US Escalates Confrontation with Russia
by Stephen Lendman
US anti-Russian provocations began increasing long before Washington's Ukraine coup. More recently, they've grown more belligerent.
Sanctions continue as one element of Obama's strategy despite their ineffectiveness and increased Sino/Russian ties - an alliance challenging US dominance.
A previous article discussed Obama considering aggressive action against Russia - including deploying nuclear-armed missiles in Europe targeting its heartland - on the bogus pretext of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF 1987) violations.
Last summer, Moscow categorically denied them. A baseless State Department report claimed "the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles" - presenting no corroborating evidence as proof.
A Russian response at the time said "American officials cite classified intelligence, when questioned about their findings."
"The value of such intelligence has been amply proven by the ‘Iraqi weapons of mass destruction’ myth."
"Such undercover research becomes even less trustworthy, with regular leaks of obviously untrue and provocative pieces of information about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, while data coming from sources beyond US control gets ignored."
"Years pass, but the Americans have learned nothing." Double standard duplicity defines their policies. They're developing and deploying missiles violating INF principles.
Russia's Foreign Ministry accused Washington of "systematically carrying out a plan to dismantle the global strategic stability system."
Its baseless accusations against Russia are "tendentious and provocative," it said. Its destabilizing actions began by withdrawing from the ABM Treaty post-9/11.
"Now it is aggravated by a rapid and unlimited build-up of US global missile defense system, unwillingness to clean up the territory of other states from the US tactical nuclear arsenal deployed there, elaboration of a provocative strategy of Prompt Global Strike, and an excessive build-up of conventional weapons, including their offensive components."
America preaches arms control, but practices proliferation. It policies are polar opposite its demands on other nations.
On June 13, The New York Times
headlined "US Is Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe," saying:
"In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries, American and allied officials say."
It'll be the first time since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution that US heavy weapons and combat troops will he positioned near Russia's borders - the latest provocation on top of numerous others.
Claiming the move is to reassure NATO allies is pure rubbish. The whole world knows Russia threatens no one. Putin is the continent's leading peacemaker. He has no revanchist ambitions.
Claims otherwise are Big Lies. The proposal needs White House and Defense Department approval - perhaps mere formalities.
On the one hand, some NATO members expressed concern. On the other, Baltic countries want US forces stationed on their territory despite no threats they face.
Latvia's President-elect, Raimonds Vejonis, said "(w)e need the prepositioned equipment because if something happens, we’ll need additional armaments, equipment and ammunition."
"If something happens, we can’t wait days or weeks for more equipment. We need to react immediately."
Imagine the uproar in Washington if Russia planned prepositioning troops and/or heavy weapons on America's northern and/or southern borders. Imagine hawkish lunatics calling for nuclear war to prevent it.
America's increasing Eastern Europe military buildup risks possible direct confrontation with Moscow. Will WW III follow?
A Final Comment
On June 15, Russian Defense Ministry official Yuri Yakubov responded to Washington's planned Eastern European military buildup saying:
"In case the US heavy weaponry, including battle tanks, artillery systems and other combat weaponry is going to be deployed in a number of Eastern European countries and the Baltics, it is going to be the most aggressive step of Pentagon and NATO since the end of the last century's Cold War."
"(T)here will be nothing left for Russia but to build up its might and means at strategic western locations."
"The Russian Ground Forces' guided missile brigade stationed in the westernmost Kaliningrad region will be promptly reequipped with the Iskander-M ballistic missile systems, and Russia’s combined forces in Belarus will also be considerably reequipped."
"We have completely withdrawn from (the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty) which many European countries have not stuck to, and we (now) have a free hand in organizing responsive measures strengthening our western borders."
Nothing good can come from Washington's increasing belligerence. Provocations risk war.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.