Biden Admin Glenn Greenwald Ukraine

Greenwald: Biden’s Reckless Words Underscore the Dangers of the U.S.’s Use of Ukraine As a War Proxy

As grave of a threat as deliberate war is, unintended escalation from miscommunication and misperception can be as bad. Biden is the perfect vessel for such risks.
Three long-range cruise missiles are launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea on Saturday, striking targets near the Ukrainian border with Poland, following President Biden’s apparent declaration of regime change on Saturday (Credit: 7NEWS Melbourne, Twitter)

By Glenn Greenwald / Substack

The central question for Americans from the start of the war in Ukraine was what role, if any, should the U.S. government play in that war? A necessarily related question: if the U.S. is going to involve itself in this war, what objectives should drive that involvement? 

Prior to the U.S.’s jumping directly into this war, those questions were never meaningfully considered. Instead, the emotions deliberately stoked by the relentless media attention to the horrors of this war — horrors which, contrary to the West’s media propaganda, are common to all wars, including its own — left little to no space for public discussion of those questions. The only acceptable modes of expression in U.S. discourse were to pronounce that the Russian invasion was unjustified, and, using parlance which the 2011 version of Chris Hayes correctly dismissed as adolescent, that Putin is a “bad guy.” Those denunciation rituals, no matter how cathartic and applause-inducing, supplied no useful information about what actions the U.S. should or should not take when it came to this increasingly dangerous conflict. 

That was the purpose of so severely restricting discourse to those simple moral claims: to allow policymakers in Washington free rein to do whatever they wanted in the name of stopping Putin without being questioned. Indeed, as so often happens when war breaks out, anyone questioning U.S. political leaders instantly had their patriotism and loyalty impugned (unless one was complaining that the U.S. should become more involved in the conflict than it already was, a form of pro-war “dissent” that is always permissible in American discourse). 

With these discourse rules firmly implanted, those who attempted to invoke former President Obama’s own arguments about a conflict between Russia and Ukraine — namely, that “Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one” and therefore the U.S. should not risk confrontation with Moscow over it — were widely maligned as Kremlin assets if not agents. Others who urged the U.S. to try to avert warthrough diplomacy — by, for instance, formally vowing that NATO membership would not be offered to Ukraine and that Kyiv would remain neutral in the new Cold War pursued by the West with Moscow — faced the same set of accusations about their loyalty and patriotism

Most taboo of all was any discussion of the heavy involvement of the U.S. in Ukraine beginning in 2014 up to the invasion: from micro-managing Ukrainian politics, to arming its military, to placing military advisers and intelligence officers on the ground to train its soldiers how to fight (something Biden announced he was considering last November) — all of which amounted to a form of de facto NATO expansion without the formal membership. And that leaves to the side the still-unanswered yet supremely repressed question of what Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland referred to as the Ukrainians’ “biological research facilities” so dangerous and beyond current Russian bio-research capabilities that she gravely feared they would “fall into Russian hands.”

As a result of the media’s embracing of moral righteousness in lieu of debating these crucial geopolitical questions, the U.S. government has consistently and aggressively escalated its participation in this war with barely any questioning let alone opposition. U.S. officials are boastfully leading the effort to collapse the Russian economy. Along with its NATO allies, the U.S. has flooded Ukraine with billions of dollars of sophisticated weaponry, with at least some of those arms ending up in the hands of actual neo-Nazi battalions integrated into the Ukrainian government and military. It is providing surveillance technology in the form of drones and its own intelligence to enable Ukrainian targeting of Russian forces. President Biden threatened Russia with a response “in kind” if Russia were to use chemical weapons. Meanwhile, reports The New York Times, “C.I.A. officers are helping to ensure that crates of weapons are delivered into the hands of vetted Ukrainian military units.” 

The U.S. is, by definition, waging a proxy war against Russia, using Ukrainians as their instrument, with the goal of not ending the war but prolonging it. So obvious is this fact about U.S. objectives that even The New York Times last Sunday explicitly reported that the the Biden administration “seeks to help Ukraine lock Russia in a quagmire” (albeit with care not to escalate into a nuclear exchange). Indeed, even “some American officials assert that as a matter of international law, the provision of weaponry and intelligence to the Ukrainian Army has made the United States a cobelligerent,” though this is “an argument that some legal experts dispute.” Surveying all this evidence as well as discussions with his own U.S. and British sources, Niall Ferguson, writing in Bloombergproclaimed: “I conclude that the U.S. intends to keep this war going.” UK officials similarly told him that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.”

In sum, the Biden administration is doing exactly that which former President Obama warned in 2016 should never be done: risking war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers over Ukraine. Yet if any pathology defines the last five years of U.S. mainstream discourse, it is that any claim that undercuts the interests of U.S. liberal elites — no matter how true — is dismissed as “Russian disinformation.” 

As we witnessed most vividly in the run-up to the 2020 election — when that label was unquestioningly yet falsely applied by the union of the CIA, corporate media and Big Tech to the laptop archive revealing Joe Biden’s political and financial activities in Ukraine and China — any facts which establishment power centers want to demonize or suppress are reflexively labelled “Russian disinformation.” Hence, the DNC propaganda arm Media Matters now lists as “pro-Russian propaganda” the indisputable fact that the U.S. is not defending Ukraine but rather exploiting and sacrificing it to fight a proxy war with Moscow. The more true a claim is, the more likely it is to receive this designation in U.S. establishment discourse.

That there are few if any risks graver or more reckless than a direct U.S./Russia military confrontation should be too obvious to require explanation. Yet that seems to have been completely forgotten in the zeal, arousal, purpose and excitement which war always triggers. It takes little to no effort to recognize the current emergence of the dynamic about which Adam Smith so fervently warned 244 years ago in Wealth of Nations:

In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory, from a longer continuance of the war.

The grave dangers of the world’s two largest nuclear-armed powers acting on opposite sides of a hot war extend far beyond any intention by the U.S. to deliberately engage Russia directly. Such a war, even with the U.S. waging it “only” through its proxies, severely escalates tensions, distrust, hostilities, and a climate of paranoia. That is particularly true given that — ever since Democrats decided to blame Putin for Hillary’s 2016 loss — at least half of Americans have been feeding on a non-stop, toxic diet of anti-Russian hatred under the guise of “Russiagate.” As recently as 2018, 2/3 of Democrats believed that Russia hacked into voting machines and altered the 2016 vote count to help Trump win. This cultivation of extreme anti-Russian animus in Washington has been made even more dangerous by the virtual prohibition on dialogue with Russian officials, which during Russiagate was deemed inherently suspect if not criminal

And all of those preexisting dangers are, in turn, severely exacerbated by an American president who so often is too age-addled to speak clearly or predictably. That condition is inherently dangerous, made all the more so by the fact that it leaves him vulnerable to manipulation by the Democratic Party’s national security advisers who will never forget 2016 and seem more intent than ever on finally attaining vengeance against Putin, no matter the risks. Speaking to U.S. troops in Poland on Friday, a visibly exhausted and rambling President Biden — after extensive travel, time-zone hopping, protracted meetings and speeches — appeared to tell U.S. troops that they were on their way to see first-hand the resistance of Ukrainians, meaning they were headed into Ukraine:

It seems clear that this was not some planned decision to have the U.S. president casually announce his intention to send U.S. troops to fight Russians in Ukraine. This was, instead, an old man, more tired, unpredictable and incoherent than usual due to intense overseas travel, accidentally mumbling out various phrases that could be and almost certainly were highly alarming to Moscow and other countries. 

But accidental or unintentional escalation — from misperception or miscommunication — is always at least as serious a danger for war as the deliberate intention to directly engage militarily. In January of this year, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that its so-called “doomsday clock” was set to 100 seconds before midnight, the metaphorical time they used to signify an extinction-level event for humanity. They warned that the prospect of a cataclysmic nuclear exchange among the U.S., Russia and/or China was dangerously possible, and specifically warned: “Ukraine remains a potential flashpoint, and Russian troop deployments to the Ukrainian border heighten day-to-day tensions.” 

In 2018, when the clock was “only” at two minutes before midnight, they emphasized tensions between Russia and the U.S. as one of the primary causes: “The United States and Russia remained at odds, continuing military exercises along the borders of NATO, undermining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), upgrading their nuclear arsenals, and eschewing arms control negotiations.” They urged recognition of this specific danger: “Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions.”

That Biden’s “gaffe” about U.S. troops headed into Ukraine could generate exactly this sort of “misperception” seems self-evident. So do the grave dangers from Biden’s sudden yet emphatic declaration on Saturday that Putin “cannot remain in power” — the classic language of declared U.S. policy of regime change: 

That clear declaration of regime change as the U.S. goal for Putin was quickly walked back by Biden’s aides, who absurdly claimed he only meant that Putin cannot remain in power in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, not that he can no longer govern Russia. But this episode marked at least the third time in the past couple weeks that White House officials had to walk back Biden’s comments, following his clear decree that U.S. troops would soon be back in Ukraine and his prior warning that the U.S. would use chemical weapons against Russia if they used them first.

That Biden seems to be stumbling and bumbling rather than following scripted recklessness seems likely in some of these cases but not all. The White House’s vehement denial, in the wake of Biden’s speech, that regime change in Russia is its goal was contradicted by Ferguson’s reporting in Bloomberg last week:

Reading this carefully, I conclude that the U.S. intends to keep this war going….I have evidence from other sources to corroborate this. “The only end game now,” a senior administration official was heard to say at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime”…..I gather that senior British figures are talking in similar terms. There is a belief that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.” Again and again, I hear such language. It helps explain, among other things, the lack of any diplomatic effort by the U.S. to secure a cease-fire.  It also explains the readiness of President Joe Biden to call Putin a war criminal.

Whether deliberate or unintentional, these escalatory statements — particularly when combined with the U.S.’s escalatory actions — are dangerous beyond what can be described. As an Australian news outlet reported on Sunday, “Russia has launched a missile strike near Poland in what appears to be a deadly warning to the United States.” The accompanying video (see lead photo above) shows at least three long-range cruise missiles, launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea, precisely striking targets in western Ukraine, near to where Biden was in Poland. That missile launch, the outlet reasonably concluded, “appears to be a deadly warning to the United States.”

Whatever else is true, the U.S. and Russia are now in waters uncharted since the Cuban missile crisis. Even the savage US/USSR proxy wars of the 1980s in Latin America and Afghanistan did not entail these sorts of rapidly escalating threats. A Russian president who, validly or not, feels threatened by NATO expansion in the region and driven by questions of his legacy, on the other side of a U.S. president with a long record of hawkishness and war fever which is now hobbled by the carelessness and infirmities of old age, is a remarkably volatile combination. As former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis put it on Saturday: “A U.S. President who, during an atrocious war, does not mean what he says on matters of War and Peace, and must be corrected by his hyperventilating staff, is a clear and present danger to all.”

Hovering above all of these grave dangers is the question of why? What interests does the U.S. have in Ukraine that are sufficiently vital or substantial to justify trifling with risks of this magnitude? Why did the U.S. not do more to try to diplomatically avert this horrific war, instead seemingly opting for the opposite: namely, discouraging Ukrainian President Zelensky from pursuing such talks on the alleged grounds of futility and rewarding Russian aggression, and not even exploring whether a vow of non-NATO-membership for Ukraine would suffice? How does growing U.S. involvement in this war benefit the people of the United States, particularly as they were already — before this war — weighed down by the dual burdens of pandemic-based economic depravations and rapidly escalating inflation?

These are precisely the questions that a healthy nation discusses and examines beforejumping head-first into a major war. But these were precisely the questions declared to be unpatriotic, proof of one’s status as a traitor or pro-Russia propagandist, as the hallmark of being pro-Putin. These are the standard tactics used to squash dissent or questioning when war breaks out. That neocons, who perfected these smear tactics, are back in the saddle as discourse and policy leaders — due to their six-year project of ingratiating themselves back into American liberalism with performative anti-Trump agitprop — makes it inevitable that such sleazy attacks will prevail.

As a result, the U.S. now finds itself more deeply enmeshed than ever in the most dangerous war it has fought in years if not decades. It may be too late for those questions to be meaningfully examined. But given the stakes, this is as clear a case of better late than never as one will ever encounter.

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, “No Place to Hide,” is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of exposés in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting. 

35 comments

  1. We’re witnessing an emotionalising and fear-laden re-run of the ‘Iraq WMD’ propaganda playbook which is “manufacturing consent” (Chomsky) to support sending US/UK troops and to widen the Ukraine war into the Western European theatre. This is to enable the Tories to pretext declare the UK National Emergency they desperately need to ‘request’ Biden for US military support in order to militarise their own *Putin-sponsored* Brexit coup on mainland Britain. And is why regardless of whichever *mobilisation* story they sell us;

    ‘Tory Militarisation of UK Is Inevitable’ (2022) https://wp.me/p94Aj4-33w

    Johnny McNeill
    #GaslightingGilligan (© 2017) 
    Twitter: @GasGilligan (*free download*)

  2. Glenn, I recognized in the beginning of this article that you were speaking from your position as a journalist who was denigrated for having those very doubts that you probably were vilified for expressing.
    I was in no such uncomfortable position, and I knew in my bones on September 11, 2001 that 9/11 was an inside job of the George W Bush administration. Moreover, I don’t believe that the person the Navy SEALS murdered (and destroyed the evidence by throwing the victim’s body overboard, calling it “burial at sea”) *was* Osama bin Laden.
    On the other hand, I don’t go around announcing these beliefs in day-to-day conversation, because no one would listen to me.
    I have totally lost the thread of whatever is going on now. The world seems to be mad. I agree that the US is playing a dangerous game, but why? They want to topple *Putin* from running Russia???
    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Or wait….)
    I am sorry that you have to go on writing the truth in this mad world.
    I am 100% behind you.

  3. From the beginning of this recent Ukraine crisis, it ha been my contention that an important part of Biden’s moves, since he took office, has been to end the Nord Stream II pipeline project and sell the US’s huge, and rapidly growing, excess of LNG. The Europeans were very angry about US sanctions on the pipeline and our interference in their business. Biden dropped the sanctions in August, but I’m guessing that he was already looking for new ways to undermine Nord Stream.

    Biden’s provocations of Russia regarding Ukraine seemed to start pretty early on, with his hostile statements about Putin and Ukraine’s own threats of using military force to regain Crimea which was merged into Ukraine in 1954; at the time, a predominantly Moslem country of darker skinned people since displaced by Russians. NATO extra-large exercises and their direct, and childish, provocations in the Black Sea were further provocations. And Zelensky’s August international conference to discuss with other countries how to get Crimea back into Ukraine included discussions of the use of military force against Russia. Russia did notice and expressed their concerns about all of this.

    But Biden gave Putin the finger when Putin put forward two draft treaties in December to discuss his concerns about escalating tensions and NATO’s further expansion, as well as arms control issues. These were dismissed as “Putin’s demands.” So Putin has been asking for months for a real discussion with the West on NATO expansion on arms control and ways to de-escalate tensions, but the US media says that it’s Putin that won’t talk. That is pretty clearly false. He’s talking to any leader who asks from what I’ve seen. Biden appears to want to talk with Russian generals but not Putin himself. I can’t believe that Putin (or Biden) regards Zelensky as anything more than a pawn in this game between Biden and Putin. It appears that these discussions Zelensky are primary meant to save civilian lives and get some promises going forward, but it will not be enough to end this misguided invasion.

    I think Biden is winning in the court of public opinion and Biden has no motivation to end this because neither Ukraine nor Russia, or their people’s lives, are important to the US. One problem is that Biden has already misjudged Putin’s willingness to invade Ukraine. What else may he misjudge? There is a lot at stake here. Biden also needs to shut his mouth if he is going to make such stupid and dangerously provocative statements that they need to walk back. I;’m convinced that Biden could put the invasion, on hold at least, if he would talk to Putin.

    1. Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, now an independent country. The core conflict has been between Ukrainians who want to align with the West/NATO, and those who want to maintain their alliance with Russia. The US has no legitimate role in the region. Russia’s call for bringing in international diplomatic teams to resolve this conflict were soundly ridiculed by the US.

  4. Biden also publicly called Vladimir Putin a war criminal. That was totally improper and totally reckless. Biden has a long history of saying improper things in public, similar to Donald Trump though usually not as extreme. Biden in some ways has resisted the war mongers’ calls for escalation, such as a no-fly zone, but as Greenwald says, he’s old and not mentally sharp, and it’s very questionable whether he can continue to resist these people. That and his big mouth create a big danger here.

    “That there are few if any risks graver or more reckless than a direct U.S./Russia military confrontation should be too obvious to require explanation. Yet that seems to have been completely forgotten in the zeal, arousal, purpose and excitement which war always triggers.”

    The planet is run by a bunch of psychopaths. Dr. Strangeloves are in high positions in the governments of both the U.S. and Russia, with some General Rippers in high positions in the militaries. This is starting to feel more frightening than the Cuban Missile Crisis, with braindead & brainwashed Americans of all stripes advocating for more escalation. I barely slept for the last 2 weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the world barely averted nuclear war, and this might be even worse.

  5. Russia has a direct national security interest NOT in controlling Ukraine, but in keeping Ukraine from becoming another US puppet state/military base.

  6. State Media has presented the Russian Ukrainian conflict as starting with the seizure of Crimea by Putin, neglecting to note the Maidan Coup in February 2014 by the US and Ukrainian Supremacist Nationalist NAZIs, which provoked Putin’s actions. Some pundits have noted that the Americans had promised to not to allow NATO closer to Russia than East Germany, but the US Government is incapable of honoring agreements or treaties, they do what’s expedient and beneficial to themselves knowing they will never be held to account.
    The situation in Ukraine follows from CIA actions there with the same Ukrainian NAZI groups fighting the Soviets in the decade after Hitler. The US/CIA relationship continued through “independence” of Ukraine, and by the end of Kushma’s term, was ingrained in their government, the most corrupt in Europe. When Prime Minister Yanukovych won the Presidential election in 2004/2005, the CIA overthrew him quietly in the Orange Revolution claiming fraud (which surely occurred on both sides, although with no evidence). In a re-vote, the US puppet Yushchenko was installed; he was a central banker married to a US State Department employee, rumored to be CIA, and he had two major effects. He glorified the NAZIs of Ukraine’s past, and allowed those in present NAZI groups to be integrated into police, military and security apparatus, often the top men in these paramilitary groups. And he received huge loans from the EU (poof!) with unpayable interest rates. During his term, Yushchenko and his rival Yanukovych co-existed in a civilized manner, with minimal violence among supporters. Corruption enriched everyone except the ordinary Ukrainians.
    When he ran for a second term in 2009/10, not even the CIA could get their boy Yushchenko back in; he polled at 5%. With UN observers monitoring the Election, Yanukovych was elected. Americans Manafort, Gates, the Podestas and Greg Craig (Obama’s counsel) were there to “help” him into US’s enfolding arms (and enrich themselves), but Yanukovych used a time-honored “two stool” or fence-sitting approach; he played the EU against Russia for the best deals. He promoted diversity and tolerance across the many ethnic groups in Ukraine and reversed, for example, Yushchenko’s designation of Stepan Bandera as the “Hero of Ukraine” (he was born in the old Austrian Hungarian Empire). This did not sit well with VP Biden, the Viceroy of the region, and the many Obama officials, like Nuland, whose ancestral home was Ukraine, nor with many Ukrainian Americans, who wanted hatred and discrimination against ethnic Russian Ukrainians to be intensified. The Americans were entrenched in Kiev and Galicia and the rural Western Ukraine. The ethnic Russian Ukrainians were mostly in the East, the industrialized Donbas and the coastal ports. In 2013, Yanukovych was pressured to make a choice between higher interest rate but bigger loans from the EU or smaller but lower interest and improved relations with Russia. He chose Russia and was overthrown. The Western Ukrainians (who look to the West rather than to Russia) flooded into the nearby capital Kiev, as they had in the Orange Revolution, but the Maidan Coup in February 2014 was violent with ~100 people killed, and Yanukovych barely escaping with his life. Nuland infamously selected the next leaders, and the government was reconstituted mostly of non-Russian Ukrainians, largely a puppet government of the US. Poroshenko became newly elected and was more into NAZI Hero worship than even Yushchenko. The Russian language (about a third of Ukrainians spoke Russian as their first language) and culture were outlawed. Over 40 ethnic Russian Ukrainians were burnt to death by NAZIs in Odessa. Mariupol, a port city of mostly ethnic Russian Ukrainians, was conquered by the Azov battalion which terrorized the denizens and made the city an Azov HQ. Eastern Ukraine, also mostly ethnic Russian Ukrainians, supported the overthrown government, revolted, and were attacked by Azov, other NAZI groups and eventually the Ukraine army, with which they merged. The Minsk II accords were signed in 2015 by both West and East factions to end the fighting. While Putin had no interest in the East (Donbas) in 2014, by 2021 over 11,000 ethnic Russian Ukrainian civilians had been killed in the Donbas according to UN observers of ~14,000 total deaths. Putin stated Ukrainian NAZIs were/are engaged in ethnic Russian genocide. Biden’s puppet Poroshenko fully supported the violence and discrimination against ethnic Russian Ukrainians (and other minorities). Per capita GDP fell by half in 2015 and 2016 after the Maidan Coup as the economy crashed. Poroshenko lost the Presidency to comedian Zelensky, who won ~75% of the votes running on a “Peace with Russia” campaign pledge. Obviously he quickly dropped that promise, under pressure from the NAZIs and Americans, becoming a new Biden puppet, who probably has no power to honor Minsk II nor to negotiate a peace agreement with Russia.
    The State Media has said Putin Lies! “There are no NAZIs” in Ukraine, BECAUSE they have a (non-practicing) Jewish President. Zelensky’s patron Oligarch is one of the richest Jews in the world, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who has funded most of the NAZI groups/ parties in Ukraine. Many of the Americans who have long ago erased Ukrainian government independence and sovereignty are Jewish and/or Ukrainian. In Ukraine as in America, money is what people worship; corruption is rampant (and accepted).
    With Biden announcing coming regime change in Russia (a deliberate further provocation), expect the situation to get much worse. There is no difference between WWIII for Russia (unless China joins, the Chinese are America’s next target) and nuclear warfare.

    1. To Michael,
      Great synopsis! I attempted a kindergarten version in another post – but yours seems to cover all the bases without a lot of editorializing – your post should have been the article in Sheerpost 😀

  7. Yesterday we were inundated with pandem(ic)onium. Today we’re being forced to face rule by fear, and obedience to protectors of national (in)security, with the usual biblical, or Orwelllian, war and rumors of war, indeed a WW3 including nuclear threat.

    “War is the health of the state” (Bourne), creating a temporary state of emergency that easily becomes established as a permanent state of exception to what previously passed as government of, by, and for the people. Whether it be the war on/of bioterror or the war in Ukraine, the always assured goal of this sleight-of-hand scheme is our own demise, whether that of our bodies as from the poisons pushed in the name of public health, giving new meaning to cannon fodder, or that of the body politic as assaults upon civil liberties and human rights segues from COVID-1984 to Eurasia, and domestic terrorism extends its target practice on most anyone for most any thought crime. In short, we the people are made more subject to powers which always have proven to be anything but our protectors – if historical memory still exists in the United States of Amnesia (Vidal).

    But you’ll hardly find attention to such remarkable coincidence among professional class intelligentsia, including the ‘alternative’ establishment press dutifully perpetuating propaganda narrative with their own tame and lame brands of spin. Oh no, to venture outside the “boundaries of thinkable thought,” as gatekeeper extraordinaire Noam Chomsky has put it, might be targeted as ‘conspiracy theory’ (a self-confirming example of the same from the CIA). And that could prove suicide for one’s career (and run risks with one’s Operation Mockingbird handlers).

    Better to ignore the literal suicides and other means of delivering us to death within the genocidal agenda still unfolding across the world beyond 2020, when WW3 upon humanity actually started. Better to play it safe within the coopted chorus of criticis and loyal dissent, pretending to advocate for the welfare of the people while ignoring, dismissing, ridiculing, criminalizing, and otherwise marching over in lockstep with the Great Reset, any people left, especially on the left, who remain resistant to the total tyranny being laid out, step by step, for sheeple led to slaughter.

    Ukraine-Russia: A Proxy-War, Advancing the Agenda of the Great Reset?
    https://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001-ZZ8UMMztgrry3EYGkZ4iGDklFrcGGZZlw6SPvDfF8Vrl3CtOMdX0pfdYJttaBwE7ArhUE8-jf1cWnOvULb_8rVHQGyVMCPDTaDai3XWHRSUrhmQiclkP7H39RL6vBcKIynYsDh4P_rGYIH74n0CgrSmv3SW68uxEYf9PYDm_aRv73dTGuWjKDmfKPa8f6rkqmN0TdxS7VEx3MAutl1v8Rm1erGkSGngdAD9pglJK1g=&c=hqqmt8sXHT-dynDncEHlTsyJBEbFvO2wObD5cNDoB2KdeMXqGuuMig==&ch=-MNsAG0qTo0HmyvRpLiW_ZaaU2BU9-8BgZPss-yrqwja3B1_towdbA==

  8. It is also relevant to mention that James Baker, Bush Senior’s Chief of Staff, assured Gorbachev that if he agreed to a reunified Germany, NATO would not expand beyond its present 10 members. It now has 30 – and the Ukraine has applied for membership, which NATO is actively considering. NATO’s inclusion of Ukraine would mean that the US could place missiles on its eastern border as it did with Poland.

    War proponents argue that Putin wants to make Russia great again and that invasion of Ukraine is a Sudetenland moment. But that is speculation. Perhaps NATO’s assurance that it would not accept Ukraine’s application might have been sufficient. If NATO had given that assurance, we would know which of these two positions was correct. Putin would have accepted the assurance, or invaded. Now we will never know if he would’ve accepted the assurance and that ambiguity is the basis for the “manufactured consent” mentioned by J. McNeil in the comment above.

    1. @Jan D. Weir
      Putin itself indicated that he does not think that Ukraine should exist as an independent state and that he thinks that Russia should strive to turn the clock back on the USSR dissolution.
      Ukraine declared that it is ready to renounce NATO membership, in exchange to security guarantees, but apparently this is not enough for Putin to stop the war.
      Furthermore, in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, Russia agreed to NATO extension to any country that requires it, with the conditions that no nuclear weapons or permanent bases be situated in those countries. NATO agreed and continued to meet these conditions.
      Russia repeatedly violated its commitments, for instance placing nuclear missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave from where they can threaten all NATO European countries.

  9. “What interests does the U.S. have in Ukraine that are sufficiently vital or substantial to justify trifling with risks of this magnitude?”
    How about the guarantees of Ukraine territorial integrity that US (and Russia by the way) committed to in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum?
    Or do you think that agreements and treaties are just pieces of paper to be ignored at will?
    Providing arms, pressuring Russia by sanctions and international condemnation is the minimum that the US can do, assuming that direct military intervention is off the cards ( for understandable reasons)

    1. To alteyid,
      Those guarantees of territorial integrity were incorporated in the Minsk agreements, signed by Ukraine, which Ukraine refused to carry out – agreements that provided for semi-autonomous eastern regions IN Ukraine – with no end in sight to the clobbering by the Ukrainian army, with its Azov battalion elements, did these regions finally vote for indep – The Ukrainian gov’t could well have preserved its own “territorial integrity” by living up to the agreements it had signed in a timely fashion …

      1. @ SH
        “Those guarantees of territorial integrity were incorporated in the Minsk agreements, signed by Ukraine, “”
        Including Crimea? Was Russia supposed to return it?
        The Minsk agreements were immediately violated by both sides, including shelling and attacks on the Ukrainian military by the separatists and Russia, non withdrawal of Russian units, holding elections in the break away regions ( specifically forbidden by the agreements), and so on.
        The real issue is Russia actions (like annexation of Crimea, recognizing the so called LPR and DPR and finally invading Ukraine).

      2. To alteyid,
        The inhabitants of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia – as i recall that was not an issue in Minsk – to think that Russia would relinquish it only warm water port is pretty unrealistic – but what gave Russia pause to be concerned about its status after 2014 that didn’t before?

        The Ukrainian military had been blasting the Donbass area for quite some time – and continued after Minsk was signed – so “both sides” indeed.

        As far as elections, which elections? – the ones to elect the leaders in the semi-autonomous regions to be established, as agreed, – were to be held after the territories were granted that status, but the Ukrainian gov’t never established them – the elections for independence were held when those regions got sick and tired of having the crap beaten out of them …

        It always fascinates me to see how people choose the “date it started” as one that fits their chosen narrative – when did Russia “annex Crimea”- before or After the 2014 coup …

    2. years ago USA ignored Budapest convention u nazi liar–by placing nukes in Germany and turkey and frequent violation of montreux convention

      1. @george simmel
        The Budapest memorandum was only about Ukraine renouncing its nuclear arsenal in exchange for guarantees of integrity of its borders (agreed by Russia ) and its sovereignty. Nukes have been in (west) Germany and Turkey way before Ukraine was even independent so what is your point?
        And what the Montreux Convention which addresses the passage of warships through straits has to do with Ukraine?

  10. There is a thread running through all this – starting with, but no doubt before, Obama’s State Dept. run by Hillary Clinton with Victoria Nuland (married to a Kagan, a neo-con of the first order) a central character – That O let Clinton run the State Dept says a lot – under Clinton’s (Obama’s) State Dept. Nuland helped orchestrate the Coup in ’14 against a duly elected Ukrainian Pres. with the following Pres clamping down on the ethnic Russians, who had voted for the ousted Pres., primarily populating the Eastern Ukraine in the Donbass region, who then, when they rose up in protest, had the bejeebers beaten out of them over the next 8 years the by a Ukrainian army, populated with the Azov battalion – which conflict was never covered in the Western media – though some images coming out of there were quite similar to those splashed all over our screens from Western Ukraine.

    While this was going on, early attempts at finding agreements to end the conflict, aka the Minsk accords, had been signed by Ukraine, agreements meant to bring an end to this (un)civil war – calling for a)an end to hostilities, b) a provision in the Const for a a semi-autonomous status for the Donbass region, while remaining part of Ukraine. These provisions were never seriously addressed let alone carried out and the pillage continued. Finally the folks in those regions voted to form indep. republics, free of Ukraine – which Russia recognized.

    If the Ukrainian gov’t had done what it agreed to some years ago now, I do believe this war would never have happened – and by the same token if the US had not promulgated a “regime change” in Ukraine, there would have been no need for even those measures. The degree to which the US kept prodding Zelensky to refuse to carry out the agreement is debated, but, from what we have seen of Zelensky’s actions, including expressing a desire for NATO membership before ?backing down, it seems rather clear to me the US was/is running the show – and their flying him all over the place to give all those “heartfelt speeches” (remember, he, like Trump, was a TV celebrity before their “Pres” roles) begging for help was a stroke of genius.

    So who “fired the first shot”, the coup that is proving to be heard around the world – the US

    And now the runway is being greased for what Clinton, and by extension, Biden and the other neo-cons have wanted for some time – regime change in Russia – if Russia denied her turn at the top, Clinton will attempt to return the favor – and remember – Nuland is still part of this administration – never waste a good henchman, or woman … The mechanism being used is the same one observed to work so well in bringing the USSR down, being bogged down in an endless war, first in Afghanistan and now in Ukraine – and “we” will fight to the last Ukrainian if “we” have to …

    Lord, I hope Zelensky wakes up to this fact, gives the finger to the US, and makes his peace with Russia while he still can – remember, this war is still “officially” between Ukraine and Russia – and Zelensky can make peace from his side on terms HE agrees to – I suspect Russia would do the same as they, IMO, never wanted this mess in the first place …

    1. @SH
      Zelensky can’t give the finger to the U.S. and the west, because at least half the people in his country would strongly object. Ukraine should really be two countries (actually, no country should be large, but that’s another issue): the eastern portion that’s ethnically Russian, and the western portion that identifies with the West. But between the large portion and probably majority that identifies with the West and the very powerful Nazi groups, it would be political and probably literal suicide for Zelensky to do that.

      1. Well close to half the people in this country object to what our fearless leaders do – and some of them are Nazis too – that’s what elections are for, and are fine until some AH comes along and completes a coup ..

  11. I am a German citizen who has lived, and is still living, outside Germany for decades. What depresses me deeply is my country’s assigned – or should I say, forced upon – role as a stage hand in the US’ proxy war against Russia. I wonder how other Germans feel having to play that unsavory part in this tragedy that struck not only Ukraine but all of Europe. Having followed the imperial US foreign policy very closely for many years I wish Germany had left NATO and became a neutral, unaligned country concentrating on trade, the climate crisis and peace, in close cooperation with any of the 190+ countries on this globe for the sake of not only mutual survival but prosperity. I know in my heart what the US would dole out to Germany if she had the brazenness to leave NATO and its degrading role to be played in the US obsession with global control: Brutal sanctions, confiscation of German funds deposited in US banks, shutting down German businesses located in the US and boycotting everything German. German leaders, whether Andrea Merkel or now Olaf Scholz, are damned to choose between a rock and a hard place, stressful and humiliating it may be.

  12. “2/3 of Democrats believed that Russia hacked into voting machines and altered the 2016 vote count to help Trump win.” Really?

    I scanned the Glenn Greenwald story and could find no evidence that 2/3 of self-proclaimed Democrats, as Neera Tanden-like as they may be, are that stupid.
    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/biden-appointee-neera-tanden-spread

    2/3 of the Democrats may have bought the Russiagate conspiracy, but buying an undetected, election result altering voting machine hack, is another thing.

    As with the far-fetched laptop left at the repair shop story, which is a very different than a verified email story, Mr. Greenwald appears again to have tied one thing, the Russiagate hoax, with another, a voting machine hack to alter a Presidential election.

  13. Glenn Greenwald is a gossip mongering arm chair quarterback. Total garbage.

    1. @Vic Sage
      Look in the mirror. Glenn Greenwald is an award-winning journalist who just got a presidential candidate illegitimately imprisoned in Brazil out of prison due to his great reporting.

  14. biden is a senile incompetent–worse than trump—incivilized puerile…machiavelli recognized that immoral corrupt people require incompetent immoral leaders

  15. Glenn calls for healthy questions, so…..
    Tucker Carlson warns that Russia’s thousands of nukes, without strict control, some could be taken by terrorists.
    But, how come American media calls his worry as ‘ bizarre’???
    Does Nato, USA guarantee the secure storage of about 6,000 Russian nukes over an enormous landmass??
    Tucker’s comments should be dismissed?
    Am I too worrisome.

  16. On this whole situation there are winners & losers:

    WINNERS: The US.
    1. It will now be the main supplier of gas to Europe.
    2. They have cancelled the Nordstream 2, something that started with Obama.
    3. They have better control over Europe. Coupling this feat with the elimination of Huawei 5G and the freedom to spy at will, they will have Europe under tight control.
    4. They got the Europeans scared out of their wits and NATO came out of the ICU stronger with the lucrative weapons market salivating at the increased business.
    5. By eliminating Russia, they will now be able to provoke Russia even more without antagonizing the EU.
    LOSERS:
    1. The Ukrainians, who without noticing they have been proud of becoming the sacrifice.
    2. The EU who will be paying more for energy, will lose billions in trade with Russia, will have and enemy next door and become the first line of defense for the US if a war with Russia is started and for what? What has Europe gained?
    3. Russia with all the sanctions and stealing of their assets. Although Russia’s hand was forced.
    4. The world is a more dangerous place because a similar situation to the conditions that were imposed on Germany after WW 1.

    The big question in my mind is: With so much to loose, what made Europe follow the US in its provoking Russia? Was it ignorance or was it greed? They have risked substantially and in return they are coming out worse off.

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