You probably think I’m talking about the Republican party conciliators a la Boehner, but no. I’m talking about the whole world.
Every day the news seems to this observer to get worse and worse. Our compulsion to bring down Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has become a matter of global record, blatantly illegal under international law, as our politicians publicly discuss how they can make an army out of a wide variety of murderous gangs in Syria, how many arms they can provide these laughably-named Freedom Fighters, and how much logistical support we can throw in. This isn’t highly hush-hush back-door double-dealing as in Kosovo, where we secretly helped the KLA against Belgrade while pretending to act as peacekeepers. This is open, in-your-face, whadda ya gonna do about it militarism and yes, that silly word, imperialism. There are now rumors that the US would like a little regime change in Israel, which just goes to show how quickly a government can become a “regime” if the US is offended. Since we have an imperial president, we should have no problem with our imperial foreign policy, under which we occupy not so much territory, beyond all the US and NATO military bases we are establishing in other people’s countries, but markets — arms markets, oil markets, consumer markets.
Moving along from one quagmire to the next, the West under US guidance is currently waging a ferocious economic war against the Russian Federation, that country that stretches eleven time zones, and it is doing a good job of damaging the Russian economy. But if Serbia could withstand the sanctions and punishments of the West for as long as it has, Russia can withstand it even longer. Furthermore, the fall-out from Russia’s woes will not be, cannot be, confined to Russia. Russian money has been a boon to the EU countries, and that money is going to pull out of the EU as Russia circles the wagons and prepares to defend its life. As Stratfor analyst George Friedman said in a post I copied here the other day, Russians suffer better than practically anyone in the world (except maybe the Chinese). West Europeans do not suffer well at all. And the struggling economies of eastern Europe (looking from Moscow) are of course most vulnerable to the loss of easy trade to the east. At this point, what the West is doing is focusing the attention of the Russian nation and making it feel in a very real way the threat that emanates from the West. It is unifying the Russians like nothing else possibly could. By attempting to move militarily into Ukraine, the West forced Russia to make its military counter-moves and now the West is elevating the threat level. The latest news is that NATO has admitted an increase in its presence in the Russian border region, but insists everything is on the up-and-up, totally transparent and above-board (unlike those sneaky Russians). So is a train rolling toward you at 200 mph. Totally straight-forward. Still I have yet to hear something from NATO HQ or even NATO loose lips about the issue of flying without transponders — do NATO jets do turn off their transponders in the vicinity of the Russian border? A simple yes or no will suffice.
From the Russian side, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev had a few words in response to western indignation over the recent near-miss of a Swedish civilian plane and combat aircraft out of Russia:
… Lieutenant-General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s joint military command center told Bloomberg news that NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe is becoming a concern for Moscow. “The Russian Defense Ministry leadership has repeatedly expressed its concerns over the significant increase of NATO military activity near the Russian borders,” Mizintsev said. The General was quick to point out that NATO’s flights have doubled to about 3,000 this year. Mizintsev told Bloomberg that foreign jets were flying in “dangerous proximity” to Russian long-range military aircraft at least on 55 occasions at a distance of less than 100 meters, in 2013-14. Russia’s missions were “as risky as NATO aircraft flights near the Russian border can be considered risky,” Mizintsev said.
I sit here wondering who the hell is making these mad decisions. Gen. Philip Breedlove, an American in NATO and its woefully wrong-footed SACEUR, is getting to be openly referred to among Russians and many Europeans as well as Dr. Strangelove. The man comes across as a Cold War relic, a bellicose, arrogant and demanding American. But it isn’t only Breedlove; the entire professional apparat of NATO, including a slew of recycled retirees from the Cold War gang, are demanding NATO step up to the plate over Ukraine. And at home of course, we have not only the usual cohort of Russophobes and warmongers, to include John McCain, but we have the human rights crowd on the left, which lives off the detritus of war through the many NGO money-suckers.
We are picking up speed toward a grave encounter. The West has its claws in Ukraine and Russia won’t give it up without a fight. In the meantime, watch for the European pacifists to begin agitating and organizing as Russia redeploys its weapons closer to its western border and ramps up rearmament and modernization. Those are things Russia can do without help from the West or the expenditure of a single dollar. The future is looking pretty bleak — the closer and tougher we get with each other, the more likely that a single miscalculation or misunderstanding can be the spark that ignites the war. It pains me that so few people seem to care.