Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity
As the U.S. hurtles toward nuclear war with Russia over Syria and Crimea, Jon Huntsman, the head of NATO’s lobbying organization the Atlantic Council, urged on October 7th that Donald Trump — who has many times stated clearly that improving relations with Russia so as to avoid nuclear war would be his top priority as President — should withdraw from the U.S. Presidential contest and leave it to his Vice Presidential pick, Mike Pence, who (like Hillary Clinton) favors war against Russia.
The U.S. had slapped sanctions against Russia when Russia on 16 March 2014 protected the residents of Crimea so that they could safely hold a referendum on whether to become again a part of Russia, of which Crimea had been a part until the Soviet dictator Khrushchev arbitrarily transferred them to Ukraine in 1954. The issue of Crimea had arisen because U.S. President Barack Obama had just overthrown in a violent February 2014 State-Department-&-CIA coup in Ukraine, the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted; and, during that coup, a contingent of Crimeans who had come to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, to hold up signs there opposing the “Maidan” demonstrations that had been organized by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev as cover for the U.S.-hired snipers carrying out the U.S. coup, became attacked, and they fled back toward Crimea, but many of them were killed en-route by the U.S.-hired mercenaries; and this “Korsun Pogrom” terrorized the entire population of Crimea, which had been strongly opposed to the coup even before this massacre of Crimeans. The coup terrorized Crimeans; the massacre of Crimeans increased their terror.
The coup itself started by no later than 1 March 2013 being organized inside the U.S. Embassy, and the allegation that the coup started only after Yanukovych turned down the EU’s offer, in November 2013, has no basis in reality; instead, the U.S. planners had already arranged it months earlier, and planned for the offer to be turned down. The offer was designed so as to be unacceptable.
Governor Pence stated clearly his view of U.S.-Russian relations back on 27 April 2014 — barely a month after the Crimean referendum, in which 96% had voted to be restored to Russia. (U.S.-sponsored Gallup polling in Crimea both before and after the referendum showed comparably high percentages, thus confirming the authenticity of the referendum-result.) Pence told Fox News Sunday then:
“When I was there [in Germany to speak about Indiana’s trade w. Germany], I thought it was important to speak about what I believe would be the right response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. I’m pleased to hear there is more sanctions maybe coming tomorrow. But the truth of the matter is I think we need less talk and more deeds. And by passing and moving rapidly to pass the Transatlantic Trade partnership and frankly by deploying a robust missile shield throughout Europe including in Poland and the Czech Republic that was off lined in 2009 by this administration, I think would send a very strong message to Putin and to Russia that NATO countries and the United States are going to respond by growing stronger economically and strategically. And I believe that — I believe that’s going to have a lot more influence in the long haul than more sanctions and more talk. However meritorious those are, at the end of the day, I think I’ve always believed in Ronald Reagan’s adage, ‘Peace through Strength.’ Let’s grow stronger on a transatlantic basis in our economies. Let’s allow Poland and the Czech Republic to have that missile shield that they were entitled to by joining NATO. I think that’s the right strategic response to Russian aggression.”
His reference there to “the missile shield” was to the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System or Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system, which is designed so as to be able to annihilate Russian retaliatory missiles on take-off, in the event that NATO blitz-attacks Russia, so that a NATO-initiated nuclear war would be (so it is hoped by NATO) only one-sided: only Russia would be nuked. The theory behind it is that the previous nuclear balance of “Mutually Assured Destruction” or M.A.D., will become replaced by a new reality of “nuclear primacy” — winnable nuclear war: conquest of Russia. Mike Pence and Hillary Clinton accept the theory; Donald Trump does not. Barack Obama also accepts the theory, but the Aegis Ashore system hasn’t yet been installed sufficiently to attain ‘nuclear primacy’ even if such a thing is attainable; and so the expectations of experts are that the next U.S. President will be the one to make any final decision on it.
Regarding Pence’s support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, and for the trans-Pacific equivalent the TPP, that’s part of the same operation, to isolate both Russia and China in international commerce, because Obama excludes both of those nations from both treaties.
When Pence accepted Trump’s invitation to become his Vice Presidential running-mate, any deals that were made between them — and/or between their respective financial backers — are confidential, and thus are topics only of speculation publicly. However, Jon Huntsman, who was himself a Republican Presidential candidate in 2012, and who had been Obama’s Ambassador to China, would not be publicly endorsing either Pence or Clinton for President now if the top level at NATO — which is the U.S. White House — did not want the voters’ choice to come down to Clinton-v.-Pence, instead of to Clinton-v.-Trump.