Provocation as a Policy Tool of the West (II)

Strategic Culture
by Vladimir SMYK

Part I

The war initiated by the US against Vietnam, which began on 5 August 1964 with a US air strike on North Vietnamese torpedo boat bases and an oil-storage facility, was also the result of an act of provocation. The bombing was presented to the global community as retaliation for an attack on two American destroyers that allegedly took place on 4 August 1964. Yet no such attack ever took place. This was attested to by Captain John Herrick, whose operational control both destroyers were under, and confirmed by a number of researchers. 

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, a scandal has broken out in America: a report compiled by NSA historian Robert Hanyok found its way into the hands of independent researcher Matthew Aid. The report alleges that intelligence officers falsified information about the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. The price for this falsification was the deaths of the 58,000 Americans and 250,000 Vietnamese soldiers killed in the war. It turned out that the NSA had kept the information secret out of fear that public access to it would lead to a new wave of criticism of US intelligence agencies in connection with the Second Iraq War. 

The pretext for the new attack on this Arab country was provocative information on an alleged uranium deal between Iraq and Niger. Although an inspection carried out by a group containing representatives from the CIA, the State Department and the Department of Defense who made a special visit to Niger showed the allegation to be completely false, the wheels of war quickly began to turn. It should be pointed out that Great Britain willingly supported the overseas falsification. It supplemented America’s ‘Uranium Dossier’ with its own intelligence information on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which, as MP Adam Holloway told London-based newspaper The Times, was based on information obtained from… an Iraqi taxi driver. The result of this Anglo-American act of provocation was 4,500 coffins covered with stars and stripes flags (this number does not include the more than 1,500 contractors killed), nearly 400 graves of allies in the anti-Iraq coalition dug from Great Britain to Georgia (information as of July 2010), and the countless losses suffered by the people of Iraq, where war and bloodshed are still going on to this day.

In a unipolar world, acts of provocation have become one of the main policy tools of global hegemony. One needs only to recall the act of provocation carried out on 5 February 1994 at the Markale town market in Sarajevo, where the explosion of a mortar shell fired from Bosnian positions, according to evidence from ballistics experts, was blamed on Serbs and, under pressure, they were forced to withdraw their heavy artillery 20 kilometres from the city. The act of provocation was repeated in August 1995, when five more mortar shells exploded in the market. As Radovan Karadzic recently told the Hague Tribunal, Bosnians took corpses from the front to the site of the explosion in order to create the impression of mass fatalities as a result of the mortar attacks. The explosions became the pretext for the direct intervention of the US and its NATO allies in the war against Bosnian Serbs. 

Acts of provocation are becoming increasingly sophisticated and, with the advent of the internet, increasingly economical. On the first Maidan uprising in Kiev and the ‘peach revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan, the United States spent a total of $110 million (the figure given by the makers of the French documentary film – USA: The Conquest of the East). Provocation techniques are developing almost as quickly as technologies in the defence industry. The last decade of the 20th century saw the testing of innovations like ‘invisible snipers’ – a trigger for outbursts of indignant crowds. During a peaceful demonstration in Yemen in 2011, sniper fire killed 17 demonstrators. Government intelligence agencies were blamed for the murders, and it all ended with the overthrow of the government. In Tunisia in 2011, 24 people were killed by sniper fire. A storm of indignation, and the president and the government fled… In Libya, Egypt, Syria – exactly the same invisible snipers. And these same mysterious snipers appeared on the streets of Kiev in February 2014. They shot at both special forces and demonstrators, and Yanukovych’s ‘bloody regime’ was blamed. Those who carried out the coup and came to power are doing everything so that the ‘invisible snipers’ remain unknown…  

Another technical characteristic of acts of provocation is related to time. A certain amount of time elapses between the act of provocation and its exposure (and those involved in the provocation do everything they can to drag it out as long as possible). During this period, they form alliances with governments whose armed forces will later take part in acts of aggression or various sanctions used against the country being targeted, or who will take on some of the expense of military operations. So it was in Yugoslovia, so it was in Libya, so it was in Iraq, and so it was in Afghanistan. 

Where have NATO strategists been setting their sights after Afghanistan? 

In August, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to the heads of state and governments of every country in the Atlantic bloc. The letter says that the NATO mission in Afghanistan is coming to an end, and the alliance should now return to the original purpose of its existence – controlling Russia…

Libido dominandi, the lust for domination, the vice that St. Augustine once accused Europeans of, is not only still persistent in the West, it has taken on a form that is threatening the whole world.

To control Russia, all means are suitable, including, of course, acts of provocation. There has still not been an exhaustive answer to the question of who downed the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 over Donetsk, but it is already possible to suppose why this bloody act of provocation was carried out: to blame the deaths of the nearly 300 passengers on Russia. Or Russians living in southeast Ukraine. In the process, the West is managing to ignore the hundreds of victims of the Kiev regime’s anti-terrorist operations, a regime that is wiping out civilians with phosphorus bombs, heavy artillery, ‘Grad’ systems, ballistic missiles… Truman’s famous quote regarding Russians and Germans, «Let them kill as many as possible», which determined the behaviour of the United States in the Second World War right up until the opening of the Second Front, completely characterises the current policy of the Anglo-Saxon West with respect to the Russian world. The precedent, gentlemen… 

It should also be noted that the investigation into the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 catastrophe is undoubtedly being impeded. It is already clear that attempts to prove Russia’s guilt have failed and, what is more, suspicions will inevitably fall on the Ukrainian authorities. Hence the reason why the objective of those who organised the act of provocation involving propaganda noise about ‘Moscow’s guilt’ is now to drown out all sensible voices. And most importantly, while the experts are having their say (it is more than likely they will not dare to point blame, and their verdict will be inconclusive), their objective is to force European countries to introduce a regime of sanctions against Russia and shift at least some of the military expense onto Europe. «All NATO members», urged the British prime minister, «must start spending at least 2 per cent of its GDP on defence. Based on the experience of our operations in Afghanistan, the alliance must give more active assistance to its partners in building their armed forces». By doing so, two problems are being solved at once: preventing a rapprochement between Russia and the European Union, and weakening the economies of America’s European competitors. It has already been estimated that the gross loss from Russia’s year-long ban on the import of agricultural produce from EU countries could reach €12 billion. It seems, however, that not all EU countries are willing to pay such a price for solidarity with the world-class masters of provocation. 

Strategic Culture