May 19, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Blames NATO and Neocons for Ukraine Conflict, Citing Zelensky’s Reluctance to Reject Membership

In a tweet on Wednesday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 2024 presidential candidate for the U.S. Democratic Party, shared his thoughts on the origins of the 2022 war between Ukraine and Russia. Kennedy referenced the 2019 election of actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky as Ukraine’s president, noting that he won with 70% of the vote by running as a peace candidate.

Kennedy quoted Benjamin Abelow’s book, “How the West Brought War to Ukraine,” suggesting that the war could have been avoided if Zelensky had simply stated, “I will not join NATO.” However, Kennedy asserts that pressure from Neocons in the Biden White House and violent fascist elements within the Ukrainian government led to Zelensky integrating his army with NATO’s forces. This integration allowed the U.S. to place nuclear-capable Aegis missile launchers along Ukraine’s 1,200-mile border with Russia.

According to Kennedy, these provocative actions crossed “red lines” for Russian leadership, as previously described by senior U.S. diplomats like post-WWII foreign policy architect George Kennan, former U.S. Defense Secretary Bill Perry, and former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock. Kennedy contends that Neocons wanted a war with Russia, drawing parallels to their desire for war with Iraq.

To support his argument, Kennedy shared a clip featuring NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark, in which he discusses how White House Neocons justified the Iraq invasion. The implication is that similar justifications and motivations may have played a role in the Ukraine conflict.

He wrote, “In 2019, actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky ran as the peace candidate, winning the Ukrainian presidency with 70% of the vote. As Benjamin Abelow observes in his brilliant book, “How the West Brought War to Ukraine,” Zelensky almost certainly could have avoided the 2022 war with Russia simply by uttering five words — “I will not join NATO.”

“However, pressured by NeoCons in the Biden White House and by violent fascist elements within the Ukrainian government, Zelensky integrated his army with NATO’s and allowed the U.S. to place nuclear-capable Aegis missile launchers along Ukraine’s 1,200-mile border with Russia. These were provocations that senior U.S. diplomats like post-WWII foreign policy architect George Kennan, former U.S. Defense Secretary Bill Perry, and former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock had long described as “red lines” for Russian leadership.

“Let’s face it, the Neocons wanted this war with Russia, just as they wanted war with Iraq. To illustrate this point, one can listen to NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark describe how White House Neocons justified the Iraq invasion.”

As the 2024 U.S. presidential race unfolds, Kennedy’s stance on the Ukraine-Russia war and the role of NATO membership in the conflict is likely to generate further discussion and debate.

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