New CNN Poll Shows Dramatic Drop in Support for War
Four Stupid Ideas that Didn’t Work
The U.S. Congress has since February 2022 authorized at least $115 billion for military and other government aid to Ukraine. In fact, there seem to be no precise statistics and little accountability. Moreover, the narrative on the purpose of the war is counterfactual to its well-documented historical background and critical events over more than 30 years and especially those associated with the revolutionary coup of 2014 that started a conflict killing over 14,000 people before February 2022.
According to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released August 4, 55 percent of Americans are opposed to additional Congressional funding to support Ukraine. This ten point, 55 percent to 45 to 45 percent gap, contrasts dramatically with the 62 percent support for the war in February 2022. This support was, however, bolstered by one of the most extensive, outrageous, and coercive government and media propaganda efforts in American history. Fortunately, the American people have begun to see through the propaganda despite its prevalence. Truth and common sense inevitably prevail with time.
There were 1,279 respondents to the SSRS poll taken July 1-31, 2023, and released Friday August 4, 2023.
Seventy-one percent of Republicans are opposed to additional funding of Ukraine, while 62 percent of Democrats favor more spending. Seventy-four percent of liberal Democrats support more funding, while only 51 percent of moderate to conservative Democrats support more funding. Seventy-six percent of conservative Republicans oppose more spending on Ukraine, while 61 percent of moderate to liberal Republicans oppose more funding.
Much of the propaganda pushing support for the Ukraine War demonizes Russia, but apparently only 43 percent of Americans approve of such tactics, which have been characteristic of the Biden Administration’s handling of Russian relations. Biden frequently insults Russian President Vladimir Putin with unsubstantiated accusations. Yet 82 percent of Democrats agree with such anti-Russian approach to foreign policy. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Independents disagree with these demonizing tactics. Seventy-five percent of liberals agree with Biden’s tactics, while 85 percent of conservatives disagree.
Sixty-one percent of Democrats believe the U.S. should do more to stop Russian actions in Ukraine, while only 40 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of conservatives agree. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans believe the U.S. has already done enough to help the Ukrainians against the Russians.
Glenn Greenwald, in his analysis of the CNN poll, points out that support for the Ukraine War is based on solid Democrat and moderate to liberal establishment Republican support in Congress. Despite support for the war no longer having a majority of voter support, support for the war is currently intact in Congress because of unanimous Democrat support and establishment Republicans leadership in Congress. This represents a “financial donor” supported majority that continually frustrates the will of the more conservative Republican and American middle and working class voters.
Early 2022 polls in Europe showed strong support for the War in Ukraine in most of the European Union and NATO. Recent election polls show a strong shift against support for the war. The recent elections in Germany showed the rapid rise of the conservative Alternative for Germany AfD) Party, which reflects that shift. AfD is strongly against Chancellor Scholz’s Social Democrat and Green Party coalition that supports the war. The Nordstream Pipeline sabotage of September 2022 has undoubtedly added German voter displeasure with Scholz and German government and military support for Ukraine. The next elections in Germany and France are not likely to favor support for Ukraine or war with Russia.
A Morning Consult Political Intelligence report just released shows alarmingly low approval ratings for eight European leaders that are related to both migration and concern about the economic burdens and risks of the Ukraine War: DeCroo, Belgium, 37 percent approval rating; Kristersson, Sweden, 36 percent; Morawiecki, Poland, 32 percent; Sunak, UK, 30 percent; Scholz, Germany, 29 percent; Macron, France, 26 percent; Store, Norway, 24 percent, and Rutte, Netherlands, 24 percent. Rutte has already announced his retirement from Dutch politics.
Now, in August 2023, the claim that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked can be seen as a propaganda narrative that simply does not fit the facts and history: The Russian Federation is not Communist and not the Soviet Union. The CIA and U.S. State Department helped engineer a revolution and presidential coup in 2014 that installed an anti-Russian, pro-American Ukrainian president. The U.S. with NATO help built up the Ukrainian Armed Forces to the third largest and most powerful in Europe, even though Ukraine was not a member of NATO. The new Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, proceeded with cultural cleansing and persecution of the large Russian minority representing over one-third of the total population. In response to the Russian minority resistance, he began an eight-year “anti-terrorist” war of ethnic cleansing in the Donbass in which 14,000 were killed. The 2015 Minsk II peace plan settling the Donbass War and Russian ethnic grievances was used by the West only for time to build up the Ukrainian Army and was finally betrayed in February 2022. The Russians rightly considered potential Ukrainian membership in NATO as an existential threat to Russian national security, but we ignored a plain message: “Nyet means Nyet.”
What was the real underlying objective of all this? Preserving Ukraine as a democratic state? Ukraine is one of the most corrupt nations in Europe and under the Poroshenko and Zelensky regimes has become one of the least democratic. The real objective was to use Ukraine and its brave but exploited people as a battering ram to reduce Russia to a secondary military power, destroy and then exploit its economy, and force a regime change, replacing Vladimir Putin with someone more submissive to American hegemony.
Our Stupid Idea Didn’t Work.
Our stupid idea didn’t work, and the Ukrainians are paying the price in blood and economic desolation. At least 12 million people have fled Ukraine, reducing the population by more than one-third to less than 25 million. Most do not want to come back. The Ukrainian economy is on life support held up by inflationary American dollars.
The real tragedy is in the loss of life and number of serious injuries. Despite the American and British mainstream media propaganda, Ukrainian civilian casualties are comparatively light compared to most wars. According to the United Nations (statista.com), as of July 30, 2023, there have been about 26,000 civilian casualties, of which 9,369 are dead. This is tragic enough, although surprisingly small compared to past wars.
The really terrible casualties have been in the Ukrainian military. According to Global Firepower, Ukraine was the 15th most powerful armed forces in the world at the beginning of 2022. Total active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel amounted to about 600,000. Since then many have been killed or seriously wounded and as many replaced as possible. Ukrainian Army active personnel may have been reduced to as low as 200,000.
Ukrainian and NATO releases on Ukrainian dead and wounded and especially Russian dead and wounded have not proved reliable. In fact, they are widely believed to be part of the Ukrainian General Staff’s most outrageous propaganda. Numerous open source intelligence resources supplying Western media are mere echoes of outrageously distorted Ukrainian General Staff propaganda. One example is the Dutch firm Oryx. Independent estimates of casualties are in a fairly broad range. Col. Douglas Macgregor, highly regarded as a very reliable source, has estimated 300,000 to 350,000 Ukrainian military dead, but this may have included seriously disabled wounded as well as dead and 30,000 missing presumed dead. A lower estimate of Ukrainian dead mentioned recently by The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris was 180,000.
The fact that the Russians are fighting a war of attrition, which has basically been an artillery war, gives some anchor to reality. Russian artillery outnumbers Ukrainian artillery by at least eight to one. Due to extraordinary levels of Russian industrial production of artillery shells and rockets, they generally fire six to eight times the volumes the Ukrainians do, and now the Ukrainians are running low on munitions. Estimates that Russian casualties are higher than Ukrainian are foolish propaganda. In addition, the Russians have much quicker and better battlefield medical operations.
The dissident anti-Putin Russian publication Meduza and Mediazona teamed to estimate Russian military dead at 47,000 and 78,000 wounded for a total of 125,000 casualties. Only a few weeks ago Mediazona and BBC estimated only 27,000 Russian soldiers had been killed. This was fairly near a Russian Ministry of Defense release. The Russians do not usually release casualty figures, but their statistics have proved fairly reliable in the past. Unlike the Ukrainians, the Russians avoid exaggerations that might embarrass them later.
The Russian Ministry of Defense just released an estimate of Ukrainian casualties and equipment losses for the Ukrainian offensive during the June/July period. Ukrainian killed in action (KIA) was over 42,000. Over 1,800 Ukrainian armored vehicles and tanks were destroyed, 25 of them German Leopard II tanks. Over 600 Ukrainian artillery systems and mortars and 26 Ukrainian aircraft were destroyed. Russian military intelligence estimates rely predominantly on radio intercept of Ukrainian communications.
Trying to balance out the reliable independent estimates, my evaluation is that Russian dead including Chechens, Donbass militias, and the Wagner Group are probably around 35,000 with 105,000 wounded for 140,000 total casualties. Ukrainian dead are probably around 245,000 dead, with 30,000 missing, 75,000 permanently disabled, and another 200,000 less seriously wounded for a total of 550,000 total casualties.
According to the August 2 issue of Insider, sourcing German prosthetic manufacturers, between 20,000 to 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers have had a least one limb amputated during war. Most of these were probably inflicted by Russian artillery and rocket fire. Some of the more recent ones probably resulted from intensive Russian mining of defensive positions.
Ukrainian artillery has been firing cluster-shell munitions into civilian areas of Donetsk that include “petal” bomblets that explode when picked up or stepped on. Many children and pets as well as adults have been killed or seriously injured by this. The Ukrainians have been straining every nerve to accuse the Russians of war crimes, but it is the Ukrainians who have been shelling civilian areas of Donetsk for years. There have been a few instances of Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners, but the Russians have built a reputation for treating prisoners well, and for that reason squad and platoon size Ukrainian Army units have begun to surrender to the Russians.
Stupid Idea #2 for NATO was economic sanctions against Russia. They have backfired so badly that Russia may soon replace Germany as Europe’s largest economy. The de-industrialization of Germany by Social Democrat and Green Party idealogues should probably be ranked as Stupid Idea #3. Blowing up the Nordstream Pipeline was probably a select NATO operation led by the U.S. State Department and CIA. It merits recognition as Stupid Idea #4.
The Russians now have a clearly substantial advantage in the Ukraine War, and both the Ukrainian economy and Ukrainian Army are near collapse. NATO escalation to save face would risk catastrophic wider war endangering millions of lives.
It is time for Americans and American leaders to examine our moral compass. Is it right to sacrifice tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives—"fighting to the last Ukrainian”—and leave Ukraine destitute in order to serve American objectives to weaken Russia, destroy its economy, and replace Vladimir Putin with someone we choose?