By Chris Fry
White male supremacist Donald Trump described his foreign policy “dream” to a group of his admirers on March 5th, according to an article from the Guardian newspaper:
In a speech to Republican donors in New Orleans, Donald Trump said the US should put the Chinese flag on F-22 jets and “bomb the shit out of Russia” in retribution for its invasion of Ukraine.
The Washington Post reported the remarks, which were made on Saturday night.
To laughter, the paper said, the former president said: “And then we say, ‘China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it,’ and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch.”
According to the Post, Trump also called NATO a “paper tiger”, said the US military had won “skirmishes” against Russian troops while he was president, and claimed to have been tougher on Vladimir Putin than any other US leader.
Trump’s speech, however crude, reveals that there are two different U.S. imperialist strategies against capitalist Russia and socialist China being considered on Wall Street and in the Pentagon, both designed to retain U.S. imperialist world-wide hegemony: 1) the current Biden strategy to line up the U.S.’s junior NATO “partners” to make economic war (sanctions) and, if necessary, actual military war to effect regime change in Russia, a strategy dating back to post-World War II, and then to “copy” that same strategy to Asia to have its subordinates there attack China, and 2) the Trump strategy that guided his regime, to entice or coerce the Russian leadership to attack China, while waging economic war against China and its people.
Both gambits are catastrophic for the global working class and oppressed and are terrible threats to world peace.
Pre-war capitalist appeasement and post-war confrontation
Despite all the distortions currently promoted by the capitalist media, Russian President Putin is not Hitler. He is head of a capitalist regime whose ruling class seeks independence from the whims and wishes of Wall Street. That’s why he is a target of their machinations to remove him from power.
Before World War II, fascist military officers led by Franco sparked a deadly civil war in Spain against an elected republican government. The capitalist governments in Europe and the U.S. had no objections to that and declared their “neutrality”. The German bombers who destroyed the Spanish town of Guernica, famously depicted by Picasso, were illegally fueled with Texas Oil (now called Texaco) gasoline supplied to them on credit.
Hopes were high among the capitalist elite in the West that Hitler would turn his eyes and his tanks on the Soviet Union. But to prepare for that war, Stalin signed a pact with Hitler, who in turn attacked Poland, then Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Only after that, realizing that “their backs were against the wall”, did they ally themselves with the Soviet Union, who in June 1941 was attacked by some 3.5 million German and nearly 700,000 German-allied troops (Romanians, Finns, Hungarians, Italians, Slovaks, and others).
At least 27 million Soviet lives, both military and civilian, were lost in the struggle, which finally ended in victory in May 1945.
In 1974, Richard Nixon knew that he lost his campaign to hold onto his office in the midst of the Watergate scandal when right-wing Senator Barry Goldwater told him he must go. Goldwater opposed Nixon’s rapprochement with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which Nixon and Kissinger believed could lead to a Soviet-China conflict. Taking sides with the PRC was just too much to the radical right at the time, just as it was in 1979 when Carter agreed to the “One China” policy. And so it is today to the Trumpist wing of the ruling class and the “mad dog” generals in the Pentagon.
From the first days in office in 2017, Trump placed billions in tariffs on imports from the PRC, even as his crony Steve Bannon predicted war with China would occur within five or six years. First economic war, then military conflict: that was and is the Trumpist dream.
Trump repeatedly denounced NATO. Whether or not Trump used that in his negotiations with Putin to entice Russia to join the U.S. in a war with China is unknown, since Trump went to extraordinary lengths to keep the subject of those talks secret.
Right-wing and ultra-militarist author Tom Clancy, who had extremely close Pentagon contacts, wrote a popular novel in 2000 called “The Bear and the Dragon”, precisely describing this war and how the U.S., after inviting Russia to join NATO, would come to aid Russia against a Chinese invasion, from which Russia would somehow reap huge wealth.
Fortunately, the Russian leadership has never fallen for this imperialist pipedream.
The Biden administration presents a different gambit, more in line with “standard” imperialist post World War II strategy to isolate economically and militarily first the Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation into accepting U.S. domination and control over its vast natural resource and labor pool.
And it plans to continue to apply that same strategy to China, and has continued and amplified the Trump tariffs and sanctions, as well as continued naval fleet “parades” through the South China Sea. However, the Chinese leadership has so far seen right through this imperialist plan:
A March 7th AP article reports:
BEIJING (AP) — China’s top diplomat on Monday accused Washington of trying to create an Asian version of the U.S.-European NATO military alliance and said it is up to the Biden administration to improve relations with North Korea.
It [China] also has said Washington is to blame for the [Ukraine] conflict for failing to take Russia’s security concerns into consideration.
The United States is playing geopolitical games under the pretext of promoting regional cooperation,” Wang said. He said this “runs counter” to regional desires for cooperation and “is doomed to have no future.”
Wang complained Washington is organizing U.S. allies to “suppress China.”
Beijing is irritated by growing military ties among the Quad nations of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India. China criticized a U.S. decision last year to supply technology for Australia to field its first nuclear-powered submarines.
“The real purpose of the ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ is to create an Indo-Pacific version of NATO,” he said. The Western alliance’s expansion was cited by Russian President Vladimir Putin as one reason behind his invasion of Ukraine.
Imperialist war drive: trillions for the billionaires, devastation for the workers and poor
The Russian intervention that the U.S. has forced the Russian Federation into has already caused immense suffering among both Ukrainians and Russians. And on March 8th, Biden announced that the U.S. would ban all oil purchases from Europe:
[Biden] warned Americans that the decision would inevitably mean painful, higher prices at the gas pump.
“I said I would level with the American people from the beginning,” Mr. Biden said. “And when I first spoke to this, I said defending freedom is going to cost. It’s going to cost us as well, in the United States.”
And he warned oil companies in the United States not to take advantage of the decision by arbitrarily raising prices.
“Russia’s aggression is costing us all,” he said. “And it’s no time for profiteering or price gouging.”
Yeah, right. Workers here and abroad are already facing a record spike in gasoline prices. In California, fuel prices have already hit $7.00 a gallon. This comes in the midst of an unprecedented jump in the inflation rate, even while the parasite collection of billionaires rakes in trillions more in profits, particularly Big Oil.
A March 10th article in the Guardian reported:
Oil and gas companies are facing a potential bonanza from the Ukraine war, though few in the industry want to admit it, and many are using soaring prices and the fear of fuel shortages to cement their position with governments in ways that could have disastrous impacts on the climate crisis.
So far, Biden has not persuaded his European “partners” to ban their Russian oil and natural gas purchases. Only Britain has announced a gradual reduction of its Russian oil purchases, taking full effect by the end of the year.
A March 8th article on the CNN Business website, titled “Your toilet paper roll is slimming down”, describes another technique corporations are using to squeeze out extra profits from the workers and oppressed besides simply raising prices:
Product downsizing, also known as “shrinkflation,” is happening with toilet paper, said Edgar Dworsky, a former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts who is a consumer advocate and editor of website ConsumerWorld.org.
For example, Procter &Gamble’s (PG) Charmin’s ultra soft toilet paper 18-count mega package now contains 244 two-ply sheets, down from a previous 264 double-ply sheets per roll. And super mega rolls of the brand now display 366 sheets versus a previous 396 sheets per roll.
“That amounts to losing the equivalent of about a roll and a half in the new 18-count package,” he said.
Proctor and Gamble executives have found a new way to put “lipstick on this pig” – calling it “innovation”.
In an email to CNNBusiness, Procter & Gamble pointed to various reasons for variations in sizes of its products and that store prices are determined solely by retailers.
“There is a cost element to innovation — adjusting the count per pack or the package size is one way of reinvesting in this innovation while maintaining a competitive price point,” the company said.
As U.S. imperialism fails to maintain a sufficient standard of living for us producers of all the wealth in our society; U.S. imperialist hegemony over Russia and China offers us nothing but inflation and more “belt tightening”, as well as the danger of war, perhaps even nuclear war. But our position in the “belly of the beast” does give our class the opportunity to unite with our sisters and brothers around the world and transform our society to end wars and to put people before profits.