The historic – and unacceptable – deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in several European NATO states as well as the recent announcement by Britain of supplying depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine is the prologue to Russia’s decision to place tactical nukes in Belarus. The Western outcry following Russia’s decision is absurd and hypocritical.
The pattern is familiar and speaks of incorrigible arrogance. The United States and its NATO allies make reckless escalatory moves that are unprecedented in their aggression toward Russia; then Moscow makes a reciprocal move, and yet the Western governments and their dutiful news media become apoplectic with rage over Russia’s “threatening conduct” and nuclear blackmail.
Maybe one day, Western leaders will eventually choke on their own illogical apoplexy.
This week there was frothing and fuming in the West about Moscow’s decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, despite the move being fully in accord with the Minsk government, a longtime ally of Russia and fellow member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The CSTO is organically comparable with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), having a shared defense commitment between allied states that were formerly members of the Soviet Union.
In ratifying the deployment, Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused by Western powers of jeopardizing international security, threatening European neighbors and violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Belarus borders three NATO members: Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
But the decision by Russia to install tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus (which Moscow would reportedly retain control over) was in response to the NATO move to supply its anti-Russian Kiev proxy with depleted uranium (DU) weapons. Britain announced last week that Challenger 2 battlefield tanks sent to Ukraine would be equipped with DU shells. It is understood that the United States is also ready to supply depleted uranium armor-piercing munitions to Ukraine with its Abrams tanks. Video footage from London’s Ministry of Defence shows Ukrainian troops being trained by British and American officers in handling DU shells.
Depleted uranium is a high-density metal – much denser than lead – which can penetrate modern armor. It ignites after penetration and turns into vapor at extreme temperature. While DU shells are not explosively fissile and do not cause nuclear blasts, they do release harmful radioactive contamination into the environment. Arguably, the munitions are therefore a form of nuclear weapon in the same manner as a low-yield “dirty bomb”.
The United States and Britain fired tonnes of depleted uranium shells during their decade-long illegal war in Iraq. NATO forces also used DU weapons in their war of aggression against former Yugoslavia. In both cases, the resultant radioactive contamination was correlated with high rates of cancer and birth defects in the civilian populations.
The Americans and British have never been held to account for their war crimes. That impunity partly explains their arrogance in regard to pumping weapons into Ukraine against Russia and in particular the latest iteration of radioactive uranium shells.
For the British regime to claim that DU weapons are “normal” munitions and acceptable to deploy potentially for hitting Russian territory is a demonstration of its depraved deception and utter lawlessness. It also shows that London and its NATO partners are willing to recklessly escalate the conflict in Ukraine against Russia by breaching a dangerous threshold regarding nuclear weapons.
Under Russia’s defense doctrine, it may use nuclear weapons if its national security is threatened by either nuclear forces or conventional forces. The U.S.-led NATO alliance is pushing the envelope in a way that is seemingly incorrigible, or tantamount to psychopathic behavior.
Perversely, this abysmal situation is distorted as somehow Russia taking a provocative step in placing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
What Moscow is demonstrating is that the Anglo-American-led NATO alliance has no longer the presumption of impunity. The decades of unchecked aggression from NATO expansionism and criminal Anglo-American subterfuges in foreign countries are over. Moscow offered a diplomatic channel to create a security treaty in Europe, but that was haughtily dismissed by the arrogant imperialist powers. The result was the military-technical measures that Russia undertook with its intervention in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Arguably, Russia could take additional reciprocal measures that go further. The involvement of NATO members in massively arming the NeoNazi Kiev regime should, it could be contended, be met with military defensive action to destroy supply chains entering Ukraine.
This is the perspective for a proper understanding of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. It is not Russia upping the ante to jeopardize security and peace. It is NATO powers that are erasing the boundaries in a way that they are accustomed to doing for several decades.
Let’s recall that it is the United States that has rescinded several arms-control treaties including the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, and the Open Skies treaty, and it is Washington that has chronically undermined the last-existing one, the New START governing strategic weapons.
There is also the existing anomaly of the United States storing nuclear weapons on the territory of five NATO members. They are Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey. These countries are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, so arguably the basing of nuclear weapons in these states is a gross violation of the NPT, which is what the West is accusing Russia of in regard to Belarus.
Last year, too, Poland offered to house American nuclear weapons on its soil. That offer was not taken up but is presumably still on the table. Why is there not an outcry over that egregious destabilizing of arms control?
As usual there is a surfeit of Western double-think to go along with rank hypocrisy. The illogical mentality is a product of arrogance and hubris.
Furthermore, two NATO members Britain and France have their own national nuclear arsenals supposedly separate from Washington’s command. These two powers are actively hostile toward Russia through their arming of the Kiev regime.
Additionally, all 30 members of the NATO alliance are committed to assisting the United States in deploying nuclear forces with their conventional militaries under the alliance’s provision called Support of Nuclear Operations With Conventional Air Tactics (SNOWCAT).
In sum, clearly, the issue of arms control and security is badly out of balance, but it is the conduct of the United States and its NATO partners that has led to the imbalance. The arrogant presumption of impunity held by Washington and London in particular is a destabilizing factor that creates double standards that are completely unacceptable in a world supposedly under the rule of international law and the United Nations Charter.
The conflict in Ukraine can be solved if Western powers were to abide by international law and halt the weaponizing of the Kiev regime. Going forward, Ukraine must be a neutral state and NATO must halt its aggressive expansion. A serious policy of nuclear arms control must involve the withdrawal of such weapons from European NATO member states and the inclusion of British and French arsenals as part of a wider detente framework. Note, however, that the conditionalities for peace are in large part an onus on Washington and its Western allies to do the right and reasonable things. The disturbing question is though, can Washington and its imperialist lackeys be reasonable?
Until enlightened conduct prevails, Russia is quite correct to be intolerant of any double standards that the Americans, British and their NATO minions presume. Every aggressive move must be boldly and smartly reciprocated. Without that countervailing action, there is impunity, which is even more dangerous.
Holding Western powers to account is a powerful weapon of attrition because it exposes their corruption and fraud, their duplicity, and their fatal arrogance. Increasingly, the Western public is seeing the endemic bankruptcy of their supposed rulers.
The No More Double Standards piece is especially good. Right on the money. The US foreign policy elite, particularly the neocons, have always thought in terms of double standards. I am glad Russia is calling them out for it. I would like to see many more nations join with Russia in doing so. As the article suggests, pushback against US arrogance is absolutely necessary to preserve the peace, or at least stop the war in Ukraine from becoming a world war. Russia and China and the many countries in their orbit need to stand up firmly against Western imperialism. It can be done with less risk today than say twenty years ago, because the US is now nothing like "the sole superpower," The US, as at least the Pentagon knows well, cannot beat Russia and China combined. And the neocon idiots have succeeded in pushing them together. Henry Kissinger must be shaking his head constantly in disbelief. He's 98 years old. Maybe he's mainly depressed about it. He spent much of his public life trying to keep Russia and China apart. If the US and its British puppet cannot get rid of the neocons and their British equivalent, then confrontation with Russia may well be inevitable. The neocons are entirely delusional. There ought to be a special psychiatric facility with a big rubber room and bank vault quality locks on the doors and windows, and the Neocons should all be arrested and placed there in the interests of saving the world from them. --Steve Berk