Biden signs bipartisan bill for world war

Patrick Martin
24 April 2024 – https://www.wsws.org/

US President Joe Biden signed legislation Wednesday morning that provides $95 billion more for the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, for the Israeli military, now in the seventh month of a genocidal slaughter in Gaza, and for preparing Taiwan as a US military base against China. The bill was approved by huge bipartisan majorities in the House of Representatives Saturday and by a vote of 78-19 in the Senate Tuesday night.

President Joe Biden speaks before signing a $95 billion Ukraine aid package that also includes support for Israel, Taiwan and others, Wednesday, April 24, 2024 in Washington D.C. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

By linking together in a single piece of legislation the war spending for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, the bill signifies that the Biden administration and the US ruling elite as a whole do not view these conflicts as separate and distinct. They are, rather, connected theaters in a global war. American imperialism is fighting on a vast front which stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, then through the Middle East and Central Asia, all the way to China and the Pacific.

In televised remarks after the bill’s signing, Biden spoke mainly of the war in Ukraine, which he presented as a response to an unprovoked invasion. He gave an absurd reprisal of the “domino theory,” the ideological basis of the Vietnam War.

“If Putin triumphs in Ukraine,” Biden declared, “the next move of Russian forces could very well be a direct attack on a NATO ally,” triggering Article Five of the NATO convention and all-out war.

In fact, the war against Russia in Ukraine was deliberately instigated by imperialism, through the expansion of NATO through all of Eastern Europe, the absorption of former Soviet republics in the Baltic states, and, now, the threatened inclusion of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

The imperialist powers have treated the Ukrainian population as cannon fodder as they have systematically escalated the war, to the point where the regime has lowered the draft age and begun rounding up men on the streets to send them into the slaughter.

In the same statement, Biden announced that massive shipments of military equipment, prepared in advance, would be on their way to Ukraine.

He said:

In the next few hours—literally, the few hours—we’re going to begin sending in equipment to Ukraine for air defense; munitions for artillery, for rocket systems; and armored vehicles.

Press reports indicated that $1 billion in arms and ammunition was being flown to Ukraine from bases in Europe and the United States.

At the same time, the New York Times reported the deployment of US-made long-range ATACMS missiles, a major escalation that will allow Ukraine to strike Russian targets throughout Crimea, the majority-Russian peninsula extending south of Ukraine into the Black Sea.

David North, editorial board chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, wrote on Twitter/X in response to Biden’s statement and the Times report:

The Biden administration has crossed another “red line,” secretly providing Kiev with long-range missiles that can strike targets well within Russia. There are no limits to the US escalation of its de facto war against Russia.

One can assume that a “secret” decision has already been taken to deploy US and NATO combat forces within Ukraine. The only question is whether the direct intervention of the US in the war will be announced before or after the November election.

In a separate article, the Times reported on a massive mobilization of 90,000 NATO troops this spring in Europe, in what it called “a preview of what the opening beats of a modern Great Power conflict could look like.”

As for Israel, Biden said nothing about the onslaught on Gaza, which has been denounced as genocide by international institutions and by millions of people marching in the streets on every continent. He presented Israel as the victim of aggression by Hamas and Iran. “My commitment to Israel,” Biden declared, “I want to make clear again, is ironclad.”

He went on to thank Congress for passing the legislation, “especially the bipartisan leadership: Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson; Leader Jeffries; Leaders Schumer and McConnell. They don’t always agree, but when it matters most, they stepped up and did the right thing.”

His embrace of Johnson, an ultra-right Christian fundamentalist, came only a few hours before Johnson’s trip to Columbia University in New York City, where he blasted students as “antisemites” for opposing Israeli genocide in Gaza. He called for the deployment of the New York Police Department or the National Guard to suppress anti-Israel protests and disperse the tent city established on the campus by anti-genocide activists.

Biden’s testimonial to those he calls his “Republican friends” and “colleagues” demonstrates the reality of this 2024 election year. The United States has a bipartisan government in which there are no fundamental differences between the two capitalist parties.

Joseph Kishore, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, responded to the passage of the bill and the wave of repression unleashed throughout the country by stating:

In the 2024 elections there is no “lesser evil” between the Democrats and Republicans. The police state crackdown on opponents of the Gaza genocide is directed by the two parties of the ruling elite, united on war and the assault on democratic rights.

We agree with this assessment. Both parties defend American imperialism and its bloody military adventures overseas, which risk igniting a nuclear war that would mean the destruction of human civilization. Both parties defend the genocide being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, which provides an advance warning of the criminal methods that the imperialist powers are preparing to use far more widely.

Both parties agree with Biden’s assertion of the global hegemony of American imperialism—the “indispensable nation … the world’s superpower,” as he called it. The US president boasted, “We don’t merely watch global events unfold; we shape them.”

And both parties are backing the massive crackdown on protests against the genocide, including the arrest of hundreds of students on college campuses throughout the country.

A poll by CNN, reported Wednesday, found that 76 percent of Americans under 30 oppose the Biden administration’s policy of all-out support for Israel. The mass opposition among youth, both college students and young workers, is not just a generational phenomenon. It expresses the deep hostility among tens of millions of workers both to the horrific crimes being committed in Gaza and the demand that they must sacrifice living standards and social benefits to pay for the gargantuan US military budget.

The building of a genuine socialist and anti-war movement, rooted in the working class and independent of and opposed to both the Democrats and Republicans, is the central political task.