Why should the left (and everyone!) oppose the invasion of Ukraine? [special edition pt. 1]

“On the Barricades” — s04e03

The Russian military invaded Ukraine in the early hours of February 24, 2022. It has shocked and awed people all over the world, but especially in Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe. Regardless of where one stands on the Russian president, what one thinks of the Ukrainian government, whether one considers themselves to be leftist or rightist, or any other nuances, we should all stand united in our opposition to wars of aggression.

So far in recent history, such wars have been launched by Western countries, most notably the United States. At the end of last month, the Russian government adopted the American foreign policy standard and launched what appears to be (at the time of this video’s publication) a regime change operation. There should be no doubt that the left should protest that action and mobilize against the war — something the left hasn’t done much of in the last decade.

More than ever, the left must not call for more war in unison with many Western power and media centers, nor should it buy into the warmongering rhetoric of any of the conflict’s sides, nor should it participate in the hysterical campaign launched in corporate media outlets since the invasion began. Numerous left-wing organizations and leaders have called for an immediate end to the war and massive diplomatic action to resolve the conflict, most notably our Transform!Europe (https://bit.ly/3sD5HIY) partners. We believe that this is the only correct political position at this time. Adopting such a stance does not, of course, imply that no questions should be raised or that political action should be limited to presenting a coherent position.

“Our task is not to weep, nor to laugh, but to understand,” said the great philosopher Spinonza. Which, in today’s context, means that the left must carefully examine the conflict in Ukraine as well as the overarching international context: that is, Washington’s aggressive imperialist campaign against Russia and China, which is being carried out by the US and its satellite governments all over the world, most notably those in Western Europe.

“On the barricades,” as an Eastern European-focused publication, has been actively contributing to explaining all the nuances of the situation in that region, including, of course, Ukraine and Russia. Today, we’d like to provide our audience with an exhaustive and in-depth discussion of the Ukrainian war with Pat Byrne, a great analyst, a longstanding socialist activist, a historian of the European left, and a great friend of the show. Pat sat down with one of the hosts of “On the Barricades” to discuss the political process that led to this war, as well as to propose solutions to the international chaos that ensued.

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