By World BEYOND War, February 24, 2022
President Biden is half right when he refers to “an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces” — unjustified indeed, unprovoked not in the least. Two sides have been escalating this conflict for years, each claiming to be acting defensively, each provoking the other. The NATO nations’ weaponry and forces that are now imagined as a solution are also the original source of the conflict. It is right to grow indignant now about Ukraine’s “sovereignty,” but so would it have been during the U.S.-backed coup eight years ago that has endangered Russian-speaking Ukrainians.
This is no time for anything other than de-escalation by all sides. The United Nations and the International Criminal Court ought to be upholding the rule of law just as if this were in Africa rather than Europe, exactly as ought to have been done with the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, et alia. Criminal sanctions that violate the Geneva Conventions are not a means of holding warmakers to the rule of law. Prosecutions in courts are.
We need nuclear weapons taken out of service by both sides. We need serious negotiations, beginning with the Minsk 2 agreement, not just empty talk. We need nations other than Russia or the United States to step up and insist on de-escalation and de-militarization, before this slowly spiraling madness reaches nuclear apocalypse.