At D-Day commemoration, Biden recklessly inflames war with Russia

This week, the leaders of the imperialist powers used the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings to pledge a major escalation of the US-NATO war against Russia, threatening to once again plunge humanity into world war.

The ceremony took place as NATO moved to lift remaining limits on its direct involvement in the war, including the decision to allow Ukraine to use NATO weapons to strike inside Russia, and calls from NATO members, led by France, to deploy NATO troops directly inside Ukraine.

President Joe Biden speaks during ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Normandy. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

While Biden was in Normandy, he gave an interview to ABC News in which he publicly declared that American weapons are “authorized to be used” in strikes against Russia. Interviewer David Muir asked Biden, “Does this at all concern you that it could... draw the US into [war with Russia] in a much larger way?”

Biden replied, “It theoretically could, but it’s not likely,” claiming that the US weapons would only be used to strike Russia “in proximity to the border.”

These are statements of staggering recklessness. Biden declared that his policies could “theoretically” draw the United States into a full-scale war with a nuclear-armed state, potentially leading to the destruction of human civilization, but he is willing to accept those odds.

When asked to reply to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to respond to NATO-backed strikes on Russia with the use of nuclear weapons, an obviously confused Biden declared that he has known the Russian president for “forty years,” an obvious absurdity given that in 1984 Putin was an unknown KGB agent in the USSR.

As WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North remarked, “Life and death decisions are being made by a man with a diminished grasp of reality.”

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Addressing the main commemoration ceremony at the beaches at Normandy, Biden delivered a militaristic tirade, pledging unlimited lives and money to NATO’s goal of subjugating and conquering Russia.

Biden gloated over the deaths of what he said were hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers in the war in Ukraine. “They’ve suffered tremendous losses in Russia, the numbers are staggering – 350,000 Russian troops dead or wounded.”

Despite inflating the Russian casualty figures, and ignoring the undoubtedly much higher Ukrainian death toll, Biden made clear that the war now underway would lead to even more deaths.

“There are things that are worth fighting and dying for,” Biden said. “America is worth it… then, now and always.” The clear implication is that the time is coming when large numbers of American troops will have to be prepared to “die” in the global war that is now spiraling out of control.

Among the things “worth dying for,” Biden said, is “democracy.” But Ukraine, like dozens of other dictatorships propped up by the United States, is not a “democracy.” Ukraine is a country under martial law, in which opponents of the war are threatened and imprisoned, including socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk, and in which fascists hold high positions in the state and military. President Zelensky has exceeded his term in office and has made it clear that he does not intend to hold elections for fear that the mounting popular opposition to the war will find any expression at the polls.

Meanwhile, Israel, the United States’ leading ally in the Middle East, is carrying out a genocide, declaring that the Palestinian population are, in the words of defense minister Yoav Gallant, “human animals.”

As the American leaders were thumping their chests at Russia, Israel—armed, funded and defended by the imperialist powers—marked the occasion of D-Day by attacking a school operated by the United Nations, killing 40 people, including children.

Responding to Israel’s massacre, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller openly embraced and defended the strike, declaring, “You have this site where Hamas is hiding inside a school... those individuals are legitimate targets, but at the same time, they’re embedded near civilians, Israel has a right to try and target those civilians.”

The State Department later claimed that Miller meant that Israel has the right to target “Hamas fighters,” not “civilians.” But if Miller “accidentally” misspoke, it was only by stating openly what is implicit: that the United States defends the systematic massacre of civilians, including children, in pursuit of its military aims.

In other words, the commemoration at Normandy was the backdrop of the ever more direct adoption by the imperialist powers of the most distinguishing aspects of Nazi war policy: the deliberate targeting of civilians for extermination and the willingness to drag the whole world into a global war.

Eighty years after World War II, the world is teetering once again on the verge of full-scale war, this time between nuclear-armed states. All claims that the first two world wars represent a historical exception, never to be repeated, should be put to rest by the statements of Biden and the other imperialist leaders. 

The response of the Russian government to the NATO powers’ escalation of the war is completely bankrupt. Putin alternates between appeals to his “Western partners” to come to their senses and threats of military retaliation and full-scale nuclear war. In fact, Putin has no answer to the drive by the imperialist powers to conquer and subjugate Russia.

Stopping the escalating global war is only possible through the intervention of the working classes of the world, armed with a socialist program of ending the capitalist system that is the root cause of imperialist war.