Six days ago I put up a post concerning comments by US military officer Scott Bennett in an interview with Press TV. Bennett told the Press TV interviewer that the Obama administration may try to trigger a confrontation with Russia in Ukraine in order to boost Hillary Clinton’s election chances in November.
“It’s very obvious to Russia, it’s very obvious to us in the intelligence community and the military, that the United States under the Obama administration is going to in most likelihood initiate some sort of a war or confrontation through the Ukrainian mercenaries, through the Ukrainian president–they’re going to initiate some sort of conflict or war with Russia in Ukraine in the Crimea before the November elections in the United States, and the reasons for that, of course, is to deteriorate support for Donald Trump and increase support for Hillary Clinton.
At the time I commented that I wasn’t sure how a war in Ukraine would really add that much momentum to Clinton’s campaign, but over the past few days the mainstream media have been laying what might be thought of as a “propaganda groundwork” toward using a war in Ukraine, should one in fact break out, as a means of derailing Trump’s election chances.
Media reports alleging ties between Trump campaign official Paul Manafort and the former Russian-backed Yanukovych government have been rife over the past few days–so much so that Manafort today announced his resignation. The allegations are that Manafort’s name appeared on “secret ledgers” supposedly recently uncovered by Ukraine’s “Anti-Corruption Bureau,” with implications that he was involved in corruption. The ledgers are claimed to contain a list of “recipients” of illegal cash disbursements, with $12.7 million said to have been designated for Manafort over the years 2007-2012. Manafort has denied he received any such payments, but the denials, of course, don’t seem to be given much credence.
Some of the media reports have been extremely vicious in tone. “Here’s How Donald Trump’s Paul Manafort Helped Create Chaos in Ukraine,” is the headline over a piece in The Daily Beast that was published yesterday. At any rate, conditions are now ripe for an enormous amount of mud being slung in Trump’s face should a war break out in Ukraine between now and election day.
So it looks like Bennett may well have well have been right on target in his analysis.
A few other recent developments are also worth keeping in mind:
- As the video above notes, Ukraine is amassing forces along the border with Crimea as well as along the contact line in Donbass; likewise Russia, too, is beefing up forces in the conflict area, including deployment to Crimea of its advanced S-400 missile system, while also carrying out military exercises;
- Chinese troops are being sent to Syria, ostensibly for training and humanitarian purposes only;
- Russian planes are now launching what appear to be daily airstrikes into Syria from a base in Iran;
- Russia and China are scheduled to hold military drills in the South China Sea in September;
- Russian military drills recently included an exercise in which loudspeakers carried a female voice telling NATO soldiers, “You are being lied to! You are not peacekeepers! Lay down your arms!” The voice also told them to “stop being pawns for your leaders.” (It’s only a training exercise, but the ramifications are evident)
- An aerial dog fight between US and Syrian planes came close to occurring on Thursday, Aug. 18;
- Authorities in Kiev have refused to accept the credentials of a new Russian ambassador to Ukraine;
- Despite that, Putin, in a visit to Crimea today, said Russia has no plans to cut off ties to Ukraine (see video below)
The chances of war seem to be growing. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but it might be a good idea for people to start thinking about stocking up on food and bottled water. In the event we get through the election without incident, you can still eat the food and drink the water.