Russia has annexed Crimea. Thousands of Russian troops are gathered near the Ukrainian border. While the two countries’ foreign ministers have met, and tension seems to have eased slightly this week, the threat of war remains. Opposition to military adventures such as Russian president Vladimir Putin’s should be the ABC of socialism, in my view. And yet some socialists in the UK and Ireland are stringing together contorted arguments for taking Putin’s side. This article examines the issues.
On Crimean sovereignty, “Russia has more right on its side than the West – which is the same thing as saying […] that Putin and Russia are right”, the Irish socialist journalist Eamonn McCann wrote in the Irish Times last week.
The Crimean population had voted to join Russia, McCann argued, and US president Barack Obama had told them their opinion didn’t count. “If we have to take sides […] Ireland should side with the Russians.”
McCann doesn’t seem that bothered that the referendum was carried out straight after Russian tanks rolled into Crimea. (I’ve written more about that Read the rest of this entry »