Biden’s reckless escalation toward nuclear war with Russia

This article was originally posted as a thread on Twitter.

The Biden administration’s decision to provide Ukraine with what the president himself described yesterday in a New York Times column as “advanced rocket systems” is a massive escalation of the war with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Biden’s claim that “We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia” is a lie. NATO, supplying Ukraine with unlimited financial and military support, is at war with Russia. And having made this vast commitment, the US is taking reckless actions to defeat Russia.

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Biden writes: “So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces.”

But this statement is contradicted by the fact that the US is providing Ukraine with weapons and logistical support to attack Russian forces, including the assassination of Russian generals and the sinking of a Russian ship.

Biden states: “We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders.” But the United States is sending Ukraine “advanced rocket systems” that, in fact, encourage and enable Ukraine to attack Russia.

Biden is providing Ukraine a carte blanche to use these weapons in whatever way it believes necessary. Ukraine will take actions to provoke military confrontation between NATO and Russia. Striking Russia with US-supplied rockets will achieve that aim. Russia will retaliate.

Biden casually notes in passing: “I know many people around the world are concerned about the use of nuclear weapons.” He then proceeds to dismiss such concerns by absurdly reassuring readers:

We currently see no indication that Russia has intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, though Russia’s occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear saber is itself dangerous and extremely irresponsible.

But what is “Russia’s occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear sabre” other than an extremely serious “indication” of an “intent to use nuclear weapons”? And if it is not such an indication, why does Biden describe it as “dangerous and extremely irresponsible”?

During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy stated: “It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba... as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

What will be the consequences if the Russian government adopts the same policy proclaimed by Kennedy 60 years ago: to view any attack on Russia by Ukraine, using US-supplied rockets, as an attack by the US on Russia, “requiring a full retaliatory response”?

The Biden administration’s actions are so staggeringly reckless that they give the impression that the United States is being run by an unstable war-crazed camarilla that has lost touch with reality.

This recklessness is explainable only as the reaction of a government and ruling class that have been fundamentally destabilized by the intersection of domestic, economic, political and social crises for which they have no rational answers.

The Financial Times asked yesterday: “Is America heading for civil war?” and replied, “A clutch of books makes an alarmingly persuasive case that the warning lights are flashing redder than at any point since 1861.”

In 1861, Secretary of State Seward conceived the mad idea of provoking war with Britain to stop the breakup of the United States. Lincoln put a stop to that idiotic plan. Biden, to say the least, is no Lincoln, let alone the leader of a great democratic revolution.

Biden is, rather, the exhausted and disoriented leader of a crisis-torn imperialist power. A million Americans are dead of COVID as a result of the government’s prioritization of corporate profits over lives. Living standards are being ravaged by inflation.

The daily outbreaks of mass shootings testify to the sociopathic state of American society. The only sign of a positive response to this crisis is the growth of working class militancy and the intensification of the class struggle.

But this is the alternative that the Biden administration and the reactionary cabal that rules both capitalist parties are desperate suppress. So they seek to divert all the internal pressures building within American society to the reactionary and destructive channel of war.

The Socialist Equality Party, with its comrades in the International Committee of the Fourth International, is fighting to build a socialist movement in the working class that will stop the Ukraine war and the imperialist militarism that threatens a nuclear catastrophe.