First Things First
I have condemned and continue to condemn Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. I ask that you keep this in mind as you read on.
The Impending Fall of the “Fortress”
Both the Russians and the Ukrainians know that Bakhmut is the central hub, the lynchpin city in the battle for control of the Donbas region of Ukraine. This is why, since the summer of 2022, Russia has made its capture a top priority. It’s also half of the reason that Vladimir Zelensky and the Ukrainian military have refused to retreat from Bakhmut despite mounting casualties (in the tens of thousands) over the last few months. In fact, the Ukrainians have dubbed Bakhmut their “fortress” and they have vowed to defend it as long as they possibly can.(1)
The Reason the Battle for Control of Bakhmut is So Pivotal
Bakhmut stands atop the major communication lines that bind the various parts of the Ukrainian defense system. If the Russians capture this high ground they will be able to position their artillery systems there. This will enable the clear targeting and shelling of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the two other remaining key cities in the Donbas region. In short, once Bakhmut falls it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for Ukraine to hold the Donbas region. Capturing this region is one of the central aims of Russia’s special operations mission/its invasion of Ukraine.(2)
Of course, the Western press has done its share of downplaying the importance of this six month struggle for control of Bakhmut. Then again, the Western press has done its share of downplaying pretty much everything that doesn’t fit its narrative.
Over the course of the past week the battle for Bakhmut has entered a stage in which even the mainstream Western media is beginning to admit that Ukraine is losing its capability to defend it.(3)
The Parallel War (Of Optics)
In the first paragraph of this article I mentioned that there was another reason that Zelensky and Ukraine have not yet retreated from Bakmhut despite an overwhelming number of mounting casualties.(4) The fact is, there is a parallel war going on alongside the actual fighting on the ground in Ukraine. This war is one of optics, it’s a battle of competing presentations.
In the West the war of optics has been led by a small group of neocons in Washington. The four central members of this team are President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In their minds there is only one possible conclusion, one inevitable ending to this conflict: There will either be regime change and/or some form of “total victory” over Russia. Victoria Nuland has been particularly instrumental in defining what discussions with Russia “should” look like.(5)
In order to stave off any hints of the possibility of an outcome other than their “inevitable” one, the neocons have taken precautions. They have, with the assistance of a complicit, corporately controlled mainstream media, generated a narrative of inexorable victory for Ukraine. As you can see, there is a sizable contradiction between what the neocons profess to believe and the way they act.
The Neocon Ideology
Like their neocon forerunners (Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George Bush Jr. and Hillary Clinton) Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland and Biden are ideologically unyielding in their belief that the non-Western world is made up largely of a pannier of deplorables that must be tamed and/or converted to the neoliberal way of life by pretty much any means necessary. For the neocon there is either neoliberal capitalist “democracy” or there is barbarism, with little to nothing in between.
To the neocon the era of “Realpolitik” (the 20st century approach of practical rather than ideological considerations) is the stuff of antiquity. Diplomacy and interdependence among differing systems of thought and governance are outdated concepts to the neocon. As a large part of the world has witnessed (and suffered), especially over the past two brutal neocon dominated decades, there is either the neocon’s way or no way.(6)
The Neocon Strategy
The neocon strategy is to surround, contain and convert. If possible this is achieved via economic sanctions and/or by proxy wars. If not, then it is achieved via direct invasion. The US now has 900 confirmed military bases in over 80 countries. The cost of maintaining these bases comes to about 100 billion dollars (of US taxpayer money) per year. No other nation even comes close to these figures.(7)
To give one example, China is now completely encircled by US military bases.(8) Imagine if Russia or China attempted to encircle the US with military bases. What do you think the US would do about this? I have little doubt that your first inner response to this question was correct.
This is precisely why Russia, which has been slowly (almost) surrounded by US/NATO allied countries over the past 25 years, is so adamant about the fact that Ukraine, which sits directly on Russia’s border, cannot become a NATO member. To Russia, this would represent a huge existential threat.(9)
The Pentagon’s Red Flag
US General Mark Milley has been flip-flopping back and forth regarding how Ukraine and NATO should proceed in the war. Twice now though, once in November of 2022 and once in February of 2023, Milley has said this war must end in negotiations. He obviously chose his words very carefully, so as not to ruffle the feathers of his neocon superiors. On one hand Milley mentioned that Ukraine has stacked up “success after success”. On the other hand he made it quite clear, a few times, that “When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it,”(10)
Seymour Hersch’s Take on Who Is Winning In Ukraine
On February 8th of this year, world renowned Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersch published an article on his substack page entitled “How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline”. In his piece Hersch describes how Biden, Sullivan, Nuland and Blinken went about planning and carrying out the destruction of the Nord Stream Pipeline that provides Russian gas to Europe.
In a recent interview about his article Hersch also mentioned the fact that, according to his sources, “The war in Ukraine not going well at all. In fact, according to my people on the inside, it’s going pretty much the opposite of what the Western press is saying.”(11)
In previous articles I have gone into detail about the divergence of opinions on what is actually going on on the battlefield in Ukraine. If you wish to you can click on my name at the top of this article and access previous writings of mine.
Despite Warnings, The Neocon Fab Four Proceed Toward WW3
If you’ve read this far then you’ve probably put together the fact that the ambitions of neocons in the White House run counter to common sense. Their ambitions also run counter to the survival of the Ukrainian people and, ultimately, counter to the survival of the Human race as a whole.
If you think that the above is an exaggeration, note that Vladimir Putin signed a bill the other day to suspend Russia’s nuclear arms pact with the West.(12)
And, if you have any doubts about my reports about what is going on in Ukraine right now, google “Bakhmut news” and see for yourself.
It’s time to pull our heads out of the sand. This is not going to end well for anyone unless we wake up, unless we take a stand for immediate negotiations (with no preconditions) between Russia and Ukraine. Either that or we leave it all to the Fab Four in the White House. It’s our call.