Statement from the Stop The War Coalition

February 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm (apologists and collaborators, imperialism, internationalism, Jim D, John Rees, Lindsey German, reactionay "anti-imperialism", Russia, spoofs)

StWC Logo.png


‘The Stop the War Coalition opposes imperialist interventions wherever they occur, and by whatever government carries them out. We didn’t stop the war in Iraq, but we did create a mass anti war opinion in Britain and throughout the world. That tide of anti war opinion has made itself felt in the past few days. We now have to reject all attempts at intervention in Ukraine and call upon President Putin to to develop a foreign policy which is based on equality and justice, and the rights of national sovereignty. We will  demonstrate on Saturday against this intervention. It is the aim of the anti-war movement  to ensure that Putin is forced to abandon the attack on Ukraine now that the country with which Russia is supposed to enjoy a ‘special relationship’  has carried out an exercise in national self-determination.’

[NB: if it’s not obvious…ONLY JOKING!]


  1. Norman said,

    WTF??!! Only joking? Useful idiots for totalitarians everywhere..

  2. Actual Communist said,

    Ideological orientation of the shiraz-harry’s place-torygraph axis dissected and exposed:

    • Jim Denham said,

      • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

        But Hitchens is a paleocon and his position is entirely predictable and actually quite rational given his ideological position.

        And that position is hardly that of his employers at the Mail who no more care about his eccentric views on foreign policy than they did about those of Julie Burchill when she was expressing her admiration of the Red Army’s heroic efforts in Afghanistan in her Mail on Sunday columns.

        Anyway there is another Tim Snyder piece and several by Julia Ioffe at the New Republic which you might want to look at (I won’t post links as I am not sure if TNR still has a limit to number of article views per month & don’t want to exceed mine).

        I’d also recommend Mark Galeotti’s blog:

        What, one might ask, is Moscow’s endgame? What does it want, and how likely is it to get it. The more it radicalises Kyiv, the less likely it is to get some wider political settlement. Instead, it might be forced to take Crimea if for no other reason than that it has to be seen to accomplish something, even if this is a pyrrhic victory, one which will only hurt Russia.

        Here, after all, is the perverse and twisted irony of the situation. Strictly from a coldly logical position (and I am not advocating this, I should add), in many ways it is in Kyiv’s interests for Moscow to steal Crimea, and turn it into some pseudo-state or new part of the Russian Federation. Ukraine loses a sunny peninsula, but also a distinct drain on the state’s coffers (the Crimean economy is not great, and the region receives net subsidies from the centre). It sheds the most troublesome and Russophile of its regions, one which has been a turbulent locus of trouble for Kyiv for most of post-Soviet Ukraine’s history. It also gets concrete proof of the threat it faces from Russian bullying and probably accelerated and solicitous assistance from the US, EU, NATO, etc. It also validates every Ukrainian fear about Russia.

        Meanwhile, Russia would face a storm of protest. Now, it has done so before and probably thinks it could weather this easily enough again, but this is not 2008 and Ukraine is not Georgia (not least as Saakashvili overplayed his hand and allowed himself to be needled into firing the first shot). Indeed, outside countries will assess Crimea 2014 in light of Georgia 2008. Of course we won’t see military action (though possibly enhanced NATO guarantees for Ukraine), but considering the example of the Magnitsky Law already present, I’d expect targeted bans and asset-freezes on officials, visa restrictions and even potentially targeted sanctions against Russian corporations. This is already being adverted by the likes as Edward Lucas and Michael Weiss, and I would imagine it would have a great deal more traction if Crimea were forcible wrested from Ukraine. There is no way round it, the most powerful weapon against the Kremlin is one targeting the elites on which it depends.

        Putin is nowhere near as powerful at home, within the elite, as before. That’s not to say he has any clear rivals, or in imminent political danger, but any serious and sustained campaign to attack his elite supporters’ freedom to travel, invest, bank and shop abroad might well seriously affect this. Let’s be honest, so far the West’s track record in following through and maintaining such efforts has been questionable, but that doesn’t mean it cannot happen in the future, and Ukraine–bordering onto NATO and the EU, after all–might be the necessary cause.

        So, common sense dictates that this is just an especially muscular and egregious case of Russian sabre-rattling, that ultimately they want Kyiv to cut some kind of a deal (and they’d accept something short of complete submission), and that taking Crimea would actually not be in Moscow’s interests. As the language toughens and the troops roll, though, it’s getting harder to believe that common sense is going to prevail in the Kremlin.

  3. Graham B said,

    As if…

  4. Babs said,

    Not exactly the same as the war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither country shares a border with the US or UK and neither country has a large ethnic English or American population. Nor did either country constitute a strategic threat. Surely it’s up to the Russian version of STWC to hold a rally against their Government politically and militarily interfering (which is distinct from preparing for war) in Ukraine?

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Ukraine borders the UK and US?

      (OK it does border EU countries but that is really not the same thing).

      There are/were certainly more Iraqis and Afghans in the UK than Ukrainians.

      Afghanistan was hosting a terrorist organisation responsible for thousands of American (and a number of British) deaths while Iraq had actually invaded two of its neighbours – both of which surely constitute a strategic threat.

      And there is no Russian equivalent of STWC (or rather given what STWC actually stands for there is and it is part of the Putinist propaganda machinery) that can hold rallies (or at least not large public ones) because Russia is not a democracy.

      • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      • Babs said,

        I was referring to the tongue in cheek piss take of STWC. I was just pointing out it wasn’t quite the apple and apples comparison. US/UK invaded a far away country that shares no border with it, has no ethnic English/American populations and really wasn’t a strategic threat in any way.

        Russia on the other hand shares a border with Ukraine which has a large ethnic Russian population and is strategically very important given the Black Sea fleet and the ease of invading Russia through Ukraine.

        Can you imagine Ukraine along with the Crimean peninsula (given to Ukraine from Russia by Ukrainian Khrushchev in 1954) joining NATO? The Russians would be shitting bricks if advanced NATO warships were docked in Sevastopol.

      • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

        I kind of agree that this a poor comparison.

        However the anti-intervention case is centred on a bizarre (for a leftie) devotion to the principle of absolute national sovereignty – that Iraq and Afghanistan actually make no sense as nations, both had large regions in a state of revolt and both had been in the past subject to imperial powers which claimed continuing ‘vital interests’, was not a factor that StWC considered at all relevant then but somehow is now.

        The Baltic States also have large ethnic Russian populations (who actually had far fewer rights IIRC than the Russians in Ukraine whose regions have considerable autonomy) and have joined NATO.

        And there is no reason now why a NATO ship can’t dock in Sebastopol now – and having a base there is far less significant in an age of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines than it was in the age of steam dreadnoughts.

        You are right about the Crimea being a relatively recent addition to the Ukraine.

        But at more fundamental level the Ukraine as it exists now is an artifact of the Soviet era – apart from the puppet Hetmanate and Republic that briefly and bloodily existed during the German occupation and Russian civil war there was never an actual Ukrainian state with real borders.

        Had the League of Nations redrawn the borders within the former Russian Empire based on real plebiscites a Ukrainian state would probably have been much smaller and excluded precisely the Crimea and the Russian majority areas around Kharkov.

        (I am not being deliberately provocative in these place name spellings – its just that having read a lot of Russian history I automatically use old Russian spellings and can never remember the new ones – ditto for Breslau, Stettin, Danzig, Auschwitz etc in what is now Poland).

    • Jim Denham said,

      “Surely it’s up to the Russian version of STWC…”

      Like these people:


  5. Anthony W said,

    Russian legs good, American legs bad

  6. KseniaM said,

    most disturbing, and bit sick

  7. Yuriy said,

    Don’t believe to any propaganda that Ukraine has been divided and got civil war.
    We want to unite and protect our country against the Russia aggression, actually Putin aggression, half of our people has relatives in Russia and we will never fight against each other. That aggression is only shown in MEDIA in the internet. Please don’t believe in that lie!

  8. angrysoba said,

    There’s now an actual statement by the Stop The War Coalition defending Russia’s actions in Ukraine and predictably blaming the West and “neo-Nazis”. The Economist has a “Fisking” of Lindsey German’s points here:

    • Babs said,

      Unbelievable. They could have at least stayed quiet.

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