Ukraine: Questions and Answers

Q: Why should I care about the Russian invasion when countries do this all the time? Maybe it sucks for Ukraine but that’s their problem.

A: This is the largest scale war between major European nations since WWII. Conflicts on that continent have spiraled into global catastrophes multiple times so the amount of media attention may seem unfair compared to current events in Yemen, South Sudan or Nigeria where conflicts historically remain more local. 

Q: Isn’t this just a typical case of Westerners just feeling sorry whenever bad things happen to white people? 

A: Yes. We absolutely see racism reflected in many parts of the conflict. It’s heartbreaking that refugees from Syria or other conflict zones have so often been turned away or refused assistance but when Slavic communities who fit the modern Western criteria of whiteness are routed, they receive welcome. That isn’t right, yet doesn’t lessen the significance of this event.

Q: I heard the Ukrainians military is full of Nazis? Shouldn’t we always side against fascism?

A: If you look hard enough at any conflict, you’ll find something to dislike. George Orwell might have refused to fight Franco in Spain because the anti-fascist forces included communist authoritarians, but joined anyway. The mostly white American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald returned home to perpetuate more decades of state sanctioned terror against communities of color at home. That’s important to recognize, but not use as an excuse. There have been white nationalist elements in Ukrainian militias, just like among Russian forces and the US military also. 

Q: How can you back US militarism? Isn’t this against everything you’ve ever stood for?

A: The US military sided with various Kurdish forces against Daesh (ISIS) and I still supported their resistance struggles. The world isn’t black and white. 

Q: Aren’t people who suddenly care about Ukraine infuriating? If I see another damn blue and yellow virtue signal from someone who never cared about world events before, my head will seriously explode.

A: Yes. Me too.

Q: What about all the anti-Russians crap I’m seeing? 

A: It’s one thing to boycott Russian products and wield economic pressure but awful if that translates into bigotry against immigrant communities. Consider patronizing your local Slavic grocery store to show support. 

Q: Isn’t this whole thing just corrupt elites distracting us from how the 1% are still in charge and the middle class is disintegrating?

A: Yes, but pretty much everything distracts from that. I oppose the invasion of Ukraine for the same reasons I spent years choking on tear gas while fighting against every US war since Afghanistan and every president from Clinton to Trump. Putin and the oligarchs represent a murderous regime and should be opposed just as surely as the Czars. There’s ample reason he was a favorite of Trump’s along with other fascist autocrats like Bolsonaro and Duterte. I stand against them and any other authoritarians at home and abroad.

Q: Did you see the BBC praising Ukrainian civilians making Molotov cocktails? They sure played a different tune when it was Irish insurgents throwing them at British soldiers back in the day!

A: The only thing more hypocritical is American anti-gun liberals and Democrats applauding them for defending their communities with AK-47s!

Q: Sanctions and economic pressure will hurt ordinary Russians! Isn’t harming civilian populations for political ends wrong?

A: I would have 100% supported international sanctions against the United States to halt our immoral wars that in twenty years likely caused over a million dead and destabilized entire regions of the globe. Unfortunately there wasn’t international will to bring that about. Sometimes ordinary people pay a heavy price for the choices their leaders make. I can feel badly for the Russian people but also recognize it sometimes requires dreadful acts to stop worse dreadful acts.

Q: Don’t you see that this is all a vile scheme by NATO member states to encircle Russia and keep the country unfairly contained? 

A: Understand that Russian containment existed long before NATO. Queen Victoria would have gleefully sent arms to an independent Ukraine in furtherance of her own empire. It’s only unfair assuming someone takes the position that nations have an unlimited right to dominate. Putin openly intends reestablishing the old time Russian empire which exercised brutal rule over countless subject peoples. I oppose that just as I have always opposed American interventions installing fascist governments across the globe.

Q: Russia lost around 3 million people in WWI and another 27 million during WWII. Don’t you understand that after such devastation, Russia needs a demilitarized buffer zone protecting it from Western armies? What would America do if that was your situation?

A: If the US had undergone anything so culturally traumatic in the 20th century, say, by invasion through the north, virtually every American you hear currently praising Ukrainian resistance would support turning Canada into a defanged vassal state run by a puppet in Ottawa. I simply don’t accept that as an excuse. Just because national trauma isn’t equitably distributed doesn’t mean Ukraine should be put under the thumb of Putin’s oligarchs while outsiders weep for the sacrifice their grandparents’ generation made.

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