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Impending Explosion: U.S. Intensifies Threats To Russia And Iran

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Impending Explosion: U.S. Intensifies Threats To Russia And Iran
Rick Rozoff

Washington and its NATO allies launched two of the three major wars in the world over the past eleven years in March - against Yugoslavia in 1999 and against Iraq in 2003. The war drums are being pounded anew and the world may be headed for a catastrophe far worse than those in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The United States, separately and through the military bloc it controls, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is accelerating military deployments and provocations throughout Eurasia and the Middle East.

Embroiled with fellow NATO members in the largest-scale military offensive of the joint war in Afghanistan launched eight years ago last October and well on the way to both extending and replicating the Afghan aggression in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula [1], Washington and its allies are also taunting and threatening Russia as well as surrounding Iran with military forces and hardware preparatory to a potential attack on that nation.

The rapid pace of the escalation - almost daily reports of missile shield expansion in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and Turkey; heightened and progressively more bellicose words and actions directed against Iran - is occurring at a breakneck and almost dizzying speed, drawing in larger and larger tracts of Europe and Asia.

On January 12 new U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria James Warlick, speaking "at his first public event in the country," announced that Washington is entering into negotiations with the Bulgarian government to station interceptor missile facilities, most likely at one of the three new military bases the Pentagon has acquired there in the past four years. "The US military already has bases in Romania and Bulgaria that were created some years ago for delivering troops and cargo to Iraq and Afghanistan...." [2]

"The United States is planning to expand its European missile shield to other parts of Europe" and "will consult closely with Bulgaria and other NATO allies on the specific options to deploy elements of the defense system in those regions," according to the American envoy. [3]

During the same speech Warlick also "called on Bulgaria to find other alternatives to stop its dependence on Russian gas," [4] a reference to sabotaging the Russian South Stream project to transport natural gas from the eastern end of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and from there to Austria and Italy.

An analyst at a pro-NATO think tank in Bulgaria said of the proposed missile shield components that "They can be deployed virtually anywhere. Naturally they will need special infrastructure that provides logistical processes, and technically everything should be enforced by NATO standards." [5]

The news of including Bulgaria in U.S. and NATO missile shield plans came eight days after a comparable announcement was made by Romanian President Traian Basescu that his country, where the U.S. has four new military bases, will host land-based U.S. interceptor missiles. The news from Romania in turn came only two weeks after Poland disclosed that a U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missile battery will be stationed 35 miles from Russian territory as early as March. [6]

The head of the Russian lower house of parliament's Committee on International Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, responded to the latest news by saying it is "not in line with the 'reset' of US-Russia relations," [7] an almost unintentionally comic understatement, and other Russian officials have pointed out that the Bulgarian report, as with those relating to Poland and Romania, came to their attention by reading of it in the press. Moscow's American friend doesn't feel constrained to notify Russia of its intention to base missile shield installations near the latter's borders or across the Black Sea from it.

Former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces retired general Leonid Ivashov was less restrained in his reaction. He recently told a major Russian radio station that U.S. missile strategy "remains unchanged" vis-a-vis that of the former George W. Bush administration and missiles in Romania are an integral component of Washington's plan to "neutralize Russia as a geopolitical competitor" [8] in the Black Sea and in general. In fact Washington's plans are to destroy the strategic balance in the European continent two and a half months after the expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Recent announcements concerning U.S. missile deployments near Russia have been interpreted by some observers as intentionally designed to bury START negotiations and any hope for a treaty for the limitation and reduction of strategic offensive arms.

A Russian military analyst, Alexander Pikayev, said of the above dynamic that "US/Russia relations were improving but these proposals really don't help the situation. This situation is a time bomb. If these plans go ahead it could cause big problems in five to ten years time." [9]

The White House and Pentagon explain the drive to deploy a solid wall of interceptor missile bases along Russia's western borders as an alleged defense against Iranian, North Korean and even Syrian missile threats, the argument used by the last American administration in furtherance of plans to place ground-based midcourse missiles in Poland and an X-band missile radar site in the Czech Republic.

The rationale was false then and remains so now. How short-to-medium-range missiles in Poland can in any manner be a response to Iran is unexplained - because it is unexplainable.

Ivashov refuted this transparent lie by stating "Iran will never be first to deliver a military strike." [10]

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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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