[Marxism] Rational Unreason of Imperial War

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 30 07:08:53 MDT 2014

On 8/30/14 8:29 AM, Ron Jacobs via Marxism wrote:
> http://stillhomeron.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-rational-unreason-of-imperial-war.html

 From the article above: "In other words, NATO plans to build and 
maintain military bases in several nations that share direct borders 
with Russia."

Did Yeltsin decide to make war on Chechnya because of being threatened 
by NATO?

"In yet another sign that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was 
turning global politics upside down, the Russian President, Boris N. 
Yeltsin, wrote to NATO today saying Russia hoped to join the alliance 
some time in the future.

"Mr. Yeltsin's letter was sent in conjunction with the first meeting 
ever held at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
between NATO foreign ministers and those of the former Warsaw Pact -- 
the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania."

--Thomas Friedman, NYT, 12/21/1991

Just 3 years after the pro-capitalist drunk wrote his letter, he invaded 
Chechnya. And just 1 year after he had changed his mind about NATO:

"President Boris N. Yeltsin, apparently under pressure from his armed 
forces, has sent a letter to President Clinton opposing any expansion of 
NATO to include East European nations like Poland or the Czech Republic, 
Western diplomats said today.

"Sent after President Yeltsin dissolved Parliament on Sept. 21 and 
embarked on a collision course with members opposed to his reforms, the 
letter amounts to sharp retreat from the position the Russian leader 
outlined during a visit to Warsaw in August. At the time he expressed 
understanding of Poland's desire to join NATO and said it did not 
threaten Russian interests."

--Roger Cohen, NYT, 10/1/1993

Despite its backward economy, the Russian Empire had much in common with 
the United States. In the same way that the USA seized territory through 
military force like Texas, so did the Kremlin. Think of Ukraine as 
Texas. But unlike the USA, where the conquered territories were rapidly 
assimilated into the prevailing socio-economic relationships on the 
basis of equality--at least if you were Anglo, in the Ukraine suffered 
from forced underdevelopment outside of Donbas. In Texas, you had a 
local ruling class that did quite well in oil and ranching while the 
Spanish-speaking population concentrated in the South were treated like 
typical colonized subjects.

By contrast, colonized Ukraine was largely a victim of the the same kind 
of dependency as south Texas except that it was much worse. Stalin saw 
fit to wreak havoc in the countryside through his forced march to 
Communism in the 1920s. Millions died even if it was only an "accident".

In 1991 the yoke was lifted from Ukraine. O frabjous day! Callooh! 
Callay! The first thing that happens under free Ukraine is the 
development of an oligarchy that took advantage of its privileged 
position in the bureaucracy to become owners of coal mines, steel 
factories, and all the rest. A layer of the bourgeoisie in the western 
and central regions feeling resentful exploited the anger of those 
beneath them in the Orange Revolution and catapulted into power. Once 
they were in power, they resorted to the same corrupt deals with the 
Kremlin that preceded them. Yulia Tymoshenko, the Orange Revolution's 
icon, gets caught in a crooked deal with Gazprom and goes to prison.

None of this is of interest to our "anti-imperialists". They are 
interested in one thing and one thing only. How to defend the Kremlin. 
This is not the first time we have seen this on the left but at least 
when the CP was at its height, you could at least make the excuse that 
they were defending socialism. Nowadays, it is nothing less than 
defending naked Russian imperial appetites.

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