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An essay about getting lost in your own spin

In times of war, ‘official sources’ and related media outlets are spinning the news to create a false awareness in line with what the people in charge want to convey to the ‘outside world’. Contrary to what you might expect, this is not necessarily an upbeat story which has the own forces winning every battle, despite the losses. It depends. There could be a reason to present an image of weakness, or serious risk of collapse somewhere along the frontline, to influence decisions made by the adversary, in order to prepare the ground for a surprise attack, catching the enemy on the wrong foot. Or a message of imminent danger may be needed to rally support among the people, or elsewhere, among countries supporting the war. 


On the other hand, outsiders may hesitate to invest in a lost case, which requires upbeat messages, even if there really is no hope. The ‘Collective West’ has been at war for decades, and to know the truth about what is going on has become almost impossible. Way too much spin. Regularly resulting in a wide array of messages to choose from, each of them originally targeted at a certain audience, and only revealing selected information deemed suitable to convey the message considered useful for this or that specific purpose. If you want to analyse the situation, you need to develop a mindset which is different from what analysts relied on in the past, when there were still journalist who were not ‘embedded’, but able to get close to the front lines and decision making centers, or eager former public servants with some sources which might provide ‘inside information’. From what I’m seeing, I draw the conclusion that the ‘insiders’ have no clue of what is going on either, and are lost in translation, even if they are unaware of the fact that what they are working with is a fantasy. Not because they are not allowed to know, since certain knowledge is ‘above their pay grade’, but because they themselves are the victims of stories spun by other departments, or friends in the alliance which they are part of. 


There is no other viable explanation for the gap between real-world events, and ludicrous assumptions our leaders are basing their decisions on. None of the wars NATO fought over the past twenty-five years went smoothly, resulting in a predictable outcome, which could be presented as a clear, and undisputed victory, and fresh start. George Bush was wise to declare victory over Iraq from the safety of the flight deck of an American aircraft carrier somewhere in the Persian Gulf. Relatively safe enclaves were created in Iraq and Afghanistan, and because the Russians left Kiev alone, hoping for a negotiated settlement, our leaders are able to fly in and out of the capital of what is left of Ukraine, even as Russian missiles pummel selected targets right on the border with Austria and NATO countries bordering Ukraine. But the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan revealed conclusively that the story of creating a stable, well funded, well defended country which would do our bidding was a fantasy. 


So, if Joe Biden says that Russia already lost in Ukraine, what are we to make of that? Is he even aware of the real situation? Are his advisers, and the plethora of ‘Think Tanks’ in the ‘Collective West’ informed about the actual situation? We’ve all seen these stories emerging from our ‘trusted sources’ telling us in May of last year that Russia was about to collapse economically, and running out of ammo and weapon systems. Was that simply spin? Because it was nowhere near the truth. Or did they actually believe it themselves? Allow me to suggest that it actually might be the latter. That they didn’t lie, but that they came to be entangled in their own spin. Half-truths and lies to support their agenda obscuring what was real. Coupled to a failed strategy, itself based on wishful thinking guesstimates and doctored statistics. 


At the same time, the Russians do incur losses, and though they are not shy to reveal Ukrainian losses, according to them, we have no way of knowing if those figures are for real without ‘third party’ confirmation. And what about their own losses? I’m not in the business of chasing all those video-confirmations of ‘kills’, like Dima on the ‘Military Summary’ channel, and others. To begin with, I abhor what I call ‘War Porn’, and I’m glad Dima doesn’t show those clips on his channel, even though he does show his viewers clips of strikes on tanks and armored vehicles or fortifications. And obviously there are young men, and an increasing number of women, apparently, inside those objects. But a hit doesn’t mean the vehicle is sure to be destroyed. After a hit, soldiers often emerge, running for cover, continuing on foot, or to wait for another vehicle. A Russian tank got hit by a NATO missile, but emerged from a ball of flames to continue on its path. Armor left behind may be recovered later, and back in the race next week. 


The frontlines are not stationary, but there are no large, sudden breaches. It is only too obvious that NATO/Ukraine wanted and expected to break through the Russian defense lines, but the Russians are fighting a different war. ‘Large Arrow’ movements are not what they are after. Huge piles of dead Ukrainians, or Ukrainians surrendering to the Russians, and pulverizing the equipment provided by NATO is what they are after. Stationary doesn’t mean ‘bogged down’. But recently the Russians amended their strategy, with the attempt to reach a slug heap near Avdeevka which would leave them in a commanding position to control the roads in and out of that fortification, since they already advanced on the other side. No doubt they did lose men and equipment in that attempt, even though they destroyed plenty of Ukrainian equipment as well. Senseless shelling of the city of Donetsk from Avdeevka resulted as some sort of revenge. Near Kupiansk the Russians are advancing as well, while Ukraine is active in Kherson, which doesn’t look like a very promising endeavor, as it would require a ‘D-Day’-like operation to get men and equipment across the Dnieper, in a race against the upcoming rainy season, with an exhausted army and unreliable supplies, even more so since the ‘Collective West’ made it clear that Israel trumps Ukraine, while the war Israel has in mind may take ‘ages’, if they are able to win it. 


Tellingly, Israel is slow to go after Sunni Hamas, which is tied in to support from Sunni countries with intimate relationships with the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’. Qatar, the ‘Gulf States’ and Turkey, mainly, with large groups of supporters all over Europe. Instead, Israel is bombing civil airports in secular Syria, and targets in Lebanon which are connected to Shia Iran. In addition they are using their Hasbara network to remind everyone that they possess missiles with nuclear warheads. Pretty useless agains Hamas next door, or even Hezbollah, within shouting distance on the other side of the border in Lebanon, but great to attack Iran. All of which is fueling ‘Conspiracy Theories’ that this is something entirely different from what we assume it is. And that we are actually looking at a ‘clever plan’ to go after Iran, and by extension 'BRICS', and ‘liberate’ Syria, delivering it to the holed up remnants of IS/Al Qaida in the Idlib province. The mirror image in fact of what most of us assume to be true. I don’t know about that, but as in Ukraine, and all these other wars over the past twenty five years, truckloads of spin are obscuring what is real. And not only confusing you and me, but even those in the ‘Collective West’ who think they know what this is all about, including your average lawmaker. Let me remind you that this curious Warhawk Lindsey Graham, who is on record defending the war in Ukraine, as it is the cheapest way to fight the Russians, also advocated destroying an oil refinery in Shia Iran in exchange for every hostage killed by Sunni Hamas. Let that sink in. Where does that leave Israel and the Israeli’s? Or Iran and the Iranians? Or Hamas and the Palestinians? 

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