Tanks and Tragedy

Amid the vacuum of creditable reporting by the mainstream media, Michael Brenner offers a briefing on the background of the neocon-inspired war in Ukraine and his view on the present strategic situation.  

On Dec. 21, 2022, NATO headquarters in Brussels joined other international landmarks in switching off its lights in solidarity with Ukraine. (NATO, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

By Michael Brenner

Never in memory has it been so daunting to figure out what’s going on during a major international crisis as with the Ukraine affair.

That sad truth owes much to the total absence of truthful reporting and honest interpretative analysis by the MSM. We are served heavy portions of falsity, fantasy and farrago crudely mixed into a narrative whose relation to reality is tenuous.

The near universal swallowing of this confection is made possible by the abdication of responsibility — intellectual and political — by America’s political class, from Washington’s high and mighty down through the galaxy of un-think tanks and self-absorbed academia.     

Now, the legion of scripters for this fictional story are working with renewed energy to incorporate a few fresh elements: President Joe Biden/NATO’s decision to send an eclectic array of armor to buttress Ukraine’s faltering forces; and the mounting evidence of crippling, incremental dismantling of its army by Russia’s superior military.

As always, that reaction turns out to be an exercise in avoidance behavior. The roughly 100 tanks slated to arrive in piecemeal fashion over the coming year will be a “game-changer.” Putin’s army is a proven “paper tiger.” “Democracy” is destined to prevail over despotic barbarism.

Or so we are told in stomach-churning doses of snake-oil. I guess that we all have ways of amusing ourselves. 

A systematic refutation of this mythic construction is both superfluous and futile. It has been done over the past year by able, experienced and thoughtful analysts who actually know what they are talking about: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, professor Jeffrey Sachs, Colonel Scott Ritter and a handful of others who together are relegated to obscure websites and scorned by the MSM.

(Here is an acute analysis by Ritter in Consortium News of the actual military value of the infusion of tanks and other armor and what that move augurs for the war’s trajectory.) 

By way of introduction, I am adding my own assessment of the present strategic picture and where we are headed. It is based on inference — to some extent — as well as my reading of the conflict’s genealogy.  The main points are made in blunt, declaratory sentences. That strikes me as necessary to break through the fog of fabrications (lies) and calculated distortions which obscure what should be evident. 

Starting Points 

NATO’S April 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania, where Ukraine’s “aspirations to join NATO” were formally welcomed. (Archive of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, Wikimedia Commons)

The crisis’ starting point was in February 2014 when the Obama administration inspired and orchestrated a coup in Kiev that usurped the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych.  Victoria Nuland, U.S. assistant secretary of state, was there in Maidan Square cheer-leading and conniving together with her brother in color revolution, Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

They collaborated with violent, extreme ultra-nationalist groups with whom Washington actively had been cultivating ties for a number of years.  Those ultras dominate Ukraine’s security service and the government’s key policy body, the Security Council, to this day.

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The Maidan coup was the culmination of the deeply-rooted American objective of incorporating an anti-Russian Ukraine into the Western organizational orbit: NATO above all — as President George W. Bush sought to do as early as 2008.

The picket-fencing of a Russia kept at the margins of an American directed Europe had been an objective since 1991. The emergence of a strong, highly effective leader as represented by Vladimir Putin quickened the perceived need to keep Russia weak and boxed in. 

On top of van, Ukrainian far-right opposition leader Oleh Tyahnybok, left, along with Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, center, addressing Euromaidan demonstrators, Nov. 27, 2013. (Ivan Bandura, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The Donbass uprising/secession, provoked by the Maiden coup attended by the coming to power of rabid elements in Kiev dedicated to subjugating the country’s 10 million or so Russians, resulted in the autonomy of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as well as the integration of the Crimea (historically and demographically part of Russia) into the Russian Federation.

From that moment on, the United States fashioned and executed a strategy to reverse both shifts, to put Russia back in its place and to draw a stark line of separation between it and all of Europe to its West. 

Ukraine became a de facto American protectorate. Key ministries were salted with American advisers, including the Ministry of Finance headed by an American citizen dispatched from Washington. A massive program of arming, training and generally reconstituting the Ukraine army was undertaken. (In the years of President Barack Obama, the overseer of the project was Vice President Joe Biden.)

Dec. 7, 2015: U.S. Vice President Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Flickr)

Washington also used its influence to undercut the Minsk II accords wherein Ukraine and Russian signed onto a formula for peaceful resolution of the Donbass issue, supposedly underwritten by Germany and France, and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

We now know from candid public testimony that Kiev, Berlin and Paris had no intention from the outset of implementing it. Rather, it was a device to buy time for strengthening Ukraine to the point where it could retake the “lost” territories by inflicting a military defeat on Russia. 

[Related: SCOTT RITTER: Merkel Reveals West’s Duplicity]

Preparations were made by the Biden administration to heighten tensions to the point where an armed conflict was inescapable. The sporadic shelling of the Donbass (where 14,000 civilians were killed between 2015 and 2020, according to an official estimate by a U.N. commission) was increased several-fold, Ukrainian army units assembled en masse along the demarcated boundary. Russia preempted. The rest is history. 

(All of the above recitation is a matter of public record and documented.) 

March, 2015: Civilians pass by as OSCE monitors the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine. (OSCE, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Where Are We Now? 

Here, inference takes precedence. 

The Biden administration has committed itself to escalation by the deployment of previously precluded heavy weapons systems. It has strong-armed its Western European allies to provide armaments, too. Why? The people driving policy in Washington cannot stomach the prospect of a defeat.  

That is to say, a Russian crushing of the Ukrainian army, its incorporation of the claimed four provinces and the fatuous Western narrative shown to be little more than a string of lies. Too much in the way of prestige, money and political capital has been invested for that outcome to be tolerated. 

Moreover, just as Ukraine has been used cynically as an instrument for bringing Russia to its knees, so is the denaturing of Russia as a power seen as integral to the global confrontation with China that dominates all strategic thinking.

The option of working out terms of co-existence and non-coercive competition with China has been rejected outright. America’s nearly entire political class is determined to reinforce the country’s global hegemony and is girding itself to do so. The rest of the country has yet to be informed, and it is too distracted to bother paying attention to the self-evident signs of what’s afoot.

The strategic program was laid out in the notorious March 1991 memo by Paul Wolfowitz, the Pentagon’s then under secretary for policy, about preventing the rise of any rival superpower. That has become Scripture for most of the foreign policy community.

(Its contents, along with the genesis of the neo-cons who adopted it long ago as holy writ, made the historic transformation from just one sect to being the semi-official doctrinal faith of the entire American imperium.)

Oct. 2, 1991: Paul Wolfowitz, on right, as under secretary of defense for policy, during press conference on Operation Desert Storm. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in center. (Lietmotiv via Flickr)

The absolute failure to crash the Russian economy, thereby to open the way to political change in Moscow, and to render its supplement to Chinese power nugatory is a disappointment; but that does not faze the true believers. The United States has unified a bridled collective West as its willing pawns who acquiesce in whatever moves Washington wants them to follow.  

The signal event that punctuates that extraordinary subordination was Germany’s agreement to allow the United States (and associates) to blow up the Nordstrom pipelines, which successive Berlin governments had deemed essential to meeting German industry’s energy needs.

One can rationalize it as the readiness of Chancellor Olaf Scholz to “take one for the team.” What team? What overriding national interest? The annals of history record no comparable instance of a sovereign state inflicting such severe damage on itself on its own volition.  

Map of the explosions caused at the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, 2022. (FactsWithoutBias1, CC-By-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

An additional plus from the Ukraine affair, in the eyes of American policy-makers, is the crystallization of an international system whose foundational structure is bipolar — a “we vs. they” world similar to the Cold War —  convenient insofar as it places few demands on intellectual imagination or skillful diplomacy for which they have neither aptitude nor appetite. 

All members of the collective West have signed on to the Biden escalation plan. So, too, of course, the dominant factions in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government.

There is good reason to think that the purpose of C.I.A. Director William Burns’ sudden visit to Kiev a few days before the Abrams tank deployment was announced was to ensure that there would be no defectors among Zelensky’s inner circle or other senior officials who might get cold feet at the prospect of Ukraine becoming the battleground for a Russo-American war with effects similar to what it had endured from 1941 – 1944.

Burns’ visit was followed almost immediately by a massive purge of the leadership ranks along with officials at lower levels. The official line, accepted by the ever-pliable MSM, has been that this purge represented a virtuous anti-corruption campaign — albeit in the midst of a full-scale war.

We’ve been told that Burns came all that way to clear up a few minor issues (and perhaps to take the baths?). Zelensky himself had become too much of an asset as the heralded savior of Ukraine to be disposed of himself — as was Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam in 1963.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky displaying a present given by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after his speech to U.S. Congress on Dec. 21, 2022. (C-Span still)

Burns doubtless offered guarantees that he was secure — whomever else was going to be tossed overboard.  It is near impossible to see how the United States’ objectives can be reached in Ukraine. However, the neo-cons have no “reverse gear” — to use analyst Alexander Mercouris’ apt phrase.

They have instigated a crusade aimed at securing America’s global dominance — forever and anon. Ukraine is a waystation on the road to that visionary Jerusalem. In their grand scheme, though, they have failed to bother with a coherent, feasible strategy for resolving the current crisis. 

As for President Joe Biden, he looks to be only nominally in charge. He has been entirely captured by the neo-cons. He hears no other voices. As a life-long, instinctive hawk, he leans in their direction. He is old and weak. 

Before the end of the year, we all are likely to face the moment of truth. Russian forces will be on the Dnieper and, in some places, beyond it. Ukraine’s army will be on its last legs — Abrams, Leopard IIs, Challengers, Bradleys etc. notwithstanding.  What does the outwitted and feckless Biden bunch do then? Anything is possible.       

Michael Brenner is a professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. [email protected]

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

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41 comments for “Tanks and Tragedy

  1. Frank Munley
    January 29, 2023 at 16:58

    Ukrainian attacks on separatists was another example of the central government’s contempt for and violence against the regions that voted most heavily for Yanukovych. Using Minsk-II as an excuse to build up “powerful armed forces” (in Poroshenko’s words) is unforgivable.

  2. Yu Ma
    January 28, 2023 at 22:46

    That is why it is such a terrifying war. Neither side can afford to lose and they both have nukes. Russians are 99% likely to over-run Ukraine this year. At which point collective west actually openly engages their militaries, boots on the ground and all. Whichever side looks likely to lose (I would say NATO) they will use a tactical nuke openly or as a false flag.

    If anyone thinks there will not be a nuclear false flag (it really would not make sense, who would believe that Russians would use a nuclear weapon if they are winning the conventional war) think how the general public accepted that it was the Russians that sabotages Nordstream pipelines, although Russians had everything to lose from that sabotage and US had everything to gain.

    • irina
      January 29, 2023 at 12:19

      According to Politico, the Abrams tanks sent to Ukraine will not be shielded with DU armor, which may explain why they need to be
      ‘assembled’ first. But, the White House et al refuse to say if DU munitions will be allowed :


      And if they are, Russia has clearly stated that is a form of ‘nuclear escalation’ similar to using a ‘dirty bomb’.

      While the Abrams tanks may or may not ever show up in Ukraine, apparently Leopold tanks can use DU munitions as well. Yikes.

  3. Brian Keane
    January 28, 2023 at 11:51

    Watch Maria’s heartbreaking response to German tanks gion to Russian Soil –


    • Valerie
      January 29, 2023 at 11:19

      How quickly it is forgotten who helped to liberate the people from the Nazis in WW2. The Russians were heroes at that time. I admire the way Ms. Zakharova speaks.

    • Frank Munley
      January 29, 2023 at 16:48

      The address as put doesn’t work. It should start with https, at least for me. Thanks for posting it.

  4. fulvio margoni
    January 28, 2023 at 09:43

    finalmente, una volta in vita,posso correggere un Professore su un punto pco noto al pubblico ,ma essenziale :
    Egr. Prof. Michael Brenner
    gli “Accordi ( o Trattato )di Minsk furono concordati fra il governo ukraino(Poroshenko?) e i governi delle repubbliche del Donbass che ,dopo referendum , avevano proclamato l’autonomia delle repubbliche di Donesk e Lugansk dal governo nazista di Kiev e avevano difeso con le armi le loro scelte, mettendo in grave difficoltà l’esercito ukraino ;per cui li governo ukraino ha accettato di firmare il trattato di Minsk con le 2 repubbliche del Donbass; come garanti (nominati dall’ONU) della applicazione di detto trattato , firmarono la Russia(Putin) , la Germania (Merkel) e la Francia (Hollande)
    Quindi la Russia si rese garante assieme a Fr e D del trattato approvato dall’ ONU.
    in nessun caso la Russia era uno dei contendenti.

    • Annie MCSTRAVICK
      January 29, 2023 at 10:40

      Esatto, grazie per aver sottolineato questo fatto.

  5. Jimm
    January 28, 2023 at 09:24

    “The rest of the country has yet to be informed, and it is too distracted to bother paying attention to the self evident signs of what’s afoot”. A devastating statement indeed.

  6. January 28, 2023 at 03:34

    Military equipment unsuited to Ukraine and unavailable in any quantity for upwards of a year aint escalation. Just bravado and a sop to the arms industry. Like a US$100 billion. Putin is aware this is WWIII already and like all world wars different from those previously. He’s winning in Ukraine – in fact, won in the first two weeks. Now he’s winning against NATO…then the US.

    \ hxxps://julianmacfarlane.substack.com/p/big-serges-big-surge

  7. Mary Caldwell
    January 27, 2023 at 21:15

    Oh how I wish that tomorrow morning a copy the above article by Michael Brenner would appear in all of our newspapers, would be duplicated on Twitter and be reprinted in European news sites .

    The truth is being suppressed, and yet what can one do ?

    Can it be read into the Congressional Record ?

    If only propaganda and disinformation exist what is left ?

    • A Boyles
      January 28, 2023 at 12:29

      Sadly destruction (complete) in Ukriane and if the fools in the State Department have their way, a shooting war in Poland, Romania and Germany to invoke article 5 of NATO. But what if Russia decides to skip Europe and focus their retribution directly at the USA on its own soil? The US has already indirectly attacked Russia on its soil via Ukriane so anything is possible.

      • joey_n
        January 30, 2023 at 04:52

        Since the USA has set this up with the purpose of spoiling relations between Russia and the rest of Europe, Germany especially, it probably makes better sense to focus on the USA. It pisses me off when people quickly jump to conclusions and accuse the “Europeans” of this conflict, however much of a role some may have played, while ignoring the USA’s occupation of the EU nations as a definitive factor.

  8. DHFabian
    January 27, 2023 at 20:39

    Step back for a moment. Arguably, this goes back to the conflicts the Clintons had with Russia, as far back as the 1990s, regarding their (the Clintons’) personal business interests in Ukraine. Remember that Russiagate began when the Clinton team tried to overturn the 2016 election with lies about “Russian interference.” Remember the long Mueller investigation, which concluded with Mr. Mueller having to admit that they found no evidence of Russian interference, “but we know they must have done something…” Liberal media then grabbed the tale and ran with it.

    Maybe it would be more worthwhile to focus on the US role in Ukraine’s 2014 coup, on the US role in installing (comedian/actor) Zelensky as Ukraine’s president in 2019, and in effectively directing and financing Zelensky’s attacks on eastern Ukraine (which had the audacity to vote for aligning with Russia instead of the West).

    • Gordon Hastie
      January 28, 2023 at 10:49

      Maybe it would also be worthwhile to remind ourselves that Putin probably wouldn’t be there if the Clintons hadn’t led the asset-stripping, election-fixing and general destruction of Russia at the hands of Wall Street and the City of London”way back” in the 90s

    • DMCP
      January 29, 2023 at 11:42

      No, it’s not about the Clintons or or ‘Russiagate’. It isn’t even about Ukraine. What it is about is unipolar US domination of world power (military and economic), dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Well before the Clinton administration. Read the Wolfowitz memorandum (which became the Wolfowitz Doctrine) — it’s linked in the article or easy to locate via Google.

      In a nutshell, the Wolfowitz Doctrine is an extension of the Monroe Doctrine to the entire globe. It represents the US view of a New World Order, to which then-president George H.W. Bush referred in an address on Sept. 11, 1990 (hxxps://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/09/08/the-other-9-11-george-h-w-bush-s-1990-new-world-order-speech/). More recently, Barack Obama softened the language to ‘Rules-based Order’, but the content is the same: the US will make the rules and the US will determine the order. Because the US is the world’s sole superpower.

      Of course, once you are the world’s sole superpower, you have to take precautions against the rise of any rival states. So NATO, formerly a defensive coalition against the Warsaw Pact states, had to re-invent itself as a proactive force promoting the New World Order. But that was never advertised, so most of the people believes that NATO is only defensive. Russia was pretty well debilitated by the post-USSr privatization campaign, spearheaded by Boris Yeltsin. But even back then, the US was pushing NATO in the direction of Russia, since Russia remained a significant military rival.

      Today, the US faces three significant rival powers: Europe, Russia, and China. Europe is the weakest, and the US has convinced it to sacrifice itself for the war against Russia. Sanctions against Russian fossil fuel and destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines have thrown Europe’s manufacturing economy onto the scrap heap. The US tried to recruit China to join up against Russia (‘Please help us destroy your friend, so that then we can destroy you’) but China’s not buying that offer. So the US, with NATO in tow, is at war against Russia.

      The fact that the war is happening in Ukraine is an accident of history; it could be happening in a lot of other places around Russia. And the ongoing attempts to trigger a ‘Color Revolution’ in Belarus, Mongolia, etc. attest to that.

  9. Bob McDonald
    January 27, 2023 at 20:29

    Biden’s sanctions on Russia have backfired and sparked a mass liquidation of US Treasuries and other USD holdings by central banks, sovereign wealth funds and companies throughout the global south. At a time when US government debt is at $32 trillion and poised to rise precipitously to finance a rebuild of America’s military, creditors want their money back (just as the did in 1971 when Nixon was forced to close the gold window). If Russia wins this war it will be the end of the petrodollar and the house of cards that is the US economy could very well come crashing down under a mountain of debt.

    • J Anthony
      January 28, 2023 at 16:45

      And that usurious debt ought to be wiped right off the books…back in the box, start over. Like the rest of us, the creditors are just going to have to deal with it.

  10. Korey Dykstra
    January 27, 2023 at 19:52

    Thank you for this clear narrative. I hope you are right in it’s conclusion. I also hope that Western European leaders develop a spine and take a hard look at what their future could be like. It may not be pretty.

  11. CaseyG
    January 27, 2023 at 18:49

    In a time of bizarre and frightening climate change, how could any war improve the life on this planet?

    Perhaps it’s the evil in human nature?
    All those who favor starting war——never seem to have actually been in one. Isn’t that correct Clinton, Bush 2, and Biden?

    • gcw919
      January 28, 2023 at 12:58

      Climate change, you say? Oh, that very real existential threat breathing down our necks. But what can one expect from a political class dominated by mediocrity? We are ruled by people who live in the 19th century, oblivious to the dangers of an overheating planet, which will cause social disruption unheard of in the past, and which in turn will lead us ever closer to nuclear war, and of course, annihilation.
      These egomaniacs who seek nothing but their own aggrandizement seem utterly incapable of addressing the urgent situations confronting us. At this moment in history, the only thing that can save us is cooperation on an international scale, not more wars and arms races.

  12. Jeff Harrison
    January 27, 2023 at 18:27

    Excellent summation. Mr. Brenner. I guess we’ll discover if we have a planet left around the end of the summer. The Ukie’s don’t have prayer with or without a handful of Western main battle tanks. About then the US is going to have to either back off and wind this proxy war down or send in American troops and start the apocalypse.

  13. Lenka Jensen
    January 27, 2023 at 18:10

    As a 11 year old Czech kid, I stood in front of a Russian tank when they invaded in 1968. I am a wittness to what happened. unlike the Americans that would have blown our country back into the dark ages, the Russians and the Warsaw packt countries invaded with a soft glove. My family pretty much lost all our lands and possecions and we imigrated to Sweden. I was supposed to hate the Ruskies according to the Western rhetoric but I don’t. Actually Putin is the best leader that could have happened to the disintegrating West. Each day, I pray for the Ruskies to get Ukraine back and teach the West a lesson. I am an American citizen and currently am ashamed at the ugly lies and rhetoric, but then I know why this is happening. It is a battle for resources and also a tribal war. The Khazars want the land and to be rulers of the world, but will not succeed in it. If they were to win this war, then China and other countries would be destroyed too. It is time for the world to wake up and stop the carnage-Iraq, Palestine, Lybia, Syria, Yemen, Central America, Afghanistan and many more. All blown up and Russia can not be next!!!!

    • DMCP
      January 29, 2023 at 11:46

      Spot on! Bullseye! Thank you!

    • DisinfectantSunlight
      January 30, 2023 at 06:27

      Thank you for your clear eyed emotional equanimity and analysis, especially with given background where you can assess based on personal experience. This gives further confirmation of my conclusion as a Naturalized U.S. Citizen not related to Eastern Europe. Still can’t believe how much U.S. changed since the fall of Soviet Union.

  14. mgr
    January 27, 2023 at 17:42

    Thank you. The crux of the current war in Ukraine has always been the personal egoistic insanity of neocons, and in particular those of the Biden admin. They came into office with this malign agenda already in their pockets. This seemed clear to me from the beginnings of the conflict and the way it continued to escalate, just like the invasion of Iraq, regardless of numerous common sense opportunities to avoid it. Since then, this has become only more clear. There is no actual plan, only an agenda that can rightly be described as neocon fever dreams.

    When Biden ran in 2020 I was personally convinced that he was effectively serving as a Trojan Horse for HRC. Either, I thought, she would be part of his cabinet (I guess she was still too toxic for that…) or she would be pulling the strings from the shadows. The people most directly involved with promoting this conflict, Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan, Price, Sheridan, etc. are all her ideological comrades. And whether she is actively involved or not, this is certainly the agenda she was planning in 2016. We were in fact fortunate to dodge that bullet.

    Neocons, a modern form of fascists, with their horrific pathology and agendas are like a malignant cancer in the body of humanity and they have metastasized in the Biden administration. Truly, the primary difficulty facing America now is how to remove the cancer without killing the patient. Can it even be done? Not a trivial question because they will simply never stop of their own accord, ever. Consider what it took to free other states like the former Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan from the grip of their war mongers. A total collapse or defeat of the country. And today, at least in Germany and Japan, they are again sliding right back into it with America urging them on. In any case, continuing with the current status quo is not an option because each repetition becomes even more insane. If we do survive this, there are surely no more iterations left.

    • SH
      January 27, 2023 at 22:16

      mgr – great comment, couldn’t have said it better myself …

      • Michael
        January 28, 2023 at 22:04

        ” Truly, the primary difficulty facing America now is how to remove the cancer without killing the patient. Can it even be done? Not a trivial question because they will simply never stop of their own accord, ever.”

        no, it can’t be done. they’ll burn the whole damned place to the ground before they hand over the keys. just out of spite.

  15. January 27, 2023 at 16:54

    I often wonder, based on the experience during my lifetime, of how false the corporate media’s regurgitated propaganda has always been, just how accurate all the military “history” we’ve been fed is. As a historian, I’ve done my own analysis of some of our past wars and the results have been more than just problematic. World War II and the Nazis seems like a story of Biblical proportions, but reporting during this conflict, when the Neo-Nazis are the corporate media’s heroes, really leads one to wonder what might really have happened.

    • January 28, 2023 at 01:33

      Well put, good observations. Have you read Hoggan’s The Forced War? Excellent book on all the events and diplomatic communications leading up to WWII, and shows where the biggest blame for war lies.
      But it is dangerous reading; you may come away with a very politically incorrect answer.

    • James White
      January 28, 2023 at 17:49

      Propaganda via mass media really took off in WW2. Developed by Germany, the U.S. and others. The conspiracy of most media companies to deceive the public with the same narrative is something entirely new. Massive lies like the Trump-Russia hoax proved that a mass audience could be deceived for political purposes. Some people still believe aspects of that complete fiction. It did significant damage to Trump’s ability to do his job effectively
      as President. Next, the whole world was lied to about various aspects of Covid, masks, the vaccines, ‘the science.’ Governments around the world continue to lie about Covid and vaccines. Then came the Ukraine war. Every major Western news outlet now presents a narrative about the Ukraine war that is entirely made-up. Ukraine never had a chance to do anything more than delay the war’s outcome. They should have made a deal with Russia before hostilities commenced. The media audience is being led to believe that Ukraine is winning and that the next delivery of arms and cash will be the ‘game-changer.’ In reality, Russia is slowly but surely killing off the army of Ukraine. As for past historical accounts of WW1 and earlier wars, every writer has some inherent bias. For example, most WW1 history books written by English speakers are biased against Germans. The difference is with today is that most historians used to at least make an effort to provide the facts. The old saying is that history is written by victors means that war accounts have always been embellished. But we have moved into an age of mass media deception that is unprecedented. Information wars are raging and the number of people who are deceived by outright lies at times in a given country exceeds 50% of the population. That is a powerful evil.

  16. Lois Gagnon
    January 27, 2023 at 15:24

    If we manage to survive Washington’s insanity, I truly hope the world will finally put these miscreants on trial for crimes against humanity and endangering all life in the planet.

    • SH
      January 27, 2023 at 22:14

      Ah Lois, the same world that has put Bush, Obama, and crew on trial for their crimes against humanity?

  17. shmutzoid
    January 27, 2023 at 14:06

    Bravo, Mr. Brenner for this concise summary of the true nature of this conflict. Will it cut through the thick and unrelenting fog of propaganda, mis/dis-information posing as ‘the news’? Beyond being appreciated by a handful of folks like myself, I doubt it. Indeed, the level of propaganda and psy-ops surrounding this conflict is greater than anything that came before, including the run-ip to the illegal war in Iraq.
    …… Russia did everything possible to avoid a military confrontation. This simple truth is met with horror when uttered in polite circles among liberal elites. We are meant only to think that Putin is (the latest) Hitler. And, Putin is out to re-constitute the USSR. He is Satan himself! We are not s’posed to regard anything else – certainly not any of the economic and geo-political realities underpinning this conflict.

    • Valerie
      January 27, 2023 at 17:06

      “Beyond being appreciated by a handful of folks like myself, I doubt it.”

      This is the crux of the matter. We are few and far between. But we have to keep on fighting.

      “certainly not any of the economic and geo-political realities underpinning this conflict.”

      Unfortunately most of the “dumbed-down” would be hard pressed to even understand “underpinning”, let alone “economic and geo-political realities”.

    • J Anthony
      January 27, 2023 at 20:43

      Yes…I have developed a severe tic due to this madness, whenever I read an honest article or see/hear an honest discussion, I’m ok. But when I see or hear any of these status quo talking heads/chickenhawks/hawk-hawks parroting the latest bs ,knowing it’s the bs, and not the honesty, that’s being broadcast and heard by millions, I quickly grow agitated and start shaking. I am truly sickened by this, psychologically and physically. Imagining what the citizens of Ukraine or Russia are going through, I can only imagine.

  18. Valerie
    January 27, 2023 at 13:42

    Lead photo:

    “On Dec. 21, 2022, NATO headquarters in Brussels joined other international landmarks in switching off its lights in solidarity with Ukraine”

    Did NATO and others switch off their lights in solidarity of planet earth and the unmitigated destruction and upheaval perpetrated by wars.?

    Very strange how they can switch off the lights in solidarity for aggression and violence.
    But dismiss the much needed discourse.

    • SH
      January 27, 2023 at 22:10

      Remember, it’s NATO – it exists for aggression ans conflict …

    • Tennegon
      January 29, 2023 at 14:00

      For me it is the photo of Zelensky holding what those of us who are U.S. Veterans, sons, daughters, spouses, parents and other family members of U.S. Veterans know represents. An American flag, folded at a military funeral service, for a U.S. Veteran, framed in that distinctive triangular shape, stands for service to our country.

      Quibble if you will, as is so often the case, about the U.S. military, et al. But seeing that comedian puppet of a bunch of fascists, both from within and from outside his country, holding it aloft in Congress, grinning like some pop show champ, is beyond repugnant.

      ‘A present from Nancy Pelosi’, indeed. In far more ways than one. How cheap it has all become, when greed dictates all.

      • Valerie
        January 30, 2023 at 10:06

        I agree with that too. What a travesty to give a “penis piano playing” puppet a symbol of service. But I guess the Biden admin believe he is indispensable for the time being. Very sick puppies indeed.

  19. Sergey
    January 27, 2023 at 12:33

    Thank you, very good strategic outline.

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