Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, May 20, 2023

About peace initiatives and their shortcomings

Magyar Békekör Egyesület Hírek
Budapest, Hungary

We can witness a multitude of peace initiatives these days. A Chinese delegation is visiting Europe, Kiev and Moscow, Pope Francis is looking for a way out in agreement with Viktor Orbán, Africa is sending a delegation to Europe. Not to mention the activation of civil society and the wide-ranging peace efforts of parties and international party associations.

There is no shortage of goodwill and good faith, even more so in initiatives for lasting peace and a just solution. At least in terms of interstates. Some sections of civil society are ahead of Western governments. They just don’t let them have a say in NATO affairs. And NATO decided to continue the war. The states striving for peace, including the Hungarian one, mostly urge an immediate ceasefire and negotiations, but they do not give an answer to the question of what kind of peace they want, on what basis they urge political negotiations. This is precisely where the key to the solution lies.

The world is full of pacifist daydreams, even though we know exactly why the conflict in Ukraine broke out and what further consequences may result if, instead of recognizing and satisfying legitimate security interests, they hope for a solution from the Kiev system, which is the main obstacle in the way of compromise.

On December 15, 2021, Russia presented to Washington and NATO, and on December 17 to the country and the world, what it wanted:

  • The expansion of NATO and the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO must be ruled out;
  • NATO cannot deploy additional troops and weapons outside of the countries in which it was present in May 1997. (Since at that time none of the Eastern European countries were members of NATO, this demand can be interpreted as the withdrawal of NATO troops and weapons from all Eastern European countries, noted the Hungarian Community for Peace.) In exceptional cases, it would be allowed. the deployment of such troops and weapons, but only with the joint consent of Russia and NATO;
  • NATO must cease its military activities in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia;
  • They may not install medium- and short-range missiles where a strike can be measured on the territory of the other party;
  • They should not carry out military exercises larger than one brigade, and only in an area in which they have agreed in advance, and they should also regularly inform each other about the military exercises;
  • Confirm that the parties do not see each other as adversaries and settle all their disputes peacefully, refraining from the use of force;
  • Undertake an obligation not to create a situation that the other party can interpret as a threat against them;
  • Establish a hotline so they can contact each other in case of an emergency.


Until February 24, 2022, the beginning of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Moscow may be convinced through many diplomatic negotiations that its legitimate security demands would fall on deaf ears at the USA and NATO. As soon as this became clear, it had to be decided whether Russia would wait until NATO launched an attack from Ukraine, or whether it would take a preemptive step to eliminate the possibility of being forced into another war of national defense after World War II in which he sacrificed 20 million lives for his own freedom and that of Europe.

Although the Western powers accepted without exception the principle of the indivisibility of security at the 1992 Helsinki summit, and in the 1999 Istanbul Charter, they agreed that no country can assert its security at the expense of the security of other countries, they violated what they signed at the first opportunity. Nothing proves this better than NATO’s continued eastern expansion, the inclusion of former socialist countries in the military bloc, the inclusion of Finland, the planned inclusion of Sweden, and the expected invitation of Ukraine to the North Atlantic Alliance at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

With the exception of China, there is no known peace plan that seeks a political solution to the conflict based on the principle of mutual security. Beijing clearly sees that peace does not depend on the relationship between Moscow and Kiev, but on whether the West finally comes to its senses and takes Russian security demands seriously. I think Washington and Brussels still think they can put the Russians on both shoulders

The West has said: it wants to achieve a strategic victory over Russia. Can anyone question what role Ukraine will play in achieving this?

Pope Francis also recognized that peace does not necessarily depend on the Russians, but rather on Biden’s America. After all, Moscow left the door open before the trial even after it intervened militarily in Ukraine. It was not by chance that the Holy Father came to Hungary instead of Poland!

He did not want to provide moral support to Polish Catholicism imbued with anti-Russian sentiment, but to the peace policy of the Hungarian government, which did not give in to anti-Russian sentiment and did not add fuel to the fire of war. They didn’t make a big deal out of it, but Pope Francis and Viktor Orbán obviously agreed that it wasn’t the Russians who needed to be convinced of the importance of mutual security, but America. The big question is whether they have enough strength to do so, apart from morals.

Our societies, the so-called civilians, can not only lend them moral strength, but can also do a lot with their political action to demand a just peace. As history proves, the “two-handed worker” is capable of great things if they work together. It may be that the average Hungarian person does not yet sufficiently perceive the danger that lurks for him if the war raging next door escalates and our NATO allies turn us into a parade ground, i.e. we also become a target, but this sense of relative security can quickly fade away if the situation gets angry, and we drift into a war from which we could only come out as losers. Who needs this?

Fortunately, not everyone sleeps Sleeping Beauty’s dream! Mass demonstrations in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria indicate the demand for peace. Hungarian and Austrian peace organizations come together to defend the neutrality of Austria and to achieve the neutrality of Hungary. People with many different worldviews and party affiliations find a common denominator in the defense of peace.

Demonstrations are being organized here as well, against our country being drawn into war, to defend its peace. In the “We want to live in peace” call, they indicate what the game will be like: “Our Western allies, allied with domestic political and military circles, want to force us into a war on the side of Ukraine, against Russia. They blackmail us, interfere in our internal affairs, consider a coup d’état, and want to replace the legitimate government with a puppet government. They want us to give up our pro-peace policy, send weapons and soldiers to Ukraine, and go to war with Russia again, this time together with NATO”.

They continue: “We are not interested in confrontation, but in good relations with both the East and the West. Here, in the heart of Europe, on the path of historical wars, peaceful cooperation with the West, with which we conduct 80 percent of our trade, and with Russia, which satisfies 80 percent of our energy needs, is a vital issue for us. All our interests are linked to peace and progress! Let’s not let them take our future away from us and dispute our right to exist,” reads the appeal of the Hungarian Peace Community for Peace.

~ Endre Simó, president of the Hungarian Peace Community for Peace 


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