socialist movement

Medea Benjamin joins forces with Naftali Bennett, Narendra Modi, Yoweri Museveni et al


Medea Benjamin all smiles with people wearing Putin’s swastika-like “Z” symbol.

Medea Benjamin and Nicholas Davies are at it again. They have jointly published an article  in Commondreams calling for “negotiations” over Ukraine, by which they mean over the heads of the Ukrainian people. Benjamin and Davies are authors of a book about Ukraine. That book’s numerous falsehoods and distortions were exposed by Bill Weinberg in one of his weekly “rants”  which was also transcribed in an article on Oaklandsocialist. All of the falsehoods and distortions present Russian president Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in a favorable light.

“Pure Russian propaganda”
In December of last year, when he was on tour for their joint book on Ukraine, Nicolas Davies was denounced for spreading “pure Russian propaganda” by a Ukrainian student.
Following that, in February of this year, she happily appeared at the Rage Against the War Machine rally alongside the far right Libertarian Party, supporters of the fascist anti-Semitic LaRouche group and representatives of the fascist Oathkeepers, among others. Chris Hedges, paid agent of Putin, also spoke. Now Benjamin and Davies are at it again, with their article in Commondreams. Not content with having given credibility to the semi fascist Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump, they are now legitimizing similar international figures, basing their call for negotiations on such repressive and racist figures as 

  • Israel’s Naftali Bennett, known for his anti-Palestinian policies which are extreme even by Israeli standards;
  • Indian president Nerandra Modi, infamous for his crimes against humanity regarding Indian Muslims;
  • South Africa’s corrupt president Cyril Ramaphosa, who still has the blood of the Marikana miners on his hands;
  • Egypt’s dictatorial president al-Sisi;
  • Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, who just signed a law making homosexuality a capital crime.

It is no accident that this motley crowd of corrupt politicians, racists, homophobes, communalists and similar types are leading the charge to allow Putin to retain a large chunk of Ukraine. And Benjamin and Davies have no problem joining them.

A Russian detention center in Russian occupied Kherson, Ukraine. Human Rights Watch reports daily beatings there. Benjamin and Davies favor allowing this to continue indefinitely.

Benjamin & Davies: Ukrainian lives (and wishes) don’t matter
In fact, their entire focus is on various heads of state, while once again they ignore what is happening on the ground in Ukraine and ignore the Ukrainians themselves. In the roughly 20% of the land controlled by Russia, Human Rights Watch reports that prisoners are regularly beaten and tortured. CBS reports the same. But to Benjamin and Davies, Ukrainian lives don’t matter.

Benjamin and Davies ignore Russia’s daily bombing of Ukrainian civilians, including their housing, infrastructure and hospitals. This is why Gallup reported that as of last October 70% of Ukrainians supported fighting until victory while only 26% supported negotiations. A poll just this last May showed that 64% of Ukrainians oppose negotiations with Russia while the war is continuing and 23% support such negotiations. But to Benjamin and Davies, Ukrainians don’t matter. What matters is the opinions of such reactionary politicians as Israel’s Naftali Bennett and India’s Narendra Modi and Hungary’s Victor Orban.

Putin won’t be stopped by negotiations
What will negotiations over the head of Ukraine accomplish? Given their calls for a truce which would leave Russian troops in place, it’s clear where Benjamin and Davies are headed: Leave Putin’s troops in control over a huge swath of Ukrainian territory; leave them free to repress, imprison, torture and rape Ukrainian people. Leave them free to continue kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children.

In their book, Benjamin and Davies blame the US and NATO for Putin’s invasion. They ignore the fact that Putin has repeatedly said that Ukraine has no right to exist as an independent nation. They ignore such blood curdling statements as that of RT’s head of broadcasting Anton Krasovsky, who called for Ukrainian children to be drowned or burned alive.

Bakhmut on left, Grozny on right. Both destroyed by Russian imperialism. Benjamin & Davies would allow Russia to continue with impunity.

What would allowing Putin to continue controlling some 20% of Ukrainian land accomplish? His policies in Chechnya give us a clue. There, he negotiated truce with Chechen separatists in 1996. After resting up for a couple of years, Putin’s troops went back onto the offensive and totally destroyed Chechnya’s principle city of Grozny killing up to 5,000 civilians  in the process. That is exactly what will happen in Ukraine. A deal negotiated over the heads of the Ukrainian people will leave Russian troops in control over large swaths of Ukraine. After resting up for a year or two, they will return to the offensive and wipe out Ukraine as an independent nation. That is what Benjamin and Davies call for.

John Reimann
co-chair, Ukraine Socialist Solidarity Campaign

Note: A slightly shorter version of this article was sent to Commondreams as a reply to the article by Benjamin and Davies. I urge all readers to either send Commondreams a note urging them to publish my reply or to send their own reply. Send it to:

Medea Benjamin all smiles with people wearing Putin’s swastika-like “Z” symbol.

1 reply »

  1. I sent a note to Common Dreams asking them to publish Reimann’s reply to Benjamin and Davies. Good reply, John! Common Dreams publishes some useful news on environmental subjects, but they screwed up badly by helping promote Benjamin’s support for Putin.

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