by WorldTribune Staff, March 20, 2022
As on many occasions since the eras of Trump and Covid, independent media are left with the heavy lifting when it comes to providing a balanced and accurate perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Legacy media denigrates anyone who dares stray from the “Ukrainian democracy” and “Russian aggression” narratives, making “reasoned dissent impossible,” Joseph Solis-Mullen noted in a March 18 analysis for the Mises Institute.
“But by pretending that history started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the story is made simple, a clear case of right and wrong,” Solis-Mullen wrote. “And while it is true that Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine and so is responsible for the present war, such a Manichean telling of the story does little to further informed policy discussion. Indeed, that is precisely the point: to ignore the decades of declared Russian security interests in the orientation of states directly at its border, as well as to obscure a history of U.S. meddling in Ukraine.”
Solis-Mullen noted that there are “four things you aren’t supposed to say about Ukraine but that are absolutely true and that all Americans should be aware of before forming a hasty opinion regarding a deadly serious matter that until a few weeks ago most knew nothing about.”
The ‘Revolution of Dignity’ was a U.S.-backed coup
The 2014 ouster of slightly Russian-leaning Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who drew his support primarily from the ethnic Russian–dominated eastern parts of the country, was spun by Ukrainian nationalist and Western media as a “revolution of dignity.” It was in fact, in the words of Western security analyst George Friedman, “the most blatant coup in history.” ….
The proximate cause of the coup was Yanukovych’s taking of what was essentially a large Russian bribe to eschew an EU association agreement. In a country ranked 122nd in corruption, literally the most corrupt country in Europe, none of this was a surprise. But what was a surprise was the US move to sweep in and take Kyiv—something US foreign policy insiders publicly bragged about in the immediate aftermath.
There is a significant neo-Nazi problem in Ukraine
….Until a few years ago, this was a subject the mainstream media reported seriously. …. Now any mention of what was taken to be an obvious problem just a year ago is decried as “Russian propaganda!”
…. What are we to think when at the same time that public witch hunts for supposed white nationalists are carried out domestically with something near hysterical zeal, state-of-the-art shoulder-fired antiaircraft and antitank weaponry is shipped in great volumes to extremist white nationalists in Ukraine that would make the top of any of our own domestic terrorist watch lists? We aren’t supposed to think about it all, at least not critically—just like we aren’t supposed to think critically about anything else.
The Russians always objected to NATO expansion into Ukraine
…. [The U.S.] government always knew the Russians vigorously objected to any NATO involvement in Ukraine but downplayed or dismissed the obvious steps they were taking in that direction—downplayed it to themselves, to the American public, and tried to downplay it to the wider European community.
Of course, Germany and France knew better and refused to grant a membership action plan to Ukraine despite Washington’s intense pressure. And though blocked from de jure absorbing Ukraine into the alliance, Washington was taking de facto steps to that effect — conducting joint military exercises in Ukraine at the same time that it was shipping the U.S.-coup-installed government sophisticated heavy weaponry whose only obvious use was against Russia. Since at least 2014, when Putin ordered Russian forces to seize the Crimea to protect the only warm water port of the Russian navy after threats by Kyiv to evict them despite Moscow’s legal lease, Washington has known Putin feels particularly threatened in Ukraine. Even in the years since then, Washington has rejected repeated attempts by Moscow to establish an officially neutral Ukraine, including in the weeks leading up to the invasion.
Joe Biden could have prevented the war
…. [A]ll it would have taken was agreeing to Putin’s minimum terms: Ukraine could never join NATO, and new missiles could not be deployed in eastern European NATO member states. Outrageous and rightly rejected? Not according to Joe Biden, who claimed NATO membership for Ukraine was not on the table nor a serious priority at any point in the foreseeable future. Taking him at his word, why wouldn’t Biden simply agree to put it on paper and prevent what he himself repeatedly said were imminent Russian plans to invade and destroy Ukraine? What we’re told, and have been told since NATO expansion began, is that “keeping the door open” to alliance membership is a ”sacred principle.”
Perhaps it should be made public exactly how many Ukrainian lives the State Department and the Pentagon reckon this principle to be worth and how such calculations are made.
Solis-Mullen concluded: “With Democrats and Republicans fighting about who supports intervening in Ukraine more, and with uninformed and misled people increasingly calling for even more disastrous interventionist measures, the American public needs to be reminded that it is entirely possible for us to have a foreign policy that keeps us perfectly safe while not getting large numbers of people killed elsewhere.”