One of the points of contention is for instance Slajoj's thoughts about the blockade of Odesa and other ports and grain shipments. You say it's not Russia blockading them, but it’s Ukraine mining them. Well, isn't it cause and effect? Were there mines there before Russia’s invasion? Has Russia said to Ukraine and the West we'll not attack these ports if the mines are removed. Those mines are Ukraine's rational response to Russian aggression, surely. It is though all a total mess, as all wars are, where morality is dead - as Slavoj points out Medvedev seems to be happy enough to have millions of poor and desperate people, particularly in Africa, starve to death as if that’s no concern of Russia or its actions. That's a cynical cruelty as bad as Stalin's to Ukraine in the Holodomor or Britain’s in a previous century with the Irish famine. Slavoj’s criticised about his proposed solution, using warships to force a corridor. He’s criticised for this so-called double standard, because since when have we, the “west, cared, “as if we’ve ever given a frick about them…..” and would the wheat even end up where it’s truly needed? Well, all that may be true, but it’s irrelevant to his argument; perhaps Slavoj does give a frick. He should be allowed to express his humanity, surely?
He finishes with this line, a distillation of his argument: ``And the only way to defend what is worth saving in our liberal tradition is to ruthlessly insist on its universality. The moment we apply double standards, we are no less “pragmatic” than Russia." Is this not true? And isn’t this exactly what we’ve (the “west”) been doing, applying double standards and employing a veritable army of hypocrisies, for so many years? And isn’t this exactly what contributors to this site have been bewailing about for all this time?
I would have thought that an avowed left winger like Slavoj (he calls himself a “communist” as a person who cares for the “commons” and because socialism is now just a more benign form of capitalism and no challenge to the status quo) would have enjoyed at least a bit of respect from posters here. But that’s us all the time, we’d rather throw bricks at socialist heretics than fascist enemies.
And one is never forced to attack or annihilate a whole country, Slavoj writes. I mean, are you arguing this? Was Putin / Russia goaded by the US and NATO and Ukraine? Yes. And because Putin is a ruthless autocrat, with expressed grandiose ideas about a greater Russia, we should have known where this might lead. Many wise heads had done precisely this over many years. So we did know. And we (ie the neocons) almost certainly were more than happy to see this war and our inevitable sanctions to bring down Russia - so much for that. . But was Russia actually forced to invade? Was there literally no alternative? What other things could they have done? There’d be quite a number. Perhaps cutting gas to Europe and supplies of oil might have been enough for force Europe at least to take a step back? Stopping supplies of wheat and raw materials to Europe and the US. I don’t know, these are counter-factuals that are not open to rational debate. But the fact is that Slavoj is, in this matter, right. The “existential threat” to Russia was not so immediate or dire to excuse in any way whatsoever the deaths of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, the destruction of cities and peoples’ homes, their livelihoods, their right to peace, the starvation of millions of the poor or the flight and terror of millions of refugees. - and the ultimate risk of a WW3 and a nuclear exchange. Attempting to excuse or rationalise Russia for its invasion is morally just as repugnant as Medvedev's lack of concern for the starvation of millions.
Again, I do not understand the mind-set of so many contributing to this site.