Can we please stop pretending that this is Ukraine’s own war? Ukraine is a proxy for the U.S. and NATO in a conflict with Russia and, therefore, the U.S. must come to terms with its own responsibility for goading the belligerents and for maintaining the conflict. The U.S. and NATO broke promises to Russia. The U.S. and NATO played Ukraine with vague statements about its status as potential ally.

For all these reasons, it is extremely unfair, if not completely ignorant, to suggest that the U.S.’s continued supply of evermore dangerous weapons to Ukraine is doing anything better than marching Ukraine into further death and destruction — to say nothing of the suffering the fighting indirectly causes globally.

One year later, even a casual observer can describe the situation as well as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Diplomacy, not further fighting, is necessary to settle the current stalemate. How can any U.S. official or public citizen in good conscience claim that more weapons will bring about peace? How dare the U.S. say it “stands with Ukraine” while it bears such responsibility for provoking the conflict? How dare the U.S. claim to care about Ukraine’s sovereignty, while simultaneously undermining its own efforts at diplomacy, to say nothing of the U.S.’s historical involvement in stoking the conflict?

Negotiations are not appeasement. Pushing for diplomacy at this moment is more akin to authentic support of the Ukrainian people, since that is exactly what they were doing up until about March and April 2022, when the U.S. sent emissaries to Turkey to put a stop to serious peace negotiations underway between Russia and Ukraine. The U.S. has all the political leverage it needs to encourage both parties to negotiate. If it truly stands with Ukraine, it is obligated to use it.


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