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Michael McDowell: I am gobsmacked at the ambivalence of Irish Marxists to Putin

Somehow the attempted annihilation of a sovereign state is the fault of the West

We must be clear on a few things. Ukraine was not, is not, and never could or will be a military threat to the Russian Federation. Likewise, Ukraine is not governed by a Nazi government and is in no need of denazification. The excuse used by Putin for invading and annihilating a democratic, sovereign state, which is a member of the UN is an outrageous lie designed to conceal a base bid at crude conquest and annexation.

The only sense in which a democratic Ukraine threatens the Putin regime is that the Russian people have before them an example of a neighbouring democratic state which is not a kleptocracy and which does not imprison its dissidents, poison and assassinate its citizens, and does not suppress all protests against a corrupt feudal clique of oligarchs entirely subject to the whim and extortion of a dictator turned warlord.

That is why Belarus is tolerated; it is the weak mirror image of Putin’s regime. It is a puppet in the same way as all the member states of the Warsaw Pact used to be.

Putin wants to hold power in all the former USSR’s territory by the threat of subversion or invasion. Those parts of that territory that freely sought membership of Nato did not do so to threaten Russia; they did so to avoid the current fate of Ukraine or Putin’s envisaged future fate for Ukraine.


The threadbare character of that world view now has one Irish political party purging its archives of pro-Russian material

It is an irony that the great majority of Irish people aged 40 or less have forgotten the name or fate of Alexander Dubcek, a reformist premier in Czechoslovakia (more exactly the first secretary of the presidium of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) who sought only to liberalise the cruel Soviet regime that had held sway in his country.

In August 1968, the Warsaw Pact under the Kremlin’s command sent in its tanks and removed Dubcek. It was an almost bloodless invasion that deposed Dubcek in hours rather than weeks. A puppet regime was re-established in Prague and Dubcek was briefly taken to Moscow but left in his nominal role without power. It took 20 years for real democracy to return to Prague.

Surgical strike

Such a short, sharp, surgical strike was envisaged last month for Ukraine. Putin believed his massive conventional army could crush Kiev in the same speedy way as Soviet power extinguished post-war movements for democracy in Budapest and Prague.

He has received a bloody nose that the Soviets have not got since their pre-war mauling at the hands of the Finns and later from the Afghani mujahideen. His infantry will not fight; his armour is ineffective; only his weapons of annihilation– missiles and long-range artillery – are working to order. And that order is the destruction of civilians and their communities.

I am gobsmacked at the ambivalence of our domestic Marxists and their fellow travellers to what is happening. Somehow the attempted annihilation of a democratic sovereign member state of the United Nations is the fault of the West. If only the West had left all democratic former Warsaw Pact countries out of Nato and left them open to invasion and subversion by the Kremlin, this war would never have started.

No need for war

Damned right too. There would be no need for war. States like the Baltic and Balkan democracies, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and Georgia would be peaceful satellites of the Kremlin kleptocracy.

The threadbare character of that world view now has one Irish political party purging its archives of pro-Russian material. And that is very apt. The Russian communists were past masters of deletion, photoshopping and correction of the public record to suit the needs of the present moment.

In a totalitarian mindset, the record is entirely subservient to what is needed now. It’s not just a matter of truth being the first casualty of war; truth is the indentured servant of the Marxist agenda. Embarrassing pro-Kremlin and anti-western publications have been deleted. We all support (however mutedly) the Ukrainians now.

Out with their old friend – bleach. The embarrassing votes in the European parliament are simply availing of that dubious online concept – the right to be forgotten.

Next we will hear that Ukraine should surrender because the cost in civilian lives is too great to bear. The useful idiots will parrot that view

Next we will hear that Ukraine should surrender because the cost in civilian lives is too great to bear. The useful idiots will parrot that view, citing humanitarian grounds for extinction of democracy in Ukraine. Resistance will be described as useless. It mirrors the Cold War useful idiots’ mantra: “Better Red than Dead.”

We need to be clear on one more thing; all the guilt and responsibility lies with Putin. This war is what he freely chose. The cruelty is all his. The dead are all his victims. It is unforgiveable. And there must be accountability.

The innocent dead cannot avail of any right to be forgotten.