war with russia, war with china, or maybe both at once

US, Russia Top Generals Hold Critical Talks Amid Dangerous Tensions
Editorial, Strategic Culture, Nov 26 2021

Servicemen of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces attend military drills in Zhytomyr Region. Nov 21 2021.

The two most senior military commanders of the US and Russia engaged in phone talks this week as dangerous tensions between the nuclear superpowers escalate. A shaky ceasefire in Ukraine between US-backed Kiev regime forces and Russia-backed separatists is parlously close to outright collapse while NATO warships and warplanes increase aggressive maneuvers in the Black Sea on Russia’s southern flank. For the top-level talks on the American side was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley while the Russian side was represented by its top military officer General Valery Gerasimov. By mutual agreement the conversation was private with no public disclosure of what was discussed. But it’s a safe assumption that the explosive Ukraine conflict was given priority.

The phone meeting comes as elements within the US government, amplified by news media outlets, are recklessly accusing Russia of planning a military invasion of Ukraine. For weeks now, the US State Dept has been briefing media outlets and European NATO allies with claims that Russia is amassing troops and artillery near its border with Ukraine. Blinken has taken a personal role in leading the allegations. An interesting facet is that the claims ostensibly rely on commercial satellite data. Media outlets like the NYT and CNN have given prominence to the warnings. Another US outlet, Bloomberg, ran a report on Nov 21 with the sensational headline: “US intel shows Russia plan for potential Ukraine invasion.” The report does not specify who the “US intel” sources are exactly but they are cited as claiming that Russia may invade Ukraine by the end of January. The “intel” was again based on commercial satellite data attributed to a private US-based company called Maxar which works closely with Washington on national security, according to the company’s website.

The suspicion is that the CIA is driving the narrative alleging Russian military buildup and threat of invasion. The State Dept and the CIA are long-time bedfellows going back to the early years of the Cold War. The intel reported by the US media is not objective data, but rather is politicized information. The CIA’s stock-in-trade is political warfare and, to be blunt, fabrication, lies and propaganda. Russia has dismissed the claims of its military buildup near Ukraine’s border and threatening to invade its western neighbor. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred to the purported satellite data as “poor quality” and the accompanying claims against Russia as “hysterical.” Peskov also pointed out that the US and its NATO partners are the ones who are increasing military forces and infrastructure near Russia’s borders yet the US absurdly accuses Russia of having troops on its own territory within the country’s sovereign borders.

Another telltale sign of narrative management, as opposed to actually existing circumstances, is that the State Dept’s well-publicized alarmism about alleged Russian invasion chimes neatly with claims from the Ukrainian military under the control of the US-backed Kiev regime. The Bloomberg report above coincided with dramatic claims from the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Brig-Gen Kyrylo Budanov, who told Military Times in an interview that Russia was preparing “to invade by the end of January,” the same timeframe which “US intel” had also contended. That indicates story coordination. Last week, too, the Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov was visiting Washington DC where he was also telling prominent news media of fears over a Russian invasion. He said the alleged threat to Ukraine necessitated a boost in the already substantial US military supplies to the Kiev regime. The Ukrainian side has been tediously harping on such claims for years now. But it seems there is a renewed impetus in Washington to amplify the war drums.

The Kremlin has cautioned that the real danger stems from the Kiev regime stepping up its offensive on the ethnic Russian population of the Donbas. Western governments and media are ignoring this provocation, choosing instead to focus on alleged Russian threats. The southeastern region never recognized the reactionary Russophobic political administration that seized power in 2014 after the US-backed coup d’état in Kiev. This is what the nearly eight-year war in Ukraine has been all about even though Washington and its European allies have the audacity to accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow is warning that the Kiev regime is determined to finally repudiate the Minsk peace accords negotiated in 2015 which mandate it to afford political autonomy to the Donbas self-declared republics. Instead, Kiev wants to go for a “military solution” by launching a full-on offensive against the Donbas, according to the Russian foreign ministry. Thus, all the lurid accusations against Russia are a cynical cover for the flagrant and systematic violation of an internationally binding peace settlement. The Biden administration is aiding and abetting the Kiev regime to ramp up the war, from supplying it with lethal weaponry and emboldening belligerence, to concocting the media narrative of an alleged Russian invasion.

When General Gerasimov spoke with General Milley we can be sure that it was explained to the American side that the US intel promoted by the State Dept and Ukrainian military does not match reality. We may be sure that the Russian information provided to Milley can be verified as objectively accurate. Where is the Pentagon’s own intelligence on this matter as opposed to a private company source? Here though is the amusing irony of the grim situation. Milley is probably better informed about the alleged Ukrainian developments thanks to his Russian counterpart in contrast to the dubious briefings from shadowy elements within the US government. Elements, moreover, which have a vested nefarious interest in stoking a conflict with Russia. Milley has himself expressed earlier doubts about the conjecture of a Russian invasion. On Nov 3, he was quoted as saying he did not see any threat of Russian aggression towards Ukraine. Milley is right to trust his military gut instincts.

Ukrainian military chiefs were also earlier downplaying reports of Russian buildup. So, what has changed in the last few weeks? Not the facts on the ground, but rather, it is argued here, the propaganda effort by elements within the US establishment to create “facts” to suit policy. This has echoes of the WMD fiasco and cooked intel that presaged the disastrous US war on Iraq in 2003. It should be noted that the top Pentagon officer served in the same position during the Donald Trump administration. He famously had a falling out with then-President Trump when he maintained that military officers should not allow their profession to be politicized. Now would be an opportune time for General Mark Milley to confirm that principle. The conflict in Ukraine is being blatantly politicized with false US intel claims that when scrutinized are patently absurd. However, those claims are leading to ever-more dangerous tensions and a risk of an all-out war that could drag the US and Russia into a direct military confrontation. It behooves the Pentagon chief and his aides to scrutinize the alleged US intel and to weigh up the political games of who is playing who. Making the correct call is a matter of war and peace.

We’re Sleepwalking Into Nuclear War
Caitlin Johnstone, Nov 27 2021

Every day there’s more propaganda banging the drums of war between nuclear-armed nations a little louder. Western media are churning out reports about Russia preparing to invade Ukraine any minute now and China preparing to invade Taiwan any minute now, saying the response to each is obviously to move a lot of high-powered weaponry to both of those locations, and none of them are questioning whether these allegations are true or whether those responses are wise. This is so dangerous. This whole two-front nuclear brinkmanship game is so very, very dangerous, and they keep finding ways to make it more dangerous. And hardly anyone notices it, because the news media outlets that people look to to understand the world aren’t telling them it’s dangerous. The only danger you’re allowed to discuss in mainstream western reporting about Russia and China is their scary aggressive expansionism, like this new Newsweek propaganda piece here. Nowhere are you allowed to question if it’s true, or to even breathe a word about the possibility of detente.

It’s official empire doctrine that the borders of Russia and China will necessarily keep expanding unless militantly held in place by The Good Guys. It’s taken as a given that those nations are essentially mindless cancers that can only metastasize to other parts of the body unless aggressively treated. At no point is it permissible to ask if perhaps we are heading in a direction that could literally end the world and if that could not be easily avoided by simply working to scale down tensions. At no point is it permissible to question if these nations might be reacting defensively to western aggressions and discuss the possibility of working toward detente. Australian journalist John Pilger was already sounding alarms about this years ago. This article about the shocking escalations against Russia and China by western powers was written all the way back in 2016, and it’s gotten so much worse than that since then. Yet it’s still taken as a given by Serious News Reporters in the west that Russia and China are these reckless aggressors and the US is responding defensively to their aggressions. You can tell people who freak out about Russia and China are either acting in bad faith or regurgitating propaganda because they all act like detente is not a thing. They don’t even acknowledge the existence of that concept. Many literally don’t even know the meaning of the word. At no time does it ever even enter their minds that hey, maybe these nations might be acting defensively to blatantly imbalanced military realities like the one illustrated below, and that the sane thing to do would be to move toward de-escalation.

People think this way because they are programmed to, and they are programmed to think that way because easing off of aggressions rather than escalating them would permit the end of US planetary hegemony and a move into a multipolar world. The empire cannot tolerate such a thing. It was established after the fall of the Soviet Union that another multipolar world must be avoided at all cost; even if it means imperiling the whole world to maintain supremacy. Easing tensions would mean ceasing to do everything you can to prevent the rise of China as a global superpower. That’s what all the hysterical shrieking about Russia and China has really been about these last few years: manufacturing consent for this aggressive campaign. If things were permitted to take their natural course, China would rise and the US would officially move into post-primacy and we’d have a proper multipolar world. This has been deemed so undesirable that they’re willing to risk the life of every terrestrial organism to stop it. There are no checks or balances on this insane agenda. It’s supported by all mainstream parties and all mainstream media outlets. We’re sleepwalking into nuclear war. Nobody’s awake to the danger. Not the public, not the media, and most frighteningly not the empire managers actually driving these agendas.

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