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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/14/22

Will Russian Diplomats Resign In Opposition to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine?

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov levels new accusations at Ukraine Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov levels new accusations at Ukraine during a press conference following a trilateral ...
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Nineteen years ago, in March 2003, I resigned as a U.S. diplomat in opposition to the President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. I joined two other U.S diplomats, Brady Kiesling and John Brown, who had resigned in weeks previous to my resignation. We heard from fellow U.S. diplomats assigned to U.S. embassies around the world that they too believed that the decision of the Bush administration would have long term negative consequences for the U.S. and the world, but for a variety of reasons, no one joined us in resignation until later. Several initial critics of our resignations later told us they were wrong and they agreed that the decision of the U.S. government to wage war on Iraq was disastrous.

The U.S. decision to invade Iraq using the manufactured threat of weapons of mass destruction and without the authorization of the United Nations was protested by people in virtually every country. Millions were in the streets in capitals around the world before the invasion demanding that their governments not participate in the U.S. "coalition of the willing."

For the past two decades, Russian President Putin has warned the U.S. and NATO in stark terms that the international rhetoric of "the doors will not close for the possible entry of Ukraine into NATO" was a threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

Putin cited the 1990s verbal agreement of the George H.W. Bush administration that following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO would not move "one inch" closer to Russia. NATO would not enlist countries from the former Warsaw Pact alliance with the Soviet Union.

However, under the Clinton administration, the U.S. and NATO began its "Partnership for Peace" program that morphed into full entrance into NATO of former Warsaw Pact countries--Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

The U.S. and NATO went one step too far for the Russian Federation with the February 2014 overthrow of the elected, but allegedly corrupt, Russia-leaning government of Ukraine, an overthrow that was encouraged and supported by the U.S. government. Fascist militias joined with ordinary Ukrainian citizens who did not like the corruption in their government. But rather than waiting less than one year for the next elections, riots began and hundreds were killed in Maidan Square in Kyiv by snipers from both the government and the militias.

Violence against ethnic Russians spread in other parts of Ukraine and many were killed by fascist mobs On May 2, 2014 in Odessa. The majority ethnic Russians in the eastern provinces of Ukraine began a separatist rebellion citing violence against them, lack of resources from the government and cancellation of teaching of Russian language and history in schools as reasons for their rebellion. While the Ukrainian military has allowed the extreme right-wing neo-Nazi Azov battalion to be a part of military operations against the separatist provinces, the Ukrainian military is not a fascist organization as alleged by the Russian government.

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Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand (more...)
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