Against war without equidistance
We are not equidistant from this war. We stand with the Ukrainian civilian population. With the millions of defenceless children, women and men who are currently being bombed by Putin.
War against civilians is the form of all contemporary wars. To fuel in any way its continuation, its becoming an endless slaughter, to the risk of nuclear holocaust, is a folly and a responsibility that those who fan the flames of rearmament will bear, while the Ukrainian people are meat for the slaughter.
On resistance to the aggressors
There is the Ukrainian resistance, for which we have the utmost respect. It is the resistance that has taken a thousand different forms, the resistance of a people who will not give in to the unjustifiable aggression of a despot who has invaded their land with a devastating army and weapons. An autocrat whom, however, Europe, the “cradle of democracy”, has pampered and enriched for the past twenty years. We say it again: there can be no equidistance for us in this war. Those who attack and invade with tanks and launch missiles and cluster bombs on cities, houses, universities and hospitals, cannot have any justification. This can never be justified.
On crimes against humanity and the right to defend oneself
In the staggering contest between the criminals threatening this planet, Putin is certainly at the top. Obviously, the list of instigators and perpetrators of crimes against humanity is long and transversal: from those who bomb children in Yemen with bombs supplied by our country, to those who finance Libyan lagers, where women are raped and defenceless human beings tortured and killed. But shame cannot be balanced out with other shames.
For us, the people in Ukraine and in every part of the world who suffer because of all these criminals, all those who are helpless in the face of the shame and defeat of wars, are brothers and sisters. Those who try to defend themselves as best they can, to prevent the logic of force and violence from getting the better of every human right, of every possible coexistence, have the right to do so. Just as they have the right to flee, to desert, to save themselves and their children, hundreds of thousands of people who in these hours are trying not to become targets or hostages and to reach the European borders. The attacked’s legitimate right to resistance cannot become an excuse for European governments, until yesterday cowardly and silent in the face of Putin’s crimes, and busy doing business with his oligarchs, to wash their consciences, risking contributing to a further escalation of the war.
Fighting for peace. Resisting, defecting, disobeying
Fighting for peace, against war, cannot mean sending weapons without taking courageous political and diplomatic initiatives: European governments must work for an immediate ceasefire, and build the conditions for high-level negotiations, involving all the players in the field, offering them guarantees for a new order of possible coexistence, with mutual respect, in a security framework that excludes the use of force. Resisting, defecting and disobeying the war and its logic is today the most difficult battle, but also the only one that can represent a hope for the future of our imperfect democracies, including the Ukrainian one. The birth of a new Europe, of a new world, cannot be based on yet another bloodbath: that is a road already traveled and that road has led us here, back to the edge of an abyss. The big arms manufacturers and traders, who are doing huge business at the moment while people are dying, should not have the power to decide the policies of contemporary societies, just as the holders of energy monopolies, who have no scruples in the face of any dictatorship or crime anywhere on the planet, should not.
Resisting, defecting and disobeying for us means supporting every effort to have the weapons laid down immediately: encouraging negotiations and mediation, fighting so that our governments are committed to seeking a political and geopolitical solution that will now prevent the carnage that has been announced. The “transversal party of war” is aiming at this carnage, whose cultural model is still pursuing the tragic illusion of military deterrence as the only system of balance and cohabitation in Europe and across the planet. Resisting, defecting and disobeying for us means supporting the opposition and dissent to the war, which thousands and thousands of people are carrying out in Russia, with courage and facing fearful consequences.
Resisting, defecting and disobeying means implementing concrete actions that we are working on, in order to facilitate the escape from the war of refugees – all refugees without shameful ethnic or national distinctions – who try to reach the borders with Poland and Romania. Overcoming the infamous Dublin Regulations must become established practice whereby Europe welcomes all people who arrive at its borders fleeing discrimination and persecution, economic and environmental disasters, violence and war.
Resisting, defecting and disobeying for us means continuing and relaunching the practice of civilian rescue at sea in the central Mediterranean, to help people trying to escape from Libyan lagers who, like all women, men and children fleeing discrimination and violence, persecution and war, risk being forgotten in the current scenario.
Against the “realpolitik” of inhumanity
They say we live in a world of dreams and utopias, because we do not take the positions of states and military headquarters, because we do not propose solutions that follow the patterns of Realpolitik. But it is precisely this inhuman, alleged ‘political realism’ that has brought us to this point. So we say that it is better to pursue dreams and utopias than to cultivate nightmares and not to listen to any prophecy. We listen and stand by Pope Francis, in the practice of resistance, desertion and disobedience to war. We dream of a Europe that finally adopts a common foreign and defence policy, to pursue the construction of a transnational space that is not only economic, but also social and political, projected towards the Euro-Asian and Euro-Mediterranean dimension, capable of developing policies of peace and disarmament, starting with nuclear disarmament, solidarity and cooperation between peoples, in respect and affirmation of the fundamental rights of people.
We owe it to our brothers and sisters who are currently suffering in Ukraine.
The Board of Directors of MEDITERRANEAN Saving Humans
4th March 2022 – First week of war