Australian Marxist Michael Karadjis commented on the issue of NATO’s expansion. He wrote:
Quite frankly, while a former colony is being smashed to bits by hundreds of rockets and missiles artillery and bombs from the neighbouring imperial superpower that used to own it, all the “NATO expansion” BS is little more than a smokescreen. It is Ukraine that wanted to enter NATO, not NATO that wanted it, and since asking in 2008, Ukraine has not yet even been offered a Membership Action Plan, or even the prospect of when it may get one; and when you do get one, that is when you have to start jumping through all the hoops to meet the conditions. There’s any number of serious articles out there that show that Ukraine was many years or decades away from membership, so what in the world that has to do with this aggression I have no idea.
Putin has made it clear what his aims are: he believes the Ukrainian state and nation are fake, just an invention of evil communists like Lenin, whose aim was to destroy the great Russian (Tsarist) Fatherland, and he wants to correct this historical error. “NATO expansion” consists of countries asking to join. That’s not a good thing from our perspective but it is laughable when western leftists “demand” a halt to “NATO expansion” to show their even-handedness, because they are not actually making a demand on the US but on east European governments. And these governments can only join if they have popular support to do so. And they have that due to the background of Russian domination. So the best way to counter that would have been for Russia to do things such as NOT walk in and blatantly annex a chunk of Ukraine and semi-annex another chunk. Only 30% of Ukrainians supported NATO membership a decade ago, which went up to some 60% by the end of the decade of Russian annexation and interference, and since invasion is now some 80%.
But we are supposed to “demand” that these people under massive military attack not join an alliance they see, rightly or wrongly, as defensive. Think of how it looks: countries that are members of NATO are safe, Ukraine is not in NATO so it is being bombed to bits and carved up, and so the western left “demands” that they never join NATO even though there’s no prospect of it.
Sorry to say I can’t lose too much sleep over the alleged “security concerns” of Russian imperialism and its ultra-rightist leadership; oddly, I would have thought Ukraine’s security concerns would have been more relevant at this point.
Oaklandsocialist adds: Undoubtedly this will be misrepresented as a defense of NATO and NATO expansion. Any honest reading shows it is not; it is merely an effort to set the record straight and to explain why many people in Eastern Europe want their countries to join NATO. Those who spend so much time crying “NATO, NATO, NATO” are in reality giving political cover to the invasion. It is similar to those who emphasize the presence of fascists in Ukraine, as if that were the only country in the world which has a fascist problem. These people exaggerate the actual influence of fascism there while at the same time they tend to ignore the fact that the Number One centralizer of fascism throughout Europe is Putin! There is a reason, after all, that the Ukrainian fascists are probably the only ones in the fascist world who oppose Putin’s invasion.
100% agree with Karadjis. So long as we are relating the Russian invasion of Ukraine to NATO, it is worth pointing out the reason NATO would not accept Ukraine anytime soon. This suits the preferred unilateralism of the USA, and the USA is in essence NATO, without the US there is no “North Atlantic” military alliance. Naturally Eastern European countries prefer the protection of a faraway Russia (the USA) to the actual nearby Russia. However non-membership for Ukraine gives the USA a unilateral free hand there, without having to confer with Europeans around annoying Articles. And that was reflected in that ~90% of military aid since 2014 was from the US.
If the Europeans had had a free hand, they may have fast tracked military alliance with Ukraine. But not the EU of course, like much of the former Yugoslavia, too poor for Western European elitist, imperialist, Brussels snobs.