HAS THE COMIC IDEALIST ZELENSKY NOW TRANSFORMED INTO THE MAN WHO WILL DELIVER WWIII?
In the last days of World War Two Adolf Hitler and what was left of the Nazi high command, having few remaining resources to call upon, sent young boys, extremely ill-equipped off to fight the seasoned Red Army troops who had arrived to take Berlin.
It seems to me that the Ukrainian president is using a similar policy along with those within his own hierarchy. Men well over the optimum level of fitness and well under the requisite ability to fight in Ukraine’s front lines are being sent to die in a vain effort to halt the Russian advance in the Donbass.
The tragedies without ensuing now are heartbreaking to contemplate.
Early in the present hostilities a video was published which featured a Russian soldier moving from the body of one Ukrainian soldier to another plaintively wondering out loud why they were sent to die like this and how tragic it was that they ended up like this.
No matter how much the deadly fog of war has distorted minds, produced the hatred that can easily emerge as brothers in arms die around you, the reaction to the death and destruction you see must surely still touch what is left of your humanity.
Those, with ice-cold minds who send men, young and old into battle, to be killed or horribly mutilated in both mind and body, may well remain unaffected. They are in the positions they hold due to their being the only ones who can stomach watching endless suffering without flinching from ‘the job at hand’. Tactics must be planned from above in air-conditioned, comfortable surroundings while the most vile acts on all sides must be carried out by those in the field. It was always so and always will be so. Modern warfare is in no way a field of endeavour for the squeamish or those inclined in any way toward universal compassion.
War is to be won… by whatever means will bring about that outcome.
Those who sit in situation rooms will forever be those who have had their hearts hardened. Like those gladiatorial warriors of an earlier age, they have moved up the ranks due to a mix of intellectual acuity and a relentless determination to hone their skills at war to perfection.
Zelensky was not one of these however. A young man who found he had comedic talent and was lucky enough to find a script-writing team with a superb concept in mind, a young nobody who would gain the presidency by winning the hearts and minds of a whole nation. And, in real life in a kind of modern day fairy story he went on to do just that.
Zelensky had a strong idealistic streak within him, a naive belief that he could bring peace to a disunited land which had known too many tragic years of death and destruction. On this basis, miraculously, he fought a presidential campaign… and won.
Zelensky arrived as president with the determination to heal Ukraine and set her on a course for unity, peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding and justice for all. He clearly believed he could do it and in so doing plant the first seeds to a renewed harmony that would allow the fruits of economic success to grow.
But sadly the people of Ukraine did not see the ‘happy ever after’ end to this tale that Zelensky so clearly had in his mind for them. He hit upon those whose minds had been completely shut to such hopes and who, as self-imagined gladiators and patriots, saw only the vanquishing of ‘the other’ as the way to some imagined unified success for Ukraine. A unity that required the exclusion of all others.
Zelensky met head to head with some of these modern day gladiators early on in his quest to spread his concepts of peace, justice and harmony and it was not a pretty sight to behold. Humiliated as a near nothing in the gimlet eyes of the warriors, he was dismissed out of hand and without doubt issued with a deadly warning.
I suspect you can imagine what kind of warnings Zelensky received from those vitally desiring the extermination of those they hated rather than even the slightest contemplation of coming to any sort of reconciliation with them.
So it was that the turning in the mind of Zelensky began, the steady decay of his ideals brought into direct confrontation with the awful realities of deep-set, permanent and irreconcilable hatreds. He saw his dreams of peace evaporate, he felt the deep fear of his own vulnerability in the face of men who would cut his throat without compunction and no doubt of that of his whole family if he persisted with his “mad” ideas.
The transformation of Zelensky from a peacenik to a war president occurred with the rest of the world largely distracted by events that appeared much more significant… yet this change would bring the world to the brink of annihilation.
Could there possibly have been a more tragic and drastic change in one man from one end of the human spectrum to the other in such a short timespan? I doubt it.
Zelensky, now backed to the hilt by every western power urging him onward has taken on the West’s do or die mentality with a vengeance and is playing his current part to its very limits.
A man who began, fresh-faced and smiling now wears the beard of a grizzled war veteran. A man whose heart was light and that wished devoutly for peace is now heavy with woe and scarred forever with the ravages, memories and atrocities of war.
This is Zelensky, a modern political tragedy, and to a very large extent a puppet in the hands of two powerful masters who manipulate, constantly urging him on, to fight to the very last Ukrainian.