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Global Tensions Between East And West Reach Boiling Point

By Graham Vanbergen

Whilst sitting in a street cafe enjoying a Cappuccino watching busy people doing busy things it is hard to imagine that another war on the scale of 1939-45 could ever happen again, especially in Europe, after all, we’re all part of the European Union, a bloc of 28 nations set up in first place to end any future conflict on the continent. America has not experienced international conflict on its soil for over 200 years. But this over confidence in western security is misplaced as the events leading up to the next major conflict won’t be like the last.

You might be surprised to learn that just two years ago out of a total of 195 countries, 151 of the world’s nations were involved in some form of conflict. What is worse is that the study from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shows that the world has been getting progressively less peaceful over the last decade.

The founder and chairman of the IEP said at the time of the findings: “Given the deteriorating global situation we cannot be complacent about the institutional bedrocks for peace: our research shows that peace is unlikely to flourish.” He was right, because just two years later the same index reports that only 10 countries in the world are now free from conflict.

All over the world whether referring to the threat of Islamism in the West, Russia and America’s stance in the Mid-East or China’s muscle flexing in the Far-East, politicians, religious leaders and the establishment media are using the word WAR more and more to characterise their own security challenges and to demonise their opponents in the eyes of their citizens. A global propaganda machine is readying its citizens for what may come sooner than most of us would think possible.

By far, the greatest risk for global conflict to erupt overnight is happening right now in the Middle East. For this report, we will focus on Syria but don’t forget that there are six critical and 10 significant war zones on the world today according to the Global Conflict Tracker.

The west, predominantly the USA, UK and France and its coalition are not invited by the sovereign nation of Syria or its people to fight extremism on its territory and therefore one could argue it is acting against international law. Syria was one of the first countries in the world to sign up to the United Nations in 1945 as a former member of the United Arab Republic.

However, every continent on earth is now represented in the battle for Syria.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria reached a joint agreement at the end of last year to work with each other which was also reported to have reached agreements on co-ordination of operations in Syria with Jordan and Israel. Just two days ago, China publicly backed Russia’s positions on “the most important” global issues, including Moscow’s take on the Syrian and Afghan conflicts but six weeks earlier had signed a tripartite agreement to support Russia and Iran over Syria.

At the same time last year the Islamic Nations Coalition including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Togo, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen are represented.

The American led coalition includes; United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Denmark and Italy. Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.

The France led coalition was arranged a few months before and joined the US led coalition which include; Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Spain.

Some of the country representations are obviously symbolic and political but if conflict erupts they won’t be soon after.

The Metro (4th Oct) leads with the banner “Russia tells citizens ‘nuclear war with the West could happen soon.” It reports that “As tensions rise in the middle East, an official TV channels in Russia has issued a chilling warning that war with the West could be imminent. Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country’s Ministry of Defence, said last week, ‘Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.’

The Independent‘s headline (10th Oct) “Russia tensions with US ‘more dangerous’ than during the Cold War” states that Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walker Steinmeir says during the Cold War superpowers had ‘red lines and respected them’. Steiner was quoted in Germany’s newspaper Bild as saying: “It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War. The current times are different and far more dangerous”.

The Mirror (3rd Oct) goes with the flow and headlines with “Russia prepares citizens for NUCLEAR WAR with the West and builds huge underground shelters in Moscow.” The Mirror reports that “The country’s media and officials have claimed the West wants to launch an attack on Russia because of its intervention in Syria. Officials announced on Friday underground shelters had been built which could provide shelter for Moscow’s 12 million people in the event of an attack.”

And there are reports from all over the world with Newsweek adding to the concerns with”Europeans Are Quietly Preparing For War With Russia” as it reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin adopts his military brinksmanship across the region, including the buzzing of NATO ships and aircraft by Russian warplanes.

Australia’s News.Com reports Moscow vs Washington: Is Russia preparing for war with the US? Tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets has predicted that a “direct military confrontation” will occur between the global powers on par with the Cuban missile crisis.

In the U.S. War Talk Returns to Russian TV as U.S. Ties Hit Deep Freeze, – at this point we could go on and on – you get the idea.

Other signals

Britain’s most senior diplomat was talking during an emergency debate in Parliament (11th Oct) and obviously feels there is no future whatsoever in even attempting a diplomatic solution as he has openly called for “demonstrations outside the Russian embassy” in London over its bombing of targets in Syria. Boris Johnson also voted for the bombing of Syria last December 2nd.

Veteran broadcaster Vladimir Pozner told the BBC: “There’s a real feeling now that America is out to prove it is the only superpower. The continued expansion of NATO is seen by the Russian leadership, perhaps incorrectly, as being a real threat.
“There is a danger of real confrontation, perhaps leading to some kind of military engagement and war.”

In June, Nato announced that it will be carrying out its biggest war games in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. The 10-day military exercise included 31,000 troops who will have to react to a “nightmare scenario”. Then Russia did the same but concluded from war-games it would win a European conflict.

War leaders quotes

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in September 2014 “The current security architecture in Europe, which relied on both the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, has now collapsed, following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine”

Angela Merkel launched a scathing attack on Vladimir Putin a few weeks back amid fears the growing verbal conflict between the two leaders will soon escalate into a large-scale, brutal conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cancelled a planned visit to France next week, the Kremlin said Tuesday (11th Oct), in an apparent snub to French President François Hollande, who suggested “Moscow was guilty of war crimes in Syria”.

Britain’s General Sir Richard Shirreff stoked nuclear fears (May 2016) when he warned Europe would be locked in nuclear war with Russia by 2017. The FT reported that “Shirreff, who until retiring two years ago was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the most senior European officer in Nato, has a simple message: “the political and military decisions we are currently making, and have already made, are now propelling us into a future war with Russia.”

Facing off

In the most dramatic diplomatic escalation involving the Syrian conflict to date, John Kerry issued an ultimatum to Russia just three weeks ago, in which he emphatically warned his opposite Russian number Sergey Lavrov to stop bombing Aleppo or else the US would suspend all cooperation and diplomacy with Russia.

Russia then suspended the nuclear cooperation deal with the US or was it the other way round – dependant on what you read. Then the US carried out that threat and suspends all cooperation talks with Russia over Syria.

Just one week later a Top US general warns that a Syrian “no-fly” zone means certain war with Russia. And just a few days after that, Russia reminds America what forces and capabilities in has in the air and on the ground in Syria.

US-led coalition jets bombed positions of the Syrian government forces on September 17, resulting in the deaths of 83 servicemen. Washington said the airstrike was a ‘mistake’, however Damascus claimed the incident was a “blatant aggression.” Here, we are on the brink.

The escalation ladder

Russian Government Officials Told To Immediately Bring Back Children Studying Abroad and in one of three scenario’s ZeroHedge speculates that it “underscores the severity of the ongoing diplomatic crisis and just how significant the upcoming isolation between Russia and the West is likely to become in the coming months.”

The Russian president assembles the western media and pleads with them to understand just how dangerous the situation has got for the Russian people in this (excerpt) VIDEO and literally pleads “how do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction.”

Yesterday (Oct 11th) the Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev steps forward and warns of the risks of nuclear war – and his fears about tensions between Russia and America.

In the meantime a US Army chief threatens war with Russia stating “we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.” The Army Chief of Staff was countering a senior Russian official, who said that “Russia can now fight a conventional war in Europe and win.” There was no diplomatic opposition by the US state dept for these comments.

A No-Fly zone imposed over Syria will mean a full-on open continental war with boots on the ground by all parties. In the meantime, both the US led and Russian led coalitions are facing off in the United Nations Security Council over the crisis with proposal, veto and counter-proposal with no-one reaching agreements. In this political ‘no-mans land’, anything can happen – and probably will.

“Everybody’s patience with Russia has run out,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday (10th Oct).

Germany’s Spiegel International explains in a lengthy 5-part piece that the extremely dangerous nature of this proxy war is becoming more apparent than ever. It argues that a serious escalation between Moscow and Washington is on the horizon and how Syria is becoming the new global war.

Russia is now sending two additional warships and a missile corvette with anti-aircraft capabilities to the Mediterranean. The Russian Defense Ministry has openly threatened to shoot down US warplanes over Syria.

The scene is set. Diplomacy has failed, ceasefires have failed. Threats are escalating. All parties are preparing for a wider conflict. Don’t forget that this article has been written on the back of mainstream press articles. We are now at the mercy of the global power players.

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