Anti-war advocates accused the Biden administration of continued warmongering late Friday into Saturday after President Joe Biden confirmed he plans to send U.S. troops to Eastern Europe.
"I'll be moving troops to Eastern Europein the NATO countries in the near term," Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews late Friday. "Not too many."
Earlier this week, the president announced that 8,500 troops were standing ready for a potential deployment to confront what the White House says is an imminent attack by Russian forces in Ukrainedespite pleas by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stop creating "panic."
In a phone call Thursday night, Zelensky reportedly questioned the Biden administration's beliefpromoted by the corporate mediathat a Russian invasion is "imminent."
"I'm the president of Ukraine, I'm based here and I think I know the details deeper than any other president," Zelensky told the press after the call. "The image that mass media creates is that we have troops on the roads, we have mobilization, people are leaving for places. That's not the case. We don't need this panic."
Veteran journalist John Pilger tweeted that Zelensky's comments exposed "the warmongering of Biden... as a crime."
As Common Dreams reported Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed hope that a diplomatic approach could avoid conflict with Russia, which has demanded a guarantee that Ukraine will be excluded from NATO, along with other security measures.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley also spoke Friday and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pursue diplomacyafter Putin reportedly spoke to French President Emanuel Macron about implementing a diplomatic agreement forged in 2014.
Milley warned that there will be "horrific" consequences if Russia invades Ukraine.
Given the type of forces that are arrayed, the ground maneuver forces, the artillery, the ballistic missiles, the air forces, all of it packaged togetherif that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant, and it would result in a significant amount of casualties," he told reporters.
Peace group CodePink accused the Biden administration of reaching "putting the entire world at risk" while the U.S. public and international leaders make clear their anti-war stance.
"Russia doesn't want war. Ukraine doesn't want war. The American people don't want war," tweeted the group. "The Biden administration needs to get with the program and STOP endangering us all."