As some of you may remember I am compiling a criminal dossier on the western powers concerning, among other things, their preparations for Operation Barbarossa II, the term that I use for NATO’s build-up of forces in Eastern Europe threatening the security of Russia.
In June, the BALTOPS 2017 NATO naval and air exercises were conducted in the Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad and the approaches to St. Petersburg simultaneously with the Saber Strike military ground exercises in Latvia and Lithuania.On July 11th NATO’s Sea Breeze naval exercises began in the Black Sea, threatening Russia’s southern flank. The NATO exercises are conducted every year and every year they become more menacing.
An indication of the level of the threat to Russia was the use in the BALTOPS exercises, for the first time, of the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, (AWACS), an aircraft that can “look down” on and “shoot down” targeted low and high flying aircraft. It is used to gain and maintain control of a battle and to detect enemy planes and ships at great distances, direct planes to attack them, and coordinate air support for ground battles. E-3 Sentry aircraft were used in the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, were in the air near New York City when the unexplained attack on New York was carried on in September, 2001, were used in the US attack and invasion of Iraq in 2003, theNATO attack on Libya in 2011, and have been used for US bombing attacks on Syria. When this plane appears war happens. Its sinister presence in the on-going military exercises means that the NATO forces are rehearsing for coordinated operations against Russia.
At the same time as the entry of E-3 AWACS aircraft into the battlefield scene the USA also sent strategic B-1 bombers to the BALTOPS exercises. These aircraft have been used to drop bombs on Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan and recently threatened North Korea. They can fly fast and drop a lot of bombs.
During the Saber Strike exercises NATO forces practiced amphibious assaults on beaches resembling those around Kaliningrad. The threat is clear. So are NATO intentions in the Black Sea. A US military analyst, commenting on the presence of two additional ships over last year’s exercises, wrote that this “sends a powerful message-one that is firmly directed at the Russians.”
The evidence for criminal charges is there. We have the vow of Mr. Tillerson, the American foreign minister, to help the Kiev regime in Ukraine crush the Donbass republics, producing the reaction of the Donetsk Republic; the announcement of the creation of a new state, to be renamed Malorossiya, little Russia, thereby directly challenging the legitimacy and existence of the Kiev regime. We have the attempts to bring Cyprus, a strategic island, necessary to dominate the Middle East, under NATO control. We have the intense propaganda campaign against Russia in the west focused on allegations of undermining western democracy and the phony witch-hunt in the USA against anyone who has anything to do with Russia. A reasonable person has to conclude that conditions are being prepared for war, an aggressive war against Russia, therefore charges of aggression and conspiracy to commit aggression are more than justified.
China is also threatened. In reaction China has now sent its ships to the Mediterranean and the Baltic,joining Russia military exercises there and in the Black Sea, a remarkable historical event. It continues to build up its defences in the China Sea, and has just opened a base in Somalia for its ships that will be manned by 10,000 men. These tensions, plus the threats against North Korea,the continued wars in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, where US planes, in one of their routine “mistakes” killed 16 Afghan policemen, raise the fear of a general world war conducted by the United States against those nations and peoples. As if the people of the world don’t have enough to deal with in the threat of abrupt climate change, the ravages of capitalism, the hardship of daily life, we also have to endure daily anxiety about The Bomb, a quick annihilation instead of a slow one. Where is the diplomacy that people expect from their leaders to find peaceful ways of getting on in the world?
The Russians and Chinese still attempt it but diplomacy has been completely rejected by the United States. Its interactions with the Russian government in particular are openly aggressive, insulting, and dangerous. The American presidency, now stripped of any dignity, has been revealed as another Oz, the creation of those hiding behind the curtain, about which we know little in reality though we are inundated with names, scandals, and power plays all serving to misdirect and misinform us as to what is really going on, who is doing it and what their real objectives are.
An example of this is the intention by the US Congress to adopt legislation termed the “Russian Sanctions Review Act of 2017”, that requires the American president to obtain permission to rescind any “sanctions” imposed by Presidential Executive Orders. Reports state Trump may have reluctantly agreed to this. I leave it to American constitutional lawyers to explain how that is legally possible because it appears on the face of it that this is an attempt to limit the executive authority of the presidency and transfer executive authority to the Congress, a violation of the Constitution. But I stand to be corrected. If the American President can make an executive order imposing “sanctions” then it follows he has the power to rescind them. But with this proposed legislation the power to impose is left intact while the power to remove sanctions, once imposed, is taken away unless Congress permits it.
The legislation, another arrow from their quiver of war propaganda, assumes that Russia is undermining peace and security in Ukraine and assumes as a given that Russia engaged in cyber attacks on the USA and its citizens. It requires that the President certify that Russia has stopped these alleged activities before “sanctions” can be lifted. Since none of the assumptions are correct, there can be no lifting of American “sanctions” on Russia. They are meant to be permanent and as we see with the cases of Iran and North Korea, continually tightened to create maximum pain for the victim.
“Sanctions” are a euphemism for illegal economic warfare and are a part of the hybrid war being carried out by the NATO powers against Russia and the other victims of this form of warfare. The military exercises that are carried out by the NATO powers are also clearly illegal under international law; they are violations of the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles that make planning and preparation for aggressive war the fundamental war crime and are another form of the hybrid warfare taking place.
Hybrid warfare is warfare that uses all techniques across all spheres of society to undermine and destroy an enemy. In their famous 1999 paper, “Unrestricted Warfare”, Chinese Army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansui, discussed the multitude of means that can be used to strike at a country, both military and non-military, including hacking into websites, targeting financial institutions, terrorism, use of the media and information, and urban warfare.
“the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules. With nothing forbidden. This is warfare which transcends all boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare. This kind of war means that all means will be in readiness, that information will be omnipresent, and the battlefield will be everywhere. It means that all weapons and technology can be superimposed at will, it means that all the boundaries lying between the two worlds of war and non-war, of military and non-military, will be totally destroyed, and it also means that many of the current principles of combat will be modified, and even that the rules of war may need to be rewritten.”
It seems American strategists have studied the Chinese paper thoroughly. They are engaging in most of those forms of warfare against Russia and are planning to use other forms as well, including legal, social, psychological, and cultural as well as military and economic means. The various “sanctions” laws against Russia are examples of the use of quasi-legal methods as a form of warfare. The scandal concocted out of whole cloth about Russia undermining western ‘democracy” and President Trump’s dealings with Russians are another aspect of this warfare.
In one sense the adoption of these methods means that some in the US military leadership recognise that whenever something reaches an ultimate point, it will turn in the opposite direction, that there is always a reaction. The invention of nuclear weapons, the “ultra-lethal weapon” which can wipe out all mankind, has plunged mankind into an existential trap of its own making. To escape that trap and the moral arguments against the use of mass destruction weapons as a crime against mankind, the reality of interlocking of economic systems, and concern for the destruction of the earth’s environment leads logically to the conclusion that the way to victory is not through killing but through control.
However, the US leadership also contains factions that are clearly prepared to use the ultimate lethal weapons of mass destruction. The use of hybrid warfare methods against Russia are doomed to failure. Therefore, control cannot be achieved. This will inevitably drive that faction to push for the use of the ultimate weapon despite its dangers to humanity.
We see an example of the failure of the attempts to secure control with the reaction by the European Union to the news of new “sanctions” proposed by the US against Russia that will negatively affect European businesses. The European Union leadership is talking openly of retaliation, both legal and economic if these further trade embargoes are imposed. A clash is developing between the members of the Atlantic alliance, with the USA diminishing in both prestige and power while Chinese trains and naval ships now arrive in European cities and ports along with their “win-win” ideas.
So, in this context, the escalation of the propaganda inside the United States against Russia, a propaganda that even risks the coherence of the American state itself, indicates that the worst of the criminals are in charge and are capable of anything. The Operation Barbarossa II criminal file is open. The evidence mounts. But who will prosecute?
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Featured image is from the author.