No support for their dirty war!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
February 20, 2023

It’s been a year since the Russian army invaded Ukraine. For 12 months bombs have been falling indiscriminately on residential buildings and strategic sites. Never-ending destruction, massacre and tragedy: the war is a huge setback both for Ukraine and Russia.

Every day, many soldiers die on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides, in the mud of the trenches, under artillery fire or in hand-to-hand combat – reminding us of the atrocities of WW1. And every arms delivery adds to the pile to keep this butchery going on for months, if not years.

We must not accept this. This war is not a just war. The Ukrainians have unwillingly become the instruments, hostages and victims of something they are not responsible for: the rivalry between the imperialist camp, led by the United States, and Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army was Putin's monstrous response to the political, economic and military advance of the Western powers in Eastern Europe. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States and the European Union have been maneuvering to bring the region into their sphere of influence. This is why war has been raging in Donbass since 2014 – a war that, eight years ago, already opposed pro-Russian independentists and Ukrainian forces armed and trained by the United States.

So far, Biden has closed the door on any negotiations with Putin. This was confirmed during his surprise visit to Kiev, where he pledged to deliver increasingly sophisticated weapons to weaken Russia and, if possible, bring it to its knees. And the US can probably do this without having to see its own soldiers shed their blood, since the fighters are Ukrainian!

The Ukrainians are being used as a mass of maneuver in a war that will not bring them freedom, and for which they will pay in countless ways. And this is what awaits us, too, if we support this war. Militarism has reached a level not seen in decades. The confrontation between the United States and China is becoming more and more threatening. The two countries are already engaged in fierce economic warfare around the world. What will happen if China decides to supply Russia with arms?

The war in Ukraine could, at any moment, develop into a third world war. The war-mongering propaganda is already inciting us to see the world as divided between democracies and autocracies, forces of peace and mad aggressors. But the United States and France have never held back on military intervention when their interests were at stake.

In recent years, they have gone so far as to destroy Iraq and Libya to get rid of regimes that resisted them. Today, they turn a blind eye to the way the State of Israel is colonizing Palestinian territory.

The Western powers claim to be pacifists because, most of the time, they do not need to intervene militarily for their international plundering: the power of their capital and dollars is generally enough to corrupt and subdue foreign leaders. But the misery and destitution they cause are no less deadly and tragic than when caused by bombs.

The great powers are always ready to "liberate" oppressed peoples... from their competitors! In fact, those rivals form a united front against the exploited. Putin is a dictator at the head of a repressive state apparatus, defending the interests of the Russian bureaucracy and billionaires while Biden and Macron defend the interests of their capitalists and Zelensky protects those of the Ukrainian oligarchs.

None of these should be the workers’ choice. The only way to make sure the conflict will end for good is for workers to refuse to be used as cannon fodder and turn against their own leaders.

Without the workers, nothing can be exchanged, nothing can function. Even to wage war, to produce weapons and to deliver them, governments need us. Without our consent, war is impossible.

So let’s get ready to refuse the sacred union behind Biden and Macron. Let’s reclaim Marx’s slogan “workers of the world, unite”, let's unite against the capitalist class that exploits us. Let's unite against its politicians who set people against each other and lead us to war!

Nathalie ARTHAUD