As the attention of the America public is focused on the American election, with the Democratic Convention having just ended, and the announcement today of McCain's female running mate, and the Republican Convention next week, the public has missed something. Something not missed by Europeans, even mainstream European news media have given broad coverage to the story.
Just a minor story, really, no need to turn your attention away from the political puff that is American electoral politics. Just something about Russia (you know the big country with tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and advanced delivery systems) and a clear WAR WARNING TO NATO.
In what is the most serious international crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis almost caused World War III forty-five years ago, Russia has issued a War Warning to NATO and America. "If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia," said the Russian Ambassador to NATO, Mr. Dmitry Rogozin. Further, Russia is making it clear that military assistance to Georgia will be considered an act of war. Ambassador Rogozin likened the current crisis to the fevered diplomatic atmosphere in Europe just before the start of the First World War. World War I was said to start when "the lights went out in the chancelleries of Europe" and diplomatic measures failed.
A top Russian military figure, the President of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies (in Moscow) Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said "We are close to a serious conflict". With regard to the Georgia-South Ossetian conflict, General Ivashov said that one of the principal goals of NATO's "geopolitical operation" was to neutralize Russia as a global player in the run-up to a war with Iran.
The British publication, 'This is London', calls the Russian position, as articulated by Ambassador Rogozin, an "extraordinary warning to the West".
Another leading London newspaper, 'The Mail', said "Tensions between Russia and the West were ratcheted even higher today after Moscow warned that the American naval build-up in the Black Sea could be seen as a 'declaration of war'."
While I am not heading for the nuclear bomb shelter, I do think that this is serious. One of the main fears has been what the crazy neo-con Administration of George Bush and Dick Cheney would do in its final months in power. Would they begin yet a third war, this time with an Iran armed with advanced biological weapons of mass destruction capable of killing maybe a third of the human race? The answer to that is still up in the air, but it appears that the overall answer is much worse than anyone thought.
The Bush Administration funded a buildup of the Georgian Army and recently sent about a thousand US Marines to train the Georgian troops. Israel and the United States sold a large amount of military technology and hardware to Georgia. Israeli companies, headed by reserve Israeli generals, brought in excess of a thousand Israeli mercenaries into Georgia and two senior, recently retired Israeli generals provided senior command "consulting" to the Georgian General Staff. All of this turned very ugly, when on 8/8/08 the Georgian forces attacked lightly armed Russian peace keepers along with many innocent Russian civilians using volley fire from massed tubeless artillery. Over 1,400 men, women, and children were killed in their own homes without warning, in the opening minutes (with over 2,000 killed in the five day war). In response to this, Russia sent in her troops and most Georgian troops retreated (some "retreated" so fast that they threw away their uniforms, guns, and equipment as they ran home).
The Russians, by most accounts, behaved well and stopped short of the Georgian capital. However, to hear the neo-con political leaders in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom tell it, the Russians attacked a defenseless nation that had done nothing to provoke the attack. Increasingly the neo-con owned mainstream news media is spinning the story into one of Russian aggression, making the Russians out to be the bad guys and ignoring the murder of thousands of civilians by the Georgian/Israeli forces.
Russian's deputy military chief, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, has warned that NATO has already exhausted the number of naval forces it can have in the Black Sea under the Montreux Convention (an international treaty dating to 1936 that governs the number, type, and tonnage of warships allowed to pass the Turkish Straits ~ the Bosporus and the Dardanells ~ into the Black Sea) and warned Western nations against sending more ships. The Montreux Convention allows the NATO ships to stay no longer than 21 days and limits the total number to nine warships (the current number).
If the Convention treaty is violated by NATO it will be a technical state of war. Russia has warned Turkey that she will be held responsible if additional warships are allowed into the Black Sea; already Turkey has prevented some US naval ships from entering. The total tonnage limit on naval ships is 45,000 tons. The US sought to send the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, hospital ships whose tonnages both exceeded 69,000 tons each, through the Turkish Straits but Turkey would not allow it. As the hospital ships are not really needed, this was simply an attempt by the Bush Administration to violate the Montreux Convention and to get by with it by insisting that no rational nation could object to hospital ships. General Nogovitsyn has pointed out that US Navy ships in the Black Sea have nuclear armed cruise missiles capable of striking at most of European Russia including St. Petersburg and that these ships are considered "a serious threat to our security".
The Russians suspect that the US Navy is delivering arms to Georgia under the cover of civilian aid. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, "Normally battleships do not deliver aid and this is battleship diplomacy, this does not make the situation more stable".
Russian Admiral Eduard Balin (former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet) was quoted by Russian news media as saying, "Despite the apparent strength of the NATO naval group in the Black Sea....a single salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or thee missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group. Within twenty minutes the waters would be clear." The Moskva is the world's only currently serving 'heavy battle cruiser' and the most powerful non-carrier surface ship in the world.
British neo-con leader, Prime Minister Gordon Brown will attend an unprecedented emergency summit of leaders of the EU's 27 member states this coming Monday, in Brussels, to discuss the EU's response to Russia's actions. Sanctions are expected to be on the agenda to punish Russia for its "aggression". Fears are being expressed in Europe that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over the next few days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and NATO actions in the Black Sea. This would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgian crisis and would play hell with global oil markets.
In a related story, Lebanese television and other sources are reporting that the Israeli government has reached a "strategic decision on Iran". That Israel will strike Iran, eventually (alone if necessary). The Jerusalem Post says that the Israeli government is moving forward with plans for the purchase of special aircraft and working on receiving US government approval to use US controlled Iraqi airspace for an attack on Iran.
It is interesting that more and more publications, from the right, center and left (including pro-neo-con and anti-neo-con), are speaking of World War III. An interesting article by Stratfor (generally pro-Israel and pro-neo-con) and reprinted by finchannel.com (a strongly pro-neo-con publication) speaks of Turkey's Options in the coming Third World War.
What the crazy evil Bush/Cheney Administration has done is to move the world close to World War III by bringing the Russians into the neo-con ever growing nightmare of war; 8/8/08 was the Russian 9/11 brought to you by the same people who gave America its 9/11, Britain its 7/7, etc.
There are various theories as to why the United States (or more specifically why the neo-cons who control the US government) would want to push Russia into a global war; just as there are various theories why tiny Israel would want to involve itself in a battle against a massive nuclear power like Russia, who could turn Iran and Syria into nuclear armed states overnight if it chose to.
Many say that the neo-cons are simply crazy and that their maneuvers have failed. Others would say that the neo-cons are simply pawns in a larger Grand Strategy game that the global banking families have been playing for a couple of centuries and that a Third World War is required to establish the New World Order/global government that they intend to establish and establish soon. If the latter is the case, a little thing like advanced 21st Century warfare will get in the way. There is simply NO WAY that mankind can survive a Third World War, except for Divine intervention. The levels of destructive firepower and technology are simply too great.
The Earl of Stirling
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