by Auslander for The Saker Blog
I watched US Secretary of Defense ‘General’ Mattis live on 19 January and I’m reasonably sure a lot of us either watched him or know what he said. Pretty good performance from someone who should know better and I can not determine if the good Tovarich General actually believed what he was saying or not. He was a political general, pure and simple, I don’t care if and where he ‘cut his teeth’ (in my opinion he did not do so) but at his rank he says what he’s told to say. What he looked like to me, with his clear message of ‘obey us or else’, was a low level street thug trying trying to impress the crowd with his strength and prowess. Didn’t work for me and I can only imagine the cringe and face palm factor from those company grade and lower combat soldiers who saw this foolishness.
He pulled out the usual threats to USA. Russia and China’s ‘revisionist regime’ trying to undermine Nato and EU with economic and military ‘threats’ on the very borders of EU, ‘rogue regimes’ of Syria and Iran ‘destabilizing’ Middle East, terrorist organizations of ISIS, Al Qaeda and ‘Lebanon’s Hezbollah’ doing likewise. His threats were very clear to anyone expressing discontent with the dictum emanating from Foggy Bottom and Five Points: “To those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy: if you challenge us (read don’t obey us), it will be your longest and worst day.” But where is the willingness to negotiate, to speak to others of different cultures and regions who may or may not share the same goals as USA? There is no such willingness, USA has shown a marked tendency to simply ignore any signed or defacto agreement they have made at their will. In other words, The World knows very clearly now that USA is not to be trusted and because of past activities is never to be trusted and will never be trusted.
Bottom line is thus. USA is on this day has arguably the largest and most heavily equipped military force on this rock. It has the ability to project ‘strength’ anywhere in the world on relatively short notice but that strength is not by any stretch of the imagination overwhelming. To project ‘overwhelming’ forces to an area of conflict takes them many months and that projection is based on the supposition that their lines of transport and supply are free of any threats whatsoever. All well and fine when you are dealing with a country or region who has few if any strategic assets but on the other hand, this world is changing, witness the Yemen mess and more than one vessel ‘under US contract’ and units of the Saudi ‘navy’ getting a missile up their noses. Anyone who thinks that can not happen to US assets and/or transportation contractors is living in a different world.
Since the beginning of somewhat organized warfare over 5000 years ago, supply and transport interdiction has been practiced alongside of organized armies. For eons this interdiction involved foot based attempts at individual convoys of materials and food. With the advent of somewhat accurate artillery some centuries ago along with controlled explosives a little over a century ago, interdiction of supply units was more serious and led to ever growing counter measures. With the advent of air assets interdiction attempts became even more widespread and with the availability of both submerged and missile assets this interdiction could, and in many instances did, become a far more serious and effective effort. Today, with the readily available shoulder fired missiles interdiction can be a very serious problem. Who is to say that the innocent little fishing boat does not have a dual charge thermobaric antitank missile sitting on the hull floor, said missile having a range for some in excess of 500 meters. What are you going to do, machine gun every little boat within a klick of your ship or convoy?
Air transport assets are likewise becoming increasingly vulnerable. So far USA has been amazingly lucky in that respect. I remember the laughter when CIA armed Taliban in Afghan with Stinger missiles, sat back and laughed at the resultant disruption off Soviet air assets. Perhaps they don’t think the same can happen to them? With today’s readily available shoulder fired anti air missiles, all it will take is one lad on a high hilltop to do significant physical and psychological damage to any effort to deliver or supply the ‘overwhelming force’ being transported to the next hot spot of USA choosing.
Additionally, the day will come when one of those floating aerodromes will not be as safe and secure as it was a scant few years ago. The winds of fortune are beginning to be adverse, witness an incident a couple years ago in the Black Sea following which virtually the entire US fleet of carriers was pulled out of service for an emergency modification. Something scared the pants off of them. Do you think the Yemen Houthi units do not have missile assets? They’ve already shown they do and know how to use them. Of course the missiles were all ‘provided by Iran’ but that’s a different topic. For a floating aerodrome, you do not have to come anywhere near sinking it or damaging it’s motive system, damage to the superstructure of landing deck will suffice to put it out of action for a very long time, let alone the possibility of subsequent fires and destruction of aircraft and ordinance as secondary damage. If you think not, just look at what J. McCain did to USS Forrestal with one errant missile launch on the flight deck.
Economically, USA can not void it’s bladder in the Chinese bowl of Cheerios, to do so will destroy the current bedrock of the US economy, this bedrock being China and to a slightly lesser extent South Korea. Likewise, USA will not attack DPRK for the same reason in that the capitol and financial hub of South Korea is within easy arty and missile range of DPRK. USA will continue to ratchet up the sanctions on Russia and China for ‘breaking’ the total trade embargo on DPRK, these sanctions being, each and every one of them, an Act of War.
On 17 January 2018, R. Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said the following, courtesy of Russia Today on 19 January and the interview was posted on Youtube but the US Department of State:
“Signs of starvation and death in North Korea indicate that US diplomatic strategy works fine, says the secretary of state. The objective now is not to let Pyongyang evoke sympathy around the world for it’s sanctions-induced woes.”
“This unexpectedly revealing description of what R. Tillerson apparently considers successful diplomacy came from his own mouth on Wednesday as he was speaking at Stanford University with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.”
If either or both of these clowns think the entire world does not know of what they are saying and doing, they are so far out of touch as to be ludicrous. Such a callous statement from a current and a former US Secretary of State shows the entire world exactly what they think of us, but then we already knew that. What would this coddled and insulated worthies think if it was their citizens, their families, wives, husbands, children, starving to death to make a ‘diplomatic’ point?
And then we have that lovely term, “Collateral damage”, as in maimed and dead civilians who ‘got in the way’ simply because they happened to live or be in an area that was being bombed by the air forces of USA/NATO? Look what you have done in the last not quite 3 decades:
1999. Yugoslavia. No UN Mandate so you called it a ‘NATO Humanitarian Mission’, American General Wesley Clark, CO.
In excess of 2,000 civilians killed and wounded by deliberately attacking ‘dual use’ facilities, factories, power plants, TV stations, roads, bridges railways. 6,000 Yugoslav troops and police killed and wounded. Massive damage to civilian infrastructure, homes, flats, roads and railways.
NATO aircraft involved from US, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, UK, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Holland, Turkey. Over 1,000 aircraft produced 38,000 admitted sorties. Ordinance dropped included, in addition to TP weapons, 152 cluster bombs containing 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual bombs and graphite bombs (ALL cluster bombs are prohibited under international conventions).
Each and every one of these actions against Yugoslavia is a war crime and the war criminals include US General Wesley Clark as CO and included every single politician and government functionary, soldier, sailor, Marine and airman who in any way contributed to this war crime, be they active participants in actual combat or involved in any support of this war crime right down to and including the ordinance handlers, refuel personnel, repair personnel and everyone in between the lowest ranks to the highest ranks.
2003. Iraq. USA invaded Iraq on 20 March 2003. No UN Security Council Mandate or declaration of war was given beforehand.
Countries allied to USA were United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland contributing troops. All NATO countries contributed support and logistics to this illegal war.
US and allied air assets participated in extensive bombings of Iraq Armed Forces and civilian assets of ‘dual use possibility’. Air assets used in direct action against Iraq were USA, UK, Canada, France, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
Casualties for Iraq from the invasion and following 14 years of combat and armed conflict are estimated to be in excess of 35,000 military and police plus in excess of 120,000 civilian plus over 2 millions of civilians have left the country.
Commanders of the operation were President George W. Bush, PM Tony Blair of UK and General T. Franks, US Army. Each and every participant in this war are guilty of war crimes under international and domestic laws including every government functionary and every single soldier, sailor, Marine and airman who in any way contributed to this war crime, be they active participants in actual combat or involved in any support of this war crime.
2011. Libya. 17 March 2011, UNSC passed a resolution imposing a ‘now fly’ zone over the Sovereign State of Libya, a member of UN.
On 19 March of that year the first NATO recon flights began over Libya and on the same day massive air and missile attacks were launched from US and NATO aircraft and ships. In excess of 26,000 sorties were flown between 19 March and early October.
The participants in this unauthorized attack on Libya were: USA/NATO, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Jordan, Holland, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, and others.
Organized US troops were also located on the ground and participating in operations against the Libyan Government from late March until late October, denied by the US Government who stated the troops on the ground in Libya were Americans but not American military.
Estimates of casualties from the bombings alone are in excess of 15,000 civilians dead and injured.
Commanders of the operation were President B. Obama, SecState H. Clinton, SecDef Robert Gates, US General Carter Ham, US Admiral James Stavridis. Each and every one of these operations was a war crime and each and every participant in these illegal actions is a war criminal, from the lowliest aircraft tire pressure checker to the most senior in command.
2011. Syria. An anti government operation began in 2011 against the government of Bashar al-Assad, the elected president of Syria. The following politicians from Europe, US, Australia, USA and Canada were involved in this ongoing war crime: President Donald Trump, President Barack Obama, Charles Hagel, Ashton Carter, James Mattis, Lloyd Austin, James L. Terry, Joseph Votel, Stephen J. Townsend, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Theresa May, David Cameron, Stephen Hiller, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Trevor Jones, David Johnston, Francois Hollande, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Pierre de Villers, Angela Merkel, Ursula von der Leyen and Volker Wieker, Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, Thomas J. Lawson, Yvan Blondin, King Abdullah II, Abdullah Ensour, Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Rav Aluf Gadi Eizenkot, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Nurettin Canikli and Hulusi Akar.
The entire command, control and servicemen of following military organizations were involved in this illegal aggression and attack on the Sovereign State of Syria. United States of America, Canada, Israel, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Jordan, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Belgium and Norway. Each and every politician, officer and serviceman of the mentioned countries is guilty of war crimes of dreadful seriousness, all of them from president down to the cooks feeding the troops. No one who was involved in any way in this undeclared war is clear of guilt.
It is estimated that in excess of 100,000 Syrian civilians have been killed and wounded in the fighting since 2011. It is estimated that 100,000 members of Syrian armed forces have been killed, wounded and executed in the fighting. In excess of 2 millions Syrian citizens have fled the fighting one way or another. Vast areas of Syria including cities, towns, infrastructure and industry are totally destroyed. These loses are catastrophic for a country with a population of some 17 millions before US attacked.
None of the aforementioned countries, politicians and military commanders had the least thought of fighting what have been proven to be the US and EU bought and paid for terrorist organizations of ISIL, IGIL, Daesh, and dozen of other names, they have done their damnedest to destroy President Bashar al-Assad and his government. In 4 years, the terrorist organizations grew in numbers and equipment exponentially as almost the entire country was occupied by terrorist organizations with the direct, on sight, hands on assistance of operatives and serving military of USA, Germany, UK, Canada, Jordan, Turkey and France and vast infusions of money and equipment from NATO, USA, Canada, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, France and UK.
In late summer of 2015, President al-Assad was calculated to be less than two weeks from total defeat. He appealed to President V. V. Putin of Russia for help. President Putin agreed to assist Syria and as such is the only LEGAL foreign entity in the entire country. Every other foreign military and serviceman is an illegal fighter against the Government of Syria. In 6 months with an air unit that never numbered more than 50 airframes at any given time, Russia stopped the advance of the terrorists, brought entire units of Syrian Army to Russia for intense training and equipage and assisted the Syrian Army in their fight against the NATO/US coalition. In a year and a half, the coalition was to all intents defeated. The hegemon is not amused and the fighting is ongoing but Syria will not fall. With time President al-Assad will again rule over a hopefully peaceful country again. He will also spend the next 20 years rebuilding what the coalition destroyed.
This entire war in Syria was towards one simple goal: Run the oil and gas pipelines to the Syrian coast from the oil rich countries of the Middle East and destroy Russia’s profitable supply business with Europe. No other reason. They failed.
There is no need to detail the other crimes of USA in Ukraine, central Africa, Afghanistan, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Venezuela and Korea. The shining light of freedom, democracy and prosperity has done nothing but foment death, fire and destruction for 65 years and now the Secretary of Defense has told The World to either obey Washington or suffer the consequences. However, he did not say who would suffer the consequences. Perhaps he should look in a mirror.
As for President Trump, I don’t recognize him today. I’ve been on this rock a long time and I’ve never seen the vitriol poured on any sitting or past president of the likes thrown at him every day and all day. We’ll see how this all pans out, I have not a clue, but I do know that, while his bedrock of support is still solid, if he gets US in a war with Iran and/or DPRK, that support will evaporate like the sound of the gossamer wings of a spring butterfly when the body bags start coming back in Lord forbid their hundreds or their thousands. Neither country is a pushover, if they were they would have already been invaded and the US PTB knows this fact very well. All whoever are actually running США can do is shout, bluster, snarl and toss ever more sanctions on those who ‘do not obey’. This is a fool’s errand that will eventually return in spades. Just think of the numbers of countries and populace out there who are longing for the chance to return some of that ‘collateral damage’…..in like kind and with glee. What you sow, so shall you reap, a saying that apparently the USA PTB never learned. But they might.
Auslander is a writer who lives in Russia. He has authored several books and articles.
Never The Last One – A Deep Look In To Russia, Her Culture And Her Armed Forces
An Incident On Simonka – NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Blue Cloud – A pleasant little adventure of a young collie, told in her words.