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Volume 54 Number 2, February 10, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Vital Questions for the Anti-War Movement

On Britain's Warmongering Propaganda for War against Russia and the Urgent Necessity for an Anti-War Government

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Yemen protest against US/UK airstrikes on Yemen, January 12

These days it has become clear that the British government and much of its media are trying to prepare public opinion in Britain for an open Anglo-US/NATO war in Ukraine against Russia. On February 5, The Telegraph ran an article "Wasteful Britain Needs to Buy a New Arsenal for War with Russia". Taking its cue from a recent speech of Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, the article declared "that the time for Britain to start rearming is now. The peace dividend is over: finished. We are in several new Cold Wars now." [1] Talk of "new Cold Wars" is clearly a reference to Britain's support for Israeli genocide in Palestine, the Anglo-US bombing of Yemen and the escalation of the "cold war" against, Iran, and the DPRK and China in East Asia.

This propaganda that the "Peace Dividend is over: finished" follows decades of British government Russia-phobic propaganda claiming there is a Russian threat to the West. The so-called "Peace Dividend" following the collapse of the Soviet Union had previously been a cover to justify the Anglo-US and NATO's expansion eastwards and into Ukraine and up to the borders of Russia. This interference in Ukraine, the arming of Ukraine and training of Ukraine's officer class and soldiers had gone on long before the US Maidan-backed Coup of 2014. Following this coup, the support for the Kiev regime's civil war in Ukraine against the Russian-speaking population was fostered and supported by the Anglo-US powers and the EU leaders. It was this and their refusal to support the UN-backed Minsk agreements that would have given some autonomy to the people of eastern Ukraine and the Kiev regime's military build-up that finally provoked Russia into its military operation in February 2022. This was also followed by the refusal of the Anglo-US leaders to de-escalate the war before it started and to escalate the war once it did.

However, with the present failure of the Anglo-US-backed Ukrainian campaign to defeat Russia, and even many thousands of Ukrainians and Russians dead as a result of the war, Britain is now in the forefront of preparing public opinion in Britain and Europe with their military circles openly talking about "sending its Special Forces to Ukraine's rescue".

But why is British government and the imperialist oligarchy it represents in the forefront of this criminal warmongering campaign? According to one weapons and strategy analyst from the US [2]: "British enthusiasm for war is thanks to pressure from Washington. It is well to remember that the British military is an unholy, underfunded and undermanned mess. The British forces lack materials, lift, and cover to do much of anything, and it is foolish to think the Russians won't retaliate. That leaves the impression that British enthusiasm for war is simply fake news, intended to scare the Russians somehow."

At the same time, the analyst goes onto says that when "Victoria Nuland, who is directly responsible for US and NATO Ukraine policy, rushed to Kiev" last week in the face of Zelensky's reported sacking of his Commander in Chief "there was real worry that Zaluzhny might turn the army around and use it to go after Zelensky" and that Biden's real concern was "stability" even though the US had claimed that it was an "internal matter".

Yemen is with Palestine till victory, February 2

Whether this is in fact fake news, or is simply desperation that the Anglo-US warmongering policy in Ukraine against Russia is failing, it is a matter of huge concern for the people of Britain and the world. Britain is already engaging in the NATO's Steadfast Defender 2024 Europe and exercises from this January and up to May. They claim it is the "largest military exercise in Europe since the Cold War with approximately 90,000 troops from all 31 NATO countries". They also claim that "Steadfast Defender 2024 will demonstrate their ability to deploy forces rapidly from North America and other parts of the Alliance" to eastern Europe on the borders of Russia. "It will show that we can conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of kilometres, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any conditions. It will be a clear demonstration of our transatlantic unity and strength and our determination to continue to do all that is necessary to protect each other, our values and the rules-based international order."

However, Britain's role in NATO has been that of US chief propagandist in Europe. Grant Shapps in his recent Lancaster House speech admitted that "British leadership" aims at having "galvanising effect" among European powers alongside the US. But they also have been helping to transfer the US army rapidly across Europe in recent years [3]. In fact the Ministry of Defence has just prioritised the procurement of 500 support trucks in a contract worth £282 million to transport military equipment and army personnel.

Britain's interference in Ukraine is not just down to almost £12 billion pledged in overall support to Ukraine since February 2022 [4]. "The UK is providing both lethal and non-lethal weaponry", including tanks, air defence systems and long-range precision strike missiles. The government has committed to training Ukrainian fast jet pilots, hosting a training programme (Operation Interflex). Over 30,000 Ukrainian personnel have been trained so far, with the aim of training a further 10,000 by mid-2024. It has also been reported throughout the conflict that Britain's specialist forces and military air and ground intelligence has been involved deeply in the conflict already.

Such criminal propaganda is attempting to see how far the ruling elites can go in preparing public opinion for a world war with Russia as a major power. However, the people of Britain and the world have continued to take just stands against the Anglo-US escalation of the war in Ukraine, against the Israeli genocide that the Anglo-US support in Palestine, and against the Anglo-US bombing of Yemen and their escalation of war everywhere.

The world's people alongside the youth are demanding an end to this warmongering and are fighting for an immediate ceasefire and the just resolution to these conflicts in Palestine and Ukraine that uphold the rights of all and that favour the peoples of those countries and the world. The alternative that the people's forces base themselves on is that of step-by-step fighting for an Anti-War Government where it is the people's interests that prevail, not those of the warmongers.

Not a single youth for imperialist war!

Fight for an Anti-War Government!

1. Wasteful Britain needs to buy a new arsenal for war with Russia, The Telegraph, 5 February 2024
2. Biden's New Ukraine Policy - Trying to Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic, Stephen Bryan, February 4, 2024
3. Provocative Ongoing NATO Military Exercises in Europe, Workers' Weekly, April 11 2020
"Defender Europe 2020 demonstrated that the British army's new role as one of welcoming, transporting and servicing the US army and its equipment and soldiers in Europe."
4. Military assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion


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