Another week has rolled by in the tragic Russo-Ukrainian war, with more sadness, death and destruction inside Ukraine. It appears that Russia has abandoned any plan to circle Kyiv, and is now concentrating all its efforts on securing the Donbas — the Russian-speaking part of Ukraine. I’m writing this on Tuesday and the Russians have just launched about 1,000 missiles in the region.

Back here in the United States, though, the apocalyptic idiot blather continues out of the mouths of our own elites. I was sent a Substack piece from a history professor in one of the pseudo-Ivies, attempting to equate Putin with Hitler (it’s always Hitler) and the radical right as equivalent to Putin. This is appealing to lefty types, mostly because none of them, nor their children have any risk of actually going to war. Thinking about war gives them a squirt of adrenaline. And the young people with some potential are, of course, the children of the right-wing Deplorables.

But as time drags on, more Republicans, insane narcissists of their own flavor, are jumping on the Ukraine intervention bandwagon. The moral issue of our time, or some such icks. None have taken me up on my “$50 for a plane ticket to Ukraine and two potato peelers challenge” I issued last month. Of course not.

But for the rest of you, less inclined to eat a big BS sandwich of morality, might consider something more real — the apparent outcomes of the conflict. Russia will end up with the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine. And Ukraine will keep the rest.

The fate of Vladimir Putin is less clear. My guess is that either way, he’s a goner. If he wins, he still will have wrecked the Russian economy. If he loses, well, he loses. He’s put on the table the disintegration of the Russian federation. And while getting rid of Putin might sate our own local appetites, the reality is that what will emerge will now be five nuclear armed, unstable nations, instead of one, marginally unstable one. None of this bodes well for Eastern Europe. Or the rest of us.

The longer the war goes on, the more of Ukraine will be destroyed. The longer the war goes on, the fate of Putin is also secured. The outcome of the war will be a devastated nation, that through our own diplomatic obstinance, did not have to be so wrecked.

But outcomes are not what are really on the mind of war supporters in the West. For most, the fight is still a video game, and the proponents are still at their Playstations. Outcomes, however, are what the citizens of Ukraine are going to have to live with. And we can only hope some sense returns to their own billionaire leadership. Zelenskyy is going to have a hard time living with his conscience, however this turns out. He will not, however, have a hard time living in his $35 million mansion outside Miami.

If there is anything we can do here in the U.S., it’s to pressure our own leadership to take proactive action to end the war as quickly as possible, and not use it as some pathological tool to further destabilize the Russian state. That’s not nearly as much in our interest as our cosseted Ivy League professors would like us to think it is. They are children, and they must be dismissed. And the Pentagon is also going to have to give up its chronic budget inflation justification line about the mightiness of the Russian military. They’ve proven on the ground that they can be taken down by a determined citizenry with Javelins.

Doing this is going to be challenging. It involves letting go of our own fictitious morality narratives, and actually grounding ourselves with reality, and the lives of people on the ground. Let’s hope we get there before the nukes go off.

Pezeshki is a professor in mechanicaland materials engineering at Washington State University.

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