Part of their worldwide offensive was to take control over the energy resources in the middle east; hence the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Alongside this was an aggressive strategy to take over and gain access to the energy resources of Central Asia. Part of this was to establish friendly regimes in these areas, which would allow them to put a military ring around China and Russia. They have also been moving to set up nuclear weapons systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Last week a US puppet regime, that of Mikheil Saakashvili in the Republic of Georgia, invaded the small area of South Ossetia, which while formally part of Georgia, has been semi independent for the past decade and a half. The armed forces of Georgia, trained20and armed by the US and Israel, attacked and killed civilians and drove people from their homes.
The object was to take the area back into Georgia. The result was different. The Russian government moved in with a massive force of troops and crushed the US and Israeli backed Georgian military, drove them from South Ossetia and also from Abkhazia, the other semi independent area of Georgia which is sympathetic to Russia.
The South Ossetians fear of the Georgian regime is not unfounded and it comes as no surprise that Russia would move to defend the South Ossetians and the Russian minority against Georgian aggression. The Saakashvili regime has a history of autocratic methods covered up by the US mainstream media. Anatol Lieven of the Financial Times points out that, “The Bush administration backed by Congress, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and most of the US media also adopted a highly uncritical attitude to both the undemocratic and chauvinistic aspects of the Saakashvili administration and its growing resemblance to that of the crazed nationalist leader, Zviad Gamsakhurdia in the early 1990’s.” (Financial Times 8-14-08)
Russia is not the only regime in the neighborhood with questionable democratic credentials. Given the tightly controlled US mass media that echoes the White House/Pentagon line, the average American would not only have never heard of Georgia until the present crisis or would mistake it for the southern US state of the same name.
The US and its NATO allies are increasingly bogged down in Afghanistan. Iraq will explode in the faces of the so-called coalition forces in the period ahead. One of the main allies of the US in the area, nuclear-armed Pakistan, is in danger of collapse. The Israeli repression of the Palestinian people continues and the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah makes its control more and more difficult. All recognize the increased influence of Iran in the region. Now with this defeat in Georgia US imperialism's big fist has less power.
The defeat of the US puppet in Georgia is of world significance. The humiliated US regime has had to stand by and watch. As one commentator said all Bush could do was "wring his hands in China." The Russian regime has shown that it has recovered from the collapse of the post Stalinist era and is now prepared to intervene militarily in the areas around its borders which the US was trying to control. There are large Russian minorities in most of the countries on the borders of Russia and the governments in these countries will now have to take their opinions much more in to account.
The offensive of US imperialism of the past decade and a half has received a serious setback. Every country in the world has seen their defeat and humiliation in Georgia and will be more prepared to ignore US orders from now on. Poland has already said that it would now need more guarantees from the US before it would consider allowing US missiles on its soil.
The crushing defeat of the US regime's ally in Georgia represents a change in the balance of forces in the world, a weakening of US Imperialism and a strengthening of the regimes in Russia and China. This will mean that there will be more volatility in the world and also more opposition to US power. US power will no longer be seen as unstoppable.
Alongside this setback for US imperialism in Georgia and the weakening of the power of the US regime worldwide, there has been the recent announcement that China will overtake the US as the world's number one industrial economy in the next two years. This is much sooner than expected. US imperialism is headed towards losing its place as the number one power in the world.
What will be the result of this for the US working class? The more US capitalism loses its world dominance, the less it will be able to make concessions to its own working class at home. US capitalism is already living in debt from day to day. It only survives due to the money loaned to it by its rivals. This cannot go on. Even in this case of Georgia, the US did not hold Russian currency and bonds that it could have threatened to dump to force Russia to back down. In fact it was the opposite. Russia holds large quantities of US dollars and bonds that could have been used to pressure the US to back off. But it did not even have to use these weapons. Nor did it have to threaten to turn off the energy it supplies to Europe. It was able to keep these weapons in reserve and still crush the US puppet. .
A new situation is opening in the US. As it loses its world dominance it will attack its own working class much more. This in turn will increase US working class consciousness and struggle. The working class here will be pushed in the direction of independent action and independent organization; one form this will take will be the building of a mass workers party. This was the tendency when other major imperialist powers lost their world dominance.
New opportunities will open up for the working class movement here but there will be nothing automatic in this. Workers will have to organize and educate and agitate. Nothing will be delivered to us on a plate. We need to organize in the workplaces, the union rank and file, the neighborhoods, we need to create an alternative to the union bureaucracy that is cowed by capital and the bosses and their parties. We need to build an alternative to the system of capitalism that dominates our lives. This cannot be said enough. We as workers have to change our lives and become organizers and activists. We cannot go on as we have been doing.
As we move to become activists and to organize we need to avoid falling into the trap of seeing the regimes of Russia or China as examples. We have to stand for democratic socialist societies where society is run democratically by working class people not bureaucratic and capitalist elites as in Russia and China. And we need to recognize the rights of all minorities and nations to self-determination, not only South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia but Georgia from Russia also. The solution for places like Georgia and Ossetia and Abkhazia is to guarantee the rights of all these different peoples to self-determination, that is that they can determine their own future through democratic decisions. At the same time as guaranteeing this right, we should advocate a world wide democratic socialist federation. We are at a place in history where the problems we face, economic, environmental, military, can only be resolved on a world scale, through a democratic socialist worldwide federation.