These things do escalate.
Where does this end up? Biden says U.S. would ‘respond’ to Russia if Putin uses chemical or biological weapons.
US President Joe Biden says NATO would respond if Russia was to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, adding the “nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use”.
Pretty open-ended. Ever heard of The Gulf of Tonkin “Incident”? You have to go back to 1964 but it was the invented moment that led to the Vietnam War going full-on and full-time.
On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, was approached by three Vietnam People’s Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. The Maddox fired warning shots and the North Vietnamese boats attacked with torpedoes and machine gun fire. In the ensuing engagement, one U.S. aircraft (which had been launched from aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga) was damaged, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, with six more wounded. There were no U.S. casualties. Maddox was “unscathed except for a single bullet hole from a Vietnamese machine gun round”.
On August 4, 1964, destroyer USS Turner Joy joined Maddox on another DESOTO mission. That evening, the ships opened fire on confusing radar and sonar returns that had been preceded by communications intercepts suggesting that an attack was imminent. The commander of the Maddox task force, Captain John Herrick, reported that the ships were being attacked by North Vietnamese boats. In fact, there were no North Vietnamese boats present. While Herrick soon reported doubts regarding the task force’s initial perceptions of the attack, the Johnson administration relied on erroneously interpreted National Security Agency communications intercepts to conclude that the attack was real.
While doubts regarding the perceived second attack have been expressed since 1964, it was not until years later that it was shown conclusively never to have happened.
Let me repeat that last sentence: While doubts regarding the perceived second attack have been expressed since 1964, it was not until years later that it was shown conclusively never to have happened.
So back to The Ukraine with the question now, are we in the same blundering into war that led to World War I? If the US wants to invent an incident they have the history. Do you remember The Maine?
A slogan of the Spanish-American War. The United States battleship Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, in 1898. Stirred up by the yellow press (see yellow journalism), the American public blamed the sinking on Spain, which then owned Cuba.
You now have to fear what comes next. The Americans are it seems gunning for a full-on confrontation. If they want to arrange a pretext, so many of us seem to be in a pre-war mentality, over nothing much more than whether The Ukraine should be part of NATO.