I think I am a pacifist because I am against war and against all armed conflicts in general. Personally I would never go to war, certainly not with a weapon in my arms, largely because of my pacifism, but also because I am not brave. Unlike the Ukrainian people.
But what we see in Germany and the rest of Europe is a very different kind of pacifism. A murderous kind, a “pacifism” fuelled by what can only be hatred against the Ukrainian nation, hatred which these “pacifists” imbibed with the russian propaganda. I want to briefly blog about it.
There are growing calls to stop sending weapons to Ukraine, even demonstrations demanding a “peace without arms”. There are open letters by intellectuals who call for cessation of all military support to Ukraine, combined with demands for Ukrainian people to surrender unconditionally, accept russian rule, and beg russians for mercy. There are despicable greedy gits like Germany’s ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder, always ready to accuse Ukraine and to defend his friend and paymaster putin. There are EU politicians refusing to arm Ukraine because they say one must appease the russian Führer in order to avoid a bigger war, but these same politicians were so far more than happy to arm russia. There is allegedly “neutral” Switzerland forbidding others to send Ukraine ammunition which was made in Switzerland on the argument of same “neutrality” which allowed this country to enrich itself doing business once with Nazi Germany and later with Fascist Russia. The European countries most opposing a fossil fuel embargo claiming it would undermine their economic strength needed to help Ukraine are incidentally also the ones who do the least to help Ukraine.
This is not pacifism, this has nothing to do with peace-making. This is appeasement of a murderous dictatorship and endorsement of genocide. Until Bucha, Europeans largely relied on russian propaganda lies about “precision” attacks on Ukrainian military targets only. Even when a civilian target like the birth clinic in Mariupol was destroyed by bombs, our media presented the russian explanation of “Ukrainian Nazis did it!” as just as credible.
Now the world knows what russian army is and what it does in Ukraine every day. There isn’t a war crime russians haven’t committed in Ukraine yet. And while some of our elites still blame putin alone, it is not putin personally who tortures, rapes, murders and robs in Ukraine. Yes, the russian soldiers are given orders to bomb and shoot civilians, and they execute these orders with pleasure (including writing “Christ is Risen” on artillery shells they shoot into Ukrainian cities on Easter). Russians behave like the German soldiers behaved in Ukraine in WW2, and their excuse of just following orders did not pull in the Nuremberg Trials. Besides, even russian generals never issue any direct orders to rape, torture and kill prisoners, women and children whom russian soldiers snatch off the streets. This happens on russian soldiers’ own initiative, just like their bizarre robbery of washing machines, used underwear and toilets: because they know they can.
So our European pacifists know all these atrocities are real. They know what happened in Bucha and Borodianka, and they know that as horrible as it is, is just an prelude to the hell happening in Mariupol. And to what is happening in all areas occupied by russians, in Kherson, around Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and in Donbass. The aerial pictures of gigantic mass graves russians dug out and filled around Mariupol provide a clue. By the way, the graves are dug and the bodies are buried there by starving citizens of Mariupol, because this is the only way to obtain food from russian occupants. Maybe this is why the pacifists demand of Europe to let russia win, or at least to freeze the line of conflict so they will never have to find out what russians did on these territories?
Otherwise, why do they demand for let Russia win this war? Let us set aside the fact that if russia were allowed to conquer Ukraine, it would most definitely not stop, but attack the Baltic states, Poland and probably some other Eastern European countries next, which would destroy the EU, democracy, western economies and, worse of all, these pacifists’ cushy lives of caviar communism. Let us assume these pacifist really believe putin would stop if he gets Ukraine. They know what his plans for Ukraine are: to bomb, shoot, and starve everyone who feels Ukrainian, deport millions to colonise Siberia and enslave the rest to provide food for russia. Because this is how russians proceeded in every place they occupied. Every person they tortured, raped and shot was accused of being a Ukrainian nationalist – simply because they were public officials, or owned a flag, or owned books on Ukrainian history, or had a Ukrainian tattoo, or spoke Ukrainian, or had a relative who fought against russian invasion in Donbass (which started in 2014), or had a name occupants didn’t like. Almost a million of Ukrainians went through so-called filtration camps, those suspected to be “nationalists” were abducted to be tortured and killed, others, including countless children, were forcibly deported, often to the russian far east.
But our pacifist politicians and other elites would never call all this a genocide. Because of Never Again. If you call something a genocide you must act, so don’t call it anything. Especially if you anyway don’t like the people being exterminated.
How can someone be so cruel? What kind of pacifism is that? I think this can be only explained with a hatred towards Ukrainian nation these pacifists share with putin whose needs they claim to understand so well. They must believe in russia’s propaganda that Ukraine is a nation of thieving criminals, Hitler-worshipping Nazis, war-mongering monsters who slaughter everyone daring to read Pushkin. Even now our media continues the tired old and incorrect story of Bandera and Azov to discredit Ukrainians as Nazis, and never mind that there are no far-right parties in Ukrainian parliament, but look inside EU states like France, Italy, Germany etc. Surely we must sacrifice these Bandera Nazis for the prospect of eternal peace and friendship with the great russian people?
This is the kind of pacifism which condones a mass murder to protect your own wealth and comfort, earned in part thanks to cheap russian fossil fuels. Our pacifists know what will happen to millions of Ukrainians if they let russia win. They can’t be so stupid to believe russia will suddenly show mercy. There will be even more mass executions, mass rapes and mass deportations to Siberia, more concentration camps, slave labour, intentionally induced famines (all of this already started), to once and for all exterminate Ukrainians as a nation, something putin openly announced to do. Our pacifists won’t shed a tear.
And then there is of course whataboutism, a practice invented by USSR, continued by putin’s russia and beloved by western pacifists. Didn’t USA also start unjust wars? Didn’t American soldiers also commit war crimes?
I am not sure about the logic there. Because US started some stupid, pointless wars now it’s Russia turn? Besides, say what you want about Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq, USA never decided to invade and destroy a democratic, peace-loving nation which never threatened anyone. But russia did, that despite Ukraine trying to be friends with its aggressive neighbour even as russia started the war in 2014.
Sure, US “precision weapons” used in Iraq were never that precise and caused “collateral damage”, but russian army deliberately bombs high-rise buildings, hospitals, schools and train stations exactly because these are such easy targets to hit for maximum causalities. Without defending the war crimes US soldiers and mercenaries committed in Vietnam and Iraq, these individual US war criminals had to hide their crimes to avoid punishment, while russian war crimes are systemic, the perpetrators even receive medals after their crimes became known.
And what kind of logic is this anyway? US attacked Iraq for no good reason, so let russia kill all Ukrainians for compensation? Because Germans had their fun in WW2 now it’s russia’s turn? Because Americans dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Japan, why shouldn’t russia have the right to do the same with Ukraine?
By the way, had we sanctioned russian fossil fuels and its economy when putin sent its army to commit same kind of war crimes in Chechnya and later in Syria, there wouldn’t have been any war in Ukraine. But our love for russia, its culture and its fossil fuels is bigger than anything we might ever feel for the lives of people in far away countries.
Dear pacifists, go live in your beloved russia. Why not, afraid they will kill you there for views and lifestyles?
Слава Україні! Героям слава!
Please find charities to donate here at taz. Prof Timothy Snyder lists ways to help Ukrainian army and civilian help charities here. Or donate to a humanitarian charity project of your choice. Ukrainians are fighting for all of us.