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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Follow The Money Trail For Source Of "Russian Threat" Paranoia

You’d have to have been locked in a wardrobe if you live in the West not to have heard ominous phrases like “The Russian threat”, “Russian aggression in Europe” and “Russia set to invade Poland/Estonia/ Ukraine/Finland.”
Certain people are trying to scare us witless about Russia and the “threat” the country apparently poses. The hysteria reminds one to the build up to the Iraq war, when we were warned every day about the “threat” of Saddam’s deadly WMDs, which - surprise, surprise - turned out not to exist.
Now, we can talk for hours about grand, highfalutin theories in the field of geopolitics and international relations in attempts to explain why this is happening.
But “follow the money” trail is all we really have to do. Ask yourself who benefits financially from all this scaremongering and then you’ll understand it.
This week, The Intercept revealed how US defense contractors have been telling investors that the so-called “Russian threat” was good for business.
Retired Army general Richard Cody, vice-President of the US’s seventh largest defense contractor, L-3 communications, bemoaned the fact that "when the old Cold War ended” defense budgets went south.” Now though a “resurgent Russia” meant an "uptick was coming.”

There was a similarly upbeat message from Stuart Bradie, chief executive of CBR, who talked of the "opportunities" the current situation presents.

The case for higher defense spending to counter the “Russian threat” has been made by a series of think-tanks. And guess what? The most hawkish of these lobbyists - sorry, “think tanks” - receive sizable funding from US defense contractors!
The Intercept cites the examples of the Lexington Institute and the Atlantic Council.
But there’s plenty others too. Back in February, I wrote about a “non-partisan” US policy institute called the Center for European Policy Analysis. The CEPA issued a paper attacking Russian media outlet Sputnik for giving a voice to "anti-establishment protest politicians" who were critical of NATO.
And who funds the “non-partisan” CEPA? Recent donors include the US Department of Defense, Boeing, Raytheon Company, Textron Systems, Sikorsky Aircraft, Bell Helicopter and the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
What’s happening in Europe today is the same that’s been happening in the Middle East for years.
The US creates chaos, then goes in to sell countries in the region the latest military hardware to “protect” them from the chaos. It’s quite a racket and clearly modeled on the extortion schemes of the Mafia. Countries that don’t want to pay up, like Yugoslavia in 1990s, are likely to get bombed.
Consider how the crisis in Ukraine started. The US spent billions of dollars in a “regime change” op to topple the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych and replace it with a pro-US puppet administration. We even heard the State Department’s Victoria Nuland - after she had handed out cookies to anti-government protestors in the Maidan - discussing who should and shouldn’t be in the new “democratic” Ukrainian government, with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.
When the people of Crimea predictably said “Nyet” to the State Department’s operation, and voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia in a referendum, Russia was cast as the “aggressor” who had “invaded” the Ukraine. The US would have known that its regime change op in Ukraine would cause chaos and increase tensions with Russia. And that’s exactly why they did it!
To counter the new Russian “threat” not just to “democratic” Ukraine, but to other countries in eastern Europe, we’re told we need a big increase in NATO “defense” spending. And who does that benefit? Why, US defense contractors!
Last year, as I reported here, Poland picked US-made Patriot Missiles - manufactured by Raytheon and Airbus military helicopters for a $5.53bn military upgrade.
In November 2014, “threatened” Estonia purchased 80 Javelin missiles from the US at a cost of 40m Euros. In February, we heard that the country would be spending 818m euro on new weapons and equipment by 2020.

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