U.S. peace activists should noy amplify the voices of Kremlin supporters

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16 inspired a peace protest at Delmar’s Four Corners with a score of people holding signs, banners, and flags. “Today, honoring the clarion call of Dr. King for the U.S. to disavow from militarism and the feeding of war, Women Against War members will be joining Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace to lift up the urgent need for the U.S. to do everything in its power to bring about immediate Ukraine War peace talks,” said organizer Maureen Aumand, announcing the protest in an email. “The profound suffering and obscene destruction which this war is engendering is untenable and so the need to de-escalate imperative.” 

To the Editor:

Over the years, readers of The Altamont Enterprise may have seen a weekly peace vigil at the Four Corners in Delmar, sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. I formerly participated in that peace vigil but have not been doing so recently.

BNP has taken a strongly pro-Russian position about the war in Ukraine, a position that no peace group should take. In early January 2023, BNP sponsored a talk by Scott Ritter and Dan Kovalik.

Ritter presented arguments for why Russia's invasion was self defense and could be seen as in compliance with international law — despite the strong votes in the United Nations against Russia invading Ukraine and attempting to annex whole regions of the country.

BNP blames the war on the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with slogans such as “Stop US/NATO wars.”

There are sharp divisions about the Ukraine war among Capital District residents who have long histories of involvement in peace and justice groups. BNP is probably the most overtly pro-Russian group, while another organization is taking a position that deplores the war but basically supports policies under which Ukraine could be forced to essentially surrender.

Others, including me, see this war as being Russian imperialism that should be opposed.

Ending U.S. and European support for Ukraine would not lead to peace in Ukraine — it would instead lead to additional occupation and repression against Ukrainians by the Russians.

I urge peace activists and those who support peace in general to speak out and say that Russia is clearly the aggressor in this war and that Ukraine’s people have the right to exist free of Russian military attack, occupation, and annexation.

U.S. peace activists should be amplifying the voices of Russian anti-war activists (those in Russia and in exile), not the voices of Kremlin supporters.

Susan DuBois


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