent upper-middle class which forms a key social constituency for imperialist war against Russia.
    – The political actions of the DSA’s elected officials reflect its class character.
    – In mid-May the DSA’s ENTIRE congressional slate (including Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Omar; AND, Bernie Sanders) VOTED FOR for the Biden administration’s $40 BILLION Ukraine Military AID Bill.”

    Ukraine is the Pawn. Russia rocks the Queen. Et tu, DSA a “Peace Plan?” Ain’t gonna fly…..

    Imo, the best practice: “STAY 6 feet to a lifetime AWAY from the “International, National, State, Local” Democratic Socialists’ of America, Social War Agenda.”

    • anon y'mouse
      July 18, 2022 at 13:16

      right, if anything they are playing their assigned role in this dance: “those crazy Hard Leftists–look at what they want to do. APPEASE Russia!”

      same thing as Bernie and his sparklepony “bros”. AOC and her step-sleeping “fight the power” fist raising, etc.

      and pseudo leftists eat it up with a spoon. to their doom.

  12. Robert Emmett
    July 17, 2022 at 11:44

    No Exit. How appropriate in the theater of endless oblivion.

    How long before people realize that they’ve been had & that they’re among the intended victims of perpetual war? How long does it take to undo cognitive dissonance?

    Who’s to say that this exercise in narrowing the Overton window or forbidding a full spectrum of acceptable debate isn’t the whole point, an exercise, if you will, to work out the kinks & up the ante for future gambits?

    If you consider the questions C.J. raises, you might also be willing to consider that there are ways to see that maybe the u.S. didn’t lose the Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq “wars” in the ways we so frequently hear about but instead successfully laid down tracks & smoothed runways to carry-on with endless war, with total discretion, zero culpability or accountability & over-the-top funding.

  13. Nika
    July 17, 2022 at 11:42

    Not only Ukraine, but the whole of Europe is becoming a consumable. The USA wants to remove Europe as an economic rival. Europe serves America’s interests to its own detriment, and the longer the war goes on, the weaker Europe will become. Ukraine does not interest America at all. Russia, Europe and China are its goals. Recently, Biden said that America is now in a better position to become the head of the world. And this requires a long-term war, and certainly on foreign territory.

  14. Geraldo
    July 17, 2022 at 11:19

    ah, but what do the Americans always do? Throw their allies’ under the bus, in this instance leaving the British to lead from behind at which they will fail, slinking away ignominiously when they think no one is looking. Really a lot depends on how much of ‘Ukraine’ remains after the Russians have finished but aside from the obsessed Russophobic UK, the Poles and maybe the Balts, everyone else will be glad to see the back of this conflict which has so humiliated NATO and so crushed the European economy.

    • Jeano
      July 17, 2022 at 18:50

      Totally! This war is not weakening Russia, it’s weakening the Neoliberal consensus that has dominated the West since Clinton. Moreover, what C.J. The Great is describing here is a deliberately created quagmire in Ukraine and there is a lot of money to be made and a lot of military promotions to be won in a quagmire. Remember Viet Nam? Well, probably most of you don’t, but I was 20-30 during that thing and we asked the same rational heartfelt questions of our leaders as CK asks in this article. And we never got an answer. Except maybe McNamara, whining away about how he just HAD to….
      I personally believe that this not-war will end with Europe’s neoliberal agenda in shambles, as they come to loathe us more and more, that NATO will be invited to leave many countries (good riddance to bad rubbish) and that Russia and China will get closer and stronger with China’s Belt and Road initiative being seen as the way to peace in the world. Of course the corporations will continue to run the US and no yuppie will give a damn as long as their market shares continue to pay them (blood soaked) dividends.

  15. July 17, 2022 at 09:56

    We have not won a war since WWII, save Grenada and Panama, perhaps. But we have accomplished something, the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands and countries left to rise from the ashes. For those who benefit from out ghoulish adventures, it is a victory. You can bet the same class of plunderers see a benefit to continuing this war, and another “defeat” is something to throw down the memory hole. One can hope for their demise but understand it well be our own, as well..

    • Piotr Berman
      July 18, 2022 at 16:19

      In Afghanistan and Iraq, USA and collective West won the war and lost the peace. People who are old enough remember the pre-war promises: democracy, prosperity, clean government and all such. Well, none such but we taught the locals how to torture. Eventually, locals split into bitterly opposing camps: those who loathe USA and those who detest.

      In the generations between Marshall Plan and 21 century, the knowledge and ability how to promote democracy functional enough to promote prosperity, however relative, was lost. At home we have slow and steady de-industralization, converting swaths of the countryside and some cities to slums, and a heavy dollop of corruption. Still, with pre-existing institutions the process was gradual, but when you fill tabula rasa that was Afghanistan (from the point of view of state institutions and economy) or turn upside down a more complex society like Iraq to fill with your content, the results were instantly abysmal.

      In Ukraine the order is reversed, flood the country with corrupt and hapless advisers to weaken the economy that was not robust to begin with, and foment the war next.

      I would be more optimistic about the exit strategy. One can always evacuate and freeze all the accounts of Ukraine for the sin of loosing. Been there, done that.

  16. Alex Nosal
    July 17, 2022 at 09:46

    Caitlin Johnstone’s clarity is unparalleled in contemporary society. I gave up mainstream media a long time ago as it was evident that the MSM only exists to push false narratives of the corporate Empire. My primary political concern, which I feel should be of concern to anyone who values peace, is to extinguish corporate influence from all levels of government permanently. Though the vast majority of Americans are quite aware that their government does not represent the 99%, the “Great Awakening” has not yet occurred. The Great Awakening will be that point in time when the majority of Americans understand that by voting for either of the two corporate party’s, ensures the end of the human species this century.
    Though most Americans like to think that they’re savvy enough to recognize that they’re being lied to by our officials and media all the time, they still have no idea of who exactly is behind our collective meltdown nor do they know how to replace it. The mere fact that so many American still buy into the “Democrats versus the Republicans narrative”, means that we can only expect more of the same in the coming years. The Democratic Socialists of America are an example of a party that stands for peace, democracy and the end of corporate controlled government, yet the DS of A are nothing more than a ‘fly on the wall’ in our political discourse.
    Outlawing debate outside of the current Overton window has had the effect of dumbing down the public rather than energizing support for democratic reforms. Generations of an endless disinformation campaign by corporate America through their tightly controlled media outlets has achieved its intended aim; to create a class of disinterested citizens that despise government and have simply given up on the idea of becoming politically active. The few that do decide to get more involved the governing of their country, tend to make the initial mistake of aligning themselves with one of the two corrupt Party’s thereby guaranteeing that real change can never be achieved.
    If Americans cannot establish a political party that is a clear and present threat to the corporate party’s domination of the country, we will drag the entire planet down with us and therefore my advice to anyone who is concerned about human survival, to devote more of their time and energy in finding and supporting a Party that understands this most basic principle to lead us away from racing towards the sixth mass extinction event.

    • J Anthony
      July 18, 2022 at 07:31

      You’re exactly right. I’ve been hoping and longing over many years for some kind of genuine citizens’ alliance to take shape here, but it’s not happening. I personally wish I could do more to help make this happen, but like most of us I am caught up in and consumed by my day-to-day survival, which by design drains my time and energy to the point where being more politically active is a luxury I can’t afford. But we can’t afford NOT to be. That’s where we’re at. I see it happening soon, that people will eventually have no choice but to get involved else all will be lost. This is the sinking feeling I believe most of us are living with, an instinctive awareness that we are slowly unraveling as a society, but the average citizen hasn’t a clue what to do about it, and thus tunes out almost completely. No one wants to live their every waking moment in existential dread, so a form of passive-acceptance and futility kicks in, and different people deal with it in different ways. It’s like being in limbo.

  17. Dfnslblty
    July 17, 2022 at 09:38

    Until your last sentence.
    I believe that you do indeed believe peace will happen; your intention of “opening eyes” can only be done with a belief in the basic goodness of informed citizens.
    Keep writing.

  18. July 17, 2022 at 09:30

    When will the western world realize that it has been led down the garden path by a pathetic actor like Zelensky and the Ukrainian Nazis?
    They are laughing at the stupidity of the West as our leaders lead us into chaos and destroying our economies. In fact I believe that these politicians of the west got together before 2021 and made this diabolical plan to destroy Russia and then divide up Russia for their own personal agendas. They were salivating at the prospects of the land of Russia in their back pockets. There was no thought to all the Russians being slaughtered in the Donbass. Like who cares, they are just Russians.

  19. Henry Smith
    July 17, 2022 at 09:11

    The actions of the west with regard to this ‘war’ would be hilariously funny – if it wasn’t so sick and obscene.
    Facts: Ukraine has lost the war, it was never going to win the war, Russia will prevail.
    In the long run, Russia will not be weakened, the actions of the west are actually strengthening Russia by providing independence from the western cartel. The bonus for the free world is that the west is being terminally weakened, the world is changing and there will be no return to the dollar hegemony and the three letter facilitator organisations.
    Many, many innocent Ukrainians will die as a direct result of USA/NATO policy and the Ukraine will be a shadow of what it was and what it could have been.
    No western politician will face any repercussions, whatsoever, for this state sanctioned genocide of the Ukraine. But ‘we’ will all suffer the blowback for years to come.
    The punchline for this sick joke is that the USA/NATO want to repeat this approach with China – and they’ll expect a different outcome !!

    • ksenia
      July 17, 2022 at 21:48

      In the wise words of Morgan Freeman, “People have to pretend you’re a bad person so they don’t feel guilty about the things they did to you.”

      • Mark J Oetting
        July 18, 2022 at 10:48

        Wouldn’t put to much stock in what Morgan Freeman has to say. He bought lock stock an barrel into the Russia gate fiction and called Russia out greatest threat and enemy

  20. Humwawa
    July 17, 2022 at 08:36

    “Whenever you point out the insanity of this approach, you’ll get useful idiots of the empire objecting that by criticizing U.S. proxy warfare and supporting a negotiated settlement you are guilty of “appeasement” and exactly the same as Neville Chamberlain, because the only argument empire apologists ever have is to compare every U.S.-targeted government to Nazi Germany.”

    Ironically, there never was any “appeasement”. The British just wanted to use the Nazis to fight the Bolshevists. As a maritime empire they needed a continental ally to fight a continental war. As it turned out, Hitler wasn’t compliant enough. So they ended up allying with the Bolshevists to fight the Nazis instead.

    The Russians, on the other, did for the last 30 years practice appeasement towards the West. They swallowed successive Nato expansions, the bombing of Serbia, the forward positioning of US missile systems, the unilateral cancellation of the ABM and INF treaties, the color revolutions and many other Western provocations. Ukraine was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • Ian Robert Stevenson
      July 18, 2022 at 05:58

      “as a British historian, this is over simplified . ‘”The British” had a range of views. Many in the growing Labour party, and even some Liberals, were fairly well disposed to Russia. Most of the establishment saw them as a threat to their way of life. The real story is below.
      Chamberlain was a social reformer, even though he was a Conservative. He did not want to divert money into armaments . The Labour party even less so. Britains had suffered 750,000 dead in WW1 -not as many as France or Germany, but there was a strong feeling of never again.
      It was felt that once in power the wild talk of Hitler would shown to be rhetoric. There was some sympathy with his claims that ethnic Germans wanted to be part of the Reich. Chamberlain and the French thought some concessions such as recognising the take over of Austria and separating the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia would satisfy him. He returned home to a hero’s welcome as he secured peace. But the conference was in the Oct. and in the following March, Hitler annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain then introduced conscription and , with the French gave guarantees to Poland for their western border. When Hitler staged the attack on Poland 1st Sept 1939, Chamberlain sent his famous ultimatum and , when there was no reply, went to war. The prospect of victory was very remote but he did it anyway.
      The USSR’s leadership should have been aware that the purging of the Red Army generals has left it with only the incompetent left in charge. They did recognise their economic weakness and did their best to appease Hitler with the supplies he requested. They also annexed the east of Poland 3 weeks after war broke out. It had been part of the old empire.
      Ukraine was still recovering from the millions of deaths caused by Stalin’s collectivisation program. That caused many of the Ukrainians to welcome the Nazi invasion but their treatment of the people turned their opinion. The memory of the famine is still a potent factor in the politics of the region.

  21. Doug
    July 17, 2022 at 05:37

    Can we adopt the term ‘ending life on earth’ when contemplating a nuclear war
    There is no such thing as Nuclear War, someone will press the button and that’s it, we are all toast
    Now who advocates that as a solution

  22. alley cat
    July 17, 2022 at 04:38

    “Continuing to pour weapons and military intelligence into Ukraine while working to cut Russia off from the world stands no chance of ending the war in a timely manner, but it does stand a pretty good chance of bleeding and weakening Moscow.”

    Another great post by Caitlin.

    For whatever it’s worth, I would rewrite the above paragraph to read as follows:

    Continuing to pour weapons and military intelligence into Ukraine while working to cut Russia off from the world stands little chance of preventing Russia from achieving its goals in Ukraine, but it does stand a pretty good chance of bleeding and weakening Washington and its European satraps.

  23. Carolyn Zaremba
    July 17, 2022 at 04:33

    The DSA are not socialists. They are essentially supporters of the Democratic Party. That fact must be acknowledged. The DSA members of Congress ALL voted for billions for the Ukrainian war. Do not be deceived by their rhetoric.

  24. Realist
    July 17, 2022 at 00:33

    The US worked so hard to create this war, the neocons in charge are not about to end it any time soon. They are proud of their deadly handiwork. They mindlessly loathe Russia and especially Vladimir Putin because he dragged Russia out of the economic quagmire where Boris Yeltsin left the country after selling it out to Western vulture capitalists. These hypocrites who charge Russia with meddling in the politics of America basically bought the presidency for Yeltsin and Boris gave them the keys to the safe. Because Putin succeeded in bringing real reform to Russia of a sort that America actually needs, these American interlopers mean to foment regime change in Russia, take out Putin, fragment the country and take over all of its valuable resources in the name of “democracy and freedom” but really for the sake of hegemony and private profit.

    The American masterminds of this proxy war against Russia in which they engage at every possible level except sending in American troops, have opposed every suggestion that might shorten the conflict because, as their Secretary of Defense actually admitted, their purpose is not to see the people of the region, and certainly not their Ukrainian “allies” benefit in any way (they have no democracy or freedom of speech, they have actual Nazis in control), it is to make Russia bleed to the point of eliciting an internal revolt against the Putin government. In essence, they want to do exactly everything that they speciously accused Russia and Donald Trump of conspiring to do against the United States (which was investigated by Mueller under Congressional mandate and found to be based on partisan lies). The difference is that Russia had no such plans and Trump had no such competence. In short, the present American government is nothing short of a pack of war criminals that deserve prosecution and punishment, not success and certainly no success in collaboration with a cold, calculating warmongering traitor such as Volodymyr Zelensky whose act should be clearly transparent to anyone who cares to view the situation with an objective mind. He’s a grifter plain and simple, just like Clueless Joe’s own son Hunter who has shamelessly exploited Ukraine and other countries in the name of accumulating the almighty dollar in his personal coffers.

    So, there is NO chance of terminating this war with relatively few more casualties. Absolutely massive casualties are baked into the cake with the present cast of American characters and Zelensky in charge of things in Ukraine. Best case scenario long term is that the whole of Eastern and Central Europe are turned into a new buffer zone with ongoing warfare and beyond which neither side can penetrate and occupy the other’s strongholds of Mother Russia or Western Europe (the original Nato states). A bloody battle on this turf can last at least until mid-century if both sides avoid attacking the other’s home turf, and particularly refrain from using nuclear weapons. It will essentially become a frozen conflict but on much harsher terms than the first cold war. Countries like Poland, Ukraine and the Baltics will rue the day that they egged American on to attack their historical enemies in Russia. The worst case scenario is that one side, the other, or both launch a nuclear first strike against their counterparts who then play out the scenario of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which metastasizes and ends, not just European culture, not just Western civilisation but all of the human species and the entire biosphere according to an entirely predictable cascade of events.

    The only way to avoid either of these scenarios is for the American voters to reject the agenda of the neocon warmongers and vote out both the psychopathic and murderous Republican and Democratic parties from all political power, in both the legislative and executive branches, and replace them all–every insane murderous congressman and senator in the legislature and the presidency–with peace candidates. But how likely is that when the Deep State, including the nation’s vast factories of death, the Military Industrial Complex (which is also the chief financial beneficiary of all this warfare and killing) and all the powerful and covert intel agencies like the CIA and NSA are still in complete control by actually de-facto owning nearly all our elected officials. They own them by underwriting all their campaign expenses (above board, how much under the table is never divulged), attacking their opponents with slander and false narratives, plus gifting them nearly unlimited investment opportunities, in essence taking unknown paupers in the form of newly minted legislators and processing them into multi-millionaires by the time they retire or lose an election as long as they follow orders and vote correctly. They control the military in the same fashion, with top generals receiving lucrative employment perks after retirement for adhering to a warmongering foreign policy during their active service. Theoretically we are a free people with the ability to perform great works of justice and altruism, in practicality we are slaves to graft and corruption by elite insiders which has brought continuous warfare, death and destruction, especially to millions of “no count” foreign people.

  25. July 17, 2022 at 00:25

    I signed DSA’s petition to Congress.


  26. neighbor nick
    July 17, 2022 at 00:11

    Thank you Caitlin. Great article, as always.
    Got me to thinking about how powerful international players in the fossil fuel industry
    and weapons manufacturing (all, profiting from conflict) might direct such a play.

  27. Bart Hansen
    July 16, 2022 at 21:19

    Great photo at the top: Behind Blinken are two Ukies shaking hands with the American they were told will get them the 777s.

  28. Cynic
    July 16, 2022 at 21:10

    “We serve only War here! It comes with a generous serving of Grandstanding, Suffering and Inflation, sprinkled with delicious Woke! Choices? Of course you have a choice, we are The Democracy after all! Would you like your War served Hot or Cold?” – said the American political servers while giving a side wink to the owners of the military industrial complexes.

    And the American public continued to be fed on this diet day after day, year after year.. Till they are fattened enough for slaughter.

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