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NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel is being eviscerated on Twitter after tweeting about a massive Russian military convoy that is headed to Ukraine and reporting that the U.S. and NATO could conceivably bomb it into oblivion, potentially triggering a world war.
“Perhaps the biggest risk-calculation/moral dilemma of the war so far. A massive Russian convoy is abt 30 miles from Kyiv. The US/NATO could likely destroy it. But that would be direct involvement against Russia and risk, everything. Does the West watch in silence as it rolls?” Engel tweeted on Monday while covering the advancement of the convoy 30 miles outside of Kyiv.
It is unclear whether the NBC correspondent was advocating for the bombing or whether he was merely laying out possible options that the U.S. and NATO are facing as the convoy lumbered towards its destination. Many interpreted the tweet as a call to destroy the convoy which would be a direct attack against Russia.
The West has avoided a confrontation with Russia so far, opting instead for mostly toothless sanctions. But if Russia does something that impacts a NATO nation, the allied forces including the United States will be forced to go to war with the communist nation. Russia has already repeated the threat of nuclear weapons multiple times, stepping up to the edge of an act of war.
Perhaps the biggest risk-calculation/moral dilemma of the war so far. A massive Russian convoy is abt 30 miles from Kyiv. The US/NATO could likely destroy it. But that would be direct involvement against Russia and risk, everything. Does the West watch in silence as it rolls?
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) February 28, 2022
As of Monday, Europe was at DefCon two and the United States is at DefCon three. That means forces are at the ready if an attack should come. This heightened alert has not occurred in the United States since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Reason.com pointed out: “The U.S. cannot attack Russia because Congress has yet to declare war on the country. And make no mistake, a direct attack on Russian forces by either the U.S. or NATO would be an act of war. This would bring two of the world’s superpowers into direct conflict for the first time since World War II. The risk of a nuclear attack, on either side, would increase dramatically. Indeed, favorable conditions for an all-out nuclear war would, for the first time in world history, finally be achieved.”
“The plight of the Ukrainians is tragic, but as much as we might like to aid them militarily, the U.S. cannot undertake a course of action with a significant likelihood of causing nuclear annihilation. While it would be gratifying to punish Putin for trying to reclaim the Soviet empire, a bad actor’s malicious behavior is no excuse for recklessness on the part of the U.S. Despite Engel’s suggestion that the situation presents a ‘moral dilemma,’ there is no dilemma here to speak of: War between nuclear powers is not an option,” the media outlet argued.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
Engel was torched by many over his tweet:
Pro tip: do not tweet questions like this until you've given at least, oh, I don't know, a whole thirty seconds of thought to steps two, three, and four of your decision tree. https://t.co/HLnfV7p2wd
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) February 28, 2022
The way you tweet about whether the US and NATO should engage in a full-on war against a nuclear-armed super power is shockingly glib. It’s not as simple as “watch in silence as it rolls” or not. The stakes are risking nuclear annihilation.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) February 28, 2022
I'm honestly just dumbfounded by this tweet from the chief foreign correspondent for a national news network. https://t.co/kcBrkXi3EA
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 28, 2022
The answer to the question is yes. We must let it roll in because it would be an act of war against the worlds second most potent nuclear power. Since the end of World War 2 the singularly most important national security objective of the United States was to avoid direct https://t.co/NTtOiZKp5T
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) February 28, 2022
it is one of the great moral dilemmas of our time: start a nuclear war, or no? https://t.co/jA3Z0dQLic
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) February 28, 2022
Once you attain a certain stature in the news industry you can just start hankering for global thermonuclear annihilation and the bosses will let you do it https://t.co/14kHnSat5D
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) February 28, 2022
Moral dilemma: Do we start World War III or not?
(Almost there.) https://t.co/ZpYTrEQaGl
— Damon Linker (@DamonLinker) February 28, 2022
That would start World War III and thus the dilemma is not big. https://t.co/3A70LsDi4V
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) February 28, 2022
This is NBC's chief foreign policy correspondent, advocating for, uh, nuclear war. How is this journalism? This is utter madness. https://t.co/RE7Mra11m1
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) February 28, 2022
A major network's chief corresp is asking this
Since USSR got nukes in 1950s, US policy under *every* prez has been not to fight USSR/RUS directly *except* (a) w/in NATO or (b) Western hemis—Cuban Missile Crisis
“Watch in silence” = Hungary 1956, Czech 1968, Berlin many times https://t.co/6fUocApeTq
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) February 28, 2022
1) No one is watching in silence, the West has done almost everything Ukraine has asked of it, and 2) you're asking for world war and nuclear standoff. Hopefully no one at US/NATO is taking that even remotely seriously. https://t.co/H652HRZ8KE
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) February 28, 2022
i dunno if i was a chief foreign correspondent i would not glibly wonder why one nuclear power isn't carpet bombing another nuclear power's forces https://t.co/O1dkxPUfDw
— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) February 28, 2022
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