U.S. and Russian imperialism are inflicting massive, horrific death and destruction in Ukraine. U.S. officials estimate that almost 500,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the 18-month-long war between Ukraine—armed and trained by the U.S./NATO—and Russia.
The U.S. and its NATO allies have poured in billions of dollars of weaponry, provided intelligence and training, and rendered other support to Ukraine. They do not do this to “defend democracy,” or because they oppose unjust invasions (and to be clear, this was an unjust and imperialist invasion by Russia). The U.S. itself holds the record for imperialist invasions and supports outright butchers in power from Egypt to India to Saudi Arabia. No, the U.S. utilizes this “aid” to wage a proxy war and to advance its interests as the most powerful imperialist empire in the world. It is cynically using Ukrainian troops and the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder in this horrible war, to advance its interests against Russia, an imperialist rival. The interests of the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the entire world—especially people in the U.S.—are to oppose this war.
Now, a much-hyped Ukrainian “spring counteroffensive” has become a bloody slog. It is grinding up the lives of still more thousands. But the war continues to expand and escalate, and in so doing increases the danger of a direct U.S.-Russia confrontation, which could well go nuclear and put all life on this planet in peril. Last week the Biden administration announced that it has “cleared the way” for F-16 fighter jets to be delivered to Ukraine. This marks a significant deepening of the U.S. commitment to the Ukrainian military. A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general told reporters that “at the strategic level, this ties Ukraine to the Western way of war … for 20 to 30 years. … [A] country that gets our weapon systems [gets] exercises, education, training, and upgrades to those systems. So, it just gives them this long term relationship with the West and the United States.” You can almost hear this blood-thirsty motherfucker licking his chops.
The war is also threatening to spill over into other countries. Poland and Belarus share a border with each other, and each border both Russia and Ukraine. But Poland is part of NATO, and Belarus is allied with Russian imperialism. Recently both Poland and Belarus have been moving thousands of troops towards their shared border, and are verging on open conflict. Poland’s ambassador to the U.S. said recently, “You can only imagine how volatile the entire region is nowadays.”
East Asia on the Brink
Tension and war preparations are also rising between the U.S. and China in East Asia. The U.S. regards China as its biggest imperialist threat. During his State of the Union address this year, days after the U.S. shot down a Chinese weather balloon for supposed spying, Biden issued a “dramatic warning” to China and its president, Xi Jinping, not to threaten American sovereignty. As CNN reported, this presidential warning to a world power in such a public event was “a remarkable moment that underlined a grave geopolitical shift.”
Under Biden the U.S. has put tremendous and escalating effort into confronting China in the region of the South China Sea and Taiwan, and building alliances to oppose China there. Last week Biden held a “historic” summit meeting with Japanese and South Korean leaders aimed at developing an alliance in Northeast Asia, to “contain” and confront China and North Korea. Biden said the three leaders agreed to hold military exercises to deepen their alliance, “not just this year, not just next year, forever.”
This situation is extremely perilous. Shortly before this summit, two nuclear-capable U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines docked at ports in South Korea, for the first time in over four decades. North Korea, an ally of China, launched several ballistic missile tests soon after the U.S. visit. North Korea also issued a statement “reminding” the U.S. that the U.S. nuclear submarines may “fall under the conditions of the use of nuclear weapons”—meaning that North Korea considered this crossing a red line and could respond in kind. The point is that these nuclear-armed powers are in a protracted face-off full of risk.
Think about it: nuclear war carries the potential of exterminating all human life (as well as permanently poisoning the entire planet). Yet these imperialists are willing to risk this in dangerous high-stakes maneuvers to dominate the planet.
We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible.
—Bob Avakian, in the Bob Avakian Interviews
(Note: Revolution will be reporting on these developments more fully. Readers should go to Revolution’s Resource Page on the war in Ukraine and threats against China for more background and history of these conflicts, including crucial analysis in several articles by Bob Avakian.)