The Neoconservatives Get It Wrong In The Ukraine (Again)

Once again, for all the bleating of the neoconservative left?  As predicted, they got it absolutely wrong on Ukraine (again).

Let’s keep the premise of this one up front and clear for those who are slow in appreciating realism in their foreign policy:

For the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

First things first.  After a brief 24 hour pause to open peace talks, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskii rejected Russian demands for neutrality (i.e. not joining the European Union) among other concessions and hostilities resumed.

Naturally, we were told the Ukrainians would fight.  Instead, they have been beaten back to their urban centers, refusing to allow any Ukrainian males between the ages of 18 and 60 to leave the country and drafting them into citizen battalions.  Commentators on Twitter are expecting 5 to 1 casualties among civilians for every Russian solider, and both Catholic Relief Services and Caritas International are expecting over 2.6 million refugees flooding into Europe even at the early stages.  Apologists for war will point to one or two BMPs burning as evidence of resistance, but to a drowning neoconservative, any dead body looks looks much like straw does to a drowning man.

Solution?  43 million new blades of straw.

So after 72 hours of conflict?  There are no static lines from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.  Merely a retreat to civilian centers where the population will now be weaponized as human shields in the face of Russian tanks whether they volunteer for service or huddle in their homes — as predicted, a repeat of the Syrian Civil War:

This bloodshed is what the neoconservatives call victory?

Not content with a new Syrian Civil War to preserve their ill-gotten gains, they are even clamoring for World War Three by enforcing a no-fly zone over part (and eventually all) of the Ukraine — this after arguing (incorrectly) that the Ukrainians could and would clear the skies (oops).

One small problem?  Such bloodlust is precisely what the Russians would treat that as an overt act of war.  Both Putin and Lavrov have stated that any Western interference will be interpreted as an overt act of war.  The Biden White House is at present divided on whether or not even small arms constitute a violation of that red line.

For the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

Thus after wasting six months of warnings and eight years to make the Ukraine defensible, the neoconservative left set them up to fail in the hopes that NATO would rush to the rescue, hoping that civilian casualties would rattle the US and EU, thus rallying the public to the just cause of democracy and LGBTQ rights, etc.

Except none of that is happening.  Know why?

Because for the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

The US and EU aren’t going to bleed for Kiev.  We might fight the war to the last Ukrainian, but telling Ukrainian citizens to use Molotov cocktails against thermobaric bombs is either mortally stupid or the most senseless sacrifice of human life since the bloodlands of the Second World War.

At this rate, the neoconservative left really doesn’t have much else to sell the public:

  • They claimed Russia would not invade Ukraine (they did).
  • They claimed Ukraine was prepared (Ukrainians were shocked at the announcement of war).
  • They claimed Europe was united on sanctions (Italy made sure Gucci bags were not impacted by sanctions).
  • They claimed the response would be swift (it isn’t).
  • They claimed the response would be united (far from it).
  • They claimed that the Ukrainian military could resist (they are getting crushed).
  • They claimed that the Ukrainian people would rise en masse to resist (they aren’t and why would they).
  • They claimed that US President Joe Biden had the backing of our NATO allies (they aren’t united even a little bit).
  • They claimed that NATO was at stake (NATO isn’t lifting a finger at present)
  • They claimed democracy was at stake (McCain never thought so).
  • They claimed Ukraine would fight for LGBTQ rights (they’d be surprised to learn that).
  • They are claiming mass Russian casualties (with no evidence at all).
  • They desperately want NATO troops in Ukraine (which would kick off World War Three).
  • They are adamant that Ukraine can still be saved (not without a fight).
  • They are perfectly happy throwing 43mil civilians into this war (armed with Molotov cocktails).
  • They were wrong on Syria.
  • They were wrong on Egypt.
  • They were really wrong on Libya.
  • They were wrong on Tunisia.
  • They were wrong on Algeria.
  • They were wrong on Iraq.
  • They were wrong on Afghanistan (ask NGOs with kids trying to do the right thing).
  • They were wrong on Pakistan.
  • They were wrong in Yemen (ask any wedding party).
  • They were wrong on Russia.
  • …and they are more than happy to shovel a few million Ukrainian lives into the fire just to be wrong in the Ukraine.

Know why?

Because for the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

In short and as predicted, the neoconservative left is perfectly happy to sacrifice 43 million Ukrainians into the Moloch of an insurgency.  They claimed to have a plan for defense; they abandoned the Ukrainians.  They claimed to have enough weapons; the Russians had more.  They claim to have the narrative; Putin doesn’t give a damn about Twitter.

At present, Russian Armed Forces have deployed about 1/3 of their BTGs with the cream of the crop — the 41st CAA among them — waiting for the second wave where one suspects that urban centers will be the bargaining chips for peace.  Zelenskii will be given a choice — either to accept terms or suffer the martyrdom of Kiev (still spelled Kiev), Kharkov, Mariupol and the port of Kherson.

All the thoughts and prayers of the neoconservative left aren’t going to matter a tinker’s damn.

Because for the Russians… keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

Naturally, they could have followed a policy of putting Ukraine into a defense posture.  But peace doesn’t sell weapons.

War sells weapons — and if it takes a few hundred thousand dead Ukrainians to sell some serious firepower to contractors and a bleeding Ukraine?  So be it.

But don’t dare call it moral.

For the last two months, the neoconservative left has played coy with the idea that they wanted a mass insurgency (read: dead civilians) in the Ukraine.  Now they have the taste of blood in their mouths and are salivating at the prospect of even more dead Ukrainians.  Two decades of war weren’t enough, I suppose…

One really has to wonder what a victorious endgame here looks like and what that would require to produce aforementioned endgame?  Certainly a swift NATO response with boots on the ground would be precisely what the neoconservative left would want, provided the Russians are content to allow the contest to remain conventional.  yet such a force would require months to assemble and would bog NATO troops down into the same sort of insurgent warfare most rational observers are warning against now.  Even a no-fly zone would mean US warcraft engaging Russian warcraft — again, an overt act of war.

I’m not so sure how to describe World War Three in clearer terms to the neoconservative left.  This would not be a war fought in Eastern Europe; the Russians would make sure the war would be felt right here on the continental United States.  Are the Russians serious about using nuclear weapons?  Again — while the neoconservative left thinks it is a bluff, for the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

Reading comprehension.

Now do it again.

Now. Do.  It.  Slowly.

For the Russians keeping Ukraine in their orbit is a matter of existential need and not mere national interest.  

The Russians are willing to bleed Russians for Kiev in a way NATO will not bleed Americans, Germans, French, Poles and so forth for Kiev.  We can’t even agree to ban Gucci handbags as part of sanctions, for crying out loud.

It’d be nice if the neoconservative left would get it right for once and quit taking credit for things they never effected: Germany, Japan, Korea, etc.  In each of those instances, the presence of American troops was a matter of existential need for the United States.  When they get it wrong?  They do it in body bags while keeping the profit.

In the meantime, let’s hope that the cost in human suffering isn’t prolonged in the Ukraine.  Despite the narratives, those of us who can count in numbers see the endgame clearly.  The question is whether — to prove a point — we are willing to let 43 million Ukrainians suffer with millions displaced and hundreds of thousands dead for a cause that Europe isn’t willing to risk a Gucci bag for.

Unless the West is willing to pay a similar price for the Ukraine?  The rest is performative bullshit in the purest Frankfurtian sense of the word.  It’s not that they are lying, it’s simply that the neoconservatives have no bearing in truth — only outcomes.  They will plow through any number of innocent children, mothers, grandmothers and orphans to grasp at an abstraction.

Our NATO allies seem to have a better grasp on the geopolitical realities on the ground.  Understanding what Russia is and unwilling to assist the Ukrainians in any meaningful form, the consensus view in Europe — which has much more to lose — is to bolster our NATO allies rather than seek out monsters to destroy.   After all, why should the US do what the EU refuses to do on its own behalf?

Others disagree… but you don’t see them volunteering picking up a rifle and heading off to Kiev anytime soon.   Paid?  Surely… just not for democracy.

Which is all we need to know about the seriousness of their argument.

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