For one thing, the Russian attack may be all of those things alleged, and yet form part of a geopolitical pattern of established behavior that the U.S. has itself established in a series of wars starting with the Vietnam War, and notably more recently with the Kosovo War, Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War. None of these wars were legal, moral, and justifiable, although each enjoyed a geopolitical rationale that made them persuasive with U.S. foreign policy elites and its closest alliance partners.Of course, two wrongs do not make a right, but in a world where geopolitical actors enjoy a license to pursue their strategic interests, it is not objectively defensible to so self-righteously condemn Russia without taking account of what the U.S. has been doing around the world for several decades.
In a somewhat insightful fit of frustration, George W. Bush after a failure to gain UN Security Council authorization in 2003 for the use of regime-changing force against Iraq, declared that the UN would lose its ‘relevance’ if it failed to go along with the American imperial plan of action, and so it did.
Again, it is important to recognize that there may be cases where the fragmentation of existing states is justifiable on humanitarian grounds and others where it is not, but to claim that Russia overstepped the limits of law in a context where power has shaped behavior and political outcomes in similar cases is to prepare the public for a wider war rather than leading it to seek and be pragmatically receptive to a diplomatic compromise.
This contextual understanding of the Ukraine War is in my judgment highly relevant as it makes the current fashion of mounting legal, moral, and political arguments of condemnation distract from following an otherwise rational, prudent, and pragmatic courses of action, which from the beginning strongly supported an all-out effort to encourage an immediate ceasefire followed by negotiations aiming at a durable political arrangement not only between Russia and Ukraine, but also NATO/U.S. and Russia.Ukraine War: Climbing the Escalation Ladder to Oblivion | HUMAN WRONGS WATCH