The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Russia?
Ukraine?
No, Our War Is Against Those Who Exploit Us Here

Feb 28, 2022

The news is filled with reports about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Much less is said about the U.S. military adding U.S. troops, missiles, ships, warplanes, and ammunition to U.S. forces already in the region.

Let me be clear. These are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia,” President Biden said on February 24.

Don’t believe it. U.S. presidents always say they’re for peace. They always say military build-ups are only “defensive.”

But over the last 80 years, the U.S. superpower has carried out more wars and invaded more countries than any other. From Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has fought long, bloody wars that have wiped out tens of millions of lives. It has also instigated and funded civil wars, such as in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, in order to impose U.S. rule. And the U.S. has used its own military or paid other military forces to overthrow governments in Iran, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Libya. These wars wiped out millions of people.

Behind all the lies, the real reason for these wars was to impose the interests of the U.S. ruling class, the banks, military contractors, oil companies, over the peoples of the rest of the world—the freedom of U.S. capitalists to increase their profits and power.

What the U.S. superpower is doing in Ukraine today is no different.

Certainly, Putin is a ruthless dictator in the service of a handful of Russian oligarchs. Putin has sent military forces to break workers’ strikes, imprison opponents, and go to war against peoples of neighboring countries.

But the U.S. superpower bears a heavy responsibility for the war in Ukraine. For decades the U.S. superpower has surrounded Russia with its own massive military forces. The U.S. has continued to build up NATO, an alliance aimed against Russia, in more countries right on Russia’s border, stationing U.S. forces in those countries and arming them to the teeth. Today, for the U.S. government, the people of Ukraine are little more than pawns, their lives completely expendable, as the U.S. tries to increase its iron grip over Russia.

In that same speech on February 24, Biden said that what the U.S. military is planning against Russia will have “costs for us as well and here at home. We need to be honest about that.

Yes, there will be a cost and it’s not because of Russia. It is U.S. wars past and present that have already cost us dearly. The cemeteries are filled with working class youth, who were cut down in the prime of their lives, fighting in past U.S. wars. The streets are filled with homeless vets struggling with their physical wounds, as well as psychological disorders and drug and alcohol abuse brought on by the horror of those wars.

The U.S. might be the mightiest and richest country in the world. But the schools are crumbling. The infant mortality rate is as high as a lot of poor countries. And working people in this country live shorter lives than people in other countries. All because funding for basic services has been slashed in order to pay for the U.S. military.

Biden’s words are a warning that—as bad as things are now—they are about to get a lot worse. There will be more shortages, more disruptions to the economy. And companies are poised to take advantage of this by hiking prices and increasing their profits at our expense, driving down our standard of living still more.

The constant drum beat of war propaganda from the politicians, news media and so-called experts is aimed at convincing workers in this country to accept all those sacrifices. And all that patriotic flag waving is meant to convince our youth to fight and die in their wars.

No, the drive for profit of this ruling class, the American ruling class, of the imperialist system it directs, is destroying the world. It is plunging the world into the unthinkable, another World War, that they want us to fight and die in for them.

Workers in this country can have only one answer: the main enemy is in this country. That enemy is the U.S. capitalist class, the owners of the big banks and businesses, that attack us and exploit our labor here at home.