American progressives are facing an intellectual dilemma. For years, they focused on criticizing US foreign policy. In part because of the anti-capitalism perspective, but also because they, undeliberately, bought into both imperialism & American-supremacy. I'll explain:
American-progressive millennials never experienced a threat from another great-power. They grew up in an American-dominated global scene. Their world views were shaped under Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43), where the US almost did whatever it wanted.

The main global event for progressive millennials was the invasion of Iraq. While they spent their adult life criticizing it, it left them with a deep sense of guilt and shame. They became very introspective and self-critical, but that is not the full picture.

The sense of guilt, coupled with a distorted view of global politics where the US is always secure and dominant, resulted in progressive millennials buying into two notions they loath: American supremacy and tolerating imperialism as long as it's anti-US dominance.

Putin's Russia has been one of the most imperial forces in the world, but it's anti-American dominance too. For a long time progressives didn't feel threatened and they focused more on the ani-American side of Putin and widely ignored his imperial ambitions. Same with Iran.

Progressives' stances have been absent on big issues like the annexation of Crimea, Assad's war crimes, and Iran's interventionism. The focus was on where they saw the US policy being wrong, like Yemen, Israel/Palestine, and Cuba.

They ended up being where they exactly didn't want to be: American-centered. Many progressives ignored horrible and unprecedented human suffering caused by Russia (Syria) and Iran (Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon) because there was nothing there to criticize the US for.

Progressives advocated for isolationism. A view they share with Trump & Rand Paul (clearly for different reasons). Another mistake entrenched in their views was depriving non-Americans of their agency in global events & interpreting them as always being American influenced:

They saw the war in Syria as a pure foreign power intervention, ignoring the main role of Assad and how much Syrians didn't want to live under him no matter what. In Ukraine, many argue that it was the west's fault ignoring that Ukrainians made their decision to look west.

Some say it's the West's fault because Ukraine is within Russia's sphere of influence. Okay, let's talk about that: sphere of influence is the claim by a state to exclusive or predominant control over a foreign area or territory. In other words: imperialism.

Looking at Ukraine as a country where Putin has the right to dictate its future is the most imperial notion in the 21st century. Ukrainians made THEIR democratic decision to ally with the west because THEY found that in their economic and national security interests.

Progressive millennials and gen Z are facing a big intellectual challenge. They should find a way to reconcile their world views to be aligned with their inclusive values of democracy, freedom, and self-determination, and not only when it overlaps with criticizing the US.

This thread doesn't claim to offer the full picture. It's just one piece of a complicated puzzle. It aims to discuss how geopolitics and post-cold-war American dominance shaped progressive-millennials world views.

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This is a must-read thread.

Excellent thread about how the invasion is disorienting Americans accustomed to seeing the US as the source of all evil. The invasion is disorienting also to big subsets of far leftists elsewhere. It doesn’t fit their standard narratives; but it’s also too horrible to ignore.