A well-known British anti-war group is refusing to protest at London’s Russian embassy out of concern that such activities would increase “hysteria and jingoism” against Russia.
The U.K. government is fueling anti-Russian sentiment in order to justify its own intervention in Syria, according to Stop the War vice-chairman Chris Nineham. His comments come in response to U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s call for the group to stage protests against Russia in response to its deadly bombing in Aleppo. Nineham excused his group’s unwillingness to protest by claiming its focus “is on what our government is doing.”
“And, not only that, a protest outside the Russian embassy would actually contribute to increasing the hysteria and the jingoism that is being whipped up at the moment against Russia,” Nineham told BBC Radio 4 Wednesday. “What we are saying is there is a hysteria which is being organised by politicians and the media against Russia to see Russia as the only problem in Syria.”
“There is no commensurate horror, it seems to me, among those anti-war groups. I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian embassy,” said Johnson during a debate in Parliament Tuesday.
Johnson noted that if Russia continued to bomb civilian targets in Aleppo, it would risk becoming a “pariah nation,” with Putin’s desire to restore Russian greatness “turning to ashes.”
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party and a known Putin apologist, claimed that if Russia’s embassy is to be the site of protests, the U.S. embassy should be as well, stressing that there is evidence U.S. bombing campaigns have also led to significant civilian casualties. Corbyn himself once chaired Stop the War. Just days after he stepped down from his post, the group adopted a resolution which seemed to excuse North Korea’s aggression as a result of U.S. foreign policy.
While Stop the War claimed to focus on the U.K. government’s activities, its website shows it has made statements criticizing foreign governments before, including the U.S. and France.
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