Not since the pre-Glasnost days, when mutually assured nuclear destruction between the Soviet Union and the United States was the only logical way a shooting war between the two superpowers would end, has the world teetered so close to the brink of atomic conflict.
In the early days of the Ukraine war, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert — seldom a good sign. It was even worse when U.S. President Joe Biden began talking about “Armageddon.”
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden told a Democratic Party fundraiser last month.
Needless to say, that tends to put a fellow on edge. And, when a missile lands in Polish territory — Poland being a NATO ally — things start to get hairy. That’s especially true when early reports seemed to indicate it was a Russian missile.
We’re now almost certain it wasn’t. The missile in question is only operated by the Ukrainians, which means it was likely an accident that occurred while fending off a Russian attack. The Ukrainians aren’t admitting responsibility, however.
Now, as Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out in his Wednesday monologue, “The first draft of the story that you read is always wrong — not sometimes wrong — always wrong, occasionally in small ways, sometimes in big and utterly distorting ways. ‘Dewey defeats Truman. Iraq has nukes. Russia bombed its own pipeline.'”
However, there are sometimes signs the lie is on purpose, Carlson said.
In this case, watch the reaction. The Associated Press cited an “unnamed senior U.S. Intel official” who said the attack was Russian in origin. Another source described it as “an unprovoked first strike against Poland,” killing two people on a farm.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for escalation to meet Moscow’s escalation — especially since, given Poland is a NATO territory, NATO members were required by treaty obligations to respond.
“To fire missiles at NATO territory, this is a Russian missile attack on collective security. This is a very significant escalation. We must act,” he said.
And then footage of the attack began emerging.
“Zelenskyy, the unnamed American intel officer and the Associated Press had all been trafficking in dangerous misinformation. That became clear within a few hours when pictures of the exploded missile surfaced on social media,” Carlson said.
“People who know a lot about military hardware started asking questions about this stuff, so they looked at a picture of a fragment of the motor from this destroyed missile, and they noticed the ordnance was an S-300 system. Now, the S-300 system is only being used by the Ukrainian military, not the Russians, so it could not have been a Russian military attack.”
Most of Ukraine’s allies backed off at this point. Ukraine didn’t, with Zelenskyy delivering remarks that would earn four Pinocchios if The Washington Post was rating this one.
“I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” he said Wednesday. “I believe that this was a Russian missile based on military reports.”
“Again, that’s not only untrue, it’s a lie that could get millions of Americans killed” in World War III, Carlson said.
Say what you will about Zelenskyy — I happen to like the guy a lot more than Tucker Carlson does — this is a deliberate lie, given what we know. When a dignitary keeps lying to your face despite insuperable evidence, that’s a sign this is all deliberate.
There’s another way to tell this was “lying on purpose,” Tucker said. Just check your Twitter feed.
“How do you know whether they are lying on purpose of whether they got it wrong by accident? Well when the story trends on social media, you know,” he said. “That means that somewhere there’s a tech executive who’s decided to crank up the propaganda dial in order to manipulate you.
“It’s really not so different from what the North Korean state news agency does. When there’s a famine, they start promoting stories about record rice harvests, so you wouldn’t notice.”
This isn’t just Trump-bashing or mail-in voting propaganda from Facebook and Twitter, however. This is a lie about something that could end in mutually assured destruction between Russia and the United States. And, Carlson said, they were fully complicit.
And finally, consider Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — who blamed Russia even though it was Ukraine that fired the missile.
“This explosion was most likely the result of a Ukrainian air defense missile that unfortunately landed in Poland, and whatever the final conclusions may be, the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident,”Austin said.
“This is not what we would refer to as evidence-based reasoning. What you’re hearing from the secretary of defense is that Ukraine lobbed a missile into Poland and killed Poles, but you need to continue to send billions to Ukraine to fight Russia,” Carlson said.
And remember, as Carlson exhorted, “This was not a small story. It was Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo stuff.”
As Joe Biden said, we’re teetering on the brink of Armageddon. There’s a whole host of reasons for that — but whatever the reasons may be, it doesn’t help when our government lies to create a NATO crisis that never had to happen. This is a lie that, had things gone wrong, could have cost millions of lives.
I’m not saying Americans shouldn’t support Ukraine in its war against Russia. However, the rah-rah period is long over. We’re mired in a conflict with a proxy we’re not entirely sure we can trust, arrayed against a world power whose unstable leader has invoked the specter of atomic combat.
This isn’t World War II simple. Instead, it looks a lot more like the treaty-bound nation-state dominoes that fell in quick succession after Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination during the summer of 1914. The horrors of the conflict that followed were were most acutely experienced in fetid trenches dug into the earth of Europe. Terrible as that may have been, it has nothing on the prospect of a mushroom cloud reaching up into a deep blue sky.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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