Stop the War Coalition (STWC), with Jeremy Corbyn as one of its most prominent supporters, presents itself as a movement aiming for peace and to end the war in Ukraine. But reality is far removed from its narrative.
Apart from the fact that peace in capitalism is an impossibility, STWC has always contributed to the increase of the military tensions by taking side in the various wars that have taken place since it was founded in 2001.
With the war in Syria STWC refused to campaign against the indiscriminate bombing of cities and towns by Russian imperialism and against the atrocities of the Assad regime. For years, the coalition has either remained silent, or systematically promoted Assad justifications .
Over the annexation of Crimea, Counterfire, a website formed by leading activists in STWC, approvingly published articles which said that if a side had to be picked in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, then it should be Russia:“Russia has more right on its side than the West” .
In the run-up to the war in Ukraine, STWC mainly showed understanding towards what it called “the legitimate security concerns of Russia” and underlined the fact that “the conflict is the product of 30 years of failed policies, including major wars of aggression by the USA, Britain and other NATO powers” .
At an online teach-in on Saturday 26 March 2022, Vijay Prashad added that NATO is “Washington’s instrument, a trojan horse for US power” .
Of course NATO is an instrument of US imperialism, which has provoked its Russia rival into launching this war. But STWC can never take the side of the working class against all imperialist camps: on the contrary, it is always looking for one to support.
Thus, STWC appeals for British imperialism to project a foreign policy that breaks free of Washington and aligns the UK within a European political and military alliance: “There now needs to be a unified effort to develop pan-European security arrangements”.
Although it operates very subtly, and does not openly say that it supports Russia, STWC actually functions as a means of leading sincere anti-war sentiment into the dead end of support for anti-American imperialism.