The following slightly edited commentary was first published in November by Workers Voice Socialist Movement of New Orleans.
U.S. war hawks and their mouthpieces in the capitalist media claim that Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine. This is another lie brought by the same people who falsely claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that Syria “gassed its own people” and so on. The U.S. would lie its way into WWIII before admitting that its wars are fought for one reason alone: to make rich men richer. Russia’s vast mineral, oil and gas wealth is what the U.S. is really after.
Is Russia a threat to U.S. workers? Last year Russia’s military budget was under $62 billion. The official U.S. military budget is projected to be $753 billion — 12 times the size of Russia’s. NATO’s joint annual military spending tops $1 trillion and is on the rise.
The real threat to workers is that every social benefit we’ve fought for will be sacrificed to feed the war profiteers at the trough of the ever-ballooning war budget.
Here’s the truth: The U.S. has been on a steady march to push troops closer to Russia, despite assurances U.S./NATO forces would not move “one inch eastward,” in the words of U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in 1990. To raid resources, expand markets and exploit more workers, the U.S. and the EU want Russia under their boot, just like they’ve got Ukraine, Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe. This would not only be a disaster for Russian workers; it would increase the capitalists’ power to crush the living standards of workers everywhere.
The capitalists “served and protected” by the U.S. military want complete and exclusive access to the land, resources and labor of the world. That’s why they’re so desperate to replace the independent governments of Russia, Belarus, China, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela — all of which they demonize and all of which have been subjected to harsh U.S. economic sanctions, terrorist attacks and other forms of war.
U.S. installs fascist government in the Ukraine
While Big Business media has incessantly beat the drum for war with Russia, they bury the fact that in 2021 alone, the U.S. government pledged more than $400 million in taxpayer dollars to build up the military power of the fascist government of Ukraine — which the Obama/Biden administration installed after a violent coup in 2014. The coup accomplished two main goals for the U.S.: Ukraine was forced to submit to the control of U.S. and EU banks; and it became a major buyer of U.S. weapons, which are now aimed at neighboring Russia.
The U.S.-backed government in Kiev relies on fascist terror to crush resistance to their policies of gutting social programs, destroying pensions, and privatization, resulting in mass unemployment and hunger throughout Ukraine. Since 2014 the country has seen an explosion of terrorism against trade unionists and Roma, Jewish and LGBTQ people. Fascist gangs like the C14 patrol the streets of Kiev with the official sanction of the government. Living standards have declined to the point that 22.9% of Ukrainian children suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to the U.N.
Anti-fascist fighters, families shelled by U.S. bombs
The people of Ukraine have resisted the attempted fascist takeover of their country. In the eastern part of Ukraine, in the Donbass region, anti-fascist fighters have waged a bitter war to defend the territories known as the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. Since 2014 the Ukrainian war on the Donbass has killed nearly 14,000 people, including thousands of civilians.
In 2015 leaders from Ukraine, LPR, DPR and Russia met in Minsk, Belarus, to work out a diplomatic cessation of the war in the Donbass. They agreed to self-government and territorial independence for the Donbass. But in practice, the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government has done next to nothing to respect this agreement. Rarely does a day go by without some Ukrainian paramilitary unit committing an act of terrorism against the people of the LPR and DPR. Ukrainian forces recently captured and tortured a Russian cease-fire monitor in Lugansk and carried out an armed attack on a settlement of civilians in the demilitarized zone of the DPR.
In April Ukraine’s President [Volodymyr] Zelensky dropped all pretense at diplomacy, when he declared that “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass.” Russia has made it clear that they would respond forcefully to any major escalation in the war as a matter of defense. It must be remembered that nearly 27 million Soviet citizens were killed in the war against the German Nazis. People of all nationalities in Russia do not want armed Ukrainian fascists menacing their country. They will respond to the threat by force if necessary.
Biden’s support of Ukrainian fascism
The hell that Ukrainians are living through is what the U.S. wants for Russia. . . . Above all else, the ultrarich want governments that answer to the profit motives of banks and corporations. If for that purpose they feel they need to rally their shock troops under the swastika and rule by open terror, that’s what they’ll do. U.S.-backed Poland and Hungary have already taken this path.
U.S.-based fascist militias have been traveling to Ukraine to train with groups like the Azov battalion, which is a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars. Andriy Biletsky, commander of the Azov battalion and former member of the Ukrainian parliament, has stated: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the white races of the world in a final crusade for their survival against subhumans.”
This is the ideology of the “white-power” movement that Kyle Rittenhouse, the Proud Boys and others are a part of. . . . It’s imperative that U.S. workers of all nationalities show up en masse to oppose racism and fascism. The fascists can only be defeated in the streets through mass action, not through the capitalist, white-supremacist U.S. courts and not by relying on the Democratic Party which funds fascists in Israel, Ukraine and beyond. The fight must show solidarity with our class allies in Ukraine and Russia.
We must demand that the U.S. withdraw all support to the fascist government of Ukraine. We can’t expect to win the fight against fascism here, while it’s fueled by U.S. taxpayer dollars abroad.
The Biden administration is asking U.S. workers to side with the fascist government of Ukraine in a war to colonize Russia. We’ll have none of it. From Kenosha to Charlottesville to Brunswick, Georgia, we’ve lost too many of our own to racist and fascist violence here. It’s time we come together and show the world that we will not be ruled by fear.
No to war with Russia! Workers unite to fight fascists here and in Ukraine!
No more blood for Wall Street profits!