by “Publius Tacitus”, via Sic Semper Tyrannis, August 1, 2017
There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt (published on 31 July 2017) is the work of willing puppets masquerading as journalists:
Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression
This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty:
Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.
Since when is it an act of “aggression” for a country–Russia in this case–to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the facts that the United States has been engaged in a variety of military exercises on the border of Russia for the last year. Yet, rather than acknowledge that truth, Gordon and Schmitt push the lie that this is an unprovoked action by a militaristic Russia hell bent on conquering the world.
How else is one to interpret the following quotes:
The military exercise . . . .is part of a larger effort by Mr. Putin to shore up Russia’s military prowess, and comes against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive Russia. Beyond Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of the Trump campaign, which has seized attention in the United States, its military has in recent years deployed forces to Syria, seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine, rattled the Baltic States with snap exercises and buzzed NATO planes and ships. . . .
“There is only one reason you would create a Guards Tank Army, and that is as an offensive striking force,” General Hodges said. “This is not something for homeland security. That does not mean that they are automatically going to do it, but in terms of intimidation it is a means of putting pressure on allies.”
If you read only this article you would be excused for assuming that Russia is on the prowl for no good reason. Fortunately, our media is not totally subservient to the war machine. NPR reported last week that the United States is actually carrying out the largest military operations on Russia’s border in 27 years:
The U.S. and NATO are staging their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, and they’re doing it in countries of 3 former members of the Warsaw Pact: Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Yes, I did. This is all part of what’s been called the European Deterrence Initiative, and it’s a reinforcement of U.S. forces that had been depleted in Eastern Europe before Russia annexed Crimea three years ago. And as part of this sort of hardening of the U.S. presence here, there was an armored combat brigade team of about 4,000 Army troops from Fort Carson, Colo., that arrived here in Eastern Europe early this year. And they’re here in Romania, and they’re taking part in military exercises along with about 20,000 other troops.
On Saturday, I was in the Carpathian Mountains, and I watched a pretty impressive live fire, land and air assault there on an imagined enemy. And then yesterday, along the banks of the Danube River here, there was another assault staged to retake the other side of the river from another imagined enemy.
GREENE: You keep saying imagined enemy. Who is the imagined enemy?
WELNA: Well, no doubt it’s Russia. And, you know, while this wasn’t really a D-Day invasion along the Danube – there was no fire return from the other side – there was a lot of sound and fury. And here’s a bit of what it sounded like.
The US military exercise is dubbed Saber Guardian:
Exercise Saber Guardian 17 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led annual exercise taking place in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. This exercise involves more than 25,000 service members from over 20 ally and partner nations. The largest of the Black Sea Region exercises, Saber Guardian 17 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations that will build readiness and improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region. It is deterrence in action.
Some of the more notable aspects of SG17 include: the massing of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3/4ID) from several locations across the Operation Atlantic Resolve area of operation to the exercise joint operations area (JOA) in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; and the movement of 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) from Vilseck, Germany, to numerous locations throughout the JOA.
But that’s not all. The United States also has been busy in the Baltics in early June 2017:
The U.S.’s European Command, which is based in Germany, said Thursday it had deployed an unspecified number of F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base in Italy to the Krzesiny Air Base in Poland in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) and Saber Strike, two massive annual drills intended to boost the U.S.’s military presence in Europe and to support regional allies. European Command’s statement came a day after it said a number of B-1B Lancers had been sent from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to join three B-52H Stratofortresses at the Royal Air Force base in Fairford, U.K. Meanwhile, 800 U.S. airmen in Europe were poised to train with NATO allies this month as the Western military alliance escalates its rivalry with Russia.
And there was US activity in Poland in January:
U.S. troops arrived in the small town of Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
The U.S. troops, along with 53 track vehicles, including the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, reached Poland after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States’ commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.
This is not a comprehensive list. If you take time to do further research you will discover that the United States military in tandem with other countries has carried out several military exercises from the Black Sea in the south, all along the western border of Russia and in the Baltic Sea in the north.
If you are Russia and you are witnessing repeated deployments of U.S. infantry, armor, air and naval units on the frontier that produced that last military invasion of Russia (which left at least 20 million dead) would you sit back and do nothing?
What would the United States do if Russia managed to convince Mexico to sign a mutual defense treaty and then proceeded to conduct tank and military air exercises along our southern border? Would we do nothing?
Gordon and Schmitt are an embarrassment to the profession of journalism. Rather than actually report facts and place them in their proper context, they chose instead to push lies as truth and try to help shape public opinion into believing that Russia poses an imminent threat to the west.
One other point worth remembering–Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. How much is the US spending on just EUCOM exercises targeted at Russia? Sadly, there is bipartisan stupidity and ignorance when it comes to the issue of properly assessing Russia and the threat it does (or does not) pose to the United States. My cynical conclusion is that as long as Russia is portrayed as the great Red menace bent on world domination we can justify spending $650 billion dollars to thwart an invasion that is not coming.
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Don’t forget the NYT admitted a few years ago that it follows Israeli Hasbara instructions before publishing major news concerning the Middle East.
On July 15, its Baghdad Bureau chief Tim Arango said in an article, entitled, Iran Dominates Iraq After US ‘Handed the Country Over’.
Without mentioning the real reason the US wanted to remove its best Arab ally Saddam Hussein who fought 8-year US-proxy war against anti-Israel Islamic regime in Tehran – Tim Arango gives the impression to its readers that if the US occupied forces had not withdrawn from Iraq in December 2011, Iran would not be dominating Iraq.
“When the United States invaded Iraq 14 years ago to topple Saddam Hussein, it saw Iraq as a potential cornerstone of a democratic and Western-facing Middle East, and vast amounts of blood and treasure — about 4,500 American lives lost, more than $1 trillion spent — were poured into the cause. From Day 1, Iran saw something else: a chance to make a client state of Iraq, a former enemy against which it fought a war in the 1980s so brutal, with chemical weapons and trench warfare, that historians look to World War I for analogies. If it succeeded, Iraq would never again pose a threat. In that contest, Iran won, and the United States lost,” Arango said.
Your point is worthy of discussion, but the article concerns Eastern Europe and NATO, not Iran and Iraq.
I’m not sure the NYT ‘follows instructions’, either. The most effective propagandists are the ones who believe their own lies. The main media problem today seems to lie in the training and recruitment of journalists.
The neo-conservatives are almost a cult, a ghastly death cult determined to destroy anyone or any idea or any country that stands in the way of their dream of establishing a giant world empire ruled by the United States and its vassals. If it requires a surging river of blood full of bodies, so be it, on the other side, once we’ve waded through it… there lies their promissed land.
That the neo-cons have been wrong about almost everything over the last few decades doesn’t seem to matter at all. We’ve got the river of blood but the ‘promissed land’ just keeps on receding into the future.
The neoconservatives know what they want and how to get it, compared to almost everyone else, who aren’t as militant, organized and lack clear understanding and goals. Whilst the left swallows the bait, the neocons set about destroying country after country and pretending this is for the good of mankind. The gross absurdity of their propaganda is rarely fundamentally challenged by mainstream progressives, which is a catastrophic mistake, and this at a time when there’s a huge potential majority in the United States that’s critical of the wars and the media that does so much to promote them. Trump’s supporters who think the media stinks and are biased…. are right, yet, instead of reaching out to them and agreeing a common strategy to overhrow the media and the old parties, the left insults Trump’s voters calling them fascists and morons, ignorant rednecks… as if the left is more intelligent and understands the world better than they do.
The upshot of this economic warfare could find NATO itself as collateral damage? And quite possibly the EU too. If America forces itself on Europe in the form of LNG: Germany would be forced to take its gas from either or both Poland: or from the unbuilt Zeelink from Zeebrugge. Both options are more costly than NordStream 2. Hungary seems to be setting itself up as an alternative gas hub to Poland: benefitting from Turkish Stream (and a future deal with Israel?) As important gas hubs: the EU balance of power could pivot toward the Visegrad dissenters? Or fracture along those lines???
All for US shale (an unproven and costly reserve)? It’s a fracking nightmare: and the hydraulic fracture lines could extend into the heart of Europe??? The unintended consequences are obviously beyond the ken of the simple-minded neocons. The worst would an extension of their “Strategic Alliance”: a future “Haus Europa” energy alliance of Germany and Russia???
Russia, being sanction proof, could do quite well – not least by expanding its industrial skillset making analogue systems and parts. With uncertain future relations with Germany and the EU, it’s not hard to see this blowing back on Washington? In strengthening the Russian-Iranian alliance: the biggest losers could well be the US? Maybe they should just frack off now???
Human beings created this mess – human beings can clear it up – When you abandon hope you betray humanity
Well, here we go again….maybe NATO hasn’t noticed, it has been so busy gobbling up countries in which to put it’s troops, missiles and bases, ……that NATO has now expanded to completely encircle Russia…..and Russia has…?????
Expanded where? Yes, East Ukraine is the levering point for NATO aggression….but….looking at the facts….East Ukraine, which consists of predominantly Russian speaking Donetsk and Lughansk, have no wish to be governed by Poroshenko’s Kiev….an American puppet….still not a legal leader….they say they want autonomy from Kiev (and truthfully who can blame them.?) And has it been overlooked over a million Ukrainians have moved to Russia rather than stay under Poroshenko’s government.? These are legitimate claims and requests by the people who live there…who is USA to deny them? Who is USA ? They have hardly brought peace and stability to the world, they have brought disaster to every country they have so called “saved”…..Russia will never do a thing right, not during the Cold War and even less so after…..USA wants and never stops wanting….they keep the world in a perpetual state of war and crisis….who in their right mind wants USA anywhere near them…the people of East Ukraine have the right to decide their own future…they do not need USAs permission….take a look at the map and see exactly where East Ukraine is, snuggled right up against Russia and far, far away from Kiev….before Crimea is brought up…it is and has been Russian (as Kosovo has been Serbian) Kruschev gave it as a gift to Ukraine which was then a part of the Soviet Union….look to your history the Crimean War was between Russia and UK, the Black Sea fleet has always docked there, yes when the Soviet Union broke up Ukraine was promised protection by NATO should Russia show agression…but Russia has not, this is the people within Ukraine of East Ukraine who want change…and that is their right.
Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
By stealthy use of propaganda and the manipulation of the masses by duplicitous MSM and gutter press journalists, an all pervading cognitive dissonance is now all but complete. The ambivalence of western populations has removed any ability they might have had in refuting the “Russian Aggression” lie. Everything the US and NATO war criminals do serves only the interests of the few, with the cost to be borne by the many. Unfortunately the many are now incapable of critical analysis of the real truths and have no understanding that they are the pawns, the grist, the cannon fodder to be sacrificed in this disgraceful war of disinformation aimed at US dominance(and survival)and furtherance of imperialist/colonialist resource acquisition.
God help us all if they succeed in their provocations and machinations.
The lyrics vary, a little, but the tune is centuries old: the NY Times has been running silly propagandistic scare stories about Russia forever. It is a central theme of the old British Empire now being run by Washington. The Cold War wasn’t about communism but integrating Russia and Eurasia into the Empire.
While Imperialism was desperately trying to crush the USSR, and complete its domination of the globe most of Eurasia slipped out of the Empire (in part thanks to the USSR) so that now, while the campaign to conquer Russia continues, the Empire itself is crumbling, reduced to a massive military, an increasingly shrill Academy (teaching Malthus and Ricardo warmed over and repainted) and the laughable stories that the media, including the BBC and The Guardian, employ to frighten the handful of sentient beings who still pay attention to them.
The reality is that, with the exception that the toys they play with are dangerous, no force on earth is less important than the idiots feathering their nests and calling it government in London and Washington. Every act they take diminishes their power, every word they speak lowers their influence over the world- imperialism’s earliest victims, including China and Latin America are on the rise. In the metropolis itself there is plenty of unfinished business with the indigenous peoples, the formerly enslaved and the rest of the 90%- the unemployed, the indebted, those seeking medical care, the elderly, the poor.
Revolution is in the air. Talk about it. Organise resistance. Question the powers that are. Id we all laugh together, they will disappear.
And nobody will miss them.
Michael Gordon was the butthead–along with Judith Miller–that pushed numerous Iraq has WMD’s lies leading up to that illegal and immoral war.
If we lived under the rule of law, he and others would be indicted, arrested and tried for his involvement in that massive war crime.
There is a child-like simplicity to the propaganda campaign. First of all, you expand your military forces right up to Russia’s borders, incorporate Russophobic nut-jobs like the Baltics and Poland into NATO; dump your war materiel there, and hold provocative war games involving tens of thousands of troops. Funnily enough, Russia takes this as a provocation and then engages in counter-measures from its own side of the border. Aha, caught them, proof positive of Russian aggression, best expand NATO’s presence in the region. The whole exercise is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy. It rather reminds me of German propaganda in 1936 when after they reoccupied the Rhineland they accused France of aggression.
This is just a strategic build-up for a war against Russia. Provocation follows provocation in a game of chicken where Russia is left with the option of surrender or be annihilated. The only flaw in the strategy is that it won’t be just Russia who is annihilated it will be the whole world. Just consider what would happen in a nuclear exchange. Regardless of who ‘wins’ (what a ridiculous concept) there will be massive collatoral damage and millions of deaths on both sides. Then we will have a nuclear winter to follow. And the icing on the cake. The acceleration of global warming which would be then unstoppable. Good night Vienna!
Everyone with a brain cell knows this, and this includes the war-party and their apologists and hangers on in the west. So they must be banking on a Russian surrender. It seems quite possible that the Russians have figured this out already and come to the conclusion that it all a bluff. But if it is a bluff can the US countence the loss of face involved? Profound questions.
What really irks me is that the fate of humanity is being decided by 25 or so neo-con nut jobs and media hacks safely cocooned in their Washington propaganda bubble.
I suspect (or hope) Russian High Command are having a little laugh at our expense? I’m not denying the seriousness of the situation: but the current ground deployment, large as it is, would need a force multiplier to the factor of 100 to pose a real and present conventional warfare danger. NATO can huff and puff and exercise all it wants: but what can they actually do? Neither contain nor invade. It really is expensive sabre rattling.
The real threat is the nuclear capable missile systems. Aegis Onshore; the deployment of Aegis destroyers in the Black Sea and Baltic; and the old Cold War cat-and-mouse hunt the subs. Due to the “Super-Fuze” upgrade; and the Obama war-footing: Russia is more seriously threatened by a submarine launched first strike from the North Atlantic:
Take out the silos; mop up the mobile launchers; use Aegis and THAAD to intercept what may survive: that’s the plan. Then the 40,000 ‘Spearhead’ troops might have a role.
To have any chance of survival: the Russians MUST assume we are planning a pre-emptive first strike. Whether we are; or whether it would work (it wouldn’t: we would all die in the nuclear winter) becomes irrelevant. By ratcheting up the tension, ‘incidents’ could happen. Like the B-59 incident; the ‘Petrov’ incident; Able Archer ’83… or the Vincennes mistaking an Iranian airliner for an attacking Tomcat (allegedly)… or we could all die in a mistaken “warfighting attack”: the next time the Norwegians launch a weather balloon???
“I don’t know how this is all going to end. What I do know is that we will need to defend ourselves.” Vladimir Putin
For the moment, all those toy soldiers are just a joke. For the future, let’s hope the neocons love their children too?
“…..For the moment, all those toy soldiers are just a joke. For the future, let’s hope the neocons love their children too?…..”
Do they “love” anyone but themselves – proof required in any affirmative response, please.
Even heartless psychopaths claim to love their children: so I guess the question is – do they love other people’s children? Clearly not. I believe that those empowered and capable of making the decisions that could lead to war (the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff ) have rejected the nuclear winter research: so they must believe such a scenario “winnable.” Despite the massive loss of civilian life. The brutal assessment is that the continuation of life on the planet is in the hands of 6 vainglorious psychopaths who think they can win a nuclear war. And the Orange Lunatic gave them free rein. There ain’t no silver lining in this mushroom cloud …
”Take out the silos; mop up the mobile launchers; use Aegis and THAAD to intercept what may survive: that’s the plan.” Yep, a walk in the park really. Hmmm, with all due respect Big.B, I don’t think things are going to turn out like this. How many harebrained military plans have you heard in that particular vein which have not exactly gone according to ‘the plan’ in the pitched heat of war and conflict? As Moltke (the elder) perceptively commented:
‘No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.’
War is a messy and inexact science. Military planning does not and cannot take account of all the contingencies, variables, muddles and unknowns in any given war situation. Even the most meticulously planned stratagem will come adrift as it has generally been 1. untested, and 2. The planners did not have perfect information. Going back to a previous post of mine. The fall of Singapore in 1941, was not expected to occur since the shore batteries would destroy and seaborne landing by the Japanese forces. What the planners didn’t cater for was the fact that the Japanese simply came down the Malay peninsula over the causeway to Singapore and the British had to surrender. Their big guns were pointed out to sea and so could not have any decisive impact on the battle. Whoops! Sorry chaps. Another stroke of ‘genius’ was the planning for the battle of the Somme 1916. British and French artillery pounded the German lines for a week before the British infantry advanced into no-man’s land. They were preceded by a creeping barrage so that anything or anyone in their path would be obliterated. Unfortunately, there was a timing muddle and the creeping barrage got too far ahead of the British infantry. The barrage ceased at about 300 yards short of the German trenches. This gave the Germans time to emerge from their deep shelters, line up their machine guns, and whoosh a turkey shoot. British casualties on the first day of the battle were 60,000 with 20,000 dead.
Having learnt nothing from this disaster the allied general staff under the command of Sir Douglas Haig – this was a mainly British affair – began a double down offensive against the German lines in Belgium: The Battle of Passchendaele began on 31 July 1917 under the heaviest rainfall the northeast of Belgium had seen for thirty years. Also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, it produced 700,000 casualties among allied and German troops – but resulted in a gain of just five miles of allied land. British casualties were estimated at between 260,000 to 400,000 according to different counting techniques. Haig earned the unenviable moniker of ‘Butcher Haig’ as another the result of yet another ill-thought out and inept chapter of British military leadership. So much so that the German C-in-C on the western front, Ludendorff, remarked that the ‘British solidiers’ fought like lions’ to which one of his subaltern staff officers replied, ‘yes but don’t we know that they are lions led by donkeys.’
Then of course there was yet another hare-brained military theory, to wit: the Maginot line. This was a series of fortifications built by the French after WW1 which made France supposedly impregnable against any German invasion. German Panzers could not, it was believed, circumvent these ramparts since they would have to push through the Ardennes which was impossible for tanks. Well guess what, the German Panzers did push through the Ardennes by-passing the Maginot line and making it irrelevant.
To the point in question. Are we really expecting that a nuclear war is going to be any different? People don’t change even if weapons do. Only a complete and utter fool (or a neocon) would gainsay this. Starting from an underestimation of the enemy’s (Russian) capabilities’ and belief in the infallibility of the plan, which on paper may look foolproof, a stream of non-sequiturs is rolled out confirming the strategic conclusions already reached, and which are known a priori. A masterpiece of deduction. Then empirical reality raises its ugly head – unexpected issues arise which had not been planned for – and hey-ho, the wheels fall of the whole enterprise.
Winning a nuclear war is a preposterous pipe-dream and the senior war planners must know this. Unfortunately, the hotheads are now in the driving seat and believe that somehow that can pull-off this impossible project. It really is frightening that someone like John McCain and the rest of the war party has (to put it mildly) a considerable input into this lunacy
What we can predict with some certainty is massive collateral damage in the northern hemisphere, with tens if not hundreds of millions of dead immediately and more to come as the effects of burns, starvation and radiation poisoning take their toll. Then the nuclear winter will set in and finish off the southern hemisphere. I hope Ms Maddow enjoys life in her fall-out shelter. I wonder when it will be safe to come out. Think of it this way. Pity the poor soul(s) trapped with this ignorant, arrogant, self-righteous, yuppie-liberal for the remainder of their natural lives. Death where is thy sting.
All the best
Of course, Frank: there is only one sane plan – immediate nuclear disarmament. That said, it’s not me or thee that makes the plans. As for the analysis I linked too: that too is the worst plan in military history – for all the reasons you point out and because they have discounted the resultant nuclear winter. They would eradicate us all with their own hubris. The point is that with Aegis in Europe; and THAAD in Guam and S Korea: the Russians have to cover the possibility of a pre-emptive strike. The actual plan: its feasibility, or lack thereof – is irrelevant. The linked analysis and my comment made that clear.
Perhaps if more people realised that the continuation of life on this planet has been deferred to a very few high functioning sociopaths – SecDef ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and Dunceford and the JCOS – they might demand the removal of Aegis and THAAD and demand a detente? The next stage of the Deep State coup is the ripping up of the INF treaty and the development of medium range ballistic missiles. To be deployed where? Not continental USA. Europe and the Pacific Rim. If this provision gets written into the Defence Authorization Act – it can’t be voted against.
It must be obvious where this is heading? Why aren’t people on the streets in their millions protesting this? Putin is right: there is no sense of fear. Are the herd-like masses really that anaesthetized by the ‘Russian Threat’? The real threat is from within. You’re not wrong: this is the very worst plan in history. Anything could go wrong: most likely not by design.
The best analysis of the pointlessness of war and the fathomless stupidity of miltary and political leaderships was made in the 1969 film ‘Oh What A Lovely War’.
In view of the anti-Russian hysteria currently sweeping the Western MSM, along with the lies about Syria and Trump’s chest-beating blustering about North Korea, there is every reason to believe nothing has changed. The film would be well worth showing again, but almost certainly won’t be, as it would show up too many uncomfortable contemporary truths.
We are disintegrating world wide under the force of the psychopathic US, the Anglo Zionists. We have never been in such a dangerous situation before as this coming war will be fought for one purpose, world domination both financial and otherwise by the US and its vassal states. The level of ignorance amongst western populations is terrifying, the MSM just as corrupted as the criminal politicians it serves.
There is no longer any loyalty to the populace of these countries, people are fodder, used, abused to make the rich richer, used in Middle Eastern wars, the psychological welfare of many destroyed for life, an irrelevance to Neocons who are now so out of control that without a massive takedown by Western populations, there will be no stopping this. As someone who used to engage in activism, I realised that the majority of people are really not interested in the truth. The last 50yrs of Neoliberalism has taken its toll on our ability to recognise the truth from the relentless propaganda we have been exposed to. The compliant media have done a wonderful job of divide and rule pitting us against each other in a vicious way instead of against the actual perpetrators. Addictive crap food, increased daily drinking, social media and mindless television with no substance have dulled our intellects so in many ways we have lost the ability to critically analyze the appalling events unfolding before our eyes.
I do not hold out much hope that there will be a change of direction, I believe only the people can stop this in its tracks.
The US war machine has ‘needed’ enemies since the ceasefire of 1945.
The economy feeds on war.
The oligarchy feeds on power.
The MSM feeds on the fear.
The citizens are fed lies.
It has led to a ugly obesity of mammoth proportions.
The corpse cometh.
I don’t doubt that the establishment in the US wishes to see Russia destroyed. However, it is likely that this portrayal of Russia is as much about further humiliating President Trump.
There is much more to it that that. There was the deliberate extension of NATO towards RUssia’s borders. The Balkan war was aimed at dismembering Serbia, a cultural and political ally of Russia. Russia and China had significant political and economic connections with Libya under Gaddafi. They were eliminated, at least so it seemed. One of the primary motives for the US-organized regime change in Ukraine was to force RUssia out of Crimea, treaties be damned. A secondary motive was the restoration of Nazi ideology on Russia’s borders. Similarly in Syria, one motive was to kick Russia out of its then refueling base in Tartus. This is a long and calculated attempt to eliminate Russia’s connections westwards with the penultimate prize being closure of its oil/gas supplies to Europe (for the benefit on as yet non-existent US and ISraeli supplies). The ultimate prize would be reduction of Russia to its 1990’s state being totally looted by the Zionist mafia. All of this is war by economic means.