A couple of anniversaries will occur in a few months, neither of which are joyous. In August, it will have been a full century since World War I began; in September, it will have been 75 years since World War II began. These horrific wars – a product of imperialism – changed the geopolitics of the world but left their fundamental cause in place: capitalism. Today, any number of volatile flashpoints could erupt into a similar, if not more destructive conflict. This would inevitably draw in the United States.
The crisis in Ukraine and the conflict over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands both threaten to erupt into a thermonuclear war.
According to the Washington Post, the United States has announced plans to deploy ground troops to Poland, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member state. This is part-and-parcel with the dangerous encircling of Russia and the former Soviet Union, seeking to turn the corpse of the USSR into a semi-colony for Western imperialism.
Because of Article 5 of the NATO treaty, any attack on any NATO member state would draw in the other 27 countries. This would include the U.S. if Estonia or Latvia were attacked by Russia.
There have also been maneuvers to integrate Ukraine into NATO, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a “miscalculation” potentially leading to World War III.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times has noted that Japan and China are marching closer to “Armageddon” over their conflict in the East China Sea.
Behind the rhetoric of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping lie stagnating Japanese and Chinese economies. To distract from faltering growth and wages, Tokyo and Beijing played up the conflict.
It resulted in another situation in which a single “miscalculation” could cause war. Washington is obligated by a mutual self-defense treaty with Tokyo to aid Japan in a war.
These are merely two examples of where the next global conflagration could begin. Others include Syria, Iran and North Korea; all of which have seen pressure by the U.S. to conform to American imperialism.
To “defend its interests” abroad, the U.S. has resorted to military action or invasions practically on a whim since the collapse of the USSR.
In Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya, Serbia, Kosovo, Somalia, Georgia, Pakistan and Yemen, the story is the same: U.S. military intervention is needed to restore democracy, protect civilians’ rights or destroy weapons of mass destruction with other massively destructive weapons.
American imperialism also attempts to prop up other countries with increasingly right-wing and unstable governments, and Ukraine’s new government is filled with fascistic and anti-Semitic forces.
These allies are chomping at the bit to assert themselves globally as junior partners in American hegemony, and are wont to provoke an incident with Russia or China.
It is inevitable that one of these conflicts will erupt into a wider-scale war. Russia and China, aspiring world powers, are increasingly on edge about American encirclement.
This conflict would draw in the U.S. – to protect democracy, of course.
Asked to protect its beloved democracy, the American public will be driven into war by propaganda, poverty and potential conscription. This would include many working-class youth here at Geneseo.
As the somber occasions of the World War anniversaries roll around – and the next war approaches – students would do well to remember that the primary aggressor in contemporary wars is the American elite.
The obstacles to peace are at home. To adapt Karl Liebknecht: The main enemy of the American people is in America: American imperialism, the Democrats and the Republicans.