The Hypocritical Tradition in American Foreign Policy
This is Part 3 of Sour Milk’s Ukraine series. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
“If an authoritarian leader anywhere in the world is able to invade their neighbor and take them over by force and deny them sovereignty, then this won’t end at the Ukraine. It will happen all around the world.”
—Victoria Nuland, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, February 16, 2022
Hypocrisy is one of the few constants in American foreign policy, and nobody is better qualified to uphold this tradition than Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Not only did Nuland serve as Vice President Dick Cheney’s foreign policy advisor during the invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq, her husband/wingman is neoconservative standard bearer Robert Kagan. Cofounder of the Project For A New American Century, Kagan famously lied in January, 2002: “We know that Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of September 11th, went out of his way to meet with an Iraqi intelligence official a few months before he flew a plane into the WTC.”
This beltway dynamic duo are the architects of the Biden administration’s aggressive Russian containment policy that Kagan outlined in a 2014 New Republic article, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire” and the Mrs. updated in her 2020 Foreign Affairs article entitled, “Pinning Down Putin: How A Confident America Should Deal with Putin.” “The first order of business, however, must be to mount a more unified,” Nuland wrote, “and robust defense of U.S. and allied security interests wherever Moscow challenges them.” If nothing else, the Under Secretary of State is true to her words. Now the administration that oversaw America’s humiliating retreat from Afghanistan, bitch made by the Taliban, is playing brinkmanship with nuclear-armed Russia.
Given her history, Victoria Nuland is the last person who should be in charge of America’s Ukraine policy. Nuland is best known for the controversial role she played as the Obama Administration’s Assistant Secretary of State during the 2014 “Ukraine Crisis.” After Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yanukovych, agreed to take a $15 billion loan from Russia, Ukrainians who wanted to join the European Union protested. Yanukovych responded to his opposition with force, the protests spread, and the president fled to Russia. After an opposition coalition government was formed, Nuland engineered the installation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk as Ukraine’s new president. Her arrogance and contempt for the European nations that would bear the economic and military brunt of a Russian invasion of eastern Europe would have gone unnoticed were it not for a February 4, 2014, phone call to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. In short, Nuland declared that the United States had unilaterally decided that “Yats” was the next Ukrainian president and if the European Union objected, “Fuck the EU.”
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Nuland's remark "absolutely unacceptable,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki went into damage control mode. When Psaki called the Russian recording and release of the call “a new low in Russian tradecraft,” she was cornered by reporters. AP’s Matt Lee, one of the last independent journalists left in America (who Sour Milk drinkers met in Ukraine 2), once again led the charge. [While I typically try not to use RT as a source and will probably be accused of being Putin’s stooge for linking to it, there was no other footage of this State Department press conference available.]
I wrote in my book Law and War: International Law and American History, that since the beginning, America’s egalitarian political ideology has posed unique problems for our expansive and essentially imperialistic foreign policy. As the United States grew into a regional and then a global power, American statesmen from Elihu Root, to Robert Lansing, to John Foster Dulles, to Henry Kissinger, to George Schultz, to Colin Powell, to Hillary Clinton, to Mike Pompeo, have used bald-faced hypocrisy to bridge the massive gap between U.S. rhetoric and actual foreign policy. The duality—the yawning chasm between American words and deeds—continues to widen. If nothing else, there is no one better qualified to uphold this tradition and serve as a stunning exemplar of the American hypocrisy than Victoria Nuland.
Read Part 4 in Sour Milk’s Ukraine series here.
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