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Censorship and Myth-Making About Hiroshima and the Bomb

Enshrined Ignorance

By John LaForge | CounterPunch | August 1, 2014

The US atomic destruction of 140,000 people at Hiroshima and 70,000 at Nagasaki was never “necessary” because Japan was already smashed, no land invasion was needed and Japan was suing for peace. The official myth that “the bombs saved lives” by hurrying Japan’s surrender can no longer be believed except by those who love to be fooled. The long-standing fiction has been destroyed by the historical record kept in US, Soviet, Japanese and British archives — now mostly declassified — and detailed by Ward Wilson in his book “Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

Greg Mitchel’s “Atomic Cover-Up” (Sinclair Books, 2011) also helps explain the durability of the “saved lives” ruse. Wartime and occupation censors seized all films and still photos of the two atomic cities, and the US government kept them hidden for decades. Even in 1968, newsreel footage from Hiroshima held in the National Archives was stamped, “SECRET, Not To Be Released Without the Approval of the DOD.” Photos of the atomized cities that did reach the public merely showed burned buildings or mushroom clouds — rarely human victims.

In “Hiroshima in America: 50 Years of Denial,” (Grosset/Putnam, 1995) Robert Lifton and Mitchell note that Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, “left nothing to chance.” Even before Hiroshima, he prohibited US commanders from commenting on the atomic attacks without clearance from the War Department. “We didn’t want MacArthur and others saying the war could have been won without the bomb,” Groves said.

In fact, MacArthur did not believe the bomb was needed to end the war, but he too established a censorship program as commander of the US occupation of Japan. He banned reporters from visiting Hiroshima or Nagasaki, expelled reporters who defied the ban and later said that those who complained that censorship existed in Japan were engaged in “a maliciously false propaganda campaign.”

That most people in the United States still believe the “saved lives” rationale to be true is because of decades of this censorship and myth-making, begun by President Harry Truman, who said Aug. 6, 1945, “Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. … That was because we wished this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.” In fact, the city of 350,000 had practically no military value at all and the target was the city, not the base three kilometers away.

Taking President Truman at his word, the 140,000 civilians killed at Hiroshima are the minimum to be expected when exploding a small nuclear weapon on a “military base.” Today’s “small” Cruise missile warheads – which are 12 times the power of Truman’s A-bomb – could kill 1.68 million each.

Official censorship of what the two bombs did to people and the reasons for it has been so successful, that 25 years of debunking hasn’t managed to generally topple the official narrative. In 1989, historian Gar Alperovitz reported, “American leaders knew well in advance that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not required to bring about Japan’s surrender;” and later, in his 847-page “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb” (Random House, 1995), “I think it can be proven that the bomb was not only unnecessary but known in advance not to be necessary.” The popular myth “didn’t just happen,” Alperovitz says, “it was created.”

Kept hidden for decades was the 1946 US Strategic Bombing Survey’s conclusion that Japan almost certainly would have surrendered in 1945 without the atomic bombs, without a Soviet invasion and without a US invasion. Not long after V-J Day in 1945, Brig. Gen. Bonnie Feller wrote, “Neither the atomic bombing nor the entry of the Soviet Union into the war forced Japan’s unconditional surrender. She was defeated before either of these events took place.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said in his memoirs he believed “that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.”

Adm. William Leahy, the wartime Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in 1950, “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material success in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender….” Feller’s, Ike’s and Leahy’s opinions were conspicuously left out of or censored by the Smithsonian Institution’s 1995 display of the atomic B-29 bomber “Enola Gay.”

Admiral Leahy’s 1950 myth- and censor-busting about the Bomb could be an epitaph for the nuclear age: “I was not taught to make war in that fashion,” he said of Hiroshima’s incineration, “and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

John LaForge is a co-director of Nukewatch in Wisconsin and edits its Quarterly newsletter.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Some of MSNBC’s Most Prominent Journalists Are Ignoring Gaza — Why?

By Michael Tracey | MediaIte | August 1, 2014

As Israel continues to inflict mass death and trauma on Gaza, influential liberal media figures are mostly staying silent.

MSNBC reporter Adam Serwer has said conspicuously little since the offensive began over three weeks ago. Because the causes of this conflict are so deeply bound up with US political conditions — American taxpayers supply the Israeli government $3.1 billion in annual military aid, and the Obama administration has just authorized shipping over an additional round of munitions — Serwer’s near-total avoidance of the topic seems curious. Having first rose to prominence as a “civil liberties blogger” at the now-defunct American Prospect magazine, there are a multitude of angles from which Serwer might cover Gaza that would accord with his longstanding beat.

Asked to explain this confounding editorial judgement — in the past two weeks he has written at least four pieces on Obamacare — Serwer told me the following:

I’m proud to say msnbc has featured plenty of in-depth coverage of this issue, but I haven’t written about it except on weekend duty (http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/netanyahu-hamas-rejected-violated-ceasefires) because I typically don’t cover foreign affairs. I haven’t written about important developments in West Africa, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq or Syria at all.

This doesn’t square with a review of Serwer’s record. Since arriving at MSNBC from Mother Jones in 2013, Serwer has written on issues pertaining to the Afghanistan war, the aborted US military intervention in Syria, Barack Obama’s drone strike program, the international fallout from Edward Snowden’s NSA disclosures, the ongoing turmoil in Iraq, and more — all subjects with clear “foreign affairs” dimensions.

And anyway, the premise that one need have some special expertise to comment on the political implications of Israel’s current attack is manifestly absurd; no one suggested such during the Iraq War or Libyan intervention. Both were stories with obvious import relative to domestic U.S. discourse.

Accordingly, a political reporter like Serwer could explicate the Gaza crisis for MSNBC’s audience in all manner of ways. Democratic Party stars like Elizabeth WarrenHillary ClintonAndrew CuomoNancy PelosiCory Booker, and many others have declared their unflinching support for Israel – certainly a major political story. Why do putatively “progressive” politicians so fervently back a foreign government’s bombardment of its besieged, blockaded neighboring territory? Maybe that’s worth exploring.

Similarly, Serwer’s fellow MSNBC journalist Irin Carmon has been quiet on the topic, limiting her Twitter analysis thus far to musings about her Israeli family’s “bomb shelter selfies,” as well as this bit of incisive commentary: “Basically the solution is for Israelis and Palestinians to leave nice reviews of each other’s beachfront properties.”

A third MSNBC colleague, Benjy Sarlin, has also virtually ignored Gaza — except to tweet out the odd defense of Israel’s conduct. (In the first weeks of the assault, Sarlin approvingly referred his Twitter followers to analyses by neoconservative pundits Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic — a former Israel Defense Forces prison guard — and Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner.)

On the other hand, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes isn’t generally regarded as a foreign affairs specialist; his professional work focuses largely on domestic and economic policy. Nevertheless, Hayes has produced far-and-away the network’s best coverage of the Gaza conflict, exclusively interviewing an American teen beaten by Israeli police, allowing former contributor Rula Jebreal to voice on-air criticisms regarding MSNBC’s alleged lack of Palestinian perspectives, and so forth.

Worst of all, perhaps, has been Rachel Maddow, who’s ignored Gaza to the point of absurdity, engendering widespread scorn on Twitter and elsewhere.

Despite her reputation as an astute analyst of U.S. foreign policy (she wrote an entire book on it) Maddow has allocated substantial airtime over the past 25 days to such topics as “Impeachment threat electrifies Dem base,” but almost none to Gaza. Between July 26 and July 31 — the period of Israel’s most intense escalation yet — she covered the conflict not even once, according to her MSNBC show page. Wondering if Maddow could ever be impelled to scrutinize Israel, Twitter user Jonathan Cohn sardonically asked, “What if the siege on Gaza were really just a major traffic jam caused by Chris Christie?”

A plausible theory as to why Maddow has so studiously avoided mentioning Israel’s assault is because the story doesn’t quite “electrify Democrats” — in fact, it amplifies huge, glaring divisions among Democrats. Countless self-described “progressives” are fervently committed to backing Israel’s every action, no matter how many hundreds of children it kills, because they have a pre-existing devotion to the Jewish state.

Broaching the subject would likely create fissures among Maddow’s viewership, so rather than delve into bothersome complexities, or emulate the approach of British television anchors — who sometimes actually challenge the Israeli government’s spurious talking points — she instead opts to continue dishing out the standard “look over there at how crazy the GOP is” red meat.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli occupation carried out 72 attacks on journalists in Gaza

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Relatives of journalist Halid Ahmed (25), who died during the Israeli attack, mourn near his funeral on 20 July, 2014. His camera is put on his body during the funeral.
MEMO | August 2, 2014

Israel’s occupation army has carried out 72 attacks on journalists in the Gaza Strip during its latest war on the territory which started on 7 July, Palestinian information ministry in Gaza said on Friday.

The number of violations rose after the death of journalists Sameh al-Arian and Mohamed Daher on Thursday. They died from injuries sustained during an Israeli attack.

On Wednesday, Ramy Rayyan and Ahed Zaqqout were also killed while covering an Israeli massacre near a crowded market in the centre of the Gaza city, where 17 civilians were killed, including the journalists and three firefighters.

During the first three weeks of the war, four male and one female journalist were killed.

The ministry documented the following violations: nine journalists killed, 16 wounded, two vehicles with press and TV signs were targeted, and 16 homes of journalists and 15 media offices were destroyed. It also said that 14 cases of hacking were recorded.

According to the ministry, the Israeli occupation deliberately stepped up its attacks against media staff and media organisations despite clear signs showing their professional identities.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

NEOCON PROPAGANDA: ‘ISRAELIS TAKE PRISONERS BUT HAMAS KIDNAPS ISRAELI SOLDIERS’

By Damian Lataan | August 2, 2014

Writing in Commentary today, Israeli apologist and neocon propagandist Jonathan Tobin said: “…the Netanyahu government decided to accede to the [ceasefire] proposal put forward by the United States and the United Nations. But that decision has been rendered moot by the decision of Hamas to use the cover of the cease-fire to launch a suicide attack on Israeli forces that led to the possible kidnapping of a soldier.”

Not mentioned by Tobin was the ‘kidnapping’ of almost 300 Palestinians who had been taken by the Israelis during the first days of their invasion of the Strip, nor did Tobin mention that many of them had been ‘interrogated’ by Shin Bet, the Israeli security service who are notorious for their use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, a Western euphemism for torture.

Tobin forgets that it is the Israelis that have invaded the Gaza Strip and that the Gaza people have a right at all times to defend themselves against any aggression and also have the right, as do the Israelis, to take prisoners of war.

Tobin argues that, rather than a truce, Israel should go all out to destroy Hamas and demilitarise the Gaza Strip. To ‘demilitarise’ the Gaza Strip will involve a prolonged occupation and who knows what horrors Tobin has in mind when he says ‘Hamas should be destroyed’.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel bombs mosque, university, homes as Gaza death toll hits 1,654

Al-Akhbar | August 2, 2014

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_08_02_university_300_0Updated 3:00 pm: Israeli war jets on Saturday bombed a mosque in the northern Gaza town of Jabalia, a major university in Gaza City and flattened houses in a beach side neighborhood, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 1,654 as the US-backed assault enters day 26.

Saturday’s killings come a day after Israeli forces committed horrifying massacres in the southern town of Rafah, slaughtering about 150 men, women and children after the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the capture of a third by Palestinian commandos.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the ambush of the Israeli army officer, but said the group has lost contact with the fighters involved in the operation, and suggested that they may have been killed by Israeli shelling along with their prisoner of war.

“We lost contact with the (Hamas) troops deployed in the ambush and assess that these troops were probably killed by enemy bombardment, including the soldier said to be missing — presuming that our troops took him prisoner during the clash,” the Brigades said in a statement issued in Arabic and English.

“The Qassam Brigades has no information as of this time about the missing soldier, his whereabouts, or the circumstances of his disappearance.”

Palestinian health officials say 1,654 Palestinians, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, have been killed, including a muezzin who died in an Israeli strike on a northern mosque on Saturday.

Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed, and Palestinian shelling has killed two Israelis and a Thai workers.

Air strikes and tank fire have pounded huge areas of Gaza into rubble, rendering much of it unrecognizable to one Palestinian who returned home after spending years in an Israeli jail.

“It was my dream to return to Gaza but it is a real shock,” said 30-year-old Osama who comes from the central town of Deir al-Balah.

“Everything has been destroyed.”

Since Friday, more than 400 houses have been leveled across Gaza, mostly by air strikes, Palestinian officials said.

UN figures show that up to 25 percent of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million may have been forcibly displaced, with more than a quarter of a million people now seeking safety in shelters belonging to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama to Hamas: Release Israeli soldier

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Press TV – August 2, 2014

US President Barack Obama has called on the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to “unconditionally” release an Israeli soldier captured in the Gaza Strip.

“If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible,” Obama told a news conference on Friday.

On Friday, the Israeli military confirmed that one of its soldiers was captured by Palestinian fighters in the Gaza town of Rafah.

Obama framed the release of 23-year-old Hadar Goldin as a precondition for a possible ceasefire.

“A ceasefire was one way in which we could stop the killing, to step back and try to resolve some of the underlying issues,” he said.

Obama also characterized the relentless Israeli aerial and ground attacks on Gaza– in which more than 1,650 Palestinians have been killed– as self defense.

“No country can tolerate missiles raining down on its cities… no county can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under their land,” the president stated.

The United Nations says over 80 percent of the fatalities in Gaza have been civilians. Some 9,000 people have also been injured in 26 days of Israel’s onslaught on the besieged coastal enclave.

The military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, has been firing retaliatory rockets into Israel, killing dozens of its soldiers.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The American Aggression Enablement Act and the US’ Eurasian Thrust (II)

By Andrew KORYBKO | Oriental Review | August 1, 2014

Part I

Part II: Destabilization by Design

The second thrust of the US’ aggression in Eurasia is the purposeful destabilization of Russia’s interests in the Near Abroad. Specifically, the AAEA’s provisions would lead to an endangered security situation for Belarus, mayhem in Moldova, and an aggravation of the Nagorno-Karabakh situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia. All of these work against Russian interests and place Moscow on the strategic defensive.

Bunkering in Belarus:

One of the US’ designs is to bunker Belarus in and surround it with offensive NATO military capabilities. American aggression against Belarus is old news, going back most sensationally to the mid-2000s when Condoleeza Rice declared the country to be the “last dictatorship in Europe”, thereby putting its head on the chopping block for regime change. Although unsuccessful in overthrowing the government via a Color Revolution, Washington still pumps millions of dollars into the country to support “democracy” (likely in the same vein and with the same intended result as it did in Ukraine with its $5 billion investment). If the AAEA’s goal of placing permanent NATO bases in Poland and the Baltics comes to fruition, as well as the goal of Shadow NATO integration of Ukraine, Belarus could very well find itself almost surrounded by hostile forces pressuring it to accede to their demands. Making the situation even more high-risk, Belarus and Russia have a mutual security agreement via the CSTO, meaning that any act of force against Belarus will be treated as an act against Russia itself. This remarkably raises the stakes of NATO’s power play and increases the chance of direct conflict with Russia.

Moldovan Meltdown:

Transnistria (colored green) and Gagauzia (red) are seeking peaceful divorce with Moldova since 1991.

Flying largely under the radar of most analysts, Moldova is prime for a full-scale meltdown as it is rushed into Western institutions. First and foremost, the country already signed the EU Association Agreement in late June and, for the first time in its history, will be sending a representative to the upcoming NATO summit in September. Although nominal neutrality is a hallmark of the country’s constitution, this does not mean that it cannot enter Shadow NATO via major non-NATO ally designation or potentially enact a ‘referendum’ to change this statute.

What is critical here is that there are two ticking time bombs in Moldova that will likely go off as Western ‘integration’ proceeds at record speed; Transnistria and the lesser-known Gagauzia. The former is the renowned frozen conflict from the 1990s where Russia still has over a thousand troops stationed. It voted to join the Russian Federation in 2006 but to no avail. In May, Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin was harassed by Moldovan security after he visited Transnistria to collect signatures in favor of reunification with Russia. His plane was forced to land in Chisinau after Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities restricted their airspace to him, creating a diplomatic incident which would be unthinkable to do to a Western politician, let alone of such stature. Moreover, the territory is currently experiencing a blockade by both Moldova and Ukraine. Transnistria does not accept the authority of Chisinau and sees no attraction to the EU, instead preferring the Russian-led Eurasian Union. These radically divergent paths, coupled with NATO’s ambitions and Russia’s existing military position, place Moldova on the brink of destabilization.

Not only that, but Gagauzia is also a simmering issue waiting to boil over. Ari Rusila conducted research on this relatively unknown entity back in April and found that, just like Transnistria, it too is moving closer to Russia. Just as fast as Moldova is moving westward, Gagauzia appears to be moving eastward, and it is asserting its self-determination with every step of the way. He writes that it held a February 2014 referendum to join the Customs Union and that it also voted to place independence on the table if Moldova loses or surrenders its sovereignty. These two options could be taken to mean joining the EU or merging with Romania, and if Gagauzia officially moves away from the centralized Moldovan state, it could lead to military reprisals by Chisinau. All that it takes to set off the two Transnistrian and Gagauzian time bombs is to shove Moldova into the EU and NATO, both of which are already being fast-tracked by the West.

Asphyxiating Armenia:

Lost in the mix of the more headline-grabbing aspects of the AAEA, the legislation also mandates that the US increase its military cooperation with Azerbaijan and provide the same amount of security assistance to it, in league with NATO, as it would to the major non-NATO allies and Balkan states. This is an exceptionally important detail that mustn’t be overlooked by any observer. Armenia, Azerbaijan’s bitter rival, made the fateful decision to turn its back on the EU and move towards the Eurasian Union, much to the ire of Brussels. Hillary Clinton, speaking on behalf of the State Department in late-2012, made known her country’s intention to “figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent” Eurasian integration, signaling that Armenia, after having made its decision to move in this direction, will now be targeted just like Ukraine was.

2222_wm&91;1&93;_waAzerbaijan and Armenia are locked in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which, although frozen, threatens to heat up at any moment. By throwing its hat squarely behind Azerbaijan, the US is showing that it is not a neutral party to the conflict and cannot be trusted within the OSCE Minsk Group. The move for a more clearly defined and open US-Azeri military alliance has been a long time in coming, however. The US has been using Azerbaijan as a geostrategic energy outpost between Russia and Iran since the 1990s, and the creation of the BTC pipeline only increased its significance in the eyes of Western decision makers. Baku is also close friends with Israel, supplying about 40% of its oil, and it has been rumored to host Israeli drone bases for use against Iran. The Jerusalem Post also reports that Israel sells “hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms” to the country, further cementing their military-strategic relationship.

Armenia, on the other hand, has a mutual security guarantee with Russia through the CSTO, just like Belarus does. It is a traditional Russia ally and even hosts the 102nd military base outside the capital of Yerevan. Armenia has been blockaded by both Turkey and Azerbaijan since the early 1990s, and the vast majority of its foreign trade must move through Georgia before going to Russia or to other countries via port. With Georgia trying to join the EU, the scenario could arise where costly tariffs are enacted against outside (Armenian) goods entering the Union, even if they are only transiting through, further strangling the already weakened Armenian economy and promoting social unrest. To put things into perspective, Azerbaijan’s defense budget is larger than the entire state budget of Armenia, and Azeri President Aliyev has a track record of threatening military force to retake Nagorno Karabkah.

In sum, any renewed outbreak of war between Azerbaijan (now close to becoming a US military ally) and Armenia (protected under Russia’s defense umbrella) would be a de-facto US-Russian proxy war that could quickly draw in both powers. What’s more, Azerbaijan closely cooperates with Turkey, with whom it has close ethnic, cultural, and linguistic ties, and Ankara’s involvement in any future conflict could quickly draw in the entire NATO alliance. By cozying up so closely with Azerbaijan and working to asphyxiate Armenia, the US is pushing itself closer to a direct conflict with Russia.

Concluding Thoughts

It has been definitively established that the US’ so-called ‘Russian Aggression Prevention Act’ is nothing more than Orwellian Doublespeak for an American Aggression Enablement Act. Aside from the more well-known aspects of the proposal, the lesser-known ones are just as significant in throwing America and its NATO clique closer to war with Russia. By rabidly expanding NATO at all costs via indirect means, the US is plainly showing that it does not care whatsoever for Russia’s security concerns. In fact, it wants to push the envelope and expand NATO in as many simultaneous directions as it can. The swallowing of the Balkans, the staging ground of Russia’s strategic South Stream project, and the movement to incorporate Sweden and Finland into NATO are Washington’s way of imposing full dominance over the continent’s last nominally neutral areas, a move which will surely lead to a determined Russian push back, especially as regards the defense of Serbia and NATO expansion into Finland.

Furthermore, the AAEA aims to threaten Russian interests in Belarus, Moldova, and Armenia, three countries where Moscow has deployed troops and two of which are mutual security partners. This is a calculated attempt at weakening Russia’s position in the Near Abroad and continuing to place it on the strategic defense. All together, everything within the American Aggression Enablement Act clearly shows that the US has strapped up its boots and is eager to go on the offensive against Russia. The ‘Reset’ was nothing more than an underhanded way to buy the necessary time to organize this campaign against all of Russia’s interests on its western flank, and it appears to be in full swing. If it passes into law, the bill will be seen in hindsight as the one action which single-handedly ushered in the ‘New Cold War’ and could quite possibly revert Europe back to the powder keg that it once was 100 years ago.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The American Aggression Enablement Act and the US’ Eurasian Thrust (I)

By Andrew KORYBKO | Oriental Review | August 1, 2014

Congressional Hawks have been peddling the idea of a “Russian Aggression Prevention Act” since the beginning of May, but it has only been during the recent media-inspired hysteria that it began to gain traction. If passed into law, it would amount to a sweeping NATO offensive across all of Russia’s former soviet western periphery and would be the first official act of the ‘New Cold War’. Much has been written about the overall thematic consequences for US-Russian relations by Paul Craig Roberts and Patrick Buchanan illustrating how the US plans to use the legislation to subvert the Russian government from within via its support for ‘NGOs’ (and the prioritized ‘refugee’ status for journalists, ‘dissidents’, and various activists that is included in the document). What has not been explored, however, are some of the finer, yet no less important, aspects of the Act’s implementation. Whether it be NATO expansion into the Balkans or the destabilization of the Caucasus, bill S. 2277 more accurately could be described as the American Aggression Enablement Act (AAEA), as it represents a surge of US offensive military capability against Russian interests in its western flank.

Part I: The NATO Tumor Grows

The AAEA represents the cancerous growth of NATO throughout all of its targeted territories. Some of its most important details are that the EU and NATO are working hand-in-hand, NATO aims to swallow the Balkans, and the Missile Defense Shield (MDS) is to proceed at full speed ahead, with all of the resultant consequences thereof.

Good Cop, Bad Cop:

Although not explicitly stated in the AAEA itself, if one steps back and examines the overall context of the document, it is obvious that the EU and NATO have been working in lockstep to advance each other’s goals. In fact, an overall pattern can be ascertained:

(1) The EU makes some form of outreach to the targeted state(s) (e.g. The Eastern Partnership)

(2) Economic links between the EU and the target are nominally institutionalized (e.g. an EU Association Agreement)

(3) Shadow NATO (via major non-NATO ally status) moves in to defend the economic integration process

The EU presents the friendly, ‘humanitarian’ face to disarm the targeted state’s population while Shadow NATO inconspicuously attempts to absorb the country. This is the tried-and-tested technique of ‘good cop, bad cop’.

The Balkans or Bust:

The US is aggressively promoting its Armed Forces and NATO’s expansion into the Balkans as part of the AAEA. It stipulates that Obama must increase military cooperation with Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia, besides Azerbaijan and prescribed major non-NATO allies Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. Although it is unlikely that Serbia will be integrated into the fold (it is a strong Russian ally and vividly remembers the bloody bombings of 1999), the move still represents a major expansion of US military influence in Europe. One must keep in mind that the formerly forgotten-about Balkans are now at the forefront of this ‘New Cold War’, with the US and some European actors trying to sabotage Russia’s South Stream gas project which, ironically, certain EU members had agreed to in the first place. Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia are all entities abutting Serbia, which is planned to be one of the hubs of South Stream, so their inclusion into the enhanced NATO security framework suggested by the AAEA can be seen as surrounding Serbia prior to destabilizing it once more. In the context of bitter energy geopolitics, the US’ seemingly unexpected push into the Balkans makes absolute sense.

Missile Defense and NATO’s Northern Expansion:

Included in the AAEA is the directive to accelerate the rollout of the Missile Defense Shield (MDS). This was already envisioned to have land, sea, and space components per the phased adaptive approach framework. What makes the AAEA different, however, is that it wants to ‘poke Russia in the eyes’ and go forward with something that Moscow has already stated would certainly be a red line. Russia holds this stance because it believes that a MDS would neutralize its nuclear second-strike capability, thereby giving the US a monopoly on carrying out a nuclear first strike and shattering the mutual assured destruction concept that kept the peace between the two nuclear titans for decades.

Russia’s response thus far has been to deploy Iskander missiles to the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. One of the dual purposes of the US’ MDS is to goad Russia into taking more such defensive actions that could then be propagandized as ‘offensive’, thereby exaggerating ‘the Russian threat’ and contributing to fear mongering among the Swedish and Finnish citizenry. The end result is to push these countries deeper into the NATO apparatus. Finland has already said that it could hold a referendum on joining as early as April 2015 after the next round of parliamentary elections, with its Defense Minister already actively lobbying for this to happen. Sweden, on the other hand, already engages in such close cooperation with NATO that it’s already a shadow member in its own right, and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is one of the most prominent Russophobic policy makers on the continent. Because of a joint agreement on military security, Finland can only join NATO together with Sweden, meaning that if any move is made, it would likely be a ‘double whammy’ to get the two states in at once. It goes without saying that if Russia would not allow NATO to be deployed in Georgia or Ukraine, it most definitely would not allow it to be deployed along the Russo-Finnish border, further increasing the chances of yet another crisis in NATO-Russian relations sometime down the line.

To be continued… Part II

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

California and Ukraine National Guard gear up for military collaboration in 2015

RT | August 2, 2014

In the latest step by Washington to increase the pressure on Russia’s border with Ukraine, the Obama administration has informed Congress that the US will train and arm the Ukrainian National Guard next year, the Pentagon said.

“The Defense Department and State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian National Guard as part of their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense,” Reuters quoted Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby as saying Friday.

The joint military training would take place at a facility inside Ukraine that is capable of hosting multilateral exercises, Kirby said. The advisors would be provided by US Army Europe and by the California National Guard, he added.

Also Friday, the United States pledged about $8 million in new aid to bolster the Ukrainian Border Guard Service.

The plan requires Congressional approval, but judging by the level of anti-Russian rhetoric coming from US legislators, this is expected to be forthcoming.

The California National Guard’s military partnership with the Ukraine military has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

California partnered with Ukraine in 1993 to assist the country develop its military capacity, with the two sides participating in numerous military exercises over the years, including Operation Peace Shield and Operation Sea Breeze, which has particularly irked Moscow since the exercise is occasionally held in Crimea, the home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

The California-Ukraine partnership is expected to transition to Operation Saber Guardian – a multinational exercise involving 12 nations, including Ukraine.

It may come as a surprise to many American taxpayers that the US National Guard has nearly two dozen state partnerships with foreign countries, most of which were once part of the Soviet Union.

According to the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine, “the California–Ukraine partnership directly supports both the goals of the US Ambassador to Ukraine and Commander, US European Command.” However, the embassy provides no further details as to exactly what those specific “goals” may be.

Bad timing for California National Guardsmen?

Although the Pentagon spokesperson failed to mention Washington’s worsening diplomatic relations with Russia over the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, the announcement comes on the heels of a string of anti-Russian actions, which include a series of sanctions that target Russian businesses and banks.

The marked deterioration in Russia-US relations began late last year after former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signaled his preference for forging economic ties with Russia – which was prepared to provide a loan bailout to Kiev, something the IMF had been hoping to do – as opposed to the so-called EU association agreement.

This decision, which proved to be politically fateful for Yanukovich, triggered a harsh response from Western governments and politicians, some of whom, including Republican presidential candidate John McCain, appeared in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to agitate Ukrainians against Russia.

The level of Western meddling in Ukrainian politics became startlingly clear in January when assistant US Secretary of State Viktoria Nuland was recorded in telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, where the two officials are heard discussing their preferences as to whom should take over power in the country.

The icing on the cake came when Nuland was heard to bluntly declare, “F**k the EU” with regards to the European bloc’s opinion in the matter.

The latest setback in Russia-US relations came with the July 17 downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. Western countries, following in the footsteps of the United States, have been quick to cast blame on Russia for the incident, saying it has supplied the rebels with missiles.

Moscow has emphatically rejected the accusations, while at the same time presenting Kiev with a series of questions concerning the crash, including about why Ukrainian air traffic controllers allowed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 “to deviate from the regular route to the north, toward ‘the anti-terrorist operation zone.’”

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

EU ‘quietly’ lifts ban on supplying Kiev with weapons and technology – Russia

RT | August 2, 2014

The European Union has “quietly” agreed to lift restrictions supplying Kiev with military technology and equipment which can be used for the “repression” in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“During a recent meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels, leaders of EU member states agreed ‘on the quiet’ to remove restrictions on exports to Kiev of equipment that could be used for internal repression,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. “Exports of military technologies and equipment were also allowed.”

Moscow slammed the move as “contradicting the rules of military technologies and ammunition exports which have been earlier applied by the EU” and also “pierced” by double standards.

The EU approved its rules for controlling the export of weapons and ammunition on December 8, 2008. Criterion #3 calls on the EU member countries to stop issuing export licenses for military equipment and technologies that can provoke or prolong conflict.

The decision to restart issuing licenses for special military equipment exports came despite the continuing “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said.

“It is obvious why the EU is ignoring indisputable facts of shelling of Russian territory [in the southwest Russian region of Rostov] from the Ukrainian side: the perspective of feeling your own involvement in such actions creates certain discomfort in Brussels,” the statement said.

The ministry called upon its European counterparts “to follow logic,” not the “prodding” from Washington.

“The decision to limit the supply of ammunition and weaponry to Ukraine should have been introduced after the launch of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in the Donbas and Lugansk Regions. It is not too late to restore the ban,” the ministry said.

Donbas, a historical, economic and cultural part of eastern Ukraine, includes the northern part of the Donetsk Region and the south of the Lugansk region.

The restrictions were introduced by the EU Council in February 2013 when Viktor Yanukovich was the country’s president and there was a severe confrontation between Maidan protesters and police.

“Then the EU decided that it was ‘wrong’ to supply ‘Yanukovich regime’ with weapons,” Moscow pointed out.

The restrictions were first introduced by the European Council in February 2014 when Viktor Yanukovich was the country’s president and there were violent clashes between Maidan protesters and police. “Then the EU decided that it was ‘wrong’ to supply ‘Yanukovich regime’ with weapons,” the ministry said.

Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the eastern regions of Ukraine has intensified lately. The most recent crackdown was in the village of Gorlovka, in the Donetsk Region. It resulted in 31 civilians being killed there.

According to UN figures, at least 1,129 people have been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the operation in April. Also, 100,000 people have been forcibly displaced.

The UN report said that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of civilian residential areas and so-called “collateral damage” in heavily-populated areas.

See also: Over 30 civilians killed during two days of shelling in Gorlovka, E. Ukraine (VIDEO)

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment