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imperialism & war | political theory

The West Marches East, Part 1

Russia can only be said to be an "aggressive" and "imperial" power so long as one accepts the unrelenting hypocrisy of U.S. and Western leaders. After all, it was not Russia that invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, killing millions.
The West Marches East, Part 1: The US-NATO Strategy to Isolate Russia by Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Hampton Institute: A Working Class Think Tank, April 2014

 http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/west-marches-east-part-one.html#.U3CVLF5q5Mi

In early March of 2014, following Russia's invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, the New York Times editorial board declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "stepped far outside the bounds of civilized behavior," suggesting that Russia should be isolated politically and economically in the face of "continued aggression."

John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, lashed out at Russia's " incredible act of aggression," stating that: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pre-text." Indeed, invading foreign nations on "trumped up pre-texts" is something only the United States and its allies are allowed to do, not Russia! What audacity! [...]

Indeed, Russia can only be said to be an "aggressive" and "imperial" power so long as one accepts the unrelenting hypocrisy of U.S. and Western leaders. After all, it was not Russia that invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, killing millions. It is not Putin, but rather Barack Obama, who has waged a "global terror campaign," compiling "kill lists" and using flying killer robots to bomb countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and even the Philippines, killing thousands of people around the world. It is not Putin, but rather, Barack Obama, who has been sending highly-trained killers into over 100 countries around the world at any given time, waging a "secret war" in most of the world's nations. It was not Russia, but rather the United States, that has supported the creation of "death squads" in Iraq, contributing to the mass violence, civil war and genocide that resulted; or that has been destabilizing Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation, increasing the possibility of nuclear war.
- See more at:  http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2014/05/west-marches-east-part-1#sthash.zca29RR3.dpuf

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Hello? 23.May.2014 16:46

rAT

Russia (or The Soviet Union or whatever you want to call it these days) didn't invade Afghanistan? HUH? There's dead Russians (or 'Soviets' if you insist) buried all over that wonderful "country", compliments of Al-CIA-duh. ps- Ask the people of Grozny how wonderful Putin and "Russia" were to them. You'd probably call the needless slaughter a "humanitarian gesture".

no comparison, rAT 24.May.2014 09:32

Shaker

Russia (or the old Soviet Union) at least shared a boundary with Afghanistan, which is more than I can say for the US. The same can be said for Ukraine and Crimea. While I think that it's a given that a state by its very definition is oppressive to one extent or another, and that I'd rather live here than there, I don't think that anyone can seriously entertain the idea since the fall of the Soviet Union that Russia is engaged on the level of the US in attempts at hegemonic actions. Things like the historic US domination of the Americas is also conveniently forgotten, with its death squads and thugs trained here? Don't be so selective of histories. While, again, agreeing with some manner of comparison is necessary, and I really can't see either calling the other a hypocrite from some ethical high ground with a straight and honest face, the point here is that Russia can be seen and seems to be seen as taking care of itself in the normal nature of nations (whether one approves of that or not, and I don't), which cannot be said for the US.

Can you, with a straight face, say otherwise?

After all, it was not Russia that invaded and occupied Afghanistan? 25.May.2014 08:52

ui

Really?

I would ask for a refund of your tuition from whatever turd-baked community college you funked out of.


at least shared a boundary with Afghanistan? 25.May.2014 08:54

vn

Ok, Mexico, here we come..l Yee Haaaa!
Shaker has justified an invasion based on geographic proximity.

Bullshit 27.May.2014 08:55

Shaker

Get some reading skills, vn. I said no such thing. I'm not defending Russia, either, historically with their Afghan invasion or now, just recognizing that there's a sphere in which a state is going to be more rightly interested by the simple fact of proximity, and pointing out a difference between the US, NATO, and Russia in that regard. Would you seriously think that no such distinction exists? The better question here regarding Mexico your attempt the avoid the obvious and maybe even paint the US as somewhat less a gangster than Russia is whether the US would any less actively resist a force such as NATO in Ukraine on its border? Hardly.

By the way, we have invaded Mexico, and if the US wasn't in some measure of control, we would again, without hesitation.

does one need to be reminded (again) 27.May.2014 10:40

Shaker

A society that lives by organized greed or by systematic terrorism and oppression (they come to much the same thing in the end) will always tend to be violent because it is in a state of persistent disorder and moral confusion. The first principle of valid political action in such a society then becomes non-cooperation with its disorder, its injustices, and more particularly with its deep commitment to untruth. "It is not possible for a modern state based on force non-violently to resist forces of disorder, whether external or internal." Hence 'one cannot' seriously accept claims advanced by the basically violent society that hopes to preserve order and peace by the threat of maximum destruction and total hate.

Violence is essentially wordless, and it can begin only where thought and rational communication have broken down. Any society which is geared for violent action is by that very fact systematically unreasonable and inarticulate. Thought is not encouraged, and the exchange of ideas is eschewed as filled with all manner of risk. Words are kept at a minimum, at least as far as their variety and content may be concerned, though they may pour over the armed multitude in cataracts: they are simply organized and inarticulate noise destined to arrest thought and release violence, inhibiting all desire to communicate with the enemy in any other way than by destructive impact.

Thomas Merton

So what is being proposed here? On some supposed ethical high ground which neither can rightfully claim whose essence is stated in the quote above?