Obama, NATO Policy Turning Ukraine
into a ‘Tripwire’ for World War
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Feb. 2—New calls for U.S. and NATO military aid to the Nazi-riddled Kiev regime are heightening the tension in Ukraine, with the aim of advancing the drive for regime change in, or dismemberment of, the Russian state. While the Obama Administration has allegedly not yet decided on a military course, NATO has already announced its plans to upgrade its presence along the borders with Russia, specifically in the Baltic States and Poland. These deployments are meaningless militarily, but signal a clear intention of confrontation, which can be a tripwire for nuclear war.
“Obama is the tripwire for war, and Obama must be immediately removed from office if war is to be prevented,” commented Lyndon LaRouche Feb. 1. Behind Obama are Wall Street and the British monarchy, whose power must be obliterated through a Glass-Steagall-style bankruptcy reorganization.
Indeed, at about the same time that LaRouche was speaking, Barack Obama was making a public statement on Ukraine in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, which underscored the brazen nature of his administration’s provocative role. In his version of the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations—which he blamed on President Putin—Obama declared that “we’d brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.” This “deal” was the one caught on tape, where Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and Eastern European Affairs Victoria Nuland told U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt that the U.S. was committed to getting “our man Yats” to take over from President Victor Yanukovych, in what ultimately was a coup d’état against the elected President.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded sharply to the President’s remarks, as we report below.
Meanwhile, NATO and the Obama Administration are scheduled to take further actions later this week—NATO, with a meeting on the formation of a “NATO Integration Force Unit,” and Obama, with a deployment of Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev—which will escalate the tension. Also, a think-tank report is scheduled to be released tomorrow, signed by eight former State Department officials, which calls for arming Ukraine (see National).
It is apparent, as some Washington sources have told EIR, and some experts such as MIT professor Ted Postol have said publicly, that certain forces in power in the U.S. and Europe are activating their lunatic plans, assuming they can win a thermonuclear war.
An Intent for War
Foreign Minister Lavrov took the occasion of a question at his press conference today in Beijing to respond to President Obama’s interview with CNN.
“I would like to note two aspects,” he said.
“First, if somebody needed confirmation that the USA directly, from the very beginning [of the events in Ukraine] was involved in a coup against the government, for which Obama used the neutral term ‘power transition,’ it has now been stated.
“Secondly, I would like to note that the rhetoric in this interview shows Washington’s intention to continue unconditional support for the actions of those currently in power in Kiev, who, by all the evidence, have adopted a policy of suppressing the conflict exclusively by force.
“We are convinced (and this evaluation is becoming more widespread, especially in Europe), that it is necessary to establish a direct dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of the self-proclaimed DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] and LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic]. These efforts are encountering attempts to derail the negotiation process. But I am certain that everyone who genuinely wishes for the Ukrainian people to have peace (and Russia, without qualification, is among those countries, as are Germany, France, the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], and other Europeans), ought to continue these efforts and do everything possible for a direct dialogue to get started and produce results.
“All over the world, in any conflict, our Western partners call for dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, whether that’s in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, or South Sudan. Ukraine, for some reason, is an exception. On this issue, our Western colleagues say nothing about dialogue, but merely repeat that Kiev’s actions must be supported in every way possible, and they do not criticize the obvious negative steps taken by the Ukrainian authorities, which I shall not enumerate here. Their attitude toward their protégés is completely uncritical.
“I stress again, what is needed is direct dialogue. We will be working on that, as a party actively engaged in promoting the work of the Contact Group, and as a neighbor of Ukraine (we are doing a lot to support its economy), and, of course, as a member of the OSCE.”
In his CNN interview, Obama said he thought it would not be wise to see “an actual military conflict between the United States and Russia,” but he made the following ominous statement: “Given the fact that Ukraine is not a NATO country, and so as a consequence there are clear limits to in terms of what we would do militarily, Mr. Putin has not been stopped so far.” That implies that military action is desirable—and Obama went on to talk about reinforcing “those border states who are members of NATO ... making very clear that that line is one that cannot be crossed.”
So far, thanks in large part to the opposition of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States has not supplied military aid to Ukraine. However, Washington has been moving ahead with confrontation in other ways, in addition to economic sanctions meant to “exact costs on Russia” (one of Obama’s favorite phrases).
Last week, Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, announced plans to pre-position American military hardware in the three Baltic States, as well as Romania and Bulgaria. One anonymous State Department official described the deployments as a Cold War throwback, when American forces were posted at the borders of the Warsaw Pact as a “tripwire” aimed at deterring a Soviet attack. Under the present circumstances, the official warned, this is a direct provocation for war, made worse by the fact that President Obama is being “childish” in shutting off personal lines of communication with Putin.
It is clear that the “tripwire” policy is being pushed by NATO. After meeting with Polish Prime Minister Eva Kopacz over the weekend, French President François Hollande announced that French military equipment would be dispatched to Poland for at least the next two months.
The issue of upgrading its Eastern deployment will be on the agenda at the meeting of NATO defense ministers Feb. 5. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania will send 40 officers each, for the formation of a “NATO Force Integration Unit”; Germany is to contribute 25 officers. This unit is to coordinate rapid deployments of the new NATO intervention force, “Spearhead,” the functioning of which is presently being tested by the joint Dutch-German Corps in Muenster, Germany.
Not confirmed by the German Defense Ministry are leaks according to which German paratroopers will reinforce U.S. units stationed in the Baltic States. More details may be leaked, and also more anti-Russian rhetoric spewed, when the annual Munich International Security Conference occurs on Feb. 6-8.
At the end of January, phone discussions took place between Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Hollande, leading to a call for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. However, Jan. 31 talks in Minsk among the Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE), the Kiev government, and representatives of the Donetsk regional governments, broke down, with no clear indication of whether or when new OSCE-mediated ceasefire talks will resume.
Over the past week, fighting in southeast Ukraine has escalated significantly. While NATO officials, and particularly the Kiev regime and Obama Administration, have been claiming that Russia has “invaded” eastern Ukraine with heavily armed regular Russian troops, the Ukrainian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Viktor Muzhenko, contradicted those claims, acknowledging that the only “Russians” fighting against the Kiev forces are local residents of Russian origin or individual volunteers fighting with “illegal” militias. “The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army,” he was quoted by Sputnik News.
On Jan. 21, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum, lied that there were as many as 9,000 Russian soldiers fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk. Since then, the Kiev regime has been on a flight-forward for war, expanding the draft, and on Jan. 17, the Supreme Rada declared Russia to be an “aggressor state,” claiming that it had taken direct military action, including blowing up a bus in Mariupol.
Obama Administration officials are also ramping up the rhetoric. At an emergency UN Security Council meeting last week, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power ranted against alleged Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry will be going to Kiev on Feb. 5, to meet with both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in what is being billed as a “show of support” for the Kiev provocateurs. In a Jan. 31 interview with Interfax Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador Pyatt had stressed the U.S. commitment to a training program for Ukrainian “military formations”; what he did not say, is that some of those military formations are the Nazi militias which provided the fire power behind the February 2014 coup, and the terror campaign against dissenters ever since.
On Feb. 6, Kerry will meet with Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
Voices of Sanity
The intensification of the war danger has drawn harsh warnings from sane elements in both the West and Russia. Germany’s Gen. Harald Kujat (ret.), who headed the NATO Military Committee from 2002-05, issued a stark warning, on an ARD-TV program Jan. 29, arguing that Russia must be recognized as a superpower, as a key player in any viable European security architecture. He charged that the sanctions against Russia are a clear message that Russia is to be excluded from those security structures and that this is a grave danger. Kujat noted Russia’s expansion of its strategic forces and recent flights by Russian strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons near British air space. Russia is demonstrating “escalation dominance,” he warned, and NATO is reacting in dangerous provocative ways.
General Kujat was followed in the broadcast by Horst Teltschik, one of the architects of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union that made possible the peaceful unification of Germany: “To believe that one can force Russia to surrender is an incredible folly that cries to Heaven. You only have to let Russian and Soviet history roll in front of your eyes: Neither Napolean nor Hitler had been able to force the Russians to surrender.”
The deputy chairman of the German Free Democratic Party, Wolfgang Kubicki, made the same point even more sharply. He charged that the Ukraine provocation and the U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia are aimed at regime change against Putin. He cited recent fighting around the town of Mariupol in southeast Ukraine as an effort to provoke Russia into a direct conflict.
James Carden, a Russia expert, former State Department advisor, and contributing editor to The National Interest, wrote “Ukraine Exposed: Kiev’s Authoritarianism,” on Jan. 30, documenting the overt support for neo-Nazis by the Ukraine regime. He pointed to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s Jan. 7 statement on German radio, claiming that the Soviet Union had invaded Ukraine and Germany in World War II, writing, “Let’s hope there is a limit to what the U.S. will countenance and that the glorification and/or imitation of Nazi collaborators is it.”
It’s Not Ukraine
The issue between Russia and the U.S. and NATO is not Ukraine. It is the determination of governments that are under the thumb of the London/Wall Street financial oligarchy, to crush any sovereign opposition to their power. The powerful nations committed to defending national sovereignty—especially Russia and China—are thus, de facto, their enemies, and any lies necessary to justify that designation will be, and are being, used.
The truth is being overwhelmed by a torrent of lies about Russian aggression, suppressing the real story of the coup in Ukraine, the Nazi nature of the coup plotters, and the strategic intentions behind the plot. EIR’s dossiers on the Nazi roots of the coup (EIR, Feb. 7, 2014 and May 16, 2014, have circulated broadly on Capital Hill and internationally, providing all the necessary documentation of the strategic issues at stake. Yet only a few isolated commentators have dared to come forward on this issue; Congress and the overwhelming majority of the American people do not want to face the truth.
If that situation is not changed soon, with the resulting moves to get Obama and Wall Street out of power, the world is on an accelerating trajectory to World War III.
 See “EIR Fact Sheet: Who is Behind the Drive to Dismember Russia?”, EIR, Dec. 19, 2014.