US Goes Ballistic Over Ukraine as Both Sides There Wage Peace
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News (3.10.15)
US and UK deploy troops to Ukraine, but they're just "advisors"
American combat troops deployed in Ukraine will soon number in the hundreds, at least, but US officials claim they're there only as "advisors" or "trainers," not as an in-place threat to Russia. Whatever advising or training they may do, they are also an in-place threat to Russia. US officials are also lobbying to arm Ukraine with "defensive" anti-tank rockets and other lethal weapons in hopes of escalating the fighting, maybe even killing some Russians. In other words, American brinksmanship continues to escalate slowly but recklessly on all fronts.
To the dismay of the Pentagon, the White House war crowd, and the rest of the American bloviating class of chickenhawk hardliners, the warring sides in Ukraine are disengaging and the ceasefire has almost arrived (March 7 was the first day with no casualties). The government in Kiev and the would-be governments of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have been acting as if they're not hell-bent on mutually assured destruction after all. They've exchanged prisoners. They've agreed to double the number of ceasefire monitors to 1,000. They've pulled back their heavy weapons. Both sides have stopped the random shelling that has caused "heavy civilian tolls of dead and wounded," according to the March 2 report from the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.
The calmer heads of Europe, in Germany and France particularly, are presently prevailing over the fear-mongered countries closer to Russia who seem bewitched by US enthusiasm to subject Europe to yet another devastating war in which those near-Russia countries would be the first to feel the pain. But for now, most of Europe seems willing to accept the notion that the Russians have a rational view of their reasonable security needs, that the cost of further Russian advances outweighs any rational gain, and that all the mad babbling of bellicose Americans is just unprocessed cold war hysteria amplified by the need to deny decades of imperial defeats.
What is it with exceptional American irrationalists' love of war?
Ashton Carter, President Obama's choice as Secretary of Defense, assured Senators at his confirmation hearing in February that he would push for more aggressive military action for the rest of Obama's term, that he favors lethal arms for Ukraine, and that he would not be pressured into faster release of innocent prisoners held in Guantanamo.
John Kerry, Secretary of State, advocated in early February in favor of sending arms to the Ukraine government. Since April 2014, Kerry has been demonizing Russia, blaming Russia for growing violence in eastern Ukraine even as Kiev militias were attacking the Donetsk and Luhansk separatists, calling them "terrorists." Kerry, the highest ranking American diplomat, recently and publicly accused the Russians of lying to his face.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence, has told the Council on Foreign Relations that he wants to give "lethal- defensive weapons" to the Kiev government to "bolster their resolve" and persuade them "that we're with them." Clapper was calling Russia one of the greatest threats to the US as early as 2011.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, jumped on the arm-Ukraine bandwagon March 3, saying "I think we should absolutely consider lethal aid." (He didn't add that the big danger of non-lethal aid is that it might help people settle differences without killing each other.)
Victoria Nuland, formerly security advisor to Dick Cheney, now an Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs, has long engaged in working for regime change in Russia. Nuland is famous for her "f--k the EU" attitude during the Maidan protests in 2014. On March 4 she became the first US official to call Russian actions in eastern Ukraine "an invasion." She claimed there were hundreds of Russian Tanks in eastern Ukraine, though no credible evidence supports the claim.
And outside of government, Hillary Clinton in March 2014 referred to Putin as a new Hitler, criticizing the ethnic-Russian residents argument for Russia annexing Crimea. One of many public figures to use the Hitler analogy for Putin, Clinton said of Crimea's annexation:
"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 30s". All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous."