In my humble opinion the surfacing of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Washington last week was possibly the most disgusting example of the corruption of our country and its values since Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu arranged for a similar invitation to address a rapturous Congress back in 2015. Zelensky’s “surprise” visit had in fact been arranged over the course of several months and was a carefully choreographed performance intended to pay political dividends for both the White House, for the Democratic Party in Congress and for Zelensky and his political supporters at home. He met privately with President Joe Biden in the White House, where he presumably received most of what he was seeking as well as a pledge of total support until “Ukraine wins.” He subsequently was invited to address a Joint Session of Congress, a privilege that was most definitely not arranged at short notice, with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi predictably calling on all Congressmen to attend. The session began with a three minute standing ovation from the assembled Representatives and Senators.
So the creepy little con-man was enabled to have his say in a video link that reached a global audience. That it consisted of a gaggle of lies to justify the rapid passage of hundreds of billions of dollars from the struggling American taxpayer to a nation renowned only for its reputation as the most corrupt in Europe was not noted by the audience. As it has been from the start Joe Biden’s war, it is inevitable that the Democrats in Congress should leap around and fill the chamber with cheers every time Zelensky opened his mouth to emit yet another inanity. But to their shame, many Republicans joined in on the celebration of the odd diminutive man Zelensky, whose beatification was passionately embraced by the national media to make sure no one missed out on the importance of the event. The New York Times report on the visit began by describing Zelensky’s status as “a national hero and global superstar, having forged a leadership style blending personal daring with deft messaging to rally his people at home and his allies abroad.” In part, that message included describing his struggle as engaging in a battle pitting “good against evil.”
Nevertheless, those Republicans whose heads were not wedged up their keesters did boycott the event, to the tune of only 86 out of 213 being present. It seems that some Republicans are against the war generally speaking while others actually believe that the billions going to Ukraine should be audited to determine whether it is being stolen or not. Congressmen Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert attended but played with their cell phones and did not rise and applaud the stirring rhetoric coming from Zelensky, who was basically seeking many new weapons and lots more money justified not as “charity” but as an “investment” so he and Ukraine could work to bring rule of law, global security, democracy and freedom to the world. In the aftermath, one particularly delusional commentator has enthused how “There can be no more compelling or effective leader of the democratic free world today than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Fate has called upon him to rise to a level of courage and clarity few figures in history have demonstrated.”
In his speech, Zelensky clearly forgot to mention how he has eliminated freedom of speech and association in his own country as part of his war agenda, while also banning opposition parties and media and even harassing the Russian Orthodox Church. But the tweetosphere inevitably ignored those issues and erupted instead over the alleged bad behavior by some Republicans in not supporting such a great leader. One Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC), who is the anointed NBC television network’s Presidential Historian, tweeted, “For any members of Congress who refused to clap for Zelenskyy, we need to know from them exactly why.” Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) responded sarcastically to Beschloss, “Haul them before a Committee and force them to pledge allegiance to Ukraine and Zelensky or else face long-term imprisonment in a supermax. Refusing to clap for a foreign leader on command is a form of treason.”
And politicians too were inevitably prone to bombastic misrepresentation. Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia tweeted how “This disrespect is embarrassing. It embarrasses you, your constituents, the body we serve in, and our country. Huge numbers of President Zelensky’s people have been killed in a bloody war they did not seek. We must be able to debate foreign policy without mocking human suffering.”
Another lunkhead Democrat Representative Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts declared war, asserting that “We’re in a global struggle between democracy and autocracy. And Ukraine is fighting on the frontlines of that struggle. Our support for Ukraine is sending a message to Moscow, it’s sending a message to Beijing. And it’s sending a message to other authoritarian regimes.” Auchincloss was apparently unaware that it is the United States government that has itself become more autocratic/despotic in that it is generally accepted that the president now has extralegally assumed the authority to allow war crimes to be committed in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Libya while also torturing people to death in secret prisons. The president and his Attorney General Merrick Garland are also rooting out “domestic terrorists” who generally speaking are white people who oppose Democratic Party policies.
Clearly, neither Beyer nor Auchincloss understands that a principled “debate” on foreign policy is not taking place at all in America, largely due to the ability of their party and colleagues to manage and control the process whereby it is possible to start an illegal/unconstitutional war that just might go nuclear without any real pushback from critics or the public. When it comes to controlling the narrative on Ukraine, the normally inept Biden Administration has unleashed the most effective propaganda machine that has ever existed, even if one is taking into consideration George W. Bush’s many lies relating to Afghanistan/Iraq. It is interesting to note that nor did Beyer find Zelensky’s macho sporting of a “wartime uniform” featuring combat style sweatshirt and fatigue cargo pants, which Tucker Carlson described as befitting the “manager of a strip club,” as disrespectful of the august body that he was addressing.
Nor was Beyer apparently affronted when Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris unfurled and waved a huge Ukrainian flag at the speaker’s rostrum. And speaking of Zelensky’s performance itself, one has to wonder who wrote Zelensky’s speech? He has neither the experience nor the smarts necessary to appeal to the most basic instincts of the American people, so one might rather expect that the piece was written and the presentation coached by the usual neocon handlers that have presumably surrounded him since his ascent to power.
The chinless and gutless wonder Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made up for the lack of ardor exhibited by some of his colleagues by saying on the day before Zelensky’s arrival that arming Kiev to “defeat” Russia tops the agenda of “most Republicans.” He elaborated that “Making sure the Defense Department can deal with the major threats coming from Russia and China, providing assistance for the Ukrainians to defeat the Russians, that’s the number one priority of the United States right now, according to most Republicans.” Mitch calls defeating the Russians the number one priority for the United States, not the open southern border nor the economy suffering from inflation, shortages and recession. And then there is Senator he/she Lindsey Graham, who clearly endorsed that hardline in spades, calling for the “assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” an act that would surely initiate World War 3.
I rather suspect that the passion unleashed for the Jewish Zelensky is at least in part engineered by the usual suspects among the politically powerful Jewish groups, lobbyists and media personalities, where criticism of Ukraine, which has a large Jewish population, is considered a capital offense. Jewish media in the US hailed the impending news of the Zelensky visit, enthusing in seasonal fashion over how “Ukraine’s survival” under Zelensky had been a “modern day Hanukkah miracle.”
Hatred of Russia (and of course Iran) is also a sine qua non among such groups and media outlets and they will twist every argument to urge US military intervention in both those countries. That is precisely what Zelensky himself does when he calls for NATO intervention even when he is the one who bombs neighboring Poland. In the current situation, you will not find the totally “reliable” New York Times debunking the ridiculous claim that throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at Zelensky and his band of thieves is in any way related to US national security requirements. No one was threatening the United States and the war that erupted in February was clearly negotiable on two major issues: implementation of the Minsk accords of 2014-5 over autonomy for Donbas and demands for neutrality for Ukraine, i.e. no joining NATO. It was the United States that encouraged Ukraine’s abrupt tilt towards and west and refused to negotiate in any seriousness with Russia over issues that were vital to that country’s actual security.
So did the Zelensky bit of kabuki theater largely engineered by the White House and Nancy Pelosi succeed in getting everything the Ukrainians wanted? Probably not, as offensive missile systems that could be used to strike deep into Russia are still on hold, but the money and other weapons are now in the pipeline. And there surely will be more to come, certain to include US military “advisers” on the ground. No matter how it turns out, the Ukraine is a tragedy writ large and the fools sitting complacently on Capitol Hill are largely to blame for not recognizing that US interests do not necessarily coincide with the aspirations of Volodymyr Zelensky and his fellow accomplices. Maybe in two years’ time when the whole house of cards has collapsed and Americans, feeling a great deal of economic and political pain, begin to wonder what took place, it will be time to throw all the bums out and replace them with folks who really care about what happens to this country.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected].