As developments in Ukraine, Libya, and Niger highlight, the United States and NATO interfere in other nations’ affairs with little remorse or consequence. And some Canadian “leftists” go along for the ride.
The mainstream press has increasingly hinted that Washington’s aim in Eastern Europe is to use Ukraine as a battering ram to weaken Russia and further subordinate the EU to its geostrategic objectives. For example, Washington Post editor and columnist David Ignatius recently explained,
for the United States and its NATO allies, these 18 months of war have been a strategic windfall, at relatively low cost (other than for Ukrainians). The West’s most reckless antagonist has been rocked. NATO has grown much stronger with the additions of Sweden and Finland. Germany has weaned itself from dependence on Russian energy and, in many ways, rediscovered its sense of values. NATO squabbles make headlines, but overall, this has been a triumphal summer for the alliance.
Reporting that half a million Ukrainians and Russians have been killed or wounded since February of last year, the New York Times says U.S. officials are pushing Kyiv to send more troops to their death. “American officials say they fear that Ukraine has become casualty averse, one reason it has been cautious about pressing ahead with the counteroffensive,” noted the August 18 article.
Almost any big push against dug-in Russian defenders protected by minefields would result in huge numbers of losses.
Then there’s The Economist, which quoted a “source in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” on the disastrous impact of the counteroffensive. He said, “we just don’t have the resources for the frontal attacks that the West is begging us for.” The story added that Ukrainians who wanted to fight volunteered at the outset of Russia’s invasion and now the government recruits “mainly among those who do not want to fight.” The story concluded on the dire note that even success represents a type of defeat for Ukrainians.
Everyone knows that the cost of regained territory is dead soldiers… Even hoping for success in the counter-offensive has become an act of self-destruction.
After quoting Congressional Ukraine Caucus Co-Chair Andy Harris saying the counteroffensive has “failed” and “I’m not sure [the war] is winnable anymore,” Politico cited a hawkish Washington insider admitting the head of the U.S. military “had a point” when he bucked the administration and called for negotiations in November. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley publicly stated that Kyiv should make the most of its recent gains on the battlefield by seeking a peace deal since it would be difficult and costly to win back all lost territory.
At that time I cited Milley’s comment when questioning Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on why she refused to talk about peace negotiations. In a more successful disruption following Milley call for negotiations, long-time anti-war activist Tamara Lorincz disrupting a Toronto Star live stream event featuring then Defence Minister Anita Anand with a sign reading: “Trudeau, Freeland, Anand and Joly Stop lying. Stop sending arms. Stop NATO. Stop the war. Peace in Ukraine. Peace with Russia.”
In a Twitter smear of Lorincz instigated by right-wing commentator Andrew Coyne, NDP MP Charlie Angus tweeted that “those promoting the so-called ‘peace’ option in the Ukraine war however, give off the odious whiff of being complicit in spreading the Putin or the Chinese state agenda.”
Besides attacking Lorincz, Angus has aggressively promoted the NATO proxy war. Echoing hawkish NDP foreign critic Heather McPherson, Angus has forthrightly opposed negotiations to end the fighting. Asked on Twitter, “Do you agree that what is needed concerning Russia/Ukraine war is negotiations not more weapons?” Angus responded,
we will negotiate when Putin pulls his war machine out of Ukraine and the international war crimes unit is allowed to fully investigate his crimes.
Angus and the NDP are either indifferent or support Canada’s role in expanding NATO eastward, ousting elected president Viktor Yanukovich and undermining the Minsk II peace accord. They ignore Moscow’s efforts to negotiate with NATO before invading or the US/UK role in sabotaging a peace deal a month into the fighting. But, as it becomes increasingly clear that Washington and NATO have bolstered ultranationalists in a way that has devastated Ukraine, don’t expect contrition from Angus and other left-ish proxy warriors.
After all, the NDP never apologized for backing NATO’s criminal destruction of Libya in 2011.
Angus and the party voted for two House of Commons resolutions supporting that war led by a Canadian general. After Muammar Gaddafi was savagely killed, interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel released a statement noting,
the future of Libya now belongs to all Libyans. Our troops have done a wonderful job in Libya over the past few months.
But before the invasion began the “Canadian military predicted chaos in Libya if NATO helped overthrow Gadhafi,” reported the Ottawa Citizen four years later based on internal documents. The paper’s military reporter, David Pugliese, noted that during the fighting Canadian airmen joked that they were “al-Qaida’s air force.”
Twelve years later Libya remains divided and hundreds of militias operate in the country. Last week, 55 were killed and 146 wounded in clashes between rival armed factions in Tripoli. When African Union negotiators sought to head off the chaos and any ensuing regional spillover, NATO subverted them. As Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni noted, six African leaders tried to go to Libya to stop the war, only to be ordered by NATO to go back.
Political tensions that have blown up recently in Niger partly emanate from the jihadist insurgency stoked by NATO’s illegal intervention in Libya. The 2011 NATO air campaign destabilized the country and much of the Sahel region, which covers parts of Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, South Sudan, Sudan, and Eritrea.
Despite the destruction wrought, Angus and the NDP have never apologized for backing the dismemberment of Libya. The kindest explanation might be that history seems irrelevant to them given how the victims are far away and cannot vote in a Canadian election. A more honest explanation is that the NDP, since its founding, has broadly supported the U.S. empire.
And that will also explain why the party is unlikely to express contrition for its role in supporting the NATO proxy war currently destroying Ukraine. From Washington’s perspective, death and destruction “over there” is a price worth paying for weakening a geopolitical rival.
When a “left-wing” political party falls into the trap of supporting the U.S. empire, propaganda will be believed, lies told, history repeated, war profiteers supported, and human misery ignored.