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The crisis in Ukraine

From World Socialist Web Site - March 3

The crisis that has erupted in Ukraine following the right-wing coup engineered by the United States and Germany and the intervention of Russia into Crimea has created the most dangerous international confrontation since the end of World War II. Almost overnight, in a manner not seen since the 1930s, ultimatums are being issued and military forces are being placed on high alert in Europe.

All of the claims that the dissolution of the Soviet Union signaled the end of the 20th century era of wars and revolutions have been blown to pieces by the events of the past several days. The 20th century was the “unfinished century,” whose unresolved economic, social and political contradictions underlie the explosive tensions of the present century. One hundred years after the outbreak of World War I and 75 years since the beginning of World War II, mankind is again facing the dangers of world war and fascism.

Obama and Kerry lecture Russia on Ukraine

From World Socialist Web Site - March 1

US Secretary of State John Kerry used a State Department press conference Friday to lecture Russia on the necessity to uphold the “stability” and “territorial integrity” of Ukraine as Western intervention has brought the situation there to the boiling point.

The remarks came just shy of one week after the concerted intervention of the United States, Germany, France and other European powers led to a violent coup by fascist and far-right forces in the capital of Kiev.

“The United States totally supports the Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the sovereignty [sic], and we expect other nations to do the same,” Kerry declared. He added that he had earlier that day instructed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that “it is important for everybody to be extremely careful not to inflame the situation and not to send the wrong messages.”

US and Japanese troops train for war against China

From World Socialist Web Site - February 28

A prominent article in the New York Times last weekend left no doubt about US-Japanese preparations for war or the intended target. Entitled “In Japan’s drill with the US, a message for Beijing”, the article covered US Marines training Japan’s newly-formed amphibious force in “how to invade and retake an island captured by hostile forces.”

While the joint exercise, codenamed Iron Fist, is an annual event, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John O’Neal declared that the Japanese troops came this year with “a new sense of purpose.” The 250-strong unit—up from just 25 soldiers in 2006—arrived with “their own “Humvees, gear and paraphernalia for retaking islands—or, in Marine parlance, ‘amphibious assault with the intent to seize objectives inland’.” O’Neal explained that the month-long exercise at Camp Pendleton in southern California was the “largest and most involved operation so far.”

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

From World Socialist Web Site - February 27

The defeat of the United Auto Workers in a union recognition vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.

Over the last two weeks, the New York Times, the Nation, the American Prospect, In These Times, Labor Notes, Socialist Worker and other publications have characterized the 712-626 vote against recognizing the UAW as a defeat for the VW workers and for American labor more broadly.

According to their narrative, which echoes that of the union leadership, the UAW is a “progressive” organization whose loss is the result of antiunion Republicans playing upon the backwardness of southern workers and manipulating them to vote against their own interests.

This narrative is a reactionary fiction.

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