John Mearsheimer’s inconvenient context: Who is responsible for this ‘catastrophic war’?

by WorldTribune Staff, March 8, 2022

A University of Chicago professor countered the overwhelming corporate media narrative with his withering assessment of blame in the “catastrophic” war in Ukraine: “The United States of America.”

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin

The “policy elite” in Washington led Ukraine “down a primrose path” by pushing hard for its inclusion in NATO and wound up poking the Russian bear “in the eye,” said John Mearsheimer, political science professor at the University of Chicago and longtime critic of NATO’s post-Cold War expansion in a March 4 video analysis (below).

In an earlier Feb. 11 interview with New Yorker, he explained:

“The Russians made it manifestly clear after the Bucharest declaration in 2008 that they were adamantly opposed to NATO expansion into both Ukraine and Georgia, and that it was not going to happen. They made that point manifestly clear after February, 2014”—when Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution led to the ouster of the Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. “Throughout this crisis, they have emphasized time and time again that it is not going to happen.”

The March 2022 policy of the U.S., as it was in 2014 during the Obama era “is to ‘double down,’ ” Mearsheimer said on March 4. “Which means we encourage Ukrainians to fight. We are not going to fight for Ukraine. But we will fight to the last Ukrainian.”

Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert in what was “a very powerful signal” that U.S. was backing a nuclear power “into a corner. This is really dangerous,” Mearsheimer said, adding that the Cuban missile crisis was a good example.

American decision-makers “were scared stiff. They thought the Soviet missiles in Cuba were an existential threat. They were willing (Kennedy’s advisors) to use our nuclear arsenal against the Soviet Union. That’s how serious great powers get when they think they face existential threats. So in my opinion, we are in a very dangerous situation.”

Team Biden needs to be “extremely careful here regarding what we do in pushing the Russians at this point,” Mearsheimer said.

Who will prevail in this war, assuming that it’s limited to Ukraine?

“I think that in a competition with the Russians, the Russians will win. You’re saying, ‘why is he saying that?’ If you ask who has the greater resolve … the Russians or the Americans, the Americans do not care that much about Ukraine. The Americans have even made it clear they are not even willing to fight and die for Ukraine.  … As we walk up the escalation ladder my guess and it’s just my guess is that the Russians, not the Americans will prevail because the balance of resolve favors them.”

Who are the losers in the war?

“I think it doesn’t matter much to the Americans” who loses, Mearsheimer said. “The real losers in this war are the Ukrainians. … We have led the Ukrainians down the primrose path. We have pushed very hard to encourage the Ukrainians to want to be a part of NATO. We have pushed very hard to make them part of NATO. We have pushed very hard to make them a Western bulwark on Russia’s border despite the fact the Russians made it clear this was unacceptable to them. … We took a stick and poked the bear in the eye.”

“Who caused this to happen? No questions the Russians are doing the dirty work. But who caused it? The United States of America.”

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