Chicago Tribune Coming to Senses on Ukraine War?

It was encouraging to see the Chicago Tribune publish The Rev. Martin Deppe’s letter "The error of NATO expansion."

It was a baby step back from the Trib’s initial bellicose support for U.S., NATO military support to help Ukraine defeat Russia on the Ukraine battlefield after Russia’s criminal February 24 invasion.

For the Trib, as well as virtually the entire US media and national security establishment, Russia’s invasion represented a titanic battle of good v. evil, democracy v. authoritarianism that required the $54 billion in military aid we’ve funneled into the war zone, but not one drop of US blood.

That was the "tell" that our war aim was not to save Ukrainian lives, but to further weaken and isolate Russia in our new Cold War to keep them out of Western European economic and political life.

After 109 days, two things to the "win at all costs except US blood" crowd are becoming clear. First, Ukraine can never push Russia out of Crimea and the Donbas. Ukraine lost Crimea in 2014 when they instituted war to crush the Donbas separatists after the US supported coup to upend Ukraine democracy. Now, they’ve lost the Donbas from their provocative and self-destructive refusal to implement the 2015 Minsk II Accords which would have granted regional autonomy to the Donbas while keeping it under nominal Ukraine sovereignty.  

Second, they are realizing that no amount of weaponry short of that provoking nuclear war will end the conflict which is inexorably destroying Ukraine as a functioning state.

That leads inevitably to the only sane and sure method to end the war: negotiated settlement.

Rev. Deppe’s letter hints at that inevitability. Can the Trib take the hint? More importantly, can the United States?    

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at