Thanks, Patrick - good to hear from you : )
(sent as letter-to-the-editor Toronto Star)
I see a modern version of the International Brigades as an excellent way to 'outsneak Putin'. The reason the Western powers (e.g. NATO) don't want to commit to armed support is they're afraid of Putin's nuclear bluff. I never remotely considered the U.S. would involve their military - they got too shot up in Vietnam and then Afghanistan, too many body bags! Usually they are the imperialist aggressors, not the saviours anyway.
There is a shitload at stake with the invasion, but the NATO nations are far too self-concerned and cowardly to take action until it's too late. But . . . and it's a major but . . . if there are enough idealistic individuals who truly believe that this invasion is unconscionable and actually go to FIGHT in Ukraine, that would give so much desperately needed morale to the Ukrainians. Their President Zelenskyy sounds increasingly desperate for some REAL measure of international support.
The Canadian Ukrainian community, the largest outside Ukraine and Russia I believe, could be the organizers of a renewed Canadian international brigade like the MacPaps were in fascist Spain pre-WW2. They could raise money, train recruits and sponsor their passage to Ukraine. Just the symbolism of this would be incredibly powerful on the world stage and to the Ukrainian fighters. As individuals not authorized by the Canadian government, Putin would have no reason to threaten nuclear disaster on Canada. Outsneak the sneak! Of course if major financial donations and support are back channelled to the Ukrainian/Canadian brigades, well, that's our dirty little secret : )
If nothing happens in the way of true international support, no revival of the International brigades or something similar, and the NATO powers continue to cower before Putin's bluffing, then civilization has gone backwards, not forward, in the 70 or 80 years since WW2 and the brave souls of the International brigades will just be a forgotten legacy, tossed aside in a fucked up selfish and cowardly world.
peace, but true action when required -
p.s. Your reply gave me the chance to write out what I've been thinking about all day re Ukraine and the history of the International Brigades - I'll add them to the blog later
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On 2022-02-27, at 4:07 PM, patrick connors wrote:
Sadly, the U.S. won't get involved until they decide it's time.
14 minutes ago on Twitter, a convoy of Russian tanks were headed toward Kyiv.
The "peace talks" have failed.
Great letter, cricket.