- The Guardian
- Issue #2054
It is timely to revisit the cause of the conflict in Ukraine. The issue behind the strife in Ukraine is the fact that the presence of NATO and US bases, military forces, and nuclear missile systems put Russia’s western border under continual threat. Over the past decade Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Romania, and Estonia have provided a home to these weapons, maintaining a constant war footing. This is in complete violation of agreements made at the end of the cold war that NATO would not expand eastward. NATO’s expansion now includes not only Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic — in 2004 seven additional countries were added. NATO once numbered 12 members; now it comprises 28. Furthermore, the NATO military alliance is looking at Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as possible future members. Another factor to be considered in the current crisis is the fate of the four million Russians living in the areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukraine. Agreements reached in 2014 with respect to their autonomy have never been implemented by Ukraine’s government. These regions opposed the 2014 US-backed coup that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych. For their opposition in 2014 the separatists were attacked and killed by the Azov Battalion, a fascist military detachment of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists – Bandera faction (OUN-B), a neo-Nazi outfit. Sources have numbered the casualties at 14,000. During the coup fascist thugs attacked the trade union federation headquarters, locked its occupants inside and set the building on fire. Democratic mechanisms in Ukraine have been abolished. After the 2014 state coup, real policy on its territory is increasingly dictated by aggressive nationalist bands. Representing an absolute terrorist minority, they hold Ukrainian people in fear and impose control over members of the political establishment.
PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Qantas announced last week it is set to post a record $2.48 billion full-year profit for the 2023 financial year. The airline attributes its skyrocketing profits to surging demand for travel, lower fuel prices and steadily resolving supply chain issues. The union movement knows otherwise – this has been driven by Qantas gaming the system. Said ACTU President Michele O’Neil: “Qantas workers know that a huge share of this profit is the result of outsourcing their jobs to multiple companies, and that Qantas has set up labour-hire companies, enabling the airline to drive down wages and conditions for the benefit of outgoing chief executive Alan Joyce and Qantas shareholders. Qantas customers know that standards have fallen dramatically, with constant flight delays and lost luggage, all because good, secure jobs were outsourced to drive down wages and conditions, hurting both workers and customers. The Australian people know that Qantas took $2 billion of taxpayers’ money during 2020 and 2021 under cover of the pandemic, then unlawfully sacked 1,700 workers. It is time the government closed loopholes to protect Australian workers against Alan Joyce’s business model. If two workers at the same company are doing the same job, they should be paid the same amount – nothing could be simpler or fairer than that.”