Repost: Chris Hedges: Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong

Hedges has turned into a tiresome windbag and here muddles the Ukraine confusion still further with his usual diatribes (with some useful notes and links) against the ‘US empire in decline’. I am a leftist, revolutionary socialist far to the left of Hedges so it is not some kind of social conformity that suggests to me that something is wrong in this analysis. First, however we describe the US it is NOT analogous to the Roman Empire in decline. As a student of history I have tried to point to this perennial fallacy of ‘foaming at the mouth’ pseudo-radicals. The term ‘imperialist’ might well apply but that is a predicate for
liberal systems corrupted by capitalist globalization. The Roman Empire arose in the wake and downfall of the Roman republic, long in decline as a republic where the US might be drifting into the loss of its republic but comparison with Rome that might take centuries, with an intermediate state of affairs such as we see: a hidden oligarchy. To call the US an empire in decline suggests it is somewhere in the 4th century AD by analogue. The US is thus not an empire in the sense of invasions, plunder, and enslavement.
The point is to figure out and describe the objective reality of the US and not distract radicals with lofty and quite bloodthirsty rhetoric.
The point here is to diagnose the system as is. Here Marx is more useful despite his own confusions: the liberal state coopted by capitalist domination. Its imperialism is not the same as Empire and is a far more elusive category,a point obvious to Marx.
The question of what is to be done in Ukraine is downright obscure but the rhetoric of anti-war movements growling at Yankeed Doodle has backfired with UKraine. I was present in the anti-war protests against the Vietnam war in the sixties but then watched how often the next generation fumbled the ball using this rhetoric in new contexts. So here as to Ukraine. This reversal has become acute with Ukraine, but then par for the course. The issue of Ukraine is a tough one but it would seem that it is not rational to deny Ukrainians their chance at independence from Putin’s malevolent insanity. To be sermonized by such as Hedges is off the mark and will lead to violence on the left. This issue of nuclear arms lurks most ominously but that can’t be grounds for allowing the massacre of Ukrainians. The Pentagonists with their game theory are at work here no doubt and have apparently devised a (nearly) rational path past the nuclear options. I hope they are right, and it seems that the choice must be faced without hysteria: that passive retreat before Putin is not the right option. A peck of US generals have pointed to the fact that Ukraine can actually win this conflict. Again, I must waver, yet suspect this is possibly correct. To retreat from that option and allow a Russian neo-colonialist venture a free way would make nuclear options worse in the long run one suspects.
It is not easy to see through this murky situation to the end but ranting and raving pacifist anti-war rhetoric has been clipped in this novel and unexpected situation.
It is no doubt the case that the US and Nato have landed a windfall in the sheer stupidity of Putin’s grotesque invasion and it could be that Russia, perhaps even China, are to see their hopes dashed as fantasies of global hegemony (which is not the same as empire) whatever the resulting outcome for the US. Hopefully, the planet may be liberated from all three.
In any case, the against the war in Ukraine remains in confusion.

NATO support for the war in Ukraine, designed to degrade the Russian military and drive Vladimir Putin from power, is not going according to plan. The new sophisticated military hardware won’t help.

Source: Chris Hedges: Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong –

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