We haven’t published one of these readings posts for a while. We’re resuming frequent(ish) publication because far from moving to any kind of peaceful solution, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, part of the broader power struggle between the United States and Russia, appears to be escalating towards a dangerous new phase. A United States desperately doing what it can to maintain it’s unipolar status, using NATO and Ukraine to achieve that objective, against a revanchist Russia does not make a good mix.

When this toxic combination is combined with output from the majority of media in the West that’s nothing more than one sided propaganda, it’s a deeply worrying situation. Which is why, in a bid to counter this, we end up have to go to fringe and alternative sources of analysis and commentary in order to provide some balance.

There are vestiges of an anti-war movement here and there. However, they mainly tend to be associated with what has survived of the anti-imperialist left. Whether they have the capacity to reach out to the broader population to build the anti-war movement that’s needed is questionable. There are other anti-war currents around, some of whom have emerged from a number of the strands of opposition to the lockdowns of 2020/2021 imposed in a bid to ‘deal with’ Covid.

It would appear that anti-war sentiment stretches across and outside of the political spectrum. Whatever anti-war movement may emerge from this will of necessity have to be a broad one. That will be a challenge to build. However, it’s one we can’t afford to duck…

Worthless House Progressives Retract Mild Peace Advocacy Under Pressure From Warmongers – Caitlin Johnstone 26.10.22

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has retracted an extremely mild, toothless letter its members had written to President Biden politely asking him to consider adding a little diplomacy into the mix to help end the conflict in Ukraine. The retraction followed a deluge of public outrage against their slight deviation from the official imperial narrative.

If you actually read the original letter signed by House progressives including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman and Ro Khanna, you will quickly see that it’s as innocuous and anodyne as any statement could possibly be while still containing words. It opens with effusive praise for Biden’s interventionism in Ukraine and condemns the Russian government unequivocally throughout, offering only the humble suggestion that he “pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.” Its authors make it abundantly clear that they support making sure such diplomacy is agreeable to Ukraine at every step of the way.

Chris Hedges: Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – Scheerpost 24.10.22

I have covered enough wars to know that once you open that Pandora’s box, the many evils that pour out are beyond anyone’s control. War accelerates the whirlwind of industrial killing. The longer any war continues, the closer and closer each side comes to self-annihilation. Unless it is stopped, the proxy war between Russia and the U.S. in Ukraine all but guarantees direct confrontation with Russia and, with it, the very real possibility of nuclear war.

Joe Biden, who doesn’t always seem to be quite sure where he is or what he is supposed to be saying, is being propped up in the I-am-a-bigger-man-than-you contest with Vladimir Putin by a coterie of rabid warmongers who have orchestrated over 20 years of military fiascos. They are salivating at the prospect of taking on Russia, and then, if there is any habitation left on the globe, China. Trapped in the polarizing mindset of the Cold War — where any effort to de-escalate conflicts through diplomacy is considered appeasement, a perfidious Munich moment — they smugly push the human species closer and closer toward obliteration. Unfortunately for us, one of these true believers is Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

There does appear to be some vestige of an anti-war movement ready to take to the streets to make the point about how dangerous the situation we’re in is becoming:

Back to the Streets

Say NO to U.S. wars!

Actions took place in more than 70 areas across the US and Canada

United National Antiwar Coalition

During the past week, antiwar actions were held in more than 70 areas. The actions took place mostly in the United States in answer to a call from the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), but we were joined by a coalition of antiwar groups from Canada and also by some European countries. We did not expect such an overwhelming response from our movement, but we learned people are ready to hit the streets and build a strong unified antiwar movement.