I beg to differ.
Yes, it is terrible what is happening in Ukraine (we’ve always said war is terrible), but it is imperial expansionists like George Packer who caused the conflict by recklessly expanding NATO to Russia’s borders. Americans are about to suffer the consequences of Joe Biden’s foolish foreign policy.
“In the short six months between the fall of Kabul and the invasion of Ukraine, the triumph of one idea was eclipsed by the appearance of another. The wars that followed 9/11 ended for Americans on August 31, 2021. They ended with relief and bitterness and the sense that the United States would now have to learn restraint—that we lacked the ability, the will, and the means to involve ourselves in the affairs of other countries. Pax Americana was over, and so was the 20 Years’ War, and now it was time to turn inward and address our own considerable problems. After all, who were we, with our political rot, our social conflicts, and our COVID disaster, to act as a leader of anything to anyone?
This view was widespread across the political firmament. The progressive version leaned pacifist, the reactionary version was nationalist, and in the center a new “realism”—a hungover awareness of limits—prevailed. This realism reminded bruised, exhausted Americans that our national interests should be narrowly defined, and that other great powers, including Russia, have interests of their own that need to be respected.
The Biden administration embraced this realism before America had finished withdrawing from Afghanistan. It seemed to believe that the U.S. would leave nothing behind there except the debris of two decades of failure—and so it neglected to ensure that the Afghans who’d allied themselves with the American project in their country would have any kind of future anywhere. The relatively open, outward-looking society that had grown up during the American war among younger Afghans in the cities, with its lively press and civic activism and new freedoms for women and girls, was abandoned with barely a second thought.
The failure in Kabul showed that the new realists didn’t understand what our national interests actually were. It took Vladimir Putin to explain them. …”
Don’t be fooled by cable television.
This view IS STILL widespread across the political firmament.
Nothing has changed here except that the political establishment has started yet another war in yet another far flung part of Eurasia in a place where the stakes are higher than ever because of Russia’s vital interest in halting NATO expansion into Ukraine. This is far more serious than the previous adventures of our neoliberal overlords in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Serbia and so on. This conflict in Ukraine is rapidly spiraling toward a place we haven’t been in since the World Wars.