Why Ukraine was invaded by Russia

There seems to be a dominant view among those public intellectuals whom I admire that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia was due to the United States’ project of trying to install Ukraine into NATO. This view is spearheaded on Youtube by John Mearsheimer, but it has as supporters such prominent intellectual as Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Chris Hedges, and Stephen Kinzer — to name a few.

Why this proclivity to blame the U.S.? I think it is due to their acute awareness of U.S. imperialism — in its invasions and coups, which all of them have written about. It seems, therefore, reasonable to look for the U.S. involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian affair as well. These intellectuals also think that the flight of Yanukovych was a U.S. orchestrated coup!

Contrary to their view, I believe that there was no coup; Yanukovich simply ran aways from everyone’s hostility. And this fact coincided with U.S. interests, but it was not caused by the U.S.

As to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it is best descibed by an analogy used by Johnny Harris as the refusal of a boyfriend to let his ex-girlfriend go. Putin is the boyfriend and Ukraine is his ex-girlfriend.

I’ll let you decide which narrative is more suitable: the threat of NATO or the ex-girlfriend analogy after watching the following videos:

The first video is a debate beteen John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, for the NATO narrative, and Michael McFaul and Radislaw Sikorski, opposed.

The second video is a debate between John Mearsheimer and Carl Bildt.

The third video is a criticism of John Mearsheimer by Alexander Stubb.

The fourth is a series of videos by Johnny Harris. In the first video he comments on the pre-invasion plans of Russia. In the second and third videos he makes his comments after the invasion.

Piers Morgan exposed as a racist in sheep’s clothing

I have watched many interviews conducted by Piers Morgan with people at opposite poles in their stance towards the government of Israel. On the surface, his interviews are calm and — without scrutiny — appears to be even handed.

But they are not. His bias is exposed in a rightously indignant manner by Cornell West and Cenk Uygur in the interview below. Cornell West had never in my experience acted in such a volatile manner as he did with Piers Morgan. Both accuse Morgan of lying through his technique of framing questions and his omissions.

His racism comes through when he calls Hamas a terrorist organization for the acts of Oct. 7, but explicitly disavows calling the genocidal acts of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) acts of terrorism.

My X, right or wrong: Two Versions

In the following video, there is a commentry on the expression “my country, right or wrong”

He traces the origin of this expression, and points out that it is elliptical, and that the full context calls for support of the country if it is right, and criticism of it, if it is wrong.

I bring this topic up because of the genocide which is taking place in Gaza.

This genocide is a troublesome fact for many people – both Jews and non-Jews. There are Zionist Jews who identify with Israel and feel that loyalty and patriotism requires them to defend the actions of the Israeli government – right or wrong. And not willing to say that the Israeli government is wrong – they rationalize.

There are also Zionist Jews who are critical of the Israeli government. And there are, of course, non-Zionist Jews who are also overwhelmingly critical, and both groups are among those in the student protests against the genocide in Gaza.

Now this loyalty or patriotism question is taking place in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. For example, the U.S. government is supporting Israel in its genocide of Gaza. [To be more accurate, it is Joe Biden who is doing the supporting.] So. the support of Israel for allegedly loyal Americans depends on the stance of their government.

Be it as it may, all these people who support the genocide in Gaza can be called supporters of a patriotic or loyalist version of “my X, right ot wromg.”

The othe version of “my X, right or wrong” I will call “opportunistic.”

Opportunists are, above all, politicians, college administrators, soldiers, and policemen. Their loyalty – if one may call it that – is to their paycheck: “my paycheck, right or wrong.” Both soldiers and policemen are prone to rationalize their behavior as their duty or simply as following orders. Politician and college administrators (notably, presidents), on the other hand, if challenged, rationalize in a more detailed manner.

Let me take as an example the speech of Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House of Representatives at Columbia University:

He talks about anti-semitism, as if that was the problem. No, the problem is genocide in Gaza!

Warmongering Netanjahu

I am against giving power to any single individual – be it a monarch, a president, or prime minister. I prefer the government of Switzerland, where power is diffused among seven members of a Federal Council.

The history of wars is predominantly a history of single leaders.

The current war against Ukraine is the decision of one man: Putin.

And the current genocide of Gaza is also the decision of a single leader: Benjamin Netanjahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.

But he has recently tried to deflect world attention from his genocide of Gaza by destroying the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1, 2024. This was a deliberate attempt to get Iran to respond, which it did.

For many years now, Netanjahu has tried to get the US to attack Iran for harboring a nuclear weapons program – akin to the charge against Iraq for harboring a program for weapons of mass destruction.

If this lunatic is not removed, he may plunge the world into World War III.

Gaza and Genocide Deniers

In my opinion, of all the scholars of the Palestinian-Israeli relations that I know, Norman Finkelstein is the best informed and the most reasonable in his recommendations — which are to follow the international law, the United Nations resolutions. and to pay attention to human rights watchdogs — like Amnesty International.

I agree with him, and I also agree with the International Court of Justice that a plausible case can be made that a genocide is taking place in Gaza.

With the ICJ finding in mind, I have watched various debates on this issue on Youtube, taking note on who affirms and who denies that a genocide is taking place in Gaza.

The most scholarly debate on Youtube is the following:

The participants were Norman Finkelstein and Mouin Rabbani, on one side, and Benny Morris and Steven Bonnell (aka Destiny), on the other.

Commentary: Since the debate was set-up by Lex Fridman, he must be held responsible for including Destiny, who was obviously in a company beyond his competency, and who Finkelstein, during the debate, called a moron and an imbecile.

Silence as Bullshit!

The concept of bullshit covers many kinds of worthless things: falsehoods, fallacies, lies, irrelevancies, nonsense. To these kinds I would add silence in those cases when a truth should be revealed or a stand taken.

The demand for revealing that which one wants concealed is illustrated by a judicial court demand that a witness shall (1) tell the truth, (2) the whole truth, and (3) nothing but the truth. It is this second demand which is not fulfilled by the strategy of silence.

The reasons why such archtypal bullshitters as politicians, salespersons, and lawyers resort to silence is to convince you of something and to keep their jobs.

I am now talking about silence because of the genocide which is taking place in Gaza by the Israelis.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has judged that a plausible case can be made that a genocide is taking place. It, therefore, behooves all governments to acknowledge this fact as one means of stopping the continuation of this genocide; yet, other than South Africa, which brought the charge of genocide to the ICJ and Ireland, all the European countries and the U.S. are silent, and are, therfore, complicit in the genocide of Gaza. I found the following video insightful and to the point:

Anti-Zionist Jews

The current genocidal bombardment and starvation of Gaza prompted me to look into the views of ordinary Israelis, and I stumbled on the above video in which young adult Israelis are asked if they knew any of the anti-zionist Jews mentioned. Only two of the responends knew something about Chomsky.

What does this ignorance by ordinary Israelis show?

It shows that so-called “public intellectuals” are not widely read by ordinary people. They are read mostly by other “intellectuals.”