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Warmongering or liberation struggle?

Aktualisiert: 17. Nov. 2023

The call for war participation and rearmament is louder than it has been for a long time. The time of "peace" is over, the struggle against Russia and other "rogue states" has begun. We should not hide behind neutrality, is the tenor of the ruling class and their media. The "good side" and the "bad side" are too easily identified and terms like "liberation struggle" and "war heroes" are too easily used.

At the end of April, the so-called "Emma Letter" was published, which was created around the German magazine "Emma". Its signatories, many of whom come from the arts and culture, call for a stop to the export of heavy weapons to Ukraine and a ceasefire. The letter collected a further 275,000 signatures, which demonstrates a considerable rejection of participation in the war. No less remarkable is the veritable media witch-hunt that was organised against the signatories of this letter. The discrediting of a position opposing arms exports ranged from German politicians, Austrian media, to numerous prominent persons. For ORF editor-in-chief Heidegger, the statement that "deliveries of large quantities of heavy weapons" (1) lead to an expansion of war is simply a "distortion of causes" (2). The "FAZ" calls the letter "devoid of empathy and unimpressed by the war crimes" and a "call for the surrender" of Ukraine, which, however, is not mentioned in a single word in the letter. The accusations that the signatories would support the Russian invasion are meant to distract from what this war is really about. Both the "Western"-backed coup in 2014 and Russia's reciprocal provocations and invasion in 2022 are about Ukraine's working forces and raw materials, about hegemony in Europe and worldwide. In this respect, "it is in Germany's interest to prevent the Russian war of aggression from succeeding". (3)

At the same time, the soldiers of the Ukrainian National Army in the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, whose defeat initiated Russia's current advance, are celebrated as heroes. Without downplaying Russian crimes in the siege of the city, the role of these "heroes" should be adressed: "If you try to leave the city, there is the risk of a patrol of Ukrainian fascists running into the Azov battalion. They would kill me." (4) The so-called "war heroes" of the "Azov Battalion" are fascist puppets, who carried out terror against the population years before the Russian invasion: from the "Odessa Massacre", in which 50 Ukrainian trade unionists, anti-fascists and revolutionaries were burnt alive, to murders of critics of the anti-people government, to harassment and mistreatment of minorities such as Greeks, Bulgarians, Roma and Sinti. The puppets of the "West" are certainly not on the side of the Ukrainian people and are the opposite of "freedom fighters", at most they are fighting for the freedom of capital to massacre all those who do not want to submit to oppressive rule.

Russian imperialism is waging war for (partial) domination of Ukraine and to maintain its influence in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. When "peace" negotiations are initiated depends mainly on the fulfilment of its war interests and the success or failure of its troops. But the "West", above all the USA, Great Britain and Germany, is not waging war for peace either. The NATO accessions of Sweden and Finland, among others, show that the EU is preparing for even greater involvement and an expansion of the war.

A peace movement based on the success or failure of one side of the imperialist warmongers is not a peace movement in the service of the peoples. Special suspicion is called for when all those speak of "liberation struggle", who otherwise shine by equating liberation struggles of the oppressed with terrorism. Where are these loud voices when the revolutionary peasant movement in Brazil is persecuted and massacred by the henchmen of the Bolsonaro government, armed by the USA? Where are they when real people's liberation fighters in India are locked up and tortured by the 10,000s? And where are they when the oppressed and exploited revolt against the powerful who bring hunger and misery to the people, wealth to the capitalists and laws that serve them? A real peace movement must not judge according to the interests or ceasefire agreements of the ruling classes, but according to the demands and goals of the peoples.

Therefore, the liberation struggle is inevitably linked to the need for peace of the peoples, because only through a democratic, national union and a revolutionary uprising they can oppose the plans of the imperialists and rulers and oppose the reactionary war with the war of liberation. Otherwise, the word "liberation" is only a fraud to legitimise the domination of other countries and peoples.

(1) The "Emma letter":, (2), (3) The so-called counter-letter: "The cause of Ukraine is also our cause! Another Open Letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz". (4) An interview by the Greek newspaper SKAI News with a member of the Greek minority in Mariupol:,

Image: Romanian soldiers operate a German Gepard tank, by U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


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