Were the U.S. and Russia at the brink of war?

Naval standoff in September, 2013.  Source: Zero Hedge

Naval standoff as of Sept. 9, 2013. Source: Zero Hedge

An independent journalist named Israel Shamir claims that, just as in the Cuban missile crisis, the United States and Russia were eyeball-to-eyeball over Syria.  But this time it was the United States that blinked.

The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships.  Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination.

It was claimed by a Lebanese newspaper quoting diplomatic sources that the missiles were launched from a NATO air base in Spain and they were shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defense system.  Another explanation proposed by the Asia Times says the Russians employed their cheap and powerful GPS jammers to render the expensive Tomahawks helpless, by disorienting them and causing them to fail.  Yet another version attributed the launch to the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim.

Whatever the reason, after this strange incident, the pending shoot-out did not commence, as President Obama stood down and holstered his guns.

via Israel Shamir: American Hegemony is Over

Exactly what happened is highly uncertain.  Shamir’s account rests on highly circumstantial evidence, which could be wrong.  But what is known is that Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian fleet to the Mediterranean and there also were Chinese ships there.  The downing of the Tomahawk missiles has been reported by two different sources.

There was a very real danger of armed conflict between Russian and U.S. forces, and Russia’s nuclear arms make it the only country in the world that could be an actual threat to the United States.  I give President Obama credit for having enough realism to not push things to the brink.

There was a period, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, when the United States was so dominant that our leaders did not have to take the views of other nations’ leaders into consideration.  Not only is that era coming to an end, but the consequences of U.S. government actions during that time are starting to catch up with us.

LINKS

American Hegemony Is Over by Israel Shamir for World News Daily Information Clearing House.  The article has good background information on U.S.-Russian relations and how U.S. arrogance and Russian resentment led to the present situation.  Hat tip for the link to Daniel Brandt

Aggression Was Over the Moment Those Two Missiles Were Fired, a translation of an article from Lebanon’s As-Safir newspaper.

Lost Cruise fears save Obama on Syria by Gregory Sinaisky for Asia Times Online.

Standoff in the Mediterranean: The US vs Russian Navies by Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge.

Israel Shamir on Wikipedia.  Shamir is a critic of Zionism and Judaism, and has been accused of anti-Semitism, as the Wikipedia article explains.  I don’t think this is evidence one way or the other concerning the accuracy of his WND article.

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