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Opinion: Ukraine Whataboutery

By Sue Sparks

I’ve been accused of ‘giving the US and NATO a free pass’ and making ‘tired’ and ‘exaggerated’ comparisons between Putin and Hitler. Specifically, saying that Putin’s use of minorities as a pretext for territorial aggression reminded me of Hitler and the Sudetenland.

I find it interesting that such people use language like this to avoid discussion of what’s actually going on. It was the same with Syria, nitpicking over words like genocide in relation to Assad’s mass murder or endless talk of US regime change attempts (non existent) to avoid really talking about Russian bombs raining down on Syrian civilians and hospitals. Now we have endless talk about NATO (yes, it would have been better if it was dissolved in 1991 along with the Warsaw Pact but it’s not NATO expansion that’s led to this invasion, it’s Putin’s desire to eliminate an independent Ukraine, also note that the US refused to even give Ukraine a path to membership) and how Ukraine is riddled with fascists (the combined far right parties in Ukraine only managed 2.3% of the vote in 2019).

We heard the same people say that the whole opposition in Syria was ‘Al-Qaeda’ or jihadis. I don’t expect facts to cut any ice with them. They have a world map consisting of US imperialism and its allies, versus everyone else. They find it impossible to acknowledge that other regimes are as bad or worse than that in Washington DC or that there are other imperialist powers, especially Russia and China.

So we have ’tired and exaggerated’ comparisons with the Cold War and drivel about Russophobia in place of a real engagement with the world in 2022.

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