All this system offers is crisis, war and poverty: it needs to be brought down!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
6 April 2022

At the time of writing, the barbarism of the war in Ukraine has reached new heights, with the alleged killing and torture of civilians in the streets of Bucha.

    Ukraine’s president Zelensky has called the shelling of civilians and bombing of residential blocks a “genocide”, which he says is “even worse” than Hitler’s Nazis perpetrated during WW2. And Johnson, Biden and Macron, not to mention the British media, go along with all of this without question.

    Far be it from these descendants of Churchill, Roosevelt (and Stalin!) to recall the real history of WW2: how Britain’s great hero, “Bomber Harris” along with US pilots, dropped fire-bombs over the historic German city of Dresden, leaving blackened and skeletal ruins of buildings much like those seen today in Mariupol and Borodyanka, but on an even larger scale. Hundreds, if not thousands of men, women and children who were hiding in basements at the time, burned to death.

    And yet today this fact is still denied by many “official” historians, who among other things, even quibble over the numbers killed. Truth, as the saying goes, is the first casualty of war... And the last, too, apparently.

The real war criminals

But what nobody can deny is that most of the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were annihilated by 2 US atomic bombs in 1945. Ruthlessly and without any other motive than to terrorise the rest of the population into submission. That was the nature of the WW2 Allied “victory”. And of course, the victors get to decide who is the war criminal and who isn’t.

    So when US President Biden calls for the head of Putin, and sheds his crocodile tears over the 165 Ukrainian children killed (although it is likely to be many more), one should recall the 2004 “battle of Fallujah” during the Iraq war, when US troops killed 600 civilians, 300 of them women and children, having used white phosphorus and depleted uranium shells.

    Moreover, Biden himself bears personal responsibility for the deaths of 13,000 Afghan babies from hunger this year alone, after deliberately holding back $7bn belonging to the Afghan government, destroying the already half-broken Afghan economy.

    So why should anyone doubt that Biden and the NATO Alliance, along with Johnson, Macron and Scholz, have the blood of the Ukrainians and Russians on their hands in this latest war?

    They quite consciously used the people of Ukraine as a proxy against Putin’s Russian forces. And regardless of Putin's twisted logic in invading Ukraine, his real adversary in this conflict is NATO, with its missiles lined up on Russia’s borders   as he acknowledges when he demands peace talks with the US.

    Biden could have averted this war by meeting Putin before it began. But he cancelled the scheduled meeting on 24 February and is now using the latest war atrocities to justify fuelling this war further. What other conclusion can one draw, than that Biden and NATO actually wanted this war to take place?

The only good war is class war

Such is the cynicism of the US/West’s political establishment, that it really has no qualms about using the Ukrainian population as NATO’s cannon-fodder. Nor in using the Ukrainian army, shored up with modern anti-tank weapons, to weaken Putin’s forces, if not actually to defeat them.

    Ultimately, it is hoped that Putin’s inevitable demise will allow the opening up of Russia’s great natural wealth, not least its gas and oil, to the unbridled exploitation of US (and other western) companies.

    Yes, and without the complex restrictions previously imposed by Putin’s bureaucratic and kleptocratic regime. Getting a few greedy oligarchs out of the way, or forcing them onside, as the latest sanctions have done, helps too.

    Indeed, it is already a “lovely” war for a world capitalist class which has been incapacitated for 2 years by Covid: Russia’s oil and gas rivals are making mega-bucks. Exxon Mobil just announced its highest quarterly profits since 2008!

    On the other hand, price speculation plus the devastation of the wheat harvest (10% of the world’s wheat and 80% of sunflower oil comes from Ukraine) is already causing a poverty crisis in the poor countries. Riots and protests have broken out in Sri Lanka and Iraq, and there will be more to come.

    In Britain, workers are experiencing the worst fall in their incomes in 60 years. But poverty post-Covid, aggravated by this war, is a problem shared by workers throughout the entire world.

    While there’s nothing positive which can come out of this fratricidal Ukraine war, what it places on the working class agenda is the urgent need for the only justifiable war of our time: a class war to bring down the rotten capitalist, war-mongering imperialist system - a revolution which, in its aims, unites all the working people and poor in order to build a world free from exploitation - and truly, to end all wars.