Unprovoked is a word that can never be applied to the U.S. government, only to its enemies. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
Note the following sentence in a New York Times news story yesterday by Michael Schwirtz and Anton Troianovski about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “Mr. Putin’s attempt to put a veneer of nobility on an unprovoked invasion that has killed thousands of civilians and turned millions more into refugees was made in the Russian city once known as Stalingrad, on the 80th anniversary of a victory there against Nazi Germany that changed the course of World War II.” (Italics added.)
The operative word is “unprovoked.”
First of all, it’s a strange word for news reporters to be using because it’s more in the nature of a commentary or editorial. News reporters are supposed to report the news, and the editorial department of a newspaper is supposed to render opinions and commentary on the news. Schwirtz and Troianovski do both in their news article.
Second, and more important, for the life of me, I cannot understand how Schwirtz and Troianovski are unable to see that Russia’s invasion was provoked. It was provoked knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately.
Now, one could argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wasn’t justified. That’s a different word from “unprovoked.” An invasion can be “provoked” and “unjustified” at the same time. My hunch is that Schwirtz and Troianovski meant to use the word “unjustified” rather than the word “unprovoked.”