Andrew L. Urban
Conservative Fox News cable talk show host Tucker Carlson has a bee in his bonnet about the US heaping aid to help defend Ukraine against Russia’s illegal and barbaric invasion. The bee seems to have gorged on Hulk formula of late, as today’s somewhat garbled rant suggests.
To ensure I represent his rant accurately, I stick to the script:
“If China aligned with Russia it would be a brand new world. In the United States would be greatly diminished. Most Americans agree that would be bad. Now, as Donald Trump predicted very clearly, that is happening.
“Thanks to Joe Biden’s reckless and self destructive response to the invasion of Ukraine a year ago this week, the economies of Russia and China are intertwined. Chinese spending on Russian goods has increased by more than 60%, trying to now imports more coal from Russia than it has in the last five years. Chinese shipments to Russia, meanwhile, are up by nearly 30%. Companies like Ford and Toyota pulled out of Russia. They had to remember that. So what happened next? Chinese automakers stepped in. Chinese carmakers once made less than 10% of all cars bought in Russia, now trying to make a third of them, and you can see where this is going. The same thing is happening with smartphones and countless other consumer goods. Not surprisingly, the Chinese yuan is replacing the dollar in Moscow. Chinese currency now accounts for fully 1/5 of all trades on the Moscow Stock Exchange. That’s up from less than 1% last year. So these are deep and growing economic ties.
“The thing about economic ties, however, is that they lead inexorably to military ties. So it shouldn’t surprise you that China is actively helping Russia in the war against NATO, which we are leading. In other words, the country with more ships than any Navy in the world has united with the country that has more nuclear armed ICBM’s than any country in the world to fight us through proxy in Ukraine. Well, that’s scary.
“And the thing is, everybody involved seems to know it’s scary and just how scary it is. Our leaders understand that their push for total war with Putin, which is unnecessary, could lead to the destruction of the West. They know that, but they’re doing it anyway.
“In an interview with a German newspaper today, Ukrainian president Zelensky casually mentioned that, oh, by the way, the entire world may soon go up in flames. Quote: if China aligns itself with Russia, there will be a World War. There will be a World War if China aligns with Russia. Who could say something like that calmly? Since, as we just told you, China is aligned with Russia, it’s already happened. That’s not speculation. It’s a fact.
“And as a result of that fact, according to Zelensky himself, hundreds of millions of people will die. No big deal as long as we take Crimea. This is a very dark way of thinking. Zelensky himself is a very dark force. That is obvious if you watch him. It is unmistakable. Who could not see that this man is a destroyer. He banned a Christian faith in his country he arrested nuns and priests. Oh, but he’s a hero. Claim our leaders, from Chuck Schumer to Mitch McConnell. Zelensky is not a hero. He is an instrument of total destruction. That is not a defence of his enemies. It’s just true. And maybe that’s why Joe Biden is drawn to him … he landed in Kyiv today (Feb.20, 2023) to promote another World War.”
That’s the kind of exaggeration that dilutes his credibility. Readers will have their own take, but I will make a couple of comments. Carlson fumes that the US offered significant assistance to Ukraine: the world would be better off without it. The US would be better off. Russia and China would not be ‘intertwined’. That ignores the friendship-without-limits ‘hug’ by the two leaders, performed in June 2021, well before the invasion.
Aside from the immature “to promote another World War” and other hyperbole sprinkled through the rant, Carlson’s worst transgression is his groundless personal attack on Zelensky. His cites as evidence of his animus towards Zelensky that the Ukrainian President “banned a Christian faith in his country”. That refers to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is more than a valuable populist crutch for Putin domestically, proactively working against Ukraine’s interests. Spies in priestly robes, you might say.
Zelensky “is an instrument of total destruction” says Carlson, which defies logic and makes Carlson seem wild-eye demented. His stance on the subject is as if his otherwise functional brain has been derailed.
Andrew L. Urban is co-author of Zelensky – the unlikely hero, and the upcoming Zelensky – the front line president (both Wilkinson Publishing)