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by John Helmer, Moscow 

The latest Russian Defense Ministry daily bulletin was issued on Tuesday afternoon, July 9.  Since then the Pentagon and the White House have been as silent as the tomb.

Make that thirty-five American tombs.

“During the day [July 9],” said the Defense Ministry briefer in Moscow,    “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation carried out a group strike with high-precision weapons on American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems prepared for strikes on the territory of Crimea, as well as the venue of an official meeting of the AFU [Armed Forces of the Ukraine] command staff. The objectives of the strike have been achieved. Four US-made HIMARS MLRS launchers were destroyed, as well as up to 35 foreign specialists who serviced them.”

Several hours later, the Pentagon briefer, Major General Pat Ryder, announced “a great kickoff to NATO summit events this week.”  General Ryder wasn’t referring to the largest number of US battlefield deaths ever recorded under hostile Russian fire. He had nothing to say about the Ukraine battlefield action, and the reporters attending failed to ask him about it.

At the White House briefing which followed the Pentagon, the lead announcement was President Joseph Biden’s telephone calls to officials in Texas dealing with Hurricane Beryl; his plan to meet on Thursday with Vladimir Zelensky;  and an assurance that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine poses a threat to transatlantic security. That’s what it does. And it shows how critical the NATO Alliance is and how important it is to continue to make sure that it is strong, and that’s what the president has been able to do.”  Reporters did not ask about US combat deaths in the Ukraine.

The New York Times also blacked out the report of the Russian strike on the HIMARS batteries, focusing instead on the Kiev targets of the day, and on claims by anonymous US intelligence and other officials that “Russia is unlikely to make significant territorial gains in Ukraine in the coming months as its poorly trained forces struggle to break through Ukrainian defenses that are now reinforced with Western munitions.”  

“You’d think in an election year,” comments a NATO veteran with Afghanistan war service,  “that dead American ‘specialists’ would be an issue. This tells that they [the Biden Administration] are as committed to ‘victory’, or hiding an American defeat, as their [Trump campaign] opponents are.  They are also loath to get into the role they played in getting things to this point.”

That said, what interpretation can President Vladimir Putin and the Russian General Staff give after the 35 US battlefield deaths have been concealed by US officials? Should Moscow conclude that it is now Washington policy to fight Russia, not just to the last Ukrainian, but to the last American?

For the answers, listen to Chris Cook ask the questions on the only independent talk show in Canada, Gorilla Radio.

Source: https://gradio.substack.com/

 For the introduction to this broadcast, access to the 20-year Gorilla Radio archive, and Chris Cook’s blog, click here  and here.  

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