As of mid-April, when a Pentagon flack announced it in Kiev, and as barely reported in American media, U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine.
Now there is a lead I have long dreaded writing but suspected from the first that one day I would. Do not take a moment to think about this. Take many moments. We all need to. We find ourselves in grave circumstances this spring.
At first I thought I had written what newspaper people call a double-barreled lead: American soldiers in Ukraine, American media not saying much about it. Two facts.
Wrong. There is one fact now, and it is this: Americans are being led blindfolded very near the brink of war with Russia.
One cannot predict there will be one. And, of course, right-thinking people hope things will never come to one. In March, President Obama dismissed any such idea as if to suggest it was silly. “They’re not interested in a military confrontation with us,” Obama said of the Russians—wisely. Then he added, unwisely: “We don’t need a war.”
Don’t need a war to get what done, Mr. President? This is our question. Then this one: Washington is going to stop at exactly what as it manipulates its latest set of puppets in disadvantaged countries, this time pretending there is absolutely nothing thoughtless or miscalculated about doing so on Russia’s historically sensitive western border?
The pose of American innocence, tatty and tiresome in the best of times, is getting dangerous once again.
The source of worry now is that we do not have an answer to the second question. The project is plain: Advance NATO the rest of the way through Eastern Europe, probably with the intent of eventually destabilizing Moscow. The stooges now installed in Kiev are getting everything ready for the corporations eager to exploit Ukrainian resources and labor.
And our policy cliques are willing to go all the way to war for this? As of mid-April, when the 173rd Airborne Brigade started arriving in Ukraine, it looks as if we are on notice in this respect.