LETTER: Peace and disarmament should be the key aims for 2022

THE festive season is one for ‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All’, fondly endorsed in Scrooge and in John Lennon’s ‘Happy Christmas: War is Over’.

The wish the New Year be “a good one, without any fear” now seems to aim at the growing cold war with Russia over Ukraine, which could erupt into war that would end life as we know it.

Russia is accused of massing thousands of troops near Ukraine, planning an invasion, although Moscow denies it, warning that Ukraine could be considering an offensive to retake the Donetsk and Lugansk regions which were split off after the anti-Russian ‘Maidan’ coup in 2014.

President Joe Biden, who has accepted defeat in Afghanistan and denounced any more “forever wars”, has said the US is not prepared to fight Russia over Ukraine, but would instead respond to any attack with stiff sanctions; not in the name of peace, but because his office is mainly focused on the new cold war with China.

Military domination

The US, bossed by its powerful military/industrial complex with a $750 billion ‘defence’ budget topping all others, wants to continue its long military domination of Europe, despite its promise – now false – that NATO would not move “one inch eastward” in return for the withdrawal of Soviet troops in the 1980s.

Despite recent deliberate NATO stationing of ‘forward bases’ – led by US, British and German troops – right alongside Russia’s borders, western media and MPs still portray Russia as the aggressor; always depicting its troop manoeuvres as a threat, when similar US-led military exercises are treated as purely defensive, even when including simulated nuclear launches, as in November.

Power madness

Our media’s narrative mimics the dangerous nuclear bombs and power madness of this Tory government, stating that Putin doesn’t know what he really wants.

His response – deflected as ‘not serious’- was a list of peacemaking proposals (December 17) conditional upon definite withdrawals of border troops and weapons being enacted on both sides.

How ‘serious’ would we take it if our borders were similarly abused by Russian or Chinese warships and planes, as we regularly abuse theirs?

What with the renewed Covid threat and COP26 doing little to arrest climate and ecological emergencies, surely both Moscow and Washington must agree NOW not to host nuclear weapons in other countries and, for the sake of global peace, together with China, make agreement for massive disarmament, especially in banning nuclear bombs.

Yours in Peace and Disarmament for 2022,

Alan Debenham



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