Where is the Sacred Union? A voice from France

From the French group Aplutsoc:

The United States, which had gambled on Ukraine being crushed last February and the subsequent organization of Russia’s financial and commercial isolation, must provide arms to Ukraine, but only enough to prolong the war and officially not enough to allow a victorious counter-offensive. [See comment from Oaklandsocialist below article.]

The powers of Western Europe follow chugging along. NATO, which is not at  “Russia’s gates”  (Fabien Roussel,  JDD of February 5) – unless you consider that Poland is the “gateway to Russia” as in the time of the Holy Alliance? -, does not wage any war against Russia, but relies on its exhaustion combined with the maintenance of the Putin regime, which its member countries have always supported. Sweden’s membership, and that of Finland, which declares that it does not want to separate from Sweden in this matter, is suspended by the Turkish veto. The deliveries of arms (in particular tanks) which have just been announced and are often noisily commented on, will only take effect in at least six months. A Russian offensive relying on the mobilized human mass seems, on the other hand, to be announced for the end of February.

These are the facts. So where is the sacred union? Is it on the side of the internationalists who, without any concession to the policy of NATO and this or that imperialist camp, affirm loud and clear that the Ukrainians must be armed – both its army and its Territorial Defence? Or on the side of those who, with the possible approach of the next Russian imperialist offensive, at the precise moment when there are insistent rumors of an attempt by the director of the CIA, William Burns, to propose an armistice on the basis of the occupation of 20% of Ukrainian territory by Russia, are trying to exploit the first anniversary of the invasion of all of Ukraine by calling for a “ceasefire”?

The ceasefire is the occupation, the deportations of the population, the kidnapping of children, torture, rape. For Putin, this is the starting point to continue with a view to the genocidal destruction of all of Ukraine. These are the facts. The way to peace is to fight for the withdrawal of Russian troops from all over Ukraine. This path passes through war and arms for the Ukrainians, defeatism to undermine and eventually drive out Putin in Russia, internationalist solidarity throughout the world. Sacred union with the imperialist world order, renamed the “multipolar world”, is the real meaning of a “ceasefire.”

We see taking place, in the French labor movement, the offensive of the partisans of the sacred union against the Ukrainian resistance with a view to making the first anniversary of the invasion the call to submission of the Ukrainians, drowned under the hypocritical crocodile tears of “pacifists” of war and sacred union who are at best naive, at worst crooks.

As snipers, paving the way for the Stalinist and “pacifist” battalions, the POI, the POID and LO. They call, in the demonstrations in defense of pensions against Macron, to disarm the Ukrainians because their armament would increase military spending to the detriment of the public hospital or the public school. It must be said loud and clear: it is a lie. Aid to Ukraine, all types of aid combined, represents only a tiny sum compared to the sums provided for by the military programming law and by Macron’s relaunch of the nuclear industry.

Real opponents of Macron, real internationalists, must demand the cancellation of atomic and nuclear credits, the withdrawal of French troops from Africa (their neocolonial presence is now playing Putin’s game!), the cancellation arms sales to Saudi Arabia, India or the United Arab Emirates, and the free supply of arms to Ukraine in transparency and under the democratic supervision of the people.

In the second battalion, are the troops of the FSM (World Federation of Trade Unions blessed by Bashar el Assad and having Lukashenko as a union member), who are undertaking a propaganda campaign demonizing Ukrainians as “Nazis” by bringing out the infamy and fake claims that have been circulating for years. by Putin’s propaganda. We will devote next week, on the occasion of the public meeting to be held in Aubenas on February 17, a file to this list of myths, legends and fakes around the theme of the “Ukrainian Nazis”, which constitutes the genocidal phantasmagoria of Putinism. and its allies from the global ultra-right.

These sectors have also launched a petition,  “dare peace” , calling for  “stopping all delivery of arms”  that is to say, campaigning to disarm the Ukrainians, and asking  “France” ,  “liberated from NATO”  to  “make a voice of peace heard in Europe”  : and this second-rate neo-Gaullian chauvinism would pride itself on challenging  “the sacred union”  ? !

In the role of the bulk of the troops, here is then the PCF, the “Movement of Peace” or the ARAC: the “pacifists”, aiming to involve the unions and federations of the CGT held in ignorance of the national confederal positions however taken for the withdrawal of Russian troops from all over Ukraine.

Hand on heart, they swear to you that Putin is a very mean and very guilty man. They go on to urge the Ukrainians, those poor Ukrainians who are suffering so much, not to add war to war, to accept a ceasefire. To submit. They claim to fight war through submission. They open the way to submission and war.

Some bring out the “Minsk agreements” which are outdated anyway and which provided for a veto for Putin’s figureheads within the Ukrainian constitution. They make themselves believe that they are dealing with a vast and noisy “war propaganda” and that they would be some kind of resisters to all this noise, whereas they are only defending the contemporary form of order, or rather disorder, global imperialism: a “multipolar” world, a capitalist world of sharing and redistributing, where several imperialisms would pass “peace agreements” on the backs of the peoples. The heirs of those who rallied to the imperialist war in 1914, here they are.

The connection between the “tough guys” whose Putinism can be clearly seen sticking out under their jackets (POI, POID, LO, for the shame of the “Trotskyist” reference, PRCF, FSM, “dare peace” petition, etc.), and the “soft” which begin by attacking Putin to then call for a ceasefire (the bulk of the PCF, ARAC, the Peace Movement, etc.), is given to us by a tribune of the director of Humanity , Patrick le Hyaric, proclaiming in an editorial of February 1 that  “It is urgent to take out the flags of peace” . And he diverts – it’s banal – this sentence of Jaurès:  “We don’t make war to get rid of war.  Because what he proposes – the ceasefire and even the return to the  “ Minsk agreements”, IT IS war, it is the continuation of occupation and oppression. Jaurès never advocated that the oppressed disarm and submit.

Notice one thing. The same, in France, of course say they support the ground swell which demands the withdrawal of Macron’s counter-reform aimed at pensions. But what do they say about what form the fight against Macron should take? All remain silent or oppose centralization against Macron, possibly brandishing “hardening”, the “renewable strike” or even the “total strike”, but without saying anything about what to do centrally against the executive. The prize goes to LO:  “It’s not at Matignon, it’s not at the Palais-Bourbon, that we will get satisfaction” ( article from February 1 , 2023 )– adding, as regards the Elysée, that it could yield under the effect of “the mobilization”. We have here a vision of the world, in which the class struggle in France does not aim to confront, beat and finally drive out the executive, just as the struggle of the peoples in the world cannot aim to confront, beat and finally drive out Cheese fries. Sacred Union, reproduction of the existing order – the union parades in the Fifth Republic, the “struggle for peace” in the world – all this is basically coherent…

Class struggle activists and internationalists who still feel it must get rid of a false representation: no, there is no “movement for peace”, no, there is no “anti-imperialist movement” within which it would be necessary to carry out possibly vigorous debates and discussions. There are two opposing movements, that of the internationalists who want arms for the Ukrainians and that of the partisans of the multipolar imperialist order. It is not a question of confrontation within the same family of thought, but of opposite trajectories which can only collide head-on. Some apparently aberrant positions – like that of Gilbert Achcar discovering at the end of 2022 that it would be good if China came to mediate in Ukraine! – actually stem from this belief,

Better to shoot them in all conscience: Down with the sacred union! Weapons for the Ukrainians!

On 06-02-2023. 

Oaklandsocialist comments: We think Aplutsoc adds a valuable contribution to an understanding of the voices for “peace”. We are not sure exactly what is meant by the first paragraph and the point about the US prolonging the war. It may be interpreted to mean that Biden is intentionally trying to prolong the war rather than wanting to help Ukraine win it (which they make clear does not mean opposing arms to Ukraine). If that is the case, there would probably be stories or even articles in circulation that imply or advocate exactly that. In fact, there are opinion pieces in such prestigious journals as Foreign Affairs and in the Wall St. Journal urging Biden to send more arms more quickly. We can see that there are two pressures on Biden:

First is the fact that his administration (and the strategists for U.S. capitalism are of two minds. One wing, which is mainly represented in the Biden administration in his state department, advocates pushing the war through to its conclusion, meaning a defeat of Putin. The other wing, which is mainly represented in the Biden administration in the military wing, advocates making a deal with Putin over the head of Ukraine. In other words, some sort of compromise which would allow Putin to take more territory than he took in 2014. Among other things, this wing is also very determined to avoid a direct conflict with Russia, which they fear could lead to a nuclear war. Biden’s entire career is based on finding a middle ground between exactly such differences, and that is what he is doing here. He is steering a middle ground rather than being decisively on one side or the other.

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