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Facing Unpleasant Facts: What You aren’t Supposed To Say about the War In Ukraine

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Reprinted with permission Mises Institute Joseph Solis-Mullen

Having been lied into war in Iraq in 2003, the American public swore it had wised up. Sure, it went on to drop the ball by supporting the Libya intervention, itself prefaced by lies, and supported the government’s intervention in the civil war in Syria (or at least didn’t mind it), even though the US sided with the very Sunni extremists it had been fighting a few years before in Iraq. But these were admittedly obscure conflicts, made all the more so by the blatantly biased coverage of events by Western media, which parroted obvious lies about impending massacres and staged chemical weapons attacks.

But in Europe, where the US had extensive military alliance commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US population should ostensibly have been more informed and less prone to beguiling, it has been disappointing to see the American public once again so easily led down the path to supporting a war that never had to be—never would have been—but for the policies enacted by our government.

And just as with the baseless rush to war with Iraq, which every outlet of mainstream media loyally supported, those who refuse to repeat slogans of “Ukrainian democracy” or “Russian aggression” are denigrated, either as cowards or as apologists for the heinous actions of others, for which they are obviously not responsible. Besides being inaccurate, the latter accusation is particularly perfidious because it effectively makes reasoned dissent impossible.

But by pretending that history started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the story is made simple, a clear case of right and wrong. 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 US meddling in Ukraine.

So unless you think context is irrelevant, that recent history is unimportant to understanding current crises, here 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 US-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.” In case the obvious nature of events on the ground weren’t enough, this was confirmed by the leaked phone call between then assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, then the US ambassador to Ukraine, during which they picked their favorites for the new Ukrainian leadership and plotted how to prevent the meddlesome EU from screwing it all up by moving too slowly, potentially allowing Russia a chance to interfere in the obviously illegal ouster of an elected government through a street putsch.

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

This is something that until a few years ago the mainstream media reported seriously on; of course, that was before they knew they were going to have to try and lie us into another war. Now any mention of what was taken to be an obvious problem just a year ago is decried as “Russian propaganda!”

The empowerment of far right extremists since the 2014 coup, a significant number with openly Neo-Nazi affiliations, is reflected in the dramatic rise in attacks on Jewsfeminists, and the LGBTQ and Romany communities. It has further led to the banning of books that question Kyiv’s nationalist propaganda, which itself features the whitewashing of Nazi collaborators.

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

For example, how about the fact our 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 US-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.

Biden Could Have Prevented the War

Yes, even at that late date in January 2022—and all 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.

Conclusion

Really, what this looks like is a tragic combination of the brief 2008 Russo-Georgian War and the decade-long Soviet-Afghan War. In the first instance, US encouragement of actions by Tbilisi directly contrary to Russian interests led directly to a Russian military intervention; in the latter case, the leading US policy maker at the time, Zbigniew Brzezinski, admits precipitating that war on purpose: provoking the USSR into fatally overreaching in an attempt to protect an allied government from being undermined by the US—in this case by funding the proto-Taliban mujahideen in Afghanistan from bases in neighboring Pakistan.

As Poland gets set to potentially play Pakistan to Ukraine’s Afghanistan, serving as a staging area and training ground for rebel fighters slipping back and forth across the border to Ukraine, thereby further threatening war between NATO and Russia, we should recall that this all, in a sense, happened because the local governments in Donetsk and Luhansk could see the obvious: what had happened in Kyiv in 2013–14 was a coup, and they refused to recognize the new government. Further, we should remember that it was only when the Ukrainian military attempted to retake these regions by force that Russia intervened—and that since the Minsk Two peace accords failed to bring about a durable ceasefire, over 80 percent of those killed have been ethnic Russians living in the breakaway regions, and they were killed by the government in Kyiv.

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, and further, that most of the various crises around the world that we are told the US needs to play a direct and integral part in solving are themselves the direct result of previous US interventions in those places.Author:

Joseph Solis-Mullen

A graduate of Spring Arbor University and the University of Illinois, Joseph Solis-Mullen is a political scientist and graduate student in the economics department at the University of Missouri. A writer and blogger, his work can be found at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Eurasian Review, Libertarian Institute, and Sage Advance. You can contact him through his website http://www.jsmwritings.com or find him on Twitter.

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19 comments

Quartermaster March 19, 2022 at 1:38 pm

The Revolution of dignity was not a coup, much less a US backed Coup. That is a Putinist lie. Yanukovych wanted to betray his country to Putin and the people refused his betrayal. You need to quit lying about Ukraine.

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WERNER A HOERMANN March 20, 2022 at 5:41 pm

Well, there were 5 Billion dollars of our tax money that financed the coup. And this is not a number from Russia, this is straight from the horses Nuland mouth, the handler of that coup and now again Biden’s point woman for Ukraine. And another 16 Billion of our money is being funneled to that black hole of corruption, no doubt the usual fee finding it’s way into the pockets of the DC crooks with the ubiquitous 10% going to the “big guy”.

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Enrico Falcone March 19, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Wondering who would send troops, weapons, and money to support the USA if a foreign country came to take Alaska or Hawaii.

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Jls March 19, 2022 at 3:50 pm

Then who do believe? Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. So I just say fuck it and walk away from it all. Let the world burn. Everything will grow back shortly after we’re gone.

Oh, and very good writing.

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Paul Ackerman March 20, 2022 at 9:14 am

Any writer who quotes the uber-leftist “magazine” The Nation as a mainstream media source “seriously reporting” on “Neo-Nazis” in Ukraine has zero credibility. Just click the link where this writer refers to that (“reported seriously on ” ) and you will see how much of a stretch this whole piece really is. Nothing more than another hit piece on the awakening of a country to the facts on the ground — that nothing can justify what Putin has done to Ukraine.
All this blather trying to ascribe “neo-nazi” sympathies to Ukrainians who have elected a leader who is Jewish is akin to the typical leftist culture here calling everyone/everything “racist” to shut people up or as Alinsky put it ” identify,attack,isolate and destroy” .
Think this is all “fake” stuff going on there ? Or Putin is really “saving” Ukraine from some mythical conspiracy to attack Russia?
Try going to Mariupol or Kyiv and living (try to survive) under the benign barrage of Grad rockets and cluster bombs…and then explain how righteous this invasion really is to the world.

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Andrew Benjamin March 20, 2022 at 10:51 am

WITH RESPECT TO THE MISES INSTITUTE ARTICLE, AS WELL AS SOME OF THE OTHERS HERE, CONSIDER RAND, A READER WHO REPLIED WITH: A. Not all conservatives are ignorant of history or the need for balance. Go to the link and see RAND’s comment.

https://mises.org/wire/facing-unpleasant-facts-what-you-arent-supposed-say-about-war-ukraine-0

b. Not surprisingly, to make his claims seem valid, the author cat MISES omplains about missing historical context not provided the American People, and then goes about excluding the most important context:history itself.

The independence for which Ukraine fought in 1918 from Putin’s predecessors in the then-Kremlin, won it. The Ukrainians never considered themselves Russians (even though the Slavic languages and cultures have similarities), and always fought for their independence having declared it in 1917.

YOU TUBE 2 MIN: Google “Film “Kruty 1918″ Is Released 100 years After Eponymous Battle”

THE ENTIRE FILM: KRUTY 1918 – Russian War Movie https://tinyurl.com/y9kflxpk

That Russia has demanded NATO to back off Ukraine, citing its seemingly-legit “need” for a military buffer zone, is a story that cuts in both directions. NATO and the EU also need a buffer zone to keep Russia at bay. It had it until Russia invaded. It is not NATO that threatened Russia, but Russia is now threatening NATO nations and western Europe by having invaded a non-NATO buffer zone. As I said, this is one context among many the author deliberately omitted.

Russia has been waging war against Ukraine for 105 years! That is specifically why Ukrainians joined the Nazi Axis in WWII. Again, the author left out the context.

Neo-Nazis have existed on both sides of the fence for decades, in Ukraine, and in Russia. The author left out that fact too. Regardless of that story, or how pro-Russia pundits spin it, as well as the alleged coup story that ended with Victoria Nuland handing out stale bread at the Euromaiden protests, the neo-Nazis of Ukraine elected from Ukraine’s minuscule 0.13% Jewish population a proud Jewish leader. Another context the author left out.

To see into the “soul” of this remarkable man who appears to be more nebbish than warrior, see NETFLIX’: Servant of the People. The nebbish in the film, as it were, no one could have remotely predicted his future, became an Israeli Maccabee.

Regarding the coup. It achieved none of its goals. In other words, there was no coup. The coup is a story that never happened. It did not install Nuland’s chosen candidates, or her candidate’s party – hear the Nuland tapes to confirm who they were. Again, the author left out important context that demolished the entire foundation of his assumptions about the Russian involvement in Ukraine, by blaming the victim for the crimes of the victimizer, and NATO for operations trying to defend and secure Europe from the very invasion that went down.

The bottom line is this: No former Eastern Block nation want Russian boots on their faces. I know, because I’ve been there, and done that. Google Hungarian Revolution. Why should an independent Ukraine see it otherwise? A large Russian population in Ukraine? So what? We have a large Mexican population, hardly a minority. Should we transfer the southwest to Mexico?

The critics of Ukraine were not there, and didn’t do it.

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CDMedia March 20, 2022 at 10:57 am

Sorry but your comments are convenient revisionist history. We like truth, on both sides. You are not bringing it unfortunately. But we want discussion from both sides so thank you.

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Andrew Benjamin March 20, 2022 at 12:34 pm

Nope. the revisionist history is to which I commented, as MISES’ missed BIGLY.
But I too miss MISES being honest.
Honesty means, including both context ,and sometimes, covering both sides of an argument.
As well, as revealing items that were deliberately omitted.

My rule: Try to keep the moral high ground, no matter the issue.

History did not begin in 1949 when the author began it at the NATO Pact.

The Ukies’ drive for independence had many facets going back to the Czars in the 19th century, not just to the revolt of 1917-18 in the 20th. To that I recommend looking into HARVARD’s Ukraine Studies Group.

I do recommend the film I cited however, for Joe American who has no agenda, but to gain perspective that leads to knowledge. More importantly, to see how it all went down in the context of the conflict between the Bolsheviks and Trotskyites into which Ukraine was immersed AGAINST ITS WILL. Followed by the consequent coup the Russians imposed on the then-declared-sovereign Ukraine.

Their coup went down really well for Russia, having enslaved the Ukrainians for 72 years, these after having murdered 7 million of them in the Holomodor. But one genocide against those “nazis” was not enough, was it?

The perspective? Just as America’s Euromaidan coup disastrously failed America in Ukraine. There was no coup.

The Euromaidan, with or without Victoria Nuland whose greatest achievement was handing out stale bread (and whom I like just as much as I like Joe Biden and Kamala – just as much as you like these two), was a genuine popular uprising. It was the very same as the Hungarian Revolution, the very same as the Prague uprising, the same as the Polish Gdansk riots nearing the end of Putin’s former regime he wants to reinstate, the same the November 1830-31 Polish uprising against Mother Russia, the very same as Tiananmen Square. The states surrounding Russia were a cauldron of discontent underneath through the reign of the Czars, going back to the early 19th century and earlier. And continued through communist rule.

No nation under Russia’s boot wanted any kind of alliance with Russia – not one!

The dunderheads at the blundering CIA and the rot within DeptState would have, could have, neither added, nor taken from the results spilling out of the boiling pots all these revolts represented.

Joen ot only did not want the current Ukrainian leader to win, he slow-walked the entire process – and before giving Putin permission to invade – until it appears, both sides of the political divide in this country went into the streets to demand he act.

In other words, the ONLY reason there’s some – but not adequate movement – is that both sides of the divide are having an American uprising.

Put another way, Joe Biden never united our county, rather more divided it. Not until Vladimir Putin, in some sort of bizarre repayment to Joe for the promises Obama made to Medvedev in 2012 in that open mic incident. It took Vlad the Impaler to united America and, in the bargain, much of the western world.

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DAV March 20, 2022 at 2:08 pm

We don’t need another Vietnam. We are not the world’s policemen- isn’t that the job of the UN ? We’re involved in the Ukraine to protect the corrupt Demonocrats’ interests PLUS the fact that globalists want chaos including the depopulation agenda. Everything else is lies.

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Steven April 19, 2022 at 2:19 am

I wouldn’t have high expectations for the UN or the “Blue Helmets”.
It’s heavy on bureaucracy, but light on any activity such as peace keeping, and even when deployed, such as in Rowanda in Africa during the genocide, the UN troops didn’t intervene to stop the carnage, even when it was going on directly in front of them.
In addition, a problem even UN leadership acknowledges but doesn’t seem to be able to control, is sexual abuse or rape ooof women in local populations where military forces have been deployed by the UN.

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T-bo March 21, 2022 at 12:24 am

“Jews, feminists and LGBTQ,” along with most other Ukrainians, seem to favor an EU affiliation that Putin’s invasion is designed to block. Or are all those reports from the scene just made up?

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SCOPADICAPRA March 22, 2022 at 1:27 pm

TO THE CIA/SOROS FUNDED TROLL THAT CALLS ITSELF ‘Quartermaster’: THE ONLY LIAR HERE IS YOU.

WATCH UKRAINE ON FIRE FROM OLIVER STONE – IT SIMPLY TELLS THE TRUTH

THE COUP OF 2013/14 WAS LIKE ALL THE CI/US COUPS (LYBIA, SYRIA, IRAN, CHILI, EL SALVADOR, ETC…)…

YOU ARE A PAID AGENT FROM THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE COUP.

THE JEW ZELENSKY WHO PLAYED PINAO WITH HIS DICK ON TV GOT ELECTED BY BRAINDEAD MORONS WHO PRETEDN THEY LIKE THEIR COUNTRY…

HOPEFULLY PUTIN IS GOING TO CLEAN-UP THE MONEY LAUNDERING CESSPOOL THAT UKRAINE HAS BECOME FOLLWOING THE OBAMA/BIDEN/SOROS COUP OF 2014.

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scholzHUREDUBISTTOT March 22, 2022 at 1:33 pm

REPLY TO andrew benjamin:

“The Euromaidan, with or without Victoria Nuland whose greatest achievement was handing out stale bread (and whom I like just as much as I like Joe Biden and Kamala – just as much as you like these two), was a genuine popular uprising.”

WOW AND YOU DARE TO TALK ABOUT HIGH MORAL GROUND AND HONESTY….

YOU ARE A LIAR OR A BIG IDIOT.

THE FAT UGY BITCH NULAND EVEN GOT CAUGHT TALING ABOUT REGIME CHANGE WITH THE AMBASSADOR AT THE TIME.

AGAIN, WATCH THE OLIVER STONE DOCUMENTARY ‘UKRAINE ON FIRE’: IT’S ALL LAID OUT THERE.

IT WAS A US COUP AS THE ARAB SPRING, LYBIA AND SYRIA (FALIED COUP), GEORGIA WERE…

THEY DON’T CALL THEM ‘COLOR REVOLUTION’ FOR FUN…

YOU ARE A PROPAGANDIST WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE OF WHAT YOU CLAIM. YOU REMIND ME OF THE COVID SCAM CHARLATANS WHO SILENCE CRITICS AND HAVE ZERO SCIENCE WITH THEM.

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Sheila Sure March 27, 2022 at 10:07 am

None of this is a US or American coup. we got the same commie nazi demoncrats trying to take over our country with biden as Soros’ puppet as is Zelinsky is in the Ukraine. we’ll going to arrest this traitor very soon as all these evidenecs and of how the liberturds STOLE OUR ELECTIONS very soon now

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DUBISTTOT March 25, 2022 at 2:39 pm

#WESTANDWITHRUSSIA

THE EUSSR AND ALL TOTALITARIAN REGIMES OF WESTERN EUROPE ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF OLIGARCHS (ROTHSCHILD TO START WITH).

THE DESTRUCTION OF THESE REGIMES AND INSSURECTIONAS ARE THE SOLUTION.

WHILE THE CRIMINALS LIKE VAN DER LEYEN ARE SELLING EUROPE TO THEIR MASTERS, EUROPEANS SHOULD REVOLT AND TOPPLE ALL THESE REGIMES.

TO BE EXECUTED IN PUBLIC:

VAN DER LEYEN, BORRELL, CHARLES MICHELS ( A JEW), DRAGHI, MACRON, JOHNSON, DE CROO, RUTTE, SANCHEZ, SCHOLZ & MERKEL, PLUS ALL MEDIA EXECUTIVES AND MANY PRESSTITUTES.

WE NOW WANT BLOOD AFTER 2 YEARS OF TOTAL FASCISM, STATE TERROR AND MEDIA CRIMES.

LET’S USE THE FAE WAR IN UKRAINE TO TOPPLE THESE REGIMES AND KILL AS MANY POLITICIANS, MEDIA AND ‘HEALTH’ CHARLATANS WE CAN!

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Sheila Sure March 27, 2022 at 10:08 am

👍 like!

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Deplorable David Parsons March 28, 2022 at 4:35 pm

See the documentary “Ukraine On Fire”.
2014 USA doesn’t like the elected Ukraine government so pays neo-NAzis to riot. Coup magically happens.
2016 McCain &Graham urge – on video – Ukraine fighters to attack “Russia” & “Your fight is our fight”
2018 Biden brags about blackmailing the Ukraine government to stop corruption investigation against Burisma which pays Biden’s son $50,000/month.

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Frank McCarthy April 19, 2022 at 4:27 pm

It is a difficult thing to be right and stay true to what you know is true.
Some of us have the intellect and the talent for it god bless us.
The bandwagon again is loaded with Nay-Sayers and pundits with experts and moguls all vying for a percentage of a misinformed and often ignorant public. War has a way of satisfying needs wherever you stand on it.

Reply

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