LONDON – Stop the War Coalition, the left-wing group that organised a million-strong protest against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, has said that the U.S. must share the blame for Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.
"Those who demand anti-war activity here in Britain against Russia are ignoring the history and the present reality in Ukraine and Crimea," wrote the organisation's convenor Lindsey German in an article posted on Sunday.
"Who is the aggressor?," the piece asks. "The obvious answer seems to be that it is Russia, but that is far from the whole picture."
"The United States is centrally involved. It oversaw the removal of [former Ukrainian President] Yanukovich, and its neocons are desperately trying to develop an excuse for war with the Russians."
It goes on to add: "Ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the European Union (EU) and NATO have been intent on surrounding Russia with military bases and puppet regimes sympathetic to the West, often installed by 'colour revolutions'."
German, a former candidate for Mayor of London, insists U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Prime Minister David Cameron cannot be taken seriously when they oppose Russian intervention in the country: "No one should take lessons from people who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and bombed Libya."
Stop the War Coalition was formed by a number of left-wing groups in the wake of the September 11 attacks to oppose actions carried out under the "war on terror" banner and attracted substantial public support for its protests against the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last summer the group organised protests against planned western intervention in Syria. But until now it has not set out a position on the Ukraine crisis, despite repeated requests from journalists.
However Sunday's article, entitled "10 things to remember about the crisis in Ukraine and the Crimea", was met with an overwhelmingly hostile reaction from mainstream political pundits and journalists.
According to the piece, the U.S. and NATO have broken pledges made to Russia at the end of the Cold War by incorporating "most of Eastern Europe and the Balkan states to their own military alliance, and by building military bases along Russia's southern border."
The European Union is also blamed for helping to remove former Ukrainian president Yanukovich after he rejected the organisation's "privatising, neoliberal agenda".
Meanwhile United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon is attacked for ignoring the role of western imperialism in the region and the prevalence of far-right groups in the Ukrainian protest movement.
"The B52 liberals only oppose wars when their own rulers do so, and support the ones carried out by our governments," the piece claims. "The job of any anti-war movement is to oppose its own government's role in these wars, and to explain what that government and its allies are up to."
"After the US failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the neocons are looking for a defeat of Russia over Ukraine, and by extension, China too."