By Alan Benjamin
JUNE 28 – The heads of state of the seven most powerful imperialist countries, joined by top officials of the European Union, gathered at the G7 summit in Germany. The seven are the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Japan.
President Biden outlined the needs of the U.S. capitalists. The other participants were summoned to support the U.S. directives — which they did.
The G7 voted to decree new sanctions against Russia – which, like the previous ones, will harm the population the most. It also voted to adopt new measures aimed at promoting U.S. interests against China, which remains Wall Street’s favorite target.
Biden urged the G7 to “stand united” with NATO, the armed wing of U.S. imperialism, which also held its summit this week in Madrid, Spain. The top item on the menu of the G7 and NATO summits was unambiguous: Expand the war against Russia in Ukraine and prepare the war against China tomorrow.
The first order of business at the G7 summit was to accept Sweden and Finland into membership in NATO. Turkish President Erdogan had to be pushed into accepting these two countries. He ended up voting for the proposal, putting aside his objection to what he called the G7 countries’ insufficient assistance hunting down Kurdish militants in Turkey and across Europe.
Biden also demanded that all NATO countries increase their military budgets sharply. The unspoken purpose, of course, was to increase the exorbitant profits for U.S. arms manufacturers.
NATO announced on the eve of the Madrid Summit that it will increase its allied forces in “case of conflict” from 40,000 to 300,000 and place them on “standby.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will also expand the size of its deployments in Poland and the Baltic countries “to increase the level of deterrence” against Russia in the countries in closest proximity to it and to Belarus.
In the face of growing concerns among sectors of the ruling class about what appears to be a march to world war, U.S. imperialism has seen the need to issue new provocations aimed at pushing Putin and the oligarchs into a corner. The Lithuanian government’s blockade of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (between the Baltic Sea, Lithuania and Poland) is a real declaration of war, thousands of miles from Ukraine. Putin responded by announcing that he would deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to neighboring Belarus.
Four months into the war, UN figures (probably underestimated) report 10,000 civilian casualties killed or wounded in Ukraine, and 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 15,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers killed.
The workers and oppressed people do not want war and its deaths and destruction – not in Ukraine, not in Africa, not in Afghanistan, not in Yemen, not in Palestine. These wars are all being waged exclusively “for the interests of the super-rich,” as jailed Russian activist Mikhail Lobanov declared before his judges.
Lobanov, who is a teacher at Moscow State University and head of the trade union Ouniversitetskaya Solidarnost, was sentenced to 15 days in prison and a fine of 40,000 rubles (US$800) under a new article of the Criminal Code that punishes citizens accused of “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation” – that is, for expressing publicly an antiwar point of view. The sentence could be increased at a second trial. He told the judge:
“Yes, I did say that Putin and his top officials are only defending the interests of their super-rich class. And I will continue to say it. This war is waged by the super-rich to maintain their domination, against the interests and lives of hundreds of millions of Russians and Ukrainians. It is ‘class against class,’ and not nation against nation.”
In order to advance the cause of peace between peoples, it is urgent that the leaders of the parties and organizations that speak in the name of the working class break with the war-mongering governments and with NATO.
• Russian Troops Out of Ukraine!
• US/NATO Troops Out of Ukraine!
• Dismantle NATO!
• No Putin, No Biden!
• No Sanctions
• $Billions for Human Needs, Education & Healthcare, Not War!
 This past week, for example, war-profiteer BAE Systems announced that it is shipping M-777 Howitzers worth $300 million to Ukraine, a shipment paid with our tax dollars. BAE, in fact, spends hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby members of Congress. Among the politicians who receive campaign funds from BAE are Bernie Sanders, Alejandra Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren. Democrats and Republicans all have voted for billions in arms shipments to Ukraine since the war started. (Counterpunch article by Medea Benjamin)