The Russian Military Campaign, NATO Militarism and Gang War – Capitalism Means War and Savagery!
A new round of tensions between Russia, Ukraine, NATO and Western countries, which intensified with Russia’s recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk’s independence and its attack on Ukraine’s military infrastructure and strategic targets, has marked the beginning of a full-blown war. Putin has claimed that Ukrainian officials scrapped the Minsk agreement, and he has resorted to the same rhetoric that Democrats used in their campaigns. He has stated that the purpose of the Russian attack on Ukraine is to counter “De-Nazification” and “Demilitarization” and to “prevent genocide”. He has claimed that Ukraine has become an American colony with a puppet regime and is a centre for spying on Russia. Putin’s claims of “demilitarization” and “humanitarianism” are as true as those of Colin Powell, the Secretary of State during George W. Bush’s presidency. Colin Powell stood at the thieves’ nest (at the UN) in 2003 and told the world that he had “irrefutable evidence” that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to world peace. After the war, the US and the UN ransacked Iraq but did not find any weapons of mass destruction.
Following the collapse of the bipolar world, the United States emerged as the world’s only superpower, and George W. Bush, the father, proclaimed the New World Order. But America’s undisputed domination was short-lived, and each of the imperialist powers pursued its own share and interests. The US has sought to align itself with other imperialist powers by waging wars, albeit in the name of humanitarianism. Western gangsters have mobilized the working class dragging them into imperialist massacres with promises of “humanitarian operations”, “world peace”, “the fight against terrorism”, and so on. The lies and hypocrisy of world peacekeepers – and their pretence of so-called humanity – have been revealed in the fact that no elements of the working class in these countries have been spared the attacks of the bourgeoisie. The Western bourgeoisie has imposed the harshest economic austerities on its own working class.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, it took time for Russia to finally reassert its imperial ambitions as a claimant to world power. Russia’s military arsenal and significant energy reserves (gas and oil) were tools for ambitious and imperialist policies. The West, led by the US, has advocated “colour revolutions” in the former Soviet countries to purse its imperialist interests in order for pro-Western governments to come to power. In 2014, following the “Velvet Revolution” in Ukraine, the latter finally turned to the EU and NATO, and military and technical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine intensified. NATO’s goal was to blockade Russia; Russia did not want Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO but rather, for NATO military equipment to be withdrawn from these countries and for the NATO siege to be thwarted.
The dual containment of China and Russia is costly for the US, so its focus has been on confronting China. This policy started when Trump was in power, and Biden has followed suit. Although China is not militarily comparable to the US and Russia, China’s imperial ambitions challenge the US.
One of the goals of the US in relation to Ukraine has been to disrupt relations between Russia and the EU and to strengthen other countries’ military dependence on the US. Contrary to the demagoguery of the American bourgeoisie concerning de-escalation, it has shown a desire to fuel tensions and to get NATO and other countries to align themselves with the US, thereby regaining lost hegemony. In particular, since its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US has felt the need to rebuild its image and reputation, and it seems to have succeeded to some extent in this regard. Historically speaking, the British bourgeoisie has followed the Americans. France and Germany, the most important countries in the EU, are disgruntled about their imperialist interests, but in practice, they are aligning themselves with the US in the wake of Russia’s military campaign.
Israel and Turkey have close and complex relations with Russia, and the US has pressured them to take a stand. Israel has been silent about the tension between Ukraine and Russia because of Israel’s need for Russia to launch a military operation against Iran in Syria. Nevertheless, Israel has now condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid saying:
“A grave violation of the international order. Israel condemns the attack.”
Israel’s stance in condemning the Russian military operation has been met with a swift response from Russia, raising speculation that Israel may not have the same open hand in Syria in the future. Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Polyanskiy, has said on Twitter:
“We’re concerned over Tel Aviv’s announced plans for expanding settlement activity in the occupied Golan Heights, which contradicts the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. Russia doesn’t recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights that are part of Syria.”
Turkey is a member of NATO and one of the largest foreign investors in Ukraine, and these two countries have a close relationship in terms of the military industry. On the other hand, Turkey needs Russia to continue to implement its imperialist policies, especially in the Caucasus. For example, Russia practically left Armenia alone in the Nagorno-Karabakh war so that Azerbaijan, with the help of Turkey, could achieve significant victories. At the same time, Turkey is heavily dependent not only on Russian gas and oil but also on Russian agricultural products. The temporary suspension of gas imports from Iran caused a power shortage crisis in Turkey, which, in turn, affected production in some factories. Following the Russian campaign, queues outside bakeries have become longer, and people are concerned that bread will become more expensive because 70% of the wheat needed by Turkey was imported from Russia last year.
The New York Times has revealed that China passed on information that it had received from the US to Russia in order to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson refused to be drawn on Russia’s attack on Ukraine, blaming the US for tensions and the war, saying:
“On the Ukraine issue, lately the US has been sending weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions, creating panic and even hyping up the possibility of warfare…If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.”
At the thieves’ nest, members of the UN Security Council voted on a proposed resolution to Russian military action, which Russia vetoed. It is important to note that China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstained. The UAE is a key ally of the US and the West in the Gulf. One headline in the Washington Post read “India avoids condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine, keeps aloof from Biden’s coalition against Moscow”. India also wants to replace the rupee in trade between the two countries so that sanctions do not affect economic relations between the two countries. The Ukrainian ambassador to India is dissatisfied with India’s position. All of this means that we will see more chaos, a new round of imperialist tensions and instability from Europe to the Middle East, from the Caucasus to Southeast Asia.
The Ukrainian bourgeoisie somehow fell into the trap of Western delusions, thinking that Western countries and NATO would defend Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion. But Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and the US has no obligation to defend it. Furthermore, European countries do not want to be directly involved with military action in Ukraine, especially since Russia has threatened that if others intervene, there will be dire consequences, namely a nuclear response. It was in this context that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyj, stated:
“Most Powerful Country Watching from Distance.”
Russia knew beforehand the likely consequences of its attack, and to mitigate possible sanctions, Russia’s central bank has raised the value of its financial reserves in foreign currency and gold to more than $630 billion (in an effort to counter possible US sanctions and prevent the ruble from depreciating). Russia has also reduced foreign investment and made trade with China a large part of its new strategy. Trade with India is also very important for Russia, which is supposed to be transacted in local currencies.
All Western countries and Japan, have imposed economic and trade sanctions on Russia, on Putin himself and the Russian Foreign Minister. They have called Russia’s action a “gross violation of international law”, which violates Ukraine’s sovereignty. The question that arises is whether the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, etc. was also a gross violation of international law. Was the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in these countries genocide? Why did no one dare to sanction the US, Britain, France, etc.?
The European bourgeoisie, however, has refused to impose sanctions on Russian gas and oil as it would be very detrimental to the European economy; in other words, despite other sanctions, Russia would still have its income from the sale of oil and gas. Europe relies on imports from Russia to meet about 35 percent of its gas needs (with Germany importing half from Russia). Russian gas is cheaper for Europeans. Much of Russia’s gas reaches Europe via Ukraine and Poland, which generated about $2 billion in revenue for Ukraine last year. Russia has said that delivering gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will help reduce gas prices in Europe. Donald Trump tried to persuade the Europeans to buy gas from the US instead of Russia, but due to the high cost of American gas, Europe (including Germany) did not comply with Trump’s request.
The Nord Stream 2 project has been completed and will be operational soon. However, it has been boycotted by Germany in response to the Russian invasion. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president and now deputy chairman of its Security Council, has reacted to the boycott of the Nord Stream 2 project, saying:
“Welcome to the new world where Europeans will soon have to pay 2,000 euros per thousand cubic metres!”
The Russian invasion has triggered an increase in oil prices to $105 a barrel, the highest level since 2014, with natural gas prices increasing by 42 percent. The chaos and tension have even spread to space. Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Roscosmos, has warned that in response to sanctions and the blocking of cooperation with Russia, the International Space Station may deviate from its orbit and fall to earth in the US or Europe:
“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the International Space Station (ISS) from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?”
Western bourgeois propaganda apparatuses are doing their best to muster public opinion, and this is the first time that Europe has seen such atrocities since World War II. Did the war in Yugoslavia constitute a comparable level of brutality in the heart of Europe? The most important difference between the Ukrainian war and that in Yugoslavia is that vultures competed with one another to tear the carcasses apart during the war in Yugoslavia, but in the case of Ukraine, Russian gangsters have sought to tear down Ukraine, which is unacceptable to the Western bourgeoisie.
This war is the product of a declining capitalist crisis. War is not a product of the harsh policies of an unconventional state; rather, it arises from the inherent need for capital. It is impossible to avoid war in an age of imperialism, when capital finally resorts to its ultimate solution – war – to resolve the crisis. Contrary to speculation that this war is the beginning of World War III, we believe that World War III is not on the agenda of the world bourgeoisie. In order for a world war to take place, the following two conditions must be satisfied:
- the existence of two political, economic and military imperialist blocks
- a working class which has been defeated worldwide.
In recent decades, the essential preconditions for a world war have not been met. On the one hand, each of the major players – gangsters – is thinking of its own imperialist interests. On the other hand, although the working class is not ready to provide the support necessary for the alternative (i.e., a communist revolution against the barbarity of the capitalist system) and has retreated over the last decade, it has not been defeated. Therefore, any imperialist wars that may ignite tend to be at a regional level and proxy wars. Although there is a kind of alliance between Russia and China, and some Russian military actions have the tacit support of China, we must not forget that each of these powers is pursuing its own imperialist interests, and these will inevitably conflict with one another from time to time.
It was the working class of Russia and Ukraine who, hand in hand, ended the imperialist slaughter of World War I. The proletariats of Ukraine and Russia, as part of the world proletariat, especially in 1917, played a leading role and were the banner for the world communist revolution. The Russian and Ukrainian working classes must cast their minds back; the enemy is in their own home: the insider bourgeoisie. The workers have no homeland to defend. Not a single drop of working-class blood should be shed in defence of the capitalist homeland. The struggle of wage slaves is against the exploitation and brutality of global capitalism.
Anti-war protests are already taking place in most cities in Russia and other countries. In some countries, anti-war demonstrators have taken to defending the Ukrainian government and state, making an appeal to bourgeois democracy and directing popular anger towards Western imperialist powers, rather than mobilizing a class protest as such against capitalist atrocities. Real solidarity with the working class of Russia and Ukraine will only be possible through class struggle, and it is important for this to be done hand in hand with the working class of other countries as a social class. War will then lose its meaning, and the proletariat can challenge the capitalist order.
Blood, filth and sludge fall from head to toe of the cruel capitalist system. From within the capitalist peace, only the flames of war will ignite. As long as capitalism continues to go unchallenged, wage slavery, war, pandemics etc. will be a part of our daily lives. Our interests lie in the class struggle, where the workers come together and fight for common class interests. We do not fight on the basis of false identities such as ethnic identity or religious identity, but on the basis of a class identity common to all ‘wage slaves’. Instead of being cannon fodder in the gangsters’ war, instead of continuing barbarism, instead of adhering to the filthy capitalist system, we must strive towards communist revolution and end the viciousness and wretchedness of capitalism.
26 February 2022