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

The U.S. Is Dragging the World Closer to a New World War

Nov 13, 2023

As the latest Israel-Palestine War broke out last month, the U.S. military moved two aircraft carriers, along with several destroyers, cruisers, and missile launchers into the Middle East. They were joined by a nuclear submarine equipped with 147 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

This wasn’t a “peace keeping” mission. It was war—supporting Israel in its war on Gaza and the West Bank; pushing its control over Iraq and Syria, where the U.S. itself had carried out long, brutal wars that killed millions and forced millions more to flee as refugees.

Nobody knows what will happen next. But there is the very real likelihood that the unthinkable could become reality. The already smoldering fires of war in the Middle East could trigger a new world war. How close is the world now to being dragged into a new cataclysm? We will find out.

The Middle East region is explosive today because the big imperial powers, first England and France, and now, the U.S., have dominated the region by playing the different countries and peoples off against each other. This tried-and-true imperialist strategy has allowed a few big oil companies, banks, military contractors, and other instruments of the capitalist class to extract the riches produced out of the Middle East for more than a century, leaving the vast majority of its people in a constant state of poverty and desperation.

The horrible wars that have come out of this imperial domination go way beyond the countries themselves. For example, the ongoing war in Yemen that has already taken millions of lives is a proxy war between two big regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But behind Saudi Arabia and Iran stand none other than the U.S., Russia, and China. The same line-up of regional and big powers is involved in the current war that Israel is waging against the Palestinians.

The Middle East carries in its womb a world war in embryo.

The U.S. is deeply involved not only in wars in the Middle East. In Europe, with the war in Ukraine, a war that the U.S. has prepared and fueled for more than a decade, the U.S. is using the people of Ukraine as cannon fodder in order to weaken and bleed Russia, an old rival. In Asia, the U.S. has been escalating an economic war with China, the second largest economy in the world, while surrounding that huge country with increasingly more massive military forces.

The world has become a bloody madhouse. An Israeli government cabinet minister casually raised the possibility of Israel dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza, like it is the most ordinary thing in the world. And he wasn’t even fired, only suspended!

But not to worry, says President Biden. “I think we have an opportunity to… unite the world in ways that it never has been,” Biden said from the White House on October 20. “We were in a post-war period for 50 years where it worked pretty damn well, but that’s sort of run out of steam… It needs a new world order in a sense, like that was a world order.”

Amazingly, this justification for a new barbaric world war comes from the President of the United States. According to Biden, World War II resulted in a new world order, a step in the right direction. Forget, infers Biden, the human toll, the 85 million people killed, the thousands of cities and towns destroyed. Eyes straight ahead, says Biden, the world needs a new world order. In casual fashion, he calls for a new global war, which will bring with it an even more terrible toll.

I’m optimistic,” said Biden. That’s what politicians said during World War I, which killed more than 20 million people, but was supposed to be “the war to end all wars.” It’s what the politicians said about World War II—even as the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on women, children and the elderly in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the very end of the war in order to demonstrate the explosive ascendency of the new U.S. superpower.

Those world wars didn’t lead to Biden’s 50 years of peace, but only to bigger wars. The 20th century was the most murderous century in history, with two-thirds of the casualties being civilians. And the present century promises to be even worse.

Who says it has to be this way? Working people can live together peacefully. But only if the cause of the wars is destroyed, the domination of the planet by a tiny minority of capitalists and other parasites, who are in constant competition with each other for wealth and power.

Doing away with this domination and barbarism is the historic mission of the working class. Working people may not realize this, nor are most of them prepared to accept this mission today. But their class, the working class, has the power and every interest to do just that. And the world, hurtling toward war, will bring the working class face to face with this necessity. There is no other way out.