Escalating the risky fight with Russia

To box in President-elect Trump, the neocons and liberal hawks are pushing for “crippling sanctions” against Russia that they see as crucial to their dangerous “regime change” agenda in Moscow. The neocons and their liberal-interventionist chums never seem to think through one of their “regime change” schemes. It’s enough that they wrote the plan down in some op-ed article or reached a consensus at a think-tank conference. After that, all there is to do is to generate the requisite propaganda, often accompanied by intelligence “leaks” and maybe some heartbreaking photos of children, to rile up the American people so they can be easily herded into the next slaughterhouse.

We’ve seen this pattern play out over and over again, from Iraq to Libya to Syria to Ukraine. You could even go back to the 1980s and the project for arming Afghanistan’s mujahedeen and a collection of international jihadists led by Osama bin Laden, a project enthusiastically supported by both Republicans and Democrats. The one consistent in these bloody follies is that the neocon/liberal-hawk plans never work out as they were drawn up. Time and again, it turns out that the great idea – looking so good on the op-ed page or sounding so smart at the think-tank conference – wasn’t all that great or smart after all.

Remember how the Iraqis were going to welcome U.S. troops with flowers and how neocon favorite Ahmed Chalabi would be hailed as Iraq’s new leader; or how the murder of Muammar Gaddafi would be followed by the flowering of Libyan democracy; or how enforcing the “must go” edict on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be accomplished pretty quickly; or how overthrowing democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was sure to put a stop to Ukraine’s endemic corruption. Instead, the people in those countries were left bloodied and battered while the areas around them became destabilized, too, now with those social and economic disruptions extending all the way to Europe, which not that long ago was one of the world’s bastions of stability. And, oh, yes, the Afghan operation from the 1980s gave us the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

No Accountability

The neocon/liberal-hawk elitists never seem to get anything right but they are so well-connected that they never are held accountable. They just keep coming up with new gambits, expressed with the same confidence and certainty – all beautifully explained in the next round of op-eds and at the think-tank conferences. When the new scheme arrives, it’s as if the earlier disasters hadn’t happened. Across the ideological spectrum, the mainstream media’s star reporters act as if the only proper reaction toward the latest brilliant idea is to show undying credulity. The only questions that get asked of politicians are why they aren’t intervening faster and going bigger, whether the new plan is to blast the targeted country in a “shock and awe” display or ship weapons to some proxy force which may include jihadists and neo-Nazis or sabotage a country’s economy so the people will support a coup out of hunger and desperation.

Time and again, the unhappy country at the receiving end of America’s latest “regime change” project ends up wallowing in pools of blood as the international circle of chaos widens. But the U.S. public’s attention quickly goes elsewhere, like a child bored with a broken Christmas toy. The targeted country is mostly forgotten, except for the occasional op-ed or think-tank complaint that if only the politicians had started the wars earlier or had dispatched a bigger military force or had kept U.S. soldiers there indefinitely or had done more to undermine some demonized leader, then the neocon/liberal-hawks scheme would have worked out just perfectly. Which sets us up for the next grand idea.

Dropping the Big One

But the next grand idea arguably could be the last one. After several years of intensifying anti-Russian propaganda, the United States reportedly is ready to escalate the New Cold War with Russia by inflicting new punishments in retaliation for the still-unproven allegation that President Vladimir Putin authorized the hacking of Democratic emails and then released them to the American people via WikiLeaks.  Though the Obama administration has yet to provide any public evidence to support the charges, mainstream news outlets – particularly The Washington Post and The New York Times – have lapped up their own leaks from the Central Intelligence Agency, which appears to have been operating under instructions from President Obama to discredit President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. The hope seemed to be that the CIA’s claims about Putin’s interference in the election could anger enough electors to the Electoral College to prevent Trump from getting the 270 required votes on Dec. 19 and thus toss the selection of a new president into the House of Representatives, which under the Twelfth Amendment would pick from the Electoral College’s top three vote-getters (who turned out to be Trump, Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who received four votes from Clinton’s electors in Washington State). Though this Electoral College coup failed – Trump got more than the 270 votes he needed – the CIA’s claims about Russian hacking lived on with neocon and liberal-hawk members of Congress (not to mention pretty much every important op-ed writer and editorialist in America) demanding that Russia be made to pay a heavy price.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, spoke for many of his colleagues when he tweeted, “My goal is to put on President Trumps desk crippling sanctions against Russia.” In a new leak to The Washington Post on Wednesday, Obama administration officials vowed to do just that, readying “a series of measures to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure [as well as] covert actions that will probably involve cyber-operations.”

A New Escalation

This latest U.S. escalation of tensions with nuclear-armed Russia actually culminates at least a half decade of probing by the United States for Moscow’s vulnerabilities to “regime change,” an operation that appears to have begun around Russia’s 2011 elections and continued with protests against Putin’s election in 2012, street demonstrations dubbed by the West’s media as the “snow revolution,” since all these strategies seem to require a “color” or a similar special identification marking. Former Secretary of State (and defeated Democratic presidential nominee) Hillary Clinton has cited Putin’s belief that she orchestrated this interference in Russian politics as his supposed motive for leaking emails that embarrassed her campaign. And, without doubt, the Russian election protests had the strong support of various U.S.-based “non-governmental organizations” that receive funding either from the U.S. government or from U.S. “pro-democracy” foundations.

There is also no doubt that the West’s neocons and liberal hawks want desperately to instigate a “regime change” in Moscow, in part, as punishment for Putininterfering in their “regime change” schemes for Syria and Iran. In 2013, by getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, Putin helped thwart plans for a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian military in retaliation for a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus that the Obama administration and Western media immediately blamed on President Assad though later evidence suggested that it was a provocation carried out by Islamic extremists connected to Al Qaeda. Putin also assisted Obama in securing concessions from Iran regarding the agreement to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon, which disrupted Israeli and neocon hopes for a plan to “bomb-bomb-bomb” Iran, as Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, once described.

To be continued

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