We must not give up on Ukraine the people must bring pressure on their governments to bring this back to the table
The attacks of Russian forces into Ukraine are an act of aggression and a serious violation of the United Nations Charter. They have already resulted in the loss of life.
For the sake of all the people affected both directly and indirectly by this escalation of violence, there can be no alternative but to stop this incursion now, deescalating this conflict to the point of bringing all concerned to the negotiation table.
The only legitimate forum for addressing all the issues concerning Ukraine and the surrounding region, while discussing the break-away regions, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk that have witnessed the deaths of over 14000 people in the last 8 years is at an international level, within the United Nations.
Unilateral action from the United States, the European Union, or NATO, only risks further escalation and the further erosion of international law and norms.
The worst thing we can do right now is to leave this in the hands of our governments.
They will not be on the front lines, they will not go cold or hungry, they will not suffer.
President Putin must bear the responsibility for opening hostilities in this conflict, however, criticisms of NATO’s brinkmanship and the recklessness of Western policy on Ukraine have been provocative and without concern for the people of Ukraine or the breakaway territories.
Both Russia and the West bear responsibility for creating conditions of instability and confrontation in Ukraine in pursuit of their strategic and economic interests. Despite the rhetoric, Europe has been no friend of Ukraine. The country has been used as a pawn, and Ukrainian lives have been treated as expendable.
It is the first duty of the European anti-war movement to criticise the role of European and allied governments in fanning the flames of conflict, not governments over which it has little influence. In the months to come, it is all the more important that this duty is upheld.
We all have a duty to pressure our own governments into de-escalating this crisis, this war before the entire continent explodes violence.
As Noam Chomsky so elegantly stated: “My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.” ― Noam Chomsky
Stop the war coalition has stated that the danger of war involving nuclear weapons is more real than previously and must be opposed. The real losers will be the ordinary people of Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of Europe.
We should, however, take no lessons in peacemaking from our own government and its allies. They have brought us decades of escalating wars, each of which has been a failure. They have encouraged a growing arms race internationally. And they have set on a path of Nato expansion which has brought the military alliance to the borders of Russia, in contravention of agreements made at the end of the Cold War.
Nato is no longer a defensive alliance but an aggressive one, centrally involved in wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Yugoslavia, and engaged in more and more ‘out of area operations’ including in the Indo-Pacific. We should not allow the people to suffer for this ever growing war machine that that has becaome a cash cow for the elites
Predictably, hawkish elements in government and in the press are now exploiting the crisis to attack the anti-war movement, to propagandise on behalf of NATO. Sanctions will hit everyone but those that are palcing them.
They will tell us we must bear the cost to defend freedom in Ukraine. But while you and your family struggle with crippling food prices and energy costs, the Power Elite won’t suffer at all. And if the conflict goes nuclear, they’ll be safe in bunkers while you, I, and our loved ones are left without shelter, cold and hungry.
Our only weapon is our voice, for the sake of everyone, we should demand a stop to this madness before it crosses the point of no return.
It’s never too late to talk, it is never too late for peace.