West Forces Russia towards Brinksmanship

Russian strategic bombers–yes the ones that carry hydrogen bombs–have been probing European, Canadian and American borders just like they did back in the cold war. Bombers have even gone as far as Guam in the Pacific and the Caribbean in the Atlantic.

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Russian bomber refuels in flight

Why is Russia doing this? The strategic answer is that Russia feels America and NATO have intruded into the Russian sphere of influence in Ukraine and so it’s going to interfere in ours.

The tactical answer is that after we get tired of chasing Russian aircraft around the world’s oceans they can then launch a real attack on our dozing defences. This is standard military thinking.

And that’s the point: Russia is now thinking militarily about issues that should have been dealt with at the conference table.

NATO and the West should have given Russia the buffer zone it desperately wants and that includes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries. The fact we have pushed NATO to the east means we have pushed Russia to the wall.

Why? What’s in it for us?

Why are we goading Russia, ruining its economy and insulting its leaders? What is the benefit to the West of ruining a great country? Are we trying to destroy Russia so Western companies can go in and reap the rewards of conquest?

If that’s the case, we’ve made a mistake.

Russia is a great country. It won’t go down without a fight. It won’t surrender to us any more than the Soviet Union wouldn’t surrender to Germany. It will fight if it has to.

Those Russian bombers will turn gradually from their assigned path in the Atlantic and Pacific and launch cruise missiles at America’s defences. Large mushroom shaped clouds will billow up from America’s strategic force bases and missile silos.

And we caused it.

Former British Ambassador: Time to Engage with Russia

There has been so much bombast and bluster from the West over Russia–and especially from Prime Minister Harper–it’s refreshing to see someone take the opposite view. Tony Brenton, a former British Ambassador to Moscow, writes in the Telegraph today that the West should be magnanimous.

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Former British Ambassador to Moscow, Tony Brenton

In his long op-ed on Russia’s current difficulties he says we shouldn’t gloat over the problems of a nuclear-armed neighbour.

There is an evident temptation, not resisted in recent statements by No 10 and the White House, to enjoy Putin’s economic discomfort and sit tight until something in Russia changes. It could be a long wait – uncomfortable no doubt for Russia, but disastrous for pulling Ukraine out of the pit into which it has fallen. A wait too which, at least for the foreseeable future, will merely intensify the hyperpatriotism, statism and isolationism that increasingly predominate in Russian political discourse.

Instead the West should extend the hand of friendship:

In the days when foreign policymakers thought long term, there would have been real discomfort at the prospect of Europe permanently landing itself with an embittered, nuclear-armed neighbour, with fast growing links with China. Wasn’t it Churchill who talked about magnanimity in victory? Isn’t now the time to start engaging with an undoubtedly weakened Russia on a way out in Ukraine in which everybody’s concerns are taken into account?

What a breath of fresh air this comment is. Brenton is simply realizing that if we leave no way out for Putin he is likely to go to the military option. That option could be small potatoes in the Baltic or an invasion of Ukraine.

I’ve said from the beginning of this crisis it’s crazy to find out what happens if we poke the Russian bear hard enough. It could result in World War III.

U.S. Sending Tanks to Russian Border

While you’ve been watching American blacks going nuts in Ferguson, Missouri, the United States has quietly been ramping up its military position on the Russian border. American armored vehicles sent to Poland and the Baltic States for military drills are to remain for the constant training of local troops and rotation of US forces. The total number of M1 Abrams tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles will reach 150 vehicles by next year.

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U.S. soldiers in Latvia

All this is being sold to the European and American press as ‘reassurance’ but it’s much more than that, it’s the establishment of a kind of ‘trip wire’ which will create American casualties if any of these countries have a problem with Russia.

What it does is make war more automatic, more probable, in the event of a local outbreak of unrest.

In the past, no American president would consider going to war over Latvia, a country most Americans would have trouble finding on a map. Now Obama, the Nobel peace prize recipient, is saying that’s what he’d do in the declining days of his presidency. He’s saying it by moving tanks to the Russian border.

And not just America. He’d drag Canada too into a nuclear war with our Russian neighbour.

This is crazy.

Write your M.P. today and demand the government of Canada return its troops from Europe, remove its ships from the Mediterranean and stop making incendiary statements against Russia.

Tell the Canadian government to tell Obama to cool it with Russia. He’s got enough trouble with his own blacks in Ferguson to go starting trouble in Europe.

An American Professor Says the West is to Blame for the Ukraine Crisis

 John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, says Russian President Vladimir Putin was provoked into resorting to force to take Crimea and destabilize Eastern Ukraine. 

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John J. Mearsheimer

Writing in the (Sept.-Oct.) issue of Foreign Affairs, he said Putin is motivated by legitimate security concerns which justify his actions. The article is succinctly titled, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.” (You get one free look at this article). He writes:

The crisis there shows that realpolitik remains relevant — and states that ignore it do so at their own peril. U.S. and European leaders blundered in attempting to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border. Now that the consequences have been laid bare, it would be an even greater mistake to continue this misbegotten policy.

Of course there’s been an immediate reaction from the right-wing Front Page Magazine. William R. Hawkins writes that Mearsheimer is an apologist for might-is-right. He says there’s nothing wrong with the West seeking to add Ukraine to the Western social and economic model. Here’s Hawkins quoting Mearsheimer:

In a key passage, he notes “When Russian leaders look at Western social engineering in Ukraine, they worry that their country might be next.” But wouldn’t such regime change be in the interests of the West, and of the Russian people?

Wait a second! What was that? Wouldn’t regime change in Russia be in the interests of the West? This is nothing more than an apology for the social engineering the West orchestrated in Ukraine!  It’s also an apology for meddling in Russian internal affairs. Hawkins is apologizing for the West every bit as much as Mearsheimer is for Russia.

What’s the truth of the matter?

The truth is that, as Mearsheimer writes, Ukraine is in Russia’s area of influence and it felt, correctly, that it was being encroached upon by the West. As a result, when Western meddling in Ukraine caused the elected pro-Russian government to collapse, Russia took steps to protect its flank.

You know and I know that if the same events had happened in, say, Mexico, the United States wouldn’t wait a minute to protect its southern border. The U.S. has a history of meddling in Latin America because it regards the entire Western hemisphere as its security zone (the Monroe Doctrine).

But it thinks it’s OK for the U.S. and its allies to meddle in the Russian security zone? Think again.

Read both articles. When you’re finished, write your M.P. and ask him or her to get Canada to withdraw from NATO and get its troops out of Europe.

Do it today.

We don’t need a war with Russia; not now, not ever.

Russia puts 100,000 troops through biggest post-Soviet drills

Why do you suppose Russia is ramping up its military preparedness? Why is it spending Billions of dollars on modernizing its war fighting capabilities? Could it be, do you suppose, that Western actions in Easter Europe have had something to do with it?

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firing practice during Vostok-2014

Russia has just completed a huge exercise involving 100,000 troops called Vostok-2014.

During five days of exercises, troops were trained in repulsing a massive airstrike, combating an aircraft carrier, repelling a seaborne landing and many other military activities on a vast scale.

The drills, dubbed “Vostok-2014,” are the largest since the Soviet era. About 100,000 servicemen, up to 1,500 tanks, 120 aircraft, 5,000 pieces of weaponry, military and special hardware, and up to 70 ships took part in the exercises.

I go back to my original question. Why would Russia feel the need to do this and who is it directed against? Let’s see if we can figure it out.

Supersonic MiG-31 interceptors successfully practiced the elimination of an attack by low-altitude cruise missiles. President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, told the RIA Novosti news agency: “The US Air Force has not trained on such tasks, whereas other countries do not possess aircraft that could do anything similar.”

The Vostok-2014 maneuvers have proven that in an emergency situation, Russia is capable of putting together a force that would quickly suppress any aggression toward the country, Sivkov said.

The answer to my question is that these drills have been mounted because Russia fears an actual Western attack. And well it might, considering that the West is going to create a NATO led force, that Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania are creating a force of their own, that NATO ships are patrolling the Black Sea, that NATO jets are patrolling the Russian West Coast.

Indeed, when you consider that Ukraine is part of the Russian orbit, the West has already ‘invaded” Russia.

Why not write your M.P. and demand that Canada disassociate itself from Western war games. Tell him or her that you want Canadian forces removed from Europe.

Say you want no war with Russia, not now, not ever.

Analysis

Do you realize what Sivkov is saying when he mentioned Mig-31’s? He saying that Russia was practicing shooting down American cruise missiles like the ones used today against ISIS in Syria. These missiles are sub-sonic which means fast jet fighters can catch up to them and knock them out of the sky. Just consider that fact for a moment.

Now Ukraine Ropes in Poland and Lithuania

Ukraine, not satisfied with forcing the creation of a NATO rapid reaction force, has now managed to rope Poland and Lithuania into a joint military agreement. The deal, signed today, will create something called LITPOLUKRBRIG (Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade) will be available to confront Russia.

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Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv

Given the role of a thoughtless guarantee to Poland before the last war, here we have Poland giving a thoughtless guarantee to a country having an actual civil war! With Russian-leaning insurgents! Supported by Russia!

Where is Canada in all this? We’re flying air patrols in the Baltic, exercising troops in Ukraine, conducting naval operations in the Black Sea. Oh, yes. We’re right there in the thick of it.

It’s almost as if we’re trying really, really hard to have some kind of confrontation with our nuclear-armed northern neighbour.

To me, this isn’t neighbourly, it’s insanity.

Write your M.P. today and demand that Canada detach itself from these provocations, that we get out of NATO and that we bring our troops back from Europe.

Let your message be: no war with Russia, not now, not ever.

Update

Meanwhile back at home, Russia has been running patrols along our airspace. Tit for tat. Does that make you feel more comfortable?

Update II

Then there’s this.

Putin Threatens to Invade Baltic States, Poland, Romania

All the recent sabre rattling by NATO has certainly had an effect; it’s caused Russian President Vladimir Putin to privately threaten to invade Poland, Romania and the Baltic states, according to a record of a conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Putin allegedly told Poroshenko “If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest.”

This ups the anti quite a bit because five of the countries are in NATO and President Obama recently said an attack on them will be considered an attack on the United States. He said that even though no previous American administration would ever consider going to war over any of them.

Interesting stuff while we wait for the Scottish referendum results. Instead of an independent Scotland, we could see a re-imposition of Russian control over Eastern Europe. Would Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, start a nuclear exchange with Russia?

Like the English, we’ll just have to wait it out.

In the meantime, write your M.P. and demand that Canada leave NATO, withdraw its troops from Ukraine and bring home its jet fighters from Lithuania.

We don’t need a war with our nuclear-armed neighbour; not now, not ever.