By David Sole
It took 95 days. Since the beginning of the February 24 special military operation in Ukraine by the Russian Federation the New York Times and the rest of the mass capitalist media have been unrelenting in pounding the public with pro-war propaganda. Then on May 31 the Times ran a single op-ed piece critical of the U.S. proxy war in the Ukraine.
A veritable tsunami of hysteria flooded the United States day after day, week after week and month after month all designed to whip the entire population into an anti-Russian hysteria. Hardly a word has been printed about the background of the war that clearly shows that the C.I.A. and State Department overthrew the legitimately elected Ukrainian government in 2014.
Not a peep about the 8 years (2014-2022) of Ukrainian military attacks on the mainly Russian ethnic population in the eastern Donbas region of that country, killing over 14,000 people.
Russia’s legitimate opposition to Ukraine joining NATO and setting up military bases with U.S. troops and missiles along its border were not considered newsworthy or simply scoffed at.
So overwhelming were the months of propaganda that many who should have known better got swept into supporting U.S. backed Ukraine in this war. The so-called progressive “Squad” in Congress along with so-called “socialist” Senator Bernie Sanders all voted for the $50 billion military aid package for Ukraine.
The Times’ anti-war op-ed
The op-ed column in the Times was titled “The War in Ukraine May be Impossible to Stop. And the U.S. Deserves Much of the Blame.” It was written by Christopher Caldwell who is listed as an author and “contributing Opinion writer.”
Caldwell, reporting on comments by a highly placed French analyst, says “the West, led by the Biden administration, is giving the conflict a momentum that may be impossible to stop” and that the U.S. has “turned this tragic, local and ambiguous conflict into a potential world conflagration.”
Exposing that the U.S. overthrew the “legitimately elected Ukrainian government” in 2014, the op-ed goes on to fault the U.S. for pressing Ukraine to join NATO. U.S. military hardware “began flowing during the Trump administration…and today the country is armed to the teeth.”
Caldwell cautions that “…the United States is trying to maintain the fiction that arming one’s allies is not the same thing as participating in combat….this distinction is growing more and more artificial. The United States has provided intelligence used to kill Russian generals. It obtained targeting information that helped [Ukraine] to sink the Russian Black Sea missile cruiser the Moskva.”
Caldwell also alerts us to “foreign fighters in Ukraine” some of whom “come from the Marines” and that “it is easy to cross the line from waging a proxy war to waging a secret war.”
Any chance of peace talks succeeding recedes especially because “…we gave the Ukrainians cause to believe they can prevail in a war of escalation.”
The op-ed by Caldwell does not have anything in it that hasn’t been said more clearly and much earlier than other writers have set forth. Fighting-Word.net has been exposing many of the same facts starting February 24, the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation. Why then is it important to examine this one, and only, New York Times editorial page commentary?
The Times is one of the premier organs of the U.S. capitalist ruling class. It toed the line faithfully supporting the war for over three months. Only Newsweek magazine dared question the “official story” in an article quoting Pentagon officials on March 22. It has taken two more months for the Times to let some light shine.
It isn’t because the NY Times editorial board has suddenly turned against the war. It is because some very highly placed sources in the government and the ruling class are starting to recognize that this war can easily devolve into a full scale confrontation beyond the scope of the current proxy war character.
There are powerful ideologues in the U.S. government who believe their own propaganda of invincibility. They were architects of anti-Soviet hardline policies before the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. These same forces now believe that the Russian Federation (and also China) must be confronted and subjugated to U.S. domination – politically, economically and militarily.
The N.Y. Times op-ed piece is an early sign of a small, but significant, split in the ruling class. Depending on the course of the war in Ukraine that split might narrow or widen among the ruling class.
The workers and oppressed people of the U.S. and the world cannot depend on our interests being looked after by the ruling capitalist class. We can utilize any small split which allows some truth to shine through and push for mass, independent movement at the grassroots level to fight against the U.S. war in Ukraine and all the accompanying ills that we suffer from right here at home.