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America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

December 05, 2014 "ICH" - "GR" -  America is on a war footing.  While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level”. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia.

We are not dealing with a “Cold War”. None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail. 

There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.  

The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December 4th (H. Res. 758)  would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate –without congressional approval– a process of military confrontation with Russia.  

Global security is at stake. This historic vote –which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.   

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. Moscow has responded to US-NATO threats. Its borders are threatened. 

On December 3, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced the inauguration of a new military-political entity which would take over in the case of war. 

Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war. (RT, December 3, 2014)

Timeline of War Preparations

In May 2014, the  Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) was  introduced in the US Senate (S 2277), calling for the militarization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States and the stationing of US and NATO troops on Russia’s doorstep:

S.2277 – Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014

Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.

Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.

While The S 2277 resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review, its essential premises are already in the process of being implemented.  In mid-July, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove in consultation with the Pentagon and Britain’s Ministry of Defence, called for:

 “stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia”.(RT, July 24, 2014).

According to General Breedlove, NATO needs “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces”:

“He plans to recommend placing supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops” (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)

Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” –which could potentially lead to military escalation– was reaffirmed at the September NATO Summit in Wales.  A so-called NATO action plan directed against the Russian Federation was decided upon.  The Wales Summit had given the “green light”.

Barely a month later, in October,  US-NATO military drills were held in the Baltic States. In early November, a second round of drills was held in both the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

As part of this broader endeavour, NATO’s Iron Sword 2014 military exercises –involving the participation of nine member countries of the Atlantic Alliance– were launched in Lithuania in early November:

 ”US tanks rolled in to Lithuania earlier this month is a show of force to Russia that it’s not welcome in the region.”

The military exercises were explicitly directed against Russia. According to Moscow, they consisted in “increasing operation readiness” as well the transfer of NATO “military infrastructure to the Russian borders”.

In response to NATO deployments on Russia’s borders,  the Russian Federation also conducted in early November extensive  war games in the sea of Barent.  The Russian drills consisted in testing “its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines” and the “silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile  launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast” on November 1st.

The US House of Representatives H.Res. 758 Resolution

On 18 November,  a major resolution H. Res. 758 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Its main thrust consists in portraying Russia as an “Aggressor Nation”, which has invaded Ukraine and calling for military action directed against Russia:

You can watch Rep. Kinzinger’s floor speech on the legislation 

H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)

HRES 758 IH

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

(The full text of H. RES. 758 is contained in annex to this article)

H. Res. 758 not only accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine, it also invokes article 5 of the Washington Treaty, namely NATO’s  doctrine of collective security.

An attack on one member of the Atlantic alliance is an attack on all members of the Alliance.

The underlying narrative is supported by a string of baseless accusations directed against the Russian Federation. It accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine. It states without evidence that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17,  it accuses Russia of military aggression.

Ironically, it also accuses the Russian Federation of having imposed economic sanctions not only on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova but also on several unnamed member states of the European Union.  The resolution accuses the Russian Federation of having used “the supply of energy for political and economic coercion.”

In essence, House Resolution 758 were it to become law would provide a de facto green light to the President  of the United States to declare war on the Russian Federation, without the formal permission of the US Congress.

In this regard, it could be interpreted as “mildly unconstitutional” in that it contravenes the substance of Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution which  vests in the Congress “the Power to declare war…”

The resolution urges the President of the United States in consultation with the US Congress to:

“conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of the United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each is sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self defence under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies” .

What the above paragraph suggests is that the US is contemplating the use of NATO’s collective security doctrine under article 5 with a views to triggering a process of military confrontation with the Russian Federation.

The structure of military alliances is of crucial significance. Washington’s intent is to isolate Russia. Article 5 is a convenient mechanism imposed by the US on Western Europe. It forces NATO member states, most of which are members of the European Union, to act wage war on Washington’s behalf.

Moreover, a referendum on Ukraine’s membership in NATO is contemplated.  In case Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and/or redefines its security agreement with NATO, article 5 could be invoked as a justification to wage a NATO sponsored war on Russia.

“Fast Legislation”

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The speed at which this legislation was adopted is unusual in US Congressional history.  House resolution 758 was introduced on November 18th, it was rushed off to the Foreign Affairs Committee and rushed back to the plenary of the House for debate and adoption.

Two weeks (16 days) after it was first introduced by Rep. Kinzinger (Illinois) on November 18, it was adopted by 411-10 in an almost unanimous vote on the morning of December 4th.

Members of Congress are puppets. Their vote is controlled by Washington’s lobby groups. For the defence contractors, Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, “war is good for business”.

In the words of Dennis Kucinich in an open letter published on December 2:

The resolution demands Russia to be isolated …  In other words, ‘let’s get ready for war with Russia.’

This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.

Media Blackout

One would expect that this historic decision would has been the object of extensive news coverage.

In fact what happened was a total news blackout.

The nation’s media failed to provide coverage of the debate in House of Representatives and the adoption of H Res 758 on December 4.

The mainstream media had been instructed not to cover the Congressional decision.

Nobody dared to raise its dramatic implications.  its impacts on “global security”.  ”World War III is not front page news.”

And without mainstream news concerning US-NATO war preparations, the broader public remains unaware of the importance of the Congressional decision. .

Spread the word. Reverse the tide of war.

Break the mainstream media blackout. 


Google News Feed  7pm ET, December 4, 2014. Last 24 hours.

The Vote in the House of Representatives took place in the morning of December 4th, ET.

last 24 hours (image icons removed)

Explore in depth  (7 more articles)

 

  • BBC News

    U.S. House Vote Could Lead to War with Russia, Warns Physicians …

    PR Newswire (press release)-59 minutes ago
    H. Res 758, “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under … countries aimed at political and economic domination,” is credited to Rep.
  • the Nightly Whip: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Newsroom America-17 hours ago
    H.R. 5759 – “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” (Rep. … H.Res. 758 – Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under Vladimir Putin, …
    Stay up to date on results for H. Rep. 758

 


 

Bill Text

113th Congress (2013-2014)

H.RES.758.IH

 

 

H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)
 

 

HRES 758 IH

 

113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 758
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

 

 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 18, 2014
Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

 


 

RESOLUTION
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

 

Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as a policy to `engage with Russia to seek agreement on common interests’, which included the negotiation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in which the United States agreed to major reductions in its nuclear forces;

Whereas the Russian Federation has responded to this policy with openly anti-American rhetoric and actions and with armed aggression against United States allies and partner countries, including Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia;

Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;

Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;

Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian Federation and by separatist forces;

Whereas the terms of the ceasefire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-backed separatists in the eastern area of the Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;

Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select their candidates for office in free and fair elections;

Whereas, on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;

Whereas the Russian Federation has recognized the results of the illegal elections and continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;

Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the government’s control over all of the country’s international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia’s use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs;

Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided by the Russian Federation to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;

Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;

Whereas military forces of the Russian Federation and of the separatists it controls have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement announced on September 5, 2014;

Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the countries and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by the Russian Federation constitutes a violation of the INF Treaty;

Whereas, on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, `[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles’;

Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;

Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;

Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that `an armed attack against one or more’ of the treaty signatories `shall be considered an attack against them all’;

Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;

Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;

Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;

Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;

Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;

Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and

Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved,

    That the House of Representatives–
      (1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, full control of its international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;
      (2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;
      (3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;
      (4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine–
        (A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;
        (B) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and
        (C) poses a threat to international peace and security;
      (5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;
      (6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;
      (7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;
      (8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the ceasefire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;
      (9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;
      (10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;
      (11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;
      (12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;
      (13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;
      (14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;
      (15) urges the President to hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Treaty;
      (16) urges the President to conduct a review of the utility of the INF Treaty in securing United States interests and the consequences for the United States of withdrawing from the Treaty if the Russian Federation does not return to compliance with its provisions;
      (17) calls on Ukraine, the European Union, and other countries in Europe to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries;
      (18) urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries;
      (19) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;
        (20) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with host governments on appropriate responses;
        (21) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and

(22) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.-

https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-resolution/758

To download the text of the Resolution Click: H Res 748

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2014

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

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