September 22, 2023 at 12:40 am #247002paula.mcewanModerator
I will only add this – socialism is impossible without women on board.September 22, 2023 at 12:24 pm #247010MooParticipant
“We can achieve socialism without women.” – Mr. NobodySeptember 23, 2023 at 9:38 pm #247053robbo203Participant
An interesting article I came across on the “Naked Capitalism” website
“Marguerite Yourcenar salvaged one of the finest lines in all literature from the first version of her masterpiece Memoirs of Hadrian: “I begin to discern the profile of my death.” We are approaching that point with Ukraine, not just its military campaign, but also its economy. That baked-in collapse has been camouflaged by the bizarre pretense that there will be a huge reconstruction push, even more absurdly, funded by private sector interests. One has to think that the “rebuilding” patter is part of the cover for the fact that Project Ukraine is a lost cause.”
By all accounts, it looks as if the Ukrainian counteroffensive has not really gotten anywhere and is increasingly unlikely to get anywhere in the future with Autumn approaching and the return of the mud. You have to ask yourself, even from a capitalist point of view, what is the point of continuing this slaughter? Bleeding-heart hand-wringing liberals may protest that Ukrainian workers have every right to defend “their” homeland against the naked aggression of Russian imperialism. But you don’t have to be a socialist – we don’t give a flying fcuk about the capitalist nation-state or where its borders lie – to see that this is not going to get you anywhere. The only peace you are likely to achieve will be found in the cemetery.
Appalling though the Putin regime is, and reprehensible though its invasion was, I don’t believe it is seriously intent upon the military conquest of Ukraine. It would probably be satisfied with the territories it has annexed and an assurance that Ukraine will not join NATO. Pragmatically speaking, I would think the best thing the Zelensky regime could do now is sue for peace and accept the reality of a partitioned country. There is no way you are going to prevail over a country many times larger, that sees your backers – NATO – as an existential threat to its own existence and whose own military has now become much more battle-hardened and has learnt from the lessons of its past failures
By all accounts, the Ukrainian regime, on the other hand, is now virtually militarily exhausted and on its last legs and is only sustained by the infusion of military aid primarily from the US, which is likely to reduce sharply in the future. The economy is utterly wrecked and will remain so for years to come. The population has plummeted – in the main because of the diaspora but also because of the deaths of combatants (by some estimates roughly 700 Ukrainian soldiers are killed in action every single day on average). Even just the legacy of landmines will be an immense challenge to overcome in the years ahead (in Angola, decades after the civil war, they are still trying to clear away the landmines. see https://www.maginternational.org/what-we-do/where-we-work/angola/#:~:text=Angola%20remains%20one%20of%20the,over%2040%20years%20of%20conflict.)
Of course, the Zelensky regime will never agree to a ceasefire on the above terms and the Biden regime would not want to lose face (with elections coming up) by urging it to do that. So this appalling and utterly senseless human tragedy will continue.
The outcome? Who knows, but if the Ukrainian military does face collapse this could give the green light to the Russian military to surge forward and capture large chunks of Ukraine including Odessa. Or there could be a coup that ousts Zelensky with the support of a war-weary public. Or things could just go on and on into 2024, 2025, and beyond and just get progressively worse. Utterly depressing to think about itSeptember 24, 2023 at 2:25 am #247055AlmamaterParticipant
If the USA House of representative and the Senate do not approve any funding for Ukraine the situation is going to get worst. The USA is not going to let Russia grab for themselves more than 14 billions in natural resources
September 24, 2023 at 8:59 am #247057
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Almamater.
Whatever may be the case in some other parts, Ukraine is waging a war of conquest in Crimea which is only accidentally part of Ukraine (due to administrative decision by Khrushchev in 1954) and has not been ruled by it since 2014. Over 70 percent of the population there speak Russian as their mother tongue and don’t want to be ruled from Kiev. Yet the US and its allies are providing Ukraine with missiles to attack Crimea and its population.
The US has officially declared that its war aim is to weaken Russia not provoke a war with it. So what they are doing is arming Ukraine to do this, using it as their proxy or puppet — in fact they are financing the whole Ukraine state — but not with enough to beat Russia. They are cynically keeping the war going at a level below total war in order to weaken a geo-political rival.
Yet people can still be found who think that the war is justified and come up with all sorts of spurious arguments to justify the continuation of the killing and destruction and providing the means to do this. Shame on them.September 25, 2023 at 7:13 am #247065
Revealing faux pas and reminder of the nasty past of Ukrainian nationalism:
Looks like the moral high ground, occupied by the Ukrainian nationalists immediately after the Russian invasion, and used as a pretext by NATO to keep the war going to achieve its ends, is beginning to crumble.September 25, 2023 at 5:35 pm #247079robbo203Participant
While Ukrainian workers like their Russian counterparts go through hell and put their lives on the line for the sake of what they fancifully imagine is “their” country, their rulers have other plans. It seems the latter are quite happy to buy a bolt-hole in some other part of the world in the event that things go pear-shaped. With Putin I read somewhere that Venezuela was a possibility; with Zelensky, it seems Egypt might be on the cards (though doubtless, there will be other options including the USA)
September 25, 2023 at 6:19 pm #247081MooParticipant
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by robbo203.
‘Utterly depressing to think about it.’
I often think of these two quotes:
‘Do you find it overwhelming that we live in a genuine nightmarish dystopia, but everyone acts like it’s normal?’
‘The best way to stop prisoners escaping is if they don’t know they’re in prison.’September 25, 2023 at 10:24 pm #247087
There are serious doubts about the truth of that story about Zelensky buying a villa in Egypt. It smacks too much of fake information. For a start, I doubt if Zelensky would be that stupid.
Anyway, here’s the other side (from an Egyptian source):September 25, 2023 at 11:40 pm #247089paula.mcewanModerator
Thank you ALB for your injection of common sense. You show that it’s easy to post here without degenerating into personal insults while at the same time adding to actual facts/knowledge.
For what it’s worth, I would add that I’m happy to belong to a political party (SPGB) that opposes the Russian invasion of Ukraine and also opposes Ukrainian defence.
Did the people of Ukraine get a choice about fighting back against the Russian invasion – no the men got conscripted.
As long as Zelensky continues the war the longer I will despise him. I equally despise NATO, USA and UK. We must end war! One day we’ll sign an end to war.
PaulaSeptember 26, 2023 at 12:54 am #247090AlmamaterParticipant
I do not think Zelensky owns any village in Egypt. They have stolen money from the war funding but they are not going to use openly like thatSeptember 26, 2023 at 6:31 am #247091pgbParticipant
ALB (#247057) argues that the US is giving military aid and support to Ukraine deliberately below a level that would enable it to “beat” Russia, but only to “weaken” it. I find this hard to comprehend since weakening Russia and beating it means the same in the eyes of the US. Even the worst of their hawks have never indicated that they are OK with the idea of ”beating” Russia via total war. I thought the official war aim of the US is to weaken Russia so that it can’t do the same to others as it is doing now to Ukraine, by reducing Russia’s ability to wage war beyond its borders. As I understand it, it doesn’t want to provoke a war with Russia because this would risk a serious escalation of the conflict with the possible threat of nuclear weapons – a possibility made real by Putin. The official US view seems a fairly realistic one to me.
I cannot understand why ALB regards Ukraine as a “proxy or puppet state,” serving US interest in weakening but not beating Russia in its war in Ukraine. Zelensky must be the worst example of a puppet imaginable. Most puppet political figures I can think of have not wanted their backers widely known for fear it will stigmatise them as puppets. But Zelensky not only makes it well known who gives him support in his war with Russia, he publicly urges them to keep on giving more. He has just come back from the US and Canada with the promise of increased military support.
Financing the Ukraine state by the US doesn’t prove that Zelensky is a puppet in a proxy war. On the contrary, it shows how effective he is in getting his supporters to put their money where their mouth is. Proxy war proponents want to deny that Ukrainians are their own agents acting in their own interests, who have a right to self defence. The willingness of Ukrainians, military and civilian, to resist Putin’s army puts paid to the idea that they are mere puppets in a proxy war between US/Nato and Russia.
Most people I know accept and understand the notion of a “just war” and the related idea that people are justified in resisting an aggressor. That’s probably because they share the same moral vocabulary (where they disagree is in applying the “just war’ concept to particular cases). I gather that ALB, with a different lexicon, rejects the idea entirely that there can be such a thing as a “just war” (except for the class war) so he comes up with the spurious argument that those who think the war is justified are also justifying the continuation of the killing. “Shame on them” he says. Dear me. Like many others, I think the war (ie. the Ukranian resistance) is justified, but I also think that negotiations should begin now to stop the war. Many Ukrainians doing the fighting have a different view, as they have every right to. I’ll leave it to them to decide.September 26, 2023 at 8:36 am #247093Young Master SmeetModerator
given the Ukrainian state is functionally bankrupt, and now only exists due to funding by foreign powers, I think it is perfectly fair to start describing this as a proxy war: that in no way vitiates the agency of the Ukrainians, but describes the constraints on their actions and abilities in this situation: whatever the ‘justness’ of their cause, it is fair to question the motives of the US et al and whether they are entirely disinterested (and given their recent record of using invasion and military force for geopolitical ends, it makes little sense to see their intervention as about stopping Russia from using invasion and military force for geopolitical ends, except as a rival rather than as a malefactor).
Even within ‘just war’ theory, one of the criteria for a just war is likelihood of success: is a victory possible. Independence is off the agenda for Ukraine, and even if victorious now, it will be a satrapy of the backing powers. Given it has exhausted all its own military stockpiles and its state is bankrupt, it’s reasonable to say it has already lost: maybe with enough pressure Russia can be made to backdown, but that doesn’t, in my current view, seem likely.
I think we are entitled to ask, as human beings, whether dying in their thousands is worth it. We are also entitled to question the motives of the governments we live under, and their, it seems to me, treating the Ukrainians as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves.
September 26, 2023 at 10:42 pm #247192
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Young Master Smeet.
YMS has already dealt effectively with the “just war” theory. So I will only deal with pgb’s cop-out of “leaving it to the Ukrainians to decide”.
Obviously the Ukrainian government and its nationalist supporters want the war to continue to recover their lost territories. But it is equally obvious that on their own they are no position to do this. They need outside support. Presumably, pgb, you think they are entitled to ask for this. Ok, but do you think that the governments of the NATO and other countries such as Australia are being “just” in supplying arms to the Ukrainian government and nationalists, arms which are allowing the killing and destruction to continue? Are you for or against this? This is a decision you can’t leave to “the Ukrainians”. It’s for you to take.
The other question is how do “the Ukrainians” decide? It is clear that many are opposed to the war. Hundreds of thousands have voted with their feet against it by fleeing the country. Others have had to be conscripted against their will (in fact if the war is so popular amongst Ukrainians why is conscription necessary?). And there could be as many as five million Ukrainian subjects who resent being “de-Russified” and would be like some arrangement with Russia to protect them. Ok, maybe a majority is for the war, but why take their side as opposed to that of the minority who are against it? Why disavow the draft dodgers?September 27, 2023 at 9:59 am #247195Lizzie45Participant
My ‘naiveté’ suggests that it’s PGB, rather than the SPGB, who occupies the ‘moral’ high-ground here.
The Ukrainians are attempting to defend their homeland in much the same way most people would attempt to defend their homes (and loved ones) against an intruder.
That you’re unable to understand this will almost certainly be one of the reasons your party has been an abject failure for almost 120 years.
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