18/01/2022 by socialistfight
The appearance of US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on the news channels warmongering for them is part of Biden’s attacks on both Russia and China. The mass media of TV and press have fallen into line, led by the far right press but bolstered by the BBC and liberal press like the British Guardian. We have no hesitation in defending both Russia and China against this onslaught and observe that it has driven them both together in the face of the common threat.
Putin had made Ukraine’s incorporation into Nato and the siting of its advanced missiles there his red line. He has threatened to invade to stop this happening and the 100,000 troops massed within striking distance indicates he is serious in this. Similarly, President Xi has indicated that Taiwan is his red line; if it declares independence and thereby becomes the attack base for a US bombardment of the coastal cities, he will invade and remove that threat. The Aukus alliance between Australia, the UK and US prepares this and it has seriously upset the EU; France and Germany in particular.
Russia and China, individually or together, possess the missile technology to take down the US supercarriers and other warships in their near regions; the Black Sea and the South China Sea and so are capable of defeating a Nato assault on their borders. Moreover, Russia has now cited the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 as the precedent for its war preparations and has indicated that if the US supplies the weaponry to Ukraine capable of striking Moscow within minutes it will similarly supply both Cuba and Venezuela with similar weaponry.
Nuland has cited the 100,000 troops, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its ‘invasion’ of the Donbas (Russian-speaking Donesk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine) in 2014, its ‘invasion’ of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia itself in August 2008 as examples of Russia’s military aggression and threats to peace and democracy.
Biden and others have cited China’s constructing islands as military bases in the South China Sea as examples of China’s aggressive intentions against the West. “I would simply say that our commitment and the conversation that we have with our allies is around inflicting very sharp pain very fast if Russia makes this move in any form”, Nuland threatened following the talks with Putin on January 10. And on January 14 she warned that Russia may be planning a ‘false flag’ operation in order to blame Ukraine and secure an excuse to invade.
Fuck the EU
Nuland was here before. In February 5, 2014 when she was Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the run-up to the Maidan coup of February 20-24, she revealed that this fascist-led coup was orchestrated and led by the USA. Russia leaked a phone conversation she had with US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt:
“That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it and you know, fuck the EU”, she ranted. Then she went on to pick the new government; “I don’t think Klitsch (Vitali Klitschko, since 2014 Mayor of Kyiv) should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea … I think Yats (Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 27 February 2014 to 14 April 2016) is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. I just think Klitsch going in… he’s going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it’s just not going to work. We want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing (the coup, obviously – SF)”.
Nuland later boasted the US had spent $5 billion to secure that coup (on NGOs and the far right and fascist militias) which ousted the democratically elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych on February 21 and replaced him with the US stooge Yatsenyuk.
Obama’s State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, currently Biden’s White House press secretary, did not deny the authenticity of the tape, for which Nuland had to apologise, but said that if the Russians were responsible for listening to, recording and posting a private diplomatic telephone conversation, it would be “a new low in Russian tradecraft”. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that this is standard US practice; she was accusing the Russians of being as bad as themselves.
Ukraine now is redolent with outright fascist groups in the army and in various political administrations. These are nor Holocaust deniers but celebrate and seek to repeat it. They fly the Swastika and the Wolfsangel. Explicit fascist groups are the Azov Detachment (Brigade), the Patriots of Ukraine and the Right Sector. There was an assassination attempt on Serhiy Shefir, the closest aide of Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky in September 2021. Israel has no problem with these vile fascist antisemites, only with leftist Palestine supporters in the British Labour party, including Jews.
Nord Stream 2
If there were divisions between the EU and the US over Ukraine and Russia in 2014, there are greater ones now. The price of gas is rocketing in the EU and Britain. Russia’s pipeline via the Ukraine is not delivering at full capacity and would stop entirely in the event of war. This would deprive Ukraine from the $2 billion tariff Russia pays it for transit and almost totally deprive Ukraine of gas in the midst of these freezing temperatures. It would send the price of gas in the West further skyrocketing, adding to the very significant inflationary pressures already manifesting themselves.
This turns attention to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, already finished, pumped full of gas but not yet rolling. The US is threatening sanctions all around if this goes ahead because of the enormous benefit Russia will gain for this enterprise but only the German Greens in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic-led government are opposed. Macron in France and other Europeans are also in favour. Biden is weary of pushing his opposition too far lest he drive the EU into the arms of Russia and China. Poland gets much of its gas from the US but it is 30-40% higher than Russia’s and is backing Ukraine.
However, Scholz is more pro-US than Angela Merkel, declaring on December 7, “The trans-Atlantic relationship and our cooperation as part of NATO remain steadfast. We commit to a community of democracies across the globe, and I am very grateful to President Biden for emphasizing the importance of multilateralism and at the same time, we are committed to what unites particular nations: the idea of freedom, the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights.”
How that works out in practice over Nord Stream 2 remains to be seen. Biden baulked Senator Ted Cruz’s attempt to impose sanctions now on January 13. Scholz insists Nord Stream 2 is a commercial Gazprom project, and Biden knows that once it begins to flow his hopes of killing it off are gone.
None of this signifies uncritical support for the completely undemocratic regimes in Russia and China. In China trade unions are state controlled and going on strike is illegal in practice, and in Russia, although striking is legal, workers are often sacked for so doing.
Civil liberties are non-existent in China and the notorious charge, “starting disputes and causing trouble”, which can get you six years jail, is frequently used. This is very similar to the charges that get journalists and others long jail terms in North Korea, the Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. China has close friendly political relations with all of them.
But the famous principle voiced by Karl Liebknecht in May 1915 is still the one that all serious Marxists champion; just substitute you own imperialist nation for Germany (this does not apply to oppressed semi-colonial nations) to have the correct slogan:
“The main enemy of the German people is in Germany: German imperialism, the German war party, German secret diplomacy. This enemy at home must be fought by the German people in a political struggle, cooperating with the proletariat of other countries whose struggle is against their own imperialists”. ▲