On Saturday, June 13th, The New York Times bannered, “U.S. Is Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe,” and Russia’s response to the announcement wasn’t long in coming.
The Russian equivalent of America’s Wall Street Journal and Britain’s Financial Times, which is Kommersant (or Businessperson), headlined on June 15th, “US may redeploy heavy weapons to the borders of the Russian Federation,” and reported that, “According to sources in the Russian Government, the implementation of this plan will force Moscow to post on the border with the Baltic countries Russia’s own offensive military capability that can destroy US facilities in the event of a hypothetical conflict.”
The report in the Times had noted that,
“The proposal, if approved, would represent the first time since the end of the Cold War that the United States has stationed heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member nations in Eastern Europe that had once been part of the Soviet sphere of influence.”
The Soviet Union (and its communism, which the U.S. always said was the basis for the Cold War) ended in 1991. That was the same year when the Warsaw Pact — Russia’s equivalent of NATO — also ended. In Russia, the expectation was that that would be that — there would be no more hostility between the governments of the U.S.A. and Russia. Russian leaders had assumed this, but it turned out not to be the case. (Perhaps this explains part of the reason why it turned out not to be so: Dick Cheney’s Halliburton Corporation in the 1990s estimated that Russia has enormous oil deposits.)
The U.S. has thus been expanding NATO right up to the very borders of Russia, after the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact ended in 1991. (Russia did no such thing to the United States; Russia hasn’t been trying to surround the U.S. with enemy nations.) The NATO expansion started in 1999, when U.S. President Bill Clinton brought into NATO the former Warsaw Pact member-nations of Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary. Then, this threatening (if not aggressive) U.S. move, expanded even further in 2004, when U.S. President George W. Bush brought into NATO other former Warsaw Pact members: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Next, in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama brought into NATO two more former Warsaw Pact nations, Albania and Croatia.
Finally, President Obama, in a 2014 very bloody coup d’etat, overthrew the neutralist government of Ukraine, and replaced it with a government which is filled with politicians whose political heritage goes back to the pro-Hitler and rabidly anti-Russian political movements in Ukraine during World War II, and these fascist U.S.-client politicians have many times spoken of their aim being to join NATO and — with NATO’s help — to destroy Russia. America’s threat to Russia is very real.
Russian intelligence had, even earlier than Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision on 20 November 2013 to decline membership in the EU, gotten wind of the Obama Administration’s preparations ever since the Spring of 2013, to overthrow the neutralist Yanukovych and replace him with a racist-fascist anti-Russian regime in next-door Ukraine: a bunch of nazis who are Russian-hating fascists even more than they are Jew-hating fascists. They hate the Russian people. What nation wants a rabidly hostile regime like that on its doorstep? Consequently, within even less than a month after the American coup, Russia prevented America’s planned follow-on takeover of Russia’s main naval base, which is on the then-Ukrainian island of Crimea.
Nikita Khruschev had donated Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, though Crimea had always been part of Russia; and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provided, immediately after the coup, Russian protection to Crimeans, so that they could hold their own vote on whether to rejoin with Russia. Even the hard-like anti-Russian Forbes magazine commentator, Kenneth Rapoza, headlined on 20 March 2015, “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev,” and he reviewed several polls, some taken by U.S.-owned polling organizations, all showing almost 100% support among Crimeans for the switch back to being Russians again and no longer being subject to rule from Kiev — especially not this Russia-hating Kiev regime. Rapoza concluded simply, “At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule.” But U.S. President Obama, and his followers within the European Union, still refuse to do that. The people of Scotland are allowed to vote on whether to secede from the UK, but the people of Crimea (who never self-identified as Ukrainians nearly to the extent they self-identified as Russians) cannot do likewise? That’s what the West’s hypocritical leaders are saying — and now a World War III could result from it.
So, Obama and the EU slapped economic sanctions on Russia (for what are actually the consequences of America’s coup); and, when the new Ukrainian Government started a bombing campaign to eliminate the inhabitants in the Donbass region of Ukraine, which had voted over 90% for Viktor Yanukovych (which is the only way to get Obama’s regime-change in Ukraine to survive future elections — i.e., to get rid of the voters there) the West then blamed Russia for assisting the residents in the Donbass region to defend themselves against the exterminationist invasion from Kiev. And President Obama still insists that Ukraine seize back both Donbass and Crimea.
And this brings us to today, and, perhaps, to the brink of a U.S.-Russian war.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.