Ukraine: Talks Are the Way to End this War!

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I was contacted by Eric Kiefer of who asked me some excellent questions about the situation of the Ukraine (see below my response.)  This gave me an opportunity to structure a brief statement.  I have been having trouble striking the proper nuance to reflect my position – I am not sure I have found it but below is pretty close.  I am sure folks on all sides of the issue will have their critique and that is ok – this is a difficult issue to grasp for all of us.  But I do tip my hat to Eric whose poignant questions helped me structure my position (and for this excellent report on NJ’s anti-war voices including mine!).  Please be encouraged to share this and also check out the additional information about protests.  We are planning something for NJ – to be announced soon!

The US has clearly blustered forward trying to encourage the idea of Ukraine joining NATO which would provide another launch pad for long range missiles including nuclear near Russia’s border – much like the nuclear weapons in Cuba that led to the “Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.  This violates past pledges by the US to not extend further eastward NATO membership.  Russia had clearly laid out its position in December 2021 – the US decided to challenge forward instead of recognizing Russia’s legitimate concerns.  That does not justify Russia’s response with an incursion but it does provide context – this situation could have been avoided and the whole world economy and the potential for nuclear confrontation should not have been staked by the USA over the question of NATO membership for the Ukraine.

Right now the people of the US need to demand of US and its allies to stop pouring gasoline on the fire – stop sending weapons into the fire.  Instead we need to demand support for the talks that were started today (February 28) between Ukraine and Russia – and reportedly will continue.  Recognizing Ukraine’s right to self determination means recognizing it’s right to negotiate an immediate end to the hostilities directly with Russia – not to try to discredit and discourage those talks which is the role that the US has played.  Zelensky had tried to tamp down Biden’s rhetoric in the lead up – he ran on a platform of negotiating for peace with Russia and obviously a drawn out conflict serves neither Ukraine, Russia nor the US purposes.

Sanctions on Russia are equivalent to sanctions on working people and impoverished the world over.  The economy of the world is fully integrated with Russia and China.  It is being reported that there are massive cost of living  hikes on the horizon now due to the sanctions and economic disruptions.  That means the misery and death index for millions of people including Americans, Europeans and throughout the rest of the world will increase.  Over what greater principle?  Over NATO membership?  NATO is a belligerent force that among other things totally destroyed Libya to the point of there being open enslavement markets selling Africans in Tripoli.  NATO is also playing a role supporting fascism in Latin America.  It is not a benevolent social organization like the League of Women Voters but a violent war entity that has outlived any purpose – if it ever even had any.

NJ residents need to focus on demanding that the US meet the needs of our working communities – health care for all immediately!  Forgive the student debt immediately!  Rein in the opportunist ravaging of the planet by a handful of filthy billionaires!  Emergency action to avert the pending climate disaster.  And walk back the loud rhetoric that pushed the world to this crisis.

We want Russia to end its hostilities and withdraw its hostile forces.  We want the Russian speaking Ukrainians to also have peace which has not been the case since 2014.  The best way to achieve this is to support the talks that have started and to oppose further militarizing of the situation and to end the sanctions – that are basically sanctions on the entire planet as far as the impact they will have on working and impoverished people on every continent.

—–Original Message—–
From: Eric Kiefer <>
Sent: Feb 28, 2022 3:18 PM
To: Bob Witanek <>
Subject: MEDIA QUESTION – re: anti-war reactions, Ukraine/Russia conflict – Patch Media NJ

Hi Bob, Eric from Patch Media here, reaching out to see if you or anyone at NJAntiWarAgenda would like to offer a quote/statement for a news article on our website.

I’m hoping to put together an article about the Russia/Ukraine invasion that takes a look at the situation from an anti-war perspective. I’m reaching out to a few sources I’ve done such stories with before, in the hopes of getting enough responses to base an article on.

My questions (feel free to answer all or none):

1) “What role has the United States and its foreign policy played in the current Russia/Ukraine conflict? Is there any ‘blame’ on the part of the U.S. for possibly exacerbating the situation?”

2) “What should the U.S. role be moving forward regarding the Ukraine/Russia conflict?”

3) What questions should New Jersey residents be asking themselves right now?

Not sure of the exact approach I’ll use at the moment… it depends on what kinds of replies I get. But it will be basically some form of: “NJ Anti-War Advocates React To Ukraine/Russia.”

I won’t get a ton of time to develop this article, so an email reply would be much appreciated. No deadline, but it would be great to hear back from you in a few days.

Thanks in advance, and feel free to share my email address with any relevant NJ sources who would like to comment for the article.

Eric Kiefer

Editor (Essex County, NJ)

Patch Media Corporation

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Proposed Action Plan for your local organizing:

The following are some suggested steps for getting something started in your city or school or wherever you organize:

Initial Launch Discussions  Discussions can be in person and via zoom, etc.

Draft Statement of unity against US war and preparation for war including provision of weapons and troops to the Ukraine,

Mobilization at car caravan and rallies at US Senator and Represenatives offices opposing US war on Russia.

Issue Responses to events as they occur and escalate.

Create Network of organizations and individuals dedicated to joining this fight.

Staff with volunteers and ideally stipended staff to continue forward opposition to war.


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