Now, Let Us Talk Peace

Jeremy Corbyn writes in Counterpunch: With Russian shells raining down on Ukrainian cities, an uneasy ceasefire in Yemen, the attack on Palestinians at prayer in Jerusalem, and many other conflicts around the world, it might seem to some to be inappropriate to talk about peace.

Washington will now push for regime change in Russia. A long hot summer awaits,” an analyst says. Illustration by Sadia Tariq

When a war is going on, though, it is absolutely the time to talk about peace. How else can we prevent even further loss of life or yet more millions forced into refuge somewhere else in the world? It is welcome that at last the United Nations has taken an initiative with the welcome request by Secretary-General António Guterres for face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

There must be an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine followed by a Russian troop withdrawal and agreement between Russia and Ukraine on future security arrangements. All wars end in a negotiation of some sort—so why not now? Everyone knows this is what will happen at some point. There is no reason to delay it for bombing and killing, more refugees, more dead and more grieving families in Ukraine and Russia. But instead of urging peace, most European nations have taken the opportunity to ramp up arms supplies, feed the war machine and boost the share prices of weapons manufacturers. It is also the time to talk about our humanity, or lack of it, to people in deep distress as a result of armed conflict, the abuse of their rights or the grinding poverty that many face as a result of the global economic system. More of Corbyn’s views here.

Comment by Asia Pacific-based analyst and author Dr. Syed Mahmud Ali:

“Corbyn the peacenik was leader of the UK Labor Party until the party replaced him with a centrist successor. His band of “progressives” now suffer from marginalization within the Labor movement. The Conservatives in power are very unlikely to endorse his recommendations.
Besides, having failed to force Russia to accept NATO’s post-Soviet expansion- notwithstanding President Bush’s pledge that NATO would not move “one inch” from its “Zone” even after East Germany reunited with the West (Federal Republic) Germany – a pledge conveyed by Secretary of State James Baker to Mikhail Gorbachev on 9th Feb’1990, and recorded in Baker’s official letter to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on 10th Feb’1990 – the USA has proclaimed plans to bleed Russia white using Ukraine as the tool.
So, with billions of dollars worth of US/NATO arms reaching Kyiv, there is little prospect for peace.
Biden has just upped the ante by asking Congress for another $33bn worth of military aid for Ukraine. So Kyiv cannot now initiate peace talks when so much aid is arriving in a hurry. The only way then for peace to break out is for Russia to surrender to the USA or for Russia to remove Putin and replace him with a leader who will obey US dictate.
It is possible -but seems unlikely until Russia bleeds so much that the Kremlin’s Siloviki security establishment pushes Putin to concede, or resign.
Putin himself might use the 9th May anniversary of victory against Nazi Germany to declare victory in eastern and southern Ukraine, and initiate a standstill status quo. But will the USA accept that? Methinks not.
Washington will now push for regime change in Russia. A long hot summer awaits.”