Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Double-Standards: The Destroyed Kerch Bridge in Crimea, Russia’s Bombing of Civilian Targets – How will the Westplainers on the Left React?

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Russia is losing the war in Ukraine – that is clear. The principled left is for solidarity with Ukraine and favours Immediate Withdrawal of the Russian military forces from Ukraine – also, clear.

Two cartoons and a satirical meme sum up some options :

Two correspondents offer observations

  1. James Doyle
  2. Des Derwin
  1. I’ve been wondering how the usual suspects on the “left” (reactionaries and campists, Stalinists and “Traditional Communists”, and the “peacemakers” functioning as Putin apologists) would begin to square the circle as regards condemning Ukraine for apparently blowing up a bridge, and not criticising Russia for spending days firing long-range missiles at civilian targets in cities hundreds of kilometres from the frontline, and the solutions they’ve found are as typical as they are dishonest;

Pretend the missile strikes are a figment of western propaganda (despite Russian hawks openly celebrating them and threatening even more), promote them as a mere “retaliation” for the Bridge bombing (despite the missiles strikes beginning long before the bomb and being wildly disproportionate in any case) and blaming NATO/the USA for “escalating tensions” to begin with.

The latter claim is especially indicative of the cognitive dissonance currently fueling the “everything bad must be the West’s fault” denialism of some on the left;

Russia can therefore:

•openly interfere in Ukraine’s elections

•use a puppet president (Yanukovych)to suspend the constitution and circumvent votes of Parliament, plunging the country into political chaos which he tries to “end” by slaughtering protesters,

•prevent said puppet president from concluding an agreement to end the chaos, instead whisking him away the morning said agreement was due to be finalised and missing only the signature of the Russians as Co guarantors (this is the so-called “coup” of 2014)

• invade and annex Crimea

• support Russian nationalists in Donetsk and Lukhansk in running elections contrary to the Minsk agreements.

• breaking said agreement literally a day later by attacking a town (Severodonetsk) not included in the text of the deal (war on a technicality!)

•support a fascist’s (Pavel Gubarev) claim to be the “Governor of Donetsk

• invade again this year after weeks of denial that that’s exactly what they planned

• commit war crimes during the very first days of the invasion, in Bucha and elsewhere, including the torture and mass execution of civilians

• occupy Chernobyl before being beaten back

• occupy another huge nuclear power plant and use it as a base from which to attack civilian populations

• make weekly threats of using nuclear weapons

• hold referenda at gunpoint in partially occupied regions after the battlefield situation turns against them

• use the “results” of those “referenda” to initiate annexation of those regions, including the parts it never occupied

• mobilising hundreds of thousands of new troops/cannon fodder

• respond to battlefield losses by targeting civilians with long range missiles and bombs.

But none of that is “escalation”. Escalation is actually a) giving Ukraine weapons to fight back with, b) calling the sham referenda sham referenda, and c)blowing up a bridge the invader was using to supply weapons and troops to its occupation.

Makes sense

2. Des Derwin

On the day of 84 missiles sent into peaceful civilian cities in Ukraine, and a spirited protest by Ukrainian refugees (90% women) at the Russian embassy in Dublin, the radical left hadn’t a word to say about it on their continuous feeds of posts and words on every other conceivable subject. This is where the left’s blindness and flight from the war in Ukraine, the number one international issue at this time, has left them.

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