Discover more from Bracing Views
Getting Giddy About War
The counteroffensive is coming!
Five days ago, I received an email from the New York Times informing me that “The counteroffensive is coming.” It was all about Ukraine and its plans to take the fight to the Russians. Overall, I’d describe the tone of the article as almost giddy. Isn’t it great that Ukraine will soon be killing more Russians?
Readers here know I’m for diplomacy. Russia and Ukraine share a long border and history. They need to find a way to end this war and live together, and we should be helping them do this. The longer the war lasts, the more bitter it will get, even as events become more unpredictable. Nuclear escalation is quite possible. Yet the New York Times is gushing about Ukraine using the element of surprise and combined arms warfare to teach all those nasty Russians a lesson.
I liked this passage from the NYT article/newsletter: “The troops [of Ukraine] have learned a technique known as combined-arms warfare, in which different parts of the military work together to take territory. Tanks punch through enemy lines by rolling over trenches, for example, and infantry then spread out to hold the area.”
It sure sounds nice and clean. Tanks “punch through” and infantry “then spread out.” I’m sure glad the Russians have no tanks of their own, no anti-tank missiles, no machine guns, and no artillery.
Here’s another example from the NYT article of positive thinking and bloodless prose:
In the favorable scenario for Ukraine, a peace deal in which Russia is expelled from everywhere but Crimea and parts of the Donbas region would become plausible. On the flip side, a failed counteroffensive and an unbroken land bridge would provide Putin with a big psychological victory and a foundation from which to launch future attacks.
Only two scenarios? Either the Ukraine counteroffensive is a success, leading to a favorable peace deal, or it stalls, meaning victory for Russia and future Russian assaults? What about a wider war with Russia? Or a wildly successful attack that leads the Russians to deploy tactical nuclear weapons against it? Or an attack that Ukraine can’t sustain, leaving it vulnerable to Russian counterattacks in which Ukraine is convincingly defeated?
No matter what happens, we can count on at least two things as certain: more dead and wounded Russians and Ukrainians, and more profits for all those arms merchants providing weaponry to Ukraine, much of it paid for by American taxpayers, whether they know it or not.
Nowhere in this NYT newsletter is anything mentioned about the human costs of this much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive. There’s only one mention of losses, and that comes with Russia:
Experts have compared the war’s recent months to World War I, with both sides dug into trenches and neither making much progress. Russia lost tens of thousands of troops this year merely to capture Bakhmut, a marginal city in the Donbas.
I’m glad Ukraine “lost” no troops in defending that “marginal city in the Donbas.” And who’s to say which city is “marginal” and which isn’t?
I’ve heard the NYT described as “liberal,” but when it comes to war, the NYT is a bloodthirsty cheerleader. Perhaps that’s the new face of liberalism in America today.