29 thoughts on “Why Do Donald Trump and the Far Left Agree on Ukraine? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, Somebody asked me this question this evening that I didn’t think of before. Why didn’t Putin try to take Ukraine when his buddy Donald Trump was president, as Trump would have let him get away with it?

    1. Timing, I suspect. It takes a massive amount of effort and money to undertake something like this. Remember, it really began during the Obama era with Crimea but I also suspect Putin thought Trump would have a second term. The wheels were already in motion so he probably just got a case of the 🤬-its and did it anyway when his Manchurian candidate lost.

      1. Thank you Sean Robertson. That makes sense and particularly that Putin needed some more time, and perhaps thought that Trump would get another term. I’m sure glad that Trump didn’t get another term but if he did and had Putin overran Ukraine, that likely would have not gone down very well with the public and would have not been in Trump’s favor.

    2. @ Walter: Trump and Putin seem to have a somewhat symbiotic relationship. I’ll bet Putin advanced the idea and Trump talked it over with whoever was the semi-sane defense secretary at the time, who told him: “You’re out of your f* mind if you even consider this.” And Trump went back to Putin and said: sorry, can’t be done. At that time, Putin probably thought Trump could offer him far more as a lackey than as an enemy. So he backed off. This is speculation on my part. But it could very well be more or less the way things shook out.

  2. I am slightly to the left of Bernie Sanders and yet I can see no world in which the position of Biden in opposition to an obvious land grab by Putin is an incorrect one. Putin, just like the far right here is grasping for a world that neither exists any longer nor can be recreated without massive destruction and to what 🤬 end? I frankly fail to comprehend how anyone on the left would cheer on the current calamity. Doing so speaks to a lack of basic humanity, whatever you may think of American hegemony or anything related. 😕

    1. @ Sean Robertson: There are alas many on the left (I would call it the extreme left) who share these abhorrent views. While all of us on the left share fierce criticism of US policy, these people have been blinded by either by their hatred or their passion for a unitary universe in which there is only one way to approach every crisis or issue.

  3. No mention of – “Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner”

    Had those assurances been kept we ‘might’ not be where we are now.

    But it’s all Putin’s fault, and if you don’t accept that you must be a trump supporter. 😅😅😅

    1. @ Alex: All of the names you mentioned were in power decades ago. Are you saying that political and diplomatic positions are engraved in stone for all time?

      Not to mention that no decision has been taken by NATO on accepting Ukraine. And I would be certain that the west remains willing to keep Ukraine out as long as there are Russian guarantees that it will not further impinge on Ukrainian sovereignty. In short, two play at this game. You don’t get something unless you give something. Putin’s way is you give, I take.

  4. “Putin has made clear that he wants to reassemble the Old Soviet Union.”

    I think this is incorrect. He’s not known for being a fan of the Soviet Union. I think you have to go a little further back to Tsarist Russia.

  5. I don’t accept that the situation should be looked at in terms of Russian aggression because clearly the russians are on the defensive. It’s not Russia (or China) who is surrounding America with hundreds of bases but the other way around.

    The demand that Ukraine should not, in line with the promises to Gorbachov, become a member of NATO is a reasonable one. Why the hell should it? NATO is not a defensive organisation. It is the main arms of western imperialism with wars in the Balkans, Libya and Afghanistan to its credit. That is what provoked Putin.

    In any event the people of Donbass and the other republic have welcomed the Russians just as Crimea voted for annexation under Obama. To understand that one has to go back to the last, EU/NATO inspired colour revolution which overthrew a democratically elected President.

    Ukraine has also absorbed the neo-Nazi Azov battalion into its National Guard and they are being armed by the USA (& previously Israel) and they are to the fore in attacking the Dombass. It was the removal of Russian language rights and the attack on them by Ukrainian fascists back in 2014 which was the cause of the breakway or have we forgotten the burning out of a trade union centre in Odessa where 40 people were burned alive by the fascists.

    Its strange that in these times, when ‘antisemitism’ is so popular in the imperialist narrative that no one has mentioned the arming of the fascists, the hero worship of Bandera and other Nazi collaborators. For historical reasons Ukrainian nationalism has the blood of literally hundreds of thousands of Jews on its account. But of course to the West it is Hamas which is the main enemy.

    1. @ tony: You’ve done precisely what I asked commenters not to do. I am completely uninterested in hearing people defend the invasion of Ukraine. I don’t care what your arguments are. I’ve heard and read them all before. In my Twitter TL what seems like scores of extreme (or ‘anti-imperialist’ or whatever you wish to call them) leftists have parroted precisely the views you are. And I’ve rebutted them there. I simply don’t have to will, energy or interest in doing the same here. You’ve drunk the Koolaid and there is no sense in trying to talk sense or rebut your view of “reality,” which is no reality at all.

      While there is much we have agreed on in the past, we part ways here. Please don’t post again in this thread.

      1. @ Nate: Nate, Nate–you’re expecting us to believe a Medium blog post written by an “IDF soldier” over a story published in Haaretz? Really? You must learn that I believe in using credible sources. This guy on Medium is as credible as a $3 bill.

        1. [comment deleted: My comment threads are not a place to call my reporting a hoax. If you want to do that you’ll do it elsewhere. I’ve proved beyond doubt that my source’s information about Beirut was accurate. I will not permit my comment thread to be a place for your to attack his credibility or mine. Got that? If you call my reporting a hoax again you’ll be on the first flight back to Ben Gurion.]

          1. @ Nate: I don’t accept demands from commenters that I prove or do anything. Don’t do this again.

            The lack of credibility of the IDF in general and any of its members in pumping out is self-evident. I’ve proved it scores of times in my reporting here. Haaretz is a credible source. A random IDF hack writing in a self-publishing site like Medium has none.

          2. [comment deleted: I want all of us to wish Nate a fond farewell. He’s on his way to Ben Gurion, via that Hasbara Airlines flight. We wish him well in his future propaganda endeavors. He’s likely been promoted to haunt Mondoweiss or some other left-wing website. Really, he’s been blocked because he was just an asshole.]

    2. [Comment deleted: I am completely uninterested in who did what to whom 8 years ago. I am interested in what is happening now. No more comments on this subject or in this thread]

      1. [Comment deleted: Tony, I asked you not to comment further in thread because you are straying far from the topic of my post. And I asked commenters not to offer pro-Russian talking pts. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that this is not what you intend. Nevertheless, you are repeating the same arguments offered by the hard left to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is indefensible. If you want to defend, justify or apologize for it, you have your own blog to do that. I have also deleted the comment to which you were responding. So I want you to know that I am policing this for both sides of the argument.]

    3. the next load of horsehit you will be spewing is that the Russians/’separatists’ had nothing to do with the downing of MH17…until today the little dictator Putin’s regime denies that the BUK surface-to-air missiles where used even though it’s been conclusively proven so…the dis and mis-information that emanated from the former Soviet Union is a well known fact and has only become more advanced in Putin’s Russia what with the internet/global reach of such propaganda tools as RT and the like etc

  6. [comment deleted: my post specifically said I do NOT want commenters to rehash pro-Soviet propaganda talking points. I meant what I said.]

  7. I have been in both the Ukraine and the Palestinian West Bank. Under Soviet rule, the Ukrainians were forced to abandon their language and customs for the benefit of being Russianized. Leadership was handpicked by the Soviets and included a preference for Russians.. Putin is an autocratic leader most likely to assert repressive control. The Palestinian West Bank is a similar situation where a people are suppressed and their culture is being eroded ….. all for the sake of sustaining a privileged people viewed as.superior.

    Putin’s sense of history is tainted by a desire to restore what was once a czarist republic and the a Soviet republic. Kiev existed before Moscow. Like many European nations, borders have changed. In 1939, western Ukraine was part of Poland. The Ukrainians have had a taste of independence, freedom and democracy. Being conquered by Russia strips that away.

  8. [comment deleted: apparently you can’t read; or didn’t bother to read my post, which clearly said parroting pro-Soviet propaganda will not be permitted]

      1. @ Tony: No, I wrote “Soviet” deliberately since Putin wants to restore the old Soviet Union and has said it explicitly. If you would like me to use the word “Czarist” instead of “Soviet” I will be happy to do so, since many commentators have noted Putin’s affinity for absolute rule, a form that even in Soviet days did not exist.

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