As Russia pulls its forces back to concentrate them in the Dombas eastern region of Ukraine, those of us who oppose Russia’s invasion, as well as NATO’s problematic actions in the years leading up to it, must call for an immediate ceasefire and serious diplomacy for a negotiated end to this disastrous war.
When the head of the US armed forces is talking openly about this war going on for years, it’s time for those of us who believe in peace and justice to speak out in support of this ceasefire and serious diplomacy demand.
When the fossil fuel industry and the military industrial complex are looking to use this war to expand their corporate profits no matter how many millions of people’s lives are lost, disrupted or ruined, no matter the severe setback in the critical race to stabilize our disrupted climate, it’s time for us to focus on a call for an immediate end to the violence.
Does this mean that Putin, who I agree is a war criminal, will continue in power? Yes, it does. Such a result is without question much less evil than the alternative, months or years of world-shaking war that could become nuclear war.
Putin has been politically wounded by the failure of his intelligence apparatus and his army to rapidly overthrow the elected government of Ukraine. It is inevitable that war crimes proceedings will take place in one way or another. He will not emerge from this war as a respected Russian leader.
I’ve been supportive of US military and economic aid to Ukraine, in general, since Russia invaded. I’m not in favor of a complete shutoff of military aid right now. But I do believe that the best course of action by the United States would be to call for an immediate ceasefire and urge other countries to do the same and to critically assess how much military aid is provided to Ukraine based on how the call for a ceasefire is responded to. Regardless, the US should be publicly leading in a campaign to force both Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table.
It has become clear to me as I have followed this war and studied about Ukraine and Ukraine/Russia relations that though Putin’s invasion and his conduct of the war all throughout is a series of criminal acts, the continuation of the war, likely concentrated in the eastern part of Ukraine, is not in anyone’s interest except the fossil fuel and war profiteers and those in power because of them.
From what I can see, eastern Ukraine is either going to be consumed by murderous war or experience a reprieve which will clearly be followed by political instability, at best, for a long time to come. The divisions within that region are very deep, deeper now I’m sure because of this war. But to be blunt, better a divided and unstable but relatively peaceful Dombas for years to come than the looming alternative.
Ukraine has the right to self-determination, as all countries do. But given the eight years of war that has been the case in that eastern region of the country already, self-determination for those people must be a key goal of any serious negotiations.
The US, the Biden administration, needs to turn away from the yawning abyss we are staring into right now. It’s time for the US to lead for a ceasefire and serious diplomacy.
Ted Glick is an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy, President of 350NJ-Rockland and author of the recently published books, Burglar for Peace and 21st Century Revolution. More info can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.