US National Security Experts Call for Peace in Ukraine

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies amplify upon a full-page ad in The New York Times on Tuesday calling the war an “unmitigated disaster” and urging  Biden and U.S. Congress to help bring it speedily to an end. 

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies
Common Dreams

On Tuesday, The New York Times published a full-page advertisement signed by 15 U.S. national security experts about the war in Ukraine. It was headed “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World,” and was drafted by the Eisenhower Media Network.

While condemning Russia’s invasion, the statement provides a more objective account of the crisis in Ukraine than the U.S. government or The New York Times has previously presented to the public, including the disastrous U.S. role in NATO expansion, the warnings ignored by successive U.S. administrations and the escalating tensions that ultimately led to war.

The statement calls the war an “unmitigated disaster,” and urges President Joe Biden and Congress “to end the war speedily through diplomacy, especially given the dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.”

This call for diplomacy by wise, experienced former insiders — U.S. diplomats, military officers and civilian officials — would have been a welcome intervention on any one of the past 442 days of this war. Yet their appeal now comes at an especially critical moment in the war.

On May 10, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he is delaying Ukraine’s long-awaited “spring offensive” to avoid “unacceptable” losses to Ukrainian forces.

Western policy has repeatedly put Zelenskyy in near-impossible positions, caught between the need to show signs of progress on the battlefield to justify further Western support and arms deliveries and, on the other hand, the shocking human cost of continued war represented by the fresh graveyards where tens of thousands of Ukrainians now lie buried.

“This call for diplomacy … would have been a welcome intervention on any one of the past 442 days of this war. Yet their appeal now comes at an especially critical moment in the war.”

It is not clear how a delay in the planned Ukrainian counter-attack would prevent it leading to unacceptable Ukrainian losses when it finally occurs, unless the delay in fact leads to scaling back and calling off many of the operations that have been planned.

Zelensky appears to be reaching a limit in terms of how many more of his people he is willing to sacrifice to satisfy Western demands for signs of military progress to hold together the Western alliance and maintain the flow of weapons and money to Ukraine.

Boris Johnson’s Role 

Zelensky’s predicament is certainly the fault of Russia’s invasion, but also of his April 2022 deal with the devil in the shape of then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson promised Zelensky that the U.K. and the “collective West” were “in it for the long run” and would back him to recover all of Ukraine’s former territory, just as long as Ukraine stopped negotiating with Russia.

Boris Johnson, then-U.K. prime minister, left, meeting Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, April 9, 2022. (Ukraine government)

Johnson was never in a position to fulfill that promise and, since he was forced to resign as prime minister, he has endorsed a Russian withdrawal only from the territory it invaded since February 2022, not a return to pre-2014 borders. Yet that compromise was exactly what he talked Zelensky out of agreeing to in April 2022, when most of the war’s dead were still alive and the framework of a peace agreement was on the table at diplomatic talks in Turkey.

Zelensky has tried desperately to hold his Western backers to Johnson’s overblown promise. But short of direct U.S. and NATO military intervention, it seems that no quantity of Western weapons can decisively break the stalemate in what has degenerated into a brutal war of attrition, fought mainly by artillery and trench and urban warfare.

An American general bragged that the West has supplied Ukraine with 600 different weapons systems, but this itself creates problems. For example, the different 105 mm guns sent by the U.K., France, Germany and the U.S. all use different shells. And each time heavy losses force Ukraine to re-form survivors into new units, many of them have to be retrained on weapons and equipment they’ve never used before.

Leaked Pentagon Document

Despite U.S. deliveries of at least six types of anti-aircraft missiles — Stinger, NASAMS, Hawk, Rim-7, Avenger, and at least one Patriot missile battery — a leaked Pentagon document revealed that Ukraine’s Russian-built S-300 and Buk anti-aircraft systems still make up almost 90 percent of its main air defenses.

NATO countries have searched their weapons stockpiles for all the missiles they can provide for those systems, but Ukraine has nearly exhausted those supplies, leaving its forces newly vulnerable to Russian air strikes just as it prepares to launch its new counter-attack.

NATO’s Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting on April 21. (NATO)

Since at least June 2022, Biden and other U.S. officials have acknowledged that the war must end in a diplomatic settlement, and have insisted that they are arming Ukraine to put it “in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.” Until now, they have claimed that each new weapons system they have sent and each Ukrainian counter-offensive have contributed to that goal and left Ukraine in a stronger position.

But the leaked Pentagon documents and recent statements by U.S. and Ukrainian officials make it clear that Ukraine’s planned spring offensive, already delayed into summer, would lack the previous element of surprise and encounter stronger Russian defenses than the offensives that recovered some of its lost territory last fall.

One leaked Pentagon document warned that “enduring Ukrainian deficiencies in training and munitions supplies probably will strain progress and exacerbate casualties during the offensive,” concluding that it would probably make smaller territorial gains than the fall offensives did.

How can a new offensive with mixed results and higher casualties put Ukraine in a stronger position at a currently non-existent negotiating table? If the offensive reveals that even huge quantities of Western military aid have failed to give Ukraine military superiority or reduce its casualties to a sustainable level, it could very well leave Ukraine in a weaker negotiating position, instead of a stronger one.

Meanwhile, offers to mediate peace talks have been pouring in from countries all over the world, from the Vatican to China to Brazil. It has been six months since the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley suggested publicly, after Ukraine’s military gains last fall, that the moment had come to negotiate from a position of strength. “When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it,” he said.

It would be doubly or triply tragic if, on top of the diplomatic failures that led to the war in the first place and the U.S. and U.K. undermining peace negotiations in April 2022, the chance for diplomacy that Milley wanted to seize is lost in the forlorn hope of attaining an even stronger negotiating position that is not really achievable.

If the U.S. persists in backing the plan for a Ukrainian offensive, instead of encouraging Zelenskyy to seize the moment for diplomacy, it will share considerable responsibility for the failure to seize the chance for peace, and for the appalling and ever-rising human costs of this war.

The experts who signed The New York Times statement recalled that, in 1997, 50 senior U.S. foreign policy experts warned President Bill Clinton that expanding NATO was a “policy error of historic proportions” and that, unfortunately, Clinton chose to ignore the warning. Biden, who is now pursuing his own policy error of historic proportions by prolonging this war, would do well to take the advice of today’s policy experts by helping to forge a diplomatic settlement and making the United States a force for peace in the world.

Medea Benjamin is co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace. She is the co-author, with Nicolas J.S. Davies, of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, available from OR Books. Other books include, Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2018); Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection (2016); Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (2013); Don’t Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart (1989), and (with Jodie Evans) Stop the Next War Now (2005).

Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist and a researcher with CODEPINK. He is the co-author, with Medea Benjamin, of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


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64 comments for “US National Security Experts Call for Peace in Ukraine

  1. Realist
    May 21, 2023 at 16:14

    Warlord Joe Biden has absolutely no incentive to allow Ukraine to seek any kind of peaceful settlement to the war he so doggedly and craftily designed. He has every reason to encourage that it continue to rage no matter the death count.

    According to Michael Hudson the war was commenced by the US and Nato under the assumption that Russia was militarily and economically weak, because all of Putin’s warnings were empty rhetoric and his armies would collapse like a house of cards while facing the prowess of Mighty America, America’s wonderfully trained and outfitted proxy Ukraine, and America’s forced bankrollers, Nato and the EU. In Warlord Joe’s delusional dreams Russia should have surrendered to the Unkies by now and would be made to pay reparations for all the deaths and destruction, but also pay compensation to the West for all the Wunderwaffen that the West SOLD–not gifted or loaned–to Ukraine. Thing is, reality did not comport with Joe’s delusions and it is Ukraine which, in spite of the treasure trove of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weaponry, along with multi-billions more in emoluments of all kinds sent to the Banderite Republic, the Ukies are not going to win this war. They are not even going to prevail in any meaningful battles.

    To stop the circus NOW will leave the US and its fellow European investors in this conflict holding the financial bag–big time. To be sure, whatever rump state is left of Ukraine will be the first guarantor for payment of this monumental pile of debts, but Ukraine can sue the West for every penny, which will have practical consequences since i) Ukraine was flat broke before any of this started and ii) Ukraine was coaxed into this enterprise under extreme duress from the US and Nato. Just review the public record if there is any doubt about the latter contention. Russia may be sued by the Ukies as well, but there is a clear and lengthy record of Russia, Russian citizens and simply ethnic Russian individuals being attacked and killed without stop (in the Donbas and in Crimea) since the legitimate government of Ukraine was overthrown in the coup instigated and overseen by Victoria Nuland, John McCain and numerous other American actors. Russia was merely acting in self-defense throughout. They did not start the conflict, not in February of 2022, or even in February of 2014.

    Of course, judicial proceedings will be undertaken separately in all the relevant countries with each party denying the legitimacy of what transpires in the other jurisdictions. As has been said, the ultimate winners and losers will be determined on the battlefield, not in a courtroom. That is to say that both sides (the collective West and Russia) have no incentive to stop the shooting war until they WIN it. One, the other or both may well be driven to continue to conflict until only a conflagration of nuclear warheads bring all human activity on the entire planet to a halt. That’s what we are dealing with here. To end this right NOW, the US and its European minions would have to surrender and probably accept financial liability for most of the fiasco. This is what drives all the Neocon mouthpieces throughout Washington to keep saying that we are in this thing to the end…. or to the “last Ukrainian.” That last Ukrainian will be accompanied by a lot of other “last of the Mohicans.” Best fix for most Americans: blame Joe (rightfully) for everything, impeach, expel, convict and imprison him, extracting as much token monetary resources from him and his political collaborators as possible and put the rest on our national debt tab which we might pay down by the year 2525. If it was good enough for Germany in 1945 and still counting (!) why should Uncle Sam be forgiven for bringing the world to the precipice?

  2. Robert Emmett
    May 20, 2023 at 21:09

    A full page add in the NYT, huh? Right into the belly of the beast. Got to give them credit for that. How many times has that worked to dramatically shake-up U.S. foreign policy? Somebody must have a handle on the number. Can’t be that long a list, right?

    The writings of Matthew Hoh have made a lot of sense to me. And I concur with props for Ms. Rowley & Colonel Wright. Jack Matlock is on both letters, the one to Clinton & now this one. Imagine that.

    Their statement did get some key things right, it seems to me.

    “NATO expansion, in sum, is a key feature of a militarized U.S. foreign policy characterized by unilateralism featuring regime change and preemptive wars. Failed wars, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, have produced slaughter and further confrontation, a harsh reality of America’s own making. The Russia-Ukraine War has opened a new arena of confrontation and slaughter.”

    You could stop right there & it rings true. Who is benefitting the most from this new arena of confrontation & slaughter? Who wanted to open it up in this way? Who has the power to stop it but has made no effort to do so, in fact the opposite, to put it mildly.

    But then the above paragraph goes on to say: “This reality is not entirely of our own making, yet it may well be our undoing, unless we dedicate ourselves to forging a diplomatic settlement that stops the killing and defuses tensions.”

    Not entirely? But mostly, right? And using a proxy means you can dodge behind technicalities in the laws that supposedly govern war to escape responsibility. The U.S. set the trap. Russia felt it had to take the bait to protect its own back yard. I guess we’ll find out how much of it they’ll keep. Same kinds of justifications for so-called preventive war as the U.S. made up for Iraq. Only the reasons for Russia are demonstrably real while those for the U.S. were bogus and the U.S. nowhere near to defending its own border.

    Nothing in this letter about the 2014 coup. The fomenting & support of it. The long years of taking a side in Ukraine’s instigated civil war. The ruse of Minsk agreements meant only to buy time to arm & train Ukraine to fight Russia, much of it done inside NATO States.

    Who could blame Russians now if they were to see current calls for negotiations (if they can even be called that) as another ruse to give Kiev still more time to train troops on the bastardized collection of advanced weaponry being funneled to them?

    With all the dead Ukrainian soldiers we are told about, cut down like sheaves of wheat and laid to waste, where do their replacements come from? Whose boots will be on the ground? Ever think about that? And then maybe we’re right back to Iraq. Say no word against the war or the troops while their blood is spilled, or else. It worked before. Why not again?

    • michael888
      May 21, 2023 at 08:10

      Excellent points.

      But Zelensky is only Biden’s puppet, in a line including other UkroNAZIs Yushchenko (married to an American State Dept/ CIA official), Poroshenko and now Zelensky. Yanukovych was the only BAD Puppet under Biden, going with Putin’s much better offers (Russia wanted to keep Ukraine as a buffer). Yushchenko named Bandera “Hero of Ukraine”, but received less than 7% of votes running for a second term (the UN rather than the CIA controlled the election). What little democracy Ukraine has had in the last 20 years was overthrown by VP and Viceroy Biden and his UkroNAZIs in 2014. Biden threatened to withhold a $billion from Poroshenko unless he immediately fired Shokin who was investigating Burisma (; Biden bragged about his power at a CFR meeting, Poroshenko folded. Zelensky’s campaign promise of “Peace with Russia” won him >70% of the vote, but (no doubt at Biden’s demand) Zelensky continued the shelling of ethnic Russian and Biden’s project of eradicating Russian language, Russian culture, and ethnic Russian Ukrainians.
      442 DAYS of war? Tell that to Donetsk and Lugansk and Crimea! The Civil War started in 2014 by Biden and the UkroNAZIs has lasted over EIGHT YEARS, and killed over 10,000 in the Donbas even BEFORE Putin invaded. Somehow that slaughter in the Donbas (who had overwhelmingly elected Yanukovych as President, not Joe Biden) is ignored in the West. And no one in Russia or in ethnic Russian Ukraine will trust any Peace overtures from the West after the Minsk Accord betrayals by Germany and France. Such overtures are transparently a plan to get more military materiel to Zelensky without the Russians destroying such weapons. The grinding death will continue, as Joe Biden promised it would from the start “to bleed Russia to the last Ukrainian.”

  3. Renate
    May 20, 2023 at 20:25

    This is Joe Biden’s war, he has no intention to end it after working so hard to get there while he and his neocon cabal prepare for war with China.
    We need regime change, more than any other nation. Joe Biden and his administration are ruthless butchers, the democratic women are especially ruthless, and Nuland has lots of company going back to Clinton and including Hillary.

    • JonnyJames
      May 21, 2023 at 12:49

      No. Despite the contrived partisan drama for public distraction. Biden is a senile puppet. The current situation is a product of LONG TERM US and UK foreign policy. One could argue it goes back to Halford Mackinder. Read The Grand Chessboard by the late Zbig Brzezinski for starters

  4. James White
    May 20, 2023 at 13:56

    Now that big shot, big spender, loudmouth Joe Biden has abruptly run into a ‘cash-flow’ problem. He is out of cash to lavish on thoroughly corrupt Ukraine. But ‘whoops, look we found a spare $3 billion hiding in the $100+ billion we already spent on Ukraine.’ Now how did that darned thing get there? The only thing these people hide is the money they steal. Every other corrupt and cowardly action they take is shoved right in your face. Their motto is, ‘You’ll take it, and like it.’ If you believe the press, and I don’t. There is complete solidarity, ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in Europe to sacrifice Ukraine right down to the last Ukrainian. Mass murder is once again all the rage in Europe. That didn’t take long.

  5. Bill Todd
    May 20, 2023 at 02:20

    It’s good to see that the vast majority of comments here reflect a realistic and healthy view of the situation, but I will mention that the alleged ‘amplification’ by the authors of the article reflects more their own spin on the NYT ad rather than the content of the ad itself (which would have been a better dish to serve here and can apparently be read at hxxps:// though I had to access it using an old version of Internet Explorer because Firefox was unable to read it without neutering the protections I prefer to use with it).

    To begin with, that ad does not in fact ‘condemn’ the Russian invasion, though it does mention that it was ‘criminal’ though I’d hope that its authors just didn’t want to get bogged down in raucous bleating from the great unwashed if they failed to call it so or noted that it was no more criminal than multiple incursions which the U.S. has undertaken under the questionable cloak of U.N. Article 51. It only characterized the invasion as potentially equally ‘catastrophic’ to the U.S. pledges to back Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’ and in general does a pretty good job (unlike this article) of explaining why the invasion was in no way ‘unprovoked’ (though I think omitting the fact that it was only actually launched immediately after a major increase in the attacks on the new independent republics in eastern Ukraine whose civilians had been mercilessly under attack for the preceding 7 years).

    The authors here give Zelenskyy a great deal more sympathy than he deserves. He is fully responsible for having won election (to the degree that an election after a coup significant) on a platform of peace, neutrality, and friendship with Russia (which won him country-wide support) and then having reversed his position completely thereafter and continued, eventually with increased brutality, the war against the eastern separatists (which lost him almost all support in the eastern oblasts) and long before any significant influence was brought to bear by Boris Johnson.

    I frankly would have expected better from this article’s authors, unless they were writing it to be as accessible as possible to a wide audience without directly calling a spade a spade – in which case their approach may have been reasonable in some venues but as I noted at the beginning simply posting the actual ad here might nave been better for this one.

    • Valerie
      May 21, 2023 at 03:26

      I agree with what you say Bill and thankyou for the link to the full ad.

  6. bardamu
    May 19, 2023 at 17:52

    Apparently the NYT will still publish real commentary as long as it’s in the form of a paid ad. Who knew?

    The Russian goal here is to deter and detain NATO and the US from putting nuclear warheads closer to their border. An actually independent Ukraine would not be inconsistent with this. Negotiations are therefore possible, should the West be so inclined.

    NATO mostly follows the US, and the announced US goal is to undermine and destroy the Russian government that turned back the tide of Western investors in Russia after the fall of the Soviet–with the idea of encircling China and forcing its submission.

    Ask yourself what a practical Russian response to such strategy might be. Barring negotiation, do you invade the entirety and undertake to rule it? Or do you stand at some line and just keep shelling it into chaos? Having to conquer and hold an entire Ukraine, including a substantial percentage of Ukrainians that are notably anti-Russian, is not a particularly ideal solution. But in the alternative, with the West that keeps Zelensky in power and alive, Russia can only gain peace by an attrition of Ukrainian forces. And a long war of attrition might not unreasonably begin to appear expensive.

    So while these Ukrainian gains of space make a sharp difference to those that they displace or kill, they make no appreciable gain towards the end of the conflict. They protect no Ukrainian. The solution for local people is presumably to leave any way that they can and in any direction at any moment that this can be accomplished.

    • vinieoh
      May 20, 2023 at 15:38

      A very sad but realistic assessment. And last night (Friday 5/19/23) is announced the news the US will train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets.

      This is the worst thing ‘ve heard yet in ’23. F#$%^hg Biden is going to get us all killed – for NOTHING.

      And ever an anon with the refrain “Russia’s UNPROVOKED invasion of Ukraine.” I can’t talk to my friends, family, neighbors about this because there are so many layers of the onion to peel back before you get to the truth. People’s eyes jus glaze over.

    • CaseyG
      May 20, 2023 at 16:02

      Well if you think about it——-what does NATO stand for anyway?
      “Nasty Attitude Towards Others”——that is what America seems to be suffering from—And because of that attitude—- it would be best to stop acting like a superpower——-because we no longer are.

  7. Peter Loeb
    May 19, 2023 at 15:23

    Peace negotiations are an illusion. When one party loses there may be some chance. Currently
    both Russia and Ukraine perceive the entire territory (some of whose citizens fled the fear and murders of the Ukraine
    government) as territory they are entitled, indeed obligated, to defend.. All sides are locked into their belief that only total victory over the other can result in a settlement. (In other conflicts it was called “surrender” and often “unconditional surrender.”) The more intransigent Zelensky (for Kyiv) becomes, the more Russia will conclude that total victory over Ukraine is Russia’s one and only hope. And without proof positive, one must believe that the US and other belligerents have a responsibility for Zelensky’s positions.

    Most certainly, Zelensky is aware of his own political reliance on the far right elements which constitute major parts of his
    own government.

    And of course profit for defense contractors is a major factor. The defense contractor lobby is powerful in Congress and
    in government. Many have seen these connections. One can go back to Norman Augustine (of Martin, then Lockheed) as
    well as others who consciously developed “markets” for the lethal products.

    • Anthony Kevin
      May 20, 2023 at 07:31

      It is now looking more likely that there will be a breakthrough towards ceasefire and peace talks in next few days
      Maybe Zelensky decided to go to Japan G7 after all ( after deciding not to go after Saudi Arabia) to try to get full G7 diplomatic cover for starting peace talks with Russia, which US/UK have so far vetoed him from doing . Will Scholz Macron and Sunak show some guts at last and defy Biden -NATO warmongers ? The East European G6 stance (reported by Hersh ) will help,concentrate minds . It really is time now to end this futile US proxy war that is destroying Ukraine .
      Tony Kevin.

  8. vinnieoh
    May 19, 2023 at 13:40

    I do not read the NYT, so I’m wondering if CN might provide the names of those that signed this plea.

    Also, perhaps create a platform to collect signatures from the public at large to end this crime?

    Yes, the condemnation of Russia was obligatory, just as the claims of ignorance before the illegal Iraq invasion are obligatory now.

    I wouldn’t let that stop me from signing a public appeal for decency, humanity, and sanity.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      May 19, 2023 at 16:15

      And we know that the United States has never been a force for peace in this world and never will be since, for no other reason, peace is not nearly as profitable and it would require Washington to abandon its imperial agenda.

    • Eddy Schmid
      May 20, 2023 at 02:31

      It would seem, the West, in particular NATO countries, can’t read English. Russia was very clear in voicing it’s concerns of the continual creep of NATO and it’s associated bases and weapons as a direct threat,, and unless that movement was halted, it would have no choice, but to defend it’self. This was made abundantly clear to everyone. BUT the West and NATO members deliberatley chose to ignore the warnings, and the U.S. stated just as clearly, what IT’S OBJECTIVE WAS. ie, the destruction of the Putin Government, and the take over of Russia. To then turn around and claim this war is all Russia’s fault, is to ignore the reality as it was on the ground. Mind you I also recall not ONE voice of objection to the murder and aggression being displayed by the Ulraine forces against Gadansk and Donbas people’s who were being attacked and butchered for FOURTEEN YEARS. The very same people, now crying out for peace, are the very same folks who were persuing this agenda of aggression against Russia. IMHO, there is only ONE nation, that is accountable for this murderous aggressive war being waged against Russia, and that is the same country that also has China in it’s cross hairs, whilst all the time claiming to be innocent of aggression, and causing this destruction wherever it has interveined. A POX on America, I can only hope and pray Karma and justice will prevail at the end of the day, and the U.S. will becalled upon to pay the price it has imposed on all it’s victims.

  9. Juan M Escobedo
    May 19, 2023 at 13:19

    Let’s not forget what General Smedley Butler said:”war is a racket”and a money making enterprise for those who promote them.Warmongers make mobsters look like Archangels…

  10. Herman
    May 19, 2023 at 12:46

    Anyone interested in returning to Minsk Agreements with a new name? Maybe adding some embellishment that stop our side from cheating. Maybe insuring fair elections in what is left of Ukraine as well as the area that was covered by the Minsk Agreement.

    The Americans will have a hard time swallowing this because much of the world sees us with dirty hands and nothing to show for hundreds of billions wasted dollars and more importantly hundreds of thousand of young men’s death and scars that cannot be removed.

    For what?

    • Eddy Schmid
      May 20, 2023 at 02:33

      “For what ?” To make the M.I.C. and it’s share holders filthy rich, and to ensure the collapse of the Russian Government. Does that answer your question ?

  11. C. Crown
    May 19, 2023 at 11:39

    I remember reading at the fall of the iron curtain that America now had the clear choice, while being top of the heap, to either become a peacemaker in the world or its deadliest empire. We know what it’s choice was because that was what we had the most practice at. I don’t think it was even a choice at all. We don’t seem to breed those types, unfortunately.

    • vinnieoh
      May 19, 2023 at 13:43

      GHW Bush said in an address that I’m not sure of the date or the audience, but while he was POTUS: “There will be NO peace dividend.”

  12. Vera Gottlieb
    May 19, 2023 at 11:17

    The US might be consider a ‘force for peace’…yet to me, it looks more like a force for evil.

    • JonnyJames
      May 19, 2023 at 11:31

      Who is the force for peace? the UK?

      • Eddy Schmid
        May 20, 2023 at 02:36

        Neither the U.S. or the U.K. The none aligned nations need to be authorised by the nations within the U.N. AFTER it has been swept clean of the U.S. U.K. lakeys working within.

  13. JonnyJames
    May 19, 2023 at 10:52

    The traditional Realist school of IR has a bit more rational approach to US imperialism, however Kissinger has changed his mind apparently and now supports war. Other “Realists” like John Mearsheimer, and others who signed the NYT ad think that provoking Russia is a bad idea. The “experts” are at least more moderate warmongers.

    The UK sent DU (so-called depleted uranium) munitions to Ukraine, Russia blew up the stockpile and now (reportedly) a radioactive cloud is blowing west. Cracking job UK! The radioactive cloud is now blowing over the EU. UK, the imperial junior partner since 1945, is now the biggest cheerleader for war.

    EU countries plan to send old F-16s to Ukraine (to be shot down) and then will order shiny new Weapons of Mass Destruction from the USA. War is a Racket (Maj. Smedley Butler). Follow the money. The MIC will make another killing, stock market is booming.

    The US has no health care system, infrastructure that is the butt of jokes, declining average life expectancy, the worst health outcomes in the entire OECD. The politricksters are talking about stealing what is left of SS and Medicare. No money for education either.

    BUT: trillions for nuclear force “modernization”, weapons, mass murder, and more money for UkroNazis, Apartheid Israel etc.


    • JonnyJames
      May 19, 2023 at 13:32

      Caveat: I have much respect for Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley, the rest not so much.

    • Valerie
      May 19, 2023 at 13:39

      Jonny, i don’t see anything in the MSM about this radioactive cloud. Except for some obscure websites and Russian media. Are they just ignoring it?
      And as for the UK being the “force for peace”, well that’s an oxymoron. Did you see Liz (prime minister for 44 days) Truss stirring things up in Taiwan recently? They are all nucking futs.

      • JonnyJames
        May 19, 2023 at 17:05

        I saw it first on Sputnik then did a search: I could not find any English-speaking outlet that mentioned it, only foreign media.

        As far as the UK force for peace: I was being a bit sarcastic, since I know a couple of UK denizens who are quick to condemn the US Evil Empire (rightly so), but are largely silent on the UK’s equal role. US/UK in lockstep “special relationship” and all that…

        I sometimes joke, “of course the US in an imperialistic, authoritarian, hypocritical nation, we inherited those traits from our relatives ‘cross the pond”

        • Valerie
          May 20, 2023 at 03:36

          I know it was a joke. But you’re right – it’s genetic. LOL
          Just look at the brit empire!!!
          Anyway, at first i didn’t believe nukes would be involved, but the way things are going, we might get even nastier radioactivity.
          (Btw, “Sly” news says the cloud over europe has been dismissed, so that’s alright then.)

          • JonnyJames
            May 20, 2023 at 11:45

            RT and Sputnik still have stories up on the “radioactive cloud”. Who knows? Facts get lost in the “fog of war””

            • Valerie
              May 21, 2023 at 03:31

              I can’t access RT or Sputnik from europe. It’s banned/prohibited.

    • Eddy Schmid
      May 20, 2023 at 02:38

      Awesome post Jonny, I could not have stated it better.

      • JonnyJames
        May 20, 2023 at 11:46

        Thank you

    • Tim N
      May 20, 2023 at 11:10

      Up next of course is cutting Social Security. The “progressives” are already voicing alarm that Cracker Joe is giving too much to the Republicans. They’re either naive fools or simply playing their parts in the current manufactured drama in DC.

  14. May 19, 2023 at 10:48

    I couldn’t advise raising hope of a negotiated settlement of the Ukraine situation. The U.S. and its allies have repeatedly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. “Agreement-incapable” is how the Russians view us. And any settlement that leaves a rump Ukraine to be reactivated as a Russian enemy is a non-starter with Russia, not to mention the core neoNazis who would be left free to reignite the war.

    The only resolution I see is total defeat of the Ukrainian military and that nation’s unconditional surrender. Resolution will come on the battlefield, not in negotiations.

    That’s the view from here.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      May 19, 2023 at 16:22

      I am not sure where “here” is but I suspect that you have never been on a battlefield nor anything close to a war zone.

      • Mikael Andersson
        May 20, 2023 at 01:51

        Jeff, there’s no need to be rude to Paul. He is welcome to express his thoughts. I suspect that we all share your feelings concerning Ukraine. Let’s be civil with each other.

        • Tim N
          May 20, 2023 at 11:12

          How was he rude? He stated his opinion, a quite valid one. If its at odds with somebody else’s opinion, well, that happens.

      • Eddy Schmid
        May 20, 2023 at 02:45

        We don’t have to ne on a battlefield or war zone, to work out who is responsible for this murderous war, egged on by none other than the U.S. A. I recall the words uttered by a U.S. representative whilst clandestinely interfering in Ukraine affairs. The word she spoke after being advised of what the results could be, if she went throught with her plan to the E.U. Her words were, and I quote, ” F**K the E.U.” and her Government stood 100% behind her. B.T.W. in case your wondering, I actually HAVE fought a war, and been on that battlefield. Another U.S. instigated war that it LOST eventually. VIETNAM.

        • Dozer
          May 21, 2023 at 01:03

          Fancy that. The UK advocating for a war against Russia? It might not be related to the Round Table emporium that American historian Carroll Quigley called out, which is essentially the “former” British empire that has nested on the elites of the American empire. Woodrow Wilson and FDR were two Anglophile stooges who did their bidding in WW1 and WW2. It might not be that the clandestine British empire, through the the use of its former colonies (Cayman Islands, etc.), is funneling “old world” or western monies through these colonies to protect the interests of western elites, via tax loopholes and money laundering. Now Ukraine seems to be the new satrap, and maybe the spigot for this money laundering. Billions of dollars flow around and no one knows where these billions go. Hmmm.

      • Cratylus
        May 20, 2023 at 12:53

        Paul has a genuine point which gets at a truth discomfiting to the Russia bashers and closet Exceptionalists. It should be treated with the respect that realism always deserves.

        If the “negotiated settlement,” does not include a halt on US weapons, materiel and advisors to Ukraine, we will simply have another Minsk, Minsk 3. The US will use this to rearm Ukraine and prepare for more war and killing.
        Foolish negotiations which only allow the US/NATO perps to repeat their underhanded tactics will only lead to more war, more bloodshed.

        So I am afraid that Jeffrey’s emotive putdown of Paul’s point does a disservice to the realities that US/NATO aggressiveness have presented to us. Fool Russia once, shame on NATO. Fool Russia twice, shame on Russia. Fool Russia three times, not likely.

  15. Mikael Andersson
    May 19, 2023 at 10:23

    Thank you Medea and Nicholas. The USA has never been a “force for peace in the world.” It understands force of course, but not peace. Sadly, very sadly indeed, it will not create peace in Ukraine. The Zelensky regime must fall. Z and his friends will depart enriched. Russia will rebuild the Donbas region. Ukraine must remain smashed, an impoverished buffer zone to the west. The neighbours will not resuscitate it. The USA/UK will abandon it. Its expatriate population will remain abroad. The population will dwindle. It will add to its accolade as Most Corrupt the words Most Undeveloped. Warlords will be well-armed. It cannot join the EU as it cannot meet the entry criteria. It will not join NATO. The nature of its future regime is unclear. It is a great tragedy, and a generation slaughtered.

  16. Lois Gagnon
    May 19, 2023 at 08:53

    The US doesn’t want peace. It wants “Full Spectrum Dominance.” That is not a negotiable position in Russia’s eyes. We all know Ukraine is a proxy for achieving FSD. To the last Ukrainian if necessary. If we are going to end this war in humanity’s favor, we need to have a clear understanding of the true aims of all parties involved.

  17. Tim N
    May 19, 2023 at 08:44

    Oh, and really now: The US is going to become a force for peace in the world? My God, what on Earth makes you think the US is suddenly going to become something it never was? The idiots and lunatics who run what’s called “foreign policy” have nothing but contempt for the “experts” who are calling for peace.

  18. Tim N
    May 19, 2023 at 08:40

    No, Zelly’s “predicament” is not the fault of the Russian invasion. His acts, along with the heavy hand of the US, were the CAUSE of the invasion. You know this. Zelensky has a lot to answer for: he deliberately violated Minsk 2, despite being elected with 70 percent of the vote, with that coming because he was going to sit down with the Russians and make peace. Turns out he was either lying or was forced to do the opposite. Do not let that weasel off the hook!

    • CaseyG
      May 20, 2023 at 16:13

      Hi Tim N.
      I think Mr Zelensky will forever be remembered as a sad and greedy leader, AND , he will aways be remembered as the man who in his comedy routine ( pretended) to play the piano with his penis. And too he is a man who could hardly wait to get his hands on an American flag which Congress gave him——-grubby and grabby— that’s no way to lead a nation. : )

  19. Tony
    May 19, 2023 at 07:37

    A very welcome intervention.

    In the UK, there is no real discussion on the issue at all.

    If any Labour member of parliament repeated anything that appeared in the advertisement to which this article refers, then Keir Starmer would refuse to allow that person to be a candidate at the next general election.

  20. Sam F
    May 19, 2023 at 04:17

    The problem is that the US has deliberately created a situation that diplomacy cannot solve at this point.
    The West signed the Minsk accords only to buy time to arm Ukraine, then deliberately violated them.
    The West proved that it is not agreement-capable, so talk of talks does not address the problem.
    So Russia cannot end the conflict until its threatened security interests are protected, not by agreements.
    A 20-mile DMZ would have removed immediate threats, but the West supplied longer range weapons.
    So now Russia must take much more of Ukraine to end attacks on itself.
    This is just the Brzezinki/Reagan plan applied to Russia in Ukraine instead of the USSR in Afghanistan.
    It goes on to benefit the MIC until democracy is restored in the US, which is extremely unlikely.

    • JonnyJames
      May 19, 2023 at 16:52

      True, it would be like missiles 20 miles from the US border. I don’t think the US regime would accept that either. I think Zbig worked for Carter not Reagan. His Grand Chessboard book laid it out in detail. (It is chilling to re-read that book now). Speaking of Carter: he said that after the Citizens United case in 2014, the us “is an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery”. A quote that I will never forget, I found that stunningly honest, coming from a former pres. no less.

      • Sam F
        May 19, 2023 at 18:40

        Yes, Zbig was Carter’s National Security Advisor and declined that under Reagan but was on the NSC and CW commission. He opposed Nixon-Kissinger détente and trade with USSR, sought to re-install the Shah of Iran and planned the Afghan quagmire for the USSR. An aggressive tyrant demanding power, and a disaster for the U.S.

  21. Francis Lee
    May 19, 2023 at 04:08


    The Ukraine/Russian war started in late 2014 with the riots in the Maidan (Independence Square – Kiev). These disturbances then spread to Mariup0l where the (nazi) Azov Battalion decided to shoot up the place, and killing a number of the local populace. The conflict then moved on to Odessa which bore witness to the atrocity of the torching of the Trade Union Building and the deaths of some unfortunate 45 souls who were unfortunately incinerated within.

    American mischief makers including John Macain, Geoffrey Pyatt, Victoria Nuland, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Human Rights Watch (HRW – SIC!) and the Soros outfit (the Open Society Foundation) were instrumental in leading the putsch. The legal head of the Ukrainian government Victor Yanukovic was illegally deposed and his former finance minister – Petro Poroshenko – was appointed as the new President (without an election of course.) Poroshenko then told his audience that the fighting in the Donbass was simply a police action and would be over in hours rather than days. Not quite Mr Poroshenko!

    The actual war started here. 2014. The Ukie army invaded the DonBass but met with stiff resistance from the hastily formed militias. The official Russian position was initially not to intervene, but popular opinion in Russia itself was beginning to make its voice heard. Guns and volunteers began infiltrating from Russia into the Lugansk and Donetsk republics and staved off a rather pathetic Ukie attempt to take on the militias in Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo in 2015 – where they were soundly beaten.

    However, the Ukies licked their wounds and began shelling the Donbass from 2014 to the present day. Some 14000 Donbass civilians were killed during this siege.

    Not to be outdone the Ukie army was re-organized and prepared for another offensive against the Donbass in which started in 2022. At that point Putin had had it. For good or ill, Russia entered the war. Can we start from this point I wonder?

  22. Valerie
    May 19, 2023 at 03:43

    But the “useless” idiots in UK will have to be tamed:

    “Rishi Sunak has given a “straightforward” message for Vladimir Putin at the G7 summit: “We’re not going away.””

    Also, i wonder what the significance of an “in person” appearance by Zelensky at the G7 summit really means.

    Whatever, there is so much “cloak and daggers” involved here, it is difficult to ascertain the reality on the ground.

  23. May 19, 2023 at 03:21

    There can be no peace in Ukraine. Because there is no war. It is indeed an SMO. The war is beyond– with Washington. And peace would mean the US withdrawing its military occupations around the world and demilitarizing. Demilitarization and denazification refer to the US, as much as to Ukraine– lest we forget. The Russians remember.

  24. Bill Todd
    May 19, 2023 at 02:10

    Well, it’s nice that some opposition to continuing to fuel the fires of war in Ukraine has been given public view, but I’m sick and tired of its inclusion of the obligatory condemnation of Russia’s invasion when the U.S. engineered a situation where Russia had no alternative (funny how those condemnations never even try to offer up any reasonable alternative beyond those which Russia has been exploring for decades).

    And appeals to how much the war is costing us (without observing that its cost is mostly in shoveling major amounts of new money into our absurd ‘defense budget’ so it’s mostly just business as usual) leave me cold: we deliberately created this situation (even though being completely brain-dead about how it might turn out) and damn well deserve to shoulder its costs and to apologize to the rest of the world for having passed some of them on as well.

    The real irony is that our massive incompetence in this just might be the trigger that causes the American public to demand a government which looks after their needs by throwing out the two corrupt major political parties and replacing them with something worth supporting, but that’s the only side-benefit that comes to mind aside from perhaps cleaning up the corruption in the U.N. which allowed this situation to occur.

    • Valerie
      May 19, 2023 at 13:29

      Precisely Bill.

    • JonnyJames
      May 19, 2023 at 16:56

      Well put. We can only hope the D/R dictatorship can be broken.

  25. Robyn
    May 18, 2023 at 20:13

    The statement calls the war an “unmitigated disaster …”

    Of course this is correct with respect to all those whose lives have been extinguished or ruined. And, of course, it was all foreseeable. But I suspect that for the war-mongers who drive this wars are a unmitigated success. This small group of evil people make millions/billions, their futures and loved ones are safe and secure, and they live lives of luxury and influence most of us cannot even imagine. And because they have zero empathy they are untroubled by conscience. And so, while the current war wreaks death and destruction, they’re gearing up for the next one.

    • Valerie
      May 19, 2023 at 13:16

      “their futures and loved ones are safe and secure,”

      But shit happens sometimes Robyn. They should not be too complacent. Their evilness could lead to greater disasters.

  26. May 18, 2023 at 20:12

    Wonderful to see this push for peace. It is incredible that we don’t learn “The lessons from History”….if we did we all would be a lot happier, with the exception of those huge bankers who loves wars to fatten their wallets. One can go back to Marcus Aurelius and his Meditations or Sun-tzu on the Art of War….it really has not changed since then and the same aggression by one party over the next is still there. Clinton was the one that set the aggression into motion by violating the agreed upon concerns of both Russia and the US. As Jeffrey Sachs said not long ago. We lied.

  27. RWilson
    May 18, 2023 at 20:12

    The NYT editorial must include the obligatory condemnation of Russia’s self-defense (and aid in the self-defense of the legally independent Luhansk and Donetsk Republics), before going on to criticize the western oligarchy’s attack on Russia via the Ukraine. Such is the control the oligarchy has over our Overton Window.

    We must not only end the oligarchy’s war on Russia, but also overthrow the oligarchy so it stops manufacturing these wars for profit. And stops the slow-motion slaughter in Palestine. We must follow the money to who funds the Neocons, and who controls the MSM monopoly’s propaganda machine.

    I took a look at a couple of ABC reports on Ukraine the other day, and they were just as misleading as PBS. Those people must know by now they are massively deceiving the American voters. If that’s not election meddling I don’t know what is. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

    • James White
      May 20, 2023 at 18:02

      The legacy press are very well paid to sleep at night and on the job. Any reporter who does not do the bidding of the Deep State and elected Democrats is fired. It is a joke to call it a ‘free’ press. Like Congress, it is very paid and therefore controlled by the oligarchs who sign their paychecks. Media whores, like Congress, are the whores of oligarchs. Jeffrey Epstein had nothing on these pimps.

  28. Father Brown
    May 18, 2023 at 18:59

    What problem in America could you try to at least start to fix with $100,000,000,000.00?

    IIRC, the Trump Stimulus checks that went out were somewhere in that order of magnitude of cost, I think maybe a couple of hundred billion dollars. Would you rather have a check for say $500 as a way to help with inflation instead of the NATO war? How would you spend $100 billion to try to make America if not Great, then at least a little better.

    Would you give more money to overwhelmed food banks and homeless shelters? Would you find a way to give a bit to nurses as a small thank you for the last 3 years of pandemic disaster and overwork? What would you do with $100 billion?

    Wars always have a cost, which includes the things that money is not spent upon while instead the focus in on ending the lives of other sentient souls.

    • AA from MD
      May 19, 2023 at 10:24

      I would definitely implement a single payer healthcare system with cost controls, Father Brown; That in itself would be a payraise for most Americans.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        May 19, 2023 at 16:41

        We might have had a single payer if Barack Obama had not ignored the polls and with the support of Nancy Pelsoi, torpedoed it. As did that loud fraud, Bernie Sanders, who went into the tank in his lone debate with Joe Biden who said, BEFORE his nomination, that if Medicare for All was passed by the Senate and the House, he would veto it.

        And we are going to see this pathetic, criminal SOB again be portrayed as the people’s necessary choice come Nov, 2024 in the ONLY country where it is always election season.

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