One remarkable thing about the elites in government and media is how they can wind us up and wind us all down, almost at will. Americans, in spite of their war weariness from Iraq, seem also pretty eager to get involved, at least for a short while, in pretty much every place on earth if we’re riled up long enough.
A year or so ago, we were supposed to fight Assad. Then ISIS (i.e., Assad’s enemies). Before that we were traipsing around Libya, where we were told we needed to “do something” to protect the freedom-loving Libyan People.
Earlier this year we were supposed to go to to toe with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula (a scene of mad, brutal European War involving many similar issues, 170 or so years ago). Now we have largely forgotten about it. Perhaps this is because the “forces of freedom” in Ukraine are so undeniably embarrassing, not least because so many are unabashed brutal neo-Nazis who made a cult of the genocidal Stepan Bandera.
Things stabilized at the end of the summer, after the rebels started to win back lost territory in a large scale offensive that squeezed out remaining pockets of Ukrainian troops, restored lands lost during the Ukrainian Army spring offensive, and threatened the city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The Kiev government remained in control of the nearly-destroyed airport, and it became an Alamo-like place where its prestige was on the line, after losing thousands of troops, scores of tanks and heavy equipment to the increasingly well organized and capable rebels.
In spite of the cease fire, for the last six months, the Ukrainian Army and Donetsk rebel units would occasionally have artillery duels, often resulting in the death of civilians. Neither side clearly had moral authority in terms of its conduct during the war, and the coup-regime in Kiev seems to have little or to have lost its moral authority in the country’s East, where a great many people clearly want to go their own way and be more closely aligned to Russia.
Now the fight is apparently gearing up after the Ukrainian Army had a long period of European and American-funded rest and refit. Nonetheless, as before, their funding and equipment do not make up for a lack of operational art. The airport is now back in rebel hands.
You have to dig really deep into the NY Times and CNN, with their obsessions over Ferguson and global warming, to know any of this is happening. Be sure that if the power elites decide they want to hobble Russia, images of the noble Ukrainian Army and the evil rebels will be played nonstop. If there is one thing the elites of the government, media, and education know how to do, it is to manipulate public opinion.
Sadly, for the people of Donetsk, the war and shelling go on whether ordinary Americans are paying attention to it or not.