Guardian’s Seumas Milne: US/NATO Military Expansion, Smear Campaign Risk Disaster

Seumas Milne notes in The Guardian that the military expansionism the US is pursuing against “the Russian border” in Ukraine, is (as Glenn Greenwald also recently noted) knowingly empowering “Ukrainian fascist militias such as the Azov battalion”, which are “supported by Kiev”, now ruled by Petro Poroshenko, a US asset since 2006, as revealed by Wikileaks documents.

Of US-backed Poroshenko, whom Obama has hosted in the US taxpayers’ presidential estate, National Interest notes:

In October, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed a decree establishing October 14 as an official “Day of Ukrainian Defenders” to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the wartime UPA, theUkrains’ka Povstans’ka Armiia or Ukrainian Insurrectionist Army. As the historian Halik Kochanski has noted, the UPA worked hand in hand with Poland’s Nazi occupiers, killing, to take but one example, nearly 10,000 Poles over the night of July 11-12, 1943. “A feature of the UPA action,” according to Kochanski, “was its sheer barbarity. They were not content merely to shoot their victims but often tortured them first or desecrated their bodies afterwards.” All of this is well known, yet Poroshenko still took to Twitter to declare: “UPA soldiers—an example of heroism and patriotism to Ukraine.”

Like Pilger and Parry, Milne finds that “the anti-Russian drumbeat” in the US “has now reached fever pitch”.  Pilger and Parry say they have never seen the like in their decades-long careers as journalists.  And Pilger reminds us that the Nuremberg trial found that daily mass media was used in Germany to prepare the public mind for German “humanitarian” interventions (aggression) in surrounding countries.  Hitler was a vocal admirer of US/British propaganda techniques.

The US campaign is largely based on personal, ad hominem smears against the Russian president, and ignores “last year’s overthrow of the elected president [of Ukraine]”, “the role of Ukrainian far right”, and “war crimes carried out by Kiev’s forces”.

The US was an accomplice in the coup against Ukraine’s democracy (having already overthrown scores of democracies around the world, which the world knows about and doesn’t shrug off like many US citizens do), and has followed the coup by 1) supporting the military assault against the people who’s democratic system they destroyed, 2) a massive propaganda assault against the democrats, and 3) now sending hundreds of troops to Russia’s border to help secure the violent overthrow and further the eastward expansion of US (NATO) nuclear and military control over Europe.

The US sending troops into Ukraine, says Milne, is “a direct violation of last month’s Minsk agreement, negotiated with France and Germany, that has at least achieved a temporary ceasefire and some pull-back of heavy weapons”, demonstrating that the US, thousands of miles from its borders, wants escalation, not de-escalation – the typical and traditional choice for the US and the logical one for a larger aggressor looking to dominate globally.  However, the move becomes less logical for an aggressor when nuclear war is a potential outcome.  Then it becomes mere recklessness and reveals something about the extent to which our heroic protectors are actually worried about our ever-cited “security”.

The military expansion occurring is “overwhelmingly … from Nato, not Moscow”.  It is NATO that “For 20 years, despite the commitments at the end of the cold war … has marched relentlessly eastwards”.  Milne is referring to a US promise to Russia that NATO would not move “one inch east”, meaning even into east Germany (which, contrary to what US propaganda would have us believe, a majority of east Germans have said they wish was back under Soviet rule – see poll report for more info).  In another demonstration of the worth of US commitments, the promise not to military expand was immediately broken and the US expanded its military organization into east Germany.

The extent of what is purported by the US to be Russian aggression is “covert military support for the rebels”, which Parry also confirms.  This, says Milne, is typically rich of the US, which has “waged covert wars from Nicaragua to Syria” in addition to “outright aggressions and illegal campaigns in Kosovo, Libya and Iraq”, among many other sovereign UN states.  Milne’s observation highlights the primitive simplicity of the US aggressor’s logic: the US and its clients can do anything, and everyone else can do nothing, including defend against US or US-client violent aggression.  Outsiders are allowed only to die and/or submit, and anything else is Hitlerian, though the most violent and aggressive state, the US, is never Hitler (even despite having supported Hitler through the late 30s, knowing he was persecuting Jews and the other minorities).

Milne concludes that if the US does not support a “negotiated settlement which guarantees Ukraine’s neutrality, pluralism and regional autonomy”, “the consequences could be disastrous – far beyond Ukraine”, a reference to war with Russia, which could quickly and fairly easily result in a nuclear war, which might mean millions of deaths and mutilations in a matter of minutes.

In essence: Milne informs us that if we support US escalation of force against Ukraine or Russia, or participate in the largely ad hominem and childish smear campaign against Russia and Putin, we are, intentionally or not, furthering a reckless drive towards mass death through war or nuclear weapons exchange.

We should also remember that the US has invaded Russia before, killing thousands, and Germany later invaded Russia, killing tens of millions (up to 40 million or nearly a third of the population of Russia), mostly civilians, with US blessing.

That this history is being repeated in any way (Western advance on Russia including knowing unleashing of Nazi-worshiping forces), but now with the aggressor and its target in possession of thousands of nukes, is sad, disappointing, and frightening.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

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