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

ovidiu.tichindeleanu at yahoo.com ovidiu.tichindeleanu at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 5 14:13:31 CET 2022

 dear Sukla,
As far as I got into them, the materials you've sent are very US-centric and they don't seem to care as much about the region itself, and neither about the people or about peace, as about the righteousness of the side they endorse. Instead of opening for a democratic debate, they are rather building a partisan case meant to spread pre-emptive accusations against a vast array of very different people seen by their authors as being on the "other side". By endorsing them, the same narrow focus and the same aggressive gesture are reproduced here in this forum. 
I would've hoped the forum would be better than that.
    On Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 05:46:50 AM GMT+2, Sukla Sen via WSM-Discuss <wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net> wrote:  
<<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: <https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/anti-war-camp-intellectually-bankrupt/671576/>.)
In this context, may also look up:I/VII <https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158862648811242&id=636661241>.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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