Mercenary Wagner Group Designated ‘Transnational Criminal Organization,’ When Will US Government Make the List?
By Ben Bartee - February 24, 2023

“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent.”
―Martin Luther King Jr.

Somehow, government officials seem to gloss over that quote from MLK when they’re pretending to embrace his legacy every year on the national holiday in his honor.

The Wagner Group – Russia’s homegrown version of Blackwater – has been busy fighting the NATO coalition in Eastern Ukraine and arguably committing atrocities of various sorts. The hypocritical US government has taken notice.

Via US Department of the Treasury:

PMC Wagner (Wagner Group) is a Russian private military company led by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Putin crony and the target of multiple U.S. sanctions. Wagner Group has been involved in Kremlin-backed combat operations around the world in support of Putin’s war on Ukraine…

In light of the transcontinental threat posed by the Wagner Group, Treasury is concurrently redesignating the Wagner Group pursuant to E.O. 13667 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, or abduction, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law.”

The obvious political motivations on the part of the multinational corporate state with NATO as its army aside, this is probably fine. Wagner does a lot of shady stuff not just in Ukraine but in Africa and elsewhere as well.

The question is, though, why should Wagner be labeled a “transnational criminal organization” while the US government skates – in fact, while the US government positions itself as the paragon of liberal morality?

What are the criteria exactly to earn the label and who decides who gets it?

Is the criteria body count? Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered due to the Iraq War built on State Department and DoD lies – and many not by third-party mercenaries, but American service members working in official capacities on behalf of the US government.

The US corporate state facilitated, with logistical support and weapons, arguably the worst of war crimes in the 21st century — the brutal siege of Yemen’s Iran-backed government by Saudi Arabia for the sake of geopolitical positioning in the volatile Middle East.

Saudi Arabia, with full American political backing and weapons, has killed over a hundred thousand Yemenis and pushed millions more to the brink of starvation in a needless war of aggression — the kind President Brandon’s handlers accuse Russia of in Ukraine.

Serious analyses have linked American weapons and logistical support to the lion’s share of Yemeni civilian deaths:

“A joint investigation by the Security Force Monitor — a project of Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute — and the Washington Post recently concluded that a ‘substantial portion’ of airstrikes that have killed civilians in Yemen have been carried out by jets developed, sold, and maintained by US companies and flown by US-trained pilots.”

Meanwhile, US president after US president scurries over to the The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a yearly basis to kiss the ring of the most repressive, fanatical theocratic state in the world.

Is the criteria violation of international norms? The Iraq War violated the UN Charter, which the alleged current president Brandon ironically, cynically uses now to condemn Russia.

Is the criteria destabilization of entire regions of the world? The Iraq War birthed the insurgency and Shia-Sunni civil war, which birthed the ultra-radical Sunni jihadist organization ISIS, which continues to rock the Middle East to this day. Take a hard look at Mosul before and after ISIS to understand what good old-fashioned red-white-and-blue Democracy™ looks like.

So while the US government postures as the savior of Democracy™ or whatever in Ukraine, it’s actually the single most violent, destabilizing, immoral force in the world.

Ben Bartee is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs. Follow his stuff via Armageddon Prose and/or Substack, Locals, Gab, and Twitter.

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