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All violations of international law

UKRAINE / Rødt's former deputy, in this longer essay, looks at the significance of International Law, not only Russia's so-called "unprovoked" violations of it, but also the West's many violations of International Law. Here follows a, seen from MODERN TIMES, timely criticism of both SV, Rødt, the left side, the media and the ongoing warmongering.




(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)

Nuclear war? How can people relate to this as fact can happen? What options do we have?

When the First World War broke out, the social democrats on both sides of the two war blocs stepped in to send weapons and support their own bloc's imperialist ambitions. Back then, only the revolutionary forces, the Bolsheviks in Russia, said a clear "NO" to participating in this insane war and actively worked around the clock to agitate and mobilize people to say no to war. / P>

In today's Norway, the social democrats are for to send in weapons and train Ukrainian soldiers. The population before the First World War was so softened by war propaganda from the media, on both sides of the war, that they were ardent supporters of crushing the demonic and despicable enemy on the other side.
The mood changed during the war, but by then millions of people had already died on the battlefield. So what are we going to do to turn the mood here in our US-led "bloc" today before world war possibly breaking out? What should we do to impair the belief that more war is the solution?

Perhaps it is precisely then that it is important to remember history in particular...
My grandmother told me story after story growing up. She told me about what it was like to be 9 years old and have German soldiers enter the house. They occupied the small farm at Hananger on Lista, occupying the first floor, as housing for young German soldiers. Kind, young men, but who were ordered to occupy houses and shovel entire families into small attics.
She also told me a lot about the many Russian, starving, naked prisoners of war who were behind large barbed wire fences.
The fight against the evils of war has become a part of me, through her little everyday stories.
Perhaps today we can find our way back to the stories, whether from a history book or from family and friends, to get closer to the feeling that access let's help contribute!

Now we must join in to prevent a potential even worse war, a war where the annihilation of humanity is not just a hypothesis, but one of the scenarios that actually exists. And it may be that we have worse time than we like to think. So what can we do? I believe the most important thing we can do now is to try to oppose our own US-led bloc. You and I in Norway do not have access to demonstrate in the streets of Moscow. But we can choose to protest against our own authorities.
We must demand that the government reject the weapons strategy and think about the only passable track called: Armistice and negotiations.
Or is it better to continue to: Don't dare anything. Do not say anything. Just don't let "send more guns" meet resistance. Follow USA, if it is down in a mass grave?

The UN Charter

Worked with FN- the pact was started during World War II. It was created with the painful experience of two world wars, and so that a new world war would never happen again...

The lawlessness that characterizes the international community today becomes more dangerous with each passing day and it will not stop with us time and time again unilaterally condemning Russia. / P>

Russia will obviously not listen to the USA, Norway and NATO's condemnations, because Russia has a very good point: who are we in Norway, the USA or other NATO countries to condemn? Who are we to accuse other countries of violating international law?

We, who have not shown an iota of respect for international law in the last 30 years, unfortunately no longer have any credible voice, no moral advantages that make what is pronounced by condemnations move the world.

What is pronounced by condemnations from the leading politicians in the West can therefore not bring us closer to a situation where Russia now respects international law. It cannot bring us closer to peace Ukraine or avert a new world war.

International law and Yugoslavia

NATO itself has set the gold standard for how to flagrantly violate International law. / P>

Russia has – without a doubt – violated international law.

And Russia has – without a doubt – violated international law. The problem is that for the "rest of the world", the USA, Norway and NATO's condemnation of Russia now has absolutely no value. The rest of the world has seen the USA, Norway and NATO countries break international law time and time again – for example the bombing in Libya. Without sanctions from any country. Crimes committed by the USA, Norway and NATO because we can. Because no country in the world can stand against the all-powerful USA and the NATO alliance militarily. We can do whatever we want. But that does not mean that the rest of the world accepts such a "military dictatorship".

I get a lot of questions about what I think about the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian territories. To that, I would like to repeat: Yes, this is a clear violation of International Law, and can be compared to Israels annexation of the Golan Heights or Morocco's annexation of Western Sahara.

Men - and this is the most important point in this context: What on earth do you think about achieve with yet another strong condemnation of Russia in the situation we are in now? Do you think that a condemnation will have any positive effect in stopping this life-threatening war that is going on?
No, of course it won't have that. On the other hand: a condemnation is as expected and does not affect Russia either to or from.

From NATO's bombing of Serbia

Let me point to other violations of international law: 24 March 1999 initiated NATO massive bombing of what was then still the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, today's Serbia and Montenegro. The bombing was initiated without any decision UN Security Council, and was thus in conflict with The UN Charter and the People's Court. But neither NATO nor any of the NATO countries that participated have ever wanted to admit that the war was contrary to international law. The justification was, and continues to be, that NATO acted in line with "humanitarian emergency law".

Russia has used the same kind of rhetoric that NATO used to legitimize an intervention contrary to international law.

Why is it important to remember this today? Because a situation that bears many similarities to the situation in Kosovo in 1999 developed into Eastern Ukraine. In Kosovo, Serbian security forces fought the separatist Kosovo Albanian KLA guerrillas who had increasingly managed to establish control over Albanian-populated rural areas of Kosovo. In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, since 2014, Ukrainian government forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatists who have also controlled the major cities in the region. Before NATO entered the war directly, a total of around 370 Kosovar Albanians had fled.

Although Russia correctly condemned NATO's intervention against Yugoslavia as contrary to international law, Russia has also previously, in the conflict with Georgia in 2008, shown a willingness to use the same type of rhetoric that NATO used to legitimize an intervention contrary to international law.

NATO's "humanitarian intervention" led to a sharp escalation of the conflict, and the end product was the permanent displacement of a total of 230 Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanian minorities from Kosovo. There is every reason to fear that a Russian "humanitarian" intervention in Ukraine will have even more disastrous consequences. When NATO intervened against Yugoslavia in 000, Russia contented itself with a political protest.

In the long term, what can prevent Putin and Russia from continuing to waltz over international law is a systematic effort to restore respect for the letter of the UN Charter. We in the West cannot achieve that through self-righteous accusations or sanctions. Something that could really make an impression on politicians in Russia, however, was if we had initiated an investigation for crimes against peace against the politicians who were responsible for launching the bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999, which violates international law.

USA

On the official pages of the US Department of Defense you will find an interesting news article dated a few days before Ukrainian forces recently started to recapture Russian-controlled areas.

Here it says: "Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have received training since 2014, and that pace has accelerated following Russia's unprovoked invasion in February. US service members are providing Ukrainian soldiers with training on various weapons systems that we're providing to Ukraine».

As far back as 2014, the US has trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.

The United States therefore states outright that, as far back as 2014, it has trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers. On the other hand, what is known in all American wars and which Julian Assange, among others, has exposed, are all the lies and everything that is avoided from the public and that we can thus speculate on, until it comes one day.

When we know that Ukraine has already lost many of its best special forces, and when you also know how the US and other NATO countries are already training and cooperating with Ukraine in the offensive against Russia, it is reasonable to believe that the lines of command are partially or entirely "aided" by US military personnel. American (and other NATO countries') special forces are not unlikely to be on the ground in Ukraine. (Possibly via the International Legion). Of course, not everything is said publicly.

The role of the media in war

What is ideal seen the role of the mainstream media in a country like ours sending weapons into an escalating war? What has so far real seen been the role of Norwegian mainstream media?

I bring this up because I think it's been a long time since we've had a really thorough debate about what people in this country – democratically speaking – should be entitled to, and what they  in reality get when our country does something as radical as sending weapons into a war with the nuclear powers USA and Russia engaged on each side.

critical press, where have you gone?

Yes, I know that most of the Norwegian press is owned by rich people with different interests than what "most people" have.
But NRK? And critical press, where have you gone? Where are the journalists and the media who critically pick apart – not only Putin's speeches – but also systematically the speeches coming from NATO's Jens Stoltenberg?
Where are the media that invite critical voices to interviews and debates?

If the population is to have an enlightened discussion about the historic shift in line where Norway sends weapons into a war, again a war, which is teetering on the edge of a new world war, then it would not have been so stupid with a press that presents a critical attitude and questions the authorities' decision.

This is what the media do in other cases. Take the current debate for example... Why don't we see a little more variety in editorials and who is invited into the discussions when our country sends weapons into, and thus participates in, an escalating war?

And this year's War Award goes to the media for their contribution to continued war. For their persistent efforts to establish and increase the war appropriations and increase the war profits of the military industry. For their countless propaganda plays and demonization of the Enemy. For their contribution to the continued will to war that is imprinted in our thoughts and minds. Thanks!

May the will to war in the media never subside, so that we can all experience the war on our own doorstep!

SV and Red

SV in a new uniform? No, not really. Already in 1999, SV supported NATO's bombing war against Yugoslavia. Then they supported what in 2003 was transformed into a NATO-led ISAF force in Afghanistan. Then came the Libyan war in 2011, where SVs incoming leader Audun Lysbakken proclaimed on the cover of Klassekampen that: "The left side must support the war".

That the large majority in SV's principle program committee now proposes to delete the sentence that "SV shall work to withdraw Norway from NATO" is unfortunately not surprising. It's sad nonetheless.

Audun Lysbakke

While Audun The light stand in the Class Struggle only repeated the slogan in the West that "more weapons for Ukraine" is the only solution to the war in the country, there are more and more countries in the world speaking in the UN General Assembly that peace talks must take place.

The one-sided condemnation of Russia that the left in Norway is currently engaging in, and without proposing anything constructive, is depressing to say the least.

Bjørnar Moxnes

Bjørnar was also recently Moxnes out and unilaterally condemned Russia's further war mobilization and the planned referendums in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine. No analysis of the US, Norway and the West's role in what is happening in the country...

The one-sided analysis from Reds leader was also like a blueprint of what came from Jonas Gahr Støre.

It is sad that we lack an offensive party in Norway that sees the role a left wing must play when the USA and the West are precisely in an aggressive and intervening role in what is happening in Ukraine and are contributing to the escalation of what could become a new world war.

We need one left side which is doing everything it can to stop participation in the war from the side where we can influence, and that is in our own country and in our own imperialist bloc.

If there is something we need in today's situation, it is to strength worked to get Norway out of NATO. Continuing to support an "organisation", which tosses and tumbles with the fate of countries and peoples at the whim of the US, is a permanent threat to world peace. To push the NATO question and the responsibility for the work to get us out of this murderous organization as quickly as possible into the future – it is not only cowardly, but a betrayal of future generations!

Elon Musk

Never before have I had the feeling for something coming from the world's richest man. But he is wealthy and can bear to make enemies and can allow himself to say the truth: Ukraine needs a "peace plan". The faster the better!

Elon Musk

Elon Musk can also withstand the blows he receives from the hawks in Washington and the Pentagon, heads of government in the USA, the EU or in Norway. And he naturally tolerates and expects criticism from a collective mainstream press.

I mean that peace proposalone is very good.
The realism of Russia giving up or Ukraine recapturing the Russian-annexed areas is unlikely, no matter how much this is promoted in the western press and repeated by western politicians, also on the left, as a goal.
I repeat Elon Musk's "peace plan" which he launched on Twitter as "Ukraine-Russia peace":
- Hold new elections in the annexed regions under UN supervision.
- Russia will leave the areas if that is the will of the people.
- Crimea is formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev made a mistake).
- Water supply to Crimea is secured.
- Ukraine remains neutral.

Reversal of the violations of international law?

The 143 states that recently voted to condemn Russia's annexations in the UN General Assembly represent less than half of the world's population.

A military victory for Ukraine will only result in Russia's violations of international law being reversed. But that will not mean that Israel's annexations of the Golan, which is Syrian territory, and East Jerusalem, which belong to Palestine, also being reversed. The precedent NATO set by using military force in 1999, without it being in self-defence, and without any resolution from the UN Security Council, and which led to Kosovo was seceded from Serbia, will also not be prosecuted, and the result will not be reversed. The US-led coalition's invasion of Iraq will also continue to go unpunished. The same applies to the US and Turkey's occupation of each part of Syria.

a heavy-handed policy of Ukrainization has been pursued towards the Russian-speaking regions.

After the pro-Western parties took power in Ukraine in 2014, a heavy-handed policy of Ukrainization has been pursued towards the Russian-speaking regions[1]. Independent reports also describe a country where far-right militias can terrorize dissenters with complete impunity[2]. At the same time, Ukraine has declared that Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with Hitler during the Second World War are to be considered national heroes, and if anyone disputes this, it is punishable by up to ten years in prison[3]. Russia can also point out that Ukraine's goal of membership in NATO threatens Russia's security[4].

Russia may therefore have good reasons to believe that Ukraine has behaved unacceptably since 2014, but the UN treaty, which is the cornerstone of current international law, gives no occasion to promote demands for political change in another country with military power. Chapter 6 of the treaty states that states that have a discrepancy supports solve this with non-violent methods[5]. There is no exception to this principle. If military force is used, it is by definition contrary to international law, regardless of what justification has been used.

Alongside the treaties, custom is also a central part of international law[6]. This means that what has been accepted as law in the past, becomes law. One would therefore imagine that countries that are themselves exposed to the threat of disintegration from internal and external enemies would be the first to support a statement condemning Russia's use of military force to annex parts of Ukraine.

With a Russia that is seriously weakened, on the contrary, some realpolitik obstacles to the US's use of military power will disappear.

After a possible Russian military defeat in Ukraine, we can expect renewed American enthusiasm, time and money to "invest" in new conflicts around the world. Among other things in Africa – where Ethiopia is high on the list. When will the USA, other NATO countries, and perhaps also little Norway, take their finances further and be ready for new, and preferably African, adventures?


Parts of this post have previously been published on Facebook with considerable debate.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainization

[2] https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukraine-s-got-a-real-problem-with-far-right-violence-and-no-rt-didn-t-write-this-headline/

[3] https://newrepublic.com/article/121880/new-laws-ukraine-make-it-illegal-bring-its-ugly-past

[4] https://www.dw.com/en/nato-why-russia-has-a-problem-with-its-eastward-expansion/a-60891681

[5] https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/chapter-6

[6] https://www.regjeringen.no/no/tema/utenrikssaker/folkerett/folkerett/id2076280/

Marielle Leranand
Marielle Leraand
Leader in Fred and Justice (FOR), regular commentator in MODERN TIMES, and former deputy leader in Rødt.

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