The conflict between a just war and peace | Letters

Readers respond to articles by Andy Beckett and the Stop the War coalition on how pacifists are being demonised over the war in UkraineAndy Beckett (Pacifists are being elbowed out of British politics just when we need them most, 3 March) appears to think that we have the choice either to be pacifists or to have to “accept that the world is divided into two camps” – the liberal west and a totalitarian Russia. This is nonsense. It is possible to recognise that Ukraine requires the imposition of sanctions on Russia by the west and a ready supply of western arms and money to defend itself, without believing that the west has suddenly transmogrified into a sainted power bloc, cleansed of all past sins. To choose pacifism in the current circumstances is to opt for a groundless idealism over realpolitik. Ukrainian self-determination needs guns and money.To stand against the demand to arm Ukraine is to stand for Ukraine’s defeat. If Stop the War believes that there is nothing progressive about Vladimir Putin’s Russia, then it should want his invasion driven back and his regime’s financial lifeline choked off. Laughably, some on the left have even dragged out the old “the main enemy is at home” slogan – as if the UK was actually at war with Russia rather than simply seeking to support Ukraine. Continue reading…

Readers respond to articles by Andy Beckett and the Stop the War coalition on how pacifists are being demonised over the war in Ukraine

Andy Beckett (Pacifists are being elbowed out of British politics just when we need them most, 3 March) appears to think that we have the choice either to be pacifists or to have to “accept that the world is divided into two camps” – the liberal west and a totalitarian Russia. This is nonsense. It is possible to recognise that Ukraine requires the imposition of sanctions on Russia by the west and a ready supply of western arms and money to defend itself, without believing that the west has suddenly transmogrified into a sainted power bloc, cleansed of all past sins. To choose pacifism in the current circumstances is to opt for a groundless idealism over realpolitik. Ukrainian self-determination needs guns and money.

To stand against the demand to arm Ukraine is to stand for Ukraine’s defeat. If Stop the War believes that there is nothing progressive about Vladimir Putin’s Russia, then it should want his invasion driven back and his regime’s financial lifeline choked off. Laughably, some on the left have even dragged out the old “the main enemy is at home” slogan – as if the UK was actually at war with Russia rather than simply seeking to support Ukraine.

Continue reading…

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