PATRICK LAWRENCE: A War of Rhetoric & Reality

Washington put us all on notice when Zelensky got to town: It has no intention of seeking a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis and every intention of recommitting indefinitely to its ideological war.

U.S. Capitol. (U.S. National Archives, Public domain)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

Passing through Austin, Texas, the other night, we had drinks with a distinguished observer of global affairs and took the opportunity to ask how he thought the war in Ukraine would conclude. It is a common question these days. While no answer can be definitive, it is always interesting to discover what wise heads see out front.

“Either Russia prevails on its terms,” came the answer, “or there is a nuclear exchange.”

I do not think this stark assessment would have necessarily held up even a month ago. I may not have agreed with it, in any case. But the war has escalated markedly over the past week or two. And our Austin companion’s either/or prediction seems now to be the terrible truth of new circumstances.  

There are numerous indications that Russia is preparing to launch a major offensive in coming weeks or months. With Volodymyr Zelensky’s circus-like visit to Washington last week, the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress have drastically, recklessly increased their investment in the Ukrainian president’s regime — a good-money-after-bad judgment if ever there was one.

This now shakes out as a war between rhetoric and reality. And the former, a war waged with immense volumes of Western weaponry in defense of ideological bombast, is far more dangerous than the latter, a war waged on the ground with clearly defined objectives.  

As John Mearsheimer and Jack Matlock, two astute students of this conflict, have argued, neither side can afford to lose in Ukraine. But what is at stake for Russia and the West — Ukraine being the latter’s proxy — is very different.

A Russian defeat in Ukraine would be a direct threat to its security, sovereignty, and altogether its survival. These are legitimate causes. What people would not defend themselves against such a threat — especially given Washington’s long record of subterfuge in nations, not least the Russian Federation, that insist on their independence.

Near-Cosmic Confrontation

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the war in Ukraine on March 26 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. (White House, Adam Schultz)

The Biden administration’s rhetoric since the Ukraine crisis sharpened prior to the outbreak of hostilities in February has cast this conflict as a near-cosmic confrontation between liberalism and authoritarianism. I do not see that this is very different from Bush II’s biblical baloney about Gog and Magog as it prepared to invade Iraq, or Mike Pompeo’s unhinged end-times talk when he was whipping up war fever against Russia and China while serving as Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

This irresponsible rhetoric has painted every breathing, walking-around American into a corner from which the only escape is capitulation. That is why it is dangerous. Russia can win battles and wage extensive artillery and rocket campaigns and remain open to negotiation at any opportunity conditions present. Putin made this point clear once again on Sunday.

It is difficult to see, by contrast, how our addled president can find his way to talks given how he and the third-rate neoconservatives who control his foreign policies have cast this conflict. And it is too easy to imagine these people reaching for the nuclear buttons once their follies become evident.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on video-teleconference holiday call with soliders  deployed to an undisclosed location in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, Dec. 23. (DoD, Lisa Ferdinando)

Two conclusions are due at this point.

One, on the terms our Austin friend offered, we must hope Russia eventually prevails in Ukraine on its terms. This is the only available path to a stable, enduring global order once the guns go silent.

Two, I must return to my original assessment of Moscow’s “special military operation.” The Russian intervention was regrettable but necessary. Let us not forget the nomenclature here. This is a sovereign nation defending itself against an imperium that will not stop aggressing until it is forced to stop. Thirty years of ignoring Moscow’s repeated requests to negotiate a mutually beneficial post–Cold War security order are demonstration enough of this.

Braggadocio & the Battlefield

The braggadocio coming out of Kiev and Washington, always faithfully reproduced in corporate-owned media, seems to grow more preposterous in direct proportion to the diminishing prospects of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the AFU, on the ground. This war is going very badly for the Ukrainian side and its backers, never mind the pabulum you read in the major dailies. We read of battlefield victories that are not victories. We read that Russia is running out of matériel when there is no shred of evidence that this is so. As Alexander Mercouris noted in a podcast the other day, Kiev’s response to wave upon wave of punishing rocket and drone attacks amounts to fables to the effect that almost all the drones and rockets are shot down.

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At this point the hollow hyperbole begins to turn menacing. Zelensky recently announced that Kiev’s campaign to retake Crimea has begun. He subsequently struck the pose of a benign Great Man: Vladmir Putin’s life will be spared, he declared — presumably when Ukrainian forces take Moscow. The Russian president must be hugely relieved.

The orgy of rhetoric escalated to new heights when the Pentagon flew Zelensky to Washington to meet Biden in the Oval Office and address a joint session of Congress. Zelensky continued to carry on about his regime’s coming victory while comparing the AFU with American revolutionaries fighting the British and American GIs battling the Nazi Wehrmacht. He even tossed in a Putin-is–Hitler remark.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who appears these days to be as mentally diminished as Biden, compared Zelensky with Churchill and called his remarks to Congress, which his hosts evidently wrote for him, one of the greatest speeches ever delivered on Capitol Hill.

I do not think I have ever seen a state visit so thoroughly Hollywood-ized. But it is important to get beyond mere derision. This garish display was timed to ease passage of a defense authorization bill that provides Ukraine with $44 billion more in weaponry during the coming year.

Washington put us all on notice when Zelensky got to town: It has no intention to seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis and every intention to recommit indefinitely to its ideological war no matter how steadily Ukraine marches toward defeat. Biden, in this last connection, announced during his Oval Office encounter with Zelensky that the U.S. intends to ship a Patriot missile-defense battery to Ukraine. Cost: about $1 billion.

Meanwhile, in Moscow

Alexander Mercouris, a very close follower of events in and around Ukraine, recently listed the exceptional series of meetings Putin has held over the past couple of weeks with the entire, not to say sprawling military and national security establishment. In Moscow, the Russian leader met with all of his top military commanders and national security officials, often individually, before conferring with Sergei Surovikan, the general he put in charge of the Ukrainian operation earlier this year, at Surovikan’s headquarters inside the conflict zone.

Sergey Surovikin on Dec. 16. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Putin subsequently flew to Minsk with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for exchanges with the Belarus political and military leadership. Then it was onward to meet with the leaders of the two republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, that were incorporated via referenda into the Russian Federation last autumn.

It is impossible to avoid concluding that these back-to-back meetings, barely covered in the Western press, portend a new, near- or medium-term military initiative in Ukraine. As Mercouris put it, “Something very big is on the way.”

Among the most interesting encounters in all of this took place in Beijing last week, when Dmitry Medvedev, currently deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council and long close to Putin, had talks with Xi Jinping.

Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev at a press conference in Russia, Dec. 5, 2019. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The Chinese readout of the meeting was somewhat anodyne, but I hazard a confident guess that Medvedev, whatever else he had to say and whatever was in the letter from Putin he brought with him, briefed the Chinese president on Russia’s military planning.

Four days after the Medvedev–Xi encounter, the Chinese Defense Ministry issued a statement directly related to the Taiwan crisis but pointedly broad in its implications. It read in part:

“Facts have proved more than once that the U.S. is the direct threat to the international order and the culprit of the regional turbulence.” 

Let us not miss the import here. In my read, China has just signaled that it shares Russia’s assessment that its adversary in Ukraine is neither Ukraine nor the Ukrainian people; its adversary is the West as led by the American imperium. This is what getting the nomenclature right means. Name something correctly and understanding is bound to follow.

At some point in the not-distant future, the war of hollow rhetoric in behalf of imperial hubris will weaken and drift toward collapse. This degree of Surreal detachment from reality simply cannot be sustained indefinitely — not in the face of a new Russian initiative, whatever the form it turns out to take.

I am sure some or all of these following conclusions will come over bitterly among some readers, but here are mine. I do not want those waging war by rhetoric and display to win. I do not want the war waged by fanatical neoconservative ideologues to win. I do not want the imperium to win. I do not want the West to win so long as it insists intolerantly that the rest of the world observe its diktats.

Ukraine, as noted previously in this space, is the soil upon which these forces have chosen to wage their go-for-broke war not only against Russia, but also against the emergence of non–Western nations as influential powers in a new world order. To turn back these forces in Ukraine will be the most important victory and the most important defeat so far in our century, and very possibly for the rest of 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. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.  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.

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58 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: A War of Rhetoric & Reality

  1. LeoSun
    December 29, 2022 at 23:44

    Echoing “The Board’s” heartfelt sentiments, “PATRICK LAWRENCE, You ROCK!!!” Own it. Do it. Done!

    “Either Russia prevails on its terms,” came the answer, “or there is a nuclear exchange.”

    Yep! “Austin” called it! Outta the gate, “America is Back,” Funding another “FOREVER” War.

    February 24, 2022, “Many people were saying, “Vladimir Putin (RUSSIA) didn’t go into Ukraine to play NATO’s war game. VLADIMIR PUTIN (RUSSIA) went into Ukraine to change it.”

    Consequently, “We, the People,” imo, wholeheartedly, believe Joey “PATRIOT ACT” Biden “has set into motion military, economic, political and social processes that he cannot control and the outcome of which he cannot foresee.”

    For Biden and his War Chiefs, “it must be a deeply frustrating moment,” i.e., RUSSIA rocks The Queen. UKRAINE is The Pawn. Et tu, Biden-Harris?

    CN’s “Comments” Board is a plethora of sound advice!!! The Readership’s got this, US/NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine. A couple questions, imo, are f/KEY, for Biden-Harris, Quoting “robert e williamson jr:”

    “A thought for Biden & Co., has any of you yahoo’s there thought about the message in the above text from the Chinese Defense Ministry?

    – Quoting, ”FACTS have proved, more than once, that the U.S., is a direct threat to international order and the culprit of regional turbulence. ”

    “Seems to me that the Chinese Defense Ministry is making a most salient point with this comment. The truth hurts apparently. What dumb ass paints themselves and their country into such a suffocating corner?”

    TY, robert e williamson jr, Patrick Lawrence, CN, et al!!! “KEEP IT LIT.”

  2. peter mcloughlin
    December 29, 2022 at 06:26

    What is forgotten in the debate is that for half a century the nuclear powers avoided WW III, because they were able to – they had full control. That is no longer the case, reducing every day as the crisis moves towards nuclear war. Too little attention is paid to history, ignoring it has always had fatal consequences. It needs to be stated clearly, unequivocally: civilization is facing destruction.

  3. DisinfectantSunlight
    December 28, 2022 at 22:08

    Excellent summary of recent events.
    A few days ago I came to the same conclusion that Your Austin friend did regarding the fork in the road we are at.
    Either Russia wins or we are heading to Nuclear confrontation as the Russia’s doctrine calls for use of Nuclear weapons if their existence is threatened in the face of loss against NATO (This is not a war between Russia and Ukraine as we know)
    Let me take a wild guess that your Austin friend is the President of the University of Texas (not sure current or retired) and the last great Secretary of State of our once functional Government.

  4. Lois Gagnon
    December 28, 2022 at 18:45

    Thanks once again to Patrick Lawrence for an honest if disturbing analysis of our current circumstances. Washington is truly in the grip of imperial brain damage and determined to bring the whole world down to nuclear oblivion if it doesn’t get its way. Our only hope is that Putin and his capable administration continue to read the situation clearly and maneuver as patiently and effectively as they have up to this point. It’s good that they finally gave up on attempting to work for a security deal with Washington and read the true motives of the monsters in DC for what they are. They are the adults dealing with a group of out of control delinquents drunk on their own power. The only option is to totally deflate their assumptions of their own invincibility. Then watch them scurry like cockroaches for the darkest place to hide.

  5. Drew Hunkins
    December 28, 2022 at 14:58

    Excellent piece by PL.

  6. Ed Rickert
    December 28, 2022 at 14:41

    Once again, another superlative piece of work from Patrick Lawrence. Although encouraged by the thoughtful comments from his readers, their statements, I fear, stand in contrast to the indifference and willful ignorance of most Americans who seem to accept the false narratives of the media and press. Their condition was captured in Guy Dubord’s observation: “Never before have those who are still led to believe… been less entitled to make their opinions heard, wherever it is a matter of choices affecting their real lives. Never before has it been possible to lie to them so brazenly.” The tawdry spectacle at the White House and the Congress, with their poseur, Zelensky fanning the flames of a wider war, has increased the possibility that Lawrence has made : the choices have narrowed to only two.

  7. Litchfield
    December 28, 2022 at 13:49


    It’s not an “ideological war.”

    It’s a resource war.

    USA/NATO want (desperately need, in fact) Russia’s resources.

    End of story.

    Oh, and Neocons perhaps also want new territory for Zionist project.

    • S.P. Korolev
      December 28, 2022 at 21:13

      Ideologies reflect material interests.

  8. Senusret
    December 28, 2022 at 13:47

    Finally! A heavy-weight intellectual on the left has come down firmly on the side of Russia in this conflict. NATO aggression is not magically stopped with pixie dust or calls for negotiation by the worthless peace movement. Russian soldiers are the only force that can stop NATO, an offensive organization, from terrorizing the world.

      December 28, 2022 at 22:17

      Wholeheartedly agree, Patrick is a powerhouse.

      I’ve read lots and lots of his work, and I reckon he keeps exceeding himself. I’ve asked the question elsewhere if this is ‘Peak Patrick’?

      One very, very minor ‘disappointment’. No mention of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reiteration of his demand for Putin’s assassination.

      The reason for that minor disappointment stems from being Australian. Down here, until a few years ago, there was a Federal Tory Govt Minister involved in defence portfolios named Christopher Pyne (or, ‘Wee Chrissie’ to folks like myself).

      Having seen and heard well and truly enough of Graham, the cohort some time ago noted similarities b/w our Wee Chrissie, and America’s Lindsey. Having been reminded again, recently, of how Graham only seemed to ‘find his place’, earlier, while waddling along behind McCain, tail a wagging, another nickname stemming from Wee Chrissie’s time seems appropriate for Graham.

      Lindsey Graham, America’s own “Mincing Poodle”.

      No rights claimed.

  9. Henry Steen
    December 28, 2022 at 12:16

    This is from another Austin guy who accepts the views of Patrick’s friend, though I wouldn’t have put it quite that way beforehand. Both sides have to win, Russia for its own preservation, and the USA, I hate saying this, to preserve its project for hegemony, which has been going on since at least the massacre of the Pequot tribe in the 17th century. I don’t know how this stops. With Vietnam there was an Antiwar movement that became effective, in large part because it was rooted in the military itself, and a Democratic Congress that finally cut off funding and said “enough”, not to mention courts that would protect people like Ellsberg. None of this is yet present today. Thanks to Patrick and his readership.

  10. Mike
    December 28, 2022 at 11:55

    Yet another brilliant piece of writing by the talented hand of Patrick Lawrence. Thank you, sir. I think it dovetails precisely with another extraordinary perspective, a dispatch filed on VE-Day in 1945 to the New York Journal entitled, “A Serviceman’s View”. The author had been decorated for bravery against the Japanese and was a son of the former ambassador to Britain. In my view, it could have been written early in 2022, so prescient was the perspective of his pen behind the paper. Speaking to the United Nations post-war conference activities he wrote, “…a nation can usually be depended upon to act in its own best interests. In this case, Russia needs peace more than anything else. To get this peace, she feels she needs security. No-one must be able to invade her again…they are therefore going to make their western defenses secure. No government hostile to Russia will be permitted in the countries along her borders. They feel they have earned this right to security. They mean to have it, come what may…” The author? John F. Kennedy.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 28, 2022 at 13:16

      Thanks for this.

    • Julie Wornan
      December 28, 2022 at 17:50

      Thanks for that great quote. Wisdom, honesty … and yet, just common sense. Where are the Joh F Kennedys today?

    • December 29, 2022 at 01:25

      Can you provide a link to this, please? I can’t find it in a search. The world needs to see this quote, because it shows exactly how and why WWII never ended, only morphed into the Cold War, and everything since.

  11. Michael Gillespie
    December 28, 2022 at 10:57

    Oh for an outcome that would disabuse the neocons of the notion that war is the path to their revanchist dreams and leave humanity in a position to begin the business of creating a sustainable future.

  12. December 28, 2022 at 08:02

    I see one glimmer of hope. Ted Snider, writing in, has picked out some barely audible hints that Macron, Scholz, and even Johnson, Biden and Blinken might consider peace talks with an outcome in which Russian forces retreat to “the de facto boundary of Feb. 24” (Johnson). This is no longer a demand for Russia’s total surrender. By implication, Crimea would remain Russian, as would parts of the Donbass. If Russia withdraws from other territory it has taken, both sides could cry “Victory!”




    Oh, but then there is Zelensky. What’s he to do? On the one hand, he’s got the international crowd licking his footsteps. On the other, his Neo-nazi “friends” have threatened to hang him from a tree if they figure he betrays them. Well, perhaps if he were offered a secured flight out of the country with full military escort, a chateau on the Riviera, and that his birthday would be a national holiday celebrated in all NATO countries, then maybe, just maybe, he could be persuaded to keep his mouth shut… if only on Wednesdays.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 28, 2022 at 13:17

      Zelensky already has a house in Florida, I believe, and money in offshore havens. He is not broke by any means.

    • Litchfield
      December 28, 2022 at 13:53

      Never happen.
      Sorry. The time for this was a year ago, December 2021.

      The USA crossed the Rubicon, not Russia.

      Ukraine, all of Ukraine, will be neutral.

      There will be no deployment of nuclear weapons anywhere on Russia’s border.

    • Susan Siens
      December 28, 2022 at 15:08

      You should hear what people in eastern Ukraine have had to say regarding Russia withdrawing to the 24 February border. These are Russian people who didn’t mind being part of Ukraine until Ukraine decided to wipe them, their culture, and their language off the map.

      Johnson … Johnson who? You mean the former PM of Great Britain?

      And Zelensky already has a mansion in Israel and one in Miami, doesn’t need another.

    • James White
      December 29, 2022 at 10:31

      Russia need not and will never retreat from any areas it currently occupies. The propaganda press constantly spreads lies that Ukraine is winning in this conflict. But a quick look at maps of Russian and Ukraine-held territories since day one has shown largely the same areas held by both sides since the first few weeks of the conflict. Russia has pulled back assault troops from Kiev and Karkhiv, but has solidified a hold on the Donbas region. Russia now views those areas as reclaimed from Ukraine and once again Russian soil. Ukraine is in no position to drive them back. Ukraine can only skirmish with the Russian armed forces along the borders of the lost territory, while bleeding itself of troops and funds. All of the narratives about Ukraine are disinformation. Ukraine has put up a valiant defense. But it never had the sticking power in troops nor funding to defeat Russia. Those facts and the eventual outcome were predetermined. It is laughable that Zelensky still talks about driving every Russian back behind the previous border. Meanwhile he sends an underling to advocate a settlement. If Ukraine was truly winning, why would they ever want to stop now. The lies are obvious on their face and yet still believed pervasively. A majority of people in Congress and in the U.S. population are fooling themselves that Ukraine can win and that we achieve some kind of hollow victory over Russia. Once the U.S. Europe and Ukraine lose this war, Taiwan will have been placed in ever greater danger. What fools Pelosi and Biden have been in policy with both Taiwan and Ukraine. This is what comes of empire building, with weak and foolish leadership at the helm.

  13. December 28, 2022 at 06:53

    In my life time and since I started following International events,I have never seen the United States/NATO/the West generally so lost.This was war is a war for the survival of Western hegemony over the rest of the world and the survival of NATO as military alliance. The West knows that once they lose in the Ukraine war, they’ll have lost all their bossing over the rest of the world. You remember when U.S invaded Afghanistan and how it emboldened them to do what they’ve been doing since? But what’s very interesting is that Western leaders – the United States as their head, have lost their sense of strategic thinking or no longer think strategically. Had they not lost that, maybe,they would have known that to save a little bit of their status,they needed to negotiate with Russia for each side to come out with something satisfactory.But due to that loss which I have mentioned above,they thought that by doing what they’re doing,they would prevail.Alas,they now seem to be headed to lose everything – which,by all means,good.If they(West) were to prevail over Russia,GOD Forbid, the world would be a very dangerous place to live.That’s why,you see the rest of the world behind Russia because they know what’s at stake. Finally,GOD Willing,we seem to be headed for a truly multipolar world where national sovereignty, respect of others cultures/traditions/political systems/multi economic systems etc etc are respected not at the expense of any one group but for the good of us all. In conclusion,it’s not yet too late for the collective West to wake up to reality,come to the negotiating table to retain some modicum of trust and respect in the rest of the world.

  14. ray Peterson
    December 28, 2022 at 06:50

    Your readers “bitter” better they hide their heads
    deeper in snow. It’s you and the few other CN
    journalists making sense out of the propaganda
    fed to by the mainstream corporate press.
    Comic strip wisdom, “we have met the enemy and
    he is us” (Pogo).

    • robert e williamson jr
      December 29, 2022 at 19:00

      ray Peterson, I have no idea of what you are attempting to communicate here. Can you help me out just a little.

      “Your readers “bitter” better they hide their heads deeper in the snow.” I’m assuming your use of “bitter” here refers to emphasizing an experience painful or unpleasant to contemplate.

      I am a devoted reader here. I learned long ago it is much better to be “heads up” than have ones head stuck in the sand, up ones arse or in the case of comment here, stuck in the snow.

      I think my comments might convey some useful substance, not much maybe, but some.

      I will not say you are either with us or against us, what I will say is it’s better to make an effort to be part of a solution rather than be part of the problem.

      I couldn’t help notice you must have read something here yourself. Can I inquire if your ears are cold.

      What gives !

      Thanks CN

  15. TP Graf
    December 28, 2022 at 06:49

    Modest as it may be, it is this kind of writing that keeps me supporting Mr. Lawrence on Patreon and to be a donor to CN. And I have to call out CN for one other thing. Nowhere do I read comments on posts that are more thoughtful and poignant than here at CN. On other sites, not to be named, I find inspiring articles and comments from its followers that make me think the entire country is braindead. Here at CN, I find some hope that critical thought and necessary pondering are alive and well–if grossly drowned out in the noise.

    • Frank Lambert
      December 28, 2022 at 21:04

      Spot on, TP Graf! I hope more readers support Mr. Lawrence on Patreon, and for that matter, their other favorites too, plus the websites that print Truthful articles like CN does. . Patrick is an astute observer and a Thinker, and the accolades posted by all of us are well-deserved.

      I finished reading P.L.’s article 20 minutes ago and read all of the comments. I certainly believe TP Graf is right, about the thoughtful and poignant comments on CN articles.

      My sincere THANKS to all of you!

    • December 28, 2022 at 22:10

      Hello, Tom.
      Thanks this. I have meant to call you or write for ages. Deluged is the state of things. Shall be in touch shortly one way or the the other. To you and all others commenting, blessings for the New Year. P.L.

  16. James White
    December 28, 2022 at 02:07

    The legacy press have made themselves into propaganda organs for the feeble Biden Regime. The only thing more pathetic than those lackeys are the sovereign nations of Europe with their spineless heads of state. They have not appeared so weak and dependent since the closing days of 1945. They are propped up only by the military power of the U.S. and the 100 or so nuclear warheads pointed directly at Russia from European soil. It was surprising to see nearly all of Europe, with the exception of Orban’s Hungary so eager for war with Russia. The deeper reasoning seems to be an irrational fear of Russia or at least a weak and cynical desire to lord over Russia while hiding behind the threat of the U.S. military. Hubris, cowardice and foolishness rule Europe and the West.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 28, 2022 at 13:21

      I was reminded recently by a talk given online by Garland Nixon that every country with U.S. military bases in it is occupied territory of the U.S. Empire. And it occurred to me that this is true. The governments of western Europe do whatever the U.S. tells them to do because there are U.S. troops in their countries. They will not–when push comes to shove–be allowed to go against the Empire and they know it.

  17. Moi
    December 28, 2022 at 01:43

    Nato thinks that using proxies to fight Russia will weaken the latter but the opposite is true.

    Biden is creating a formidable, battle-hardened and implacable foe in the Russian military. I don’t mean “turkey shoot” hardened like the US military, but hardened though vicious existential combat.

    And they’ll have an axe to grind.

  18. December 28, 2022 at 00:25

    An excellent, candid, and important article by PatrickLawrence. Kudos! —Jim Gala

  19. Elial
    December 27, 2022 at 23:50

    A most clearly articulated and excellent piece.
    Thank you, Mr. Lawrence.

  20. Cesar Jeopardy
    December 27, 2022 at 23:26

    Why can’t the U.S. just give up in Ukraine??? I suspect if Ukraine is thoroughly defeated or if the price of supporting Ukraine becomes too great, the U.S. will pull out, tell the necessary lies to convince themselves, bomb a third world country or two (what Scott Ritter referred to as the equivalent of “clubbing baby seals”), and move on to the next country to be subverted (Taiwan? Iran?). The war in Ukraine may end, but the U.S. will continue to wreak havoc around the world for some time to come. An $850+ billion/year military budget buys a lot of damage.

  21. susan mullen
    December 27, 2022 at 23:01

    Someone must stop the US. The idea of bankruptcy gives me hope. As a US citizen, I identify very much with the Russian Federation. US elites treat both of us like subhuman garbage, and it will only get worse. I wish Mr. Putin and the people of the Russian Federation all possible success.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 28, 2022 at 13:22

      I share your point of view.

  22. rgl
    December 27, 2022 at 22:49

    “It [the US] has … every intention of recommitting indefinitely to its ideological war.”

    This war will not be ‘indefinite’. Firstly, ammo stocks in high-intensity warfare get burned up at a much faster rate that can be replaced. To date america has proven it martial skills against barefoot peasants (Vietnam), sandal clad tribesmen (Afghanistan) and lost both. Today it is facing not one, but two peer enemies, to wit, both Russia and China. Both with a manufacturing base that dwarves america’s. There simply isn’t enough ammo to go around, not to mention that the US armed forces are having serious structural problems: crappy planes, crappy ships, and crappy leadership; second, at some point the treasury will be empty, and there will be no more money for either the Ukraine or Americans themselves; and third, when the second point is reached, the population patience point will boil over. Sooner rather than later, when the lights go out, or they can no longer afford even the cheapest staples, Americans will at long, long, long last realize that their own political masters are the real enemy, not Russia. Then things will change.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 28, 2022 at 13:25

      I hope that realization comes sooner rather than later. U.S. citizens are so propagandized, the lies form an intellectual carapace around their ability to reason. It will take a short, sharp shock to break it.

  23. Jonabark
    December 27, 2022 at 21:52

    I have come to look forward to everything Patrick Lawrence writes and this article is particularly strong in taking on the most dangerous and insane project of the Anglo dominated empire. I am sickened by the mainstream dishonesty about the real cause of the war and the dictatorial phony who came to Washington to feed more Ukrainians into this proxy war. Many journalists of the left have backed away from being so bold about what is at stake and who is the real aggressor, so I find this a breath of fresh air.
    From the comments I wonder if there is not a deeper well of disagreement with this war and US imperialism than I had imagined or than is allowed to surface in our media environment. I hope others will be emboldened to demand a change of direction as the the next stage of this war manifests the depth of US dishonesty.

    • Elial
      December 27, 2022 at 23:53

      “ I have come to look forward to everything Patrick Lawrence writes and this article is particularly strong”

      I agree. His intelligent use of language I. describing things as they are is not only refreshing, it is reassuring in this era of media lies and obfuscation.

  24. Paula
    December 27, 2022 at 21:45

    We are all riding in the same boat on agreement with the author. Why would anyone want the USA to win anything? Our railroad workers are denied paid sick leave during a pandemic, our people overwhelmingly support health care for all but our elected leaders ignore us; our infrastructure is in bad need of repair/replacement as climate change keeps slamming us and the rest of the world, the GOP wants to balance the budget by attacking social security again, and the dogs of war want to spend most all our taxes on a war we have not a leg to stand on to win. It’s an immoral war. There’s no soul, no investment from a soldier in an immoral war unless convinced by the pysops the military always serves to soldiers. I hope Caliman is right about national bankruptcy. But as someone said, the Feds own a printing press and they can just keep printing money. I don’t know how bankruptcy would be possible but it’s preferable to nuclear war.

    • Susan Siens
      December 28, 2022 at 15:15

      Eighty-eight civilizations collapsed between 3000 BCE and 1000 CE. Not one of them did anything to avert collapse.

      But my question is: Did they engage in actively accelerating collapse? That is what the U.S. seems to be doing. Our population is mentally and physically unwell, to a large degree due to environmental damage and an abysmal health care system. So many people don’t have basic needs met from housing to sufficient nutrition. As you point out, our infrastucture is failing. We have a totally unresponsive government which is corrupt and bankrupt. And we print money like there’s no tomorrow. We are going down the toilet and my greatest fear is that the monsters who rule us will decide nuclear war sounds like fun.

  25. John Gilberts
    December 27, 2022 at 20:40

    I too agree with Lawrence, as I suspect do many others. That they perhaps lack the courage to say so, is another matter. I hope they get over it soon. If there was ever a time to go to the streets and say no to another foolish and very dangerous American proxy war, it is now.

  26. Richard Kirchhofer
    December 27, 2022 at 19:42

    Which plan is double-down Joe going to go with:
    1) Convince Poland/Rumania, et. al to invade and wait and see; maybe the Russians will chase them back over the border and Joe can invoke Article 5. The rest of Europe doesn’t want this choice but Joe doesn’t care about those fools any way.
    2) Threaten all out Nuclear War. This is an oldie but a goodie.
    3) Launch a couple of tactical weapons at the Russian onslaught and blame the Russians for bombing themselves or just raising a question of who could have done it. Very likely this will lead to (2).
    4) “Cut and run.” Not likely since Joe and his neo-Con crowd would look so bad doing it and this is what hubris is all about: “They lost Ukraine” after “Losing Afghanistan”. They couldn’t live it down.
    Are there any other choices? Negotiation is off the table, right? Joe doesn’t want to look weak, etc. So I guess we all need to do is make our arrangements with the undertaker and get our urns in order, assuming someone will be around to sweep up what’s left of us. A new meaning to Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a sorry end to the USA.

  27. John R Moffett
    December 27, 2022 at 19:05

    I could not agree more. Russia is facing NATO’s final and most direct challenge in the last several decades, and Putin has been forced into this endgame. There is no going back for Russia, so the only sane option is for NATO and the US to go back. Unfortunately, the incompetent Biden crew have far too much ego, and far too little sense. That is the issue.

    • Mikael Anderssn
      December 27, 2022 at 20:20

      Hello John. That would require mutiny. My assessment is that a mutiny is not possible. The political leadership of the NATO members is incapable. Movements in member countries are not maturing and would occur to late. Political change is impossible. I feel that the future is written. It would be wise to migrate to a non-nuclear target location. Sadly however, survival of a major engagement is unlikely. One might hope for a limited exchange while tending one’s vegetables in Patagonia / Chile / Madagascar / Tuvalu. The southern hemisphere is a logical choice.

  28. mgr
    December 27, 2022 at 19:05

    Bingo. The salient point is that the US led West is only becoming more rabid and unhinged, not less. Even if America could have everything it wants, just as it wants it, it would still continue to foment conflict, just as it will continue to fuel global warming and disastrous climate change. The US is like an addict in the last stages of addiction. It cannot stop itself even if it wanted to. Without some sort of outside intervention, it will continue to barrel down this path until the destruction of self and others is complete. That is the future that the US led neo-feudal order, with its uni-polar world construct, is headed for. At this point, the more power it accumulates the more destruction it bestows. I wish it were not so but based on the history of US interactions with the world, in particular, over the last 30+ years, there is not a shadow of a doubt about this trajectory.

    Despite the very attractive ideas of muti-cultural mutual respect, will Russia, China and friends create a better new world order? That is to be seen. The ideas are certainly compelling and since they at least offer a vision of mutual prosperity and peace going forward, I hope their efforts succeed. Regardless, one thing has become perfectly clear, the US led Western world can not. It has had plenty of time and opportunity as the world’s only uni-power to demonstrate one, if it could. At this point, the destruction that it offers continues only to accelerate; wealth concentration, war and conflict, and environmental destruction. These are the hallmarks of the US led neo-feudal order. They are built-in. Our planet itself as a sustainer of our lives will not last much longer under the current US led regime. And that is regardless of what anyone else does or does not do. Based on history, it will become only worse if America gets its way.

  29. Jeff Harrison
    December 27, 2022 at 18:38

    I agree with Mr. Lawrence’s friend that the choice is Russia wins or we have nuclear holocaust… sorta. The West thinks it is soooo smat using the Ukraine as cannon fodder but what happens when you’ve used up all the fodder? I think this is the third way and I think the Russians are going to take it. I suspect that there will be an operation this winter. I think it will be a viscous attack to shatter what’s left of the Ukrainian military. I think they will occupy all of the provinces that chose to rejoin Russia (with adjustments for military purposes). I think they will destroy all of the weaponry that can attack Russia and then I think they’ll stop. The US vassals in the EU will be left with a shattered country on their periphery, plenty of refugees (they didn’t all flee to Russia) and Russia not attacking anyone anymore. What’s the US/UK/EU/NATO going to do?

  30. December 27, 2022 at 18:12

    Mr. Lawrence (may I call you Patrick?), as no doubt most other of your readers will, I agree completely and share your hopes and fears here. The U.S. does appear to be engaging in brinksmanship- and an “all-in / go-for-broke” (literally) effort in Ukraine, to ‘finally’ bring Moscow to heel. It is almost as if it is casting Ukraine as Armageddon… the final battle (or at least, the one before the next big one); a battle in which “good” ol’ USA must necessarily triumph over the evil nation that refuses to obey its dictates.

    For its part, Russia, and those who know it best, have warned for these many years that a hostile, NATOized Ukraine, and loss of its Sevastopol base and Black Sea access represent for it existential danger; the type that NO leadership anywhere, charged with the defenses of the nation, could accept.

    I hope your Austin friend is wrong about a real nuclear Armageddon being the only alternative to a complete Russian victory, because the U.S. is truly driven by deranged (and in some cases, demented) folk who appear incapable of dealing with reality much less in a civilized, humane way.

  31. shmutzoid
    December 27, 2022 at 18:11

    Excellent take on things by Patrick Lawrence. the takeaway——–> ‘ Either Russia wins this war on its own terms, or there will be a nuclear exchange’. I, too, hope the coming winter offensive by Russia will bring Zelensky to him knees, leaving him no option but to negotiate a settlement. Far fewer would die/suffer than if the war dragged on for years, or, if the US escalated to a nuke first strike. ————– Plus, for the sake of the rest of the world, the US empire of death/destruction must be halted in Ukraine, allowing for the continued expansion of Eurasian trade deals under the auspices of SCO, BRICS and other organizations/banks. These trade deals are made with mutual respect and in a spirit of economic cooperation. This is a far cry from the US bullying its way ’round the globe. GW Bush’s “You’re either with us or against us’, intoned after 9/11, is basically shorthand for US foreign policy.

    Of course, talk like this to any of your friends/acquaintances and they’d be stupefied. “You hate America!” ——-” Putin apologist!”———–and worse.

    • Red Star
      December 28, 2022 at 06:24

      “GW Bush’s “You’re either with us or against us’, intoned after 9/11, is basically shorthand for US foreign policy.”

      Someone – I think it may have been the playwright Harold Pinter ? – described American foreign policy thus : ” kiss our arse, or we’ll kick your head in.”

  32. robert e williamson jr
    December 27, 2022 at 18:05

    Neo-con insanity out in the open for all to see.

    Same as and very little different than pathological liar George Santos, it that is his actual birth name.

    If my memory serves me correct misstatements of truth is what got Biden & Co. in the fix they are in.

    A thought for Biden & Co., has any of you yahoo’s there thought about the message in the above text from the Chinese Defense Ministry?

    Quoting, ” Facts have proved more than once that the U.S. is a direct threat to international order and the culprit of regional turbulence. ”

    Seems to me that the Chinese Defense Ministry is making a most salient point with this comment.

    The truth hurts apparently. What dumb ass paints themselves and their country into such a suffocating corner?

    Answer: Two Bushes, one orange idiot and the president the orange idiot and the remaining democratic old guard helped elect.

    Note to the POTUS: If you ever expect to get yourself out of this hole you dug for yourself quit digging.

    Good dog almighty, You cannot make this stuff up!

    Thanks Patrick and CN

    • LeoSun
      December 29, 2022 at 23:33

      robert e williamson jr, Talk about making a salient point! You’re Spot On!!! I’m “quoting” you, robert e williamson jr. TY!”

  33. December 27, 2022 at 17:51

    I am in total agreement with Mr. Lawrence’s analysis and prognosis. I can only hope that the confrontation of the US and its NATO allies with the consequences of their immoral behavior will not bring catastrophe upon all life on the planet.

  34. December 27, 2022 at 17:11

    I’m with Patrick Lawrence; I do not want the west to win as long as we (the US) is trying to turn the world into a US form of fascism. I am utterly depressed by Biden’s actions and how the Democratic party continues to praise him. I feel our only hope is to somehow miraculously survive without a nuclear war until 2024 when hopefully a sane Democrat will be elected. But we may not make it til then, Biden is terrifyingly evil in his lies and is also senile and thus without comprehension of how awful the future he is providing will be.

    • Caliman
      December 27, 2022 at 19:36

      I’m afraid it’s not a question of sanity … the D’s are perfectly sane, even the aged president and Speaker. But one doesn’t blame the tools for the evil done with it; and the Dem party is simply a wholly owned tool of MICIMATT at this point.

      No, our savior will be that great and potent ruiner of empires: national bankruptcy. That is what will save us and the rest of the world, as long as we don’t blow everything up in the meantime while waiting for the collapse of the $.

  35. Valerie
    December 27, 2022 at 17:01

    Once again, thankyou Mr. Lawrence for your amusing quips on a very serious subject. Without a modicum of humour, I fear we will lose sight of “the big picture.”
    For all it’s worth though, I disagree with the nuclear scenario. (But I could be wrong.)

  36. Tom_Q_Collins
    December 27, 2022 at 16:14

    I share Mr. Lawrence and his Austin companion’s opinions on the matter. The big question; the elephant in the room even, is how close to passing the ‘event horizon’ Washington, London and Brussels will go in order to preserve the current “order” and hegemony imposed on most of the world by the Divided States of America. At this point it’s not looking good for those of us hoping that eventually the West would blink and/or stand down in a moment of acceptance, and rather more like we’ll be witnessing nuclear warfare for the first time this century and the second, but also last time in history. Courtesy of Uncle Scam.

  37. Robert Sinuhe
    December 27, 2022 at 16:10

    So true. I hope the west will somehow come to its senses. Not doing so bodes ill for us all.

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