In Media critique, NATO, Roger Annis, Russia, Ukraine

In this piece by Roger Annis, for his blog A Socialist in Canada, he responds to three recent articles by left-wing writers condemning Russia for its political/military intervention in Ukraine. The articles he comments on are on British news website, the Morning Star and Globetrotter.

By Roger Annis

Published on A Socialist in Canada, Apr 20, 2022

The following are comments by Roger Annis [in square brackets] in response to three recent articles by left-wing writers condeming Russia for its political/military intervention in Ukraine:

I. Editorial in Morning Star (Communist Party of Britain) declares ‘a plague on both their houses’ over Ukraine  Reference: ‘There are no upsides to a NATO-Russia proxy war over Ukraine’, editorial, Morning Star, Apr 18, 2022

[The Morning Star editorial says that the conflict in Ukraine is a ‘proxy’ war between the U.S. and Russia. As though the governing regime in Kyiv and its extreme-right paramilitaries and their eight-year war against the people of Donbass and their repression against the people of Ukraine itself are benign affairs.

[The editorial further writes, “Russia is testing its ability to push back against Kiev’s pro-U.S. orientation.” If only the stakes in Ukraine were so simple, a mere case of Russia responding to an ‘orientation’ by the extreme-right government in Kyiv. Alas, in reality, Russia is responding to years of deadly warfare waged against the people of Donbass, years of deadly threats and moves against Russia by expansionist NATO, and years of political repression and quasi-genocide within Ukraine itself.

[The Morning Star editorial concludes by recommending “ceasefire and then peace through talks”. The editors are apparently unaware of the fact that the U.S., the European Union and their proxy in Kyiv have, precisely, sabotaged ceasefire and talks, for years. Or perhaps the editors do not care. Their call for Russia to return to yet more failed and sabotaged ‘ceasefires’ and ‘peace talks’ amounts to a call for Russian surrender before the expanionist, NATO juggernaut.]

2. Pacifism in a time of imperialist warmakingReference: ‘Now is the time for non-alignment and peace’, essay by Roger McKenzie (writer at Morning Star in UK) and Vijay Prashad (Globetrotter), Apr 18, 2022

[The two writers open their essay with, “War is an ugly part of the human experience. Everything about it is hideous…” But they neglect to explain from where modern war derives–the system of expansionist, capitalist-imperialism–and why peoples and countries have been obliged throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries to defend their sovereignty and economic and social aspirations  against the aggression of this imperialism. Think of how much worse would be the world had the Soviet people surrendered to Nazi Germany in 1941 instead of resisting its cataclysmic attack in June of that year. Or if, following World War Two, the peoples of China, Korea and then Vietnam and Cuba had surrendered to the U.S. imperialist war machine instead of fighting (successfully) for their national liberation.

[The two writers say they want a “return to peace and non-alignment” in the world. But that would be a return to the peace of the graveyard that has led to the present crisis. The world’s peoples need, instead, to move forward. The working classes of the world are tasked with creating new and far-reaching anti-imperialist alliances. With fighting to end militarism and war once and for all. And with tackling, as a pressing emergency, the mitigation of global warming and creating new, ‘degrowth’ visions for the human race to live in harmony with the natural environment instead of waging permanent war upon it.]

3. Should the Russian government depend on the UN Charter of 1945 to protect the wellbeing of people in Russia and Ukraine?  Reference: ‘Imperialism, U.S. hegemonism and multipolarity’, commentary by Jenny Clegg, published in Morning Star, April 2022  …Locked out of the U.S.-dominated system, Russia certainly has used and abused its military muscle — not least in invading Ukraine in violation of the UN Charter…

[Excerpts from ‘Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter’ (of 1945), in Wikipedia: Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter deals with peaceful settlement of disputes. It requires countries with disputes that could lead to war to first of all try to seek solutions through peaceful methods… If these methods of alternative dispute resolution fail, then they must refer it to the UN Security Council… There is a general agreement among legal scholars outside the United Nations that resolutions made under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) are not legally enforceable, although this does not preclude them being described as legally binding. (end excerpts)

[In other words, if a given country (Russia) is facing deadly threats and actions from imperialist  powers and must defend its citizens in consequence, or if friendly and allied neighbours (Donbass) come under deadly attack from these same foreign powers and all efforts to negotiate peace fail, then according to viewpoints such as the above, such a country is simply out of luck and it must bend to the status quo. Such is the inadequate and unreliable strategy of pacifism in today’s world of imperialist aggression and expansion.]





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