In Arnold August, Transcript, Video


Published on Arnold August’s YouTube Channel, Sept 30, 2022:

This Debate was organized by World BEYOND War on September 21, 2022, International Day of Peace. Arguing that war can sometimes be justified was Arnold August, a Montreal-based author of three books on US/Cuba/Latin America. As a journalist he appears on TelesurTV and Press TV commenting on international geopolitical issues, is a Contributing Editor for The Canada Files and his articles are published world-wide in English, French and Spanish. He is a member of the International Manifesto Group. This post also includes a full transcript of August’s argument.

Arguing that war can never be justified was David Swanson, an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and U.S. Peace Prize recipient.

Arguing that war can sometimes be justified was Arnold August, a Montreal-based author of three books on US/Cuba/Latin America. As a journalist he appears on TelesurTV and Press TV commenting on international geopolitical issues, is a Contributing Editor for The Canada Files and his articles are published world-wide in English, French and Spanish. He is a member of the International Manifesto Group.

Moderating was Youri Smouter, host of 1+1, a topical history and current affairs program on his YouTube channel 1+1 hosted by Yuri Muckraker aka Youri Smouter. He is based in Southern Belgium and is a left-wing media critic, NGO critic, anti-imperialist, an advocate for Indigenous solidarity and a Native Lives Matter movement and socially liberal thinker.

Doing tech support and timekeeping and polling was WBW Organizing Director Greta Zarro.

Participants on Zoom were polled at the beginning and end of the event on the question “Can war ever be justified?” At the beginning 36% said yes and 64% no. At the end, 29% said yes and 71% no.

Watch the full debate with the arguments of David Swanson of World Beyond War and Youri’s role as the great host, as well as the lively Q and IA


Youri: Now I want to introduce, Arnold August, let me remind folks, briefly.

He’s from Canada, a Montreal based author of three books on the us, Cuba, Latin America, as a journalist, he appears regularly on teleSur and Press TV commenting on international geopolitical issues. And as a contributing editor for The Canada Files and his articles are published worldwide in English, French, and Spanish. He is a member of the International Manifesto Group, arguing that some wars can be justified.

Arnold, the floor is yours. And unmute yourself, please.


Arnold: Well, thank you very much for the introduction and thank you, David and Youri for putting this together and inviting me. I enjoyed David’s introduction, as I did the books that I read that you wrote, in preparation for today.

The US imperialist white supremist settler state and its NATO allies such as Canada’s own white supremist settler state, notorious for its genocide against the Native/Indigenous peoples, in our country, are at war against Russia through its proxy, the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime. However, the war did not begin on February 24, 2022. On the contrary, it was initiated at least eight years ago through a US-backed pro-Nazi coup in Ukraine to assure that Ukraine remains in the US sphere. This resulted in ethnic cleansing and the shelling of the Russian-speaking Donbas population areas with more that 14,000 lives lost and 1.5 million displaced.

Like many other commentators in the US and Canadian alternative press, American lawyer and professor of international human rights Dan Kovalik, after reviewing the history leading up to February 24, 2022, writes firstly of Ukraine’s 2000 cease-fire violations in the Donbas Region and secondly, Russian intelligence services indicating that a massive invasion of Donbas was imminent, Dan concludes, “I believe that Russia was put in a position in which it had no choice but to intervene.”

While the UN Charter prohibits unilateral acts of war, Dan writes it also enshrines Article 51, that “nothing in the present UN Charter shall impair the inherent right of individuals or collective self-defence.” This Article 51 according to Dan, should be interpreted to mean not only the right to defend themselves against actual armed attacks, but also against the threat of imminent attacks. He concludes that the Russian SMO constitutes a classic case of collective self-defence.”

My view is, based on that, the SMO is justified. Let us consider the other two features of war in addition to military, that is the cultural war, and economic war through sanctions. While the current conflict goes back to 2014, the cultural war, that is in the realm ideas and ideology, goes back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, as well as the Chinese Revolution of 1949. The cultural war is presently one of the main features of the current US/NATO war against Russia. The target is communism. The mainstream media in the US/NATO sphere often label Russia as still being communist; this is done by inuendo of course, such as by flashing the USSR flag and hammer and sickle images in their reporting, I am sure that many of you have seen this on these reports.

These sublime hints in their wall-to-wall coverage of the conflict are so effective that a recent poll indicates that that 42 per cent of Americans actually think that Russia is communist. Of course, the US/NATO media and politicians have it both ways; by calling out the oligarchs in Russia, the Biden administration is implying, see how hypocritical these communists are, they even (nurture deleted)  have oligarchs.

The US/NATO war against Russia also targets China, but unlike the Russian target, it consists of an open cultural war against communism and the Communist Party of China. The US/NATO military role in Ukraine, its goal, is to weaken Russia and thus jeopardise the growing Russia-China alliance as part of NATO’s objective to contain the rise of China’s influence on the international scene. As mentioned before, the cultural war against Communism goes back to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. How is that? American political scientist Michael Parenti writes that the US/NATO fear of an alternative to capitalism goes back to the Western country’s invasion of Russia in 1918 after the 1917 revolution. Referring to the period prior to WWII, Parenti writes that some Western leaders, at that time, had hoped to direct German expansionism eastward against the Soviet state. With few exceptions, they were more concerned with the Bolshevik specter than the fascist reality. They grew increasingly uncomfortable about Hitler’s emergent power, but they did not look upon fascism with the same fear and loathing as they did communism. This is very important, looking at the 2022 situation in Ukraine.

We now witness US/NATO feeling so comfortable in alliance with Ukrainian Nazis in opposition to communism, even though we know that Russia is not communist, while its ally China is communist. Putin, while not defending socialism, of course, his ongoing narrative accompanying his SMO features denazification and opposition to US world hegemony. This objectively goes against the US/NATO talking points just illustrated. Furthermore, Putin has to deal with the influential Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and millions of Russians who still look favorably at the USSR both in its domestic experience as well as the historic defeat of fascism. This situation in itself constitutes a reason for people in NATO countries to consider abandoning the fully unjust US/NATO war camp, and instead support the Russia position in Ukraine.

One other important feature of the cultural war today, especially since February 24, 2022, also consists of equating communism and fascism. The 1939 USSR-Germany nonaggression pact is currently being flaunted as proof that Nazism and socialism are the same in order to justify the current US/NATO war against Russia. However, what in fact was the history? Parenti nails it. He writes, there were repeated overtures by Moscow to conclude collective-security pacts with the Western states in order to contain the Nazi aggression. But, they were all rebuffed by the West. Frustrated in its attempts to form an anti-Nazi alliance and believing (correctly) that it, Russia, the Soviet Union,  was being set up as a target for Nazi aggression, the USSR signed an eleventh-hour nonaggression treaty with Hitler in 1939 to divert any immediate attacks by German forces. Thus, by completely distorting history, we see how the West goes a long way in its perpetual war against communism.

Both these features of the current cultural war, that is firstly, targeting communism and secondly equating fascism and communism, they both complement each other, right? Thus, today the peoples of the world are confronting, in my view, perhaps one of the most vicious cultural wars we have witnessed since 1917, with modern social media and cable news such as the liberal CNN media in the vanguard.

In the context of the SMO, Putin is at the forefront in waging a war of ideas against the spurious equation of WWII fascism and the USSR. Taken from this angle, the Russian SMO on Ukraine is justifiable. It is justifiable. If the fascism equals communism narrative is allowed to fester in the collective minds of peoples, WWIII can be launched by US/NATO against Russia and possibly China in the name of anti-fascism. For this reason alone, those pacifists who still blindly cheer on US/NATO, should consider changing their tune. The military and cultural wars were just dealt with, thus leaving is with the third feature of war, the economic war through sanctions. Suffice it to ask, if this economic war and sanctions are so justified, how come close to 90 % of the world population have refused to follow this path?

Peace: Today, especially, we want peace. We in the NATO countries, in my view, must put pressure on our respective governments to push Ukraine to negotiate a peace settlement taking into account Russian concerns, while supporting the Russian SMO and referendums to be held soon in eastern Ukraine as an added pressure for the US to negotiate, and perhaps to bring about the peace we all want. Thank you.



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