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Damaged buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine
Author and MFP Advisory Board member Joseph B. Atkins writes that the true motivation behind U.S. leaders' investment in the war in Ukraine is greed. “The neoliberal establishment in Washington is bound and determined to cripple Russia even at the risk of countless deaths, not only in Ukraine but around the world,” he writes. Photo by Maksym Pozniak-Haraburda on Unsplash

Russia, Ukraine and The United States—A Geopolitical Dance of Death

OXFORD, Miss.—The Beat poet Gregory Corso came from a generation that most viscerally understood how the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of World War II changed the world. He wrote a poem about it in 1958 appropriately titled, “BOMB.” 

“I do not know just how horrible Bomb Death is. I can only imagine. 

Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview…

Corpse the universe … O Bomb, O final Pied Piper 

 Know that the earth will madonna the Bomb 

that in the hearts of men to come more bombs will be born 

magisterial bombs wrapped in ermine all beautiful 

and they’ll sit plunk on earth’s grumpy empires 

fierce with mustaches of gold.” 

“Bomb” written and read by Gregory Corso. Courtesy YouTube

Don’t you love that line, “so laughable a preview”? Did it make you think of former comedian, now current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Washington, D.C., where President Biden, then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell toasted and lauded him with affection and admiration—the same leaders who called the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine against Russia the nation’s number one priority? 

Zelenskyy, looking buff in his green sweatshirt, even got a kiss from 82-year-old Pelosi, when what he really wanted was yet more billions of dollars and weapons to use against Russians. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is brutal, Russia doesn’t want a belligerent NATO member on their border, one that has already warred against the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine for eight years.

Zelenskyy hardly thanked Congress for the billions he’s already received before he asked for more, assuring his fawning audience that it’s an investment, not a dubious handout to what has been designated as the most corrupt nation in Europe. 

Never mind that Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine and other measures that could plunge the world into a third world war and nuclear Armageddon. The neoliberal establishment in Washington—including Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who championed the 2014 coup that installed a pro-Western leadership in Kyiv and set the stage for the current war—is bound and determined to cripple Russia even at the risk of countless deaths, not only in Ukraine but around the world. 

‘Without War, No State Can Be’

Why do they want to cripple Russia? To claim its markets, eliminate its potential as an economic rival, and free U.S. and other Western corporations for further exploitation of the world. The bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline is the clearest evidence for this. Now bootlicking Europe has to buy its fuel from the United States, at a much higher price than it was paying Russia, of course. Once Russia is crippled, the focus can shift to China, an even more threatening economic competitor. 

President Joe Biden walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President Joe Biden walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in the Center Hall of the White House. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

The true motivation of the proxy war in Ukraine is greed. When Biden finally shut down the United States’ 20-year war in Afghanistan, the insatiable wolves of the military-industrial complex howled in anger. They had to be fed, and he knew it. 

Biden and his son Hunter’s deep knowledge of and investment in corrupt Ukraine; the antipathy toward Russia that he and fellow Democrats like Hillary Clinton shared; the slavishness of allies like the European Union coupled with the U.S. domination of NATO—all made Ukraine perfect as the next battleground. To hell with Russia’s eight years of pleas for a negotiated neutrality in Ukraine, and to hell with the Ukrainian people.  

“War is the primary politics of EVERYTHING that lives,” the German philosopher Oswald Spengler wrote in his 1918 magnum opus The Decline of the West: “So much so that in the deeps, battle and life are one, and being and will-to-battle expire together. The aim, too, remains the same—namely the growth of one’s life-unit (class or nation) at the cost of the others.” 

The 19th century German historian Heinrich von Treitschke praised the “sacredness” of war. “Without war no State could be. … The laws of human thought and of human nature forbid any alternative, neither is one to be wished for.” 

Those are the voices that today echo through the halls of the U.S. State Department, Wall Street and at NATO headquarters in Brussels.  

A voice not heard in those unhallowed halls is that of 19th century Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov, who defined evil as “the state of tension of a will which asserts itself exclusively, denying every other.” Solovyov believed “suffering is the necessary reaction of the other against such a will.” 

In other words, war and utter selfishness—translation, greed—are evil. Sadly, Solovyov concluded that only the end of the world will destroy evil. 

In the theater of the absurd that is today’s “Collective West,” a kind of macabre dance is taking place. A “laughable preview” Corso would call the procession of its greed-and-ambition-blinded leaders behind the “final Pied Piper,” their beautiful, ermine-wrapped bomb. Onward they march toward the “corpse” of the universe that is the ultimate end of their machinations.   

This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Free Press, its staff or board members. To submit an essay for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and sources fact-checking the included information to We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.

Editor’s Note: Joseph B. Atkins serves on the Mississippi Free Press advisory board.

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