“F*** the EU:” How Victoria Nuland Stirs the Pot in Ukraine
What really caused the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe to speak her mind so clearly?
- The Ukrainians say I am interfering in their internal affairs? How dare they? We just tell other people what to do.
- Americans, as the world’s preeminent nation, are supposed to be the only ones listening in on other people.
- My job is to manage those Euro-wimps and to harden their backbones. The odds may be long, but the job must be done.
- Vitali Klitschko is a hulk of a man. But that doesn’t mean he’d serve US interests. He’s an unguided missile.
- The U.S. needs somebody in Kiev we can steer better. A technocrat like Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Victoria Nuland here. OK, I’m a bit embarrassed by the release of that audiotape on YouTube of my conversation with Geoff Pyatt, my ambassador in Ukraine. Saying “F*** the EU” probably wasn’t the most diplomatic way of putting my sentiments. But this remark, spirited as it was, wasn’t about diplomacy anyway, as I’ll explain in a moment.
You see, I am the wife of the man who famously wrote that we Americans are from Mars, while all those European wimps are from Venus. That should tell you something.
First, f*** the EU
Plus, I’ve been the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and then served several years as State Department spokesman under Secretary Hillary Clinton. In a word, I know how the world turns. In particular, I know who’s got guts and who doesn’t – and who’s got brains and who doesn’t.
Which gets me to the really embarrassing thrust of that cell phone call. The Ukrainians aren’t too happy that I am maneuvering to make sure that Vitali Klitschko doesn’t go into the government when the democratic forces take over from Putin’s dowdy yes men in Kiev.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland (Credit: U.S. State Department – Flickr)
Sure, Klitsch, as I like to call him, is a hulk of a man. A former world heavyweight champion in boxing, he’s still got great muscle. But that doesn’t mean he’d serve U.S. interests well. He’s too much of an unguided missile. Too independent.
We need somebody whom we can steer better. A technocrat like Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He can be relied upon to do the bidding of America once he’s in office. But not Klitschko. He’s just there to serve a mood player from the outside.
Next, f*** the Ukrainians
The Ukrainians are saying I am interfering in their internal affairs? How dare they? We Americans don’t interfere at all. We just tell other people what to do. That’s way different. Come to think of it, f*** the Ukrainians.
What really makes me mad about this whole episode is that the “Russian NSA” must have somehow gotten hold of this conversation. That’s very unfair, plain and simple. In global diplomacy, as you can imagine, the stakes are high. It’s never nice to be caught, whether by Putin’s men or anybody else.
The important point here is that we Americans, as the world’s preeminent nation, are supposed to be the only ones entitled to listen in on other people. Never the other way around. So I shouldn’t be a wiretap victim.
I mean, I’m no Angela Merkel. It’s OK to listen in on what that German chancellor has on her mind. As an American woman, a top policymaker to boot, all that I should have to worry about is to determine who gets listened in on.
After all, knowing what other people are saying and thinking serves our national security interests and it is therefore by definition a legitimate act. To any doubters, I simply say this: F*** the legalities.
Mind you, in my current role as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, I am practically the Viceroy for Europe. So I need to know their “secrets.”
My job is to manage those Euro-wimps and to harden their backbones. The odds may be long, but the job must be done.
Which gets me to my last point. When I said “F*** the EU,” I wasn’t referring to their diplomatic ineptitude. That’s a given. Everybody knows they are a paper tiger. That they are such a self-important actor who can never simply lay down the law when the going gets tough, well, that’s just a fact of life.
Finally, f*** the cameras
No, what really gets me upset is that this European “High Representative” Lady Ashton is in all the TV pictures whenever high-stakes foreign policymaking gets really interesting.
Negotiating with Syria? Iran nuclear negotiations? And now Ukraine? Other than Secretary Kerry, Cathy Ashton is the one person who’s always in the shots that television stations are broadcasting around the world.
It’s absurd. Why should she get to be in all the hot TV close-up shots on all the hot cases? F*** the cameras.