Democratic Socialists: You know who's really to blame for the Ukraine invasion, right?

Democratic Socialists: You know who's really to blame for the Ukraine invasion, right?
Democratic National Convention via AP

The title question may turn out to be a bit of a trick. When I heard that the national Democratic Socialists of America had put out a statement on how things wound up turning out so badly in Ukraine last week and who should bear the brunt of the blame, I had an immediate guess. I’m willing to bet that at least a few of you thought they were going to say, Donald Trump, right? So did I. And I suppose he could be lumped in with their actual answer at some level, but the group is spraying a much wider blast of blame than any one person. The party that counts both Bernie Sanders and AOC as proud, card-carrying members is actually blaming America as a whole, along with NATO. (Man, that’s a lot of guilty parties.) And they are specifically blaming the “imperialist expansion” dreams of the United States and the rest of NATO for bringing us to this juncture. (NY Post)

The Democratic Socialists of America blamed US and NATO “imperialist expansion” for helping trigger the Russian invasion of Ukraine — provoking criticism from local political leaders.

“DSA reaffirms our call for the US to withdraw from NATO and to end the imperialist expansionism that set the stage for this conflict,” the DSA said in a statement.

“While the failures of neoliberal order are clear to everyone, the ruling class is trying to build a new world, through a dystopic transition grounded in militarism, imperialism, and war. Socialists have a duty to build an alternative.”

To be fair to the DSA, they’re also blaming Russia. In fact, they’re pretty much blaming everything and everyone that isn’t part of the core essence of socialism. And what solution do they propose? Well, it comes in two parts. First, they want the United States to immediately leave NATO and work to disband the alliance. And then they want to see an “immediate international antiwar response.”

In other words, the DSA believes that we should immediately disband the only organization of nations within reach of the crisis and which is able to coordinate a strong enough (non-military) response that Russia might actually notice. And they want to follow it up with a strongly worded letter. Because you know… that’s worked so well with Putin in the past.

It’s somewhat ironic that the DSA is complaining about war and claiming to be anti-war while blaming NATO. NATO, including the United States, could have easily put together a massive military response if we felt like triggering World War 3. But instead, everyone has kept their powder dry and refused to rush headlong into battle. The economic sanctions really do seem to be having an effect and both Russia and Ukraine were at the bargaining table again. (Not that they made much progress, but they will try again.)

It’s also unclear if anyone at the DSA actually understands what the words “imperialism” and “expansion” mean. Imperialist expansion would apply to taking over territory from someone else and placing it under your control. You know… like Russia is trying to do with Ukraine. NATO is an alliance. All of the countries that are members or considering becoming members have been around for quite a while. Nobody has “taken them over.” Countries are free to apply and if they meet certain requirements, they may be invited to join. By the DSA’s definitions, countries would have to submit an application to be conquered.

There should obviously have been any number of conservatives blasting away at this claptrap, and there certainly were. But of perhaps even more interest was the response from some of the Democrats. As the Post notes, two prominent ones with elections on the horizon were quick to shoot down the DSA. One of these was Democratic candidate for New York Governor Tom Suozzi. He went to bat supporting former Dem Congressman Max Rose, who stood up for NATO and America’s role in it.

This is only one brief snapshot in time, but it’s worth noting that more and more Democrats are unafraid to take the Democratic Socialists to task and call out some of their nonsense. It appears that plenty of them have been watching the polls and seeing their own party’s approval ratings swirling the drain after a couple of years of catering to Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the rest of the “squad,” along with the House Progressive Caucus. Don’t be shocked if you see more and more of them quietly edging away from the hard left wing of their party as we get closer to the midterms.

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