Is Brezhinsky's wet dream of making Ukraine into 'Russia's Vietnam' turning into its own nightmare opposite? And did a game changer just fly under the radar?
An interesting picture is emerging of how the Kiev junta is trying to cling to power by avoiding the civil unrest in Kiev that will surely be its undoing. From sources in different parts of the country, it is clear that they are in real trouble, and desperate to keep the capital as calm as possible. Like a true collapsing empire or standard fascist playbook. Of course, the situation is quite fluid. The rebels are under serious pressure especially around Donetsk.
This can't be understated. Many analysts are cautioning against painting too rosy a picture, and they are right to do so. Unfortunately, things on the ground--in the immediate present--are not going as badly for the junta as we would all like to think. Donetsk is in imminent danger of being surrounded, and willpower and a huge advantage in casualty ration cannot completely erase the huge disparity in resources. Add to this the complete insanity of the junta (read--willingness to use barbaric tactics, banned weapons, etc), and it is quite a scary picture.
So I proceed with the usual caveats and caution advisable in such situations. No writer wants to risk his reputation as an analyst on bold predictions in the face of such volatility. On the other hand, timidity is hardly appropriate at this particular historical moment--so once more into the breach, shall we? Let's look at some of the details...
" From Kiev: "I live in Kyiv. There are many men here that signed papers to go and fight 2 months ago. ( my brother in-law been one of them) they have still not been called up. (I did explain to my brother in law I would break his legs before I let him go!)
" Ruthless and desperate, much more merciless in the smaller villages--and then especially in the east, where conscription serves as terror weapon as well as cannon-fodder harvesting:
Near Lutz: 87 men were conscripted from one village, and only 5 returned alive.
" From Kharkov A train was stopped and all men taken for conscription.
" In Odessa, singled out for particular punishment, a soccer stadium was surrounded and men filtered and taken to be sent to the front. Just like nazis.
Of course, it needs to be said that propaganda and counter-propaganda is a fact of war, and it is a tedious process to separate rumor from fact. Case in point, a source in Kharkov told me directly that his girlfriend warned him not to go to a certain metro stop (an incident separate from the above) because cops were all over it, 'taking boys away to the army.' For some inexplicable reason, he instead went right to the stop, and found no cops still there. Still, the panic indicated by such rumors just shows the level of hysteria and anxiety over conscription. Besides, there is little point in waiting for the corpses to settle, so to speak, before having anything to say--and letting the well-practiced liars of empire get too big a head start.
And liars in the Ukrainian theater of the absurd are easy to find. I know I should be more jaded by now, but I have been shocked to find a population perhaps even more brainwashed than Americans by the silly and ubiquitous lies, shitty reporting and outright fabrications of the corporate media. I never thought this possible--but the poor Ukrainians, whose media are virtually completely and directly owned by the oligarchs personally, are subject to an even sicker torrent of pro-fascist bullshit that simply boggles the mind. A leaked phone call from the positively ghoulish Kolomoysky to one of his owned editors provided some insight into the abject servitude of those supposedly 'running' the media--beginning with a vulgar and humiliating tirade for not picking up his call quickly enough: "So you're finally done talking now, you c**t?!"
Moreover, in the face of such an onslaught, it is especially significant when it seems the brainwashed population has had enough. Rumors are one thing, but video clips circulating show the reality of people's rising anger at a war they neither support nor understand. Few things should be more threatening to elites than conscripters being surrounded by mothers, sisters & wives of Ukrainian soldiers shouting: "You wont take our boys!" You can almost hear a faint echo of "Hell, no, we won't go--we won't fight for Texaco!"
Or a shocking call home from the front lines to relatives, explaining how dire the situation is:
Many supporters of the Novorossiyan rebellion are quick to point out that there is almost no active political consciousness on the part of such protests, and that they are not actively opposing the war itself, let alone the atrocities being committed by their sons and brothers on behalf of the oligarchs. For my own part, I say so what? Not because this is not important, but because it may be too much to ask for, at least for now, and because it may not be necessary to stop the war machine and obstruct the harvesting of cannon fodder for the oligarchs' ethnic-cleansing campaign in the east. After all, most Americans--even today--are unrepentant or even unaware of the scale of death rained down upon the people of southeast Asia. The body bags by themselves were enough to convince them that we were waist deep in the Big Muddy, and there was no need to listen to the Big Fool any longer. Dead kids are dead kids, especially if they are 'ours.' As a famous German once said, Wissen geht durch den Magen."
Well, big deal, right? That's what the Vietnam Syndrome was really all about--who needs the locals? If we can get mercenaries and fanatics to do the fighting, then the pushback--especially when unpoliticized--can be managed. But apparently, the junta does need the locals still, and in a big way. Of course, they and their puppeteers in Washington and Brussels are pulling out all the stops, and there are plenty of mercenaries already on the ground. However, they are increasingly winding up *under* the ground as well, and if you're in it for the money the odds are important. Today there was a report of a third American instructor, who was killed in the former city of Zhdanov. Two American advisers were already reportedly shot in Mariupol on July 24. Four more were killed recently during a fight at Dubrovka. Supposedly, such unexpected losses led to as many as half the advisers requesting to go home, while others agreed to continue the mission only if removed from the front lines.
Another report, while difficult to confirm, tells of 450 soldiers surrendering near Shakhtyorsk, with a large number of either Polish or Arab mercenaries among them. The trouble with hired thugs is that even they--or perhaps especially they--need to win, or at least survive in order to keep getting paid.
Now enter stage left the most recent escalation, even stupider and crazier than shooting down a civilian airliner to frame the Russians, and even more indicative of serious desperation. CNN informs that they have actually fired *ballistic missiles* in the latest insane attempt to regain the advantage. Is this aimed at scaring Russia? *Proving* that they are crazy enough to try anything (so don't mess with us)? Or just another example of the Full-Spectrum Arrogance being advanced by empire, egging on its proxies to undertake the most reckless crimes with impunity.