Thanks to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we indeed seem to be rushing headlong into a major war—possibly a World War Three, possibly the world’s first (and perhaps last) nuclear war.
Ukraine leadership and their Western backers seem hell-bent on fighting to the last man, and Vladimir Putin, as an old-school Cold Warrior, seems equally determined to press ahead until achieving victory.
The cause seems hopeless for Ukraine, who cannot reasonably expect to prevail in an extended conflict with one of the largest militaries on Earth. At best, they may bleed Russia over a period of months or years, but only at the cost of massive blood-letting themselves. It seems that Ukraine will be the loser in this struggle, no matter what comes.
In the Western media, we are presented with a remarkably simplified storyline: Putin is an evil warmonger who simply wants to extend Russian territory; to this end, he is exploiting events in Ukraine, deploying his military ostensibly to support the Russian-speaking districts of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
But this is just cover, they say, for his mad quest to rebuild the Russian empire. In pursuit of his goal, he is willing to inflict any amount of material damage and kill any number of civilians.
Fortunately, say our media, Putin has thus far been largely contained; the brave Ukrainian fighters are constantly “reclaiming” land, Russia’s advance has “stalled,” and Russia seems to be in danger of losing.
Consequently, the US and its allies must do all they can to “aid” and “support” the brave Ukrainians and their beleaguered but heroic leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. No amount of money, no assortment of deadly weaponry, no military intelligence, is too much.
Like World War Two, this “war” is an unconditional struggle of Good versus Evil; therefore the West, as the moral paragon of the world, must step up, undergo sacrifice, and ensure that Good prevails.
And indeed, the financial support from just the United States is breathtaking: As of early May, Congress has approved $13.6 billion in aid, much of it for direct Ukrainian military support. And yet this would only cover costs through September.
Thus, president Biden recently called for an additional package of $33 billion, which would include over $20 billion in military and security aid, and, surprisingly, $2.6 billion for “the deployment of American troops to the region,” in order to “safeguard NATO allies.”
Incredibly, Congress responded by approving$40 billion, bringing the total aid thus far to $54 billion.
For perspective, this represents over 80% of Russia’s annual defense budget of $66 billion. (By contrast, America allocates well over $1 trillion—that is, $1,000 billion—annually in direct and indirect military expenditures.)
Notably, such unconditional support and defense of Ukraine is a virtually unanimous view across the American political spectrum, and throughout Europe.
Right and left, conservative and liberal, working class or wealthy elite, all sectors of society are apparently united in opposition to the evil Putin.
In an era when virtually no issue garners unanimous support, the Ukrainian cause stands out as an extremely rare instance of bipartisan, multi-sector agreement.
The rare dissenters—such as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and a handful of alt-right renegades—are routinely attacked as “Russian assets” or “tools of Putin.” There is no room for disagreement, no space for debate, no opposing views allowed.
In fact, though, this is yet another case of what I might call the “unanimity curse”: when all parties in American society are united on a topic, any topic, then we really need to worry.
The best cure for this catastrophic situation is unrestricted free speech. The Lobby knows this, however, and thus takes all possible measures to inhibit free speech. Normally, such a struggle ebbs and flows according to the issue and the times; but now, the situation is dire. Now more than ever, a lack of free speech could be fatal to civilized society.