[WSMDiscuss] For civil discussion of the war in Ukraine

DAVID KEIL dmkeil at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 14:57:22 CET 2022

This is to reply to the posting of an attack on Western antiwar activists
as "objectively pro-fascist", apparently targeting anyone who opposes
US/NATO policy and war aims in Ukraine or who advocates a negotiated
settlement. The attack piece, by James Kirchick, is from the 'Atlantic'. It
is designed to shut down dissent from US and NATO war policies. Let us be
reminded that the US and/or NATO have waged aggressive war on Afghanistan,
Iraq, Libya, and Somalia, among others, in recent decades.

The Kirchick article lumps together the US Republicans who have sometimes
voiced hesitation about Biden's aggressive policy, with antiwar activists,
who include many in North America who identify with WSM-Discuss.

Washington seeks, in the long run, to incorporate Ukraine formally in its
NATO alliance and has already incorporated it militarily, effectively
running the war with huge arms shipments, training, and constant supplies
of intelligence data. The broader picture is that NATO is expanding toward
a confrontation with China via links with Asian US allies.

The war in Ukraine is a reopening of the Crimean war (1853-1856) by which
France and Germany seized Crimea from czarist Russia. At stake is Russia's
only naval base on the Black Sea, at Sebastopol, which has no historical
connection with Ukraine. To expand NATO and to seize that base, the US is
rejecting negotiations over Crimea and risking nuclear war.

Activists in social movements around the world have different views of the
war in Ukraine. Some view it as an inter-imperialist proxy war, as I do.
Some criticize the Russian role more strongly than others. Some speak out
strongly for Kyiv's resistance to Russia. I hope that all agree on opposing
their own governments' roles and war aims. In the US, these are expanding
NATO to the borders of Russia, opposing any ceasefire, and promoting the
civil war in Ukraine that has raged since 2014. By promoting a coup staffed
militarily by fascists, the US tipped Kyiv toward incorporation in the
European economic and military structures, whereas Ukraine had before
balanced between east and west.

It is not at all true, as Kirchick writes, that "Condemning the U.S. and
its allies for the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine requires one to ignore or
downplay a great deal of Russian misbehavior." Like World War I, this war
reflects imperial appetites on two sides. The stronger side by far is the
NATO one. I hope that we who subscribe to WSM-Discuss can exchange views in
such a way as to welcome each other's presence and activity.

David Keil, Massachusetts, USA
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