Tag Archives: Nuclear Weapons

Putin’s Conundrum, by Mike Whitney

Vladimir Putin is dealing with people in the U.S. power structure who are just crazy enough to use nuclear weapons. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

The primary purpose of the Nuclear Posture Review(NPR) is to deceptively “rebrand” the offensive use of nuclear weapons as a justifiable act of defense. The new criteria for using these lethal WMD has been deliberately maligned with the clear intention of providing Washington with a green light for their use and proliferation. Accordingly, US foreign policy warhawks have established the institutional and ideological framework needed launch a nuclear war without fear of legal reprisal. These arduous preparations were carried out with one objective in mind, to preserve America’s steadily-eroding position in the global order through the application of extreme violence.

Vladimir Putin is worried. Very worried.

In a recent press conference, the Russian President expressed his concern that the United States might be planning a nuclear strike on Russia. Naturally, Putin did not state the matter in such crude terms, but his comments left little doubt that that’s what he was talking about. Here’s part of what he said:

The United States has a theory of a ‘preventive strike’…Now they are developing a system for a ‘disarming strike’. What does that mean? It means striking at control centres with modern high-tech weapons to destroy the opponent’s ability to counterattack.”

Why would Putin waste time on the various theories circulating among foreign policy wonks in the United States if he wasn’t concerned that these ideas were actionable?

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‘Ukraine Plans to Use a Nuclear Weapon’ Says Russian Minister of Defense, by Mike Whitney

After the Nordstream sabotage, nothing the U.S. and its European vassals do would be surprise, especially in furtherance of a war that makes zero sense. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

“There is serious concern that the West is trying to concoct a false flag that can be used to rally a reluctant public to go to war with Russia…The current scheme reportedly involves detonating a dirty nuke in territory ostensibly under the control of Russia. The Ukrainian military is suffering catastrophic casualties and… will have great difficulty sustaining any offensive. The United States and its NATO allies realize this and are searching for a pretext to send NATO forces to the rescue. It appears that the West is considering using the threat of defeating a nuclear attack as the justification for sending its own forces into the Ukrainian maelstrom.” Larry C. Johnson, former CIA analyst and A Son of the New American Revolution

Due to a rapidly-emerging crisis in the $24 trillion US Treasury market, the Biden White House and their foreign policy advisors may have approved a plan for detonating a nuclear device in Ukraine. And while we have no evidence yet that such a plan exists, the devastating impact of a full-blown financial meltdown goes a long way to explaining why US powerbrokers might engage in such risky and potentially catastrophic behavior. In any event, the extraordinary claim that the Ukrainian government intends to use a “dirty bomb” or “low-yield” nuclear weapon first appeared in Russian news outlets on Sunday night. Here’s an excerpt from an article at Tass News Agency:

The Kiev regime plans to explode a low-yield nuclear device in order to blame Russia for using weapons of mass destruction in the Ukrainian theater of combat operations, the chief of the Russian army’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, said on Monday.

“The Defense Ministry has evidence that the Kiev regime is planning a provocation involving the detonation of a so-called dirty bomb or a low-yield nuclear device. The purpose of the provocation is to accuse Russia of using weapons of mass destruction in the Ukrainian theater of operations, thus launching a major anti-Russian campaign around the world aimed at undermining trust towards Moscow,” he said.

Kirillov…recalled that on October 22, in an interview with Canadian television channels Zelensky urged the world to deal strikes at the Kremlin if Russia hit the “decision-making center” on Bankovaya Street, where the office of the Ukrainian president is located.

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SCOTT RITTER: The Onus Is on Biden & Putin

Neither the U.S. or Russia has a clear idea of when the other side might use nuclear weapons, but both sides believe their position is clear. From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:

We are, literally, on the eve of destruction. Now is the time for the kind of political maturity leaders rarely demonstrate. 

Ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island  returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after three months at sea, March 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy, James Kimber)

Wars should be avoided at all costs. Nuclear conflict should never be contemplated.

These two truisms are often spoken, but rarely adhered to. Wars occur all too frequently, and so long as nations possess nuclear weapons, their use  is contemplated on a continuous basis.

The ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict has put the world’s two largest nuclear powers on opposing sides, with the U.S. supporting a Ukrainian military that has become a de facto proxy of NATO, and Russia viewing its struggle with Ukraine as including the “collective West.”

Since the initiation of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, both the U.S. and Russia have played their respective nuclear cards.

Russia has made it clear that any intervention by NATO would be considered an existential threat to the Russian nation, thereby invoking one of the two clauses in the Russian nuclear posture in which nuclear weapons could be used. (The other would be in response to a nuclear attack against Russia.)

The U.S. has made it clear that any attack by Russia against a NATO member would invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter (the “collective defense” clause), resulting in the totality of the alliance’s military capabilities, including nuclear weapons, being made available in response.

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Hotter than the Sun: Finally, a Book Worth Reading, by Joseph Solis-Mullen

The number of close nuclear calls and the current situation give this book a certain urgency. From Joseph Solis-Mullen at mises.org:

The top seller on Amazon for books devoted to war and peace as of this writing, Scott Horton’s newest offering, Hotter than the Sun: Time to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, is a timely must read. As Washington barrels heedlessly along into Cold War II, the American public badly needs educating on the current risks, past close calls, and the utter insanity of an entire for-profit industry built on the flawed concept of thousands of thermonuclear bombs as “weapons” that keep us safe.

With major papers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times now regularly running pieces arguing everything from the need to show the Russians we aren’t afraid to fight a nuclear war—that we can even “win” one—to the idea that a “small” nuclear war can help mitigate climate change, Scott’s book is a vital weapon in the hands of the sane, convincingly making the case that it really is time to get rid of the thousands of nuclear and thermonuclear bombs in existence.

Because the truth about thousands of nuclear and thermonuclear bombs, the overwhelming majority of which are possessed by the United States and Russia, is immutable. Just as Ronald Reagan said forty years ago, a nuclear war cannot be won and can never be fought.

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Russia To Transfer Nuclear-Capable Missiles To Belarus “Within Months”: Putin, by Tyler Durden

Russia ups the ante. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

At a moment US media and much of the West is consumed with the historic Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Russian President Vladimir Putin just issued what’s possibly the most alarming and escalatory statement thus far in the four-month long Ukraine war.

On Saturday Putin for the first time informed his close ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that he has approved supplying Belarus with nuclear capable long-range missiles. Minsk has long offered to host Russian nukes as a ‘deterrent’ against the West – a prospect which Lukashenko had very provocatively offered even in the months leading up to the Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine. This move will likely be viewed from Washington as a first step in moving toward a heightened nuclear posture in Eastern Europe.

Image source: BelTA

Reuters writes of the announcement, “Russia will supply Belarus with Iskander-M missile systems, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a televised meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday. Delivery will take place within a few months, he added.”

Putin referenced nuclear-capability, according to a transcript of the televised remarks: “In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions.”

The report underscores further that “The Iskander-M is a mobile guided missile system with a range of up to 500 km (300 miles). The missiles can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.”

Currently, Putin and Lukashenka are meeting face-to-face in St. Petersburg on the 30th anniversary of the two countries establishing diplomatic relations, which eventually led to the so-called ‘Union State’ pact of 1999, and has persisted till now, which also enabled Russia to muster much of its forces on Belarusian territory just ahead of the Ukraine invasion.

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People Don’t Think Hard Enough About What Nuclear War Is And What It Would Mean, by Caitlin Johnstone

My father did bomb tests in 1957 in southern Nevada (he slept with the bombs and set the controls in the morning) and told me stories of the bomb’s immense power. I grew up in Los Alamos, and I’ve extensively researched the history of fission and fusion bombs. Fat Man and Little Boy were small change compared to what they’ve got now, and they were terrifying, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Caitlin Johnstone is quite right, people don’t think hard enough about nuclear war because in general, they don’t think about it all. If they did, they wouldn’t let a single idiot who talked about tactical nukes and winnable nuclear wars within a thousand miles of any kind of position of power. From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

There’s a John Mearsheimer video clip from 2016 that’s going viral on Twitter right now, as old John Mearsheimer clips tend to do in the year 2022 when his predictions that western actions would lead to the destruction of Ukraine are coming horrifyingly true.

In response to a question about what the worst US foreign policy disaster has been, Mearsheimer agreed with a fellow panelist that at that moment Iraq looked like the worst, but said he believed US policy on Ukraine would prove much worse in coming years. He spoke of the fact that Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons, and that it’s entirely possible those weapons will be used if Russia feels threatened.

“Because the Cold War is in the distant past, most people, especially younger people, haven’t thought a lot about nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence, and they tend to be quite cavalier in their comments about nuclear weapons, and this makes me very nervous,” Mearsheimer said.

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Reckoning With Insanity, Part Two, by Robert Gore

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You don’t have to be David to fight Goliath, and you don’t have to be Atlas to shrug.

Part One

The Russian military doesn’t do shock and awe. It does grind, advance . . . and win. Contrary to Western propaganda, it is well on its way to achieving its objectives in Ukraine. In what looks like a watershed moment, most of the holdouts at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol recently surrendered. (The New York Times couldn’t bring itself to use the term “surrender” in its account of the capitulation.) This gives Russia a land corridor on the Black Sea from southwestern Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

Left to their own devices the Russians and Ukrainians would eventually reach an agreement that leaves eastern and southern Ukraine in Russia’s hands or closely aligned with it as one or more autonomous states, with pledges from what remained of Ukraine not to join NATO or station nuclear weapons on its territory. Some such resolution was available before the war began. Facts on the ground mean it would now be more far more favorable to Russia than it would have been if war had never started. The war may cost Ukraine direct access to the Black Sea.

The $40 billion war appropriation indicates that the U.S. has no intention of leaving Ukraine and Russia to their own devices. Instead, the U.S. wants to promote a long Ukrainian insurgency that drains Russia politically and economically and in the best of all possible worlds, topples Putin. The concern has been expressed that backed into a corner, madman Putin might then take the conflict nuclear. The more pressing concern: that is the outcome America’s madmen and madwomen want. A generally unrecognized possibility (in the Western media) is that it could be the American contingent who find themselves backed into a corner.

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The U.S. may get its Ukrainian quagmire, but it would be a quagmire for both sides, with all sorts of unintended consequences and ramifications. Is the Biden administration adroit enough to create a tar baby for the Russians without getting itself stuck? Is the Biden administration adroit enough to turn on the White House’s Christmas tree lights? As it became clear that Vietnam was a quagmire, some advocated a nuclear strike on North Vietnam. Finding itself stuck, whoever makes the decisions may decide, unlike the Vietnam experience, that nuclear escalation, either outright or in response to a false flag, is just the answer for the situation.

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Reckoning With Insanity, Part One, by Robert Gore

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Finland and Sweden have asked to join

The time many people will have to grasp the insanity of the Russian situation may be measured in microseconds.

Part Two

What they fear the most is you, thinking for yourself. Within those three words are two implicit concepts. Thinking is the fundamental essential for human existence. It can be hard work, but nobody will disparage it on that basis. Attacks on thought, and there have been many, tend to be more subtle.

The for yourself is more problematic. For one thing, it sounds selfish. Nowadays you can present yourself as damn near any kind of humanitarian, even when you’re carrying all sorts of obviously hypocritical baggage, and you’ll go unchallenged. State that your first concern is your own welfare, not the common good or the public interest, and most people will mentally consign you to the ninth circle of hell. Sixty-five years after publication, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s tribute to the self-interested mind, is still denounced. Soon it will be banned in those jurisdictions that have not already done so.

And who wants to be consigned to the ninth circle of hell? Think for yourself and worse, dare to speak your questions, speculations, hypotheses, and conclusions, and you open yourself to isolation and attack. The killer bees in the hive mind mind are viscous, relentless, and remorseless, inflicting stinging, sometimes deadly, cancellation. Then there’s that part of thinking many don’t like—the hard work. It’s easier to join the hive. Never underestimate laziness as a human motivation.

For those that do think for themselves, dispelling the smokescreen of obfuscation, propaganda, and lies that now constitute communications from politicians, other public officials, their allies, and their string-pullers has become routine, Citizens of totalitarian regimes know well the guiding precept: all such communications are lies unless conclusively demonstrated otherwise.

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“They must be out of their minds”: how the Collective West is stumbling towards nuclear Armageddon, by Gilbert Doctorow

Has anyone thought out the consequences of overthrowing Vladimir Putin? From Gilbert Doctorow at gilbertdoctorow.com:

I have in past weeks focused attention on the political talk show “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov,” calling it the best of its kind on Russian state television and a good indicator of the thinking of Russia’s political elites. However, it is time to admit that in terms of overall quality of presentation, level of invited panelists and screening of videos of topical developments in the West to inform the panelist discussion, Solovyov is now being outdone by Vyacheslav Nikonov’s “Great Game” talk show.

“The Great Game” in the past featured live discussion with its anchor in Washington, director of the National Interest think tank , Dmitry Simes. Now Simes is a rare guest, and the panel format more closely resembles that of other political talk shows, with the following notable qualification: the host, Nikonov, is an unusually gifted moderator, who does not impose his views on the panel and brings out the best from his panelists. Nikonov is a leading member of the Russian parliament from the ruling United Russia party, and has broad experience running parliamentary committees. As the grandson of Bolshevik revolutionary Molotov, he happens also to be a member of the hereditary ruling clans and practices ‘noblesse oblige’ in his public service work.

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The Ukraine War Shows Nukes Mean Safety from US-Led Regime Change, by Ryan McMaken

Nuclear weapons are the porcupine’s quills keeping nations safe from invasion. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Some journalists like Steve Portnoy of CBS seem unable to grasp that escalations that might lead to nuclear war are a bad thing. The journalist seemed incredulous last week when asking White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki why the United States has not started a full-on war with Moscow. Psaki’s position—with which any reasonable person could agree—was that it is not in the interest of Americans “to be in a war with Russia.”

Washington’s reluctance to go to war might seem odd for anyone who has paid attention to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. After all, for more than thirty years, Washington has been enthusiastic when presented with an opportunity to start wars with many countries—including the civilians who live there. Iraq has been a target twice. Washington made war on Afghanistan for more than twenty years. The US launched repeated bombing campaigns against Serbia, and was happy to help bomb Libya. The US regime pushed for full-scale war with Syria, and ultimately executed a small-scale invasion. US troops are in Syria to this day. Iran has long been a target, and starting a war with Iran has long been a given, with John McCain once singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” But now even the White House admits war with Russia is not in the interests of “the American people.”

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