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Noam Chomsky: US Military Escalation Against Russia Would Have No Victors. 

‘ In brief, the crisis has been brewing for 25 years as the U.S. contemptuously rejected Russian security concerns, in particular their clear red lines: Georgia and especially Ukraine.”

”……..  repeatedly the reaction to real or imagined crisis has been to reach for the six-gun rather than the olive branch. It’s almost a reflex, and the consequences have generally been awful ………….”

”The options that remain after the invasion are grim. The least bad is support for the diplomatic options that still exist,……….. with an escape hatch for Putin, or outcomes will be still more dire for Ukraine and everyone else, perhaps almost unimaginably so.”‘

Interview with Noam Chomsky, C.J. PolychroniouTruthout,  1 March 22, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took much of the world by surprise. It is an unprovoked and unjustified attack that will go down in history as one of the major war crimes of the 21st century, argues Noam Chomsky in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows.

Political considerations, such as those cited by Russian President Vladimir Putin, cannot be used as arguments to justify the launching of an invasion against a sovereign nation. In the face of this horrific invasion, though, the U.S. must choose urgent diplomacy over military escalation, as the latter could constitute a “death warrant for the species, with no victors,” Chomsky says……………

Q. …………Why do you think he decided to launch an invasion at this point in time?

CHOMSKY. ” …………..  It always makes sense to seek explanations, but there is no justification, no extenuation.

Turning now to the question, there are plenty of supremely confident outpourings about Putin’s mind. The usual story is that he is caught up in paranoid fantasies, acting alone, surrounded by groveling courtiers of the kind familiar here in what’s left of the Republican Party traipsing to Mar-a-Lago for the Leader’s blessing.

The flood of invective might be accurate, but perhaps other possibilities might be considered. Perhaps Putin meant what he and his associates have been saying loud and clear for years. It might be, for example, that, “Since Putin’s major demand is an assurance that NATO will take no further members, and specifically not Ukraine or Georgia, obviously there would have been no basis for the present crisis if there had been no expansion of the alliance following the end of the Cold War, or if the expansion had occurred in harmony with building a security structure in Europe that included Russia.”

 The author of these words is former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, one of the few serious Russia specialists in the U.S. diplomatic corps, writing shortly before the invasion. He goes on to conclude that the crisis “can be easily resolved by the application of common sense…. By any common-sense standard it is in the interest of the United States to promote peace, not conflict.   To try to detach Ukraine from Russian influence — the avowed aim of those who agitated for the ‘color revolutions’ — was a fool’s errand, and a dangerous one. Have we so soon forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?”

Matlock is hardly alone. Much the same conclusions about the underlying issues are reached in the memoirs of CIA head William Burns, another of the few authentic Russia specialists……………..

The fact is, to be honest, that we do not know why the decision was made, even whether it was made by Putin alone or by the Russian Security Council in which he plays the leading role. There are, however, some things we do know with fair confidence, including the record reviewed in some detail by those just cited, who have been in high places on the inside of the planning system. In brief, the crisis has been brewing for 25 years as the U.S. contemptuously rejected Russian security concerns, in particular their clear red lines: Georgia and especially Ukraine.

There is good reason to believe that this tragedy could have been avoided, until the last minute. We’ve discussed it before, repeatedly. As to why Putin launched the criminal aggression right now, we can speculate as we like. But the immediate background is not obscure — evaded but not contested

……….    If we want to respond to the tragedy in ways that will help the victims, and avert still worse catastrophes that loom ahead, it is wise, and necessary, to learn as much as we can about what went wrong and how the course could have been corrected. Heroic gestures may be satisfying. They are not helpful.

……..  The question cuts deep. There is no time to review this critically important matter here, but repeatedly the reaction to real or imagined crisis has been to reach for the six-gun rather than the olive branch. It’s almost a reflex, and the consequences have generally been awful — for the traditional victims. ………….

The options that remain after the invasion are grim. The least bad is support for the diplomatic options that still exist, in the hope of reaching an outcome not too far from what was very likely achievable a few days ago: Austrian-style neutralization of Ukraine, some version of Minsk II federalism within. Much harder to reach now. And — necessarily — with an escape hatch for Putin, or outcomes will be still more dire for Ukraine and everyone else, perhaps almost unimaginably so.

Q.  …………….. Can you comment on Putin’s legal justifications for the invasion of Ukraine and on the status of international law in the post-Cold War era?

CHOMSKY.  There is nothing to say about Putin’s attempt to offer legal justification for his aggression. Its merit is zero……………………………………

Do you think the invasion will initiate a new era of sustained contestation between Russia (and possibly in alliance with China) and the West?

It’s hard to tell where the ashes will fall — and that might turn out not to be a metaphor. So far, China is playing it cool……………………………   https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-us-military-escalation-against-russia-would-have-no-victors/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=a353e8c0-2709-4024-84ba-04836fea0cbf

March 2, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war

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