I have a long history of opposing western intervention and US imperialism while supporting liberation movements across the globe. Therefore, I have been stunned by that so many vocal people in the United States and United Kingdom who associate with the progressive ideology have reflexively either taken Russia’s side in the conflict, or have joined the ” Never, Never Putin” brigade from the right led by Tucker Carlson with broad-stroke condemnations of US foreign policy. Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate’ appear the leaders of this movement in alliance with Carlson and former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Suddenly a few weeks ago, hashtags like #AbolishNato, #BidensWar, and others started popping up and Tweets began projecting, blaming the US and the west for everything going on in Ukraine.
What are the origins of this? Well for some, it’s an assumption that the US and west are always trying to spread capitalism and colonize the global south – something I actually believe is largely correct, however, I tend to look at those things on a case-by-case basis.
In many places, the population’s of nations don’t want to be Americanized or westernized and rightly resist American invasions, be they by the military or in the form of US corporations going into the developing world and exploiting its resources.
But many have taken this reality, and projected it on Ukraine, a nation whose population largely aspires to be western and integrated into Europe and is being stopped by force (this situation is actually the reverse, in this case the aspirations of the people are being crushed by Russia while being advocated by the United States and west). For these folks, liberation ideology only applies when it is liberation from the west – non-western nations are allowed to do as they please and can crush the sovereignty and aspirations of nation’s as they please .
Another driver of this group appears to be a contempt for Hillary Clinton, and an obsession with things like the Durham report and anything absolving Russia of 2016 election interference. So desperate to prove Hillary wrong, these folks have effectively become Putinistas without actually saying so.
The assumption by this group is that any minority group, any non-white or non-Christian group should oppose the US and back Russia. This is despite the fact 23-27 years ago in Bosnia and Kosovo, the US & NATO were backing Muslims who were being subject to genocide by Russia’s ally, Serbia. This is despite the reality that Crimean Tatars, Sunni Muslims displaced from their homeland initially by Stalin and now by Putin, have asked Russia to be declared a terrorist state and its leaders international criminals, while urging its people to take up arms in defense of Ukraine. This is despite the ill-treatment of Muslims throughout the Russian Federation, most notably in Dagestan and Chechnya.
Here is a sampling of some of the guilty parties, any basic Twitter search will yield much, much more.