As the Ukraine crisis causes global havoc, US officials won't negotiate with Russia to end the fighting -- and are even willing to "countenance" mounting hunger as a result.
Your statement, "By invading Ukraine rather than exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis.", seems to be undercut later in the piece where you point out that Ukraine intentionally used Minsk2 to "buy time" and prepare for war with Russia.
I have been following this situation closely since February and I think it is clear that Russia worked for a diplomatic solution continuously from 2014 to early 2022, at which point the Russian government concluded that their diplomatic adversaries were not and had never been negotiating in good faith.
Aaron, Just a thought - "By invading Ukraine rather than exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis." I would argue that Russia tried very much to avoid direct conflict. They knew early on that the US was upgrading Ukraine's military with direct training and equipment to NATO standards as early as 2014. This went on for 7-8 years. In that time Russia issued many statements about red lines and warnings. The coup in 2014, clearly sponsored by the US could have sparked a military response at that time. If roles were reversed there is not doubt how quickly the US would intervene militarily. I would argue that Russia had no choice but to invade, given Ukraine's nazification, and build up on troops in the Donbas region. I would argue that Russia did exhause all diplomatic solutions...
While an accurate summary of US overt actions to date, seems like you have ignored the elephant in the room with no mention whatsoever of the CIA or the Nazi involvement/causation.
CIA has promoted Nazism in Ukraine for decades. Zelensky was elected on promises to enact the Minsk accords. But shortly theteafter, due to pressure from the Azov neoNazis (CIA), he backed off from that entirely and eventually the Azovs became part of the official military of Ukraine as the National Guard. Other neoNazi groups flourished in Ukr as well including the large group called the Right Sector. Huge youth camps trained children every year.
Zach Dorfman well-documented the CIA training of Nazi troops for past 8 yrs in two articles published this year. They trained them both in Ukraine and in US. Canada and UK did the same. You mention Ukraine being trained for war, but you omit by whom and why.
Thiery Mayssen who does incredible work at voltairenet.org has written extensively on the CIA and MI6 involvement in Nazism in Ukraine, among many other things such as the history and involvement of the Straussians (aka Nuland/Blinken/Kagan et al.) in destabilizing Ukraine.
The reason why this Nazi backstory is crucial is because with the CIA's careful curation over the past decades, hatred of Russian-speaking people in Ukr has been fanned to the extreme. To the point where many Ukrainians actually believe that Russians are not actually "people." They are taught this in school! There are textbooks for children stating that Russians "look like people, but are not actually people." They actually refer to them as orcs. As incredible as that sounds it is true and this propagandized mindset led to the rise of Nazism and extreme hatred of Russians and Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.
THAT is why they bombed shelled tortured and murdered the Russian-speaking people in the Donbass for the past 8 yrs after the Nuland Maidan US coup.
They are now using US HIMARS MLRS systems to shell/kill innocents in Donbass! And the indiscriminate shellings/murders of the innocent civilians have exponentially increased in the past 2 months! It is way worse now than it was for the previous 8 years.
Why? Because they do not consider Russian-speaking people as humans and are clearly bent on their annihilation.
There are videos of CIA-trained Nazis gloating about all the equipment the CIA gave them... More equipment and weapons than they knew what to do with they said. Laughing about how they learned it was fun to kill.
The CIA created and curated this war along with the Straussians who now control the Biden administration. They worked hard to get to this point and they are not going to let it go now.
I do believe their ultimate goal is to break up Russia and then China. Global hegemony. Which is why they do not care about the suffering of poor people around the world. It is probably part of their new world order. They certainly planned to drag down Europe which they are successfully doing, so why not the world too.
And to add, regarding your statement that Russia is to blame, it's well-documented that there were plans for a full-fledged Ukrainian military neoNazi attack on the Donbass in March of this year. Captured militants have said this plus detailed reports with the military strategy were found early on. I disagree that Russia is responsible for the global crisis... I blame the US and the CIA.
A good piece in general. But Aaron, you undermine your own credibility and integrity by obsequiously including statements like this in everything you write about the Ukraine conflict: "By invading Ukraine rather than exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis."
What diplomatic solutions are you talking about? Those were clearly all exhausted before Russia sent in troops. Your own words belie your a-plague-on-both-your-houses stance:
"There is every indication that the US was on board with Ukraine's exploitation of Minsk to prepare for war. ...The White House is in fact so committed to avoiding the diplomatic front with Russia that it is willing to tolerate hardship at home."
It seems like the 30,000 kilos of plutonium (unclear whether separated or not) and 40,000 of highly enriched, weapons grade uranium that the Russians found within the Zaporizhzhia power plant—per the IAEA at Davos & on its own website—isn’t getting enough attention. It would seem to me that the presence of nuclear materials capable of yielding several thousand Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs might perhaps warrant a military operation all by itself.
"A western official told the Financial Times that once NATO weapons shipments cross over into Ukraine from Poland, "from that moment we go blank on their location and we have no idea where they go, where they are used or even if they stay in the country."
Same failure to track is used for Pentagon spending.. pinpoint accuracy is reserved for peaceful protesters, Indy media and Youtube critics who have funds frozen for dissenting narratives. Maybe if we tag weapons with inflammatory tweets NATO can track those as effectively as they do critics.
Aaron, I unapologetically pile on regarding your statement that “By invading Ukraine rather than exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis.”
That statement not only mars an otherwise excellent pot, it nearly invalidates it. And since you offer no historical or political context for such a fundamental and conversation-ending claim—not to mention that it is right out Jake Sullivan’s mouth—it sticks out like a trite allusion to a supposedly settled superior western morality that is ultimately nothing more than the usual kind of virtue signaling you so often and appropriately decry.
I fully respect and agree with most pacifistic and anti-war sentiments regarding this war and any other war (including WWII). I also fully understand how polite people often must offer the usual qualifications as the lead-in to discussing unwelcome claims. (The most obvious example being something like, “Trump was a dumpster fire, but…”) However, considering your audience, that kind of qualification—if that is what is was—is way off base in your Substack. Am I wrong to believe that most of us reading your posts are tired of namby-pamby manipulation of our moral values by imperialists to play down their own daily, world-wide, intentional, conscienceless death and destruction?
Also on your behalf, I understand how a statement like this perfectly illustrates the power of the dominant narrative to infiltrate our thinking and fatally weaken criticism of the empire. We all suffer from the mind rape (sometimes referred to by the clinical euphemism “mass formation”) done to us by well-trained and infinitely funded imperial psychological operators. But please, enough with such bullshit.
Just as a matter of adding badly needed historical context to your statement, during the 1990s and 2000s the clear objective of the US and NATO was to colonize the fractured remnants of the USSR, which has essentially been a successful project for most of the last 30 years. To enhance your context, perhaps read, for example, Glazyev’s 1999 book, “A Genocide: Russia and the New World Order.” Without such context, your statement fails miserably to give the Russian perspective even dismissive acknowledgement.
Also, as trivial a comparison as it may seem, it is useful to look at this “blame” issue in terms of the classic struggle between a bully and the victim. Your statement strikes me as a kind of victim shaming on an international diplomatic scale?
Or, more accurately, perhaps reflect on the mythic fight between David and Goliath. No one would know David’s name today if he had waited for Goliath to take the first sword swing.
Nuland, blinkin, vindman are all zios with ukrop ancestry. Russia will not stop until all delusions of a revived khazar kingdom right next to Russia are dashed, that means capturing Southern Ukraine all the way to Transintra.
Great article, except this part:
By invading Ukraine rather than exhausting all diplomatic solutions, Russia bears obvious responsibility for the crisis.
All diplomatic solution were exhausted because NATO/US not just rejected any compromise, but even the idea of serious diplomatic engagement. It was all about mocking Russian concerns and intentionally humiliating them with dismissive attitude - this was not long ago, November to January. Then February came along and Kiev regime ramped up bombardment of Donbas (OSCE monitors, while partial to Ukraine, documented this) in anticipation of offensive to retake it, and Zelensky started making noises about acquiring nuclear weapons. At that point, it was clear that "collective west" is not interested in any peace. And still isn't. If Afghanistan was a self-licking ice-cream Ukraine is that on steroids:
All my adult life I have been neutral on Russia, much of it resisting the unrelenting propaganda about that evil empire, the Soviet Union. But now, the colossal stupidity and arrogance of US Empire has me rooting for Russia and lamenting that the Ukrainian people cannot see what is happening to them, with leaders that make them as expendable as the US is cynically turning their country. We have more than just bad actors here. The US, NATO, and Ukraine brought this on, but it would appear that most Americans are confusing empathy for innocent Ukrainian citizens with unjustifiable war to topple a competing power most of us know very little about. My question is: will the US war mongers actually think they can pull that game with China? My only sadness is that my family and I are caught in the collateral damage our foolish President is causing. I didn't even vote for the man because I suspected this is where would be - but it's so much worse. We're harboring a wounded animal who hates to lose.
Love the honesty aaron
Russia is not to blame for what is happening. NATO is and in first order, the US. We planned this all out, a win-win for the Home Team -- if they don't invade, we just push in and arm Ukraine up to the hilt and up to the Russian border. Then Russia won't have an inch of wiggle-room when we issue our demands. If they do invade, we "crush and annihilate them!" If somebody puts a gun in your face and you pull a knife on him, are you to blame? The "caste" of characters running the show in Washington do not care about starving Asians or Africans or Latin Americans. They care about money and power and being ruthless so "nobody gets any ideas" is part of it. They are actually, in my view, deranged in a real sense. They cannot comprehend that all their shallow calculations are wrong and doomed to fail. I suppose we must all go along with them to that doom.
It is good to see all the comments criticizing the "exhausting all diplomatic solutions" canard. Aaron, give us one -- one! -- possible route to a negotiated settlement in the run up to the SMO.
The U.S. intended to instigate this conflict because the Biden administration thought that it could collapse the Russian political economy in jiffy. Democratic Party propagandist Paul Krugman wrote a column in the early days of the SMO which argued that so much Russian wealth was offshored in Western banks that the Russian president could be easily brought to heel by seizing that wealth. Russian oligarchs would squeal and Putin would promptly kowtow.
It didn't work. (I guess Krugman assumed Russia is run like the United States.) Now the Biden administration is stuck. U.S. leadership is so stupid and straitjacketed by militarism it can't imagine a negotiated settlement.
In your last paragraph you summarise well my feelings on this horrific war. All efforts should be put into diplomacy and de-escalation rather than another unwinnable forever war likely to cause famine.
Ukraine is simply a substitute for Afghanistan. US policy is always a prolonged, expensive proxy war - necessary to siphon money off to the politicos and oligarchs involved. A good article- the constant USA escalation and complete lack of diplomacy show the intent of a proxy war for a long time. Not what the USA people want, but corrupt politicians require it.
All agreed, however one stark fact is left out of the picture: The Ukrainians are utterly united in their determination to kick out the invaders once and for all! One must consider the history of Ukrainians suffering under the boots of Russia, to understand how strong this dedication is.
I was there several times. I consider the Ukrainians to be intelligent, extremely courageous, beautiful people. They were left hanging without the right weapons for far too long, and that may yet hit home. Whatever the guilt of the US cowboys in Washington, Ukrainians have no choice at this point. They must win this horrific blood fest, lest psychopath Putin gets his way, and all the thousands of lives already lost would be for nothing.- As to the 'Nazis' in Ukraine, that is a red herring. Yes, there are right wing nationalists and even Nazis, but far more of them are to be found in Russia, the US, Germany, etc. Stephan Bandera used to the German Nazis for his nationalist goals, to fight the Russian army. So, did the Zionists in Palestine, to get their way of stealing territory, but nobody in the west has a problem with that incredible deal! High time to denounce the israeli terrorists who have had free reign for 75 years, and finally now show their true colours with BenGvir and Smutrich screaming their fascist, racist rethoric into the world. Nobody speaks about their 'Nazi'-nature. Because their aggressive propaganda keeps everyone quiet.