This report was initially written for our premium subscribers. But given the significance of the topic, we're making a rare exception and releasing it to the general public.
I wish I could say things were improving between the US and Russia but they aren't. They're rapidly worsening.
There’s so much happening right now, I can only provide a summary of a few of the more interesting and worrying developments.
This report builds on those I've released over the past two years and begins with a chilling editorial put out by the NY Times on September 29th, 2016, which further demonized Putin specifically, Russia generally, and openly advocates for military confrontation.
Hey, we’ve been down this path before. The deeply conflicted NY Times has never met a war in the Middle East it didn’t support, and has never had any trouble repeating war plan talking points (that always neatly align with those put out by neocon think tanks) or even printing obviously fake “intelligence” from unnamed sources such as that used to justify the illegal US attack and invasion of Iraq.
As a reminder for my US readers who many only have read US press sources on the matter, prior to being attacked Iraq had never threatened the US, had no role in 9/11, and had allowed extensive UN access to its country’s military bases none of which ever showed the slightest trace of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. And, even if they had been producing these so-called weapons of mass destruction (weapons which are also owned and maintained in the US, for the record), there was still no legal case for an attack by the US because pre-emptive attacks are not justifiable, ever.
What the NY Times has done, again, I fear, is served as a conduit for neocon talking points and therefore has become a propaganda arm readying the US population for another war, this one with Russia. This is a very disturbing development.
Here’s the editorial, into which I have inserted comments where appropriate [in brackets]. Remember, propaganda is designed to elicit core emotional responses such as fear, anger, moral indignation, and a sense of threat to one’s very survival:
Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State
Sept 29, 2016
President Vladimir Putin is fast turning Russia into an outlaw nation. As one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, his country shares a special responsibility to uphold international law. Yet, his behavior in Ukraine and Syria violates not only the rules intended to promote peace instead of conflict, but also common human decency.[Which “rules intended to promote peace” is the NY Times referring to here? The same sorts of rules that led NATO to bomb Libya back into the stone age? Or are these the “rules” that allow a country to manufacture fake evidence on Iraq and then attack that country unleashing a decade of bitter sectarian violence? Also, how does “common human decency fit into that schema? I’m truly curious.]
This bitter truth was driven home twice on Wednesday. An investigative team led by the Netherlands concluded that the surface-to-air missile system that shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine in July 2014, killing 298 on board, was sent from Russia to Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.[The MH-17 disaster is anything but clear-cut and the JIT investigation was heavily compromised from the start. Nothing like the claim being made here is supported by the actual investigation evidence presented. This is pure, unsupported speculation at this stage. More on this at a later date.]
Meanwhile, in Syria, Russian and Syrian warplanes knocked out two hospitals in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo as part of an assault that threatens the lives of 250,000 more people in a war that has already claimed some 500,000 Syrian lives.[Meanwhile, in Afghanistan the US bombed a MSF hospital and has killed ~90% innocents with its drone program. Also, not to pick nits, but the US and European interests funded and started the war in Syria. It seems a bit short-sighted to now claim that Russia bears some special responsibility for the lives at stake. You have to forget everything that happened prior to this moment.]
Russia has tried hard to pin the blame for the airline crash on Ukraine. But the new report, produced by prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, confirms earlier findings. It uses strict standards of evidence and meticulously documents not only the deployment of the Russian missile system that caused the disaster but also Moscow’s continuing cover-up.[Nope. Just nope. I’ll detail why in a future report, but the MH-17 investigation was bogus from the get go. Short version: there were only two suspects, the Ukrainian military and rebels. The Ukrainian secret service (SBU) was inside the investigation from the beginning and supplied all of the ‘evidence’ against Russia and the rebels. What investigation ever has one of the prime suspects supplying the evidence? As I said, completely rigged and bogus.]
Some Western officials have accused Russia of war crimes, charges that could be pursued through international channels, even if Moscow blocks a formal referral to the International Criminal Court. New sanctions against Russia also should be considered. Mr. Putin will undoubtedly fight any such action, using his veto on the Security Council, but whatever his response, the United States should lend its support to Ukraine’s quest for accountability.
[“Some western officials?” There the NYT goes again with the unnamed sources. How about you name names this time NY Times? Well, in truth, a whole host of named individuals and organizations have accused the US of war crimes, as well as Israel, which the US has routinely blocked. Glass houses and all of that.]
Over recent days, Mr. Putin has again shown his true colors with air attacks that have included powerful bunker-busting bombs that can destroy underground hospitals and safety zones where civilians seek shelter.[Note the slippery use of the word ‘can’ in this sentence. Have they been used to target and destroy hospitals and civilian safety zones, or not?]
On Sept. 19, Russia bombed an aid convoy, which like hospitals and civilians are not supposed to be targeted under international law.[Russia denies this, and has also released radar evidence showing that the only planes in the region at the time were two US drones, plus the sort of damage seen on the fire-destroyed trucks is consistent with the damage caused by the US drone based Hellfire missile. If the US wants to release some radar data showing Russian planes in the area or other compelling evidence, then we can all be more confident in that claim. For now the NY Times is repeating an unproven assertion made by the US State Department.]
President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria. And Mr. Putin may be assuming that Mr. Obama is unlikely to confront Russia in his final months and with an American election season in full swing. But with the rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat of falling to the government, administration officials said that such a response is again under consideration.[The “rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat” is interesting use of evocative language. However the nature of war is that the sides attempt to take key positions form each other. The “rebels’ in question are some of the most dodgy humans to ever walk the planet. The rebels backed by the US include nasty elements of Al-Nusra, Al-Qaida, ISIS and a host of really vile outfits. If you are not aware, these groups have executed thousands of civilians, taken sex slaves, and conducted other horrible crimes against the innocent. ]
Mr. Putin fancies himself a man on a mission to restore Russia to greatness. Russia could indeed be a great force for good. Yet his unconscionable behavior — butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine, annexing Crimea, computer-hacking American government agencies, crushing dissent at home — suggests that the furthest thing from his mind is becoming a constructive partner in the search for peace.[Pay close attention to that word “unconscionable.” It really stood out for me here and I knew something was up when I heard it used again by a US official. It will soon appear again in media quotes below. For now, let’s just note that every act declared as 'unconscionable' has also recently been done by the US: civilians have been ‘butchered’ (again a strongly evocative word very different from the ‘collateral damage and targeting mistakes’ that the US reserves for its own actions), computers have been hacked (even Angela Merkel’s cell phone as you may recall), and peaceful protests have been crushed in the US, most recently a peaceful prayer circle of Native Americans at Standing Rock by heavily armed LEO’s who brought armored personnel carriers for the task)]
Okay, that editorial was yet another in a long line from the NY Times which has never met a neocon-proposed war it didn’t blindly support. Supposedly the bastion of the east coast liberal elites, the NY Times is actually acting once again more like the personal propaganda arm of the US necons and Israeli likuds who have been dragging the US into one war after another.
As I’ve written about extensively in the past, a war this time could mean anything from a shooting (kinetic) war, to a cyberwar, financial or trade war, or even a hacking attack that takes out the grid or other critical infrastructure. If you want to go deeper into the details of what that might mean and how you should prepare, we have a more extensive Part 2 of this report prepared.
Now, lets continue on with our thesis that a propaganda effort is underway to drag the US into yet another useless war. This one with the potential to literally end the US as a going concern.
I’m going to skip over a few events here so we can connect this propaganda dot. Then we’ll get back to the other worrying events that show how the situation with Russia is deteriorating badly.
Fast forward just five days from that NY Times editorial and we read this:
White House Warns of 'Actions' If Russia Won't Negotiate
Oct 4, 2016
President Obama faces an increasingly stark choice in Syria — he can order American military action or watch thousands of women and children die as the rebel stronghold of Aleppo falls.
So far, he has shown no willingness to launch a U.S. military response, but White House officials told NBC News Monday they are now considering escalating the U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war, including unspecified "actions…that would further underscore the consequences of not coming back to the negotiating table."
American intelligence officials on Monday pointedly accused Russian and Syrian forces of mass atrocities during their advance on the city, describing a horrific bombing campaign in recent days that has killed women and children at an increasing rate.
"The regime and Russia's use of incendiary weapons have contributed to the unconscionable civilian deaths and suffering," a U.S. intelligence official said.
How much more obvious can all that be? First there’s a NY Times editorial that literally lays to a series of talking points ranging from women and children being at risk to a rebel stronghold to unconscionable civilian deaths and suffering.
It’s all there in this second article and, just for a bonus, it’s all attributed to unnamed White House and intelligence “officials.” Exactly the same pattern we saw in the run up to the Iraq war. I would put a lot of money on the bet that these scripted talking points were developed by a small team of neocons operating in the shadows. A lot of money.
As in the past, when these folks pull the levers to try and goad the US into a(nother) war, they never come out in the open. They always hide behind anonymity. Your tip-off is the number of times you read the words “US officials” or “a highly placed source” or some other phrase that hides the individual while evoking authority.
If they weren't so secretive, we’d certainly see the pattern more easily for what it actually is – the same small cadre of people who are always agitating for the use of military force to “solve” whatever objectives they are seeking.
Now, of course it’s horrible when civilians get trapped or die in a war. But here we might note that if a nation truly cannot abide innocent deaths, then it also shouldn't go about starting wars, or supplying military armaments.
I mean, let’s wander a few miles south of Syria and take a peek at what’s happening in Yemen where the US is supplying both weapons and targeting data to the Saudis:
Civilian casualties in Yemen bring charges of U.S. responsibility for Saudi actions
Civilian casualties have spiked in Yemen since the collapse of peace talks in August, the United Nations reported recently, bringing the total number of civilians killed since March 2015, when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched its operation against Houthi rebels there, to more than 4,000.
Despite repeated strikes on schools and hospitals, officials see little choice for now but continued support, given the intense desire to shore up a bilateral relationship rocked by President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and new legislation linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Where are the ‘unnamed officials’ wringing their hands at thousand of innocent deaths in Yemen? Where’s our sense of responsibility for being the primary arms dealer to the Saudis, and direct supplying them with targeting data? These morals are nowhere to be found when it comes to Yemen.
In fact, according to ‘officials’ in the above article, when it comes to Yemen, the desire to make nice with the Saudis (after the Iran deal) is the driving US objective at the moment.
In other words, in Yemen, political realities are more important than innocent lives. Ah, do you see it now? Innocent deaths don’t matter as much as the political realities.
How can it be a moral imperative in Syria but a political one when it comes to Yemen?
Would it be out of line for us to wonder if perhaps these same ‘officials’ are merely using the innocent deaths in Syria as cover for some deeper political purposes that are really the main drivers?
To me, morality is not conditional. Either innocent deaths are always unconscionable, or they aren't. They cannot be morally unacceptable in one place and subservient to political realities in another. Obama cannot cry for the children of Sandy Hook one day, but continue the drone program (which kills lots of children) with steely determination the next.
Which is why I am especially on alert when I read such things as the NY Times editorial above, which screams out a moral argument when a quick scan of the news reveals a profound lack of moral consistency. As ever, that’s a red flag that propaganda is being deployed. Morals are for the populace…when you need something from them, like their consent.
In psychological terms, what’s happening here is called projection. This is what happens when an individual, or a nation, accuses an external party of the exact same traits that they secretly dislike about themselves.
An example being a parent who procrastinates at work but then yells harshly at their child for not doing their very best at school. Or the explosive anger that an aggressive driver displays when someone cuts them off.
This very human habit of projecting our shadows onto others is very, very dangerous when it gets to the explosive blame stage.
Deep, dark and highly emotional and irrational outbursts are what follows. Insults are slung, sometimes objects are thrown, that forever change the relationship. Real damage can be inflicted in such moments that sometimes cannot be undone. Do we really want that kind of breakdown with nuclear-armed Russia?
A No Fly Zone
So, when it comes to Russia, what are the military options that an angry US might pursue?
This too is easy to track because the neocons write about their plans openly and prolifically, and they are especially fond of imposing no-fly zones. What this always means to them, however, is not the absence of aircraft from a given area, but rather that no planes besides US/NATO planes are flying over the area. No-fly only applies to the other side, naturally.
A no-fly zone means you have air supremacy and therefore control over a country.
There are two ways to create this. The first is a low level no-fly zone where you supply shoulder-fired antiaircraft rockets (“manpads”) to the rebel forces. These have limited range so they basically keep low-level aircraft out of the picture; helicopters, low and slow flying support/attack aircraft and the like.
The second level is to bring your own aircraft into the theater to enforce a complete no-fly zone at all altitudes.
Unsurprisingly, I came across this from the Brookings Institution, a key neocon ‘think tank,’ in August. So I knew where all this was heading:
We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example.
These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.
Yes, “these operations are complicated, no doubt…” is another breezy dismissal, similar to how all Iraqis were going to greet the American forces as "libertators" after Desert Sheild. As if engaging a major nuclear superpower with advanced hardware were no different from the complexities involved in taking out Gadhafi.
The “various options” mentioned are code-speak for supplying manpads to the rebels. It might be helpful to recall that the Russians have not (yet) supplied similar hardware to any of the various forces the US and NATO are fighting in Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan, and they’ve not yet decided to start shooting US and NATO planes out of the sky either. One could see that as an act of restraint that could be lifted at some point, enormously complicating US ambitions in a variety of military theaters.
How these Brookings neocons have any voice left at all after the massive screwups in all the prior conflicts they cheered on an supported is beyond me. Anybody making the case that it is simply “complicated” to take on Russia should lose their job, be laughed off the stage, and have to find other employment.
But they’d have lots of company in that unemployment line, including at least one US Senator. Speaking about making life more difficult for the Russians, on September 30th, 2016 John McCain said:
MCCAIN: No, but I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.
CAVUTO: Who would be shooting them down?
MCCAIN: The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian…
CAVUTO: Not us?
MCCAIN: No. Just like the Russians — the Afghans shot down Russian planes after Russia invaded Afghanistan.
McCain is calling for arming the rebels with manpads, again a dangerous escalation that really needs to be debated vigorously at the highest levels because anything that begins a hot (kinetic) war with Russia in Syria stands little chance of remaining safely contained there. Further, it would greatly increase the risk of Russia returning the favor to the US elsewhere.
It’s also worth remembering here that in mid-September the US, using two F16s and two A-10 “low and slow” attack aircraft bombed a Syrian government position killing anywhere from 60 to 100 government troops that where garrisoning a surrounded position whose borders were well known to all parties.
While the US pentagon dismissed the incident as a ‘targeting error’ implying a few bombs errantly fell in the wrong place, everybody in the business knows better. Those bombs fell exactly where there were meant to fall, and Russia’s view is that the US did this on purpose, especially since a coordinated ISIS attack followed minutes later on the same position allowing ISIS to make a key advance.
The fact the A-10’s were involved only hardens my view that this was not an accident on the part of the US. Those aircraft are meant to fly low and be used for close in support. Who got bombed and who advanced with close in support? Answering those questions leads to the conclusion that the US has already militarily attacked the Syrian government, and by extension Russia and, once again, “inadvertently” provided military support to ISIS (done previously when “errant” drops of pallets loaded with military gear that landed on ISIS positions).
So, what’s been Russia’s response to all this?
Well, they terminated diplomatic communications on Oct 3rd:
Contacts between Russian and US military on Syria suspended
MOSCOW, October 3./TASS/. Exchange of information between Russian and US military over Syria has stopped of late, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Monday.
"All contacts between the military have been stopped of late, there has been no exchange of information," he said.
That’s probably not a good sign.
As another reminder, we’d like to point out that Russia already has their S-400 anti-aircraft missile system in place, which has an enormous range and can take out US and NATO aircraft from a ridiculous distance:
This is one of the most, if not the most sophisticated anti-aircraft systems in the world. Note to armchair warriors in the neocon central: this system is more than a ‘complication.’ It is a game changing system, which will end lives and destroy the hardware of any country that goes up against it.
This ‘complication’ is why this 4-star general visibly freezes when a dreadfully uninformed (or ignorant, or possibly unintelligent) Senator on the armed service committee asks why the US hasn't already enforced a no fly zone in Syria:
Now, such a system is vulnerable to being taken out, of course. Not by a bombing run by aircraft, but by a missile attack, perhaps a cruise missile.
Which explains this next bit of news, also from Oct 4:
Russia deploys advanced anti-missile system to Syria for first time, US officials say
Oct 4, 2016
Russia has deployed an advanced anti-missile system to Syria for the first time, three US officials tell Fox News, the latest indication that Moscow continues to ramp up its military operations in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
It comes after Russia's actions led to the collapse of a cease-fire and the cut-off of direct talks with the U.S.
While Moscow’s motives are not certain, officials say the new weapon system could potentially counter any American cruise missile attack in Syria.
Components of the SA-23 Gladiator anti-missile and anti-aircraft system, which has a range of roughly 150 miles, arrived over the weekend “on the docks” of a Russian naval base along Syria’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tartus, two US officials said.
It is the first time Russia has deployed the SA-23 system outside its borders, according to one Western official citing a recent intelligence assessment. The missiles and associated components are still in their crates and are not yet operational, according to the officials.
The U.S. intelligence community has been observing the shipment of the SA-23 inside Russia in recent weeks, according to one official.
While the purpose is not clear, one US official asked sarcastically, “Nusra doesn’t have an air force do they?” speaking about the Al Qaeda-linked group in Syria. The Islamic State also does not fly any manned aircraft or possess cruise missiles, in a sign that Russia is directing its actions to protect itself against any potential attack from the United States or its allies.
Heh heh. “While the purpose is not clear…” That’s funny. The purpose could note be any clearer if it were written in neon on a billboard outside the bedroom window of this “US official.” The purpose is to protect its other military hardware from a US attack,.
It’s there because the US is ramping up its 'no fly' talk and preparing its citizens via propaganda pieces in the NY Times, et al., for a major conflict with Russia.
It’s there because all trust is gone and the time for talking has come to a close.
It’s there because the US is pushing for a war with Russia that cannot be sold on its own merits and so its being sold as a humanitarian mission to prevent more unconscionable acts from being carried out (and pay no mind to similar such acts being carried out by Israel against Palestinians, or Saudis against Yemenis).
Prepping for War
Now, what would a responsible government do if hostilities were increasing between major superpowers and the possibility, if not the inevitability, of an armed conflict were on the horizon?
Well, they’d do more than prepare their citizens to accept the moves via propaganda, they get their citizens to physically prepare as well.
In Germany we see this sort of view:
German Politician to Sputnik: 'US Pulling Us Into Abyss of War in Middle East'
Oct 1, 2016
How has the situation on the ground in Syria changed after a year of Russian military involvement? Speaking to Sputnik, veteran German politician Willy Wimmer suggested that it has demonstrated that Russia is the only major power ready to seriously fight terrorism, and to call for an end to a war which risks spreading across the region.
The US and its allies, meanwhile, have only managed to throw a wrench in the peace process, and have been unable to reach any of their own goals due to the Russian intervention, the politician argues.
Wimmer is a veteran member of the Christian Democratic Union with over thirty years of experience in the Bundestag. The politician has served as State Secretary of the German Defense Ministry, and as a vice president of the OSCE; he is a close friend of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Interviewed by Sputnik Deutschland and asked to comment on the evolution of the Syrian crisis, Wimmer began by noting that virtually from the beginning, that conflict was a product of foreign meddling. "What we are witnessing today is part of a longer development," the politician said. "The civil war which broke out five years ago resulted in a tragic struggle right at the moment when the Syrian-Israeli conflict over the Golan Heights seemed to have already been settled. All that was left to do was sign the agreement which could have resulted in peace in the Middle East. And if not for certain forces who were not interested in peace, this agreement would have been signed." "We know that at the very beginning of the Syrian tragedy, British, French and US special forces became involved, giving this war, at the moment looking more like a civil conflict, a global significance," the politician emphasized
Now, Wimmer suggested, the central question comes down to "whether we can put an end to this disaster and prevent the spread of the Syrian inferno to other countries, which would signify the start of a great war."
"The intervention by the Americans and Europeans in Syria is a clear violation of international law," Wimmer emphasized. "This is a military operation on the territory of another state, one that's not authorized by the UN or under international law."
Okay, so a German politician with 30 years experience and who served at the highest levels in the Defense Ministry thinks that the entire Syrian conflict is the result of meddling by US/NATO forces that had no interest in a budding peace agreement in 2011, that only Russia has a legal mandate to be in Syria, and that the whole thing could boil over into a wider and far more dangerous greater war.
I concur with all of that, by the way.
Here’s what a responsible government who saw things that way would respond:
Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks
Aug 21, 2016
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.
"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.
That’s what the US government should be advising its own citizens but is not, either because of hubris deceit, or the mistaken belief that because the last two great wars did not reach US shores this one won’t either. But having some self-reliance is always a good idea, and one shouldn’t need their government to tell them so, but however people become more prepared is okay by me.
Russia too is not only advising its citizen to prepare, but going one step further by telling them to specifically prepare for a nuclear war
Russia tells citizens to ‘prepare for nuclear war with West’
Oct 4, 2016
Russia has warned citizens that a nuclear war with the West could be imminent – sparked by clashes in the Middle East.
Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country’s Ministry of Defence, said last week, ‘Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.’
Officials said on Friday that underground shelters had been built which could house 12 milion people – enough for the entire population of Moscow.
That’s how badly trust in the West has been damaged for Russia – it now thinks such madmen and madwomen are in charge in the West that it’s now saying nuclear war is a distinct possibility. How this is not front page news and being actively debated in the US is simply fascinating. And scary.
If war is a possibility, then a responsible party will prepare. The Russians and the Germans are being responsible in that sense.
The Russians have gone further and are actively preparing their citizens not just for war, but nuclear war. This may seem extreme and certainly nobody wants anything to go that far, but Russia’s background has taught her that when it comes to war, nothing is ever certain.
And that war comes to her lands regularly. Every invading force has paid a bitter price for trying to occupy Russia and that informs her mindset. Shit happens. Best to be ready for it.
The US is on the opposite side of that spectrum having been in the bully position for so long, and not having ever been invaded and occupied, that it seems delightfully unaware that suffering from the effects of war is a distinct possibility.
Perhaps not by an invading force, but certainly by one that possesses nuclear weapons and superior cyber skills.
The Russian Mindset
Far be it from me to claim that I have any particular insight into the Russian mindset. I’ll leave that to such experts as Dmitry Orlov.
But I can read the tea leaves and I don’t think it takes a Russian or military expert to divine the meaning behind this:
Russia's Putin suspends plutonium cleanup accord with U.S. because of 'unfriendly' acts
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday suspended an agreement with the United States for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium because of "unfriendly" acts by Washington, the Kremlin said.
A Kremlin spokesman said Putin had signed a decree suspending the 2010 agreement under which each side committed to destroy tonnes of weapons-grade material because Washington had not been implementing it and because of current tensions in relations.
The deal, signed in 2000 but which did not come into force until 2010, was being suspended due to "the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions by the United States of America towards the Russian Federation", the preamble to the decree said.
It also said that Washington had failed "to ensure the implementation of its obligations to utilize surplus weapons-grade plutonium".
Trust is broken; the US has not been living up to its end of the agreement and is being antagonistic towards Russia. Russia thinks it may need its weapons grade plutonium after all. Two very bad signs.
With trust broken and diplomacy cut off, all we can do is note that Russia is now acting as if it has to defend itself and be prepared for war.
Here’s one editorial from inside Russia that lays out some of the thinking going on, much of which we’ve already covered and which echoes the German politician’s views:
The United States is, once again, the aggressor nation calling foul when things don't go according to plan.
Washington has no international mandate to be in Syria — neither in its skies, nor as "advisors" to "moderate rebels" on the ground. Washington (along with its freedom-loving allies — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, all bastions of democracy) has simply invited itself to the party. And by "party" we mean "a proxy war dressed up as a democratic uprising that has killed hundreds of thousands and further destabilized the entire region, while creating a massive refugee crisis in the process."
A week ago, Washington murdered (with bombs) more than 60 uniformed soldiers of a country that they aren't even officially at war with, inside their own borders. Putin strikes again! according to the New York Times.
Of course, the editorial is eager to point out all the heinous war crimes that Russia has committed in Syria — none of which have been verified by anyone aside from the Pentagon. Should we really be surprised, though? In a recent article in The Nation, Adam Johnson reminds his readers that:
“The New York Times‘s editorial board has supported every single US war—Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya—for the past 30 years. While its reporting and op-eds on these wars has often been critical, much of it’s coverage has also helped to sell war-weary liberals on the current military mission—the most notable example being Judith Miller and Michael Gordon’s hyping Iraq’s nonexistent nuclear program in the buildup to the March 2003 invasion.
Indeed, the image of The New York Times as an objective, unbiased news outlet is precisely how it was able to sell the war in the first place.”
The summary: The US started the Syrian conflict with the intention of toppling yet another Middle Eastern government (“regime” in the parlance of the spin masters), things have not gone exactly as it wanted, and now it’s acting illegally and dangerously because it did not get its way.
Also, the NY Times is not an unbiased news source, especially when it comes to supporting wars general and in the Middle East specifically.
I would also remind everyone here that a letter was written earlier in the spring of 2016 and signed by 51 State Department workers urging Obama to bomb Assad’s forces, which would have meant, by proxy, bombing Russia. When your alleged “diplomats” are the ones calling for bombing it tells you just how far off the rails your entire apparatus of state has gone.
The main conclusion here is that the US is the most war like country on the planet, and it has somehow defaulted into using force early and often to get its way.
The difference this time? It’s picked a fight with a smaller kid in the school yard who happens to be a black belt in judo.
This time, the fight won’t be as easy as in times past. Things are very different now, and Russia has spent the past few decades improving its missile technology which I predict will turn out to be a real game changer with a very high ROI.
The thinking seems to be, you build a $100 million ship and I will sink it from very far away with a $100,000 missile.
It took me a while to confirm this, but I believe this next video to be true and showing the Yemeni ‘rebels’ sinking a very modern and expensive HSV-2 navy catamaran that had been sold to the UAE from a very long distance away.
While the claim of having struck this ship cannot be completely verified at this time, the missile launch and resulting explosion at sea in the video above are consistent with the claim.
This should be a big wake-up call to everyone, and I’m sure it is in the military, but your chance of reading about this and its implications n the western press are very low indeed. Did you hear of this? I doubt it.
Russia and the US are edging ever closer to armed conflict in Syria. We can hope and pray for our own selfish purposes that the conflict remains confined to Syria but it may not.
I cannot find any particularly good reason to be demonizing Russia at this point. From my perspective all Russia has done is react to the circumstances presented to it by the west. Russia did not destabilize Ukraine, the US and the EU did. By reacting to that and protecting the Russian speaking people on it’s own borders, Russia has committed some sort of sin to the power players in the US.
Similarly, by legally responding to a request to help by the government of Syria, Russia has done something unconscionable…namely, resisted the wishes of the necons and likuds.
Let’s be perfectly blunt, innocent civilian lives mean nothing to those people. They never have and they never will.
What matters to people who regularly transgress other people’s boundaries is that they themselves are not resisted. Have you ever noticed this in your own life? I have. When someone who violates my boundaries is met with any sort of resistance at all, they experience it as me attacking them.
I remember well being yelled at by someone who did that a lot to people in their life and when I’d had enough an exactly matched their intensity to simply say “Stop! This is where I begin and you end!” they recoiled and told everyone that I had attacked them.
Where we could analyze the Russian-US situation from a variety of directions – political, historical, etc. – I am going to do it from the psychological perspective.
I see the neocons and likuds as very damaged and traumatized individuals. They carry a set of internal wounds that express on the outside as a very belligerent and hostile set of postures and actions.
If I were to guess at their internal wound, it might be something along the lines of “I was really hurt as a child and nobody will ever hurt me again like that.”
The best way to not be hurt is to lash out as fiercely and as rapidly as you can, in every circumstance. The motto is “Do one to others before they do one to me.”
The mistake you and I could make would be to assume on any level that these people share our world view and will not “go all the way” before turning back. They are not built the same. The ends always justify the means to these people. They do not rationally calculate outcomes because they are operating from a very wounded and highly irrational spot.
Have you ever tried using logic on someone who is in a full emotional meltdown? How did that work out? Not well, right? In fact, it almost certainly made things worse.
Well even though the neocons who have inserted themselves into every crevice of power in the US seem cold and rational, they are not. They are driven by demons that came to them early in life, perhaps handed down as a part of their culture, which taught them that the world was a very hostile place always looking for a reason to kill them.
That’s the nature of all childhood wounds. Delivered early enough they all come down to survival. If you are told directly or covertly over and over again that you are defective, unloved and unlovable, then the early innocent mind goes to insane lengths to wrap itself around that harsh reality.
Inner contracts are written, and they inform that person’s outlook and actions for the rest of their lives or until they are healed, whichever comes first.
The colossal mistake being made in the US is failing to recognize that people carrying such childhood wounds really cannot ever be trusted to act rationally. In a healthy culture we’d be able to detect these people early in life and usher them either into harmless yet worthy jobs or get them the treatment they need.
Instead, they roam the halls undetected and because they crave the power that they lacked in childhood they become over-represented in the halls of power. Once they achieve critical mass in any institution they take over the entire machinery of that organization.
That is where the US is now. This (next) rush to war is not a matter of anything rational or explicable, it is a function of having too many damaged and wounded people in charge operating from deeply unconscious levels.
And here’s the thing; they will not stop, ever, unless stopped by circumstances. They will never achieve enough power. The void they seek to fill cannot be filled from the outside. Nothing will ever ‘be enough.’
There’s no end, but a violent one.
And this is why I am warning you to prepare for war. Whether it happens now with Russia or later with someone else, it will happen. The only thing that will stop these neocons is if they are exposed and flushed from the system or if their power is stripped away by losing a war.
By failing to understand the wound dynamics at play we are all being held hostage to a drama being scripted by very old and unhealed wounds.
Nothing about this circumstance can ever be solved on the outside; only inner healing can shift any of this.
It is deeply telling that the two main party candidates for the US presidency are each poster-children for wound-driven egos run amuck. Both are obviously fragile and unable to handle anything but fawning admiration, neither seems capable of honest introspection or real empathy.
They are, literally, the direct manifestations of a nation that has yet to confront its own inner demons. And until it does there will always have to be some sort of external bogey man that it can project its on worst traits upon as it desperately avoids asking the most important question of them all; “Hey, what if my troubles are because of me and my actions?”
In our report How To Prepare For War, we explain how conflict can take many forms: trade wars, energy wars, financial wars, cyberwar, shooting wars, and nuclear war. We lay out in great detail the steps we, as individuals, can do to prepare for each.
And fortunately, this preparation comes with an upside: as many of these precautions will be life-enhancing steps even if — hopefully, if — tensions de-escalate from here.
So, sadly, please follow the actions of the German and Russian governments and prepare yourself for war. While we can all hope this too blows over and cooler heads prevail, hope alone is a terrible strategy.