This article appears in the May 26, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
[Print version of this article]
RFK, Jr.: My Uncle’s Most Important Speech
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. interviewed by Russell Brand on Rumble, May 13, 2023 (excerpts).
We were sold on the fact that [the war in Ukraine] was a humanitarian war, and we were sold using these kinds of formulaic narratives that Putin is an evil, Hitler-like figure, or Saddam Hussein, whoever it is—the one that we need to go to war [against]—we are the good guys, and that it is a humanitarian war. But, we have not been acting like it’s a humanitarian war. And by the way, my own son went over there and was fighting over there. He was a machine gunner in a Special Forces unit; he joined the Foreign Legion, and fought in the Kharkiv events; motivated by those impulses, by the humanitarian impulses, by the courage of the Ukrainian people, by the brutality of the Russian invasion, etc.
But if you look at the history of why, what’s happened over there, and you go back a little bit in history, in 1990-91, when the Soviet Union was collapsing, we made a deal with Gorbachev, Britain and the United States. It was over the reunification of Germany, which was a very dicey issue. The Russians had 400,000 troops in East Germany, and we wanted to reunite East Germany under NATO, which had been the Russian enemy. So, the Russians were naturally worried, and said, if we take our troops out, we want to make sure that you’re not getting a beach-head, and you’re not going to move NATO into all of our former satellite states and make us feel like we’re under attack; like we’re being encircled. And President Bush famously told them, “We will not move NATO one inch to the East.”
Well, since then, we’ve moved it a thousand miles to the East, and we’ve incorporated 14 of the former Russian satellite states. And we’ve put nuclear-missile-capable systems, the Aegis missile system which is manufactured by Lockheed, in both Romania and Poland. And the Russians were terrified we’d put that in Ukraine, which is only 400 miles from [Moscow]. And they repeatedly said to us, you cannot incorporate Ukraine into NATO. We then unilaterally walked away from our two intermediate nuclear weapons treaties with Russia. So, we had treaties saying you can’t use intermediate nuclear weapons. These were huge steps in progress, and we cancelled them both unilaterally. We told the Russians, we’re not doing that anymore. Surrounding [them with] these missile systems, we started practicing incorporating Ukraine into interoperability with NATO forces.
Zelensky then runs in 2020. We helped to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Ukraine in 2014, and installed a very ultra-nationalist—and that is a polite way of describing them—ultra-nationalist government. They’re extremely anti-Russian. That prompts the Russians to go in and invade Crimea, because they’re terrified that now that we [the U.S.] have our own government in place there, we’re going to put our U.S. Navy fleet in a warm water port that they’ve had for I think 370 years [Sevastopol]. It’s their only warm water port; it’s their way of having a military presence in the Black Sea. They’re terrified we’re going to go in there, so they invade Crimea….
Put yourself in our position. I was here in 1962 when the Russians put nuclear missile sites in Cuba; and we were ready to invade. Even though we didn’t know that they were armed at that point.
Meanwhile, we’ve never been invaded. The Russians have been invaded three times through Ukraine. The last time they were invaded, during World War II, they were invaded through Ukraine. One of every seven Russians was killed; 13% of the population. Russia was levelled.
My uncle in 1963 gave his most important speech, the American University speech. In that speech, he tried to do what I’m doing right now. It was a speech to the American people. You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of the Russians and understand how they have a worldview. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your adversary. He went through this history of the suffering that Russia endured during World War II, explaining why it would want to have a legitimate claim to protect its borders.
Ukraine today is a victim of U.S. aggression. Zelensky ran in 2019. Here’s a guy who’s a comedian and an actor. The reason I’m saying that is, the only reason he won that election is, he ran on a peace platform. He was going to ratify the Minsk Accords, which was the Russian-supported agreement. The Donbass would remain part of Ukraine, even though it had voted to join Russia. Russia said, we don’t want them; they stay in Ukraine, but you need to protect them. You need to make them semi-autonomous so they’re not getting killed.
Zelensky then gets in there, he gets surrounded by U.S. neo-cons, including most prominently Victoria Nuland—and she’s the one who sort of orchestrated the U.S. walking away from all these nuclear treaties. All of Zelensky’s peace professions suddenly disappear. He is pressured by ultra-nationalists within Ukraine and by the U.S. government to start having a military response instead of going to the table with the Russians.
Now, we’ve pumped $113 billion into that proxy war, and our government has admitted, President Biden has admitted that the old neo-con aspiration—this war is about getting rid of Putin. His Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, acknowledged in April 2022 that the U.S. purpose of engaging in this war is to exhaust and degrade the Russian army so they’re incapable of fighting anywhere else in the world. So, that is our objective in this war, and it is a proxy war that is using the bodies of the flower of Ukrainian youth, where they’re being mercilessly killed….
It’s 60% unemployment; the infrastructure of the country has been destroyed, for U.S. geopolitical machinations. It’s not right….
None of this is stuff that we should be doing if we really want peace. This is a war where Ukraine has been made a victim, not just by Russia, but by the United States government.