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Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

Michael Pugliese
 

A series of largely rhetorical questions , at least in terms of ,
any concrete or real representation by or of , "socialists" in
parliamentary bodies , such as the US Congress , voting for or against
war credits,Pentagon budgets or actual (non-binding) resolutions in
support of the provision of military aid to Ukraine , made me recall
these little factoids about one particular Congressman , Rep. Jamaal
Bowman , one of the DSA electeds. Those who follow , internal
struggles within the DSA , will recall his vote for $$$ to the Israeli
Iron Dome and stance vs. BDS.
From the Bandera Lobby blog , a very useful blog that focuses on
the most right-wing sector of the politically organized
Ukrainian-American community. " On March 7, several New York
politicians, including US Congressman Jamaal Bowman and NY State
Senator Shelley Mayer, held a press conference in Yonkers to unveil
the “Stop Russian Aggression Act,” which would “block the awarding of
New York State contracts to any company conducting business in
Russia.” They held their press conference outside the Ukrainian Youth
Center in Yonkers, home to the “June 30, 1941 branch” of the OUN-B
affiliated Ukrainian American Youth Association." Via
https://banderalobby.substack.com/p/winter-2022?s=r . Note the name of
that branch of the UAYA , as well. June 30, 1941, was when Yaroslav
Stetsko of the OUN(B) , declared Ukrainian Independence , 8 days after
the Nazi invasion of the USSR. Pogroms of Jews, killing thousands in
Lviv, began the next day. (See John-Paul Himka , a leftish
Ukrainian-Canadian historian , here,
https://oun-b.livejournal.com/12947.html , on Stetsko , see ,"Old
Nazis, the New Right and the GOP," by Russ Bellant, South End press,
1991 , and on the pogroms , as well as the subsequent historical work
of the main figures of the OUN(B) , in the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of
Nations , within the World Anti-Communist League," see ,"Inside The
League," by Scotta and Jon Lee Anderson.)
Now, one would think, especially if one was a Ukrainian-American in
Bowman's district , that by this press availability , doubtless
coordinated with the UAYA , that he stands with your homeland, under
imperialist assault? Nope,
https://twitter.com/renmusb1/status/1502068971431944195 , he was among
,"69 House Reps Voted Against Providing Ukraine Aid," , which as noted
by an anti-imperialist account on Twitter,
https://twitter.com/PistolVanBuren/status/1514611677244772357?s=20&t=yQlhBdLN9NTkIdzlLtwb9Q
, given his office , had a press release vigorously condemning
,"Russian imperialism and facsim (sic.)" , seems inconsistent. Bowman
, however, would explain that vote , this way
https://twitter.com/PistolVanBuren/status/1514610539321647118?s=20&t=yQlhBdLN9NTkIdzlLtwb9Q
.
The pretzels these DSA electeds twist themselves into, getting
smacked by the liberals at outlets like NY magazine , and the
anti-liberal faux leftists such as Jackson Hinkle and Jimmy Dore, are
a wonder to behold.
"It is in *THIS* context that DSA is holding a "night school" with
the "Sotsialnyi Rukh," a group that explicitly calls for sending more
"military equipment" to Ukraine." Via
https://twitter.com/PistolVanBuren/status/1514316755136655370?s=20&t=yQlhBdLN9NTkIdzlLtwb9Q
. "Unfortunately, we need to talk about
@DemSocialists... just yesterday, a weirdo DSA imperialist wrote an
article saying that DSA has the "political clarity" to send "MILITARY
EQUIPMENT" to Ukraine!!!" Via
https://twitter.com/PistolVanBuren/status/1514299123876388867?s=20&t=yQlhBdLN9NTkIdzlLtwb9Q

Michael Pugliese


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

Anthony Boynton
 

I would say that the ideology that the United States, or any settler state, is a democracy is far from subscription to logic, intellectual consistency, and basic notions of sanity. In the first place, the second amendment right to bear arms was meant to build a citizen settler army to spread the settler culture westward and southward. In the second place it was meant to build slave catching expeditions. Lastly, it was sold as a way to prevent monarchical reaction against settler "democracy". 


I think Andrew is right about the complex pathologies and mental health issues behind mass shootings, but I think an analysis of them leads back time and again to the expansionist wars waged by the United States and its British parent, and to the white racist ideology built up to justify those wars of expansion, enslavement and extermination. 


Just to take one key example, PTSD. PTSD is very often the result of wartime trauma, but it is also very often the product of secual trauma. The relation of war induced trauma to violent crimes in the United States can be traced by tracing the military records of those who commit crimes, in this case murders and mass murders. https://abcnews.go.com/US/link-veterans-mass-shootings-complicated/story?id=59057321


Similarly, the culture of rape is fostered by war and by racism.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wartime_sexual_violence#:~:text=United%20States%20law%20specifies%20that,War%20Crimes%20Act%20of%201996.

https://endsexualviolence.org/where_we_stand/racism-and-rape/


To be succinct: the mental health issues involved in murders and mass murders, while complex, are not simply individual pathologies, they are rooted in social pathologies. In the United States the key social pathologies are linked to racism and imperialist war.


Anthony.


On Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 2:35 PM Andrew Stewart <hasc.warrior.stew@...> wrote:
Mass shootings are the manifestation of several pathologies and mental health issues that really have to be teased away from the doctrinaire white nationalist ideology that has underwritten some (but not even remotely close to a majority of) such instances, most prominent being Dylann Roof, who unleashed a rampage at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. There’s certainly overlap, particularly because of the fact that the American gun culture has been white nationalist for quite some years, but there are instances of intersection and contradictions. If a paranoiac who has tail-spun into a serious deluded state is acting upon conspiracy theories from outlets like Infowars, does it qualify as a political crime? Or is a nut job with a gun that has been loaded up with paranoia by Alex Jones just a nut job? Where and how is that line drawn? Why? The unfortunate part is that subscription to logic, intellectual consistency, and basic notions of sanity ceased to be a requirement for Republican Party membership decades ago.


Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

sartesian@...
 

Allow me to reproduce BMayers' text so I can respond point by point:

1. Let's just cut to the chase.  Should Lenin have accepted the material aid of German imperialism in supplying him with a specially sealed train from Switzerland to Finland/Petrograd?  We recall that the Bolsheviks were later slandered with accusations that Lenin was "an agent of German imperialism" by their political opponents. We also recall that it was the social-chauvinist Parvus who negotiated this aid from German imperialism, and Parvus can be considered an early "counter-hegemonist" in that, while he understood that Germany was imperialist, it was a secondary, "contender" imperialism acting against the "hegemons" of the Anglo-French colonial imperialism, for which WW1 tolled the bell of its actual end.  We can also recall that Bolshevik Soviet Russia and German imperialism gave mutual aid to one another at Brest-Litovsk, freeing Germany to launch its final offensive in France, when the Germans likely could have continued on to Petrograd and Moscow and enacted the counterrevolutionary overthrow of the Bolshevik regime, which instead survived.

Indeed, let's cut to the chase except Mayers' is using the wrong knife, cutting against the grain, and chasing nothing but abstraction and diversion.  The main reason that there's no chase here, is because there is no Lenin.  Lenin, may I be so rude to remind others, was nominal head of a revolutionary party.  He advocated a revolutionary program.  He did not get on the train or get off the train to subordinate the independent program of the working class to "national defense" or national self-determination.  He got on the train to advance a revolution. So absolutely taking that train was the right thing to do because it enabled Lenin to advance a revolutionary program and NOT to submerge class differences under some rubric of patriotism or national self-defense.  So where's our Lenin here?  Where is the revolutionary program that is being preserved and advanced in and by the actions of those proclaiming the exact opposite, those  proclaiming not the need for independence of a class based program, but for one that merges itself  with a government committed to preserving capitalism, and not just national, domestic capitalism, but the imperial capitalism of the IMF the EU? 

 
And we might drive this train further.  Did Lenin, when confronted with the resumed German advance into the newborn soviet territory, appeal to the Triple Entente to  provide weapons? Did Lenin urge "national defense" against the imperial Germans.  Of course not.  I would say, after his proclamation of no support to the Prov Government, Lenin's greatest contribution is to NOT succumb to that.  Rather, he argued to retreat, to cede the territory, accept the German terms and work towards the revolution in Germany and Europe as the only way to truly defend the revolution. And I'm not known for being a big Lenin fan.

2. - Ukraine is a capitalist but not an imperialist country, so we're not talking about "imperialist" war credits in the case of Ukraine.  This is not German Social Democracy in 1914.
- Russia is now a capitalist, neo-imperialist country


--  please define the terms, provide some empirical data to justify the distinctions, and show how those distinctions are the actual causes of the conflict.  If you can't, then it's just empty verbal posturing, designed to rationalize prejudice.  Show us how Russia's imperialism ECONOMICALLY needs to, or has already, subjugated Ukraine's non-imperial capitalist economy.  If you look at the actual economic footprint of Russian assets and Russian shares in the Ukrainian economy, it becomes quickly apparent how small the footprint really is.  It's about 1/15 to 1/20 of the footprint of the US assets and stake in the UK economy.  

3. Democratic right to self-determination is the only necessary *and* sufficient fundamental principle operative here.  By taking the politically correct stance here, Ukraine Socialist Solidarity is able to link up with Ukrainian workers and rank and file socialists on the ground there.  Note there emerges from this basic principle *no requirement* to act as "advisors* to the Ukrainian state, including its "socialist" members, nor to US "socialists" in Congress, nor as "advisors" to NATO on what military aid to send Ukrainians (only Ukrainian soldiers know what they need), nor as OpEd or news spin "propaganda advisors" and "editors" to the NYT or CNN.  Misunderstanding this is the source of all the slanders of being "pro-NATO", etc.  Believe it or not, laying eyes upon the pages of the NYT does not automatically "taint" you with "pro-NATO imperialism", or more concretely, pointing out that something claimed as fact by the NYT might actually be true, also does not "taint" one with "pro-NATOism".  This "logic" is but a case of Plato's shadows on the cave wall, the effect of all those 100 year old fossil bones rattling around in the skulls of too many leftists.

--here comrade BMayers asserts what must first be proven.  In everything I can recall ever reading by Lenin, and Trotsky, there was never ever the assertion that national self-determination ALONE was/is/can be  both the necessary and sufficient principle, so I would appreciate knowing how that determination has now been arrived at.  Is  it  because adopting that patriotic stance allows one to "link up with Ukrainian workers" there?  Even if so, the question is, on what basis? On the basis of support of the Zelensky government?  On the basis of the right to pay debt service for decades to imperialist banks and imperialist institutions?  On the basis of preserving the Ukrainian oligarchs against the Russian oligarchs?  Where exactly is your link going to take you without any articulation of class struggle?

You foreswear any allegiance to NATO, to a central command?  But you claim at the same time the absolute right for those battling for self-determination to obtain weapons from any source, as if the weapons are free, as if they don't come with the steepest of prices, as if the weapons are given to a "struggle" rather than to a class organization to  maintain specific relations of power; as if somehow self-determination is the cause of this conflict, and not the INTRA-capitalist conflict over impaired accumulation, overproduction, etc.

4.  A reformist socialist who voted for or against war credits will have to answer to Ukrainian workers in either case, independently of us.  Ukraine Socialist Solidarity stands independently of those scenarios, since we are not a Ukrainian socialist party, don't run in Ukrainian elections, and have no Ukrainian representatives in their Duma. We are an internationalist *campaign*.  Likewise with US reformist "socialists".  They are Democrats and not the representatives of *independent* socialists like us.  They don't answer to us, we don't answer to them.  

-- here is where comrade Mayers' argues essentially that the very weakness, and irrelevance of an opposition organization relieves it of responsibility and a certain commitment to principles,, and he does all that without realizing what he is truly saying.  "We are (only) an internationalist campaign."  Really? No, you said that "self determination" ALONE "was the necessary and sufficient position that allows you to "link up" with Ukrainian workers.  So you cannot avoid responsibility, when you detach self-determination from the program of class opposition to the Zelensky government, when you separate self-determination from the class analysis of the source of this war in mechanisms of  capitalist accumulation, when you do not articulate any program that envisions expropriating the property of the oligarchs in the Ukraine.  You can't pull that trick.  Oh, you can try. But somebody somewhere sometime is going to say, "WTF?"

5.  Finally, one last experiment with the thought experiment.  Substitute Palestinian for Ukrainian, and our opponents on the Left recognize immediately where the argument will go, and don't want to go there!  Too bad:  "What if"  Palestinians wanted to escalate their armed struggle against the state of Israel, and some US/NATO country offered to supply arms, and the Palestinians - the PA & Gaza regimes and people - accepted?  Would socialist support for the Palestinian call for arms taint us as "pro-NATO"? 

--I'm not afraid to go there.  Comrade Mayers again confuses the struggle of a people which is always an opening moment in class struggle, with the authority of a specific organization, which organization somehow doesn't represent class interests opposed to the successful prosecution of the class struggle.  Nice work if you can get it, but you can't.  We have all sorts of experience with those who have obtained weapons from "any source."  Hasn't worked out well for workers, has it?  The point being, the supply of weapons is used to suppress the prospects of proletarian revolution.  You don't believe me?  Look at Spain 36-39; Vietnam at the close of WW2, when Ho's party used its US supplied weapons to suppress the workers in Saigon and "hold" the line for the British imperialists to make Vietnam safe for the return of the French imperialists.   I would say if US/NATO, or Russia starts supplying weapons to the PLA or Hamas, it's because one or both recognize in PLA -Hamas a cat's paw to use against class struggle in the Mideast.  And yeah, I'd say the revolutionary struggle would involve the struggle against these arm shipments to all these enemies of the proletariat-- Israeli, Palestinian and Arab.



6. Finally, I'd offer the following as a program for united action on Ukraine.  
a) withdrawal of Russian troops
b) no recognition of secessionist oblasts
c) no partition of Ukraine
d) no US/NATO weapons shipments to Ukraine
e) Cancellation of Ukraine's international debt
f) Cancellation of IMF/WB/BIS/OECD programs for "restructuring"
g) No support for the Zelensky government
e) Expropriation of Ukrainian banks without compensation
f) Disarming of all nationalist militias
g) Europe out of NATO
h) Revolutionary defeatism, that is the defeat of each government so engaged by internal revolutionary struggle is the only way to put an end to the war.


Rep. Liz Cheney: A Warmongering Fool

Charles Keener
 

A reality check for some...

Charles

Rep. Liz Cheney: A Warmongering Fool - by Esha (substack.com)

Liberals, so eager to want to believe in the Good Republican myththey are willing to erase all of her previous history, her voting records, her corruption, and her fundamental beliefs about the world to build this mythology. This is a tendency in liberalism that seems to cut across, space, time and national borders. Liberals are so eager to welcome the anti-Trump Republican into their folds, we must make a dedicated effort to prevent the Trump washing of horrible people. 


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

hari kumar
 

David: Actually some trauma rooms in hospitals might certainly consider a 4 person crash a 'mass casualty'; and might well be overwhelmed by it. I mean as you know, a number like that is an arbitrary, but sometimes useful starting point. 
H


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

hari kumar
 

Thank you Alan: I regret that for lack of time, I did not check out the references myself. Of course your point is is not nit-picking, but a useful clarification. While the general point Anthony made originally seems still correct in tone - or overall, exaggerations do not help.
Cheers H


Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

John A Imani
 

Comrades,
 
Far as I am concerned there is no hard and fast rule about supporting indigenous movements against imperial intervention.
 
Vietnam taught us (at least, me) that the US withdraws from meddling in the affairs of 3rd world countries only when the body bags come home.  But this specific (where I support the Viet Minh against the US) is not to be taken as a blanket endorsement of all 'national' anti-imperialist movements.
 
For example, for Isis, etc (religious fanatics, killing 'non-believers, oppressing women, etc).  Where they attack civilian areas I support any and all who will put paid to them.  Where they come up against US interventions (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) then I support what amounts to a mutually assured destruction of the forces of both sides.  Send home the body bags.
 
This may sound cold, cavalier, even brutal, I don't care.
 
I have no direct info on the Azov battalion but taking at face what I have heard about them, i.e. that they are Fascists, my position on the battles in Donbas, Azovstal, etc is that while I cannot support a Russian army, even though it is composed mainly of conscripts, I can wish them well in killing every one of the proto-Nazis.  And, if the lesson of Vietnam is not lost, then the simultaneous killings of Russian soldiers is not anathema to me...provided that it leads (and of this there is evidence) to the civilians of Russia demanding that the Russian army leave the field.
 
Of course, this very same parallel of wistful death on both sides, does not apply to the mass murder of civilians and the unfathomable destruction of civilian dwellings and infrastucture in Ukraine. The innocents are Ukrainian civilians and volunteer forces in the field, and the Russian working class civilians and a large proportion of the conscript army.
 
No formula.  No hard and fast definitions.  One by one, no a priori determinants.  Taking things as they come and making an evaluation thencefrom.
 
That is the way that I take things.

JAI


Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

Bradley Mayer
 

Let's just cut to the chase.  Should Lenin have accepted the material aid of German imperialism in supplying him with a specially sealed train from Switzerland to Finland/Petrograd?  We recall that the Bolsheviks were later slandered with accusations that Lenin was "an agent of German imperialism" by their political opponents. We also recall that it was the social-chauvinist Parvus who negotiated this aid from German imperialism, and Parvus can be considered an early "counter-hegemonist" in that, while he understood that Germany was imperialist, it was a secondary, "contender" imperialism acting against the "hegemons" of the Anglo-French colonial imperialism, for which WW1 tolled the bell of its actual end.  We can also recall that Bolshevik Soviet Russia and German imperialism gave mutual aid to one another at Brest-Litovsk, freeing Germany to launch its final offensive in France, when the Germans likely could have continued on to Petrograd and Moscow and enacted the counterrevolutionary overthrow of the Bolshevik regime, which instead survived.

This example illustrates that this logic game can be played from many angles.  To untangle, begin with the basic facts and the first principles that are actually in play in Ukraine:
- Ukraine is a capitalist but not an imperialist country, so we're not talking about "imperialist" war credits in the case of Ukraine.  This is not German Social Democracy in 1914.
- Russia is now a capitalist, neo-imperialist country
- US-NATO is a traditional imperialist bloc, formerly attempting and failing at world hegemony, now declining in world influence, a decline that is about to become steeper thanks to its sanctions.  Reformist "socialists" have already voted for general US military budgets tout court, so they are already implicated in collaboration with this imperialist bloc in general
- Ordinary Ukrainian people, including workers, are willing to fight and die for self-determination in the face of a Russian invasion.  This is the crucial  basic fact that the part of the Left that *refuses* solidarity with Ukrainian people willing to die for their own basic democratic right of self-determination, always chokes on as they rummage about in the catalogue of 100 years of accumulated fossil remains for an excuse, *any* excuse, to ditch the basic issue here with Ukraine.

This issue is a very basic, "pre-socialist" question of democratic right.  This is the result of another basic fact: We are not working in a socialist revolutionary situation either in Ukraine or anywhere else.  In fact we are working through one of the most reactionary conjunctures on the world scale since the 1930's, and that includes Ukraine.  This could be the dialectical night before the revolutionary dawn, but that is impossible to predict.

Democratic right to self-determination is the only necessary *and* sufficient fundamental principle operative here.  By taking the politically correct stance here, Ukraine Socialist Solidarity is able to link up with Ukrainian workers and rank and file socialists on the ground there.  Note there emerges from this basic principle *no requirement* to act as "advisors* to the Ukrainian state, including its "socialist" members, nor to US "socialists" in Congress, nor as "advisors" to NATO on what military aid to send Ukrainians (only Ukrainian soldiers know what they need), nor as OpEd or news spin "propaganda advisors" and "editors" to the NYT or CNN.  Misunderstanding this is the source of all the slanders of being "pro-NATO", etc.  Believe it or not, laying eyes upon the pages of the NYT does not automatically "taint" you with "pro-NATO imperialism", or more concretely, pointing out that something claimed as fact by the NYT might actually be true, also does not "taint" one with "pro-NATOism".  This "logic" is but a case of Plato's shadows on the cave wall, the effect of all those 100 year old fossil bones rattling around in the skulls of too many leftists.

Yet this is the premise behind sartisian's thought exercise.  This premise is rejected per above.  A reformist socialist who voted for or against war credits will have to answer to Ukrainian workers in either case, independently of us.  Ukraine Socialist Solidarity stands independently of those scenarios, since we are not a Ukrainian socialist party, don't run in Ukrainian elections, and have no Ukrainian representatives in their Duma. We are an internationalist *campaign*.  Likewise with US reformist "socialists".  They are Democrats and not the representatives of *independent* socialists like us.  They don't answer to us, we don't answer to them.  

However we can still flip the premise around, however mistaken, to good effect.  "What if" these socialists supplied the swing votes for a majority *against* war credits or military aid?  Based on our basic principle above, Ukraine Socialist Solidarity would already be correctly positioned to *denounce* this as a betrayal of the Ukrainian struggle for self-determination.  If in the US case this led to a cutoff of US arms to Ukraine, we'd point out that that this will not stop the struggle for self-determination by Ukrainians, who will seek arms from elsewhere as has every other national liberation movement has done in history.  Ukraine Socialist Solidarity will again be well-positioned to denounce the US/NATO sellout of Ukraine.  

Indeed this last case is actually in motion, as I've shown with various posts from the US-NATO horses' mouth.  It is inevitable that they will pressure Ukraine into some sellout "truce" that will leave Russia in occupation of some 20% of Ukrainian territory, with the oppression of people who don't want them there.  This inevitable result guarantees the emergence of CFR imperialist Richard Haass' worst fear:  a low grade but interminable insurrectionary "guerrilla" struggle against the Russian occupation.  Ukraine Socialist Solidarity is well-positioned to support that struggle, unconditionally.

Finally, one last experiment with the thought experiment.  Substitute Palestinian for Ukrainian, and our opponents on the Left recognize immediately where the argument will go, and don't want to go there!  Too bad:  "What if"  Palestinians wanted to escalate their armed struggle against the state of Israel, and some US/NATO country offered to supply arms, and the Palestinians - the PA & Gaza regimes and people - accepted?  Would socialist support for the Palestinian call for arms taint us as "pro-NATO"?  Would antiwar or pacifists accuse us of "recklessly increasing the risks of nuclear war", since Israel has nukes?  Would we be required on some "principle" to advise that NATO country, or Palestinian socialists, on how to go about this?  Or how about something slightly more realistic?  "What if" the Putin regime offered to supply those requested arms?  Would that make socialists who support Putin's shipment of arms to the Palestinians, as I would unconditionally,  "Brown-Red Pro-Putinists"?  I can hear it now!

This last exercise exposes the absurdity of this Animal Farm-level "logic".


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

Andrew Stewart
 

Mass shootings are the manifestation of several pathologies and mental health issues that really have to be teased away from the doctrinaire white nationalist ideology that has underwritten some (but not even remotely close to a majority of) such instances, most prominent being Dylann Roof, who unleashed a rampage at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. There’s certainly overlap, particularly because of the fact that the American gun culture has been white nationalist for quite some years, but there are instances of intersection and contradictions. If a paranoiac who has tail-spun into a serious deluded state is acting upon conspiracy theories from outlets like Infowars, does it qualify as a political crime? Or is a nut job with a gun that has been loaded up with paranoia by Alex Jones just a nut job? Where and how is that line drawn? Why? The unfortunate part is that subscription to logic, intellectual consistency, and basic notions of sanity ceased to be a requirement for Republican Party membership decades ago.


Artillery shells and negotiations

Anthony Boynton
 

Ukraine's military is facing dire straits as it uses up its armaments and manpower faster than Russia uses its up. Long before a WW1 style war of attrition brings a crisis to Ukraine, a crisis could unfold simply because they run out of artillery shells. Recognition of this is part of the reason Zelensky has pleaded so insistently for them, and part of the reason the US, UK and other countries have begun to supply increasing amounts of artillery.

Nevertheless, US type shells are 155 mm and Soviet style shells are 152mm, so the US/UK et al. cannot simply provide artillery shells, they must send the whole package. 

The growing scarcity of artillery shells in Ukraine was foreseen long ago. At the end of last year, Ukraine only had the capacity to manufacture 14,000 artillery shells each year. (see the last line of the article below).


But Ukraine has been firing 5,000 to 6,000 rounds per day.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/10/world/europe/ukraine-ammo-shortage-artillery.html?campaign_id=2&emc=edit_th_20220611&instance_id=63808&nl=todaysheadlines&regi_id=38183359&segment_id=94863&user_id=ef5ce672e120161228dcf3446bbc7a61

How long and how well Ukraine can resist Russia's offensive depends on its artillery. If its artillery cannot fire because it has no shells, Ukraine will be forced into a long retreat.

This prospect is undoubtedly a key factor behind the western drumbeat for a negotiated settlement from the likes of George Will, Henry Kissinger, and the mass of talking heads on CNN, BBC etc.

Anthony


Moral Crusade or Class Interest? Does the US Working Class Have a Material Interest in Ukraine? - CounterPunch.org

Bobby MacVeety
 

Moral Crusade or Class Interest? Does the US Working Class Have a Material Interest in Ukraine?

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Moral crusade or working-class interest? Which should guide our actions on Ukraine and the escalating conflict with China? How do we work through the dilemmas of peace activism given the contradictory mess that is the War in Ukraine? It helps to ask the right questions.

Moral Crusades and Cold Wars

Popular support for US involvement in Ukraine is based on a persuasive moral crusade most forcefully advanced by Joe Biden and other leading Democrats. Biden’s speech in Poland was one of those defining moments framing future wars as a repeat of past ones. On behalf of the “Free World,” Biden placed Ukraine “on the front lines” in “the perennial struggle for democracy and freedom.”

Biden did not invent the fiction of the “Free World” or the “perennial struggle” of good v. evil. He simply recycled lines from the first Cold War. Long before him, John F. Kennedy’s “long twilight struggle” committed Americans to an anti-communist crusade that morphed into the unending struggle against any and all rivals after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The problem: moral crusades tend to rule out compromise and negotiations. Behind them lies the mirage of “total victory.” In Ukraine, this is a dangerous illusion for anyone that supports any side in the conflict. Even war at the scale of WWII — that ended in as total a victory as could be imagined — did not finish off fascism, militarism, or empire. Those evils run deep because they sustain capitalism.

War leaders are not about solving fundamental issues so they give us the twin deceptions of moral crusade and total victory. Joe Manchin, who always serves the Democrats by saying the quiet part out loud, entertained the Davos crowd by rejecting negotiations and holding out for a win.

The call to war enjoys strong bipartisan support. Liberal politicians and their supporters  have pushed pro-war attitudes deep into progressive territory by appealing to ideals of self-determination, and “agency.” This also recalls the “cold war liberalism” of the past when some radicals and many labor officials fell into line against the communist menace and supported the Vietnam War.

All the talk of agency and self-determination used to support a war thousands of miles away rings hollow since US workers —right here, right now — are denied effective agency and self-determination. We do not even have health care or secure reproductive rights — the simplest forms of bodily self-determination. The current organizing upsurge will surely help but true agency still requires mass independent political action as argued by the President of the Vermont AFL-CIO.

Contrary to the stories of triumph we’ve all heard since the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War was a disaster for the US working class; the new wars will be worse, much worse.

The war’s mass appeal is not based on informed, analytical, historical, or left-wing arguments but on simple binaries of good and evil promoted by both parties and blasted across all corporate media channels. The moral crusade works to silence any consideration of the material interest of the US working class in this conflict, and for good reason — we have none.  

The Right Question: Is the Ukraine War in the Interest of the US Working Class?

The US working class has a direct and vital material interest in peace. That means the dismantling of the US empire, cutting military budgets, defunding the police army, and in the case of Ukraine: immediate ceasefire and negotiations.

It’s hard to find a single example outside of revolutions and the national liberation struggles of the 20th Century when wars were fought in the interest of the working class. Ukraine is no exception. 

When ruling classes fight each other it’s the working class that does the dying and pays the bills. Wars can only be made when nationalism, fascism or liberalism overcome class consciousness and solidarity. If this argument sounds familiar it’s because it has been a staple of working-class politics since at least WWI. 

War and sanctions have provided the chaos, cover, and consent for yet another wave of austerity pushing workers down and corporate profits ever upward.   

+ Inflation — an across-the-board cut in pay and social security

+ Rising food prices and possible shortages. 

+ Surging costs of housing

+ Increasing fuel costs for transportation and heating

+ Record hikes in Medicare costs

+ Fed policy ‘to get wages down”

That’s just everything workers need to live.

The war multiplies the power of the very forces that exploit us: big corporations and billionaires. Worst of all, war in all its forms accelerates climate change. Escalation in Ukraine is death to the Green New Deal and a war on Mother Earth. No greater reason to oppose war has ever existed.

Despite these truly existential threats, the ruling class and ruling parties are experts in getting people to vote and act against their own interests. While workers do have jobs in arms factories the weapons industry fails as a jobs program because it produces fewer jobs than any other form of investment. It’s a net loss. Even for those that benefit from war work these imperial privileges are like white privileges: a form of divide and conquer that trades short-term advantage for long-term survival.

Solidarity with the Ukrainian Working Class?

One of the great tragedies of Ukraine was the initial phase of the war that started in the Donbas in 2014. Instead of living up to the Minsk II accords, the Ukrainian state was able to convince one part of the Ukrainian working class to wage war against another part based on nationalism and ethnic differences — with an assist from fascist ideas and neo-nazi fighters. But for the sake of this essay, I am going to suspend discussion of that class treachery and the contentious question of what the Russian invasion means for workers in Donbas and Ukraine, in order to make clear my argument about the US working class.  

We have mutual class interests with Ukrainian workers; we both face the assaults of the neoliberal order. Finance capital commands that order by controlling global institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In 1992, just after independence, Ukraine joined the IMF and was soon trapped between access to loans and the austerity measures the IMF typically demands. Between 2010 and 2014 the IMF ramped up its assault on the Ukrainian working class by demanding budget cuts, higher home heating prices, the scrapping of pension reform, and the defeat of the proposed minimum wage law. In a move that would trigger his downfall, former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych went so far as to seek money from Russia instead.

The US-supported 2014 coup that ousted Yanukovych was cemented by a multi-billion dollar IMF loan. Monsanto and big agribusiness have grabbed land and profits also with the blessings of the World Bank and IMF. By 2014 corporate control of Ukraine was well underway. Being held hostage to the IMF is not self-determination. US workers have suffered from 50-years of austerity under the heel of the same financial forces. We have a shared class interest and a shared position of servitude under the big money dictatorship.   

We also have mutual interest with Ukrainian workers because the Zelensky regime is seeking new pro-corporate labor laws to bring Ukrainian working conditions more into line with the needs of the global market and further away from its socialist past. The new law proposes exempting workers at small and medium corporations from all legal protections. Approximately two dozen large corporations have already suspended their contracts. In the US, workers struggle under the terms of the 1947 Taft Hartley “Slave Labor” Act which Democrats have refused to repeal these past 70 years. We have common interests in advancing workers’ rights — war or no war.  

We have common ground in that we are controlled by pro-war governments. After its independence in 1991, Ukraine choose neutrality but after 2014 opened the door to NATO expansion with its predictable outcome. The 2015 Minsk II accords were a viable yet never enforced peace plan. As late as 2019 Zelensky himself was elected on a peace platform. Nevertheless, opposition parties were banned outright, and a “uniform information policy” was imposed.

As in the US, the desire for peace among everyday people is subject to intense propaganda and subverted by a political system that allows no alternatives. The US has a far more effective system of suppressing opposition parties. The entrenched parties snag rivals in a web of restrictive state laws and false narratives. Again, we have common ground.

The war has deepened division within an already divided working class in both countries. Perhaps the greatest act of solidarity is to fight our own battles on our own ground. It sure as hell isn’t in handing billions in weapons to a government that does not represent workers any better than our own.

The Global South is leading the way; they are trending toward non-alignment and neutrality. Why should Africa, Asia, and South America support war and sanctions that will not only hurt them but are sponsored by the very countries that colonized them? Why should the US working class support a war and war sanctions that hurt us and are backed by the very class that exploits us? We should sit this one out too, except of course for the class struggle that offers a morality far higher than anything the liberal crusaders can offer.

Organizing a Working-Class Peace Movement

The moral crusade has divided, demobilized, and defeated the peace movement — for now.  But changes are afoot.

The pivotal moment was when Democrats gave their unanimous support to the $40 billion funding package and the “lend-lease” bill granting the President even greater powers to make war. All this was done without a word of debate or dissent from leading progressives. We are on our own — and that’s not all bad.

This crisis is an opportunity for the peace movement. The anti-war movement of the Vietnam era was such a driver of social change precisely because the Democrats were pro-war. Participation in the peace movement shifted people into opposition — not just to the war but to the established order itself. 

As the war drags on, working-class support is bound to decline. While polling conducted by the Pew Research Center documents just how successful the pro-war propaganda has been, and just how bi-partisan it is, there’s some evidence that popular support for the war is turning.

Workers are no fools. Over time the price we are paying will become more and more obvious. Inflation is already the most important issue by far.

The sanctions aimed at driving the Russian working class into opposition to Putin may well backfire, turning the US working class against Biden. Tensions with China will further strain working-class support. Since WWII the US has failed to win any wars but has proven quite successful at baiting the bear. Now they are after China. Does anyone believe they can actually slay the dragon?

But the real question for US activists is: will we be able to build a peace movement infused with the kind of ecological wisdom and working-class consciousness that is capable of meaningful resistance to the truly existential threats we all face.




Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

Bobby MacVeety
 

I can see that using terms like murder and destruction to describe warmaking is provocative and accusing in this discussion, I apologize 
But I still fail to see how supplying arms to a raging conflict and protecting the borders of Soviet Ukraine advances socialism. Never mind that it’s exactly the same goal shared by Biden and the Republicans who love to spend billions on arms, coincidentally enriching themselves and their main constituents and thrilling and uniting the war loving masses.
Thanks also to sartesian for the practical questions.


On Jun 11, 2022, at 1:31 PM, sartesian@... wrote:

I have to disagree with David W.  I think first and foremost concentrating on BMac's use of the terms "murder" and "destruction" is a mistake.  The central issue that is raised is "what is being accomplished to advance the independence of the working class from all bourgeois formations?"  That's not trolling.  Indeed it is the critical question that goes unanswered and not just here.  Underneath the misuse of categories like "imperialism" and "self-determination" and "national liberation" is the refusal to propose an independent path for the working class.

I'd like to know how participants answer some questions:

If you are a socialist member of Ukraine's parliament, who has opposed Ukraine's acceptance of IMF loans, World Bank grants, EU investments, on February 25, the day after the Russian invasion, do you now vote with the government and in favor of war credits?   If yes, would you have voted for military expenditures by the govt. prior to the invasion, in preparation for the invasion   If not, please explain the distinction.

Do you vote to solicit arms from NATO, whether of not  those weapons come with strings attached of stationing NATO personnel for "training" and "maintenance" purposes (personally I don't see how you can accept the weapons and refuse the "support" personnel)?

If you're  a socialist, do you place whatever militia units, workers guards formations, under the central command of the government?  I don't see how you do either of the two previous things without doing this other thing.  

If you're a socialist member of the US Congress (and somehow finesse the oath-swearing fidelity to the Constitution) and you opposed funding NATO and the US DOD funding, do you now vote for that funding to supply weapons to Ukraine? If so, what reason can you offer for ever opposing NATO or the US? After all, without that preexisting source of resupply, no weapons would have been available to ship to Ukraine.  

Then, just to scratch an itch:  in WW1 or WW2 for that matter, when "poor little Belgium" was occupied by the "nasty Huns" should socialists in Belgium bloced with the bourgeois, national militias in a combined resistance?  If not, why not?  Because Belgium was "imperialist"?  How does that make a difference to oh-so-fretted over fate of "democracy?"



Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

sartesian@...
 

I have to disagree with David W.  I think first and foremost concentrating on BMac's use of the terms "murder" and "destruction" is a mistake.  The central issue that is raised is "what is being accomplished to advance the independence of the working class from all bourgeois formations?"  That's not trolling.  Indeed it is the critical question that goes unanswered and not just here.  Underneath the misuse of categories like "imperialism" and "self-determination" and "national liberation" is the refusal to propose an independent path for the working class.

I'd like to know how participants answer some questions:

If you are a socialist member of Ukraine's parliament, who has opposed Ukraine's acceptance of IMF loans, World Bank grants, EU investments, on February 25, the day after the Russian invasion, do you now vote with the government and in favor of war credits?   If yes, would you have voted for military expenditures by the govt. prior to the invasion, in preparation for the invasion   If not, please explain the distinction.

Do you vote to solicit arms from NATO, whether of not  those weapons come with strings attached of stationing NATO personnel for "training" and "maintenance" purposes (personally I don't see how you can accept the weapons and refuse the "support" personnel)?

If you're  a socialist, do you place whatever militia units, workers guards formations, under the central command of the government?  I don't see how you do either of the two previous things without doing this other thing.  

If you're a socialist member of the US Congress (and somehow finesse the oath-swearing fidelity to the Constitution) and you opposed funding NATO and the US DOD funding, do you now vote for that funding to supply weapons to Ukraine? If so, what reason can you offer for ever opposing NATO or the US? After all, without that preexisting source of resupply, no weapons would have been available to ship to Ukraine.  

Then, just to scratch an itch:  in WW1 or WW2 for that matter, when "poor little Belgium" was occupied by the "nasty Huns" should socialists in Belgium bloced with the bourgeois, national militias in a combined resistance?  If not, why not?  Because Belgium was "imperialist"?  How does that make a difference to oh-so-fretted over fate of "democracy?"



Re: troll

Bradley Mayer
 

Marla, we notice that the Far Right Modi Hindutva government in India - Donald Trump's #1 supporter in the world, where Trump experienced his largest mass rallies, from ~50,000 in a "Howdy Modi" rally in Texas (right wing Indian immigrants from middle class backgrounds who work in the tech industry, I also work in this industry, with many Indian immigrants, and am very familiar with the elitist "Brahmin" Hindutva type), to ~100,000 at a rally in India itself - is politically and ideologically aligned with the Far Right regime of Putin's Russia.  Trump and Modi stood on the same stage in both rallies.

Both are politically and ideologically aligned with the US Far Right, the #1 danger to world peace and human progress on the planet today.  Yes, more than Putin, whose own actions will speed the return of the US Far Right back into power by 2024.  I think the Putinists know this, and believe the prospect of a Far Right ascendency in the USA favors their own geopolitics.

The Putinists are just as likely to recruit "Ukronazis" to the Russian side as they are to "de-Nazify" them.

The US Far Right seeks to "De-Marxify" the USA.  The are quite explicit in their aim to conduct this political and ideological "defenestration".  The world's anti-communists have concentrated themselves in the USA and Canada since the end of WW2, where they have linked arms with the most fanatically antiworker, antisocialist, anti-Marxist bourgeoise in world history - the US bourgeoisie.  However they face the contradiction that it is in precisely the USA that the democratic mass majority want to move in an objectively progressive left direction.  We saw this contradiction emerge in full force with the George Floyd Uprising of 2019.  This contradiction introduces a very special angst within the US Far Right that spurs them on to launch the "defenestration" sooner rather than later.  The US Far Right can't kill the majority, but they can preemptively decapitate any potential leadership.

Leftists who fall for Putin's "de-Nazification" act, a pure Potemkin Village piece of Kabuki fakery, blind themselves to the actual international political dynamics in play here.  "De-Nazification" is a cynical manipulation of the Russian national memory of the Great Patriotic War, for home propaganda consumption. Everybody that opposes Russia is a "Nazi".  That is its first purpose, its second purpose is to spread confusion and disorientation within the world Left, to soften up and weaken Left resistance to the international ascendency of the Far Right, in India, the EU, Japan, the US and Russia.  This is accomplished symbolically by waving red flags with hammers and sickles on them.  But in fact the hammer and sickle flag is now used as a battle flag of military conquest and victory in Putin's Russia.

It is a very dangerous, even dire, situation we have entered into in the present period.  The Left must get this right, by throwing off layers of fossilized behaviors and ideologies accumulated over the last 100 years, if we want to start from the ascendency of counterrevolution in the Soviet Union in the 1920's.  

Understanding that a counterrevolutionary regime arose to power in Soviet Russia by the end of that decade now long ago, is the first step towards breaking up all the mineralized fossil bones accumulated on the Left since then.   Otherwise I'll go out on a limb and predict that much of the Left as we know it today is going to be wiped out, consigned to Marx's famous dustbin.

A meteoric mass political extinction event is coming!


Ukrainian former human rights chief admits promoting fake news to convince west to send more arms | Steve Sweeney | The Morning Star

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ukrainian-former-human-rights-chief-admits-promoting-fake-news-to-convince-west-to-send-more-arms

Ukrainian former human rights chief admits promoting fake news to convince west to send more arms

Nila Zelinska holds her granddaughter's doll that she recovered from her destroyed home during Russia's invasion in Potashnya on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 31, 2022

UKRAINE’S sacked former human rights chief Lyudmila Denisova has admitted promoting fake news to persuade Western countries to send more arms and aid. 

Ms Denisova said she lied to the Italian parliament in order to change their minds about sending weapons to Ukraine.

Her admission comes as Ukraine and Russia looked farther than ever from compromise, following claims by Russia’s Vladimir Putin that his war emulated tsar Peter the Great in “reclaiming” Russian land.

Mr Putin’s comments reinforce the message of Russian-installed officials in conquered regions, including Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, that it plans to annex Ukrainian territory.

His Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky said it showed there was no “off ramp” or possibility of compromise.

“I talked about terrible things in order to somehow push them to make the decisions that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need,” Ms Denisova said. 

“There is a party, Five Stars, which was against the provision of weapons to us, but after my speech, one of the party leaders expressed support for Ukraine, said that they will support, including the provision weapons,” Ms Denisova added. 

The former Ukrainian parliamentary commissioner for human rights was ousted earlier this month following a vote of no confidence in the Rada. 

Lawmaker Pavlo Frolov accused Ms Denisova of pushing misinformation that “only harmed Ukraine” in relation to “the numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual offences’ and child sexual abuses in the occupied territories, which were unsupported by evidence.”

Her reports were published uncritically by numerous Western media outlets as fact, and despite her sacking, none have retracted stories.

Comparisons have been made to the propaganda exercise to demonise the Serbian people and soften up public opinion to justify the 1999 Nato bombardment and break-up of the rest of Yugoslavia.

Reporting inside Ukraine and Russia on the war is tightly controlled by the respective authorities there.

Ms Denisova says she plans to launch a legal challenge against her dismissal.




Re: troll

David Walters
 

Marla, with all respect to the class struggle in India, which I know little about except to know that India is not being invaded by China or Pakistan at the moment, but there have been no "posts supporting Nazi groups in Ukraine" here. THAT is inflaming a flame war, especially in the passive-aggressive manner that you do this in. You really just insulted alost the entire list here, so I urge you not to post again where you accuse me or anyone else of "supporting Nazis".

I welcome your participation on the war in Ukraine, but drop the accusations.

David


Re: troll

Marla Vijaya kumar
 

Well, I differ with many posts supporting the Nazi groups of Ukraine, in the garb of Ukr nationalism. In India 

also, we have Hindutva nationalism, in the garb of Hindu patriotism. We are well aware that kind of danger. 

Defeat fascism first and then talk about national identity and patriotism. In India, the mainstream Left has 

similar views as the Russian CP and Ukr CP. But I do not want to start a flame-war and so kept quiet. Let us 

agree to disagree and time will answer the question.

Vijaya Kumar Marla

On Saturday, June 11, 2022, 05:58:35 PM GMT+5:30, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:


that's up to you.  i want to call attention to the reality of trolling

On Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 5:48 AM Les Schaffer <les.schaffer@...> wrote:
let me guess, you want someone thrown off the list?

 
On 6/11/22 7:43 AM, Dayne Goodwin wrote:
> I don't recall Louis being patient with trolls.







Re: Boycotting the Ukrainian Resistance Is Neither Internationalist Nor Socialist!

David Walters
 

Bobby, why are on this list? By associating all violence where someone dies as "murder" you are taking a very non-Marxist approach to class struggle and you are certainly at odds with Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. This position is a pacifist one, and expressed in a very one-sided perspective where your pacifist barbs are tossed at those defending a people under attack and never the attackers. Odd, that.

David


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

David Walters
 

Anthony, thanks for pointing this out. The numbers in the article are completely screwy. There are *thousands* of murders committed by firearms in the U.S. each year and few are done by "extremists". [21,570 to be exact, very few are by "extemists"]

 

I'll also take issue with the "kind of/sort of" revisionism of what a "mass shooting" is. This is a term that is specific in numbers of "4 or more" people being shot in one incident. Australia was the first country to use this number followed shortly by the FBI here in the U.S. It's an absurd label. Yes, the recent shootings and murders in Texas and NY were certainly "mass shootings", in fact they were mass murder. But the number of "4" is silly, IMO and sadly is used and implemented by anti-gun folks for polemical reasons and not technical ones. When four people are hurt and or killed in a car accident, we never call that a "mass casualty" event, do we? Nor with *any other sort of injuries or death* other than when fire arms are involved.

David Walters


Re: If America fails to punish its insurrectionists, it could see a wave of domestic terror | Steve Phillips | The Guardian

Alan Ginsberg
 

Anthony Boynton wrote: "Conservatively, 70 percent of mass shootings in the USA are the work of extreme right wingers according to the NYT."
The New York Times piece cited by Anthony contains no such claim. It states:

"Over the past decade, the Anti-Defamation League has counted about 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists.

"Of these 450 killings, right-wing extremists committed about 75 percent. Islamic extremists were responsible for about 20 percent, and left-wing extremists were responsible for 4 percent."
(italics added)

1. There are mass shootings in the United States that are not committed by "political extremists" of any type.
2. The article is about 450 murders committed by extremists, not 450 mass shootings.
 

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