Okay, America Has Died and Gone to Hell

Here is a clip from a recent interview of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., directly blaming the West for the war in Ukraine while voluntarily turning himself into Vladimir Putin’s number one American propagandist, supplanting even Tucker Carlson.

Tracing the current open war back to its pre-2014 origins, Kennedy claims that Putin never wanted to invade Crimea, but was somehow pushed into it by the West’s refusal to satisfy his very reasonable demands. But wait. How did Putin determine that he was in a position to make demands about the future of Ukraine, such that were these demands unmet, invading Crimea would be the only option left? No answer from the propagandist.

The three demands:

He wanted to keep NATO out of Ukraine — by which I assume Kennedy means that he wanted to keep Ukraine out of NATO. And on what grounds was he assuming the right to put conditions on Ukraine’s future existence as an independent country? No answer from the propagandist.

He wanted to “denazify” the Ukrainian government. What evidence did Putin provide to the world that Ukraine’s government was fundamentally Nazi? How is Ukraine’s “nazification” anything other than Putin pouting over the fact that his chosen puppet president Viktor Yanukovych was rejected by the Ukrainian people in a popular uprising against his betrayal of Ukraine to Putin’s designs?

He wanted certain regions of territorial Ukraine to be declared “semi-autonomous regions of Russia, just like Quebec is a semi-autonomous region of Canada.” But Quebec is fully a part and province of Canada, within whose national borders and laws it lies, and not a semi-autonomous region of another country. Kennedy’s analogy implicitly assumes from the outset that those regions of Ukraine which are adjacent to Russia are de facto parts of Russia, rather than de facto parts of Ukraine. Furthermore, Canada, to which Quebec belongs, is a country still functioning under a parliamentary, multi-party system of government, whereas Russia, to which Crimea does not belong, is a dictatorship with a single unchallenged oligarch, and with elections no more legitimate or open than those of China or North Korea.

Kennedy claims on Putin’s behalf that these three demands were asserted as a means of achieving a peace deal. But since there was no war imminent at that time, “seeking a peace deal” is merely a Putinesque euphemism for “threatening to attack.” In other words, “If you give me everything I want, and surrender your national sovereignty and self-determination, allowing me to occupy your territory without attacking you militarily, then I will let you live in peace.”

But that is not peace. It is violent coercion, in which actual bloodshed is averted only by the victim’s immediate surrender to the aggressor’s terms.

A couple of days ago, I defended RFK Jr.’s much-ballyhooed claim that Joe Biden is a greater threat to democracy than Donald Trump. Of course, that point becomes somewhat irrelevant if Kennedy continues to position himself as a greater threat to democracy than either of the other two. His willingness to spout pro-Putin propaganda, which I have long noted, has apparently been ratcheted up another notch for the sake of stealing votes from the MAGA morons. It might work. It will also likely scare Trump into heightening his own pro-Putin rhetoric, which one might not have thought possible. But Trump is a coward, and will follow his mob wherever they go in a desperate attempt to hold onto the adoration he so pathetically craves, and which is now threatened by the emergence of a smarter, more articulate messenger of his very own form of anti-American, pro-authoritarian populism. 

That handbasket in which America has long been travelling is now far, far out of sight. You should not expect it to reappear.

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