[WSMDiscuss] Putin's War on Ukraine and the Bizarre Kaleidoscopic Coalition Advocating Putin's Cause

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 03:45:22 CET 2022

<<In 1942, answering a pacifist opponent of British involvement in the
Second World War, George Orwell replied that “pacifism is objectively
pro-fascist.” There have of course been many times in human history when
opposition to war has been morally justified, intellectually coherent, and,
in the end, vindicated. But the war to defeat fascism during the middle
part of the past century was simply not one of them. “This is elementary
common sense,” Orwell wrote at the time. “If you hamper the war effort of
one side you automatically help that of the other.”

Eight decades later, as a fascistic Russian regime wages war against
Ukraine, a motley collection of voices from across the political spectrum
has called upon the United States and its allies to adopt neutrality as
their position. Ranging from anti-imperialists on the left to isolationists
on the right and more respectable “realists” in between, these critics are
not pacifists in the strict sense of the term. Few if any oppose the use of
force as a matter of principle. But nor are they neutral. It is not
sufficient, they say, for the West to cut off its supply of defensive
weaponry to Ukraine. It must also atone for “provoking” Russia to attack
its smaller, peaceful, democratic neighbor, and work at finding a
resolution that satisfies what Moscow calls its “legitimate security
interests.” In this, today’s anti-war caucus is objectively pro-fascist.

To appreciate the bizarrely kaleidoscopic nature of this caucus, consider
the career of a catchphrase. “Is Washington Fighting Russia Down to the
Last Ukrainian?” asked the headline of a column self-published in March by
Ron Paul, the former Republican congressman and presidential candidate. It
was a strange question for Paul to be posing just three weeks into
President Vladimir Putin’s unjustifiable and unforgivable invasion,
especially considering the extraordinary lengths to which the Biden
administration had gone to avoid “fighting Russia.”

Even stranger than Paul’s assertion that the U.S. was goading Ukrainians
into sacrificing themselves on the altar of its Russophobic bloodlust,
though, has been the proliferation of his specious talking point across the
ideological spectrum.
“A great deal is being said about the United States’ intention to fight
against Russia ‘to the last Ukrainian’—they say it there and they say it
here,” the Russian president mused the following week, prefacing his
mention of the gibe with his own version of that Trumpian rhetorical
flourish, “A lot of people are saying.” That same month, an American
Conservative article by Doug Bandow of the libertarian Cato Institute was
headlined “Washington Will Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian,” denying
Ukrainians any agency in their own struggle by answering the question Paul
had rhetorically asked.

Soon after, the dean of realist international-relations theorists, the
University of Chicago scholar  John Mearsheimer, used the line as though
he’d just thought of it. By then, the argument that America was “fighting
Russia to the last Ukrainian” had ping-ponged between both ends of the
ideological spectrum an astonishing number of times. The point for the
anti-imperialist left and the isolationist right, as well as the realist
fellow travelers hitched to each side, was that blame for the conflict lies
mainly with the U.S., which is using Ukraine as a proxy for its nefarious
interventionism in Moscow’s backyard.

 the fringe left would blame America—which it views as the source of all
capitalist exploitation, military aggression, and imperialist evil in the
world—for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is predictable. It blames America
for everything. When, two days after the Russian invasion began on February
24, the Democratic Socialists of America called upon “the US to withdraw
from NATO and to end the imperialist expansionism that set the stage for
this conflict,” mainstream Democrats condemned the statement. More
significant has been the position taken by mainstream realists, who
similarly fault the West for somehow “provoking” Russia into waging war on
its neighbor. These politically disparate forces share more than a talking
point. They also have a worldview in common.
Many commentators have likened Volodymyr Zelensky to Winston Churchill for
his charismatic resistance to foreign invaders and his ability to raise the
morale of his people. In light of this popular association, the headline
that the editors of Compact devised for Ungar-Sargon’s apologia—“Zelensky’s
War”—is nauseating, blaming the victim while seeming to evoke the title of
a notorious book by the Holocaust-denying historian David Irving,
Churchill’s War.

Condemning the U.S. and its allies for the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine
requires one to ignore or downplay a great deal of Russian misbehavior.
This is a characteristic that unites left-wing anti-imperialists,
right-wing isolationists, and the ostensibly more respectable “realists.”

"Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of
a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet Empire, and he may
eventually go after the rest of Ukraine as well as other countries in
Eastern Europe,” Mearsheimer wrote in a 2014 essay titled “Why the Ukraine
Crisis Is the West’s Fault.” “But this account is wrong.” Eight years on,
as Russian forces marched toward Kyiv and Putin issued vague threats of
nuclear escalation, Mearsheimer made no acknowledgment of how very wrong
his own earlier, sanguine assessment of Putin’s intentions had been.

“We invented this story that Putin is highly aggressive and he’s
principally responsible for this crisis in Ukraine,” he told The New Yorker
a week into the invasion. Putin’s apparent goal of overthrowing Zelensky
and installing a puppet regime would not be an example of “imperialism,”
Mearsheimer argued, and was meaningfully different from “conquering and
holding onto Kyiv.” All of this linguistic legerdemain would surely come as
news to the Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, and other peoples of the region who
once suffered under the Russian imperial yoke.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has exposed the incompetence of the Russian
military and the hubris of President Putin. It has also revealed the
bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people, who, contrary to Ron Paul’s
ambulatory talking point, had no need of any American to prod or gull them
into defending their homeland. Here in the U.S., the war has also exposed
the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of an ideologically diverse set of
foreign-policy commentators: the “anti-imperialists” who routinely justify
blatant acts of imperial conquest, and the “realists” who make arguments
unmoored from reality.

(Excepted from: <

In this context, may also look up:
II. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/pqfuTTDztWk/m/uARMpjS9FgAJ>.
III. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/rvJnYeSGK50/m/Sg6Bu6c-AwAJ>.
IV. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/gs6YdxWFjDM/m/oildUPSbAAAJ>.
V. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/ZKzrpDIoDTM/m/8_D-_M_uAAAJ>.
VI. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/-6GnujgwJdU/m/btLVgDIaAwAJ>.
VII. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/sGTIp5xMyXE/m/PI-pMrVEAgAJ>.
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