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For the other articles see > SPECIAL ARCHIVE UKRAINE

A few years from now, we might be able to talk about this war in Ukraine but, in order to under­stand it, there will always be lack­ing this feel­ing of wait­ing for the nuclear Godot.

Four­teen days of war, and the inva­sion has become more pre­cise. Every­one does their bit of analy­sis before all agree­ing on the fact Vladimir Putin has failed at his light­ning strike to throw over the Ukrain­ian regime, but wants to con­firm his ter­ri­to­r­i­al con­quests in the East and the South. And some, quite right­ly to won­der about the con­se­quences of ter­ri­to­r­i­al advances, the seiz­ing of the Cap­i­tal and the mas­sive destructions.

Four­teen days of war, an eter­ni­ty for the resist­ing pop­u­la­tions and com­bat­ants. A short phase in the mil­i­tary inva­sion with its load of deaths and destruc­tions. The time required to have the total­i­ty of the Russ­ian troops and  mil­i­tary equip­ment on Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ry. We no longer have a time esti­mate on the war. And no one to this day can say how long it will last, see­ing how cer­tain resis­tance will prove to be.

The only cer­tain­ty today, is that the now infor­mal coali­tion of States allied in pro­nounc­ing sanc­tions, with EU in the lead, has set itself a red line of non inter­ven­tion, linked to the pol­i­cy of “nuclear dis­sua­sion”. The only cer­tain­ty also, is that Kremlin’s so-called “chief” does not give a damn about it and that he will take advan­tage both of the gas and oil need­ed by the EU, and of the fear esca­la­tion inspires in every­one, NATO included.

The the­o­reti­cians of the fear of Putin vs NATO must revise their camp­ism. In pure­ly mil­i­tary strate­gic terms, nuclear dis­sua­sion plays in favor of Vladimir Putin. Sim­ply because cap­i­tal­ism has a stake in the plan­et from which it draws its prof­its and that we can won­der how the ques­tion plays for that dic­ta­tor who dreams of tac­ti­cal uses of nuclear pow­er, if need­ed in order to regain his foot­ing in a world order. By tak­ing Urkrarne, the fig­ure of the heir to the Sovi­et Union who sees him­self as  incar­nat­ing the tra­di­tions of Great Rus­sia com­bined with the cap­i­tal­ism drawn from oil and gas annu­ities, has just blocked  the glob­al pow­er plays between impe­ri­alisms, be they inter­na­tion­al or region­al. And unless Chi­na changes foot, he will not stop there in the com­ing year.

Polit­i­cal con­fu­sion should not be allowed when the shad­ow of war looms over all of Europe and mil­lions of refugees seek asy­lum. Nei­ther the Euro­pean right-wing cap­i­tal­ists nor the chau­vin­is­tic left-wingers must be allowed to instru­men­tal­ize what belongs to the ele­men­tary sol­i­dar­i­ty of peoples.

The mat­ter of greet­ing refugees can­not be con­sid­ered as a “spe­cial case”. Between uncon­di­tion­al­i­ty and the “greet­ing of white Chris­t­ian Cau­casians,” the polit­i­cal debate must rest on the former.

Aid to resis­tance in all its forms, includ­ing weapons, is cru­cial and show­ing reluc­tance for those tran­sit­ing by States should not be an issue, unless one wish­es to request some for the invador too, so as to be “coher­ent” in the bal­anc­ing act for peace.

Under­stand­ing at last that we have bro­ken with a cer­tain state of the world, which until now con­sist­ed of local wars by proxy, just as the inva­sion of Irak caused a major desta­bi­liza­tion, — this would allow  putting an end to a idi­ot­ic rel­a­tivism between the inva­sion of Ukraine and bomb­ings in Erithrea, for example.

The back­slid­ing in the strug­gle against cli­mate changes could be impor­tant also. Already,  due to the blo­cus on cere­als, the agro-indus­tri­al lob­bies are demand­ing a lift­ing of norms  on pes­ti­cides and intrants. Ener­gy-wise, both nuclear and the use of coal are once again at the fore­front. And this notion of an Euro­pean defence is seen most favor­ably by the weapons indus­try, com­pet­ing with the usu­al NATO business.

Finan­cia­rized cap­i­tal­ism is oppor­tunis­tic and the war is an oppor­tu­ni­ty when, reach­ing such.a lev­el of threats, it pro­vokes strong demands for securi­sa­tion between States. This cap­i­tal­ism, emerg­ing from the glob­al pan­dem­ic, strong­ly needs cohe­sion in order to restruc­ture itself with­in a mod­i­fied bal­ance of forces.

Keep­ing a space in all this for the rev­o­lu­tion­ary dream, unless one choos­es to dream off in a cor­ner while await­ing the bomb, is more dif­fi­cult than ever. But going on liv­ing per­haps, help­ing oth­ers to live in pro­vi­sion­al peace from where one stands  at the moment, or resist­ing, are guar­an­tees of keep­ing the future open to a pos­si­bil­i­ty of a com­mon struggle.

In France, we are offered an elec­toral menu “for change” We would first need to be tak­ing into account that change hap­pen­ing before our eyes, pro­voked in Europe and by ric­o­chet in the whole world. Already, voic­es rise to say that, just as with Covid, Ukraine is a decoy and that our “sov­er­eign” prob­lems are much more impor­tant. In attempt­ing to hide the moon while point­ing one anoth­er out with our fin­ger, we could end up tomor­row with the sound of boots in the dark night.

You find this pes­simistic? So, read a bit, while waiting.

ESTRAGON (while chew­ing) — I asked you a question.

VLADIMIR — Ah

ESTRAGON — And what did you answer me?

VLADIMIR — Is your car­rot tasty?

ESTRAGON — It’s sweet.

VLADIMIR — Good, so much the bet­ter. (A pause). What did you want to know?

ESTRAGON — I can’t remem­ber. (He chews.) That’s what both­ers me. (He gives the car­rot an appre­cia­tive look, twirls it on the tips of his fin­gers.) Your carrot’s deli­cious. (He sucks the tip method­i­cal­ly.) Wait, it’s com­ing back to me. (He chews off a mouth­ful of the carrot.)

VLADIMIR — So?

ESTRAGON (his mouth full, dis­tract­ed­ly) — Are we bound?

VLADIMIR — I can’t hear you.

ESTRAGON(chews, swal­lows) — I’m won­der­ing if we are bound.

VLADIMIR — Bound?

ESTRAGON — Bo ‑und.

VLADIMIR — Bound how?

ESTRAGON — Hand and foot.

VLADIMIR — But to whom? By whom?

ESTRAGON — To your guy.

VLADIMIR — To Godot? Bound to Godot? What an idea? Not on your life! (A pause). Not yet. (He does not make the connection.)

Wait­ing for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

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For the other articles see > SPECIAL ARCHIVE UKRAINE

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges

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Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…