All Together Now: Arm Ukraine
February 17, 2015 § 23 Comments
Western news agencies tend to treat Russia’s war against Ukraine with the same template as they treat any other war, whereas it is anything but. ”Reports” are delivered with obdurate imprecision and unfailing narrow-mindedness that serve no other purpose than to lull viewers into complacency and disinterest, allowing Putin’s war to continue unabated and with little popular protest.
The template comprises images of distraught civilians rummaging through shattered homes, wrecked military hardware, brave reporters filing action standups halfway down bomb-shelters against a muted audio backdrop of ominously rumbling artillery, concerned politicians hurrying to and fro abstract conferences, lamenting pundits and incredulous newsreaders who cannot fathom the obvious. The script fits Somalia, Georgia or any other odd place far far away – except that this is all taking place in Europe, right on our doorstep, and it features a nuke-brandishing regional power of certain stature.
I dare you to go out on the street and find ten randomly selected people who can name Ukraine as THE most important news feature, bar none. This is a scathing indictment against the free press for failing to convey a balanced and accurate picture of the most urgent challenge of our times.
One reason for the intellectual and moral disconnect is that Ukraine is largely unknown, the towns, the terrain and its features scantily grasped, if at all. The scale of Ukraine, the distances involved and the logistics required to promote war in this region baffled the Germans back in ’41-44, and the West, or rather the Western press, has since learned nothing of what it means to wage war here. It is quite impossible to understand the meaning of frontlines and advances without comparison to data that people can actually embrace.
Below, I have traced the frontline and contested area in Donbass on an overlay over familiar ground. This offers some perspective of the scale and effort involved for anyone who would think that this is merely a minor quarrel between quaint ”separatists” and a sketchily democratic ”Kiev” – for that is the picture that emerges through the western press.
Make no mistake, this is WAR between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine is DEFENDING against overt and covert Russian assault. Ukraine needs your support, it needs our funds and it needs, first and foremost, LETHAL WEAPONS of extreme capability delivered by the West. Ukraine is defending all of Europe and all the values we hold to be true – if we do not stand up to Ukraine in this fight, we are not only betraying Ukraine, we are betraying ourselves. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.