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Sen. Ron Johnson and Glenn Greenwald Dialogue Reflects New Political Dynamics Vs. Geopolitics

Glenn Greenwald's 'System Update' show with Sen. Ron Johnson, April 13, 2024

April 15, 2024 (EIRNS)—Just a few months ago it might have been unthinkable, but now, seeming political opposites in the United States are increasingly involved in discussions in which truth is both present, and acknowledged. One example of this is the April 11 very sober and thoughtful interview of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) done by journalist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald, in his introduction, observed that Johnson “started off back in 2022 supporting the idea of U.S.aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia, but has since become one of the most vocal and stalwart opponents of sending more aid there.” Greenwald then remarked that “As I have been arguing for some time, one of the most significant, and one of the most overlooked developments in U.S.politics, especially when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties, is the radical re-alignment among left and right, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, when it comes to who supports the military-industrial complex in the United States, and who does not.” Greenwald pointed out that there are often inconsistencies in argument—for example, that the argument to not fund the Ukraine war because it brings no benefit to the United States, that we cannot afford to fund more foreign wars, and that continuing to do so jeopardizes our standing in the world “does not apply equally to our current policy of financing and arming Israel’s war in Gaza, which most Republican and most Democrats support.” Below is a general paraphrase of the comments from Senator Johnson.

Russian and Ukrainian representatives were negotiating for peace at the Istanbul conference in March 2022 when, “the Biden Administration air-dropped Boris Johnson in there to blow that thing up. What a tragic turn of history,” Senator Johnson said. We could have simply said that Ukraine would not be allowed to join NATO and that would have prevented the entire war. We should have never promised NATO membership to Ukraine. NATO membership was a huge issue for Putin which was a factor that we completely ignored, “to the peril of Ukraine,” the senator added. The U.S. supported the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, and the result is—the complete destruction of Ukraine.

Johnson is no fan of Putin, and even called him a criminal, but said that Putin sees this war as an existential issue, that Russia will not lose, and that Ukraine cannot win. Russia has four times the population of Ukraine; the average age of Ukrainian soldiers is 43; the sanctions against Russia are not working; gas is now $20 higher per barrel, giving Russia plenty of income; and Russia is out-producing all of NATO combined in 155mm artillery shells by a factor of four to one (and each shell costs the Russians about $600, but Western shells cost $6,000 or more—ten times the cost). Despite this, Biden and the generals don’t want to admit that they are wrong, so they request more funding to prolong the war.

Now the war aim has shifted from liberating Ukraine to a proxy war, using the Ukraine people to weaken Russia. Johnson repeated several times that America needs to face reality and examine its own history. Every war since Vietnam has been a disaster, and made America weaker. He added that America’s founding fathers warned us against looking for foreign conflicts.

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