Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the democrat challenging President Joe Biden for president, gave an extensive interview last week and spoke about the errors made by the U.S. in its dealings with Russia since the end of the Cold War.
Kennedy said the pragmatic approach by the U.S. would have been either to invite Russia to join NATO, or disband the anti-Russian alliance decades ago. He also talked about how the U.S. lied to Moscow when—after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989—Washington promised that the alliance would not move “one inch to the east.”
“Then we went in, and we lied,” he told UnHerd.
He asked the news site: “What is the purpose of NATO other than to oppose Russia? If you’re addressing Russia in a hostile way from the beginning, of course their reaction is going to be hostile back.”
Kennedy did not strike a sympathetic tone for Russian President Vladimir Putin and called him a “thug” and a “bully” for orchestrating the bloodbath in Ukraine, but he said the West—led by the U.S.—has been instigating the conflict by providing Kyiv with a constant flow of weapons and financial support.
“Let’s be honest: It’s a U.S. war against Russia, to essentially sacrifice the flower of Ukrainian youth in an abattoir of death and destruction for the geopolitical ambition of the neocons” who want to see Putin out.
Kennedy noted the 2014 Maidan Revolution which was essentially a coup orchestrated by the U.S. State Department. (See “VICTORIA ‘FUCK THE EU’ NULAND WHO SPEARHEADED OVERTHROW OF DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE IN 2014, STILL IN POWER” 22 Feb 2022.)
TRENDPOST: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. must be keeping a close eye on The Trends Journal because we have said since the start of the war that while we oppose Putin’s decision to invade, he was not unprovoked.
In 2000, Vladimir Putin, then the acting Russian president, sat down for an interview with the BBC and floated the idea of Russia joining NATO.
“Why not? Why not?” Putin said, according to The Washington Post at the time. “I do not rule out such a possibility…in the case that Russia’s interests will be reckoned with, if it will be an equal partner.”
He went on to say that Russia is “part of European culture.” He said it is difficult to imagine NATO “as an enemy.”
The Russian leader acknowledged for the first time that Russia inquired about NATO membership with then-President Bill Clinton.
“I would not give you all the details of that conversation,” Putin said. “But the reaction to my conversation—look, well, let me put it this way. How did Americans really look at this possibility? You can see it in their practical stance. Open support of the terrorists in North Caucasus, ignoring our demands and concerns, withdrawing from the arms limitation treaties, and so on.”
Gregory Simons, an associate professor at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University, said the West thought that it “had won the Cold War and could dictate all the terms as Russia was ‘beaten.’”
“They were high on the euphoria of a perceived victory rather than a massive opportunity for peace and security,” he told TRTWorld.com. “They did not regard Russia as an equal and probably thought to use the idea of membership as a means of compliance. Like the EU has done to Turkey for years.”
Readers of The Trends Journal understand that the conflict is much more nuanced than is being reported. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who made a fortune working with defense contractors when he’s not in politics, failed to recognize Russia’s legitimate security concerns about NATO expansion in Ukraine. Russia saw the West’s military relationship with Ukraine as an existential threat and was willing to go to war.
Russia’s claim that the U.S. assured Moscow that it would not move an inch to the east, has been contested by Washington.
As detailed in The Los Angeles Times back in May of 2016, “…hundreds of memos, meeting minutes and transcripts from U.S. archives indicate otherwise.”
“According to transcripts of meetings in Moscow on Feb. 9, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation with Germany, the U.S. could make ‘iron-clad guarantees’ that NATO would not expand ‘one inch eastward.’ Less than a week later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks.
“No formal deal was struck, but from all the evidence, the quid pro quo was clear: Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion,” the article read.
The Gorbachev Foundation’s record of the Soviet leader’s meeting with James Baker in 1990 supported Gorbachev’s claim that NATO would not continue to expand.
Baker: I want to ask you a question, and you need not answer it right now. Supposing unification takes place, what would you prefer: a united Germany outside of NATO, absolutely independent and without American troops; or a united Germany keeping its connections with NATO, but with the guarantee that NATO’s jurisprudence or troops will not spread east of the present boundary?
Gorbachev: We will think everything over. We intend to discuss all these questions in depth at the leadership level. It goes without saying that a broadening of the NATO zone is not acceptable.
Baker: We agree with that.