New York Times columnist uses Shakespeare to deify Zelensky and push for war

A recent column by Maureen Dowd that appeared in the New York Times states the following about Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky:

"So it was stunning when an actor not known for classical performance spoke the opening of Hamlet's soliloquy with more dramatic weight than Gielgud, Burton, Olivier or Cumberbatch."

Dowd was referring to once-sitcom actor-turned Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his address to the British parliament, which included the following, adapting from Shakespeare's celebrated play:

"The question for us now is to be or not to be. This is the Shakespearean question. For 13 days, this question could have been asked. But now I can give you a definitive answer. It's definitely yes, to be." Dowd quotes Simon Godwin, the director of the Shakespeare Theater Company who asserts that Zelensky "has become, in a way, the world's greatest actor engaged with the world's deepest truth, using a piece of poetry to express this truth in a forceful context."


Zelensky's predicament in Ukraine is then compared with that of the morose prince of Denmark, since both are taking "arms against a sea of troubles."  Hamlet's disquiet about suicide and dying has a resonance in Ukraine, now "bearing the slings and arrows of a demented dictator."

Dowd had previously called Zelensky "a symbol of bravery whose leadership has been defined by nimble action against overwhelming odds."

This unfettered hagiography of Zelensky could lead you to think he is the Democrat presidential nominee for 2024.  This worship would make even Obama insecure.

The giddy adulation crescendos when Dowd asks, "Will Zelensky live or die when Russian forces bear down?"

Dowd then begins to lay the ground for war asking questions such as these: "What does this crisis mean for the identity of America and the West — who will we be when this is over? Will the planet even survive?"

The implication is that inaction can no longer be an option, since the planet is in peril.

Ukrainians receive praise for choosing "to stand for something" and remain "united as a democracy in a way America has not been for a long time," adding that the U.S. "has become more and more riven over politics" owing to the "the destructive partisanship of masks and Covid."

When Ukraine was attacked, Ukrainian men ages 18 to 60 were banned from leaving after Zelensky declared it.  There was also conscription of reservists from the same age group.  The unity Dowd is talking about may not exactly be voluntary.

Also, the lack of self-awareness is astounding.  Does Dowd not realize that the leftist propaganda organization that she writes for is among the causes for the damaging partisanship?

Dowd herself has written viciously partisan columns, provocatively titled, like "Trump's Coup, Part Deux," "Trump's Taste for Blood," "Trump's Capitol Offense," "Oh Brother, Tears for Trump," "We Hereby Dump Trump," "King Kong Trump, Losing His Grip," "All the President's Insecurities," "Bonfire of Trump's Vanity," "Covid Dreams, Trump's Nightmare."  Her unhinged hit pieces and their cringe-inducing pun-inflicted titles were relentless.

Obviously, when Dowd talks of division, in her self-righteous mind, she and her ilk presume they are on the right side of issues, and it is Trump and his supporters who refuse to accept the groupthink who are the reason for discord.

Dowd's column ends with the need to stand by Ukraine, calling it "the 1939 moment" of good versus evil.  The article again makes the moral case for U.S. intervention and is supported with quotes from great minds such as former N.Y. governor George Pataki; former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul; and Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter for the Kyiv Independent.

The article commiserates the "horrible position Biden is in, dealing with an irrational, soulless fiend with over 4,000 nukes who thinks he can glue the Soviet empire back together with the blood of innocents."

There are portions in this piece that almost sound as though they are authored by the parody masters of the Onion news network.

So what do we make of all this hyperbole?

We have to remember that Zelensky won the presidential election in 2019 after much of his campaign was allegedly bankrolled by Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.  Kolomoisky was recently banned from entry into the U.S. for "significant corruption" and used his "influence and power for his personal benefit."

Corruption is widespread and almost innate in Ukraine.  Zelensky brought in new anti-oligarch laws to combat corruption, which, critics allege, were used to punish supporters of his opponents.  Recent corruption charges against Zelensky's rival, Petro Poroshenko, were called politically motivated.

Before the war, Zelensky was accused of using draconian measures to restrain the press.  This included attempts to cancel the screening of a documentary film and threats of criminal prosecution against media outlets and journalists critical of the government.

From cronyism to restraining the media, Zelensky almost functions like a Democrat, so no wonder the mainstream media love him.

What the article probably gets right is that Zelensky is a first-rate actor, as good as the legendary Sir John Gielgud.

Zelensky currently sports slight stubble.  He no longer wears suits; instead, he dresses in an army-green T-shirt.  He even drags his own chair into position at a news conference and holds his camera as he steams videos while ambling through the deserted streets of Ukraine.

For those watching, these images are meant to convey a weary, exasperated, exhausted but stoic and determined look.  This is a man who no longer bothers to suit up or follow protocol because all his energies and focus are directed to the well-being of his people.

For actors of experience, getting the look right and delivering lines projecting the right emotions become almost second nature.

It is no surprise that Zelensky managed to deliver a rousing speech to the British and the E.U. parliament that provoked prolonged applause and a standing ovation.

In addition to the mainstream media, who else is calling him an "inspirational figure," leading calls for boycotts of Russia and making the case for war?  Washington and E.U. establishment figures, Hollywood stars, corporate houses, Big Tech, and the "intellectual" class.

What are they doing to those who express skepticism?  They are being discredited as branded agents of Putin and Russian propagandists.

When there is no freedom to question or express a contrarian view, it is an obvious cause for concern.

Also, one can judge the merit of an issue or an individual based on who is backing and opposing it.

In Zelensky's case, his proponents certainly do not have a promising record.

A look at their utterances shows that they have been almost consistently wrong about matters of importance ranging from WMD in Iraq to the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

What is undisputedly needed is our compassion and aid for regular Ukrainians who have lost their lives and have been displaced from their homes, perhaps forever.

But when partisans such as Dowd, who will make no sacrifices personally, make a case for war and glorify anybody, you can be sure that the opposite must be true.

Be very, very skeptical of all that you read and see from Ukraine.

Image: The Telegraph via YouTube screen shot.

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