By David Sole
Four star U.S. General Laura Richardson made startling admissions in an interview with NBC news on April 16. Richardson, Commander of the United States Southern Command, was interviewed by reporter Jose Diaz-Balart.
General Richardson listed what she, and the Pentagon, consider “threats” to U.S. security. In front of a map of Latin America and the Caribbean, she started with denouncing “unregulated fishing” by China and Russia. Other so-called “threats” included billions of dollars by China of dams, ports and other infrastructure projects. Especially disturbing to General Richardson was the economic aid for countries to set up cell phone systems.
General Richardson admitted that there was no buildup of any military projects, but that she considered the many investments by China and Russia as infringing upon U.S. control and domination in a continent she called “right at our backdoor.”
Of course the U.S. has long considered everything south of the border in the Western Hemisphere as an exclusive area for exploitation for Wall Street banks and corporations. However, these remarks come at a time that the Pentagon, State Department and the capitalist media are denouncing Russia for the Special Military Operation in Ukraine starting February 24, 2022. Ukraine has a 1200 plus mile border with Russia and was posing a threat of building NATO military facilities directed against the Russian Federation.
For a leading general to take aim at Russia and China for purely economic activities exposes the very real overriding forces driving U.S. imperialism in Ukraine, where billions of dollars worth of weapons are being rushed to try to keep a proxy war going, while at the same time enriching the vast U.S. war industry.
Russia’s second stated goal in Ukraine was to secure the safety of the largely ethnic Russian Ukrainian population in the southern and eastern area of that country. The major task of securing control of the industrial port city of Mariupol is nearly completed.
Ukrainian troops in that city of over 400,000 have been militarily defeated, with over 1400 surrendering last week. Only a single pocket of resistance continued as of April 20 in the large Azovstal steel complex. Surrounded and cut off, running out of food and ammunition, it is only a matter of time before Mariupol completely falls to the Russian forces aided by militias from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
In a startling disconnect, the New York Times described on April 20 the Mariupol situation and its importance to Russia. “Clearing the plant could hold particular symbolic value for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who has justified his invasion with the false claim that Ukraine is run by Nazis and that he is rooting them out.”
But the Times refutes its “false claim” editorial comment in the very next sentence: “The plant’s defenders include members of the Azov Battalion, a force that does include far-right soldiers, some of them foreign, including white supremacists and people who have been described as fascists.”
These fascist forces have been waging a vicious war against the Donbass republics for eight years, causing 14,000 casualties. Before the Russian intervention, Ukraine had massed thousands more of its troops there, intent on unleashing a massive ethnic-cleansing pogrom on the Russian-speaking population, who are now labeled as “traitors” by the Ukrainian government. And Ukraine’s leaders now call Russian soldiers “orcs”, subhumans with a Tolkien twist.
But now those same Ukrainian forces are largely cut off, and may soon be encircled by the Russian forces, just as they are in Mariupol. None of this should be a surprise, however. From the very beginning of the war the western media have made no attempt to explain the Russian or Ukrainian ethnic Russian point of view. It should be hoped that stubborn facts will force average people to see through the “official story” and set the stage for a mass, anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. and abroad.