After failure of Ukraine’s “spring offensive,” US-NATO escalate war against Russia
FILE – President Joe Biden, left, speaks at an event with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the NATO Summit, in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12, 2023. (Paul Ellis/Pool Photo via AP, File) [AP Photo]
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in an effort to mobilize support for the US-NATO war against Russia.
Their appearance follows the failure of Ukraine’s “spring offensive,” which has made no significant territorial gains despite the loss of tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops. On Monday, Zelensky’s government announced that it had dismissed all of its deputy defense ministers, following the firing last month of the country’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov.
Adding to the context of crisis and desperation, just one day ahead of Zelensky’s appearance at the UN, the New York Times published a report refuting claims that a September 6 missile attack on a Ukrainian market that killed at least 15 civilians was a deliberate massacre by Russian “terrorists.” Instead, the Times reported, the disaster was the result of an allegedly accidental Ukrainian missile strike—suspiciously timed to correspond with the arrival of Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ukraine the same day.
The mass dismissal of the entire leading ranks of the Ukrainian defense ministry is an all but open admission that the counter-offensive failed. Zelensky is being flown into Washington for emergency talks. It is evident that the Biden administration is responding to the military setback by escalating the war. It is demanding that Congress pass a further $21 billion in weapons and aid to Ukraine, adding to the more than $150 billion that has already been allocated. It is also moving to send long-range missiles capable of striking deep into Russian territory.
The US media’s coverage is more and more directly using the language of open war against Russia. “How to wage the financial war against Russia’s economy,” read an editorial in the Washington Post.
The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, one of America’s leading war propagandists, called in an op-ed Friday for the US to urgently lift any remaining restraints on the intervention. “Ukraine needs to inflict as much damage on Putin’s army as fast as possible,” Friedman wrote.
“That means we need to massively and rapidly deliver the weaponry Ukraine needs to break Putin’s lines in the country’s southeast. I’m talking the kitchen sink: F-16s …; MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems, which could strike deep behind Russian lines—whatever the Ukrainians can use effectively and fast.”
Friedman concluded that “securing justice in war almost always requires the total defeat and occupation of the aggressor.”
Openly expressing Washington’s aims, Friedman declared, “Ukraine is a game-changing country for the West” because “its integration into the European Union and NATO someday would constitute a power shift that could rival the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification.”
Last week, Reuters reported that the Biden administration is making preparations to send to Ukraine the long-range ATACMS missile, which is capable of striking hundreds of miles behind Russian lines, putting the Russian capital of Moscow itself at risk of attack with NATO weapons.
On Friday, a group of Republican senators issued a statement calling for the Biden administration to send the ATACMS missile system to Ukraine.
“We write to urge you to immediately send MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine,” the senators wrote. “Additional delay will only further undermine US national security interests and extend this conflict.”
They continued, “The recent Ukrainian strike on the Sevastopol naval port using the British Storm Shadow long-range weapon demonstrated the battlefield effectiveness of such weapons.”
The letter referred to last week’s strike by Ukraine on two Russian warships in dry dock at the port of Sevastopol. While previously Ukrainian officials had not admitted to carrying out strikes inside Russia, they boasted about their responsibility for last week’s attack.
More importantly, they openly admitted to using the NATO-provided missiles to carry out the strike, with one official telling Sky News, “It was Storm Shadow,” referring to the long-range missile provided by the UK to Ukraine earlier this year.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken effectively endorsed Ukraine using NATO long-range missiles to strike inside Russia, declaring that it is “up to them to make decisions about what can be most effective when it comes to restoring their territorial integrity.”
There is a clear trajectory of these developments. Even as its Ukrainian proxy forces suffer one military catastrophe after another, the US is escalating its direct involvement in the war, increasingly abandoning the pretense that it is not waging a war against Moscow.
In an indication of what is actually being discussed behind the scenes, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö warned of the threat of a nuclear escalation of the war in an interview published Sunday in the New York Times.
Niinistö warned, “We’re in a very sensitive situation. Even small things can change matters a great deal and unfortunately for the worse. That is the risk of such large-scale warfare.” He concluded, “The risk that nuclear weapons could be used is tremendous.”
In fact, what the United States seeks to present as self-assurance is in reality desperation. Facing a deepening economic and social crisis, US imperialism is seeking to preserve its global hegemony and the dominance of the US dollar in global economic life, which it perceives as being increasingly threatened by the rise of China.
The deepening military crisis creates pressure for the United States to intervene directly to stave off disaster. Now that NATO weapons are being used for strikes inside Russia, how much more room does the United States have to escalate? The next step is the deployment of US and NATO troops, and even the deployment—or use—of nuclear weapons in the conflict.
This disaster can and must be averted. The sentiment for the development of a mass strike movement in the American and Canadian auto industries points to the social force that must be mobilized to stop the war drive of the imperialists. The war is, fundamentally, a “war on two fronts,” not only against the countries the United States seeks to dominate and subjugate, but against the working class at home, which the ruling class is seeking to discipline and suppress as part of America’s transition to wartime production.
The central task in the fight against war is to unify the social demands of workers with the fight against the predatory foreign policy of American imperialism.
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