by Glenn Greenwald
The war in Iraq, or rather, Ukraine – is now more than a year old. The war in Iraq is on my mind because the 20th anniversary is coming up and many of the same arguments that were assembled to justify it are the same ones now assembled to justify the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine.
In fact, I was looking at a video earlier today of George Bush and others saying that the reason we had to go fight in Iraq and invade Iraq is that we’d rather fight them over there than fight them over here. And I saw a video earlier today of California Democrat Adam Schiff saying exactly the same thing about the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine. Namely, the reason we must fight Russia over in Ukraine is that, if we don’t, we’ll have to fight them over here. Presumably, the Russian army is on the verge of attacking the American homeland right after it gets done trying to hold a town or two for more than three months in Ukraine, confident that it can conquer the American homeland, despite spending 1/15 in its military of what the United States spends.
in any event, ever since that war began in Ukraine, more than a year ago, there have been two primary claims emanating from Washington, from defenders of this war policy who are the majority wings of both political parties. Yet again, we have complete bipartisan support with only some dissidence in the Republican Party and a few on the left, but not in the Democratic Party. Washington is united, as it usually is on such matters, and those two arguments have been the following. 1) the United States has no role whatsoever in the war in Ukraine in terms of deciding how this war will end and under what terms it will end. That decision is left solely to the Ukrainians and to President Zelenskyy because, after all, it’s their country, not ours. And “we’re just here to help” like we always do. We just want to help Ukraine and whatever Ukraine decides is best for them – having a diplomatic solution to the war, to end the war, continuing the war for as long as they want, that’s totally their decision. We have no say at all in any of that because we’re not interfering in that region. We’re just helping. We’re just helping. We’re providing them with aid and assistance. We don’t even have a position; we’re agnostic, whenever Zelenskyy wants, that’s what we do. That’s been the position.
Unfortunately, for people who have been claiming that, it’s no longer tenable because China is now in that region trying to forge a peace agreement like it just did two weeks ago between Iran and Saudi Arabia, one of the most consequential peace agreements in that region in years in which the United States had absolutely no involvement because it was so focused on Ukraine, a country that Washington forever has said is not a vital interest to the allied states. But now our focus is so overwhelmingly on Ukraine and our money, and our weapons are going exclusively to that region that China waltzed into this much more important region and forged a peace deal. And now that they’re trying to do so with President Xi in Moscow, U.S. officials are starting to panic and becoming much more candid about the reality that, of course, it’s the United States that decides if and when a peace deal will be accepted and if and when this war will end. And as we’re about to show you, what has been clear from the start is now made explicit, which is that the United States has no interest in having this war end because the goal is not it never was to protect Ukraine, but instead to destroy Ukraine, to offer it as a pawn, to sacrifice it at the altar of our real geostrategic goal of weakening Russia by entrapping Russia in Ukraine. And that only works if we entrap them in a war as long as possible. If that war ends too early, before Russia is destroyed, before we achieve regime change, we haven’t really achieved our goal. So, we want to keep that war going and we’re going to use our power over Zelenskyy, which we’ve had not since the war began, but way long ago, since 2014, in order to ensure that war continues. And we can show you the proof now that the U.S. officials are losing control of their message, finally revealing the truth inadvertently.
The other claim that has been emanating from the bipartisan defenders of Biden’s war policy in Ukraine is that 2) the United States has no role to play whatsoever in Ukraine. Never did. We had no role there. We’re just minding our own business. Ukraine is this totally independent, thriving democracy, bravely fighting for its core civil liberties and independence from Russia and one day Vladimir Putin decided he was going to invade Ukraine for totally imperialistic and malicious ends, having nothing to do with the United States or NATO or the West. We only got involved because we needed to help this democracy because that’s what we do. We defend democracy. We arm, fund and support people who believe in democracy and we vanquish tyranny. And we’re very, very opposed to wars of aggression of the kind Vladimir Putin launched, even though the current president, Joe Biden, like pretty much everybody who wields power in Washington,
of the invasion of Iraq, of the bombing of seven Muslim countries over the last 15 years. We took our army, we packed it up, we sent it to the other side of the world, we invaded a country of 26 million people that wasn’t remotely threatening our own and we stayed there and destroyed it for over a decade. And then we left.
And now the very people who did that look in the camera and they say, we’re in Ukraine because we believe in the rules based international order. The very same people who tell you that send arms and money to the world’s worst despots, including Saudi Arabia, with whom President Biden exchanged an affectionate fist bump with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. We send arms to General Sisi in Egypt, to the United Arab Emirates, to Jordan, to Qatar, and to despots all over the world. And yet they still tell you we have no role to play whatsoever in Ukraine. We’re just there to help save democracy and vanquish authoritarianism and despotism because we like democracy and dislike despotism.
And yet, some newly uncovered videos by several independent journalists, including Michael Tracey and others that are incredibly interesting, where Chris Murphy, the Democrat from the very blue state of Connecticut, who’s regarded as a liberal, went in 2014 with the pro-war wing of the Republican Party, John McCain, in particular, not only to support the people overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine because that government was too hostile to the West and too favorable to Moscow – not only did they go and do that – but the things Chris Murphy said at the time are incredibly revealing. This is because he didn’t realize that one day the United States government was going to have to claim the exact opposite. So, we’re about to show you those videos that are incredibly revealing, along with a few others that really put together the story in a very comprehensive and compelling way.
The entire concept that the U.S. had no role to play in Ukraine, that it wasn’t involved in the governance right on the other side of the border of Russia, in fact, the most vulnerable part of the Russian border – the part of the border that West Germany specifically twice invaded. Russia used that part of the border during the 20th century, killing tens of millions of Russians. They’re pretty sensitive about that region. They’re particularly sensitive when it comes to Western tanks and even German tanks rolling up to that part of the border, which is now happening as a result of Germany’s decision to send German tanks to Ukraine to use against Russia, something that Germans swore would never happen again, that they would never send their military up to the Russian border. That was supposed to be the whole premise of the post-World War II order when it came to both Eastern and Western Europe and yet we have that again, along with German re-militarization and French re-militarization. Imagine what that looks like from Moscow’s perspective.
But the entire idea that we weren’t involved in Ukraine intimately and directly and aggressively since the change of government in 2013 is long been so preposterous that it’s amazing that anyone could say it with a straight face, in part because let’s remember the scandal of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and Burisma energy – not the part of the scandal that people like to talk about, the part of the scandal that even Biden administration supporters admit is genuine. Namely, you have this energy company, Burisma, that was facing serious legal problems with a prosecutor in Ukraine and another legal jeopardy as well and they did what American companies often do when they’re facing legal jeopardy, which is they thought to themselves, let’s try and get on our side, by paying them, someone with access to power so that we’re protected. That’s a common thing for a company to do. But no, the Burisma did not go looking for the son or a relative of a Ukrainian official, which is what you would do if Ukrainian officials were running Ukraine. They instead went and looked for the son of the United States Vice-President Joe Biden. Why would Burisma, an energy company facing legal problems in Ukraine, try and curry favor with Joe Biden to protect itself from prosecutorial pressure if Ukraine is a sovereign and democratic country in which the United States plays no role? Obviously, they did that because the real country running Ukraine for the last eight years, right on that side of the Soviet mob, the Russian border, has been the United States. And anyone who knows anything about that series of events knows that that’s true. And that alone proves it, that Burisma’s actions reflected their recognition of who the real power in Ukraine was. It wasn’t Ukraine. It wasn’t the elected leaders of Ukraine. It was the United States.
In case anyone had any doubts about that, all we have to remember is that Victoria Nuland, who worked in the Clinton administration and then ended up as Dick Cheney’s top adviser on the Iraq war – obviously, did a smashing job there – and then, despite being a neocon involved in what the Democrats claim was a criminal war, ended up waltzing right into the Obama administration at the highest levels of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, when President Obama replaced George Bush as president, in 2008, and ultimately ran European policy for John Kerry State Department and specifically Ukraine, and she got caught on tape – the top official in the State Department in charge of Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, who’s still running Ukraine for the United States and the Biden administration – picking the Ukrainian leader. It had nothing to do with any democratic processes in Ukraine. The Ukrainians had already chosen their president. That was the president who won a five-year term in 2010 and was supposed to serve until 2015 but, instead, Americans like John McCain and Chris Murphy and almost every other official, as we’re about to show you, traveled to Kyiv to work with those trying to overthrow the government of Ukraine and replace the democratically elected leader with one far more amenable to being a puppet to the two states and NATO. That’s the history of Ukraine.
And here is Victoria Nuland, just the relevant part of the clip in which she did it, it can never be heard enough times. This – remember when they tell you that Ukraine is a democracy we’re there to protect – is how the actual leaders of Ukraine are selected (Feb.4, 2014).
This is the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt speaking on a phone call with Victoria Nuland in a conversation that leaked and that we all now get to listen to.
Geoffrey Pyatt: Yeah. I mean, I guess. Well, in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking in terms of, sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate and democrats together. The problem is going to be [Oleh] Tyahnybok and his guys. And, you know, I’m sure that’s part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all of this.
Victoria Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy, you know. what he needs is Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitschko going in, he’s going to be at that level, working for Yatsenyuk. It’s just not going to work.
Geoffrey Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s – I think that’s right. Okay, good. Would you want us to try to set up a call with him as the next step?
Victoria Nuland: My understanding from that call, but you tell me, was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context, a three-way, you know, a three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?
Geoffrey Pyatt: No, I think I mean, that’s what he proposed. But I think just knowing the dynamics, it’s been with them where […]
What a weird democracy, isn’t it? – where Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine picked the leader of the country.
By the way, that plan they laid out, the one Victoria Nuland endorsed, ended up being exactly what happened. That’s exactly how the Ukrainian leaders were chosen. These Ukrainian leaders were meeting with the United States intelligence agencies, to try and convince them that they should be the person who should lead of Ukraine. And that’s exactly what happened. So, this entire narrative that Ukraine is a democracy, they’re fighting for their sovereignty, they want to be free of foreign influence, the whole thing is a joke and a lie given that we get to listen to Victoria Nuland choose exactly how you claim was going to be run and Burisma obviously recognized that for the reasons I just described.
Not only that, but the claim that, oh, it’s just Ukraine that decides when this war ends, that the United States has no role to play, that we just listen to President Zelenskyy – if he wants to end the war, we honor that; if he doesn’t want to end the war, we honor that – listen to what John Kirby, who used to be the Defense Department spokesperson until a few months ago, now works at the White House, and his senior national security role had to say on CNN about whether or not that’s, in fact, true. When he was asked whether or not it would be acceptable for Ukraine and Russia to agree to a cease-fire, if that’s something that the Chinese got each side to agree to,
(Video. March 20, 2023)
John Kirby: We’ll see. But as you know, we’ve been very, very public about any concerns about some sort of a cease-fire announcement right now. We all want to see peace. We all want to see this war end. It could end today if Mr. Putin did the right thing, but a cease-fire called right now would basically just ratify Russia’s conquest and give Mr. Putin more time to reequip and retrain and restart operations at a time and a place of his choosing.
So, note that when asked about a cease-fire, John Kirby was not even pretending to say, “That’s for President Zelenskyy to decide; that’s for the Ukrainians to decide.” He offered his argument about why he and the United States would be opposed to a cease-fire. It would give the Russians time to consolidate their gains. It would allow the Russians to rebuild. Maybe it would actually foster a diplomatic resolution. That’s the idea of a cease-fire: it’s much easier for parties to negotiate in good faith when they’re not trying to destroy each other. That’s why the first step of diplomacy is often a cease-fire. But John Kirby just explained very emphatically why he, a U.S. official, opposed to it. And his argument was not because Zelenskyy is, but he has his own reasons for being opposed to it. And then he makes it even more explicit.
CNN: If they call for a cease-fire, you believe Ukraine should and will reject that?
John Kirby: Yes, we do. And we would reject it as well. We think that’s […]
Ok, that’s the key phrase. So, she asked him, you think Ukraine would reject a cease-fire and say, yeah, but we would reject it, too? So, we have a separate position from Ukraine. That’s what matters, that we would reject it. The United States, that’s the ultimate decision maker. Of course, the United States is the ultimate decision-maker. It’s been running in Ukraine since 2013. It picked its government in 2014. It has been providing all of its arms and all of its funding from the beginning of its new government that the United States helped install. And, obviously, since the war began. So finally, this pretense that Ukraine is a sovereign, independent country that makes its own decisions is all crumbling down because they’re in panic mode, that China may be able to negotiate an end to this war. And they’re making very clear we, the United States, are not going to allow this. We, the United States, are opposed to it. Who cares if Zelensky wants it? It’s not acceptable to us. He said that in several interviews, most explicitly right here.
Now, what’s really interesting is that if you go back and look at history, which is incredibly easy to forget, especially – even when it’s very recent history – so often the real truth lies in just having a small amount of historical context. A small historical memory is invaluable in understanding the truth and being able to navigate and critically evaluate the propaganda that you’re being asked to ingest.
So, let’s recall that 2013, at the end of 2013, when there was an uproar in Ukrainian civil society when the Ukrainian president – that was elected still had two years in his own term – that groups funded by the United States and supported by the State Department began organizing and demanding the ouster of their elected president. That happens all the time. Liberals marched against Trump, even though he won; here in Brazil, there were marches all the time against Bolsonaro. Just the fact that there are marches and protests against an elected government doesn’t mean you get rid of the government. The people voted for that leader. There’s a constitutional term, but the U.S. funded groups in Ukraine to agitate violently to remove that leader because the U.S. preferred a different leader, because that leader was more amenable to Moscow right across the border than to the United States all the way on the other side of the world.
In the history of the United States government, if you know anything about American history, is that when there’s a government that’s more loyal or closer to countries we regard as our enemies and not as close to us, our solution is first to warn those countries and threaten them. And then, if they don’t heed that warning, we overthrow them. That’s what the United States does, what the CIA exists to do, and it’s what happened here.
So here, in late 2013, we always hear how Democrats and Republicans agree on nothing, how conservatives and liberals are so different. They’re at each other’s throats all the time. In this case, Senator John McCain, one of the most pro-war members of the Republican Party, and Chris Murphy, the young, newly elected liberal from the blue state of Connecticut, traveled jointly and they, in the open, gathered with the protesters, the anti-Ukrainian government protesters. That’s what these U.S. officials did. Imagine if, say, Chinese officials came or Russian officials came and just openly marched with anti-Biden protesters or Occupy Wall Street – that’s what they did. They just interfered openly in Ukrainian domestic politics by joining with these protesters.
There you see The Washington Post headline: “In Ukraine, Senators McCain, Murphy Addressed Protesters and Promised Support”.
KYIV, Ukraine – A showdown between Russia on one side and the United States and the European Union on the other drew closer here Sunday, as two American senators told a crowd of hundreds of thousands of protesters that Ukraine’s future lies to the west, not the east (Washington Post. Dec 15, 2013).
It sounds a lot like interference in another country’s politics to me.
“We are here”, said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), “to support your just cause: the sovereign right to determine [Ukraine’s] own destiny freely and independently and the destiny you seek lies in Europe” (Washington Post. Dec 15, 2013).
They had just chosen their own destiny in the election three years ago but because we didn’t like it, we were there to tell them it was time to pick a new destiny, one that lies in Europe, not Moscow.
Added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn): “Ukraine’s future stands with Europe and the U.S. stands with Ukraine.”
Murphy, McCain and European politicians who addressed the crowd in Kyiv on Sunday turned up the pressure on Yanukovych, promising that their governments will consider individual financial sanctions against responsible Ukrainian officials if there is any further outbreak of police violence against the protesters who come and go at the semi-permanent encampment on Kyiv’s Independence Square (Washington Post. Dec 15, 2013).
You can go back and look at Occupy Wall Street and the way that disappeared. It disappeared because the police came and crushed those movements. I spent a year going around the United States visiting various encampments in, I think, 15 different cities and it was a real movement against the Wall Street bailout. It was similar to the one on the right, the Tea Party, before it got co-opted by the Republican Party, that they had very common views which were in opposition to the dominance of Wall Street and the ability of Wall Street to get a bailout when they were gambling and getting rich with their wins and then socializing their losses. And the reason that movement disappeared is that the U.S. government and various local governments used the police force to crush it. And so here we are in Kyiv telling them if they do the same, we’re going to support a change of government – which we then engineered – and pick their president.
At the time, Chris Murphy – who, again, is a young senator, he was 39 when he was elected just a year earlier –went on C-SPAN to talk about his role with John McCain in engineering all kinds of instability in Ukraine and trying to work with the Republicans and other Democrats in the administration to change the government of Ukraine. And he made some amazing admissions that are really worth watching in retrospect. Let’s watch a couple of those.
Sen. Chris Murphy: I will admit to you that I have not been involved, as involved, in what’s happening in Venezuela over the last week, because I’ve been focused, as the chairman of the Europe Subcommittee, on Ukraine. But […]
Time off from trying to change the government in Venezuela. He was a little bit absent from that, he said, because he was so focused instead on changing the government in Ukraine.
Sen. Chris Murphy: With respect to Ukraine, we have not sat on the sidelines. We have been very much involved. Members of the Senate who have been there, members of the State Department who have been on the Square, the administration, the Obama administration passed sanctions. The Senate was prepared to pass its own set of sanctions. And as I said, I really think that the clear position of the United States has in part been what has helped lead to this change in regime. […]
I mean, did you hear what he said there? We have not been on the sidelines. We have been very active there. And our active role played a key role in the change of regime, meaning we helped topple the democratic government, the democratically elected government in Ukraine, and replaced it with one chosen by Victoria Nuland. It’s just an explicit admission probably from the Senate are too inexperienced to understand how you couched these things in euphemisms. You don’t go on CNN or I’m sorry, on C-SPAN and admit these things.
Bring Russia back to WEF and IMF control, nothing less than Russian debt slavery.
What is the WEF but a shakedown scheme for elites to loot poorer countries, especially in Europe.
Recall how Soros forced a few eastern European countries to forgo mining so he could become richer?
Ukraine is a money laundry bank for elites.
Pelosi’s son, Romney’s son, joe’s son, others, too, all got riches to their daddies.
And the purpose of the war is to shield those who took vast sums of money and above all, to keep that bank open.
Both our World Wars was under a Democrat President Wilson and Roosevelt. And were are the Peace Activists where is Hanoi Jane and Tom Hayden and the No Blood for Oil Where is Hollywood to oppose this war?