Tag Archives: Cold War

Veterans Group Warns US Attack on Syria Could Lead to Nuclear War

Washington, D.C. – Veterans for Peace, a prevalent veterans’ organization in the United States, has issued a press release warning that a U.S. attack in Syria could lead to a nuclear war with Russia. VFP president Gerry Condon warned of the catastrophic danger inherent in a direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia, presciently asking why the mass media is “cheerleading for war instead of asking hard questions.” Condon went on to highlight the fact that the only “proof” of the attack is a “video made by a fundamentalist rebel group,” noting that even if true, a “military response will only lead to more death, destruction and dangerous escalations.”

Additionally, Condon invoked previous lies told to the American public about “weapons of mass destruction” used to lure the public into supporting the war in Iraq, and urged all veterans, GIs and their families “not to accept another war based on lies.” Furthermore, VFP claims that “all military personnel, from low ranking GI’s to the top generals and admirals, have an obligation to disobey illegal orders. Orders to carry out acts of war against a sovereign nation that is not threatening the U.S. are illegal orders.”

[Related: Reality Check: No Sarin Gas Used by Assad in Syria?]

Read the entire press release, as it appears on Common Dreams, below:

A leading veterans’ organization is warning that a U.S. attack on Syria could lead to a nuclear war. Russian military forces in Syria will undoubtedly be among the targets of U.S. missiles.  Russia has said it will shoot down U.S. missiles, and attack the “platforms from which they are fired,” i.e. U.S. ships.

 “Why the rush to war?” asked Gerry Condon, president of Veterans For Peace.  “Why is the mass media cheerleading for war instead of asking hard questions?  Why are Democratic and Republican politicians trying to out-do one another with calls for ever more massive attacks on Syria?

“There is no proof yet of a Syrian government gas attack, only a video made by a fundamentalist rebel group that wants more U.S. intervention.  Even if the reports are true, a military response will only lead to more death and destruction, and dangerous escalations.

“We are talking about a direct confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers,” said Gerry Condon. “Why would the U.S. risk nuclear war over dubious chemical weapons claims?

“Veterans have longer memories than the press and the politicians,” said Condon.  “We remember how we were lied into the Iraq War with false reports of ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ U.S. wars throughout the Middle East have caused millions of deaths and destroyed entire societies.  Our soldiers and their families have also paid an extremely high price.”

“Veterans, GI’s and their families will not accept another war based on lies,” said Gerry Condon.  “We will be protesting in the streets, in the suites, at media outlets and at military bases.

All military personnel, from low ranking GI’s to the top generals and admirals, have an obligation to disobey illegal orders.  Orders to carry out acts of war against a sovereign nation that is not threatening the U.S. are illegal orders.

“We swore an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” said Gerry Condon, president of Veterans For Peace. “Right now those enemies are those who would rush our country recklessly into another devastating war.”

According to Common Dreams, “Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.”


Ex-British Ambassador: Novichok Claims Are UK Attempt to ‘Step Up the Cold War’

London, UK— Former British ambassador Craig Murray, in an interview with RT, took direct aim at what he labeled a “desire by NATO members… to step up the cold war and enhance confrontation with Russia,” in relation to the claims that Russia used novichok nerve agent on Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil.

While Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has consistently laid the blame on Russia, scientists from the secretive defense laboratory Porton Down dealt this accusation a blow when it was revealed they could not confirm a Russian origin of the novichok nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack.

Scientists at Porton Down announced earlier in the week that they were unable to substantiate the government’s assertions that the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter had been produced in Russia:

The Guardian reports that Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the government’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), said that while the substance had been identified as a military-grade novichok nerve agent, which could likely only be deployed by a nation-state (a disputed contention), there was no confirmation of Russian origins.

The Porton Down statement was “extremely important” according to Murray, who claimed that “a fortnight ago sources inside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told me they were ‘under pressure’ to say it was made in Russia” but they knew they were unable to do so and ‘refused.’”

“What we have seen today is news management because the Government had to get over the hurdle the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will shortly be telling people there is no evidence this came from Russia,” Murray said. “The Government decided for damage limitation it was best Porton Down came out and said that first. We will see careful news management over the next day or two.”

While Porton Down scientists said “a state” was likely to be behind the attack, due to the complexity of the agent, Murray said this assertion is inaccurate and that there is evidence to the contrary.

“The ‘probably’ in the statement is very important, there are many people including David Colum, professor of organic chemistry at Cornell University, who says it’s just not true it has to be a state and any of his senior students could make it,” Murray stated.

Murray went on to say that he suspected government handlers had made a hasty addition to the end of the Porton Down statement in an attempt to allow for increased suspicion to be focused on Russia after failing to legitimately tie the novichok to Russia.

“If you watch the interview, the sentence where he says it would probably need a state to make it is tacked on to the end. If you look closely, not only has the shot changed, the camera and tripod have actually moved. I strongly suspect government handlers who would have been in that room watching him were unhappy with his interview and wanted something which implicated Russia more, so added a bit onto the end.”

Furthermore, Murray claimed at least a couple of dozen states could make it— including the U.S. and U.K.— and went on to note that there “ought to be an investigation into a serious crime.”

“We are told probably this and likely that, well that is not the way criminal verdicts are found,” Murray said.

“This quite simply feeds into a desire by NATO members in particular to step up the cold war and enhance confrontation with Russia. This has to be seen in a wider geopolitical context. Within that context the last thing the politicians care about is the truth about what happened in Salisbury.”

Peer Reviewed Study Asserts US History of Interfering in Foreign Elections

Washington, D.C. — The mainstream media continues to report heavily on Russian interference in the U.S. election process narrative, but according to a peer reviewed study by Dov Levin, a fellow in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, the United States is king when it comes to election meddling.

Attempts at intervening in the internal domestic politics of other countries is nothing new, and the U.S. and Russia both have a long history of spreading political propaganda, covertly supporting military coups, channeling funds and rigging polls, according to Levin’s research.

Levin’s research indicates that between 1946 and 2000 there were 117 combined “partisan electoral interventions” between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, or “one in every nine competitive national level executive election”; with the U.S. accounting for nearly 70 percent of the cases of election meddling.

In a brief summary of his research, Levin wrote:

In a dataset I constructed (called PEIG) the US and the USSR/Russia have intervened in this manner 117 times between 1946 and 2000–or, put another way, in about one of every nine competitive national level executive elections during this period. Both countries used a variety of methods for this purpose, including public threats or promises, the secret provision of money to the preferred party or candidate’s campaign, “dirty tricks” such as the release of true (or false) damaging information about the undesired side, or either an increase in foreign aid or other assistance before election day or a withdrawal this kind of aid.

At least 21 of the interventions reportedly took place in the post-Cold War era between 1990 and 2000, of which 18 were carried out by the United States. The cases involved varying degrees of interference, but nearly two thirds of the meddling was done covertly, with voters being completely unaware that a foreign power was attempting to influence the election process and results.

“60 different independent countries have been the targets of such interventions,” Levin noted, with 45 being allegedly targeted by the United States.  “The targets came from a large variety of sizes and populations, ranging from small states such as Iceland and Grenada to major powers such as West Germany, India, and Brazil.”

A Channel 4 News report on Levin’s research highlighted some of the specific countries that were targeted by covert electoral intervention operations:

According to Levin’s research, those countries where secret tactics have been deployed by the US include: Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador, Haiti, Panama, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Greece, Italy, Malta, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, South Vietnam and Japan.

For Russia, the list of covert interventions includes: France, Denmark, Italy, Greece, West Germany, Japan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Congo, Venezuela, Chile, Costa Rica, and the US.

Channel 4 also noted that “Covert interventions have been done by many countries over the years and – because they are shrouded in secrecy – it’s impossible to get a comprehensive picture of every instance across the world.”

“Although they usually get far less international attention and media coverage than various violent forms of meddling, partisan electoral interventions, or attempts by foreign powers to intervene in elections in other countries in order to help or hinder one of the candidates or parties, are actually quite common,” Levin summarized. “Such interventions can frequently have significant effects on election results in the intervened country, increasing the vote share of the assisted side by 3% on average – enough to determine the identity of the winner in many case.”

Levin’s figures do not include military coups or regime change attempts following the election of a candidate the U.S. opposed.

Russia Launches Military Exercises Around Nation

The Russian military is conducting military exercises involving more than 45,000 troops, war planes and submarines. The exercises come after the United States and other  North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations conducted similar exercises near Russia’s borders. 

Reuters reports that President Vladimir Putin made his first public appearance since March 5 on Monday morning as he met with Kyrgyz Republic President Almazbek Atambayev at the Constantine Palace outside Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg. Monday marks the first anniversary of Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by the Russian Federation.

Putin ordered the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet to full combat readiness during exercises in the Arctic North. The exercises are aimed at challenging recent drills by Norway. Five thousands troops in Russia’s eastern military district participated in drills, as did five hundred troops from Chechnya. Russian authorities stated that the drills were also meant to focus on fighting Islamic extremists.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told RIA news,  “New challenges and threats to military security require the armed forces to further boost their military capabilities. Special attention must be paid to newly created strategic formations in the north.” Shoigu said Putin plans to spend more than $340 billion rebuilding Russia’s military.

The Russian military exercises follow a warning from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Kissinger told the United States and Russia to consider diplomatic resolutions to the conflict in Ukraine or a return to Cold War conditions is imminent. Speaking to the BBC’s World this Weekend, Kissinger also stated that limits on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations should be lifted if they are to develop an adequate defense against Russia.

“NATO has to develop military  capacities that are relevant to dangers that they foresee. If they are determined to resist further Russian military moves it means that defense limitations should be lifted. It is inevitable that we are in a cold war strategy with Russia.”

He blamed less than cordial diplomacy between NATO and Russia for the current state of Ukraine. “I think it is essential that both Russia and NATO take a serious look at their diplomatic solutions because if they fail then I think a return to Cold war conditions is very likely.”

Just last week the United States sent tanks and armored vehicles to Latvia as part of NATO military exercises known as Operation Atlantic Resolve.  RT reported that more than 120 armored tanks and vehicles were sent to Latvia. Latvian Minister of Defense Raymond Vejonis called the exercise and equipment, “a confirmation of solidarity and security in the region.”

Operation Atlantic Resolve involved Canadian and American soldiers working with Latvian soldiers.

Russian Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said NATO is using the situation in Ukraine as cover for getting closer to Russia’s border.

“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target,”
– Russian Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov

In late 2014, I asked Is America Preparing for War with Russia?I suggest a reading of that article to understand the build up between the two nations. The United States continues to push Russia with sanctions yet Russia seems undeterred.

One of the most troubling actions from either country came in the last days of 2014.  On December 26 President Putin approved an updated war doctrine for Russia. The doctrine makes it clear that Russia will use military force to protect its citizens. The doctrine also stated that the US and NATO allied countries pose a military threat to the existence of Russia as a sovereign free nation.

Putin said Washington is to blame for the changes, with it’s own war doctrine of pre-emptive attacks, deployment of anti-ballistic missiles, and buildup of NATO forces on Russia’s border. Russia also acknowledged attempts at regime change through “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, and disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia.”

Obama: US Re-Establishing Relations With Cuba

Will Reopen Embassy in Havana After Prisoner Release

by Jason Ditz, December 17, 2014

President Obama today announced his intentions to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending 53 years of hostilities, and planning to reopen the US Embassy in Havana soon.

The deal centers around a prisoner exchange, including USAID spy Alan Gross, and another, unnamed spy held for 20 years. The rapprochement will partially end the long-standing travel ban on Cuba.

Yet while the travel ban easing will allow people to travel to Cuba for government or business purposes, and also some family visits, the US will continue to ban all travel to the island for tourism.

The US severed all diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961, and while most of the rest of the world ended the Cold War era hostility decades ago, maintained it through today. President Obama declared that in this case, isolation didn’t work.

Ending Cold War hostilities was never going to please anybody, and several Republicans expressed “outrage” over the announcement, saying it amounted to “appeasement” of the Cuban government. Sen. Marco Rubio (R – FL) vowed to block the normalization in the Senate.