"'He who fights to negotiate, loses.' Time is running out for Zelensky"
by Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris,
The Duran: Episode 1307 (June 15, 2022)

[1:51]Alexander Mercouris: "... everybody now gradually is coming around to the realization that this is unsustainable. So, that's important in itself. But what it is causing is arguments. Now, within those arguments, there are also recriminations. And we're starting to see more of them.

"Firstly, the biggest person of all, the head, the chief, if you like, Joe Biden. He gives an interview. Zero Hedge put it rather well: He threw Zelenski under a bus. He basically said: "Zelensky didn't listen to my advice. I told him there would be this Russian invasion." Biden didn't explain why that made any difference; why Zelensky's supposed unwillingness to listen to Biden's advice about a Russian invasion would have made any difference to the military outcome at all. But, anyway, the very fact that Biden is now coming out and criticizing Zelensky I really find most indicative given that Zelensky up to now has been built-up in the West as this sort of heroic figure.

[3:16] And I have to say, putting my historian's hat on, it reminded me a little bit of an interview, a TV interview which President Kennedy gave in 1963 in which he criticized the then-President of South Vietnam, President Ziem [North Vietnamese pronunciation]. And President Ziem had been built up in the U.S. media, you know, as this, again, you know, Lincolnian figure. And he wasn't. And things were beginning to go badly wrong. And Kennedy came out and gave this interview. And then three weeks later, a short time later, there was a coup in Saigon and President Ziem was out and dead. He was actually killed during the coup. And just for those who are interested in these histories, President Kennedy himself was assassinated just few weeks later after after that. Which I think is an unrelated tragedy."

[4:16] "But anyway, regardless, the point was that it's now widely believed that Kennedy's interview in which he criticized Ziem was a green light to the South Vietnamese military to move against President Ziem. I don't know if we're in anything like the same situation again in Ukraine, but I did find it very interesting was that Biden came out and in what was clearly a well-prepared interview -- Biden was clearly, again, told what he was going to say -- he actually comes out and speaks against Zelensky in this fashion. And I do wonder whether Zelensky has been set up. Now, he clearly is being set up as the scapegoat and whether there might be some attempts to try and find some way to shuffle him out in some fashion. Maybe not a coup. Who knows? But [perhaps] to replace him with somebody who'll either proscecute the war more rationally, as the U.S. thinks, or might, on the contrary, look for some kind of peace agreement. I don't know. But it was an interesting series of comments."

[5:34] "But even if there's no ultimate plan behind it, the very fact that Biden is now criticizing Zelensky shows that there are now tensions and Zelensky's star is clearly fading. But now we've had an article in the Daily Telegraph by the former head of the British army, Lord Richarrds. And he said that [edit insert: US/UK/NATO/EU] politicians have no conception of grand strategy. That they're making it up as they go along in Ukraine. All that this is doing is consolidating the Chinese-Russian alliance and that's what we really need to be worried about. But Lord Richards didn't say what he thought should be done to get us out of this situation. But, frankly, the way he spoke clearly showed, to my mind, that this is a debacle. And we need to find some way out of it."

[6:35] "Now, bear in mind, we have a political crisis in Britain. We see a weakened prime minister. Boris Johnson is probably on his way out. I suspect that Richards is speaking for at least a part of the British military who can see that the writing is on the wall and that they are manuevering to influence the next prime minister, whoever that is. And at the same time this is probably reflective of some sort of internatal debate that's going on. So you get all these articles appearing in the media, in Britain, in the United States. Articles in the Washington Post. Articles in the New York Times. A major article on Newsweek, by the way. Articles also in the Guardian. Even in the Daily Telegraph. They're all souring on the war. They're seeing that the war isn't going right. And we're seeing all these prominent people, starting with Henry Kissinger, two weeks ago, who gave a two month time window. Lord Richards, who is a well-known person here in Britain, is now weighing in. And now we've had this extraordinary comment about Zelensky from President Biden himself."

[7:47] Alex Christoforou: "The problem with the coup, I think, that the U.S. has, is that if there was a coup, specifically a military coup, then it would be the military that would be cozying up to Russia. I have no doubt about that. Any type of coup outside of, like, the AZOV guys, a military coup would just automatically just, you know, pick up the phone to Moscow and say, 'OK, How to we resolve this?' So I think that's the problem we're going to run into. My hunch is that both the Biden White House and the UK, they're going to drip feed the truth to the public over, say, a month. And they're going to just allow the media, as they've done with everything, they're going to allow the media to just kind of pick up the slack and just memory-hole this and massage everything and just kind of, you know, cover for them. They're going to dump Ukraine on the EU. And the EU leaders are dumb enough that they're going to reconstruct whatever is left, or try to figure things out, or do as the US or the UK says, because the EU leadership is just, uh, . . . Let me tell you what Stoltenberg said in a recent speech he gave in Finland:"

[9:05] [shows and reads from screen shot]:

"Peace is possible,", he said. "The only question is what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty ... are you willing to sacrifice for peace?"

Stoltenberg did not suggest what terms Ukraine should accept, saying that "it's for those who are paying the highest price to make that judgement," while NATO and the West continue supplying arms to the Ukrainians to "strengthen their hand" when a settlement is eventually negotiated.

[9:38] "Now, we heard the same talk coming out of, I believe, Biden himself along those lines, if I'm not mistaken, where the strategy is Let's just throw whatever we can to Donbas, hold the Russians off, try to do some damage to the Russian military, or something, until we get to the negotiating table, and then we'll have some sort of leverage, or something, to negotiate with. But pretty much what Stoltenberg is admitting, is that whatever territory the Russians have is gone. I mean, even Stoltenberg and NATO, they're coming out with the truth and saying, Look, whatever Russia has it has. They're consolidtating it. Passports in Kherson, Zaporozhia, Melitopol. All this stuff, it's gone. And now it's up to Ukraine to decide what they want to do. We're going to give them arms just so they can hold off the Russians long enough and maybe get a little bit of leverage so that we have something to negotiate with. This is not a plan. This is a disaster. It's a selling out of Ukraine. They're going to throw Ukraine under the bus."

[10:49] Alexander Mercouris: " "

". . . [11:53] that's the kind of scenario we could be seeing and be a difficult sell, actually, to the media and the public after people have been told what a heroic leader Zelensky is. But I have to say, even with the western public the Zelensky star has begun to fade anyway. I don't know how persuaded people ever really were. But that's another story. And whether there's going to be that kind of coup, reshuffle, palace coup, call it whatever you like, that remains to be seen anyway. I'm not necessarily sure it's going to happen. And I suspect, by the way, that if it did, if that is indeed what some people in Washington are planning, then far from strengthening the west's hand in Ukraine, the much greater likelihood is that it will cause the whole of Ukraine to collapse like a house of cards. That's basically what happened in Vietnam, by the way, in South Vietnam when President Ziem was thrown out. South Vietnam never had a stable government at any time at any point after until the moment of its final collapse."

. . .

[15:38] Alexander Mercouris: ". . . the Russians may not be willing to be held at bay. They may not be interested in a negotiation of any kind anymore. After all, they're winning. So why should they stop? Why should they compromise? On anything? And they may decide that unless, you know, Ukraine is prepared to capitulate, and accept all Russia's demands, which may be a lot more extensive now than Kherson and Zaporzhia regions, the Russians may say to themselves, Well, look, the west has imposed sanctions on us. It's not going to lift those sanctions, realistically, whatever we do. We're winning the war. So why not just press on untill we have achieved all our objectives in Ukraine, including the maximal objectives that, you know, we've fantasized about because, let's face it, we can."

[17:34] "... The Iron Rule of War is that he who fights to negtiate, loses. He who fights to win, wins. And given that the Russians have such an overwhelming preponderance in Ukraine, and remember, they're fighting this war with an expeditionary force drawn from a peacetime army, whereas Ukraine is already fully mobilized and is exerting all its strength to keep this war going. So, the Russians have massive reserves which they haven't even brought to bear in this war. Given that the Russians are winning, why should they stop? Why should they do what Biden and Stoltenberg and perhaps Lord Richards and Henry Kissinger and all of these people think they should do?"

[18:20] Alex Christoforou: "The problem that the collective west has is that they put these shock-and-awe sanctions in place and they boomerang back to cause all kinds of economic troubles -- which we'll get into in a different video -- to the collective west. If they didn't have all those economic troubles that people living in the United States and Canada and Germany are feeling, then my hunch would be that they would have forgotten about this war a long time ago. They would have memory-holed this a long time ago. It would have been like Afghanistan, like a week of heavy news cycle and then it is forgotten. Which is really, essentially, what happened in Afghanistan. It was a week of heavy criticism, but the media covered up and no one talks about it anymore, really. That is my feeling about where the Biden White House is going to go with this. As they've done over the last two years, they're just going to rely on the media. ..."

[ : ] Alexander Mercouris: "... hide behind the media." ...

[ : ] Alex Christoforou: "... blame Putin, etc."

NOTE: [From Wikipedia] Ngô Đình Diệm (/djɛm/[1] or /ziːm/;[2] Vietnamese: [ŋō ɗìn jîəmˀ], 3 January 1901 – 2 November 1963) was a Vietnamese politician. He was the final prime minister of the State of Vietnam (1954–1955), and then served as President of South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam) from 1955 until he was captured and assassinated during the 1963 military coup.