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Mon Feb 28, 2022, 01:49 PM

Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West's Liberal Order

Ukraine’s tenacity and creativity have ignited civil-society energy, corporate strength, and humanitarian assistance. The hacker group Anonymous has declared war on Russia, disrupting state TV and making public the defense ministry’s personnel rosters. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has promised to help keep Ukraine online. The chipmakers Intel and AMD have stopped sending supplies to Russia; BP is divesting from its stake in the Russian energy giant Rosneft; FedEx and UPS have suspended service to Russia. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is cutting all its investments in Russia. YouTube and Meta have demonetized Russian state media. (Even Pornhub is denying Russians access.) Belarusian hackers disrupted their country’s rail network to prevent their government from sending troops to support the Russian war. Polish citizens collected 100 tons of food for Ukraine in two days. Bars are pouring out Russian vodka. Iconic architecture in cities all over the free world is lit up with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to show solidarity. Sports teams are refusing to play Russia in international tournaments. The London Philharmonic opened its Saturday concert by playing the Ukrainian national anthem, and the Simpsons modeled Ukrainian flags. This is what free societies converging on an idea looks like. And the idea is this: Resist Putin’s evil.

Although we in the West sometimes lose faith that our values are universal, Putin certainly believes they are. Otherwise, why attempt to conquer a country to prevent it from succeeding? And why threaten prison sentences for Russians giving aid to Ukraine? Plenty of Russians seem to share our perspective: Protests took place in scores of Russian cities over the weekend, and thousands of people were arrested. The Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev wrote no war please on the lens of a TV camera during an interview. Russian soldiers are allowing civilian protesters to halt their tanks. Rumors abound that Putin has fired the chief of his military’s general staff. Reports have emerged that oligarchs such as Oleg Deripaska are calling for an end to the war.

Nor is the liberal international order just a project of the transatlantic alliance. The UN may not have been able to prevent Russian aggression, but it served its purpose of forcing accountability onto governments for their positions. Kenya’s ambassador to the UN reminded us all that smaller powers, countries that suffered imperial conquest, are some of the biggest beneficiaries of a system that affirms “the sovereign equality of states, and states’ inviolable rights to territorial integrity and political independence.” Japan has joined many of the Western sanctions against Russia, while Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Indonesia have condemned the invasion.


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Reply Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West's Liberal Order (Original post)
Mme. Defarge Feb 2022 OP
benpollard Feb 2022 #1

Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Mon Feb 28, 2022, 06:57 PM

1. It's good that the U.S. is staying out of it...

After what we did to Iraq and Afghanistan, had we sent troops into Ukraine, we'd dilute any good that might result. Not that the countries we invaded and occupied were liberal entities in any sense of the word, but they were autonomous and of no threat to us, much like Ukraine's relationship with Russia.

If Ukraine emerges victorious, perhaps Belarus will follow the lead and get rid of Putin's puppet government in their country. Putin's façade as a powerful leader will have crumbled and he'll be thrown under the bus, and perhaps given an appropriate Mussolinian-like sendoff into the annals of history.

And if it's true that the liberal international order has been revitalized, Trump should be shitting his pants. George W. Bush, too.

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