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The Roundtable: The U.S., Russia, and the Myopia of Endless War

Can Americans speak up against atrocities in Ukraine without ignoring those in Yemen?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a wave of indignation throughout the West. Stories of the troops’ atrocities against civilians continue to bolster opposition to Russia, and public displays of solidarity with war refugees have become ubiquitous. But some have pointed out the hypocrisy of the United States’ selective attention–specifically, its own participation in ongoing war crimes in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to discuss the war in Ukraine, the public discourse around it and U.S. militarism.

In this segment, the panel discusses the American public's ignorance of their military's aggressions abroad.

Don Via Jr. notes that both in the U.S. and Russia, media coverage limits the public's understanding of the foreign wars waged in their name.

"All media, whether it's Russian media or U.S. media, is very controlled. They determine what the public sees to a large degree," he says. And their priorities, he argues, tends to benefit those making money on war: "It largely hinges on what benefits the military industrial complex and the proliferation of this endless war state that has been created since the end of the Eisenhower administration, when Dwight himself warned of the creation of the military industrial complex."

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Dick Price argues that Americans need to have "a more comprehensive view" of global conflicts.

"We need to have more than one focus than the dastardly, horrible activities of the Russian. We need to focus on that and do something about it, but we also need to pay attention to our role in it so that we can do better in the future and not create these kind of situations," he says. "We need to stop what's going on, but we can't blind ourselves. We played a role in creating this."

Watch the full discussion below: