The greatest show on Earth is now a circus of double-dealing and sleight of hand applied to geopolicy. In the West, so-called experts are announcing a Ukraine counteroffensive as if it were an upcoming sports contest. Conversely, in the trenches of Ukraine, Wagner Group’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is running interference for a counter-counter offensive Russia has planned. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson is fired for telling the world how American media really works, and Ukraine Nazis assassinate Russian media persons with real bombs.
No one in America can read, hear, or view Russian news channels, and all the Russians witness is a level of hatred and lousy sportsmanship from Western media/analysis. Meanwhile, NATO blows its bugle and wakes up every soldier in Europe. No kidding, the military presence is drastically ramped up on Greece’s biggest island, Crete. It’s as if the Greeks expect Russian warships offshore any minute. Craziness. We should be used to it by now, but the censorship and propaganda only get worse, even when we believe it’s as bad as it can get.
Foreign Policy Magazine SPAMs me daily, the most recent email headline being “You’re Invited: Ukraine’s Spring Counteroffensive.” I half expect Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago to square off in the middle of the ruins of Bakhmut, instead of what’s happening. Isn’t it obvious what the Russians want with this nowhere town? Those pesky Russians have taken a page out of Washington’s playbook of BS to trap more combatants within a civilian-free zone. Let me explain.
Foreign Policy is broadcasting some stock enhancing misdirect through the “expert” advice of Rand Corporation’s Dara Massicot and FPs Ravi Agrawal. Massicot, a Russian military strategy expert at the U.S. DoD, now curls up at her keyboard to discuss things like the pre-nuclear phase of conflicts. Like all positions at Rand, her role is to ensure that the U.S. military-industrial complex and its investors make piles of cash.
Before the Biden Administration promised Patriot Missile Systems to Zelensky, Massicot wrote “Ukraine Needs Help Surviving Airstrikes, Not Just Killing Tanks,” for Defense One in January 2022. Some months later, the missile defense systems were being made ready to be sent to Ukraine. This venerable surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is manufactured by U.S. defense contractors Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. The reader should note that Raytheon stocks gained $20 per share in the period just before the announcement of the Patriots to Ukraine and after the stories broke in late December 2022. Lockheed Martin’s shares gained almost $100 per share in the same period, and Boeing gained about $70 per share.
The money being made across the board because of the Western war on Russia is the only factual truth citizens of any nation can trust. Everything else is known as “manufactured consent,” for what many experts believe will be the shooting phase of WWIII. But, of course, Vladimir Putin has already said the U.S. and its allies have engaged Russia in a real war. All everyone seems to be waiting for is the part where nuclear missiles fly. But before then, Putin and his colleagues are playing the game in an exciting way.
The Russian forces arrayed on three sides of Ukraine are sufficient to crush whatever remains of Zelensky’s war-making capability. Ukraine has already lost between 300 and 500 thousand troops and about 40,000 civilian casualties. A million civilians would probably have died had Russia gone in hard, and Ukraine’s cities would be rubble. Tucker Carlson, the revered Colonel Douglass Magregor, and a dozen other truth-tellers can still voice their opinions, and the news has pointed out Putin’s “soft invasion” many times. However, the mainstream media in the West can still manufacture the ridiculous.
Take the importance of the little city of Bakhmut. Besides being a key transportation hub, the town has no strategic importance. Western media has harped on this to take jabs at the Russian military strategy, but the analysts at these outlets are not very smart. What makes Bakhmut so important and interesting from a new warfare perspective is the tens of thousands of soldiers President Zelensky and his advisors in Washington have wasted there. Wagner and the Russians lured them in, and President Putin’s plan to demilitarize Ukraine with the fewest civilian losses possible is being carried out. The Russians have blown to bits a relatively unimportant city in the middle of nowhere, with very minimal collateral civilian casualties. Most of the 40,000 civilians killed in this conflict were slain in places like Mariupol, where Ukraine Nazis used them as human shields.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is yelling, “no ammo” from the rooftops of eastern Ukraine. American, British, and EU media are going nuts reporting how “Putin’s Chef” is lashing out at Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu, for failing the Wagner operatives. This morning, the yowling included allegations of Russian troops deserted.
The Russians don’t want a spearhead of a lame counteroffensive aimed at Kherson or Crimea, and they’d prefer Zelensky waste more Ukrainian blood in the middle of nowhere. Prigozhin is begging for a counteroffensive spearhead aimed at his forces. If the plan works, Zelensky will be exiled to Miami within a month, and Russia’s forces can roll up to Kyiv and occupy the entire east bank of the Dnieper. The Americans will beg for a partitioning of Ukraine, and Cold War 2 will be in full effect.
Joe Biden will have done his job. So will the experts at Rand. American investors in commodities from missiles to wheat to oil and gas will continue to rake in hundreds of billions, and the losers will be the people of every country in the world. Worse still, if the citizens of the United States fall for the complete media takeover and the deep state controlling their lives, nothing will be off the table for the people standing behind the politicians. There’s the game. And now, you assess how important Bakhmut is.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”