Mainstream media has recently reported some surprisingly objective journalism since President Volodymyr Zelensky’s helmet-in-hand visit to solicit more U.S. funding for Ukraine’s defense. Even openly allied outlets are now nevertheless professionally presenting the growing political and public discontent with the war. Contrary to constant conspiracy theorizing of governmental media control, one particularly pointed on-camera interview with Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland wordlessly spoke volumes as to the administration’s disingenuous attempts to spin some hopefulness from the war’s ongoing weariness. Overall, the chief collective newsworthiness of Zelensky’s Washington pilgrimage was that the war has seemingly reached a tipping point on what had been steadfast bipartisan pro-Ukraine/anti-Russia politics.

A Ukrainian soldier nicknamed Stem checks a loaded exploding drone before takeoff on the front line on the outskirts of Kreminna, Ukraine, on Aug. 20. The drone unit’s task is to destroy Russia’s heavy machinery, armored vehicles and infantry. Bram Janssen/Associated Press

Now, in desperately averting a governmental shutdown, Congress officially curtailed further aid to Ukraine. Sadly, what should be an encouraging pivot away from blind militarism is, disappointingly, just more same-old-same-old political brinkmanship.

How discouraging that long-overdue public questioning of this proxy war is now being successfully waged by the most extreme elements of Republican partisanship in a take-no-prisoners weaponization of war itself. They argue against continued funding of the war not as a moral imperative but simply as another Democratic blank check needing to be rewritten by right-wing “fiscal responsibility.” They have no actual solidarity with the antiwar establishment’s mantra of “Bring Our War Dollars Home.” The Republican far right’s defunding of Ukraine would in no way intentionally fund policies that would actually redistribute those tax revenues to the needs of so many Americans impoverished in very large measure by, indeed, Republican policies. Nor would it be reearmarked for geopolitically constructive foreign aid, another believed waste of taxpayer money.

How sadder still that much of what now passes for a peace movement applauds this far-right attempt to dismantle our own government, seeming to care not at all about the ethics or morality of those with whom they align in the myopic belief that the end justifies the means, even if that means Russia gets rewarded for its tyranny and peace in Ukraine comes through a forced “negotiated” subjugation to Russian occupation.

And if America stops military assistance to Ukraine, will that actually end the conflict? U.S. defunding of Ukraine’s current defense via mostly limited conventional weaponry could actually escalate the conflict by forcing Ukraine to more aggressively strike inside Russia itself, or motivate other NATO nations to provide more advanced weapons to Ukraine to preempt increased fears of Russian compromise of their own borders. How does defunding Ukraine do anything but encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to persevere?

Much punditry speculates that Putin is patiently waiting for time’s passage to eventually dishearten U.S., NATO and Ukrainian resolve. Russia’s disinformation campaign of “fake news” fabrication continues to undermine trust in our major media’s veracity while our politics continues to become more and more contentious and divisive even within opposing parties.


How did John McCain’s Republican Party become so unrecognizable as to suddenly be cowed by an insurgent antiwar conversion aimed at holding democracy captive?

Some answers are even less evident.

How did a peace movement’s once-coherent moral opposition to war, all wars, morph into geopolitically defending the actions of an unapologetically brutal aggressor? How did U.S.-led or -aligned aggression become the only aggression to be protested? When did the long-standing conviction of speaking progressive truth to power become an increasing embrace of telling half truths or outright untruths in the name of ending militarism at any cost? How is adopting the winning-is-everything methods of those who repeatedly lead us into war ever going to defeat that ethically and morally misguided fundamental wrongheadedness?

As a long-past peace mantra used to go: “If war is the answer, then it must be a very stupid question.” Actually, questions are never really stupid, especially the questioning of perpetuating endless war.

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