Centrists, learn to think!

Yossi Schwartz ISL the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 24.04.2022

There are not only Stalinists but centrists who call themselves Marxists and even Trotskyists who oppose the delivery of weapons to the Ukrainian army fighting the Russian imperialist’s invasion of the Ukraine. The argument for this position is the reactionary nature of Zelensky’s regime that for some is turning Ukraine into an appendix of the USA-NATO.

The Left Voice that is part of the “Trotskyist Fraction internationally” wrote on March 3, 2022: “No to the war! Russian troops out of Ukraine! NATO out of Eastern Europe! No to imperialist rearmament! For the unity of the international working class! For an independent policy in Ukraine to confront the Russian occupation and imperialist domination”.

Thus, for them Ukraine is dominated by the Western imperialists with the implication that the hot war is between US-NATO imperialism and Russia imperialism and Zelensky is part of NATO … ” The European Parliament has voted to take steps to admit Ukraine into the European Union. As part of a policy of rearmament and greater imperialist military interventionism …In Ukraine itself we propose that the resistance to the Russian occupation take a path independent of the subordination to NATO preached by Zelensky“. [i]

But is preaching to become part of NATO the same as being controlled by NATO? Is receiving weapons from the USA-NATO enough to make Ukraine controlled by the US-NATO?

If preaching is sufficient to be considered subordination it explains why the Left Voice opposes delivering weapons to Ukraine. There is no doubt that Matías Maiello of the Left Voice opposes the delivering of weapons to the Ukraine army. He wrote in another article:

“In a later article, Mercedes Petit of Izquierda Socialista (IS, Socialist Left) and the Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores – Cuarta Internacional (UIT-CI, International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International) current to which it belongs, criticized this position set forth by the Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS, Socialist Workers Party), Left Voice’s sister organization, and our international organization, the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International (FT-CI). She wrote that despite starting with “a correct initial slogan (‘Russian troops out of Ukraine!’),” it fails to openly support “the military camp of the Ukrainian people” and demand more weapons for Ukraine. This is not an isolated stance. Several Left organizations internationally level, have expressed similar positions; they include the Liga Internacional de los Trabajadores – Cuarta Internacional (LIT-CI, International Workers League – Fourth International), of which the main organization is the Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado (PTSU, United Socialist Workers’ Party) of Brazil and — with differing degrees of emphasis and formulations — the Argentine Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores (MST, Workers’ Socialist Movement). These perspectives condemn NATO’s role in the conflict but characterize it as a secondary factor without major implications for establishing an independent policy. At one extreme of this political spectrum, the declaration of the “United Secretariat of the Fourth International” — whose member groups have nonetheless expressed varying positions — enthusiastically calls for the provision of weapons to Ukraine and the application of sanctions against Russia, although it rejects sanctions that “hit the Russian people more than the government and its oligarchs” [ii]

We are not surprised. The Left Voice took a similar position in Syria in opposition to the Islamism forces that fought against Assad and Russian imperialism at that time they claimed that there was “a reactionary war with no progressive camps” in Syria and rejected any military support for the massive mobilization and military struggle against Assad. Thus, in Syria like in the Ukraine they have proved to be social imperialists on the side of Russian imperialism.

The RCIT wrote articles showing that Trotsky was for delivering imperialist weapons to a nation fighting for independence against another occupying imperialists regardless of the reactionary leadership of the oppressed nation (North Africa, Ethiopia, China) That Marx and Engels held the same position on Poland and Ireland.

For revolutionary Marxists it is essential to recognize when a semi colony in time of war becomes an integral organic part of an imperialist state or an imperialist block rather than just receiving weapons from an imperialist state. A semi colony becomes an integral part of the imperialist state when the imperialists control the government and the armed forces. To illustrate this point let us examine the relations between the USA and South Vietnam during the war of Vietnam.

In 1955, right wing nationalist and anti-Communist politician Ngo Dinh Diem removed Emperor Bao and became president of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam (GVN), known as South Vietnam. Being a nationalist, he was critical of the US Kennedy and his advisers organized a coup against him. Following the coup Ambassador to Saigon Maxwell Taylor repeatedly complained of the “chronic factionalism, civilian-military suspicions and distrust, absence of national spirit and motivation, lack of cohesion in the social structure, [and] lack of experience in the conduct of government” [iii]

“By the spring and early summer of 1965, South Vietnam verged on collapse. The armed forces were “close to anarchy,” General William Deputy warned General William Westmoreland, and unless the “generals stopped fighting over the spoils there will soon be no spoils over which to fight.” “I don’t think we ought to take this government seriously,” former Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge told a top-level meeting on 21 July 1965. “There is no one who can do anything.” Saigon government was scarcely consulted on the decisions to bomb North Vietnam and enemy base areas in South Vietnam, bring U.S. Marines to Vietnam to guard air bases, and dispatch major increments of U.S. combat troops. The most that was done was to request its concurrence and brief its leaders on decisions already made” [iv]

Between 1965 and 1967, the United States inundated South Vietnam with men, money, and material. It imposed its views and ways on it undermining a fragile political culture with the largesse of society. It reduced the Saigon government to a “submissive order lost respect and credibility in the eyes of its own people… U.S. dominance of South Vietnam was almost complete. The United States controlled the fighting, financed the country, and selected or influences the selection of leaders down to the village level. Even at the level of district chief, every South Vietnamese official had a full-time American adviser. The United States paid, clothed, and Vietnamese army. American officers drew up military plans to the South Vietnamese Joint General Staff, and passed them on to its units for American presence was so powerful and pervasive that the people of South Vietnam viewed their own government as a puppet” [v]

You have to be the village idiot to believe that this is the situation of Zelenskey’s regime. Reactionary right-wing nationalist no doubt, but an American-NATO puppet no!

Even before the United States entered World War II in December 1941, America sent arms and equipment to the Soviet Union to help it defeat the Nazi invasion. Totaling $11.3 billion, or $180 billion in today’s currency, the Lend-Lease Act of the United States supplied needed goods to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945 in support of what Stalin described to Roosevelt as the “enormous and difficult fight against the common enemy — bloodthirsty Hitlerism.”

400000 jeeps & trucks, 14,000 airplanes, 8000 tractors, 13,000 tanks, 1.5 million blankets, 15 million pairs of army boots,107,000 tons of cotton, 2.7 million tons of petrol products, 4.5 million tons of food” [vi]

Was Stalinist Russia a counter revolutionary workers state a puppet of the USA? Again, this is clearly false.

To date, the United States has provided Israel $150 billion (current, or non -inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. At present, almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance; from 1971 to 2007, Israel also received significant economic assistance.

Israel a settler colonialist society is an imperialist state, the front line of the Western-imperialists in the Middle East. But is it an appendix of the USA? An American fortress? Once again you have to be the village idiot to claim so.

Down with US-NATO-Russian imperialism!

Victory for the Ukrainian army!

No political support for Zelensky’s government!

For a workers’ government in Russia and the Ukraine!


[i] https://www.leftvoice.org/no-to-the-war-russian-troops-out-of-ukraine-nato-out-of-eastern-europe-no-to-imperialist-rearmament/

[ii] https://www.leftvoice.org/once-again-on-the-debates-regarding-the-war-in-ukraine/

[iii] George C. Herring Peoples Quite Apart”: Americans, South Vietnamese, and the War in Vietnam Diplomatic History, Winter 1990, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter 1990), pp. 1-23 Oxford University Press

[iv] Ibid

[v] Ibid

[vi] https://ru.usembassy.gov/world-war-ii-allies-u-s-lend-lease-to-the-soviet-union-19

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