I’m not certain how this article should be understood? It’s really not all that flattering for Zelensky, at least not in my opinion. Perhaps to some one else the idea of Zelensky as a hollywoodized heroic figure is okay? Like some sort of GI Joe character?
Is Zelensky Trying America’s Patience?
In August, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman described a “deep mistrust” between Biden and Zelensky, and how U.S. officials “are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on.”
Michael Kimmage, history professor at the Catholic University of America, and former member of the U.S. secretary of state’s policy planning staff said that “Ukraine has a very aggressive, forward leaning, social media driven communication style,” which is very effective.
“But there are flaws and problems with it and it’s a bit odd that Zelensky won’t backtrack in this case,” he told Newsweek, referring to the missile explosion that killed two people. “I think that there is sometimes a frustration with questions of accuracy coming from Kyiv about the war.”
There’s Zelensky’s shoot from the hip style, and that can be an annoyance,” he said.
“He’s showing himself to be a very effective wartime leader and I don’t think anybody doubts the justice of his cause,” said Kimmage.
Let’s define effective? If effective is defined as an above average ability to spin. Yes, Zelensky is effective. But spin has limited value. Limited usefulness. It seems to me the end is drawing near.
Kimmage said that the only risk Zelensky faces is not from the dispute over the missile in Poland but “more the Hollywood narrative that there’s going to be a quick happy ending to all of this and that’s not in the cards.”
“The degree to which his popularity depends on that Hollywood narrative is a tough act to keep going, so he has to find another foundation for it.”
Zelensky softened his position at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore on Thursday, saying, “I don’t know 100 percent,” about the cause of the missile strike.
“I don’t think Zelensky’s image would ever be impacted from this, however, I think his credibility would be hurt,” said Dennis Fritz, retired U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant.
“If he comes out in the future and said, ‘Russian weapons hit a school house or hit another civilian facility’—that could be questioned now,” he told Newsweek. “I think he’ll be more cautious next time.”
“But you have got to look at it from Zelensky’s point of view. His back was against the wall. His men have been fighting toe to toe with Russia and have been winning but right now there’s just no answer for all those incoming missiles.”
“He might lose some credibility if he appears to be making accusations based on nothing and then not backing down in the face of evidence to the contrary. So far, this is not the case because there is still ambiguity.”
There is no ambiguity only spin
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, reiterated his case this week for a negotiated settlement to end the war which does not chime with Zelensky’s professed goal of Russia withdrawing from all occupied territories before talks take place.
Although Milley repeated the Biden administration’s position that it is “up to Ukraine” to decide on negotiations, he expressed doubt that despite successes in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, getting Russian forces entirely out of Ukraine would be “a very difficult task.”