Silencing America as it prepares for war

John Pilger
Journalist, film-maker and author, John Pilger is one of two to win British journalism’s highest award twice. For his documentary films, he has won an Emmy and a British Academy Award, a BAFTA. Among numerous other awards, he has won a Royal Television Society Best Documentary Award. His epic 1979 Cambodia Year Zero is ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the ten most important documentaries of the 20th century.
A view shows the command center for the newly opened ballistic missile defense site at Deveselu air base, Romania, May 12, 2016 © Octav Ganea
Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him.

It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.

We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don’t you forget it.” So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?

A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called “The Price of Freedom” at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa’s grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives”; Iraq was “liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision.” The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.

The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington’s boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. It didn’t matter … “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernizing” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.

James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “[One] great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to actual policy. It isn’t.

On Obama’s watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger for the United States and all of us. For them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went “live” with a NATO “missile defense” base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world’s second nuclear power.

In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”.

As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.

A combination photo shows U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) © Reuters

It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In its mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China’s oil and trade. This was not news.

Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.

Clinton, the “women’s candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland – that Hitler’s Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton’s presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world’s ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.

Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton’s illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama’s terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated.

The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.

In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of color is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.

This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

In Britain, this is Blairism. The Christian war criminal Tony Blair got away with his secret preparation for the invasion of Iraq largely because the liberal political class and media fell for his “cool Britannia”. In the Guardian, the applause was deafening; he was called “mystical”. A distraction known as identity politics, imported from the United States, rested easily in his care.

History was declared over, class was abolished and gender promoted as feminism; lots of women became New Labour MPs. They voted on the first day of Parliament to cut the benefits of single parents, mostly women, as instructed. A majority voted for an invasion that produced 700,000 Iraqi widows.

The equivalents in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, the Washington Post and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump’s infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 percent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels. Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton: anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Clinton ignores question of how much money Goldman Sachs CEO gave her son-in-law’s hedge fund

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Stephen Lam
Hillary Clinton refused to disclose how much money Goldman Sachs’ chief executive invested in her son-in-law’s fund, ignoring questions from The Intercept during a photo-op fundraising event in San Francisco.

The publication’s reporter, Lee Fang, visited Clinton’s campaign rally in San Francisco on Thursday, as she kept busy touring California to raise last minute support ahead of the crucial June 7 primary.

As the former secretary of state was doing photo ops, Fang jumped in with his question.

“Do you know how much money [Goldman Sachs chief executive] Lloyd Blankfein invested in your son-in-law’s hedge fund?”

In fact, he peppered her with the question, but Clinton chose not to pay any attention at all, staying focused on picture-taking with her supporters.

Moments later, Clinton’s campaign traveling press secretary Nick Merrill stepped in, but he was unable, or unwilling, to help when asked the same question.

“I don’t know, has it been reported?” Merrill responded, before promising to “email it right now” once Fang handed off his contact information.

Merrill has yet to follow up, according to Fang.

Eaglevale Partners LP, founded by Marc Mezvinsky, husband of Hillary’s daughter Chelsea Clinton, and his two partners, has been supported with investments from several wealthy names of Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs chief executive Blankfein.

The CEO also allowed the use of his name in the marketing of Mezvinsky’s flagship fund, which is currently managing about $330 million.

However, despite having Blankfein by his side, Mezvinsky and his fund suffered losses linked to an ill-timed bet on Greece’s economic recovery. It was reportedly the Clinton’s son-in-law, who recommended his investors to put their money behind Greek government bonds, betting that the Greek economy would improve.

In February 2015, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Eaglevale admitted in a letter to its investors that it was “incorrect” on Greece. According to the newspaper, the dedicated Greek fund also included an investment from Marc Lasry, a longtime Clinton donor, who formerly employed Chelsea Clinton at his $13.3 billion New York hedge-fund firm, Avenue Capital Group.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton’s wealthy donors revealed in Panama Papers

After losing 90 percent of its value, Mezvinsky was forced to close the Greece-focused fund called Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity earlier this year. According to The New York Times, the fund raised $25 million from investors in order to buy Greek bank stocks and government debt.

Goldman Sachs is known to have cozy financial relations with the Clintons, including the company’s paying $675,000 in personal speaking fees to Hillary Clinton as well as $1,550,000 to Bill Clinton for the same service. Donations between $250,000 and $500,000 were also made to the Clinton Foundation, The Intercept reported.

The publication has been trying to find out whether Hillary Clinton is going to release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Fang is reported to have been the first to pose that question in January, but four months later, the likely Democratic nominee for president only laughed and turned away.

Throughout her campaign, Clinton has been repeatedly called upon to disclose her relationships with Wall Street banks, but she has so far avoided giving direct answers.

First deposition in email scandal reveals Clinton’s computer illiteracy
| May 28, 2016 | 10:07 pm | Hillary Clinton, political struggle | No comments

Clinton is under investigation for her use of a private email server. © Stephen Lam
A transcript of the first deposition in the Hillary Clinton email scandal has revealed that the Democratic Presidential hopeful did not know how to use email on a computer, nor did she use a password.

Clinton’s computer illiteracy was detailed in the deposition from US Ambassador Lewis Lukens conducted on May 18 and released Thursday.

In the sworn testimony, Lukens, who was a State Department official responsible for logistics and management support during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, said he was advised that Clinton did not “know how to use a computer to do e-mail,” only a Blackberry.

Lukens offered to provide training to Clinton so she could access her email on a desktop computer but said he was told “the Secretary is very comfortable checking her e-mails on a Blackberry.”

The use of personal phones in the Secretary’s official office suite is prohibited but according to Lukens, Clinton’s aide Cheryl Mills suggested a workaround, requesting he set up a “space for her to go check her BlackBerry.”

When asked if he saw Clinton using her BlackBerry in the office hallway, Lukens said he did on several occasions.

Lukens also revealed she failed to use a password to protect her computer.

“So the computer would have just been open and be able to use without going through any security features?” Lukens was asked, to which he responded “Correct.”

His testimony also revealed that Clinton was not the first Secretary of State to not have an email address setup on the Department of State system, admitting “I’m not aware of former Secretaries of State having e-mail addresses on our system.”

Clinton used Lukens revelation to justify her actions, telling ABC that the “report makes clear that personal email use was the practice for other Secretaries of State. It was allowed. And the rules have been clarified since I left.”

Lukens is the first of at least six witnesses to be deposed in relation to Clinton’s use of a private email server for official correspondence.

Cheryl Mills testified on Friday but the transcript has yet to be released.

Washington DC’s District Court ruled earlier this week that video and audio of the depositions would not be released so they could not be used “as part of a partisan attack.”

READ MORE: Clinton aides’ video testimony ordered sealed in private email server case – court

The FBI is currently investigating whether or not Hillary Clinton’s email practices constituted a threat to national security after it was revealed she was using a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

Five Scandalous Moves by US Presidential Candidate Clinton
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts to the cheers of the crowd at her New York presidential primary night rally in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, April 19, 2016.

Five Scandalous Moves by US Presidential Candidate Clinton

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two most unpopular presidential candidates in recent American history. Therefore, the pre-election struggle will be no short of a deadly battle of words between the two politicians hoping to make the other one look worse.

Last week, Clinton said that Trump is not qualified enough to be a president. The billionaire, on the other hand, called Hillary immoral and unfair during his meetings with voters.

Hillary Clinton has been in the public spotlight since her husband, Bill, was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978. She has been a public figure for decades now and there are more than 150 books written on her, although many of them have criticized her as well.

It seems like Donald Trump will have plenty material to choose from when its his turn to attack Hillary’s character and her actions.

Presented below are five incidents for which Hillary Clinton has been widely criticized.

E-mail Scandal

In March last year, shortly before Clinton announced that she would put forward her presidential candidacy, The New York Times made a revelation: it turned out that when Clinton was the Secretary of State, she used her personal e-mail address instead of the official address of the Department of State.

The FBI launched an investigation into this matter. Two questions that were asked: how many e-mails had confidential information in them and what did those e-mail messages contain, considering that Clinton has not yet handed them over to her former employer.Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, was associated with a number of scandals during his 1992-2000 presidential terms. His affair with Monica Lewinsky and his lying about adultery after that almost led to his impeachment.

There were several other women who also came forward saying that they were in an intimate relationship with Bill Clinton. Some said that he even abused them.
Donald Trump used these accusations against Hillary in his recent video attack against her campaign.

In addition, Trump also wants to find new ways to attack the couple. He is looking into their so-called ‘Whitewater business’ which is related to real estate transactions in Arkansas, which are now 30 years old.

“Information about HRC / Whitewater is needed as soon as possible,” this statement was written in an e-mail message from one of Trump’s employees to the Republican Party. The email was sent by mistake to a journalist from Politico earlier this week.

Benghazi Attack

On September 11, 2012, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed during an attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Later on, the Republicans in the US Congress said that Clinton did not do enough to protect the consulate. In addition, it was said that due to political motivations she claimed that the attack was not a terrorist attack, but a result of a demonstration against an anti-Islamic film.Hence, it is expected that the report by the Committee of Benghazi will appear in Congress before the elections this fall and it may be able to provide Trump with new opportunities to attack Clinton.

Clinton Fund

Hillary Clinton became a part of the ‘Bill Clinton Foundation’ after leaving her post as US Secretary of State in 2013.

The foundation took billions of kroner in donations from organizations and countries. This may be regarded as quite problematic because it was expected that Clinton would nominate herself as a candidate for presidency.

Trump, who often calls Clinton ‘unfair’, may use this fund for the prosecution of Clinton because her organization has taken such large donations.

Beneficial Speeches

Since 2001, Bill and Hillary earned more than $150 million in speech fees, according to The Washington Post.

A combination photo shows Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R)
© REUTERS/ Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)

Many of these speeches were given before the largest US banks, and those too were behind closed doors.This raises the question of a possible conflict of interests. Will Hillary Clinton be able to show firmness towards the banks and all others who so generously ‘gave out’ money to hear her speak?

Speeches by Hillary Clinton in front of these financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, for a long time have received criticism from another presidential candidate — Bernie Sanders.

So far, Trump has not pointed out Hillary’s speeches but there are almost six months till the presidential elections so it is possible that Trump will see this as another reason to criticize Hillary Clinton in the future.

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By James Thompson

Donald Trump has asserted a number of preposterous propositions in his campaign to become The President of the United States (POTUS). The most notable of his propositions exemplify extreme xenophobia to the delight of the most reactionary sector of the US population.

It appears that Herr Trump wants to deport all Muslims and build a wall to keep out Mexicans. Herr Trump tells us that Mexicans are rapists and thieves.

It would be helpful if Herr Trump could clarify which Muslims and/or Mexicans he wants to throw out or keep out. It would be helpful if Herr Trump could clarify who are the rapists and thieves.

Is he referring to working class Muslims and Mexicans? Is he referring to Muslims and Mexicans who are members of the bourgeoisie? Does he intend to make a distinction between the classes as he enacts policies of mass discrimination?

Does the working class in the USA want their brothers and sisters who are members of the working class in Mexico and/or Middle Eastern countries to be repressed, oppressed and discriminated against?

Are there any working-class people in the US who have a clue about what is going on?

Trump turns down Sanders debate offer, cites ‘not too generous’ networks

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders © Jonathan Ernst, Alex Gallardo
Rejected for the second time in a week, Bernie Sanders will not debate another presidential candidate ahead of California’s June 7 primary. “As much as I want to,” Donald Trump said, a debate with Hillary Clinton’s primary rival would be “inappropriate.”

Two full days had not yet passed when, at the apex of the hype, the presumptive Republican nominee released a statement killing all hopes of an unorthodox debate with the Vermont senator.

“Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win,” Trump said Friday, “and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders – and it would be an easy payday – I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

Wednesday night was quite a different story, with Trump appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where he accepted Sanders’ challenge, in concept anyway.

“If I debated him, we would have such high ratings,” Trump told Kimmel, demanding a condition that money be put up.

“And I think I should give, take that money and give it to some worthy charity, OK?” Trump said.

Within hours, Sanders took to Twitter, writing, “Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.”

Even on Friday, the Sanders campaign was looking forward to a debate with the billionaire businessman, citing two unnamed network offers.

“We are prepared to accept one of those offers and look forward to working with the Trump campaign to develop a time, place and format that is mutually agreeable,” Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager, said in a statement.

Later Friday, Sanders released a statement of his own, saying, “In recent days, Donald Trump has said he wants to debate, he doesn’t want to debate, he wants to debate and, now, he doesn’t want to debate.

“Given that there are several television networks prepared to carry this debate and donate funds to charity, I hope that he changes his mind once again and comes on board.”

“There is a reason why in virtually every national and statewide poll I am defeating Donald Trump, sometimes by very large margins and almost always by far larger margins than Secretary Clinton. There is a reason for that reality and the American people should be able to see it up front in a good debate and a clash of ideas.”

The publicity around the ultimately non-event not only highlighted Sanders and Trump, but Clinton, for better or worse, got extra coverage as well, not for her issues, but her refusal to debate Sanders before California’s June 7 primary, where 475 delegates are at stake.

Are NATO’s Massive War Games on Russia’s Border a Pretext to World War III?
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Are NATO’s Massive War Games on Russia’s Border a Pretext to World War III?

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The West began another round of large-scale war games on Russia’s border with a larger drill planned for next month, leading many to wonder whether the US seeks nuclear holocaust on foreign soil, or if Washington is merely sneaking subsidies to defense contractors.

On Friday, 13 NATO countries deployed 10,000 troops to participate in military drills in the Baltics along Russia’s Eastern border, in an effort concurrent with a separate round of war games in Poland amidst growing tensions between the United States and Russia.

The latest round of American-led saber rattling comes ahead of an even more pronounced military exercise announced for July. The Anaconda war games will include 31,000 troops replete with tanks, aircraft, artillery units, and missile defense systems. Some have suggested Anaconda may be a prelude to a Western invasion of Russian territory.

The Anaconda war games will take place in July along Poland’s border with Russia, and will see battalions of German troops in the country for the first time since the Nazis used Poland as a pathway to invade Russia during World War II.

International analysts worry that the US military commentariat has once again been taken over by Cold War-era hawks looking to re-inflame tensions between East and West. In addition to military exercises along Russia’s border, Americans have introduced a missile defense system in Romania and have begun the construction of a separate system in Poland. Further, the Obama Administration approved a four-fold increase in defense spending to “protect” the Baltics from “Russian aggression.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has scoffed at American notions that the Baltics and Poland need to be protected from Moscow, saying the idea that Moscow would order an invasion of a NATO country is “the type of thing that only a crazy person thinks, and only when dreaming.”

Are Americans positioning themselves for a World War III, or are they using an irrational fear of Russia to justify subsidizing the country’s increasingly powerful military-industrial complex with taxpayer money?

Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with international affairs analyst Mark Sleboda to discuss the latest round of war games on Russia’s doorstep, and whether it risks sparking a global conflict.

What is the nature of the war games in the Baltic region?

“These war games are a part of a series that NATO, in conjunction with their deterrent strategy and readiness action plan (RAP), uses to test out their new, vaunted spearhead force that military officials in NATO had determined is not actually ready for combat,” said Sleboda.

“The Baltic war games will be concurrent with military war games in Poland where there are another 1500 troops,” said the analyst. “This is coming just two months before the beginning of July when the War Games Anaconda 2016 will be conducted – the largest war games that NATO has held since the end of the Cold War including over 31,000 troops including hundreds of tanks, aircraft, missile defense, and artillery units.”

The international security expert explained that the Baltic, Poland, and expanded Anaconda 2016 war games (also in Poland) will be conducted right on the border of Russia, which he calls, “an across the board, big saber rattling against Moscow.”

“This is extremely threatening to Russia,” said Sleboda. “There is always the concern, regardless of how unlikely the scenario is, that war games have traditionally been used by great powers as a pretext to launch a full-scale military invasion and while the chances of that happening are infinitesimally small, the Russian military now has to take that potential into consideration at a time of heightened tensions.”

What is driving this series of War Games?

According to Sleboda, domestic politics in the Baltic States and Poland play a substantial role in the latest round of aggressive chest-beating.

“Russophobia is a guaranteed vote getter that creates the enemy outside so the people forget the failures of their domestic government,” he observed.

“There is also the anti-Russian hysteria advanced by the military-industrial complex, especially the Rand Corporation scenarios of a Russian attack on the Baltics, that finds Russian forces could overrun the region in two days,” said the analyst. “What they don’t explain is that NATO has spent 11 times the Russian defense budget and would quickly turn back any advance into the Baltics immediately.”

“The Russian leaders are not stupid or suicidal,” pointed out Sleboda. “In the case of a conventional war between NATO and Russia in the Baltics, it would quickly go nuclear as Russia would be forced to defend itself, and Moscow has absolutely no interest in that.”

Sleboda believes that the renewed Western narrative of Russian aggression began as a means to justify a US-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014. He explained that the new regime, installed by Western interests, waged war on the eastern half of the country that refused to accept the regime change, and the United States rushed to “cast this in the light of Russian aggression.”

“It is not that Russia is responding to what NATO has done with their expansion into Ukraine by blatantly interfering to geopolitically flip the country and supporting a regime that unconstitutionally took power in violation of US and international law – it is quite a coup, actually,” said Sleboda. “They have to defend this by casting Russia not as reacting to what happened, but rather as an aggressive imperialist power that must have designs on Poland and the Baltics.”

“Western politicians and military brass become victims of their own propaganda cycle where they start to feed into this created hysteria of Russia as an aggressor and it builds and builds in cycles and I think they begin to believe in their own propaganda.”

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