As Ukrainians and others attempt to flee to safety, many Russians are jumping on trains to Finland due to the collapse of the Russian economy and a looming threat of Martial law. Even with this, there are some in the West cheering on an armed response by NATO. Putin’s war is abhorrent. But his reckless belligerence is costing the Russians a lot. There is no need for an armed response, since economic warfare is being dispensed by the US and its allies.
Any military intervention by the West in Ukraine would be absolute insanity. Not only is NATO, itself, one of the worst war criminals in terms of body count and countries reduced to rubble, but it is partly to blame for the escalation of this unnecessary and stupid war. Not to defend Putin’s indefensible actions, but over the last several years it has repeatedly provoked Russia and amped up its militaristic approach. And such an action would undoubtedly lead us to the precipice of a war of no return. A nuclear holocaust.
It is worth remembering that the leaders of the West supported Putin’s war against Chechnya. And now it expects us to forget that, as it opposes his murderous rampage in Ukraine? The message should be clear that their outrage is selective and political. And their solutions only provide the war profiteers like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrup Grumman more options for collecting a tidy profit off an industry of death.
Ask yourself, where was or is their outrage for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing massacre of Yemenis or their long list of human rights abuses? Or for Israel’s murderous rampage against the open-air prison called Gaza? Or its ongoing apartheid in occupied Palestine? Or for India’s ongoing occupation of Kashmir? Or for Libya, which has become the center of a modern-day slave trade, after NATO bombed it to smithereens in a “humanitarian intervention”?
War is the very apex of horror. The best example of human failure. It is also the death of truth. And in our times, it could very well speed the demise of our already fragile and besieged biosphere. Those who court it should be seen as depraved. This is not to say that people fighting back against oppression or state violence are wrong to do so. Not at all. And they have that right under international law. But it is to say that war has been historically used by empires to repress dissent and whip the public up so much that reason, itself, becomes as big of a threat as any supposed villain.
Support the people of Ukraine, and every where else where war and state violence make life a misery, by opening the doors to refugees no matter who they are, standing in solidarity with the Russian and Ukrainian working class and antiwar activists, and by demanding an end to all war and imperialistic militarism. Start first with those who govern us. But for God’s sake, don’t be a supporter of their reckless belligerence.
Kenn Orphan, March 2022
*Photo is of an advertisement in St Petersburg, Russia, saying “No War.” Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images