Well, Americans are facing another lost cause with the war in Ukraine, because over $100 billion has disappeared in the black hole of Kyiv in this struggle that is contingent upon U.S. dollars and on the last Ukrainian standing – actually $113 billion to be exact, or at least as precise as these figures can be when such an intensity of spending occurs. Of that sum, at least $46 billion has been in direct military assistance, while the remainder has gone to something called “humanitarian” aid. The latter expense can mean just about anything, but does include direct “investments” in propping up the authoritarian regime of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, that international gadabout in the combat fatigues and green t-shirt who was once compared to British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but who is now increasingly being seen as an isolated, delusional despot with the same kind of bunker mentality that defined Adolf Hitler’s twilight months.
We will probably never know how much of this “humanitarian” aid has flowed directly or indirectly into the coffers of Ukrainian oligarchs who are preparing for their post-war futures.
Of course, with the exception of the bizarre eulogies coming from former staunch Zelensky supporters such as Time, you won’t find much about the war in Ukraine from the mainstream media, after much of it led with the war news for over a year. It has now become just another foreign war that the United States is somehow compelled to support, kind of like Afghanistan, where most Americans were completely insulated from the skirmishes and steady American deaths from roadside bombs.
Americans did not have their attention shifted back to Afghanistan until President Joe Biden oversaw the catastrophic withdrawal of U.S. forces from a country that seemed to go from a success story to a Taliban regime overnight. It was an intelligence failure, a military failure, a diplomatic failure and a public relations failure. The enduring memory many will probably retain of the U.S. departure is the sight of desperate Afghan refugees hanging on to the engines of U.S. Air Force transport aircraft as they left the Kabul runway.
Then there was the billions of dollars in state-of-the-art U.S. military hardware that was left for the Taliban, with no strings attached.
At least in Ukraine, with no American troops on the ground, there will be no need for a U.S. withdrawal. There are only the fresh graveyards that are now home to the hundreds of thousands of young Ukranians who have died in this war.
And there probably won’t be any vast armaments left to the Russians, because Ukraine has effectively used those all up in its fruitless struggle to mount “offensives.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) might have hoped that they had killed more Russians in the process, but he now has his sights fixed on bombing Iran. Graham signifies the splendid bipartisan stupidity of this war.
That is precisely why Ukraine has disappeared from the news and will increasingly vanish from the talking points that Biden’s handlers put in his teleprompter to read to an evanescent audience. This has all been for nothing – at least if you’re an American taxpayer.
The Russians will win this war and as anyone not operating as a Ukrainian propagandist knew, they will retake the Russian-speaking eastern territories of Ukraine and Ukraine will not become a member of NATO but will be a neutral nation on Russia’s border. Another war zealot, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has declared his undying support for Ukraine for “as long as it takes.” But that’s a very long time indeed and the public can only be persuaded to pay for another country’s war for so long.
And in their conviction that Ukraine had no business being a member of NATO, Russia was only taking the United States at its word. It was Secretary of State James Baker who promised, in 1992, that NATO would not expand eastward and it was that pledge that convinced the Russians to disband the Warsaw Pact alliance that served as NATO's chief competitor throughout the Cold War.
Ukraine was never supposed to be a member, but neither was Poland or Latvia or Sweden. Yet NATO has become an expanding club without any clear operational objective – and I served with the alliance in Bosnia during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. As the membership increases, so does the risk of a general European or world war, because an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all. When the only remaining European country not a member of NATO is Russia, the chance of a war going nuclear is not just a potential threat, but a good possibility.
So did anyone benefit from the war in Ukraine? Oh yes: the armaments industry. In a tape first aired by former Fox News journalist and current host of “Redacted,” Clayton Morris, Raytheon executives, in conversation with a Morgan Stanley analyst, can be heard celebrating just how much cash they have made from the “Ukraine replenishment”: $3 billion. How do you like those numbers, stockholders?
Of course in the same conversation, Raytheon – and everyone in the military-industrial complex – is looking forward to more opportunities in the Middle East as the war there continues to rage and escalate.
So let’s put this all in perspective: while Biden has provided largesse to a corrupt Ukrainian regime with no long-term hope of defeating Russia unless NATO unleashes a nuclear strike against President Vladmir Putin’s backyard, he has spent trillions on pork barrel COVID-19 spending and phony “infrastructure” programs, opened the border to anyone with the physical mobility to cross it – terrorists included – and continued to watch a fentanyl crisis destroy the nation.
In the process of arming Ukraine, he has drastically reduced the basic armament stocks of the U.S. military – but hey, Raytheon and others can “replenish” that too. But perhaps not in time to fight a real war if one erupts.
And now he just wants to walk away from it and focus on another war. That’s classic political distraction, but for a man like Biden, who has echoed so many varying and contradictory policies over his sordid political lifetime – all in the name of political expediency and staying near power – it is just business as usual.