[WSMDiscuss] [abolition caucus] Putin's War on Ukraine and the Bizarre Kaleidoscopic Coalition Advocating Putin's Cause

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 18:07:48 CET 2022


White is black!
And black is white!

The war has been waged by Putin.
He did rather ceremoniously--with usual blusters--inaugurate it.
He must immediately desist and step back.

That's only how just and stable peace can be achieved.

Sukla

On Tue, Oct 4, 2022, 23:11 John Walsh <jvwalshmd at gmail.com> wrote:

> This is prowar propaganda and demonization of the enemy pure and simple.
> We get enough of that 24/7 in the msm - to the point where it has become
> an unexamined set of cliches.
> We do not need more of it here.
>
> John V. Walsh
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
>
> On Oct 4, 2022, at 10:38 AM, Sukla Sen <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 
> Dear Friends,
>
> Thanks for your comments.
>
> Presented hereunder is my response.
>
> *1*. The constituents of the de facto coalition advocating for "Putin's
> cause" are doing it from under various banners depending on the
> ideological-political slots they (seek to) occupy.
> None of them are actually doing it from under the banner: "We/I Support
> Putin!" For they know that under the given circumstances that would be
> pretty much untenable. And the campaign would be far less effective than
> otherwise.
>
> It bears recalling that on Feb. 21, in a televised address Putin
> himself--eventually ending a rather longish spell of denial of any
> possibility of any war concerning Ukraine--put the goal of the invasion to
> be actually launched, just three days after, as under:
> [*T]oday the “grateful progeny” [i.e. independent Ukraine] has overturned
> monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. They call it decommunization.*
> *You want decommunization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why
> stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean
> for Ukraine [.e. complete erasure of Ukraine's separate identity that was
> the doing of the earlier Communist regime in Russia+].*
> (Ref.: <http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67828>.)
> Then on Feb. 24, just before the launch, in another televised address, he
> would announce:
> *(I)n accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with
> permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties
> of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and
> the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February
> 22, *I made a decision to carry out a special military* *operation*
> [emphasis added now].*
> To be followed up with:
> *The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years
> now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev
> regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as
> well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against
> civilians *[i.e., at the very minimum, depose the incumbent leaders and
> put them to trial and install a puppet regime--if not annex Ukraine
> outright--and, also, destroy it's military infrastructure] *including
> against citizens of the Russian Federation*.
> (Ref.: <http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67843>.)
> *He also goes on to issue a, hardly veiled, nuclear threat:*
> *I would now like to say something very important for those who may be
> tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside. No matter who
> tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country
> and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and
> the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history
> [emphasis added now]. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All
> the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken*. *I* *hope that
> my words will be heard*.
> He and his minions would keep repeating such threats--even though only
> with waning effects--from that point onward.
> He has done it again, on September 24th: *In the event of a threat to the
> territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people,
> we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us,” Russian
> President Vladimir Putin said in a speech Wednesday. “This is not a bluff."*
> (Ref.: <
> https://www.rsn.org/001/what-putins-latest-threats-mean-for-the-risk-of-nuclear-war.html
> >.)
>
> And given the reports of widespread atrocities committed by the Russian
> troops, unearthing of mass graves in liberated territories and
> indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets, "We/I Support Putin!" is hardly
> a banner that can be used outside the Russian borders.
>
> *2*. *What's Putin's Cause?*
> Putin's cause is obviously to annex as much of Ukraine as possible.
> The formal annexation declaration of four occupied--even if not
> entirely--regions, including two--over which Russia never had any special
> claim--clearly testifies.
>
> *3*. *How this cause can be served by outsiders in hostile foreign lands?*
> As the outright "support" banner cannot be used, some of these
> advocates--those belonging to the Left in particular--are trying to make
> use of the *Peace* banner.
>
> However, *in pursuance of a just and stable "peace", they don't ask for
> immediate vacation of the aggression--withdrawal of the invading forces to
> Feb. 24 position.*
> While a pro-forma condemnation of the brutal and massive invasion is
> issued--primarily to be used as the proverbial fig-leaf, *all the
> practical demands are made only of the US and the NATO--in effect trying to
> force them to desist from aiding David in his life-and-death battle with
> the Goliath. With the sole aim of making the brave Ukrainians pushing back
> the far larger and much better equipped invaders helplessly submit to the
> giant predator.*
> That's what their campaign for this "peace" is all about.
>
> *4*. Under the circumstances, *the genuine fighters for peace and
> universal nuclear disarmament worldwide have no go but to tirelessly call
> out this elaborate game of deception and keep pursuing the goal of "peace"
> by forcefully asking the Russian invaders to go back to the positions on
> the ground as had obtained before the launch of the invasion on Feb..24.*
> The issues of paying reparation and war crimes etc may be settled later in
> due course.
> *The heroic resistance put up by Ukraine must be unequivocally solidarised
> with*.
>
> Sukla
>
> *P.S*.: As regards the "provocations" bit--usually latched on to by
> Putin's apologists (in disguise)--here's a fairly comprehensive treatment
> of the arguments put forward by, understandably, the most eminent pusher of
> this line:
>
> *Mearsheimer portrays the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that broke
> out in 2014 as a civil war based on an ethnolinguistic divide between
> Russian and Ukrainian speakers. Yet, somehow, Ukraine’s fiercely
> anti-Russian president is a Russian speaker, and there are no major groups
> of Ukrainians in even the most predominately Russian enclaves welcoming the
> recent invasion. That’s because there is neither an equation in Ukraine
> between speaking Russian and being Russian, nor being Russian and wanting
> to unite with Russia. *
>
> *The identities are actually in flux and have changed dramatically since
> 2004, when the maps for the video were made. The country was almost equally
> divided between people who identified themselves as Russian in 2004, but
> the identities were never definitive and the Russian identity has declined
> dramatically in recent years. According to a recent Morning Consult poll, a
> mere 9 percent of Ukrainian citizens identify themselves as Russian today.
> Even among Russian speakers, 42 percent identify with “Western interests”
> while only 18 percent identify with “Russian interests.”*
>
> *Mearsheimer is clear that the West is mostly responsible for Russia’s
> invasion of Ukraine, because the West has sought to peal Ukraine away from
> the “Russian sphere of influence.” According to Mearsheimer, the West has
> sought to do this through EU and Nato expansion, and by promoting democracy
> in Ukraine. But he neglects to mention that while Ukrainians have sought
> Nato membership since the end of the Cold War, there has been little
> stomach for it in Nato, precisely out of a respect for the “Russian sphere
> of influence.” *
>
> *If Ukraine’s membership were so important to Nato, they might have been
> expected to invite Ukraine to join when they possessed over four thousand
> nuclear warheads and were clamoring to be admitted in the early nineties.
> They might have been expected to invite Ukraine to join after they held
> mass peaceful protests calling for democracy and an end to corruption in
> the 2004 Orange Revolution. They might have been expected to invite Ukraine
> after citizens overwhelmingly voted in pro-Europe candidates in a series of
> elections following the Euro Maidan Protests in 2014. And they might have
> been expected to start the admissions process when Ukrainians
> overwhelmingly voted for a president who made joining Nato a central plank
> in his campaign in 2019. *
>
> *Mearsheimer neglects to mention that Ukraine was not slated to join Nato
> when Putin invaded it in 2014, and there was no serious talk of it when he
> invaded in 2022. In fact, Putin made sure that Ukraine could not enter Nato
> by maintaining an ongoing war in the Donbass, for no states with ongoing
> border disputes can join Nato. Mearsheimer definitively negates the
> argument that Putin recently invaded Ukraine because of Nato expansion in
> stating that he has “talked to countless policy makers about it” and “Nato
> expansion is dead.” *
>
> *But if Mearsheimer was positive that Nato expansion was dead in 2015, why
> are people sharing his videos as proof that Nato is to blame for Russia’s
> invasion of Ukraine in 2022?*
>
> *Mearsheimer blames Nato for welcoming Georgia into its alliance on April
> 3, 2008, claiming that it got “uppity,” and that this justified Russia's
> invasion of it. However, Georgia and Ukraine were not invited to the
> conference. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel and several other heads of state
> vetoed their membership request at the meeting, noting Mearsheimer’s own
> argument that it encroached on the “Russian sphere of influence.” Thus,
> when Russia invaded Georgia later in 2008, and peeled away its province of
> South Ossetia, they were invading a country that had actually just been
> rejected from Nato.*
>
> *Mearsheimer’s disingenuousness is on full display when he digs into the
> details.*
>
> *He gives a day by day account of what happened in the so-called
> Euromaidan “coup” of 2014. Yet, in a striking act of intellectual
> dishonesty, he conveniently leaves out the date in which a quorum of every
> voting member of every major political party in parliament voted to remove
> Yanukovych from the presidency. He says “there is killing on the Maidan,”
> and he lists the number of people killed, while emphasizing the “fascist
> elements” engaged in violence. But he fails to mention that the police
> started the killing, killed dozens before protesters started fighting back,
> and killed roughly eight protesters for every officer downed.*
>
> *He gives a day by day recounting of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea,
> mentioning that Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia. Yet, he neglects
> to mention they literally did so at gunpoint, with Russian troops
> surrounding the voting chamber. He mentions that Crimeans voted to join
> Russia in a referendum but neglects to mention that surveys prior to the
> vote suggested only 20 to 40 percent supported joining Russia while an
> absurd 97 percent purportedly voted for it in the referendum. Of course,
> the referendum was fraudulent. It occurred ten days after the invasion, was
> overseen by a pro-Russian extremist party, involved no international
> observers, and took place amid numerous disappearances of politicians and
> activists. *
>
> *Mearsheimer has a more general point to make about the expansion of Nato
> stoking Russian fears. Yet, as we have seen, the wider argument is rooted
> in a series of misleading claims. Meanwhile, he overlooks his own role in
> influencing policy makers. For decades, he has argued that Russia will
> strike back if Nato expands into its “sphere of influence.” And ever since
> the Berlin Wall fell, western heads of state have heeded the warning,
> delaying and rejecting the pleas of Eastern European states to be let into
> the organization. *
>
> *And at the end of the day, he turned out to be wrong. It was the states
> that Nato admitted which remained safe and only those that remained on the
> outside, when they were not being seriously considered for membership, that
> were invaded. In this way, Mearsheimer helped invite Russian imperialism by
> seeking to placate it. And he completely misjudged Putin, who not only
> invaded the whole of Ukraine, but did so when it was not slated for Nato
> membership. Meanwhile, he did so when Nato was not expanding but rather at
> its weakest, following the controversial withdrawal from Afganistan *[emphasis
> added now]*. *
>
> (Excerpted from: <
> https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158862648811242&id=636661241
> >.)
>
> Arguably, the most significant point is that *a* *country whose desperate
> appeals for the NATO membership remained unattended has become the first
> country in Europe to be invaded-- that too in a very big way--since the
> WWII. Not the other way round*. In fact, despite shrill threats, Finland
> and Sweden have not been attacked on their joining the NATO--finally
> shedding their traditional neutral status--under the traumatic impact of
> the Ukraine invasion.
>
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2022, 11:07 John Walsh <jvwalshmd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Right you are, Theresa.
>> The language in that Atlantic article is unhinged in so many ways.
>> It really does not deserve consideration,
>> To call Putin a fascist while Zelensky’s armed forces display neo-Nazi
>> insignia and tatoos is laughable.
>>
>> But the author of the Atlantic article does point out, disapprovingly,
>> that there is considerable agreement across the ideological spectrum that
>> the US bears responsibility for this war which it has been working on
>> diligently since the Obama administration - at least.
>> That agreement across the spectrum should tell us that down deep there is
>> considerable dissatisfaction with the war.  It means we should be able to
>> assemble a wider and stronger force to oppose the war and the drive for US
>> global hegemony.  Let’s hope we are successful before the hawks blow us all
>> up.
>>
>> John V. Walsh
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>>
>> On Oct 3, 2022, at 10:25 PM, Theresa El-Amin <sarnetwork at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> What coalition is advocating Putin's cause?
>>
>>  The US based "Peace in Ukraine" coalition is opposed to the invasion of
>> Ukraine by Russia. Now that it's happened, the road to peace must be
>> negotiated. Yes; some of us see that Putin has a point on the expansion of
>> NATO.
>>
>> Biden and the NATO countries are escalating by supplying weapons to
>> Ukraine with no end in sight.
>>
>> NATO is a recipe for endless war. That has been clear for some time. Yes,
>> the US saw the invasion by Russia as imminent when Russia amassed thousands
>> of troops at the Ukrainian border. Yes, the US provoked a proxy war against
>> Russia using Ukraine.
>>
>>  Finland and Sweden joining NATO is further provocation. Biden welcomed
>> the entry of Finland and Sweden. Billions in US funds and weapons to
>> support Ukraine fighting "to the last Ukrainian".
>>
>> As an anti-war movement in the US, we need to be stronger to stop US
>> imperialism. The war in Ukraine has the two biggest nuclear powers (Russia
>> and US) making the danger of planet annihilation a threat not to be
>> ignored. We must do everything we can to work for peace in Ukraine.
>>
>> War will never bring peace. That's a lesson we should all have learned by
>> now.
>>
>> If we want peace in Ukraine, we should work for a ceasefire and a
>> negotiated settlement. More war is not the answer.
>>
>>  We must build a global peace movement to end endless war.
>>
>> On October 18, women working in Canada, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the
>> US for global peace will share their views in the No to NATO webinar
>> organized by members of the Women's International League for Peace and
>> Freedom (WILPF).
>>
>> Since 1915, women in WILPF have worked for peace and freedom. We know
>> that women and innocent children suffer during wars disproportionately.
>> We're clear about what side we're on.
>>
>> For peace and freedom,
>> Theresa El-Amin
>> WILPF-US Fannie Lou Hamer Branch
>> Southern Anti-Racism Network
>> www.wilpf.org
>> www.projectsarn.org
>>
>> On Mon, Oct 3, 2022, 11:45 PM Sukla Sen <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> <<In 1942, answering a pacifist opponent of British involvement in the
>>> Second World War, George Orwell replied that “pacifism is objectively
>>> pro-fascist.” There have of course been many times in human history when
>>> opposition to war has been morally justified, intellectually coherent, and,
>>> in the end, vindicated. But the war to defeat fascism during the middle
>>> part of the past century was simply not one of them. “This is elementary
>>> common sense,” Orwell wrote at the time. “If you hamper the war effort of
>>> one side you automatically help that of the other.”
>>>
>>> Eight decades later, as a fascistic Russian regime wages war against
>>> Ukraine, a motley collection of voices from across the political spectrum
>>> has called upon the United States and its allies to adopt neutrality as
>>> their position. Ranging from anti-imperialists on the left to isolationists
>>> on the right and more respectable “realists” in between, these critics are
>>> not pacifists in the strict sense of the term. Few if any oppose the use of
>>> force as a matter of principle. But nor are they neutral. It is not
>>> sufficient, they say, for the West to cut off its supply of defensive
>>> weaponry to Ukraine. It must also atone for “provoking” Russia to attack
>>> its smaller, peaceful, democratic neighbor, and work at finding a
>>> resolution that satisfies what Moscow calls its “legitimate security
>>> interests.” In this, today’s anti-war caucus is objectively pro-fascist.
>>>
>>> To appreciate the bizarrely kaleidoscopic nature of this caucus,
>>> consider the career of a catchphrase. “Is Washington Fighting Russia Down
>>> to the Last Ukrainian?” asked the headline of a column self-published in
>>> March by Ron Paul, the former Republican congressman and presidential
>>> candidate. It was a strange question for Paul to be posing just three weeks
>>> into President Vladimir Putin’s unjustifiable and unforgivable invasion,
>>> especially considering the extraordinary lengths to which the Biden
>>> administration had gone to avoid “fighting Russia.”
>>>
>>> Even stranger than Paul’s assertion that the U.S. was goading Ukrainians
>>> into sacrificing themselves on the altar of its Russophobic bloodlust,
>>> though, has been the proliferation of his specious talking point across the
>>> ideological spectrum.
>>> ...
>>> “A great deal is being said about the United States’ intention to fight
>>> against Russia ‘to the last Ukrainian’—they say it there and they say it
>>> here,” the Russian president mused the following week, prefacing his
>>> mention of the gibe with his own version of that Trumpian rhetorical
>>> flourish, “A lot of people are saying.” That same month, an American
>>> Conservative article by Doug Bandow of the libertarian Cato Institute was
>>> headlined “Washington Will Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian,” denying
>>> Ukrainians any agency in their own struggle by answering the question Paul
>>> had rhetorically asked.
>>>
>>> Soon after, the dean of realist international-relations theorists, the
>>> University of Chicago scholar  John Mearsheimer, used the line as though
>>> he’d just thought of it. By then, the argument that America was “fighting
>>> Russia to the last Ukrainian” had ping-ponged between both ends of the
>>> ideological spectrum an astonishing number of times. The point for the
>>> anti-imperialist left and the isolationist right, as well as the realist
>>> fellow travelers hitched to each side, was that blame for the conflict lies
>>> mainly with the U.S., which is using Ukraine as a proxy for its nefarious
>>> interventionism in Moscow’s backyard.
>>>
>>>  the fringe left would blame America—which it views as the source of all
>>> capitalist exploitation, military aggression, and imperialist evil in the
>>> world—for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is predictable. It blames America
>>> for everything. When, two days after the Russian invasion began on February
>>> 24, the Democratic Socialists of America called upon “the US to withdraw
>>> from NATO and to end the imperialist expansionism that set the stage for
>>> this conflict,” mainstream Democrats condemned the statement. More
>>> significant has been the position taken by mainstream realists, who
>>> similarly fault the West for somehow “provoking” Russia into waging war on
>>> its neighbor. These politically disparate forces share more than a talking
>>> point. They also have a worldview in common.
>>> ...
>>> Many commentators have likened Volodymyr Zelensky to Winston Churchill
>>> for his charismatic resistance to foreign invaders and his ability to raise
>>> the morale of his people. In light of this popular association, the
>>> headline that the editors of Compact devised for Ungar-Sargon’s
>>> apologia—“Zelensky’s War”—is nauseating, blaming the victim while seeming
>>> to evoke the title of a notorious book by the Holocaust-denying historian
>>> David Irving, Churchill’s War.
>>>
>>> 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.
>>> This is a characteristic that unites left-wing anti-imperialists,
>>> right-wing isolationists, and the ostensibly more respectable “realists.”
>>>
>>> "Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out
>>> of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet Empire, and he may
>>> eventually go after the rest of Ukraine as well as other countries in
>>> Eastern Europe,” Mearsheimer wrote in a 2014 essay titled “Why the Ukraine
>>> Crisis Is the West’s Fault.” “But this account is wrong.” Eight years on,
>>> as Russian forces marched toward Kyiv and Putin issued vague threats of
>>> nuclear escalation, Mearsheimer made no acknowledgment of how very wrong
>>> his own earlier, sanguine assessment of Putin’s intentions had been.
>>>
>>> “We invented this story that Putin is highly aggressive and he’s
>>> principally responsible for this crisis in Ukraine,” he told The New Yorker
>>> a week into the invasion. Putin’s apparent goal of overthrowing Zelensky
>>> and installing a puppet regime would not be an example of “imperialism,”
>>> Mearsheimer argued, and was meaningfully different from “conquering and
>>> holding onto Kyiv.” All of this linguistic legerdemain would surely come as
>>> news to the Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, and other peoples of the region who
>>> once suffered under the Russian imperial yoke.
>>> ...
>>> Russia’s war against Ukraine has exposed the incompetence of the Russian
>>> military and the hubris of President Putin. It has also revealed the
>>> bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people, who, contrary to Ron Paul’s
>>> ambulatory talking point, had no need of any American to prod or gull them
>>> into defending their homeland. Here in the U.S., the war has also exposed
>>> the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of an ideologically diverse set of
>>> foreign-policy commentators: the “anti-imperialists” who routinely justify
>>> blatant acts of imperial conquest, and the “realists” who make arguments
>>> unmoored from reality.
>>>
>>> (Excepted from: <
>>> https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/anti-war-camp-intellectually-bankrupt/671576/
>>> >.)
>>>
>>> In this context, may also look up:
>>> I/VII <
>>> https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158862648811242&id=636661241
>>> >.
>>> II. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/pqfuTTDztWk/m/uARMpjS9FgAJ
>>> >.
>>> III. <
>>> https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/rvJnYeSGK50/m/Sg6Bu6c-AwAJ>.
>>> IV. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/gs6YdxWFjDM/m/oildUPSbAAAJ
>>> >.
>>> V. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/ZKzrpDIoDTM/m/8_D-_M_uAAAJ
>>> >.
>>> VI. <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/-6GnujgwJdU/m/btLVgDIaAwAJ
>>> >.
>>> VII. <
>>> https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/sGTIp5xMyXE/m/PI-pMrVEAgAJ>.
>>>
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