Friday, March 7, 2014

Erasing Ukrainians: The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) statement on Ukraine

UK's Stop the War coalition has used the neocon conspiracy theory to explain events in Ukraine. So has the US Party for Socialism and Liberation. More broadly on the US left the argument runs that the social explosion and massive protests in Kiev werw the result of US policy.

In the statement below, received via email from United National Anti war Committee, we have a similar process.

UNAC started as the dream of US middle class leftists who wanted to recreate the anti war movement of the 1960s and 1970s against US intervention in Vietnam.

Today UNAC denies and erases the people of Ukraine (who protested in their hundreds of thousands) any place in their own national revolutionary process. Instead, events in Ukraine are explained as the nefarious activities of the United States and various NGOs.

Russia's activities as an oppressor nation against oppressed Ukraine are erased from any explanation of events.

The actions of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in defense of their sovereignty, against hundreds of years of Russian oppression, as well as against austerity and anti-democratic laws introduced by the Yanukovych regime, is explained solely as the product of a secret plot by Washington.  Apparently Ukrainians are simply mindless robots in the political imagination of UNAC.

Given many decades of erosion of working class leaderships among oppressed peoples around the world, is it any wonder that the profound crisis of capitalism today produces episodic and spontaneous social explosions, ignited by the grinding effects of austerity and violence carried out by the dictatorship of capital in countries throughout the world? 

Resistance to global capitalist crises today can be seen in these spontaneous rebellions and demonstrations, which have already occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, London, Syria, Greece, Spain, and today Ukraine among many others.  They emerge, win some space, are pushed back, recede, and will surge forward again. Out of them will come the future cadre of communist parties.


The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Demands "US Hands off Ukraine and Venezuela"
The United States government is the main instigator of the present crises in both countries.
The hypocrisy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on Face the Nation, “You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext," is beyond belief.  What about the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or regime change in Libya, or the threats to bomb Syria and attack Iran?
The US has waged a massive propaganda campaign of misinformation, distortion, and outright lies and the national media has taken the State Department’s “facts” and disseminated them without question or challenge.  News about the US/EU role in creating the current crisis is buried.
The US is the only country that has its troops throughout the world in over 120 countries.  It sends drones and special operations forces to kill anyone and anywhere it chooses and uses its vast economic power to undercut any government that will not submit to its policies.  Although there is lip service to concerns about democracy and sovereignty, the reality is that the US acts in the interests of preserving its imperialist power and wealth.
Ukraine and Venezuela are not exceptions to this rule of imperialist intervention.  For 20 years, $5 billion was invested in Ukraine to support the opposition and to create tens of thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to move the country more towards the US and EU and their policies. In an intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, she discusses who the US wants to be the head of the new illigitimate government, and lo and behold, the US pick, Arseniy Yatseniuk, is named as the interim Ukrainian leader.  This is clearly outside intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country that would not be tolerated if directed at the US or its allies.
What are the real objectives and why is Russia so alarmed?  Could it be the US-NATO campaign to militarily surround Russia and bring neighboring countries into the western military and financial orbit?  Might it be that the largest supply of natural gas in the world is in Russia and the pipelines go through Ukraine, or that global warming is opening the Arctic to oil drilling and Russia borders the Arctic?  It is clear that Russia will not passively sit by while the Western-backed coup, led by violent fascist forces and local billionaires, overthrows a democratically elected government and installs a puppet regime on its border.
Confederate flags and fascist symbols go up in Kiev City Hall
By treaty, Russia can have 25,000 troops in Crimea.  To protect its military base there and to protect the people in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country, where the coup is not supported, Russia has moved some troops to the Ukrainian border and into the Crimean peninsula.  Many in the east and south are fearful of the new coup government and the neo-Nazi and nationalist forces that led the street demonstrations.
The escalating threats of military and economic aggression towards Russia should not be taken lightly.  Washington’s recklessness and disregard for humanity have resurrected the worst vestiges of cold war politics.  They have created a dangerous situation that can generate a real war with an adversary with a powerful military of its own.
The US is similarly intervening in Venezuela.   There, the US government wants a return to policies which brought the benefits of that nation’s oil wealth to a privileged few. The Bolivarian Revolution has been supported by a majority of Venezuelans in election after election. Yet the United States persists in violating the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people.  In 2002, the US supported a coup against the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. During this coup, Chavez was forced onto a US military plane to be taken out of the country.  The Venezuelan people and military were able to rescue Chavez and defeat the coup.  However, the US has continued to intervene in Venezuela causing the government of Nicolas Maduro to expel three US officials for trying to organize students for anti-government protests.
As long as the United States is committed to aggression, the whole world is endangered, just as Ukraine and Venezuela are.  Libya fell, Syria is under attack, there is a “pivot to Asia”, and Africom controls the military in almost every African nation. We must demand that our government stop its policy of imperialist domination which generates conflict throughout the world.

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