A response to SSPride Ukraine columns

Your coverage of the Ukraine conflict aligns with a pro-war narrative driven by neo-cons and the military-industrial complex. These actors have dominated U.S. foreign policy for decades, proclaiming U.S. hegemony and laying the groundwork for expansive wars (in non-NATO countries Serbia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria). This huge, revolving-door bureaucracy and military contractors are the main beneficiaries of perhaps one hundred billion dollars “for Ukraine.” Real support for Ukraine calls for an end to subsidizing this war industry.

In even more countries than you mention in your column, the U.S. has a long history of being the aggressor. That history also taught us not to trust what our warring government says—and today both mass media and social media are thoroughly infiltrated by self-serving military and CIA “experts.” Key propagandists under several administrations include Victoria Nuland (“fuck the EU”) and her partner Robert Kagan, head of the Institute for the Study of War—the source of the misleading and obsolete Ukraine map that accompanied your editorial.

Your sketchy historical notes at least acknowledge that U.S. anti-Russian activity dates back to 1917. Today, that campaign continues, strategizing against Russian national control of resources or its refusal to integrate into Western control. The U.S. has been provoking Russia for many years:  Bush in 2008 demanded NATO membership for Ukraine (despite European opposition); U.S. planned for war in Ukraine, undermining compromise agreements proposed in 2015, late 2021, and in spring 2022—making “Russian unprovoked aggression” a lie on the level of Iraq “weapons of mass destruction”: false no matter how many times it is repeated.

The U.S. is sacrificing Ukrainians with the aim of weakening Russia, an aim stated by top U.S. officials. Your garbled summary of NATO makes it sounds as though its three decades of expansion was in response to Russian aggression! Yet in recent months former German, French, and Ukrainian officials involved with the 2015 Minsk Agreements, intended to end the war, have admitted that they never tried to implement these agreements but instead prevaricated while preparing for war.

In the same vein, by April 2022 the Russian and Ukrainian representatives reached a tentative ceasefire and a basis for negotiations. Then Boris Johnson, emissary from the NATO planners, arrived to tell Zelensky to drop negotiations and press on with war.

Not so incidentally, your denial of neo-Nazi, ultra-right forces in Ukraine is an Orwellian memory hole—accompanied by a ridiculous dismissal that there can’t be Ukrainian Nazis because Zelensky is Jewish! As George Carlin said, “The Germans lost WWII. But the Nazis won.”

Ron Jacobs (whose political activism, like ours, dates to the 1960s) provides a sane voice in his Jan. 24 CounterPunch column: “Washington continues to reject cooperation or detente with its chosen enemies, choosing instead to continue its warmongering, inflaming an already dangerous dynamic. While supporting Kyiv’s battle against Russian occupation is understandable when separated from Washington’s role in provoking it for its own reasons of empire, that support is ultimately supporting that empire.”  Such support for the U.S. empire includes futile advocating that Ukraine return to its former borders; these boundaries were trashed when negotiations were sacrificed in favor of expanded war (and keep your eye on the Polish border).

Help readers better understand the hundred-year conflict with Russia, in which Germany is the key intermediary. The first head of NATO, formed 1949, once described the purpose of that military alliance: “Keep the US in, keep Russia out, and keep Germany down.”

The natural gas pipeline from Russia was key to the question of how much German and western Europe economies would be tied to their resource-rich neighbor. The US vigorously opposed any such integration and even sabotaged the gas pipeline in the USSR back in the 1980s; current Sec. of State Blinken, then a young aspirant to ruling circles, even wrote about the “danger” of the pipeline connecting Russia to Europe.

In the 2000s Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and her predecessors stood up to US pressure and insisted that Europe needed that pipeline, and indeed the economic results were hugely beneficial to Germany before and after the pipeline opened in 2011. Shockingly, the US sabotaged the German/Russian pipelines in order to sabotage this economic relationship. (Note that gas from the U.S. is several times as expensive.)

Where is your coverage of this essential history? Since it takes a bit of work to get outside the pro-war narrative, here are a few sources beyond those that fatuously equate US global power with the Russians fighting back in Ukraine:

Websites: ConsortiumNews.com; RealNewsNetwork.com; JeffreySachs.org;

US military/CIA veterans: Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Scott Ritter, Douglas Macgregor, Brian Berletic;

International voices: Alexander Mercouris (London); RT (yes, understand other viewpoints); Yanis Varoufakis (Greece).

February 19 marks an antiwar coalition’s D.C. rally demanding an end to the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine. Let’s have a parallel local rally outside SS Pride offices!

Dave Gutknecht

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