A Feminist Demand on International Women’s Day: Fire Victoria Nuland

Yves here. International Women’s Day was yesterday, but it is never too late to clall out Victoria Nuland. Perhaps I am too optimistic, but the fact that she’s been more visible in Congressional hearings and public events as Project Ukraine is going pear-shaped gives me hope that she’s past her peak influence. Admittedly, Hillary Clinton managed to run on brand fumes for quite a while, so Nuland could still be active on the speaking circuit even when her ability to shape policy has sorely diminished.

By Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace and co-author, with Nicolas J.S. Davies, of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict; Marcy Winograd, who served as a 2020 DNC Delegate for Bernie Sanders and co-founded the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party; and Melissa Garriga, the communications and media analysis manager for CODEPINK. Originally published at Common Dreams

When President Biden nominated Victoria Nuland as Undersecretary of State, CODEPINK feminists objected to her nomination out of concern she would bring pain and heartache to mothers and daughters as she fomented war in their midst. Instead of promoting diplomacy, Nuland lights matches wherever she meddles, agitating for war in Afghanistan, and now Ukraine.

If feminists remain silent or support this Bush-era neocon simply because she is a woman, Victoria Nuland might just burn down the world in a nuclear fire.

With drones already attacking the Crimean peninsula and long range US rockets on the way, Nuland’s push to cross another one of Putin’s red lines only ensures more death, destruction and ecocide in Ukraine.

For the women of Ukraine, the illegal Russian invasion-which Nuland provoked over the years with NATO expansion — has led to heightened sex trafficking and increased gender violence. According to the United Nations and relief organizations, this includes not only rape as a weapon of war, but “intimate partner violence and sexual harassment. “ With Ukraine under martial law and men aged 18–60 forced to the front lines, young women refugees-often unaccompanied-are vulnerable to abuse at border crossings.

The fact that Nuland was given a diplomatic job in the Biden administration in the first place never ceases to amaze because her record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet.

Nuland served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security adviser from 2003–2005, during the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq, a painful chapter in US history that left over a million Iraqis dead and thousands of US soldiers in body bags.

In 2005, Nuland became ambassador to NATO, where she lobbied Europe to participate in the disastrous U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. In persuading other governments the US could win that war, she sold a lie across Europe to prolong a near 20-year occupation that left Afghanistan broke, with six million children and adults at risk of starvation.

In May 2013, Nuland was nominated to act as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, where she was supposed to employ diplomacy in relations with Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

Instead, Nuland and the White House hurled $5 billion taxpayer dollars at Ukraine to overthrow its democratically elected President and engineer a transition government to privatize Ukraine and prepare for war with Russia. After Nuland passed out pastries during the Maidan coup, before President Viktor Yanukovych fled under a hail of bullets, Nuland was caught in a scandal involving a leaked phone call.

On the phone with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was secretly recorded saying “F .. the EU” if the European Union did not approve of her choices to run Ukraine’s transition government. The West gasped at her use of profanity. The more egregious profanity, however, was her insistence on manipulating the political affairs of another country to provoke Russia.

Nuland has repeatedly stated that she wants to destabilize other regions in Russia’s nuclear neighborhood: Belarus and Kazakhstan, because they are too friendly with Russia. What critics say she really wants is regime change in Russia, a country of 193 million people, 150 different ethnic minorities and 6,000 nuclear weapons.

What could go wrong?

Nuland’s mission to sacrifice Ukrainian lives to take back Crimea-annexed by Russia after the 2014 coup-could drag other European nations onto the battlefield to start World War III.

On this International Women’s Day, President Biden would be well-advised to fire Victoria Nuland and hire a diplomat who embraces a feminist foreign policy centered around peace.

Sign our petition urging President Biden to fire Victoria Nuland and hire a diplomat with a people-centered approach to security and peace.

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  1. Stephen

    Judge Napolitano showed a clip of her last night giving evidence to some committee of some form. At 16:10


    She was talking about legitimate targets for being struck in Crimea. Looks to me to be grinning like a Cheshire Cat at the prospect.

    People die when “targets” are hit, of course. This behaviour to relish dishing out death and destruction from a safe location in a comfortable office is totally reprehensible but seems to be shared by too many western politicians of both sexes.

    1. Questa Nota

      Targets, aka DEATH, the next step beyond heartache. The finality of actions that Nuland recommended so casually place her in rarified company of so many in DC like Albright, Bush, Cheney and pretty much the rest of the alphabet.

      How does some one like Nuland arise?

    2. Cassandra

      I would remind you of HRC’s reaction to the death of Muammar Khadaffi. Rumor had it that Victoria Nuland was Her pick for Secretary of State.

  2. Michael Fiorillo

    I know it’s irrelevant at best to comment on someone’s appearance rather than their behavior or the arguments they make, but Nuland exudes a vileness that almost seems to manifest on the cellular level, and which corresponds perfectly to her actions. The foulness is tangible…

  3. John Wright

    This editorial seems to suggest that getting rid of Nuland will make a real difference.

    It is as if Nuland is a single point of failure in the US political system.

    There may be many Victor/Victoria Nulands making a good living inside the US political scene, US Media, US State Department, US Military, NGOs and think-tanks.

    How deep does the rot go?

    I’m all for removing Nuland so she can devote more time to her neo-con husband. Robert Kagan.

    But will it make a difference to USA policy and actions?.

    1. Bosko

      US foreign policy is true garbage with or without Nuland, as you say. But to me the problem is giving the job to any ‘neocon’ at all. If they follow the neocon playbook of interventionism and implicit contempt for sovereign people around the world, if they seem to think they’re not doing their job right unless they’re flirting with nuclear war, then they should not be defining US policy. By all means, let’s reform US foreign policy, but let’s start with the neocons.

      1. John k

        Yes to all.
        I signed. But Biden is a neocon, I assume he agrees with at least most of what she’s done. Granted he finished the trump afghan withdrawal, but dems castigated him for it. Imo all congressional dems and most reps wouldnt vote to see her go… unless Biden decides it’s time to fuhgedaboud Ukraine, in which case she might well make the perfect scapegoat.

    2. rudi from butte

      Spot on. Everywhere you look there’s another male/female version of Nuland. Cracks me up that we (sane and fairly well informed Americans) wouldn’t give the Nuland crew/type the time of day but expect the rest of the world to swallow their garbage.

      A lot of talk today about Russian hypersonic missiles. What’s up?

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I absolutely disagree. Well-placed individuals can have an outsized influence on policy. I’ve seen it happen at close range. The US ratings agencies chasing subprime issuers, which led the to throw their credit discipline into the toilet, was the doing of an initially mid-level guy at Moody’s who bullied his way through the top. He was feared throughout the industry, to the degree, like Lord Voldemort, many would not say his name.

      Look at Dick Cheney at the normally impotent VP’s office, as another example.

      Nuland is fluent in Russian. Has an extremely long history in deep with Russia policy formation. She can name drop, cherry pick history, claim to draw information from Russian language sources….and no one can challenge her. She can and does, very effectively, intensify the feelings of current Russia dislikers and use that to shape policy.

      1. hk

        Why employing exiles and their kin (who inevitably have an axe to grind– they got exiled for some sort of unhappy events after all) are a mortal danger to sound diplomacy. And, for some reason, US loves to put “ethnics” in key diplomatic posts dealing with “alien” cultures.

    4. Cine Tee

      Often in an organization, there’s that person who’s talented unlike any other, or pathological like no other.

      But, if you’re right, worst case is if this all makes strategic sense in some way to the permanent state department (ex: preventing de-dollarization, a “new american century”, etc.), and she’s just one soldier in an unstoppable movement with many more desperate actions to come.

  4. Sin Muerte

    Signed. I’d also like to propose a motion for the entire generation of political leaders (Macron, Putin, Xi, Team Biden) to go the way of Liz Truss.

  5. Heretical_i

    The “invasion” isn’t an invasion. It’s a HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION, Medea.

    I mean you KNOW about all those alleged-by-Ukraine citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk Ukraine has slaughtered in the last decade, right?

    The Russian set up a Line of Demarcation. Between Ukraine troops and Donetsk/Luhansk. Now the job is to drive the remaining UA troops from behind that line and hopefully back to command and control centers… bases… that are next to be destroyed if the UA doesn’t desist.

    That’s exactly what the plan was, and that’s what’s happening… except ‘war is ‘sloppy’ in re results and is taking longer than expected.

    The option is to “Do A North Korea” to Kiev. What was it LeMay said?

    “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off – what – 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984.”

    Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.”

    1. Susan the other

      Our current “foreign policy” in Ukraine traces all the way back to the end of WW2. We made decisions then to never be in a vulnerable position and everything since has been to achieve that invulnerability. We are still too paranoid to recognize an opportunity to agree to cooperate with another “great” power. And that is the very thing, our own paranoia, which prevents us from productive dialog and solutions. But the problems get bigger by the day. I’m pretty sure we don’t have any friends left except fellow paranoiacs Britain and Australia. Surely the entire world sees us backed into a corner – the very position we were imposing on Russia, thinking they would back off, leave their southern border open to our incursion and we could beat them if it came to war. It’s obvious to most of us Americans that this must stop. Our entire foreign policy should be completely purged of post WW2 paranoid delusions and we should learn the skills of good diplomacy. We might feel a little bit sick at the thought, but we will get over it. I’d like to see us actually acknowledge that we have changed.

  6. G A

    Firing her is not nearly enough.

    Physical restraint of some kind — imprisonment or judicially mediated incapacitation — is the only solution.

  7. Matthew G. Saroff

    Yes, Victoria Nuland should be fired, and her clearances revoked.

    But I want to invoke Futurama about the manner of her firing.

    Victoria Nuland should be fired ……… Out of a cannon ……… Into the sun.

    1. hk

      That is what the Russians did to one of False Dmitris, this one sponsored by the Poles. That sparked off the events of 1612, when the Polish army was ultimately driven out of Moscow by an army of peasant volunteers (well, that’s the myth anyways), the Romanov Dynasty began, and partly set off the chain of events leading up to thw unpleasantries in that part of the world today.

  8. Alice X

    Was not the five billion over 20 or so years?

    The population of Russia is said to be 147 million, though not including the recently annexed Oblasts, which are not large.

  9. The Rev Kev

    The @DoctorFishbones account posted an intersting idea. He said-

    ‘Defund Ukraine
    At the end of every year, we should vote on a winner of the Madeleine Albright Award and give it to the US politician who murdered the most poor people.’

    I think that we have a winner here. But then I had a thought. Nuland and her other Ukrainian ilk like Blinken, etc. are doing so to avenge deeds of a century ago or more committed against their ancestors. So, do we have Chinese equivalents waiting in the wings for when Project Ukraine is over and Project Taiwan starts?

  10. Pat

    Will sign, but Since Nuland, and Blinken, and yes others who aren’t American are so hep on helping Ukraine continue to fight Russia I think they should be sent to supply Ukraine’s true most dwindling resource….canon fodder. Immediate conscription into Ukraine’s front line artillery should be part and parcel of the consequences of their actions for them.

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