The findings of a poll published yesterday by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center, showing broad opposition in Europe to a NATO war with Russia, underscore the anti-democratic character of the US-led war drive against Russia over Ukraine.
The poll was formulated to elicit answers as favorable as possible to US and NATO policy, particularly in regard to a possible war with Russia. The poll questionnaire did not once raise that Russia and NATO both have nuclear weapons, or inquire about the respondents’ willingness to risk nuclear war. As a result, the poll vastly underestimates public opposition to war.
The main question on war was whether NATO member states should fight a defensive war against Russia, if Russia “got into a serious military conflict with one of its neighboring countries that is our NATO ally.” In such a situation, Article 5 of the NATO Charter on collective self-defense would require all NATO member states to declare war on Russia.
Despite having framed the question in a manner intended to elicit support for such a supposedly defensive war, the Pew poll found broad opposition among Europeans. Fifty-eight percent of Germans, 53 percent of the French population and 51 percent of Italians opposed fighting even a defensive war with Russia to protect a NATO member.
This is not, however, the character of the war that now threatens to erupt. NATO is not playing a defensive role in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member state. The Ukrainian crisis erupted after the US and the European powers backed a fascist-led putsch against a pro-Russian government in Kiev in February 2014, bringing to power an ultra-right regime that launched a civil war against pro-Russian areas of eastern Ukraine. With US and Russian missile forces on heightened alert and NATO land, air and naval forces engaged in continuous exercises on Russia’s borders, the world stands on the verge of a catastrophic war provoked by Washington and its European allies.