by Jeff Mackler, published on Socialist Action, October 21, 2022
The US-engineered sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, as we shall see, aimed at guaranteeing the success of the US trillion dollar Ukraine fossil fuel war gambit to permanently substitute US-fracked Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for Russia’s significantly less expensive fossil fuels. The US sabotage instantly eliminated Russia as the chief fossil fuel supplier to Germany and much of Europe. It aimed at prolonging, perhaps for years, the U.S.-instigated and financed war in Ukraine, similarly guaranteeing addition $trillions to the highly monopolized US military-industrial complex.
With these monstrous and meticulously calculated acts of war, followed by the truck bombing of Russia’s land bridge to Crimea, the US imperialist beast has demonstrated once again that its major policy decisions were planned and prepared well in advance of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, the origins of the present war began eight years earlier with the February 2014 U.S.-abetted fascist-led coup that seized control of the Ukrainian Rada (Parliament), banned the government’s elected majority parties, installed some half dozen fascists of the Svoboda and Right Sector parties to top government posts, voided Ukraine’s negotiated bailout agreements with Russia (substituting onerous financial agreements with the European Union and IMF), banned the Russian language and ordered the Ukrainian Army to physically obliterate all opposition to the coup. [For a detailed account of the coup, see UKRAINE: NO TO THE U.S.-ORCHESTRATED WAR AND FASCIST COUP]
With the decimation of the Nord Stream pipelines running under the US/NATO-controlled Baltic Sea, forty percent of the European Union’s gas supplies via Germany were instantly terminated, compelling the recipient nations to turn in desperation as winter approaches to the world’s leading US fossil fuel cartels, including Exxon Mobile, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Occidental… at significantly higher prices to boot. French officials bitterly complained that US corporations soon after proposed to replace Russia’s fossil fuel at four times the Russian rate. War is good for capitalist profits. Endless wars are even better!
That Nord Stream 2, with double the capacity of Nord Stream 1, was set to open in February 2022, was unacceptable to the USA ruling class, the central policy-making elite in capitalist-imperialist US.
US origins of the pipeline destruction
The $23 billion joint Russian-German pipeline complex was decimated by underwater explosions shortly after a sophisticated technology-equipped US fleet patrolled the Baltic Sea region under US/NATO command. International Action Center leader Sara Flounders, in an October 4 post entitled, “Nord Stream sabotage − ‘cui bono’? who benefits?,” effectively recounted the US/NATO military operations prior to the pipelines’ obliteration.
“The BALT OPS 22, a Naval Strike Force Exercise, held 13 days of naval maneuvers in the area of the pipelines, with 47 ships, 89 aircraft and 7,000 personnel, in June, joined by 16 NATO-allied nations. The maneuvers centered on exercises in new technology, including submarine and mining and de-mining operations.
“The U.S. 6th Fleet, led by the USS Kearsarge, coordinated BALT OPS 22. The Kearsarge remained in the immediate area for months after BALT OPS 22 ended. The USS Kearsarge tested special drone underwater-vehicle, mine-hunting technology in the Baltic Sea, just off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm, near the Nord Stream pipelines. (seapowermagazine.org, June 14)”
According to a UN environmental agency, the explosions resulted in “the largest single release of methane — a powerful climate-damaging, greenhouse gas, [87 times as potent as CO2 JM], ever recorded.” The pipelines were rendered either permanently destroyed or require years of repair.
On September 27, hours after the explosions, former Deputy Polish Foreign Minister, Radosław Tomasz, “Radek” Sikorski, today a member of the European Parliament and a key figure in the US-backed fascist-led 2014 coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, posted on Twitter, above a photo of the blasted region of the Baltic Sea being furiously churned with bubbling methane gas, “Thank you, USA.” Four hours later, according to Wikipedia, after several media outlets opined that Sikorski credited the U.S. for blowing up the pipelines, Sikorski tweeted again, referring to the explosions as a US “special maintenance operation,” a facetious allusion to the Russian government’s “special military operation” term for its invasion of Ukraine. Three days later, Sikorski, obviously pressured by US and NATO tops, removed his tweets in accord with US denials, but not before Poland’s Foreign Minister essentially repeated Sikorski’s affirmations.
In recounting US long term opposition to Nord Stream 2, Flounders quotes U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who warned on Nov. 13, 2018, that then-President Donald Trump had many ways to stop Nord Stream 2: “We have not deployed the full set of tools yet that could significantly undermine if not outright stop the project,” said Sondland. (Reuters, Nov. 13, 2018)
“And U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent openly threatening letters to German companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Grenell reportedly warned: ‘We emphasize that companies involved in Russian energy exports are taking part in something that could prompt a significant risk of sanctions.’” (Bild am Sonntag, Jan 13, 2019)
And further, “President Joe Biden repeated these open threats, even as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stood by his side during a February 2022 state visit. At a White House press conference, Biden boasted that the U.S. was ‘able’ to shut down Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea if Russia invaded Ukraine.”
A Feb. 7 video reposted on Twitter, featured a reporter asking Biden, “But how will you do that, exactly since the project is in Germany’s control?” Biden responded, “I promise you we will be able to do that.”
US wars of intervention & conquest
Biden is no newcomer to understanding the horrors attendant to US foreign policy. The decade-long US war against Vietnam slaughtered four million Vietnamese, mostly civilians; the US-orchestrated eight year Iran-Iraq War aimed at overthrowing the Iranian regime following the 1979 revolution that ousted the US-imposed dictator Shah Reza Pahlavi and placed Iran’s oil resources under Iranian control, took the lives of nearly two million Iranians and Iraqis. The US-manufactured “weapons of mass destruction” 2003 Iraq War murdered 1.5 million Iraqis via bombs and sanctions while placing US corporations in control of Iraq’s fossil fuel rather than the previous European and Russian corporations. Even after the US lost its regime change war against Syria, US troops remain today atop Syria’s oil wealth in Northeastern Syria.
US covert and overt Central American wars backing dictators in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and earlier in Brazil, Chile, Peru Argentina and Venezuela, murdered additional hundreds of thousands. The same with US wars in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, in Korea and Africa. In every instance the US objectives centered on securing the conquered nation’s wealth and resources while subjecting the conquered peoples to humiliating oppression, exploitation, starvation and poverty.
Unqualified US military domination
Today’s 1,100 US military bases, and admitted military operations in 158 countries, according to a required congressional report filed by Biden’s administration, inform us once again that war is inherent in the US capitalist-imperialist system. By comparison, capitalist-imperialist China maintains a single military base outside its borders – in Djibouti, at the Horn of Africa. Russia maintains some seven military bases, mostly in the former Soviet Republics and one in Syria.
Endless wars are fundamental to guaranteeing the profits of the highly monopolized multi-trillion dollar US military-industrial complex and otherwise facilitating the profits of US corporations. These simple facts will not be fundamentally changed with the election of this or that figurehead personality that the elite allow the titular post of president.
Former Exxon-Mobil CEO, then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at a National Security Council meeting, after the President had left the room, called Trump, according to the New York Times, “a f*****g moron.” Trump had just proposed that the US increase its stock of tactical nuclear weapons one hundred fold. That Tillerson, undoubtedly still representing the interests of the $trillion US fossil fuel cartels, and assigned to the Middle East as Secretary of State to oversee their interests, knew that Trump was a moron, was no news to anyone. The billionaire and now trillionaire elite and their restricted circles do rule America, regardless of which figure emerges on top following their periodic billionaire-financed, corporate media engineered, rigged elections, wherein selected movie star candidates (Reagan), “community organizers” (Obama), former racist bigots (Carter, Johnson, Biden); or dimwitted sons of the ruling class elite (G.W. Bush), emerge on top.
The US ruling class is delighted with the present Ukraine war, yet another endless war aimed at the disintegration, if not dismemberment of Russia, while the US replaces it as Europe’s chief deadly fossil fuel supplier in perpetuity. Meanwhile the earth is ever flooded and burns while billions are threatened with irreversible catastrophe.
The US National Security State
The same US rulers were absolutely delighted in blowing up Crimea’s critical land bridge to Russia. Among and between these US imperialist warmongers it’s all a great game they are pre-programmed to orchestrate, with little or no personal price to pay and $trillions to gain.
In the alternative, should they lose control at the hands of a massive and united revolutionary challenge from below, led by conscious and disciplined organizations deeply rooted in every social struggle, they understand that they will lose everything. Losing power to the massive majority forces of a socialist-led revolution is never distant from the calculations of these bully oppressors. With the world’s largest National Security State, replete with six million paid top-security clearance employees working in 18 government agencies, backed by the world’s largest police apparatus and then by the world’s most powerful military, the US ruling elite know no alternative other than to unleash their repressive forces against any and all opponents, should the need arise. That is, should they be confronted with the organized and overwhelming power of a society in revolutionary ferment. For this eventuality, they never reject the fascist option. Today, Trump’s posing this neo-fascist perspective is premature in their view, but never to be excluded, especially when the sham of the billionaire-controlled system of capitalist “democracy” loses its hold on the mass of working people.
The 2014 fascist-led Ukraine coup
Inadvertently demolishing initial U.S. media reports that the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ordered his police and military to open fire on the peaceful Maidan Square Kiev protestors, triggering widespread revulsion, U.S. representative to the European Union, Victoria Nuland’s taped remarks, now online, revealed that the 2014 rooftop assassins were of the fascist Svoboda Party and Right Sector ilk. The armed thugs who slaughtered 100 Maidan protestors, including several of their own for good measure, had come from across Ukraine and beyond to dominate the Maidan events. Indeed, Socialist Action’s fraternal Ukrainian comrades were violently driven from the Maiden Square by fascist gangs, beaten – their socialist literature torn to shreds.
U.S. Senator John McCain shared the Maidan stage with fascist orator and Svoboda Party leader, Oleg Tyahnybok, while Nuland handed out U.S. “friendship cookies.” McCain roused the crowd with promises of “democracy, freedom and independence,” contingent, of course, on Ukraine’s reversing the government’s already-approved bailout agreements with Russia. Nuland remarked in her intercepted phone call, that then Vice President Joseph Biden, in charge of the Ukraine events at that time, would give the ultimate “atta boy” to the coup leaders.
Nuland went further. Her taped remarks revealed that she literally appointed Ukraine’s new president, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a hard right member of Fatherland, the ultra-nationalist, anti-Russian formation. The European Union (EU), especially the Germans, wanted a more moderate figure to head Ukraine. They favored Vitaly Klitschko, a boxer turned politician with more moderate credentials. During the hacked call, Nuland blurted out, “F***K the EU.” The U.S. pick, Yatsenyuk, became the Prime Minister of Ukraine, forming a coalition-governing majority with the fascist Svoboda Party. The coup’s finance minister was U.S. citizen and high-ranking diplomat, Natalie Jeresko, who was granted Ukrainian citizenship the day after the coup. Joe Biden’s son took a position on the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas company earning a monthly salary of $50,000.
The March 5, 2014 online British Channel 4 News account told the story well, identifying coup leader Andriy Parubiy, who led the storming of the Rada, as a member of fascist Svoboda Party and a founder of its pro-Nazi predecessor, the Social National Party, which traces its roots to the pro-Nazis Ukrainian movements of WWII. The British television station’s account of the US-backed coup government continued:
“Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector—a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.”
Other Svoboda neo-Nazis leaders instantly “elected” to the top echelons of the coup government were Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych; Ecology Minister Andriy Mokhnyk; Agriculture Minister Ihor Shvaika, and acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitsky. In 2016 Parubiy became Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament.
U.S. military base established in Ukraine
Shortly after the 2014 coup, in 2015, the coup makers established the so-called International Peacekeeping and Security Center, a U.S.-run western Ukraine military base, near the Polish border, that had been, according to the March 14, 2022 New York Times, “a hub for Western military troops to train Ukrainian forces since 2015.” The Times added, “Troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, Sweden and Denmark, among others, have trained 35,000 Ukrainians there under a project called ‘Operation Unifier.’” This is the “operation” that aimed to forcibly “unite” western Ukraine, with the Russian-speaking eastern and southern populations that rejected the fascist coup. U.S. paid troops at that time included the modern-day descendants of the privatized Blackwater forces of Erik Prince, which slaughtered civilians in Iraq during that “weapons of mass destruction” regime change war. With the exception of Sweden, all the above nations are NATO affiliates, training, arming and financing non-NATO Ukraine to wage war on behalf of NATO’s U.S. puppet master.
The same Times article concludes,
“But Western nations withdrew their forces ahead of Russia’s [February, 2022] invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the base has been used by Ukraine to train and organize the thousands of foreigners [from 28 nations] who have arrived in the country and volunteered to help defend it.”
This single paragraph comes close to defying rational explanation, unless, of course, it is The Times’ explanation for the instant transformation of a secret US/NATO military base operating on Ukrainian territory into a solely Ukrainian-run base aimed at training the Ukrainian version of jihadist terrorists. No doubt these instantly discovered “foreign fighters” suddenly flocking to defend “Ukraine’s freedom” are akin to those jihadists murderers armed, trained, financed and deployed by the US/NATO/Gulf State monarchies to take down the Syrian government in that ten-year failed U.S. regime change war. 500,000 Syrians died in that US-orchestrated horror. By all accounts, today’s Ukrainian “freedom fighters” were drawn from the ranks of Europe’s growing fascist and far right fanatics.
Initial setbacks suffered by coup plotters
These US-backed fascist coup plotters were more than eager to accommodate U.S. imperialism’s insistence that Ukraine’s coup-transformed Rada serve U.S. interests. But they suffered some immediate setbacks as they moved too quickly to implement U.S. demands. First and foremost, the fascist-led Rada’s order that the Ukrainian Army march on and take control of the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine’s east, the Donbas and Luhansk regions in particular, proved to be disastrous. In these regions, the Ukrainian Army instantly dissolved and joined the anti-coup forces loyal to the elected government. The same with the armed forces in largely Russian speaking Crimea. In both cases the soldiers near unanimously declared themselves part of Russia’s military. In a matter of days, the fascist-led forces proved incapable of imposing their will on Ukraine’s East.
Indeed, it took eight years and massive training and armaments provided by U.S./NATO forces, again, accompanied by US-financed private troops of the Blackwater type and paid foreign mercenary fighters from 28 countries, to prepare for their planned conquest of Eastern Ukraine. By 2022 these forces amassed some 280,000 troops poised to invade the Donbas and Luhansk regions. In the course of this long-term preparation, between 2014 and 2022, Ukrainian troops slaughtered 14,000 Russian-speaking people and wounded 50,000 more, while causing 700,000 to flee to Russia for safety.
We will add here that the US-promoted war has wreaked horrors on both sides, with some two-plus million Ukrainians fleeing the war to the west, mostly to Poland. We stand in full solidarity with the terrified war refugees fleeing to the east and west. Yet we aim our fire against the U.S. government and its U.S.-dominated NATO imperialist alliance, centrally responsible for the still unfolding Ukraine catastrophe.
The US-aborted Minsk Protocols
Having failed to instantly conquer all of Ukraine in 2014, the fascist coup government and its successors were compelled to engage in a series of negotiations referred to as the Minsk Protocols. Signed on Sept. 5, 2014 and Feb. 12, 2015, after negotiations between the Ukrainian coup government, Russia, Germany and France, they were purportedly aimed at stopping the bloodshed via a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines, release of prisoners of war, and a Ukrainian constitutional reform granting self-government to specified areas, including the Donbas and Luhansk regions. In practice, none of these Minsk Protocols were implemented, as the Ukrainian Army’s ceaseless incursions into the regions aimed at subjugation and conquest as opposed to pursuit of a negotiated settlement. Some 100 “ceasefire” agreements were repeatedly violated, while the now fascist-led Ukrainian military wreaked untold horrors and devastation on the Russian-speaking population.
Pressured by the US, the Ukrainian government refused to implement the Minsk-projected elections in Luhansk and Donetsk. Endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution, the essence of the Minsk accords was to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine via a federated process that would return the breakaway republics in exchange for their local autonomy. The latter implied that the resources of the federated areas, especially the vast fossil fuel reserves, and access to pipelines, would be under the control of local/regional governments, and likely be shared between the contending forces, a proposition that the US outright rejected. The US corporate elite had set their sights on Ukraine’s eastern fossil fuel reserves, the fourth largest in the world. With the US destruction of Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines it has now become clear that a qualitatively more ambitious and lucrative US conquest is in progress, planned long in advance.
US/NATO prepares Ukraine for war
By early 2022 Ukraine’s massive US/NATO-provided arms and refurbished armies were poised to impose their final solution, that is, the annihilation of the resisting Russian-speaking population and permanently securing Eastern Ukraine’s fossil fuel and agricultural riches for US corporate control, Russia’s response was predictable.
Russian troops invaded, no doubt for multiple reasons – to defend the right of Ukraine’s vast Russian-speaking people, 30 percent of Ukraine’s population, to exist – their right to self-determination – to prevent US/NATO forces from establishing nuclear-armed bases directly on Russia’s borders, and to continue negotiations with Ukraine’s government aimed at reaching an accord along the lines of the Minsk protocols. No doubt, Russian concerns also included which Ukrainian oligarchs, pro-Russian or pro-US/NATO, would exploit Ukraine’s fossil fuel and other resources.
Putin’s massive invasion, his reactionary rhetoric about restoring Russia’s Czarist-era fatherland notwithstanding, aimed at compelling a quick return to the bargaining table. His choices were extremely limited… either stand down and allow the slaughter of the Russian-speaking population, the USA-imperialist sequestration of Ukraine’s massive fossil fuel resources and the establishment of a NATO affiliate with nuclear missiles less than five minutes from Moscow, or invade and press for a quick negotiated settlement. Putin’s invasion, according to the independent and often New York Times-quoted, Russian polling organization, Levada, was supported by more than 83 percent of the population, up from 69 percent prior to Russia’s invasion. No doubt the constant flow of Russian-speaking and other beleaguered immigrants from Ukraine won the hearts and minds of Russia’s population.
Putin’s popularity notwithstanding, there can be no justification for his brutal repression of antiwar dissent. In the US, Biden’s repression takes on the character of the classic iron fist in a velvet glove, wherein the virtual monopoly of the corporate media enforces an Orwellian consensus, aimed at justifying the overwhelming bi-partisan and ever-increasing tens of billions of dollars funneled into the coffers of the US war machine to keep the war going forever. We add here that Biden’s approval ratings, at barely 40 percent, inform us in Shakespeare’s words, “All is not well in Denmark.”
Russia’s fundamental miscalculation
Yet, Putin’s calculations regarding the likely outcome of a massive Russian invasion have proved to be fundamentally off the mark. These were based on the calculation that an initial overwhelming Russian show of force aimed at instantly crippling Ukraine’s capacity to respond, would be quickly followed by a negotiated settlement along the lines of the Minsk Protocols. But, neither Putin, nor the most astute observers anywhere, considered that US imperialism aimed at shunning any and all negotiations. Keeping the Ukraine War going indefinitely, in accord with the recently-coined horrifying expression, “Until the last Ukrainian is dead,” is today’s US imperialist unswerving orientation. Today’s modern-day US war machine’s capacity to wage endless wars at a distance, without significantly committing its own soldiers to the battlefield, minimizes popular blow back when US soldiers return home in caskets, while maximizing and continuing corporate profits. US imperialism leads the world in these long-distance war scenarios, deploying a stunning array of tactics aimed at bringing its victims to accede to its demands. Drone wars, special operation wars, death squad assassination wars, wars fought from “over the horizon,” or even launched from outer space, with Mach speed capacities exceeding the speed of sound by five or six or twenty times, US-organized and financed jihadist wars, US privatized army wars and deadly sanction and embargo wars, etc., are all, or will be, deployed with impunity to meet US imperialism’s objectives, including the qualitative dismemberment of Russia along with its economic and military influence worldwide.
An October 18 New York Times article details the impact of the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia. Needless to say, the U.S.-imposed sanctions, equal, if not surpass, the economic ruin aimed at Russia by US allies.
“Eight months into the war in Ukraine, and eight rounds of frantic negotiations later, Europe’s sanctions against Russia run hundreds of pages long and have in many places cut to the bone.
“Since February, the European Union has named 1,236 people and 155 companies for sanctions, freezing their assets and blocking their access to the bloc. It has banned the trade of products in nearly 1,000 categories and hundreds of subcategories. It has put in place a near-total embargo on Russian oil. About one-third of the bloc’s exports to Russia by value and two-thirds of imports have been banned.”
To be sure, US war-trained diplomats are expert in private meetings with the leaders of any nation that balks at US threats, allies and opponents alike, at informing them of the dire consequences of resistance, ranging from economic reprisals against resisting European allies, to utter destruction, individual assassinations, starvation and vital infrastructure destruction, if not outright occupation and conquest of opponents.
Aware of the still relatively unchallenged power of today’s crisis-ridden US imperialism, as it compulsively confronts its opponents the world over, well-respected and informed antiwar intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges have been forthright in explaining in detail the origins of the present Ukraine war, largely along the same lines of this article. Yet they feel compelled, but in an increasingly diminutive manner, to condemn Putin’s Russia, a minor capitalist/imperialist player on the world scale, that was in no way responsible for either the 2014 US-promoted fascist-led coup or the US-orchestrated slaughter of the Russian-speaking Ukrainians, or the US/NATO’s drive to place nukes on Russia’s borders. While their initial call for a Russian withdrawal has been diminished to a whisper they press on with persistent calls for “negotiations,” as if the US imperialist monster has any right to negotiate the future of any nation, not to mention orchestrate coups that replace unfriendly governments.
Whether Russia invaded to legitimately protect the beleaguered Russian-speaking population, or whether its intentions were to defend their fossil fuel interests that had previously prevailed under the pre-coup government, or whether Russia simply opposed US nuclear weapons on their borders, all legitimate concerns in this writer’s view, that US imperialism, from day one, has always been the central protagonist, is indisputable. The recent US obliteration of Nord Stream 1 and 2 and the destruction of Russia’s land link bridge to Crimea have made this crystal clear.
Socialist Action declines to join the near-deafening bi-partisan war cries, echoed daily by virtually every U.S. corporation, every military contractor, every oil behemoth, every major media outlet and every capitalist politician to pursue war in Ukraine without hesitation. If there is any U.S. debate among the twin capitalist corporate parties it is over whether to risk nuclear war via the U.S. implementing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, a doomsday scenario if there ever was one. Meanwhile, Biden’s proposed, and bi-partisan approved, ever-increasing $billions to pursue the war are unchallenged in ruling class circles, except perhaps for neo-fascist Donald Trump’s mid-term election ploy to garner some antiwar votes when he called for a negotiated settlement to avoid a possible nuclear war! Reactionary hypocrisy knows no limits!
On Putin’s capitalist-imperialist Russia
We harbor no illusions in the class nature and politics of Putin’s Russia. We have long ago characterized Russia as a lesser capitalist-imperialist state headed by a predatory capitalist class of Stalinist origin. Putin‘s statements citing Czarist Russia’s Great White Russian Empire’s imperialist claim to Ukraine and his repudiation of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Trotsky’s historic championing of an independent socialist Ukraine must be condemned by all serious antiwar and socialist fighters. We have no truck with Russia’s 83 billionaire capitalist elite as we have none with the 780+ U.S. billionaires and China’s 1000! We note with revulsion that today’s neo-fascist and far right newfound U.S. allies in Poland and Hungary were yesterday’s Putin admirers. We note with contempt Ukrainian President and US stooge Volodymyr Zelensky’s newly-proclaimed affinity for Zionist Israel’s model of a militarized state aimed at the subjugation of oppressed people.
Vladimir Putin’s government is no friend of working people. The recent Russian Army intervention in Kazakhstan to crush a nationwide working class rebellion informs us once again that placing political confidence in any capitalist government or leader is inimical to fundamental socialist principles. But absolute opposition to the US-orchestrated fascist-led coup and Ukraine’s US-orchestrated move to murder Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population and turn Ukraine into yet another US vassal state is quite another matter.
For an independent socialist Ukraine
The fight for an independent socialist Ukraine today resides only with the workers of Ukraine and Russia and never with their capitalist oppressors, whether in Ukraine, Russia or NATO. The construction today, of mass socialist parties, however difficult, aimed at breaking the capitalist-imperialist stranglehold on every aspect of public life, is the starting point for a socialist future free from every form of exploitation, oppression and denial of human dignity.
Any notion that political or military support to the present US-puppet Ukrainian coup government as the guarantor of Ukrainian independence is as fundamentally flawed as granting support to any of the myriad US-installed governments the world over.
Were we to blind ourselves to the reality of the events that transpired in Ukraine since the 2014 US-instigated fascist coup and place an equal sign between US and Russian imperialism, we would be gravely mistaken. We would be substituting the proposition that whoever fired the first shot is to be categorically condemned, rather than assessing what caused that shot to be fired.
We support this right of all poor and oppressed nations and peoples to be free from imperialist war and conquest. This principle fully applies to all beleaguered nations, including Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Afghanistan. In Syria, the Bashar al Assad government fell victim to a US/NATO/Gulf State monarchy 10-year war that slaughtered 500,000 Syrians. With the US-backed jihadist armies occupying three-quarters of Syria, poised to take Damascus and with the US government’s Secretary of State at that moment, John Kerry, preparing to install yet another coup government beholden to the US, the Syrians, exercising their right to self-determination, asked for Russian aid. The result was the defeat of that US regime change horror.
US Out Now! U.S. Hands off Ukraine!
Self-determination for the people of Donbas/Luhansk!
For an independent socialist Ukraine
No to U.S.-backed fascist coups and the establishment of U.S. puppet governments!
No to U.S. oil wars everywhere!
$Billions for human needs; not a penny for war!
For a rapid transition to a safe, clean, fossil fuel free worker-controlled energy system that guarantees quality jobs and security for all!
Close all military bases the world over, beginning with the 1,100 U.S. bases in 110 countries, followed by Russia’s seven bases and China’s single base in Djibouti!
*Featured Image: Patrick Lancaster standing in the hole where a Ukrainian bomb entered a school in Donbas, published on his Youtube Channel, October 22.
Jeff Mackler is the national secretary of Socialist Action. He is also Socialist Action’s candidate for U.S. President in the 2020 elections and he was the Socialist Action candidate for President in 2016. Mackler founded Northern California Climate Mobilization, is a longtime teacher and union activist with the American Federation of Teachers in Hayward, California and is director of the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.