News Release

Calling Russia’s Attack “Unprovoked” Lets U.S. Off the Hook



Greene just wrote the piece “Calling Russia’s Attack ‘Unprovoked’ Lets U.S. Off the Hook” for FAIR. His past pieces include “What You Should Really Know About Ukraine.” He was also recently on FAIR’s radio program, CounterSpin.
Greene writes: “Many governments and media figures are rightly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine as an act of aggression and a violation of international law. But in his first speech about the invasion, on February 24, U.S. President Joe Biden also called the invasion ‘unprovoked.'” Many other politicians and media outlets have made similar claims.

Greene notes in his most recent piece how many famed experts warned in the late 1990s against the expansion of NATO.

More recently, Greene reports: “By December 2021, U.S. intelligence agencies were sounding the alarm that Russia was amassing troops at the Ukrainian border and planning to attack. Yet Putin was very clear about a path to deescalation: He called on the West to halt NATO expansion, negotiate Ukrainian neutrality in the East/West rivalry, remove U.S. nuclear weapons from non proliferating countries, and remove missiles, troops and bases near Russia. These are demands the U.S. would surely have made were it in Russia’s position. Unfortunately, the U.S. refused to negotiate on Russia’s core concerns. …

“It’s impossible to say for sure why the Biden administration took an approach that increased the likelihood of war, but one Wall Street Journal piece from last month may offer some insight.

“The Journal (12/22/21) published an op-ed from John Deni, a researcher at the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by the U.S. and allied governments that serves as NATO’s de facto brain trust. The piece was provocatively headlined ‘The Strategic Case for Risking War in Ukraine.’ Deni’s argument was that the West should refuse to negotiate with Russia, because either potential outcome would be beneficial to U.S. interests.

“If Putin backed down without a deal, it would be a major embarrassment. He would lose face and stature, domestically and on the world stage.

“But Putin going to war would also be good for the U.S., the Journal op-ed argued. Firstly,  it would give NATO more legitimacy by ‘forg[ing] an even stronger anti-Russian consensus across Europe.’ Secondly, a major attack would trigger ‘another round of more debilitating economic sanctions,’ weakening the Russian economy and its ability to compete with the U.S. for global influence. Thirdly, an invasion is ‘likely to spawn a guerrilla war’ that would ‘sap the strength and morale of Russia’s military while undercutting Mr. Putin’s domestic popularity and reducing Russia’s soft power globally.” Greene similarly critiques a piece in the New York Times.

Greene concludes: “Now, as the world once again inches toward the brink of nuclear omnicide, it is more important than ever for Western audiences to understand and challenge their own government’s role in dragging us all to this point.”