[Marxism] Canada's political mainstream backs war in Ukraine

Ken Hiebert knhiebert at shaw.ca
Thu Apr 2 22:46:17 MDT 2015

Roger Annis said:
Hello Ukraine reader,

For your information, my new article is published today on Rabble.ca and Counterpunch: Canada's political mainstream backs war in Ukraine, threats against Russia

The article also appears on the website which I co-edit: 'The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond'.

Ken Hiebert replies:
Those of you who have not read Roger's article should read it.  Don't let disagreement with his views stand in the way of learning more about politics in Canada.  Roger follows the major newspapers in a way that I do not.  (In my small town I cannot subscribe to the Globe & Mail as I did in Vancouver.  And I am unwilling to spend even more time at my computer.)
Roger "...says there is an astonishing unanimity in the Canadian political and media establishment" re the Ukraine.  I don't find it as astonishing as he does.  If there is broad support in the Ukrainian community for a tougher NATO stance and little push back from other constituencies, why wouldn't Canadian politicians compete for that constituency?  His report on Chrystia Freeland, an MP elected in 2013, is very interesting.  Her remark, "And we need to be prepared for this conflict to be a very, very long conflict," could also be read as way of not committing to much in the short term.  As of January this was her stance.  https://chrystiafreeland.liberal.ca/blog/liberal-party-of-canada-statement-on-the-situation-in-ukraine/    It calls for a meeting of NATO allies, but does not make clear what she hopes for from the meeting.
Roger, like the rest of us, is distressed at the support in the Ukrainian-Canadian community for Harper's tough talk.  And he does not mention any countervailing trend among Ukrainian-Canadians.  Given that he believes that the struggle in the Ukraine is a clash between fascism and anti-fascism, does he think that the Ukrainian-Canadian community is pro-fascist?
For my part I do not believe that the Ukrainian community in Canada is pro-fascist any more than any other community in Canada.  I think their attitudes can best be understood as a manifestation of nationalism.  The resolution issued by the Fourth International in February put it this way.
"But it is the past experience of Great Russian policies, the repressive nature of Putin’s regime, the war in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea by Russia that have reinforced NATO’s legitimacy amongst a growing part of the Ukrainian population." http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3907
And we can see that this is affecting politics in Canada as well.

Roger describes the  Ukrainian Canadian Congress as extremist.  This may not be a useful description unless we can point to other organizations that are less extreme.  If we cannot, we are confronted with the possibility that Ukrainian-Canadians are pro-fascist and extremist.  I don't know if that is Roger's view.  It is certainly not my view.
(I haven't taken into account the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, an organization that is a shadow of its former self. http://www.auuc.ca/)
Roger says, "As a consequence, some alternative media that should know better is silent."   For his part Roger is silent as well when it comes to naming the media that should know better.
Roger tells us that "...antiwar groups are largely quiescent."  But when I go to his website http://newcoldwar.org/  I don't see much that would help me present a resolution to an antiwar group.  I don't see a  sample resolution that I might bring to such a group.
I note that StopWar.ca https://stopwarca.wordpress.com/  had a general meeting on March 4th.  I realize that Roger is only one person, but I would be curious to know what he would have said had he gone to that meeting.  Or I could be wrong.  Perhaps he was there and he can report on the discussion.

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