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Mar-09-2022 12:23printcomments

The Truth of Ukraine's Ongoing Civil War Omitted

...a violent minority believe that understanding and loving enemies does not work.

Image courtesy: Alittihad Newspaper

(OCCUPIED PALESTINE) - A colleague wrote this letter on Ash Wednesday to a priest whose comments on Ukraine seemed to fan the flames of the war. It is good and I share it with you with my own additional comments.

    Dear Fr. [redacted]; On Ash Wednesday, you emphasized how Russia is attacking Ukraine. That, of course, is the narrative our elite and our media are putting forward. But having lived through our invasions of Vietnam, and Iraq, I have learned that when we go to war, they do not tell the whole story.

    What they are omitting is that Ukraine has been having a civil war for at least the last eight years.

    The percentage of Russians living in Ukraine is roughly the same as the percentage of Hispanics living in the US. In Ukraine the two groups have been fighting a slow-motion civil war. Unfortunately, both the US and Russia have recently made this violence worse.

    We are sending in massive amounts of weapons. And we are pushing NATO to admit Ukraine, in spite of our previous promises to not tighten NATO’s military noose around Russia. That’s partially because we have never been invaded and overrun.

    Russia, on the other hand, has been overrun at least four times. And each time the invaders came in through Ukraine, because it is relatively flat, while other routes are mountainous. In the last invasion (Hitler), Russia lost 27 million people, while we Americans lost only 0.5 million.

    How would we Americans feel if we had lost 27 million? Russia has good reason to demand that Ukraine never become part of NATO.

    I have been reading many sources on the conflict on the internet (I do not have any social media accounts) since Russia’s invasion last Thursday (Feb 24).

    There are a number of different highly armed groups in Ukraine, with different agendas, so the recent history is quite complex. But the big picture is that of civil war between the Ukrainians and the Russians who live among them.

    ...Yes, Russia is invading Ukraine. But we are still called to understand and love our enemies, not to send weapons and promote their civil war, or force NATO against their most vulnerable border.

    What would be helpful is to encourage a nonviolent resistance, like that of Czechoslovakia when Russia invaded in 1968.

    In fact, a slight majority of Ukrainians already favor nonviolent resistance, just as in 1776, the majority of American colonists favored nonviolent resistance to the British red-coats.

    The problem is that a violent minority believe that understanding and loving enemies does not work.

    Fortunately, God has not given up on us.

    Pace e bene

    PS Sadly, the leadership of Ukraine seems to be unaware of what recent historians have discovered about the results of resisting invasions and occupations in the 20th Century. Nonviolent campaigns have been successful in 54% of all cases, while violent campaigns have succeeded in only 25% of all those cases.

    Conversely, violent campaigns have been unsuccessful 62% of the time, while nonviolent campaigns have not succeeded only 22% of the time. (The remaining campaigns have been partially, but not fully, successful.)
    So Ukraine's current choice of war has a 62% to 75% probability of failure.

    If they switch to nonviolent resistance, their probability of failure will be only 22% to 46% (see "Why Civil Resistance Works," Chenoweth and Stephan, p 9).

I WROTE IN RESPONSE: Your analysis is correct. I would even go deeper and ask why Zelensky:

    a) had to support the attacks on Gaza (it is not just because he holds dual Israeli-Ukranian citizenship) and support other violations of International law (like recognize Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem),
    b) why he had to push for non-neutrality vis a vis NATO,
    c) why he allowed neo-Nazi rightwing groups to flourish under his rule and even get incorporated into the Ukrainian army,
    d) why he insisted on trashing the Minsk agreements.

There is a pattern there. I am a Palestinian who watched and suffered with millions of others decades of Western-Backed (financed and armed) Israeli onslaught, ethnic cleansing, and even genocide (as is happening in Gaza).

I wrote a book on our nearly 120 years of non-violent resistance ("Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" which, like all other things Palestinian, was ignored by "mainstream" actors.

It pains me to see images of Ukraine suffering but it is 1 in 10,000 of what Palestinians suffered (over 100,000 killed, over 800,000 injured, over one million imprisoned/detained, >500 villages and towns erased, 7.5 million refugees) and continue to suffer without CNN, Western Media, and governments applying sanctions or boycotts or even saying something decent.

That is why I admire people (usually grassroots) who are consistently for human rights and not selectively.

PS "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy PSS Oliver Stone’s film "Ukraine on Fire":

Stay Human and keep Palestine alive


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Davidzes March 14, 2022 3:18 pm (Pacific time)

russia is bombing and seizing nuclear plants and acts as the terrorist. It’s time to be UKRAINIAN! Ask NATO to close the sky. #NoFlyZoneUA #Stoprussia Mariupol. Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity! How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity. March 9 Russian losses starting from Russian full scale invasion in Ukraine: > 12000 Manpower 116 Captives 49+1 Aircraft 81+1 Helicopters 317+14 Tanks 1070+34 Armoured fighting vehicles 120 Artillery 28+1 Air defense systems 56 Multiple rocket launchers 60 Tankers 7+ Tactical unmanned aircraft 3+ Boats 482++8 Automotive equipment

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