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Boardman writes: "For months now, the US general in charge of NATO forces has been crying out in warning that the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming, to invade Ukraine."

Ukrainian Troops. (photo: Picture-Alliance/ITAR-TASS)
Ukrainian Troops. (photo: Picture-Alliance/ITAR-TASS)

French Rap US and NATO for Playing Russian Roulette with Ukraine

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

03 June 15


French bias tilts toward reality on the ground and in history

or months now, the US general in charge of NATO forces has been crying out in warning that the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming, to invade Ukraine. And Gen. Philip Breedlove goes on crying that the Russians are coming to invade – except when he’s crying that they’ve already invaded. This long-running performance is a new twist on the Boy Who Cried Wolf – the General who cries both that the wolf is coming and that the wolf is already here

In spite of all this wolf-crying, the wolf still hasn’t come. Even shrill claims of wolf-sightings are supported by evidence less substantial than tufts of fur or paw prints. Still, the Ukraine government and its Western manipulators have a vested commitment in crying wolf until it is believed, regardless of its truth. The important thing, for NATO and US propagandists, is to create fear of the wolf, real or imaginary. The fear is all that matters. The fear is all that ever matters. (This is the same unprincipled fear-generation the right has used for decades, as in that scary “bear-in-the-woods” commercial the Reagan presidential campaign used to make America afraid of a bear that was too afraid of us to attack.)

General Breedlove’s screed is part of a fear-raising propaganda campaign designed to protect the usurping and corrupt government in Kiev, if possible, and to breed war, if necessary. The official line defends these warmongering warnings, claiming that they are based on US intelligence, secret US intelligence. 

French intelligence says US intelligence is crap.

Propaganda relied on secret “intelligence” since the USS Maine sank

The head of French intelligence says NATO is over-reliant on American crap.    

Reporting to the French National Assembly at length in March, Gen. Christophe Gomart, head of French Military Intelligence, referred obliquely to Breedlove’s crying wolf-invasion and described how the French got the intelligence analysis right:

NATO had announced that Russia would invade Ukraine, whereas according to our information, nothing supported this hypothesis – indeed, we observed that the Russians had not deployed command centers or a supply chain, notably military hospitals, that would allow for a military invasion, and reserve units had not moved at all. [emphasis added]

The French, by looking at facts on the ground to guide their actions, have been out of step with the US and NATO command. Like the American leadership going into Iraq, facts on the ground (Saddam Hussein had no WMDs) are irrelevant. American leadership, as displayed by the Obama administration, has long since maintained the ideological demand to corner Russia by bringing NATO to the Russian border in Ukraine and elsewhere. That’s why neocon and Cheney-ite Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (appointed 2013) and other American apparatchiks visited Kiev during the 2013-2014 Maidan protests, passing out cookies and promises to protestors who would eventually carry out the  successful coup d’état against a legitimate government. American motivation and behavior are aggressive, and have been for more than 20 years.  

In the New American Century, not rushing to war is “appeasement”

The deepening quagmire of Ukraine since 2014 was a long time in the making under relentless American political and economic aggression over more than two decades. Somehow the planners expected the Russians to roll over for another NATO state on its border (which is kind of like expecting to be greeted as liberators). But the Russians have reacted in their own predictable interest. Wrong in their expectations, American planners use their mistake as an excuse to perpetuate American aggression. And that aggression continues unflagging, as US troops train Ukraine troops, ignoring (or training) Ukraine’s neo-Nazi death squads

European states both in and out of NATO have sat quietly by, when they weren’t actively collaborating with the American determination to push Russia up against this wall and never mind the consequences. Now some European states, notably France and Germany, are facing the consequences of their own supine inaction (or worse) in the midst of Western aggression, and they are trying to mitigate its consequences in Ukraine. For this, Victoria (“F*ck the EU”) Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan, a prime neocon pontificator, calls the Europeans appeasers. Of course he’s right, in a different way: Europe has appeased US aggression since 1991. But that’s not at all that Kagan means.  

In a piece with the starkly arrogant title “America will lose patience with European appeasement” for the Financial Times in April, Kagan argued tendentiously:

… no word captures the general mood of Europe better than appeasement. Europeans, it has been said, cherish freedom but do not want to sacrifice anything for it. Only about half a dozen of NATO’s 28 members spend 2 per cent of output on defence, the alliance’s guideline level. When Vladimir Putin’s Russia undermined the strategic state of Ukraine, they stood and watched.

OK, you can expect a man to defend his wife for undermining a strategic state, but to confuse her deliberately with Putin seems as cruel as it is deceitful. Kagan packs this paragraph with other deceits as well:

  • “general mood” of Europe is appeasement? One: there is NO general mood of Europe, it is not a thing that exists outside the mind of the claimant. Two: more European states in the Baltic and Eastern Europe are running scared from the wolf, calling in NATO troops and ramping up spending (the hypothetical opposite of “appeasement”);

  • complaining about European defence spending suggests a desire to see Europe suffer the same sort of degraded social structure and infrastructure the US has achieved and continues to worsen without surcease;

  • “Russia undermined” is as pure Orwellian Newspeak as there is, since it was Kagan’s wife and other US minions who did the undermining of the legitimate government by semi-violent rebellion, and it is they who continue to undermine peace by urging the US to arm Ukraine to the teeth. 

Unasked and unanswered in most of the American dialogue are basic questions: Is it possible to drive Russia out of Ukraine without undermining Europe? Is Ukraine worth undermining the strategic continent of Europe? By their actions, Obama’s neocons say: yes, bring it on! 

Well, at least we have a free press to keep the government in check

The constitutional theory was that checks and balances would keep the United States sane, that war wouldn’t happen without Congressional deliberation, and that deliberation would be informed by the independent voices of of independent media. The contemporary reality is that, rather than asking why the Obama administration seems to be in thrall to lying warmongers, mainstream media like the NYT uncritically propagate the militarist necons’ cries of “Wolf!” 

General Breedlove even tweeted a link to the May 27 story in the New York Times with the headline: “Armed With Google and YouTube, Analysts Gauge Russia’s Presence in Ukraine”. This turned out to be an uncritical puff piece about a report from the Atlantic Council, a cold war style think tank that still believes in “the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global challenges,” previously known as the “white man’s burden.” The leading analyst for the Atlantic Council report was Eliot Higgins of, who has long promoted the official Russia-is-all-bad narrative. The Atlantic Council report’s photographic evidence is no more recent than February 2015, bearing little relevance to conditions four months later.

Despite the Times effort to inflate the Russian threat, the story quotes NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg as saying that “Russia is present in eastern Ukraine. This is something we have from our own intelligence.” But much later, near the end of the Times story, there’s this bit of threat deflation:

Mr. Stoltenberg declined to say how many Russian troops were in Ukraine or positioned near its border. But one Western official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing intelligence reports, said Russia had moved about nine battalion tactical groups close to its border with Ukraine, and that as many as five additional battalions could be sent there in coming weeks. The number of troops in such units can vary, but a battalion could have about 1,000 troops, creating a potential force of well over 10,000 Russian troops in Ukraine by this summer.

This is the same old wolf cry NATO has made before, with the additional magical thinking that turns Russian troops “close to its border with Ukraine” miraculously into “Russian troops in Ukraine.” Or as French intelligence calls it, crap. 

Newsweek: “Will Putin Gamble All On A Broader Ukraine Invasion?”

Eschewing nuance or evidence, Newsweek went straight for the scare-headline on its May 25 story that assumes as fact a Russian invasion that might get “broader.” Newsweek trotted out the tired speculation that Russia is “perhaps seeking to forge a land bridge between Russia and Crimea,” reinforcing its hyper-speculation with more wolf-crying from General Breedlove.

“Is Russia about to invade Ukraine?” asked Vox World May 28, picking up on the latest wave of crying wolf without actually answering the question.

“Vladimir Putin is not planning annexation of Ukraine enclaves,” was the reassuring Reuters headline May 29. Reuters went on to report a suitably bleak picture of eastern Ukraine, where the ceasefire is more honored in the breach than the observance, but the fighting remains relatively low-level and sporadic. Like most Western media, Reuters continues to report on “Ukraine” as if the tiny eastern fragment accurately represented the entire Ukraine, which remains in many areas unstable, divided, hungry, dangerous, corrupt, and under threat of martial law. Also like other media, Reuters makes no effort to assess actual ceasefire violations by either the Ukraine army or the pro-Russian separatists. 

The death toll in the 13-month-long Ukraine civil war is a variable, somewhere from 6,300 according to the UN estimate to 8,600 according to the Ukraine government. Both agree that the dead are overwhelmingly civilians. Most of those civilians have died inside the separatist region, in the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Crimea has never been Ukrainian, says former French President

From their behavior, the Russians seem to make a very clear distinction between eastern Ukraine and Crimea. That distinction seems to be that Crimea is part of Russia, but eastern Ukraine is not. No other party to the conflict – not Ukraine, not the US, not the European nations – seems to share that distinction. The Russians have possession, history, and common sense on their side. But until others come to accept possession, history, and common sense, no resolution of the Ukraine stand-off seems possible.

Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, speaking to a Moscow University audience May 29, observed that:

Crimea was conquered by Russia many centuries ago and, essentially, it has never been Ukrainian…. Let us not forget that the Yalta peace conference, attended by [US president Franklin] Roosevelt and [British prime minister Winston] Churchill, was held in Crimea.

That was when Crimea was part of the Soviet Union, when it was a US and British ally. Since the Yalta conference was held in part to establish post-World War II boundaries, and since that boundary question has been raised with regard to Crimea, Giscard d’Estaing proposed putting the Crimea question before the United Nations for a decision.

Once again, here’s French intelligence offering a perception for others to ignore at their own risk, and ours.  

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
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