If the first casualty of war is the Truth, then surely the second casualty is “Words”.
Aside from the fact that Boris Johnson is a committed liar, I wonder if Volodymyr Zelensky is impressed by Boris Johnson’s message that Britain will do everything possible to assist Ukraine.
At first sight “everything possible” is pretty unambiguous but does Johnson mean “EVERYTHING possible” or “everything POSSIBLE”.
If it is “EVERYTHING” then this means boots on the ground and a no-fly zone.
If it means “everything POSSIBLE” then really it means “NOTHING”.
I am not convinced by standing ovations for ambassadors from Ukraine in the United States Congress or in the Westminster Commons. Wearing yellow and blue ribbons is the ultimate in gesture politics.
Of course Politics might be the Art of the Possible but I am not sure how that applies here.
The narrative is that Zelensky, the heavyweight boxers and the ordinary people of Ukraine are very brave and holding out against all the odds. There is also the fact that the Ukrainians are winning the propaganda battle.
But there is also a narrative that Putin expected all this to be over in two or three days.
I get the impression that the “West” also wanted a quick war. Obviously a long drawn out war causes more casualties. But Ukrainian defiance has also surprised Biden, Johnson, Macron and the rest. A long war increases the chances of misteps in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
However supportive the NATO and European Union APPEAR to be….they are conscious that they are now following public opinion. I saw this on one of those new, fancy telephone kiosks in Mary Street, Dublin last night.
We are now in the position that western governments are following public opinion.