The War Machine Rolls on in Ukraine

Aryan Grover, Contributing Writer

The United States stands proudly with Ukraine against Russia in its fight for freedom. We send tens of billions of dollars in aid because only the U.S. and its allies can be the flame of democracy in a dark world! So goes the mass of American media published on the Ukraine war. The average American likely views this conflict as a general good vs. evil conflict. Russia is morally wrong because it is the aggressor, and Ukraine – by function, America, is fighting in the struggle for freedom. 

However, like most other struggles with American involvement since World War II, American aid here is not about “freedom” and “democracy”, will never be. Whether it be in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq,or otherwise (and there are many examples), the story has been the same: anytime the United States has faced a geopolitical threat, the state immediately uses the justification of spreading democracy to mask its real efforts: to consolidate power economically and to make sure that it is the unipolar power in the world. Whether the cost is millions of lives, the overthrow of democratically elected leaders (ex: Allende in Chile), the destruction of infrastructure, the unintentional creation of dozens of militant and jihadist groups due to anti-American alienation, the threat of nuclear war, the gutting of America itself, it does not matter. (It also should be noted that many times, the proxy itself is anti-democratic – in fact, Ukraine, although this does not justify ongoing Russian actions, has banned every single leftist opposition party in the country and allowed foreign corporations to monopolize industry since the war began.)

Yes, America has, since the beginning of the Cold War, been mostly in the service of the financial economy, and the war economy. America domestically is a nation in decline – wages have stagnated for 40 years, infrastructure is gutted, there is obscene wealth inequality (the top 10 percent of wealth holds 68 percent of wealth while the bottom fifty holds 3), 100,000 Americans die of drug overdoses each year, the US is in 31 trillion dollars of debt compared to our 24 trillion GDP. 30 million children depend on schools for meals, and unions have been stripped of their power. We are in a suicide epidemic – one could go on and on – all because the majority of political and financial clout has been transferred to serve the interests of the wealthy and the military-industrial complex, rather than the needs of the people.

Inwardly failing, our state looks internationally to consolidate itself, where it is the unipolar power. However, currently, China and Russia look to be more independent of “Western” markets – The formation of the BRICS economic association, the Belt and Road Initiative of China (of which Ukraine is a part), and Russia’s reforming arms power and energy holdings are examples. Now, the United States faces a threat to its international hegemony. Thus the only option for the state is to destabilize and weaken these countries by aggressive, violent means.

Though Russia is only a regional power, it, like the US, acts violently when feeling threatened. Thus, for all of the delusion of an autocrat like Putin, he alone is not the actual reason for the war. Since the end of the Cold War, America found itself the unipolar power and wished to extend its influence more fully wherever possible. So, despite repeated warnings from the Russians, and many, many, foreign policy experts within the US, that expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders would be seen as an act of escalation and could lead to war, the United States repeatedly broke promises not to expand its influence into Eastern Europe. For example, they stationed missile stations in Ukraine and interfered in their politics to back a 2014 pro-American coup, and they also had unified Germany join the organization in the 90s. As journalist Pedro L. Gonzales succinctly puts it: ”it is not to say Russia or China are blameless, but rather to highlight a hitherto overlooked paradox: Even as NATO condemns Chinese and Russian authoritarianism, under U.S. leadership, NATO has become exactly what it was established to fight: an apparatus stewarded by elites as fervently committed to forced global homogeneity as the most devoted Leninist.”

And, for all of the cries to help the Ukrainian people, US politicians across the political aisle have decided not to enter into negotiations with Russia to end their suffering and to lower the risk of nuclear war. Even progressives in the house have kowtowed down to the Democrat elite. Anyone who still is against further involvement are either Republican demagogues who only are against aid because Democrats support it, or have been ostracized by the ruling class as “Putin sympathizers”. Why prolong the suffering of so many? Chris Hedges remarks:” Since all we do is war, all proposed solutions are military. This…accelerates the decline, as the defeat in Vietnam and the squandering of $8 trillion in the futile wars in the Middle East illustrate. War and sanctions, it is believed, will cripple Russia, rich in gas and natural resources. War, or the threat of war, will curb… China’s growth… All refusals to bomb and occupy another country are considered a 1938 Munich moment, a pathetic retreat from confronting evil by the new Neville Chamberlain. We do have enemies abroad. But our most dangerous enemy is within.”

It is true: our most dangerous enemy is within – the war machine and the ruling elite that propagates it. Though this article will most likely be published after the midterm elections – to any teachers or seniors that voted: Democrat or Republican, the end goal is the same: to act in the interest of the wealthy (which means propagation of war). Not in the interest of democracy or freedom, not in the interest of peace and prosperity, and certainly not in the interest of any human, anywhere. It is nothing more than Manifest Destiny on an international scale, a tryst to consolidate wealth and power when it is threatened and failing. It risks the chance of nuclear armageddon, the disintegration of entire nations. It is not freedom, it is death.