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Israel’s mixed blessing for Ukraine The Western alliance can't fight on two fronts

Zelenskyy's dream is unravelling (Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Zelenskyy's dream is unravelling (Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)


November 8, 2023   6 mins

In the month since Hamas’s attack, the reduced coverage of the Ukraine war has been a mixed blessing for Zelenskyy and his international backers. Perhaps most obviously, it has caused Ukraine to plummet among the West’s priorities, at a time when political support for continued military aid was already waning. But it has also concealed an uncomfortable truth from the public: Ukraine — and the West — are losing the war.

Even the most ardent supporters of the maximalist victory-at-all-costs narrative are now starting to admit that the Nato-backed counteroffensive has failed. Despite billions of dollars spent and tens of thousands of casualties, Ukraine has barely made any territorial gains, while Russia continues to make significant advances, mostly in the north-east.

In a repeat of its year-long campaign to capture the town of Bakhmut, Russia is now doubling down on its efforts to capture the eastern city of Avdiivka, which has been a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since 2014. According to Oleksiy Arestovych, Zelenskyy’s presidential advisor until January 2023 and now a staunch opponent, the fall of Avdiivka, which would be the seventh city in a row lost by Ukraine, is almost certain. “Everyone in the military knows that troops from the southern front have been transferred to Avdiivka; this means goodbye to the southern offensive,” he further noted.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Arestovych also called the counteroffensive a “disaster” and directly accused Zelenskyy of making several strategic mistakes: “There will be no return to the borders of 1991, and there will be no Crimea in the near future,” he said. Even the US’s much-vaunted provision of long-range ATACMS missiles — which have allowed Ukraine to strike at several targets in Crimea — appear to be falling short of expectations: Russia’s military recently claimed that it had shot down two of them, showing that it is rapidly adapting to new military circumstances.

This reality — which many had predicted — is now starting to dawn even on Western pro-war pundits. As Max Hastings, a long-time believer in military support for Ukraine, put it, “whatever hawkish blowhards may say, the liberation of Crimea and the eastern Donbas is unlikely to happen”.

The real shocker, however, is that this is now being acknowledged, if in slightly more nuanced terms, by Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, General Valery Zaluzhny. Last week, in a surprisingly frank interview with The Economist, Zaluzhny said that “just like in the First World War we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate. There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough”. This would require some major military-technological innovation — but “there is no sign that this is around the corner”, he added.

Zaluzhny made several other striking admissions. According to the general, Russia lost at least 150,000 troops — a much lower estimate than the numbers previously circulated by Ukrainian and Western sources. If that is true, it means that Russia has lost almost as many troops as Ukraine, despite having a much larger population; US and European estimates put the Ukrainian death toll at well above 100,000. Not only has this undercut Ukraine’s assumption that it could stop Russia by bleeding its troops, as Zaluzhny admits, but it reveals that, in fact, it is Ukraine that has been bled of troops, in large part as a result of the counteroffensive itself. As the general put it: “Sooner or later we are going to find that we simply don’t have enough people to fight.” The Government, in response, has reacted by enacting harsher conscription policies, but these are already showing their limits. As the Deputy Minister of Defence Natalia Kalmykova recently admitted in a television interview, “hundreds of thousands of citizens are currently trying to avoid mobilisation”.

Zaluzhny doesn’t go as far as saying that the offensive should be abandoned, but this is one conclusion that could be drawn from his assessment that the war has reached a stalemate. Given Zaluzhny’s rank — and the fact that he went on record with this extremely bleak analysis — it’s not surprising to learn that this assessment is shared by most people in Zelenskyy’s entourage. In last week’s Time magazine cover story, Simon Shuster claimed that “Zelenskyy’s associates themselves are extremely skeptical about the [current] policy”.

The one person who seems unwilling to face reality, however, is Zelenskyy himself. In a recent interview with NBC, the Ukrainian president rebuked the notion that the war is in a stalemate — and indeed his office publicly chastised Zaluzhny for his claims, suggesting that his comments would help the Russian invasion. As The New York Times notes, this “signal[s] an emerging rift between the military and civilian leadership at an already challenging time for Ukraine”, as testified by the recent dismissal of Ukraine’s head of special operations forces. In the aforementioned interview, Zelenskyy reiterated his long-standing position: that Ukraine will not negotiate with Russia until it entirely withdraws from Ukrainian territories, concluding that Ukraine is not ready to concede its freedom to the “fucking terrorist Putin”.

As Shuster noted, however, “Zelenskyy’s belief in Ukraine’s ultimate victory over Russia has hardened into a form that worries some of his advisers”, who described Zelenskyy’s conviction as “immovable, verging on the messianic”. “He deludes himself,” one of his closest aides told Shuster in frustration. “We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”

Such pessimism, and distrust in the country’s civilian leadership, is palpable even on the frontlines. “We’re not moving forward,” the aide said. Some frontline commanders, he continued, have begun refusing orders to advance, even when they came directly from the office of the president. He further noted that, even if the US and its allies come through with all the weapons they have pledged, Ukraine doesn’t have enough troops to use them.

The image of Zelenskyy that emerges is thus a truly desperate one: an increasingly isolated and delusional leader, pacing up and down his bunker, demanding a total military victory that everyone knows to be impossible. What’s tragic is that many of the claims now being aired by Zelenskyy’s own people have been made by critics of Nato strategy in Ukraine for over a year — only to be dismissed as “Putin talking points”. How many lives were sacrificed in the pursuit of an impossible military aim? And how many could have been saved if the West had been more willing to tolerate an open discussion about the limitations of Ukraine’s, and Nato’s, stated aims?

Just 10 months ago, after all, Shuster himself was among those lionising Zelenskyy, writing the article in which the Ukrainian president was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”, helping to forge the Hollywood-esque character he now can’t escape. Back then, the Western media had its own talking points, but they now appear to have changed. Shuster’s latest article, and others along the same lines, don’t just signal a rift among Ukrainian ranks — but among Western ranks as well. The message to Zelenskyy from certain quarters seems to be: “It’s time to fall in line.”

So, what comes next? Given the situation, there aren’t many options left for Ukraine. One is to hunker down and prepare for a long war of attrition — one in which Russia has the advantage, as Zaluzhny himself notes. But this would require a constant supply of weapons from the West, in even greater quantities than now, for which there is declining political support, especially in the US. Just before Hamas’s attack, Congress had frozen US aid to Ukraine.

Biden hoped to overcome Republican resistance to sending more money to Ukraine by linking aid to Ukraine and aid to Israel (for which there is overwhelming bipartisan support) into a single bill worth a whopping $100 billion. To further drive the message home, the President drew a direct link between Putin and Hamas: “Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: they both want to completely annihilate a neighbouring democracy.” He also reiterated the claim that “if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine”.

Such excitable arguments, however, increasingly carry less weight in Washington. Indeed, the new GOP House speaker, Mike Johnson, spurned Biden’s request and demanded a vote on Israel aid alone, in a testament to just how toxic the issue of funding for Ukraine has become among Republicans. The US announced a new $425 million security package last Friday, but fell way short of the $60 billion requested by the White House. It’s likely that a new round of aid for Ukraine will be approved in the end, but it’s clear that US support for Ukraine is nearing its expiry date.

Once that happens, given the EU is neither able nor willing to plug the gap left by the US, Ukraine will be left with no other choice but to negotiate a truce, if not an actual peace deal, which will necessarily involve some kind of territorial compromise with Russia. According to NBC, the West has already begun secret talks with the Ukrainian government about what peace negotiations with Russia might entail. Publicly, however, the topic is still taboo — not only because it would be a de facto admission of defeat for Nato, but also because it would have to explain why it prohibited Kyiv from conducting peace negotiations with Moscow in March 2022, when Ukraine had a chance to end the conflict on better terms than it could ever hope for today.

This situation has been further complicated in the past month. For the wars in Israel-Gaza and Ukraine are more closely related than one may think — not in the simplistic good-versus-evil terms used by Biden, but because they effectively represent two fronts of a global proxy war in which the West is pitted against a growing front encompassing Russia, China and Iran. This is why the West can’t accept a public defeat in Ukraine at the moment. What happens in the Middle East has direct implications for the conflict in Ukraine and vice versa, and both sides know it.

Ultimately, however, just as in Ukraine, it is hard to see how the West can win in Gaza. Even if Israel succeeds in completely eradicating Hamas, the high civilian death count will only harden anti-Western sentiments in the region, and beyond. If the West believed encouraging war would rekindle its waning influence in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, on both fronts, it seems we are fighting a losing battle.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago

The West is fighting on three fronts. The third front is with itself, which is why it is losing on the other two fronts.

Social radicals in our institutions have demolished the West from within. Multiculturalism, and I loosely include belief systems such as intersectionality and the cult of net zero, have utterly divided Western societies. At a most basic level, there is no longer a presumed loyalty to the group that makes concerted action for a common purpose possible. It leaves us muddled at home and conflicted abroad.

Any policy, and intervention, is going to be partial, biased, and have critics. The West has such large divisions that there are huge numbers of critics within the organs of the state on all sides. It is impossible to maintain carefully developed long-standing strategies. There is no constancy, the centre cannot hold. We yield to the radicals and swing to the fringes.

We saw this in Ukraine. NATO had a strategy for a broader Russian invasion of Ukraine out of Crimea. That military strategy was to slow any advance whilst a political solution was negotiated because a protracted ground war between Ukraine and Russia would be at best a stalemate. Yet when the invasion happened, our huge divisions meant the centre could not hold. The loudest critics from the fringes forced that strategy to be ditched in the first week.

We saw this with COVID. Health departments across the West had prepared for a respiratory illness just like it. That health strategy was to work towards natural immunity and keep society functioning to avoid far worse secondary consequences of lockdowns. Yet when the virus happened, our huge divisions meant the centre could not hold. The loudest critics from the fringes forced that strategy to be ditched in the first fortnight.

We see this with Gaza. Foreign policy strategy has always treated terrorists as beyond the pale; in all circumstances strategy was to deal only with civic intermediaries of the terrorists (even if that meant first creating the civic groups ourselves) so as to isolate the terrorists from within. Yet here we are treating Hamas as a civic group, the civic representatives of Gazans, and directly sending aid to Hamas to distribute only weeks after Hamas broke a ceasefire and knowing Hamas will use this aid to reinforce and break the next ceasefire. The loudest critics from the fringes, now a very large minority visible on our streets, have forced that strategy to be ditched in a couple of weeks.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Agree your analysis. Not for the first time. The US obsession with race and gender has spilled over to the West generally and distorted the lense through which many now view the world.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

“NATO had a strategy for a broader Russian invasion of Ukraine out of Crimea”.
Could you please expand on that a little, I can’t have been paying attention at the time!

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, NATO was prompted to consider the response if Russia made further incursions into Ukrainian territory. The military balance of probability was that unless NATO was to directly intervene, Ukraine would not be able to repel Russia but instead hold a line. Further, it was probable Ukraine would not be able to hold a line without support from the West, that such support would inevitably be subject to other international demands, and Ukraine could not hold on indefinitely because of attritional losses. It was this military advice that advised the realpolitik and justified the Minsk II negotiations.
In the meantime, Ukraine’s military was upgraded by the West to deter further Russian aggression. This upgrade would convince Russia that any invasion would be slow to advance, Ukraine would hold a line much closer to its borders, and Russia would suffer large losses. However, these upgrades would not address the problem of attritional losses, and so would not deter Russia from engaging in a protracted war if that’s what it was prepared to do.
Russia did again invade in 2020 so the deterrence had failed. The military analysis from 2014 was still applicable in 2020: attritional losses would dictate how long Ukraine could defend against a belligerent Russia fully committed to the invasion unless NATO directly intervened. The realpolitik would be unchanged from 2015, the only solution a political one.
What differed in 2020 was Ukraine’s early successes and the shrill voices of non-military advisors who loudly declared they had a unique insight into the politics of Putin’s Russia. The military advice didn’t change but a now highly politicised NATO leadership ignored its own advisors.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Thanks for that history.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Thank you so much.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

You missed the bit where Merkel and Hollande both admitted that they had no intention of honouring the Minsk accords, so deceived Russia, while arming and building up the Ukraine military for another attack. You also don’t mention the continuous attacks on the Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass regions that eventually forced the Russians to do something to protect these people.
It was a Western provocation. Russia either had to protect these people who were being shelled daily and therefore be seen to be aggressive or do nothing and allow the attacks to continue and be seen to be weak.
Victoria Nuland boasted about this.

Kathy Hayman
Kathy Hayman
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Also, briefly, the existential threat to Russian integrity is never mentioned by commentators (not referring to Fazi here). The fact that the Warsaw pact was disbanded and East and West Germany were once again united in return for NATO not pushing further East has been ignored by the press. To all those who wish to blame Russia for all the ills of the world just to take a look at the map you’ll see there’s 850 NATO sites……and please don’t tell me they are defensive. By contrast Russia has 80 or so and China fewer. Just ask yourself which Wars since the end of WW2 have been started and maintained by the United States supported adoringingly by UK. Which countries likewise have never been invaded; the U.S the UK Australia Canada and all the other west white colonial countries, which other countries are constantly invaded and by whom. No need to consider anything else.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

NATO was very reluctant to extend eastwards. The former Warsaw Pact countries were extremely fearful of continued Russian interference, up to and including invasion (and you can see why) and agitated for membership. Likewise, the recent accession of Sweden and Finland was driven by fear of Russia, not by NATO expansionism.
There was and is no threat to Russian integrity. Contrary to assertions by the uninitiated, there have been NATO countries on the borders of the Soviet Union (Norway and Turkey) since NATO’s creation and the addition of Poland in 1999 is hardly recent enough to justify Putin’s aggressions in the current century.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

It’s the USA that wants all the Russian territory for all the resources. As the imperial days of colonialism are over they have got to do it by proxy. Ukraine is the proxy. Or to use another analogy,the ostrich feather fan of the exotic dancer of yore.

Richard Huw Morris
Richard Huw Morris
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I have thought this also. Russia is rich in natural resources that the West would dearly love to exploit.

Gordana Dainow
Gordana Dainow
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

I clicked on a thumb up (even that was not planned), but -1 appeared???

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Gordana Dainow

Happens all the time on UnHerd.. I find my upvotes frequently appear as downvotes and vice versa…

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Gordana Dainow

Fixed I expect. Things were not allowed to say.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Russia drew a red line on NATO membership in Ukraine long ago. It vehemently did so when George W. Bush suggested it in 2008. That was driven by NATO expansionism, not by Ukraine’s fears.
Russia’s objections are understandable. NATO missiles in Ukraine is to Russia like Soviet Union missiles in Cuba to the United States. It didn’t help that the United States fomented the coup d’etat of Ukraine’s president in 2014.
I agree that Ukraine trying to join NATO does not justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But I don’t think the United States’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were justified either.
More importantly, justification or not, I think it was the reason for invasion. In 2019 Ukraine passed a constitutional amendment to join NATO and the EU. Two months later Ukrainians elected Volodymyr Zelensky as a peace president who would finally end fighting in the Donbas. Things didn’t work out as planned.
Would it have helped if Ukraine had not pushed NATO membership? We’ll never know. But even now I think it would be worth the gamble of Ukraine offering to stay out of NATO as long as the West gave it security guarantees. There is a difference between NATO membership and security guarantees, and the path to peace may mean making that distinction.

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

What security guarantees?
Ukraine was given security guarantees by Russia, USA etc in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons.
Did it work? No.
Why do you think Finland and Sweden joined NATO?
Surely not because they trust Russian guarantees of security.
If Ukraine is sacrificed, all region is going nuclear.
Countries like Poland, Finland and Sweden can see that the only way to deter Russian genocidal imperialism is to have nukes.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Security guarantees that would say that the NATO nations would come to Ukraine’s defense if it was attacked. But Ukraine would not be a full member of NATO and NATO would not place any weapons there.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
8 months ago

Yes look at the Russian relationship with its neighbours in the ‘near abroad’ – mostly either puppet/client states or enemies. It’s a common mistake to assume that China and Russia are somehow buddies, except in the temporarily convenient sense of ‘enemy’s enemy, my friend’.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago

Not much. All those vast limitless resources are very entrancing.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

Russia was a terrible neighbour that did terrible things to its possessions in Eastern Europe. It can’t claim a veto over what those neighbours do now they’re free of Russian control.
However, I also recognise that in the 90s Russia was subjected by the West to an extreme experiment. If one is charitable you could say it was ill-advised and if one is cynical you could say it was intended to fracture the Russian empire and permenantly reduce its influence.
Russia now has good reason to be suspicious of the West, and Russian actions give good reason for the West to want to contain Russia. It is a viscious circle with both sides convinced of their justness.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

You just have to study Eastern European History to find out why these countries wanted to be under the protective umbrella of NATO. All these Nations were brutally suppressed and invaded by communist Russia as soon as any resistance was noticed. As soon as the Soviet Union broke apart, all of them said “never again”. Talk to Eastern European people and you will find out how deeply they despised to be under any Russian threat.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Ukraine largely got along well with Russia until the United States fomented a bloody coup d’etat in 2014 that sent its president fleeing to Russia for his life.

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

If ou really knew history of this part of the world, you would not be posting rubbish like this.
Read about Holodomor.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrew F
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I’m talking about post 1992.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You might want to read a bit about about Viktor Yanukovych, who tried to change the Ukrainian Constitution before he fled. He became a Russian puppet
Ukraine’s Western half was called Galicia and for 2 centuries part of the Habsburg Empire. Many nationalities lived in that region. The whole history there is very complex as kingdoms and Empires changed throughout centuries. Borders moved after WWI and post WWII as the Soviet Union made the whole of Ukraine part of its Empire. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 90s, new countries were established as some of the Soviet republics broke away.
It is easy to say that the US fomented the conflict. Many parties were involved, not least the Western Ukrainian population, who didn’t want to be just another Russian Satellite.
Hopefully in the not too distant future, the most likely outcome at a peace conference, might be a semi independent Eastern Ukraine, maybe loosely linked to Russia, and an independent Western Ukraine, imbedded in the Western Alliance.

Last edited 8 months ago by Stephanie Surface
jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago

Didn’t that Russian boss,was it Brezhnev declare Ukraine a country for mischief or something before he left power.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

And put an actor,and a crap one,in place,now he is starting to go off script so he may not be around much longer.

Ben Hopkins
Ben Hopkins
8 months ago

They were brutally suppressed by the Communist USSR, which also did its best to brutally suppress Russian culture. It murdered the Russian royal family, eliminated all Russian folk and religious festivals, shut down the Russian Orthodox Church and destroyed Russian village life (replacing it with huge collective farms). So you could say that Eastern European countries got off lightly compared to what the Russians themselves suffered at the hands of Communist tyrants, most of whom were not Russian. Lenin was a Russian who hated his country (like most Communists…). Stalin was Georgian, as was Beria. Krushchev was Ukrainian. Trotsky was Jewish. Gorbachev was Russian and he’s the one who let the whole thing collapse. So while I totally understand the Eastern European fear of ‘Russia’ – I think it is a mistake to equate the modern Russian nation with the communist USSR, considering all that the USSR did to undermine it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Ben Hopkins
Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben Hopkins

If you really knew history of Russia, you would know that whether it was Tsarism, Communism or Putinism, it was always the same Russian genocidal imperialism.
Communism is not an exception in Russian history.
It follows the usual pattern of dictatorships, violence and poverty since the times where Russian rulers were tax collectors for the Tatars.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben Hopkins

All what you say about Communist Russia is correct, but tell me: Do you think that Putin’s Russia is a proper working democracy like all the rest of the Eastern European Nations? Putin just said that he will be President for at least another 7 years. You can forget Free Elections or an Independent Judiciary…
Russia before the communists was also expansionists under the various tsars. Eastern European Nations have a historical fear of Russia in whatever new form it presents itself.

Last edited 8 months ago by Stephanie Surface
Ben Hopkins
Ben Hopkins
8 months ago

If by ‘democracy’ you mean ‘competitive elections’ – obviously Russia is not very democratic. If you mean ‘a government which is broadly on the same page as the ‘demos’, then Russia is more ‘democratic’ than many Western countries. Putin is basically a ‘populist’.

Historical Russian geographical expansionism has to be viewed in the context of a world in which all major powers were expansionist. As for expanding its sphere of interest – modern Russia uses all means at its disposal to do so, as does the US, the EU, China etc.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago

When you know something is how it is why not just let it be.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Ben Hopkins

The Russian Revolution was organised and run by Jews and Lenin was a liar and a thief.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago

It is a common error to confound modern day Russia with the Soviet Union. You might as well assume Germany is still run by nazis.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Claire M

You can’t compare modern Germany with Putin’s Russia. Modern day Russia, except for a short period under Jeltsin, was/is also a dictatorship. There is a hardly an independent judiciary. If you disagree with Putin, you end up in prison, fall out of the window, end up in an airplane crash or poisoned etc. etc.
Also if you look at the Historical Russia, the Tsars were always trying to expend their territories to the West.
People in Eastern Europe have a deeply seated historical fear of Russia, so were very anxious to join NATO.

Last edited 8 months ago by Stephanie Surface
jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Claire M

Ha ha,no they now run America.
In disguise.
After WW2 Nazi ideology scuttled away to hide in a dark place.
Academia.
There it got a makeover and emerged circa 1963 all young,shiny and desirable.
The Permissive Society and Sexual Revolution.
You really think the Contraceptive Pill was invented for YOUR pleasure and convenience Ladies?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

NATO never expanded into places where they weren’t wanted. Everyone who has joined did so because that is what the sovereign governments of those nations desired and asked for. The reality is that the nations of Eastern Europe still feared Russian domination even after the fall of the USSR, with quite a bit of historical justification going back well before the Soviet era. They viewed joining NATO as a way to guarantee their own sovereignty, and history seems to be rather proving their assessment correct. There’s every chance that Russia would already have expanded the conflict to include Poland and the Baltic states if they tried to support Ukraine without the umbrella of NATO protecting them.
You’re also greatly distorting the historical facts to fit your racist narrative. Here is the actual record of wars conducted by the US since WWII. Korea was a case of honoring an obligation to protect a recognized ally from an invasion attempt by a country backed by the USSR and Mao’s China. It was approved by the UN. Vietnam was a cold war miscalculation and a political failure, but it is more properly viewed as a single theater in the context of the broader Cold War, and it was initially fought as a defensive war to protect the nation of South Vietnam, not conquer the whole place. A great many mistakes were made in Vietnam, but the conflict itself was instigated by the North Vietnamese. The Gulf War was a UN sanctioned effort to oust a dictator who had preemptively invaded a weaker neighbor for no good reason. The Kosovo conflict was fought entirely through air power, not boots on the ground. What troops did eventually participate were UN peacekeepers who came in after Milosevic gave up. Afghanistan was provoked by 9/11, an act of war perpetrated by a group sheltering in Afghanistan and tacitly supported by the Taliban government. I’ll grant that we stayed there too long after the mission had been accomplished. Iraq was the only truly deplorable error, and most Americans recognize that. Syria and the ISIS conflict were extensions of that failure, and America has paid a price for these actions.
I’m not going to get into every case where the US provided weapons or training or supplies to one foreign group or another. These are common actions which, if you had any proper understanding of geopolitics, you’d know pretty much every nation engages in to the extent of their ability. The US just happened to have about a half century where they enjoyed nearly unlimited ability to do this. Make no mistake, the Soviets did the same thing. The Chinese are doing it too in their own way. There are examples farther back as well. Countries have always meddled in one another’s politics and engaged in espionage and intrigue one way or another going back to ancient times. Race has nothing to do with it. White nations spy on and interfere with each other, or is Russia not white enough for you? Hate to break it to you, but Britain and the US spied on each other during WWII while fighting the Germans, and they’re almost certainly engaged in some level of espionage right this minute despite being one of the more solid alliances of the past century. Your identitarian narrative of history driven by white racism is pure fiction invented quite recently in the US to push particular political policies and get a certain party votes from ‘oppressed’ minorities by convincing them that whitey is the source of all their personal and social woes.

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve Jolly
P Branagan
P Branagan
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

What a selective set of examples trying to minimise the grotesque immorality – read pure evil – of Western countries since WWII!
Regarding Vietnam. North Vietnam was promised a referendum throughout the whole of Vietnam to determine it’s future. South Vietnam refused (because they knew the people of S Vietnam would back unity and that refusal was backed by the USA resulting in the deaths of over 1million Vietnamese at the hands of the US and it’s proxy.
To ignore the carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia where 100s of thousands of entirely innocent people were killed and maimed is a most egregious omission.
You didn’t mention the war between Iraq and Iran in the early 1980s when Saddam Hussein (who was a CIA asset at the time) was encouraged to invade Iran in retaliation for the Islamic revolution in 1979 which had upset the US. Again another million or so killed and wounded as a result of the actions of a US proxy.

It just goes on and on – up to the latest proxy – Ukraine.

Probably it’s best I quote 2 US officials to rest my case:

‘To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous but to be a friend is fatal.
H. Kissenger.

‘How much evidence is required before it is clear that Western Civilization is empty of integrity, judgment, reason, morality, empathy, compassion, self-awareness, truth, empty of everything that Western Civilization once respected?

All that is left of the West is insouciance and unrestrained evil.”

~Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former Undersecretary Of Treasury, Reagan Administration

Last edited 8 months ago by P Branagan
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

You are bending the truth to fit your narrative. Countries are neither good nor evil, but contain elements of both. They are led by humans, who make mistakes, and the USA has made some very big and very costly mistakes. I can’t dispute that. Vietnam was badly mishandled on many levels and escalated unnecessarily by successive presidents. It should never have been pursued at all. In hindsight, it was obviously a huge mistake. The leaders who made those decisions have much to answer for, and people recognized that then and now. That’s part of the reason the war grew so unpopular that the Nixon administration was basically forced to ‘cut and run’ as the expression goes. The North Vietnamese did some bad things as well, including hiding amongst civilians to avoid capture. In every war, one can find examples of both sides doing evil things, breaking the rules. That’s the nature of war between human beings of whatever race.
Further, if we’re going beyond warfare and just compiling lists of sins, you should mention how the US put Japanese nationals in internment camps during WWII, or the Trail of Tears. Those were really terrible things, a lot worse than maybe provoking a war between two countries that already hated each other, and the former was fairly recent. Guess what, every country that has ever existed has a similar list, whether they be black, white, yellow, brown, or polka dotted. The USA’s record is certainly not the best, nor is it the worst, and most of it happened long before any living person was born without their knowledge, consent, or participation, so why this need to lay blame? Holding the living responsible for the acts of their long dead ancestors has perpetuated a lot of conflicts, including recent ones, but that too is a consistent failing of humans. Trying to provide recompense for every historical wrong ever suffered will only end up perpetuating conflict and hate into the future and pile the sins and transgressions even higher. It’s a never ending cycle. There is no social justice, no historical justice. There are no bad guys or good guys. There’s no way to ‘fix’ the world, no path to utopia where every wrong is righted and every want is filled. That’s a childish fantasy. Still, that such delusions can pass for a popular worldview speaks to the level of free thought and free expression we have achieved, and we can thank western civilization for that.

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

What other civilization is better?
Muslim, Chinese, Indian, African?
Strange how so many want to come to the West.
I don’t see much traffic in opposite direction.
Do you?

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The countries you mention were colonised, exploited and drained of resources by the Imperialists in the West. No wonder they ended up impoverished and dysfunctional. France is still trying to rinse its former colonies.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Spot on! Thank you!

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hayman

America wants Russian oil like we wanted Indian cotton and Chinese tea. I expect Mr Putin knows some History.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

I missed those bits only because they are contentious and the different sides will never agree. I do accept that irrespective of the trigger for Russia’s invasion, those in the West with agendas other than defending Ukraine saw an opportunity and took great advantage. In that sense, Ukrainians are victims of Russian aggression and a sacrifice for Western political objectives.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Did no one in the West consider that honouring the agreement to halt the eastward advance of NATO to Russia’s borders might have been the route to peaceful co-existence with Russia, saving 250,000 lives, $100 billion, and avoiding terrible collateral and environmental damage across the globe?

Ed Newman
Ed Newman
8 months ago
Reply to  Claire M

Exactly.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Ukraine military was upgraded. That’s a joke. You can supply all the military hardware you like but if it’s going to be operated by a bunch of turnip heads,poor sods who couldn’t escape the draft,that make Dad’s Army look like an effective force of professional killers,well thsts going nowhere. Anyway we,and USA sent them all our junk that it was costing us money to warehouse. We sent them old outdated equipment with no spare parts available,redundant software,bits missing etc.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
8 months ago

I missed it too Charles. General Zorn was sacked from his position in the Bundeswher as head of the armed forces for stating that Ukraine would never get Crimea back in 2022 and he is being proved ever more correct by the day. Fantasy is not a strategy.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago

The USA corporate capitalist hegemony want to own and control the vast limitless oil,gas,rare earths everything of Russia. They’re fed up of paying like we got fed up of paying the Indian sub-continent for printed cotton and the Chinese for tea. Historical precedent there. The ukraine was going to be an In for this strategy. The USA flaw was and is that they can’t send in troops,their well trained,well armed effective USA professional soldiers. Because it’s too soon after the shame of the Afghan running away and also fearsome American Moms. Hooray.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

An illuminating overview of a disastrous trend. Thank you.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Bullseye

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

More broadly, the West just doesn’t stand for anything anymore, as it is determined to stand for everything. Everyone’s values or lack of values are equally valid. No one can judge anyone else. On that basis, how the hell can we start trying to police the world. We can’t even decide what’s right and wrong in our own countries, and everyone knows it.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

This is smart stuff but I’m confused as to where you see the divisions within the West located.
In the first couple of paras, you seem to say that the West is weak because of, for want of a better term “woke mind virus”. But the forms of stupidity that you cite come directly from the centre and were/are enforced through censorship of dissent. This isn’t division, it is an excess of control by a centre that is notably stupid.
In Ukraine, it wasn’t woke leftists who demanded a maximalist response to Putin-as-Hitler, it was NATO. It wasn’t Jeremy Corbyn who sent Boris Johnson to Kyiv to tell the Ukrainians not to negotiate with Putin, it was Biden. Both Left and Right could see NATO’s provocation of Russia, relaised that Ukraine couldn’t win and urged diplomacy – the political centre ploughed disastrously on.
On Covid, it would appear from the on-going inquiry that Government wasn’t hampered by the soft-hearted intersectionlists – it was simply too chaotic to govern, and too pig-headed to learn as it went along.
On Gaza, I the situation is precisely the inverse of the one you depict. Far from setting up civic minded intermediaries between western Governments and terrorists, it seems that Hamas was initially supported in the 80s by figures within Israeli miltiary/political circles in order to undermine a PLO that was inching its way towards becoming a negotiating partner and which would achieve precisely that status at Camp David and in Oslo.
IMHO, the west’s problems are first, that its dogmas are out of date and, second, that its brilliance in suppressing dissenting opinion prevents it from adapting those dogmas on the fly.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

By way of explanation, you might be surprised by how ordinary the mainstream opinion is in the centre of government departments. Yet the departments as a whole appear to be ideological woke thugs. A highly motivated activist minority have side-stepped and silenced moderate types to take control of entire departments and moderate types either passively accept this or fully retreat. We see it in politics where once millions of ordinary people were members of parties now there are only thousands of activists. The division is between the activists and everyone else. There are now very many more activists openly agitating in most institutions and seeding division and resentment.
I’m not sure Hamas was supported by Israel in the ’80s. It only came into being in ’87 to oppose rapprochement between Israel and the PLO. It went full-on death-cult terrorist in opposition to the letters of mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO. It’s hard to see why Israel would want Hamas to usurp the PLO and Fatah.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

On the Israeli support for Hamas point, here’s an account of some reporting from the Intercept on the foundation of Hamas in the 80s
https://www.tbsnews.net/hamas-israel-war/how-israel-went-helping-create-hamas-bombing-it-718378
And here’s the Times of Israel with a slightly different take on the same policy in more recent years.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/for-years-netanyahu-propped-up-hamas-now-its-blown-up-in-our-faces/

Last edited 8 months ago by George Venning
George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

As to the other point, I’m not sure what you think is a mainstream opinion and what is an “ideological woke” one.
My read is that the mainstream opinion was that it was extremely risky to continue to provoke Russia by expanding NATO right onto Russia’s doorstep. This opinion was shared by inter alia George Kenan, Henry Kissinger, John Mearsheimer, RAND and Noam Chomsky. Was it “woke” to pursue that risky and confrontational path anyway? Was it “woke” to prevent Ukraine from negotiating it out after the situation blew up in everyone’s face?
On Covid, I think the mainstream opinion on epidemics is that the earlier you react, the more chance you have of stopping the disease in its tracks. Was it “woke” of Downing Street to have ignored it for months and then locked down extremely hard when it too late? It was certainly ideological and stupid to stick with early catasrophist modelling long after it was clear that the modelling might be flawed, but was it “woke” or merely incompetent? Was it “woke” to maintain all the nonsense about hand washing, screens and masks, long after those things were shown to be ineffectual? What about locking people up indoors? Was that a lefty plot? Or simply stupid.
To be clear, I think you have a good point. But I don’t think that the primary antagonism here is between “mainstream” and “woke”.
I don’t think that there’s a common ideological theme in quite the way that you suggest. What I suggest is that there is a starting position and a great deal of resistance to altering it. This is made worse by a media strategy which demonises alternative views of conflicts, of economics, of covid. This is because, once you’ve excoriated your critics for spouting Kremlin talking points, or being an antivaxxer, it’s much harder to admit that, on reflection, they might have had a point.

Last edited 8 months ago by George Venning
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Excellent post. I would add one caveat. The fringe is coming from the radical left, which has captured all the institutions – media, academia, culture, finance, lobbyists, health, science. The radical left dominates the policy process, even though it does not reflect the values and preferences of the vast majority of people.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

As I said to Nell above, I can’t see anything remotely woke (or leftist) about the three specific policy failures involved.
Can you explain?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Yes. A really important corrective Nell. The Third Front, the Home Front, poses by far the greatest threat. Ignore the rhetoric. We are witnessing our limp cowardly multicultural State tremble and bow its knee to radical Islamism at home and abroad. We, Biden and EU are still appeasing those barbaric women bashing medieval thugs in Tehran with money bungs and no ban on the terrorist IRGC. Good idea to let them build nuclear weapons guys! Here we let vile Mobs parade hatred toward Jews and Israel on our streets, watched closely by the State Militia Met and their partner Ex Hamas Commander in the Ops Room. I hope the Batley teacher joins the march anonymously to see the thugs up close and personal This is the big long war; to reaffirm our values in the face of a progressive ideological cancer and its Nazi-Soviet Pact like political alliance. In this regard, i think Israel’s war matters even more than the struggle of poor Ukraine. Gaza is the epicentre of the War of Civilisations. If the radical fundamentalists prosper in that war, then the West will suffer catacysmic blowback.

jane baker
jane baker
7 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Because Jews and their money run everything, Entertainment that includes invidious subversive messages,Arms manufacture, Pharmaceuticals,and Politics,at arms length.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago

Mixed blessing indeed, but that Ukraine has lost is no surprise.. The Ukraine war has just been another sorry episode of propaganda and duff prognostication from the West. As with every conflict since at least 1990 we’ve had the usual sources – including RUSI, Chatham House, Brookings and in particular for Ukraine the atrocious Kagan family’s Institute for the Study of War

It’s been a massive, self-reinforcing parade of ‘experts’ and ‘analysts’ happy to spout the accepted narrative – that Russia was a petrol-station masquerading as a nation, that it was routinely running out of everything, that it’s armed forces were a bunch of incompetents and fraudsters, that they were inflexible and unable to adapt. We’ve been told repeatedly that Ukraine was handily defending itself and that the insertion of NATO’s superior training and weapons would make all the difference (the Telegraph has been prime amongst the relentlessly wrong here). 

Any Ukrainian success has been massively over-blown – even though they almost always coincided with the introduction of a new munition in attacks that were never repeated once the Russians had adapted. 

This was, and always has been, cobblers. Of course Russia made mistakes, of course it has suffered heavy losses and more than it needed to, but this has been a new epoch of war – a war of forensic ISR, of massed drone swarms, of long-ranged missiles, hand-held anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions and (usually overlooked)  of land-mines of all kinds that can now be relayed remotely at great range. The Russians have shown themselves to be adaptable, have made withdrawls when necessary, have mobilised and equipped troops in massive numbers and proven to have the industrial base to (so far) support all of this. 

Of course we didn’t hear this in our Establishment outlets – all the heavily medaled talking-heads know what side their bread is buttered on. They know that any such analysis would scupper their places on the boards and their invitations to the circuit of defence symposiums & conferences in five-star resorts would dry up. 

It’s been as pathetic as it has been predictable. Worst of all it has been the Ukrainians who have paid the greatest price for all of this – but the Western Professors & Generals will just move on to their next debacle, unscathed.  

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Great post. The question it begs is why do such small and otherwise insignificant groups on the sidelines like RUSI, Chatham House and Brookings have such influence in the centre of government? It’s not like there is a shortage of people in government who we can reasonably expect to develop nuanced strategies and policies. Instead policy is seemingly farmed out to private fringe groups and there is no strategy. Are incompetence, opportunism and careerism sufficient explanations? For my two pennies, I believe the centre has so many distractions and so many divisions it leaves a vacuum for the fringes to have a disproportionate influence. Despite the grave seriousness of Ukraine and Gaza, to those in the centre of government they are just newspaper headlines compared to the ongoing internal political battles.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I disagree – my little think-tank selection are a key part of ‘the centre’ – I’d include most of the British Security State, Establishment media, Civil Service and the management of our major political parties there too. It’s this centre’s focus on attempting to retain global influence that drives everything – that they’re happy to dress themselves up in identitarian garb at times is a distraction, not another front. The third front isn’t ourselves – its China. Our centre still thinks it’s a big dog, but we’re weaker than they think and the proof of that is being played out bitterly in Ukraine.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Precisely.
We have been kidding ourselves that we are a Great Power or Big Dog to use your wonderful term since at least the end of 1916 when Lord Balfour had to grovel before Mr Paul Warburg to allow us continue and ultimately ‘win’ the Great War.

The same thing happened again in late 1940 with Winston Churchill now doing the grovelling this time.

Come the Labour landslide of 1945, our huge tranche of Marshal Aid and the Stafford Cripps loan were frittered away on Utopian nonsense, such as the NHS, although we did at least get the BOMB thanks to that great patriot Ernest Bevin Esq.

Of course having got the Bomb we certainly would never have been allowed to use it without the explicit permission of our master, the USA. This state of affairs was to be brutally brought home to that matinee idol, otherwise known as Anthony Eden with the Suez fiasco of 1956.

Since then, and in a state of absolute denial we have only sunk deeper into the morass of political insignificance. Occasionally one hears an embarrassing squeak about “punching above our weight” or “soft power”, but nothing can disguise the fact that we have become a global embarrassment.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago

“Up to a point, Lord Copper?”
We are, as you say, much diminished but still have had influence on some important recent issues e.g. Blair provided leadership on getting climate change centre stage globally and Boris’ support in the first days of the Ukraine war helped prevent a Ukrainian collapse. Opinions will differ as to whether these were the correct policies but that British influence was significant seems undeniable.
If we want to, we can still be an influential medium sized power even if we are no longer at the top table let alone top dog. There is no need to go directly from arrogance to utter self abnegation; there is an intermediate position.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

This about the definition of the “centre”. I have been using centre as a shorthand for the middle and/or most common viewpoint across society or even in a government body. The viewpoint of those pulling the levers is often far away at the fringes of this centre.
For example, I know that many of those working in the Home Office are not at all happy with the unofficial open borders policy and the complete disregard for Ministerial orders. The centre viewpoint of the Home Office is far removed from what the Home Office actually does. What is surprising is how easily those in the middle acquiesce to what are clearly fringe groups. It is as if the chaos and confusion sown by the social radicals has caused good people to retreat from engaging, allowing more chaos to follow.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nell Clover
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I think the troll like appearance of absurd memes in the msm and comments signifies an organised propaganda effort from the government’s various disinformation and grudge units plus MI6. Orcs, Putler, Ukrainian corruption all the fault of Russia, endless comparisons with WW2, Russia invaded Donbass in 2014, none of this was normal.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

In other words, “another gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin”, as Blackadder said of Field Marshal Haig.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Go Russia.
Holy Russia.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

We may wish it were not so, but we’re deluding ourselves if we think we can compete with Russia militarily now – especially following Biden’s insane policies that have given them common cause with China and Iran.

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Russia:
Disgusting spawn of Mongols.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago

It’s well past time for the transatlantic alliance and NATO to circle the proverbial wagons and defend what we can defend. I wouldn’t call the current situation a victory for Ukraine, but neither would I call it a victory for Russia. Russia attempted to occupy all of Ukraine and failed. Some settlement based on the current territorial status quo at least preserves Ukraine as a sovereign nation, one which will have an ongoing hostility towards Russia. As bad as it looks, it’s less bad than it could be.
As far as Israel goes, every effort should be made to keep the conflict isolated to Gaza. Israel can handle Hamas. They probably can’t fight the entire Arab world as they did in 1948 or 1967, not with Iran silently backed by China and Russia as a primary foe. It would be disastrous if the US were forced to directly intervene to protect Israel from annihilation, which might well happen in a worst case scenario, and to make matters worse, there is the Taiwan question. I’m near certain that there are private assurances in place that the US would militarily defend Taiwan if attacked, and a US already fighting in two theaters presents an ideal opportunity for China. The US will be strained enough sustaining conflicts in two theaters, much less three.
Assuming we can avoid the current scenario turning into WWIII, the US and Europe will need to embark on a long term plan to reindustrialize their own countries and/or bring in other reliable allies to do the same as well as emphasize energy independence, however that can be accomplished as we know Russia is an unreliable partner and we now must plan for possibly losing the entirety of the Middle East as well. The era of globalization is decisively over and we should be preparing for a far more fragmented and hostile world where supply chains and economic links must be assessed, weighed, and ultimately taxed on the basis of geopolitical and military realities. The USA, while no longer able to dominate the world, is still decently positioned to assert its power and protect its vital interests. Europe is in a much worse state, and will suffer more than most from the collapse of globalism. There are hard times ahead for all of us, IMHO, some more than others.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Hate to be the one to tell you Steve, but WW3 is happening as we speak.
You seem to have forgotten the chaos in sub-Saharan Africa just a few months ago, still ongoing, just not mentioned much these days.
The Gaza catastrophe has everyone from Cyprus to India on high alert waiting to see how that particular cookie crumbles.
If you look at a map, the Europeans and Americans arming Ukraine and fomenting trouble in the Causasus against the Russians while threatening China adds up to a great slab of the globe, even before you add in the Western vassals, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea.
That’s an awful lot of the world. Interesting times. Hang on to your hat.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

I fear you’re correct. I also fear that there might be more coordination between these seemingly unrelated events than we realize. The Chinese have long excelled at proxy warfare and political intrigue. The famous military strategist Sun Tzu was far ahead of his time, regarding warfare as going beyond simple military confrontation. He conceived of many different ways to achieve strategic victory, and considered the greatest victories to be those won without fighting a single battle. I think there’s a non-zero probability these strings are ultimately all being pulled from Beijing.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

What a strategy like just leaving the stupid bullying Americans to screw everything up while they watch from their armchairs? They don’t even need to invade Taiwan, that’s a false flag, within 5 – 10 years the USA will be even more pathetic, the Taiwanese will simply let them in as they will have no one to support them. USA will leave us all in a mess! Biden??? He makes Trump look impressive!
Such a disgrace we are vassals to an incompetent bully, Europe should be stronger and make its own decisions, we’ve been fooled.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

One of the few reasoned and sensible comments about the article. It’s getting increasingly hard to have a sensible, moderate discussion about these conflicts.
I agree that there are very few – if any – winners from either conflict even in the medium term.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Very perceptive comments. I do think the United States needs to focus on using its power to protect its vital interests rather than to bring truth, justice and the American way to countries halfway around the globe.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Most Americans would agree with that, but try telling that to our idiot leaders.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

How do you fit a pint of water in a half pint jug. Well,you spend decades having experts in science and law discussing and researching to no avail. Then you apply the Occam’s Razor solution. You discard half the water. In this analogy half the water are the Palestinian nation. And that old ancient book where GOD no less parked your title deeds doesn’t it contain detailed instructions along the lines of ” not one shall be left alive”.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Constructive comment – unlike most on the Gaza / Israel situation. Thanks.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

There was never any real evidence that Russia wanted to occupy the whole of Ukraine – they certainly didn’t invade with sufficient numbers to do so. Much more likely they took a punt on placing as much pressure on Kyiv as possible whilst capturing what they could of the Donbas. That pressure was designed to push Ukraine towards accepting terms that included neutrality. Talks were well underway in Turkey on this but Bozo flew in and scuppered them – the rest is history. From then on it was a numbers game and they always favoured the Russians with a larger population, bigger military industrial base (that has turned out to be more effective than the whole of the West’s) and it now seems a strong, national commitment to prevail. I think they will be deciding when, if and on what terms the Ukraine war ends.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

“Bigger and more effective military industrial base than the West”. Seriously ?
Bigger is questionable. More effective (better) certainly is not. The Russians aren’t even in the same league as the US for military kit. Add in the Russian military corruption and incompetence and the result is what you see in their dreadful performance in Ukraine.
The Russians no longer have the advanced technical base to compete.
Russia wanted a servile Ukraine, not an independent one. They won’t get it now.
Still, someone will pop up here shortly to remind us that “the Russians are winning”. Still winning … and will keep on doing so, until they don’t.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, the Russians are winning

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Uptick purely for rising to the bait so quickly ! Surprised you hadn’t worked that in earlier in this thread.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

But its true, they are winning, people like you are delusional, you keep thinking the next wonder wespon will win it for the Ukrainians, all it does is send more Ukrainians to an early grave

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Don’t think I’ve ever fantasised about wonder weapons on here ! Though I think it’s fairly clear that Russia wouldn’t have a Black Sea fleet or any need for Sebastopol if the US were actually involved (seeing how easily the Moskva was sunk).
If you’ve read my comments, you’ll know that I think the best (or rather, least worst) outcome from this mess is one where a rump Ukraine is truly independent of Russia and exists within stable borders with adequate defence. And is free to make its own choices. And get rid of residual corruption (which they’ll do faster than Russia ever will).
In practice, I believe that means that Russia gets to keep some – possibly all – of the territory it took from Ukraine. But the price for that is non-interference in Ukraine. And possibly some population swaps so that there aren’t large minority groups left behind unhappy with where they end up.
Not quite sure what’s delusional about any of that.
What you or I want doesn’t really matter here. That’s probably the best that can be done now and the most stable.
Ideally, the Russians would also decolonise Transnistria. And Kaliningrad. But that’s “nice to have”.

Laurence Siegel
Laurence Siegel
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Who enforces the noninterference once Ukraine stops fighting to get its eastern lands and Crimea back? The same people who enforced the many Arab-Israeli peace deals where Israel exchanged land for peace and gave up land but didn’t get any peace?
In other words, nobody. Putin will just invade again.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Interesting how Thomas Fazi ties together the Ukraine and Gazan wars. They are rather alike. Neither war is new — both wars have festered for years now. Russia took Crimea almost 10 years ago, and has been fighting by proxy in the Donbas for the same period of time. And Hamas has been fighting Israel from Gaza for almost 20 years.
Both wars are boiling over now, but will likely soon settle down again to a long, drawn-out simmer that will test all countries involved. In my opinion, we in the United States should stay out of both wars, just like we should have stayed out of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. They are not our business.
Why? Because we cannot play Superman, out to protect truth, justice and the American way in countries half the world away. These wars are not Manichaean struggles between good and evil — the world is more complex than a comic book. When we step in where we have no interest to defend, we make a bad situation worse.

Last edited 8 months ago by Carlos Danger
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Maybe we can’t play superman – but turning our back on Syria / ISIS et all emboldened Russia. Not having a position is strategically worse than having one.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

But Carlos, there’s big money in war. That’s why the US is always involved. What our country should do is obvious, but where’re the fat wads of cash in that?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Very true.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Both set up and instigated by USA. For USA.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago

What a terrible state of affairs. So much death could have been avoided.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago

Fazi’s X stream reveals him to be a vicious hater of Israel and an uncritical, extreme pro-Palestinian partisan of the highest order.
He has failed consistently to denounce the October 7 massacre of Jews or to be critical of Hamas’s terrorist attacks in general, despite being asked directly to make his position clear.
His pieces of late have been written with the aim of convincing readers that for various reasons – including preventing WW3 – they should support a ceasefire that would allow the Hamas rats hiding in their tunnels, behind women and children, to escape Israel’s delivery of justice upon them.
He wants a ceasefire. There was an effective ceasefire before October 7. Hamas broke it to intentionally force Israel to respond as is now doing. While Fazi laments what is happening to Palestinians, he can’t bring himself to blame Hamas.
Fazi condemns the killing of civilians, but does not extend that privilege to Jews He is a loathsome hypocrite.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Why should he support the same side as you

Why should he have the same opinion as you

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I don’t think that’s the expectation. I think the expectation is that Fazi should recognize that Israel’s actions represent a retaliatory strike against an opponent who, in point of fact, did break the ceasefire, and did in fact break the rules of established warfare in several ways by targeting civilians and taking hostages in a surprise attack. He could still argue for a measured and restrained response based on strategy and the known facts while acknowledging the awfulness of Hamas actions and condemning the attack. Many inside Israel and around the world are making such a case, and the argument definitely has merit. In a way, Israel’s harsh response is playing directly into Hamas horrifying strategy to sacrifice the population of Gaza for the sake of western sympathies and more importantly, to elicit sympathy from the Muslim world that would force the governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt back into the fight when the heads of those governments would rather be done with the matter. There’s nothing wrong with considering the strategic aims of Hamas and questioning whether Israel’s current response is the best way to thwart them, but by excusing and overlooking the most heinous acts of antisemitism since the Holocaust, Fazi is probably harming his own argument more than helping it. Any person discussing this situation who will not explicitly condemn Hamas initial actions effectively gives readers a good reason to question his possible biases.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

You make some good points, but I think it unfair to condemn Thomas Fazi for supporting the slaughter, rape, beheading, torture, and hostage-taking of October 7 because he does not explicitly condemn them. It’s certainly fair on that evidence to raise the question of support of those indefensible terrorist acts of Hamas, but not to answer it.
And I think it is fair to object to the horrific punishment Israel is meting out to the civilian population of Gaza, and to the other war crimes Israel has committed. That Hamas committed worse crimes is not an excuse.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You say Hamas committed worse crimes as if that were in the past, but it was just three weeks ago, and many of the hostages have not been released. Further, Israel is not solely responsible for the civilian deaths in Gaza, because it is known that Hamas deliberately built their tunnels and fortifications below civilian dwellings in direct contravention of the usual rules of warfare. Israel is having to make difficult choices in light of Hamas tactics. One can argue for other tactics, but I will not ignore or sweep aside Hamas callous disregard for their own people.
This bears repeating. The civilian deaths were always part of Hamas plan. They KNEW this would happen. They counted upon it. They built their tunnels where they did and took hostages so Israel would have to put boots on the ground and make a thorough purge of Gaza. They planned the deaths of their own people in a play for sympathy as part of their own strategy. It is a strategy so heinous that if it were fiction, it would be deemed so evil as to be unrealistic and unbelievable. These are not the deeds of a civilized nation state. They are barbarism and if we fail to at least recognize that, we have missed the forest for the trees.
It can be argued that Israel is playing into Hamas hands, or that they are using the wrong military tactics or that more restraint would be a better tactic. It can be argued that individual strikes or tactics cross the line of what is acceptable under international laws of warfare. I am open to such arguments. However, to lay the blame entirely on Israel for any of the civilian deaths in Gaza is fundamentally dishonest and fails to appreciate the complexity of the situation and the nature of warfare in general.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I didn’t say he should

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You seem pretty annoyed by his different opinion

You’re seething at the idea someone won’t support your “side”

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

What annoys me is his deceitfulness. On Unherd he poses as a moderate. On his X feed he reveals himself as a hater of Israel. and a supporter of Hamas and the October 7 massacre.
If he had the courage to let readers know his position so they could take it into account when reading his pieces, then fine. But he doesn’t, he deceitfully hides them away.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

He is clearly a supporter of Hamas. Just checked for myself.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Being a supporter of Hamas does not mean he supports their slaughter, rape, beheadings, torture and hostage-taking on October 7. If Thomas Fazi’s tweets are so damning, post some quotes here so we can see what you are referring to.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Ok. From yesterday he retweets this about Hamas.
“For all of Israel’s efforts to paint it as the Palestinian branch of the Islamic State, and as reactionary and violent as it is, Hamas is an Islamic nationalist organisation, not a nihilist cult, and a part of Palestinian political society; it feeds on the despair produced by the occupation, and cannot simply be liquidated any more than the fascist zealots in Netanyahu’s cabinet”.
Sound like someone who doesn’t support Hamas?

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I am so looking forward to the almighty punch up in central London on the weekend. It should make great television.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Are the words, “as reactionary and violent as it is” the words of a supporter? Is the suggestion that it “feeds on the despair produced by the occupation” a form of praise?

Or are they the words of someone who is seeking to explain what sort of an enemy Israel faces?

If I say that, as bloody and violent as the Escobar organisation was, it drew support in certain parts of Columbia by providing rudimentary public services to commnities so poor that they were compelled to take whatever help they could get, does that make me a supporter of Pablo Escobar?

It must be exhausting having to interrogate the soul of the author every time you read an article, instead of simply evaluating the facts set out within it.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

“For all of Israel’s efforts to paint it as the Palestinian branch of the Islamic State, and as reactionary and violent as it is, Hamas is”, followed by pathetically transparent exculpatory justifications of Hamas’s inhuman massacre.

 Yes; they are the exact words that would be expected of an Hamas supporter.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

So, if you agree with the “reactionary and violent” bit, why cite that as the evidence that he’s a Hamas supporter?
Or do you mean that saying, “Hamas is an Islamic nationalist organisation, not a nihilist cult, and a part of Palestinian political society; it feeds on the despair produced by the occupation” makes you a supporter – even when preceded by the disclaimer?
Try that approach to the Colombian example I cited above – it makes no sense.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

It isn’t facts, it is opinion.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Perfectly reasonable tweet. Fazi is exactly right..

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Yes it does

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago

But Hamas have killed far less people than Israel

So as bad as he might be At least he doesn’t support Israel

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

And not stolen anyone’s land.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Actually if you look at the original boundaries for the new state of Israel proposed by the UN on the breaking up of the Ottoman Empire post WW1, you would notice that more ‘Israeli’ land is in the hands of the Arabs than in the hands of the Israelis. The ‘new Israel’ was sliced and diced before 1945 to such an extent that the Israeli’s got the ‘rump’ – Palestine is currently know as Jordan with other bits belonging to the other ‘new states’ created/restored at the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Also you might wonder where so many of the “Semitic” Israeli Jews came from? Try the Arab/Muslim countries of the same area who basically ethnically cleaned the Jews from their homes and lands in their countries. Then again I suppose they have also ethnically cleansed other religions too so perhaps the Jews shouldn’t lay claim to being unique?
Even the recent Armenian ethnic cleansing in Ngorno-Karabakh has a genocide (much denied by NATO member Turkey) to proceed it.
Intriguingly enough the common theme appears to be Islamists. Maybe a phobia about them is warranted?
Have you read the latest BBC report on Israel? Let me know when Hamas gives the local population a call and says, “Clear your homes, we don’t want to kill you, but we are about to go after things you don’t know about.” Then hangs around waiting for the Palestinian on the other end of the phone to say “Ok, all clear”.
As opposed to Hamas keeping stum about wanting to kill, rape, kidnap and despoil civilians, then going and doing it.
What is it about Islamists that young girls appear to be their main target? Even in Manchester, which as far as I am aware is well outside of Israel.
Pity the BBC before and after pictures aren’t a bit clearer, then we might see if the Israeli bomb craters really are huge or if perhaps what appear to be big holes under the apartment block are tunnels that just fell in when bombed?

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Phoning up to tell you “Could you just clear off in the next 10 minutes as we’re about to reduce your building/hospital to rubble?” makes it all ok, does it? How very civilised! And keep in mind that even this is about appeasing worldwide condemnation – not out of any concern for Palestinian lives.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Hamas broke the ceasefire. It did so with intention of forcing Israel to retaliate.
Contrary to the Geneva Convention, Hamas embedded itself among a civilian population to use them as human shields, and when they had served their purpose, Hamas used their mangled bodies for propaganda to sucker low information, not too bright people in to spreading a narrative that Hamas are the righteous ones fighting on the side of the oppressed.
The truth is that that Hamas murdered, raped and committed the most obscene, sadistic acts against Israeli civilians in order to goad them into killing the civilians they used as human shields.
They did so because they know there are thick people in the West and are who don’t understand the bigger picture and who will mindlessly repeat the most unsophisticated propaganda.

Naren Savani
Naren Savani
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Thank you for enlightening us. One suspected this attitude. From now on I will read his articles with open eyes!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

You seem pretty annoyed by Mr. Leach’s opinion, but he’s “seething” while you’re just here trolling, as usual.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago

Exactly what many will be thinking, and have done for some time with regard to DW.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago

I’m not troling

It’s a fact that Israel have killed far more people than Hamas

If you believe it’s wrong to support Hamas (and I do BTW) then you should be consistent, and also think its wrong to support Israel

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Is it? Or do you count the dead from the hundreds of Hamas missiles that fall in Gaza as being killed by Israel? How many did they kill in that hospital by the way?

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Yes,its pretty clear that Israel are better at killing people than Hamas

I’m just wondering how many Israel will kill before people around here stop supporting them, 20K, 30K, more ? 50K

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Exactly so… There is very little regard for the lives of Palestinians here – even children. It’s all a price worth paying as the eminent Madeleine Albright stated.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Thanks for that… did not know that he has not condemned 7/10. It will make me view his articles with more understanding of his general thrust and also his values. Hastening off to X to check him out.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago

Come back with some examples of his extremism please.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Someone posted this quote from him earlier:
“it feeds on the despair produced by the occupation, and cannot simply be liquidated any more than the fascist zealots in Netanyahu’s cabinet””
Is that good enough for you ?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

That comment doesn’t show that Thomas Fazi supports the October 7 terrorist attack. Instead, it explains what caused the attack. It points out the parallels between the extremes on each side: both the Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli “fascist zealots” want there to be just one country “from the river to the sea”. They just differ on whether it’s Palestine or Israel.
The October 7 terrorist attacks were horrific and cannot be justified. But can Israel in response bomb Gaza to the ground and kill or expel all Gazans? Can Israel annex “Judea” and “Samaria” and kill or export all Palestinians from the West Bank?
The war in Israel is a bloody mess, and it has Iran, Russia and China lined up on one side and the United States and many others from the West on the other. We ought to be airing out the conflict in words rather than weapons. People like Thomas Fazi help do that. I think his voice ought to be heard, not muzzled.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Again. Can’t argue with that statement! Occupation (for half a century no less) must lead to despair. And the Israeli cabinet is not replete with ‘fascist zealots’? Of course it is.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Judging someone by their tweets seems a little unfair, and words like a “loathsome hypocrite” a little too Trumpian to my taste. I’ve found Thomas Fazi to be a writer worth reading myself, and your unreasoned rant against him didn’t change my mind.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Fine. But if a writer who is moderate on other subjects is a supporter of Hamas and the massacre they committed on October 7, do you think it wrong to warn readers of his extremist position when he writes on the Israeli/Gaza conflict?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Please post quotes from Thomas Fazi’s tweets in which he says he supports the slaughter, rape, beheadings, torture or hostage-taking of October 7. I’d like to see them.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

If he did that he would be liable for offences under the Terrorism Act and would lose much of his journalism wok.
But I will give an example of his deceit. Yesterday he posted this: “Myth: Hamas is committed to terrorism and violence as the only possible forms of resistance
His evidence for this is Hamas’s support for the 2018-2019 Great March of Resistance, which he describes as “non-violent demonstrations held near the Gaza/Israeli border..”
That is a complete lie. The demonstrations that took place from between March 2018-December 2019 were characterised by incursions in to Israel’s prohibited border zone from which Palestinians regularly engaged in gunfire with Israeli border guards, stoned them and attacked them with grenades and Molotov cocktails.
Now if he is willing to tell blatant, preposterous lies about Israel not being attacked, to rehabilitate Hamas as anything other than a terrorist organisation, where do you imagine his sympathies lie?

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Thank you for posting that.
You say in one post that Thomas Fazi is “a supporter of . . . the October 7 massacre” and in another post that he is “a supporter of . . . the massacre [Hamas] committed on October 7”.
I’m interested in your evidence for those statements. Can you find anything in his tweets in which he says that? Or do you just infer it from his statements in support of Hamas?

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

When I man, in an effort to rehabilitate, Hamas, tells obvious, objectively verifiable lies about supposedly innocent peaceful protesters being killed by Israel, when the truth is that Palestinian deaths were the result of their attacks on the Israel border, he is identified himself as a pro-Hamas propagandist.
As I said, if he came out and directly supported Hamas he would be liable under the Terrorism Act and lose much of his journalism work. Accordingly , he limits himself to lies and gross historical misrepresentations.
What there is then is indirect evidence, and plenty of it. If you choose not to look at it or are not convinced, that is your prerogative.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You don’t have any evidence, direct or indirect, that Thomas Fazi supports Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7. You infer it. That’s a mean thing to do.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You clearly don’t understand what indirect evidence is.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You could hit him on the head with the evidence and he would still be saying, sir, sir…. But. Maybe he is actually Fazi.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You’re trying too hard Carlos. The ‘mean’ ones here are Hamas, Fazi and their supporters…

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Where is your evidence of those attacks allegedly taking place in the Great March of Return that hasn’t come straigh from the Israelis themselves?

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

The hours of contemporary video footage of the attacks and accounts of international journalists who were present.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You believe any of that. Film footage and JOURNALISTS. Just like we walked in the moon and put Piltdown man in a museum. Like they say,one born every minute.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Are you for real? That is absurd. Go play on TikTok.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Just for “context” making a mass trespass into a disputed territory that your antagonist prohibits you from entering is scarcely an act of war. It is as legitimate a form of resistance as it is possible to imagine.
Whilst I am not disputing that there were acts of aggression by the marchers, the march was largely peaceful and the violence that did occur consisted primarily of rock and molotov cocktail throwing.
Whilst that would be a bad riot in central London, those acts did little harm in the heavily defended border zone around Gaza. Wikipedia reports that only one IDF serviceman was (lightly) wounded.
From the same source, Israeli army units killed nearly 200 and injured 13,000 of the Palestinians. I believe that the reason for the discrepancy was an Israeli order to aim at protesters’ legs.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Thank you for this completely accurate account of what actually happened during the Great March. Watching Israeli soldiers shooting stone throwing youths – many just kids in the legs made me physically sick. And them walking into rifle fire was incredibly brave – as well as evidence of the level of despair.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Go and look on X and you might re-think!

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

I can’t go look on Twitter as I don’t have an account and I’m not going to make one. What did Thomas Fazi say? Please post some quotes here. Or links to tweets. I can see a tweet by clicking on a link.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You have been speaking, then, from a position of ignorance,.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You keep telling me to go to Twitter, but by your own words there is nothing there to support your statement that Thomas Fazi supports the massacre committed by Hamas on October 7. Correct?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Given you never believe what he posts, I’d have thought popping over to read for yourself would have been a far simpler solution to determining who is right in this exchange?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Elon Musk changed Twitter so that only those who have a Twitter account can view tweets. I’m not going to create a Twitter account to add to Elon Musk’s numbers. So I couldn’t look at Thomas Fazi’s tweets.
Even if I could look, I would have little idea what to look for. I thought from what people were saying that there was some damning language where he said that he supported the October 7 terrorism because it was in support of a just cause. But apparently there is nothing like that to look for.
I disagree with some of Thomas Fazi’s opinions, but I would never misrepresent them or put words in his mouth that he never said. And I object to people who, without evidence, do.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Go on. You can create an account on X quickly and with zero money. I don’t think you want to trawl through Fazi’s bilge.

John Riordan
John Riordan
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“Fazi’s X stream reveals him to be a vicious hater of Israel and an uncritical, extreme pro-Palestinian partisan of the highest order.”
Really, what nonsense. He may disagree with you, but he is nowhere close to possessing the ideological fixations you accuse him of here.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Have you read his X feed?

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Quit sending us to Twitter and post some quotes here!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Do your own d*mn homework.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Turns out there’s nothing to see on Twitter anyway. I never go near the place. It’s bedlam. People yelling and screaming at each other and grossly distorting the other side’s points. Like here in UnHerd comments, only worse.

Last edited 8 months ago by Carlos Danger
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Go onto X and see Fazi’s tweets. You don’t have to open up each tweet, so you won’t see any opposing views aka the ‘bedlam’ you have heard about.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You may be right but there used to be a maxim “Play the ball not the man” i.e. one should refute the arguments and not seek to discredit the author (as a way of avoiding having to engage with his or her arguments). I think it is a good maxim not least because today most people are getting fed up with argument by insult and, increasingly, are ignoring ad hominem attacks. Perhaps it is becoming expedient again to seek to persuade people by actually making the stronger arguments. In any case, if we want to be critical of the Woke because of their tactics, maybe we should avoid adopting them for our own causes.

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You’re demanding compelled speech and primacy of your opinions. If the world is to find a way out from this crisis it needs to have a lot of voices air their views. And, as a journalist, Mr Fazi may have connections and sources in Palestine able to provide a different perspective to the natural howls of outrage at the Hamas horrors. As much as anything knowing why normal Palestinians let this happen, and how their opinions on Hamas have been affected is an important other perspective. If Mr Fazi joined the chorus, as you decree, those voices would be lost. Better to stay silent as a journalist to enable the stories to emerge than to tub-thump and only have the mandated view to report on.

Last edited 8 months ago by Saul D
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

I am demanding nothing. I am putting his pieces in the context of a supporter of Hamas. If he had the courage to be honest about it, and make readers aware of his views, I would gladly cease to comment on it.

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Palestine and Israel is 80 years of complex. Simplistic side-ism just makes things worse. It’s possible to be pro-Palestine, but sickened by Hamas, or pro-Israel but against actions that cause civilian casualties. A broader perspective doesn’t put someone on one side or another.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

It is perfectly possible to be pro-Palestine and condemnatory of Hamas. Many journalists and commentators have explicitly done that, and I have no quarrel with them . I may disagree with them but they are entitled to their view.
But Fazi has studiously avoided criticising both Hamas and the October 7 massacre. Further, he has told blatant lies in an effort to characterise Hamas as something other than a terrorist organisation.
He is at minimum a pro-Hamas propagandist. If he is writing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or on pro-Hamas Russia’s war with Ukraine, why do you think it better that readers don’t know where his biases and allegiances lie?

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Knowing everyone has biases and allegiances, it’s better to judge people on the merit of their arguments and evidence in order to judge and weigh the plurality of opinions that exist in complex situations.
Hamas caused a reaction. That reaction is going to have huge downstream consequences. To get some foresight of what those downstream consequences might be, and whether there will be a new cycle of violence and how the Arab world might react we need a range of viewpoints, not least bringing perspectives that are not pro-Israel that do not give carte blanche to militaristic solutions. More speech is better than censored speech.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You may not know it, but Hamas has both a political wing and a military wing. Some countries consider only the political wing to be a terrorist organization. Others don’t make any distinction. But though the two wings are related, they are also distinct.
The military wing of Hamas carried out the massacre, not the political wing. They are related, of course, but it is not clear that the political wing even knew what the military wing was planning.
A person can support one wing and not the other. I do. Perhaps Thomas Fazi does too.
[To be clear, I don’t support Hamas over Israel. I support Israel’s right to exist, and its claim to the western three-quarters of Jerusalem. I support the claim of the Palestinians, if they agree to live in peace, to the West Bank and Gaza.]
[In my view, Israel is more entitled to occupy the whole land from the river to the sea than the Palestinians are. There should be two states, living in peace, within the 1967 borders. Neither side will accept this, now. They should. That’s what the vast majority of the world wants.]

Last edited 8 months ago by Carlos Danger
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Hopelessly naïve.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

That’s be just like Sinn Fein and the IRA then. Two seperate organisations with no members in common … oh wait …
If find it hard to see why anyone here would wish to support a poilitical party with a military wing. Let’s just remember that’s how Weimar Germany ended.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

IF they agree to live in peace? So you don’t believe them when they say the are only interested in wiping Israel of the map?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Hamas has said that they are willing to accept a two-state solution that follows the 1967 borders. Most Gazans support that too. There are some that don’t, obviously. But it is Israel with its illegal settlements, a war crime under the Geneva Convention, who has put a peaceful, two-state solution out of reach.

John Williams
John Williams
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: they both want to completely annihilate a neighbouring democracy.” He also reiterated the claim that “if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine”.

Such excitable (my italics) arguments, however, increasingly carry less weight in Washington”

Thomas Fazi

Fazi reveals himself here by implying that both Israel and Ukraine are not really in danger and that Jews in Israel and the Hitler impersonating Jew in his Ukrainian bunker are hysterics.

Putin and Hamas both want to destroy democracies, Fazi’s insinuations notwithstanding.

I believe Fazi supports Hamas.

Last edited 8 months ago by John Williams
jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  John Williams

Democracy. Democracy. I’m going to die laughing.

John Williams
John Williams
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Laughing or crying I have no preference as to which way you expire.

Last edited 8 months ago by John Williams
jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

It’s about time Jews stopped with the were the biggest victims in history ever schtick. It’s not working any more.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Wake up. They stopped being victims decades ago and you hate them for it.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
8 months ago

Fazi’s assessment doesn’t correspond with reports from the Institute of the Study of War which do show some Russian advances in Eastern Ukraine, but also show Ukrainian forces entrenching themselves on the right bank of the Deniper River. While it is clear that the counter-offensive hasn’t lived up to high expectations (including my own) it has limited Russian mobility.

Say what you will, but the invasion of Ukraine is a strategic failure for Russia and even if it takes a few more oblasts in a peace deal, it’s still screwed in the long run. With terrible demographic issues and political radicalism increasing, there is a genuine possibility by the end of the decade that Russia as we know it, simply won’t exist.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Simply that Russia has annexed another 10-15% of the country and will defend it until there’s a peace deal recognising those new borders as such.
The establishment of Ukraine as a buffer zone has cost over 100,000 Ukrainian lives. Russia seemed willing to accept the same number of casualties but are we voters in the West clear about the morality of lettering Ukrainian nationalists sacrifice so much and so many of their people?

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

It’s a lot more than 100K

zee upītis
zee upītis
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Yeah, the “unbiased” Faizi happily taking reduced Russian casualties figure, yet sticking to the maximum Ukrainian casualties estimate. Or calling a town of 30k “a city” and Russians taking “7 in a row” without elaborating when and what. Ukraine is certainly not winning but losing? It lost in the beginning but then the tables were turned. There’s no winner in this war yet.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Ukraine is not being established as a buffer zone. Ultimately it will settle to a pro-Western rump of Ukraine and a smaller eastern satellite of Russia (probably plus Crimea). It was Russia that wanted Ukraine as a buffer zone and denies its right to exist as an independent nation (as it would for the Blatic States given the chance).
We should not tolerate countries controlling buffers states on their borders now. It’s 2023 – not 1823. I used to think buffer states still made sense – but they’re well past their use by date.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

The institute for the study of war is part of the Kagan cult, hardcore neocons

These people are liars, you can’t believe a word they say

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Remember this guy
: “Why should he support the same side as you Why should he have the same opinion as you”
“You seem pretty annoyed by his different opinion. You’re seething at the idea someone won’t support your “side”

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You do know who set-up, funds and provides the bulk of the analysis for the ISW don’t you? Check out their track record and get back to us.

[Note for the casual reader – the ISW was set up by Kimberley Kagan – sister-in-lwaof Victoria Nuland & Robert Kagan. They have numerous prominent neocons on their board – including William Kristol – Robet’s partner of Project for New American Century infamy. They have been relentlessly, murderously wrong about every Western war since the 90s. They should be ignored.]

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
8 months ago

Perhaps we had a better chance at thwarting Russia earlier when Zelenskyy first requested F-16s and the longer-range artillery missiles. It seems we gave Ukraine enough not to lose but not enough to win either.
We also see the folly of following the rules. Hamas tortures, kills and kidnaps civilians and states its long-term goal in the elimination of Israel and the Jewish people – worldwide. What do we expect Israel to do?
I agree with the third front, especially here in the United States. Academia is pro-Hamas and has a difficult time condemning acts of barbarism against civilians and suddenly found its voice for free speech when it comes to criticizing Israel or harassing Jewish students. Perhaps we should test free speech by posting something anti-trans on campus? Wait until these pro-Hamas protestors take positions of leadership in government and business (they are already in academia) and see how life here changes.
To top it off Ali Bahreini, an Iranian diplomat, has been appointed to chair the UN Human Rights Council 2023 Social Forum. Can’t make this stuff up.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

Maybe if the Israeli border guards hadn’t been off having a tea break and had inadvertently switched off all the security monitoring systems,alarms and such.
Fortuitously just at the exact time that a bunch of Palestinians had got themselves well armed and uncharacteristically well organised. How lucky was that. LUCKY. Offensive word. It’s almost as if it was planned,set up,trained for and funded by a wealthy nation in order to create a pretext for an armed response to cover up the complete removal of a whole racial population err um is that what the word genocide means.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Most bizarre conspiracy theory in this comments thread so far …

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Except that the warning signs were so unmistakable and the closing of the eyes on the border was so blatant that it IS almost as if Bibi wanted this to happen. As Napoleon said, never invoke malice when ordinary stupidity and incompetence will explain something, still one wonders. Perhaps Bibi has decided that it’s time for the Final Solution.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

No, the Israeli’s have form for believing Hamas/Arabs have finally accepted peace and so relaxing their guard. Try the Yom Kippur war for a start.

Claire M
Claire M
8 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Peace? You mean permanent imprisonment and mistreatment by an apartheid state?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

So bizarre it’s hard to tell if it’s satire or sincere.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

So now you blame the Israeli’s for not treating Hamas as untrustworthy, murdering, opportunists well trained and funded by Iran and armed via Biden’s billion $ arms legacy to the Taliban and so not shooting anything that moved in the Gaza strip on land & in the sky at any time every day?

Ted Miller
Ted Miller
8 months ago

The war against Hamas is qualitatively different and must be won and will be won, and most of the surrounding Arab nations will fall into line with a PLO backed administration of Gaza and military neutralisation of Gaza. No-one is coming to the aid of Hamas, Iran has grossly miscalculated and there is no plausible comparison to the Ukraine conflict.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago

Was the goal ever that Ukraine would “win” the war? Of course not. This hideous exercise was a money-making scheme for international criminals and its usefulness is done. Ukraine was dressed up as a plucky little underdog fighting for democracy, which it is not and never has been. The media have new stories to tell, sympathies now lay (briefly) elsewhere, and those who cashed in have cashed out.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

Couldn’t put it better.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago

Thomas Fazi more confused than ever here.
On the one hands, he kicks off by claiming that the West and Ukraine are losing. Later on, he agrees with Zaluzhny that the war has reached a stalemate.
So which is it then Thomas ?
Looks like the second case to me.
And who says that’s not what many of the West’s leaders actually want ? It’s the logical outome of their decisions.
The poor lad seems so locked into his hardwired beliefs about Russia/Ukraine that he can’t even get the facts straight or consider anything that might contradict his views.
It seems to escape his notice that the US has chosen to supply Ukraine enough to survive, but not enough to win. They certainly could have supplied the more advanced kit to do more but chose (rightly or wrongly) not to do so. They are only “failing” in their aims if they did this through incompetence (always possible with any military).
As for Gaza, I fail to see just how that is a conflict the West is trying to “win”. Or indeed should do.
Indeed, using words like “winning” and “losing” for the Israel/Gaza situation is verging on the absurd when almost everyone there will be a loser – just some more than others. It will similarly be a long, long time before there are any real “winners” from Russia/Ukraine. Thomas Fazi’s reputation for judgement certainly won’t be one of them.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
8 months ago

It sounds like Ukraine needs men more than money. Also, it needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat, and find a different solution. As Einstein said, ‘Insanity’s definition is doing the same activity multiple times while expecting different results.’

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Just for the record, Albert Einstein never said anything like that.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
8 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Indeed, it seems to have come from the 10 (now 12) step communities. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/03/23/same/

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
8 months ago

Good research! I like quotations (accurate ones, at least), and am a longtime reader of Mardy Grothe’s newsletter and books. I often end up at the Quote Investigator too.
This quote, though, is not one of my favorites. It’s more a platitude, and I hate platitudes. They rarely offer insight, and can often be matched with a common saying that is completely contradictory. The flipside of this one would be: “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Equally platitudinous.
And the quote is not even close to anything Albert Einstein ever said. That too grates on me. The man was a genius at physics, but a bit of a dork at everything else.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Watch YouTube channel Pavlo from Ukraine.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago

Democrats are such warmongers – obviously not a statement of support for anyone, not putin nor hamas nor iran…. all terrible ……but we had a big role in courting Ukraine from the late 90s and encouraging Zelensky not to pursue peace back at the start – I see a race / war for resources played out in small steps, but if you don’t want to, great,whatever – now, as our glorious leaders have commited our money and arms to the overseas interests of the very wealthy, the people of Israel, Palestine, Ukraine and Russia suffer for the politicians games, and the regular people of Europe and North America face the slow growing civil war caused by the deliberate, and entirely without mandate, mass migration (legitimate and illegitimate). Iran is taking their chance now with war, Russia has moved trade to China and the Global South, splitting the world into the West and the Rest, and I hope not to hear too much about Taiwan.

Our leaders / elites have caused this pursuing the race for resources their wealthy masters demand, whilst we the people have been attacked for the past 25 years by an invasion caused by the same elites.

I don’t speak for the Russia, China or Iran establishments – they aren’t my people and they aren’t my concern, and they certainly aren’t good – but I pity their people as much as I pity ours. WIll we ever escape the false binaries that our leaders promote – there is no good or bad, there’s just shades of grey for the various wealthy powerblocks that the various leaders are sponsored by.

M Lux
M Lux
8 months ago

Oh look, the west is hanging the Ukrainians out to dry after talking them into waging a war they couldn’t win. Who could’ve seen this coming…
It’s almost as if the Ukrainians were just a tool for the western elites to manipulate their populace into supporting them (and weakening Russia, while making some more money for the energy sector) because they haven’t done jack for their own people in 20+ years.
So all the warmongering of the last 2 years has accomplished is to make us all poorer, make the world less safe and leave Ukraine much worse off than if had just negotiated in March of ’22.
Western Interventionism proves its worth once again.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago
Reply to  M Lux

We’re not allowed to say that!

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  M Lux

The Biden’s have taken their cut and provided all they promised in return to the point it is now impossible for Biden Jnr for one, to carry on dealing with Ukraine’s Oligarchs. He’s under far more scrutiny than the days when his lap-top could be labelled a myth.
As for Dad, I hear he is still trying to deliver all of his end of the bargain. Sadly for Ukraine, he won’t be providing what they are said to need. Men.

Jim McDonnell
Jim McDonnell
8 months ago

The land war in Ukraine does resemble France throughout most of World War I. It took France more than four years to win and that was with a lot more foreign help than Ukraine is getting or is ever likely to get. The Ukrainians are having considerable success in the Black Sea. With all due respect to Max Hastings, liberation of Crimea is not at all our of the question. Was anybody leaning on the French in 1916, trying to make them sit down with the Germans and negotiate away some of their territory?

Andy White
Andy White
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonnell

Yes. Remember Woodrow Wilson and ‘Peace without Victory’? But once he had been rejected the US President became very hardline. The most significant behind-the-scenes peace initiatives came in the following year, 1917, and they came from Vienna and Berlin. If only they’d succeeded. The horrendous consequences of continuing WW1 were not worth the recovery of Alsace bloody Lorraine!!

Jim McDonnell
Jim McDonnell
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy White

That “peace without victory” speech came long before the US entered the war and was an attempt to persuade both sides to negotiate with each other. Since the UK was France’s key ally in 1916 I should have said: Was the UK trying to make the French sit down with the Germans and negotiate away some of their territory?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonnell

Hmm, interesting take, given that the British Empire also fought the Germans and their allies. In fact it was when Britain finally proved Bismark wrong** that the war started to go the Allies way.
“” Tanks – Dreadnoughts with wheels. 😉
Mind you that was only part of the revolution in warfare the British produced. Combined arms, with air support/recon with radio comms proving capable of breaking the stalemate. Also had Blackadder pointed out that the Somme was fought to relieve the pressure on the French at Verdun the current generation might not be so ill informed when it comes to the reality of WW1.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago

Could it just be that the plan is to help Ukraine just enough to ensure Russia is fought to a standstill? US aid to Ukraine is around 6% of the US defense budget. That seems a very low price to pay for massively degrading Russian military capability and exposing their military ineptitude to the world.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

Attrition.

M Lux
M Lux
8 months ago

While the war certainly has shown the Russians to be less militarily competent than might have been assumed beforehand, I don’t think it’s degraded their military capabilities as much as you’re implying (with the massive losses of armor at the very beginning being a big caveat to that).
The Russians have shown themselves quite able to pivot to a wartime economy without too much trouble (the vaunted sanctions have barely put a dent in their economy and have mostly backfired onto Europe) and will likely only become more effective as time goes on. The brain drain will hurt them in the long run, but the favored western strategy of destabilizing a countries economy in order to topple it from within also seems to have backfired.
This war has likely given the Russians the opportunity to shake off their rustiness when it comes to fighting major conflicts and made them likelier to use their military in the future as a result – so basically the exact opposite of what the “Russia must be defeated” crowd said would happen as a consequence of the war.
It’s almost as if starting wars makes it less likely to find a peaceful outcome to difficult international issues.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  M Lux

It seems to me from the evidence the Russians ‘invasion’ was an opportunist event because of the Green inspired energy crisis of 2021 when the Wind didn’t blow and hydro didn’t deliver, so a dash for LNG occured across the globe. Europe in particular grabbed (they still are, Germany to the fore) every BTU of LNG it could buy.
I tihnk Putin thought, as gas-master of the EU, I’ll not have any trouble with them if I pop next door.
Time and again Videos from Ukrainian smartphones show Russian conscripts sitting on broken down or out of fuel tanks or standing ‘guard’ but chatting to Ukranian civilians as though they were on a day out.
Perhaps the special force operations were more carefully planned and their participants expected a shooting war, but until Ukraine started picking off the fish in a barrel Russia armour lined up along the highways it appears the majority of the Russians weren’t expecting this to be a shooting war.

jane baker
jane baker
8 months ago

Zelensky is worried because as a not funny comic and moderately good actor he knows his run is coming to an end,and his particular theatre management might see a death scene as the appropriate denouement.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Curious how often we see the same scenarios as likely. Despite doing so from completely opposite ideological positions.

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
8 months ago