Ukraine: U.S. Out Now! Remains Our Anti-Imperialist Antiwar Credo

Ukraine: U.S. Out Now! Remains Our Anti-Imperialist Antiwar Credo

Statement by the UNAC Administrative Committee – With Context

 [Editor’s note: The statement below was drafted by UNAC Administrative Committee member, Jeff Mackler and approved following discussion and amendment by the March 17, 2022 meeting of UNAC Administrative Committee.]

U.S. Out Now! Hands Off! Self-determination for the World’s Poor and Oppressed! and $Billions for Human Needs Not War! have sufficed to define UNAC’s ten years as the nation’s leading antiwar coalition.

And what about Ukraine Today? And what of the role of the US? Have we entered a new era wherein the US imperialist behemoth has instantly transformed itself, repudiating its bloody past to stand before us as the champion of truth, justice and freedom? The corporate media and the bi-partisan war parties would have us believe it. Their full throttle war propaganda ranges from blatant falsification of history, to daily Orwellian-like media fabrications to jailing truthtellers like WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange to banning Russian Television (RT), including its renowned broadcaster Chris Hedges.

We in the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) offer no free pass to imperialist warmakers, who today preside over a $trillion dollar-plus war budget that is daily bloated with its NATO allies begging for additional $billions to make war on whomever the US elite designate as the “enemy.” War has never been as good for military profits

Maidan’s 2014 rooftop fascist snipers

Today’s unfolding Ukraine tragedy began in February 2014 when rooftop fascist snipers opened fire on Maidan protestors assembled to resist the Victor Yanukovych government’s austerity measures. The fascists murdered 100 in cold blood, including some of their own for good measure. Yanukovych, the elected president, was instantly blamed and pilloried by the world’s corporate media, paving the political road for what followed. He fled for his life.

US backed fascist coup

It mattered not that US representative to the European Union, Victoria Nuland, had inadvertently revealed that the rooftop assassins were of the fascist Svoboda Party and Right Sector ilk and not Yanukovych’s military. The armed thugs that had come from across Ukraine and beyond to dominate the Maidan events – replete with US Senator John McCain sharing the stage with fascist orators and Nuland handing out US friendship cookies to boot – were led by the fascist Svoboda Party leader, Andriy Parubiy. They stormed the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, banned the two largest and majority parties from entrance, declared themselves the new government and instantly approved a series of reactionary “laws” while appointing themselves to head key government ministries.

The March 5, 2014 on-line British Channel 4 news account told the story well:  “The man facing down Putin’s aggression as secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. He oversees national security for the nation, having previously served as [self-appointed] “security commandant” during the anti-government protests in Kiev.” Channel 4 identified Parubiy as a member of fascist Svoboda Party and a founder of its pro-Nazi predecessor, the Social National Party. The British television station’s account continued: “Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector—a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.”

Other Svoboda neo-Nazis leaders “elected” to the top echelons of the new government were Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych, Ecology Minister Andriy Mokhnyk, Agriculture Minister Ihor Shvaika, and acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitsky. In 2016 Parubiy became Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament.

The fascists in power, instantly moved to ban the Russian language from schools and public institutions and ordered the Ukrainian Army, replete with its now formally integrated fascist Azov, Aidar, Dnipro and Tornado battalions, to march on the Donbass in the east to take control of this largely Russian-speaking population. Now with “government” approval, they attacked anti-coup demonstrators across the country. In Odessa, they murdered 48 coup protestors outright, setting a trade union building where they sought refuge afire and slaughtering survivors who were compelled to leap off the flaming edifice.

All leftwing parties were banned. The bailout agreements negotiated by the Yanukovych government with Russia, on terms far less onerous than those offered by the European Union, were revoked, and instead, an economically punishing Association Agreement with the European Union, that largely subordinated Ukraine to the US-dominated International Monetary Fund, was approved.

US appoints Ukraine president

The question then arose. Who would take Yanukovych’s place? Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, made that decision. Again, in her taped remarks, Nuland named Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a hard right member of Fatherland, the ultra-nationalist, anti-Russian formation. The Europeans, especially the Germans, wanted a more moderate figure to head Ukraine. They favored Vitaly Klitschko, a boxer turned politician with more moderate views than Yatsenyuk. During the hacked call, Nuland blurted, “F***K the EU,” and, of course, the US pick, Yatsenyuk, became the Prime Minister of Ukraine, forming a coalition governing majority with the fascist Svoboda Party. The coup’s finance minister was US citizen and high-ranking diplomat, Natalie Jeresko, who was granted Ukrainian citizenship the day after the coup. Joe Biden’s son took a position on the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas company earning a monthly salary of $50,000.

The U.S.-backed rump government declared itself the leader of the nation. Nuland remarked in her intercepted phone call, that Vice President Joseph Biden, in charge of the Ukraine events at that time, would give the ultimate “atta boy” to the coup leaders.

The US had previously laid the ground for the coup, pouring $5 billion into Ukraine over the years to support hundreds of NGOs aimed at moving Ukraine into its orbit, one way or another.

US military base established in Ukraine

Shortly after the 2014 coup, in 2015, the coup makers established the so-called International Peacekeeping and Security Center, a US-run western Ukraine military base, near the Polish border, that had been, according to the March 14, 2022 New York Times,a hub for Western military troops to train Ukrainian forces since 2015.”

The Times added, “Troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, Sweden and Denmark, among others, have trained 35,000 Ukrainians there under a project called ‘Operation Unifier.’” This is the “operation” that aimed to forcibly “unite” western Ukraine, with the Russian-speaking eastern and southern populations that rejected the fascist coup. US paid troops included the modern-day descendants of the privatized Blackwater forces of Erik Prince that slaughtered civilians in Iraq during that “weapons of mass destruction” regime change war that killed 1.5 million Iraqis. Need we note that with the exception of Sweden, all the above nations are NATO affiliates, training, arming and financing non-NATO Ukraine to wage war on behalf of NATO’s US puppet master?

Ukrainian Army desertions

Here we add that the official Ukrainian armies in the east and south also rejected the 2014 coup as they did orders from the coup government to turn their guns on the Russian-speaking populations. Indeed, with near zero exceptions they deserted the Ukrainian Army and joined the Russian Army without a shot being fired. The same with the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population in Crimea. They voted 97 percent to affiliate with Russia in a referendum result contested by virtually no one. The turnout was 87 percent.

The March 14, 2022 Times article concludes, “But Western nations withdrew their forces ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the base has been used by Ukraine to train and organize the thousands of foreigners [from 28 nations] who have arrived in the country and volunteered to help defend it.” This single paragraph comes close to defying rational explanation, unless, of course, it is The Times explanation of the instant transformation of a secret US/NATO military base operating on Ukrainian territory into a solely Ukrainian-run base aimed at training the Ukrainian version of Middle East jihadist terrorists. No doubt these instantly-discovered “foreign fighters” suddenly flocking to defend “Ukraine’s freedom” are akin to those jihadists murderers armed, trained, financed and deployed by the US/NATO/Gulf State monarchies to take down the Syrian government in that ten-year failed US regime change war. 500,000 Syrians died in that US horror. By all accounts, today’s Ukrainian “freedom fighters” were drawn from the ranks of Europe’s growing fascist and far right fanatics. Ukraine has become their central focus.

Imperialist obfuscation

From 2015 to just before the Russian invasion, that is, for seven years, the US and NATO forces have been arming, training and financing, inside Ukraine, the coup government’s war against the Russian speaking population. That war has killed some 14,000 people in the Donbass, mostly civilians. That the victims are pilloried for defending their lives and for seeking Russian aid, constitutes yet another travesty of fundamental human and democratic rights, not to mention the right of an oppressed people to self-determination, that is, to be free from annihilation at the hands of the US-installed fascist coup government.

The Minsk Protocols

For the past eight years, prior to the Russian invasion, a state of perpetual war has prevailed in the Donbass region, with the U.S. government backing the reconstituted and ever-reinforced Ukrainian Army’s unrelenting attacks – spearheaded by fascist troops that have been formally incorporated into the Ukrainian army.

The early post-coup years were punctuated by a series of negotiations referred to as the Minsk Protocols. Signed on Sept. 5, 2014 and Feb. 12, 2015, after negotiations between the Ukrainian coup government, Russia, Germany and France, they were purportedly aimed at stopping the bloodshed via a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines, release of prisoners of war, and a Ukrainian constitutional reform granting self-government to specified areas of Donbass. In practice, none of these Minsk Protocols were implemented, as the Ukrainian Army’s ceaseless incursions into the Donbass region aimed at subjugation and conquest as opposed to pursuit of a negotiated settlement. Some 100 “ceasefire” agreements were repeatedly violated. The Ukrainian government refused to implement the Minsk-projected elections in Luhansk and Donetsk. Endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution, the gist of the Minsk accords was to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine via a federalization process that would return the breakaway republics in exchange for their local autonomy. The latter implied that the resources of a federated Donbass, especially the vast fossil fuel reserves, and access to pipelines, would be under the control of local/regional governments – as they had previously been – a proposition that US imperialism outright rejected.

Russian-speaking Ukrainian refugees flee to Russia

Today, we hear no mention of the fact that 800,00 Russian-speaking Ukrainians had fled to Russia during the coup government’s death squad reign and another 70,000 in recent weeks. We do hear reports of Ukrainians fleeing west in the face of the Russian intervention, but not of the coup government’s segregating out Ukrainians of African and Middle East origin, who have been shunted to the end of the line in the face of NATO ally’s racist, white supremacist policies refusing to accept immigrants “who don’t look like us.”

Welcome to the embrace of the imperialist war machine

Today, admission to the good graces of the US imperialist establishment requires both denunciation of the Vladimir Putin Russian government and hailing the “democratic” US-led NATO imperial war pact. We in UNAC decline the invitation. Whatever our varying assessments of the Putin government, and there are many, we decline to condemn the Donbass people for asking for Russian aid. We decline to condemn Russia’s and the Russian-speaking Donbass population’s opposition to the US-engineered fascist coup and its US/NATO perpetuation. We decline to condone NATO’s expansion into Ukraine and its perspective of establishing nuclear weapons along Russia’s 1500-mile border. That 27 million Russians died in fighting Hitler’s fascist WWII invasion has not been obliterated from Russian popular consciousness.

And we decline to join the near-deafening bi-partisan war cries, echoed daily by virtually every US corporation, every military contractor, every oil behemoth, every major media outlet and every politician to pursue war in Ukraine without hesitation. If there is any US debate over the war among the corporate parties it is over whether to risk nuclear war via the US embarking on a “no-fly zone” wherein US planes and missiles will be assigned to challenge Russia’s, a doomsday scenario if there ever was one.

History of US oil wars

The same US oil monopolies on whose behalf the US government wages war today against Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Libya, Bolivia, and beyond, were critical players in the monstrous wars that killed millions and raped the planet in years and decades past.  Four-plus million were slaughtered by the US war machine in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; 400,000 in Guatemala by US-trained death squads; 50,000 slaughtered by Batista’s US-backed dictatorship in Cuba; 80,000 murdered by Somoza’s Nicaragua dictatorship; 60,000 by Pinochet’s Chilean death squads and tens of thousands more in Argentina Panama, Haiti Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Brazil – all by US-backed and/or installed dictatorships.  The modern era lists of US atrocities never ends; 1.5 million were murdered in Iraq; two million more in the US-orchestrated 1980-88 Iraq/Iran War aimed at obliterating both nation’s competitive oil resources; tens of thousands in the US-backed al Sisi Egyptian coup; one million in Afghanistan and today millions perishing in the US-backed Saudi Arabian genocide in Yemen.

Unprecedented plunder

Today the US plunderers have scaled unprecedented heights in a scheme to monopolize the world’s largest fossil fuel markets – Western Europe and beyond – by eliminating cheap Russian oil and gas that was to be sent directly through the undersea Nord Steam 2 pipeline. The US scheme, forced upon reluctant German and French officials, contemplates closing existing Russian pipelines and Nord Stream 2 and substituting high cost US-fracked Liquid National Gas. The coup government’s US-backed military conquest of eastern and southern Ukraine was seen as a prerequisite to completing this barely disguised and latest US fossil fuel war – a first magnitude confrontation at a time when the continued, if not expanded use of this deadly resource, spells doom for all humankind.

UNAC’s anti-imperialist politics

  • We reject the imperial propagandists’ disgusting transformation of a US-backed fascist coup into a popular rebellion.
  • We reject the corporate media-created fantasy of a US imperialism driven by benevolent intentions.

We demand:

  • US Out Now! Hands off Ukraine!
  • Abolish NATO!
  • No to US/NATO nuclear war-threatening “no-fly zones” over Ukraine!
  • No to US punishing sanction wars against Russia and 39 other nations!
  • Self-determination for the people of Donbass!
  • No to US-backed fascist coups!
  • No to US oil wars everywhere!
  • $Billions for human needs; not one penny for war!
  • For a rapid transition to a safe, clean, fossil fuel world free energy system that guarantees quality jobs and security for all!
  • Close all military bases the world over beginning with the 1,100 US bases in 110 countries, followed by Russia’s seven bases and China’s single base in Djibouti!

Peace Now!

*Featured Images: On the Euro-Maidan in 2014

Jeff Mackler is the national secretary of Socialist ActionHe is also Socialist Action’s candidate for U.S. President in the 2020 elections and he was the Socialist Action candidate for President in 2016.   Mackler founded Northern California Climate Mobilization, is a longtime teacher and union activist with the American Federation of Teachers in Hayward, California and is director of the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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