by Finian Cunningham on

If they were around, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler would be cheering on their NATO incarnation to destroy the ‘Untermenschen’ – albeit 82 years too late.

The NATO military alliance holds its largest-ever air force maneuvers since the bloc was formed 74 years ago. From June 12-23, the German Luftwaffe is leading the massive mobilization across the Baltic territories and Central Europe in an undisguised provocation to Russia.

The United States will deploy the most warplanes out of the 25 participating NATO partners. But Germany is the lead nation for the drills.

What’s even more provocative, the date for the so-called Air Defender 23 exercises falls on the 82nd anniversary of Operation Barbarossa. On June 21, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies launched the biggest military invasion in history, against the Soviet Union. That invasion turned out to be a military disaster for Germany, heralding its historic defeat nearly four years later, along with horrific suffering and millions of deaths.

It’s not just the dates that provide an uncannily grim echo. The sinister symbolism today of the German balkenkreuz (Teutonic cross) emblazoned on warplanes flying close to Russia’s border is reinforced by the participation of many of the Third Reich’s former Axis allies in the present day. Finland and the Baltic territories were the staging post for Hitler’s master plan to conquer Russia and carry out its Final Solution of genocidal extermination.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Ukraine, German Leopard tanks also bearing the balkenkreuz are today pounding Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, which also served as the invasion path for Operation Barbarossa. So far, many of these modern German tanks have been destroyed in today’s battles, which does not bode well for NATO’s sponsored Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Of course, Air Defender 23 pales by comparison of scale with 1941. NATO’s warplanes flying in exercises over Germany and the Baltics number 250 with a total military personnel of 10,000 taking part. In Operation Barbarossa, the number of aircraft was at least 10-fold greater and involved up to 4 million ancillary soldiers. Nevertheless, the symbolism is conspicuous and staggering for anyone with a keen sense of history. Amazingly, no Western media have made any historical reference to Barbarossa, not even in brief passing. Then again, that’s not that amazing when you consider the Western media’s role is to propagandize this war against Russia.

And it’s not simply a mere symbolic historic echo, appalling though that is of itself. The NATO leaders are increasingly openly talking about the objective of “crushing Russia”. The air mobilization over the next fortnight is billed as rehearsing offensive scenarios against Russia.

The timing of the NATO-sponsored ground offensive beginning last week in Ukraine in conjunction with the unprecedented deployment of air power this week has the hallmarks of a real contingency plan to catapult the proxy war in Ukraine to an all-out war between nuclear powers.

The deployment of nuclear-capable warplanes by the United States and its NATO allies is matched by the move by Russia to install tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus next to Poland and the Baltic states. Moscow and Minsk are roundly condemned in the Western media for that move. But there is hardly any mention by the same media of the hundreds of tactical nukes that Washington has stationed in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey. The NATO drills this week will involve rehearsing their launch against Russia and Belarus.