I’ve read some excellent articles in The Lead and shared several of them multiple times, but this one by Padraig Reidy isn’t one of them!
Let the Kremlin cranks have their London meeting https://thelead.uk/let-kremlin-cranks-have-their-london-meeting
The article concerns a No to Nato — No to War rally to be held on February 25 at the iconic Conway Hall, until the venue bowed to pressure and into cancelled the booking. Reidy’s view is that it should be allowed to go ahead, although he clearly has no interest in anything the speakers have to say!
I sent the article to Chris Williamson who hadn’t previously heard of the publication and agreed with much of what it had to say, apart from the sideswipe at himself and the other speakers – Irish MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, Professor David Miller, George Galloway and others. It’s that sideswipe that I take issue with. The whole article is riddled with vitriolic ad hominems rather than reasoned argument.
Reidy makes the same fundamental mistake as the person who sent me the following meme, equating criticism of NATO with support for Russia. My corrections are in red, it’s the height of arrogance to presume you know what someone means while ignoring what they say or, worse still, blatantly accusing them of lying!
It’s an error commonly committed by those who can only think in binary terms, George Monbiot has revealed himself to be one such. Similar false arguments are found among Labour Party members who think that refusal by socialists to vote Labour in a General Election equates to support for Tories, or Zionists who regard support for Palestine as antisemitic. These are the ones acting in bad faith!
I don’t know of anyone who condones Russias invasion of Ukraine, but NATO is by no means innocent of provocation. The expansion of NATO closer to Russia, and the possibility of Ukraine becoming a member, gives rise to genuine security concerns. The USA has no such concerns, the only threat it faces is to its economic hegemony which it counters with belligerent milo rhetoric. The USA spends more on its military than the next eleven countries combined, several of which are NATO allies, such a massive arsenal is not needed for defence against some imagined enemy.
The only ones who benefit from war are the arms manufacturers, who have just held another arms fair at Twickenham. I’m very disappointed with the recent TUC resolution support increased U.K. arms production. Escalating the war by sending tanks and fighter planes to Ukraine risks plunging us into a catastrophic World War III, especially if picking a fight with China at the same time, with the very real possibility of a nuclear war in which there will be no winners! NATO has lost its defensive justification with the collapse of the Soviet Union, instead of expanding it should have been disbanded.
I suspect there have been war crimes committed on both sides and Zelenskyy shows no more sign of wanting peace than Putin does, if he did he would start by disband the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion rather than asking for more arms. Some concession could surely be regarding the Russian speaking areas of Ukraine, taking account of the wishes of those who live there, a large part of the rationale for Putin’s invasion.
There’s so much propaganda from both sides that it’s almost impossible to get at the facts! Sanctions against Russia have, including cutting off oil supplies, have been used by profiteers to push up energy prices – a large part of our current cost of living crisis.
Reidy says the group “are now fully mired in the defence of the indefensible”, but that’s because he refuses to hear what they I have to say. If Chris Williamson is a “Kremlin crank” it follows that I must be one too!