I am sure that you have noticed the many analysts, (former) generals and (former) politicians who come out of the woodwork to comment on the war between Russia en Ukraine. That war is sexy hot and these gents and ladies are much in demand with the media and when they run out, they just shove in anyone they can palm off as an expert. And if that fails, they just ask another journalist to comment.
While there are sure to be experts among these people, the media will not give them a shadow of a chance to explain a complex situation, even if they could. The combatants can be trusted to sow disinformation that serve their cause and the media is both willing and able to help delude the average joe or jane.
The lack of knowledge is cringeworthy. There is the newsreader who calls a cruiser a battleship and openly admits a lack of knowledge. There is the expert who mentioned the west worrying about depleting the strength of their armies by sending second line and old soviet army surplus like 100 M113(a vehicle from the Vietnam war: the US has still thousands of them as rear echelon vehicles), 15 155 MM howitzers(a weapon that is all but replaced: the US still has 260 of the type involved) 11 MI-17 helicopters (a cold war Soviet aircraft) and former East German Soviet era weaponry.
The contrast with YouTubers is all the greater for it. Channels like Perun, or Military History Visualized(aka Military History not Visualized), Military Aviation History, TLDR, Real Life Lore, Unlearning Economics and Task & Purpose show a much better insight into what is going on than say MSNBC or the Young Turks. The latter are just people spouting opinions like bubbles in a fish tank. People don’t watch to become informed; they watch it because it calms their nerves. And in defense of the fish tank: at least there is no pretense that you will be any the wiser after watching it, nor will you have to suffer grown people acting like brats. I cannot understand why people want to watch a program whose only selling point is scorn.
Times Radio is another of media outlet and it recently had one former general as guest. The interviewer, at one point, was asking the general about no-fly zones: a done to death subject. The general said nothing new during the entire program. He said something that stood out: “We in the military say that mass has a special beauty. “
Hold on! I have heard that one before.
Yes, it is like a quote attributed to Stalin: Quantity has a quality of its own. Attributed, as it is far from certain if he said it like that, or that he said it at all. And in fact, it reminds of another quote attributed to Napoleon: Victory goes to the army with the biggest battalions. And that one is probably also not said by Napoleon, but might be a twist of an older saying.
Given that these media and experts might need more fillers, I made up a list of fake quotes. Some using the words of others. You are welcome to use them at your leisure. At ease, soldier!
- We in the military say that when outnumbered, out–weaponed and out positioned, it is best not to have a battle.
- We in the military say that the goal of war is not to make your own guys die for their country, but to make the other guys die for theirs.
- We in the military say that there are unknown unknowns, and we know it is best for these unknowns to be known.
- We in the military say that the best wars are those won before they start.
- We in the military say that winning a war is better than having one.
- We in the military say that a civilian with a gun is a danger to himself, his fellows, and the enemy. In that order.
- We in the military say that interviewers asking about no-fly zones over Ukraine should find a new job or a nuclear shelter.
- We in the military say that when you prefer your fighters to look incompetent rather than to praise their sacrifice or heroism, you will reap what you sow.
- We in the military say that when you lose a battle, do it on your own terms.
- We in the military say that when the commanding general initials are U.S, you know the conditions for peace.
- We in the military say that a journalist who doesn’t know a cruiser from a battleship, a tank from an armoured car and a no-fly zone from a nuclear war should be bent over the knee and spanked.
- We in the military say that any war will begin with weapons from the previous one and prove to be utterly expensive and totally inadequate.
- We in the military say that total victory won’t prevent the next war: at best it maximises the time to prepare for it.
- We in the military say that war isn’t politics by other means, rather peace is.
- We in the military say that it takes a thousand dead to create one hero, and often the hero is one of them