Voices from Russia

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Perhaps You Missed It: We’re at War with Russia

00 evil uncle sam. 28.05.14

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The USA is waging economic, financial, trade, and political war against Russia and even kinetic war-by-proxy in the Ukraine. Worryingly, nobody in power in the USA or Europe really seems willing to tell us exactly why. From the Russian point of view, everything from its plunging rouble to bitter sanctions to the falling price of oil is the USA’s fault, either directly or indirectly. Whether that’s fair is irrelevant; that’s the Russian POV now. Therefore, no surprise, it doesn’t dispose them toward goodwill negotiations with the West generally and the USA specifically. Until the arrest Monday of an alleged Russian spy in the Bronx, the anti-Russian stance in the American media had quieted down significantly, presumably, as the political leadership moved its attention on to other things, leaving Russia largely out of the American news cycle. Throughout, though, there continued to be plenty of serious action taking place in Russia and the Ukraine… including what one could describe as a re-escalation of the conflict in Novorossiya… as well as related activity in the USA deserving of our careful attention.

The USA (via John Kerry) and NATO steadily accused Russia of having funnelled hundreds of tanks, APCs, and other heavy equipment to the Novorossiyan forces. These assertions bring to mind the Sherlock Holmes case of the dog that didn’t bark, where the absence of a piece of evidence leads us to a very different conclusion than the one the American political establishment would like us to believe. The sorts of weaponry that NATO and the USA charged Russia with providing are virtually impossible to hide from the air. Snapping high-resolution photos of such war machinery is child’s play for today’s military satellites, and even civilian ones too. If the assertions were true, we should’ve seen a flood of photographs of Russian heavy equipment every step of the way as it passed into the Ukraine. However, no one offered such, not even one so far. Moreover, the simplest explanation for this is that none exists. If they did, you can be 100 percent certain that the US government would’ve released them and had them replayed repeatedly on CNN until everybody and their uncle could distinguish a T-72 tank from a T-64.

What concerns me even more than these undocumented charges are two especially ill-conceived, if not overtly confrontational, pieces of legislation passed by Congress in December. The first is H.Res 758, passed on 4 December, which, amongst other charges, accused Russia of having invaded the Ukraine, again without providing or referring to any sort of evidence photographic or otherwise. Entitled “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighbouring countries aimed at political and economic domination” the resolution has a variety of one-sided assertions and leaves no diplomatic wiggle room for the possibility that Russia sees what’s transpired in the Ukraine differently. According to Ron Paul, these sorts of resolutions are dangerous because they politically commit the American political structure to rigid stances that’re politically difficult to back down from; historically, they’ve been a stepping stone on the path to war.

On 11 December, the Senate passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, or S.2828. This goes even further than merely condemning Russia; it authorises distributing both lethal and non-lethal military aid to Kiev, including sniper and assault rifles, mortars and shells, stinger missiles, anti-tank missiles, night vision goggles, radar systems, and a host of other hardware items. If we turned the tables around, if it were Russian lawmakers passing a resolution condemning the USA for a variety of international crimes for which they offered exactly zero proof, then, actively armed a dangerous conflict right on the American border, I think we all know just how ablaze with indignity the American political leadership would be, and rightly so.

Therefore, it isn’t surprising that Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said in response, “Both houses of the US Congress approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law can’t but evoke profound regret. Once again, Washington levels baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatens more sanctions”. The bizarre part of this story is that I can’t yet find any credible analysis or commentary explaining exactly what American interests in the Ukraine are so compelling as to risk increasing confrontation with Russia. Moreover, it bothers a great many analysts that the USA is on an increasingly combative course with yet another country without providing any evidence in support of its accusations and actions… again.

In response, Russia is rapidly withdrawing from additional dialogue with the USA and Europe, drawing ever closer to China, Turkey, and India. Russians feel that they’re already under siege from the USA, and that the USA has already committed acts of war. Despite being almost completely out of the American news cycle, events are in and around the Ukraine situation are actually picking up pace. On 15 January, junta strongman Poroshenko signed a decree mobilising 50,000 new servicemen to the front lines, whilst Russia announced that Europe would have to accept gas via Turkey, it’s shutting down the route through the Ukraine. This situation remains much more fluid and nuanced than the Western media is telling us, with much more to this story than a short column allows, those interested in delving deeper can read our latest report here.

In short, the situation is getting more strained, not less, and it has the very real chance of blossoming into something far larger and more deadly than the sparse coverage in the Western press might imply. If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war. These events should concern everyone greatly, but especially European readers.

20 January 2015

Chris Martenson

MarketWatch

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/perhaps-you-missed-it-were-at-war-with-russia-2015-01-20

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