Events in Ukraine, I think it is safe to claim, have consistently escalated over previous weeks, and we have seen a subsequent significant chill in United States and European Union relations with the Russian Federation. Besides what seems to have been a vigorously passive aggressive war of words between the Kremlin and the White House, we have seen little substantial commitment or will to potentially commit to any form of intervention from the U.S. or the U.K. However, what we have seen is an almost universal condemnation of the actions of the Russian Federation from the western media, especially focusing on the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or as I fondly like to call him, Tsar Vladimir the 1st.
However, despite their apparent declaration that their material isn’t a “endorsement of Putin or his policies,” Stop the War UK(STWUK) have shown nothing but a blatant anti-western agenda, rather than a desire for pacifism. In their most recent dispatch, as of the time of writing this article, STWUK clearly show why their interpretation of foreign policy is both worrying and naive. I’m going to proceed in a chronological fashion through STWUK and Lindsey German’s article, in an attempt to expose STWUK’s anti-western agenda.
German’s article starts off by clearly exposing the anti-western agenda of STWUK and does so by incorrectly attempting to attribute escalations in Ukraine to both the UK and NATO. German argues that:
“And even if that prospect is not the most likely development it certainly does look as if we are already moving closer towards civil war in the Ukraine. And in any such conflict there is little doubt that the role of the US and Nato will be to exacerbate an already dangerous situation, just as they have been doing in the run up to the current crisis.”
This argument does not stand up to logical criticism, and is especially weak when compared to many pro-interventionist criticisms of the US and NATO’s participation in the crisis. It is actually far more accurate to say the US and NATO have played a responsive role, rather than an instigative one in their attempts to respond to the events in Ukraine. Rather, we can see that many of those who are critical of the US and NATO have been critical of responses being both delayed and often ineffectual or of little potency. It would be wrong to suggest that it has been the US and NATO that have tried to “exacerbate an already dangerous situation,” when what we have seen from NATO and the US, initially, has been, while perhaps weak, diplomatic attempts to try to communicate with Russia and reach a solution to bring stability to the region. Yet, it is Russia and Mr Putin who have, time and time again, walked away from the negotiating table. Make no mistake, despite the Obama administrations lacklustre sanctions on Russian officials and Putin supporters, the US has not instigated the conflict here, and has simply tried to respond to what was Russian action within the Crimean peninsula.
In continuation, German’s article shows STWUK’s serious misunderstanding of the situation in Ukraine through it’s assumption that the UK and US troops who are now stationed in Ukraine are part of an aggressive move to provoke conflict.
“In July, as the Stop the War Coalition revealed this week, UK and US troops will have their boots on the ground in the Ukraine as part of an expanded Rapid Trident joint military exercise with Ukrainian armed forces. It is hard to think of a more dangerous and inflammatory act in the present circumstances. The exercises have been running since 1997 in a bid to integrate the Ukraine into NATO without formal membership.”
Make no mistake, it has been Russia that has been amassing troops on the borders of Ukraine and it has been Russia that has increased it’s strategic military exercises before the UK or the US has. Yet, we see that the UK and the US are only running these exercises within Ukrainian sovereign territory, which they have permission to do so under agreements from Kiev with London and Washington, where as Russia’s aggression has violated Ukraine’s sovereign territory on a number of occasions, which have included Russian aircraft infringing on Ukrainian airspace on numerous military exercises. Surely the aggressor here is clear, the UK and the US have every right to protect the government in Ukraine who have specifically allowed their exercises, whereas Russia doesn’t have permission and continues to break international territorial agreements. STWUK would be ludicrously failing in their duty to try to “stop the war” if they though that the UK and US disengaging from Ukraine would somehow stop conflict with the Kremlin. Rather, what we can see is that Russia would continue their path of aggression unchallenged. Remember, NATO’s mission in Ukraine is specifically to “defend and protect the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine,” have Russia’s actions and intentions been so focused on protecting and defending another country’s sovereignty? I think I’ll leave that question for you to answer. But one question that we should ask, is that do the people of Ukraine want a Russian military intervention of any form?
I think the graph speaks for itself, even the Russian speaking Ukrainians are not in favour of intervention from Moscow. Therefore, clearly NATO has a mandate to protect and defend the sovereignty of Ukraine, and it is clear that Russia’s aggressive actions are not welcomed by the majority of Ukrainians. So would STWUK have us ignore the will of the people in Ukraine, ignore blatant Russian aggression and not protect allies of which have asked us to run military exercises within their territory. This isn’t creating tension within the region for selfish goals, this is protecting an ally. Something, actually, that the UK and US have a mandate to do, as 100 member states of the United Nations supported the resolution protecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. In fact, only 11 counties opposed the resolution, with Russia keeping good company amongst dictatorships like Syria, Zimbabwe and Belarus in voting against the resolution.
These are only two flaws with German’s article, more of which I shall publish tomorrow in an update of this article, but I think it’s clear to say, that despite claiming that Stop the War UK are not supportive of Putin’s regimes, they have excused so far aggression, defiance of UN enshrined international territories, and crudely blaming organisations trying to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis as trying to “exacerbate an already dangerous situation.”
To me, this doesn’t sound like an organisation that truly seeks to “Stop the War.”