No matter how you saw the situation in Eastern Ukraine before, it is clear now that a full-scale war in Ukraine has started.
Putin did something that might have seemed incredible – just too massive – even for him.
If we are anti-war, we have to condemn this aggression, call for a ceasefire, and ask how people in Ukraine – in all of its regions – can be truly protected, under what arrangement.
But there are also two other things we have to allow ourselves to do – even if these are potentially unpopular decisions.
One, if we are for peace in Ukraine, that peace has to involve all of its regions and all of its ethnic and linguistic groups.
This means we have to acknowledge that the Eastern regions of Ukraine, too, deserve their human rights to be respected, which is something both the Russian and Ukrainian governments would have to guarantee. “Pro-Russian” doesn’t mean unworthy of a life of dignity. What are ‘separatist regions’ for some governments are still people who we have to include when we craft a new political arrangement that would allow for a transition from war into…non-war.
We know that, historically, to peacefully resolve a conflict that is a mix between an intra-state war and an inter-state war (in other words: a war within a country and a war between countries) is extremely difficult.
What political systems in a post-conflict environment can leave all sides content has been one massive question for the discipline of comparative politics.
A complete separation?
A federal state?
External bodies governing certain regions?
What type of government to have? What electoral system?
These questions are as difficult as they can get.
But we have to get to a ceasefire first.
Two, we have to allow ourselves to draw broader parallels between conflicts in other regions and extend our empathy further without engaging in a certain type of accusations that we might hear.
What are these types of accusations? Let me give you an example here.
Just yesterday, on my social media, I reshared a post that showed a map and airstrikes that happened that day: Russia bombing Ukraine, Israel bombing Syria, Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen, and the U.S. bombing Somalia.
It was in fact this post:
Right away, I received a message that accused this post of relativism. Or, to use another word you might have heard, what-about-ism.
And indeed: if one assumes a cynical tone here, we can see how it can be interpreted as an attempt to say that Ukraine is just another war that we are seeing unfold. I, too, deeply dislike when someone tries to use what-about-ism in real life, saying that because someone chooses to talk about A, this means B does not matter.
A kind reply to an accusation like this is a simple one: it is that we don’t have to be cynical here. We can say that, absolutely tragically, now we have even more people suffering. We don’t have to engage in comparing suffering. We can say “yes, and.”
So this is the second important but potentially unpopular thing we can do here: we can continue condemning wars everywhere, we can continue speaking out against atrocities committed by any superpower, and we can surely draw parallels between imperialist policies around the world.
That is not an insult to our humanity. That is an expression of it.
A child whose house is bombed in Gaza by Israel, a child whose house is bombed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, and a child whose house is now being bombed in Ukraine by Russia are all the same child.
They might not be seen the same in the media but we can choose to see them as equals and we can say “this, too” as we condemn it.
Our hearts can go to so many places at the same time.
See my articles and other resources on Afghanistan here.
See my articles and other resources on Palestine here.
As voters in Brazil are choosing their representatives today, choosing their president can determine the country’s direction in ways that go beyond a specific party.
This election is extremely important not only because Brazil is a presidential republic (meaning, its president has significant powers) and world’s 12th economy. It’s because, to put it plainly, if Lula wins, the are fears of Bolsonaro not taking his political loss as leaders in democracies do – and that would have significant consequences for Brazil and the rest of the world.
What we’re seeing in Iran are widespread protests after the death of a young women, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s moral police.
This looks like the beginning of a revolution. We have to believe in and stand with the women of Iran.
Our environment is making us sick.
And it’s not only the pollution and the toxins we are already aware of. These are the traumas we experience and pass on. Listen to how Dr. Gabor Maté, a trauma expert, explains it with so much compassion.
And although we have to do everything we can to help the people of Pakistan now, the bigger story is not about this country. This tragedy – a man-made disaster – is a harsh reminder that the people who are most contributing to our climate emergency are not necessarily the ones who are paying the price.
What is there to say after Israel’s most recent bombing of Gaza?
No matter how heart-breaking this devastation was, it didn’t reveal anything new about how Israel operates – nor how the world reacts when Palestinians under siege are being killed.
A publisher locked up for exposing war crimes of the empire — and all done in our name.
This is what has been happening to Julian Assange for the last ten years.
It is something huge, criminal, and extremely concerning. If you’re not following it or aren’t concerned about it, you should be.
Joe Biden is on a trip to the Middle East: he’s visiting Israel and Saudi Arabia. What this shows is how little respect – if at all – his presidency has for human rights. Apartheid, military occupation, killings of civilians, murdering of journalists – everything goes. And there is definitely no room for Palestinian human rights.
The people of Ecuador have just had a national strike – and won!
After more than two weeks of country-wide protests, the current government has agreed to meet their demands.
What was happening there and why?
To answer these questions, hear what two journalists reporting on Ecuador have to say.
We’d like to believe that we’re all on the march towards gender equality and ending gender-based violence – and in a way, we are – but its setbacks are obvious and horrifying.
They’re about women’s rights to their bodies, to making their own choices, and to making those choices without fear for their safety.
Although it was never “hidden” for the ones who are interested in Palestine, Israeli state violence can’t be more obvious now. Not to acknowledge it is not a matter of access to knowledge; it’s a matter of choice.
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