RUTHLESS CRITICISM

“If we have no business with the construction of the future or with organizing it for all time, there can still be no doubt about the task confronting us at present: the ruthless criticism of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be.” — Karl Marx

The USA wants war!

Or how else are we supposed to understand it when members of Congress declare on a daily basis that the war in Ukraine is “our” – that is, America’s – business? If at every opportunity they demand more and heavier weapons be sent from the USA to Ukraine, and this keeps being done on an increasing scale? If the official position of the government is to permanently support Ukraine in its ability to wage war for “as long as it takes” (President Biden)?

Of course, all this is done with the slogan: it’s about helping the Ukrainians. With what though?

Of course, the objective is to end the war. But what state wages war so that it never ends? The self-evident constraint holds for all of them and avowedly holds for America’s aid too: there will be an end only on “terms favorable to us” (Lindsey Graham). It is precisely the intention to get to the end as quickly as possible that make wars fierce and drags them out.

Of course, no one explicitly wants the casualties. But those on the enemy side do, even as many of them as possible; what else would the delivered weapons be good for? And the victims on one’s own side, the Ukrainian side in this case, are called heroes who died heroic deaths – is that anything but a yes to this?

What’s there to prove anyway? The USA has clearly stated its war aim: Russia must not win. It should lose in such a way that it is no longer capable of waging a war of the current type. To this end, the USA wants to contribute what is necessary and do what it can. Even if it takes years.

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The USA? Aren’t there also other expressions of political will? Yes, certainly. There are those for whom the government’s will to wage war is never decisive enough; they complain about delays and restraint in the delivery of ever heavier weaponry. And there is a small right-wing opposition that does not reject war from the get-go, and then does so with the argument: This is not our war. Is it wrong to take this as saying: the problem is not the war, but its insufficient yield for the American cause, whatever it may be? Maybe Kamala Harris just needs to explain to Tucker Carlson how this cause benefits the nation, without emphasizing morality.

And what do the “realist” academics, government officials, and military observers actually criticize when they point out that NATO has also done its share to escalate the conflict in Ukraine – which, by the way, is pleasing to the right because it shows the war’s globalist, i.e. anti-national, character? The war must not be blamed unilaterally on Putin; the West is also to blame. So what? War always takes place only because all parties want it. All sides want it because they find it necessary in the interest of their nation. Is that a reason to plead extenuating circumstances for one, the other, or even both sides? Perhaps in the sense of the question that those in power like to pose to a skeptical audience: What else could we have done, given the wickedness of our enemy? The only thing that really follows from the universally invoked inevitability of war is the seditious insight: they are certainly right. With their war, they follow a dictate of their reason of state. In other words: political rule can’t exist without a cause, contained in its reason for being, for asserting itself by trampling over corpses on its own side and especially on the enemy side. For sovereign powers, war is – to put it politely – an option they absolutely can’t do without. The dissidents with their vote for fairness in the question of war guilt mean the opposite: nevertheless, this war would not have been necessary. And they do not want to admit that the willingness of both sides to wage war makes their diagnosis cringe.

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What’s left? The USA wants war. And without Americans having asked for it. And they don’t need to be; there is no place for that in the ruling democracy; here, the elected officials decide and decree and execute what the nation wants through orders and obedience.

Of course, this also means, don’t forget, that the USA did not start the war. But what does that mean? Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine and the West has responded to it, the USA wants to seal the deal; with the repeatedly declared aim of a Russian defeat.

Sure, there’s been no true declaration of war from the American side in accord with textbook diplomacy. And as much as the rulers in Washington DC and elsewhere declare and make the war their business and contribute to its escalation with arms deliveries: they do not want to be a war party in the actual sense. So what are they then?

They are a non-actual war party and want to remain one – in plain language: the USA wants the war, but not its real costs. Money and material are donated; death and devastation pummel Ukraine and not its wildly determined sponsor. The USA wants war against Russia – in Ukraine.

Morally speaking, this is cynicism of the highest order. Objectively, it’s a contradiction of its own kind. Putin’s Russia is told that it – the reason of state on which is acts, its existence as Moscow’s sovereign sphere of influence – is absolutely incompatible with the USA’s reason of state. So no explanation is necessary. For the judgment of incompatibility that follows, it’s enough to refer to “our values” and the “crimes” that Russia’s president is committing with his “war of aggression”; the idealism of values only stands for the uncompromising nature of this judgment. Normal co-existence with the Russian state is terminated. Conversely, the USA assumes that a corresponding notice of termination will not follow from the Russian side, and certainly not a practical encroachment that would really test America’s commitment to the ongoing war as our cause. That works out, for now. The USA can afford the contradiction of a unilateral termination of peaceful coexistence, accusing Putin of doing what it does itself, only because – and as long as – Russia does not do the same against the USA: end the state of peace. In other words, because and as long as Putin sticks to the standpoint of a “special military operation” limited to Ukraine, which Washington chalks up to his pure hypocrisy. In truth, it’s the contractual basis of the USA’s will to wage war.

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On this basis, the USA allows itself to increase its engagement, which is still far from sufficient for the nation’s pro-war politicians. They see themselves confirmed and encouraged by their own side’s successes in the Ukrainian theater. There they have proof that, step by step, what they aim to do by equipping the heroic fighters with better and better equipment for the common cause is actually being achieved: they have harmed the enemy without him fighting back. The USA takes this as a good reason to do more. The fact that the Russian government feels compelled to order a partial mobilization, for now without giving up the fiction of a mere “special military operation” and without committing itself to the land war that it is actually waging, is acknowledged with an offensive willingness to take risks and triumphantly evaluated in the political public sphere as progress in the desired course of the war, which obliges it to follow up. It’s as if they can’t wait any longer for the substantial expansion of the war – and as if they do not need to reckon with any further danger to themselves.

The danger, brought up every so often, that Russia could get serious about its repeated threats to switch to the use of nuclear weapons of an unspecified caliber is filed away in the same way, without fear. The fact that the USA and the European NATO powers for their part reject any move in the direction of a direct confrontation between the West and Russia and a Third World War that would then be almost impossible to avoid is already seen as a precautionary measure to ensure that this will not happen from the other side either. Above all, what remains of residual risk awareness must not be an objection to the nation’s readiness for war; in any case, the politicians and the media warn the nation much more about signs of weakness, which any consideration of the enemy’s nuclear arsenal could be misunderstood as, than they do against the scenarios whose plans are in the drawers of both Russian and Western war planners for the eventuality of an expansion of the war beyond Ukraine.

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The US in its will to wage war is counting on the logic of military deterrence, which simply goes: If war is to be waged, then it must be waged to be won, and in the certainty that it can be done successfully. This requires the willingness and ability to control the “fortunes of war,” i.e., to always be one step ahead of the enemy in staging and escalating warfare. Anyone who wants an effective deterrence must not even get into the predicament of having to resort to the next highest caliber weapon out of a defensive position; in an emergency, he must put his enemy in this predicament; at least until he no longer wants to keep up, i.e. fight back; ultimately and in truth, until he can no longer defend himself effectively. The type of warfare that starts with nuclear battlefield weapons – those, that is, which destroy and render entire regions useless even as battlefields – should not lead to the final strategic exchange of strikes and is still rejected as impractical by the superpower and its main enemy because of its unsuitability for any imperialist purpose; consequently, they only calculate and prepare all the more carefully.

For the time being, the question that remains is how much the USA wants the war against Russia that it is helping wage in Ukraine. The question is probably already the answer: for the time being, as much as can be done in Ukraine.

Recommended reading:

The three reasons for the war in Ukraine

Russia is struggling to assert itself as a strategic power — America is struggling to finish Russia off as a strategic power

Editorial

Criticism — what’s that?

Shouldn’t criticism be constructive, helping to improve what it criticizes? Do we just want to be negative? It is not our program to contribute well-intentioned suggestions for the success of what we criticize:

These are not unfortunate side effects, “problems” that our politicians must continue to work on. The causes are also not:

All these are inevitable consequences of an economic system, the so-called free market economy, which aims at nothing as trivial as providing for human needs, but only and exclusively the accumulation of capital.

Because one cannot make this system better – on the contrary, it already functions too well! – we have no suggestions for improvement. We insist that these problems exist because of the system.

contact: ruthless_criticism@yahoo.com