By Edward Alvarez

Volodymyr Zelensky, the embattled President of Ukraine has taken the world by storm. It seems everyone on Earth is singing his praises. It can be easy to feel that he deserves his legendary status. It is almost impossible to imagine him as anything less than a superhero pushing back against tyranny and saving the world. Is this a realistic characterization that anyone can live up to?

The war in Ukraine is a devastating and painful mess of towering misfortunes. In making sense of this disaster, it is very difficult to separate ourselves from the finality of what may seem inevitable. We try to interpret this tragedy in ways that make sense to us, we fall back to our ancient stories of good versus evil, David versus Goliath. Yet unfortunately our ancient stories and modern analogies are no use to us in the 21st century, in reality they don’t help us understand the danger the world faces.

They do present convincing arguments when there is derisory emphasis on peaceful solutions to the war. We have to ask what is the goal in this war? We can assume the goal is to save lives, we can assume the goal is victory. By learning what’s most important we can more greatly understand the progress being made. Of most importance is for the war to de-escalate immediately.

It must be understood that escalation takes us in the wrong direction, because a war against a nuclear armed power can’t be won. Without this crucial realization the most impossible things become possible, like a hero saving the world. Of course it’s essential to have inspiration and motivation in trying times, but it’s also essential to be practical.

The reason why we should not admire Zelensky is because he doesn’t seem very committed to de-escalating the war. He has said that acquiring more weapons will definitely make him win the war; a powerful argument on its own, but when one considers that only a negotiated settlement can end the war, it dissolves into an impossible promise.

Zelensky’s seeming intransigence makes the possible solutions to the war even more bewildering. If a noble goal is to prevent a nuclear war, shouldn’t there be more emphasis on diplomacy? Yet Zelensky relentlessly implores the world for more and more weapons. Without any appearance of alternatives it’s very easy to assume that more weapons are the answer to ending the war and bringing peace.

At the same time he has both praised the idea of diplomacy and has dismissed it as being worthless, while simultaneously vowing to fight to the last city. Still, to promise things that are impossible does no one any favors. Most troubling of all are the arguments against diplomacy which have been echoed by millions of people who may not have considered the necessity of de-escalation.

This is where most of us have difficulty understanding what the next steps should be. In light of our ancient stories of good versus evil, we feel so strongly that Russia must be defeated. There is no other possibility in our minds than the absolute decimation of Russia. Yet Noam Chomsky has stressed from the very beginning of this war that Putin must be given a way out; not victory, but an escape, or as Chomsky emphasized, the worst may happen. This makes a peaceful end to the war even more hopelessly unpopular.

This is not a suggestion that Russia is blameless, only an explanation of what is necessary to make sense of this war, and how to end it. Without this all-important consideration we will be stuck in endless myth-making. The answer to this war is not more weapons. The answer is to push for diplomacy from all sides. The US, the UK and Ukraine must devote themselves to a diplomatic solution instead of further escalation. Everything must be done to prevent a nuclear war, especially when peace is possible.

Edward Alvarez writes from San Diego. Ralph E. Shaffer, professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona, contributed to this article.

SOURCEAnti War

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Zelensky dangles by Zlochevsky and other oligarch strings…JUST LIKE JOE BIDEN via money showered on Hunter Biden. Cannot “give up” or they lose wealth and probably life….prosecuted for murder and corruption.

  2. Zelensky has done absolutely nothing! He is a zero! A bad actor playing a part given to him by his wealthy handlers. The owners of the media, the banks, big pharma are all the same crowd. They propped up Zelensky to steal the wealth of the Russians and eventually take their land. And China will be next. World dominance from the City of London!

  3. Sure a war against a nuclear armed power can be won.
    This by a massive surprise first strike that neutralizes the opponenet from an equally massive retaliation.

    Maybe Biden does not understand this, but being a really dumb old goat he can be convinced easily of it.

    This why the USA has such importance on surrounding Russias borders with nuclear tipped missles, and especially Ukraine a good place for them to be targetting Russia from.

    Fuck it, you can even give the nukes to the nazis in charge of the Ukrainian military, in a “plan B” and let THEM do that first strike – they would enjoy doing it, and let THEM recieve the return gifts within Ukraine, and not the real nazis back in WashDC that instigated the whole mess.

    So to have the ability to launch a thousand nuclear missles all at once that can hit every single Russian city, military base, and missle silo in less than five minutes gives to US military “planners” the idea that a WW3 is possible to be victorious in.
    Some of those missle can have 200 warheads per missle so go figure.

    All that is needed for it to happen is the “confidence in the will of God” that it will succeed.
    Fuck

    • And, then, there’s Russian submarines capable of lauching big boy nukes from off both East and West coasts of the US. Would a first strike from Ukraine or elsewhere stop this retaliation? I guess that’s why they call it assured mutual destruction with no winners. Even weasel Zelensky couldn’t hide in TelAviv because that dump would also be on the Russian nuclear hit list. Kiss your ass good bye.

  4. “….a war against a nuclear armed power can’t be won.” Very true and even the semi-demented Biden understands this. So, why is the POTUS teaming up with another fake third world national hero on a mission impossible. This war will drag on until it is decided that economic objectives have been met by those hoping to make another run at Russian resources. Howver, it just won’t happen this time, and billions of chump taxpayer money will be wasted. Then, Biden will set his sights on some other shit hole country when he is so directed by his handlers. What a waste but nothing new in the good old USA. We’re number one! We’re number one!

  5. Zelinsky is a triple cretin – a B category actor dressed in a T shirt, a dog on a leash from Nazington, a jewish neonazi. This zero-credibility imbecile getting support from the NATO and an audience in euro parliaments is beyond the crassest stupidity ever displayed… Vile kunt

    • Sounds like a pretty good description of George W. Bush. Well, Zelensky probably has a higher lizard IQ.