News Release

Ukraine War: Why We Need a Real Debate

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, kat@thenation.com@KatrinaNation

Publisher and editorial director of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel just wrote the piece “We need a real debate about the Ukraine war” for the Washington Post.

She writes: “It’s time to challenge the orthodox view on the war in Ukraine. As Russia’s illegal and brutal assault enters its fourth month, the impact on Europe, the Global South and the world is already profound. …

“Furthermore, the more protracted the war in Ukraine, the greater the risk of a nuclear accident or incident. And with the Biden administration’s strategy to ‘weaken’ Russia with the scale of weapons shipments, including anti-ship missiles, and revelations of U.S. intelligence assistance to Ukraine, it is clear that the United States and NATO are in a proxy war with Russia. …

“Shouldn’t the ramifications, perils and multifaceted costs of this proxy war be a central topic of media coverage — as well as informed analysis, discussion and debate? Yet what we have in the media and political establishment is, for the most part, a one-sided, even nonexistent, public discussion and debate. It’s as if we live with what journalist Matt Taibbi has dubbed an ‘intellectual no-fly zone.’ Those who have departed from the orthodox line on Ukraine are regularly excluded from or marginalized — certainly rarely seen — on big corporate media. The result is that alternative and countervailing views and voices seem nonexistent. Wouldn’t it be healthy to have more diversity of views, history and context rather than ‘confirmation bias’? …

“Why are nonconformists smeared for noting, even bolstered with reputable facts and history, the role of nationalist, far-right and, yes, neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine? Fascist or neo-Nazi revivalism is a toxic factor in many countries today, from European nations to the United States. Why is Ukraine’s history too often ignored, even denied? Meanwhile, as a former Marine Corps general noted, ‘War is a racket.’ U.S. weapons conglomerates are lining up to feed at the trough. Before the war ends, many Ukrainians and Russians will die while Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman make fortunes. At the same time, network and cable news is replete with pundits and ‘experts’ — or more accurately, military officials turned consultants — whose current jobs and clients are not disclosed to viewers.”