On the Ground—an Offensive “Made in the USA”
An ongoing Ukrainian offensive continued to drive back Russian forces in southern Ukraine. Russia began evacuating thousands of civilians from Kherson, the largest town in this region, because of daily Ukrainian rocket attacks on the city and its civilian population. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky attributed much of the success of the Ukrainian advance to the “modern artillery” the U.S. and NATO have supplied his army. On October 11, the Ukrainian minister of defense gloated, "Four additional (rocket launchers) from our American partners have arrived! I thank Joe Biden, Lloyd Austin III, and the American people." These systems are “long-range-capable”—which means that from southern Ukraine they could strike deep into Russia. Note: Biden’s shipment of these systems to Ukraine picked up after a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said in September that the U.S. would cross a “red line" and become "a party to the conflict" if it sends long range missiles to Ukraine.
So, ask yourself—was this Ukrainian minister thanking YOU for supplying those imperialist death machines and helping to escalate the war?
In the Air—Rockets, Drones, and Anti-Missile Systems
Russia stepped up drone and rocket bombings deep into Ukraine, targeting energy and military targets, and raining terror and death on civilian populations. Joe Biden pledged to continue U.S. military shipments to Ukraine, including “advanced air defense systems.” NATO “defense” ministers announced that they also were sending new weaponry to Ukraine, in addition to weapons already promised by the U.S. and Germany. Zelensky praised these measures as “historic.” He told the Council of Europe that thwarting the Russian air assaults will be “… a fundamental step to end the entire war in the near future.”
Really? These anti-missile systems are meant to be, and are understood as, an offensive escalation of war. For eight months, every move taken by either side has been met with an escalation by the other. Does anyone really think that Russia—a country with a huge military, a nuclear arsenal as large as the U.S.’s—is going to cut its losses and call it a day after another weapons shipment?
Again, ask yourself—do you see your interests represented in all this? More fundamentally, do you see the interests of humanity represented in these bombings and counter-attacks? If you don’t—and you shouldn’t— what are you going to do about it?
“Legit Gangsters” Building Up Their Crews
Biden, Putin and other leaders on both sides have been maneuvering to strengthen support from allies, win over “neutral” countries, and manipulate public opinion worldwide in support of their side of the war, while they escalate and extend the fighting. Putin traveled to a gathering of leaders of 27 Asian nations. He told them, “Moscow is fighting the West to establish a fairer world.” Meanwhile, under U.S. orchestration, the United Nations voted to “condemn Russia’s annexation of four territories seized from Ukraine after Russia’s military invaded in February…” and Biden issued a statement claiming that this represented “the overwhelming majority of the world.…”
Biden and his imperialist crew want you and everybody else to think that damn near everyone on this planet supports them. First of all, the interests of the masses of people around the world are not represented in a UN vote. But even if you just go by that one vote, the countries that didn’t vote represent nearly half of the world’s population, which “suggests that, even at this crucial stage in the war, Russia’s allies are not as sparse as the West might like to think.”
Where do you stand? With the crew of international imperialist gangsters running the U.S., fighting against its rivals for world domination, and willing to leave behind millions of corpses to see who wins? With the Russian gangsters whose invasion costs thousands of lives?
Or are you going to fight for the interests of humanity and declare to the world IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!
On a Collision Course—and Hitting the Gas Pedal
After Biden’s comment last week that the world is facing “the prospect of Armageddon,” former admiral and former chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen said he found Biden’s comments "concerning" and “counterproductive… President Biden's language— we're about at the top of the language scale, if you will. And I think we need to back off that a little bit and do everything we possibly can to try to get to the table to resolve this thing. That now seems very unlikely.” Whether Mullen’s concerns represent the views of a significant portion of the U.S.’s military leadership isn’t clear. But in fact, Biden and Zelensky are closing down the very possibility of negotiating an end to this war.
Zelensky announced that “We will negotiate with the new (Russian) president”—meaning, not while Putin is in power. The Russian government responded by saying it would not end its military operations if the Ukrainian government refuses to negotiate. The Washington Post reported that while U.S. officials don’t think either Russia or Ukraine is capable of winning the war outright, “they have ruled out the idea of pushing or even nudging Ukraine to the negotiating table.” The fact that Putin has continued to offer negotiations is rarely if ever mentioned by the U.S. media.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis [in 1962]. I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily [use] a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.… [For the] first time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have the threat of a nuclear weapon, if in fact things continue down the path they are going” —Joe Biden, October 6, 2022
“I would like to remind (people) that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.” —Russian president Vladimir Putin, October 5, 2022
“… Putin cannot be allowed to continue his threats without understanding the full consequences to him and his regime. He says he is ‘not bluffing.’ We cannot afford to ‘bluff’ either.” —Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and U.S. Secretary of State, October 12, 2022
“Bluff?” WTF! This is not some kind of poker game—these motherfuckers are talking about gambling with the very existence of humanity!!! What kind of cold-blooded monsters can say shit like this? The kind that embody a system that thrives on global exploitation, that impoverishes billions and enriches a handful, and is enforced by the threat and use of violence—all the way to nuclear weapons.
No Standing Aside!
The war in Ukraine is fundamentally a conflict between imperialist powers for gaining the upper hand in world domination. It is a product of this capitalist-imperialist system.
Both sides locked in this death match—Russia on one side; the U.S./NATO/Ukraine on the other—are fighting to advance oppressive and murderous imperialist interests, and are fundamentally opposed to the interests of humanity. Both sides are killing civilians and putting them in harm’s way. Both sides are working to drag more countries and peoples into this conflict. Both sides continue to threaten the use of nuclear weapons—if a nuclear “exchange” were to begin in Ukraine, it would be a monstrous war crime that could well lead to global destruction and death that threatens literally all life on this planet, for decades to come.
This war is creating a living hell in Ukraine, and is endangering the entire world. It is gaining momentum toward a possible all-out nuclear conflict. No one can or should want to stand aside from this. Everyone should do everything they can to build opposition.
Certainly, a crucial lesson that people should learn from the war in Ukraine is that humanity cannot afford any longer to allow these imperialists, on any side, to continue to rule the world, and battle over who will dominate in this situation, with the very real and dire threat this poses to the future, and the very existence, of humanity.
—Bob Avakian, “Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat of World War 2”