President Joe Biden wasn’t expecting Russia’s rapid slap back. He assumed, wrongly, that he could hit Moscow with a new round of sanctions (based on slanderous claims) and look as if he were chewing gum and acting the hard man.
Then slap. Russian responded immediately and firmly. Ten U.S. diplomats are to be expelled in a reciprocal response to Biden’s executive order last week to expel Russian diplomats.
Laughably, the Biden administration was aghast at the Russian sanctions. A State Department spokesman decried the Russian move as an “escalation” – unlike the American sanctions which, he said, were “proportionate”.
Proportionate to what? Well, to unfounded claims by the Biden administration that Russia had interfered in the 2020 presidential election, had launched cyberattacks on government and private companies, and was threatening Ukraine with aggression. But what if all these claims are baseless, which they are?
Then the latest American sanctions (like dozens of previous rounds) are not at all “proportionate”. They are in fact a provocative escalation of hostilities toward Russia.
Then in this context of a mounting threat on its doorstep, Russia deploys defense forces within its territory on the border with Ukraine. And whoa, the U.S., Europe, and NATO go hysterical with accusations of Russia escalating tensions.
Again, the objective view is that Russia is reciprocating with proportionate counter-measure to prior American escalation.
Another instance of this dynamic was the planned deployment of two U.S. guided-missile destroyers last week to the Black Sea. At a time of spiraling tensions, the ordering of the USS Donald Cook and USS Roosevelt to the Black Sea was an act of madness. The Pentagon may have tried to pretend it was just another routine, innocent passage allowed by the 1936 Montreux Convention. Come off it. This was a provocative show of force in support of the Kiev regime at a time of dangerous tensions.
In any case, following news of the intended transit of the U.S. warships via the Turkish Straits, the Russian Black Sea Fleet deployed a squadron of vessels to meet the Americans. On April 14, the day of the transit, the Americans called off the deployment. The Pentagon didn’t offer an explanation. But others can see that the American side blinked, or deescalated, after the Russian side showed it was not tolerating an American escalation. A proportionate, reciprocal response by Russia restored the balance of power and averted what could have been a serious armed confrontation.
There was a time when Washington could swagger around, chewing gum, wielding a big stick, and shooting up others with “gunboat diplomacy” – and arrogantly expect to get away with murder.
When President Biden’s top envoys met with Chinese counterparts in Alaska last month, they thought they could browbeat with impunity, as usual, over contrived American concerns about human rights and other hobby horses. The Americans were shocked when China’s top diplomats Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi gave Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan a tongue lashing over America’s genocidal history and rank hypocrisy. Thus, American attempted rhetorical escalation was in the end made to deescalate with tail between legs by a forceful proportionate response.
Likewise, when Biden unveiled his “tough” sanctions against Russia last week over spurious allegations, that was meant to be the end of it, as far as the Americans presumed. Then slap. Russia hit back the following day. And the hubristic Americans don’t know what to make of it. The confused reaction is palpable. What’s this? You mean we just can’t impose our diktat unilaterally?
There is a hint that Biden and his team are beginning to realize the old game of American arrogance and bullying is over. Before he announced the sanctions, Biden phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin two days earlier to give him notice. Biden characterized the conversation as “candid and respectful”.
He also said he informed “President Putin” that “we could have gone further [in sanctions] but we chose not to do… I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship.”
That sounds as if Biden is almost apologizing to Putin about the sanctions beforehand and pleading with him to not hit back.
The American president also revealed that in the same phone conversation he invited his Russian counterpart to a face-to-face summit in Europe later this summer. Austria is being touted as a possible neutral venue. The meeting is for talks “on a range of issues facing both of our countries”.
It is only right and proper, indeed imperative, that the two biggest nuclear powers re-open communications at the highest level in an earnest and sincere way to safeguard global peace. Russia has always consistently called for such a dialogue. But the dialogue must be conducted with mutual respect and bereft of stupid accusations and provocations.
Washington must surely know that its escalations will be met with equal force from Russia (and China). And Biden seems to realize that he has to take the escalator sideways to avoid such a dead-end direction of American policy.
* * *
Diplomat: Prague’s statements meant to ‘override’ report about state coup plans in Belarus
MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The West was obviously seeking to "override" reports about plans of a state coup in Belarus by Prague’s statements about the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
According to the Russian diplomat, the situation was quite satirical. "They could not fail to anticipate the reaction that would follow because their actions were quite grotesque. Why are they doing it? Because they are sparing no effort to divert attention from facts," she added.
The expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic has demonstrated that this country’s authorities lack independence in their foreign policy and relations with Russia, Zakharova noted.
"Prague’s actions are absolutely caricature. Thus, yesterday it demonstrated the lack of any independent policy in international affairs, and, in particular, in bilateral relations with our country," she said.
"This is the 21st century vassalage," she noted. "The United States has triggered - in the active information and political space - a mechanism of vassalage at a new technological level, but the principle behind it is the same. Both Warsaw and Prague are serving the United States’ interests."
Russia will soon announce concrete steps in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Zakharova pointed out.
She refrained from saying how tough these measures would be. "A whole working week is ahead. It was important to give a clear response to such steps and the concrete implementation of this decision will follow, I think, in the near future," she said.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek on Saturday announced the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian embassy in Prague, who were allegedly "officers of Russian special services." They were given 48 hours to leave the Czech Republic. The move came in the context of the newly leveled circumstance of the 2014 blast at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice. According to reports, "officers of Russia’s military intelligence" were allegedly involved in this incident.
On the same day, Czech police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej told journalists that Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov had been put on the national wanted list on suspicion of being involved in committing grave crimes. Thus, the Czech special service claim that the two men had been seen on the territory of a munitions depot in the village of Vrbetice in the east of the Czech Republic on October 15, 2014, or a day before a powerful blast that killed two people.
The Russian expressed resolute protest over this step taken "under invented and ungrounded pretexts" and vowed response measures would follow.
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^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.
All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.
The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.
CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.
Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.
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