jump to navigation

Another response to the Russian attack… February 25, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
trackback

Comments»

1. tomasoflatharta - February 25, 2022

Agree!

Liked by 1 person

banjoagbeanjoe - February 25, 2022

Agree too. Russia should be made a pariah state. No diplomatic relations with them until they withdraw from Ukraine.

Liked by 3 people

EWI - February 26, 2022

Agree too. Russia should be made a pariah state. No diplomatic relations with them until they withdraw from Ukraine.

There will be no real ‘pariah state’ and never will be, it’s not the game being played here. Same as Dick Cheney’s company were caught doing business with Saddam’s Iraq, and no-one really gave a shit about Georgia fifteen years ago, after the Russian invasion.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2022

Yeah, and there’s a fair amount of truth in that. But I don’t know about people not giving a shit as distinct from people not being able to do much about it.

When neutral states are attacked by imperialists those who hold neutrality as a key aspect of their politics need to keep some sort of pressure up. Because if this is okay for Russia then where does Cuba stand in relation to the US, or Ireland in relation to a close neighbour?

Like

EWI - February 26, 2022

War-fever is a known mass mania by this stage (we’re all old enough to recall Iraq). Thise clapping most loudly for belligerence are also those least likely to give a shit about the plight of Cuba, or Irish citizens being persecuted or shot by the British, and the least-worst course of action is to not enable their little campaigns. Case in point today:

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

War-fever surely is most clear on the part of the Russian state (not its people).

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

BTW just speaking of Moldova I met a Bosnian friend today for the first time in ages. Their take, fwiw was that Molodova was in a very precarious situation too, and they were concerned about how this aggression would feed into the situation in Bosnia and how it would energise some there who would seek to disrupt the dispensation. And this would be someone who would have been very supportive of the FYR etc.

Like

2. Protest Outside Russian Embassy in Dublin – Monday February 28, 5pm, Orwell Road, Rathmines – Solidarity With Russian Anti-War Protesters | Tomás Ó Flatharta - February 25, 2022

[…] Sinn Féin President Mary-Lou McDonald calls for expulsion of Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov from Ireland https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2022/02/25/another-response-to-the-russian-attack/ […]

Like

3. tomasoflatharta - February 25, 2022
Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

Good move!

Liked by 1 person

4. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

So long as those sanctions don’t harm ordinary Russians – the majority of whom don’t support this war. And that’s a hard problem.

Like

5. Liberius - February 25, 2022

First two paragraphs of Transform! Europe’s* peace manifesto, agree with pretty much all of it.

*Party of the European Left’s political foundation.

transform! europe condemns the attack that Russia, under the governance of Vladimir Putin, has launched upon Ukraine. We reject the use of military force against a sovereign state, just as we have previously rejected NATO forces deployment in countries bordering Russia, and in countries of Asia and Africa and Europe. We therefore call for an immediate ceasefire, stop of the bombings, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine soil and the return to the negotiating table.

At the same time, we call upon the EU to put maximum effort into reengaging in peace negotiations. In these difficult times, we stand with the people of Ukraine who experience the Russian attack in full force and whose lives are in danger. We stand in solidarity with the peoples of Ukraine that are forced to leave their homes, and weave networks of solidarity for their support, including providing them with shelter and safety! We stand with the peoples in Russia who oppose Putin’s war, despite oppression, as well as the millions of other Europeans that demand peace. The solution to this unjustifiable escalation of military violence is not more violence, the solution is political, based on the principles of common, collective security concepts which prioritise the well-being of all peoples and the respect of human rights and international law. We join forces with the peace and social movements across the continent to stop this irrational war, we call upon European citizens to take the streets in the name of peace and we stand with the people of Ukraine that are forced to leave their homes. Weapons and wars should belong to the past, the future of Europe and humanity must be peace!…

https://www.transform-network.net/blog/article/stop-the-war-an-appeal-for-a-europe-of-peace/

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - February 25, 2022
6. Bobd - February 26, 2022
Colm B - February 26, 2022

Have a look at the list of parties that have signed this statement. It’s an ultra-stalinist fringe, largely tiny irrelevant outfits, gathered around the Greek CP, which is one of the few that is of any significance. Note absence of the larger CPs in France, Spain, Germany etc. ( the Spanish and French orgs listed are Stalinist breakaways from the much larger CPs).
Even the CPI(s?) haven’t signed. This is the company (one of) the WPs keep.

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - February 26, 2022

ColmB what is it that you object to in that statement?

I believe it’s the WP(Handshake) that has signed it, to use BanJoe’s naming convention.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2022

It’s a better statement for all its flaws than the one issue by WP (Starry Plough).

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - February 26, 2022

I’m only seeing that one there now. Yeah, over-egging the apologism more than a little:

https://workersparty.ie/european-peace-conference-essential-to-ukraine-solution/

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2022

I do wonder who advises them on foreign policy stuff.

Myself and Colm were on the Int’l committee of DL and I was tasked with researching CFSP during the early to mid 1990s and Colm of course was involved in foreign policy activity with WP much longer and in much greater depth than that. in fairness, there was at least some effort on the part of both formations at those times to engage with the actual nuts and bolts of this area: it’s complex and there’s a whole lot of overlapping areas, contradictions and so on. Glib public statements on these sort of events which don’t have any handle on that just get my back up.

The Solidnet linked statement is interesting for two reasons.

Firstly, it actually calls out the Russians for their ‘pretexts’ albeit it’s all couched in ‘both sideism’ and NATO, of course, as the underlying issue. Secondly, it doesn’t seem to have too many illusions about the nature of Russia as bourgeois and capitalist and imperialist. Those are both steps forward; not huge ones but some progress.

Clearly what you were saying about how Putin’s anti-communist rhetoric has struck home (though why it took two decades mystifies me, he’s used that rhetoric and supported far-right groups throughout the period, anyone thinking he’s left is being very blind).

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - February 26, 2022

Two words missing – invasion and withdraw.

No recognition of the Ukrainian people’s right to resist the imperialist power that’s invaded their country.

More nonsense about the Ukraine being ruled by the far right.

In addition to the utter crap about the USSR and it’s “socialism”.

And yes we are in the zone of lowest standards here where a bunch of irredeemable Stalinists haven’t scraped the bottom of the barrel – the WP’s (Tucker Carlson wing) own statement is ten times worse.

On a positive note I am heartened by the approach the of most of the left, with the vast majority opposing the invasion and calling for withdrawal.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - February 26, 2022

Yeah, they sort of tilt towards that ‘To demand the closure of military bases, the return home of troops from missions abroad, to strengthen the struggle for the disengagement of the countries from imperialist plans and alliances such as NATO and the EU. 
’ but it’s not absolutely explicit. Still for them it’s quite a statement.

I think (and I know to you and me this is incredible) but the penny dropped re Putin and him not being a sort of latter day Leninist only the other day given his speech on Tuesday was it?

Agree completely, they’re sort of tiptoeing around stuff. Neutrality, autonomy, the rights of nations.

And for supposed materialists, one astounding omission is the historical reality that Russia (or the USSR) in living memory has invaded or had incursions into multiple states in Eastern Europe. There’s just no recognition that people/states there would quite naturally gravitate towards a security alliance (NATO) that would guarantee their status quo.

It’s mystifying to me how they can’t even think that through, that the actions of Russia and the USSR across 70 years had massive consequences that engendered responses.

And I’d go a bit further.

I’m not in favour of NATO or any military alliances, but this inability to understand the psychology of all this really means that, when something like this happens in Ukraine, they’re left looking like credulous idiots at best or the worst sort of cynics at worst because even as an imperialist power is sending helicopter gunships to batter down what is de facto and functionally a neutral state (and the reality of that is underscored by the fact that no other state will openly put personnel or materiel on the ground or in the air there) they’re still rattling on about NATO.

People see this, and the general sentiment is so strongly in favour of small nations because most nations are small and not that powerful, and they draw the necessary lessons.

BTW just to be absolutely clear: I’m no fan of the parties on that list. Some of the other CPs and WPs not on it have been a better, some hardly any worse and some (as I noted above) a lot worse.

Liked by 1 person

7. Colm B - February 26, 2022

Excellent interview with Russian socialist on the invasion;

https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7537

Liked by 2 people

8. Tomboktu - February 27, 2022

Liked by 1 person

9. Paul Culloty - February 27, 2022

Fair to say the IRSP support for the “people’s republics” at Free Derry Corner wasn’t a popular move!

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Saw that on twitter, was there any other pushback? Got to say what an idiotic stance.

Like

Jim Monaghan - February 27, 2022

Interesting that the firmly tankie KKE does not go in for that nonsense.

“The decision of the Russian Federation to initially recognize the “independence” of the so-called “Peoples’ Republics” in Donbas and then to proceed to a Russian military intervention, which is taking place under the pretext of Russia’s “self-defence”, the “demilitarization” and “defascistization” of Ukraine, was not made to protect the people of the region or peace but to promote the interests of Russian monopolies in Ukrainian territory and their fierce competition with Western monopolies.” https://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/No-to-the-imperialist-war-in-Ukraine/

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

I’m not the biggest fan of the KKE but I wonder can they tell the difference between real fascists and the sort of nonsense Russia is saying?

Like

roddy - February 27, 2022

Morons on twitter highlighting this and suggesting SF would be chased out of the Bogside and Creggan because they opposed the invasion!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

It is a part of a long standing and honourable approach within SF to events internationally – standing with national liberation groups against imperialisms of right or left. Those who don’t realise that don’t know much about SF.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Stretches back to RÓB and long before it too.

Like

10. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

The usual background political noise and leftist introspection apart: We are now at an extremely dangerous phase in the war.

It’s not going as quickly as Putin planned or would like, the Ukrainian resistance is more effective that expected, the Russian army may be short of materiel (usual fog of war caveats apply here), and the Ukrainians are being supplied with arms through Poland and Slovakia, including effective anti-tank weapons. These are being used, despite degrading of the Ukrainian military infrastructure.

The Ukrainians don’t want to negotiate yet on Putin’s place and terms.

The financial sanctions are still studiously avoiding fossil fuel exports, but will have significant effects within Russia.

My worst personal nightmare is on the nuclear front. Whereas in the past, courageous people have recognised mistaken first strikes for what they were, and stopped Armageddon. Now people on the NATO side may believe Putin capable of a first strike. I don’t think he will but mistakes may be made.

I hope Polish and Baltic intelligence have been taken out of these decision making processes.

Putin is reportedly raging, what is he likely to order next? Will the Russian military obey?

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022
Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

One of the worst outcomes would be an entrapment commitment—that is, a situation in which one ally establishes facts on the ground without the consent of the other allies and ends up in a military confrontation with Russia that pulls in the entire alliance.

The war in Ukraine signifies the end of an era. An era where Europe was mostly “whole and free,” to recall the famous 1989 dictum from George Bush senior. We do not know what the new era will look like. One thing is for certain, though: It will be less peaceful and safe, and more militarized and risky. Knowing about some of these risks is a necessary condition for closing inadvertent escalation pathways. But even that knowledge might not be sufficient, in the fog of war, to prevent a possibly devastating war between nuclear-armed adversaries.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

Of all phrases in the Orwellian lexicon, ‘lethal aid’ has to be one of the most obscene.

Like

11. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

(Black) student refugees from the continent of Africa fleeing Ukraine have been made to wait for two nights in the freezing cold on the Ukrainian / Poland border. It’s unclear whether those responsible are Ukrainian or Polish border authorities, or both.

Like

Colm B - February 27, 2022

A compilation of statements from trade unions and left groups on the imperialist invasion/occupation of the Ukraine.

https://newpol.org/compilation-of-statements-on-the-ukraine-crisis/

Liked by 2 people

Colm B - February 27, 2022

I’m not a fan of the SSP and have been very critical of some of their international stances in past years, but this statement is exemplary in its clarity:

https://scottishsocialistparty.org/statement-on-russia-and-ukraine/

Liked by 2 people

Colm B - February 27, 2022
12. Francis Donohoe - February 27, 2022

Communiqué of the press service of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia

The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia supports the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to carry out an operation to denazify Ukraine. The future of the country should be determined by its people, but gangs of Bendera, nationalists and accomplices of the Nazis should not put pressure on their will.

We sympathize with those who were forced to evacuate to Russian territory by regular shelling and the death of loved ones. The trade unions of Russia render all possible assistance to them.

We believe that peace will return to Ukraine, and Ukraine will become a democratic, peaceful, neutral state. Hitlers and Zelenskys come and go, but international worker solidarity remains. Peace to the nations! War on the Nazis!

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

FD, do you seriously believe any of that stuff? It’s absolute nonsense.

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - February 27, 2022

It’s clear FD (and whichever WP he belongs to) supports this invasion and occupation of Ukraine. I welcome this clarity – it shows how completely out of step with the rest of the left they are. Even their ultra-Stalinist allies haven’t gone so low as to outright support for his brutal invasion.

Keep it up, Francie, you are doing a better job of exposing what you and your pals really stand for than I ever could.

Liked by 2 people

Colm B - February 27, 2022

I’ve just checked out the Federation of Independent Trades Unions of Russia; they are the state backed “trade unions” linked to Putin’s right-wing United Russia party.

Well done, Francie: any other statements from right-wing organisations you’d like to share: maybe Tucker Carlson’s pro-Putin tirade?

Liked by 2 people

13. roddy - February 27, 2022

Francis once described Liam Clarke as “a good socialist Republican”!

Liked by 1 person

14. Brian Hanley - February 27, 2022

At the risk of taking the above statement seriously, given that it appears to be written by someone in the Kremlin’s troll section who’s having an off-day; several of Zelensky’s family died in the Holocaust. His grandfather served in the Red Army during the Second World War. The idea that he leads a ‘Nazi’ government is bananas.

Maybe the people who seem intent on pretending that this is a re-run of the Second World War might ponder how the Russians are fighting under the flag that the Whites used in the Russian Civil War, and that the Russian units who fought with the Germans in WW2 also flew the same nationalist flag.

Putin believes the Bolshevik Revolution was a tragedy and the execution of the Tsar’s family was a war crime. He has made clear that he thinks the Bolshevik policy of allowing self-determination to the various former parts of the Russian Empire was wrong. But some people seem to think that simply being Russian makes you a communist by osmosis.

Liked by 2 people

roddy - February 27, 2022

Apparently Putin has now put his nuclear forces on “high alert”.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Yeah, peace-loving guy that he is, no sense of threat or belligerence or escalation on his part there.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Zelenskiy is impressive. There’s a man who faces death or at the best a show trial in the next few days. And the ironies in that given his own family history. There’s something truly disgusting about the denazification line being pushed by some in the context of that.

Liked by 2 people

Colm B - February 27, 2022

This is sign of desperation. Putin expected a walkover and underestimated the ferocity of Ukrainian resistance. Maybe he believed his own propaganda of a grateful population welcoming their liberators with ope arms.
If the Ukrainian resistance continues to fight back as strongly as they have, he has two choices – either escalate and try to turn it into a global conflict or back down and try to negotiate something which leaves him with some claim, for internal consumption, of having achieved some of his aims.

Liked by 2 people

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

The problem is, Colm, given its previous track record, NATO and the West won’t give Putin a face-saving out. Then all we can hope for is a quick coup against him.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

In fairness the Ukrainians are engaging with the latest peace talks stuff. So, fingers crossed.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Donbas et al functionally under his control would be an obvious out and an acceptance that Crimea is gone. Not hugely satisfactory but better than dismantling Ukraine.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

I think even a written commitment that Ukraine won’t join NATO for a decade or two might do it.

A face-saver needs to be sellable as a gain of some kind.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

Trouble is, I can’t see Biden or the triumphalist Clinton Democrat foreign policy establishment ever agreeing to the Ukrainian neutrality needed to bring Putin down from his current level of escalation.

It’s very very worrying. Because if there’s no off-ramp we’re looking at further escalation from Russia. Let’s hope it’s “just” cutting off the gas supplies to the western European network.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

There’s a real danger of ‘whoops Apocalypse’ here: see the article I linked above. It isn’t a game.

Like

15. Liberius - February 27, 2022

First three paragraphs from a piece by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, it was published on the 25th so a shade out of date, but worth reading nonetheless.

For all people interested in peace and security in Europe, 22 February 2022 was a black day. 24 February, when Russia launched an unjustifiable war of aggression against a neighbouring country, was even blacker. Russia must end this war immediately and unconditionally to clear the way back to the negotiating table.

With the bombing of targets in Ukraine and the invasion of ground troops, Russia has demonstrated its full potential for aggression and broken international law. Ukrainians, who now find themselves in a war that will most likely trigger huge refugee flows from all parts of the country, are the ones who suffer.

Peaceful solutions could have been found for peace and security in Ukraine. There potentially also could have been better solutions for Russia’s legitimate security interests — and for peace and security throughout Europe. What is likely to happen now is neither in the interests of Ukrainian, Russian, nor Western European civilians — nor, as their state is also a very significant player, US civilians.

https://www.rosalux.de/en/news/id/46023/the-geopolitical-consequences-of-the-escalation-in-ukraine

Like

16. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

So there were up to 1/2 a million people on the peace demo in Berlin today. 200,000 at least – the usual argument about figures.

The participants were divided into two camps, I guess, from what I could tell from banners and talking to people. On the one hand the young, Ukrainian, Georgian and nationalist camp some of whom were demanding all kinds of Armageddon shite like bombing Russia and imposing a no-fly zone on Ukraine. Understandably, but they need talking down.

Then there were the older peaceniks, trades unionists etc who remember the realities of the nuclear knife-edge in the 1980s and want a ceasefire ASAP.

No one seems to have much of a realisation of what sanctions are going to mean for ordinary Russians and the poor throughout the world. I saw stuff like ‘I don’t mind freezing for freedom’.

The best placard was in Russian and English, and said ‘Putin is not Russia’.

The award for the most liberal goes to “Putin: shame on you!”

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

There is no chance of a no-fly zone and I agree completely that has to be stated unequivocally again. There’s no chance, and this has been stated very, very clearly, of US or any NATO’s forces on the ground in Ukraine.

I would imagine, for example, that transfer of weaponry across the border will be carried out in very, very controlled conditions precisely to avert any charge by the Russians of direct involvement.

I think the chance of any accidental use of nuclear weapons is unlikely in the extreme. Not impossible.

Very difficult to read the mood in Moscow at the moment, but I can’t sense any appetite in the West for any belligerent military action. And it would make no sense either politically or strategically. Standing back coldly, this is so awful and self-defeating for the Russians in terms of medium- to long-term goals that all that has to happen is for other states to do what they can to support Ukraine (and that’s truly limited to indirect material, sanctions and really not much more than rhetoric) and hope that some sort of deal is hammered out before Kyiv is overrun.

I do think the language about the Putin escalation is important, and that NATO and Washington have to be kept to that (i.e. that no escalation above and beyond sanctions, indirect materiel and rhetoric, is appropriate.

I can’t help but feel either the Russians have held back somewhat and wanted Ukraine to fold from within under pressure, or the going has been rougher than they expected. Although I’d have expected them to wargame this fully so that’s odd, albeit Ukraine isn’t quite a pushover in terms of its forces (and it seems that they still have some air support which is remarkable with all things considered). Or Russia genuinely didn’t expect such a rallying around Ukraine to the extent that has happened, or perhaps some combination of all three and more of those.

Good news on continuing protests in Moscow, though low-level. Still enormously impressive though not unexpected that Russians can be so courageous in the face of such authoritarianism (and, just as an aside, that is clearly what the RUssian state is – not totalitarian but authoritarian right-wing/capitalist, not dissimilar in a way to Chile or other Southern American states during the Cold War).

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

Undoubtedly either the Russian intelligence / analysis pre invasion was far off the mark, or Putin just didn’t listen to them.

I can’t help thinking the Russian military command will not be very happy right now. Or those in intelligence who tried to warn him.

Like

17. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

https://adamtooze.substack.com/p/chartbook-88-sanctions-and-mad-will?utm_source=url

Given the implicit tactical nuclear threats from Putin:

So if this logic continues to operate, what will drive the escalatory spiral are

1. potential nuclear counters from the West

2. decisive events one way or another on the battlefield in Ukraine

3. what impact the sanctions actually have on Russia – economy, society, politics – in the coming days.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

You can imagine how relevant I find the teacup storms of the Anglophone left ATM.

Like

18. Francis Donohoe - February 27, 2022

I would have thought it was clear I was posting the statement of an organisation rather than myself. It is of interest, not an endorsement.

The trade union confederation concerned is the largest in Russia and is its accepted international trade union representative body. To the best of my knowledge, it has some form of partnership arrangement now and again with the Russian Government but is not aligned to a particular political party. The position expressed is of interest because it is the trade union confederation of Russia and is not widely accepted as a puppet of the Putin Government.

The Jewish heritage of Zelensky is something that much is made of, often as a counterweight to the position that an integral part of the Ukrainian armed forces is an avowedly neo-Nazi organisation. The Israeli media has gone as far as reporting that the Azov is implicated in atrocities against civilians in the Donbas, Roma and the LGBT community but not against Jews – that’s great isn’t it?

I’m not going to hash over old ground on this. Just to say I hope the outcome of the upcoming talks will be an agreement by the Ukrainian Government to implement the Minsk Accords, the international agreement signed by Ukraine and Russia, which is the basis of resolving this issue and which may need some further clauses on respecting the right to operate in Ukraine in Russian (the level of persecution which currently exists did not do so when the original accords were signed).

There will have to be an acceptance of the security interests of the Russian state if we are really interested in peace rather than the foolishness of ‘national sovereignty’ trumping all other concerns – which is presented as reasonable in my view just because of the growing degradation of politics everywhere into nationalism.

I’m amused by the endorsement of the international strategic views of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh
And Roddy’s intervention above, I also note a silence from Rodders until the party line was established – and what a cynical, political opportunist line it is – ‘expel the Russian ambassador’. Did SF call for similar when the US has launched illegal invasions? Of course not. It is expediency of course due to the cynicism of the SDs and Labour Party in also calling for it as they fight for some form of relevance. It’s simply another example of SF as an opportunist political formation rather than a political organisation based on principle.

If you’re looking for a position which I feel would be one I could endorse I would say from what I’ve seen so far the below is the most reasonable. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/putins-war-has-unleashed-carnival-reaction-britain-well-russia

As for interest in what wing of the WP I’m supposedly aligned with – maybe it is neither maybe it is both – but these discussions are meant to be ones where the baggage of political alignment should not colour everything.

Like

roddy - February 27, 2022

That’s me told off.

Liked by 2 people

Francis Donohoe - February 27, 2022

To tell you the truth I’m disappointed, I hoped that SF would stand against the moves to resuscitate Russophobia as the fashionable political position of the day because if there is one thing that could bring us to a tragic level of escalation of this situation it is the further advancement of that.

Apart from Putin the other most chilling escalation I heard today was from that Tory, and I use this word sparingly, scum, Truss who said they would support Brits to go and fight in Ukraine – that’s one of two things or maybe both she is thinking of 1) The ‘special forces’ discarding their uniforms to go and directly fight the Russians or 2) The encouragement and arming of your average neo-Nazi idiot to head over and get a bit of a blooding, just like they pushed your average Jihadi idiot to go to Syria. That her position would seem to be being approved of rather than condemned just shows where we could be going with this thing.

Like

Colm B - February 27, 2022

Yes opposing Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine is Russophobia, opposing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands is anti-semitism, opposing the Saudi war in Yemen is Saudiphobia, opposing the US blockade of Cuba is Amerophobia blah blah blah.

Keep digging Francie, you’re doing a great job at exposing the anti-worker politics of Stalinism and whichever splinter you belong to.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

FD, I’d have thought the leader of the state making threats against neutral states this week, and now escalating with reference to nuclear responses, is something that would entail some degree of self-criticism and reflection on the part of those who have either supported this or have gone to remarkable lengths to offer apologias for it.

Posting out such statements is clearly an endorsement of sorts, whereas Colm B and others have been clear to say if they agree or disagree with the links they post to. And indeed in this reply of yours you clearly endorse the sentiment in that statement albeit in your now characteristic trying to have both sides and sidle away from the implications of what you do. Otherwise, why try to pretend this isn’t a regime-supporting union?

You can’t have it both ways re the Nazi claim. If Ukraine is irredeemably fascist to the extent that invasion is justified as a response, then similarly so is Russia for all I’ve now repeatedly noted and which you have simply ignored time and again.

I agree that Azov is a disgrace but then equally so is Russia with regard to its open political support for far-right parties and its support for armed battalions and paramilitary groups in Donetsk which are neo-Nazi and National Bolshevik. There’s simply no way around that problem. Both are manifestations of extreme nationalists in certain contexts but neither presents an existential threat to the other. The way to deal with both of those situations is not through armed actions. Negotiations are the only way forward.

You point the finger one way and one way only in all this and you support implicitly (and kind of explicitly) Russia and its war aims. Your bothsideism is ridiculous. We’re not dealing with the US ambassador (and in all honesty we’re not dealing with an ongoing situation where SF to its credit has been heavily involved in engaging with a range of issues and anti-war and solidarity across a range of areas for decades including calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador as recently as 2018), we’re dealing with an open war in Europe initiated by one side and one side only. And one side that went to war in the middle of diplomatic efforts at the UN that it was involved in supposedly to tamp down the danger of conflict. Expelling an ambassador is a far from unreasonable approach given that.

I wouldn’t be too snide about RÓB’s views. He was broadly correct on neutrality, the need to avoid imperialisms of left and right, etc. Doesn’t mean one has to agree on everything he said, and I certainly don’t, but he was as long with those views with others in SF who went elsewhere as they were with him and they never raised a complaint that I can see. Indeed, even OSF initially was carrying articles that were critical of the USSR and its interventions. Furthermore, PSF had a pretty good track record in international relations (not least assisting the efforts against the apartheid regime, and tellingly it was PSF who were asked to do so). But the reason I mention him in is that there was a coherence and consistency there which is completely lacking from your analysis. And to add to that there’s serious political analysis and then there’s repeating reheated tropes.

Still, your enthusiasm to defend the indefensible, even in the slightly veiled way that you do is all the more remarkable given that, on this very site, you only recently cautioned against any hasty moves that might upset loyalism or unionists (most recently over the Northern Ireland Protocol) instead of the stance taken here of posting up the promotion of frankly warmongering and bloodthirsty stuff like from that union you argued in February of last year:

“Yes, the PUP is electorally marginal but it remains the political expression of the UVF leadership – a group which along with much of the UDA has not involved itself in mass violence for nearly two decades, let’s hope this trajectory can be maintained, I fear it won’t be. The one way to ensure progressive voices remain marginal in Loyalism is upping the ante on national issues without due credence begin given to how it will play in Loyalist communities, it’s not dancing to their tune it’s being realistic about advancing real unity rather unity as envisioned by political nationalism.”

In other words, huge, almost infinite patience for groups that include one very significant and obvious characteristic politically. What would that be?

You say it yourself:

‘PIC the UVF former prisoner group have been very constructive in developing community relations. The PUP remains a group who have taken action against racism in Loyalist areas and publicly places its politics as Clause 4 Labour. Hutchinson has been dismissed by some but when allowed to discuss his views is clearly a man that seeks to move beyond violence and is avowed in his person left wing politics, he was anti-Brexit BTW. The Irish language classes in Loyalist areas exist because of UVF support. The Loyalists I’ve met with all seem to have a family background of NILP, of course there is a far right constituency in Loyalism, I would not see this as a majority but it’s a group which can set the pace if the context is right as in major missteps such as the EU move.”

And it’s not just a far-right constituency in Loyalism in general but one that had expression within loyalist political formations throughout the conflict and hasn’t gone away one suspects (whatever about the fact there are very good people in the PUP).

You waved away the fact that OSF members and WP members (Des O’Hagan IIRC) wrote pieces in a publication of the UVF which also printed National Front opinion pieces (your comment from that thread is here https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/revisionism-3/#comment-780939 ), that there were talks and discussions between OSF and WP and the UVF and its people – at a time when there was a clear far-right element within it.

“Des O’Hagan also wrote articles for the UVF magazine – so did the NF – there was ideological division ”

You think?

BTW for me I can see good reasons for not characterising the UVF as a neo-Nazi organisation, but the Nazi characteristics of parts of it were arguably much, much stronger than the state of Ukraine – yet in that example you extended unlimited tolerance to that formation and continue to do so (quite distinct from your general complaints about Sinn Féin and its supposed iniquities – a party that has no Nazi fringe whatsoever and has been firmly of the left and not linked to systemic armed struggle in near a quarter century).

You expressly are concerned about ‘upping the ante’ in a context where there’s next to no prospect of anything like Ukraine happening. No one is going to send tanks across the Irish border or shell Lurgan or the PUP or centres of UVF support. And rightly not. It would be quite literally insane. But it’s not that impossibility that you complain about, it’s the very thought of raising any criticism at all. Perish the thought that they might be upset! Kid gloves eh?

Whereas in Ukraine you have no compunction about supporting the upping of the ante.

And you laud statements that, as noted on here by others with more authority than me, mischaracterise Ukraine as fascist (in frankly a disgusting manner) and are issued by those themselves who are centrally involved in support for far-right formations across Europe and further afield and directly in Donetsk.

Now some would call that outright hypocrisy but I prefer to think that it’s due to confusion over the meaning of terms like imperialism (which is as all Marxists should know multipolar, not unipolar, and how we are all of us in the capitalist world tied into it – it’s not just Washington, it’s Cork, and Moscow and Madrid and everywhere), or how fascism and Nazism function, and how a neo-Nazi in NI is as much one (particularly in a paramilitary formation which has a proven track record of collusion with the state – by your lights we should send the tanks Northwards, shouldn’t we?) in Ukraine or Russia.

There’s a lot to criticise about the US, but crass anti-Americanism isn’t the same as anti-capitalism, and the problem is that politically it is a position that leaves those articulating it entirely exposed once the reality is apparent that others engage in heinous acts too and have to be called out for them to the fullest extent possible as well.

Liked by 2 people

Wes Ferry - February 27, 2022

. . . Truss who said they would support Brits to go and fight in Ukraine – that’s one of two things or maybe both she is thinking of 1) The ‘special forces’ discarding their uniforms to go and directly fight the Russians or 2) The encouragement and arming of your average neo-Nazi idiot to head over and get a bit of a blooding, just like they pushed your average Jihadi idiot to go to Syria. – Francis Donohoe

Britain’s Intelligence and Special Forces commands are already operating on behalf of Ukraine but with ultra caution and I’d suspect not on the ground anywhere near frontline combat. That would risk British military personnel being captured, thereby bolstering Putin’s narrative of the Ukraine Trojan Horse for NATO and lending weight to ‘the need’ for invasion.

Others may go but for a variety of reasons and not all “your average neo-Nazi idiot”.

Like

19. Francis Donohoe - February 27, 2022

*posting the of an views organisation rather than myself above,

Like

Colm B - February 27, 2022

That’s strange, because the views you consistently post are pro invasion, and in line with that you post the statement of the Putin puppet yellow union. Just because you have tried to avoid stating your views clearly doesn’t mean we can’t decipher them.

We all know you are a long term member of the WP ( though which micro-splinter doesn’t really matter in this context) and it is relevant because you reflect the party line on this issue.

Keep digging Francie, it’s instructive for people who might have any doubts about the nature of your politics and that of your party.

Liked by 2 people

20. Brian Hanley - February 27, 2022

I honestly don’t want to get into a slagging match, which is pretty pointless anyway given our inability to do anything about this, but national self-determination or sovereignty or whatever you call it, is not a new fad. It was central to world politics a century ago, and it was the Bolsheviks who made the point that there was nationalism of the oppressed and nationalism of the oppressor.

Now a nuclear armed state, which historically dominated its neighbours, has invaded a weaker state on the basis that that state might make decisions which the more powerful neighbour disagrees with. That’s pretty much imperialism.

What’s more, the nuclear armed state is led by people who see the old Russian empire of the Tsars as an inspiration, who are closely allied to a reactionary church, and who (for whatever reason) support a variety of far-right formations across Europe.

Imperialist powers usually advance a range of plausible reasons for intervention and they often contain a grain of truth; Saddam had actually used poison gas in the 1980s after all.

The thing about big countries invading small countries is that it tends to strengthen national feeling rather than diminish it; in this case, anti-Russian feeling is being fanned most of all by the actions of Putin’s government. What rational argument is there for those opposing Finland or Sweden joining NATO now? That Russia would never really invade anybody? That it’s all Pentagon propaganda?

The fact that SF and PBP have opposed the invasion actually makes them credible defenders of Irish neutrality. The people making excuses for Putin have zero credibility, but I do admire people who denounce any form of contact with Israel in normal circumstances making excuses for a self-confessed personal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu!

Like

21. Francis Donohoe - February 27, 2022

I’ll put it very simply: Russia has funded and utilised extreme right groups and extreme left groups, minority political groupings, etc – so has the US, UK and many others. It is what the intelligence agencies of states do, unfortunately, to undermine opponents.

Can anyone please indicate where Russia has an integral part of its security forces which is fairly openly a neo-Nazi organisation (whose members have also been appointed to senior roles in the those armed forces and the police)? That is a line I’m not aware as having been crossed since 1945, apart from perhaps in Bolivia in the early 1980s.

As for the UVF being Nazi, or possibly described as such, WTF is that all about? Yes, it had the odd full-on nutter but that sort of talk is as bad as characterising SF as fascist because of Gerry McGeough and his likes.

Look, if you want to characterise those who try and understand how we got into this situation in a manner which goes further than ‘big bad Putin’ and his friends as being pro-Putin, that’s up to you. It’s the sort of black and white hysterical commentary that could get us in a right mess, and I won’t make any apologies for countering it.

I don’t want war. However, I do agree with the aim of the creation of a neutral, largely demilitarised state in Ukraine which respects all minorities.

I think I can express that view because I’m a citizen of the world and I think such a situation gives us a better possibility of world peace. As part of that settlement there should be no place for an openly, or hidden, neo-Nazi formation within anyone’s state forces. I believe that was agreed at Minsk in 2015. Since then, over 10,000 people have died in the Donbas region, the majority of them on the separatist side, both armed and civilians. Unfortunately, this international agreement was not lived up to and now we have war.

That maybe due to the Russian leadership thinking either correctly or not that they could not achieve the Minsk Accords settlement without it, or it could because Putin has other more extreme aims. I don’t know – but I do know that Ukraine, backed by its allies, was not only not living up to the Minsk Accords but seemingly going further in a campaign to turn Ukraine not only into a different state and society than before but one that was extremely antagonistic to Russia.

I understand that people may not be happy with the above but it is my position. I even understand that some people can claim they know my real thoughts better than I do. Look, what more can I say than congratulations we’ve found the new Uri Geller.

Like

roddy - February 27, 2022

With regards to Gerry McGeough, he never advanced a right-wing viewpoint at any time when he was in SF and only went batshit crazy when he cut all ties with the party about 15 years ago.

The UVF was openly promoting fascism in its publications and building links with far-right organisations in Britain.

Like

yourcousin - February 27, 2022

“but I do know that Ukraine, backed by its allies, was…going further in a campaign to turn Ukraine not only into a different state and society than before but one that was extremely antagonistic to Russia.”

Yeah, it’s funny like that when you invade a country, seize territories, and then fund/control insurgencies that the state may not be favorable to you. Truly a head scratcher as to why that could’ve happened. 🤔

Like

Colm B - February 27, 2022

Francie, you have written post after post repeating the propaganda points of the right wing Russian regime and you then come on all surprised when you stand accused of spouting Russian state propaganda points.

Personally, I’m very happy that you have articulated this pro-right-wing regime view. First because I believe in the right of everyone to express their opinions freely and secondly It makes clear just how isolated your pro right-wing regime position is amongst leftists.

Regarding your point about fascism – what do you call a regime that makes domestic violence legal, that violently suppresses the rights of gay people, that locks up feminists, socialists and trade unionists, that blatantly rigs elections, that murders or jails opponents, that kills thousands of civilians in a war within its own borders, that intervenes to back murderous regimes abroad, that closes down human right organisations, gets its inspiration from racist and fascist ideologues, etc, etc, etc?

We could argue the point about whether it is fascist or another sort of authoritarian right-wing regime but if we are going to throw that term around then it sure as hell fits the Putin regime better than Ukraine’s gov.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - February 27, 2022

Regarding your point about fascism – what do you call a regime that makes domestic violence legal, that violently suppresses the rights of gay people, that locks up feminists, socialists and trade unionists, that blatantly rigs elections, that murders or jails opponents, that kills thousands of civilians in a war within its own borders, that intervenes to back murderous regimes abroad, that closes down human right organisations, gets its inspiration from racist and fascist ideologues, etc, etc, etc?

Your standard Western ‘power’.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

You know it’s not just that you can’t keep your own story straight, but you can’t even keep my story straight. Take the following:

As for the UVF being Nazi, or possibly described as such, WTF is that all about? yes it had the odd full on nutter but that sort of talk is as bad as characterising SF as fascist because of Gerry McGough and his likes.
I explicitly said that the UVF was not Neo-Nazi, I was saying that despite containing Nazi supporting elements and allowing Nazi’s to publish in its publications the party you are a member of was willing to publish pieces in the same publications. Something you won’t extend to Ukraine. And that you’ve waved away in comments the far-right inclinations of parts of loyalism in Ireland. You’re not suggesting they be eradicated or that the North be invaded. Despite the fact the British state was colluding with the UVF thought its own intelligence services, the UDR and the RUC, none of this exercises you at all. In fact you specifically use it as a reason not to up the ante with them.

In the following you are not reading what I wrote either.

Russia has funded and utilised extreme right groups and extreme left groups, minority political groupings etc, so has the US, UK and many others – it is what the intelligence agencies of states do, unfortunately, to undermine opponents.

It’s not just what intelligence agencies do in this instance, though no doubt they have, the point I’ve made ad nauseum is that they’ve actually had signed agreements with Putin’s party, United Russia, with the Lega and the AfD amongst others. Those are parties with a clear fascist aspect to them. The agreements are public. This isn’t stirring the pot, it’s making political declarations.

Can anyone please indicate where Russia has an integral part of its security forces which is fairly openly a neo-Nazi organisation (whose members have also been appointed to senior roles in the those armed forces and the police)? That is a line I’m not aware as having been crossed since 1945, apart from perhaps in Bolivia in the early 80s.

As far as I can make out there is one police chief who is associated with them, and perhaps one person involved in the military. Their only parliamentary representation was lost at the 2019 Election in Ukraine. This is abysmal and absolutely to be condemned, but to argue it is systemic or characterises the entirety of Ukraine is simply wrong – any more than the UVF’s links to fascism and neo-Nazism characterised the UK at that time or after even despite collusion.

However as mentioned before the Russian state outright this week recognises Donetsk which has amongst its forces two paramilitary formations, one of which is neo-Nazi in character, the other which is National Bolshevik. And prior to that it supported Donetsk. And supported formations of that character acting as proxies across the Ukraine/Russian border. So rather than asking rhetorical questions about Bolivia and so on perhaps you could engage with the actual reality on the ground on both sides of that Ukraine Russian border. And the reality that nothing you describe, though something that has to be dealt with, is a justification for armed actions against the Ukrainian state let alone a full scale invasion. Or as was said ‘Denazification’ is nothing more than a ‘pretext’ (the word used by the KKE and other similar minded parties) of the Russian state.

Look if you want to characterise those who try and understand how we got into this situation in a manner which goes further than big bad Putin and his friends as being pro-Putin, that’s up to you, it’s the sort of black and white hysterical commentary that could get us in a right mess, and I won’t make any apologies for countering it.

That’s gratuitously and pointlessly insulting to all of us here to suggest we see the world in such reductionist ways, and rhetorically very self-serving on your part. But there’s no getting away from it that Putin’s crew are criminal adventurists. It is entirely reasonable to state exactly that. There’s nothing hysterical about the commentary here. No one is accusing Russians or Russia in general – it is perfectly reasonable to criticise and critique the actions of the Russian state apparatus in this. But what is also being done is parsing out your commentary here and pointing up the errors, omissions and apologias you present. No one seeks an apology from you. I’m just untangling what you’re saying.

I don’t want war. However, I do agree with the aim of the creation of a neutral, largely demilitarised state in the Ukraine which respects all minorities. I think I can express that view because I’m a citizen of the world and I think such a situation gives us a better possibility of world peace. As part of that settlement there should be no place for an openly, or hidden, neo-Nazi formation within anyone’s state forces. I believe that was agree at Minsk in 2015, since then over 10,000 people have died in the Donbas region, the majority of them on the separatist side both armed and civilians. Unfortunately, this international agreement was not lived up to and now we have war.

And once more you’re back to Neo-Nazi’s. You just cannot stop yourself from using this trope. It is you who is not engaging. And of course ‘creating a neutral largely demilitarised state’ cannot happen without war – an impressive way to regard oneself as a citizen of the world.

That maybe due to the Russian leadership thinking either correctly or not that they could not achieve the Minsk Accords settlement without it or it could because Putin has other more extreme aims, I don’t know but I do know that Ukraine, backed by its allies, was not only not living up to the Minsk Accords but seemingly going further in a campaign to turn Ukraine not only into a different state and society than before but one that was extremely antagonistic to Russia.

A Russia which had already snipped off the Crimea. Now I personally think the Crimea is gone for good, I suspect Donetsk etc likewise. But this is a sovereign state, there is international law in all this, the effort to use diplomacy before force (Russia announced the invasion at the time the UN was debating the measure, negotaitons through Macron were ongoing. There was no existential or other threat to Russia at the point it launched the invasion. To pretend otherwise is again self-serving). And by the by, speaking of states, Iraq under Saddam was arguably much worse than Ukraine on every level and had many unpleasant aspects but few who were sane were arguing for invasion of them and most argued strongly against armed action.

I understand that people may not be happy with the above but it is my position, I even understand that some people can claim they know my real thoughts better than I do – look what more can I say than congratulations we’ve found the new Uri Geller.

If you keep posting apologias, if you keep trying to mischaracterise a state then you’ll have to expect people to criticise and critique what you say. No one is claiming any great insight into your thinking on this. What is being done is noting the tenor of what you actually write and the conclusions are pretty clear. If you cannot stretch yourself to recognise that we have seen a blatant and explicit expression of Russian ultra-nationalism this week in Putin’s speeches and in the actions of the Russian state and if you cannot get past you apparent incomprehension of Ukrainian nationalism and how that might function given the history of the Soviet era and the last twenty years there’s not a lot one can do.

And here’s the thing. You’re positioning yourself so poorly to actually offer any real criticism of actions in response to Russia. For example, today the EU decided to send weapons to the area. I think that’s a huge error. Individual states, fine, but it’s not the EU’s role. But if you complain you’ve no credibility because you’re already clearly so partisan and clearly offering apologias for Russian actions from the off. I can’t understand the short-sightedness of that for your political project. Because while few people will get into the weeds on this like here the broader aspect of it, the clear picture is that your political approach is one of infinite tolerance for those you support, infinite condemnation of those you don’t, and that’s picked up on by others more broadly.

You continually strip agency from the initiator of these attacks and confer it exclusively on those who respond. So it is apparently whipping up Rossophobia to demand the expulsion of a state that has unilitarelly initiated a way, threatened neutral states and made fairly explicit threats about the use of nuclear weapons. But no responsibility attaches to the leadership of that state.

But if Russophobia does emerge, and worth noting how careful everyone up to and including Ukrainians are to distinguish between Russians and that leadership and how it is not the fault of Russians but of their regime and a criminal adventurist leadership, that is a direct result fo the actions of that leadership, not of the entirely reasonable efforts of others to use non-military efforts to bring home to that leadership the seriousness of their actions and how these actions are perceived internationally. In fact it’s quite some rhetorical tangle you’re in that you cannot see that basic fact that concerns over Russophobia are frankly weird given gunships and bombers attacking a sovereign nation. And threats of nuclear attacks too.

Again, how can any rational analysis not realise how unconvincing, how counterproductive all this is, both to your own political position (I mean how does one take seriously your attitudes across a range of areas if you’re just making these sort of arguments, who is going to listen in the future and accord them any weight whatsoever? For a start your critique of SF is shot to hell. You’re offering rationalisations for a state invading a smaller state with a massive loss of life that dwarfs anything that PIRA could do and so on. And that’s not to exculpate PIRA but to say that if you stand over one you’re in a much worse position to offer criticisms of the other. Whatever else SF went into a negotiated context and came out of it acceding to the overall structures) and that of Russia itself which has literally destroyed its reputation internationally in five or six days. Russians are suffering because of this criminal adventurism. Russian people, their soldiers, those who are imprisoned by the state for protesting, those who have relatives who will be injured or die, those who will suffer from sanctions and on and on. All of those are individual human beings with rights, not least not to be dragged into armed conflicts in violation of international law by a government that appears indifferent to their wishes.

And by the by, it’s a pretty odd and condescending view of people in this state and others in this part of the 21st century that you seem to believe them unable to distinguish between a regime and its people, but then you’re the one who has argued here implicitly that there’s a seamless continuity between both as if Putin and Russian interests are one and the same. Though of course if you think that the nonsense you keep reiterating is in the slightest bit convincing then you labour under a misapprehension as to our credulity. And as a further aside my offspring has friends with Russian parents, Polish parents, Estonian etc and somehow all those are able to make that distinction between governments and people. Make you think doesn’t it that kids in their early teens are able to get that.

Finally just on LGBTQ rights in the disputed territories. It’s terrible, I completely agree and again I’ve no time for the Azov fascists but again, rather like press freedom or intrusions into the media, not the best ground to make a stand on given the Russian state’s hostility to all and any expressions of peoples identities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia

Just on the state and such, consider this:

On 20 January 2013, six demonstrating LGBT activists in the provincial capital of Voronezh were attacked by over 500 people. The protest by these agitators, who appeared with Hitler salutes and hate slogans and threw snowballs, bottles and other objects at the demonstrators and then beat them up, was not registered. The police assigned 10 officers to this event. The employees of the nearby Adidas sports shop staged its mannequins with Hitler salutes in solidarity with the beating. At least three LGBT activists, including women, were injured and hospitalized during the resistance. On the same day, the author of the Petersburg law against ‘homosexual propaganda’, Vitaly Milonov, posted on his Twitter that “Voronezh is great”.

There you go.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - February 27, 2022

I’ll put it very simply. Russia has funded and utilised extreme right groups and extreme left groups, minority political groupings etc, so has the US, UK and many others – it is what the intelligence agencies of states do, unfortunately, to undermine opponents.

I very much doubt that the modern, fascist-friendly Russia has financed “extreme left groups”, but would welcome evidence otherwise.

The rise in recent decades of extremist right-wing and even openly neo-Nazi activity in Israel has been directly tied to Russian immigration (and only latterly to the American GOP). Speaking of which, an under-examined aspect in why NATO/the US have deliberately ratcheted up the temperatures here has to do with Russian involvement with Trump and the MAGAs, which also tied in to the turbulence of Ukrainian politics over the past decade.

Liked by 1 person

22. roddy - February 27, 2022

WBS, I wish I could type as fast as you!

With regards to my own position, I would have held back and hoped a neutral “sort this out before it gets out of hand” position would have prevailed. However, I now see this as being a re-run of 1939 and if Putin gets it easy he will over run anywhere he takes the notion.

The insane nonsense that a right-wing Russia is somehow worthy of support by anyone on the left is what really annoys me. If it was still the USSR and the West had placed nukes in Ukraine, I could see justification for action but this is just a fascist trying to play the strong man and divert attention from his corrupt system at home.

Liked by 2 people

EWI - February 27, 2022

However, I now see this as being a re-run of 1939 and if Putin gets it easy he will over run anywhere he takes the notion.

Yeltsin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Chechen_War

Putin (started as Yeltsin’s prime minister and chosen successor):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Chechen_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Georgian_War

All of which suggests that this is inevitably larger than the usual Western propaganda campaign around a designated Bad Guy of the day.

Like

23. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

EU taking Ukrainian refugees for 3 years without them having to apply for asylum. So look forward to welcoming some Ukrainians in Ireland.

Brexitania? Forget it.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

Actually the gold wallpaper clown has just kindly allowed the relatives of Ukranians in Brexitania in without visas. Because, presumably, there are very few of those.

Like

24. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 27, 2022

Ukraine solidarity marches in Minsk. That takes even more courage than marching in Russia – where about another 1000 were arrested again today.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 27, 2022

Unbelievable courage. These are good people in Moscow and Minsk and beaten off the streets and arrested day in, day out.

Liked by 1 person

25. Colm B - February 27, 2022

Another good article from a left position:

https://anticapitalistresistance.org/

Liked by 3 people

26. Tomboktu - February 28, 2022

Ireland’s contribution to the EU fund for the Ukranian military won’t be used to buy lethal weapons.

Coveney on Morning Ireland tells us that instead it will be used to buy non-lethal supplies, like fuel.

eh, have you heard of the petrol bomb, minister?

Like

EWI - February 28, 2022

Coveney on Morning Ireland tells us that instead it will be used to buy non-lethal supplies, like fuel.

eh, have you heard of the petrol bomb, minister?

Or military vehicles. There’s a stark contrast between all of this and Israel/Palestine, as well as the Western and Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen (nearly 400,000 dead so far).

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

There is (albeit it is happening in Europe and in a state bordered by at four EU states and proximity counts) and let’s hold the west to this from here going forward. If it is right to support states under attack here it is right to support states under attack elsewhere and the EU etc must be hauled over the coals if they won’t.

That said, as noted above I disagree with the EU sending military materials – individual European states, no problem, that’s their decision. The EU as a whole? I don’t think it’s a sensible idea at this point.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - February 28, 2022

It’s a fairly dangerous thing to be doing. Humanitarian aid is fine but sending weapons doesn’t just risk escalating the conflict (as it’s effective involvement by the EU) but could also just result in it being prolonged, which is worse for the civilian population than a quick war.

btw, I thought I posted something here yesterday with a link to a piece by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. I think it might have been flagged as spam, assuming I did actually post it (I was in a rush at the time).

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

Sorry, I didn’t see it yesterday, that’s been released, it was the links I think that did it. Anyhow it’s up. Good post.

Like

27. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 28, 2022

The EU has changed significantly over the last few days. It is now, at least in the context of the war in Ukraine, able to do incisive and decisive collective foreign policy through hybrid financial and (proxy) military warfare.

There’s an increasing triumphalism on the back of the slowness of Russia’s military progress and goal drift in ‘the West’ towards regime change in Russia. The damage has so far been borne by Ukrainian citizens, but that will spread rapidly to Russian and other European citizens. The interventions have been so designed as to spare the US major damage.

Germany is committed to remilitarising and providing weapons direct into conflict zones, two red lines that have held for at least a couple of decades.

Meanwhile Putin has no incentive now not escalate to heavy artillery bombardment of Kharkiv and Kiev.

This just gets worse by the day. God knows where we’ll be by Friday.

Like

EWI - February 28, 2022

The Germans have supposedly committed to a €100bn military investment. Where was this money for fighting climate change, a much greater threat?

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

It’s very clear at this point that the Russians have been holding back. Mark Galeotti on his latest podcast is clear that the fact of some Ukrainian air coverage, even the nature of the fighting, shows that this is no Grozny yet. In a way it’s not even Georgia a decade or more ago. his read is that Putin knows that that sort of attack would be counterproductive witih respect to Russian public (and elite) opinion which is already pretty shaky on all this.

And he too points to the dangers here of escalation because it is going so slowly. Putin doesn’t strike me as terribly patient and that triumphalism you rightly mention is unwarranted. This could get a lot uglier very very quickly and in ways that all the weapons shipped in across the border are unlikely to make a huge difference.

I’ve huge sympathy for the Ukrainian people and what they’ve been subjected to and continue to be so, and resistance is both appropriate and practical in the current circumstance. But I hope something comes out of the talks because if it does get uglier.

Do you mean interventions designed to spare the US military or economic damage? I’d wonder. There’s no way there can be a no-fly zone and the US has been adamant, as has all of NATO, that there’s no boots on the ground, so in that context the most that can be done is shipping weaponry in. But even that has limited benefit. So it’s really down to economics.

Like

banjoagbeanjoe - February 28, 2022

If I remember one battle of Grozny correctly, the Russians first sent in young raw recruits to try to take the centre of the town, sent them into a ferocious bloody firefight with the Chechen defenders. Almost, I think, as a trial run, maybe to see what kind of defence would be put up, what tactics the defenders would use. In other words they sent the young boys to their deaths as a tactic in the overall battle. And then they followed with more experienced and better-trained and equipped units and ultimately, again if I recall correctly, they just flattened the place with bombs etc from the air.
So the holding back by the Russians in Ukraine thus far, and the apparent success of the Ukrainian defence, may be just a temporary thing.

I’ve gotten very black and white on stuff in recent times. No time whatsoever for any Covid-sceptic stuff. Now I have no time whatsoever for any even slight both sideism in this conflict. Puck Futin. Puck him to hell.
I have a hope, a slim enough hope, that he has hugely miscalculated and that some of his circle and others, maybe military people, in Russia will do him down in a coup. I’d like that.

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

I’ve been wondering that as the rhetoric from Moscow gets more extreme. Nuclear threats etc. It’s something else. BTW plus one re bothsidesism. That said I would say whatever about within Ukraine there’s going to have to be a scrupulous adherence to no NATO intervention for the sake of the situation more broadly.

Like

Colm B - February 28, 2022

Ditto on bothsideism.
Sadly I think you’re right on the Grozny tactics. I fear that massive bombing of civilian targets, a la Syria, is next. It will be very hard for Putin to back down, he’s bet the house on this, so he has to go for broke.
I really really hope we’re wrong but realism tells me otherwise.

Like

Colm B - February 28, 2022

Here’s a more optimistic though still negative possibility. Putin agrees to a ceasefire, withdraws troops from some areas but holds on to big chunks – the southern coasts, the areas adjacent to the puppet states in the Donbas etc. and these become de facto part of Russia. At least the killing stops, and he fails in his primary objective of destroying the Ukraine as a viable independent state.

I hope the adventure leads to the collapse of the Putin regime and complete withdrawal from all of Ukraine but that’s not really on the cards at this point.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

I think that at this point would be as good as it gets all things considered. BTW a big not thank you to him for solidifying NATO and energising neutral states to look for either membership or completely reorient themselves with regard to the concept of neutrality. If he were a paid agent for another power he could hardly have done better. And I wonder if any in Moscow around him are going to wake up to what he has wrought, a genuinely historic setback for the political position of Russia. The danger is he wakes up to it and tries to go for broke – perhaps get Moldova as well as Ukraine or whatever, something to make it all worthwhile as he sees it.

Like

28. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 28, 2022

The US is exercising its financial power to hitherto unseen levels against Russia.

There may be blowback.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - February 28, 2022

There may be blowback.

You would think that the response would involve China, but they might have their own maps marked out with a ‘greater China’ in the easternmost parts of Russia.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2022

And vice versa.

Like

Klassenkampf Treehugger - March 1, 2022

I’m referring to blowback in the financial world system.

It’s clear that holding any assets that can be frozen by the US is a very unsafe thing to do.

Also the Chinese have an alternative to Swift, called, I believe CFS.

What’s going on since the invasion in the financial architecture of capitalism in its ecocidal phase is unprecedented.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

Ah yeah see what you mean.

Like

29. Colm B - February 28, 2022

This is another excellent article on the invasion and occupation of the Ukraine from a left perspective
https://jacobinmag.com/2022/02/russia-ukraine-nationalism-left-far-right-lenin

Liked by 1 person

30. terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

The problem with “anti-imperialist” arguments is that they can equally be adopted by left-wing groups arguing for support for either side (Ukraine or Russia, the West or Russia). Perhaps this should give us pause for thought. Where is the agency of the working-class on the terrain of geopolitics? Only exceptionally to be found, and when so it is in combat refusal, fleeing, support for people fleeing, and protests & strikes in the belligerent states and so on (and obvs fleeing is a very limited expression of collective agency, but worth mentioning as there is the practical possibility of supporting it). I should say when I use the term “working-class” I am not referring to the sociological categories employed by Sally Rooney, but to the class-in-itself becoming the class-for-itself ie resistance to the conditions of our existence under capitalism. I am sure the fact that this was going on somewhere, China perhaps, would be cold comfort for me if I was in an apartment block in Kiev being straffed by the Russians, for sure in a warzone at times maybe one may have to huddle around whatever warlord gives you a modicum of protection against the other warlords, I don’t see why a virtue should be made of this. It is worth remembering the left used to support Israel when the urge to pick sides comes on.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

A lot there I’d agree with, but take Israel, that acts in what is arguably an imperialist manner with relation to Palestine. Arguably at one point it did not, or at least not to the same extent (left support being most evident pre-1967 or thereabouts), so states can, even quite very small states act in imperialist ways depending upon context, their power, their relationship to those around them. But I’d agree anti-imperialism per se is shaky ground to construct an definitive line of argument. It’s going to be a combination of factors that one brings together. Which makes all this more rather than less complex. But I would also argue that a key element would be that the bar for support for (as against) armed actions should be very very high. Genuinely a situation of last resort.

Like

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

The Nakba was in 1948, but in any case supposing Israeli imperialism began in 1967 (which was, arguably at least, a defensive war against a bunch of Arab states armed to the teeth by the Soviet Union), then y’know what are we supposed to do – support the plucky underdog until they actually start winning, in which case we support the other lot, not sure that is better than reflex anti-Americanism.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

I’m not really sure where this leads us as socialists Terry?
I agree there is never a pure or perfect position, often just the least worse options. Surely is all these situations socialists need to support those who are fighting oppression and exploitation at a particular point and that’s often hard to work out.
But if we can take a position of supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people or opposing the US/UK invasion of Iraq etc (as most of us do/did) why not on this situation? I understand your points about working class agency, I’m just not clear what the practical conclusion follows.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

I’d feel much the same Colm , it’s hard to see how we pick through this given there are no pure conflicts (ww2 is s perfect example – racism and segregation in parts of the US, imperialism in the UK and Stalinism literally in the USSR but broadly they were less bad than the alternative). It’s not that the Nakba wasn’t absolutely wrong and reprehensible but it seems to be a different form of wrong to an imperialism – and surely in that sense this underscores your own point Terry that at best imperialism while wrong too isn’t the only factor in a number of factors and dynamics all working individually and together where we try to parse them out. It’s like the denazification stuff as against imperialism – even were it true (and notably neither Amnesty, HRW or the OCSE of which Russia is s member ever made that charge whatever about issues relating to some politically marginal but problematic elements in Ukraine), one would still have to think about whether military action was justified on the part of the Russian or any state.

Like

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

I am fairly skeptical about the possibility of protests influencing foreign policy, much less the foreign policy of states rival to the ones in which we reside, but here goes – amplifying dissenting Russian voices, supporting asylum, opposing the war effort of our own camp (the major effort to legitimate such at the moment will perhaps have ramifications across the globe).

In terms of correct ‘line’ I recall one incident in Dublin in the early 2000s where we didn’t want to fall in with a pro- Hezbollah trend, so we marched with slogans in support of Israeli refusniks, in Arabic & Hebrew as I recall, maybe another language, utterly tokenistic in terms of practical impact but at least showing another way of thinking about the world.

We certainly have little to practically offer the war efforts conducted in the names of “the people of Ukraine” or “the people of Donbass” since we don’t do business with oligarchs or own fighter jets.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

But isn’t that a recipe for taking no action on any issue that is happening beyond our borders? Doesn’t that preclude any solidarity action? Im not saying you’re advocating this but isn’t the logical conclusion of your position that we have to forget about solidarity or internationalism, which would be abandoning a key tenet of socialism?
Of course our ability to influence events is small but there are plenty of examples of where solidarity action has made a difference, not least the boycott of South African goods and the general anti-apartheid struggle. I understand where you’re coming from but I think you are overly pessimistic.

Like

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

No it does not, I have listed a series of practical actions that left-wing individuals or groups could do (indeed are doing in some instances) re: current situation with invasion of Ukraine, as per your request. It is sensible to have a modest appraisal re the impact of same.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

For my part I would think that we should support the Ukrainian people in their struggle against Russian imperialism in the same ways we would support the struggle of the Palestinian people, obviously with regard to what we can do, given our personal circumstances: protest, campaign, donate etc etc

https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

I’d tend to your view Colm and in fairness there’s not a lot of difference between Terrys thoughts and mine but I would emphasise solidarity and support in the proximate situation with Ukraine because it is being attacked. And oddly Mick Wallace of all people raised a point he could reflect on too, do we stand with those attacked by others in imperialist adventures elsewhere. We do. We can talk and chew gum simultaneously – but it’s understandable that in the relatively pacific contect of Europe what has happened would gain enormous attention and focus again, proximity. But one doesn’t forget or ignore other conflicts. And all three of us would be the first to say that.

Like

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

No we didn’t. We didn’t support Iraq (or the Taliban, or ISIS, or the Ba’athist regime in Syria etc…). We opposed the war effort of “our side” (which in any case is the only place we could have much any practical impact) – I suggest if anyone is worthy of support it is people in Russia doing likewise. With the new carte blanche of the Ukraine, surely, if we think popular legitimacy mattters, then Western militarism will run riot worldwide.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

I’m thinking of Palestine first and foremost but surely there was solidarity with progressive forces within all those states which arguably put one in certain contradiction with the state elites. But yes again surely your examples serve to undescore your own point – this is complex. But again there’s no contradiction in forms of support and solidarity with Ukraine and with Russia – it’s part of the same struggle to me. Others may differ.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

Actually Terry, in my case, to the best of my ability, I have always tried to support those fighting oppression and expiration, not just oppose those inflicting it. I haven’t just opposed the Israeli states actions, I’ve done whatever I could to support Palestinian resistance to those actions. I did’nt just protest against the apartheid, I to part in fund raising etc for the ANC youth wing.

I’m not saying this to brag, as what I did do was on a very small scale, but just to disagree with your contention. I respect your own view of what actions are the best ones to take but yours is not the only possibility.

Liked by 1 person

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

Which in this instance means what? Does it mean “supporting” the Ukrainian state, and by extension NATO (because the only way the latter is going to increase its capacities is through the former) – and actually increasing the intensity of the armed conflict, the casualty rate and so on – and then when the Ukrainian state is successful, and as is usual in these cases, has a national minority of its own – we start supporting them right? South Africa is not analogous because there was major class struggle there, as opposed to inter-state conflict, though ultimately contained by the ANC. The only hope here for something other than escalating inter-imperialist conflict is in the low morale of the Russian soldiery (if we can believe reports), same as it ever was.

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

This seems to reify potentials and possibilities over actuality and material conditions. Any state could potentially oppress, that’s why even non anarchists support frameworks to constrain untrammelled state power. Your point re differences between SA and Ukraine is fair but in contexts like the current one it seems reasonable to utilise a range of options, at least to many people. It’s not unreasonable to hope that the regime might rethink, or groups around it might pressure it to rethink or they the military or other groups might decide the costs were too high in terms of Russias political and strategic interests and prevail upon the government to resile from this. And all this without talking about regime change or what have you. Granted those may be forlorn hopes and the situation will likely worsen but until it does given any direct military intervention is impossible since Russia is a nuclear power then efforts to apply pressure across diplomatic/economic spheres remain possible.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

Yes, I support the right of the Ukrainian army etc to fight back to defend their country and clearly the vast majority of Ukrainians do as well. I support the civil resistance as well. Just like I support the right of Palestinian people to fight back against Israeli occupation. Now it happens that Iran also support and indeed may provide some assistance to Palestinian resistance but because I support the same resistance doesn’t mean I in any way support or excuse the Iranian regime.

Like

terrymdunne - March 1, 2022

Supporting the Ukrainian military, with what?, while opposing its only possibility of developing a decisive effectiveness against Russia, ie NATO support, doesn’t really seem practical. While should there be serious NATO logistical support the end result will only be more disastrous in terms of bodycount. Forgive me for hoping that some possibility lies in the reports of disgruntlement in the Russian army, soldiers’ embarrassment faced with the remonstrations of Russian-speaking non-combatants and so on.

Like

Colm B - March 1, 2022

We’re sort of going around the houses here. We both oppose the invasion and occupation. We both support the Russian anti-war movement. We both support civil resistance by Ukrainian people. We both support desertion by Russian troops. We could be asked what we mean by “support” and that might mean a whole load of things but most likely it means just stating it, arguing for it, joining protests in favour of it etc.
I also support the right of Ukrainians to resist the Russian invasion through armed struggle while, I can’t see how anyone would expect them to do otherwise.

Like

31. Klassenkampf Treehugger - March 1, 2022

It might be apposite to list what Putin has achieved for the US and ‘the West’ by his interventions.

1. The ending of five decades of German foreign policy of dialogue with and inclusion of Russia. (Ost-Politik)

2. A massive boost for planet-destroying fracked gas and oil.

3. A probable expansion of NATO.

4. Moving the EU into a position where it manages its own security to some extent, and money pours into arms manufacturers. Which Macron has been lobbying for for some time.

5. Possibly a forever war in Ukraine, which will tie down Russian forces there, and hasten the end of Putin.

6. Allowing the US to devote more resources to its new cold war with China.

7. A general acceptance of massive financial sanctions as a weapon and the delusion that these can be ‘targeted’ (like drones that never hit wedding parties). Sanctions are starving Afghans, and will impoverish Russians and Europe more widely. The poor will suffer most. The rich may loose some but have an infrastructure of counter-measures.

8. Back to Germany: a massive increase in military spending. I don’t know how the government intends to finance this, with spending committed to de-carbonisation and with a finance minister that is a dyed in the wool monetarist true believer. My betting is that the poor will pay.

The list goes on…

Like

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2022

I was only saying in another post if that leadership were sleeper agents for another power or powers they could hardly have gone a better job of thwarting their own stated geopolitical aims. Absolutely crazily counterproductive stuff. I imagine they’re sorry they didn’t do it under Trumps administration.

Like

32. Klassenkampf Treehugger - March 1, 2022

Stopping the central bank using its securities to stabilise the rouble would, therefore, involve instructing the financial intermediaries that feature on this chain — brokers, custodians, central security depositories, foreign-exchange dealers, and correspondent banks — to freeze assets and stop acting on behalf of the central bank.

Judging by its recent behaviour, there’s much to suggest the US will be willing to do just that. In recent years, Washington has often furthered its foreign policy through what’s referred to as the “weaponisation of finance”. What that has meant in practice is using the dollar’s global dominance to cut the monetary authorities of Iran, Venezuela, and (most recently and very controversially) Afghanistan off from access to their own reserves.

Joseph Cotterill in the FT.

Not sure that this will survive the FT paywall but here’s the link:

https://www.ft.com/content/526ea75b-5b45-48d8-936d-dcc3cec102d8

Like

33. Colm B - March 1, 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: