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Depending upon who is doing the reporting, the great Ukrainian counter-offensive is now entering its second week, or the pre-counter-offensive probing maneuver is winding down in preparation for the long-awaited counter-offensive. However, it is described, the Ukrainians are conducting largescale offensive operations at several places using the Western armor. We know this because of the images of German Leopard tanks on fire that we are seeing online.
It is far too early to draw any conclusions about the success or lack of success of this new operation, but it is clear that we are seeing another example of how Western leaders came to believe the narratives they created in the information war. This is an increasing phenomenon where the information production centers of the managerial class create narratives so compelling that the managerial elite confuses these manufactured realities with genuine reality.
In this case, the manufactured reality said that the Russian defensive lines were undermanned and under supplied. Despite the daily display of firepower, the Russians are running out of everything. On top of that, morale in the Russian ranks is low due to the fact the Russian army is composed of conscripted peasants. The narrative that evolved over the last six months of hyping the offensive is that as soon as Western tanks appeared, the Russians would scatter.
This explains why the Ukrainians used the most advanced armor in their assault on Russians lines in the south. The images of destroyed Leopard 2 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Finnish mine clearly tanks that have been all over the internet the last week tell the story. This frontal assault with the best Western equipment was supposed to be a promotional vehicle for the benefits of arming Ukraine with the weapons it needs to drive the Russians all the way back to Moscow.
What happened instead was a disaster for Ukraine. In the south, they launched attacks on three areas, all of which got bogged down in minefields. As the Ukrainians tried to maneuver out of the minefields, the Russians attacked them with Lancet drones, KA-52 attack helicopters and artillery. Depending upon who is telling the story, Ukraine has already lost between fifteen and thirty percent of its Western armor and has yet to reach the first line of Russian defenses.
If we accept the Western number as fifteen percent, it is clear that these offensive operations will have a short duration. Keep in mind that the action so far has happened in the security zone of Russian defenses. This is the extreme outer layer used to detect how the enemy is approaching. Ukraine has yet to penetrate this area, which is lightly defended relative to the proper defensive lines. In order to reach the defensive lines, it means suffering massive losses in men and material.
What is remarkable about this is that the United States has spy satellites positioned over Ukraine. They have been providing Ukraine with intelligence from satellites for over a year. NATO has been providing targeting information along with the guided munitions they supply Ukraine. The United States operates the Global Hawk surveillance drone over the Black Sea. In other words, the West has been watching the Russians build their lines in real-time for months.
Despite what they clearly see happening, the narrative prevails. You see it in this detailed report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It goes into great detail about Russian defensive preparations. Woven throughout the report, however, is the familiar talking points about the inferiority of Russian equipment and the condition of the Russian military. When asked who they believe? The official narrative or their lying eyes, the writers chose the former.
That is the important part about understanding the power of narrative within the Western managerial elite. Disconfirmation is always met with an organized effort to force the contrary information onto the narrative. Maybe the narrative is tweaked to account for the new data, but the final chapter never changes. The good guys always win in the end and the West is always the good guys. After all, the lesson of history is that the good guys always win.
What we see happening is the narrative makers are converting the results on the battlefield into a new chapter of the story. In this chapter, the West supplies Ukraine with nuclear weapons. Note that this is cast as a defensive action. The superpower cries out in pain as it supplies Russia’s opponent with nukes. Note also that this policy paper is not produced by a random crank. AEI is one of the most influential and well-funded think tanks in Washington.
If that is not terrifying enough for you, there is now talk of letting NATO members “voluntarily” send troops into Ukraine. The Poles have already sent thousands of volunteers, but now there is talk of bring the Baltic states into the mix. The idea is to provide F-16 fighter jets with Western trained pilots from the eastern members of NATO in order to provide air cover for Ukrainian offensives. After all, the Russian army is ready to collapse so they just need one final push.
One of the enduring mysteries of the Great War is how the rulers on both sides kept at it despite the obvious futility of the war. Both sides remained convinced that the other was running on fumes. All they needed to do was keep up the pressure and the other side would eventually crack. They were right, in that the Germans did eventually crack, but not until the continent was reduced to rubble. Imagine if both sides even had crude nuclear weapons. That is where we are now.
That is the terrifying part of this war. Western leaders have become immune to reality, so they embrace narratives produced by people with their own interests. The neocons want to blow up the world. The military industrial complex wants to keep selling expensive weapons. The Ukrainian dictator needs the war to keep going in order to avoid assassination. Everyone involved has a reason to believe the narrative over their lying eyes, so reality remains on the sidelines.
The hope is that events on the ground will reach a point where the remaining sane people in power feel they must step in and stop the madness, but this Ukrainian offensive suggest reality is no match for a good story. Western managerial elites have evolved to the point where they now live in a world of their own creation. It is not hard to imagine them standing in front of a window with VR goggles strapped to their faces as a mushroom cloud forms on the horizon.
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