Note From Glenn Greenwald: The following is the full show transcript, for subscribers only, of a recent episode of our System Update program, broadcast live on Rumble on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. Going forward, every new transcript will be sent out by email and posted to our Locals page, where you’ll find the transcripts for previous shows.
Watch System Update Episode #27 Here on Rumble.
Today we begin with a rather depressing, though obviously important fact. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced today that, due primarily to the war – the risk of escalation from the war in Ukraine – the world, our world, is closer than ever to nuclear annihilation. On a not-unrelated note, the U.S. government today announced that it once again is aggressively escalating its role in that war still further, this time by sending some of its most advanced tanks to Ukraine. Tanks that just months ago it vowed it would never send due to the unacceptable risk of escalation that it would bring. One would think – or I guess hope – that this would be alarming news. Let me repeat it. The world is closer than ever, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, to global annihilation. But it doesn’t seem to be alarming. We keep plugging along, finding new ways to keep fueling the war in Ukraine in the exact ways the U.S. government vowed it never would do, seemingly blissfully blind or bizarrely indifferent to the obvious extreme risk it poses, such as nuclear annihilation. And for what? We’ll examine that question as well as a gamut of other issues on our mind today, a more fast-paced show than usual, designed to cover more topics.
The war in Ukraine turned 11 months old today. By all appearances, the end is nowhere in sight. You’d be forgiven for having forgotten this milestone, given that this war is barely talked about any longer – even though U.S. involvement has escalated and continues to escalate, virtually every month, and all signs point to further escalation with no end. In a bizarre paradox, the more dangerous this war becomes to all of us, the less debate there is on the wisdom of plunging further and further ahead.
In essence, this is our new Afghanistan. Now, I know the immediate response is that it is true that we do not have military boots on the ground in Ukraine – though there most certainly are plenty of American boots from places like the CIA – but that is now often how the U.S. fights wars, including in Afghanistan: through proxy. Recall the vaunted Afghan security forces and the Free Syrian Army we kept hearing were doing the real fighting in order to vanquish the Taliban and Bashar al-Assad while the U.S. was merely pouring billions and billions of your dollars into fueling those wars and arming those factions? The Taliban, by the way, and Bashar al-Assad are still in power.
What really matters to the bipartisan war class in Washington is not where boots are, but where our money goes. As long as they have an endless war that justifies endless weapons purchases and expanding U.S. Security State budgets in D.C., everyone in Washington is happy. When it comes to Ukraine, U.S. policy policymakers and key establishment figures from both parties, as usual, speak with one voice: we are in Ukraine for as long as it takes – 5 years, 15 years, 50 years. It doesn’t matter. And we’ll spend however much of your money it takes: the $100 billion already sent, $ 500 billion, $1 trillion or more.
From the start, the U.S. involvement in this war has followed a very predictable pattern. First, Biden officials vow that they will never pass a certain limit of involvement – such as sending a particular weapon system or deploying any boots on the ground – because to do so would be too dangerous and too escalatory. And then, months later, sometimes just a couple of months later, after that vow was issued, the White House starts leaking to its favorite reporters that it is now prepared to do exactly that which they vowed they would not do just months earlier on the grounds that doing so would be too escalatory.
There are too many examples of this pattern in just 11 months to do anything beyond offering you a couple of illustrative examples. So, let’s start. Back in March, when Ukrainian President Zelenskyy included on his always long and seemingly endless list of demands for more U.S. weapons and money, he wanted the transport to his country of U.S. Patriot defense missile systems. But U.S. officials back then categorically refused. As Defense One reported:
Pentagon officials will not send the Advanced Patriot Air Defense System to Ukraine, saying Thursday that U.S. forces would need to enter Ukraine to operate it, which is a non-starter for the Biden administration. The decision comes one day after U.S. officials rejected a proposal from Poland to have the United States and NATO transfer Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. “There’s no discussion about putting a Patriot battery in Ukraine. In order to do that, you have to put U.S. troops with it to operate it”, a senior defense official said Thursday. “It is not a system that Ukrainians are familiar with and as we have made clear, there will be no U.S. troops fighting in Ukraine” (Defense One. March 10, 2022).
A mere eight months later – last month – you’ll never guess what, the U.S. announced it was dispatching two Ukrainian battalions. That’s right: the very same Patriot defense systems, which they had months earlier, proclaimed to be a “non-starter”. The headline there tells you the story. “U.S. to Send Patriot System to Ukraine in New $1.85 Billion Package”. As The Hill explained:
The United States, for the first time, will send a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine as part of a major $1.85 billion weapons package, the Pentagon revealed Wednesday. Until now, the United States has held off on sending the Patriot system to Ukraine over fears it could escalate the war. But the Biden administration has changed its position after weeks of deliberation over highly classified technology the weapons contain (The Hill. Dec. 21, 2022).
In September, Zelenskyy was demanding – that is just in September, just four months ago – that both the U.S. and Germany send their most advanced tanks after he got the Patriot missile system. German officials were wary of avoiding direct military confrontation with Russia. Given how poorly that turned out for both of those countries and the world, the two last times that happened in the prior century, Germany refused Zelenskyy’s request, saying they would neither send their own tanks nor give permission to Poland to send German tanks to Ukraine unless and until the U.S. first sent its Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
But one thing we have learned is that President Zelenskyy’s demands never stay rejected for very long. At first, U.S. officials, presumably eager to avoid provoking escalation and greater confrontation with the world’s largest nuclear power – something you would hope our government would be doing – refuse to send those tanks just like they refused at first to send the Patriot missiles.
Look at this firm resolve captured by the Politico headline, “ ‘These Are Not Rental Cars’: As Ukraine Pleads For Tanks, The West Calls Back.”
Back then, U.S. officials were adamant that tanks would not be part of the stocking stuffers the U.S. had been showering on Kyiv.
The tanks have shot to the top of Kiev’s wish list as Ukraine presses its gains in the eastern Donbas region amid the shocking Russian collapse this month. Their request took on new urgency this week after Vladimir Putin announced that he would mobilize 300,000 additional troops for the fight in Ukraine, a major escalation of the campaign. […] The more modern American-made M-1 Abrams and German-made Leopard tanks would add a powerful punch that could help Kyiv’s forces capture and hold more ground, compared to the old Soviet-era tanks they currently operate, say experts and Ukrainian advisers.
But top national security officials in both countries have hesitated to provide the tanks, in part due to the training and logistic challenges involved, according to U.S. officials, Ukrainian advisers, and congressional aides. The M-1s, for example, are a completely different system than the Soviet-era tanks Ukraine currently operates and require significant maintenance and logistical support. […] “It’s a pretty high hurdle to get Ukraine not only U.S.-made tanks but the parts to maintain them”, said one U.S. official, who, like others interviewed for the article”, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing conversations. ‘You don’t want to give them something that’s going to break down and run out of gas and they can’t refuel them” (Politico. March 13, 2022).
That was September – just four months ago. When it comes to U.S. largesse for Ukraine, that’s practically ten lifetimes ago.
So here you have today – surprise! – the U.S. made a new announcement and they did it through a leak to the Wall Street Journal. The headline of that article reads, “U.S. Poised to Provide” – guess what? – “Abrams Tanks to Ukraine”.
That article explained,
The Biden administration is poised to send a significant number of Abrams and M-1 tanks to Ukraine, setting off a rift that threatened the unity of the alliance supporting Ukraine at a pivotal moment in the war, U.S. officials said. […] The move, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, would be part of a broader diplomatic understanding with Germany, in which Berlin would agree to send a similar number of its own Leopard tanks and would approve the delivery of more of the German-made tanks by Poland and other nations. […] The shift in the U.S. position follows a January 17 call between President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in which Mr. Biden agreed to look into providing the Abrams tanks against the judgment of the Pentagon, which thought the tanks would be too difficult for Ukraine to field and maintain.
So, what we have in just 11 months is an extraordinarily rapid and multipronged escalation of the involvement of our government in that war on the other side of the world. It first began with assurances that we would do nothing other than help Ukraine with occasional expenditures in order to let them have a fair fight with Russia. And each month, literally each month, brought greater and greater add-first expenditures, culminating in a $40 billion package in May – $40 billion on top of the $13.5 billion immediately allocated. And that number is now at $100 billion: a funding package supported by the establishment wings of both parties. Remember, in May, the $40 billion package received a yes vote from every single Democrat in Congress, while six or seven dozen Republicans in the House and the Senate voted no – but the majority of the GOP caucus was in agreement with everyone from the Squad, Nancy Pelosi to Joe Manchin and Kirsten, saying that Joe Biden’s war policy should be funded. And then, ever since, beyond the money being sent, we’re now escalating further the way in which we’re fueling this proxy war by sending increasingly sophisticated weapons.
Whenever I talk about the war in Ukraine and the U.S.’s role in it – before I delve into any of the other issues – I believe the paramount question is always this one: in what conceivable way are American citizens benefited or having their lives improved or increasingly secured by escalating the U.S. role in the war in Ukraine? Or conversely, in what conceivable way would your life or the lives of most Americans be harmed by changes in the governance of various provinces in Eastern Ukraine? How would your life be affected if the citizens of the Donbas region decided, as Kosovo decided 20 years ago, that they preferred to be independent or be governed by Moscow rather than by Kyiv? Why would that matter to your life? Why is the U.S. government willing to provoke so much danger to the globe, so much risk of escalation, and a practically direct proxy war now with the world’s largest nuclear power? Over what? Over who rules various provinces in eastern Ukraine. How is it in your interest for the government to be spending so much of your money and spending so much of its own weapons supplies that the U.S. weapons supply itself is being depleted?
When it came to the constant wars that the U.S. fought in the Middle East, as misguided and based on deceit as they were, as toxic and destructive as they were – the U.S. overthrowing Saddam Hussein, that led to chaos in that region, and that ultimately precipitated the rise of ISIS; or the war in Afghanistan that we fought for 20 years only to leave and have the Taliban walk right back in; or the civil war we helped fuel in Syria that destroyed that country and killed hundreds of thousands of people, only for Bashar al-Assad to remain more fixed in power than ever before, even though the U.S. still has a military presence there; or the bombing of Libya in order to replace Moammar Gadhafi, even though President Obama began that war by promising regime change was not the end goal – at least when it came to those wars you never had to ask Americans what interest the United States has in the Middle East. Everyone knew what interest the United States had in the Middle East.
Everyone has always known why the U.S. is heavily involved in the Middle East, for better or for worse. The Middle East has oil, lots of it. All those countries I just named have lots of oil. Afghanistan doesn’t but there were other geostrategic reasons why the U.S. wanted to be positioned there, the same reason the Soviet Union fought there for a decade prior. But there’s a lot of oil in the Middle East. And so, it’s clear why the U.S. constantly is involved in changing governments, propping up governments, propping up the Saudi regime, the regime of General Sisi in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, all of it. Everyone understands because there’s oil in the Middle East and the United States needs oil.
Ukraine doesn’t have any oil. What’s in Ukraine that the United States needs? What interest does the United States have in Ukraine? That was President Obama’s argument for eight years, practically, when he was being attacked by the pro-war wing of the Republican Party – you’ll recall that horrific trio of John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham and now you have Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio and that whole crowd that is applauding Joe Biden’s words, very bipartisan. And when the pro-war wing – the establishment in the Republican Party and the establishment in the Democratic Party – was badgering and hectoring Obama to do more to confront Russia over Ukraine, to send lethal arms to Ukraine, Obama’s answer was: Why would I do that? Why would we go to war or risk war with Russia over Ukraine? Ukraine is not and never will be a vital interest to the United States. It has nothing the United States needs. But because it’s right on the most vulnerable part of Russia’s border, the part of Russia’s border that Germany twice used in the 20th century to invade, what happens in Ukraine is always and will always be a vital interest to Moscow.
That was President Obama’s argument. And that hasn’t changed. What has changed? What has made Ukraine such a vital interest to the United States that we’re now doing all of this, including provoking nuclear annihilation or the risk of it, the highest risk ever in order to determine who will rule various provinces in eastern Ukraine? How is that of any business in the United States? Ukraine has wheat. It’s always been called the breadbasket of Europe. But the United States has wheat. You’re not going to starve. You’re not going to be short of bread. If people in Donbas decide they want to be independent or want to be ruled by Moscow instead of by Kyiv, so what is the interest there? Every time I make that argument, every time I put that argument out in some place on television or in an article, or in social media, I constantly get back the same response. Bizarrely, including from people who proudly identify as followers of Donald Trump and as being part of the MAGA movement, although obviously lots of establishment Democrats and traditional establishment Republicans who are completely unified in support of this war, but sometimes even from people who identify as MAGA, which is the following: Well, if we’re not going to fuel the proxy war in Ukraine, who’s going to stop Russia from taking parts of Eastern Ukraine now?
I remember the 2016 election. I worked through it. I lived through it. It wasn’t that long ago. It was only six years ago. And I paid particular attention to Donald Trump’s candidacy because it was so unusual. And the reason it was so unusual is that he ran against the foreign policy orthodoxy of both political parties. You have to remember that. His argument was we have to stop trying to interfere in other countries and police the world. That’s not the role of the United States. Why should it be? It’s time, he said, to put America first and not to go around changing the government of Syria and Libya or fighting over who rules Eastern Ukraine. Maybe Germany and France are close enough to Ukraine, as part of Europe, that they care enough. Maybe they have a vital interest in Ukraine.
I don’t think so, but maybe they do. Germany seems very unwilling, despite their much greater proximity to Ukraine to get involved in that war than the United States is, even though we’re thousands of miles away, on the other side of an ocean. But Ukraine isn’t in the American breadbasket. They’re the breadbasket of Europe. So maybe Germany and France, very wealthy countries whose citizens enjoy a lot of opportunities and privileges that American citizens lack, maybe they want to go and fund the war in Ukraine. That’s their prerogative. Although they don’t seem that eager because they know the United States well. And that was Donald Trump’s argument for years. And he didn’t just win the Republican primary and, I would submit, the general election, despite that argument, he won in large part because of it. Americans do not want to be the world’s policeman if you ask them.
Here we have a poll from Rasmussen. It’s February 2013. But here is what Rasmussen said,
Very few voters think the United States should take on the responsibility of ensuring peace and democracy in the world, a view that has changed a little over the years. A new Rasmussen Report national telephone survey finds that just 11% of voters think the United States should be the world’s policeman. Virtually unchanged from findings in 2011 and 2009: 72% disagree and 17% are not sure (Rasmussen Reports. Feb. 5, 2013).
That’s why Donald Trump was so successful in his 2016 very unconventional candidacy. Americans are sick of going to the polls and, no matter what ends up happening, or no matter who ends up winning, the same foreign policy of endless war continues. No matter what – including in countries in which the United States has no business. And he won in large part because of that, which is why it’s actually shocking to me to hear people self-identified as Trump supporters or members of the MAGA movement saying to me, “Well, if we don’t stop Russia from taking over Eastern Ukraine, who will?” Why is it the role of the United States?
That question is of particular urgency because the United States and Russia are pretty unique countries in several important ways. To begin with, they have the two largest nuclear stockpiles on the planet that are capable of blowing up the world thousands of times over. They are the two countries that have, on at least two occasions, and I would say three or four, brought the world to the very brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War – on at least two occasions. If you want to be strict about it. I would suggest, again, three or four. The Cuban Missile Crisis being the one most obvious, where probably, more by luck than anything else, the U.S. and Russia avoided nuclear Armageddon. And these trigger systems that these weapons are run by are very archaic. There are still nuclear Cold War-era alert systems. And on top of that, far worse, Russiagate by design, made it all but impossible for the United States and Russia to even have communications any longer. You may remember that Michael Flynn was actually prosecuted, prosecuted for the crime of calling a Russian counterpart, Ambassador Kislyak, weeks before he was going to take over as national security adviser, something that, of course, you want a general appointed to be doing.
We did a video on the insanity of that prosecution called “The sham prosecution of Michael Flynn” that I encourage you to watch. Not only did they do that, but they essentially violated every longstanding liberal precept about justice and prosecutions in order to prosecute him. But it started because he called Russia to talk about the relationship between the United States and Russia under the new administration. Jeff Sessions was almost turned into a criminal because he had two conversations in passing with Russian officials that he forgot because it’s a very common thing for Americans and Russians to talk. That’s what people in Washington do. They made it almost criminal for the U.S. and Russia to have any communications. People were petrified – Americans were – to talk to Russians. And so, there is no longer any communication between these two countries. And now you have them buzzing by each other, fighting a proxy war on the border of Russia. And so, it shouldn’t take very much work to understand how dangerous the situation is. Over What?
So, let’s look at just some of the escalations that the United States considered. First, we have this article from Politico, in March of 2022, at the very beginning of the war, where the U.S. actually actively debated whether they should put trainers and other intelligence officials on the ground in Ukraine. And they ultimately decided that they wouldn’t for fear of provoking Russia. But we’ve since learned that although there are no military boots on the ground, there are intelligence boots on the ground, military advisers, and people standing next to the Ukrainians, helping them do the targeting. The U.S. is much more involved in this war than just sending all of its money and all of its weapons.
And as a result, here we have today the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which I began by referencing at the start of the show, announcing that they were moving their so-called Doomsday Clock, which they created 50 years ago or more during the Cold War. The idea is that midnight represents global annihilation, and however far away the U.S. or the planet is from midnight is how far away we are from the threat of global annihilation. And they today moved that clock to 90 seconds before midnight. And as you see there, they call it “a time of unprecedented danger.” And by unprecedented, what they mean is that in no moment in U.S. history, including during the Cold War, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when thousands of intercontinental ballistic missiles were pointed at the United States and the Soviet Union major cities, even as we were involved in wars all over the war world, did we get as close to the risk of annihilation as we are today. They just increased the clock to 90 seconds to midnight. It was 100 seconds. Which is by far the worst ranking that it’s been.
Here you see from Reuters. The title is “Doomsday Clock Moves to 90 Seconds to Midnight as Nuclear Threat Arises”. The article says,
Atomic scientists set the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight than ever before on Tuesday, saying threats of nuclear war, disease, and climate volatility have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, putting human humanity at greater risk of annihilation. The Doomsday Clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to illustrate how close humanity has come to the end of the world, moved its “time” in 2023 to 90 seconds to midnight, 10 seconds closer than it has been for the past three years. Midnight on this clock marks the theoretical point of annihilation. The clock’s hands are moved closer to or further away from a night based on scientists reading of an existential threat at a particular time. The new time reflects a world in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived fears of nuclear war. “Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention, or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The possibility that conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high”, Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s president and CEO told a news conference in Washington on Tuesday (Reuters. Jan. 24, 2023).
In other words, it’s not that the United States and Russia want a nuclear war to happen. Obviously, no one does. The risk is that when you have a situation that’s so unpredictable but so dangerous, and especially with Moscow perceiving, rightly or wrongly, that a war right on the other side of the border in which all of the data was involved is existential and threatening to them, I think most countries would see it that way. The risk of nuclear war breaking out because of misperception or miscommunication is extremely high, especially given the lack of communication between the two countries, probably worse than at any time, even during the Cold War, as a result of Russiagate, which made it almost impossible for anyone in Washington to talk to Russians.
Let’s watch the video of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that was unveiled this morning. Here you see the president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explaining the rationale for moving the clock this close and what the war in Ukraine has to do with it. And you’ll hear some other voices as well.
Doomsday Clock Announcement: The members of the Science and Security Board moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely, though not exclusively, because of the mounting dangers in the war in Ukraine. We move the clock forward the closest it has ever been to midnight. It is now 90 seconds to midnight.
Rachel Bronson, Bulletin president and CEO: Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out…
You heard what they just said. They said ‘we’re moving the clock 90 seconds to midnight primarily – though not exclusively but – primarily due to the risk of unintentional escalation in the war in Ukraine’. So, the question that I asked just a few minutes ago is, what possible justification is there for sending hundreds of billions of dollars and all of our weaponry over to Ukraine? How is that improving the lives of American citizens? Let me add now to that question. Why would you risk the potential survival of your children and of the planet, in a potential nuclear war? I understand that sometimes risking everything in a war is necessary as Nazis are marching through Western Europe and Eastern Europe, conquering all countries. You may think that that’s the perfect case. This is not that. This is a regional power, Russia. Their economy is smaller than Italy’s. They can’t even hold towns in Ukraine. They’re not going to conquer Eastern Europe and then Western Europe and then come to the United States. No one sane thinks that. So, what justifies this risk for the United States to fuel to the point that we’re closer now to global annihilation than ever before?
Let’s continue with the president of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists explaining what the risk is.
Rachel Bronson, Bulletin president and CEO: Veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflicts spin out of anyone’s control remains high.
Mary Robinson, Chair of Elders and former president of Ireland: Three years ago, in January 2020, like you, Rachel, I stood here when the hands of the clock moved to 100 seconds to midnight. I said at that time, ‘we are faced by a gathering storm of extinction-level consequences and time is running out. Little did I know then that the gathering storm of threats, which also include the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the consequences of which we’re still facing today, and the illegal invasion of a sovereign state by a nuclear-armed permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. This, together with the acceleration of the climate crisis, explains why the clock has now been moved even closer to midnight.
I don’t think it gets any clearer than that. The Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences is one of the few institutions that has retained a reasonable amount of prestige and authority. They tend not to play games with partisan politics. They’re pretty straightforward in their analysis. They’re obviously condemning the Russian invasion, putting the blame on Putin. But their more significant interest is in attempting to warn you of the dangers of this war that your government is fueling. Regardless of who’s at fault, that won’t matter, in the words of Condoleezza Rice, when there’s a mushroom cloud.
Before we move onto the next topic, I just want to show you two videos of Lindsey Graham in Ukraine, because remember, I think it’s so important to note who is the greatest advocate of this war in DC. It’s not a particular wing of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. It’s the establishment wing of both parties. And two things in life are certain: death and taxes but there is a third thing, which is that wherever there is a war, you will find Lindsey Graham urging greater escalation. So, let’s look at him in Ukraine and hear what he has to say about what he wants more of in that war.
Lindsey Graham: We’re not asking for a blank check. I’m not. I’m asking for military aid to accomplish the purpose of driving Russian invaders out of Ukraine. If Putin gets away with this, there goes Taiwan. If Putin’s success in Ukraine is not prosecuted under international law, everything we’ve said since World War II becomes a joke. He will continue beyond Ukraine.
You see him standing there flanked by two Democratic Party senators. Remember, we’re always told Republicans, and Democrats can’t agree on anything, put them in the room together and they go at each other’s throats. They couldn’t be more in agreement. All of Washington is behind this policy. These are the same people you saw there, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, from Connecticut, as well as Senator Whitehouse, from Rhode Island. These people could not be more in agreement on this. This is the same group that is behind every war in Washington ever since wars began being fought with a posture of endless war.
Let’s look at one more video from Lindsey Graham when he traipsed over to Ukraine.
Lindsey Graham: I like the structural path we’re on here. As long as we help Ukraine with the weapons they need and the economic support, they will fight to the last person.
That has been the plan of the U.S. from the beginning. It is not to protect Ukraine. It is to sacrifice Ukraine and the Ukrainian people at the altar of the real U.S. goal, which is to weaken Russia. For reasons that I genuinely do not understand. That was Donald Trump’s argument. Why are we so interested in weakening Russia? Why do we see Russia as an enemy? We’re working collaboratively with Russia in Syria to fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Their enemies are our enemies. That was Donald Trump’s argument: we can work with Russia in multiple ways. That was President Obama’s argument as well. He worked with Russia to negotiate the deal on Iran, which, whether you like it or not, put the U.S. and the Russians on the same side. He also worked with Russia in Syria to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. This is a contrived rivalry.
There’s no reason to regard this regional power as an American enemy, let alone one that is worth risking a nuclear war over. Even if, like most people, you think the primary blame at the war lay with Vladimir Putin, even though the U.S. has been in Ukraine, very active for the last eight years or so. Just leave aside the question of blame. The question should always be, whenever it comes to our government doing anything, what benefit is there to the American people? The only American people benefiting from this are the ones who work in the U.S. Security State and are receiving far more budgetary authority and powers than ever before, as well as the senior executives and officials of Raytheon and Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, who are going to get enormous bonuses as a result of finding a new war market now that Afghanistan ended. Six months after the war in Afghanistan was over, they found this new one.
That’s the war in Ukraine. And I thought it was incredible that I intended to talk about that escalation today, only for this afternoon in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to move that rather significant clock 10 seconds forward and warn that quite an unprecedented point.
Source : Glen Greenwald’s Rumble Show