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.
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.”
One thing U.S. policy makers may want to consider. Russian early-warning radar systems aren’t that good, so there is a nontrivial possibility of an accident that leads to a Russian nuclear launch. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
U.S. pundits and strategic experts seem blissfully unaware of how close we all are to being fried in a nuclear strike by Russia. (Fair Labeling: if you are simply looking for yet another reason to demonize Putin, rather than to understand where he is coming from, save time and read no further.)
Here’s the thing: the Russians have good reason to be on hair-trigger alert. Their early-warning radar system is so inadequate that there are situations (including those involving innocent rocket launches) under which Russian President Putin would have only a few minutes – if that – to decide whether or not to launch nuclear missiles to destroy the rest of the world – on the suspicion that Russia was under nuclear attack.
“If that”? Yes, launch-to-target time is now so short that it is altogether likely that the authority to launch nuclear weapons is now vested in subordinate commanders “in the field,” so to speak. Readers of Daniel Ellsberg’s Doomsday Machine are aware of how the US actually devolved this authority during the days of the first cold war. I, for one, was shocked to learn that. Worse: today the subordinate commanders might be non-commissioned computers.
Nuclear weapons, biolabs, and the Donbass: these are the three main reasons Russia invaded Ukraine. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:
The non-government in Kiev is simply not allowed by the Empire to negotiate anything.
By now what we may call a Triple Threat has been established as the catalyst anticipating the launch of Operation Z.
Ukraine developing nuclear weapons. Zelensky himself hinted at it in the Munich Security Conference.
U.S. bioweapons labs in Ukraine. Confirmed, tersely, by none other than the Sinister Cookie Distributor neocon wife in the uber-neocon Kaganate of Nulands, who described them as “biological research facilities”. ”
An imminent attack on Donbass with massive civilian deaths. It could have been in March, according to documents seized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Or even in late February, according to SVR intelligence, which was monitoring the line of contact on a minute-by-minute basis. This is what eventually prompted Operation Z as a Russian version of R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”).
So after years of CIA-instigated shouts of “conspiracy theory!” and less than zero “fact checkers” activity, it turns out “it was all happening in Ukraine”, as divine messenger Maria Zakharova once again pointed out: “We have found your own products. We have found your biological material.”
The first-class investigative work of Dilyana Gaytandzhieva on Pentagon bioweapons was fully vindicated.
Based on documents received from Ukrainian biolab employees, the Russian ModD revealed that research with samples of bat coronavirus, among other experiments, were conducted in a Pentagon-funded biolab.
Having trouble shaking the nagging doubt that the Ukraine-Russia war may go nuclear? From Edward Curtin at lewrockwell.com:
Two days after Russia attacked Ukraine and the day before Vladimir Putin put Russia on nuclear alert, I wrote a little article whose first sentence was: “Not wanting to sound hyperbolic, but I am starting to conclude that the nuclear madmen running the U.S./NATO New Cold War they started decades ago are itching to start a nuclear war with Russia.”
It was an intuition based on my knowledge of U.S./Russia history, including the U.S engineered coup in Ukraine in 2014, and a reading of current events. I refer to it as intuition, yet it is based on a lifetime’s study and teaching of political sociology and writing against war. I am not a Russian scholar, simply a writer with a sociological, historical, and artistic imagination, although my first graduate academic study in the late 1960s was a thesis on nuclear weapons and why they might be someday used again.
It no longer sounds hyperbolic to me that madmen in the declining U.S. Empire might resort, like rats in a sinking ship, to first strike use of nuclear weapons, which is official U.S. policy. My stomach is churning at the thought, despite what most experts say: that the chances of a nuclear war are slight. And despite what others say about the Ukraine war: that it is an intentional diversion from the Covid propaganda and the Great Reset (although I agree it achieves that goal).
My gut tells me no; it is very real, sui generis, and very, very dangerous now.
Hedge fund CIO Eric Peters with some spot on observations about the world’s evolution away from centralized power. From Peters at zerohedge.com:
Red Buttons: Russia has 6,255 nuclear weapons, followed by the US with 5,500. China has 350, France 290, the UK 225. Pakistan has 165 warheads to defend itself from India, with 156. Israel is estimated to have 90 nukes. North Korea is believed to have enough fuel to build 40-50 nukes. Iran is headed there too. We detonated Little Boy over Hiroshima in 1945 and killed 150,000. It had the force of 15,000 tons of TNT. The average nuke today contains the force of 100,000 tons. Many are far larger. One such weapon dropped on New York City would kill an untold number.
Fat Fingers: Vladimir Putin controls Russia’s arsenal. Biden is America’s commander-in-chief. Xi Jinping rules over China, potentially for life. There’s Macron of course. Boris Johnson too. Imran Khan is Pakistan’s Prime Minister, although Arif Alvi is its President and commander-in-chief. Modi is India’s Prime Minister and regularly engages in petty skirmishes with two nuclear-armed neighbors. Naftali Bennett is Israel’s PM. Kim Jong-un leads North Korea with ten stubby fingers. And who could forget Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran for life.
Lonely: One thing uniting humanity is the belief that the majority of earth’s 14,000 nuclear weapons are controlled by men who are mentally unstable and unfit to wield such awesome power. Some of us believe 100% of these weapons are controlled by such people. Barely a person on the planet would choose a nuclear war, yet we created a system that empowers others to do just that, on a moment’s notice. An alien would likely observe that such a concentration of power is a gross failure of any species. Perhaps it’s a stage of development that few, if any, advance beyond. Maybe that’s why we have not been visited.
There are several possibilities here, none of them comforting. If it’s fake news, and it could be, it may be intended to intimidate the Biden administration. If it’s not fake news, what does “unexpectedly appeared” mean? Does it mean, as the video claims, that the U.S. cannot track this submarine and its payload of 160 nuclear warheads, which would go a long way towards wiping out the U.S.? Is this Vladimir Putin’s way of saying that if the U.S. and NATO want to park their weapons and troops on Russia’s borders, he’s going to park an undetectable submarine armada on ours? Is Putin sending a message? Stay tuned.
Most Americans are horrified by the prospect of nuclear war. Yet during his recent summits with the leaders of South Korea and Japan, President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington’s willingness to use nuclear weapons to defend both nations. Even though the U.S. risks nuclear attack in return.
“Total” conventional war is horrific. Nuclear weapons greatly magnify the threat. The U.S. and Russia could destroy each other and the rest of the planet. The realization of how close Washington and Moscow came to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis fuels present efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. However, mankind has opened Pandora’s Box and the deadly knowledge is out.
Thankfully, none of the other nuclear powers—including Russia, China, and even North Korea—have any reason to target America by itself. Their sometimes-serious disputes with the U.S. still are not important enough to trigger nuclear conflict. A much greater danger exists, however, because of Washington’s commitment to often nonessential, always cheap-riding, and sometimes reckless allies.
The principal defense against nuclear weapons, given the difficulty in preventing their use, is deterrence. Attack me and I will destroy you in return. This mutually assured destruction is unsatisfactory, since the failure of deterrence leaves both sides devastated and dead. Horror at this possibility led Ronald Reagan to advance the Strategic Defense Initiative. Alas, the likelihood of thwarting a determined attack by even a medium-size nuclear power is slight, at least in the near term.
Talking about Israel’s nukes is forbidden, but you can make whatever unfounded allegations you want about Iran’s nuclear program. From Mehrnaz Shahabi at consortiumnews.com:
While Israel’s large arsenal of nuclear weapons is exempt from any discussion, its government drives the suspicion of Iran’s nuclear energy program, writes Mehrnaz Shahabi.
IAEA safeguard inspectors in a 2005 training exercise at Slovakia’s Mochovce nuclear power plant. (Dean Calma, IAEA, Flickr)
The attack on Natanz nuclear enrichment plant in Iran, on April 11, targeting underground centrifuges operating under (IAEA) safeguards, was an act of nuclear terror with the potential to kill and harm many thousands of human beings and irreparably contaminate the environment.
“Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom expressed concerns about the leak about Israeli involvement to the Times, warning that it could impact Israel’s operational capability, in an interview with Army Radio on Monday. ‘If indeed this thing is the result of an operation involving Israel, this leak is very serious,’ said Yatom. ‘It is detrimental to the Israeli interest and the fight against Iranian attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. There are actions that must remain in the dark.’”
Western members of the UN Security Council and signatories to the JCPOA, media establishments, pundits and human rights organizations, i.e, the frontline crusaders against “Iran’s nuclear threats” and “human rights violations,” have failed to condemn this abhorrent crime.
This is not the first time Israel is targeting nuclear plants. Bombing Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 and an alleged nuclear fuel plant in Deir al-Zour in Syria in 2007 were precedents. Since 2010, Israel has started a campaign of assassination of Iranian scientists and targeted Iran’s civilian nuclear infrastructure.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—During a press conference today in which President Biden announced new executive action on gun control, he made an emotional plea to Americans, making his case that the action was needed.
In particular, he claimed that gun shows are “free-for-alls” where anyone can just go in and pick up a nuclear missile.
“Anybody can just walk right into a gun show and pick up an intercontinental ballistic missile, no questions asked,” Biden said. “Back in my day, we would play with nuclear missiles with the neighborhood kids. One time, we nuked this poor kid off the face of the planet. It was hilarious. You should have seen the look on his face.”
“But it’s a different time now, and nukes do not belong in the hands of civilians.” Libertarians everywhere quickly slammed Biden for this comment, pointing out that owning nuclear weapons is constitutionally protected.
Fact-checkers said they would have checked Biden’s statement, but they were all coincidentally having lunch during his press conference. They have promised to fact-check him next time.
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