[Marxism] Dear Dr. Deutsch

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 9 06:38:39 MDT 2015


Dear Dr. Deutsch

I just looked at your article on CounterPunch this morning that is a 
pastiche of all the talking points about NATO and Russia I have read 
from the pro-Putin left for a good 5 years at least. You write:

-->At the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the United States 
supported inviting Georgia and Ukraine to join the alliance. In May 
2008, the EU concurred, thus knowingly crossing Russia’s “red line”. By 
August of that year, there was war between Georgia and Russia. Obama 
failed to reset relations with Russia and the US continued to pursue its 
policy of pulling Ukraine from the Russian orbit and integrating it into 
the West. (Speech by John Mearsheimer in March 2015.)<--

I honestly cannot figure out how John Mearsheimer has become such an 
authority on war and peace for people like you.

He has little interest in the rights of "peripheral" nations and simply 
sees them as falling under the hegemonic control of great powers like 
dominoes or pawns in a chess game. For example, he has written: "Imagine 
the American outrage if China built an impressive military alliance and 
tried to include Canada and Mexico."

In fact, by this logic, Mearsheimer would have argued that JFK had the 
right to blockade Cuba when the USSR provided missiles for its defense 
in 1962--not that this advocate of Metternichian realpolitik ever 
thought in terms of "right" in ethical terms.

Ukraine was colonized by Catherine the Great in the 18th century and 
remained colonized through the 20th century--even when it was a Soviet 
republic for the most part--until it became independent in 1991. 
Independent nations, including Cuba, have a right to conclude military 
alliances with anyone they choose. That is why Cuba's sovereignty is 
compromised by Guantanamo Base and why it was necessary for Fidel Castro 
to ask for Soviet missiles after being attacked repeatedly by US-backed 
rebels.

That is the real analogy, not Mexico. With all proportions guarded, 
Ukraine is to Russia as Cuba is to the US. Using its superior power, the
Kremlin is carving out pieces of the Ukraine through naked force and
making it a fact on the ground. It is doing the same thing that was done
all through history. I wouldn't expect Mearsheimer, a "realist", to
understand this or not much of anything except that the Israel lobby
sucks.

In 1991 Mearsheimer wrote an op-ed piece for the NY Times that looked at 
the Gulf War as an opportunity to apply his realpolitik methodology. He 
was optimistic about the American prospects: "The U.S. military can 
liberate Kuwait in less than a week and suffer relatively few casualties 
-- probably less than 1,000 fatalities." I dare say that his choice of 
the word "liberate" betrayed a certain cynicism given the history of 
this imperialist-created enclave for oil shaikhs.

He went on to say:

"This wholesale defeat of a large portion of Iraq's ground forces will
have been accomplished without direct engagement. In fact, the
breakthrough battle will probably be the only instance of large-scale
fighting between American and Iraqi ground forces. As a result, American
casualties should be low.

"The tragedy that war inflicts must not be forgotten. Fortunately, a
quick victory will reduce losses on both sides and allow the U.S. to
turn to the more difficult task of helping to construct a lasting
political settlement in the region."


Helping to construct a lasting political settlement in the region?

Really?

I am not going to instruct someone like you on how to write your 
articles but for anybody outside the Stephen F. Cohen/RT.com/John Pilger 
cocoon, this sort of thing strikes me as unadulterated balderdash.











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