A draft of issues to consider re: Ukraine

submitted by Daniel Smith, KNOW co-chairperson

Remember the victims of war
Diplomacy not war

Negotiation not escalation

Healthcare not warfare

Diplomacy not war in Ukraine
Negotiate NOW – Immediate Ceasefire – Don’t Escalate in Ukraine

Abolish nuclear weapons

Renewable energy not fossil fuels and nuclear power

Russian troops out of Ukraine

No NATO expansion

Humanitarian aid not military aid

Below are some thoughts I’ve put together from different webinars/sources.I’d be interested in any feedback.

1.      A summary of thoughts and viewpoints to consider regarding the crisis in Ukraine: (This is by no means exhaustive, and you’ll have to do your own research to verify many of the statements.) – The world is facing crisis from all directions.  The death toll in the US from the pandemic is approaching 1 million.  Climate change is an existential threat, with ever increasing disasters.  It is just hard to believe and heart-breaking that we are now facing a major war in Europe.

2.      Nuclear war – A conflict between the US and Russia, two nuclear-armed states on opposite sides, is a danger to life on all of Earth.  Even if by mistake or accident, a nuclear weapon being deployed is too horrific to contemplate.  It’s way past time to eliminate all nuclear weapons, and this crisis underscores that we need to build a movement which will put pressure on our government to lead the way to treaties which would do this.

3.      Putin and Russia – The invasion of Ukraine must be denounced and a swiftly negotiated settlement and ceasefire demanded, as essential for the well-being of the people of Ukraine and Russia.  A simple demonization of Putin, however, does not help when looking for solutions to the bloodshed.

4.      NATO – A solution in search of a problem.  Why is there NATO?  Ostensibly it was formed as a defense bulwark against the threat of the Soviet Union.  Now the Soviet Union is no more, and the Warsaw Pact is gone as well.  NATO should have been disbanded decades ago.  The existence of NATO is a major cause of the current crisis.  When German reunification was on the table, in order to get buy-in from the Soviet Union at the time, a pledge was made to not expand NATO “one more inch” toward Russia.  This has been broken as country after country in Eastern Europe has joined NATO.  The possibility of Ukraine joining NATO with associated military bases and missile sites right on the border of Russia understandably makes them nervous.  It is sort of a Cuban missile crisis in reverse, when Soviet missiles bases were removed from the island after US protest.  Consider, if Russian bases were being built in Canada or Mexico, the US would not be happy.

5.      The coup, and a divided Ukraine – Little is publicized in US media about the significant but still largely secret U.S. role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine, which occurred with the help of neo-Nazi forces, deposed the democratically elected and more neutral government, and ended up with the division of Ukraine into the East and Western pro-Russian Donbass region.  US arms have been flowing to the current Ukraine government.

6.      The US media – A constant drumbeat for war helps boost ratings, with no helpful analysis.

7.      The US war industry – As with all conflicts, stock prices are soaring for the “masters of war”.  With the addition of each country joining NATO, US companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon gleefully welcomed a new customer.

8.      Minsk accords – The Minsk accords offered a way to avoid this crisis.  If the U.S. government wants to play a constructive role in Ukraine, it should genuinely support this already existing framework for a solution to the crisis and end the heavy-handed U.S. intervention that has only undermined and delayed its implementation.