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As Ukrainians Defect to Russia, We Should Ask Whether Our Billions Are Saving Democracy or Aiding Corruption


BY: JONATHAN S. TOBIN | JULY 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/27/as-ukrainians-defect-to-russia-we-should-ask-whether-our-billions-are-saving-democracy-or-aiding-corruption/

War in Ukraine: President Zelenskyy addresses Congress

The more we learn about Ukraine, the less it resembles the Jeffersonian democracy Biden tries to conjure up in his speeches on the subject.

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The first lady of Ukraine was in Washington last week to be feted by the Biden administration, Congress, and the corporate press. Olena Zelenska, the attractive and patriotically dressed wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was given the Jackie Kennedy/Michelle Obama treatment by fashion columnists while also helping to reinforce the message that Ukraine’s effort to defend itself against Russian aggression is a battle for democracy and the survival of the West. This is an easy story to tell a receptive American audience. Since the war began in February, American sympathy combined with the stiffer-than-expected struggle put up by Ukrainian forces and Zelensky’s deft public relations campaign has reinforced the message that the Kyiv government is a democracy whose defense is essential to Western security. 

Yet the question to be posed about this is not whether Russia and Putin are bad but whether Ukraine is the paragon of democracy Biden says it is.

Congress recently passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in May with bipartisan support. Grassroots Republicans and even portions of the Democratic base have been critical of the way Ukraine’s security has come to dictate national priorities. That $40 billion is likely to be only the first installment of a steady flow of aid to pay for the $10 billion per month that the war is costing Kyiv.

That’s what made the appearance of a story about Ukraine in The New York Times this past week, which showed a different side of Zelensky’s government, so significant. The story, titled “Zelenskyy Fires Two Top Law Enforcement Officials,” buried the lead. The Times emphasized the fact that this was the first government shakeup in Kyiv since the war started as well as the fact that one of the two people fired was a boyhood friend of Zelensky. But while that is true, the substance of the story was that the sympathy and support for the Russians among a not insignificant portion of the Ukrainian population and members of the security services has damaged the war effort.

An earlier story in the Times discussed how paranoia about potential Russian spies had spread throughout Ukrainian society. The latest dispatch made clear just how much of an issue this had become. It’s one thing to report about 200,000 spy allegations being submitted to Ukrainian authorities every month. Zelensky’s sacking of security measures made clear how “treason” cases have become something of an obsession for the Ukrainian government. 

Even more alarming is the fact that several hundred of these treason investigations involved security personnel. Many Ukrainian officials, including those who were employed by the prosecutor’s office, remained behind in Russian-occupied territory and are now working for Moscow.

Still, that partly explains the large number of Ukrainian personnel helping the Russians. But the way this vast security state has been empowered by the war to turn its malevolent gaze on Ukrainian citizens — whether guilty of sympathy for Moscow or not — is chilling. 

Previously, Ukraine was widely acknowledged to be as corrupt as the rest of the former Soviet Union, with a fledgling democratic system that was far from entirely free. Even after Zelensky became president, newspapers that were critical of his government were shut down. Since the war started, journalists have struggled to retain their ability to report freely and fairly. 

That the majority of Ukrainians want their country to remain independent is obvious. So is their willingness to fight to prevent their nation from falling under Putin’s thumb. But the ability of the Russians to get so many Ukrainians to sympathize with or aid their assault on Ukraine illustrates that what is going on is, in part, a civil war as well as a foreign invasion.

Yet equally true is the fact that the Ukrainian state that is being defended so bravely is still deeply flawed and possessed of attributes antithetical to democracy. Though some of its problems would be present in any country at war and under direct attack, the more we learn about Ukraine, the less it resembles the Jeffersonian democracy that Biden tries to conjure up in his speeches on the subject.

While sympathy for Ukraine and hostility to Russia is understandable, these are factors that ought to be taken into consideration if the United States is to undertake the kind of financial commitment in this war that is starting to remind us of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or, at least, it should if Americans are to be permitted to have a debate about making such a dubious commitment.


Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor in chief of JNS.org, and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.

Ann Coulter Op-ed: Dem Nightmare: What if the War Ends Before November?


Commentary by Ann Coulter | Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Read more at https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2022/03/16/dem-nightmare-what-if-the-war-ends-before-november—p–n2604665/

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com, and WhatDidYouSay.org.

Dem Nightmare: What if the War Ends Before November?

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Great news for Joe Biden. After months of abysmal public approval numbers, President Biden’s favorability among registered voters has soared by 2 points to 45%! And all he had to do was bring us to the brink of World War III.

The media are thrilled with the possibility of nuclear war with Russia. Catastrophes are terrific for ratings, and flood-the-zone coverage of a war between two faraway countries that has almost zero effect on the lives of most Americans allows journalists to act like deep-think, geopolitical strategists (after having quickly looked up “Ukraine” on Wikipedia).

They dragged out the COVID panic porn for two straight years. By now, the only people still interested in pandemic updates are hysterical liberal women in Manhattan claiming to have “long-haul COVID.”

The national pastime has segued seamlessly from watching TV anchors cry on TV about the coronavirus to watching TV anchors cry on TV about the fate of Ukrainian children.

Of course, when American kids are murdered expressly as a result of our own government’s policies, the journalism protocol is: No crying, no coverage.

There will be no tears for the 5-year-old Florida girl killed in October when an illegal alien from Guatemala, Ernesto Lopez Morales, tanked up on six 32-ounce beers, then plowed into the little girl and her mother as he was driving to get more beer.

Nor for Texas teenager Adrienne Sophia Exum, killed instantly one Sunday afternoon in 2020 when Heriberto Fuerte-Padilla, an illegal alien from Mexico, smashed into the car she was driving, then fled the scene. There’s even some news: The Biden administration announced that Fuerte-Padilla will not be deported.

And there will be no weeping for the still-unidentified mother and daughter, aged 59 and 22, killed last December when a human smuggler (a “U.S. citizen,” aka “anchor baby”) carrying six illegals across the border into Texas, sped through a stop sign and T-boned the pair.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but the media’s obsessive focus on Ukraine is terrific for the interests of the Democratic Party. Recall that, in his 2012 book, “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind,” then-UCLA professor Tim Groseclose demonstrated that media bias alone costs Republicans about 8 to 10 percentage points in elections.

And that was 2012. One can only imagine what it is in post-Trump 2022. If only we could return to the junior varsity media bias of 2012!

Until the war in Ukraine, the Democrats were facing midterms after having spent the previous two years mandating masks and an endless series of vaccinations — even for the vaccinated or previously infected.

Democrats flung open the border to illegal alien murderers, drug dealers, gang members and welfare recipients.

Democratic district attorneys have turned city after city into feces-smeared murdertopias that make Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” look like “The Sound of Music.”

These days, the left’s main casus belli is teaching little kids about anal sex, transgenders and the inherent evil of white people.

What could even Stalin’s media do with that record?

Option 1) Implement a collective mind wipe, perhaps through an electromagnetic pulse, to erase voters’ memory of everything that’s happened since Joe Biden was sworn in.

Option 2) WAR! (Someplace in the world that’s not here.)

What crisis at our border? We’re reporting on a WAR.

How can you talk about murder rates when CHILDREN ARE DYING IN UKRAINE?

What vaccine mandates? COVID is over. Now we’re talking about war!

Everything bad that’s happening is Putin’s fault! He’s like Hitler!

Talk about Russian collusion! Putin gave Trump Facebook ads; he’s giving Biden a military invasion.

By now, the media have whipped the public into such a frenzy over Ukraine that a majority of Americans want the U.S. to start shooting down Russian planes, starting World War III with nuclear armed power.

A small price to pay for Democratic dominance.

But much like American military interventions around the globe, things don’t always go as planned.

The Democrats’ media helpers might want to recall President George H.W. Bush’s 89% favorable rating in 1991 — the highest presidential job approval rating then on record, according to Gallup.

Those astronomical numbers came as a result of the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, when we went to war with Saddam Hussein because he had invaded neighboring Kuwait — violating that nation’s sacred sovereignty! — and proceeded to commit unspeakable war crimes, including using poison gas. The first week of that war, Bush’s poll numbers shot from 64% to 82%.

Republicans had a lock on the next year’s presidential contest. No serious Democrats were willing to challenge him, and the party ended up with a horny hick from Arkansas as their nominee.

And then it all collapsed. By Election Day 1992, Bush’s public approval rating was down to a pathetic 34%. The h*rny hick won the election, and Bush became an embarrassing one-term president.

On the military side, at least the Middle East was finally at peace. We never heard a peep out of Hussein again. Wait — what happened?

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