Gordon Chang pointed out on CNN that President Obama’s statement in Estonia that there is no military solution in Ukraine means that Vladimir Putin has a green light to continue his aggression there. No “military solution,” from Obama’s point of view, means that the U.S. will not support the freedom fighters in Ukraine.
“The West has refused pleas from Kiev [Ukraine] for heavier weaponry to repel Russian armor,” The Wall Street Journal points out in its Wednesday edition.
In effect, Obama has turned his back on the millions of young men and women in Ukraine who dared to dream of freedom and independence for their country. Obama and his Western allies, including Angela Merkel of Germany, are letting Russia carry out a slaughter.
It is not on our TV screens, in the same way that the Islamic State is beheading Americans, but the lives being lost are just as real. However, the American people are being misled by Russian propaganda masquerading as “news” into thinking that there is some factual dispute over what is really happening there, and that Russia has a legitimate gripe. The impact of this campaign of disinformation and propaganda cannot be ignored.
We have pointed out repeatedly that the Western media play into Moscow’s hands by treating Putin’s lies as just another point of view. We see examples of this every day. A phony “balance” is achieved between what should be obvious—that Russia has invaded Ukraine—with obviously false denials. Consider a story in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.
Alan Cullison’s story, “Russian Ambush Spoils Soldier’s Fortune,” is full of important information about the brave struggle of the Ukrainian forces and how they have not received the support from the U.S. they deserve. Yet, we are also treated to outright lies from the Russians.
Cullison notes that Ukrainian soldier Artyom Kravchenko, the main subject of his piece, “and thousands like him who are long on enthusiasm and short on weapons are being quickly overrun by better-armed Russian troops and Russian-armed militias.” This statement demonstrates what everyone knows to be the case—that the Russians have invaded Ukraine. Indeed, Kravchenko was captured by Russians after being seriously wounded in an ambush. He was later released, eventually arriving in a hospital in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, for treatment of his injuries.
The article notes, “Europe has responded with moral outrage and sanctions that have so far proved ineffective against Russia, which denies that it is funneling arms or troops across the border.” The Russian denial is apparently inserted for the sake of balance, although it is contradicted by all of the other facts in the story.
“In a war that has been fought mostly through long-distance artillery exchanges, the wounded arriving in Dnipropetrovsk are among the few Ukrainian soldiers who have seen Russian soldiers in Ukraine face-to-face,” Cullison notes.
Then he provides a window into the mentality of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine, who have been brainwashed by Putin’s media. “Russia’s state-controlled media has demonized the Ukrainian government as riddled with neo-Nazis,” Cullison reported. “Survivors of the ambush said the Russian soldiers were mainly paratroopers who were kind to prisoners, but believed reports on Russian television that Ukraine had set up concentration camps for ethnic Russians.”
Russia originally invaded Ukraine in February, taking Crimea, and now it is seizing Eastern Ukraine. Still, Obama has failed to support the brave people of Ukraine against Russia with the weapons they need for their own self-defense.
The truth is that Putin is winning, lives are being lost, and Obama is doing nothing of substance to stop the Russians. Putin is winning in part as a result of brainwashing not only his own people, but the West. The constant nonsense about Nazis in Ukraine is even having an impact here.
The Journal story about the Ukrainian soldier notes that his training consisted of calisthenics and one day of shooting a Kalashnikov. He then boarded a minivan that joined a column of at least 60 other Ukrainian vehicles. The story went on, “Ukraine’s poorly funded armed forces often rely on buses and minivans to ferry many of their troops. After the convoy had been on the road about an hour, Russians and Russia-backed militia opened fire on it, first with mortars, then with machine guns, he said.” Kravchenko managed to escape with a serious shoulder injury, but his fellow soldiers were killed.
The Journal notes that his unit, “funded by private donations, was no match for the artillery and tank fire of the Russian military.” Again, this is another confirmation of the Russian military invading Ukraine—as if we needed more proof. And yet the Russian denials keep getting reported as if they mean something.
The sad part of the story, from an American point of view, is that the Obama administration is sacrificing the lives of these soldiers when, with appropriate and necessary support, they could have a fighting chance of saving their country.
The failure to provide them with weapons of self-defense says far more than Obama’s words in Estonia about saving the West and the NATO alliance against Russia. Obama just can’t be believed.
Kravchenko told the Journal, “I was an idealist and I wanted to help. But I don’t think we can do anything now.” His enthusiasm has clearly left him.
And who can blame him? Obama, Merkel and the rest of these Western “leaders” have refused to support the Ukrainian struggle for independence from Moscow.
At the same time, Obama plays into Putin’s hands by refusing to even describe the invasion of Ukraine as an invasion. Our media go along with the facade, playing into Obama’s (and Putin’s) hands.
It’s almost as if Obama is a puppet of Putin.
It’s time for the media—in what we used to call the “free world”—to decide which side they’re on. Truth requires facing the facts about evil not only in the Middle East but inside the Kremlin.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org