An essay published at Huffington Post caught my attention today. “No to Arming Ukraine“, by
Huffington Post maintains his bio thusly:
Jeremy Kuzmarov is J.P. Walker assistant professor of history, University of Tulsa and author of The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs (Massachusetts, 2009) and Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century (Massachusetts, 2012).
I read through a few of his pieces and two words he loves to use jumped out at me. Imperial and socialism. He loves to use the word “imperial” when referring to US strategies and actions, he does so without explanation. When writing about Bernie Sanders, he states that ‘as socialism becomes more accepted’, as if this were true. None of his writing contains references, he states things as if they are common knowledge and his leaps in logic moved me to frustration. He appears to know the subject matter but lacks the discipline to write properly.
In this article, however, a “whataboutism” is the first tool used by Kuzmarov to counter US Secretary of Defense’s call for arming Ukraine, most notably with Javelin anti-tank missiles. When an argument cannot be won, a common Soviet trick was to divert the reader’s attention to another subject in a technique known as a whataboutism. In this case, he summarily negates Ukraine’s constitutional election and dismisses the reality of life in Ukraine. Neither argument is even remotely related to the issue of arming Ukraine, but, instead, designed to undermine Ukraine.
Mattis’ viewpoint, however, discounts the fact that many Ukrainians do not view the Poroshenko government as legitimate since it came to power in what many regard as a coup d’état in April 2014 heavily supported by the United States and West.
The government furthermore has been equally corrupt as its predecessor and forged alliance with neo-Nazi groups who supported the so-called Maidan revolution of 2014. They have been implicated with the Ukrainian army in human rights abuses fighting separatists in the Eastern Donbass including extra-judicial killing and torture in secret prisons.
His next attack is to minimalize the Russian presence and purpose in Ukraine. Apologies, by why are there ANY Russian troops in Ukraine? Also, when you use the word “separatist” you are promoting Russian propaganda. Russia led, financed, initiated, equipped, and provided manpower, and now Russia controls this low-level invasion of Ukraine. The problem is that Russia is just too cheap and broke to commit sufficient resources.
The Western media almost uniformly branded Russia as an aggressor in the Ukrainian War. However, from the Russian point of view, the existence of a neo-Nazi backed government on its border backed by the West is alarming.
Russia’s troop presence has been relatively limited, furthermore, and the separatist rebels in Eastern Donbass are a popular force locally who welcome Russian intervention.
Now a stronger Russian influence appears in the article. Here Russia is being painted as a victim and any defensive measures by NATO are misportrayed as aggressive.
Since the late 1990s, the United States has been expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into the East and since 2008 has expressed interest in extending NATO membership to Ukraine.
This is part of a strategy designed to encircle and isolate Russia, and potentially destabilize a long-standing geopolitical rival.
The article then shares Russian President Putin’s vision for Europe as resisting American imperial efforts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2007 has advanced a vision of a multipolar world order and taken steps to consolidate a Eurasian power bloc he hopes one day might rival the United States.
Mr. Putin has also aggressively pursued the building of pipelines in Central Asia and oil exploration. These measures threaten American control over the Eurasian heartland, which imperial strategists like the late-Zbigniew Brzezinski have long considered crucial to American global dominance.
Now the article points out internal US investigations into Russian attempts to influence the US election. I gasped in wonderment when he included a link to a known Russian propaganda site, Consortium News. He included a link to anything?
The hysteria surrounding Russia-Gate so far has revealed very little information about alleged collusion between Trump administration officials and the Russians or concrete evidence of Russia’s election hacking. (see “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence,” Consortium News, July 24, 2017,/)
However, it has helped to fuel anti-Russian sentiment and hysteria in the United States which the foreign policy establishment is using to garner support for confrontationist policies.
As the article draws to a close, I was left wanting. Not one argument as to why the US should not arm Ukraine. But he managed to throw in the word imperial once again and, moreover, frame it as a grand strategy. “More” human rights violations? Did you establish that fact previously or are you just shoving that turdball in at the end?
The American public should be better attuned to the politicized implications of Russia-Gate and oppose Mattis’ effort to arm Ukraine with lethal defensive weaponry. It is part and parcel of an imperialist grand strategy that will contribute to more human rights violations by Ukraine’s army and inevitably deepen the geopolitical rivalry between the United States and Russia fueling a new Cold War.
I can only conclude that Russia is energizing their B team of writers in a letter-writing campaign against the call to arm Ukraine.
Russia is scared of a Ukraine armed with Javelin missiles and will claim, with much bluff and bravado, that their presence in Ukraine will make no difference. Articles such as this, however, reveal one of perhaps many feeble attempts to dissuade the US effort. Expect more cockroaches to crawl out of the sewers to undermine Secretary Mattis efforts to arm Ukraine.