Posted by Roger Mallett Posted on 20 November 2022

This relentless barrage of balderdash

ONE of the crazier recent headlines read: ‘Rishi Sunak says Russia to blame for Poland strike – regardless of who fired missile’.

There you have it. The Russians are to blame, always and for ever. Even if they didn’t actually do what they are accused of, and that the ramifications of it might be, oh you know, World War III. Whether or not the Ukrainians had something to gain from such an act is, it seems, irrelevant.

Not that I have any idea who shot which missile where. The news is impossible to read, so squelching with propaganda as it is. Take two articles from the Telegraph from the same day a week or so ago. One was titled ‘Russia losing significantly more aircraft than it can replace’, another ‘Russian air power could overwhelm Ukraine’. At least I now understand what reading the news in the Soviet Union might have been like.

In an attempt to backtrack somewhat, other media outlets are now calling the Poland-bound missile ‘Russian-made’ instead of ‘Russian’. I once stubbed my toe on a piece of Ikea furniture and still harbour resentment towards the Swedes, so I appreciate the distinction.

The war drags on, and nobody seems too sure why. Certainly not much of our national interest lies in that patch of Eastern Europe. The Yanks want to throw another $37.7billion at the Ukrainians, adding to the billions already injected into various bank accounts and blown up on the Eastern European steppe. It’s all for a good cause as we fight for the freedom of Ukraine until we run out of Ukrainians, or until the money given to the Ukrainians is lost in dodgy crypto-exchanges linked to the Democrat Party.

Not that everything gets the press as war-aroused as a missile strike on some poor unsuspecting Poles. Nord Stream II – one of Europe’s most significant pieces of infrastructure – is blown up amid, er, how should we say, strange circumstances, and it passes through the media cycle as fast as any piece of low-IQ celebrity gossip. Bridges, too, are blown up and speedily memory-holed.

When an awkward question arises it is ignored. After all, the war is now reductio ad Putler – the man in the Kremlin is very bad and we are very good. That knowledge is enough to analyse every event as it unfolds.

Whether the West told the USSR that it would not expand Nato eastwards when the Soviets pulled troops out of East Germany, whether our moves to co-opt Ukraine into Western military frameworks might constitute a threat from the Muscovite point of view, or whether the big brains in Washington might have upped the ante by fostering the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, is neither here or there. It might be a few decades yet before the West spots its post-1991 strategic idiocy. It’s hardly surprising: we can scarcely remember who our own prime minister was last month, let alone thinking back a whole eight years to Euromaidan. Our longue durée is now approximately the time it takes to refresh our Twitter feed.

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