Our participation in the war is costing Ukranian lives

The other day I woke up to fresh threats of nuclear war from Russian President, Vladimir Putin, which are always lovely to read with my morning coffee. 

On September 21, Putin announced that he ordered the “partial mobilization” to reinforce Russian troops in Ukraine after experiencing major setbacks in the conflict. This means that an estimated 300,000 trained reservists will march onto the frontlines, showing no signs of de-escalation.  

This war is yielding to no one, and the stakes are only getting higher. The response from the West so far has been to pump billions of dollars worth of modern NATO weaponry into Ukraine

How do you think this crucial military hardware is distributed to the proper combatants? Perhaps a valiant armed convoy carefully administering the Russian killing tools with proper bureaucratic diligence to dutiful Ukrainian servicemembers who graciously accept the Western gifts? 

This CBS documentary suggests otherwise and shows how most of the Western-funded lethal and non-lethal military aid may not be arriving in the hands of intended recipients. 

  “All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, founder and CEO of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that has been supplying military aid to Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in 2014. 

Where do these supplies end up if not on the frontlines? Weapons hoarders and the black market eagerly await the booming pipeline of weaponry. 

The method of armament is an issue worth addressing when billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry are ferrying through Europe to aid this war. Especially when no one seems to know where the supplies are going with extraordinarily little oversight. 

But the Ukrainian government isn’t too pleased with this line of questioning. They forced CBS to remove their documentary and rename their article, from  “Why military aid to Ukraine doesn’t always get to the front lines: ‘Like 30% of it reaches its final destination’” to the far tamer “Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines.” An editor’s note on the updated article reads: 

“This article has been updated to reflect changes since the CBS Reports documentary ‘Arming Ukraine’ was filmed, and the documentary is also being updated. Jonas Ohman says the delivery has significantly improved since filming with CBS in late April. The government of Ukraine notes that U.S. defense attaché Brigadier General Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August 2022 for arms control and monitoring.”

This should be highly alarming to anyone who supports the freedom of the press. How can it be that a foreign government can so easily manipulate and control the content of a major news network? It would be scandalous if a domestic government forced a headline and content change. Maybe it is because CBS knows their place as propagandists in their reporting of the war and realized their impotence in their role, rather than pursuing actual quality journalism. 

Observing the perception of the war on an even broader scale makes you realize how much of our consent about it has made us so suddenly pro-war. Your most pacifist friends and family on Facebook may now be sharing news articles celebrating the deaths of Russian troops and cheering for the utter destruction of the “Russian menace.” 

There is virtually no oversight into Western governments spending billions to propagate an overseas war, and this media manipulation contributes to the lack of political will to be transparent in our checks and balances. 

I would like to clarify that I am ANTI-WAR and NOT a Putin sympathizer. He is an authoritarian who must pay for his crimes which include sending hundreds of thousands of people to die and be maimed in his self-interest.

But the facts being presented about this war are becoming untruthful at best and propaganda at worst. We are contributing to destabilization in a region already fragile by arming it with seemingly no second thought.  

We seem to have forgotten all too quickly what has happened in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. We have been conditioned to pick a side and cheer for them in a major conflict, like some spectacle for us to gawk at and then tune out when it gets too hot. 

The media needs to be held accountable. The government needs to be held accountable. Logistics need to be monitored.

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