On Thursday, US President Joe Biden called on Congress to approve $20 billion in weapons shipments for the US war with Russia as part of a $33 billion spending package.
To date, the United States has sent $3.7 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, meaning that Biden is proposing to expand US involvement in the conflict by a factor of six. This would mark a quantitative turning point in the war, massively expanding the US intervention just as the war is rapidly spiraling out of control and metastasizing into a continent-wide conflict.
The announcement is part of a major escalation of US involvement in the war, in which US officials are more and more openly admitting that the United States is effectively at war with Russia. Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described the meeting of US officials with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by saying, “our focus in the meeting was to talk about those things that would enable us to win the current fight.” Austin then said, “We want to see Russia weakened.”
On Sunday, in an interview with CBS, former US Army Europe Commander Ben Hodges declared, “You know, we’re not just observers cheering for Ukraine here.” The United States, Hodges said, should declare, “We want to win.” He concluded, “that means… finally breaking the back of Russia’s ability to project power outside of Russia.”
Biden’s address, which was intended for a far broader audience than the remarks of Austin or Hodges, was characterized by shameless, bare-faced lies, contradicting the statements of his own defense secretary.
“We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom,” Biden said. “So, we need to contribute arms, funding, ammunition, and the economic support… We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.”
Let’s be blunt. Biden’s war with Russia has nothing to do with the Ukrainian people, who are being used as cannon fodder by the kleptocratic regime in Kiev at the behest of its Washington paymasters.
The United Sates instigated the war by encircling Russia with troops, tanks and nuclear weapons, expanding NATO’s borders 400 miles to the East over the course of decades, and backing Ukrainian plans to retake Crimea, which Russia claims as its territory. Washington’s aims are nothing less than the overthrow of the Russian government and the total subordination of Russia to imperialism, which Biden admitted when he declared last month that Putin “cannot remain in power.”
Following Biden’s remarks, the president was asked by a journalist, “How worried are you by a growing number of Russian comments in the media and amongst some of their officials painting this conflict as actually already a conflict between NATO, the US and Russia? And they’re painting in very alarmist terms, talking of nuclear weapons, saying it’s a life-or-death struggle, et cetera.
“And just separately—well, connected to that: Lavrov himself says it’s already a proxy war—not a direct war but a proxy war. So are either of those two things true?”
To this, Biden replied, “They’re not true,” adding, “I think it’s more of a reflection not of the truth but of [Russia’s] failure.”
It is the policy of the US media to insist that claims the administration chooses to deny at a given moment are “Russian.” In this case, however, these were not merely “Russian” comments, but statements by Biden’s own defense secretary, as well as the undeniable reality visible to anyone who is not willfully deluding himself.
Biden’s dishonesty is a reflection of the fact that the US population does not support war with Russia, and that the administration’s strategy is to create a set of facts on the ground that make war inevitable, then leave the American population with a bill of goods.
The brazen lying by the Biden administration relies on the fact that the American press is as tightly controlled as in any totalitarian state. No one dares call the emperor naked. The US media, for its part, knows that its lies will be supported by a war-crazed and bloodthirsty affluent upper-middle class, which has fully embraced Biden’s plans for war with Russia.
Not one journalist got up to ask the obvious question: “Your own defense secretary just said ‘we’ are in a ‘fight’ with Russia, while you just said you are not. Which of the two of you is lying?”
Nor did anyone ask:
“According to Politico, the White House has set up a ‘tiger team’ to plan the eruption of a full-scale war with Russia. According to this team’s estimates, what percent of the American population will die in a full-scale nuclear war with Russia?”
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made his most open threat to date to retaliate against the US and other NATO members for their involvement in the war.
“If someone decides to intervene into the ongoing events from the outside and create unacceptable strategic threats for us, they should know that our response to those oncoming blows will be swift, lightning-fast,” Putin told Russian lawmakers. “We have all the tools for this... We will use them if needed. And I want everyone to know this. We have already taken all the decisions on this.”
If this is the response of Russia to $3.7 billion in US weapons flowing to its borders, what will be its response to $20 billion?
US military strategists, for their part, are not only planning for nuclear war, but openly talking about it. On Wednesday, Seth Cropsey, a former deputy undersecretary of the Navy, authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled, “The U.S. Should Show It Can Win a Nuclear War.”
He wrote, “The reality is that unless the U.S. prepares to win a nuclear war, it risks losing one.” He added that Putin “would need to reckon with the possibility that NATO could decapitate the Kremlin—yes, suffering casualties in the process, but still decapitate it.”
In the midst of such rhetoric, Edward Luce of the Financial Times warned, “Without most people being aware of it, the world is entering its most dangerous period since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The majority under the age of 50 have grown up thinking the nuclear spectre is a relic of the last century. In the past few weeks, the prospect of a nuclear exchange has become the most live threat to this century’s peace.”
The working class must be alerted to the immense dangers posed by the present situation. It is urgently necessary to develop a new and powerful movement against war, aiming to unify the struggle against war with the fight against social inequality, poverty, the surging cost of living and the COVID-19 pandemic. The elaboration of the socialist perspective upon which this movement must be based will be the central aim of May Day 2022, which will take place Sunday, May 1. We urge all of our readers to promote and attend this critical event.