Pacifism can be credible when it is addressed equally to all sides of a war, starting with its perpetrators. It is not usually this way.
The support of the communist parties to the invasion of Poland in 1939
On August 23, 1939, Germany and the USSR signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in Moscow, dividing up Poland, Finland and the Baltic republics. On September 1, Germany launched the invasion of Poland, seconded on September 17 by the Soviets. The communist parties controlled by Moscow supported the invasion by disparaging Poland and appealing to a cynical pacifism that was only directed against France and the United Kingdom, in order to leave the invaded country alone and defenseless and demobilize its allies. In 2017 we saw here the example of the justification for that invasion by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), which accused the French and British of promoting an "imperialist war", but not the Germans and Soviets, who were the invaders.
The communist operation was repeated with the invasions of Finland and France
The communist propaganda operation was repeated with the Soviet invasion of Finland in November 1939, once again presenting the invaders as the good guys and the invaded as the bad guys. In 1940, before a new German invasion, the operation was repeated in France, with the French communists sabotaging the French war effort following direct orders from Moscow, since at that time Hitler and Stalin were allies and helped each other. Let us remember that Poland, Finland and France were sovereign and democratic countries, and the communists defamed them to favor totalitarian invaders, dictatorships that violated human rights even committing crimes of genocide on a large scale.
The mobilization of Russian troops against Georgia and Ukraine
It is fair to review history in the face of the recent and massive mobilization of Russian troops on the borders with Ukraine and Georgia, taking advantage of the weakness shown by the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, who yesterday practically invited Putin to invade Ukraine, hinting that it would do nothing if the Russians launched a "minor incursion." Faced with this scenario, the Spanish government has decided to bring forward the sending of a frigate to the Black Sea as part of a NATO mission, and has raised the possibility of sending fighters to Bulgaria, in a gesture of support for our allies on the eastern flank of NATO before the Russian maneuvers.
Communists criticize the US and NATO but not Russia
This wise decision of the Spanish government, announced by the Defense Minister, the socialist Margarita Robles, is in line with fulfilling our commitments to our allies. This is what is expected of a serious country in the face of the threats launched by Russia against Ukraine. However, yesterday the communist wing of the government, including Enrique Santiago, general secretary of the PCE, attacked the US and NATO, presenting them as the bad guys in this situation. The communist leader stated that "pushing NATO to Russia is a serious mistake for Europe", since "it threatens peace and is strategically clumsy".
They want sovereign and democratic nations to submit to the will of Putin
With these cynical words, the communist leader refers to the fact that Ukraine and Georgia (countries that were already invaded by Russia in 2014 and 2008, respectively) have expressed their desire to join NATO, a membership that the Putin's government opposes, alleging that this would mean the installation of offensive missiles in both countries bordering Russia. Russia has accused NATO of installing missiles in Poland and Romania, but the reality is that the missiles installed in both countries are defensive, not offensive. Its purpose is to protect NATO countries from possible attacks from the Middle East, and obviously also from possible attacks from Russia.
Basically, what Russia and its communist allies are saying is that their neighboring countries have no right to defend themselves and must behave as simple vassals of Moscow. As the Polish journalist Małgorzata Wołczyk has already pointed out here, Russia intends to impose its will on Poland and the Baltic republics, even dictating how large their armies should be (the right size so that they cannot defend themselves against a Russian attack, obviously) and with which countries they should maintain alliances (remember that in 1999 Russia already opposed the entry of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO).
In 2021 Russia justified the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939
Thus, the extreme left, and the communists in particular, are repeating the strategy of false pacifism that they used in 1939 to support Moscow's expansionist ambitions. They do it, once again, making use of the slogan "No to war", with the same cynicism that they exhibited with their rejection of the British and French supporting Poland after the German-Soviet invasion. It is not war that they reject, but the right of sovereign and democratic countries to defend themselves against an attack from Moscow, which is today the capital from which a despot intends to trample on its neighbors, just as Stalin did with Poland and Finland.
I hope no one is scandalized by comparing the current Russian president with the communist dictator, but I must remember that in 2021 the Russian Foreign Ministry justified the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 by calling it "liberation", a macabre lie that covers up the genocide committed by Stalin against the Polish people, through massacres like Katyn and mass deportations of Poles to Siberia. It is necessary to remember this because Russia not only has allies among the extreme left: it also has other supporters in the rest of the political map, even among some who believe that Putin is the great defender of Western Christian civilization, when in reality he is nothing more than a tyrant who intends to subject free and democratic nations to his will, in a crude reissue of tsarism with communist embellishments.
Photo: German and Soviet soldiers fraternizing in Brest, where their forces met during the joint invasion of Poland in September 1939 (colorized photo by Mirek Szponar).
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