Yet Another Imaginary Russian Victory Parade

Tucker Carlson, cut loose from the, ahem, moderating tether of Fox News, has taken his Putin fantasy world propaganda to yet another level, with the help of British comedian cum better-red-than-dead peacenik fool Russell Brand, and with the amplifying support of the populist right’s new god of free speech, Elon Musk.

Carlson does this because he is a craven, power-loving attention-seeker who has found heightened fame and opportunity in serving as Vladimir Putin’s official spokesman and apologist in the American media — he flat-out supports Putin against the West, despises NATO, and wants Ukraine to be annexed by Russia. Brand does it because he is an uninformed entertainer who has stumbled upon an audience wider and more devoted than his wildest dreams by employing his sub-Pythonesque wit to tickle the diminished egos of the conspiracy-mad doomsday junkies of the Trump cult and beyond. Musk does it because he is one of the richest businessman on the planet, and hence, like all such figures, now and forever, has the clearest material vested interest in pleading for the “stability” of the politico-economic status quo, so as not to jeopardize his available markets or profit margin.

Specifically, Carlson declares:

Ukraine is losing the war, obviously. And Ukrainians are dying in huge numbers, and the country is being destroyed. The U.S. could force peace like tonight. They could. Uniquely, they have that power. And they won’t, and they are continuing to allow Ukrainians to be killed and that country to be devastated.

Ukraine is “obviously” losing the war, says a former schoolboy political pundit who is increasingly sounding like that official Saddam Hussein spokesman from the second Gulf War who was popularly dubbed “Baghdad Bob” in the United States. This Ukrainian defeat is obvious to Tucker, even with the war still going on, almost a year and a half after Russia initiated its current phase, and with Russian forces having been so depleted, and their progress so stymied, that Putin is making ever-louder bluffs about using the nuclear weapons that everyone knows he could never get away with using, and with increasing signs of apparent dissension in the ranks of Putin’s leadership hierarchy.

And even such quibbling over facts is ignoring the more important question one ought to be asking of Carlson and his ilk, which of course a propagandist for tyranny has a vested interest in avoiding, namely, “Is losing a bravely fought war of national self-defense really the worst possible outcome for Ukraine?” In other words, the tyrant’s official American propagandist has to employ all his rhetorical gifts, such as they are, to reinforce the moral relativist, peace-at-all-costs false premise that all war deaths are equally wasteful and senseless, whereas men with an ounce of principle used to regard defeat in a just war aimed at resisting enslavement to a tyrant as honorable and dignified evidence of the human spirit at its finest.

Anyway, Tucker Carlson has decided, in Baghdad Bob fashion, to interpret the obvious evidence of Putin’s increasing weakness, ineffectiveness, and incompetence as proof that everything is going perfectly according to plan, and that the war is essentially already won — er, that is, lost…or, well, what would be the right way to frame this, from poor Tucker’s point of view?

Russell Brand, a finger-in-the-wind clickbaiter and mock-provocative opportunist, gives Carlson a platform to pitch this pro-tyranny moral relativist propaganda. And Elon Musk seconds Carlson’s opinion and reinforces Brand’s legitimacy as an opinion source, by adding, with a musky twitter: “The flower of Ukrainian & Russian youth are dying in trenches, with no meaningful change in territory.”

But wait. Wouldn’t “no meaningful change in territory” constitute something of a victory for Ukraine, or at least a very positive sign, after seventeen months of defending their sovereign land against a brutal, heavily armed, completely conscienceless enemy with total national annihilation and annexation on its mind? I guess that depends on which perspective on the war one is taking, or what your desired outcome happens to be. As well as depending, again, on the assumption of a moral relativist premise, since the “flower of Ukrainian youth” are dying to defend their homeland in a just war of national self-defense, whereas the “flower of Russian youth” are dying as cannon fodder in their dictator’s futile and ill-conceived war of self-glorification. That’s comparing apples and oranges a bit, isn’t it Elon? But then again, such apples to oranges illogic is the very meaning of moral relativism, and hence hardly surprising in this case, or from this source.

And notice how both Tucker and Elon, along with their facilitator du jour, Russell, are conveniently treating this entire war as something that has just happened somehow, or even as a war caused or exacerbated by the West itself, and the U.S. in particular, which Tucker, translating his master’s official line faithfully, insists “could force peace like tonight.” Even if that were true, one would have to ask — if, that is, anything other than desperately trying to help Lord Putin out of a tight spot were one’s aim — what kind of peace that would be, and why the people of Ukraine ought to be willing to settle for having such a compromised peace “forced” upon them, like tonight or like ever. Interesting, isn’t it, that telling the U.S. government to stay out of other countries’ business is all well and good when such a position would be beneficial to one’s favorite expansionist tyrants, while it suddenly becomes appropriate to demand that the U.S. government impose one’s preferred outcome on a global situation when such interference…would be beneficial to one’s favorite expansionist tyrants?

I state for the record, once again, that I am not saying there is a simple and straightforward answer to questions about war, or about any country’s involvement in foreign wars. I am very open, and even sympathetic, to honest arguments of principle against the government of a free nation involving itself in the conflicts or hardships of other nations — as long as the one making that case is also open to considering this non-intervention principle not as a dreamworld abstraction applicable to the age of George Washington, but within the context of contemporary concrete realities regarding intercontinental weapons, high-speed travel, tyrannies of global reach and aspiration, and the endless worldwide flow of real-time information.

But this would be a legitimate and serious discussion of fundamental principles, not a bunch of relativistic, nihilistic squirming in defense of irrational thuggery and in moral support of the restoration of the Russian expansionist dreaming that devastated so much of the world — including, infamously, Ukraine — during most of the previous century.

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