Monday, March 9, 2009

On Russia provoking the US into a war


I am reminded of something I wrote back in August of 2008: Yes, I knew that Europe's utopian views of a Pax-Europa would be viewed differently by Russia. I read your article by Rozoff and Russia must be really paranoid if it worries about the troop numbers mentioned in the article, "7,000 troops from thirteen nations. . . 900 troops from 23 nations . . . ." NATO is a joke. It is not an effective fighting force. It failed in its only real test: Kosovo, gave up and had to call in Clinton and the Americans.

As I wrote in my August 2008 note, I was sure that inviting the recently independent former SSRs into the EU would antagonize Russia. But given the European viewpoint it seemed reasonable for them to do. They are pacifistic in nature and believed that they had advanced beyond the need for war. Everyone can be or become a happy member of the EU. Surely everyone wants to be in the EU, they believed. But the EU obtained its rose-colored view of the world after being sheltered by the American umbrella for 40 years. They didn't need to prepare for war because America had prepared. They somehow morphed that view into believing that war was no longer anyone's option.

But perestroika didn't end Russian paranoia. They didn't see their "near abroad" rushing to become members of the EU and NATO as a desire to join the European utopia, they saw their "buffer" against imaginary European demons slipping away and leaving their borders bare. For all their vaunted faith in the Red Army they seem unusually frightened of very small and very ineffective military forces in some of those near-abroad areas. As I wrote back in 2008, Russia was sure to view the EUs intentions differently than the EU intended, but it is interesting to hear Michael actually voice that paranoia.

What is happening with the EU and NATO is not an American inspired enterprise. America and the major European nations haven't gotten along all that well in recent years. We have a rather low opinion of their diplomatic as well as their military capability; still, if they are joining their EU and NATO clubs then they are tying themselves to those rules and unlikely to cause trouble elsewhere. Europe, after all, has been the source of the most horrendous and devastating wars the world has seen; so it seems good to us here in the US that Europe is playing nice with their EU and that they have confidence in their ineffective NATO. But it takes paranoia to another level to imagine that the US intends to somehow (in a manner I can't conceive) marshal the ineffective and ill-prepared European forces and invade Russia.

Why would the US want to invade Russia? True, it isn't happy with Russia for helping to supply Iran the means to create atomic weapons, but the US isn't going to war with Russia over that. What it would take, and I suppose this is possible, is for Russia to engage in some aggressive act against one of their near-abroad neighbors who has obtained some promise of protection from the US. Russia would need to be as outrageous and as blatant as Saddam Hussein was when he invaded Kuwait. The US isn't capable of going to war on a whim. Going to war against Russia would need to be debated in congress and in the news media. There would need to be polls taken and results that suggest that 80% of the people would favor going to war with Russia to get them out of some place in their near abroad that has a treaty of some sort with the US. I don't really know which nations have such treaties. Sometimes treaties exist that aren't formally written down. I'm not sure, for example, that we had a formal treaty with Kuwait, but Kuwait asked for our help and we gave it. What if Russia invaded the Ukraine and the Ukraine asked for American help? That might do it for a lot of us, but how many Americans know anything about Ukraine or feel an attachment to it? I don't know. Maybe the Ukraine wouldn't do it. Maybe you would need to invade Poland again.

For Russia to worry about going to war with the US suggests to me that the time may come when Russia can't control itself. And in a sense the current president may seem just the president for Putin to push around. I recall Khrushchev pushing Kennedy around and Kennedy taking it for a long time. Kennedy really didn't want to fight any wars. He wasn't prepared for it and he really didn't know how to do it, but the time came when Khrushchev pushed so hard that Kennedy decided that if he didn't do something then he would be impeached; so we had the Cuban missile crisis.

And at present we have a president from the same party that brought us Kennedy. One wing of his party is pacifistic. Some members of his party are actually anti-American and would favor any enemy of the US. Obama has no intentions of starting a war; so you would need to be really provocative to get Obama into a war. You would need to do something like Khrushchev did, something so blatant that Obama would know that he'd better do something to avoid impeachment.

Are you up for that, Michael?

Lawrence Helm

From: Michael Kuznetsov
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 4:35 AM
Subject: [Lawrence Helm's Blog] New comment on The USSR's invasion of Finland, 1939-40.

Michael Kuznetsov has left a new comment on your post "The USSR's invasion of Finland, 1939-40":


Unfortunately, a thermonuclear war seems to be even nearer that I thought before.

See this:
US Continues Military Encirclement Of Russia
By Rick Rozoff


So, a real chance looms very large that in the nearest future we shall be able to learn for sure whose soldiers are the best: American or Russian.

Well, we are always ready.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It is most soothing to hear your words that America is not going to attack Russia.
Yet, it is NOT we, you and me, who are to decide.

Do you think me to be a war-monger?! Do you believe I am a madman who seeks for a terrible nuclear war?!
I am the last who may want to war with America!

But we Russians cannot live with a pistol pointed blank at our temple.

You call this paranoia?
OK, let it be paranoia, although I don't like the word.

You say "it is interesting to hear Michael actually voice that paranoia".
Of course, I am not the first to express loudly Russia's concerns.
You can read Putin's speech addressed to our Western partners.
The speech was delivered on the 10th of February 2007 in Munich; its full version is here:

Well, again, let it be paranoia.
But why not take into account our "paranoia" and make one step in that direction which might lessen our "paranoia"?.

And what is the most important, Lawrence.
We CAN be friends -- America and Russia -- believe me. Or rather we can be REAL PARTNERS in many ways. But we can accept only the equal partnership, not that one which exists between the rider and the horse.

So, I would like to say:
God bless America and Russia!
And may the Lord save us both from any dangerous confrontation.