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You're reading: Bohdan Futala: ‘Progressive’ silence on Putin’s aggression

Conversely
they are not rooted, despite the evidence, in Putin’s weltanschauung.
In other words, his extremist Russian nationalism with its
concomitant imperialism is ignored and Progressivism’s revulsion to
unprovoked aggression is not invoked.

Cohen’s
narrative on many issues simply restates Putin’s pronouncements but
due to space considerations, only a few may be scrutinized. Arguably,
his rationalization of Putin’s actions is based on the proposition
that the West, particularly the U.S., have “demonized”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. In attempting to present Putin’s
aggression as resulting from “understandable” security
interests threatened by the West’s policies of which NATO’s expansion
is the most ominous, Cohen presents a chronologically inaccurate
portrayal of NATO’s expansion, which has led him to abandon any
progressive principles and to become a “political bedfellow”
of Putin’s allies consisting of homophobes, extreme Russian
nationalist, the European extreme right such as France’s National
Front and here in the U.S. of people such as Pat Buchanan.

NATO
expansion has not taken place for the last five years and Ukraine has
not considered entry into NATO for at least the last four years.
Furthermore, as part of the Obama’s reset policy towards Russia the
antiballistic missile shield program that would have stationed
missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic was cancelled. In reality,
efforts that could be construed as part of a strategy to “encircle
Russia” were abandoned despite Russia’s invasion of Georgia in
2008. Curiously, in discussing NATO expansion the desires and fears
of the countries becoming NATO members seem to be overlooked without
whose application for membership expansion could not have taken
place. Clearly the Baltic states and Poland by applying for NATO
membership are expressing a perceived need for protection based on
fears rooted in past and current Russian actions and policies
vis-a-vis these countries. NATO expansion is not driven exclusively
by the whims of the West.

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