Andrei Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, has recently made an important statement which I shall quote in full and then provide a translation.
Original Russian text: “Тут недавно на заседании Соединенные Штаты заявили, что Россия готовится к войне. Да, Россия готовится к войне, я это подтверждаю. Да, мы готовимся защищать нашу родину, нашу территориальную целостность, наши принципы, наших людей. Мы готовимся к такой войне. Но у нас есть серьезные отличия от Соединенных Штатов Америки. И в лингвистическом плане это отличие заключается всего в одном слове, что в русском языке, что в английском языке: Российская Федерация готовится к войне, а Соединенные Штаты Америки готовят войну”
Translation: “Recently at a meeting the United States stated that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I can confirm it. Yes, we are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people. We are preparing for such a war. But there is a major difference between us and the United States. Linguistically, this difference is just in one word, in both Russian and English: Russia is preparing for war while the United States is preparing a war” (emphasis added).
We are so used to western diplomats and politicians saying more or less anything and everything (as the joke goes: when do you know that a politician is lying? When his lips move), many of us stopped paying attention to what is being said. If tomorrow Trump or some “Congressperson” goes on national TV and declares “read my lips – up is down, dry is wet and yes means no” – most of us will just ignore it.
The truth is being exposed to that constant stream of empty, bombastic and always dishonest statements makes most of us immune to verbal warnings, even when they come from non-western political figures.
It is, therefore, crucial to fully realize Russian official and diplomats carefully measure every word they say and when they repeat over and over again that Russia is ready for war, they actually and truly mean it!
Of course, there have been those in the West who fully saw this danger and have been warning about it for years, I especially think of Prof. Stephen Cohen and Paul Craig Roberts here. And I have been warning about this for four years now, beginning with the article “Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war” posted on March 1st, 2014, followed by many more articles with the same warning since (see “The Russian response to a double declaration of war” on September 27th, 2014; “Did Russia just “gently” threaten the USA?” on November 12th, 2015; “Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare” on May 19th, 2016; “How Russia is preparing for WWIII” on May 26, 2016; “A Russian warning” on June 1st 2016; “Assessing the Russian Military as an Instrument of Power” on August 25th, 2016; “Progress report on the US-Russian war” on December 1st, 2017; “What price will mankind have to pay for the collapse of the Empire?” on April 13th, 2018; “Each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” on April 20th, 2018).
But for all our efforts, we have been “voices crying in the wilderness” which is hardly surprising since even Putin’s blunt warning during his March 1st speech to the Russian Federal Assembly was quickly dismissed as “posturing” and quickly forgotten. This is why two weeks following that historical speech I compared Russia to a peaceful rattlesnake (yes, they are peaceful creatures!) desperately trying to warn a drunk idiot to back-off but to no avail: the drunk idiot just boastfully declares “hold my beer and watch this” and tries to grab the snake. I concluded by saying that:
May, Trump, Macron and Merkel, of course, but also their sycophantic presstitutes and the herds of zombified followers all believe in their invulnerability and superiority. The terrifying truth is that these folks have NO IDEA whom they are dealing with nor do they understand the consequences of pushing Russia too hard. Oh, in theory they do (yeah, yeah, Napoleon, Hitler, we know!). But in their guts, they feel safe, superior and just can’t conceive that they can die, and their entire society can just disappear.
Sadly, since then things have only gotten worse. This is why a clearly disgusted and frustrated Putin recently declared that
“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply croak and won’t even have time to repent,”
Needless to say, the western media interpreted this warning as a sign of “Russian aggression,” not as a desperate attempt to wake up a delusional and infinitely arrogant Empire.
By the way – something very similar has been happening between the US and China with an increasing number of Chinese officials publicly declaring that the Chinese armed forces need to prepare for war (here is just the latest such warning).
Sadly, the Chinese warnings are as ignored and as dismissed as the Russian ones. And that is truly frightening.
At least during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the entire world press was reporting about the confrontation minute by minute, and everybody knew that the danger of war was very real. In contrast today, hardly anybody gives the possibility of war much thought.
The leaders of the Empire seem to be dead set on multiplying their provocations against Russia ranging from holding major military exercises right at the Russian border to giving the most prestigious EU human right prize to a convicted terrorist. The EU also failed to notice the Ukraine acts of piracy in the Sea of Azov but instead, condemned Russia for strictly enforcing her legal right to retaliate for the Ukraine actions.
Such a level of hypocrisy is disgusting, of course. But it is also very, very dangerous.
In sharp contrast to the western corporate media, the Russian media has been discussing the possibility of war with the US/ NATO on a daily basis, and the discussion always revolves around the question “are they really crazy enough to actually attack us even though that would mean their certain destruction?!“
In fairness to the Russians, seeing folks like Nikki Haley or John Bolton, the question of “are they crazy?” is a logical one. But I think it is also possibly misleading. Here is why:
While clearly some Neocons are truly batshit crazy, most are not. Stupid, ignorant, arrogant, hateful and evil – yes. But not necessarily insane. And for that reason, I don’t think their leaders will stumble into a war against Russia as a result of their insanity.
Besides, while US politicians are amazingly stupid and ignorant, there are enough men in the US armed forces who remember the warning of Field Marshal and Viscount of Alamein Bernard Montgomery who famously declared to the House of Lords:
“Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: “Do not go fighting with your land armies in China.” It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives“.
Most senior US military commanders must realize war against Russia and/ or China is a suicidal proposition.
But while the insanity of western leaders is unlikely to cause a war, I am afraid their despair might.
Think of it: right now the US is engaged in two parallel processes: on the one hand the US is involved in sanctions and economic wars against most of the planet while on the other hand, the US is withdrawing from one major international treaty after another (including arms control treaties). Ask yourself a simple question: is this the behavior of a country which is weak or strong?
What does this “full-spectrum” policy of confrontation and self-isolation (because that is what withdrawing from so many agreements and treaties does: isolate the US) mean? Does it signal the actions of a confident and strong power or one which is desperate and lashes out on all levels?
The current batch of US leaders are first and foremost losers, and while they are still doing a pretty good job of window-dressing and flag-waving, it is becoming increasingly impossible to hide the magnitude of the multi-level slow-motion collapse of the Empire. I suppose the band playing on the deck of the Titanic also played louder and louder, but the outcome of the show was never in doubt.
The same is happening here and therein lies an enormous danger: the harder it becomes to conceal the magnitude of the unfolding disaster, the more the Empire lashes out, making the situation even worse which then makes it even harder to conceal the magnitude of the disaster.
The Empire in general, and the US specifically, is literally cracking on all levels and there is absolutely no reasonable and halfway viable way to reverse this trend because the one and only solution for the US to survive is to give up the Empire and become a “normal” country – something US leaders are not even willing to contemplate. The Neocons, especially, seem to have a quasi-religious belief (or maybe it is just an uncontrolled knee-jerk reaction) that when one of their putative “clever” plans fail, the correct solution is to double-down. They seem to have fully internalized the German aphorism “wenn es mit Gewalt nicht geht, dann geht es mit mehr Gewalt!” (if violence can’t fix it, then even more violence will), forgetting that this belief did Germany no good against Russia.
As for the general western public, it has been successfully turned into what I call “ideological drones“: brainwashed automatons who will wave their (Chinese made) flags to cope with any residual cognitive dissonance. When their certitudes finally come crashing down, they will also lash out at everything and everybody in abject despair and impotent rage.
Right now the US and the “global West” are on a direct collision course with Russia (and probably China too). Right now, I see very few signs that anybody in the western elites is able (or willing) to admit at the end of that road there is war and the destruction of the US (and possibly much of Europe).
Right now, the leaders of the Empire appear to be firmly locked into what the French call the “fuite en avant” (which can roughly be translated as “flight forward”, or “headlong rush”, “panic-induced compulsion to further exacerbate a crisis or calamity” or even “unconscious mechanism that causes a person to throw himself/herself into a dreaded danger”).
I suppose that there is a sad and tragic irony in the fact that the result of the US elites constantly conjuring up some completely imaginary Russian “interventions” (in the US and elsewhere) might eventually result in a very real Russia intervention, in the form of devastating missile strikes, but this is hardly a consolation.
How likely is that to change in the foreseeable future?
Not very likely, I am afraid.
Will Putin and Xi be able to avert the looming war with the West?
Maybe. But with each passing day bringing only further escalations and provocations from the “global West” their task is becoming harder and harder.
So far, the Russian and Chinese warnings have fallen on deaf ears and, frankly, I don’t believe more warnings will do any good.
This might be the time for Russia and China to begin pushing back seriously.
Everything else has failed, at least so far.