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Dangers of Pentagon’s ‘decapitation strike’ against Russia

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Dangers of Pentagon’s ‘decapitation strike’ against Russia

How exactly this could affect the world remains to be seen, as Russia is exercising restraint for the time being. Writes Drago Bosnic

In recent decades, one of the political West’s favorite strategies have been the so-called “decapitation strikes” against various countries or non-state actors. One of the first examples of this happened in the 1990s in Europe, during the US aggression against Yugoslavia. At the time, NATO forces directly targeted the Serb/Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic. In complete disregard for the safety of his family, NATO destroyed Milosevic’s mansions and residencies, causing casualties among civilians in the process. Although the attacks failed, the Serb/Yugoslav leader was still deposed and later imprisoned in the aftermath of a successful NATO-orchestrated coup.

A similar approach was used against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These attacks failed, but after the US-led invasion forces occupied most of the country, he was taken prisoner by American troops and after a show trial by the new puppet regime in Baghdad, executed in 2006. A very similar fate awaited the leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, who was also directly targeted during the 2011 NATO aggression on Libya. Unlike Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi never got a show trial, but was instead brutally killed by a mob. Again, in both cases, NATO strikes on the residencies of both leaders resulted in the deaths of their immediate family members and any civilians in their vicinity.

It should be noted that these decapitation strikes brought mixed results. While they did destroy much of the command structure of the targeted country or organization, the ensuing chaos and power vacuum were usually filled by someone with little regard for meaningful dialogue and brought even more suffering to the people of the affected country, causing decades of instability and factionalism. Such strikes were always conducted with impunity, as the targeted countries had no means to respond. It seems this has become such a favorite strategy in the Pentagon, that the US simply forgot that certain countries can “return the favor”, so now they’re suggesting the same against global powers such as Russia.

For months, in complete disregard of reality, some US officials have been calling for the elimination of Russian leadership. Threatening a country incapable of retaliating is one thing, despite how morally and legally reprehensible that is, but threatening a country whose response could quite literally end the world is a clear indicator of just how detached the US establishment has become. And yet, this doesn’t stop the said officials from continued calls for decapitation strikes against Russia, as stated by former CIA head David Petraeus, or direct calls for Putin’s assassination by both former US National Security Advisor John Bolton and a sitting US senator Lindsey Graham.

The comments by these US officials inevitably caught Russia’s attention, including its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency published on Tuesday, he condemned that Washington DC obviously doesn’t rule out the assassination of President Vladimir Putin. The foreign minister noted that “some unnamed officials from the Pentagon actually threatened to conduct a ‘decapitating strike’ on the Kremlin… What we are talking about is the threat of the physical elimination of the head of the Russian state.” Moscow’s top diplomat cautioned against such a line of thinking. “If such ideas are actually being nourished by someone, this someone should think very carefully about the possible consequences of such plans,” Lavrov warned.

His comments were most likely directed at a late September article by Newsweek, when several Pentagon officials suggested a “decapitation strike to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin.” At the time, Putin stated that Moscow would “use all means necessary to defend Russia and its people”. As per usual, the Western mainstream propaganda machine immediately (and deliberately) took the Russian president’s words out of context and suggested that the remarks are “a clear sign” of Moscow’s planned usage of thermonuclear weapons. However, Russia has repeatedly stated that it doesn’t plan to deploy any of the weapons of mass destruction from its massive arsenal.

Lavrov also warned that some of the US vassals and satellite states are openly embracing this confrontational approach. “They seem to have gone completely beyond the bounds of decency,” he said, referring to a statement by former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who “without a shadow of a doubt declared during the election debates that she was quite ready to order a nuclear strike.” Russia’s top diplomat once again cautioned against such statements, but also recalled that they’re even worse in the case of the Neo-Nazi junta. “I am not even mentioning the Kiev regime’s provocations that go off the chart. Volodymyr Zelensky went as far as to demand preventive nuclear strikes by NATO countries on Russia. This is also beyond the bounds of what is acceptable,” he warned.

Indeed, such rhetoric is quite disturbing, to say the least. Given how heavily armed the global powers are, calls for decapitation strikes or assassinations of any of their leaders are extremely dangerous. However, such statements aren’t coming from Moscow or Beijing, as they are aware of the irreversible consequences of such actions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case in Washington DC, where a complete lack of etiquette (diplomatic or otherwise) seems to have become the norm. How exactly this could affect the world remains to be seen, as Russia is exercising restraint for the time being. This approach is the only sensible one, but the issue is that the political West often sees it as a sign of “weakness”.

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Blitz’s Editorial Board is responsible for the stories published under this byline. This includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on BLiTZ

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