Discover more from The Wayward Rabbler
An Alleged Massacre in Bucha
How Dead Bodies Piled Up Days After the Russian Withdrawal
“He tries to write in such a way as to arouse his readers’ pity and engage their emotions, and so he introduces clinging women, with their hair dishevelled and breasts exposed, and weeping and wailing men and women being led off into captivity, along with their children and aged parents.”
- Polybius [II.56]
I was late to hear about the alleged Bucha massacre because I was at my sister’s wedding on Saturday where I got drunk and broke my phone [damn dress pants and their pockets.] But when I woke up on Sunday morning it was the first news I saw. Basically, this video was released by “Stratcom Centre UA” [that shows at the bottom on Twitter but not in the Substack embed.]
The organization’s Twitter bio is as follows: The Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Clearly, that is government speak for for “Ministry of Propaganda.”
Granted, there are legitimate functions for this kind of information policy especially in war, but one should be extremely skeptical of anything they produce when Ukraine desperately wants Western military intervention. As a long time viewer of conflict media, I find this very mild, but the people who spent decades ignoring war crimes their own government perpetuated apparently find this to be shocking stuff.
The New York Times surprisingly had the decency to admit the lack of verification, though they seem to present that as some sort of technicality:
Caitlin Johnstone quipped in response to this Tweet “If your evidentiary standards are even lower than those of mass media outlets who've lied about every war, your evidentiary standards are too damn low.” I feel that so deeply. The average person should be able to do a far better job at skepticism than the propaganda organs of oligarchs. Even the Pentagon is showing some restraint:
It is hard to find the truth, but it is much less difficult to spot a lie, or at least it should be. You can assume the legacy media’s intention is to misinform and mislead you, the trick is to spot the kernels of truth they throw in to defend themselves against challenges. Atrocity propaganda is very old. For one prominent example, the Romans so maligned the character of the Carthaginian people Punic became a byword for “cruelty.” This is not a difficult topic to study and discover.
If you don’t believe you are seeing atrocity propaganda, watch this, it is some serious “pulling babies out of incubators” shit- the only difference is the speaker is a partisan in the conflict, not a teenage girl:
Right, that’s what happened, the Russians in tanks ran over people in cars for fun and ripped out the tongues of anyone who disagreed with them [will this mean the liberals are anti-censorship now?] Anyone with the slightest understanding of modern history could not possibly believe this. He’s trying to claim this is how the rank-and-file soldiers behaved, not a mad tyrant in his court. The messaging we’re seeing more and more of is that the Russian people as a whole are evil, which is of course extremely dangerous.
This bitch is directly funded by the US military and Western oligarchy [yet Michael Tracey’s funding is questionable, right]:
The most stunning thing about this conflict from the beginning has been the outright brazenness of the information war. After spending the first weekend subjecting myself to non-stop droning about sanctions while getting very little real information, I gave up on following the military progress [or lack thereof] closely. The media is not even hiding what they are doing. Look at this quote from CNN:
“The United States and its allies are painting a picture of a bogged down, demoralized and dysfunctional Russian military taking disastrous losses on the battlefield, and are simultaneously conjuring a vision of growing political tension inside the Kremlin. They claim the Russian leader is isolated, poorly advised and lacking real intelligence on just how badly the war is going.”
This is exactly what anyone who watches and believes the media would believe, and they are not even bothering to present it as if it’s true. They call it a “picture” they “painted” and a “vision” they “conjured.” They go on to quote a former spook:
"It makes intelligence professionals, even former ones like me, nervous, because, of course, it's so ingrained in us to protect sources and methods."
But the thing is they don’t have sources, they are just full of shit. At most they have a cynical and self-serving “Curveball.” The only source they cite is hacking into phones of rank-and-file [oh, to hear the same thing but US soldiers discussing Biden in Afghanistan.] These people want us to believe they know that Putin is being lied to by his advisors, as if they would burn a source important enough to tell them that. Perhaps this is just a clumsy attempt to send Putin on a mole hunt and turn him against his advisors. What it is not is real/credible “Human Intelligence” [HUMINT in spook jargon.]
Most of what the legacy media produces is such abject nonsense it is not even worth engaging. However, this alleged massacre is important and is also so egregious it can easily be taken down with both logic and widely available facts.
Let’s start with basic logic:
Ukraine desperately wants Western intervention; Russia desperately seeks to avoid Western intervention. What we’ve seen is not some intricate thing that was planned for months, it is dead bodies in a war zone. I personally could have staged this scene with one other guy to help lift bodies in part of an afternoon. The otherwise logical Alex Berenson may not have been “the Pandemic’s Wrongest Man”, but his take on this is absolutely ridiculous:
“It's as if the Russians want to make their Western apologists look as stupid as possible.” Really, Alex, you don’t find that to be a massive red flag? Being as this is a “strategic withdrawal”, and not a retreat in the sense of them being chased out, it isn’t like we’re seeing what they were forced to leave behind.
Machiavelli writes as follows, in the chapter “When an Enemy Is Seen Committing a Gross Error, It Should Be Assumed that There Is a Trick Behind It”:
“A commander of armies must not trust an error that is committed by the enemy in an obvious way; there will always be some form of deceit behind it, since it is not reasonable for me to be so incautious, but the desire to win often blinds the minds of men, so that they see nothing but what seems to suit their purpose.” - Discourses on Livy [III.48]
It is easy, like Berenson, to see this as a sign of a depraved and incompetent enemy if that is what you want to see. But if this were true, we would need to ask ourselves why Putin was trying to draw Western intervention. The only conceivable reason for bodies being strewn about like this is that whoever did it wanted Western intervention, so if this were true we would be walking into Putin’s trap. [Alternately, this decently done article argues, in essence, that brutality and the Western response galvanizes his support in Russia, that’s an unnecessary gamble for someone with 81% domestic support for his war, as said in the same article.]
But this story isn’t true, and it isn’t even a well done hoax. Perhaps there is a mass grave of some sort, after all, people certainly die during wars and their bodies have to go somewhere [which by the way, is how we know the “death counts” of Russian troops from the West are nonsense], but the media and policy class and their sycophants want you to believe this shit is genocide:
[As an aside, I’m relatively confident that Ukrainians and Russians are basically genetically indistinguishable.]
So what, then, did happen? Fortunately, we have a clear timeline. Russia left on March 30th, and in the following days both the Mayor and police showed themselves happily going through body-free streets in Bucha. At the same time, so much of Ukrainian military infrastructure is destroyed that they have few hopes but Western intervention, as Kit Klarenberg writes for The Grayzone:
“Russia has virtually eliminated Ukraine’s fighting and logistics capabilities in much of the country, including its entire navy, air force, air defenses, radar systems, military production and repairs facilities, and most fuel and ammunition depots, leaving Kiev unable to transport large numbers of troops between different fronts, and consigning what forces remain in the east to encirclement and almost inevitable defeat.
As Zelensky has made clear, Ukrainian forces are desperate for direct Western intervention – in particular the so-called “closing of the sky.”
It appears what really happened is that when Ukraine saw that Russia’s troop movements would isolate their Eastern forces they became all the more desperate. The enigmatic foreign policy site Moon of Alabama posted this simple and sourced timeline for anyone having trouble following this clear story:
Simply put, those bodies were not there when the Russian’s left [satellite images from the US military’s largest geospatial contractor notwithstanding: “Maxar provides 90% of the foundational geospatial intelligence used by the U.S. Government for national security and keeping troops safe on the ground”, definitely a source with no incentive to lie.] Perhaps the Russian’s really did kill them and the Ukrainians simply dragged the bodies out to use for propaganda instead of treating the bodies with respect. In the main videos it’s not even obvious that the people are dead at all, and certainly don’t look like they’ve been dead for weeks. What we know is that this condition was created some time between March 31st and April 2nd.
Of course, truth rarely gets in the way of the US narratives because they keep lying more and more and thus make “reality” with their massive propaganda machine. People still believe that Syria did a sarin attack right when it was winning, instead of the actual terrorists, who literally function through shocking brutality towards civilians in pursuit of political goals.
I don’t, at this moment, have the heart or energy to go over the various people calling for risking nuclear war over this shit- which absolutely would not be worth it even if Russia did brutally massacre 300 people [see: the 1956 Hungarian Revolution]- so I will hand you over to Caitlin Johnstone who already wrote an excellent piece on the matter:
As she says: “You want direct military involvement? Fine. Go do it yourself. Be the direct military involvement you want to see in the world.”
But for fuck’s sake, leave the rest of us out of it, and step back from nuclear oblivion.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article please subscribe and share. My shitposting can be found on Twitter @WaywardRabbler.