David Barsamian Noam Chomsky Ukraine

Noam Chomsky: In Ukraine, Diplomacy Has Been Ruled Out

David Barsamian and Noam Chomsky discuss how George Orwell's doublethink became the way of the world.
[jeanbaptisteparis / CC BY-SA 2.0]

By David Barsamian and Noam Chomsky | TomDispatch

David Barsamian: Let’s head into the most obvious nightmare of this moment, the war in Ukraine and its effects globally. But first a little background. Let’s start with President George H.W. Bush’s assurance to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move “one inch to the east” — and that pledge has been verified. My question to you is, why didn’t Gorbachev get that in writing?

Noam Chomsky: He accepted a gentleman’s agreement, which is not that uncommon in diplomacy. Shake-of-the-hand. Furthermore, having it on paper would have made no difference whatsoever. Treaties that are on paper are torn up all the time. What matters is good faith. And in fact, H.W. Bush, the first Bush, did honor the agreement explicitly. He even moved toward instituting a partnership in peace, which would accommodate the countries of Eurasia. NATO wouldn’t be disbanded but would be marginalized. Countries like Tajikistan, for example, could join without formally being part of NATO. And Gorbachev approved of that. It would have been a step toward creating what he called a common European home with no military alliances.

Clinton in his first couple of years also adhered to it. What the specialists say is that by about 1994, Clinton started to, as they put it, talk from both sides of his mouth. To the Russians he was saying: Yes, we’re going to adhere to the agreement. To the Polish community in the United States and other ethnic minorities, he was saying: Don’t worry, we’ll incorporate you within NATO. By about 1996-97, Clinton said this pretty explicitly to his friend Russian President Boris Yeltsin, whom he had helped win the 1996 election. He told Yeltsin: Don’t push too hard on this NATO business. We’re going to expand but I need it because of the ethnic vote in the United States.

In 1997, Clinton invited the so-called Visegrad countries — Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania — to join NATO. The Russians didn’t like it but didn’t make much of a fuss. Then the Baltic nations joined, again the same thing. In 2008, the second Bush, who was quite different from the first, invited Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Every U.S. diplomat understood very well that Georgia and Ukraine were red lines for Russia. They’ll tolerate the expansion elsewhere, but these are in their geostrategic heartland and they’re not going to tolerate expansion there. To continue with the story, the Maidan uprising took place in 2014, expelling the pro-Russian president and Ukraine moved toward the West.

From 2014, the U.S. and NATO began to pour arms into Ukraine — advanced weapons, military training, joint military exercises, moves to integrate Ukraine into the NATO military command. There’s no secret about this. It was quite open. Recently, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, bragged about it. He said: This is what we were doing since 2014. Well, of course, this is very consciously, highly provocative. They knew that they were encroaching on what every Russian leader regarded as an intolerable move. France and Germany vetoed it in 2008, but under U.S. pressure, it was kept on the agenda. And NATO, meaning the United States, moved to accelerate the de facto integration of Ukraine into the NATO military command.

In 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected with an overwhelming majority — I think about 70% of the vote — on a peace platform, a plan to implement peace with Eastern Ukraine and Russia, to settle the problem. He began to move forward on it and, in fact, tried to go to the Donbas, the Russian-oriented eastern region, to implement what’s called the Minsk II agreement. It would have meant a kind of federalization of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy for the Donbas, which is what they wanted. Something like Switzerland or Belgium. He was blocked by right-wing militias which threatened to murder him if he persisted with his effort.

Well, he’s a courageous man. He could have gone forward if he had had any backing from the United States. The U.S. refused. No backing, nothing, which meant he was left to hang out to dry and had to back off. The U.S. was intent on this policy of integrating Ukraine step by step into the NATO military command. That accelerated further when President Biden was elected. In September 2021, you could read it on the White House website. It wasn’t reported but, of course, the Russians knew it. Biden announced a program, a joint statement to accelerate the process of military training, military exercises, more weapons as part of what his administration called an “enhanced program” of preparation for NATO membership.

It accelerated further in November. This was all before the invasion. Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed what was called a charter, which essentially formalized and extended this arrangement. A spokesman for the State Department conceded that before the invasion, the U.S. refused to discuss any Russian security concerns. All of this is part of the background.

On February 24th, Putin invaded, a criminal invasion. These serious provocations provide no justification for it. If Putin had been a statesman, what he would have done is something quite different. He would have gone back to French President Emmanuel Macron, grasped his tentative proposals, and moved to try to reach an accommodation with Europe, to take steps toward a European common home.

The U.S., of course, has always been opposed to that. This goes way back in Cold War history to French President De Gaulle’s initiatives to establish an independent Europe. In his phrase “from the Atlantic to the Urals,” integrating Russia with the West, which was a very natural accommodation for trade reasons and, obviously, security reasons as well. So, had there been any statesmen within Putin’s narrow circle, they would have grasped Macron’s initiatives and experimented to see whether, in fact, they could integrate with Europe and avert the crisis. Instead, what he chose was a policy which, from the Russian point of view, was total imbecility. Apart from the criminality of the invasion, he chose a policy that drove Europe deep into the pocket of the United States. In fact, it is even inducing Sweden and Finland to join NATO — the worst possible outcome from the Russian point of view, quite apart from the criminality of the invasion, and the very serious losses that Russia is suffering because of that.

So, criminality and stupidity on the Kremlin side, severe provocation on the U.S. side. That’s the background that has led to this. Can we try to bring this horror to an end? Or should we try to perpetuate it? Those are the choices.

There’s only one way to bring it to an end. That’s diplomacy. Now, diplomacy, by definition, means both sides accept it. They don’t like it, but they accept it as the least bad option. It would offer Putin some kind of escape hatch. That’s one possibility. The other is just to drag it out and see how much everybody will suffer, how many Ukrainians will die, how much Russia will suffer, how many millions of people will starve to death in Asia and Africa, how much we’ll proceed toward heating the environment to the point where there will be no possibility for a livable human existence. Those are the options. Well, with near 100% unanimity, the United States and most of Europe want to pick the no-diplomacy option. It’s explicit. We have to keep going to hurt Russia.

You can read columns in the New York Times, the London Financial Times, all over Europe. A common refrain is: we’ve got to make sure that Russia suffers. It doesn’t matter what happens to Ukraine or anyone else. Of course, this gamble assumes that if Putin is pushed to the limit, with no escape, forced to admit defeat, he’ll accept that and not use the weapons he has to devastate Ukraine.

There are a lot of things that Russia hasn’t done. Western analysts are rather surprised by it. Namely, they’ve not attacked the supply lines from Poland that are pouring weapons into Ukraine. They certainly could do it. That would very soon bring them into direct confrontation with NATO, meaning the U.S. Where it goes from there, you can guess. Anyone who’s ever looked at war games knows where it’ll go — up the escalatory ladder toward terminal nuclear war.

So, those are the games we’re playing with the lives of Ukrainians, Asians, and Africans, the future of civilization, in order to weaken Russia, to make sure that they suffer enough. Well, if you want to play that game, be honest about it. There’s no moral basis for it. In fact, it’s morally horrendous. And the people who are standing on a high horse about how we’re upholding principle are moral imbeciles when you think about what’s involved.

Barsamian: In the media, and among the political class in the United States, and probably in Europe, there’s much moral outrage about Russian barbarity, war crimes, and atrocities. No doubt they are occurring as they do in every war. Don’t you find that moral outrage a bit selective though?

Chomsky: The moral outrage is quite in place. There should be moral outrage. But you go to the Global South, they just can’t believe what they’re seeing. They condemn the war, of course. It’s a deplorable crime of aggression. Then they look at the West and say: What are you guys talking about? This is what you do to us all the time.

It’s kind of astonishing to see the difference in commentary. So, you read the New York Times and their big thinker, Thomas Friedman. He wrote a column a couple of weeks ago in which he just threw up his hands in despair. He said: What can we do? How can we live in a world that has a war criminal? We’ve never experienced this since Hitler. There’s a war criminal in Russia. We’re at a loss as to how to act. We’ve never imagined the idea that there could be a war criminal anywhere.

When people in the Global South hear this, they don’t know whether to crack up in laughter or ridicule. We have war criminals walking all over Washington. Actually, we know how to deal with our war criminals. In fact, it happened on the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Remember, this was an entirely unprovoked invasion, strongly opposed by world opinion. There was an interview with the perpetrator, George W. Bush, who then went on to invade Iraq, a major war criminal, in the style section of the Washington Post — an interview with, as they described it, this lovable goofy grandpa who was playing with his grandchildren, making jokes, showing off the portraits he painted of famous people he’d met. Just a beautiful, friendly environment.

So, we know how to deal with war criminals. Thomas Friedman is wrong. We deal with them very well.

Or take probably the major war criminal of the modern period, Henry Kissinger. We deal with him not only politely, but with great admiration. This is the man after all who transmitted the order to the Air Force, saying that there should be massive bombing of Cambodia — “anything that flies on anything that moves” was his phrase. I don’t know of a comparable example in the archival record of a call for mass genocide. And it was implemented with very intensive bombing of Cambodia. We don’t know much about it because we don’t investigate our own crimes. But Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan, serious historians of Cambodia, have described it. Then there’s our role in overthrowing Salvador Allende’s government in Chile and instituting a vicious dictatorship there, and on and on. So, we do know how to deal with our war criminals.

Still, Thomas Friedman can’t imagine that there’s anything like Ukraine. Nor was there any commentary on what he wrote, which means it was regarded as quite reasonable. You can hardly use the word selectivity. It’s beyond astonishing. So, yes, the moral outrage is perfectly in place. It’s good that Americans are finally beginning to show some outrage about major war crimes committed by someone else.

Barsamian: I’ve got a little puzzle for you. It’s in two parts. Russia’s military is inept and incompetent. Its soldiers have very low morale and are poorly led. Its economy ranks with Italy’s and Spain’s. That’s one part. The other part is Russia is a military colossus that threatens to overwhelm us. So, we need more weapons. Let’s expand NATO. How do you reconcile those two contradictory thoughts?

Chomsky: Those two thoughts are standard in the entire West. I just had a long interview in Sweden about their plans to join NATO. I pointed out that Swedish leaders have two contradictory ideas, the two you mentioned. One, gloating over the fact that Russia has proven itself to be a paper tiger that can’t conquer cities a couple of miles from its border defended by a mostly citizens’ army. So, they’re completely militarily incompetent. The other thought is: they’re poised to conquer the West and destroy us.

George Orwell had a name for that. He called it doublethink, the capacity to have two contradictory ideas in your mind and believe both of them. Orwell mistakenly thought that was something you could only have in the ultra-totalitarian state he was satirizing in 1984. He was wrong. You can have it in free democratic societies. We’re seeing a dramatic example of it right now. Incidentally, this is not the first time.

Such doublethink is, for instance, characteristic of Cold War thinking. You go way back to the major Cold War document of those years, NSC-68 in 1950. Look at it carefully and it showed that Europe alone, quite apart from the United States, was militarily on a par with Russia. But of course, we still had to have a huge rearmament program to counter the Kremlin design for world conquest.

That’s one document and it was a conscious approach. Dean Acheson, one of the authors, later said that it’s necessary to be “clearer than truth,” his phrase, in order to bludgeon the mass mind of government. We want to drive through this huge military budget, so we have to be “clearer than truth” by concocting a slave state that’s about to conquer the world. Such thinking runs right through the Cold War. I could give you many other examples, but we’re seeing it again now quite dramatically. And the way you put it is exactly correct: these two ideas are consuming the West.

Barsamian: It’s also interesting that diplomat George Kennan foresaw the danger of NATO moving its borders east in a very prescient op-ed he wrote that appeared in The New York Times in 1997.

Chomsky: Kennan had also been opposed to NSC-68. In fact, he had been the director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. He was kicked out and replaced by Paul Nitze. He was regarded as too soft for such a hard world. He was a hawk, radically anticommunist, pretty brutal himself with regard to U.S. positions, but he realized that military confrontation with Russia made no sense.

Russia, he thought, would ultimately collapse from internal contradictions, which turned out to be correct. But he was considered a dove all the way through. In 1952, he was in favor of the unification of Germany outside the NATO military alliance. That was actually Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin’s proposal as well. Kennan was ambassador to the Soviet Union and a Russia specialist.

Stalin’s initiative. Kennan’s proposal.  Some Europeans supported it. It would have ended the Cold War. It would have meant a neutralized Germany, non-militarized and not part of any military bloc. It was almost totally ignored in Washington.

There was one foreign policy specialist, a respected one, James Warburg, who wrote a book about it. It’s worth reading. It’s called Germany: Key to Peace. In it, he urged that this idea be taken seriously. He was disregarded, ignored, ridiculed. I mentioned it a couple of times and was ridiculed as a lunatic, too. How could you believe Stalin? Well, the archives came out. Turns out he was apparently serious. You now read the leading Cold War historians, people like Melvin Leffler, and they recognize that there was a real opportunity for a peaceful settlement at the time, which was dismissed in favor of militarization, of a huge expansion of the military budget.

Now, let’s go to the Kennedy administration. When John Kennedy came into office, Nikita Khrushchev, leading Russia at the time, made a very important offer to carry out large-scale mutual reductions in offensive military weapons, which would have meant a sharp relaxation of tensions. The United States was far ahead militarily then. Khrushchev wanted to move toward economic development in Russia and understood that this was impossible in the context of a military confrontation with a far richer adversary. So, he first made that offer to President Dwight Eisenhower, who paid no attention. It was then offered to Kennedy and his administration responded with the largest peacetime buildup of military force in history — even though they knew that the United States was already far ahead.

The U.S. concocted a “missile gap.” Russia was about to overwhelm us with its advantage in missiles. Well, when the missile gap was exposed, it turned out to be in favor of the U.S. Russia had maybe four missiles exposed on an airbase somewhere.

You can go on and on like this. The security of the population is simply not a concern for policymakers. Security for the privileged, the rich, the corporate sector, arms manufacturers, yes, but not the rest of us. This doublethink is constant, sometimes conscious, sometimes not. It’s just what Orwell described, hyper-totalitarianism in a free society.

Barsamian: In an article in Truthout, you quote Eisenhower’s 1953 “Cross of Iron” speech. What did you find of interest there?

Chomsky: You should read it and you’ll see why it’s interesting. It’s the best speech he ever made. This was 1953 when he was just taking office. Basically, what he pointed out was that militarization was a tremendous attack on our own society. He — or whoever wrote the speech — put it pretty eloquently. One jet plane means this many fewer schools and hospitals. Every time we’re building up our military budget, we’re attacking ourselves.

He spelled it out in some detail, calling for a decline in the military budget. He had a pretty awful record himself, but in this respect he was right on target. And those words should be emblazoned in everyone’s memory. Recently, in fact, Biden proposed a huge military budget. Congress expanded it even beyond his wishes, which represents a major attack on our society, exactly as Eisenhower explained so many years ago.

The excuse: the claim that we have to defend ourselves from this paper tiger, so militarily incompetent it can’t move a couple of miles beyond its border without collapse. So, with a monstrous military budget, we have to severely harm ourselves and endanger the world, wasting enormous resources that will be necessary if we’re going to deal with the severe existential crises we face. Meanwhile, we pour taxpayer funds into the pockets of the fossil-fuel producers so that they can continue to destroy the world as quickly as possible. That’s what we’re witnessing with the vast expansion of both fossil-fuel production and military expenditures. There are people who are happy about this. Go to the executive offices of Lockheed Martin, ExxonMobil, they’re ecstatic. It’s a bonanza for them. They’re even being given credit for it. Now, they’re being lauded for saving civilization by destroying the possibility for life on Earth. Forget the Global South. If you imagine some extraterrestrials, if they existed, they’d think we were all totally insane. And they’d be right.

Copyright 2022 Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

David Barsamian is the founder and host of the radio program Alternative Radio and has published books with Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, and Howard Zinn, among others. His latest book with Noam Chomsky is Chronicles of Dissent (Haymarket Books, 2021) Alternative Radio, established in 1986, is a weekly one-hour public-affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Noam Chomsky is institute professor (emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and laureate professor of linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury chair in the program in environment and social justice at the University of Arizona. He is the author of numerous best-selling political books, which have been translated into scores of languages, including most recently Optimism Over DespairThe Precipice  and, with Marv Waterstone, Consequences of Capitalism.

43 comments

  1. I witness doublethink all the time….everywhere. Ignorance is Strength, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery.

    Your reality must be the approved reality. If your not with them, then you are against them. You know, Kill them all for Jesus. Welcome to Dystopialand where you will own nothing and be very very unhappy, but not be allowed to say it for fear they will turn off your bank account or fire you from your job, or censor you into oblivion. All in the name of your safety, security and freedom, because they care.

    I should have learned to speak Russian.

    1. You mean well, but your overheated rhetoric: “Kill them all for Jesus . . . Dystopialand . . . I should have learned to speak Russian,” etc. makes this hard to read, and easy to disregard. Don’t let your emotions control your tone of voice, because that makes your sober insight – that dissenting opinion is drowned out or silenced – sound like mere unhinged rant.

  2. “We should stop this obsession with the red line, this endless search for the right balance between support for Ukraine and avoiding total war. The “red line” is not an objective fact: Putin himself is redrawing it all the time, and we contribute to his redrawing with our reactions to Russia’s activities. A question like “Did US intelligence-sharing with Ukraine cross a line?” makes us obliterate the basic fact: it was Russia itself which crossed the line, by attacking Ukraine.”

    Slavoj Žižek

    1. What is the Ukraine but a photo-fascist state, completely controlled by the US? A puppet, a proxy who over 8 years attacked Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas, who lost its sovereignty to a US coup in Maidan Square in 2014. The Ukraine is just a NATO armed, nazified state, and deserved to be put in its place by Russia.

  3. “When Putin talks about denazification, we must remember that this is the same Putin who for years supported Marine Le Pen in France, Lega and Salvini in Italy, Alternative for Germany even Orban in Hungary, who has shown remarkable understanding for Putin.”

    Slavoj Žižek

    1. Orban’s good friend Netanyahu……..apparently you support the nazis like Chomsky…la Pen, Salvini do not

    2. There is quite a difference between Marine LePen and Stepan Bandera, the patron saint of the Ukronazis. LePen is a politician with extreme views, the Ukronazis are thugs willing and able to exterminate the Slavic peoples.

  4. “What is most intriguing is perhaps how Dugin suggests Russia should push Atlanticism out of Eurasia and regain its global influence. He argues that to achieve this goal Russia must “destabilise internal political processes in the US”, encourage Britain’s exit from the European Union and begin the annexation of Ukraine.

    Whether Dugin’s theories literally inspired Putin to interfere – if he interfered at all – in the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum in 2016, or encouraged him to invade Ukraine in February, is impossible to ascertain. Nevertheless, it is hard to deny the Russian state’s actions in the past few years have been in line with Dugin’s philosophy, ideology and geopolitical vision for building a Great Russia.

    It is stunning how similar Dugin’s – and perhaps Putin’s – view of a world spatially divided between different cultures is to the one portrayed by Samuel Huntington in the Clash of Civilizations (1996). The difference is that the American social scientist bet on Islamic civilisation becoming the main challenger to the West. Dugin, however, is betting on a new world order in which Russia is the one countering Western civilisation as the leading Eurasian power.

    While NATO’s expansion certainly played a role in provoking Moscow to embark on an all-out invasion of Ukraine, it was likely the aforementioned philosophers who put the Kremlin on a path that runs contrary to the predictions Francis Fukuyama made in The End of History (1992).”

    1. Putin admires Ilyin. not sure about Dugin, although I do. Huntington considered Ukraine a “cleft nation” something that amerikans do not comprehend…it is now obvious that all of Fukuyama’s predictions—a right wing Hegelian have been wrong, something examined by many including Zizek

    2. The influence of Dugin on Putin is a myth perpetrated by the usual neocon suspects. The fact is that the West takes every opportunity, every event, to demonize Putin. It is rather like a national sport or an obsession. There is always some slight truth–Putin knows Dugin–but from there comes distortion and lies, the hallmark of propaganda.

  5. Putin is pulling the strings of Xu Jinping so that they and other Member Countries of BRICS can either CRASH the US Economy or invade the USA and take the Central Wheat Lands. Britain has lost the Plot and Boris is in fantasy land dreaming of a Global Great Britain. Putin is in control giving Xi Jinping the opportunity to blockade Taiwan into submission.
    Biden and Boris have united Russia and China into an unstoppable force to replace the USA, Britain, EU and NATO.
    China can be forced to turn inwards with an Economic Weapon LIBERTY TAX but the OIl and Gas Industry is standing in the way. See the LIBERTY TAX Video on YouTube

    1. US economy is crashing due to amerikan policies–mercantilism, mismanagement of debt, militarism, deinstrialization, —only Wall Street matters…..now hyperinflation has initiated an interest rate increase—the recession will be worse than in 2008

  6. ” ….the Maidan uprising took place in 2014, expelling the pro-Russian president …”
    Uh, Noam – you seem to have left out the part about the coup in ’14 – an “uprising” became a coup when Nuland showed up with her cookies ..

    As for the “courageous” Zelensky – you excuse his failure to implement Minsk because of “threats” from the Right – did they erect a gallows in front of his Capital building? And did he do a 180 when the US convinced told him it would give him enough arms to win and have it all? After all, who wouldn’t prefer “winning” to negotiating …. Another poor fellow in over his head, bamboozled into being a puppet in a US proxy war by the bright shiny objects dangled in front of him … he should have stuck with his comedy – or perhaps he did ….

    1. “Did they erect a gallows in front of his Capital building?” Well, yes. the head of the Right Sector did, in fact, say that they would “hang Zelensky” if he tried to make peace with Russia. A quote:

      But Ukraine’s powerful far-right and neo-Nazi militias made clear to Zelensky that reaching peace in the Donbas would have a much higher cost.

      “No, he would lose his life,” Right Sector co-founder Dmytro Anatoliyovych Yarosh, then the commander of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, responded one week after Zelensky’s inaugural speech. “He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk – if he betrays Ukraine and those people who died in the Revolution and the War.”

      https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/18/siding-with-ukraines-far-right-us-sabotaged-zelenskys-peace-mandate/

  7. Everything looks insane.
    A total disconnect between what we think should be and what actually is.
    Where’s the reason for that?
    It’s here:
    We think we are in democratic countries with democratic rule.
    But democratic rule means rule by the people of the people for the people.
    ‘By the people’. Get it?
    By the people.
    But the people are doing nothing to rule themselves.
    All over our democracies we assume our elected representatives are doing it for us.
    Well they are not.
    And they are not even theoretically supposed to. They are supposed to represent our wishes. Us. They should represent us.
    But when we elect one of them because they are of the Party that we least dislike then in effect We are representing Them.
    Completely the wrong way round.

    So we expect one kind of reality because we think we are ‘democratic’.
    But we don’t attempt to function as democratic citizens.
    Hence we get another kind of reality: effective despotism.

    The despotism of inhuman big business is what it is, essentially, nothing more nor less than that.

    We have to get the idea out of our heads that we’re democratic nations simply because someone said so.

    We will never be democratic nations until the citizens participate continually in the political process.

    And it is very doubtful we’ll ever get there because, clearly, the vast majority have no desire to participate. Too much trouble. Too hard.

    They get plumbers to do the plumbing for them, electricians to do the electrical work, builders to do the building – and they expect politicians to do all the political work.

    They don’t want to do it.

    In effect, in fact, we live in dictatorships. The dictatorship of Big Business motivated by profit not by concern for humanity.

    It is said the ideal govt would be benevolent dictatorship

    We currently do not have a benevolent dictatorship. We have malevolent dictatorships.

    Open the eyes. Drop the newspeak. Tell it as it is: we do not live in democracies, we live in dictatorships and then perhaps we can begin work on making those dictatorships benevolent instead of malevolent.

    1. And we do this how? Of course a huge nation of 325 million people cannot practice direct democracy, and with so heterogeneous a population, the idea of “the will of the people” is absurd, unless that will is managed and controlled by a brilliant propaganda machine. We are lucky that we get periodically to vote, a power that nearly half the population doesn’t bother to use. Blind forces, mistakes and accidents shape whatever events are not controlled by vested interests, cabals and conspiracies. The pyramid of needs determines that most Americans are too preoccupied with their own material welfare to care much about foreign policy, and those who shape it are controlled by alliances based on self-interest and groupthink. We’re lucky that we are even able to hear the views of dissenters like Chomsky, which I don’t believe is the case in China or Russia. Freedom of speech is one reason to hope that truth will get out, and will help curb the worst excesses of America’s aggressive militarism and the capitalist urge to destroy the planet in the name of profit.

  8. ‘They’ have their lies. And ‘we’ have ours. Obvious to anyone who has an elementary, and anarchist, critical awareness of how states, ancient and modern, work to maintain domestic(ated) populations consenting to if not fighting for ruling class interests. For constantly pointing out the obvious, Chomsky is hailed in leftist circles as a great intellectual or even a genius, and an anarchist.

    To be sure, his work has been voluminous. Voluminous particularly in reinforcing a geopolitical criticism of nation-states, focused upon post-WWII US hegemony that flips its mythology right side up (as revealed in his go-to reliance upon NSC-68), while obscuring deeper awareness of the ruling class interests operating behind these fronts of class war, above all in ways which pursue common goals across national boundaries, as is now underway with the transnational capitalist revolution associated with the WEF’s Great Reset. Chomsky overturns the propaganda of the press in painstaking detail, showing its inconsistency and hypocrisy, while retaining its essential narrative framework of national identities in conflict (for which diplomacy – by default negotiated by puppet heads of nation-states doing the bidding of elites pulling their strings – is the only answer?).

    In that respect, he’s been a convenient critic of such ideology as that of the Cold War, and its us-against-them bipolarism. Add to this his leftwing anticommunism, dismissal of conspiracy theory, lesser-evil support for the deplorable Dems, and a linguistics which shares theoretical underpinnings with genetics and biotechnological R&D, especially at MIT, compliments of the MIC, where he was employed, and his association with public intellectuals, from left to right, who serve to undermine class consciousness among the general population becomes more pronounced.

    Chomsky’s continual invocation of Orwell has lately become a grotesque parody of both the newspeak and doublethink of which 1984 (and The Politics of the English Language) warned, particularly relevant for ostensible democracies as Erik Blair was aware from firsthand experience, and which the party of Ingsoc (English Socialism) represented. Chomsky’s collaboration with the medical tyranny that’s been rolling out since the covid coup, calling for forced isolation and denial of access to resources for the unvaxxed, is a disturbing sign of how far many public intellectuals are now going on behalf of Big Brother. It’s past time we broke free of their influence.

    1. [I thought that this website required the use of responders’ actual names, and distrust the fact that this reply hides behind a nickname or pseudonym, which permits irresponsible commentary. Nonetheless, “Niko” seems to be commenting seriously and substantively, even though I disagree with him or her.]

      “Niko”: Class and class-conflict are real, but so are nations and national interests. Chomsky can’t fight every battle at once, and it’s not capitalists killing proletarians in Ukraine, it’s a conflict of national armies and alliances. Marxist analysis has had its chance to diagnose the ills of society and to recommend cures. To some extent these remedies have been tried – even the U.S. has social security and medicare, inadequate as they may be for too many suffering people. But we Americans live and vote as citizens of a republic as much as we are members of a social class, and so Chomsky’s frame of reference is as useful as any Marxist one.

      Eric Blair, aka George Orwell, had his limitations and biases, as does every human being, but for my money he saw life in the mid-20th century as clearly and as humanely as anyone writing about politics. His classic essay, “Politics and The English Language,” is a clarion call for clarity and simplicity in political writing, as antidotes to lying and obfuscation. Noam Chomsky follows Orwell’s precepts about as well as anyone in the field, and he knows a tremendous amount, but of course he too has his biases and limitations. In person he is unassuming and open, although he’s not infallible or an oracle. But what a different view of the world he gives us than that of the New York Times.

      1. War’s the health of the state, as Bourne said, and the ruling class interests behind
        nation-state protection rackets rely on war to achieve numerous objectives, from resource acquisition and imperial expansion to redirecting working class discontent onto foreign enemies besides those on the home front like themselves – as the case has been made for both WWs1&2 as well as lesser wars (UK Falklands War in relation to coal miners struggle), for example. International working class solidarity is one of the keys to breaking this stranglehold of 3-D moves beyond the 2-D chessboard of conventional geopolitics of nations.

        Following Marxist theory, industrial capitalism has increasingly concentrated and centralized wealth and power in fewer hands under corporate control, whether leaning toward private or state capitalist models. The monopoly capital that exists today on a transnational scale has developed corresponding means of governance, from the WTO to WHO, and international military, like US-NATO and the UN, as to be able to move us more into geopolitical blocs (like Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia) further overriding the national sovereignties undermined by neoliberal globalization, hence talk of the emergence of a multipolar world, as with war in Ukraine.

        I don’t associate social security and Medicare, as with all ‘welfare’ programs paid for by the working class, with Marxist or socialist remedies. Marx was criticizing capitalist reformism in his day, within liberal conventions, and his remedy to social ills of course evolved into social revolution to fundamentally change class relations both economically, as with common control over the means of production like the anarcho-syndicalism Chomsky sometimes professes, and politically, as with the Paris Commune of communes or bottom-up conciliar model of governance. The ‘communism’ that’s prevailed historically, principally in the USSR and China, covers for a state capitalism which maintains the exploitation of labor by class rule in the state bureaucracy, while ‘western democracy’, etc,. covers for rigged systems of representative government in which we the people elect select candidates monopolized by private corporate power. Chomsky has made much the same observations of the Orwellian ideology and mystification.

        Apart from the ‘republic’ created by a constitutional coup in 1789, I’d say whatever substance citizenship has had in the people’s history of the US has been rooted in working class power, and that the decline of class consciousness and organization greatly accounts for the disempowerment of citizenry, especially at grassroots levels, which I think has taken place here in disastrous ways. Certainly, superpatriotism and hypernationalism have played a major role in that, by design

  9. Chomsky is traumatized that Russia terminated the amerikan war in Ukraine–no surprise he supports the nazi side; he supported the war criminal Clinton…of course he has facts wrong…Russia by PPP has the 5th largest economy, only important to somebody that worships money…kissinger is not the problem—the passive apathetic people that love their oppression are the problem…Chomsky is devoid of historical or cultural awareness—his linguistic theories thoroughly discredited he has become a shill for the ruling class dimocrats
    “the amerikan liberal wants to preserve the essence of the past, the amerikan conservative wants more progress; the European radical wants to hasten the transformation of the future, the European conservative wants to preserve the essence of the past”. Geoffrey Gorer
    marxists have long observed that amerikan “left” is fascist and reactionary

  10. there can be no diplomacy—US supplies billions$ to ukrop nazis—now 1000 ukie troop casualties daily…Russian military grinding down ukrops avoiding civilian casualties while ukies use civilians as shields….in less than 4 months the highly competent Russian military using 10% of the military has liberated nearly 30% of ukrop territory from the nazis….100,000 + DRP/LPR forces vs 600,000 US trained directed equipped ukrops. compare this to US incompetence in Afghanistan Syria, Iraq, Vietnam….chomsky is either a moron or CIA

  11. Another self deprecating session from Chomsky who seems to be relentlessly trying to obliterate his great legacy of cutting through propaganda BS. He failed again to recognize that he was subjected to unprecedented in intensity and breath in the pass military grade psychological warfare.

    Chomsky unfortunately but not unexpectedly for his age lost capability and/or motivation for rational thinking replacing it with his own personal emotionally driven moral judgments.

    In fact Chomsky himself in last decade succumbed to worse version of doublethink expressed by what Horkheimer described as dangerous subjective reasoning, a mental state of rejection of objective reality that among other things allegedly enables raise of fascism or general totalitarianism of 1984 type .

    One cannot take objectively Chomsky analysis and conclusions about Ukrainian war judged by him as supposedly unprovoked, unjustified aggression, a supposed clear example of Russian supreme war crime in Ukraine without considering his fanatical stand against Trump as personified evil and Russiagate inspired hatred to Putin as he repeatedly called him a thug.

    Chomsky in large part abandoned hard facts. Not only about Ukrainian state that became cesspool of reborn Nazis running government policies by means of intimidation or violence resembling NSDAP stormtroopers but what worse he ignored dominant socioeconomic and political interests of western and eastern ruling class of globalists seeking expansion of spheres of influence and control which resulted in clashes.

    Chomsky replaced all those considerations with a cliche of holly Ukrainian sovereignty that he himself long recognized as tool of manufacturing nonexistent national consent to preordained policies and laws serving elites interests also to wage wars under guise of phony patriotism. Did he forget reality that law is just a cheap substitute for state violence and hence submission to law is submitting to threat of violence, nothing to revere.

    How Chomsky could call Zelensky as “courageous” a clown and billionaire puppet of Western oligarchy as Trump was, who submitted to dictate Nazi thugs in fear instead of resigning and publicly accuse them of crime, broke Minsk agreements that would have prevented this war, sent now up to 100,000 of Ukrainians to their deaths by ordering no retreats, and now watching Ukrainian economy and state collapsing refuses to negotiate peace by recognition UN sanctioned right to self determination of peoples of Donbas and Crimea, is beyond rational. It is insanity. The fact is that Zelensky is a coward and criminal committing crimes against Ukrainians.

    Chomsky is not a bit interested in what country the western powers are supposedly defending, the country of 22 millions or ethnic Russians, or country of 10 millions ethnic Poles, Belorussians, Jews, Hungarians, Germans and Romanians out of total of 40+ millions. Or the country run by a small fraction of 8 millions of ethnic Ukrainians who bought Nazi ideology and claim universal victimhood from Russian hands.

    He should have learn by now from example of Israeli claims of universal victimhood that such claims lead to fascism and apartheid raging in Israel as much as in Ukraine.

    Chomsky reverence of supposed international laws that he knows are dictated not by interest of peoples but by global power elites of “winners” is quite puzzling.

    His sanctification of territorial integrity of Ukrainian state claiming its roots in rejected by vast majority of Ukrainians Nazi ideology of Dontsov and Bandera and Hitler, the state that before 1993 never existed in History within its contemporary borders is quite puzzling as well.

    It smells of subjective reasoning. But most of all it is totally opposite to Chomsky’s long held attitude to Germany after WWII he wanted occupied, partitioned deNazified, demilitarized and economically weaken so would never pose a threat to … Jews and entire civilization.

    Are those words about Denazification and demilitarization not out of Putin’s speech on February 24, 2022? Another doublespeak.

    Is Ukrainian apartheid state run by a Nazis’ controlled and western funded puppet dictator under one party rule founded on ideology of racial and ethnic supremacy of Ukrainian branch of Aryan race is worth supporting and strengthening with weapons and money and even recognized as sovereign?

    If yes then why Chomsky his whole life was condemning American and western financing of Third Reich by loading them with weapon and war technology and paying for it.

    Is that not another case of binary doublethink; good Nazis vs bad Nazis?

    Chomsky’s subjective reasoning namely devising pseudo rational path for sole purpose of proving apriori preconceived notion culminated when in 2016 he effectively campaigned for election of one of the worse neocons in recent US history Hillary Clinton directly and personally responsible for sowing seeds of War in Ukraine as well as Libya, Syria and Yemen. All in the name of loaded with emotional blackmail Chomsky’s ideology of lesser Evilism of Hillary and greater evilism of Trump. Are Ukrainian Nazis lesser evil than Putin?

    Contemporary Chomsky’s thought reflects intellectual confusion among pseudo leftists wittingly or not turned neocons around Democratic Party who abandoned last shreds of Marxist analysis of class struggle as an underlying foundation of imperialism and international wars and rebellions, and as a result unable to grasp global sociopolitical process that erupts in form of imperial proxy wars like in Ukraine. They are simply clueless.

    Too many and that apparently includes Chomsky carry completely untrue notions that being leftists, socialists means being anti war. And that being anti war means naming and condemning specific aggressor while supporting alleged victim state.

    But that is not true at all because all sides are to differing degrees guilty and trying to assign blame only plays in hands of perpetrators of wars.

    Rosa Luxemburg early recognized that being principally against war or being a pacifist most often means being reactionary, being supporters of rotten status quo of pain, suffering and injustice inflicted by oligarchic elites.

    In front of million workers in Berlin Luxemburg on a cusp of WWI said that she is not a pacifist and in fact she enjoys good fair fight but she warned European elites paraphrasing: “..fight if you must but don’t you dare spill a drop of workers blood to settle your own petty egoistic or greedy disputes”.

    Her message defined correct attitude of socialists to war namely do not take any side since all sides of war are your enemies, call for blocking, sabotage of flows of weapons, call for mass desertions, mass surrender, refuse to support, to fight call for spontaneous ceasefire, condemn your own not other governments role in fueling the war.

    Do not become a pawn, useful idealistic idiot for one side or another. Because it is not our fight.

    People on their own free will do not want wars, borders or countries they want to live in equal, equitable egalitarian self governed self sustainable non violent societies anywhere in the world. That is all.

    As leftists, socialists our fight is revolution against our common enemies, warmongering regimes run by ruling elites worldwide. That is our war.

    1. @Kalen

      One of the more confused nonsense I have ever seen here…

      1. DGA: Wait you’re young yet.. you will see here and there much more nonsense from people like yourself with no arguments who want to stifle debate, and definitely not constructively contribute to it..

        Face the truth. Chomsky have sadly become master doublespeaker spewing neocon nonsense, self-emasculating himself in the process as he denies his own legacy of rational thought and that includes becoming de facto apologist for US imperialism that was behind every war on this globe since at least WWII including American war in Ukraine that started when Nuland in February 2014 famously said “F..EU.”

    2. That was a brilliant analysis. Why we focus our debate on a fight between the predatory ecocide sociopathic classes? I would much rather hear an analysis for the workers the people, that is so often excluded.

    3. Very well said, and the only thing I would change is that I heard that Zelensky did want to call of negotiations but he was threatened by the Nazis in his government not to do it.

  12. Between Baker’s ‘promise’ to Gorbachev not to move NATO into east Germany and the present, the Soviet Union collapsed, and most of the former Soviet colonies ‘buffering’ Russia from Europe became independent nation-state democracies without any interference from NATO, the US, and western liberal democracies. Furthermore, the so called promise was not a part of the negotiations between Russia and the US, it was never a Russian condition for its withdrawal from East Germany, and it is more than likely that neither Gorbachev nor Baker entertained the idea that the Soviet Union would end, let alone intended it as a western guaranty, for all time, to a permanent Russian military, economic and political control over any and all of its former colonies.

    Even if that ‘promise’ was intended as a universal, iron-clad commitment for all times from NATO to the Soviet Union, and there is absolutely zero corroborating evidence to that, the fact it was neither negotiated nor put in writing makes the later attempts to pretend it was central or essential to the Soviet agreement to cease its colonial aspirations a clear demagogic propaganda nonsense. Further, if we are to assume the importance of the principle of uninterrupted continuity between the Soviet Union and present day Russia (intrinsic in the idea that a singular verbal statement to the Soviet head of state extends to any Russian entity in the future), we should in the least consider the former Soviet colonies’ fear of Russian subjugation on the one hand, and the natural gravitation towards both EU economic stability as well as liberal democracy as powerful and natural on the other, as a powerful and legitimate motive behind the growing NATO and EU popularity in those states that at least balances out the previous US ‘commitment’. Finally, and specifically in the 2022 Russian attempt to eliminate Ukraine as an independent entity, the Budapest Memorandum, where, in return for Ukraine’s consent to denuclearize, Russia (and the US, England and Ireland) committed itself to preserve and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine. In the context of emphasis of past commitments, surly the breach of a negotiated and signed international commitment between existing nation states is equal, if not outweighs, a verbal (and specific to Germany) comment to an entity that doesn’t exist any longer.

    Last but not least is the fact that each and every Russian aggressive action against former soviet states since Putin’s 2007 Munich speech was not in response to an activity related to NATO aspiration but rather to actions expressing the fading influence of Moscow in these states.

    In short, Baker’s comment was anecdotal, of very little significance or long-term assurance to any future Russian entity, is balanced or outweighed by a signed commitment of Russia to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and by the strong attraction of liberal democracy, EU economic strength and stability on the one hand, and a strong aversion to (and justified lasting fears of) Russian threat of (re)subjugation – political, economic and/or military, to former Soviet and/or Tsarist colonies in eastern Europe.

    Since the ‘NATO expansion’ excuse for Putin’s colonial war on Ukraine is so easily and incontrovertibly exposed as a sham, the question remains why is it used at all?

    1. DG A, these arguments and statements are almost perfect for evading the problem. Trump could use such expertise.

      See anti American views….
      https://greeleytribune.net/why-donald-trump-wont-be-held-accountable-by-our-justice-system

      The rest of the world sees American justice in the international stage is much the same as the confounding domestic justice system.
      Simply put, the best, smartest, expensive lawyers and lobbyists and propagandist will win – – – be it a case for war, or a criminal case, or a constitutional challenge, or a sex disease in a car obviously the fault of the auto insurance company. We have ways and many means of avoiding and denying responsibility.

      Chomsky should have also noted that loveable Bush confused Iraq for Ukraine and had a giggle. An entire country was bombed to rubble over mythical W of M D but we laugh it off.

      Russia – Ukraine family fight will also cost American taxpayers several 100 billions, so we happily pay $5 – 6 gas and Europeans over $10? Highest ever interest rates, rent costs, food prices, and Rampant inflation, all not seen in recent memory.
      Hopefully, there’s diplomacy.

  13. Like many of my supposedly progressive friends, condemning “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” is standard; at least they don’t say “unprovoked invasion.” Most think like Chomsky, “On February 24th, Putin invaded, a criminal invasion. These serious provocations provide no justification for it. ”
    It seems that these people are not aware of the Ukrainian state’s fight against the separatist Donbas region, Donetsk and Luhansk. There would have been others, such as Mariupol and Odessa cities, but the Ukronazis got there first. Over 8 years, Ukriane has been shelling the Donbas and at least 14,000 died, many civilians.
    In February, the Yukies were mounting a major offensive and had begun shelling the Donbas. Putin’s ‘Special Military Operation’ stopped that invasion and saved the Donbas people.

  14. While Chomsky comes in for some criticism in the comments, overall I think it’s one of his more cogent statements in recent years, although he does seem to have missed the news that Russia attacked Ukraine when it did to forestall an obviously impending attack on the Donbas by the full Ukrainian army, which had exponentially upped its artillery fire into Donetsk and Luhansk (including cluster munitions) in the days preceding the Russian invasion.

    Russia did what the US did in the Serbia/Kosovo war: recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, as NATO recognized the independence of Kosovo, signed a quick mutual defense pact, and then attacked the country (Serbia/Ukraine) that was threatening the seceding area. Apparently, it’s OK for the US to do that, but not Russia.

    1. You are right. NATO established international law by a precedent, legalizing its own Intervention to defend an ally. So did Russians.

      In fact NATO legitimacy is based on such international law grounded in Article 51 of UN charter regarding collective security interpreted by US and allies as authorizing preemptive action to prevent so called imminent threat of aggression on allies.

      LDPR was not only imminently threatened by 130,000 AFU invasion force against 40,000 of Donbas militia but they were actually attacked on February 16, 2022.

      Why we know that new international laws has been established in Serbia?

      Clinton, European leaders and their generals were never tried and held responsible in international court for supreme crime of aggression or condemned by UN or UNSC. And by that NATO intervention in Serbia was legalized in terms of international law.

  15. Talk of a rapidly expanding pandemic!
    It’s the West having swallowed the drivel, hook line and sinker of the moral imbecility of the likes of ‘journalists’ such as the newspaper of the day’s “big thinker”, Thomas Friedman.
    On this point, there is no room for argument with Chomsky

  16. The Maidan uprising didn’t just “take place” in 2014. You’re softballing it.
    The Maidan uprising was yet another interference in another country’s politics by the US-centric empire.

  17. “Democracy Gone Astray”
    Is a physical geographic boundary the only objective “red line” there is?
    A question like “Why did Russia cross the international border into the Ukraine”, in the first place; neither you, nor Chomsky seem to convey has any relevance; when it comes to international law in dealings with Russia.
    A second, more profoundly pertinent question is “How much provocation does one country have to endure from another, in abject obeisance, before it reacts by physically standing up to these clandestine threats, which is its last resort in addressing the years long, unaddressed constant diplomatic complaints to these encroaching threats to its sovereignty?
    Cuban missile crisis ninety miles off the coast of Florida ring a bell to anyone conscious enough to accurately remember the factual details!
    At what point, and when, if ever, will the US hegemon be satisfied in its paranoid pursuit of its “communist” boogeyman “red line” obsession for destroying anything and everything Russian?
    Say the word ‘Russian’ and its instantaneously conflated with the anathema word ‘socialism’ for most Americans. It precipitates instant apoplexy causing total irrationality.
    What is the right balance in premeditatedly biased arguments?
    The ‘Cold Whore’ will never concede that this is not the way to regaining humanities affection and indebtedness.
    Let the pretense finally be over.
    The penultimate question is actively being asked, while we are comfortably sitting around chatting, in our ‘democracy’!
    “At what cost”?
    However, what real power do ‘we’ the effete people have to actually stand up to ruthless tyranny without crossing the “red line” set for us; for ourselves, when we’ve been too cowed, for too long to even look into where that line lies.
    Julian Assange, the greatest journalist still alive, and fiercely kicking, is one of the very few who have been brave enough, on all of our behalf, to overstep that line!

  18. “…paper tiger, so militarily incompetent it can’t move a couple of miles beyond its border without collapse. ”

    LOL!

  19. More clarity from Prof. Chomsky. If our elected (?) leaders had 1/10th the logical capacity and 1/100th the moral fiber, we would be living in a paradise of our own making, instead of the hell we occupy now.

  20. Diplomacy is great, but it seems to be the very last resort after all else has failed. Does anyone know of a war, in the last 2 centuries, that Diplomacy ended a war??
    WW2 ended with unconditional surrenders.
    Korean conflicts is still ongoing since 1950 and no diplomacy or end game that is conceivable.
    Vietnam Civil War ended in a humiliating withdrawal, not diplomacy.
    Afghanistan war, same humiliation and million$$ of weapons left behind.
    Iraq war petered out after 20 years of boredom and futile search for W of M D, and new search for a better enemy? – – – – China, not ended with diplomacy.
    Syria war, why not? Iran was threatening our defaco state but Russia had the geographic advantage, so that shoot up ended not with diplomacy.
    Ukraine war with their cousins?? Diplomacy is unlikely. We are married and fully invested in Wolfowitz’s doctrine and Nash game theory is that we will double down on the war, not Diplomacy.
    ‘ doubling down’ is a recurring action from some of our patriotic politicians : recounting Ballots-many times, audit after audit, but all getting the same results. If facts do not fit our beliefs, then we go to war, and Diplomacy is Doomed.
    Some experts expect Ukraine war to be lengthy, and I am nearly broke from covid lockdowns and now stag flation,
    stock markets crashed, highest interest rates and crazy food prices will ruin my family. A lost decade or two??? Could be like the devastating dust bowl of the 1930s.

  21. “Ukraine has a century-long history of oil and gas production and possesses substantial conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves, estimated at 9 billion tonnes of oil equivalent (Btoe). Natural gas reserves are estimated at 5.4 trillion cubic metres (tcm), with proven reserves of 1.1 tcm of natural gas, more than 400 million tonnes (Mt) of gas condensate and 850 Mt of oil reserves. The loss of jurisdiction over Crimea, whose significant offshore gas resources are no longer accessible to Ukraine, means natural gas reserve estimates must be revised downwards.

    Hydrocarbon resources in Ukraine are concentrated in three regions: the Carpathian region in the west; the Dnieper-Donetsk region in the east; and the Black Sea-Sea of Azov region in the south. The Dnieper-Donetsk region accounts for 80% of proven reserves and approximately 90% of gas production, and the Carpathian region has 13% of proven reserves and 6% of production. The remaining 6% of proven reserves are in the southern region, where production is conducted both onshore and offshore on the shallow shelves of the Black and Azov seas. The aggregate production in this region is 5% of Ukraine’s total oil and gas production.

    Ukraine has considerable unconventional gas potential in the form of coalbed methane in the main coal mining areas of eastern Ukraine and in two shale gas basins: a portion of the Lublin Basin, which extends into Poland, and the Dnieper-Donetsk Basin in the east. Coalbed methane resources are estimated at close to 3 tcm, and technically recoverable shale gas resources at 1.2 tcm…. The Ukrainian section of the Lublin Basin is large and reportedly has a higher average total organic content than the Polish section and lower average depth. The Dnieper-Donetsk Basin, which provides most of Ukraine’s conventional oil, gas and coal production, also has high organic content but is deeper.”

    That would explain both Russian aggression in two of the three regions mentioned, as well as the refusal of both sides to negotiate – for Putin, the risks of an independent Ukraine is a direct threat to the petro state he turned Russia into; for Ukraine those rich fossile fields are essential to their economic well being.

    The US justified objection to a capitulation under threat might be playing a part in their refusal to prioritize negotiations, but it is a small, possibly inconsequential part given that the primary aggressor wants complete control over Ukrainian resources while the victim of that aggression understands that it cannot survive, as an independent entity, without the resources Putin tries to steal from it (the eastern provinces are also a major source for agriculture products, while the southern coast is an important and essential commerce output-input resource).

    1. Here’s another ‘oily’ statistic for you:
      The Ukraine has been a sovereign but never truly independent state, for all of 30 years. Like most other countries in this unipolar world, it has been under the thumb of the US hegemon for too long, and now it is paying the price for having succumbed to the corruption and fraud at the close of the so-called ‘cold war.
      The development of all the resources you so meticulously detail, were developed while the Ukraine was but one small, Soviet designated state, under the complete jurisdiction of the Soviet Union with its seat in Moscow.
      Guess who supervised the initial development of the oil and gas production during these 70 years!
      Since 1991 the Ukraine has been one of the most plundered and corrupted territories on the face of the planet, just as Russia was becoming, under the US approved puppet, Yeltsin.
      Today the Ukraine’s clown puppet goes by the name of Zelenskyy.
      Not necessary for you to get all in a snit, this is just another factual point of view!

      1. @EM

        Hate to break it to you. but the issue of the article, and my comment, is not ‘oil’ but rather the real reason why Russia would not end its attempt at militarized hostile takeover of Ukraine.

        As for facts, Ukraine is paying the price for preferring economic ties with the EU over Russia rather than the nonsense, opinionated counterfactual you mentioned.

        Russia might have developed the oil and gas extractions, but only to steal them rather than to benefit Ukraine with it.

        Russians, not the US, plundered Russia under Yeltsin, and incidentally, continue to do so under Putin!!! (fact: Putin ousted and killed few oligarchs, only to replace them by others, most of which are his own figurehead patsies).

        If Zelenskyy is a “clown puppet”, what does it say on the Russian mobster who is incapable of toppling him with 10 to 1 odds in favor of the Russian crime lord in personnel, and more than a 1000 to 1 in terms of arms?

  22. Chomski is a Nazi mouth piece. Let’s never forget that he wanted the unvaccinated to starve to death. The Nuremberg code is foreign to him This depraved man is a disgrace to humanity.

  23. eedipus

    Let let us be clear about what Chomsky is saying. Is he saying that no matter the extent of the provocation by America, the Russian leadership should grovel at any price to allow the exceptional people on behalf of the “Lilliputians of the Western Democracies” to dictate their vision as the only vision?

    For the Russian to agree to any agreement, judging by the destinies of past agreements -written or otherwise – looks perilously like an exercise in forlorn hope. Put in their shoes it is difficult to not see that they have been placed in a position with no alternative. Faced with what they have had to put up with it’s remarkable what they have achieved, in spite of the remonstrances and diatribes from the West. They have seen that in their dialogue with America there is no room for reasonable compromise.

    America should have paid more attention to that phrase of theirs –not move “one inch to the east”.

    To allow American narcissism to dominate world thought could be – dare I say it – a fate just possibly worse than a prolonged extension to the war and all its unforeseen consequences. It should never have occurred in the first place.

    As a citizen for what passes as civilization I am appalled at the assault on truth by lies and hypocrisy; democracy becoming a sham of what it is supposed to be.

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