So, the invasion of Ukraine, or maybe the incursion into Ukraine has been going on for 36 hours and it’s beginning to feel like a looking-class war. What did Lewis Carroll mean when he wrote ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ in 1865? He meant that everything that you find when you go through the looking-glass is exactly the opposite of what you expect to find.
What did we expect to happen in Ukraine? We expected that the Russian military would come into the country, smash the Ukrainian military to bits in a heartbeat or two, kill or imprison all the big shots in Zelensky’s government, and quickly turn Ukraine into a client state.
Now the other day I happened to write a column in which I recalled what happened when the Russians came into Afghanistan in 1980. Remember that one? The U.S. military response consisted of pulling out of the Olympic Games and as for the Russians, who were supposed to be able to mop up the Kabul government in a couple of weeks, what they got for a nine-year military conflict that might have resulted in ten percent of the Afghan population either getting killed or running away into Pakistan, was the collapse of the Soviet Regime.
The one big difference between Afghanistan in 1980 and Ukraine in 2022 is that back in 1980 we didn’t have a media industry which treated every event as click-bait for viewing numbers rather than as something which needs to be reported as news. And by using the word ‘news’ what I mean is an attempt to figure out what is really happening somewhere in the world, rather than just creating a two-minute narrative to keep your viewers engaged between advertisements for a skin cream to get rid of the itchiness from psoriasis or a new way to keep dandruff out of your hair.
Or better yet, maybe while you’re sitting in front of your TV, you should be wolfing down a pizza just delivered by Little Caesar’s, Domino or Pizza Hut which contains enough calories to feed the entire population of Malawi in Central Africa. And don’t forget to wash the slice down with a full-calorie drink and follow that up with some Doritos for dessert.
But anyway, here’s the latest ‘news’ from Ukraine. According to Fox, there hasn’t been any Russian invasion into Ukraine at all. The whole thing has been fabricated by the Biden Administration to deflect attention away from the Durham Report, which was a stupid attempt by the Department of Justice under Trump to pretend that Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election was just an example of Hillary Clinton fraud.
On the other hand, we have this real doozy yesterday from CNN, which admitted that by the time their reporter arrived at an airport outside of Kiev that was allegedly now in Russian hands, they discovered that the airport was being guarded by Ukrainian soldiers who somehow had managed to gain control of the facility again.
But the best story of all is the one coming out of China, where their media is claiming that Putin has stated he is willing to begin negotiating with Ukraine over whether the Kyiv government will join or not join NATO in the coming months.
That was quick! The Russians invade Ukraine and in less than two days the Russians are ready to talk peace. Maybe it’s because of the latest ‘news’ from the battlefield where a Ukrainian fighter pilot is being credited with shooting down six Russian planes.
Where did MSN get this story? From personally-owned Twitter accounts. So now we have a war being reported by a news agency called Twitter. And MSN has covered its own rear end by saying that these are ‘unconfirmed’ reports.
They may be ‘unconfirmed’ but that didn’t keep MSN from using this story to bridge the gap between advertisements for an over-the-counter ‘remedy’ that improves memory and Shaquille O’Neill pushing some magic potion that restores my 77-year old libido to where it was back in the prehistoric days.
The only thing I haven’t yet seen this morning is a comment about the Russia-Ukraine conflict coming from Donald Trump. But we’ll get that later today when Trump goes in front of his adoring CPAC fans to tell them that Putin’s a good friend and a very nice guy.