RE POSTED FROM LAROUCHE IRISH BRIGADE
LaRouche Irish Brigade | Campaign for a return to true republican principles in Ireland and beyond
It is high time to break the most dangerous taboo of the present: to know and act on the acute possibility, that mankind may be annihilated within days or weeks.
On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world stands closer to the brink of thermonuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The Obama Administration and NATO have placed mankind in jeopardy of sudden extinction through a series of senseless provocations directed against Russia, primarily, and China second.
When the Iron Curtain came down, an agreement was reached that, in return for Russian acceptance of German re-unification within NATO, there would be no further eastward expansion of NATO. Ukraine was identified as a crucial neutral buffer between East and West, with the idea that Ukraine would serve as a bridge between the European Union and the emerging Russian economic bloc.
All of those fundamental war-prevention agreements have now been violated. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, publicly boasted in December 2013 that the US had spent $5 billion on “color revolutions” to draw Ukraine into the European Union, and, eventually, into NATO.
The US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty in order to deploy a missile defense system in Eastern and Southern Europe, ostensibly aimed at Iran, but actually targeted at Russia. Last week, the Obama Administration confirmed this reality by announcing the deployment would go forward, despite the P5+1 deal
with Iran. Russian officials have charged, all along, that the US unilateral BMD in Europe was part of a plan for a preemptive thermonuclear strike capability against Russia.
Deployment of that ABM system is well underway in Romania and Poland, and the first three ship-based AEGIS missile defense systems are already in place and have conducted maneuvers in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, both bordering Russian territory.
Now reports have surfaced that the upcoming Trident Juncture 15 NATO exercises will include rehearsals of use of nuclear weapons against Russia. Washington is moving ahead with production and deployment of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons, the B-61-12, which can reach targets inside Russian territory from F-35 stealth fighter jets. An estimated 500 of the B-61-12 nuclear weapons are to be produced, with current plans calling for about 200 of them to be deployed on continental Europe.
These unmistakable provocations have not gone unnoticed in the East and West. Since the onset of the Ukraine coup in November 2013, Russia has gone through major upgrading of its entire thermonuclear strategic force. Russian defense officials have publicly warned that they have developed and deployed an undefeatable nuclear second strike. To demonstrate this, Russian strategic bombers and submarines have engaged in exercises in international waters near NATO territories.
During the duration of the month of August, there is a grave danger of provocations against Russia by President Obama, who could use the occasion of the Congressional recess to launch a war. A wide range of influential figures has already voiced these concerns, including retired Russian and American flag officers.
The decision of Obama, to change the rules of engagement of the US Air Force in Syria without Congressional approval three days after Congress went into recess, bringing about the immediate danger of an escalation into a war against Syria, which the Congress voted against two years ago, underlines the acuteness of
In 1914 the world was sleepwalking into the catastrophe. Today, with arsenals of thermonuclear weapons sufficient to extinguish civilization dozens of times over, the world is sleepwalking again to the abyss.
We, the undersigned, demand the immediate stop of the confrontation against Russia and China and a return to political solutions of all conflicts.
Yesterday’s Pentagon and State Department briefings were the occasions for sharp questioning of the Obama Syria warfare policy of 1) training a few “moderate rebels;” 2) providing them air strike cover against anyone—including potentially Syrian government forces; and 3) doing it unilaterally, and calling it legal and Constitutional.
At the Pentagon, spokesman Navy Capt. Jeffrey Davis, was hit with reporters’ questions on these matters. He then sent out a statement later in the day admitting officially, that, indeed, on July 31, there was a firefight between a group of US-trained opposition fighters and 50 or so militants, and that the U.S. did conduct air strikes in support of the US-trained group. The militants were from Jabhat Al Nusra, not ISIL. This was the first airstrike not against ISIL, and illustrated the
hypothetical of U.S. air strikes against Syrian government forces.
Capt. Davis said, “As for the legal authorities question about engaging Assad’s forces, we won’t speculate about potential scenarios that might arise.” He said, “Our train-and-equip program is focused first and foremost on preparing appropriately vetted Syrian opposition forces to counter ISIL. At the commencement of the counter-ISIL campaign, we cautioned Syria not to engage U.S. aircraft. The Syrian regime would be similarly advised not to interfere with the counter-ISIL mission of the Syrian fighters we have trained and equipped. If the Syrian fighters we have trained and equipped come under attack, the President would have the authority under the Constitution to defend those fighters, but we will not discuss our specific rules of engagement.”
The relevant backdrop is that, only 60 “moderate rebels” have been trained and equipped so far in the U.S. $500 million ‘train-and-equip’ program. The original stated goal was 15,000 trainees, but fewer than 7,000 ‘applied,’ and finally, only 60 passed the vetting and training. Davis claimed yesterday not to have any information about casualties among the US-trained fighters in the July 31 firefight, he did admit that five of them were abducted by Al Nusra in a separate incident.
At the State Department, Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner was less assertive about legal authority. “I frankly don’t know what the legal authority is,” he said in direct response to a question. When pressed hard on the fact that, there’s no Congressional authorization nor is there a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the airstrike campaign that’s been underway since last August, much less, for the “major shift in policy” Obama decided on to protect the US-trained rebels, Toner could only mumble that “we’re in consultations” with both the Congress and the UN Security Council.
In fact, the only Administration acknowledgment of the new airstrike policy initiated July 31, came through an unnamed official to a Wall Street Journal blogger, posted Aug. 2. This follows the pattern of the Administration’s creeping into warfare without engaging the US Congress and the American public, as it
did in Libya in 2011 and almost did in Syria in 2013.
This stealth was castigated by Council Of Foreign Relations analyst Micah Zenko, in an Aug. 3 blog posting shortly after the news first broke that Obama had decided to authorize air strikes to defend the US-trained rebels from any and all attackers including, should that situation arise, Assad’s forces. “This truly significant decision, which more deeply commits U.S. credibility and military power to the outcome of the Syrian civil war, comes not from behind a White House or Pentagon podium, but rather from an anonymous official speaking to a reporter,” writes Zenko. “This should have been declared publicly by President Obama or Secretary Carter, who should have then been willing to answer some of the clarifying questions that Administration officials have refused to address in Congressional hearings.” Furthermore, “the legal basis for this policy decision is totally unclear.”
In concluding, Zenko notes that “Congress has still not authorized this latest open-ended war that began one year ago this week.” Or if there is a legal basis, the administration still has not articulated what that is. “[t]he White House or the Pentagon should immediately articulate this legal basis publicly, but given their pattern of behavior we certainly should not expect them to do so.”