Top Russia Expert: Ukraine Joining Nato Would Provoke Nuclear War

This is from @democracynow about 4 months ago:


This is from the almighty Zerohedge today:

Stephen Cohen is one of America’s top experts on Russia.  Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union.
Cohen says that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine:
This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees.
Cohen joins other American experts on Russia – such as former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock – in this assessment.
Cohen also says that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to nuclear war:
[Interviewer:] The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—
STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.
[Interviewer:] Explain.
STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.
[Interviewer:] Cannot join—
STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO.
Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.
In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters. What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.
Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished. Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZE, SANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.
One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We’re grateful to Zerohedge for posting this.

Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA’s spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian “invasion.”
Via AntiWar and ConsortiumNews, highlights ours
MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO
We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.
You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift.”
Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.
Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.
Experience With Untruth
Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”
Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.
That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence” and told him flatly, “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to “widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.” In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.
If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.
We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.
Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.” Burns gave his cable the unusual title, “NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES,” and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO.”
Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. “Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, “Fuck the EU.”
Timing of the Russian “Invasion”
The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.
According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on August 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives,” said Poroshenko, adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”
If the “new circumstances” meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to “regroup,” to “rearrange” the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.
Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)
No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support
The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.
At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.
This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
  •     William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
  •     David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
  •     Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
  •     Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
  •     Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)
  •     Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
  •     Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

The Truth Behind NATO’s Intervention in Libya And Gaddafi’s Assassination

Some investigative reporters have reported that Gaddafi my have been ousted in 2011 by NATO forces not because there was a local uprising against his tyrannical rule, but because he was making progress on his ideas for a gold backed dinar that would be used to trade Libyan oil.  It would also be the single currency of a United States of Africa that Gaddafi had proposed starting in 2000, and brought up again in 2007 and 2009 at regional conferences.  Here are some of the articles that suggest there is a lot more behind the USA and NATO involvement.

The United States of Africa 

The United States of Africa is a proposed name for the concept of a federation of some or all of the 55 sovereign states of Africa.  Former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was the 2009 Chairperson of the African Union (AU), advanced the idea of a United States of Africa at two regional African summits: in June 2007 in Conakry, Guinea,[4] and again in February 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[5] Gaddafi had previously pushed for the creation of the African Union at a summit in Lomé, Togo, in 2000.[6] Having described the AU as a failure on a number of occasions, Gaddafi asserted that only a true pan-African state can provide stability and wealth to Africa.

The Gold Dinar


Muammar Gadhafi’s decision to pursue gold standard and reject dollars for oil payments may have sealed his fate (June 7, 2011)
Attacking Col. Gadhafi can be understood in the context of America and Europe fighting for their survival, which an independent Africa jeopardizes.  The war raging in Libya since February is getting progressively worse as NATO forces engage in regime change and worse, an objective to kill Muammar Gadhafi to eradicate his vision of a United Africa with a single currency backed by gold.  Observers say implementing that vision would change the world power equation and threaten Western hegemony. In response, the United States and its NATO partners have determined “Gadhafi must go,” and assumed the role of judge, jury and executioner.
“That man has invested in Africa more than any other leader in the recent history of Africa’s coming into political independence,” he continued. The Muslim leader said America needs access to the mineral resources in Africa to be a viable power in the 21st century.

Pre-existing Condition

During the Libyan escalation, General Wesley Clark wrote an article for the Washington Post suggesting to the world that Libya did not meet the US criteria for intervention (which is quite unusual considering that we have invaded sovereign nations over 200 times since 1800).  However what is certainly more concerning is that in 2007 on an interview on DemocracyNow, General Wesley Clark revealed plans exposed to him in the Pentagon right after 911 that suggested the US was planning to invade Libya as far back as 1998.

There are extensive reports supporting these claims.  including this RT report on YouTube. The articles and video all made the following startling and disturbing claims:

  1. Just prior to the air strikes, Gaddafi had planned to introduce a new currency, the “Gold Dinar”.
  2. The currency was to be supported by Libya’s massive gold reserves of 144 tonnes.
  3. The gold coin was to be accepted throughout Africa and the Middle East and would have been the only currency accepted for purchases of oil.
  4. This strategy would likely crush both the Dollar and the Euro, making the Dinar the dominant international currency.
  5. The NATO military action is the result of a US-led plan to crush Gaddafi’s currency plans and to protect Western financial interests. The military action is supported by US oil interests, who are seeking to obtain access to Libya’s massive oil reserves.

Grounds for Impeachment
President Obama argued that the War Powers Act did not apply to the Libyan intervention because the United Nations and NATO provided him with sufficient authority to be involved.  Understand that what Obama is saying is that the President of the United States, Chief of the US Military can direct US military intervention in another sovereign nation because the UN and NATO authorize such actions.  That is very likely unconstitutional and grounds for impeachment as many have suggested.  Unfortunately for those in favor of restricting the Presidential powers, the Democratic Party and Republican Party are too “motivated” to see money being spent on a US projection of power that distracts the public from the turmoil at home.