THE fact that the deepening capitalist crisis is turning the whole planet into a US war zone has begun to seriously alarm the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy, led by President Putin.
Recently, the new US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, put a congressional committee on notice that the US must have a variety of thoroughly prepared armed forces for all kinds of wars, since ‘we do not know what will happen in countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.’
The fact that Russia and China were put in the same bag as Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ states, Iran and North Korea, has shocked the Russian military staff.
Col-Gen Leonid Ivashov responded by saying that Russia now had ‘to revise its military doctrine and take the problem of military security more seriously’.
Yesterday, US generals were again ratcheting up the war fever against Iran, following the instructions of President Bush to hit out at it.
The generals stated that 170 coalition troops had been killed in Iraq by bombs and other weapons supplied by Iran to the insurgents, and that the Iranian government was ordering that more of this equipment be sent to Iraq.
This same US general staff is on the point of introducing a new missile system into Eastern Europe which the Russian government believes is aimed at the Russian Federation.
Behind the drive to war is the deepening crisis of the world capitalist system, and the need of the US ruling class to secure the world’s oil, gas and other energy resources for itself.
As is well known, the Russian Federation, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa are the key areas in this struggle. It is no accident that last week the US announced that it is establishing an Africa Command!
This situation has forced President Putin to remark at an international Conference in Munich: ‘What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single centre of power, one single centre of force and one single master.’
Yesterday, Putin was on his way to the Middle East to meet the Saudi, Jordanian and Qatari leaderships to discuss their fears about what their ‘master’ is up to.
However, the Stalinist bureaucracy has no answer to this critical situation, since the basis for it was established when Gorbachev and Yeltsin wound up the USSR, against the wishes of the Soviet people, and handed over entire state-owned industries to their cronies who became bourgeois billionaires overnight.
Putin has replaced the theory of socialism in a single country, with Russian nationalism. Putin is making demands on Belarus and other Soviet Republics that instead of seeking the return of the USSR they must join the Russian Federation and allow their state-owned industries to be bought up by his bourgeois oligarchs.
These demands are pushing Belarus away towards the EU, and causing huge damage to Russia. Belarus is a country that stands astride the invasion route into Russia. Its defection would completely undermine the military defence of Russia, and this is what Putin’s policy is doing.
The key defence of Russia, however, is its political defence. Putin is incapable of even posing this task. At its centre is the building of the Fourth International to lead the world socialist revolution to overthrow the capitalist ruling classes of the US and Europe, destroying the imperialist powers.
All over the world the working class is under attack by capitalism, and all over the world the class struggle is sharpening. The answer to the crisis of imperialism and the drive to war is the world socialist revolution.
As a vital part of this revolution, the Trotskyist movement must be built up in all of the Soviet republics to unite the working class against Putin’s Russian nationalism and his bourgeois politics. The Stalinist bureaucracy and the bourgeoisie that it has spawned must be overthrown in a political revolution and the USSR and rule through soviets restored by revolutionary means.
This is the only way forward for the working class of Russia and the world. Bankrupt capitalism and blood-soaked imperialism must be replaced by a world socialist republic.