The Roman republic began its descent into empire as victorious generals – starting with one Julius Caesar – returned to claim the fruits of their victories, their final conquest being the republic itself. “Crossing the Rubicon” has today become a phrase meaning an event that cannot be undone, usually of ominous portent, and surely this applies to the machinations of one General Philip Breedlove, former Supreme Commander of NATO.
Revealed by hackers who broke into his email accounts, Breedlove’s plot to start World War III with Russia recalls the recklessness of Dr. Strangelove in a movie of the same name – except this isn’t a movie, it’s reality.
Coordinating with sympathetic retired military personnel, such as Wesley Clark, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Harlan Ullman, a top official of the Atlantic Council, the idea was – as Ullman put it – to “leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the U.S. to react” to an alleged Russian threat in Europe. Another academic contact, one Phillip Karber, head of the neoconservative Potomac Foundation, was involved in disseminating a crude forgery supposed to have depicted Russian tanks in Ukraine. Naturally, the Washington Free Beacon fell for it, as did Sen. James Inhofe. Confirmation bias is pandemic in these circles.
Breedlove has himself been at the center of similar hoaxes, claiming that tens of thousands of Russian troops are present in Ukraine, armed to the teeth with the latest advanced weaponry: this was an outright lie, as the German intelligence agency, the BND, pointed out.
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