“We should have listened to Putin over many years. We made a commitment to Russia, to Gorbachev, that we would not move NATO one inch to the east. Then we went in, and we lied,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in an interview with UnHerd (Robert Kennedy Jr: America needs a revolution, by Freddie Sayers, Editor-in-Chief of UnHerd, ), published on Wednesday.
Instead of listening to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warnings about “red lines”, the U.S. has repeatedly crossed them, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in the interview.
The Democrat running for U.S. president added that Washington should have either invited Moscow to NATO or dismantled the anti-Russian alliance after the Cold War.
Instead of offering to integrate Russia into the West, as many diplomats urged in 1991, the U.S. expanded NATO to its borders.
He described what happened in Kiev in 2014 as “essentially a coup d’état” supported by the U.S., recalling the infamous phone call in which Victoria Nuland was “handpicking a new cabinet” for Ukraine hostile to Moscow.
Kennedy condemned the |barbaric and illegal invasion” of Ukraine and called Putin a ‘gangster’, a ‘thug’ and a ‘bully’, but said the conflict needed to be settled quickly, because the U.S. had already “sacrificed 300,000” Ukrainians in battle. While the White House presented aiding Kiev as a humanitarian mission, every step that we have taken has been to enlarge the conflict and to maximize bloodshed,” he said.
Asked about his proposed solution, Kennedy said that something like the Minsk accords, agreeing to keep Ukraine out of NATO, and removing nuclear missile launchers from Russia’s borders might work.
RFK Jr: I am talking about issues that I think most Americans and probably most Democrats are concerned about: the systematic gutting of the middle class; the elevation of corporations — particularly polluting corporations; and, from the financial industry to the military-industrial complex, the corrupt merger of state and corporate power. Through wars, bank bailouts and lockdowns, we have been systematically hollowing out the American middle class, and printing money to make billionaires richer. During the Covid lockdown, there was a $4.4 trillion shift in wealth from the American middle class to this new oligarchy that we created — 500 new billionaires with the lockdowns, and the billionaires that we already had increased their wealth by 30%.
That is just one of the assaults, and then you go to the bailout of the Silicon Valley Bank, and the war in Ukraine, which is costing us $113 billion; the war in Iraq and the wars that followed that have cost us $8 trillion. The total cost of the lockdowns was $16 trillion, and we got nothing for any of it.
FS: You have been using the word “corporatism” a lot in interviews — what do you mean by it?
RFK Jr: It is the domination of government, and particularly democratic governments, by corporate power.
If you look at the pharmaceutical industry in our country, it runs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA gets 50% of its budget from Big Pharma. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spends half of its budget purchasing vaccines from Big Pharma, and then distributing them.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is run by the railroads in our country and by the airlines; the banks have utterly corrupted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and the media has corrupted the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
RFK Jr: I consider myself a traditional Kennedy liberal. I do not know of any values that my uncle John Kennedy harbored, or my father shared, that I don’t share. They had antipathy and suspicion towards war and the military-industrial complex; they did not want corporations running the American government; they were completely against censorship. They were against the use of fear as a governing tool, and they spoke out about it often.
But I do think that there is a growing coalition in this country of populist forces, on the Left and Right, that are convening now and finding common ground. And I think that really is probably the only thing that is going to rescue American democracy.
RFK Jr: … I think there is a rebellion happening in our country now — there is a populist rebellion — and if we do not capture that rebellion, for the forces of idealism and the forces of generosity and kindness, somebody else is going to hijack that rebellion for much darker purposes. I do not think it is a good idea to say we are not going to talk to American populists because they are deplorable. Americans are our brothers and sisters, and we need to listen to them. And their backs are against the wall because of policies that have come from both Republican and Democratic parties.
FS: Let me ask you about climate and the environment, which is a lifelong issue for you. In the last few years, environmentalism seems to have shifted from being an anti-establishment position to an establishment, corporate-endorsed position. Do you think there is a good version of the green movement, and a corporate, Davos-style version of the movement? And how would you distinguish between them?
RFK: Yes, definitely that has happened. Climate has become more polarized than ever, and with good reason. The crisis has been, to some extent, co-opted — by Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum and the billionaire boys’ club in Davos — the same way that the Covid crisis was appropriated by them to make themselves richer, to impose totalitarian controls and to stratify our society, with very powerful and wealthy people at the top, and the vast majority of human beings with very little power and very little sovereignty over their own lives. Every crisis is an opportunity for those forces to clamp down controls.
And then you also see, with climate, there has been a shift — from habitat preservation and regenerative farming to trying to reduce the power of the carbon industry — towards corporate carbon capture, which can be monetized by the corporations and exploited without seeing any real benefit on the ground. And also with geoengineering solutions, which I oppose.
FS: We had an example here in Europe, with the farmers’ protests in the Netherlands.
RFK Jr: I fell on the side of the farmers in that debate because I saw what happened over the years, which is the increase in the power of this combination of corporate and government power, which colluded to get those farmers to switch over to heavily nitrate fertilizer-dependent and GMO farming. It was purposeful and systematic. Once you get all of those farmers to switch to hydrocarbon-based fertilizers and to monocultures, then you say: “Those things are bad and now we are going to shut you all down.” It is a bait and switch, a way of destroying small farmers.
FS: That takes us to this pressing question: one thing you talk about a lot is that America is in a permanent state of war and you want to put an end to that. With regard to Ukraine, how do you propose to do that?
RFK Jr: Settle it. The Russians have repeatedly offered to settle. If you look at the Minsk accords, which the Russians offered to settle for, they look like a really good deal today. Let’s be honest: it’s a US war against Russia, to essentially sacrifice the flower of Ukrainian youth in an abattoir of death and destruction for the geopolitical ambition of the neocons, oft-stated, of regime change for Vladimir Putin and exhausting the Russian military so that they cannot fight anywhere else in the world.
RFK Jr: I think the CIA needs to be reorganized. Most of the people who work at the CIA are patriotic Americans. They are very good public servants, and we need them to function. But I think we really need to separate the espionage functions of that agency and the Plans Division, the division that actually does dirty tricks, that kills people, that makes wars, that involves itself in actions.
RFK Jr: . . . Everybody knows we were lied to about Covid. Everybody knows we were lied to about Vietnam. Everybody knows we were lied to about Iraq. “Weapons of mass destruction.” My opinion about these agencies is not happening in a vacuum. Everybody knows that Pharma lied to us about opioids, and about Vioxx. These are not conspiracy theories.
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What I find most encouraging about his campaign, Katherine, is every time he gives an interview he gives me new words to explain my current mindset to fellow activists who are skeptical of my viewpoints.
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I agree with his positions on just about everything.
Reblogged this on haurietisaquas and commented:
All that RFK has to say here is good, fair, and honest. How refreshing to read !!
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HONEST ……… haven’t seen that is a very long time.
Tubularsock can’t wait to see the “not-debate” that will be coming our way.
The polls are going to be amazing as time moves on here.
Tubularsock is backing Bobby all the way!
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I’ve been pretty pleased with all the coverage he’s got so far, Tube. Even though it’s not mainstream, nobody under 70 takes the MSM seriously any more. RFK Jr seems to do an interview somewhere every single day.