What Russian Aggression in Ukraine?
By Michael S. Rozeff, Lew Rockwell All sorts of officials accuse Russia of aggression in Ukraine. Is this true? It is not. It is fiction. It is a big lie. It is a specious claim, an absurd claim, a ridiculous claim, an unreal claim. Russia and Russians have been involved in certain respects in Ukraine, but by no sensible stretch of the imagination can such involvements be termed aggression. If there were an actual war aggression, it could not be hidden because the scope of a typical war aggression is very large. The photographic evidence for it would be overwhelming. No such evidence has been provided by Russia’s accusers. Even more importantly, it would have to be shown that the attack was an unprovoked offensive attack, and not a defensive operation. This too has not been proven by Russia’s accusers. My concern here is the fiction being propagated. It borders on madness. It plays into the hands of the worst kinds of warmongers. It blinds everyone concerned. It is irrational. It establishes an aura of public lies and myths that results in great mischief and worse. It is producing awful results that can become far worse. The lie happens to revolve around demonizing Russia but my purpose is not to choose sides in the Ukrainian-Russian problems but to keep the U.S. out of the matter. It is to defang the lie. What do actual war aggressions look like? Below are some notable examples. It’s a quick brush treatment based on sources easy to find. I haven’t consulted military histories to get precise figures. We do not need pinpoint accuracy to get the main idea, which is that war aggressions are large affairs, and the role of Russia in Ukraine cannot possibly qualify. It will be immediately apparent to any rational observer that Russian involvement in Ukraine, whatever it is or has been, doesn’t even remotely resemble an attack on Ukraine or the kind of attack in force that defines real war aggressions. It is not unknown to human herd behavior to find that wildly inaccurate myths and irrational beliefs can be widely propagated through a large population and acted upon. The myth of Russian aggression in Ukraine is a prime example.
North Korea attacked South Korea. On June 24, 1950, “…the North Koreans attacked with over 90,000 troops and 150 tanks.” Also, “By mid-1950, North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into 10 infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division, with 210 fighter planes and 280 tanks, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu, and Ongjin. Their forces included 274 T-34-85 tanks, some 150 Yak fighters, 110 attack bombers, 200 artillery pieces, 78 Yak trainers, and 35 reconnaissance aircraft.”
What has Russia done in Ukraine that compares to this?
Germany attacked Poland from the north, south and west in September, 1939. “On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion. From East Prussia and Germany in the north and Silesia and Slovakia in the south, German units, with more than 2,000 tanks and over 1,000 planes, broke through Polish defenses along the border and advanced on Warsaw in a massive encirclement attack.” Another source says that 2,315 planes were assigned to the operation: “Aircraft played a major role in the campaign. Bombers also attacked cities, causing huge losses amongst the civilian population through terror bombing and strafing. The Luftwaffe forces consisted of 1,180 fighters, 290 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, 1,100 conventional bombers (mainly Heinkel He 111s and Dornier Do 17s), and an assortment of 550 transport and 350 reconnaissance aircraft. In total, Germany had close to 4,000 aircraft, most of them modern. A force of 2,315 aircraft was assigned to [Operation Fall] Weiss.”
Germany’s attack was a genuine war aggression.
The United States attacked Iraq on March on March 19, 2003. Iraq made no armed attack on the U.S. This was a genuine U.S. war aggression. “Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. These were the United States (148,000), United Kingdom (45,000), Australia (2,000), and Poland (194).” Also, “A U.S. Central Command, Combined Forces Air Component Commander report, indicated that, as of 30 April 2003, there were a total of 466,985 U.S. personnel deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. This included USAF, 54,955; USAF Reserve, 2,084; Air National Guard, 7,207; USMC, 74,405; USMC Reserve, 9,501; USN, 61,296 (681 are members of the U.S. Coast Guard); USN Reserve, 2,056; and US Army, 233,342; US Army Reserve, 10,683; and Army National Guard, 8,866.”
The scope of this war aggression, like that of North Korea and Germany, was huge. Aggressive wars are big events. A state does not usually launch an aggression unless it intends to win and to win typically requires substantial forces unless the opponent is very much smaller. We will see that even against Panama, the U.S. used a lot of manpower. In addition, the 2003 attack on Iraq was preceded by bombing against Iraq air defenses during 2001-2002 and by CIA special forces infiltration. “CIA Special Activities Division (SAD) Paramilitary teams entered Iraq in July 2002 before the 2003 invasion. Once on the ground they prepared for the subsequent arrival of US military forces. SAD teams then combined with US Army Special Forces to organize the Kurdish Peshmerga.”
In 2011, NATO attacked Libya. Libya had made no armed attack on NATO countries. This war aggression has been termed a “military intervention” in the wikipedia article. This war involved an air and missile campaign, naval forces and a naval blockade, CIA operatives and British and French special forces on the ground. “Nato aircraft – piloted by the US, France and UK – flew around 18,000 armed sorties during the brief campaign, firing 7,600 missiles. A tiny proportion of these armed missions – 250 in total – were flown by drones. US Predators flew 145 strike sorties, according to a Department of Defense briefing published in October 2011.”