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Where’s the Outcry? Will It Come When It Is Too Late?

A French Leclerk battle tank. Credit: NATO

March 20, 2024 (EIRNS)—On the night of March 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a direct military conflict between Russia and U.S.-led NATO troops in Ukraine would mean the planet was only one step away from thermonuclear World War III. Putin was responding to a reporter’s question regarding French President Emmanuel Macron’s Feb. 26 comments that the deployment of NATO ground troops in Ukraine could not be ruled out. Putin, whose election victory had just been confirmed, was succinct as to what this would mean:

“It is clear to everyone that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War III. I think hardly anyone is interested in this.” And he reaffirmed: “I’ve been saying it over and over again and I’ll say it again. We are for peace talks, but not just because the enemy is running out of bullets.”

Two days later, on March 19, Putin’s Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin reported that France was already preparing such troop deployments: “According to information coming to the Russian SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service), a contingent to be sent to Ukraine is already being prepared. Initially, it will include around 2,000 troops.… It will thus become a legitimate priority target for attacks by the Russian armed forces. This means that it will suffer the fate of all the French who have ever come to the Russian world with a sword,” Naryshkin stressed.

Naryshkin was echoing the point Putin made in his annual Address to the Federal Assembly on Feb. 29: “They must ultimately understand that we also have weapons … that can hit targets on their territory. And they should understand that what they are doing now to scare the whole world, it risks a conflict with nuclear weapons which means the destruction of civilization. Do they understand this or what?”

The response by France, the United States, and NATO as a whole to Russia’s repeated pleas for sanity, has been terrifying in the strategic implications of its sheer suicidal lunacy. The Western nations are now talking openly of deploying NATO troops into direct battle against Russia.

The chief of staff of the French Army, Gen. Pierre Schill, wrote an op-ed in Le Monde on March 19 saying that “The French army is ready…. The French army is preparing for the toughest conflicts.” He said that Paris could assemble a division of 20,000 troops within 30 days and an army of 60,000 by joining with divisions from other NATO allies, recalling that France relies for defense on its nuclear arsenal.

That same night, French Lt. Col. Vincent Arbarétier (ret.) gave a map briefing on French TV “Direct LCI” on the proposal to mass French troops along the Dnieper River in Ukraine to join the military battles against Russia. Asked by the interviewer, “wouldn’t that be considered as a provocation by Russia?” Arbarétier blustered: “Absolutely not, because it is forcing Russia into discussions, while being in an equal position. That is to say, we have soldiers, we are a nuclear power.”

Also on March 19, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, where he restated the American policy that, if Ukraine loses against Russia, then NATO itself would soon be at war with Russia. A day earlier, the Defense Ministers of Germany and Poland, Boris Pistorius and Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, respectively, had met just outside Warsaw where they announced that Germany and Poland will jointly create a rapid reaction force on the eastern border of the European Union, starting with 2,500 troops each.

Don’t think for a moment that the governments of the NATO nations aren’t that crazy—they are. And they are that desperate, because of their collapsing system. Over two years ago, those same governments said no weapons at all would be sent to Ukraine—and then they were sent. Later they swore that no intermediate-range missiles would be sent—and then they were sent. After that, they promised they would not send Leopard and Abrams tanks—and now they are there as well. Today, they are actively discussing sending long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, that can strike deep into Russian territory, and deploying actual NATO troops into battle against Russian soldiers. How long before that becomes reality as well?

If we once again wait to “see if that happens,” it will probably be too late to do anything about it. The time for a worldwide outcry, is now! The time to unify the peace movement in all countries, is now! The time to wake up to the fact that we are but “one step away from a full-scale World War Three,” is now!

The International Peace Coalition is on red alert mobilization, in every imaginable non-violent way, to make sure that the organized international outcry comes now, before it is too late. Participate in the IPC’s upcoming 42nd weekly meeting this Friday, March 22, at noon EDT, and organize all of your family, friends and contacts to do the same.