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Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

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Written by Philip M. Giraldi; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless Russia.

Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public. When 9/11 arrived, the country was ready to lash out at the rest of the world. President George W. Bush growled that “There’s a new sheriff in town and you are either with us or against us.” Afghanistan followed, then Iraq, and, in a spirit of bipartisanship, the Democrats came up with Libya and the first serious engagement in Syria. In its current manifestation, one finds a United States that threatens Iran on a nearly weekly basis and tears up arms control agreements with Russia while also maintaining deployments of US forces in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and places like Mali. Scattered across the globe are 800 American military bases while Washington’s principal enemies du jour Russia and China have, respectively, only one and none.

Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either the geographical United States or a vital interest. Venezuela is being threatened with invasion primarily because it is in the western hemisphere and therefore subject to Washington’s claimed proconsular authority. Last Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told the United Nations Security Council that the White House will remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power, preferably using diplomacy and sanctions, but “all options are on the table.” Pence warned that Russia and other friends of Maduro need to leave now or face the consequences.

The development of the United States as a hostile and somewhat unpredictable force has not gone unnoticed. Russia has accepted that war is coming no matter what it does in dealing with Trump and is upgrading its forces. By some estimates, its army is better equipped and more combat ready than is that of the United States, which spends nearly ten times as much on “defense.”

Iran is also upgrading its defensive capabilities, which are formidable. Now that Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran, has placed a series of increasingly punitive sanctions on the country, and, most recently, has declared a part of the Iranian military to be a “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore subject to attack by US forces at any time, it is clear that war will be the next step. In three weeks, the United States will seek to enforce a global ban on any purchases of Iranian oil. A number of countries, including US nominal ally Turkey, have said they will ignore the ban and it will be interesting to see what the US Navy intends to do to enforce it. Or what Iran will do to break the blockade.

But even given all of the horrific decisions being made in the White House, there is one organization that is far crazier and possibly even more dangerous. That is the United States Congress, which is, not surprisingly, a legislative body that is viewed positively by only 18 per cent of the American people.

A current bill originally entitled the “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,” is numbered S-1189. It has been introduced in the Senate which will “…require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.” The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and is co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

The current version of the bill was introduced on April 11th and it is by no means clear what kind of support it might actually have, but the fact that it actually has surfaced at all should be disturbing to anyone who believes it is in the world’s best interest to avoid direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia.

In a a press release by Gardner, who has long been pushing to have Russia listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, a February version of the bill is described as “…comprehensive legislation [that] seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait. The legislation establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the US government to address Kremlin aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination. The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote. It also increases sanctions pressure on Moscow for its interference in democratic processes abroad and continued aggression against Ukraine.”

The February version of the bill included Menendez, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as co-sponsors, suggesting that provoking war is truly bipartisan in today’s Washington.

Each Senator co-sponsor contributed a personal comment to the press release. Gardner observed that “Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.” Menendez noted that “President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress” while Graham added that “Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia. He should cease and desist meddling in the US electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.” Cardin contributed “Congress continues to take the lead in defending US national security against continuing Russian aggression against democratic institutions at home and abroad” and Shaheen observed that “This legislation builds on previous efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its bellicose behavior against the United States and its determination to destabilize our global world order.”

The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are. The Senators also ignore the fact that the designation of presumed Kremlin surrogate forces as “foreign terrorist organizations” is equivalent to a declaration of war against them by the US military, while hypocritically calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is bad enough, as it is demonstrably untrue. But the real damage comes from the existence of the bill itself. It will solidify support for hardliners on both sides, guaranteeing that there will be no rapprochement between Washington and Moscow for the foreseeable future, a development that is bad for everyone involved. Whether it can be characterized as an unintended consequence of unwise decision making or perhaps something more sinister involving a deeply corrupted congress and administration remains to be determined.

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  • Eskandar Black

    Excellent analysis

  • Barba_Papa

    It makes one wonder how we ever survived the Cold War.

    • TiredOfBsToo

      There still existed some sane voices among the psychopaths, but shrewd manipulation of levers of government by the psychopaths removed the sane voices, so that all that is left are the psychopaths.

      • James

        But would the Psychopaths at the top really throw themselves under the bus at the same time, or do they think they will be able to get away with some exit plan?

        • TiredOfBsToo

          They think they can win and just have acceptable losses. This has been stated by the military to it’s overseers in Congress. The acceptable losses are the everyday people of both the US and rest of the planet.

        • Bob

          Their doctrinal approach is to attempt to forward situate any future battlefields, against respectively Russia and China, with greatest losses and devastation, into eastern Europe and western Pacific Ocean. They believe this gives them an advantage and capacity for relatively less catastrophic mainland US damage – it is of course entirely delusional.

    • Bob

      The MAD strategic policy – Mutually Assured Destruction – by thermonuclear ICBM’s was the system of balance and macro-stability during Cold War – neither side wanted to trigger guaranteed mutual Armageddon. But since mid 1990’s Neo-Cons in US have gained control of US foreign policy – they are not pragmatists but rather ideologues, with an enormous domination complex, and seek to use diplomatic and military aggression to radically expand US global dominance. The leading Neo-Cons cadre are dangerous, because like all sociopaths they cannot accept the concept of realistic limitations to their wants, desires and fantasies.

  • Sinbad2

    War is coming because the US is losing control of the world, and war is the only way they know how to respond.

    • Rhodium 10

      Yeah but USA has no chance to win the war…once Iran close Hormuz..Russian troops enter in Poland and deploy S-500 to close all German airspace…Russian troops enter in Trasniester(Moldava) and deploy S-500 to close east Europa airspace…Northsea , Baltic and Black sea fleet close Baltic and Black sea….Otan will collapse in few days as consecuence of division and fear of limited nuclear war in Europe!…

    • James

      It seems Washington can’t come to a consensus on what to do. They threaten literally everyone around the world but fail to follow through with action at the most crucial time. Of course I would never rule it out entirely as there are a lot of crazies trying their best to find a reason for war, but there seems to be some force within the Deep State that is preventing them. I have no idea where or whom it comes from. It would be good to see how deep Southfront can dig to find out who’s really pulling the strings on that side of the table.

      • S Melanson

        Good observation. I agree and I think it is the disappearance on nation states in the old sense and now we have factions vying for control and using nation states as chess pieces. The powerful nations are to important to let any one faction gain control and so multiple factions are at play in the US and Russia with sufficient power in each factions hands to act as a check on actions and this greatly reduces, but not entirely, the risk of a global war. This is like Kennan’s containment strategy that relied on strategic patience but in this case, it is with internal factions placing checks on each other rather than nation states.

        This is a good thing and strategic patience is needed as we continue the dangerous transition to a multipolar world.

    • gustavo

      Nop, war are created to stiimulate the military-industrial complex, as you can see it from the military budge approved by the congress. Peace in the world means death to USA economy since 75% of USA economy is related with military projects, just ask any USA university.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Any country which may give reason will be attack by USA Bolton and Pompeo.Potential targets is Venezuela,Iran ,Cuba.

  • Z1

    Doesn’t China have a military base in Djibouti?

    • AJ

      Well they only need another 795 to catch up with the US!!

    • verner

      yup

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    has any one told this guy who served in vietnam as well cia, that beside been part of the problem, usa since her creation as a colony never been at peace and been attacking nations to steal and enslave since that was her primary function as a colony of the globalists? Or is he still in a coma, of denial of fact.

    • S Melanson

      Yeah, served in Vietnam and worked for the CIA so had an insiders view. Then tells us he is depressed how the US has become an evil empire, as if this is a recent development.

      Even better is the claim that US belligerence is at its highest as if the US was more peaceful in the past. Being in the CIA he would have some awareness of the US track record of belligerence and brutality going back 200 years. Today is more theatrical perhaps, but other than that, The belligerent policies of today represents continuity of past policies that seek world domination.

      Global domination has defined US policy since WW2 and the US made no secret of its agenda to become the sole hegemonic power – this policy continues today as the US seeks complete full spectrum dominance by bringing to heel nations that have refused to submit to US power.

      The author says no enemies that threaten US vital interests. Excuse me, but for the US, there are enemies that threaten US vital interests such as reserve currency status and military supremacy among others. Essentially, US vital interests are the pillars that support US dominance and once this is understood, the US is quite predictable. The author should know this yet writes as if the US is blundering it’s way randomly attacking and threatening nations. Hardly random at all, Nations not bowing to their US masters are threatened an attacked.

      Lastly, why this attention to Bill S-1189 as if it is threatening war and rendering rapprochement impossible. It is just one more example of US belligerence to provoke Russia and rapprochement is a fairy tale dream. There will be no peace until Russia submits or US Gives up its quest to be sole hegemon.

      It is very unlikely Russia will bow and equally unlikely the US will abandon its quest to be the sole hegemon. Basically US or Russian power has to be broken, or the conflict will continue…

      • AJ

        Thats why I believe Putin has been very reserved in his responses to blatant US provocations both on Russian border & Syria – he is well aware the US wants a reaction & its rage for dominance needs to be handled very carefully.

  • Ma_Laoshi

    “Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent.” And the murder of four million people during the Vietnam War was, what? If Europeans butcher on that scale it’s called a holocaust. Not to speak of using nuclear bombs on civilian targets and oh the genocide of American natives on which the country was founded. Surely the current administration is atrocious; but (former) insiders like Mr. Giraldi seem to find it particularly distasteful because Donald Trump just lacks the patience and class to put the usual coat of paint over it.

    If the volume in Washington is now being turned up to 11, it may be in part because the Imperial machine is becoming increasingly unstuck, and the Dark Throne has mounting problems getting its way in the world–in itself not a bad sign.

    • AJ

      The US must have killed several million since 1945 if you include Vietnam, Korea the various regime changes in Latin America installing dictators then the regime change wars since 9/11, deaths due to sanctions, secret droning & special ops we never hear about. Its a horrific rap sheet

      • Tiresia Branding

        it’s not a coincidence that the Nazi elite was welcomed in the USA with the red carpet at the end of WWII

        • gustavo

          Mainly engineers and scientists (it doe not matter if they were Nazis).

        • Allan Greedspoon

          Only the technocrats, in particular the missile engineers and rocketry scientists . .

    • Allan Greedspoon

      I think he is talking about open belligerence, not how violent the US has been. Even during the Cold War, Korean War and Vietnam War, the US was never as blatantly belligerent as it is now . .

  • AJ

    America Has Been at War 93% of the Time – 225 out of 242 Years – Since 1776. That tells you what motivates the ruling elite.

  • verner

    that war is on the agenda or is the agenda has been frightfully obvious for quite some time – and with a criminally insane and corrupt junta running the show, it is much more certain than what we really like to think. the criminally insane and corrupt junta is in every respect as bad as hitler’s gang of four – goehring, goebbels, himmler and heydrich and the fact that kim jung un asked to have fatso replaced tells you quite a lot about the situation and how fatso and his gang are viewed by the world, although just a few dare to voice their concern.

  • newshole

    Empire in decline

    • gustavo

      I do not think so, but it is becoming more and more danger for the whole humanity.

  • peter mcloughlin

    The victor always sees the outcome as permanent: the vanquished sees the outcome as temporary, to be reversed at the soonest opportunity.
    That is because wars are about power (manifested as interest). The pattern of history is clear. Power has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power. One day the victor will become the vanquished; that is the cycle. The defeated rebounds, even if resigned to the ultimate war – nuclear war. ‘Russia has accepted that war is coming no matter what it does in dealing with Trump’.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  • Saddam Hussein

    This will end with a US civil war.

  • verner

    I’ve said so before and I’ll say so again – only a humongous demonstration in washington dc of say 1 to 2 to 3 million battle hardened veterans can wrestle the powers away from the servants of the military industrial complex/deep state that has stolen the powers awarded congress, the judiciary and the executive branch (and pentagon cia und zu weiter) and return those powers to the people that has been fooled for about 70 years or basically going back to the korean war.

  • gustavo

    There is only one nation which can stop USA-Israel-NATO, and this nation is Russia. If USA-Israel-NATO manage how to destroy Russia somehow, the whole world will be just a big MacDonall.