Even Noam Chomsky, while more viscerally critical of the invasion—he called it “a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939”—then proceeded to speak all about NATO, endorsing someone else’s claim that “there would have been no basis for the present crisis if there had been no expansion” of NATO. Once again, Putin appears here as almost helpless, apparently left no other choice but to invade Ukraine in trying to defend Russia.
Almost no one on the left has supported the war. But saying “Down with the Russian invasion” and then turning immediately to blaming America, and only America, for provoking it is almost the same. Not only does it show a lack of basic understanding about Russia, it is also a stunning betrayal of the most basic internationalist principles. If we want to support the right of self-determination to America’s neighbors, we can’t deny the same to Russia’s. If we’re not able to recognize multiple imperialisms, we are guilty of the same kind of Americocentrism for which we castigate others.