Despite its claims to “open-ness,” liberalism in its late modern Western form becomes self-contained to the point of closure. Allied with such power constructs as the “liberal world order,” globalization (a word that came into common usage only after the fall of the Soviet Union) tends towards the homogenization of political space and the radical constriction of pluralism.
One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century.
On January 10, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released a Foreign Relations Committee staff report purporting to detail a “nearly two decades-long assault on democratic institutions, universal values and the rule of law across Europe and his own country” by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
For the popular US cable news network MSNBC, the largest humanitarian catastrophe in the world is apparently not worth much attention-even as the US government has played a key role in creating and maintaining that unparalleled crisis.
“The March on Washington was a powerful speech,” Lewis said to me recently, over the phone. Lewis was present for that one, too: he spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial minutes before King did. “It was a speech for America, but the speech he delivered in New York, on April 4, 1967, was a speech for all humanity—for the world community.” He added, “I heard him speak so many times. I still think this is probably the best.”
A major report by Senator Ben Cardin suggests a broad response to Russian interference in the West. Only some of his recommendations make sense.
Brian Milakovsky, a Fulbright scholar who is working with an aid organization on the Ukrainian side of Donbas, told me the Javelins would provoke Russia to escalate its military involvement and dramatically deepen suffering on both sides.
New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward” – a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications – has not been reported by ‘The New York Times’ or other agenda-setting media outlets.
Ten months have passed since Ukraine imposed a full economic blockade of the part of the Donbas under Russian and separatist control. What has it meant for Ukraine’s economy and for the prospects of the territories’ economic and social reintegration?
Disappointment—extreme disappointment—marks what the year 2017 has been in US-Russian relations. The relationship is stuck. The hole in which it is stuck is deep and dark—and growing more so. Each side had hoped for better.