by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
An article published May 7th by Andrei Akulov brings together mainly Western news sources, all solid, to make the case that U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing even highly reluctant European populations to join America’s increasingly overt hostile military stance targeting Russia as the world’s chief source of alleged “aggression” that must be stopped. One of those sources is a Reuters article that states: “Only 22 percent of Finns support joining NATO, while 55 percent are opposed, a recent poll by public broadcaster YLE showed. Finnish membership of NATO would double the length of the border between the alliance and Russia and increase the NATO presence in the Baltic Sea.” Yet, still, according to that Reuters article, Finland will probably join NATO, regardless of what the Finnish population want. This is supposedly how ‘democracy’ functions nowadays.
America is installing in Europe a new system that’s designed to block Russia’s ability to retaliate against a nuclear attack, but Obama sold it to European nations saying it will protect them against a nuclear attack from Iran. Now that Obama’s own agreement with Iran will assure that, for at least a decade, there won’t be any nuclear weapons in Iran, he continues this deception as if the public are mere fools — and he’s not being called to task for it (except by Russia’s President).
In U.S. President Obama’s definitive statement on U.S. military policy, his National Security Strategy 2015, he cited Russia on 17 of the 18 occasions where he used the term “aggression” or its equivalents. He even played upon the old Cold-War-era anti-communist, and sometimes even anti-Semitic, charges that the Soviet Union characteristically lied, when Obama strung together there a statement about Russia that sounded just the same as such “red-scare” literature, except only using this time the term “Russia,” where American far-rightists back in the 1950s had referred to the USSR or Soviet Union. He said:
“And we will continue to impose significant costs on Russia through sanctions and other means while countering Moscow’s deceptive propaganda with the unvarnished truth. We will deter Russian aggression, remain alert to its strategic capabilities, and help our allies and partners resist Russian coercion over the long term, if necessary.”
If that’s not multiply hostile, then what is? It’s certainly not the type of thing one would allege if one is attempting to negotiate with a competitor, instead of to coerce an enemy — which is by now the second-term Obama Administration’s clear position regarding Russia. He had simply deceived the American public when he claimed during his re-election campaign to disagree with Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement about Russia, “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.” His alleged disagreement with Romney about that was one of the reasons Americans re-elected Obama. But then, Obama promptly turned to planning the coup against Ukraine, which started to be activated on 1 March 2013 and wasn’t completed until 27 February 2014. (And the top officials at the EU were then shocked to learn that it had been a coup. But nonetheless, they participate in the sanctions against Russia, for, essentially, defending itself against them and against the U.S.)
In the lying-department, Obama — despite his claiming that he’s “countering Moscow’s deceptive propaganda with the unvarnished truth” — vastly beats-out Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin there. As I had previously documented, “The Entire Case for Sanctions Against Russia Is Pure Lies”. What that article documents is: before Russia ‘seized’ Crimea (which until 1954 had been part of Russia, and which had had Russia’s main naval base since 1783, and where the population were overwhelmingly opposed to having been transferred to Ukraine in 1954 by the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev), Obama had violently overthrown the democratically elected President of Ukraine, for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted, and then Obama’s goons started directly attacking Crimeans, virtually terrorizing them to flee from the newly installed Kiev government. But as you’ll see in that article exposing the entire case for sanctions against Russia, Obama’s lies about Crimea are even broader than that, and he needs these lies as his ‘justification’ for what he’s now doing along Russia’s borders: installing U.S. nuclear weapons against Russia.
Obama now is going beyond mere “sanctions,” to real military preparation for an invasion of Russia. And that’s what Akulov’s frightening, but well-documented, article reports about.
On May 12th, Stuart Hooper at 21st Century Wire headlined, “New Arms Race Begins: US Launches European Missile Shield in Romania”. So: not only is the U.S. placing nuclear missiles on Russia’s borders, but it’s also placing there anti-missile missiles, to destroy outgoing Russian missiles that could be flying in retaliation against America’s attack.
And, then, when Russian President Vladimir Putin responds to that type of aggressive move, by his moving Russian forces to Russia’s own borders to deter NATO’s aggression, Obama and his propagandists blame Putin for threatening ‘aggression against a NATO member’.
This bizarreness extends even beyond that, however, to NATO’s mocking Putin for being concerned at all about America’s antimissile system, which is also called “Ballistic Missile Defense” or BMD. A NATO Web-posting in October 2015 was headlined, “How Putin uses missile defence in Europe to distract Russian voters”, and it said:
The logic behind one of Russia’s classic grievances against the West – the deployment of ballistic missile defence (BMD) in Europe – has remained largely unexplained. …
Since the United States officially announced the deployment of BMD in Europe in 2004, Russia has persistently referred to the project, run by NATO, as a demonstration of anti-Russian intent. …
Moscow’s confrontational position on missile defence has proven politically expedient for a Russian government that has built its legitimacy on the necessity to defend Russia from external enemies. Now, when Russia is entering [due to Obama’s economic sanctions etc.] a full-fledged economic crisis that could affect the political allegiances of the Russian population [oh, sure: perhaps turn those ‘allegiances’ toward America instead?], the Kremlin needs to revive the issue of BMD – a welcome enemy that contributes to the justification for government survival. …
The justification that Russia has to protect itself from the external threat strengthens the need to maintain a strong, centralised government.
To extend this fantasyland even farther into the bizarre, that presentation went on to allege that the Russian population were simply being deceived by Putin into thinking that America’s anti-missile system would endanger their security:
The strategy to portray BMD as a threat to the Russian population seems effective. A survey conducted by the Russian polling organisation Levada centre in 2007 and again in 2010 revealed that the majority of the Russian constituency believed that the US construction of BMD in Europe presents a larger threat to Russia than the acquisition of offensive military capabilities by Iran or North Korea.
The 2010 Levada poll showed that 55 per cent of the respondents believed that the number one threat to Russian security was the deployment of US BMD in neighbouring states. Only 13 per cent of the respondents stated that Iran’s nuclear programme represented the main threat to Russia and 13 per cent indicated that the main threat was North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons.
The 2010 Levada survey could be analysed together with another 2010 Levada poll that confirmed the deeply engrained perception of America’s hostile intentions among Russians. Some 73 per cent of the polled Russians indicated that the United States was an aggressor that sought to establish control over all states. …
Reconstructing the image of the United States as a Cold War type aggressor facilitated this perception and justified running again on the basis of the need to protect the Russian people from external enemies.
Hence, castigating the United States and NATO again became an effective strategy to win votes. …
BMD has become a political, rather than military, tool for distraction that helps to convince the Russian population of the need to focus on protecting the Russian state, rather than their economic livelihoods.
Then, the U.S. National Public Radio network, NPR — the most trusted news-source by the American public — served up, on its Morning Edition program, 13 May 2016, a segment, “To Defend NATO, U.S. Sets Up Missile Defense Systems In Eastern Europe”, which pushed the line that, “The U.S. is trying to reassure the Russians that the defense systems are not a threat” (so as to fool the U.S. public into thinking that the U.S. government really cares about what the Russian people think, and would be reluctant to turn Russians into nuclear char if it ‘has to’ do so). This segment closed with NPR’s Moscow correspondent saying, “You know, most of people I’ve talked to so far say they’re not worried about it, and some … say that it’s because they trust that President Putin will take whatever steps are needed to make sure that Russia’s safe. A few of the younger people I spoke with though said that they don’t feel any particular danger from NATO and that they don’t believe that NATO is out to start a war.” No mention was made there of the polling, by Levada and others, which showed that the attitudes that NPR’s Moscow propagandist says “they’re not worried about it,” run overwhelmingly in the opposite direction. But, after all, isn’t this inevitable: for example, how did the American people feel about Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev’s plan to place Soviet missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from America’s border, in 1962? And what Obama-NATO are doing here to Russians is vastly bigger and vastly worse than that. But NPR miraculously reports that Russians are “not worried about it.” Americans are being fed lies like this all the time — it’s like “Saddam’s WMD” were in 2002; it’s the lying by government and media, that has become routine in America.
It’s a 1984-type world, where aggression by one’s own nation doesn’t exist, and where defense by the ultimately targeted nation, against that aggression, is itself called ‘aggression’ (or even attacked as being promoted in order to “strengthen the need to maintain a strong centralised government”: i.e, as some shading of that deceased ideological ogre, communism) — and European nations go along with this cockeyed reasoning, in order to participate not only in economic sanctions against that ultimately-targeted nation, but to participate in NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve, joining in this rabidly lying aggression against Russia, after having already participated in the lying economic sanctions against that same target.
What does this say about today’s United States government? And what does it say about Europe?
It says a lot. That’s for sure.
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.