Tracey: The Government Keeps Lying To Us About Ukraine; Where Is The Outrage?

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 17, 2023 - 11:30 AM

Authored by Michael Tracey, op-ed via,

On June 4, a group referring to itself as the "Polish Volunteer Corps" issued a boastful announcement confirming its participation in a series of cross-border ground offensives into Russia.

News of these audacious raids was jarring enough, given the many prior assurances of U.S. and Ukrainian war planners, who insisted no attacks would be carried out inside Russian territory. It was all the more conspicuous that the incursion units were apparently comprised of Polish soldiers.

Poland, of course, is not only a NATO member state, but the NATO member state with which the U.S. has most assiduously aligned itself since Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine (Polish government officials deny any formal connection to the "Polish Volunteer Corps").

So the raids raised an obvious, yet oft-neglected question: Just what the hell is U.S. policy in Ukraine?

If you turn on the TV, you'll find pundits on every channel loyally reciting from memory the broad parameters of the U.S. mission—at least as it's being conveyed in daily rhetorical flourishes by Biden Administration officials, assorted Congressional chest-thumpers, and brave think tank warriors. Freedom and autocracy are locked in a great cosmic battle of good versus evil, or so goes the usual storyline—most often narrated with a degree of moral complexity that can be generously compared to a lower-tier Marvel Movie.

But apart from this steady stream of heavily recycled platitudes, was it ever plainly disclosed to Americans—the chief financial sponsors of the Ukraine war effort, after all—that the scope of the war effort they've found themselves subsidizing would eventually expand to include platoons of Polish soldiers marching straight into Russia? Did anyone back in Washington, D.C. sign off on this, or was there ever an opportunity granted for public consideration of its potentially foreboding implications?

At least in theory, the U.S. is treaty-bound to come to the defense of Poland in the event of armed attack. And while Poland may nominally disavow the Polish Volunteer Corps, a Polish journalist writing for Poland's largest digital publication says he was in attendance at a founding organizational meeting in Kyiv this past February, during which the unit was established not as a ragtag group of untested amateurs, but as an elite "sabotage and reconnaissance" force—which from the get-go was "reporting directly to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine." Per this account, the unit was to consist of Poland's "most experienced soldiers," with notable imprecision as to where specifically those soldiers hailed from.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher towards Russian positions near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on June 13, 2023. Ukrainian forces have now begun their long-awaited counteroffensive at several points along the front.ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Then there's the fact that shortly before the formation of the "Polish Volunteer Corps," a cross-coalition bill was submitted to the Polish parliament which would make it legal for Polish nationals to fight in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The war against Russia was to be recognized as "a special situation from the point of view of the national security of the Republic of Poland," the text reads, "requiring non-standard political and legislative actions on the part of the state."

The "Polish Volunteer Corps" has been conducting joint operations with the "Russian Volunteer Corps," another fully integrated "special unit within the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine"—euphemistically referred to in "Western" media headlines with plausible-deniability monikers like "Pro-Ukraine group of partisans." Given how these ostensibly unattached "partisans" have been bragging about taking Russian hostages and otherwise getting themselves involved in increasingly spectacular, provocative attacks, one understands why Ukraine might wish to sustain plausible deniability.

"The ground war has come to Russia," proclaimed one Polish state-backed media organ at the news that their soldiers had breached the border.

For many, the footage provided an occasion for rapturous joy, awash as they are in the primal euphoria of armed retribution. Meanwhile, these elite soldiers billed as "volunteers" have been razing Russian border settlements with U.S.-provided weaponry, according to the New York Times and Washington Post. The units "lobbed shells and missiles on residential areas," the Times reported, and they appeared to be aiming their attacks at "no apparent military target."

Convoys of armored vehicles called MRAPs, initially produced for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, were observed barreling into Russia from Ukraine, with still no explanation forthcoming as to how precisely they wound up there. Maybe someone in Kyiv just happened to leave a garage full of U.S. supplied armored vehicles unlocked. Either way, the Ukraine military was conclusively shown to have used U.S. weapons to attack Russia—the very thing President Biden and other administration officials have emphatically maintained they do not support and are not enabling.

Strangely though, this revelation of systematic government deception doesn't seem to have moved the needle much in terms of the wider debate over U.S. involvement in Ukraine. Donald Trump could misstate the temperature outside by half-a-degree Farenheit and the entire U.S. media would be falling over themselves to piously accuse him of "lying"—but pile up mounds of incontrovertible evidence that Americans have been chronically deceived about a sprawling U.S. military intervention, and you'll mostly get eye-rolls from the savvy-minded commentariat. That is, if you're fortunate enough to be spared the standard sneering accusations of "Russian propagandist."

Speaking of claims that might arguably be considered "propaganda," almost exactly one year ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky embarked on a U.S. media tour promising Americans from the bottom of his heart that "We are not planning to attack Russia." These claims were echoed simultaneously by President Biden, who insisted that "We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders."

Yet here we are a year later, and there's no longer any reasonable doubt that Ukraine is "striking beyond its borders," and in increasingly aggressive fashion—from the cross-border raids to the drone-strike on the Kremlin to the bombing barrage on a residential Moscow neighborhood. And that's only a smattering of examples from the past several weeks.

Still, it's harder than one might expect to rouse much critical interest—especially among a media that has been politically, ideologically, and emotionally invested in Ukraine's glorious war-fighting cause from the outset. One perfect example of late was a CNN article in which "senior U.S. officials" were reported confiding that while they had "condemned the strikes inside Russia," they of course privately "believe the cross-border attacks are a smart military strategy." A state official saying one thing in public but another in private used to be the most surefire sign of official deceit a journalist could hope to uncover. Yet CNN seemed to just let it flow by like a gentle spring breeze, almost as though they were actually impressed with the guile of the "senior U.S. officials" they'd been given the honor of anonymously paraphrasing.

As it stands, the U.S. government continuously pelts the American people with provable untruths in service of maintaining a war policy that bears almost no resemblance to how it was initially presented. And in the sectors of society allegedly tasked with scrutinizing government conduct, this is mostly met with a shrug.

How much more extreme does the deception need to get before sustained pushback is no longer avoidable?

If Polish soldiers launching a self-proclaimed "ground war" in Russia isn't enough to rattle off the complacency, one shudders to think how severe of a shock would be necessary.

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Michael Tracey is an independent reporter with Substack. Follow him on Twitter @mtracey.