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Indybay Feature

Happy Anti-War Day! - September 1 - Say No!

by Angela Klein
War always has two losers. Neither side can win the Ukraine war. Russia will not lose a war of attrition. Ukraine lacks recruits, artillery and time!
Say No!

Thoughts on the Anti-War Day
by Angela Klein
[This article posted on September 1, 2023 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.sozonline.de/2023/09/sagt-nein-2/.]


The Ukrainian war is on the verge of a new escalation stage: Since even the most modern battle tanks of Western design were not the "miracle weapons" they were presented to be, fighter planes and cruise missiles with a range of 500 km are now to be brought in - expressly for the purpose of being able to attack the Russian positions behind the front, as the government in Kiev demands.

It continues to press for the war to be carried into Russian territory with NATO equipment, in other words, to make NATO countries directly a party to the war as well (they have long been indirectly). The danger of a nuclear derailment becomes more urgent.

What is Germany participating in this war for?

Supposedly, we are defending nothing less than our freedom and democracy on the Dnieper and that of half the world - all the states that recognize the USA as their protecting power or, because they are in debt, must recognize it. Allegedly, this is a pure act of solidarity, as long as one doesn't get carried away with the idea that Putin is threatening not only the state integrity of Ukraine, but also that of Poland, the Baltic states, etc., i.e. that he is seeking war with NATO. However, no leading military or statesman has seriously claimed this; it is pure fear-mongering by the mass media - the delusion necessary for people to lose their compass.

As of July 11, 2023, the German government has spent 22 billion euros on Ukraine aid. Of these, a total of 20 billion was spent: on the Federal Ministry (BM) of Finance (8.8), on the BM of Labor and Social Affairs (6.2), the Ministry of Defense (3.8), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1.2).

In addition, Germany pays about one-fifth of EU aid, which goes almost entirely to military procurement (that was over 7 billion in the first year of the war). The cost of refugees is not included in the figures. With this "aid", Germany is in second place behind the USA.

Much higher costs, however, are caused by the economic damage resulting from the economic war: the enormous increase in energy prices and supply bottlenecks. They have been put by the Institute of the German Economy at 100 billion euros for 2022, and 175 billion for 2023. The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce speaks of an average burden of 2,000 euros per capita by the end of 2023 - and of course the lower income groups are to bear the greatest burden.

This will not be the end: Medium-term financial planning envisages exorbitant increases in the defense budget, which are to be absorbed by social budgets.


What are we paying with?

The media like to point the finger at the losses the Russian economy is suffering as a result of the sanctions. These undoubtedly exist, and working people will be the main sufferers there as well. But there are economic losses here as well, and not in short supply:

European companies have suffered losses of at least 100 billion euros due to the sale, closure or downsizing of Russian businesses as a result of the attack on Ukraine. Oil and gas companies had the highest losses, but were able to overcompensate for them through enormous price increases, so that they ended up as war profiteers. One exception is Uniper, whose losses were nationalized.

In second place is the automotive industry, which had to close major plants in Russia. It is now threatening to turn its back on Germany as a location, saying that energy has become too expensive here. It is followed by banks and insurance companies, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries (BASF!). Big losers are also gastronomy and retail.

In the winter of 2022, the German economy is the only one among the G7 countries to have slipped into recession. Economic newspapers think it is possible that it will shrink in the current year and foresee a "prolonged economic crisis."

The war profiteers include the energy industry, grain exporters, fertilizer manufacturers and the security sector, but above all the defense industry. Rheinmetall more than doubled its share value in 2022 and increased its corporate profits by 20 percent. The killing industry has recently presented itself as a "crisis helper."

The main burden of the war, however, is borne by the Ukrainian population. According to a report by U.S. military intelligence, 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died by March 1, 2023, and 114,000 were wounded. Of these, an alarmingly high number of young men and women are permanently maimed.


Poetry and truth

Both sides miscalculated in several ways:

- Putin did not anticipate that his march on Kiev would meet fierce popular resistance, and must bury his dreams of regime change in Kiev.

- NATO has ridiculed the Russian army as backwoods and not up to modern warfare. What is true, however, is that the Ukrainian spring offensive, highly armed with expensive Western weapons, has been caught in the broad Russian defense belt, which is more than 1,000 kilometers long.

- The sanctions were intended to bring Russia to its knees economically. True, apart from the extra profits raked in by the oil and gas industry there as well, the Russian economy grew last year, according to Russia's national statistics agency, while the German economy gradually slid into recession.

- Russia should be isolated in terms of foreign and economic policy. The truth is that while Russian aggression has been condemned by most countries, the emerging economies grouped in the BRICS have refused to go along with the sanctions. At the Ukraine summit in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, in early August, many of the 40 state representatives present refused to support Ukraine's ten-point plan for the withdrawal of Russian troops from its entire territory.

And economic isolation was met with an expansion of the BRICS round (23 states are applying to join) and plans to build its own financial industry with a competing global credit system.


Neither Ukraine nor Russia has achieved its war aims - that is the stark truth after a year and a half of war. Now two equally irresponsible decisions can be made:

- The war is carried to Russian territory - this would be a declaration of war by NATO against Russia and the threshold of the Third World War, which would then probably be fought with nuclear weapons as well.

- The current state of "no forward and no back" will be made permanent, the war of attrition will continue indefinitely. For the Ukrainian population, this means permanent slaughter with no prospect of substantial success. Only one option remains: the conflict must be frozen as long as it is also politically unresolvable. That means:


Ceasefire now!

- The orientation toward the withdrawal of Russian troops must be preceded by a cease-fire.

- The chance for such a withdrawal must be increased by Ukraine's declared non-accession to NATO.

- No further delivery of heavy weapons.

- Withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from Germany.

- Humanitarian support for Ukrainian unions and their families.

- Granting of asylum to conscientious objectors and deserters without any further ado.

- Solidarity with the Russian anti-war movement.
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