‘The Economist’ goes after ‘Stop The War’ over Ukraine

“Stop the War” is a coalition of British left-wing groups established in 2001 to campaign against the Iraq War. The organisation has often been accused of being sympathetic towards (or at least, conspicuously quiet about) despotic foreign leaders with the good grace to be non-Western.

Its response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, issued earlier today, does little to rebut that criticism. In it, Lindsey German, the group’s convenor, sets out ten things to remember about the current crisis. The list is reproduced below, with your correspondent’s comments.

1) Who is the aggressor? The obvious answer seems to be that it is Russia, but that is far from the whole picture.

At the end of the Cold War, as agreed with the western powers, Russia disbanded the Warsaw Pact, its military alliance. But the United States and NATO broke their word to Russia, by adding most of Eastern Europe and the Balkan states to their own military alliance, and by building military bases along Russia’s southern border.

Ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the European Union (EU) and NATO have been intent on surrounding Russia with military bases and puppet regimes sympathetic to the West, often installed by ‘colour revolutions’. In military expenditure, the US and its NATO allies outspend and outgun the Russian state many times over.

This expresses the Russian leadership’s victimhood complex at its most self-pitying. NATO’s decision not to disband after the Cold War was comprehensively explained in its 1991 Strategic Concept.

Also, NATO membership, unlike that of the Warsaw Pact, was and is voluntary, and based on democratic consent. Members are free to move in and out of the alliance and its central command (as France has, for example).

Compare that with Czechoslovakia, which on half-intimating that it might leave the Warsaw Pact in 1968 was promptly invaded by Soviet forces. Ultimately, the democratic and liberal principles of NATO led it to victory in the Cold War.

Even Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin’s modernising predecessor as Russian premier, accepted that.

Ms German’s talk of “puppet regimes” is even more bizarre. Is she referring to the Eastern EU states that have democratically chosen to join the EU and NATO?

Or is she referring to the post-“orange revolution”, post-Yanukovych Ukraine now being forged by liberal protesters on the streets of Kiev? Or is she referring to post-“rose revolution” Georgia, which briefly flirted with the possibility of NATO membership before being invaded by Russia?

“Stop The War”: Classic leftist, hate the West and everything about it.

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