The G7 foreign and interior ministers who met in Toronto last weekend as French President Macron, in Washington, tried to make himself important by cosying up to President Trump and Trump’s threat to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement, wound up their event by adding fuel to the fire intended to roast Russia. One statement after another was issued by the foreign ministers blaming Russia for “aggression” in Ukraine and “malign behaviour” while the foreign minister of the NATO installed Kiev regime, Pavlo Klimkin, invited to stoke the fire stated, on cue from his bosses, that
‘Fighting along with Ukraine would give an immense asset to the whole democratic community in the sense of understanding Russian efforts to destabilise the western world.”
That Klimkin represents a regime that came to power by overthrowing a democratically elected government in a coup arranged and carried out with the assistance of NATO forces in order to destabilise Russia and to resurrect the Nazi menace to the world was not mentioned. Nor was it mentioned that Nazi elements of the Kiev regime have arrested and murdered communists, gypsies, and pro-Russian citizens. Nor was it mentioned that they have besieged the peoples of the Donbass republics for four years murdering thousands who refuse to recognise a government which is the puppet of foreign powers and hostile to them. Democratic is not a word that can be used to describe the junta destroying the Ukraine.
The Canadian and the foreign propaganda press repeated Klimkin’s lie about Russia. They repeated the Canadian foreign minister’s allegations that “the clash of the forces of democracy and authoritarianism are a defining feature of our time” and that President Putin is a “major disrupter” of the world order.
Klimkin has called for a boycott of the World Cup to deny Russia the prestige of holding that much loved event and dismaying football fans across the world who hope to see Ronaldo and Messi score some spectacular goals in Russian stadiums. At the same time the one time leader of the German Green Party, Rebecca Harms, added her voice to a petition by members of the EU parliament calling for a boycott of the World Cup, certifying the Greens as just another bourgeois party of imperialism. Of the 60 EU MP’s that signed the petition 19 are from Poland, 6 from France, 5 from the UK, 3 from Lithuania, 2 from Latvia, 6 from Sweden, and a handful from Estonia, Germany, Romania, Czech Republic, Belgium and Netherlands. Many of them are members of the right wing European Peoples party or the regionalist European Free Alliance parties. Harms, who once held a senior position in the German Green party, and a claimed leftist, was active in the Maidan coup events in Ukraine, is rabidly hostile to Russia and banned from entering Russia as persona non grata.
The hostility expressed towards Russia in Toronto accords with the statement of the NATO head, Jens Stoltenberg, who in March of this year called for decisions at the NATO summit in Brussels in July to “improve the defensive capabilities”, meaning offensive capabilities, and military “preparedness of NATO against Russia.
The mounting propaganda against Russia in all the western media, intense since 2014, becomes more intense with every day in parallel with the military build-up on Russia’s western borders. From the Skripal incident in the UK to Syria, from allegations of “undermining democracy in the west” to doping athletes in the Olympics, the propaganda is part of the hybrid warfare being carried out against Russia that includes economic warfare, labelled “sanctions” and military provocations from Kaliningrad to the Black Sea to Syria. The military build-up, which a couple of years ago I titled Operation Barbarossa II, continues.
Hybrid warfare, which the US accuses Russia of conducting but which in fact is being conducted by the USA against Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, the DPRK, and Venezuela is warfare that uses all techniques across all spheres of society to undermine and destroy an enemy. In a famous 1999 paper, entitled “Unrestricted Warfare”, Chinese Army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansui, discussed the multitude of means that can be used to strike at a country, both military and non-military, including hacking into websites, targeting financial institutions, terrorism, use of the media and information, and urban warfare.
“the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules. With nothing forbidden. This is warfare which transcends all boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare. This kind of war means that all means will be in readiness, that information will be omnipresent, and the battlefield will be everywhere. It means that all weapons and technology can be superimposed at will, it means that all the boundaries lying between the two worlds of war and non-war, of military and non-military, will be totally destroyed, and it also means that many of the current principles of combat will be modified, and even that the rules of war may need to be rewritten”
It seems American strategists have studied the Chinese paper thoroughly. They are engaging in most of those forms of warfare against Russia and are planning to use other forms as well, including legal, social, psychological and cultural as well as military and economic means. The various “sanctions” laws against Russia are examples of the use of quasi-legal methods as a form of warfare. The scandal concocted out of whole cloth about Russia undermining western ‘democracy” and President Trump’s dealings with Russians are another aspect of this warfare.
On April 18 the US announced that it is replacing the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade to take part in the huge war exercises planned for eastern Europe this spring and summer as part of what the Americans like to call Operation Atlantic Resolve, claimed to be “the Pentagon’s ongoing efforts to deter Russian aggression.” This unit was used in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and is not a defensive unit. It has always been used in offensive operations and consists primarily of Apache attack helicopters. US Air Force elements in place consist primarily of A10 anti-tank planes and F-15s as cover for the A10’s. Meanwhile NATO paratrooper formations have been practicing day and night jump assaults in Italy since January as other exercises are conduced from Estonia, through Germany to Romania.
Concurrent with these continuous exercises, the NATO countries and allies in Eastern Europe are taking steps to make roads and bridges capable of sustaining the movement of heavy equipment, meaning heavy tanks and assault vehicles, and are increasingly pre-positioning logistic supplies, equipment, ammunition, air operations equipment, anti-submarine warfare equipment and are refitting airfields. For three months from April NATO forces are engaging in further military exercises including live fire exercises along the entire Russian front from the Baltic to Romania and threatening, with Ukraine, to increase the pressure on Russia through attacks on the Donbass Republics, all the while maintaining the pressure on Russia in Syria.
And for us civilians the war on our minds continues with increasing threats of censorship of the independent media and writers, especially dissidents who oppose NATO aggression and call for peace and the rule of international law. Social media, already falling into line with the NATO propaganda agenda, is being further threatened as the powers that be claim to protect us against a loss of “privacy” when what they intend is to cut us off completely from expressing our opinions and knowledge, from exchanging information. That anyone can take seriously the claims of these governments about wanting to protect our privacy when these same governments have set up immense organizations and complex apparatus to surveille and monitor the actions and thoughts of the citizens is astounding; but so they claim.
The attack on democracy, freedom of thought and expression by these fascist forces has become so severe that direct attacks on individuals are being carried out in the mass media. The journalist, Robert Fisk, who exposed the lie of the alleged gas attack in Syria, has suffered sleazy attacks in several journals including one in Canada’s right wing rag The National Post by Terry Glavin, an ex Trotskyite, who should win the Goebbels prize for character assassination and lying to the people. Similar attacks have been made against British dissidents, Professor Tim Hayward at the University of Edinburgh, Director of the Just World Institute, Professor Piers Robinson at the University of Sheffield and the blogger and investigative journalist, Vanessa Beeley, for their works in exposing the connection of the Syrian White Helmets to British intelligence and other important facts. These attacks have occurred before. Journalists and citizens have been discredited in all wars when trying to speak the truth but the intensity and level of the threats now have become almost physical and indeed can be seen as warnings from the secret services. ‘We have your name. We know where you live. The Skripals have disappeared. So can you.’ In any case, these attacks are meant to intimidate, and not only the targets, the Haywards, the Fisks, the Robinsons, the Beeleys, but to intimidate the rest of us too. The far right in control of our governments, for who can doubt that now even the social democrats are in league with these forces, are devoted to a strategy of increasing tension to psychologically prepare the public for war and states of emergency. They are preparing us for war and as Colonel Qiao said, the battle will be everywhere, and will include everyone.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”