In mid-March, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond ludicrously called Russia potentially Britain's greatest threat
Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, news TV personality, and radio show host.
This article originally appeared at SteveLendmanBlog
Britain is run by the same kinds of lunatics infesting America. Prime Minister David Cameron and other UK officials hype nonexistent "Russian aggression."
Last summer, Cameron said NATO must show Russia it "means business." It won't be "intimidated."
Member states must "strengthen (their) ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure those Allies who fear for their own country’s security and to deter any Russian aggression."
In mid-March, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond ludicrously called Russia potentially Britain's greatest threat.
"We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it," he ranted.
"We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50, with Russia's aggressive behavior a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security."
Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) just held its largest air combat exercises in decades - preparing for nonexistent "Russian (or other) attacks."
Twenty Typhoon fighter warplanes and Tornado bombers participated in "a day-long war game in the skies above northeast England" - on the pretext of alleged "frequent appearances of Russian military aircraft in UK airspace."
Nothing of the sort happened. British authorities fabricated the story - part of an on-going anti-Russian fear-mongering campaign matching what goes on elsewhere in Europe and America.
Russia's Defense Ministry said its aircraft strictly observe international regulations. They don't violate other nations' airspace. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.
So far no confrontations occurred in international airspace. Given Washington's rage for war and Britain's willingness to march in lockstep, it may just be a matter of time before a clash occurs.
All bets are off if it happens. Attacking Russian aircraft in international airspace could lead to something much more serious.
Lunatics in Washington and London risk the unthinkable. Preparing to confront Russia militarily could cross a rubicon of no return.
UK military sources called Operation Rising Panther the first of six annual so-called air defense operations - intended to "show Vladimir Putin in no uncertain terms" Britain is ready for "Russian aggression" if launched.
It was conducted ahead of the next scheduled Strategic Defense Review (SDR) - an exercise in saber rattling and then some.
According to wing commander Andy Coe, "(d)ue our continuing commitment to operations overseas, this is the first time we have had the full spectrum of our capability operating together at the same time in a realistic, opposed, environment."
Conducting Rising Panther was a provocative show of force aimed at Russia.
One RAF source said Moscow "painted the background to these exercises, though they were needed in any event."
"I think there’s a view forward to the next SDR and the need to remind the powers that be about the prominence of air defense."
"The feeling is that, just because we haven’t had a large headline concerning Russian nuclear bombers recently doesn’t mean air defence isn’t important, and look at how seriously we’re taking it."
According to RUSI think tank defense analyst Justin Bronk:
"Given the tensions with Russia and Vladimir Putin’s well-known predilections for using nuclear bombers and other military aircraft to probe UK airspace, air defence really is assuming an importance that it has not since the days of the Cold War."
In a Friday interview with the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western countries want "to weaken Russia and create a puppet state."
He called what's happening in Syria similar to Ukrainian crisis conditions. "(B)oth countries are important for Russia," he said.
Washington wants pro-Western stooges running them. In a separate interview with Tass, Izvestia, Sputnik News, RT International and other Russian media, he called Western countries "colonialist by nature."
They don't "accept partners. If they don’t like a certain state, they try to change it, or replace its president."
"When they use this reasoning, they do not see the people. As far as they’re concerned, there is no people."
"They don’t like the president, so they replace him. But when they made these statements, they based them on wrong assumptions."
This way of thinking might have suited the past, but is not fit for this age. Today, people do not accept for their future or destiny or rulers to be decided by the outside world."
"The same thing is happening now in Ukraine. And this is what they aim for in Russia."
"They don’t like President Putin, so they demonize him. The same applies everywhere."
America especially "only wants satellite states. (It) does not even accept partners in the West."
"It wants Europe to follow the United States. They didn’t accept Russia, although it was a superpower."
"They didn’t accept it as a partner. Russian officials talk all the time about partnership with the West, and talk positively about the West."
"In return, the West does not accept Russia as a great power and as a partner on a global level."
"So, how could they accept a smaller state like Syria which could say no to them?"
Syria demanded its sovereign rights. So did other regional countries. US wars followed - ripping up the fabric of nations across the region.
Assad blasted US officials. "(T)he world has become used to (them) saying something today, and saying the opposite the next day. We see this happening all the time."
Assad expects Washington to continue targeting all independent government for regime change.
US policymakers won't stop, he said. They "want to dominate and control other countries."
"If not through war, then through the economy, and if not through the economy, then through creating problems and blackmail."
Imperial powers operate this way. None match America's ruthlessness - its hugely destructive world conquest ambition.