It’s Not Okay For Grown Adults To Say The Ukraine Invasion Was “Unprovoked”

A few days after the invasion began this past February a guy named Arnaud Bertrand put together an extremely viral Twitter thread that just goes on and on and on about the various diplomats, analysts and academics in the west who have over the years been warning that a dangerous confrontation with Russia was coming because of NATO advancements toward its borders, interventionism in Ukraine, and various other aggressions. It contains examples like John Mearsheimer explicitly warning in 2015 that “the west is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked,” and Pat Buchanan warning all the way back in 1999 that “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

Empire apologists love claiming that the invasion of Ukraine had nothing to do with NATO expansionism (their claims generally based on brazen misrepresentations of what Vladimir Putin has said about Russia’s reasons for the war), but that’s silly. The US war machine was continuing to taunt the possibility of NATO membership for Ukraine right up until the invasion, a threat it refused to take off the table since placing it there in 2008 despite knowing full well that this threat was an incendiary provocation to Moscow.

This is to say nothing of the US empire actively fomenting a violent uprising in 2014 which ousted Kyiv’s sitting government and fractured the nation between its more Moscow-loyal populations to the east and the more US/EU-friendly parts of the country. This led to the annexation of Crimea (overwhelmingly supported by the people who live there) and eight years of brutal warfare against Russia-backed separatists in the Donbas. Ukrainian attacks on those separatists are known to have increased exponentially in the days leading up to the invasion, and it has been argued that this is what provoked Putin’s final decision to commit to invading (which was a last-minute decision according to US intelligence).

The US power alliance could very easily have prevented this war with a few low-cost concessions like enshrining Ukrainian neutrality, rolling back its war machinery from Russia’s borders and sincerely pursuing detente with Moscow instead of shredding treaties and ramping up cold war escalations. Hell, it could likely have prevented this war just by protecting President Zelensky from the anti-Moscow far right nationalists who were openly threatening to lynch him if he began honoring the Minsk agreements and pursuing peace with Russia, as he was originally elected to do.

Instead it knowingly chose the opposite course: continuing to float the possibility of formal NATO membership for Ukraine while pouring weapons into the nation and making it more and more of a de facto NATO member with closer and closer intimacy with the US war machine, and then either ordering, encouraging or tolerating Ukraine’s aggressive assault on Donbas separatists.

Reading by Tim Foley.

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Written by Caitlin Johnstone


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  1. The United States government pays the rand company a think tank of X military people and government constituents.. 340 million dollars a year.. To 1800 people.. All unanimously saying we will not win A-war against Russia… So if we have all this research and we know this is not in our best interest why is it happening. Who is it in the best interest of and that is going to be your answer now Russia is making a lot of money right now and it does look like America is supporting though changing hands of wealth… to A Different Drum.. But why in a country that preches democracy are the people of it not allowed a vote, to decide how we don't want to go to war!. That we the people are not actually provoking our government to spend trillions this way, on whos behalf. That the rest of the people in this country understand that our borders are between Canada and Mexico and not in sovereign countries that have resources that we want to steal like colonialist pirates.. The world has changed there could be no excuse for distributing global assets and resources to the commodity people who need them around the globe. these could be corporations that work together that is a border that we don't.. Money doesn't need to have an excuse of where it can and cannot go for people who are qualified to do the job safely and better than usa ever have, because America has not been very good about regulating safety for any one.

  2. Fascist USA Empire calls WAR (unconventional and conventional armed conflict) against both Russian and Chinese, "competition"

    Logic Table 1:
    US Army Training Doctrine for Multi-Domain Operations 2028: latest edition 2018 pdf

    fully endorsed by US General Mark Milley

    so, when everyone hears US State Department, White House, and US Congress, use words like "competition", you know they mean WAR (keeping in mind, for USA, WAR is just a "business" anyways)

  3. Search Rand Corporation's 2019 "OVERextending and UNBALANCING Russia". (My emphasis) I suspect they later changed the title to be less obvious.
    Seems to be part 2 of Zbigniew Brzezinski's "Let's give the Soviets their own Vietnam War in Afghanistan".

  4. Over time I've come to realize that whatever the US government says, it is actually the opposite of it that is the fact! This is disgusting! It has to change!! Thank you as always💯⭐💜🖖

  5. article: Why the US and NATO have long wanted Russia to attack Ukraine by Robert H Wade, London School of Economics. More facts, see highlighted red links too in the LSE blog. What a horrible political class there is across the world.❤️‍🩹

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