25 June 2016

War with Russia appears increasingly likely as the US and its NATO satraps continue their military provocations of Moscow.

As dangers mount, our foolish politicians should all be forced to read, and then re-read, Prof. Christopher Clark’s magisterial book, ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.’ What is past increasingly appears prologue.

Prof. Clark carefully details how small cabals of anti-German senior officials in France, Britain and Russia engineered World War I, a dire conflict that was unnecessary, idiotic, and illogical. Germany and Austria-Hungary of course share some the blame, but to a much lesser degree than the bellicose French, Serbs, Russians and British.

We are seeing the same process at work today. The war party in Washington, backed by the military-industrial complex, the tame media, and the neocons, are agitating hard for war.

US and NATO combat forces are being sent to Russia’s western borders in Ukraine, the Baltic and Black Sea. NATO is arming, financing ($40 billion so far) and supplying Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Prominent Americans are calling for the US to attack Russian forces in Syria. US warships are off Russia’s coasts in the Black Sea, Baltic and Pacific. NATO air forces are probing Russia’s western air borders.

Some of this is great power shadow boxing, trying to cow insubordinate Russia into accepting Washington’s orders. But much appears to be the work of the hard right and neocons in the US and Europe in spite of the desire of most Americans and Europeans to avoid armed conflict with Russia.

Hence the daily barrage of anti-Russian, anti-Putin invective in the US media and the European media controlled by the US. Germany’s lapdog media behaves as if the US postwar occupation is still in force – and perhaps it is. Germany has not had a truly independent foreign policy since the war.

In an amazing break with Berlin’s normally obsequious behavior, German’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, just demanded that Washington and NATO stop their ‘sabre-rattling’ against Russia. He speaks for many Germans and other Europeans who are deeply alarmed by the alliance’s provocations of Russia.

In fact, many Europeans want to see the end of NATO-imposed sanctions against Russia that were ordered by the US. No one in Europe cares about Russia’s re-occupation of Crimea. The sanctions have been a big backfire, seriously hurting EU exports to Russia at a time of marked economic weakness. Nor are any Europeans ready to fight a war, or worse, even court nuclear war, for such dark-side-of-the-moon places as eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk or Mariupol.

America’s numb-brained Republican members of Congress, who could not find Crimea on a map if their lives depended on it, may be counted on to beat the war drums to please their big donors and hard right religious donors.

The only Republican to buck this trend is Donald Trump who, for all his other foolish positions, has the clear sense to see no benefit for the US in antagonizing Russia and seeking war in Europe or the Mideast.

What the US and its sidekick NATO has done so far is to antagonize Russia and affirm its deeply held fears that the west is always an implacable enemy. But it seems very unlikely that the tough Vlad Putin and his battle-hardened nation is going to be cowed into submission by a few thousand US and NATO troops, a few frigates and some flyovers. Ever since Frederick the Great, wise European leaders have learned not to fight with Russia.

Not so President Obama’s strategic Walkures, Samantha Power, Susan Rice and, until recently, Hillary Clinton. They proved the most bungling military-strategic leadership since Madame de Pompadour was briefly given command of France’s armies by King Louis XV and proved an epic disaster.
One shudders watching Hillary Clinton aspire to be a commander-in-chief.

It’s also inevitable that land, sea and air provocations against Russia will eventually result in accidental clashes and a stern Russian response. All one needs is a Sarajevo II terror incident to spark a big shooting war between nuclear powers.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2016

This post is in: Crimea, Europe, NATO, Russia, USA


  1. When I hear this kind of speech:
    or this kind:
    I can`t help but feel, that we are not only misled and lied to, but deliberately kept in the dark by the MSM, which are under control of a cabal, that wants to own the world at the cost of freedom of mankind`s 99% majority. The masses are still too undereducated, to know what is at stake and what to do. A war with Russia cannot be won by either side, but the future of mankind may hang in the balance. Such is the mental disease of greed and the hunger for power.

  2. Many “progressive” commentators on the internet are also fearful that the Western Alliance appear to be taunting Russia and preparing for a war with it in the not so distant future. It seems insane to provoke a conventional war with a nuclear power, the western elites might be greedy and murderous but are they that reckless [“insane”] to risk a shooting war with Russia or China? I think not. This war mongering must have some other purpose. It’s perhaps nothing more than a charade or a silly game. However, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Sam Power and Victoria Nuland may turn out to be the Four Harpies of the Apocalypse. Wherein the “forces of the good” are prophesied to triumph over the “forces of evil.” Are you superstitious?

  3. Joe from Canada says:

    Again, Mr. Margolis, you have nailed this debate.

    The only winner in this round of aggression is the military industrial complex. That part of the American oligarchy will never have enough money or sufficiently low taxes. I have criss-crossed Central America, and saw, first hand, the dirty underbelly of such rule.

    I continue to be puzzled by the writer’s lack of endorsement of the Progressive Democrats.

    Bernie Sanders could win the presidency and bring about the mindset changes espoused here. There is little to lose by his proceeding to that level.

    Imagine, if he and his followers overturned the cabals of Wichitaw, Palm Springs, or Michigan.

    A handful of conscientious writers, like yourself, could still awaken sleepy back rooms of media empires.

  4. This is what drives me crazy about Trump some days he’s like a madman and others he is the sanest person in the country.
    If elected he will either destroy America and take half the world with it or he will be one of their greatest presidents.

  5. Interesting this was posted on the 75th “anniversary” of barbarossa. Russia has a historical right to be paranoid about attacks from the west. The most important inheritance that Russia received from the USSR was it’s vast nuclear arsenal. If the Russians feel that there is an existential threat to their country, they will use it. Are the neocons willing to risk this, or are they just waiting for the rapture?

  6. M Shannon says:

    Do they want war? I don’t think so but the hawks and NATO must do something to stop the cuts to defence budgets. A small Cold War would be handy. The navies preference is one with China but they’ll settle for “increased patrols in the Black Sea to counter Russian aggression”.

    The 2% of GNP spending goal has flopped. NATO also proved incapable of mounting the out of area missions it pinned it’s hopes on. If the horrors of Brexit come true (I think it’s wildly exaggerated) Europe will have less to spend on weapons and voters might turn their sights on the NATO bureaucracy as well as the EU. Cue the Russian bear and pour cash to “our” Ukrainians to keep the fire going.

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