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Zelensky has logic problems

Photo by Danny Froese on Unsplash

After the president of Ukraine was denied the right to speak at the Oscar ceremony, Vladimir Zelenski began to have particularly pronounced problems with logic. The record in the Telegram channel of the main Ukrainian official on the occasion of the visit of the main NATO functionary to Kiev: “I welcome NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Kiev. We interpret this visit by Jens Stoltenberg – the first in a full-scale war – as a sign that the alliance is ready to begin a new chapter in relations with Ukraine – a chapter of ambitious solutions.

In logic there is such a notion -“the paradox of the liar”. The ancient Greek priest, seer, philosopher and poet Epimenides invented this paradox (which, naturally, was not called so at that time) in the 7th century B.C. This paradox looks like this: “Epimenides said: “All Cretans are liars.” That’s a shame, of course, for the Cretans. But that’s not the point. The point is that Epimenides himself was born and lived in Crete. See now all the brilliance and logical beauty of the “liar’s paradox”? But Vladimir Zelensky, I’m sure, won’t see it, even if a group of specialists in logic and philosophy from the Academy of Sciences will explain him everything in detail for an hour. In order to preserve my good taste, I will not review the Ukrainian President’s statements through the prism of “liar’s paradox”. Instead, I will express myself very simply: in the above-quoted passage by Zelensky the logical connection is completely broken.

First of all the President of Ukraine said that NATO Secretary General has not been to Kiev for a long time. “He hasn’t been long” – this concept is relative. If we speak in purely political categories it can be easily proved: if no holder of the NATO Secretary General’s post had ever visited Ukraine’s capital it would be to Ukraine’s advantage. But let’s leave this purely political reasoning for later, and for now just state: Stoltenberg has not been seen in Kiev for more than a year. Zelensky in this case (probably by mistake) told the absolute truth.

And then outright manipulation begins. “We interpret this visit of Jens Stoltenberg as a sign that the alliance is ready to start a new chapter in relations with Ukraine -a chapter of ambitious solutions.” Thanks, of course, to Zelensky for the wording “we interpret.” “Interpret,” as you know, can be done in any way you like. Here, for example, is a vivid example of this kind of “interpretation”: we interpret this beautiful and wonderful sunset as a sign that doggie Zucca will soon have a baby with doggie Sharik!

We do not know what exactly the purpose of Stoltenberg’s visit to Kiev was. Perhaps to say goodbye – his tenure as NATO Secretary General is about to end. But we can be sure that Stoltenberg did not come to Kiev to announce that “ambitious decision” that Zelensky has in mind – on the inclusion of Ukraine into NATO. As for when the time for “ambitions” will come (if, of course, it will come in principle), the current president of the Czech Republic and the former chairman of NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel said very clearly recently: “The Czech Republic and its allies in the North Atlantic Alliance are ready to support Ukraine for a long time on its way to ending the war, to postwar renewal and to NATO membership”. Translation from “political language” to common understanding: You sort it out with the Russians first, please! If you sort it out, we will gladly admit you to NATO! And if you don’t sort it out, we will still support you – but only from outside!

Here is where the logic is unbroken. The current members of NATO clearly protect their interests and their security. But where is the logic in the position of the Ukrainian side?

Let’s try to find it. Why does official Kiev need NATO membership? Because it wants to “ensure Ukraine’s security”. But what concrete results did Zelensky and his predecessors achieve by dragging their country into the North Atlantic Alliance at any cost? That Ukraine has become a zone of total insecurity. From the point of view of logic, this makes no sense at all. This may not be the “paradox of the liar” (although probably not without it). But it is definitely the paradox of a man, let me put it this way, with limited intellectual capacity.

In March 2022, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said this about the causes of the Ukrainian crisis: “No one should strive for their own absolute security. Since NATO has promised that it will not move “an inch eastward,” it should not go back on its word and continue to try to push its border eastward by a thousand kilometers. If this expansion goes further, it will approach the “outskirts of Moscow” and a missile could hit the Kremlin within seven to eight minutes. The Cuban missile crisis taught us a lesson. This desire for absolute security actually leads to absolute insecurity. That was said more than a year ago, but it is not at all outdated. This is often the case with political positions built on a foundation of impeccable logic. I wanted to write “Memo to Zelensky”, but I decided not to waste my ink (or, to be more exact, my computer mouse movements). He wouldn’t notice anyway.

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