Seventy-seven years ago this month, America became the first—and only—country to ever use nuclear weapons, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki, Japan (August 9), massacring between 210,000 and 220,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians.1
The U.S. is “commemorating” this horrific anniversary by playing “chicken”2—with China in the Asia-Pacific region and Russia in Ukraine—escalating the threat and danger of nuclear war, whether begun deliberately, accidentally, or through miscalculation.3
Pelosi Goes to Taiwan—Escalates U.S. Moves against Imperialist Rival China
On August 2-3, Democratic Party leader and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went to the island of Taiwan—the highest-ranking U.S. official in 25 years to do so. With this visit, she aggressively ratcheted up the already extremely dangerous, expand-or-die imperialist rivalry between the U.S. and China over which will be the dominating exploiter in the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. And she did so knowing full well it would be seen by China’s rulers—who are capitalist-imperialists4 in global competition with the U.S.—as an act of aggression against them and interference in China’s “internal” affairs. In other words, a major—and dangerous—provocation, against a heavily nuclear armed rival!
Taiwan sits 112 miles off China’s coast (some 6,500 miles from the U.S. West Coast). China’s capitalist rulers have continued to claim Taiwan as part of their sovereign territory, given the historic links, despite it now being governed independently.5 The U.S. has de-facto informally recognized this since 1979, as the U.S. established close relations with the capitalist rulers of China. Taiwan is strategically vital, because of its location in a major manufacturing hub and one of the busiest trade routes in the world. It is highly militarized with U.S.-supplied weapons, and its contested status is a dangerous potential flashpoint for a major war.
The U.S. is increasingly arming and bolstering Taiwan as part of “containing” China, as a deterrent to any possible Chinese attempts to invade and absorb Taiwan into its territory, and as an effort to maintain U.S. domination of the Asia-Pacific region, in the face of a rising Chinese imperialism and challenges it poses to the U.S. empire. China has increasingly declared its intention to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland as part of its stepped-up efforts to project economic, political and military power throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Pelosi’s visit was accompanied and followed by major Chinese military exercises and shows of strength.
There are voices even within the U.S. ruling class expressing concerns about where all this is going. New York Times columnist and rabid cheerleader for U.S. global dominance Thomas Friedman denounced Pelosi’s trip as “utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.” A former Obama official summed up, “This is an exceptionally dangerous situation, perhaps more so than Ukraine. … The risks of escalation are immediate and substantial.”6 CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria, a U.S. national security expert, called it “a hair-raising crisis that could spill into a military conflict.” [Emphasis added.]
At the same time, there remains overall consensus within U.S. ruling circles—including among those expressing concerns over Pelosi’s trip—that China poses the greatest danger to U.S. world dominance and that the U.S. must step up its efforts to weaken, curb and contain China.
While U.S. Secretary of State Blinken blamed China for the escalation of tensions,7 there was hardly any mention in the U.S. media of four American warships positioned east of Taiwan, including the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan… or the military exercises the U.S. launched with its allies Indonesia, Australia and Japan on the same day China began its exercises… or that the U.S. imperialists spend $801 billion a year on their military, more than double what China does.8
Mainstream U.S. media are propaganda organs of this system, a core part of the capitalist-imperialist system—in this case, fanning American chauvinism and brainwashing people into supporting America and “our” imperialists in their battles with their rivals.
And Meanwhile, Back in the Ukraine…
This sharp escalation of the U.S.-China rivalry is happening as the U.S./NATO proxy war with Russia in Ukraine is grinding on, with Russia trying to firmly seize big swaths of eastern Ukraine and the U.S. and its allies continuing to flood Ukraine with heavy arms—so far more than $51 billion worth by the U.S. alone.
(For deeper analysis of the Ukraine war, see these and other articles by Bob Avakian: “The War in Ukraine and the Interests of Humanity: A Scientific Revolutionary Approach vs. Harmful Confusion and Chauvinist Delusion. Bob Avakian Responds to People Who Should Know Better (and Maybe Once Did),” “Word War 3 and Dangerous Idiocy,” “Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat of World War 2”; as well as other coverage at revcom.us, including: “As the U.S. Faces Setbacks in Ukraine: Death, Duplicity, Ruling Class Divisions… and the Danger of Far Worse.”)
Read revcom.us coverage:
This conflict, too, has the potential for unpredictable and very dangerous escalation, even into nuclear conflict—as the imperialists and their mouthpieces are well aware! As the very same Friedman mentioned above commented, “This Ukraine war is SO not over, SO not stable, SO not without dangerous surprises that can pop out on any given day.” He then went on to point out that, among U.S. ruling circles, there is growing and “deep mistrust” of Ukraine president Zelensky, of his actions and his intentions—which flies in the face of U.S. public rhetoric glorifying and praising him. Given Friedman’s ruling class connections, this is speculation that is founded on a real basis. And this even further highlights the dangers of the U.S. and NATO continuing to arm and support Zelensky, who has worked tirelessly to draw U.S./NATO into further and more direct conflict with Russia. Friedman fears that with this brinksmanship, the U.S. could be “plunged into indirect conflicts with a nuclear-armed Russia and a nuclear-armed China at the same time.”9
All this is “nuclear chicken” on steroids—escalating the danger of World War 3, and extremely dangerous for all of humanity!
All of the U.S. media rhetoric echoing Nancy Pelosi’s comments on giving Taiwan “a choice between democracy and autocracy,” and similar talking points in the U.S.’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine—this is lying, deadly bullshit. (See “Shameless American Chauvinism: ‘Anti-Authoritarianism’ as a ‘Cover’ for Supporting U.S. Imperialism,” by Bob Avakian.)
It is way past time to sweep this monstrous genocidal system off the planet through an actual revolution—and this revolution is more possible now, in the very belly of the beast, the U.S. For more on WHY this is the case, and the roadmap to make it real, dig into Bob Avakian’s scientific and emancipating leadership—starting with Something Terrible, OR Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, the Looming Possibility of Civil War—and the Revolution That Is Urgently Needed. A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution