Calling the war in Ukraine “unprovoked” is as much a lie as saying Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was behind 9/11.
Calling the war in Ukraine “unprovoked” is as much a lie as General Westmoreland’s claims that the war in Vietnam was going well.
Calling the war in Ukraine “unprovoked” is as much a lie as public reports about progress during the war in Afghanistan.
Calling the war in Ukraine “unprovoked” is as much a lie as the F-35 fighter jet.
Calling the war in Ukraine “unprovoked” is as much a lie as …. [you fill in the blank].
As Noam Chomsky said, it’s “glaringly obvious” that the war in Ukraine was provoked, by aggressive NATO expansion and by meddling in Ukrainian politics. That meddling included aiding the 2014 revolution that overthrew Ukraine’s then pro-Russian government; see this New York Times opinion piece by Christopher Caldwall: The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. And the U.S. Deserves Much of the Blame.
The Pentagon’s own think tank, The RAND Corporation, published a study in 2019 Overextending and Unbalancing Russia that recommended arming Ukraine and provoking a war. It explicitly warned “any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”
Likewise, senior U.S. diplomats warned that NATO expansion would lead to war and that it was unnecessary.
Still, neither Chomsky nor I say that President Putin’s war was justified. On the contrary, it was criminal. As Thomas Friedman says in the New York Times, This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders.
U.S. demonization of Putin and its eagerness to escalate the conflict are immoral and dangerous, given U.S. provocations and its own history of unjustified and disastrous war-mongering in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, South America, and elsewhere. Would the U.S. allow Russia or China to set up client states along U.S. borders? The U.S. has about military 800 bases in over 70 countries. Since just 9/11, U.S. wars have killed over 900,000 people and cost over $8 trillion, according to Brown University’s Costs of War project.
As David Swanson says, War is a Lie, and governments (almost) always lie about war.
I sense that parody might be more effective than self-righteous anger at changing minds. Laugh at the war-mongers and those who believe the lies. A five minute comedy sketch on late night television probably has one hundred times the direct influence than a dozen articles in Truthout, Common Dreams, and Popular Resistance. (But those articles do plant seeds.)
It was Rep. Adam Smith (no relation), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, who told me that the military-industrial complex is like a self-licking ice cream cone. He said that he was warned about the self-licking ice cream cone by an older colleague when he first became a member of the Committee. But now Rep. Smith is generally pro-war: he strongly supports arming Ukraine and preparing to confront China on Taiwan.