by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:
Russia-bashing is a bi-partisan activity in Washington. Both parties think it makes them look “tough” and “pro-America.” But while Republican and Democrat politicians continue to one-up each other on “risk-free” threats to Russia, they are increasingly risking a devastating nuclear war.
It’s all fun and games until the missiles start flying. And in this case we are risking total destruction over who governs eastern Ukraine! Has so much ever been risked for so little?
The problem with all this tough talk is that politicians start to believe their own rhetoric and propaganda. As a result they don’t make sound decisions based on objective facts, but instead make rash decisions based on faulty misinformation.
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When US politicians talk about Russia massing troops on the Ukrainian border, for example, they leave out the fact that these troops are actually inside Russia. With US troops in some 150 countries overseas, you’d think Washington might pause before criticizing the “aggression” of troops inside a country’s own borders.
They also leave out the reasons why Russia might be concerned over its neighbor Ukraine. CNN reported recently that the Biden Administration approved another $200 million in military aid to Ukraine last month, making nearly half a billion dollars in weapons over the past year.
Imagine if China was sending half a billion dollars in weapons to Mexico to strengthen and embolden a hyper-aggressive anti-US regime. Would the US not be “massing troops near the Mexican border”?
Also there is that issue about the US-backed overthrow of the democratically-elected Ukrainian government in 2014, which is the starting point of all these recent problems. And this week Yahoo News reported that the CIA is training Ukrainian paramilitaries on US soil!
Recent talks between the US and Russia failed before they even began, with the US side refusing to even consider ending useless and provocative NATO expansion eastward. NATO is a Cold War relic that should have been disbanded along with the Warsaw Pact. It serves no purpose and its constant saber-rattling puts us at risk in conflicts that have nothing to do with US national security.
How embarrassing it was to hear Blinken ridiculing Russia for coming to the aid of ally Kazakhstan as a color revolution (with likely US backing) was brewing. “I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave,” Blinken told reporters. He said this with a straight face even as the US continues to illegally occupy a large part of Syria, continues to occupy part of Iraq against the will of that country’s parliament, and occupied a good part of Afghanistan for 20 years!
Incidentally, as soon as the regime change attempt was put down in Kazakhstan, Russian and allied troops began leaving the country. But, of course, the reflexively pro-war US media doesn’t report anything outside the narrative.
What to do about Russia? Stop backing regime change along Russia’s borders, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere. Stop meddling in foreign elections. Look at how we wasted four years on false claims that the Russians meddled in ours. End weapons shipments and all aid to Ukraine. End sanctions. Re-imagine the US defense budget as a budget to actually defend the US. It’s really not that complicated: stop trying to rule the world.