The unanimous vote by progressive lawmakers for the $40 billion Ukraine funding bill has been followed by a near-unanimous refusal to defend it. To date, no member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – with the sole exception of Cori Bush – has publicly explained why they chose to hand over billions of dollars to the weapons industry and intensify a proxy war against nuclear-armed Russia.
Amid this resounding silence, Matt Duss, a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders, has stepped in to fill the void. In a New Republic article titled “Why Ukraine Matters for the Left,” Duss attempts to convince fellow progressives that the “provision of military aid” to Ukraine “can advance a more just and humanitarian global order.” Duss has only praise for a Biden administration that, in his view, “should be applauded for its judicious reaction to the Ukraine crisis.” By contrast, Duss opts to launch an attack on dissident journalists, myself included, who don’t share his enthusiasm.
To make his case, Duss omits an abundance of inconvenient facts, betraying either considerable ignorance of the Ukraine-Russia conflict or a deliberate effort to distort it.
While apologia for US hegemonic projects is normal in DC foreign policy circles, Duss’ contribution is particularly noteworthy given his painstaking attempt to cast himself as an outsider. “Our political class,” Duss states, “advocates military violence with a regularity and ease that is psychopathic.” Duss’ comment is both accurate and wildly ironic, given his choice to advocate our political class’s military violence in Ukraine — with the remarkable ease that he identifies in others as psychopathic. Read more…