“Into the Valley of Death”

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by Doug Casey, International Man:

In April of 2018, International Man published an essay in which I commented on the appointment by President Trump of John Bolton as US National Security Advisor.

In that essay, I described the appointment as a warning that the US government had reached a decision to pursue increased aggression toward Russia that could lead to direct warfare between the two countries.

On the surface of it, this would seem to be a somewhat rash conclusion to draw, as war has not been declared. And Mister Bolton would certainly not have the power to unilaterally declare war.

However, the reason for concern over such an appointment is that Mister Bolton is a one-trick pony who invariably characterizes Russia as evil and has, for years, fervently recommended major aggression against Russia. Since Mister Bolton never deviates from this zeal to aggress against Russia, he would not be appointed unless a path of significant aggression had already been decided.

So – how has this appointment been playing out? It’s known that Mister Bolton has persistently encouraged the US government to withdraw from the 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the US as the Soviet Union – an agreement that was instrumental in ending the Cold War.

His persistence has paid off and the announcement has now been made by President Trump that the US will follow Mister Bolton’s instruction.

Of course, since 1988, the US and Russia have taken turns at accusing each other of having at times violated the existing agreement. This is a normal part of tit-for-tat diplomacy. However, a unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, with no discussion even considered, sends a very powerful message. It says, “This is not a matter that we intend to discuss – we’re ramping up our deployment of weaponry. We understand that you’ll do the same.”

Whenever any nation behaves this arrogantly with regard to aggression against another nation, it tends to end badly. And, historically, the outcome is almost always the defeat of the aggressor. Arrogant leaders are vulnerable leaders, as they tend not to think things through.

This has been especially true of aggressors against Russia. Russians, as a people, have always been prepared to suffer more than others to retain their sovereignty. Russian leaders have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to throw literally millions of their countrymen’s lives away in defense of their country.

Arrogant leaders like Napoleon and Hitler have found that attacking Russia is a major mistake. Each had their armies decimated by Russia.

Today, it should be clear to all who are paying attention that the warfare in the Middle East has nothing to do with rebels fighting for freedom or whether one country or another might be using chemical weapons.

Whoever can pipe oil from the Middle East to Europe will be the leader in the 21st century. And so, Iran, Iraq and Syria are key pieces of real estate in that power struggle. Any excuse by Eastern or Western countries to control these otherwise insignificant countries can and will be used.

As such, the US is already warring with Russia, but on a proxy basis. A proxy war can be contained if neither of the two powers gets carried away with its own omnipotence. But, just as Adolf Hitler arrogantly proclaimed that his “thousand-year Reich” would crush the great Russian bear, the US is making the same mistake by rattling sabres against Russia directly.

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