By the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, November 27, 2022
On this week of Thanksgiving, Ralph welcomes two distinguished anti-war activists and Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODE Pink to discuss her book “War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict” and David Swanson of World Beyond War to not only put the conflict in Ukraine in context but also to reveal the financial incentives that drive endless war.
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. Her most recent book, coauthored with Nicolas J.S. Davies, is War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict.
I remember everybody was talking about the peace dividend: “Hey, the Soviet Union collapsed. Now, we can shrink the military budget. We can disarm more. We can put the money back into communities. We can rebuild and restore America’s public works— our so-called infrastructure.” We didn’t count on the profit motive of the determined, deliberate, limitless greed and power of the military industrial complex.
We have a history of the US making coups in countries around the world. And it’s oftentimes decades after those coups that we find out the information about the extent of US involvement. That will be the case in [Ukraine] as well.
We are looking sector by sector about how to mobilize and put pressure on our Congress and directly on the White House. Because I think that it’s the only way that we, in this country, can use our influence. And we must do it.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, radio host and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He is executive director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. His books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War.
When you see these videos contrasting “all the money going to Ukraine” and the homelessness problem and the poverty problem in the United States, we shouldn’t imagine this money as benefiting the people of Ukraine at the expense of benefiting the people of the United States. It’s exacerbating and prolonging a war that is devastating the people of Ukraine.
They’ve made war something that involves no US lives— or very, very few, and not officially a US war—and they’ve made it all about assisting a “struggling little democracy” against a “brutal authoritarian dictatorship”. And it has been the most phenomenal propaganda success I can recall or have read about in history.
Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.
NATO expansion only happened because the Senate ratified the inclusion of all of these new countries in amending the NATO treaty. So, Congress is a partner with the President in flouting the pledges to Gorbachev (at the time) against further NATO expansion east after the collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union. Just another example of congressional dereliction.
3 thoughts on “AUDIO: Ukraine: Senseless Conflict”
This war is nearly 9 years old (not just 9 months). When armed “little green men” took over the Crimean Rada, Putin unilaterally reneged on one of the few successes of nuclear non-proliferation. That is, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan gave up the nuclear weapons on their territories in exchange for guarantees of their sovereignty and national borders. This agreement was with Russia, the US & Great Britain. Crimean annexation also put the US & Great Britain in a position to either abandon their commitments under the Budapest Memorandum or keep their pledge to support Ukraine.
Where was the outrage then? Instead, we heard the same appeasing arguments that Putin had no choice, because Maidan was a US coup. That is the Russian narrative to which the Ukrainians, by their resistance to Russian aggression, have been disputing for 9 years.
People should listen carefully to this program, but no one will be able to listen carefully enough to find in it either Joe’s position or the one he claims to be opposing.
I admit that my comment was not really about your segment. It was Media Benjamin’s interview that set me off. It takes a lot of hubris to write a book west-splaining the Ukraine/Russian conflict by going back only few decades.
Although I would be interested in the poll you referenced that has almost 50% of Ukrainians supporting negotiating with Putin. Can you provide a link?
And I would take exception to your off-hand disparaging opinion of Ukrainian democracy. Before the Tsarist Russian occupation in the 18th century, Ukraine had a democratic tradition that dated back to the 15th century. It was the Kremlin that took that away, and they have been struggling to take it back ever since.