Russo-Ukrainian War and US peace movement- Interview with David Swanson

feb 24, 2022 0 comments

David Swanson is an American anti-war activist, blogger and author(1). He currently resides in Virginia and is the Executive Director of World Beyond War, a global nonviolent movement dedicated to ending all wars(2).

(1) What do you think about Ukraine-Russia crisis?

The danger is that a war will spiral out of control. I'm reminded of what the U.S. calls the Korean War. It is still not at all clear who started it. Yet each side has had in its history books from that day to this that it was crystal clear who started it; they just don't agree. Yet we can all agree that if both sides hadn't been arming and threatening and raiding and provoking, there would have been no war. And we can agree that the U.S. and its sidekick the UN had no business being there at all and benefited no one through the generation and prolongation of that catastrophe. You can't line armed troops up across from each other, swear the other side is about to attack them, and expect peace. Both sides are guilty in this case too. But one of them -- the U.S. backed NATO-expanding instigators -- has no business being on the continent at all.

U.S. news viewers believe that Russia is Putin, Putin is Hitler, and Ukraine is being conquered by an empire that will conquer New Jersey by next month is not stopped, every bit of which is ridiculous, and every bit of which depends on 8 years of relentless retelling of the 2014 coup, and the fascistic violence that came out of it, and the fears of the ethnically Russian people of Ukraine, exactly as if none of it ever happened.

(2) Russia want defeat Ukraine, Western mainstream media tells. On the contrary, West is waging a "proxy war" against Russian Federation, Russian mainstream media tells. 

This is a pure information war, or merely propaganda on both sides? 

Everyone's lying and oversimplifying. Most people hold one side or the other utterly blameless. And the majority of those people believe that the only other possibility would be to hold each of two sides equally guilty. I believe there's nobody without blame here, but that the blame cannot be equally distributed, and that not one person in the United States would disagree with me were we dealing with Russian weapons and troops on the U.S. border rather than U.S. weapons and troops on the Russian border. Russia is as militatristic and nationalistic and corrupt as any government, but its demands were perfectly reasonable and should simply have been met.  I think this key point ought to be comprehensible despite the flood of accusations and counter-accusations.

(3) Biden says 'America Is Back' and promise more interventionism(also other wars?).

Why do Biden admin and "The Establishment" are becoming more and more "pro-war"?

Money, corporate media rot and corruption, money, entrenched bureaucracy, money, Russiagate, money, Biden's regret that he didn't support the first war on Iraq which he deems a success, money, machismo, and money.

(4) Putin is an autocratic and authoritarian political leader. By the mid-2000s it was well-known that Putin is not a typical "democratic" or "liberal" leader and West ‘doesn’t care’, but actually is "America's No. 1 Enemy". Why?

You can't have a war without Hitler.

With Hitler you can have an insane war, a world-destroying war, a war with Nazis on your side, whatever kind of war you like.

Whisper "Hitler" in the ear of a U.S. citizen, and they'll snap into a trance. You can tell them to "sit" "stay" or "roll over."

(5) Why did the US want involve in Ukraine conflict?

Weapons sales to Eastern Europe.
The military budget of the U.S. government -- just proposed bigger than ever by Biden.
Fossil fuels to Europe.
Destruction of Russia.
But plenty of power-mad sadistic warlust that's not easily counted as dollars too.

(6) How the US and global peace movement are mobilising against this new war?

Very poorly. In the United States, the people and groups who have escaped the partisanship virus are trying. But this is not a Republican war. This is a war for NATO which is (not rally, but this is the myth) anti-Trump. This is a war against Russia, understood to mean Trump's bosses. This is a war against racism and fascism, understood to be very progressive and enlightened. People who make movies about the horror of labeling people communists in the 1950s are screaming that Republicans are treasonous servants of Putin. Nonetheless, efforts are being made. See:
We have a Board President. I am Executive Director. We started several years ago to be a global organization dedicated to ending all war. We've become global, and we educate and act against all war. This means opposing not just NATO and not just Russia, but the warmaking. War is the enemy. The poor people living under a different rotten stinking government than yours are not your enemy. This is a struggle. The warlike thinking that suggests picking sides is extremely common even in people who say they are peace activists. In the U.S., most peace activists only oppose wars when the U.S. President is of a particular political party, and many of those who don't do that simply blame the U.S. government for everything and cheer for Russian tanks like Jane Fonda sitting on a Vietnamese missile.

(8) Is there any chance of a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine? 

I think we could hold off war for days or months or years if we're lucky. But if one side continues to insist on NATO expansion and the other on no NATO expansion, a solution won't be reached. That doesn't mean everything is in the hands of the U.S. and Russia. Any NATO member nation could speak up and declare that it will not admit Ukraine into NATO. Yes, there would be hell to pay from Washington. But there would be worldwide support as well.



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