Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

An Interview with George Szamuely

by Ann Garrison
Special to Consortium News 

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

George Szamuely: Several weeks ago, when we first talked about this, I said 60 percent. Now I’d say, maybe 70 percent. The problem is that Trump seems determined to be the anti-Obama. Obama, in Trump’s telling, “allowed” Russia to take Crimea and to “invade” Ukraine. Therefore, it will be up to Trump to reverse this. Just as he, Trump, reversed Obama’s policy on Iran by walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. So expect ever-increasing US involvement in Ukraine.

AG: NATO’s Supreme Commander US General Curtis M. Scaparrotti is reported to have been on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko “offering his full support.” Thoughts on that?

GS: There has been a proxy war within Ukraine since 2014, with NATO backing Poroshenko’s Ukrainian government and Russia backing the dissidents and armed separatists who speak Russian and identify as Russian in Ukraine’s southeastern Donbass region. But in the Kerch Strait the hostilities are between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO behind Ukraine.

A shooting war will begin if it escalates to where NATO soldiers shoot and kill Russian soldiers or vice versa. Whoever shoots first, the other side will feel compelled to respond, and then there’ll be a war between Russia and NATO or Russia and a NATO nation.

We don’t know whether NATO would feel compelled to respond as one if Russians fired on soldiers of individual NATO nations—most likely UK soldiers since the UK is sending more of its Special Forces and already has the largest NATO military presence in Ukraine. Russia could defeat the UK, but if the US gets involved, all bets are off.

Szamuely: U.S. ready to fight to last Brit.

AG: It’s hard to imagine that the US would allow Russia to defeat the UK.

GS: It is, but on the other hand, the US is the US and the UK is the UK. The United States might well be ready to fight to the last Brit, much as the United States is definitely ready to fight to the last Ukrainian. There are already 300 US paratroopers in Ukraine training Ukrainians, but the British would be well advised that words of encouragement from Washington don’t necessarily translate into US willingness to go to war.

AG: The US Congress passed a law that US troops can’t serve under any foreign command, so that would require US command.

GS: Yes, and without that, any British military defeat could be blamed on traditional British military incompetence rather than US weakness or foolish braggadocio.

AG: This latest dustup between the Russian and Ukrainian navies took place in the Kerch Strait. I had to study several maps to understand this, but basically neither Russian nor Ukrainian vessels, military or commercial, can get to or from the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea without passing through the Kerch Strait. That doesn’t mean that neither could get to the Black Sea, because both have Black Sea borders, but they couldn’t get from ports in the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea and back.

And neither Ukraine nor Russia can get from the Black Sea to Western European waters without passing through the Bosporous and Dardanelles Straits in Turkey to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, and then further to the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar, which is bordered on one side by Spain and the British territory of Gibraltar, and on the other by Morocco and the Spanish territory Ceuta. So there are many geo-strategic choke points where Russian ships, naval or commercial, could be stopped by NATO nations or their allies, and Ukraine has already asked Turkey to stop them from passing through the Bosporus Strait. Thoughts on that?

GS: Well, of course Ukraine can ask for anything it likes. There’s no way in the world Turkey would try to stop Russian ships going through the Bosporus Strait. That would be a violation of the 1936 Montreux Convention and an act of war on the part of Turkey. It isn’t going to happen. As for the Kerch Strait, it is Russian territorial water. Ukraine is free to use it and has been doing so without incident since 2014. The only thing the Russians insist on is that any ship going through the strait use a Russian pilot. During the recent incident, the Ukrainian tug refused to use a Russian pilot. The Russians became suspicious, fearing that the Ukrainians were engaged in a sabotage mission to blow up the newly constructed bridge across the strait. You’ll remember that an American columnist not so long ago urged the Ukrainian authorities to blow up the bridge. That’s why the Russians accuse Kiev of staging a provocation.

AG: There’s a longstanding back channel between the White House and the Kremlin, as satirized in Dr. Strangelove. Anti-Trump fanatics keep claiming this is new and traitorous, but it’s long established. Obama and Putin used it to keep Russian and US soldiers from firing on one another instead of the jihadists both claimed to be fighting in Syria. Kennedy and Khrushchev used it to keep the Bay of Pigs crisis from escalating into a nuclear war. Shouldn’t Trump and Putin be talking on that back channel now, no matter how much it upsets CNN and MSNBC?

GS: Well, of course, they should. The danger is that in this atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria such channels for dialogue may not be kept open. As a result, crises could escalate beyond the point at which either side could back down without losing face. What’s terrifying is that so many US politicians and press now describe any kind of negotiation, dialogue, or threat-management as treasonous collusion by Donald Trump.

Remember Trump’s first bombing in Syria in April 2017. Before he launched that attack, Trump administration officials gave advance warning to the Russians to enable them to get any Russian aircraft out of harm’s way. This perfectly sensible action on the part of the administration—leave aside the illegality and stupidity of the attack—was greeted by Hillary Clinton and the MSNBC crowd as evidence that the whole operation was cooked up by Trump and Putin to take attention off Russia-gate. It’s nuts.

AG: Most of us have heard Russia and NATO’s conflicting accounts of why the Russian Navy seized several Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov. What’s your interpretation of what happened?

Poroshenko: Provocation with elections near?

GS: As I said, I think the Russians had every right to be suspicious of the intent of the Ukrainian vessels. The Ukrainians know that these are Russian territorial waters. They know that the only way to go through the Kerch Strait is by making use of a Russian pilot. They refused to allow the Russians to pilot the ships through the strait. Whatever the Ukrainians’ ultimate intent was—whether it was to carry out an act of sabotage, to provoke the Russians into overreaction and then to demand help from NATO, or simply to go through the strait without a Russian pilot in order to enable President Poroshenko to proclaim the strait as non-Russian—whatever Kiev’s intent was, the Russians were entitled to respond. The force the Russians used was hardly excessive. In similar circumstances, the US would have destroyed all of the ships and killed everyone on board. Recall, incidentally, Israel has seized Gaza flotilla boats and arrested everyone on board. In 2010, the Israeli Navy shot nine activists dead during a flotilla boat seizure, and wounded one who died after four years in a coma.

AG: Don’t the US, Ukraine, and the UN Security Council refuse to recognize the Kerch Strait as Russian territory, and insist that Russia’s claim to it violates various maritime treaties? I know the UNSC refuses to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, not that that does Syria any good.

GS: According to the 2003 agreement, Russia and Ukraine agreed to consider the strait as well as the Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters. From 2014 on, Russia considered the strait as Russian waters, though it’s made no attempt to hamper Ukrainian shipping. The Azov Sea is still shared by Russia and Ukraine. During the recent incident, the Ukrainian Navy acted provocatively, deliberately challenging the Russians. As for what the UNSC accepts, how would NATO respond if Serbia entered Kosovo on some pretext or other?

AG: OK, now let’s go back to NATO’s Exercise Trident Juncture, a massive military exercise on Russia’s Scandinavian and Arctic borders that concluded on November 24, one day before the Kerch Strait incident. The first phase was deployment, from August to October. The second phase was war games from October 25th to November 7th. The war games were based on the premise that Russia had invaded Scandinavia by ground, air, and sea. They included 50,000 participants from 31 NATO and partner countries, 250 aircraft, 65 naval vessels, and up to 10,000 tanks and other ground vehicles, and I hate to think about how much fossil fuel they burned.

The final phase was a command post exercise to make sure that, should NATO forces ever face a real Russian invasion of Scandinavia, their response could be safely coordinated in Norway and in Italy, far from the war zone.

So George, do Scandinavians have reason to worry that Russia might invade any of their respective nations?

GS: Not at all. This is ridiculous. It was the largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, and why? Why did they do this? Russia isn’t threatening Scandinavia, but it’s more likely that it will if NATO continues conducting war games on its borders. Right now tension between East and West is escalating so fast that a single event could be like a match that triggers an explosion, and then there’ll be a war.

Stranger than Strangelove.

AG: There was a recent Russian exercise, or joint Russian and Chinese exercise, based on the premise that the US had invaded Korea, right?

GS: Right. But it wasn’t anywhere near Europe, so it wasn’t threatening the Europeans. It took place in eastern Siberia, so it shouldn’t have caused panic in NATO countries. It shouldn’t have caused panic in the US either, because the Pacific Ocean separates the US and the Korean Peninsula.

What’s striking about Trident Juncture is that it involved Sweden and Finland, both of whom are traditionally neutral. They were neutral during the Cold War, not joining any alliances. Finlandization came to mean a foreign policy that in no way challenged or antagonized the USSR. So now here’s Finland rolling back that policy and joining NATO in this massive military exercise to stop nonexistent Russian aggression.

AG: Has Russia ever attempted to seize territory outside its own borders since the end of the Cold War?

GS: No. Russia never attempted to seize territory outside its own borders. The case cited by the West is Crimea, but that was really an outstanding issue that should have been addressed during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin, the drunken, incompetent stooge that the US installed, just neglected it.

The Russian-speaking and Russian-identified people of Crimea were unhappy about Ukraine claiming sovereignty over them. They had been an autonomous republic within the USSR, and after its dissolution, they still retained their constitutional autonomy. That’s what gave them the right to hold a referendum to join the Russia Federation in 2014.

If the West is involved in an uprising, as in Ukraine, it recognizes the “independence” of the government it puts in power. It won’t recognize the constitutional autonomy of Crimea, which predated the 2014 Ukrainian revolution or illegal armed coup, whichever you call it, because it wasn’t part of their plan.

AG: The NATO nations and their allies say that Russia invaded and occupied Crimea, violating Ukrainian sovereignty according to international law. Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman referred to the “illegal annexation” of Crimea at least three times after the Kerch Strait incident. How do you explain the presence of Russian soldiers in Crimea prior to the referendum?

GS: They didn’t invade and occupy Crimea. Their forces were there legally, according to a 25-year lease agreement between Russia and Ukraine.

Crimea had been a part of Russia for more than 200 years. For most of the time, during the USSR era, it was an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. In 1954, Khrushchev transferred some degree of sovereignty over the Crimean Republic to Ukraine. I’m not entirely sure why he did that, but the issue wasn’t that important then because Ukraine, Russia and Crimea were all part of the USSR.

Khrushchev didn’t envisage an independent Ukraine walking off with such a prize piece of real estate. Crimea is not only a huge tourist destination, it is also the site of Russia’s primary naval base on the Black Sea in Sevastopol. Yeltsin failed to address the problem in 1991. Since then, every time Crimeans talked about holding a referendum on their future, Kiev threatened to use force to stop them. Kiev would have used force again in 2014 if the Russians in the Port of Sevastopol had not left their Crimean base and made their presence known.

AG: The US, aka NATO, has an empire of military bases all over the world, and troops right up against Russia’s borders as in Exercise Trident Juncture. Does Russia have anything remotely like it?

NATO practices war with Russia. Exercise Trident Juncture.
(Master-Corporal Jonathan Barrette, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

GS: No. Russia does not have military bases outside its borders, which are now more or less as they were in 1939, when the USSR was surrounded by hostile states that were more than happy to join Hitler. So it’s ridiculous to tell Russia, “Don’t worry about our troops and war games all over your borders because we don’t really mean any harm.” Washington is calling Russia an existential enemy, and the UK is promising to stand shoulder to shoulder with its NATO allies and partners against “Russian aggression,” which is really Russian defense. So now we have an explosive situation on the Ukrainian and Russian borders that could easily turn into a shooting war.

AG: I read some US/NATO complaints that Russia was conducting exercises on its own side of the border. And last week NATO accused the Russian military of jamming its signals during its rehearsal for a war on Russia’s borders.

GS: Yes, that’s what the US considers Russian aggression, even though its troops and bases are all over the world and all over Russia’s borders.

AG: Competition between US and Russian energy corporations is one of the main undercurrents to all this. The US State Department even said that Europe should abandon the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project with Russia because of the Kerch Strait incident, but that received a cool response, particularly from Angela Merkel. What are your thoughts about that?

GS: Well, obviously, the Trump administration is determined to push the Europeans to give up on natural gas from Russia and to opt, instead, for US liquefied natural gas (LNG). The problem is that LNG shipped across the Atlantic is much more expensive than natural gas piped to Europe from Russia. So it’s clearly not in the interests of the Europeans to have a bigger energy bill. Look what’s happening in France. Ordinary people are not making so much money that they can afford to shell out more for energy, particularly when there is no need to do so. Some countries such as Poland are so imbued with hostility toward Russia that they’re willing to pay more for gas just to hurt Russia, but Germany won’t go down this path.

AG: Anything else you’d like to say for now?

GS: Yes, I think it’s amazing that this many years after the Cold War we’ve reached a point where there’s almost no public criticism of a policy that has led to the US abandoning a major arms control agreement, namely the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed in 1987.

There’s almost no public criticism of the US getting involved in an armed confrontation on Russia’s doorstep, in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, or conceivably even Scandinavia. There’s almost no public criticism of roping formerly neutral European powers like Sweden and Finland into NATO military exercises.

Given the fact that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that went into effect in 2011 will expire in 2021, and given that there’s nothing on the horizon to take its place, this is an extraordinarily perilous point in time.

And much of this has to be blamed on the liberals. The liberals have embraced an anti-Russian agenda. The kind of liberal view that prevailed during the Cold War was that we should at least pursue arms control agreements. We might not like the Communists, but we need treaties to prevent a nuclear war. Now there’s no such caution. Any belligerence towards Russia is now good and justified. There’s next to no pushback against getting into a war with Russia, even though it could go nuclear.

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes Region. She can be reached at ann@anngarrison.com.

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127 comments for “Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

  1. Charles
    December 25, 2018 at 02:53

    Is Europe that stupid to let the US push them into WW3 on their territory again? Their leaders should be taken out. How incredibly stupid!

  2. james
    December 23, 2018 at 16:22

    Szamuely stated that Russia has no military bases outside its borders. This is incorrect. Last time I checked they had 11 foreign bases:

    Armenia- 1 army, 1 air force

    Belarus- 1 radar/ air force

    Abkhazia- 1 army

    South Ossetia- 2 army

    Kazakhstan- 1 radar

    Kyrgyzstan- 1 air

    Tajikistan- 1 army

    Syria- 1 air force; 1 naval

    Of course this is nothing compared to America’s network of foreign bases, and all of the Russian ones are in countries on or very near their own borders.

  3. December 17, 2018 at 14:34

    All Russia has to do is sit and wait while we in DaWest are self destructing as we speak.
    Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad!
    Russia is not insane, while we might now be considered certifiably so!

  4. December 16, 2018 at 19:46

    what if??? russian and Chimese subs were to sutface just out of America costal waters linr of control anf sit there for long enough to be seen then went undectable which they could easily do?
    An “et tu Brute” to American similar move in the north pacific and the NATO exercises in eastern europe!

    • Fredrick
      December 17, 2018 at 09:53

      This is false flag stuff. In reality, Russia got $12 bn per year from US foreign aid all during “Viet Naaam war’. while ‘Russia’ spent $8bn/yr aiding NVA, so Russia profited $4bn/yr all during the “war”.. No doubt Rusia still gets US aid..and even US gvt admits Russia helps send US asstronaughts up to the allegd ISS. During the “Korean War”..[run by The UN allegedly, as a “Police Action”] , the UN Security Council was headed up by a RUSSIAN General. ie, Folks have been getting scammed by the deep state for decades.

  5. December 16, 2018 at 17:53

    Any and all talk of a shooting war between USA and Russia has been over-ruled by Russian military superiority in signals defense, in power projection offense and in undisclosed use of weapons using advanced physical properties.

    If and when Russia engages in a conflict the outcome is swift and sure. For example, not a single life was lost on either side when Crimea voted to join Russia. Various military operations swiftly and precisely nullified any and all hostiles in Crimea.

    When Russia entered into the Syrian conflict to provide air support, ground guidance and on the ground negotiations, the result fully surpassed NATO/America’s efforts by a factor of 10 or 20. Her soldiers have stood bravely and effectively against surprise ambushes and held their own and did fierce damage to the enemy.

    When an American ship entered the Black Sea and when it seemed to get ‘cooked’ by an advanced weapon system on Russian jet planes, it turned tail and headed back.

    When a barrage of American drones and missiles were fired against Syria most were ineffective, diverted or downed in unknown ways.

    When drones were launched against Russian bases in Syria, some were captured and controlled by Russian signal superiority.

    Strange ‘accidents’ have affected American ships near Korea and a Norwegian ship during recent maneuvers. If Russia used advanced signals control to cause these accidents is not known, and, if they did, their involvement is fully deniable.

    In many obvious and subtle ways, Russia has shown she cannot be messed with. Putin said that no nation has the capacity to launch an effective attack on Russia. He has reason to say that.

    If there was a serious battle, I am fully convinced that the outcome is known in advance and the net result would be a major loss of bragging rights from the US military.

    • jb
      December 23, 2018 at 01:12

      Da, Comrade…

  6. December 16, 2018 at 17:30

    Don’t know about you, but I am soooo glad our peace-loving NATO soldiers have had enough practice and tanks to repel the coming Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Baltics we know is coming. I can sleep soooo much safer knowing we can stop this imminent attack to the very heart of our democracy – forget about those innocent domestic hate crimes and mass shootings eating away at our core. And of course the Russians would much rather prefer to start another couple of wars than to shore up their weakened economy, health care and educational systems so weakened by our sanctions. (What planet do these NATO commanders live on? Oh, the one led by Washington. )

  7. GNUS
    December 16, 2018 at 15:05

    April LaJune
    Streamed live on 26 Nov 2018

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO2ge5hac4

  8. b.grand
    December 16, 2018 at 14:18

    Trump should realize that Ukraine (the post-coup Clinton-indebted regime) has been conniving against him for years. After he won, they sucked up to him, but they’ve been primary actors in disrupting his hopes of better relations with Russia. Trump’s gut instinct was positive, but he’s been cornered by the Deep State and Clintonista #Resistance.
    See: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
    “Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.”

  9. roberto
    December 16, 2018 at 12:39

    GREAT ARTICLE!

  10. December 16, 2018 at 12:23

    Many of us who voted for Trump did so because of both:

    1) The stark difference between the positions of the two candidates on the issue of the enforcement of a U.S. no-fly zone over the entirety of Syria which would entail the threat of or actual conduct of the U.S. shooting down both Syrian, Iranian (if any) and Russian aircraft (a position favored by Clinton but shunned by Trump).

    2) The similarly stark difference between the two candidates’ positions on whether there should be a thaw in the relations with Russia or further confrontation because they allegedly swung or were swinging the election in favor of Trump (the former position belongs to Trump and the latter perfectly ridiculous position supported by Clinton)

    A war between Russia and NATO, perhaps to include the U.S. (or, maybe not as the U.S. seems always willing to encourage wars to the last non-American) represents an existential threat to perhaps all Americans and that includes my family. So, my choice and the choice of many peace loving Americans was Trump.

    Now, he’s no prince, for sure. But he’s not a warmonger, at least, no so far, although with all the neocons in his administration I’m beginning to wonder. But the way I look at it Hillary would have started a war within the first six months of her administration and forced my family into a survival of the fittest life after a nuclear attack on the U.S. by Russia. But, by luck the moron Trump has given my family at least two more years of the certainty of life, instead.

    My vote for Trump was based on my love of my country and, in particular, the love of my wife and children. I have absolutely no qualms about voting for him and supporting him still even if it means re-electing him in 2020 if he, again, faces a warmonger like Clinton.

    BTW, I’m an independent voter.

    • willow
      December 17, 2018 at 16:40

      There are many like minded voters. I was a Sanders supporter/donor, but after he lost the primary, I voted for Trump for EXACTLY the same reasons, but I’ve lost many friends and am the target of ire at family holiday gatherings. I will probably be disinherited. Hillary vs. Trump was a choice between certain vs. uncertain nuclear Armageddon

    • Charles
      December 25, 2018 at 03:09

      Exactly. Anyone that followed the conversations between Killery and Trump knew this. I agree with what you say. I am an independent and voted the same way for the same reasons and I know many democrat friends that voted for Trump for the same reason. Anyone that watched Hillary’s sociopathic behavior when Kadafi was tortured to death… and her comments on “I came, I saw, and we killed him” should have known better to vote for her.

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    December 16, 2018 at 12:19

    Hopefully never, but if it comes to fighting, I am sure the first shot would come from NATO and not from Russia.

    • George Hartwell
      December 16, 2018 at 17:57

      And the final shot from Russia. There is an exception to your position. If Russia is certain a conflict is inevitable then Russia/Putin will make use of surprise to ensure the victory with the least losses, least time and before the other side wakes up.

  12. December 16, 2018 at 10:40

    This is an excellent interview.

    George Szamuely knows his stuff, and Ann Garrison elicits some good responses.

    Oh, I could wish there were more of this kind of thoughtful, informed stuff in the United States now. Instead, we have a madhouse, literally a madhouse.

    By the way, on the reference, “Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman referred to the “illegal annexation” of Crimea at least three times after the Kerch Strait incident.”

    I’ve long regarded “Democracy Now” as one of those classic outlets for CIA disinformation. CIA has long had the practice of secretly funding some publications and broadcasts, sometimes infiltrating them too, which have the appearance (and credibility) of independence and a liberal view.

    Such publications are useful subtle outlets. and right here we see that (questionable, in my view) source being cited.

    CIA did this right through the Cold War – never mind the laws – when, apart from openly pro-CIA publications like Time-Life and Readers Digest, we had many secretly funded ones used to “get the story out there.”

    I believe Saturday Review, which I used to read, was one of these. The name of “National Geographic” has also come up a few times in this context.

    There’s no reason on earth that the CIA would have stopped these Cold War practices.

    Indeed, with the New Cold War, there’s every reason to believe the opposite is true. They have virtually unlimited funds, almost no supervision, and the nature of the CIA is that it likes to control events.

  13. Martin - Swedish citizen
    December 16, 2018 at 08:45

    Regarding the exercise Trident Juncture, involving 50, 000 participants, it may be put in perspective by reminding of the exercise Zapad 17, carried out in Western Russia and Belarus, more or less on the mirror side of the Trident Juncture.

    Swedish MSM and many politicans did their best to create hysteria around Zapad 17, stating it involved 100,000 or more participants, whereas the Russians had announced the number was some 9000. They were accused of lying, and it was implied that the Baltic states were in immediate danger. It turned out, after several weeks, that the figure 9000 was correct. Swedish media and politicians had quoted Western/US news and intelligence sources when they stated the 100,000 figure, it was first page news for many weeks, and trusted them mechanically. It was interesting to read a small comment afterwards in the Swedish big daily “Svenska Dagbladet”, noting that their usual sources had deceived them. There is little to indicate that they learned anything from this, however.

  14. Clint Moose
    December 16, 2018 at 05:00

    a gross factual error :”No. Russia does not have military bases outside its borders” . How about Tartus which has a constant presence of combat vessels for decades ? and which is very relevant to this topic ?

    • Tom Welsh
      December 16, 2018 at 06:22

      I think Russia has about three military and/or naval bases outside its borders. Tartus, Hmeymim, and one in (I think) Tadjikistan. All within a few hundred miles of Russia itself, and all intended to stave off serious military threats to Russia itself.

      Whereas the USA has about 1,000 (estimates vary between 800-odd and 1,100-odd), spread literally all round the world – including some over 10,000 miles away from the continental USA.

      It’s hardly a “gross factual error” to say that Russia has no foreign bases when it has three against at least 800 US ones. Russia has, at the very most, 0.4% as many bases as the USA – pretty close to zero.

      • Clint Moose
        December 18, 2018 at 08:44

        Yes. Gross. Simple question, simple answer and you don’t have to be a journalist or analyst to answer correctly. If you’re a senior researcher at a policy institute, not knowing a very basic relevant fact about your subject matter that everybody could look up in a heartbeat makes it a gross error and just casts doubts over the seriousness of the research. How else could i judge what’s being presented to me, a person who is not doing policy and strategic research for a living ? should i just accept it as the word of professionals ? is ignoring this discrepancy what Robert Parry would have advised ? i don’t think so.

        While you are both right, as he is, about the asymmetry, this is not what Garrison asked Szamuely.

        In addition, while it’s true that the US has a much more dangerous spread of bases, simply counting all of the bases worlwide and dividing to obtain a ratio does not hold for any serious startegic analysis. it’s a starting point for sure, but there’s only about a dozen or so that are strategically significant compared to Tartus. If you had to write a report about this matter, would you seriously count all of the 800 bases ? should all of them receive the same weight in importance ?

        if you still insist on counting percentages, my answer to you is that the ratio between occurrence and nonoccurence is mathematically more significant than a difference of 2 or 3 orders of magnitude.

        Just FYI i do agree that we live in dangerous times and that US policy is the major cause of concern, and i bet that if direct combat develops it will be a fault of the US or one of its allies.

    • JOHN CHUCKMAN
      December 16, 2018 at 10:47

      Gross?

      I’d call the use of that word poor judgment.

      The US has somewhere between 800 and 1,000 bases abroad.

      Thus Russia’s bases abroad in fact are virtually zero.

  15. Will
    December 16, 2018 at 00:02

    Nice opinion piece…

  16. Erelis
    December 15, 2018 at 23:19

    War is now more likely than not. The West has raised the conflict to an ethnic and racial level the same way the real German Nazis raised it with Jews and Russian Slavs. During the Cold War, the conflict was ideologically which it is not the case now as Russia fully participates in the world as a captialist society. In effect, the conflict finds its origins not with the end of the Cold War, but with the end of the WWII. It is now an expanded coalition that is on the borders of Russia, but with same idealogies and hatreds.

  17. December 15, 2018 at 20:45

    The best thing the US could do is to legitimize Russia accession, which was with the support of the people of Crimea because Russia is not going to give it up. It is their access to the Black Sea. Nations don’t commit suicide. From the viewpoint of morality, it is like Kosovo where the people voted for its independence and unlike the Golan Heights which were taken by force from the Syrian people.

    It is amazing how American can screw up people’s lives. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and Ukraine and leave the wreckage to someone else to clean up.

    • Ann Garrison
      December 16, 2018 at 05:17

      It’a not “Americans.” It’s our ruling elite and in this case particularly the fossil fuel industries and all the politicians they own. At the end of last week the US House actually passed a resolution expressing “opposition” to Gazprom PJSC’s $11 billion Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, on concerns that the project will boost the Kremlin’s control over Europe’s energy supplies. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-11/u-s-house-passes-resolution-opposing-russian-gas-pipeline

      • December 16, 2018 at 11:25

        A technically correct response, but only “technically.”

        I don’t think every reference to what the American establishment does can avoid the use of the word “American.”

        And, I do think Americans in general tolerate this immense waste and abuse and brutality, and so they do have some responsibility.

        The only time we had big protests in America against an ugly imperial war was for a brief time during Vietnam when fair numbers of conscripts died. The only time.

        Even then, in a war which killed an estimated 3 million Vietnamese, many of them in horrible fashion, only about 60 thousand Americans died. Roughly, two percent of Vietnam’s losses.

        And how was that? Because America used the latest mass-killing inventions in that war. Early cluster bombs, carpet-bombing, napalm, and still other ghastly stuff. And used them in huge numbers.

        America also left behind the horror of a country soaked in Agent Orange and littered with landmines to kill for decades more.

        Look, when a horrible man like John McCain can still be called “a hero” something is wrong.

        What was he doing when he was shot down? Bombing civilians in North Vietnam. And what did he do to help the poor Vietnamese man literally who saved his life, McCain, wounded, having landed in water?

        Absolutely nothing. That rich boy never sent even a modest cheque to really thank the man. To my mind that story symbolizes the entire war.

        To end the protests and anger, the Pentagon just rearranged the chairs around the table, so to speak, and they did end.

        Otherwise, its been about three-quarters of a century since WWII with close to constant imperial wars and not a significant protest in sight. It is estimated variously between 8 and 20 million people killed by America in those wars. How many crippled? How many homes destroyed?

        Today the Pentagon uses well-paid mercenaries in its wars (in the Middle East, they even sleep in air-conditioned tents), and there’s not a hint of a protest in good old America.

        Unless you merely regard yourselves as living under an occupying force, you cannot just blame the establishment and shrug off responsibility, but that is exactly what Americans do, overwhelmingly.

        The mind-set also allows for the insanity of things like the New Cold War. I don’t see much objection to the most outlandish and genuinely dangerous statements daily made by American politicians, newspapers, and celebrities about Russia.

        I’m sorry to say, but I do think there is a kind of sickness which lingers over America, and very few escape its effects.

        • vinnieoh
          December 17, 2018 at 11:45

          Mr. Chuckman: Like you (judging by your photo) I’m nearer the end of my journey than the beginning, and of all the ills plaguing humanity, the specter of war is the most ominous. In 2016 I did some digging and found that as of that date it was estimated that at least 6 million Vietnamese had been sickened by the residue of the US chemical warfare there. And in the ME (and another generation of “advancement” in military technology) DU munitions will continue to wreck health havoc for generations to come.

          I’m not so sure of your assessment of blame apportioned to the US public for US continued aggression. I’m not flat out disagreeing, just not sure that there isn’t much more (or less) going on here. Before the illegal invasion of Iraq by GW et al there was a large mobilization of the US public (and around the world) opposed to that conflict. I was in DC with about 600,000 others, and all told several million that day marched in opposition. It had absolutely no effect on the administration and little effect on US pols generally. The media largely downplayed these gatherings or ignored them, and in fact welcomed more war mongers onto their daily propaganda shows to tell us how great this would all be. I personally went from feeling hopeful about the sensibilities of my fellow citizens to feeling powerless. I attended another protest when Obama was in office and it was a sad affair. About 5000 people milling about Lafayette Square, and when the actual march took place it resembled nothing so much as a Mardi Gras parade, with every niche perennial protest interest represented, for a unified statement of nothing.

          I could continue to “petition for redress” my US rep, but he’s a Tea Party crazy (Bill Johnson) and all I get from those efforts are boiler-plate responses of neocon talking point rubbish. Petitioning Sherrod Brown, that “paragon of progressivism” and one of Ohio’s Senators is not much better. Visiting his official website and holding my nose reading about his crowing about all the C-130’s Ohio is building, all of the young cannon-fodder he’s ushered into our military academies, I have to wonder how seriously he will consider my entreaties to reduce US militarism.

          I’d like to write more, but I must leave on an errand. Peace.

          • Skip Scott
            December 17, 2018 at 13:35

            To get anything other than boilerplate nonsense from any US representative you’ve got to have big bucks. None of them respond to us “little people” unless it’s for a “photo op”.

    • JOHN CHUCKMAN
      December 16, 2018 at 10:49

      It’s been America’s practice since the end of WWII.

      Just horrible.

      Look at what was left behind in Vietnam, for example.

      Every American should be ashamed, but I know they are not.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      December 16, 2018 at 12:24

      Oh, America has screwed up lives in many more countries than the ones you list – many more. As you say…leave others to clean up – no financial restitutions, no apologies.

  18. Spencer
    December 15, 2018 at 19:01

    Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results—Vietnam–Korea–Afghanistan–Iraq—Syria—Russia not a good idea–Have they forgotten—-Stalingrad—-The Corporate Crime Wave would suddenly end.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      December 16, 2018 at 12:27

      I wonder, though I seriously doubt it, whether the US has taken into consideration what actions China would undertake if Russia is attacked.

      • George Hartwell
        December 16, 2018 at 18:04

        Russia is not going to be attacked for the reasons stated above. China is not needed. ‘Russia attacked’ = American humiliation.

        America loses:
        1. bluffing rights,
        2. weapon sales,
        3. weapon placements (surgical removal of nearby threats),
        4. Certain military assets – all command and control aircraft and ships – missing.

    • willow
      December 17, 2018 at 17:07

      Those aren’t mistakes. That’s our business model, to manufacture and sell endless wars for huge profits for a tiny few.
      The MIC is the biggest weapons dealer in the world. There’s no profit in peace

  19. SteveK9
    December 15, 2018 at 18:59

    There seems to be very little comment on the fact that the Kerch Strait incident is tied very closely to Poroshenko’s political position. This is very evident to most of the commenters/writers on other websites. Poroshenko is facing an election in March. His approval rating is in single digits and although there is no very popular politician running, he is certain to lose to Tymoshenko (he is running behind a non-politician comedian). So, what does he do? This is a very serious question for Poroshenko. Without fleeing the country, there is a very good possibility of him being imprisoned or executed. He put Tymoshenko in prison, and I don’t think she is the forgiving type.

    What he hoped was that an engineered ‘incident’ would either bring in the US (NATO) if the Russians simply sank all the ships and killed their crews (as noted by George Szamuley. Or, he could declare an emergency and impose martial law and cancel the elections. In fact, martial law is what he requested immediately following the planned (the Russians have the orders given to those crews and have published them) incident. His opponents only allowed a ‘partial’ declaration of martial law on all the provinces bordering Russia or the Sea of Azov (some have joked that this will be the future borders of a rump Ukraine). This is not all he wanted but it will still give him some additional advantage if an election is held.

    This is ALL about Poroshenko. And, he may try something more bold to involve the US (the fact that this ridiculous incident got Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin at the G-20 is a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog, and proves Ukraine can screw up relations between Russia and the US at will … due to the Democratic Party’s Russiagate), like launching an attack on the Donbass ‘republics’ (likely) or Russia itself (unlikely). In any case, he can provoke Russia to the point, where it acts … and then the response of the US will be critical to whether we are at the beginning of WWIII or not.

  20. XBarbarian
    December 15, 2018 at 18:06

    Sadly, likely

  21. eric siverson
    December 15, 2018 at 17:48

    In Yugoslavia Wesley Clark issued orders for NATO troops to shoot Russian soldiers because they will try to protect Christian civilians . At about this same time the United States accidently on purpose fired a missile into the Chines embassy . China and Russia have not been able to forgive or forget these acts . So for the last 19 years China and Russia have been partnering on all military technology . I don’t think NATO can get into much of a war with either of them with out getting into a conflict with the other one . I believe Communist China and Christian Russia will stick together better than NATO . They believe they have to or they will be dismembered one at a time . After 19 years of preparing their defense ,they should be plenty strong too .

    • pappa gone
      December 16, 2018 at 09:42

      fortunately for the world there are some good people that are limiting tha evil axis, the true terrorist regimes ever seen…….. Hitler and Stalin, or Kim or whatever dicattor in front of what are doing zionists, americans, some of european countries and the axis of the avidity and the evil were nothing!!!!
      we are assisting at the same cabal we seen before ww1\ww2 project and create conditions to start mondial wars, it’s so clear for every people which know the history (the real history cleaned of propaganda and lies) that we are assisting at the attempt to have another war. probably that stupid ignorant people who thinks to be superior to China and/or Russia (americans are so ignorant of militar strategy, but mostly of what was german aggression and what happened when Russian people decided to stand up for their homeland for example a Stalingrad . . . and in many other occasions!) that they have lost their superiority from much time they thinks also from the point of view of weapon technology.
      their agony (also of the dollar but not only, culture of lies and deception, ownership of media mainstream, false flag operation all around the world to gain control of entire nations, and coups, and pure evil actions and intentions, and help to a racist nation as pure zionist/fascist one as Israel) all these citations are not all their basic satanic behavior, they make whatever evil action ever to gain what the moments needs but with the time people all around the world finally understood and all the good things of america became nothing.
      Now america in thier very agony is attempting with brute force to give the last shot and try to take the control of the whole world, thing this impossible and mostly the worst scenario for the future, inimaginable and in that case the enslavement of all the people on the earth (obviously the american people would be the one put in the worst of situations compared to other peoples).
      Orwell would never have imagined it and foreseen it, it would overcome the worst possible situations for all!
      But that is the impossible of the possible scenario, instead of happens that, all the nations that will can shot a nuclear bomb, will shot to america all that possible weapons to the american satan. The house of terror will crush completely before the inimaginable will happens, ever and forever that will can’t happens.
      But!, coming back to present situation, deep state, zionists, rotschild cabal perhaps will try all possible actions, but Putin and Xi Jinping, that are the two best statists of the moment are so objective and calm that are also taking many offence by americans, brits and jews doing nothing to unleashing hell on earth, but the patience is not infinite and the red lines can be overcome almost all exceeded but despite everything still are calm and are cashing offenses and threats every day, how much you think they can still move forward before decides to act?

    • George Hartwell
      December 16, 2018 at 18:06

      Thanks for that helpful historical background.

  22. Ingrid
    December 15, 2018 at 15:21

    Ann Garrison,

    IDK why CN moderators have declined (twice) to post this link to the January, 2017, Politico article that was the impetus for Lee Stranahan’s subsequent research. While the MSM has assiduously ignored the DNC-Ukraine connection, Lee has painstakingly unearthed primary evidence such as direct quotes from Alexandra Chalupa and her sister. [Commenter “Eddie” is unable to refute facts, so resorts to ad hominem attacks on the journalist.]

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
    Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
    Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.

    Recently, Ukrainian whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko has revealed how in 2016 he was directed – by Ukrainian Embassy officials – to cooperate with Ukrainian-American DNC operative Chalupa to hunt (or manufacture) evidence to use against the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort was the first victim of the RussiaGate witch-hunt. Manafort’s objective was to steer Ukraine towards the EU, not Russia. He’s been silenced by Mueller gag order.

    Regardless of personal feelings about Trump, Manafort, Clinton, or any of the other characters in this saga, Peace, Truth, Justice, and our Democracy are not served by such grand deceptions. Only the Deep State war hawks profit from RussiaGate.

  23. Steve Dowdy
    December 15, 2018 at 10:58

    Donald Trump and the US Military Industrial Complex are pushing war, plain and simple, from; Ukraine where the US and Nato support a Nazi/fascist regime (inherited coup de ta from Hillary Clinton), Venezuela and Iran, where US sanctions are so obviously intended to destabilize other sovereign countries. (eg, Chili, Honduras, Columbia, Brazil). The China trade wars, the South China Sea provocation, and the hypocrisy of the Huawei CFO being detained as the direct result of a manufactured violation of illegal sanctions. (After the US’s unjustified and propagandized withdrawal from the Iran deal). Saudi Arabia, bombing Yemen into an Iraq like oblivion, with full US sponsorship. Now add a trillion dollar annual military budget. The leaders of Russia, and China, and Venezuela, and Iran, and Afghanistan, are NONE of the top five psychopaths globally. I submit, the Trump administration has most of them, with Israel’s leader in the cabal.

  24. Paolo
    December 15, 2018 at 07:34

    War against Russia? The mere thought of it is crazy.

    Do Americans really think they can succeed where Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon and Hitler failed miserably.

    In the Kremlin arsenal they have more than 800 guns abandoned by Napoleon’s fleeing army. How many HUMVEE’s will they fit in the Kremlin?

  25. eric siverson
    December 15, 2018 at 05:22

    Which side will China be on ? You don’t suppose China will be happy to see 31 Nazi NATO countries gang up on Russia first before they go after China too

  26. Chris
    December 14, 2018 at 23:35
    • Andrew Dabrowski
      December 15, 2018 at 12:37

      Yes, Trump’s presidency has been great for the French.

  27. December 14, 2018 at 22:05

    Congress basically abdicated their responsibility of being the ones to declare war with the AUMF they gave Dubya to start shooting the place up after 9/11. Terrorists are old news and boring. Time for another endless war. So it falls on Trump, correct?

    Therefore, if the walls start closing in on Trump, look for him to make up any ole Gulf of Tonkin excuse to get the party started. Keep it simple. It doesn’t take much fancy ciphering and figuring to realize everyone in Washington DC – Democrats, Republicans, CIA – they all want war with Russia. That’s what all this manufacturing consent with propaganda to the masses has been about. If it takes some attorneys and accountants and judges to leverage Trump into it, that very well may be where this goes.

    The question nobody seems to be answering is why the hell would you want Mr. Crazypants as your commander in chief for a war with the Russians and/ or Chinese and/ or Iranians and/ or North Koreans. That’s four potential nuclear powers on your plate at once.

    Nobody asked me, but I’d get the hell out of Syrian and Yemen and Afghanistan. And I’d let Trump ride out his four years and then get rid of him with an election. The world is way too dangerous right now to poke the bear or tell the rat to chew his own leg off to escape. Just de-escalte and duck for two years. Work on the domestic economy. That’s what the Chinese and Russians will do if we let them. Work on their own economies. Then re-evaluate when there’s more sanity.

    http://opensociet.org/2018/12/12/the-danger-of-russiagate-is-donald-trump-is-so-selfish-he-simply-cant-imagine-a-world-without-himself

  28. vinnieoh
    December 14, 2018 at 20:24

    Earlier today I’d written a lengthy comment to this piece but deep-sixed it. No need to thank me. The energy industry jostling is more than just an undercurrent. I just listened to a podcast with Paul Jay at TRNN and one of his closing remarks was that what we – progressives, those that support real action on climate change – should fault Russia for is because they will in no way participate in efforts to combat global warming and climate change. They are an energy state, and their economy relies heavily on selling gas and oil. Apparently they, along with the US, just helped to water down some provisions of the agreement being forged in Poland at COP 21. I have been trying to make this argument – and I am not a Russophobe – for some time. After the 2015 Paris Climate Accord (as fatally flawed as it was) the Russian Politburo decided not to even consider it for ratification until 2018.

    Gas, both that piped from Russia, and what lies underneath eastern and northwestern Ukraine had a lot to do with US coup machinations there. The US shalegas industry is hell-bent on converting and exporting this national resource that they sold to the US public to guarantee “US energy security for a century.” Anyone care to wager just how much short of a century that largesse will last if they export as much as they can as quickly as they can? The shalegas boom has put on hand more gas than we can currently use and storage facilities are also maxed out. That gas only makes money, a profit, if and when it is sold. By the way, I read recently that LNG is one of the only items wrt China that the US enjoys a trade surplus.

    Speculative writers of not long ago envisioned the era we’re entering as being dominated by energy wars resulting from scarcity. To the continuing detriment of the living world we are not in an era of oil and gas shortage. So we are risking war to see who will get the lion’s share of the profit from peddling this boon/bane. It’s what the Saudis are all about, and the Americans and Russians too.

    Imagine Eric Idle singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and rationalize that, as the new era of US energy security comes to a premature end, we can always dismantle and sell to Russia those LNG conversion plants. If we’re not boiled by then, or lying in little pieces on a global battlefield.

    • Don Bacon
      December 16, 2018 at 16:22

      And how about Hunter Biden, Joe’s son, who was appointed to the board of a major Ukraine gas company a few months after he was kicked out of the naval reserve for cocaine use. Hunter Biden, a former Washington lobbyist, was named to the board of Burisma Holdings, one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies in 2014 at the time of the US-sponsored neo-Nazi coup in Kiev..

  29. mike k
    December 14, 2018 at 17:05

    War is a symptom of insanity. The most warlike society on Earth is itching to start a war that might end all human life. American culture is dangerously insane.

  30. rosemerry
    December 14, 2018 at 15:27

    “What’s terrifying is that so many US politicians and press now describe any kind of negotiation, dialogue, or threat-management as treasonous collusion by Donald Trump.” Much worse than the Cold War, especially when the MAD scenario applied, so nobody (we hoped) would nuke first and be annihilated. Now? who knows?

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      December 15, 2018 at 12:43

      No, a real estate developer getting financial favors from Moscow in exchange for special favors when he’s US president is very different than “negotiation, dialogue, or threat-management”. Whether that is actually the case no one can say till Mueller report is released.

  31. Michael Kenny
    December 14, 2018 at 12:24

    The classic pro-Putin line that we’ve heard a thousand times. Just to correct a few of the more absurd claims, an autonomous territory does not have the right to secede from the sovereign state of which it is part.The transfer of territory from one sovereign state to another requires the consent of both states. Also, the military forces that seized Crimea were not the Russian forces based there under the lease agreement referred to. The forces that invaded Crimea wore uniforms with no military insignia and used unmarked vehicles. At the time, Putin denied that the forces were part of the Russian military. That might even be true inasmuch as they could easily have been military contractors. As always this is the usual dialogue of the deaf. Every repeats the same arguments and convince nobody.

  32. Rob
    December 14, 2018 at 12:17

    What a great piece of analysis. This is why I read “Consortium News.”

  33. Crimea resident
    December 14, 2018 at 11:17

    I have to refute several of the statements made in this interview. I was in Crimea in February, 2014 and experienced the events directly. I’m afraid Mr. Szamuely is incorrect in his statements about the movements of the Russian military during the seizure of Crimea. Foremost is his assertion that Russian troops had free access to Crimea. They were confined, by the agreement with Ukraine, to Sevastopol. They could not leave that city while in uniform or on active duty. Any movement beyond Sevastopol was a violation of that lease agreement. Second, a BBC crew filmed a large convoy of Russian trucks and hardware driving west out of Kirch, the eastern most city in Crimea. That means they crossed the Azon Straits from Russia proper, not from Sevastopol. That too was illegal under the terms of the agreement. Third, I believe the agreement with Ukraine limited the number of Russian personnel in Sevastopol to 16k, but the incursion involved more than 25k. Again, a direct violation of the agreement. The confirmation of all these contentions is the fact that the Russian personnel removed all identifying insignia from their uniforms to confuse the issue. What gave them away was they were unable to speak Ukrainian and carried only Russian rubles, not Ukrainian hrevna. And the trucks all had Russian license plates.

    As for why Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine, my wife believes it was mostly for administrative reasons. At the time, Crimea received all gas, water and electricity from Ukraine. Her only land connection was a narrow land bridge to the Ukraine mainland. There was no connection to Russia. It made sense to have a single political authority administer all this infrastructure. No one in Moscow thought the union would fall apart so the change in ownership had little political or geopolitical significance … in 1954. And Ukraine offered to give Crimea to Russia after the breakup but Yeltsin in was too drunk or confused to carry thru.

    Beyond these points I mostly agree. The west is playing a very stupid and dangerous game with Russia. It is doubtful NATO could win a confrontation with the Russians. Crimea is a fortress now and taking it back would be very costly. They have the latest hardware in place and lots of it. Best to let the dragon sleep for now.

    • David G
      December 14, 2018 at 12:36

      “And Ukraine offered to give Crimea to Russia after the breakup but Yeltsin in was too drunk or confused to carry thru.”

      That’s something I’ve never heard. Can you cite a source for it?

      • Lisa
        December 14, 2018 at 15:29

        Neither had I ever heard of this offer by Ukraine. Instead, below is an account of how Ukraine annexed Crimea in the 90’s. Crimeans had voted in a referendum in 1991 to obtain again its former autonomy. First Ukraine accepted it, but in the same year they began abolishing the autonomy. Details in the article:

        https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/08/how-ukraine-annexed-crimea-frank-conversation-with-nikki-haley.html

        Did you, Crimea resident, live in Crimea already in the 90’s, or have first hand information on these events? For example, the Wikipedia articles are very scarce in this respect.

        • David G
          December 15, 2018 at 06:04

          Thanks for linking to that article, Lisa. It was very informative.

        • Andrew Dabrowski
          December 15, 2018 at 12:44

          I’m a little confused: how could Ukraine “annex” Crimea in the 90s when they already possessed it?

          • Skip Scott
            December 16, 2018 at 08:36

            I can see how you would be confused if you only consume western MSM propaganda. However, if you actually bothered to take the time and energy to READ the linked article, you’d see it is very clearly explained.

        • David Smith
          December 16, 2018 at 15:14

          Andrew D. Ukraine never “possessed it” in 2014 it was The Autonomous Republic Of Crimea. Under international law an autonomous republic may, by referendum, choose to become an sovereign state, therefore by the same process they may choose the lesser option of joining another state, which they did.

      • Crimea resident
        December 14, 2018 at 16:19

        The article above for one thing. And my wife has told me that several times. The first president of Ukraine after the breakup, Kravchuk, was aware of the issue and tried to fix it but Yeltsin did nothing. Sevastopol had always been an issue. The lease was due to expire in 2017, I think, and Yanukovitch, the last president, renewed it until 2025. Russia paid the full rent up front … a contention they still have with Ukraine along with the 3 billion they loaned Kiev. Yanukovitch stole that too before he was run out.

        Speaking of Yanu, seems he suffered a severe back injury playing tennis in Moscow a few weeks ago and is presently in Israel, secretly, trying to get it fixed. Wife says it’s really bad. May lose mobility. Can’t quite gin up any sympathy for the guy. Stole 70 billion dollars from Ukraine before they ran him out. His departure wasn’t quite as black and white as portrayed in some media. He ran not because he was deposed but because he knew the party was over and sticking around meant serious prison time or a bullet to the head. There was literally no money in the treasury the day he fled.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          December 14, 2018 at 16:49

          The problem with corruption in Ukraine may be overlooked, both in MSM and in other news sites? In some polls, at least, it is pointed out by residents of Ukraine as the biggest problem they have (above the civil war, Crimea, repression of Russian language etc), and there has been no change for the better under the present regime. It seems to be the same under Poroshenko as it was under Yanukovich, Yushchenko, and so on. Also, I believe, in Soviet times, Ukraine enjoyed the dubious rumour of being home to different mafia organisations (and perhaps even in Czarist times).
          Perhaps this aspect is less covered because it is equally present today as it was during the past West- and East-leaning periods, and does not lend support to either side, and so may be of less interest for advocates of either side. Probably, it should not be.

        • fred
          December 15, 2018 at 11:40

          . Yanukovitch stole that too before he was run out.
          you are showing your true colors

        • fred
          December 15, 2018 at 12:01

          Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s

          Something else “our” government and its media whores did not tell us is that under the Crimean Constitution of 1992, Crimea existed as a legal, democratic, secular state. Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. In 1995 Ukrainian special ops forces and Ukrainian Army troops invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.

          Here is the report from Arina Tsukanova: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/28/so-who-annexed-crimea-peninsular-then.html

          the russian troops moved to prevent more of this
          http://www.stalkerzone.org/eat-glass-russian-beast-the-shocking-details-of-the-korsun-massacre-perpetrated-by-euromaidan-nazis/
          https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/02/21/the-korsun-massacre-january-20-2014-what-really-pushed-crimea-away-from-ukraine-videos/

          a BBC crew filmed a large convoy of Russian trucks and hardware driving west out of Kirch,
          the eastern most city in Crimea. That means they crossed the Azon Straits from Russia proper,
          the BBC lost its credibility a long time ago
          how can you cross Russia when coming from the eastern most city in Crimea
          google earth doesn’t know the Azon Straits and a Search gets no location

          • December 16, 2018 at 13:43

            Thank you Fred. This hot topic has attracted some control opposition.

      • December 14, 2018 at 17:24

        It seems several replies to my comment have disappeared for now. In reply to commentor A9, Russian troops first appeared in Crimea, outside of Sevastopol, on February 27th, not the 23rd. Yanukovitch was removed as president of Ykraine, on February 22nd. He had no authority to authorize any Russian troop movements outside of Sevastopol at that time. So my initial comment is still valid.

        • Don Bacon
          December 14, 2018 at 22:37

          The architecture of this site, and the timing of comments, is puzzling, isn’t it.

          • December 15, 2018 at 10:01

            Crimea resident, thank you for participating. Really informative. In todays world, there is an unfortunate condition of determining the veracity and legitimacy of anything that appears. Anyone’s appearance, particularly one as apparently informed as you, leads to skepticism of their remarks. Not being a scholar or good journalist, I nevertheless find your remarks very helpful. Your comments on Yanukovich revealing and consistent with anything else I have heard. What I like also about your participation is that it brings out other equally interesting responses, and adding your comments and their presents a believable picture.

        • fred
          December 15, 2018 at 11:44

          Yanukovitch was removed as president of Ykraine

          in an illegal violent coup

          • December 16, 2018 at 11:06

            Fred, that is correct while still thinking his corruption is likely true

    • A9
      December 14, 2018 at 14:55

      Actually they could leave the city. They had to ask for permission in advance to move their troops, which they did legally from the former president (who was still the president and in Ukraine). So, yes they could move anywhere within Crimea and not only Sevastopol.
      Also, Russians could have up to 25K troops in Crimea (not 16K) they could also have 24 artillery systems, 132 armoured vehicles, and 22 military planes- they had less. So, once again they were not violating anything, they asked for permission from the previous government to increase the number of troops in Crimea up to the allowed limit (though their number never got that high)

      They actually could have had even more, just by basically saying we are moving or rotating or going elsewhere, say to Transnistria.
      Another point that Russian’s could not speak Ukrainian, most people in Crimea speak Russian. There were instances also filmed by BBC where there were relatives on the opposite sides. One serving in Ukrainian army another in Russian. Russians blocked Ukrainian military bases, one would say to his brother say hi to parents when you get home.
      That is how intertwined some families there are, that siblings were living in the same town, lived in the same place and served in different armies.

      • Crimea resident
        December 14, 2018 at 16:52

        Actually, the incursion was February 23, one day after Yanukovitch was removed as president of Ukraine by the Rada. You can argue the validity of his removal but there certainly was grounds for assuming he no longer had authority to authorize the troop movements. Also, the interviewee seems to imply that Russian military had free movement when that wasn’t true. They used the ambiguity of Yanukovitch’s status to achieve their ends. I suppose you also think it’s OK that Russian troops kicked in the doors at the Crimea Rada and cabinet of ministers and occupied the buildings.

        • Fred
          December 15, 2018 at 07:31

          Russians kicking in nazi doors is always ok.

    • Mild -ly Facetious
      December 14, 2018 at 16:01

      Crimea resident,

      Thank You for the truth you tell in the face of Pro-USA propaganda distortion of reality.

      • fred
        December 15, 2018 at 11:46

        to me it appears he is parroting the Pro-USA propaganda distortion of reality.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      December 14, 2018 at 16:22

      You are right that Russian troops from outside the base in Sevastopol took part in the Russian operation in the Crimea immediately following the coup in Kiev.
      Here is, eg, a link to the site of the Russian Ministry of Defence (in Russian), where Minister of Defence Mr Shoigu decorates the elite 76th Airborne Division in Pskov, and mentions how they carried out special tasks regarding the return of the Crimean Republic to Russia. https://function.mil.ru/news_page/world/more.htm?id=11980809
      It was published in August, 2014. In short, it was quite soon confirmed by the Russian government that its defence forces took part.
      Perhaps young men in 2014 would be able to speak Ukrainian, if taught in school, but it is a foreign language in Crimea, where Russian and some Tatar is spoken.

      I completely agree about the dangerous and stupid game.

    • H Georg Brüning
      December 14, 2018 at 16:33

      A Crimean Resident – for my self – I just wonder where you did learn your elegant western MSM-English.
      No miss-spelling, no linguistic influence from neither the russian nor the ukrainian languge. As a German
      living in Sweden, I used English for 40 years as Company-language and I still don’t get it right.

      I just wonder.

    • December 14, 2018 at 20:38

      For a Crimea resident, there are strangely many mistakes. Azon Straits (Kerch Strait), hrevna (hrivna), Kirch (Kerch). The estimate of 25 thousands of Russian forces involved in the operation is higher than what I have seen, it is also interesting that Ukrainian forces had roughly equal numbers and offered no resistance. As I recall, there were reports that 1/3 of the Ukrainian troops deserted and 1/3 supported Russia. Thus the “war of new type” is characterized by the lack of resistance, subsequent majority support for the “occupation forces” and later, improvement in economic conditions — purchasing power in Crimea is double of that in Ukraine.

    • Don Bacon
      December 14, 2018 at 22:34

      The 1997 Russia-Ukraine Friendship Treaty ensured “the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious originality of national minorities on their territory” and the creation of “conditions for the encouragement of that originality.”
      The US-promoted neo-Nazi rebellion against the democratic Ukraine government, featuring Senator McCain giving out cookies, with the accompanying attacks on Russian minorities in Ukraine, was what caused Russia’s fully-justified reactions.
      So there’s no violation of an agreement by Russia. When any terms of an agreement are disturbed by one party, all other terms are justifiably null and void.

      • fred
        December 15, 2018 at 11:48

        So there’s no violation of an agreement by Russia. When any terms of an agreement are disturbed by one party, all other terms are justifiably null and void.
        completely agree the star an illegal coup and then whine

    • Abe
      December 15, 2018 at 02:40

      Our ever-s0-helpful “Crimea resident” and his “wife” personally counted “more than 25k” of “illegal” forces, and based assertions on “BBC film crew” helpfully positioned west of “Kirch” [sic].

      ‘Nuff said.

      • December 15, 2018 at 10:22

        Going through all the activities that happened after the coup, does any believe the Russians would do anything else other than assist Crimea to break away. What country would deprive itself of access to the Black Sea that it had for hundreds of years. That it happens that the Crimeans were supportive of separation just make it more justifiable in the eyes of many, but it is most likely they would have taken over Crimea regardless of the sentiments of its residents. Be crazy not to.

        • Skip Scott
          December 16, 2018 at 09:05

          Herman-

          I agree with you about the strategic importance of the Sevastopol base. However, every military action under Putin has been explained as being in the protection of fellow Russians, be it South Ossetia, Crimea, or even Chechnya since they are accused of being a hotbed for Islamic terrorists that did multiple attacks inside Russia. Given that, I’m surprised that he didn’t take back the Donbass region as well, since they seek independence from Kiev, are majority ethnic Russians, and are under attack by Nazi connected maniacs like Svoboda.

          • fred
            December 16, 2018 at 13:09

            he probably can’t afford it
            Russia fas already poured billions in crimea repairing the infrastructure and building neuw after 23 years of neglect and crimea was relatively recent attached to Ukraine and the hand over was not legal
            besides can you imagine the howling about Russian aggression

    • fred
      December 15, 2018 at 11:38

      the incursion involved more than 25k.
      did you count the or just paroting US accusations?
      Ukraine offered to give Crimea to Russia after the breakup
      BS
      How Ukraine Annexed Crimea. A Frank Conversation with Nikki Haley
      On 20 January 1991, the first Crimean referendum was held on the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a subject of the USSR and as a party to the Union Treaty. (Between 1921 and 1945, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was part of the RSFSR.) With a high turnout of 81.37 percent, 93.26 percent of the Crimean population voted in favour of restoring autonomy. On 12 February 1991, the restoration of the Crimean ASSR was confirmed by law: the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR accepted the results of the referendum. The Crimean people were clearly self-determining, and this self-determination differed hugely from the self-determination of the Ukrainian nation.

      So what did the Ukrainian state do next? On 24 August 1991, the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR, again on the basis of self-determination, declared the independence of Ukraine, arbitrarily identifying the Crimean ASSR as a territory of the newly established state. By doing so, the founders of Ukraine ignored a law requiring a separate referendum to be held in Crimea on the Crimean ASSR’s status within Ukraine. This was done deliberately, since Kiev knew perfectly well that the people of Crimea would never vote in favour of becoming part of Ukraine. At the same time, a huge scam to manipulate history was being prepared: on 1 December 1991, a referendum was held illegally in the Crimean ASSR that did not deal with the issue of Crimea’s status, but retroactively confirmed the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence in the autonomous republic. Moreover, anyone who had ever stepped foot on the peninsula was allowed to vote. This was to make it seem as if the Crimean people supported Ukrainian independence when, for the most part, they actually boycotted the referendum. In this underhand way, Ukraine took its second step towards the annexation of Crimea.

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/08/how-ukraine-annexed-crimea-frank-conversation-with-nikki-haley.html
      Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s

      Something else “our” government and its media whores did not tell us is that under the Crimean Constitution of 1992, Crimea existed as a legal, democratic, secular state. Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. In 1995 Ukrainian special ops forces and Ukrainian Army troops invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.

      Here is the report from Arina Tsukanova: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/28/so-who-annexed-crimea-peninsular-then.html

      the russian troops moved to prevent more of this
      http://www.stalkerzone.org/eat-glass-russian-beast-the-shocking-details-of-the-korsun-massacre-perpetrated-by-euromaidan-nazis/
      https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/02/21/the-korsun-massacre-january-20-2014-what-really-pushed-crimea-away-from-ukraine-videos/

      a BBC crew filmed a large convoy of Russian trucks and hardware driving west out of Kirch,
      the eastern most city in Crimea. That means they crossed the Azon Straits from Russia proper,
      the BBC lost its credibility a long time ago
      how can you cross Russia when coming from the eastern most city in Crimea
      google earth doesn’t know the Azon Straits and a Search gets no location

    • fredd
      December 15, 2018 at 11:54

      the incursion involved more than 25k.
      did you count the or just paroting US accusations?
      Ukraine offered to give Crimea to Russia after the breakup
      BS
      How Ukraine Annexed Crimea. A Frank Conversation with Nikki Haley
      On 20 January 1991, the first Crimean referendum was held on the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a subject of the USSR and as a party to the Union Treaty. (Between 1921 and 1945, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was part of the RSFSR.) With a high turnout of 81.37 percent, 93.26 percent of the Crimean population voted in favour of restoring autonomy. On 12 February 1991, the restoration of the Crimean ASSR was confirmed by law: the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR accepted the results of the referendum. The Crimean people were clearly self-determining, and this self-determination differed hugely from the self-determination of the Ukrainian nation.

      So what did the Ukrainian state do next? On 24 August 1991, the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR, again on the basis of self-determination, declared the independence of Ukraine, arbitrarily identifying the Crimean ASSR as a territory of the newly established state. By doing so, the founders of Ukraine ignored a law requiring a separate referendum to be held in Crimea on the Crimean ASSR’s status within Ukraine. This was done deliberately, since Kiev knew perfectly well that the people of Crimea would never vote in favour of becoming part of Ukraine. At the same time, a huge scam to manipulate history was being prepared: on 1 December 1991, a referendum was held illegally in the Crimean ASSR that did not deal with the issue of Crimea’s status, but retroactively confirmed the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence in the autonomous republic. Moreover, anyone who had ever stepped foot on the peninsula was allowed to vote. This was to make it seem as if the Crimean people supported Ukrainian independence when, for the most part, they actually boycotted the referendum. In this underhand way, Ukraine took its second step towards the annexation of Crimea.

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/08/how-ukraine-annexed-crimea-frank-conversation-with-nikki-haley.html
      Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s

      Something else “our” government and its media whores did not tell us is that under the Crimean Constitution of 1992, Crimea existed as a legal, democratic, secular state. Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. In 1995 Ukrainian special ops forces and Ukrainian Army troops invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.

      Here is the report from Arina Tsukanova: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/28/so-who-annexed-crimea-peninsular-then.html

      the russian troops moved to prevent more of this
      http://www.stalkerzone.org/eat-glass-russian-beast-the-shocking-details-of-the-korsun-massacre-perpetrated-by-euromaidan-nazis/
      https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/02/21/the-korsun-massacre-january-20-2014-what-really-pushed-crimea-away-from-ukraine-videos/

      a BBC crew filmed a large convoy of Russian trucks and hardware driving west out of Kirch,
      the eastern most city in Crimea. That means they crossed the Azon Straits from Russia proper,
      the BBC lost its credibility a long time ago
      how can you cross Russia when coming from the eastern most city in Crimea
      google earth doesn’t know the Azon Straits and a Search gets no location

    • fred
      December 15, 2018 at 12:00

      it appears my post didn’t show
      maybe too long i break it up
      the incursion involved more than 25k.
      did you count the or just paroting US accusations?
      Ukraine offered to give Crimea to Russia after the breakup
      BS
      How Ukraine Annexed Crimea. A Frank Conversation with Nikki Haley
      On 20 January 1991, the first Crimean referendum was held on the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a subject of the USSR and as a party to the Union Treaty. (Between 1921 and 1945, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was part of the RSFSR.) With a high turnout of 81.37 percent, 93.26 percent of the Crimean population voted in favour of restoring autonomy. On 12 February 1991, the restoration of the Crimean ASSR was confirmed by law: the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR accepted the results of the referendum. The Crimean people were clearly self-determining, and this self-determination differed hugely from the self-determination of the Ukrainian nation.
      So what did the Ukrainian state do next? On 24 August 1991, the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR, again on the basis of self-determination, declared the independence of Ukraine, arbitrarily identifying the Crimean ASSR as a territory of the newly established state. By doing so, the founders of Ukraine ignored a law requiring a separate referendum to be held in Crimea on the Crimean ASSR’s status within Ukraine. This was done deliberately, since Kiev knew perfectly well that the people of Crimea would never vote in favour of becoming part of Ukraine. At the same time, a huge scam to manipulate history was being prepared: on 1 December 1991, a referendum was held illegally in the Crimean ASSR that did not deal with the issue of Crimea’s status, but retroactively confirmed the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence in the autonomous republic. Moreover, anyone who had ever stepped foot on the peninsula was allowed to vote. This was to make it seem as if the Crimean people supported Ukrainian independence when, for the most part, they actually boycotted the referendum. In this underhand way, Ukraine took its second step towards the annexation of Crimea.

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/08/how-ukraine-annexed-crimea-frank-conversation-with-nikki-haley.html

  34. December 14, 2018 at 10:03

    A liberal is someone suffering from the mental disease that avers that a Nazi flag is admirable as long as the swastika is on a field of rainbow stripes.

    • KHawk
      December 14, 2018 at 17:02

      And a conservative is someone who simply prefers to admire the traditional Nazi flag.

      See, I too can make overly simplistic, unverifiable, obnoxious, trolling comments as well. Aren’t you impressed?

      The strength to overcome the oppressive power of the Deep State will only come from our ability to unite around our similar interests, not of focusing on our petty differences.

      • Andrew Dabrowski
        December 15, 2018 at 12:52

        Nice!

  35. Chumpsky
    December 14, 2018 at 02:11

    I put the odds at zero of a shooting war, but the odds of stupid politicians at 100%.

    If the hysterical Ukrainians (esp. their puppet leader) are insistent on having a water route to the Sea of Azov, a simple canal from the Gulf of Karkinit to the Sea of Azov will do without violating the territoriality of Russia. The sea can only handle shallow bottom boats anyways. It can barely handle littoral craft of the US Navy.

    • jrkrideau
      December 16, 2018 at 12:29

      @ Chumpsky

      The Ukrainians have access to the Sea of Azov but they need to notify the Russians in the Crimea and, I think, allow some Russian security precautions and, I think ,take on a Russian pilot. Probably about the same as transiting the Bosporus.

      Not unreasonable, I would say, as the new bridge looks vulnerable and there are even some idiots in the USA recommending that it be blown up.

  36. December 13, 2018 at 23:46

    I don’t put much faith in the predictions of a guy who doesn’t know how to comb his hair. Also, NATO is composed of nations who have actually experienced the horrors of war on their homelands (except us). You think Britain and France and Germany, etc. are going to risk nuclear war just to satisfy Trump’s wish to appeal to the worst elements of American society? I don’t.

    • John A
      December 14, 2018 at 07:11

      How many people alive today in NATO countries have actually ‘experienced the horrors of war’? They would have to be around 100 to have done so.
      France and Germany don’t want war, as they were both invaded. Britain and the US were relatively unscathed in terms of destruction, bar some bombing in Britain at the start of the war. It is these 2 nations that are leading the charge to accuse Russia of ‘aggression’. Plus, there is no longer conscription or the draft or compulsory military service in these 2 rogue nations.
      If there is a war, it will purely because of US and UK aggression based on the same kind of lies that caused the Iraq and Libya wars, and the outrageous destruction of the former Yugoslavia.
      As for whether he can comb his hair, who knows maybe he is completely bald. But you seem to live in a smug bubble if ignorance as to what provocations the US and its British poodle are continuously doing to goad Russia.

      • Rob
        December 14, 2018 at 12:20

        There is an old saying that the next war can begin when the last person who remembers the previous war dies.

      • Erelis
        December 15, 2018 at 23:06

        I also was preplexed as to why the dangerous aggression and propaganda against the Russians given what happened in WWII. Had they no sense of history? I believe you have the answer–no they do not understrand as they not were killed off in the millionas as the Russians. The Nazis did not wage a genodicial war against France, UK, and the Nordic countries as they did with the Russian East. The current generations believe they won WWII and convieniently forgetting as in the case of Norway, the extent of their collaboration. The West seems to believe as was in the case in 1941, they would have an easy victory, and be back for Christmas.

      • Josep
        December 17, 2018 at 05:29

        How many people alive today in NATO countries have actually ‘experienced the horrors of war’? They would have to be around 100 to have done so.

        Not saying you’re wrong, but the second World War ended (or so says the media) in 1945. Anyone who lived before then who’s alive today should be at least 73.

        Plus, there is no longer conscription or the draft or compulsory military service in these 2 rogue nations.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription
        The US and UK abandoned mandatory military service in 1973 and 1960, respectively. France and Germany abandoned theirs in 2001 and 2011. Let’s not forget that France and Germany, unlike Britain and Australia*, were against the Iraq War in 2003, unlike Britain, and got a lot of flak from the Anglo-American MSM.

        *Australia got rid of their conscription in 1972, so I’d doubt anyone would be surprised if it were committing the same sort of aggression against Russia that the US and Britain are doing now.

    • December 14, 2018 at 10:05

      If he was using his hair to think with, you might have had a point.

    • rosemerry
      December 14, 2018 at 14:37

      Surely they should not, but the comments of so many of its leaders so far shows a complete lack of care, logic or commonsense from the EU and NATO.

      I found the article interesting and ominous. It is easy to look back in history to see how WW1 started

    • Ann Garrison
      December 14, 2018 at 15:43

      George’s hair looks highly stylized to me. Lots of people are using all kinds of product to make their hair look like that. Not that it’s relevant.

    • Curious
      December 14, 2018 at 23:23

      Mr Hoobler,
      How do you feel about the predictions of Einstein? Perhaps you are a bit too commercialized to listen and not look at the peripherals?

  37. Anne Jaclard
    December 13, 2018 at 23:18

    As an activist and a humanist I profoundly hope that this does not happen. If it does responsibility lies purely at the hands of the extreme centre which, in an attempt to preserve their power without upsetting their donors, resorted to nationalistic right-wing arguments about how other countries are evil and must be stopped. The liberal-fascist view of history (yellow-brown coalition, or “fascistisation”) demonises communism and has propped up the Ukraine alt-right republic with Holodomor and anti-anti-Nazi collaboration policies. Such a view ultimately demonises Russia as a country, and has become dominant among NATO circles. No to NATO and no to capitalism must be the calling crys of the left if we are to stop a nuclear or environmental holocaust

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      December 15, 2018 at 12:55

      “No to NATO and no to capitalism must be the calling crys”

      But the brands of fascism peddled by Putin and Trump don’t bother you? Do you think Trump’s xenophobia is a good way to prevent “nuclear or environmental holocaust”?

      One shouldn’t travel so far left as to end up on the right.

      • Anne Jaclard
        December 19, 2018 at 12:07

        I don’t see how any of what you are saying makes sense. NATO sand capitalism are things that exist without Trump, or Putin. Both have fascist ideologies, but they are of a far lesser threat than the neoliberal ideologues and the alt-centre, which, for 40 years, has had every opportunity to test its ideology and has failed, killing tens of millions. Neoliberalism is a blatant threat to human survival. I also don’t see why being against Trump requires going to war with or sabre rattling against Russia, which could have disastrous consequences. The left must unite around a program that ends hostility towards foreign peoples

  38. Jeff Harrison
    December 13, 2018 at 23:02

    Such a war would absolutely go nuclear. Mr. Szamuley’s assessment is pretty spot on. The basic problem is the US’s full court press for a global imperium with the US in control. Mr. Putin has been very clear. The world cannot afford another Germany; another country trying to take control. The US thinks nothing of war simply because we have not had war in the US since the Civil War. I would prefer to avoid that experience where I live. The only hope that we have is that the fiscal profligacy of the US costs us the reserves position and lingua franca of the US dollar which will come close to destroying the US financially.

    Personally, I’d prefer if the US realized that we aren’t God’s gift to anybody. We need to get off our high horse and stop crusading for everybody to be like us. That was the problem with Russia, China, and Cuba when they were crusading hippy type pinko fags. Since they gave up the crusading part, things have been a lot better. Unfortunately, until the US gives up the crusading part, things will remain jacked up. And that would be a bad thing.

  39. Don Bacon
    December 13, 2018 at 21:49

    re: 70 percent chance of combat
    The US Army is composed of mostly overweight soldiers operating mostly obsolete equipment a long way from any logistical support bases, faced with a better Russian force near their logistical support, so bring it on. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), Germany, the largest U.S. hospital outside the United States, is open for business. Human sacrifice is necessary for a US “support the troops” exercise, in this case against Russia. Either that, or a “what are we doing there” reaction, which is less probable given the MSM-US pro-war propaganda machine. But a new “coalition of the willing” while improbable is possible given the US control of world banking, where the profits of war reside. And the warmongers must be fed the dollars they crave.

    • lysias
      December 14, 2018 at 11:35

      The fact that the U.S. would probably lose a conventional war makes it very likely that a war would go nuclear. Can you imagine the idiots in D.C. admitting defeat?

      • rosemerry
        December 14, 2018 at 14:43

        The idea of nuclear war even being considered, as we have seen since W’s antics, should make any sentient being shudder. If you have not yet done so, see the Real News Network series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg on “The Doomsday Machine”, Daniel’s latest book. The ignorance of US “leaders” is breathtaking. Nuclear war cannot be won!!!!! An old saying which seems to have been cast aside, while the situation is worsening.

        • Andrew Dabrowski
          December 15, 2018 at 12:57

          Didn’t Trump say that nuclear was good and easy to win? Or maybe that some other kind of war…

          • michael
            December 16, 2018 at 10:16

            It is dangerous to think of only Trump, an out-of-touch prototypical businessman, being predisposed to nuclear war. As Robert Scheer noted after George H. R. Bush’s recent memorialization, Bush stated in an recorded interview with Scheer that a nuclear war was winnable (he denied he said it thinking it was off the record). When Obama ran in the primaries in 2007, he noted that nukes were “off the table” when dealing with terrorists. Hillary Clinton countered that “I don’t believe any President should make blanket statements with the regard to use or non-use” of nuclear weapons. She also infamously said she if elected President she would obliterate Iran. The depth of depravity and warmongering among our Establishment politicians, covered in innocents’ blood from the MidEast and Africa, is much deeper and committed than anything of which Trump is capable.

        • willow
          December 17, 2018 at 17:48

          Recipe for disaster: Combine these ingredients: computer malfunction, human error, accidental launch, the speed of modern technology. Yields: A mistake with no time to reverse.

  40. December 13, 2018 at 21:37

    The Russophobic campaign elements include, of course, such UK-based propaganda campaigners as “Integrity Initiative”.

    Two of those names found in II’s UK “cluster” – Vadim Kleiner and Bill Browder (both of Hermitage Capital) – are among those propagating the Magnitsky myth.

    At https://jaccuse.news/page4.html and other pages on “J’Accuse News” I’m contributing what I know to exposing this harmful scam.

    Together we can stop these folks from doing ever more damage.

  41. Ingrid
    December 13, 2018 at 21:12

    De-bunking RussiaGate should be top priority for those wanting Peace and sanity. Today’s finding (in Ukrainian court) that Ukraine officials meddled in 2016 US election – FOR BENEFIT OF HILLARY – should be headline news. Independent journalist Lee Stranahan has been working on this for over a year. See his RT interview for more details.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNo_jfKCy-g&feature=youtu.be
    Ukraine admits officials meddled in US election
    Published on Dec 13, 2018
    During the Trump campaign, anti-corruption prosecutors in Ukraine revealed that a pro-Russian political party earmarked payments to Paul Manafort. Now a Ukrainian court has ruled that doing so was illegal and caused interference in the US election. Radio host and reporter Lee Stranahan joins Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss.

    • Ann M Garrison
      December 13, 2018 at 22:15

      I read that and thought “Huh?”. Now Russia interfered on behalf of Hillary?

      • Ingrid
        December 14, 2018 at 19:38

        It’s confusing, but no, Ukraine – the puppet Kiev coup gov’t. chosen by Nuland and Pyatt, to be exact – interfered on behalf of Hillary.

        Follow @stranahan for deep dives on this, and also on Khodarkovsky, Bill Browder financial fraud and Magnitsky Act fabrications. Coming in 2019, #BrowderCon with experts like Lucy Komisar, Alex Krainer, Andrei Nekrasov.

      • Ingrid
        December 14, 2018 at 21:33

        From Politico, 01/11/2017

        Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
        Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.
        By KENNETH P. VOGEL and DAVID STERN
        https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      December 14, 2018 at 12:52

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/ukrainian-officials-meddled-in-2016-election-by-leaking-secret-manafort-ledger-court-says

      The pro-Hillary action seems to have consisted in merely revealing a $12.7M payment to Manafort, which he lied about.

    • Eddie
      December 14, 2018 at 14:45

      It is important to consider the sources that you name. Scottie Nell Hughes is a right-wing religious zealot and gun nut. Stranahan is a Brietbart zombie and porn photographer. RT America news has devolved into another Libertarian haven. Apparently the US government scared them into toeing the reactionary line when it forced RT to register as a foreign agent.

      • Ingrid
        December 14, 2018 at 21:38

        Sorry, Eddie, your ad hominem attack only illustrates troll status. The impetus for Stranahan’s research came from this Politico article. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

        Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
        Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.
        By KENNETH P. VOGEL and DAVID STERN, 01/11/2017

  42. LibertyBird
    December 13, 2018 at 21:09

    Frightening times. We’ve had crazy imperialists before but this is the first time in history that such people have had nuclear weapons.

    • jess garcia
      December 13, 2018 at 22:38

      not true . 1962, Cuban Missile crisis. Are you under 50 years old? Europe 1980 through 1994. Israel always had /has nukes. Pakistan, India, China, South Africa all nukes. Not being a smart ass, but please, educate yourself.

      • john wilson
        December 14, 2018 at 05:58

        Hey there Jess: Of course you are correct, people under 50 don’t seem to have any real historical prospective. However, I am now nearly 80 and I remember a great deal more than you mention. The real problem however, speak to any young person under 30 and they no nothing of modern history, but much worse, they don’t seem to have any idea whats actually going NOW.

        • Fred
          December 15, 2018 at 07:38

          The under 30 crowd is too busy trying to make ends meet in the craptastic economy you left behind for them.

          • Skip Scott
            December 17, 2018 at 09:29

            Good luck to you trying to undo the Oligarchy. I really mean it. Every generation the faces change, but the game remains the same. As their tools become more powerful and more refined, the income inequality and the propaganda just get worse. My advice as an old guy is to change your life style. Voting with your wallet is way more powerful than pulling a lever for corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B. Getting back to “small and local” is your only hope.

Comments are closed.