Risking War with Russia is Dangerously Stupid

With all of the hot zones in the world—China and the South Sea disputes, Israel and Gaza, Ebola, the Southern Border crisis—it’s easy to lose sight of what may be the most critical to the near-term future: Russia vs. The West.

The Nation is right to ask: “Why Is Washington Risking War with Russia?”

As The Nation has warned repeatedly, the unthinkable may now be rapidly unfolding in Ukraine: not just the new Cold War already under way but an actual war between US-led NATO and Russia. The epicenter is Ukraine’s eastern territory, known as the Donbass, a large industrial region heavily populated by Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens and closely tied to its giant neighbor by decades of economic, political, cultural and family relations.

The shoot-down of Malaysian jetliner MH17 on July 17 should have compelled the US-backed government in Kiev to declare a prolonged cease-fire in its land and air attacks on nearby cities in order to honor the 298 victims, give international investigators safe access to the crash site, and begin peace talks. Instead, Kiev, with Washington’s backing, immediately intensified its attacks on those residential areas, vowing to “liberate” them from pro-Russian “terrorists,” as it brands resisters in eastern Ukraine, killing more innocent people. In response, Moscow is reportedly preparing to send heavy weapons to the “self-defenders” of the Donbass.

Now, according to a story in The New York Times of July 27, the White House may give Kiev sensitive intelligence information enabling it to pinpoint and destroy such Russian equipment, thereby, the Times article also suggests, risking “escalation with Russia.” To promote this major escalation, the Obama administration is alleging, without firm evidence, that Russia is already “firing artillery from its territory into Ukraine.” Virtually unreported, however, is repeated Ukrainian shelling of Russia’s own territory, which killed a resident on July 13.

David Cameron took to the pages of the Sunday Times in London a couple of weeks ago, suggesting an “in-your-face-Vladimir” expansion of NATO, and the placement of military forces on Russia’s border. Despite the historical fact that it has been the West’s egregious broken promise that they would *not* expand NATO that led to the current crisis in Ukraine, Cameron upped the ante, sparking a strong reply from key Russian leaders.

Western politicians are playing a very high-stakes, and potentially world-conflagration-causing game here, as many around the globe recognize.

Are we really stupid enough to believe—after getting our tails severely torched by a rag-tag bunch of radicals in Iraq and Afghanistan—that we’re ready for war with Russia? Collective insanity has gripped Western elites everywhere, and the world may pay an astronomical price for their hubris and belligerence.