Some of my socialist friends are leaving the UK Labour Party and they are saying they won’t be active in politics any longer. Some of them, who used to be strong supporters and allies of Jeremy Corbyn are apparently incredibly embarrassed about his position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Diem25, the movement led by Yanis Varoufakis is also experiencing resignations, and the resignations that I know of are being done silently too, with heads bowed down in shame. The shame and the reckoning is so big that some people want to erase their left-wing history altogether.
Left-wingers in Europe are parroting and spreading the insane idea that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was provoked by NATO and the West and that Russia is completely right in pursuing its security objectives by ensuring that no one of its neighbours joins NATO. This seems to be the position of Yanis Varoufakis. These left-wingers are arguing that had NATO not expanded eastwards, Russia would not have invaded Ukraine. I can not insist enough on how totally insane and irrational this argument is, apart from being the main propaganda line fed by the Kremlin which leftists across the world are regurgitating: the lie and the illusion that Russia has legitimate security concerns against NATO and that this war was provoked by NATO.
I’m rather perplexed at the fact that I have to waste my time explaining how the position of Varoufakis and other leftists is literally insane and totally fascistic. When the US invaded Iraq, and we protested against the war, we didn’t bring up contorted arguments about the legitimate security concerns of the US. We simply saw the figure of civilians getting killed and grew outraged. I personally, spent a night in jail for throwing a bottle of red paint at an American warship in protest. We, the left, were outraged and furious back then at the US invasion of Iraq, massive protests were made and the Stop the War Colalition in London, of which Jeremy Corbyn was an active member, brought down a million people to the streets of London
Today, against Putin’s fascism and direct threats of nuclear war, there are no protests by the left, but only contorted arguments recycled from the Kremlin propaganda machine which somehow apologise for Putin. Some insane leftists are even demanding that Europe negotiates with Putin while Ukraine gives in to Russia’s demands in order to stop the war. I’m completely befuddled. What? The problem here is not only that these idiots are getting their history totally upside down, they are literally saying that Russia’s neighbour’s, who have historically experienced its aggression over centuries, do not have the democratic right to chose their defence or political alliances democratically, but rather have to give in to Russia’s demands simply because Russia is the only and last standing empire of Old Europe. Then there is the other insane and stupid argument. NATO is equally imperialistic as Russia. I’m sorry, what? And don’t get me started on the “Ukrainian neo-nazis”, an accusation made by a murderous dictator who has his own version of Hitler Youth.
I have my own conspiracy theory as to why these conspiracy theories are so popular. I think that the Kremlin has successfully executed an international propaganda campaign over the years which accelerated and became even more successful when Donald Trump was President. This propaganda campaign enhanced the narratives that NATO is somehow a threat to Russia and needs to be dissolved to keep the peace, and maybe this political illusion played a part in the stupidity of our European politicians who ignored energy security and defence, while Putin built a war machine and piled on physical gold as a defence mechanism against Western sanctions.
Allow me to put it in very simple terms to these idiots who are enthusiastically and wittingly or unwittingly promoting Putin’s propaganda – NATO is not an empire, but Russia is. NATO is a defence alliance comprised of democratic nations – the black sheep of the club is Turkey and I am very much in favour of its exit from NATO for this reason. Other than Turkey, all the nation-states which are in NATO have democratically elected governments that can opt to elect political parties in government that can choose to exit NATO. France did exit NATO once and rejoined very recently. There is no one from NATO holding a gun against European governments forcing them to stay in the alliance, in contrast to Russia which is pointing its nukes at all of us, while pointing guns at its neighbours whom it tries to control by force: Belarus, Georgia and now Ukraine. Whose next?