There Is No Defending Putin's War Crimes or Those of ANY Imperialist
The U.S. government lacks moral standing to judge any other regime. That doesn't give a despot like Putin license to slaughter civilians.
It has now been almost a month since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. The war’s brutality on civilians was captured in photographer Lynsey Addario’s soul-crushing image of a mother and her two children killed while trying to escape the violence.
Putin’s war crimes are clear for the world to see. They are monstrous and unforgivable. Which brings me to the split among leftists over Ukraine, primarily over how to view Russian aggression in the context of U.S. imperialism and NATO provocations. From my perspective, it shouldn’t be complicated. We can vigorously condemn Putin’s aggression while simultaneously holding the United States accountable for its continued militarism and meddling across the globe.
As I wrote recently, lest anyone pretend Putin is the only bad guy in this cold war redux, Biden is currently starving millions of Afghan children and stealing their money, which is itself a form of violence.
Biden is also arming the slaughter of children in Yemen.
However, there is a sharp line between condemning American imperialism and defending the carnage that Putin has unleashed on the Ukrainian people. Consistency and morality demand that we denounce all nations (and leaders) that violently project power and attack civilians. Simply put: No matter how terrible America’s actions, there is no defending Vladimir Putin.
Rather, we should defend victims of imperialism and state violence, no matter who the perpetrator. Palestinian children. Yemeni children. Somali children. Syrian children. Afghan children. Ukrainian children. They are the victims. And they need us to stand up for them against militant global powers.
As a survivor of war who endured years of military conflict and was displaced from my home as a child, my focus is on those children who suffer and die at the hands of warmongers.
Listen to my firsthand description of what those kids are going through: