America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

War USA

America is on a war footing.  While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level”. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia.

We are not dealing with a “Cold War”. None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail. 

There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.  

The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December 4th (H. Res. 758)  would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate –without congressional approval– a process of military confrontation with Russia.  

Global security is at stake. This historic vote –which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.   

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. Moscow has responded to US-NATO threats. Its borders are threatened. 

On December 3, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced the inauguration of a new military-political entity which would take over in the case of war. 

Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war. (RT, December 3, 2014)

Timeline of War Preparations

In May 2014, the  Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) was  introduced in the US Senate (S 2277), calling for the militarization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States and the stationing of US and NATO troops on Russia’s doorstep:

S.2277 – Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014

Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.

Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.

While The S 2277 resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review, its essential premises are already in the process of being implemented.  In mid-July, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove in consultation with the Pentagon and Britain’s Ministry of Defence, called for:

 “stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia”.(RT, July 24, 2014).

NATO Summit Wales 2014According to General Breedlove, NATO needs “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces”:

“He plans to recommend placing supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops” (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)

Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” –which could potentially lead to military escalation– was reaffirmed at the September NATO Summit in Wales.  A so-called NATO action plan directed against the Russian Federation was decided upon.  The Wales Summit had given the “green light”.

Barely a month later, in October,  US-NATO military drills were held in the Baltic States. In early November, a second round of drills was held in both the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

As part of this broader endeavour, NATO’s Iron Sword 2014 military exercises –involving the participation of nine member countries of the Atlantic Alliance– were launched in Lithuania in early November:

 ”US tanks rolled in to Lithuania earlier this month is a show of force to Russia that it’s not welcome in the region.”

The military exercises were explicitly directed against Russia. According to Moscow, they consisted in “increasing operation readiness” as well the transfer of NATO “military infrastructure to the Russian borders”.

In response to NATO deployments on Russia’s borders,  the Russian Federation also conducted in early November extensive  war games in the sea of Barent.  The Russian drills consisted in testing “its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines” and the “silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile  launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast” on November 1st.

The US House of Representatives H.Res. 758 Resolution

On 18 November,  a major resolution H. Res. 758 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Its main thrust consists in portraying Russia as an “Aggressor Nation”, which has invaded Ukraine and calling for military action directed against Russia:

You can watch Rep. Kinzinger’s floor speech on the legislation

H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)

HRES 758 IH

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

(The full text of H. RES. 758 is contained in annex to this article)

H. Res. 758 not only accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine, it also invokes article 5 of the Washington Treaty, namely NATO’s  doctrine of collective security.

An attack on one member of the Atlantic alliance is an attack on all members of the Alliance.

The underlying narrative is supported by a string of baseless accusations directed against the Russian Federation. It accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine. It states without evidence that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17,  it accuses Russia of military aggression.

Ironically, it also accuses the Russian Federation of having imposed economic sanctions not only on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova but also on several unnamed member states of the European Union.  The resolution accuses the Russian Federation of having used “the supply of energy for political and economic coercion.”

In essence, House Resolution 758 were it to become law would provide a de facto green light to the President  of the United States to declare war on the Russian Federation, without the formal permission of the US Congress.

In this regard, it could be interpreted as “mildly unconstitutional” in that it contravenes the substance of Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution which  vests in the Congress “the Power to declare war…”

The resolution urges the President of the United States in consultation with the US Congress to:

“conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of the United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each is sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self defence under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies” .

What the above paragraph suggests is that the US is contemplating the use of NATO’s collective security doctrine under article 5 with a views to triggering a process of military confrontation with the Russian Federation.

The structure of military alliances is of crucial significance. Washington’s intent is to isolate Russia. Article 5 is a convenient mechanism imposed by the US on Western Europe. It forces NATO member states, most of which are members of the European Union, to act wage war on Washington’s behalf.

Moreover, a referendum on Ukraine’s membership in NATO is contemplated.  In case Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and/or redefines its security agreement with NATO, article 5 could be invoked as a justification to wage a NATO sponsored war on Russia.

“Fast Legislation”

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The speed at which this legislation was adopted is unusual in US Congressional history.   originalHouse resolution 758 was introduced on November 18th, it was rushed off to the Foreign Affairs Committee and rushed back to the plenary of the House for debate and adoption.

Two weeks (16 days) after it was first introduced by Rep. Kinzinger (Illinois) on November 18, it was adopted by 411-10 in an almost unanimous vote on the morning of December 4th.

Members of Congress are puppets. Their vote is controlled by Washington’s lobby groups. For the defence contractors, Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, “war is good for business”.

In the words of Dennis Kucinich in an open letter published on December 2:

The resolution demands Russia to be isolated …  In other words, ‘let’s get ready for war with Russia.’

This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.

Media Blackout

One would expect that this historic decision would has been the object of extensive news coverage.

In fact what happened was a total news blackout.

The nation’s media failed to provide coverage of the debate in House of Representatives and the adoption of H Res 758 on December 4.

The mainstream media had been instructed not to cover the Congressional decision.

Nobody dared to raise its dramatic implications.  its impacts on “global security”.  ”World War III is not front page news.”

And without mainstream news concerning US-NATO war preparations, the broader public remains unaware of the importance of the Congressional decision. .

Spread the word. Reverse the tide of war.

Break the mainstream media blackout.

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