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Black Sea Crisis Deepens As Threat To Iran Grows

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A U.S. government website provides these details about Joint Task Force-East:

"All U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force training operations in Romania and Bulgaria will fall under the command of JTF--East, which in turn is under the command of USEUCOM [United States European Command]. Physically located in Romania and Bulgaria, JTF East will include a small permanent headquarters (in Romania) consisting of approximately 100-300 personnel who will oversee rotations of U.S. Army brigade-sized units and U.S. Air Force Weapons Training Deployments (WTD). Access to Romanian and Bulgarian air and ground training facilities will provide JTF-East forces the opportunity to train and interact with military forces throughout the entire 92-country USEUCOM area of responsibility. U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) and U.S Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) are actively involved in establishing JTF-East." [10]

The four military bases in Romania and three in Bulgaria that the Pentagon and NATO have gained indefinite access to since the two nations were incorporated into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2004 allow for full spectrum operations: Infantry deployments in the area and downrange to Afghanistan and Iraq, runways for bombers and fighter jets, docking facilities for American and NATO warships including Aegis class interceptor missile vessels, training grounds for Western special forces and for foreign armed forces being integrated into NATO.

Added to bases and troops provided by Turkey and Georgia - and in the future Ukraine - the Bulgarian and Romanian sites are an integral component of plans by the U.S. and its allies to transform the Black Sea into NATO territory with only the Russian coastline not controlled by the Alliance. And that of newly independent Abkhazia, which makes control of that country so vital.

Last week the Romanian defense ministry announced the intention to acquire between 48 and 54 new generation fighter jets - American F-16s and F-35s have been mentioned - as part of "a new strategy for buying multi-role aircraft, which means to first buy aircraft to make the transition to fifth generation equipment, over the coming 10-12 years." [11]

With the recent change in government in the former Soviet republic of Moldova - the aftermath of this April's violent "Twitter Revolution" - the new parliamentary speaker, Mihai Ghimpu, has openly spoken of the nation merging with, which is to say being absorbed by, neighboring Romania. Transdniester [the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic] broke away from Moldova in 1990 exactly because of the threat of being pulled into Romania and fighting ensued which cost the lives of some 1,500 persons.

Romania is now a member of NATO and should civil war erupt in Moldova and/or fighting flare up between Moldova and Transdniester and Romania sends troops - all but a certainty - NATO can activate its Article 5 military clause to intervene. There are 1,200 Russian peacekeepers in Transdniester.

Transdniester's neighbor to its east is Ukraine, linked with Moldova through the U.S.-concocted GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) bloc, which has been collaborating in enforcing a land blockade against Transdniester. Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko, whose poll ratings are currently in the low single digits, is hellbent on dragging his nation into NATO against overwhelming domestic opposition and can be counted on to attack Transdniester from the eastern end if a conflict breaks out.

A Moldovan news source last week quoted an opposition leader issuing this dire warning:

"Moldova's ethnic minorities are categorically against unification with Romania.

"If we, those who are not ethnic Moldovans, will have to defend Moldova's
statehood, then we will find powerful allies outside Moldova, including in Russia. Along with it, Ukraine, Turkey and Bulgaria would be involved in this fighting. Last year we all witnessed how Russia defended the interests of its nationals in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Why does somebody believe that in case of a civil war in Moldova Russia will simply watch how its nationals are dying? Our task is to prevent such developments." [12]

Indeed, the entire Black Sea and Caucasus regions could go up in flames if Western proxies in GUAM attack any of the so-called frozen conflict nations - Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Georgia, Nagorno Karabakh by Azerbaijan and Transdniester by Moldova and Ukraine. A likely possibility is that all four would be attacked simultaneously and in unison.

An opportunity for that happening would be a concentrated attack on Iran, which borders Azerbaijan and Armenia. The latter, being the protector of Nagorno Karabakh, would immediately become a belligerent if Azerbaijan began military hostilities against Karabakh.

On September 15 news stories revealed that the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC, founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, had released a report which in part stated, "If biting sanctions do not persuade the Islamic Republic to demonstrate sincerity in negotiations and give up its enrichment activities, the White House will have to begin serious consideration of the option of a U.S.-led military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities." [13]

The report was authored by Charles Robb, a former Democratic senator from
Virginia, Daniel Coats, former Republican senator from Indiana, and retired General Charles Wald, a former deputy commander of the U.S. European Command.

Iran is to be given 60 days to in essence abandon its civilian nuclear power program and if it doesn't capitulate the Obama administration should "prepare overtly for any military option" which would include "deploying an additional aircraft carrier battle group to the waters off Iran and conducting joint exercises with U.S. allies." [14]

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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are outrageous. It's Bush and his neocons all over... by Archie on Monday, Sep 21, 2009 at 7:44:58 PM
..., no doubt, to Netanyahoo's secret "Visit" to R... by Bia Winter on Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009 at 8:39:11 AM
the US and Israel. There is no justification for ... by Elizabeth Molchany on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 5:57:19 AM
I agree. Israel and the US are the leading terrori... by eileen kuch on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:40:42 PM
Damn. I thought after Bush was gone I wouldn't hav... by Jason Racette on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 at 5:12:05 PM