How war in Ukraine became a punch line to a joke

When I drove by a liberal church in my neighborhood recently and saw that they had replaced their Ukrainian decorations with 19 little chairs – Uvalde, get it? – I had to ask myself, “Is there still a war going on in Ukraine?”

A few months ago, Ukrainian President Zelensky could be forgiven for thinking that liberal America had no higher priority than to see him repel the dread Russian invaders.

If proof were needed, during a one-month span from mid-February to mid-March, the three main broadcast TV networks – CBS, NBC, ABC – dedicated more air time to the war in Ukraine than they had to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan during any given month.

A few months later, though, Zelensky has had to face the sad truth. As the progressive flavor of the month, the war in Ukraine may well have had a shorter shelf life than “Stop Asian Hate.”

This is not to make light of that war, or the very real suffering of the Ukrainian people, but rather to point out the danger of aligning one’s interests with a party whose core beliefs are no deeper than that day’s trend on Twitter.

Turning to Twitter, I see that the item trending today is a visit from B-level comic actor Ben Stiller. Posing side-by-side, Stiller and Zelensky are about the same height, a rarity for either. Funny, but I don’t remember Winston Churchill posing for photos with Abbot and Costello during the Blitz.

What has disappeared from the news coverage is any talk of Ukraine “winning,” which may account for the rainbow flags now flying where the Ukrainian ones had flown not too long ago.

Zelensky may have failed to realize that the American Left championed his cause thinking a quick victory would more than compensate for President Biden’s failure to prevent the war from taking place.

President Trump had forestalled that war, but Biden did not. He is not a serious person, never was. Plus, Biden has a curious history with Russia.

He and Obama White House had begun sucking up to Russia immediately after the January 2009 inauguration. Speaking at a February 2009 security conference in Munich, Biden, then vice president, signaled Obama’s eagerness to undo President Bush’s hard line on missile defense and other issues.

He told the audience, “It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” A month later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the Russian foreign minister in Geneva and presented him with a red plastic “reset” button.

Unfortunately, whichever State Department clown was responsible for finding the Russian word for “reset” used the Russian word for “overcharged” instead. Much awkwardness ensued, but the meeting otherwise went swimmingly.

Two years after proposing the reset button, Biden made an extraordinary speech at Moscow State University. There he listed the many new areas of cooperation between Russia and the United States and cited with pride the fruits of that relationship.

Just two years prior, only 17% of Russians held a positive view of the United States, said Biden. By the time of his speech in March 2011, that figure had increased to 60%.

Russians had good cause to favor team Obama. As Andy McCarthy observes in his 2019 book, “Ball of Collusion,” Obama and company had spent the previous two years “improving our declining but dangerous rival’s military and cyber capabilities and fortifying its capacity to extort the European nations and former Soviet republics that rely on Russia for their power needs.”

As 2016 approached, Russia had a proven pawn in Obama and a friend in Hillary. It did not need an unpredictable Donald Trump. “Putin has eaten Obama’s lunch, therefore our lunch, for a long period of time,” said Trump in 2014 while slamming Obama’s failure to stand up to Putin in Crimea.

Russia was never a real concern of Obama’s, but to frame Trump, the White House had to frame Russia too. For four years. Progressives swallowed their own disinformation that Russia and Trump were BFFs.

The Trump collusion mania ended up distorting their own jury-rigged policy and led ultimately to the disaster in the Ukraine. Now Biden and friends need the war to continue so they have someone to blame for their own domestic failures, from inflation to baby formula shortages.

Thanks to Biden’s serial mendacity, “Putin did it” has become a punch line to a joke. The Ukrainian people, I suspect, may not find the joke all that funny.

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