This article was originally posted on Twitter.
Pabloite leader and pseudo-left opponent of “knee-jerk anti-imperialism” Gilbert Achcar provides readers with yet another example of his own instinctual pro-imperialism, posting his reasons for supporting a NATO victory in its proxy war against Russia.
Achcar defines Russia as “imperialist” as an epithet without the slightest serious economic content. But even if it were correct (which it is not), this does not justify his support for NATO. Socialist “defeatism” applies to all sides in an inter-imperialist conflict.
Achcar opposes only Russian “imperialism,” while favoring the victory of US-NATO imperialism. This makes him a political lackey of his own ruling class. He defends this position with absurd arguments.
A Russian victory “would encourage the United States to return to the path of conquering the world by force...” A “return”? When did the US depart the path of military conquest? Where has Achcar been the last 30 years?
He writes that Russia’s defeat, achieved through the massive armament by NATO of its Ukrainian proxies “would offer much better conditions for our battle for general disarmament and the dissolution of NATO.”
An absurd and deceitful argument. The best way to achieve the disarming of NATO is to support the massive growth of its military spending and intervention in Ukraine! This is the Pabloite version of “Peace through War.”
Achcar admits that “If Ukraine were to succeed in rejecting the Russian yoke, it is more than likely that it would be vassalized to Western powers.” But this is justified with the argument that being an imperialist vassal is better than being a Russian serf! How clever!
All of Achcar’s arguments consist of cynical sophistries of this sort. The worst of these is the claim that it is legitimate to support NATO because its war is not yet a full-fledged inter-imperialist conflict.
“For now,” he writes, “NATO members are declaring that they will not cross the red line of sending troops to fight the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian soil, or shooting down Russian planes in Ukrainian airspace – despite Volodymyr Zelensky’s exhortations.”
So it turns out that Achcar’s support for NATO is contingent on its claims, in which he places utter faith, that NATO will not cross a rapidly eroding red line.
But short of engaging Russian forces in Ukraine itself, Achcar is “in favor of the supply to Ukraine of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, as well as all the armaments indispensable for the defense of a territory.”
Achcar and the Pabloite movement he represents function as political agents of imperialist militarism. The opposition of the WSWS to the Russian invasion is based on the principles and program of socialist internationalism.
We explain that the war is the outcome of the catastrophic dissolution of the USSR in 1991, which cleared the path for the unrestrained eruption of US imperialism’s striving for global hegemony, within the context of a new division of the world.
Putin’s invasion is a desperate and reactionary response of a capitalist-oligarchical regime to the dangers created by the restoration of capitalism throughout the former USSR. This danger can be overcome not through the brutal defense of Great Russian national interests.
The only viable opposition to the global appetites of US imperialism and its NATO allies is world socialist revolution. Those who agree with this perspective should join the fight to build a powerful global anti-war movement of the working class.