US Defense Secretary Issues Bellicose Warning to Russia

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[ Ed. note – US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has ramped up the anti-Russian rhetoric another notch. In comments made today in Stuttgart, Germany, Carter not only reiterated his previous claim that Russia is “nuclear saber rattling,” but also accused the Russians of “going backward in time,” and vowed that the US will “defend our allies.”

Carter made the remarks at a ceremony in which U.S. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti was installed as the new NATO commander in Europe, replacing Gen. Philip Breedlove. The latter was know for his outrageous, over-the-top comments about Russia, and his replacement, Scaparrotti, seems to exhibit a similar level of lunacy.

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Kerry Warns of ‘Repercussions’ if Assad Doesn’t Step Down

The “bellicose” rhetoric I described here isn’t, of course, limited to Ashton Carter. Secretary of State John Kerry has now jumped out into the spotlight with some threatening discourse of his own, vowing that Syrian President Bashar Assad must accept a “transitional” government (that is to say, he must, in effect, step down) or there will be “repercussions.” Here is what Reuters reports:

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Rest in Peace, Daniel Berrigan

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“The Feast of Carrion”

a chapter from Daniel Berrigan’s book,

The Nightmare of God

Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit priest and outspoken opponent of US wars, has died at the age of 94. Berrigan was jailed numerous times–initially in the 1960s when he broke into a draft board office in Cantonsville, Maryland, and later on in the 1970s and 80s for his anti-nuclear activism.

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Russia Intercepts Another US Plane Flying Near Its Territory

[ Ed. note – This latest intercept, over the Baltic Sea, comes after:

  • the intercept of a US spy plane near Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on April 21
  • an earlier intercept over the Baltic Sea, on or about April 18
  • the buzzing of the USS Donald Cook, also in the Baltic, on April 12

Intercepts are common, almost routine, but of course these come at a time of heightened tensions, with the US accusing Russia of carrying them out in an “unsafe” manner. At the same time, violence in the Syrian city of Aleppo has ramped up dramatically, with some 200 civilians killed in the past week, this occurring–probably not coincidentally–at the same time as the US has announced it will send some 250 additional ground forces into the country. Meanwhile, the US has rejected a call by Russia for Al-Qaeda-allied rebel groups in Syria to be designated as terrorists. Is all this a prelude to a US ground war in Syria in an effort to topple President Bashar Assad? If it is, we could be on the threshold of World War III.

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Terror in Aleppo: Russia Calls for al-Qaeda Allies to be Named as Terrorists; US Refuses

In the view of Paul Craig Roberts, “World War III has already begun,” we just haven’t moved into the hot stage yet. Hard to say whether Roberts is correct, and perhaps it’s mostly a matter of subjectivity, but of course there are always signs of concern. In fact, we’re seeing them on practically a daily basis.

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