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Conversations with leftists about the Ukraine

“We shouldn’t be lecturing Putin about the Ukraine!”


“Well, Iraq?”

“Yes, ok, Iraq, was Iraq wrong?”



“They invaded a sovereign nation!”

“Ok, fair viewpoint. It’s disputable, and arguments can be formulated against that view, but sure, I grant, fair viewpoint. So, operating on the assumption that we agree there, invading a sovereign nation, bad. Now, Putin and the Ukraine?”


“Isn’t he invading a sovereign nation?”

“But that’s different!”


“Russia has national interests in the Ukraine!”

“Such as?”

“Well, the warm water ports in Crimea!”

“Right, ok. So, the US invading Panama in 1989 then, you supported that?”


“Well, the US had national interests in Panama in 1989. The canal. I suppose you supported that?”


“What about Suez, do you think the British were right to invade Egypt during the Suez crisis?”


“But the British had national interests in the Suez canal? It’s not right to invade for national interests then?”


“So, what else?”

“The Ukrainian revolutionaries are fascists!”

“Ah, ok. I think that’s probably an exaggeration, but I’ll grant there are some very worrying elements amongst them. What was the Iraqi government, do you think? Do you think the oppression, the anti-semitism, the dictatorship, do you think that counted as fascism?”

“Ummmmm. I guess”

“But, it was wrong to invade there, right, because it was a sov…”

“AH! But, the eastward expansion of the EU and NATO! Encircling Russia!”

“Ok. So, if the representatives of a nation choose freely to join supra-national organisations, then the neighbours are justified in invading?”


“You haven’t really thought this through, have you?”

“We have enough problems at home!”

“Yes, we do. Well noticed. I agree. Do you think ignoring imperialism abroad makes those problems less?”


“And aren’t we meant to be, y’know, a teensy bit internationalist?”


“You seem to be very internationalist when it comes to Venezuela, or Cuba, or Palestine. Why aren’t you internationalist here?”

“I’m scared of what will happen”

“So am I. Join the fucking club”


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One thought on “Conversations with leftists about the Ukraine

  1. Pingback: Conversations with leftists about the Ukraine « Peter Risdon

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