Biden’s UN war speech paves way for direct clash with Russia

US President Joe Biden addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at United Nations headquarters. [AP Photo/Mary Altaffer]

The Biden administration used Tuesday’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly as a platform to launch a full-throated tirade against Russia, of the kind made by countries before they declare war.

In his speech to the UN Tuesday, Biden declared, “The United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom.”

Biden asserted that “Russia alone bears responsibility for” the war in Ukraine. “Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately. And it is Russia alone that stands in the way of peace, because Russia’s price for peace is Ukraine’s capitulation, Ukraine’s territory, and Ukraine’s children.”

This was not just a speech; it was an unrelenting attack on any notion that the United States is open to a negotiated settlement of this war.

The White House is demanding the unconditional surrender of Russia, accompanied by the overthrow of its government and its territorial break-up. Achieving this goal is impossible without direct US involvement, transforming a proxy war into a direct conflict between the United States and Russia.

The conflict in Ukraine is already America’s war, for which the US and NATO are providing logistics, weapons and intelligence. But the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive has led the Biden administration to conclude that achieving its objectives is impossible without turning the current proxy war into a full-scale conflict involving the deployment of US-NATO troops.

It has been widely asserted in the American media that Russian President Vladimir Putin believes a change in the American government would lead to a shift in policy. This is a delusion. Nevertheless, it is the aim of the Biden administration to preempt such a policy shift by escalating the conflict to a point where, well before the 2024 election, the war will have involved a commitment of US prestige and resources, including manpower, that makes a diplomatic and non-military solution impossible.

Biden’s remarks were followed by those of his attack dog, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose statements bordered on total insanity. Zelensky referred to Russia and Russians as “evil” and as “terrorists,” and accused them of carrying out “genocide” against Ukraine.

Zelensky condemned the United Nations for being overly afraid of nuclear war, saying, “In many cases, the fear of war, the final war, was the loudest here—the war after which no one would gather in the General Assembly Hall again.”

He continued, “The Third World War was seen as a nuclear war. A conflict between states on the highway to nukes. Other wars seemed less scary compared to the threat of the so-called ‘great powers’ firing their nuclear stockpiles.”

“The effort to promote complete nuclear disarmament,” he said, “should not be the only strategy to protect the world from this final war.”

As Biden and Zelensky were making these chilling statements, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at Ramstein Air Base in Germany–a key logistics hub for the American war effort.

Milley declared, “The United States and its allied countries are rich, powerful, with significant… military resources that are capable of sustaining this fight, in President Biden’s words, as long as it takes.”

The statements by leading US officials were accompanied by equally reckless and provocative assertions in major newspapers. In an editorial entitled “Biden has done a lot for Ukraine. But not enough,” the Washington Post wrote that “Mr. Biden should stop dawdling and provide Kyiv with ATACMS,” referring to the long-range missile system that would be used to strike deep within Russian territory.

The US and NATO are already in an undeclared war, providing logistics, weapons and intelligence. The only thing Ukraine is supplying is the bodies. The next step is the direct involvement of US troops.

This will require the massive mobilization of American and European military forces, including the possibility of a draft. The US military is making active preparations for just such a war. The fall 2023 edition of the US Army War College Quarterly included an article, “A Call to Action: Lessons from Ukraine for the Future Force.” It stated that:

The Russia-Ukraine War is exposing significant vulnerabilities in the Army’s strategic personnel depth and ability to withstand and replace casualties. Army theater medical planners may anticipate a sustained rate of roughly 3,600 casualties per day. ... With a 25 percent predicted replacement rate, the personnel system will require 800 new personnel each day. For context, the United States sustained about 50,000 casualties in two decades of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In large-scale combat operations, the United States could experience that same number of casualties in two weeks.

The extreme recklessness of the United States in escalating the Ukraine war is a testament to the intersecting social, political and economic crises gripping the United States. The wealth of America’s financial oligarchy, dependent on continuous government bailouts financed by debt monetization, is haunted by the prospect of what it calls the erosion of “dollar dominance.”

At home, the ruling class faces a growing strike movement. This is not the first time that the growth of domestic opposition has become a major factor in the escalation of the ruling class’s war plans.

The struggle against war must develop by fusing the growing social struggles by the American working class with opposition to American imperialism. The social demands of workers must be linked with the effort to end the war as part of a global struggle for socialism.