DAVID KRAYDEN: Good riddance to Victoria Nuland

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland is retiring. It’s not certain to me whether she’s being pushed out of the Biden administration because she will be a convenient scapegoat for Ukraine’s imminent defeat or whether she is frustrated that she has not yet provoked a nuclear war with Russia – but that is a moot point really.

She has wreaked her damage.

Over the decades, the sunny-faced state department staffer grew darker and heavier in every sense of the word. She not only spoke about war like it was merely diplomacy by other means, she began to look like she enjoyed the prospect of men and women dying on the battlefield.

The diplomats are usually the most dangerous and the most apt to resort to military force because they will never be faced with the prospect of killing the enemy on the battlefield; never have to see their best friends pulverized by shrapnel; or never have to witness first-hand just how bloody, debilitating and nauseous war can be.

We who have worn the uniform and seen the conflict could teach her something but she would never submit to such a pedantic exercise. 

Ding, dong: the Mistress of the Dark, the channeler of endless wars will soon be gone.

Here’s how the entirely effete, pusillanimous  and ineffective Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it this week:

“Victoria Nuland has let me know that she intends to step down in the coming weeks as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs – a role in which she has personified President Biden’s commitment to put diplomacy back at the center of our foreign policy and revitalize America’s global leadership at a crucial time for our nation and the world.”

What a joke. Take even a cursory glance at the state of U.S. foreign policy and it is crushingly evident that the Biden administration has utterly failed at diplomacy and removed America from the position of global leadership that it enjoyed under former President Donald Trump. We are literally watching the hatching of the Third World War on two fronts – Ukraine and the Middle East – because Biden refuses to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin; because Biden won’t consider peace when there are armaments to ship to Ukraine; and because President Joe Biden has absolutely no idea what kind of settlement he would like to broker between Israel and its growing number of adversaries.

Diplomacy is dead under the demented and dilapidated Biden largely because people like Nuland have been dictating an aggressive foreign policy that seeks war at every opportunity and doesn’t seem to even contemplate the possibility or wisdom of peace. American presidents could sit down with the worst despots that Soviet tyranny offered but Biden won’t even pick up the phone and chat with Putin – the man with his finger on the largest nuclear arsenal in the world and who is talking about using it if NATO continues to expand and comes closer by the day to deploying troops and to directly engaging with Russia in Ukraine. 

But the insufferable Blinken went on to praise Nuland’s longevity in the often tenuous field of foreign policy, where policy planners come and go like the seasons.

But not Nuland.

“Toria’s tenure caps three and a half decades of remarkable public service under six Presidents and ten Secretaries of State. Starting with her very first posting as a consular officer in Guangzhou, China, Toria’s had most of the jobs in this Department. Political officer and economic officer. Spokesperson and chief of staff. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary. Special Envoy and Ambassador.”

Yes, Nuland has been there a long time, far too long. She has been promulgating what has been dubbed the “neo-con” foreign policy of any war, anytime at all since she gained prominence during the administration of President George W. Bush, whose foreign policy did not significantly differ from his predecessor, Bill Clinton, or his successor, Barack Obama. 

Do you remember how people used to talk about a “peace dividend” after the end of the Cold War, how it was now possible to lower military spending in response to the reduced tensions in the world? 

For Nuland, that was a grave prospect. So even if the Cold War was over and Russia was struggling to find a new identity as a nation of democracy and free markets, that couldn’t get in the way of finding new ways to fight proxy wars and keep the Military Industrial Complex humming and happy. Today we have an annual military budget approaching $1 trillion, hundreds of billions of dollars for Ukraine and nothing but fentanyl for the human castoffs lining the sidewalks of America’s once-great cities.

Under Nuland’s blessing and direction began the endless martial odyssey of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and just about any real estate where another U.S. military base could be constructed. 

As long as Americans were being killed in foreign lands and coming home in body bags or in pieces, Nuland could pretend that this somehow represented American global hegemony or at least the ascendancy of American ideals. 

Nuland always appeared so cocky, so sure of herself and her mission of permaconflict that she evolved into an exquisitely literal picture of government arrogance. 

Remember how she essentially revealed to the world that the United States was going to blow up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Jan. 27, 2022? 

“With regard to Nord Stream 2, we continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies. And I want to be clear with you today, if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

Biden also acknowledged that the U.S. would obliterate Nord Stream 2 if Russia entered Ukraine during a Feb. 7, 2022 news conference.

“Let me answer the first question first. If Russia invades, that means, tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

A reporter asked, “But how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany's control?”

Biden responded: “We will, I promise that we will be able to do it.”

On Jan. 26, 2023, the smug under secretary told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee how happy she was that Europeans would be denied energy for the coming winter.

“Like you I am, and I think the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now as you like to say a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

Keeping the world safe for war: that was Nuland’s message and she was damn successful at it.

Maintaining the profit margins for the armaments manufacturers: that was her goal.

In her last major interview before her retirement, Nuland reminded everyone of how important it is to keep the merchants of death well fed, stating that she was fully confident of how the House of Representatives would come back from its break and happily dispense billions to Ukraine after its members think about all those well-paying jobs in the defense industry. 

Did she retire because she knows Ukraine will soon lose a war with Russia that could have been ended with a peace treaty that Biden and NATO did not want? Yes, it might be a tad difficult to argue at the end of this carnage that at least 300,000 Ukrainians might have died but just remember what a glorious opportunity this war was for the defense contractors. 

Maybe she does possess a sense of shame after all. 

Image: Title: nuland


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