January 5, 2023
Biden Forgot Vietnam Lesson: “Propaganda Doesn’t Change A War And Lies Don’t Win One”
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
A compelling new Security Council (SC) report circulating in the Kremlin today first noting President Putin spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this morning, discussing the situation in Ukraine and cooperation in the energy sector, with the Kremlin press service revealing: “On the Russian side, the destructive role of Western states is emphasized, pumping up the Kyiv regime with weapons and military equipment, providing it with operational information and target designation”, says also this morning, Russian Federation religious leader His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia called for a Christmas truce: “I appeal to all parties involved in the internecine conflict with an appeal to cease fire from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7, so that Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and on the day of the Nativity of Christ”—a truce appeal followed by the Foreign Ministry noting that there was not a word about any cessation of hostilities on the part of Ukraine, with them stating: “In Kyiv they are determined to escalate the conflict”, and top Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that no proposals for a New Year’s truce had been received from the Ukrainian authorities. [Note: Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January]
While Ukraine seeks to escalate the present conflict, this report notes, Federation Council Senator Alexei Pushkov factually observed: “The course of the United States and its allies, as well as the state of relations between the West and Russia, is now much worse than during the Cold War…The United States does not want to be accused of seeking to return to the Cold War…But in reality they are waging an Ice War against Russia”—after which State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin warned: “The German government has decided to shift problems created by their predecessors on our country…With this goal in view, they are planning to confiscate Russian assets to help Ukraine rebuild…This decision would give a start to a process where all countries may ignore international law and seize what they think fit…Germany should remember from its own history how attempts to infringe on others’ property rights ended”—and in noting that Nazi Germany ally Italy during World War II also illegally confiscated property that didn’t belong to them, it caused Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to declare: “Obviously, with regard to the biased position taken by Italy, we cannot view it either as an honest broker or a possible guarantor of the peace process”.
As leader of socialist Western colonial powers “Ice War” against Russia, this report continues, yesterday it saw Supreme Socialist Leader Joe Biden proclaiming: “Our best days are ahead of us…Are not behind us…I’ve long said…I mean, this…I have never, ever, ever been more optimistic about America’s prospects…And am today…Never…Never…I’ve traveled over 140 countries around the world…I was the paraphrase the phrase in my old neighborhood…The rest of the countries the world is not a patch in our jeans…If we do what we want to do, we need to do”—a bizarre proclamation whose most charitable response about was: “That’s almost profound…If only anybody understood what it means”—and stands in sharp contrast to newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu articulately proclaiming to the West yesterday: “Our voice will be heard in the world…Instead of giving in to dictates from the international community, we will proudly uphold our interests in the State of Israel and the Land of Israel”.
In response to President Putin’s deputy chief of staff Dmitry Kozak holding meetings in Europe, this report details, Secretary Oleksiy Danilov of the Ukrainian Security Council said the increased activity of Dmitry Kozak holding meetings in Europe were in order to force Ukraine to sign peace agreements, then declared: “We will not go for it”—after which Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in his nightly video address: “We have no doubt that the current masters of Russia will throw everything they have left and everyone they can round up to try to turn the tide of the war and at least delay their defeat…We have to disrupt this Russian scenario…Any attempt at their new offensive must fail”—according to Atlantic Council analyst Peter Dickinson, however, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing forces for a large-scale offensive in the winter, who predicted that this offensive would be crucial “in the fight to maintain international support for Ukraine”—yesterday when the leftist New York Times noticed that Ukraine was firing Western supplied missiles costing up to $500,000 at Russian drones costing $20,000 they asked: “How long can Ukraine sustain its effort when many of its defensive measures cost far more than the drones do?”—and in the just published Western defense article “General Russian Attack On Soledar: Town Falls – Ukrainian Forces Enter Salt Mines Under Fire – New Azovstal!”, sees it revealing today: “The developments in Soledar are rapid as the Russian Army together with the Wagner forces launched a general attack along the entire front putting the city in semi-encirclement…The Ukrainian forces, under the weight of the Russian attack, were forced into the salt mines…The Russians launched the attack on Soledar from 3 axis”.
In a just released interview, this report notes, American decorated combat tactical legend retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, Ph.D. estimates Ukrainian military losses are over 450,000, then he slams Western non-governmental organizations for doing nothing about Ukraine sending boys as young as 14-years-old into the meat grinding front lines—in another just released interview, it sees former US Marine intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter calling Ukraine a “humanitarian disaster” because of its hundreds-of-thousands of war deaths, and in the just published article “US Is Not An Anchor Of Stability For Anything Anymore”, it sees Ritter factually observing: “Had the Minsk records been accepted and been implemented in full, there would not have been a war…This was a very simple solution, one that the West did not seek, because I don’t believe they thought Russia was serious about a military operation…Likewise, in December, when Russia provided the West with two draft treaties, one to NATO, one to the US outlining their concerns about the need for a new European security framework…If the West would only read this and sit down and talk with Russia, than a conflict could be avoided…We now know that neither Ukraine, Germany, nor France was ever serious about Minsk, that they were only using it as a sham, as a cover to build a NATO army capable of solving the Donbas problem militarily…And the Russian attack preempted the Western plans”.
As it pertains to these “Western plans” for Ukraine that are now indistinguishable from America’s failed war in Vietnam, this report concludes, it was interesting to notice one Western military analyst revealing yesterday: “Over Christmas I had a short talk with a relative about the war in Ukraine…He asked me who would win and was astonished when I said: “Ukraine has zero chance to win”…That person reads some German mainstream news sites and watches the public TV networks…With those sources of ‘information’ he was made to believe that Ukraine was winning the war…The ‘western’ propaganda is still quite strong…However, as I pointed out in March last year, propaganda does not change a war and lies do not win it”—a revelation joined by internationally recognized strategist Dan Steinbock of the Difference Group, who, in his just released strategy and risk document “The Long-Term Economic Implications Of The Ukraine War”, assessed:
The human suffering in Ukraine is predicated on massive U.S. military aid, and is transforming an ailing country into a bankrupt failed state.
Douglas Macgregor recently argued that Washington’s refusal to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate security interests in Ukraine and to negotiate an end to the war will cement “the path to protracted conflict and human suffering”.
As Macgregor observed, even while the tide is now turning in Ukraine, Washington’s foreign policy continues to be fueled by the ideological self-delusion of the true believers: “Like the ‘best and the brightest’ of the 1960s they are eager to sacrifice realism to wishful thinking, to wallow in the splash of publicity and self-promotion in one public visit to Ukraine after another”.
It is indeed a spectacle eerily reminiscent of events over half a century ago, when Washington’s proxy war in Vietnam was escalated even as it was failing.
The U.S./NATO-led proxy war against Russia in Ukraine has already bankrupted the Ukrainian economy, an outcome some observers saw nine months ago. It will also accelerate the decline of the U.S. international role and global economic prospects. When great powers fail to balance their economic base with their military power and strategic commitments, they risk imperial overstretch. That is America’s key global risk in the 2020s. And due to the U.S. role in the world economy, the global repercussions of such overstretch will be adverse, extensive, and long-lasting.
In The Best and the Brightest (1972), David Halberstam argued that it was the refusal of U.S. elite policymakers and intellectuals to recognize the true economic and human costs of Vietnam escalation that led them to sacrifice realism for wishful thinking. As the idea that South might not win against North Vietnam was simply dismissed, Secretary of State Dean Rusk said, “We will not pull out until the war is won”.
Ideological self-delusions come with a price. Just as the Vietnam escalation of President Johnson’s true believers demolished his domestic “Great Society” dream, President Biden’s blind faith in his advisers is undermining his domestic agenda.
In the proxy war, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine has been abundant and historic. By late fall, Congress had passed three aid packages, which totaled $68 billion, while the Biden administration submitted a new aid request of $38 billion, which would bring the total to $106 billion. Although designed to last through September 2023, it will be depleted by May at the current rate of spending ($6.8 billion per month). By then, the Biden White House must ask for additional funds amid recessionary global prospects.
Internationally, America provides the bulk of total aid to Ukraine (62 percent). Aid from non-U.S. sources amounts to $41.4 billion. The international total of over $110 billion accounts for more than half of Ukraine’s pre-war GDP ($200 billion). Moreover, due the kinds of equipment being procured to support Ukraine, the “money Congress appropriates in year one does not get fully spent until year five” (read: in the late 2020s).
The good news: Ukraine would have been a failed state without the aid. The bad news: The very same aid will prolong Ukrainians’ suffering.
Even as international media touted the mirage of Ukraine’s military triumph, the country’s real GDP declined over 35 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2022—before Russia’s recent massive infrastructure attack.
In 2022, U.S. GDP growth on a year-to-year basis is likely to remain stagnant between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, which, however, is predicated on unsustainable debt-taking that is accelerated by the proxy war in Ukraine.
The key role in this debt belongs to military expenditures; as with Vietnam escalation, the best and the brightest serve mainly as enablers. For decades, the U.S. has used partnerships and proxy forces to wage war under the radar in at least 17 countries. In the past two decades alone, the cost of its global war on terror to the U.S. and its partners stands at $8 trillion and 900,000 deaths. The costs in target countries are far, far higher.
From the economic standpoint, these military expenditures, including U.S. Ukrainian aid, should be seen as massive, recurrent, multiyear bastard Keynesianism: a series of military stimulus packages to prop up the American economy—not Ukraine’s!—amid deepening secular stagnation. Unlike Keynesian stimuli that can have an accelerator effect in the civilian economy, these packages mainly benefit the Pentagon and Big Defense—the military–industrial complex and its revolving-door elites.
The high and rising debt as a percentage of the U.S. GDP will slow economic growth, push up interest payments to foreign holders of U.S. debt, and heighten the risk of a fiscal crisis. As the Biden administration is extends its Ukraine doctrine from Russia to Iran, Taiwan, and elsewhere, defense allocations are soaring, which will further contribute to rising debt, twin deficits, and real interest rates.
In a recent Foreign Affairs commentary, veteran economist Mohamed A. El-Erian warned that we are not facing just extraordinarily challenging business-cycle fluctuations, but structural and secular long-term pressures. As a result, “the global economy may never be the same”.
[Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
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