A Position Between the Poles

The comments over on a friend’s Facebook thread about Ukraine were getting heated, to the point where you couldn’t say anything good about one side without offending the other, and somebody was bound to think you were the worst person in the world whatever you said, so I am here on my blog to explain my position, and will link to it there.
First, I think the Russian invasion of Ukraine is absolutely monstrous, it is a return to a power struggle I had thought we’d left behind, it’s a threat to Europe, and I cheer every time I see a Russian tank exploded, a Russian helicopter shot down, or a Russian ship sunk. But when I say that, I incur the wrath of my friends on the further-left-than-me, and my friends on the anti-vaxxer right, who point out that the Americans have done far worse in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc…and they are right, and they also point out the American intervention in Ukraine, and the history of the war in Donbas, and they’re kind of right about that, too, although I don’t think Putin’s hands are clean r.e. Donbas either.
But there is one particular bit of propaganda from the western center, i.e. camp Biden and the monolithic American misinformation network, which bothers me. That is the constant reference to Putin as a dictator. He is a warmonger, and a heavy handed brute to be sure, but he is the legally elected leader of Russia, and broadly popular. Technically, he is no more a dictator than Joe Biden is. Sure, you could say that those opposed to Putin wind up in jail, but where is Julian Assange right now? In jail. For printing the truth about U.S. war crimes in Iraq. You could say that Russian elections are suspect, but American elections are, too. The people have to choose between a Republican and a Democratic candidate, and both of them represent the corporations, and it’s been that way for many election cycles.
So, while I am not a supporter of Putin, and would love to see him drop dead tomorrow in suspicious circumstances, people should drop the ‘dictator’ nonsense. As Peewee Herman used to say, “I know you are but what am I?”

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