End the War in Ukraine!

Demonstration to End the War in Ukraine

1:00 in the afternoon on both days this coming weekend (March 5 & 6). If you can only come one day come Sunday! Intersection of Geist Road and University Avenue. Bring a sign if you can, but mostly bring yourself! Dress warmly!!

A lot has changed in the past week now that Russia has actually invaded Ukraine. War is a terrible thing and my heart goes out to all the Russians and Ukrainians killed and wounded, and their loved ones, and all those who have already lost homes and livelihoods. Government pronouncements and the media provide a steady stream of denunciations of Russia’s invasion. Certainly the invasion should be condemned, but we should also acknowledge that the U.S. and NATO played a large role in escalating tensions. We have backed Russia into a corner and have failed for decades to give any credence to Russia’s legitimate security concerns. We have manipulated the internal politics of Ukraine and fomented the 2014 coup that installed a government hostile to Russia.

Sunday (March 6) has been declared a global day of action to end the war in Ukraine. People all over this country and the whole world will be out in force that day. We will stand in solidarity with the 2,000 or more Russians in Moscow and St. Petersburg that have been protesting for peace and are threatened with arrest for doing so. We need to make sure that the U.S. stands back and makes genuine concessions so that negotiations for a meaningful long-term solution can be found. Since we’ve been demonstrating on Saturdays all along I propose that we demonstrate both days this weekend. Sunday will be the big one so if you can only come one day, try for Sunday. We will have a presence there both days. March 5 and 6, 1:00 to 2:00 at the intersection of Geist Road and University Avenue.

Suggested themes:

  • Russian Troops Out! / No NATO Expansion!
  • Real Diplomacy, not Killer Sanctions!
  • Remove US Nuclear Weapons from Europe!
  • No war with Russia
  • No more weapons to Ukraine and the European Union
  • Obey international laws and the UN Charter
  • Resolve the current conflict within the United Nations Security Council
  • Restore the Minsk Agreements
  • De-escalate the threat of a nuclear war

This excerpt from an article in CounterPunch written by Dave Lindorff gives a clear overview and outlines steps to take toward a long-term solution for European (and World) security.

Here’s noted international law expert Francis Boyle’s explanation of the real situation and of US responsibility for the current crisis, as laid out over the weekend in an interview with Dennis Bernstein, host and producer of “Flashpoints” on Pacific Radio in San Francisco:

“This war must be immediately terminated before it expands and sucks in the  European NATO States and the United States. Towards that end President Biden must publicly announce that NATO Expansion is over for good  and that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova  will not be joining NATO as  member States. President Biden must also call for an international peace conference for the conclusion of a treaty that will establish  the permanent neutrality of Ukraine which will be guaranteed by the United Nations Security Council under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Then negotiations can take place between the United States and Russia over the denuclearization of Europe including the removal of US tactical nuclear weapons from NATO States that are there in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a restoration of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty that was so foolishly  and recklessly terminated by the Trump administration. Then a new round of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty Negotiations should be conducted in order to substantially lessen the tensions on land, sea and air between Russia and the U.S./NATO States including over  the emplacement of alleged US ABM sites in Europe that threaten Russia.

“Make no mistake about it: The Origins of both the First World War and the Second World War hover like twin Swords of Damocles over the heads of all humanity!”

I asked Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois, in an email interview today, why in his view is the US, not Russia that has the responsibility to make the first move in trying to end the war in Ukraine, and he replied, “It was our gross and consistent   violation of our international law obligations for all these years that was ultimately responsible for this war. So now  we have an obligation to honor our international law obligations in order to end it.”

[End CounterPunch excerpt]

The whole article is well worth reading (https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/03/01/time-for-the-us-to-take-the-lead-for-peace-in-ukraine/).

“Though not specifically stated above, it seems clear that what we need first is a cease fire, and that concomitantly with Biden’s renouncement of NATO expansion and a commitment to genuine diplomacy we can expect Russia to withdraw troops from within Ukraine. We must also stop flooding Ukraine with armaments. It is also clear that negotiations must provide for the rights and security of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east as well as Ukrainian speakers in the west.”

Lindorff continues:

It is encouraging that Ukraine is willing to meet without conditions and negotiate with Russia to stop the war. I hope Russia agrees to this. But for negotiations to work, Americans need to demand that the US not interfere by pressuring Ukraine not to agree to no future NATO membership or to some promise of neutrality in Europe. Instead this is the moment for the US to push for peace by itself agreeing to put in writing that no states bordering Russia will ever be invited to join NATO.

Further reading:

CodePink statement on the war:
CODEPINK strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where over 350,000 civilians have fled the country in fear of explosive weapons and missile attacks, while remaining residents from eastern to western Ukraine seek refuge in underground subways and bomb shelters. As an international peace organization, we call for an immediate ceasefire, negotiations without preconditions, withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, an end to NATO expansion and a return to the negotiating table to address the security interests of all stakeholders. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people under vicious attack and with the thousands of courageous Russian anti-war activists risking arrest and imprisonment to protest in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Read the whole statement: https://www.codepink.org/codepink_says_stop_the_war_in_ukraine_russian_troops_out_no_nato_expansion?fbclid=IwAR3LUenLt3rwZ890MA_wpP2ks3XB4kRlTRMqiwUTAchNWftxbkKxH1qdMHo

Veterans For Peace statement: https://www.veteransforpeace.org/pressroom/news/2022/02/24/diplomacy-not-war

Michael Brenner, On Humiliation and the Ukraine War.
The Mafia is not known for its creative use of language beyond terms like ‘hitman,’ ‘go to the mattresses,” ‘living with the fishes’ and suchlike. There are, though, a few pithy sayings that carry enduring wisdom. One concerns honor and revenge: ‘If you are going to humiliate someone publicly in a really crass manner, make sure that he doesn’t survive to take his inevitable revenge.” https://scheerpost.com/2022/03/01/on-humiliation-and-the-ukraine-war/

John Walsh, WWII redux: the endpoint of US policy.
Let us be clear at the outset. As we shall see, the endpoint of this process is not for the US to do battle with Russia or China, but to watch China and Russia fight it out with their neighbors to the ruin of both sides. The US is to “lead from behind” – as safely and remotely as can be arranged.

Chris Hedges, The Greatest Evil is War.
Preemptive war, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, is a war crime. It does not matter if the war is launched on the basis of lies and fabrications, as was the case in Iraq, or because of the breaking of a series of agreements with Russia, including the promise by Washington not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany, not to deploy thousands of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, not to meddle in the internal affairs of nations on the Russia’s border and the refusal to implement the Minsk II peace agreement. https://scheerpost.com/2022/02/27/hedges-the-greatest-evil-is-war/

Scott Ritter, Putin’s Nuclear Threat.
The disconnect between the Western and Russian narratives in the current conflict could prove fatal to the world.

Craig Murray, How Can the War End?[Both insightful and troubling]
The NATO leadership now see Putin in a position where he either has to back down and retreat, or inflict massive casualties on the Ukraine and get bogged down there for decades. If they wanted to save the Ukrainian people, this would indeed be the time for West to negotiate. But the lives of ordinary Ukrainians mean nothing to them.
So rather than find Putin a ladder to climb down, they will strike heroic poses, wave Ukrainian flags and send more weapons. I fear Putin will go for the mass deaths scenario. Macho is his entire brand, and his speech last Sunday was worryingly fundamentalist.

Chris Hedges, Chronicle of a War Foretold.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a near universal understanding among political leaders that NATO expansion would be a foolish provocation against Russia. The military-industrial complex would not allow such sanity to prevail.

Discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine by Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter on “The Critical Hour,” Sputnik radio. Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. In January 2003, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose how intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. Now he leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD (27 minute audio).

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