IAWM STATEMENT ON UKRAINE – 17 MARCH 2014
NEITHER WASHINGTON NOR MOSCOW - NO TO THE WAR MONGERING OF THE US, NATO AND RUSSIA OVER UKRAINE
NO TO THE INCLUSION OF FASCIST ELEMENTS IN UKRAINE’S GOVERNMENT
FOR PEACE AND AGAINST WAR - DE-ESCALATE THE MILITARY RHETORIC AND FACILIATE A PEACE PROCESS AMONG ALL THE UKRANIAN PEOPLE
The Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM) condemns the war mongering and saber rattling of the US and other western powers and Russia over Ukraine. We call for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and for the needs of all the ethnic peoples of Ukraine to be respected in order to avert a return to the dangerous days of the Cold War or indeed a full-scale war.
It is unbelievable that on the 11th anniversary of the disastrous US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq western leaders are seriously stoking up racial tensions and considering military options in Ukraine.
The IAWM condemns the actions taken by Russia in mobilizing its military forces, occupying the Crimea and promoting a provocative referendum on its secession. Russia and western powers have a long imperial history in the Ukraine that has led to millions of deaths in the past. We acknowledge the rights of the Russian-speaking minority within Ukraine to be respected but note that Vladimir Putin and the Russian military are exploiting their fears and stoking tensions for their own strategic militaristic reasons. We stand with the tens of thousands of Russian people who marched in Moscow two days ago against Russian aggression and in support of a peaceful solution.
The IAWM also condemns the manipulation of the legitimate people’s revolution in Ukraine that overthrew the corrupt Viktor Yanukovich, a revolution that has since been influenced by sinister nationalist forces as evidenced by the racist discriminatory act of the new unelected interim Ukrainian government, in which the extreme right has seven members, in its withdrawal of Russian as an official language of Ukraine and by its immediate application to join NATO. The EU has stoked sectarian tensions by uncritically supporting this Government. This was seen here in Ireland recently by the uncritical welcome for Yulia Tymoshenko and Vitaly Klitschko at the neo-liberal love-in EPP Congress organized by the Irish Government.
The IAWM also condemn the response by the US in its recent provocative military exercises in Poland, its navy maneuvers in the Black Sea and NATO’s gradual attempted encirclement of Russia by pushing right up to its borders in recent years. These are all unnecessary actions that will only have worried Russian people and played in to the hands of nationalist and militarist forces within Russia. These actions and the militaristic rhetoric of western leaders are recipes for war and are incredibly dangerous.
The hypocrisy of the US and other western powers is galling given their own awful bloody history. They have no moral authority or credibility to lecture Russia and the world on what should happen in Ukraine after the appalling legacy of wars, invasions, instigated coups, facilitation of torture camps, extra-judicial killings and drone attacks all of which have killed and maimed millions, created refuge crises and destabilized entire regions of the world.
The west, including the Irish Government, is claiming that the referendum in Crimea is illegal. But they showed no such concerns over the secession of Kosovo from Serbia despite a UN Security Council resolution that guaranteed the territorial integrity of the state. They show no concern over the daily expansion of Israel's colonisation of the occupied West Bank.
The IAWM acknowledges the genuine fears and concerns of the Russian-speaking people of Crimea as evidenced by today’s referendum result but we call for a peaceful non-militaristic resolution and neither the aggression being promoted by Vladimir Putin nor the deceit, denial, hypocrisy and war mongering of the US and other western powers.
The IAWM also condemn the actions of NATO, an organisation that should have been disbanded at the end of the cold war. Instead it has expanded, fomented war and created instability in several locations throughout the world. Its expansion into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border is provocative and threatening.
Jim Roche, PRO of the IAWM said:
“The militaristic actions and rhetoric from both western and Russian leaders over the past weeks is extremely dangerous. We call for a de-militarisation and de-escalation of the situation and a facilitation of peace talks that recognize the legitimate fears and concerns of all ethnic groups within Ukraine with the hope of the development of a non-aligned, nuclear-free country. Instead the imperial powers of Russia, the US and the EU are pushing towards chaos, uncertainty and the strong possibility of military conflict. Have western leaders learned nothing from the disasters of their military campaigns since 9/11? On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a disastrous war that brought nothing but mayhem and insecurity for the people of the Middle East, we call for a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. All wars end in political settlements so why not start with that?”
“To quote the late British parliamentarian Tony Benn who died last week: “If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people”. We call on the US, Britain and other western powers and on Russia to pull back from the brink of war and to invest instead in peace and hope for Ukraine, a country that has been the battleground of imperial powers for two centuries and whose people have suffered so much through famine, war and occupation. We particularly call on the western powers to stop their war mongering and we call on the Irish government to speak out against this dangerous saber rattling and not just sycophantically row in behind western powers in criticizing Russian aggression. A balanced Irish voice for peace and justice against a drive towards another futile war can make a difference here.”
He ended by noting:
“If war starts the main losers will be civilians while political and military leaders will as always benefit from the usual profiteering and careerism that accompanies war. The people of Ukraine and Crimea do not want war - they certainly do not need it. They need jobs, services, security and peace. Lets help them achieve that instead of stoking up hatred and fear.”
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 647 2737
Website - www.irishantiwar.org
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