Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War

On International Women’s Day the authors say that if feminists remain silent or support Biden’s under secretary of state simply because she is a woman, this Bush-era neocon might just burn down the world in a nuclear fire.

Oct. 8, 2014: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at a Ukrainian State Border Guard Service base in Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine, Flickr, Public domain)

By Medea Benjamin, Marcy Winograd and Melissa Garriga

When President Joe Biden nominated Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state, CODEPINK feminists opposed her nomination out of concern she would bring pain and heartache to mothers and daughters as she fomented war in their midst. Instead of promoting diplomacy, Nuland lights matches wherever she meddles, agitating for war in AfghanistanIraq and now Ukraine. If feminists remain silent or support this Bush-era neocon simply because she is a woman, Victoria Nuland might just burn down the world in a nuclear fire.

Instead of promoting a ceasefire and peace negotiations in Ukraine, Nuland chooses to escalate the war by promising the U.S. will arm Ukraine to seize Crimea, the site of Russia’s naval fleet on the Black Sea, part of Russia for nearly 200 years and home to ethnic Russians who voted to join the Russian Federation.

With drones already attacking the Crimean peninsula and long-range U.S. rockets on the way, Nuland’s push to cross another one of Putin’s red lines only ensures more death, destruction and ecocide in Ukraine. 

For the women of Ukraine, the illegal Russian invasion —  which Nuland provoked over the years with NATO expansion — has led to heightened sex trafficking and increased gender violence. According to the United Nations and relief organizations, this includes not only rape as a weapon of war, but “intimate partner violence and sexual harassment.” With Ukraine under martial law and men aged 18-60 forced to the front lines, young women refugees — often unaccompanied — are vulnerable to abuse at border crossings.

Diplomacy to End War Now 

Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting with members of Ukraine’s Rada in Kiev, May 6, 2021. (State Department/Ron Przysucha)

On International Women’s Day, women don’t let women drive war. Instead, we at CODEPINK urge Biden to fire Nuland and pursue a people-centered feminist foreign policy that employs diplomacy to bring this war to an end now.

The fact that Nuland was given a diplomatic job in the Biden administration in the first place never ceases to amaze because her record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet.

Nuland served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security adviser from 2003-2005, during the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, a painful chapter in U.S. history that left over a million Iraqis dead and thousands of U.S. soldiers in body bags.

In 2005, Nuland became ambassador to NATO, where she lobbied Europe to participate in the disastrous U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. In persuading other governments the U.S. could win that war, she sold a lie across Europe to prolong a near 20-year occupation that left Afghanistan broke, with 6 million children and adults at risk of starvation.

In May 2013, Nuland was nominated to act as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, where she was supposed to employ diplomacy in relations with Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states. 

Instead, Nuland and the White House hurled $5 billion in taxpayer money at Ukraine to overthrow its democratically elected president and engineer a transition government to privatize Ukraine and prepare for war with Russia. After Nuland passed out pastries during the Maidan coup, before President Viktor Yanukovych fled under a hail of bullets, Nuland was caught in a scandal involving a leaked phone call. On the phone with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was secretly recorded saying “F .. the EU” if the European Union did not approve of her choices to run Ukraine’s transition government. The West gasped at her use of profanity. The more egregious profanity, however, was her insistence on manipulating the political affairs of another country to provoke Russia. 

June 2014: Left to right: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Ukraine’s post-coup President Petro Poroshenko, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt Pyatt and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. (State Department)

Nuland has repeatedly stated that she wants to destabilize other regions in Russia’s nuclear neighborhood: Belarus and Kazakhstan, because they are too friendly with Russia. What critics say she really wants is regime change in Russia, a country of 193 million people, 150 different ethnic minorities and 6,000 nuclear weapons. 

What could go wrong?

Nuland’s mission to sacrifice Ukrainian lives to take back Crimea — annexed by Russia after the 2014 coup — could drag other European nations onto the battlefield to start World War III.

According to Asia Times, factions within the State Department and Pentagon are split over Nuland’s hawkish position on Crimea, largely because of concerns that Russia may choose to attack Western supply lines in retaliation. This would surely lead to a broader war in Eastern Europe, starting with Poland and Romania, where the U.S. has installed anti-ballistic missile bases over Russia’s objections.

On this International Women’s Day, Biden would be well-advised to fire Victoria Nuland and hire a diplomat who embraces a feminist foreign policy centered around peace.

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and the author of several books, including  War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, available from OR Books.

Marcy Winograd is the coordinator of CODEPINK CONGRESS. Marcy spearheads Capitol Hill calling parties to mobilize co-sponsors and votes for peace and foreign policy legislation.

Melissa Garriga is the media relations manager for CODEPINK. She writes about the intersection of militarism and the human cost of war.

This article is from CODEPINK.

The views expressed are solely those of the authors and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


36 comments for “Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War

  1. William
    March 11, 2023 at 10:36

    And yet Medea Benjamin and code pink keep referring to an illegal Russian invasion while fully understanding what Nuland’s agenda in Ukraine was and the genocide campaign that came with it.

  2. March 9, 2023 at 16:04

    If the Ukraine War dies down before it gets us all killed, there should be public hearings on how these dangerous neocons persist in our government.

    Which members of the donor class insist on their presence and fund their think tanks?

    Ever since the leak of Citigroup’s memo to Obama on who to put in his cabinet, no one should be under any illusions that presidents actually pick their appointees, and if they voluntarily picked neocons after the Iraq War debacle, they should be in prison or a psych ward.

    • Realist
      March 10, 2023 at 16:03

      Yes, simply sacking that witch from her government job is far from enough for the number of deaths, mutilations, cripplings and geographic displacements she and her fellow neocon monsters and maniacs are directly responsible for. Archdaemon Dickhead Cheney originally breathed life into her government career during his planned massacre of over a million Iraqis, and all the other collateral damage to that nation, on the fabricated charges that Saddam perpetrated 9-11 and was somehow prepared to nuke America using hidden WMD’s. For some reason, unfathomable to any sentient being, Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obomber retained the services of this harpie in HIS government (as Assistant Secretary of State–so no two bit flunkie she!). There is no doubt that she and her warmongering instincts were utilised to nearly destroy the Syrian nation. Her close alliance with Israel surely allows the routine attacks by that country on Syria to this very day. What has been the death count in that war? Include not just Syrians, but all the Iranians, Kurds, and various Islamic factions (Isis under all its many pseudonyms). Gotta be at least another half million and still counting. Now, if you accept the death and casualty numbers proffered by Scott Ritter and Colonel Douglas MacGregor in this proto-world war that this hellion (actually promoted to Under Secretary of State by American emperor Lord Biden) has created in Ukraine has got to be at least another half million and counting. Someone needs to be constructing an official scorecard on the human misery this creature has visited upon the Earth. She’s right up there with Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Ze-dong, Richard Nixon and LBJ. Just because she has to share the “credit” for many of these deaths and atrocities with her fellow neocons does not mitigate her culpability and earned punishment one iota. She, along with dozens of other fellow monsters need to be investigated scrupulously, tried for her millions of crimes, convicted and punished by execution. Why is capital punishment still on the books if you’re not willing to use it against the mass murdering maniacs who slaughter in the name of America and deserve it the most. If anyone wants to dig up John McCain’s dead body and put it on trial like the medieval Catholic Church did to Pope Commodus, I say go for it. I cede the podium back to you, professor, should anyone have questions. (Yes, the last quip about poor Commodus was just a “joke.”)

  3. C. Parker
    March 9, 2023 at 12:23

    All candidates running for president should inform voters who they will choose for their cabinet, especially Secretary of State, including the under secretary. There is far too much unelected power given to this office.

    • William
      March 11, 2023 at 10:41

      What good would that do when all the candidates are relatively associated with the same ilk running the show. The duopoly 2 party structure can’t be whitewashed within its current structure. We have to have an entirely new body of people who actually have a sense of good morals and genuine concern for the citizenship from outside of that box.

  4. Edwin Hiley
    March 9, 2023 at 12:06

    I’ve been reading Stefania Maurizi’s deeply researched, and experienced fifteen year long project, vis a vie Julian Assange. It is titled “Secret Power”, arguably more about U.S. manipulations around the globe than just what the US, UK, EU, Sweden, and Ecuador did in the Assange persecution, including fealty from, other less powerful “democracies” have, and continue to destabilize any non-compliant and/or resource rich weaker nation.
    I’ve read Nils Melzer’s chronicle of his effort as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture … in the case of Julian Assange; both incredible from different angles. Maurizi’s “Secret Power: Wikileaks and Its Enemies” is broader in scope. She’d worked closely with Wikileaks before Assange’s ‘legal troubles’ started in earnest. A lot of her journalism, early on was from the files released by Wikileaks’ “Cablegate”. As an Italian, she focused on Italy’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, then expanded her focus. Chapter Seven: Guantanamo: The Black Hole of Civilization, got me thinking about closing it as Obama promised on the campaign trail. Then it dawned on me; Keep it open and re-purpose it for neoliberals and neocons blindly leading us to Armageddon; and if there’s any room left (it CAN be expanded), there’s an ample supply of billionaires and other oligarchs, their sponsors and benefactors, to keep them company.

  5. Frank Munley
    March 9, 2023 at 11:41

    Yes, Nuland wants to sow unrest and destabilize Belarus and Kazakhstan. And I’m sure her fingerprints are on the current unrest now occurring in Georgia.

  6. A Concerned Westerner
    March 9, 2023 at 10:32

    Thank you for your solidarity in supporting the truth about Victoria Nuland and her personal, race driven hatred against Russia, and how unprofessional and dangerous it is in a diplomatic position. She practices the Mackinder doctrine based on the fact that her grandfather left Russia over 100 years ago during one of the pogroms. She jad carried inter-generational hatred against Russia and wants the state destroyed as a result. That would be analogous to some black person in the United States to have the United States completely destroyed because their ancestors were abused by Amsricans in the 17th to 19th centuries. Her level of hatred and revenge knows no bounds and she is by US definitions a war criminal. Yet the US is so hypocritical it won’t ever acknowledge its war crimes and its war criminals, and for that reason and many others the US continues to tolerate war criminals within its own government. When.Russia wins the Ukraine conflict and Nuland and her ilk have been shown to be responsible for the deaths of a generation of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, as well as the deaths of tens of thousands of Russians and Eastern Europeans, will she and Anthony Blinken and Joe Biden appear before the Hague to be tried for war crimes? No, because the US knows it can never acknowledge the World Court as it would have every federal administration in jail since Eisenhower. No, the legacy of Nuland, Blinken and Biden will be the loss of hegemony, the loss of the world reserve currency, the loss of being the world economic power. All that is moving to China, Russia and SCO and BRICS. That will be Nuland’s legacy alimg with a significant deterioration of the standards of living in the USA.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    March 9, 2023 at 09:46

    Male…female…get rid of all these amoral war mongers!!!

    • William
      March 11, 2023 at 10:43

      Yes please!

  8. Tony
    March 9, 2023 at 09:01

    11 February 2021: Anti-War website ran an article by Rick Sterling:

    “Why Victoria Nuland Is Dangerous and Should Not Be Confirmed”

    Well worth reading. It does make you wonder whether anything was done to defeat her.

    • irina
      March 9, 2023 at 16:55

      Remembering that Ms. Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, who was one of the original participants
      in the Project for the New American Century, which has since been re-named but is still very influential.

  9. gcw919
    March 8, 2023 at 22:10

    “The fact that Nuland was given a diplomatic job in the Biden administration in the first place never ceases to amaze because her record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet.”

    Indeed, she and her ilk keep resurfacing, one administration after the next, with their Cold War mentality that sees enemies as a necessity. They represent the worst sort of mediocrity. She, of course, wouldn’t be found near the front lines. A sane society would look around and see that the real threat is rapidly accelerating Climate Change, and only international cooperation will be able to address that in any meaningful way. Blowing up pipelines, an act which Nuland championed, and which spewed volumes of toxic methane into the atmosphere is about as near-sighted, and criminal as it gets. As our illustrious ex-president shouted, “lock them up.”

    • Renate
      March 10, 2023 at 17:16

      She is evil, a war criminal with a trail of failures. It says a lot about President Biden, he picked his own kind, known warmongers. What is amazing is the kind of women making it to the top, that does include Hillary, Condoleeca, Samantha Powers, Madeleine Albright, and so many more, all are ruthless power-hungry women.

  10. DMCP
    March 8, 2023 at 21:07

    Firing Victoria Nuland would have exactly zero effect on the foreign policy of the US. US foreign policy is driven now by corporate interests. Yes, Nuland is an ideologue who believes the US should rule the world in the name of free-market capitalism and pseudo-democratic government. Yes, she may be more devoted to the idea than some. But she’s only one small branch of the plant; cut her off and two more will appear.

  11. TRogers
    March 8, 2023 at 20:22

    “[H]er record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet.”

    The Neocons as a whole are a gang of war criminals, which their track record shows, as enumerated in this fine article. And as numerous analysts have remarked, the Neocons are so ideological they are detached from reality.

    We need to face their ideology squarely. It is particularly blatantly on display in Israel today. Here’s a recent report from a Jewish-run, high quality website of news and analysis.
    ‘Palestinians are animals’ — Why many Jewish Israelis approve settler pogrom

    We need to examine the roots of Neocon ideology, why Nuland and her Neocon gang regard so many people – Palestinians, Ukrainians, Russians, Americans – as mere cannon fodder.

  12. TRogers
    March 8, 2023 at 20:21

    “[H]er record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet.”

    The Neocons as a whole are a gang of war criminals, which their track record shows, as enumerated in this fine article. And as numerous analysts have remarked, the Neocons are so ideological they are detached from reality.

    We need to face their ideology squarely. It is particularly blatantly on display in Israel today. Here’s a recent report from a Jewish-run, high quality website of news and analysis.
    ‘Palestinians are animals’ — Why many Jewish Israelis approve settler pogrom

    We need to examine the roots of Neocon ideology, why Nuland and her Neocon gang regard so many people – Palestinians, Ukrainians, Russians, Americans – as mere cannon fodder.

  13. HelenB
    March 8, 2023 at 20:18

    Next year is election year. Will the campaign be about another war? The next administration might not be so willing. Will the Biden administration try to get another war started before then?

  14. March 8, 2023 at 19:34

    Nuland has no concern for women, men, children, or the elderly. She is a vile and evil sub-human and should be tried for crimes against humanity. All those who have appointed her to these positions of power should be tried right along with her. She makes no attempts to hide her vileness. She wears it as a badge of honor. Those who appointed her are just as bad as she because there is no way they didn’t know what they were getting.

    • WillD
      March 9, 2023 at 20:40

      I couldn’t agree more. She really is a very very nasty piece of work indeed, and, as you say, makes no attempt to hide it. Vile is a good way of describing her.

  15. mgr
    March 8, 2023 at 19:28

    Kudos to CODEPINK for precisely and accurately detailing the heart of darkness that lives in the Biden administration in the person of Victoria Nuland.

  16. Mary Caldwell
    March 8, 2023 at 17:58

    I wonder while watching various people as they slide in and out of various administrations, I wonder if they were simply raised with a particular bias and hatred of ….in this case Russia.

    Is it any different from the hatred that is passed along from one generation to the next regarding intolerance of others.

    It seems too intense and personal, it is in fact a very serious character flaw that never should be rewarded .

    Fire Ms. Nuland

  17. IJ Scambling
    March 8, 2023 at 17:20

    This from March 4 Asia Times:

    “The evidence that Nuland has won the argument [vs. Blinken] starts with the fact Biden has announced a new long-range weapons program for Ukraine and is also sending mobile bridging equipment that could help the Ukrainian army attack Russian forces in a Crimea offensive.

    Such an operation itself would start with long-range glide bombs – joint direct attack munitions (JADAM), HIMARS with long-range, ground-launched, small-diameter bombs (GLDSB) and artillery strikes. It would then develop into a land offensive against Crimea.  

    The operational problem is that this scenario would require fighter planes that can fly to high altitudes of around 30,000 feet before launching JDAMS, kits that fit on “iron” bombs to give them GPS guidance. But a bomb glides to its target, so to achieve standoff range high-flying aircraft are required.

    This would require Ukraine to use its MIG-29s, but it has few of the fighters left. Thus the latest arms deliveries may include, in some form or another, Western aircraft probably flown by NATO pilots.”


  18. Kiwiantz
    March 8, 2023 at 17:18

    Biden needs to be impeached & removed from Office for his corrupt & deceitful behaviour & involvement in the Ukraine War & the corpulent Nuland arrested along with Blinken, Price, Sullivan & all the rest of this motley crew of people & thrown in jail for War crimes, these people are EVIL & responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Ukraine & the destruction of this Nation, they are to blame entirely for this tragedy!

  19. Drew Hunkins
    March 8, 2023 at 17:01

    But CodePink, your credibility isn’t the best when you decided to sit out the first big anti-Ukraine war rally: the great “Rage Against the War Machine” protest.

    • Rafael
      March 8, 2023 at 22:01

      It’s not quite that simple. Medea Benjamin was on stage and very visible during the rally, even if she didn’t speak.

      • Drew Hunkins
        March 9, 2023 at 10:34

        Yes, it is that simple. When the world’s on the brink of nuclear war we need all the solidarity and 100% support we can get from each and every activist group that purports to be antiwar.

        • C. Parker
          March 9, 2023 at 12:25

          Well said Drew Hankins. I agree 100% with you.

        • Solly Johnson
          March 10, 2023 at 16:01

          I agree with you. Nuclear war must be the top priority with people of all political stripes united. For Code Pink to sit out the recent protest lessens their credibility on lesser matters.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    March 8, 2023 at 16:57

    Nuland, Blinken and Sullivan should all be facing capital punishment!

    Throw in their Russophobic war thirsty media handmaidens too.

  21. vinnieoh
    March 8, 2023 at 16:51

    With sincere admiration and respect for Medea, et. al., I take exception to the statement “the illegal Russian invasion.” By the US’ and the “democratic Wests'” own characterization of R2P or “responsibility to protect” Russia responded in the way it was intentionally provoked into responding. The breakaway regions of the Donbas asked for RU inclusion and protection, and Russian leadership finally and reluctantly granted it at the 11th hour.

    And a purely defensive effort (for the Donbas) was not going to cut it. I truly wish Russia would not have had to take this course – I believe to this day, as I stated when it began, that Russia also wished it wouldn’t have had to make that choice. Other than temporarily holding off further encirclement by the US/NATO at its borders, what does Rusia gain from this? Nothing good, and that’s for sure: death and injury to its military personnel; destruction of a lot of its military material; further condemnation from those still mesmerized by the chimera of US righteousness.

    The only victory for Russia would be the awakening of Europe to the reality they’ve been played bigtime by the US.

    I don’t mean to rant or purposely be off topic: your main points about Nuland and the tragedy and violence she has helped bring down on the vulnerable in Ukraine is important. It is also important though to acknowledge that Russia’s response – the invasion – was not necessarily illegal because it was definitely – PURPOSELY – provoked.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 9, 2023 at 16:51


  22. Lois Gagnon
    March 8, 2023 at 16:36

    There absolutely has to be an international war crimes tribunal for the US. It’s the only way to demonstrate to the clueless in the US the flagrant criminality of its so called leadership. Nuland must be on trial with the rest of them.

  23. Selina Sweet
    March 8, 2023 at 15:56

    Ms Nuland is an unmitigated nightmare for the well being of humanity. When Biden appointed her and Blinken both, it was an ominous sign for us and the world. Dangerous one track belligerent thinking.

    • DMCP
      March 8, 2023 at 20:51

      Victoria Nuland has been a fixture in the US State Department (or related offices) since the mid-1990s when she was part of the Clinton Administration. Biden didn’t appoint, he inherited her. She’s part of an enduring cohort of Straussian warhawk conservatives in US government. Sort of a neoconservative in attitude, but a generation younger than the originals. She didn’t pop up out of nowhere.

      • Anon
        March 9, 2023 at 00:31

        The alfa predator… predates.
        Female of the species… reproduces.
        Sad dichotomy when the mating dance produces… DEATH!

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