Why Are Progressive Dems Supporting US Proxy War Against Russia?

Russia’s February 24 invasion was an unnecessary, criminal war.

But so was America’s 14 year campaign to weaken Russia through proxy war.

How? By encouraging NATO membership for Ukraine since back in 2008. Worse, by helping Ukrainian ultranationalists depose Russian friendly Ukraine president Victor Yanukovych in 2014. The latter crime ignited a civil war in the Donbas against Russian speaking Ukrainians. 14,000 lay dead with thousands of Ukraine’s best soldiers ready to finish off the Donbas this spring before Russia said enough and attacked. Doesn’t justify Russia’s war…just explains it.

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Draft Evasion in Today’s Russia

Draft evasion, escalation of military operations and other highly topical subjects in today’s Russia

My good friend and “comrade in arms” in the anti-war community, Ray McGovern, yesterday published an article on how The New York Times is stoking the war in Ukraine and goading the Biden administration to be ever more aggressive and irresponsible. Ray went on to remind us of the ignominious role played by NYT news reporters and their editorial board in promoting the Vietnam War, from the Tonkin Gulf Resolution that heralded the start of the real US engagement to the bitter end, all without a word of apology or regret in later years.

As a member of the Vietnam War generation in the USA, mention of that war brings up for me two words of great importance in the Russia that I see around me on this three-week visit to St. Petersburg: draft evasion and escalation.

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Conflicts of Interest: Israel Got Away with Murdering an American Journalist

On COI #328, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman cover progressives’ demands for a response to Israeli soldiers’ murder of a Palestinian-American journalist, NATO’s classification of China as a “challenge,” and the latest Iran deal news.

Kyle breaks down Representative Rashida Tlaib’s calls for an investigation into Tel Aviv’s blatant murder of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh and for progressives to rethink their support of Israel.

Kyle also discusses NATO Secretary General’s comments that Beijing is a “challenge” to the military alliance and NATO’s increasing aggressiveness towards China.

Connor talks about the Israeli pressure to shut down negotiations aimed at returning Washington to the JCPOA, as well as recent Iranian offers to ink a prisoner swap deal with the United States

Subscribe on YouTube and audio-only.

Biden Will Never Placate the Hawks

Kori Schake faults Biden for not being belligerent and militaristic enough:

The administration appears to lack an effective strategy for the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea beyond the empty statements that we will not allow North Korea to have nuclear weapons, though experts believe the leadership in Pyongyang may have dozens of them. Or look to Iran, where the administration pursued a strategy known as “more for more” – more sanctions relief for more constraints on the Iranian nuclear program – and yet it cannot even get a return to the 2015 terms from Iran. Moreover, war with Iran is surely a non-starter for a president who abandoned Afghanistan, and is effectively indifferent to the fate of Iraq and Syria.

Some of Schake’s criticisms are fair enough, but most of the column is just a litany of problems, some of them intractable, that aren’t going to be solved by throwing more money at the Pentagon. She complains that “[w]e have let Russian threats determine our actions,” as if it were a bad thing that Biden has tried to limit the risk of direct conflict with a nuclear-armed state. The president’s stated desire to avoid WWIII is presented as a weakness rather than evidence of minimal sanity.

I agree that Biden lacks an effective strategy for North Korea, but the same could be said for every one of his predecessors going back at least to Bush. Schake does not say what she thinks Biden should do to manage the threat from North Korea, so we are left to guess what she thinks an “effective strategy” would look like. My view is that “maximum pressure” has obviously failed and the U.S. has to revise its goals downward to more achievable ends of arms control rather than disarmament, but presumably hawks would not find that solution appealing.

It is also true that there is a gap between Biden’s Taiwan rhetoric and US capabilities, but the right way to close that gap is to scale back the rhetoric. It is a mistake to try to back up unwise statements with even more military spending. It is much easier and smarter to amend the president’s statements than it is to spend a fortune to prepare for wars that the US shouldn’t be fighting. Instead of inventing a new security commitment that the US doesn’t need, the US should stop chipping away at the old status quo.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Chicago Tribune Putin Editorial Is Both Wishful Thinking and Dangerous Denial

Its title is long and hyperbolic: “Putin talks menacingly of nukes. These are desperate threats from a despot on the ropes.”

Unfortunately, the Trib is engaged in wishful thinking that Ukraine is winning while Russia is losing the Russo Ukraine war. That represents denial of both facts on the ground and the stark potential nuclear war may occur.

Claiming Ukraine’s determination to resist has led to “victory after victory on the battlefield” is delusional. In 213 days, Ukraine launched one counteroffensive, regaining about 2% of the 20% of conquered territory, while sacrificing 5,000 soldiers in their faint to the south to retake Kharkiv.

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