Talk given at “Pushback Against Empire,” a holiday party and fundraiser for CovertAction Magazine in New York City on Dec. 1. CovertAction, founded by CIA whistleblower Phillip Agee in 1978, is one of the few publications that has published information exposing the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine, including John Parker’s eyewitness reports from Donbass for Struggle-La Lucha.
If you like horror stories, here’s one for you. It’s the 2022 National Defense Strategy document from the U.S. secretary of defense. This document was blessed by President Biden, who is quoted in the introduction.
Right out of the gate, it calls China, Russia, Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea threats to U.S. national security. And this threat must be met by making NATO even more powerful and nuclear-capable, especially surrounding Russia.
But in terms of priorities, China is the number one target. This will be done, the document declares, by provoking altercations in the Indo-Pacific region using Japan, South Korea, Australia, and any Southeast Asian countries Washington can recruit to launch a war from the South China Sea to the East China Sea. This week there was a very serious altercation in the South China Sea between the U.S. and China due to U.S. war games there.
As if that’s not enough, the document says the U.S. should begin training and arming Taiwan in asymmetrical warfare (or guerrilla war) against China. So get your tax dollars ready to fund another war costing, this time, hundreds of billions of dollars. And unfortunately, we may have to counter an anti-war movement in the U.S. that will probably blame China when that country is forced to respond to the provocations and threats to its security and sovereignty. That’s what happened with Russia.
What should we learn from this document and the Rand Corporation strategy published three years ago planning the provocations against Russia? It didn’t matter what Russia did—the imperialists had a plan of action that was determined to cause war by any means, regardless of Russia’s actions.
Ukraine’s Nazi problem
While investigating the war in Ukraine in the Donbass region last May, I visited a tuberculosis hospital in Krymskoye that had been retrofitted for war by the Ukrainian military. They were forced to leave a week or so prior by the Lugansk People’s Militia and Russian soldiers.
I observed the 122mm shells used by Kiev to make Swiss cheese of the houses just a mile away in Solkinyki. These shells were also used to target the families I interviewed to the north in Rubizhne, in a shelter that had housed 350 people fleeing the Ukrainian military assault on their apartment buildings.
Although the loud noise I heard often from the continued shelling by Ukrainian forces was disturbing, the people in that shelter told me they felt much safer than before now that the Russian troops were protecting them and providing water, food, and other essentials for survival.
I should mention that at that tuberculosis hospital, there was a giant swastika painted on the wall, and next to it, the sonnenrad, a symbol appropriated by the Nazis in World War II and used today by the Ukrainian Azov Battalion.
When some people say that Ukraine’s Nazi problem is “minor,” they callously ignore the 10 Black people killed at the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, New York, by an 18-year-old white supremacist. He was wearing the emblem of the Azov Battalion—the same sonnenrad I saw on the wall in Krymskoye.
This youth said he was inspired by New Zealander Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 Muslims in a mosque. In his manifesto, Tarrant wrote that he was in direct contact with the Azov Battalion and was planning to go to Ukraine for military training.
In 2019, Time Magazine interviewed a former FBI agent who admitted that 17,000 white supremacists had gone to Ukraine for military training. Azov and its partners have used some of the billions of dollars Ukraine has received in funding and training from the U.S. since 2014 to build a very successful social media presence aimed at alienated youth.
Erasing people of Donbass
Playing into the narrative of Russia as invader can only be done by disappearing the over 6 million people in the Donbass region, targeted for more than eight years by a military openly led by neo-Nazis. By Feb. 22 of this year, the bombing of the region had increased 20-fold in seven days to 1,400 bombings per day. Kiev amassed 150,000 troops on the border, preparing for a genocidal massacre.
This is why, on Feb. 23, the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics formally requested Russia’s protection.
If you want to know what imperialism really looks like, consider this: According to the United Nations Development Program, the U.S. freeze on Afghanistan’s assets is causing the starvation of 1 million children. With a snap of his fingers, Biden could stop that today—but he won’t. There you have real imperialist power, real evil.
Without challenging the main justifications for this war, we are simply allowing lies to take hold, which will, at worst, garner popular support for U.S. imperialist strategies and, at best, encourage resignation and apathy.
That’s why CovertAction Magazine is an invaluable resource: It challenges those primary lies fueling the U.S. proxy war against Russia and China.
It’s that whole truth that will ultimately inspire our working class into action. And any effective peace movement must be made up overwhelmingly by our multinational working class and people’s movements fighting racism, for union rights and tenant rights, for LGBTQ2S and women’s rights, for the right of self-determination of Haitian, Palestinian, Indigenous, Black, and Brown peoples.
All these components are necessary for a peace movement to have any real power because these are the forces most targeted by U.S. imperialism domestically and internationally. It’s these forces that have the most to gain by stopping imperialist wars that steal the resources necessary for the survival of their children. And these are the forces whose exploitation this economic beast depends upon for survival.
Therefore, they contain real potential power.
As a news source dedicated to the truths relevant to the struggles of our class and for countering the barrage of misinformation by the Pentagon and its corporate tools, CovertAction Magazine continues the proud legacy of CovertAction Quarterly. It’s an indispensable resource that must be supported by our movement and our class. So give generously, as if World War III were right around the corner—because so is the solution if we build it.