Joe Biden compares Zelensky to Judah the Maccabee but he is more like the evil Greek King Antiochus in the Hanukkah story
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky received a hero’s welcome in his visit to Washington on December 21. Departing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared him to Winston Churchill, while President Joe Biden compared him on Hanukkah to Judah the Maccabee, who defended the Jewish temple against the Greek King Antiochus’ forces in ancient times.
Befitting a great liberator, Biden promised Zelensky $1.85 billion more in security assistance, including the Patriot surface-to-air missile battery and precision aerial munitions that will be used to bomb the people of eastern Ukraine.
In his speech before Congress, Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had “defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world,” and that its “victories gave the Ukrainian people courage,” which “inspires the entire world.”
Zelensky went on to compare Ukrainian soldiers holding the line against the Russians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut to American soldiers who fought the Nazis in World War II.
Zelensky said: “The Russians’ tactic is primitive. They burn down and destroy everything they see. They sent thugs to the front lines. They sent convicts to the war. They threw everything against us, similar to the other tyranny, which is in the Battle of the Bulge.”
Zelensky went on to state that, “to ensure Bakhmut is not just a stronghold that holds back the Russian Army, but for the Russian Army to completely pull out, more cannons and shells are needed. If so, just like the Battle of Saratoga [turning point in American revolutionary war], the fight for Bakhmut will change the trajectory of our war for independence and for freedom.”
Historical Analogies Go Over Well in U.S. of Amnesia
Zelensky’s choice of words and historical analogies went over well among leaders of a country where history education is devalued.
The comparison of the Russian army to the Nazis is obscene considering that it was the Russians who defeated Nazism in World War II; and that the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion is a pivotal component of Ukraine’s army.
Zelensky’s government also has banned left-wing parties much like Hitler did in 1933, whereas the Communist Party is the leading legal opposition party in Russia.
Zelensky’s comparison of the battle for Bakhmut to Saratoga is further nonsensical in light of the fact that the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces of eastern Ukraine voted for autonomy from the Ukrainian government—they were never colonized by the Russians as the United States was colonized by Great Britain before the Revolutionary War.
The Ukrainian army also is not winning the war right now, and Ukraine is the one that provoked the war with Russia following a foreign-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014.
More Like Antiochus
If Zelensky is a modern-day Judah the Maccabee, Jews would be better off celebrating Antiochus this Hanukkah.
In 2019, the CIA-run Radio Free Europe reported on Zelensky’s connection to Ihor Kholomoisky, a Ukrainian oligarch whom the State Department banned from entering the U.S. in March 2021 due to his “significant corruption,” and running one of the “biggest ponzi schemes in world history.”
Kholomoisky’s relationship with Zelensky goes back to around 2012, when Zelensky and his partners in a television production company, Kvartal 95, began making regular content for TV stations owned by Kholomoisky.
During Ukraine’s 2019 election campaign, an ally of incumbent Petro Poroshenko published a chart on Facebook purporting to show that Zelensky and his television production partners were beneficiaries of a web of offshore firms that allegedly received $41 million in funds from Kholomoisky’s Privatbank. (More details on this came out in the Pandora papers.)
A neoliberal who advanced a sweeping privatization initiative, Zelensky has not only banned opposition parties but carried out a reign of terror against political opponents. The victims include the former leader of the Ukrainian left, Vasily Volga, and the Kononovich brothers, leaders of Ukraine’s Young Communist League who were accused of being pro-Russian.
Despite campaigning on a peace platform, Zelensky provoked war with Russia by a) enacting a major troop buildup in eastern Ukraine in February; b) increasing shelling of eastern Ukraine in violation of cease-fire agreements; and c) calling for the retaking from Russia of Crimea and city of Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Navy’s Black Sea fleet.
Swiss journalist Guy Mettan wrote that Zelensky will ultimately be held responsible for Ukraine’s devastation in the war as he “preferred the ruin of his country to a timely compromise.”
Zelensky’s visit to Congress recalled that of South Vietnamese Premier Ngô Đình Diệm, who was also given the red-carpet treatment and great bi-partisan adulation when he visited Washington in May 1957 to demand more support for war against the left-wing National Liberation Front (NLF).
At the time, Diệm was being heralded as “America’s miracle man in Southeast Asia” for holding the line against communism.
He had been installed by the U.S. in 1955 after what was supposed to be the temporary division of Vietnam, and stayed in power by winning rigged elections, while keeping his opponents in a torture chamber beneath the Saigon zoo.
Hidden from plain sight during his visit to Washington, Diệm’s white terror campaign backed by the CIA foreshadowed a similar campaign run by Zelensky.
The world belatedly awakened to the horror in South Vietnam when Buddhist monks burned themselves to protest Diệm’s terror—in a prelude to yet worse horrors that were to come.
When then Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Saigon in May 1961, he compared Diệm to George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Privately, however, Johnson told a reporter: “Shit, man, he’s the only boy we got out there.” Which is also true, of course, of Zelensky in modern-day Ukraine.
Weapons of Death
The perversity of Washington’s hero worship of Zelensky was underscored at a conference organized by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on December 14 detailing Ukraine’s use of Western-supplied weapons against civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Representatives of the Joint Monitoring and Coordination Center for War Crimes in Ukraine (JCCC) showed several pieces of 155 mm shells, HIMARS rockets and HARM missiles that caused civilian casualties and the damage done by petal mines, spread by thousands on the territory of the DPR by the Ukrainian army.
Natalia Shutkina, deputy head of the DPR mission to the JCCC, said that “Kiev officials are trying to convince the international community that the weapons supplied by the West are being used allegedly to ‘defend its sovereignty’ and exclusively on military targets. Alas—this is far from the reality. Since NATO countries started supplying arms to Ukraine, military terror has taken on an unprecedented scale: We have seen a four-fold increase in civilian casualties and a three-fold increase in civilian destruction.”
Since November 27, 2022 alone, the Ukrainian army has fired more than 2,800 shells and rockets into residential areas of the DPR, partly with Western weapons, causing numerous civilian casualties in Donetsk, Gorlovka, Makeyevka, Yassinovataya and Elenovka.
The bloodiest day was undoubtedly December 6, 2022, when the Ukrainian armed forces “celebrated” their professional holiday by killing eight civilians and wounding 21 in the Donbas, destroying 53 residential buildings and 29 other structures.
In eight plus years of war, more than 15,000 DPR inhabitants have died; approximately 4,500 of them since February.
According to Shutkina, rocket and artillery fire from the Ukrainian armed forces takes place mainly during the day and early evening when people are traveling to and from work, or shopping.
These terrorist bombings often target shops, markets, schools, kindergartens, cultural institutions and places of worship, which are protected by the Geneva Conventions.
On December 6, the Ukrainian army even used a high-precision M982 Excalibur guided artillery shell to bombard the Druzhba Sports Palace, where the distribution of drinking water to civilians has been organized since Ukraine cut off the Donbas from the only source of water supply—the Severski Donets Canal, which provides water to most of the Donbas.
Zelensky by implication is a war criminal, whose lionization in Washington would make for a good episode of the Twilight Zone—if it weren’t actually real.
 See Seth Jacobs, Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America’s War in Vietnam, 1950-1963 (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).
 Jacobs, Cold War Mandarin, 124. In early November 1963, the Kennedy administration sanctioned a coup against Diệm that resulted in his murder after he promoted reconciliation with the NLF and North Vietnamese government. Whether the same fate awaits Zelensky, particularly if he choses to negotiate with the Russians, remains to be seen.
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About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of four books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019) and The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018).
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I have no doubt. Today’s CFR sponsored federal government candidates are hypnotized by Zelensky’s piano playing. They are that frigging pointless and lame.
Here are Lugansk’s reported casualties:
169 LPR residents killed in Ukrainian artillery strikes since February – JCCC
‘“Six hundred and eighteen civilians have become victims of Ukrainian armed formations aggression in the designated period (since the beginning of the SVO); of those, 169 were killed and 449 were wounded. Twenty-one children were killed and another 29 were wounded in artillery attacks,” the JCCC said.’
Add those to the DPR’s casualties, and you have a pretty radical disparity between the two sides in civilian losses, assuming the UN stats are reliable.
Moreover, I find von der Leyen’s estimate of 88,800 Russian soldiers killed quite preposterous, most likely the result of an uncritical acceptance of Ukrainian hogwash.
I would simply recommend to all concerned that they read Christelle Néant’s original reporting on this conference:
“DPR: The Number of Civilian Victims of Bombing Has Quadrupled Since Kiev Began Using Western Weapons”
The number of civilian deaths in the DPR alone constitutes the vast majority of the total civilian deaths reported by OHCHR. And the LPR has certainly not been spared.
All things considered, almost all the civilian casualties have been inflicted by Ukraine’s shelling of strictly civilian areas in the Donbas region.
So if the relative civilian death rates are “low”, it’s inescapable that Russia’s avoidance of civilian targets is the principal reason for that.
Ukrainian and Western propaganda refuted by a neutral witness:
Peter Maurer, 65, who headed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for ten years, from 2012 to 2022, says, “The Ukraine war marks a turnaround.” International humanitarian law is being respected more again, he says.
Of course, there are also violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine. Such violations can be observed in any war, says Maurer.
“Since the First World War, the proportion of civilian casualties in wars has risen steadily.
But the Ukraine war marks a change in trend,” Maurer says. Most of the war’s participants belonged to a regular army. They are trained in international humanitarian law and know the internationally accepted norms of warfare, he said. “We see that there are real efforts on both sides not to let this conflict escalate completely. There are precautions toward civilians.”
Maurer assesses the humanitarian situation in Ukraine as “far less dramatic.”
He rejects the martial rhetoric that prevails in the debates. “The more radical the language of war is in the public sphere at present, the more difficult it will be to turn the tide toward peace and reconciliation.” Rather, he said, the ICRC, a four-time winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, tries to mediate between the warring parties as a neutral intermediary.
I reviewed the article by Peter Mauer. In this article Mr. Mauer emphasized that his organization ICRC always strives to be neutral in war conflicts and not take sides and he proudly mentioned that his organization ICRC has won 4 Nobel Peace Prizes. He stated that in comparison to most wars there are fewer civilian casualties and more military casualties. This may be true, but in my opinion the civilian casualties are still quite significant. “Number of civilian casualties during the war in Ukraine 2022. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 6,826 civilian deaths during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as of December 18, 2022. Of them, 428 were children.”
100,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers + 88,880 dead Russian soldiers + 6,826 dead civilians = 195,706 total casualties. Accordingly, the share of civilian casualties is 3.48% of the total. This speaks for itself.
That is a good point, but if huge numbers of people had not evacuated their homes to stay for long periods of time in shelters and subway stations ,and if millions of people had not fled the country, the death toll would have been much higher. Also many citizens did not die but suffered serious injuries and many people have endured serious psychological stress. As well it is impossible to calculate the exact number of deaths. The Ukrainian people also are extremely resilient and resourceful and this resourcefulness has helped to save and rescue many people. So the death toll would have been must higher if not for the great determination of the Ukrainian people. One must also not forget that many homes and buildings have been demolished and it will take billions of dollars to rebuild the country once the war is over.
Here is another resource from Wikipedia. Each source gives different figures, so it is difficult to say which source is the most accurate.
The main area of debate related to civilian deaths in Mariupol as shown in attached link.
You may find it difficult to convince CovertAction Magazine readers that Wikipedia is a trustworthy source, knowing that it is not an encyclopedia but a website populated by state and non-state actors, PR agents and trolls. Washington in particular, but also Brussels, London and others, are spending billions on the Ukraine war (including some of it to wage the accompanying information war on social media and Wikipedia). Even the British government mouthpiece BBC confirms that the CIA is Wikipedia editor.
The information contained in Wikipedia may not be accurate, but Wikipedia acknowledges that the information may be inaccurate. The mere fact they are admitting that the figures may not be exact says to me that they want to give accurate information. I recall one instance where you once used Wikipedia as a link to support something you were writing about. So this shows that you value Wikipedia to some extent even though you feel it is not reliable or trustworthy.
Although there may be some unethical people or organizations who have infiltrated Wikipedia’s website, Wikipedia strives to have high standards as shown in Wikipedia’s statement below.( I use Wikipedia mostly for sports: and for Sports it is like an Encyclopedia.
For example I can find an enormous amount of information about Tiger Woods, more than
the Encyclopedia Britannica} See Wikipedia statement below:
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
An encyclopedia is a written compendium of knowledge.
Wikipedia is freely available, and combines many features
of general and specialized encyclopedias and other reference works.
Wikipedia is not a dumping ground for random information.
Wikipedia is not for unverifiable material.
Wikipedia is not for medical advice or guidance.
Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy.
Wikipedia is not a soapbox.
Wikipedia is not a social networking site.
Wikipedia is not censored.
Wikipedia is not a web directory.
Wikipedia is not a democracy.
Wikipedia is not a free advertising space.
Wikipedia is not an anarchy.
Wikipedia is not a place to publish your opinions.
Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own ideas.
Here is an analysis of Wikipedia by Wikipedia itself. Wikipedia does not shy away from self-criticism as they point out a lot of their own shortcomings, while at the same time pointing out their good features: