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Do We Really Want A War With Russia?

Because we're in danger of getting exactly that
Friday, October 7, 2016, 2:49 PM

This report was initially written for our premium subscribers. But given the significance of the topic, we're making a rare exception and releasing it to the general public. 

I wish I could say things were improving between the US and Russia but they aren't. They're rapidly worsening.

There’s so much happening right now, I can only provide a summary of a few of the more interesting and worrying developments.

This report builds on those I've released over the past two years and begins with a chilling editorial put out by the NY Times on September 29th, 2016, which further demonized Putin specifically, Russia generally, and openly advocates for military confrontation.

Hey, we’ve been down this path before.  The deeply conflicted NY Times has never met a war in the Middle East it didn’t support, and has never had any trouble repeating war plan talking points (that always neatly align with those put out by neocon think tanks) or even printing obviously fake “intelligence” from unnamed sources such as that used to justify the illegal US attack and invasion of Iraq.

As a reminder for my US readers who many only have read US press sources on the matter, prior to being attacked Iraq had never threatened the US, had no role in 9/11, and had allowed extensive UN access to its country’s military bases none of which ever showed the slightest trace of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. And, even if they had been producing these so-called weapons of mass destruction (weapons which are also owned and maintained in the US, for the record), there was still no legal case for an attack by the US because pre-emptive attacks are not justifiable, ever. 

What the NY Times has done, again, I fear, is served as a conduit for neocon talking points and therefore has become a propaganda arm readying the US population for another war, this one with Russia.  This is a very disturbing development.

Here’s the editorial, into which I have inserted comments where appropriate [in brackets].  Remember, propaganda is designed to elicit core emotional responses such as fear, anger, moral indignation, and a sense of threat to one’s very survival:

Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State

Sept 29, 2016

President Vladimir Putin is fast turning Russia into an outlaw nation. As one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, his country shares a special responsibility to uphold international law. Yet, his behavior in Ukraine and Syria violates not only the rules intended to promote peace instead of conflict, but also common human decency.

[Which “rules intended to promote peace” is the NY Times referring to here?  The same sorts of rules that led NATO to bomb Libya back into the stone age?  Or are these the “rules” that allow a country to manufacture fake evidence on Iraq and then attack that country unleashing a decade of bitter sectarian violence?  Also, how does “common human decency fit into that schema?  I’m truly curious.]

This bitter truth was driven home twice on Wednesday. An investigative team led by the Netherlands concluded that the surface-to-air missile system that shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine in July 2014, killing 298 on board, was sent from Russia to Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.

[The MH-17 disaster is anything but clear-cut and the JIT investigation was heavily compromised from the start.  Nothing like the claim being made here is supported by the actual investigation evidence presented.  This is pure, unsupported speculation at this stage.  More on this at a later date.]

Meanwhile, in Syria, Russian and Syrian warplanes knocked out two hospitals in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo as part of an assault that threatens the lives of 250,000 more people in a war that has already claimed some 500,000 Syrian lives.

[Meanwhile, in Afghanistan the US bombed a MSF hospital and has killed ~90% innocents with its drone program.  Also, not to pick nits, but the US and European interests funded and started the war in Syria.  It seems a bit short-sighted to now claim that Russia bears some special responsibility for the lives at stake.  You have to forget everything that happened prior to this moment.]

Russia has tried hard to pin the blame for the airline crash on Ukraine. But the new report, produced by prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, confirms earlier findings. It uses strict standards of evidence and meticulously documents not only the deployment of the Russian missile system that caused the disaster but also Moscow’s continuing cover-up.

[Nope.  Just nope.  I’ll detail why in a future report, but the MH-17 investigation was bogus from the get go.  Short version: there were only two suspects, the Ukrainian military and rebels.  The Ukrainian secret service (SBU) was inside the investigation from the beginning and supplied all of the ‘evidence’ against Russia and the rebels.  What investigation ever has one of the prime suspects supplying the evidence?  As I said, completely rigged and bogus.]

Some Western officials have accused Russia of war crimes, charges that could be pursued through international channels, even if Moscow blocks a formal referral to the International Criminal Court. New sanctions against Russia also should be considered. Mr. Putin will undoubtedly fight any such action, using his veto on the Security Council, but whatever his response, the United States should lend its support to Ukraine’s quest for accountability.

[“Some western officials?”  There the NYT goes again with the unnamed sources.  How about you name names this time NY Times?  Well, in truth, a whole host of named individuals and organizations have accused the US of war crimes, as well as Israel, which the US has routinely blocked.  Glass houses and all of that.]

Over recent days, Mr. Putin has again shown his true colors with air attacks that have included powerful bunker-busting bombs that can destroy underground hospitals and safety zones where civilians seek shelter.

[Note the slippery use of the word ‘can’ in this sentence.  Have they been used to target and destroy hospitals and civilian safety zones, or not?]

On Sept. 19, Russia bombed an aid convoy, which like hospitals and civilians are not supposed to be targeted under international law.

[Russia denies this, and has also released radar evidence showing that the only planes in the region at the time were two US drones, plus the sort of damage seen on the fire-destroyed trucks is consistent with the damage caused by the US drone based Hellfire missile.   If the US wants to release some radar data showing Russian planes in the area or other compelling evidence, then we can all be more confident in that claim.  For now the NY Times is repeating an unproven assertion made by the US State Department.]

President Obama has long refused to approve direct military intervention in Syria. And Mr. Putin may be assuming that Mr. Obama is unlikely to confront Russia in his final months and with an American election season in full swing. But with the rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat of falling to the government, administration officials said that such a response is again under consideration.

[The “rebel stronghold in Aleppo under threat” is interesting use of evocative language.  However the nature of war is that the sides attempt to take key positions form each other.  The “rebels’ in question are some of the most dodgy humans to ever walk the planet.  The rebels backed by the US include nasty elements of Al-Nusra, Al-Qaida,  ISIS and a host of really vile outfits.  If you are not aware, these groups have executed thousands of civilians, taken sex slaves, and conducted other horrible crimes against the innocent. ]

Mr. Putin fancies himself a man on a mission to restore Russia to greatness. Russia could indeed be a great force for good. Yet his unconscionable behavior — butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine, annexing Crimea, computer-hacking American government agencies, crushing dissent at home — suggests that the furthest thing from his mind is becoming a constructive partner in the search for peace.

[Pay close attention to that word “unconscionable.”  It really stood out for me here and I knew something was up when I heard it used again by a US official.  It will soon appear again in media quotes below.  For now, let’s just note that every act declared as 'unconscionable' has also recently been done by the US: civilians have been ‘butchered’ (again a strongly evocative word very different from the ‘collateral damage and targeting mistakes’ that the US reserves for its own actions), computers have been hacked (even Angela Merkel’s cell phone as you may recall), and peaceful protests have been crushed in the US, most recently a peaceful prayer circle of Native Americans at Standing Rock by heavily armed LEO’s who brought armored personnel carriers for the task)]

(Source)

Okay, that editorial was yet another in a long line from the NY Times which has never met a neocon-proposed war it didn’t blindly support.  Supposedly the bastion of the east coast liberal elites, the NY Times is actually acting once again more like the personal propaganda arm of the US necons and Israeli likuds who have been dragging the US into one war after another.  

As I’ve written about extensively in the past, a war this time could mean anything from a shooting (kinetic) war, to a cyberwar, financial or trade war, or even a hacking attack that takes out the grid or other critical infrastructure.  If you want to go deeper into the details of what that might mean and how you should prepare, we have a more extensive Part 2 of this report prepared.

Now, lets continue on with our thesis that a propaganda effort is underway to drag the US into yet another useless war. This one with the potential to literally end the US as a going concern. 

I’m going to skip over a few events here so we can connect this propaganda dot.  Then we’ll get back to the other worrying events that show how the situation with Russia is deteriorating badly.

Fast forward just five days from that NY Times editorial and we read this:

White House Warns of 'Actions' If Russia Won't Negotiate

Oct 4, 2016

President Obama faces an increasingly stark choice in Syria — he can order American military action or watch thousands of women and children die as the rebel stronghold of Aleppo falls.

So far, he has shown no willingness to launch a U.S. military response, but White House officials told NBC News Monday they are now considering escalating the U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war, including unspecified "actions…that would further underscore the consequences of not coming back to the negotiating table."

American intelligence officials on Monday pointedly accused Russian and Syrian forces of mass atrocities during their advance on the city, describing a horrific bombing campaign in recent days that has killed women and children at an increasing rate.

"The regime and Russia's use of incendiary weapons have contributed to the unconscionable civilian deaths and suffering," a U.S. intelligence official said.

(Source)

How much more obvious can all that be?  First there’s a NY Times editorial that literally lays to a series of talking points ranging from women and children being at risk to a rebel stronghold to unconscionable civilian deaths and suffering.

It’s all there in this second article and, just for a bonus, it’s all attributed to unnamed White House and intelligence “officials.”  Exactly the same pattern we saw in the run up to the Iraq war.  I would put a lot of money on the bet that these scripted talking points were developed by a small team of neocons operating in the shadows.  A lot of money.

As in the past, when these folks pull the levers to try and goad the US into a(nother) war, they never come out in the open. They always hide behind anonymity. Your tip-off is the number of times you read the words “US officials” or  “a highly placed source” or some other phrase that hides the individual while evoking authority.

If they weren't so secretive, we’d certainly see the pattern more easily for what it actually is – the same small cadre of people who are always agitating for the use of military force to “solve” whatever objectives they are seeking.

Now, of course it’s horrible when civilians get trapped or die in a war. But here we might note that if a nation truly cannot abide innocent deaths, then it also shouldn't go about starting wars, or supplying military armaments.

I mean, let’s wander a few miles south of Syria and take a peek at what’s happening in Yemen where the US is supplying both weapons and targeting data to the Saudis:

Civilian casualties in Yemen bring charges of U.S. responsibility for Saudi actions

Civilian casualties have spiked in Yemen since the collapse of peace talks in August, the United Nations reported recently, bringing the total number of civilians killed since March 2015, when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched its operation against Houthi rebels there, to more than 4,000.

Despite repeated strikes on schools and hospitals, officials see little choice for now but continued support, given the intense desire to shore up a bilateral relationship rocked by President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and new legislation linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

(Source)

Where are the ‘unnamed officials’ wringing their hands at thousand of innocent deaths in Yemen?  Where’s our sense of responsibility for being the primary arms dealer to the Saudis, and direct supplying them with targeting data? These morals are nowhere to be found when it comes to Yemen.

In fact, according to ‘officials’ in the above article, when it comes to Yemen, the desire to make nice with the Saudis (after the Iran deal) is the driving US objective at the moment.

In other words, in Yemen, political realities are more important than innocent lives.  Ah, do you see it now?  Innocent deaths don’t matter as much as the political realities. 

How can it be a moral imperative in Syria but a political one when it comes to Yemen?

Would it be out of line for us to wonder if perhaps these same ‘officials’ are merely using the innocent deaths in Syria as cover for some deeper political purposes that are really the main drivers?

To me, morality is not conditional.  Either innocent deaths are always unconscionable, or they aren't.  They cannot be morally unacceptable in one place and subservient to political realities in another.  Obama cannot cry for the children of Sandy Hook one day, but continue the drone program (which kills lots of children) with steely determination the next. 

Which is why I am especially on alert when I read such things as the NY Times editorial above, which screams out a moral argument when a quick scan of the news reveals a profound lack of moral consistency.  As ever, that’s a red flag that propaganda is being deployed.  Morals are for the populace…when you need something from them, like their consent.

In psychological terms, what’s happening here is called projection.  This is what happens when an individual, or a nation, accuses an external party of the exact same traits that they secretly dislike about themselves.

An example being a parent who procrastinates at work but then yells harshly at their child for not doing their very best at school.  Or the explosive anger that an aggressive driver displays when someone cuts them off. 

This very human habit of projecting our shadows onto others is very, very dangerous when it gets to the explosive blame stage.

Deep, dark and highly emotional and irrational outbursts are what follows.  Insults are slung, sometimes objects are thrown, that forever change the relationship.  Real damage can be inflicted in such moments that sometimes cannot be undone. Do we really want that kind of breakdown with nuclear-armed Russia?

A No Fly Zone

So, when it comes to Russia, what are the military options that an angry US might pursue?

This too is easy to track because the neocons write about their plans openly and prolifically, and they are especially fond of imposing no-fly zones.  What this always means to them, however, is not the absence of aircraft from a given area, but rather that no planes besides US/NATO planes are flying over the area.  No-fly only applies to the other side, naturally.

A no-fly zone means you have air supremacy and therefore control over a country.

There are two ways to create this. The first is a low level no-fly zone where you supply shoulder-fired antiaircraft rockets (“manpads”) to the rebel forces.  These have limited range so they basically keep low-level aircraft out of the picture; helicopters, low and slow flying support/attack aircraft and the like. 

The second level is to bring your own aircraft into the theater to enforce a complete no-fly zone at all altitudes.

Unsurprisingly, I came across this from the Brookings Institution, a key neocon ‘think tank,’ in August. So I knew where all this was heading:

We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example.

These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.

(Source – Brookings – O’Hanlon)

Yes, “these operations are complicated, no doubt…” is another breezy dismissal, similar to how all Iraqis were going to greet the American forces as "libertators" after Desert Sheild. As if engaging a major nuclear superpower with advanced hardware were no different from the complexities involved in taking out Gadhafi. 

The “various options” mentioned are code-speak for supplying manpads to the rebels. It might be helpful to recall that the Russians have not (yet) supplied similar hardware to any of the various forces the US and NATO are fighting in Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan, and they’ve not yet decided to start shooting US and NATO planes out of the sky either.  One could see that as an act of restraint that could be lifted at some point, enormously complicating US ambitions in a variety of military theaters.

How these Brookings neocons have any voice left at all after the massive screwups in all the prior conflicts they cheered on an supported is beyond me.  Anybody making the case that it is simply “complicated” to take on Russia should lose their job, be laughed off the stage, and have to find other employment.

But they’d have lots of company in that unemployment line, including at least one US Senator.  Speaking about making life more difficult for the Russians, on September 30th, 2016 John McCain said:

MCCAIN: No, but I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.

CAVUTO: Who would be shooting them down?

MCCAIN: The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian...

CAVUTO: Not us?

MCCAIN: No. Just like the Russians -- the Afghans shot down Russian planes after Russia invaded Afghanistan.

(Source)

McCain is calling for arming the rebels with manpads, again a dangerous escalation that really needs to be debated vigorously at the highest levels because anything that begins a hot (kinetic) war with Russia in Syria stands little chance of remaining safely contained there.    Further, it would greatly increase the risk of Russia returning the favor to the US elsewhere. 

It’s also worth remembering here that in mid-September the US, using two F16s and two A-10 “low and slow” attack aircraft bombed a Syrian government position killing anywhere from 60 to 100 government troops that where garrisoning a surrounded position whose borders were well known to all parties.

While the US pentagon dismissed the incident as a ‘targeting error’ implying a few bombs errantly fell in the wrong place, everybody in the business knows better.  Those bombs fell exactly where there were meant to fall, and Russia’s view is that the US did this on purpose, especially since a coordinated ISIS attack followed minutes later on the same position allowing ISIS to make a key advance. 

The fact the A-10’s were involved only hardens my view that this was not an accident on the part of the US.  Those aircraft are meant to fly low and be used for close in support.  Who got bombed and who advanced with close in support?  Answering those questions leads to the conclusion that the US has already militarily attacked the Syrian government, and by extension Russia and, once again, “inadvertently” provided military support to ISIS (done previously when “errant” drops of pallets loaded with military gear that landed on ISIS positions).

Russia Responds

So, what’s been Russia’s response to all this? 

Well, they terminated diplomatic communications on Oct 3rd:

Contacts between Russian and US military on Syria suspended 

MOSCOW, October 3./TASS/. Exchange of information between Russian and US military over Syria has stopped of late, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Monday.

"All contacts between the military have been stopped of late, there has been no exchange of information," he said.

(Source

That’s probably not a good sign.

As another reminder, we’d like to point out that Russia already has their S-400 anti-aircraft missile system in place, which has an enormous range and can take out US and NATO aircraft from a ridiculous distance:

This is one of the most, if not the most sophisticated anti-aircraft systems in the world.  Note to armchair warriors in the neocon central: this system is more than a ‘complication.’  It is a game changing system, which will end lives and destroy the hardware of any country that goes up against it.

This ‘complication’ is why this 4-star general visibly freezes when a dreadfully uninformed (or ignorant, or possibly unintelligent) Senator on the armed service committee asks why the US hasn't already enforced a no fly zone in Syria:

Now, such a system is vulnerable to being taken out, of course.  Not by a bombing run by aircraft, but by a missile attack, perhaps a cruise missile.

Which explains this next bit of news, also from Oct 4:

Russia deploys advanced anti-missile system to Syria for first time, US officials say

Oct 4, 2016

Russia has deployed an advanced anti-missile system to Syria for the first time, three US officials tell Fox News, the latest indication that Moscow continues to ramp up its military operations in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

It comes after Russia's actions led to the collapse of a cease-fire and the cut-off of direct talks with the U.S.  

While Moscow’s motives are not certain, officials say the new weapon system could potentially counter any American cruise missile attack in Syria.

Components of the SA-23 Gladiator anti-missile and anti-aircraft system, which has a range of roughly 150 miles, arrived over the weekend “on the docks” of a Russian naval base along Syria’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tartus, two US officials said.

It is the first time Russia has deployed the SA-23 system outside its borders, according to one Western official citing a recent intelligence assessment. The missiles and associated components are still in their crates and are not yet operational, according to the officials.

The U.S. intelligence community has been observing the shipment of the SA-23 inside Russia in recent weeks, according to one official.

While the purpose is not clear, one US official asked sarcastically, “Nusra doesn’t have an air force do they?” speaking about the Al Qaeda-linked group in Syria.  The Islamic State also does not fly any manned aircraft or possess cruise missiles, in a sign that Russia is directing its actions to protect itself against any potential attack from the United States or its allies. 

(Source)

Heh heh.  “While the purpose is not clear…”  That’s funny.  The purpose could note be any clearer if it were written in neon on a billboard outside the bedroom window of this “US official.”  The purpose is to protect its other military hardware from a US attack,.

It’s there because the US is ramping up its 'no fly' talk and preparing its citizens via propaganda pieces in the NY Times, et al., for a major conflict with Russia. 

It’s there because all trust is gone and the time for talking has come to a close.

It’s there because the US is pushing for a war with Russia that cannot be sold on its own merits and so its being sold as a humanitarian mission to prevent more unconscionable acts from being carried out (and pay no mind to similar such acts being carried out by Israel against Palestinians, or Saudis against Yemenis).

Prepping for War

Now, what would a responsible government do if hostilities were increasing between major superpowers and the possibility, if not the inevitability, of an armed conflict were on the horizon?

Well, they’d do more than prepare their citizens to accept the moves via propaganda, they get their citizens to physically prepare as well.

In Germany we see this sort of view:

German Politician to Sputnik: 'US Pulling Us Into Abyss of War in Middle East'

Oct 1, 2016

How has the situation on the ground in Syria changed after a year of Russian military involvement? Speaking to Sputnik, veteran German politician Willy Wimmer suggested that it has demonstrated that Russia is the only major power ready to seriously fight terrorism, and to call for an end to a war which risks spreading across the region.

The US and its allies, meanwhile, have only managed to throw a wrench in the peace process, and have been unable to reach any of their own goals due to the Russian intervention, the politician argues.

Wimmer is a veteran member of the Christian Democratic Union with over thirty years of experience in the Bundestag. The politician has served as State Secretary of the German Defense Ministry, and as a vice president of the OSCE; he is a close friend of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Interviewed by Sputnik Deutschland and asked to comment on the evolution of the Syrian crisis, Wimmer began by noting that virtually from the beginning, that conflict was a product of foreign meddling. "What we are witnessing today is part of a longer development," the politician said. "The civil war which broke out five years ago resulted in a tragic struggle right at the moment when the Syrian-Israeli conflict over the Golan Heights seemed to have already been settled. All that was left to do was sign the agreement which could have resulted in peace in the Middle East. And if not for certain forces who were not interested in peace, this agreement would have been signed." "We know that at the very beginning of the Syrian tragedy, British, French and US special forces became involved, giving this war, at the moment looking more like a civil conflict, a global significance," the politician emphasized

Now, Wimmer suggested, the central question comes down to "whether we can put an end to this disaster and prevent the spread of the Syrian inferno to other countries, which would signify the start of a great war." 

"The intervention by the Americans and Europeans in Syria is a clear violation of international law," Wimmer emphasized. "This is a military operation on the territory of another state, one that's not authorized by the UN or under international law."

(Source)

Okay, so a German politician with 30 years experience and who served at the highest levels in the Defense Ministry thinks that the entire Syrian conflict is the result of meddling by US/NATO forces that had no interest in a budding peace agreement in 2011, that only Russia has a legal mandate to be in Syria, and that the whole thing could boil over into a wider and far more dangerous greater war.

I concur with all of that, by the way.

Here’s what a responsible government who saw things that way would respond:

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks

Aug 21, 2016

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" - which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry - as saying.

(Source)

That’s what the US government should be advising its own citizens but is not, either because of hubris deceit, or the mistaken belief that because the last two great wars did not reach US shores this one won’t either.  But having some self-reliance is always a good idea, and one shouldn’t need their government to tell them so, but however people become more prepared is okay by me.

Russia too is not only advising its citizen to prepare, but going one step further by telling them to specifically prepare for a nuclear war

Russia tells citizens to ‘prepare for nuclear war with West’

Oct 4, 2016

Russia has warned citizens that a nuclear war with the West could be imminent - sparked by clashes in the Middle East.

Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country’s Ministry of Defence, said last week, ‘Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.’

Officials said on Friday that underground shelters had been built which could house 12 milion people - enough for the entire population of Moscow.

(Source)

That’s how badly trust in the West has been damaged for Russia – it now thinks such madmen and madwomen are in charge in the West that it’s now saying nuclear war is a distinct possibility.  How this is not front page news and being actively debated in the US is simply fascinating. And scary.

If war is a possibility, then a responsible party will prepare.  The Russians and the Germans are being responsible in that sense.

The Russians have gone further and are actively preparing their citizens not just for war, but nuclear war.   This may seem extreme and certainly nobody wants anything to go that far, but Russia’s background has taught her that when it comes to war, nothing is ever certain.

And that war comes to her lands regularly.  Every invading force has paid a bitter price for trying to occupy Russia and that informs her mindset.  Shit happens.  Best to be ready for it.

The US is on the opposite side of that spectrum having been in the bully position for so long, and not having ever been invaded and occupied, that it seems delightfully unaware that suffering from the effects of war is a distinct possibility.

Perhaps not by an invading force, but certainly by one that possesses nuclear weapons and superior cyber skills. 

The Russian Mindset

Far be it from me to claim that I have any particular insight into the Russian mindset.  I’ll leave that to such experts as Dmitry Orlov. 

But I can read the tea leaves and I don’t think it takes a Russian or military expert to divine the meaning behind this:

Russia's Putin suspends plutonium cleanup accord with U.S. because of 'unfriendly' acts

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday suspended an agreement with the United States for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium because of "unfriendly" acts by Washington, the Kremlin said.

A Kremlin spokesman said Putin had signed a decree suspending the 2010 agreement under which each side committed to destroy tonnes of weapons-grade material because Washington had not been implementing it and because of current tensions in relations.

The deal, signed in 2000 but which did not come into force until 2010, was being suspended due to "the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions by the United States of America towards the Russian Federation", the preamble to the decree said.

It also said that Washington had failed "to ensure the implementation of its obligations to utilize surplus weapons-grade plutonium".

(Source)

Trust is broken; the US has not been living up to its end of the agreement and is being antagonistic towards Russia.  Russia thinks it may need its weapons grade plutonium after all.  Two very bad signs.

With trust broken and diplomacy cut off, all we can do is note that Russia is now acting as if it has to defend itself and be prepared for war.

Here’s one editorial from inside Russia that lays out some of the thinking going on, much of which we’ve already covered and which echoes the German politician’s views:

The United States is, once again, the aggressor nation calling foul when things don't go according to plan.

Washington has no international mandate to be in Syria — neither in its skies, nor as "advisors" to "moderate rebels" on the ground. Washington (along with its freedom-loving allies — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, all bastions of democracy) has simply invited itself to the party. And by "party" we mean "a proxy war dressed up as a democratic uprising that has killed hundreds of thousands and further destabilized the entire region, while creating a massive refugee crisis in the process."

A week ago, Washington murdered (with bombs) more than 60 uniformed soldiers of a country that they aren't even officially at war with, inside their own borders. Putin strikes again! according to the New York Times.

Of course, the editorial is eager to point out all the heinous war crimes that Russia has committed in Syria — none of which have been verified by anyone aside from the Pentagon. Should we really be surprised, though? In a recent article in The Nation, Adam Johnson reminds his readers that:

“The New York Times‘s editorial board has supported every single US war—Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya—for the past 30 years. While its reporting and op-eds on these wars has often been critical, much of it’s coverage has also helped to sell war-weary liberals on the current military mission—the most notable example being Judith Miller and Michael Gordon’s hyping Iraq’s nonexistent nuclear program in the buildup to the March 2003 invasion.

Indeed, the image of The New York Times as an objective, unbiased news outlet is precisely how it was able to sell the war in the first place.”

(Source)

The summary:  The US started the Syrian conflict with the intention of toppling yet another Middle Eastern government (“regime” in the parlance of the spin masters), things have not gone exactly as it wanted, and now it’s acting illegally and dangerously because it did not get its way.

Also, the NY Times is not an unbiased news source, especially when it comes to supporting wars general and in the Middle East specifically.

I would also remind everyone here that a letter was written earlier in the spring of 2016 and signed by 51 State Department workers urging Obama to bomb Assad’s forces, which would have meant, by proxy, bombing Russia.  When your alleged “diplomats” are the ones calling for bombing it tells you just how far off the rails your entire apparatus of state has gone.

The main conclusion here is that the US is the most war like country on the planet, and it has somehow defaulted into using force early and often to get its way.

The difference this time?  It’s picked a fight with a smaller kid in the school yard who happens to be a black belt in judo.

This time, the fight won’t be as easy as in times past.  Things are very different now, and Russia has spent the past few decades improving its missile technology which I predict will turn out to be a real game changer with a very high ROI.

The thinking seems to be, you build a $100 million ship and I will sink it from very far away with a $100,000 missile. 

It took me a while to confirm this, but I believe this next video to be true and showing the Yemeni ‘rebels’ sinking a very modern and expensive HSV-2 navy catamaran that had been sold to the UAE from a very long distance away.


While the claim of having struck this ship cannot be completely verified at this time, the missile launch and resulting explosion at sea in the video above are consistent with the claim. 

This should be a big wake-up call to everyone, and I’m sure it is in the military, but your chance of reading about this and its implications n the western press are very low indeed.  Did you hear of this?  I doubt it.

Conclusion

Russia and the US are edging ever closer to armed conflict in Syria.  We can hope and pray for our own selfish purposes that the conflict remains confined to Syria but it may not.

I cannot find any particularly good reason to be demonizing Russia at this point.  From my perspective all Russia has done is react to the circumstances presented to it by the west.  Russia did not destabilize Ukraine, the US and the EU did.  By reacting to that and protecting the Russian speaking people on it’s own borders, Russia has committed some sort of sin to the power players in the US.

Similarly, by legally responding to a request to help by the government of Syria, Russia has done something unconscionable…namely, resisted the wishes of the necons and likuds.

Let’s be perfectly blunt, innocent civilian lives mean nothing to those people.  They never have and they never will. 

What matters to people who regularly transgress other people’s boundaries is that they themselves are not resisted.  Have you ever noticed this in your own life?  I have.  When someone who violates my boundaries is met with any sort of resistance at all, they experience it as me attacking them.

I remember well being yelled at by someone who did that a lot to people in their life and when I’d had enough an exactly matched their intensity to simply say “Stop!  This is where I begin and you end!” they recoiled and told everyone that I had attacked them.

Where we could analyze the Russian-US situation from a variety of directions – political, historical, etc. – I am going to do it from the psychological perspective.

I see the neocons and likuds as very damaged and traumatized individuals.  They carry a set of internal wounds that express on the outside as a very belligerent and hostile set of postures and actions.

If I were to guess at their internal wound, it might be something along the lines of “I was really hurt as a child and nobody will ever hurt me again like that.”

The best way to not be hurt is to lash out as fiercely and as rapidly as you can, in every circumstance.  The motto is “Do one to others before they do one to me.”

The mistake you and I could make would be to assume on any level that these people share our world view and will not “go all the way” before turning back.  They are not built the same.  The ends always justify the means to these people.  They do not rationally calculate outcomes because they are operating from a very wounded and highly irrational spot.

Have you ever tried using logic on someone who is in a full emotional meltdown?  How did that work out?  Not well, right?  In fact, it almost certainly made things worse.

Well even though the neocons who have inserted themselves into every crevice of power in the US seem cold and rational, they are not.  They are driven by demons that came to them early in life, perhaps handed down as a part of their culture, which taught them that the world was a very hostile place always looking for a reason to kill them.

That’s the nature of all childhood wounds.  Delivered early enough they all come down to survival.  If you are told directly or covertly over and over again that you are defective, unloved and unlovable, then the early innocent mind goes to insane lengths to wrap itself around that harsh reality.

Inner contracts are written, and they inform that person’s outlook and actions for the rest of their lives or until they are healed, whichever comes first.

The colossal mistake being made in the US is failing to recognize that people carrying such childhood wounds really cannot ever be trusted to act rationally.  In a healthy culture we’d  be able to detect these people early in life and usher them either into harmless yet worthy jobs or get them the treatment they need.

Instead, they roam the halls undetected and because they crave the power that they lacked in childhood they become over-represented in the halls of power.  Once they achieve critical mass in any institution they take over the entire machinery of that organization.

That is where the US is now.  This (next) rush to war is not a matter of anything rational or explicable, it is a function of having too many damaged and wounded people in charge operating from deeply unconscious levels.

And here’s the thing; they will not stop, ever, unless stopped by circumstances.  They will never achieve enough power.  The void they seek to fill cannot be filled from the outside.  Nothing will ever ‘be enough.’

There’s no end, but a violent one.

And this is why I am warning you to prepare for war.  Whether it happens now with Russia or later with someone else, it will happen.  The only thing that will stop these neocons is if they are exposed and flushed from the system or if their power is stripped away by losing a war.

By failing to understand the wound dynamics at play we are all being held hostage to a drama being scripted by very old and unhealed wounds.

Nothing about this circumstance can ever be solved on the outside; only inner healing can shift any of this.

It is deeply telling that the two main party candidates for the US presidency are each poster-children for wound-driven egos run amuck.  Both are obviously fragile and unable to handle anything but fawning admiration, neither seems capable of honest introspection or real empathy.

They are, literally, the direct manifestations of a nation that has yet to confront its own inner demons.  And until it does there will always have to be some sort of external bogey man that it can project its on worst traits upon as it desperately avoids asking the most important question of them all; “Hey, what if my troubles are because of me and my actions?”

In our report How To Prepare For War, we explain how conflict can take many forms: trade wars, energy wars, financial wars, cyberwar, shooting wars, and nuclear war. We lay out in great detail the steps we, as individuals, can do to prepare for each.

And fortunately, this preparation comes with an upside: as many of these precautions will be life-enhancing steps even if -- hopefully, if -- tensions de-escalate from here.

So, sadly, please follow the actions of the German and Russian governments and prepare yourself for war.  While we can all hope this too blows over and cooler heads prevail, hope alone is a terrible strategy.

Click here to read How To Prepare For War (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

~ Chris Martenson

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100 Comments

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
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Thank you

Thank you for the candid assessment of our situation. You are more compassionate towards these people than I am Chris; I believe grandiosity, entitlement and the after effects of too much praise and indulgence in childhood can create as big a monster as deprivation and wounding, but perhaps they are wounds all the same. I cannot summon sympathy for the people pushing for this war. You are saintly. 

I am preparing for 3 days of darkness which is a prediction of one aspect of my beliefs (I will leave it at that) beyond that it is probably curtains for dense population centers anyway. Chris You have been a real beacon in the midst of terrible times. Everyone I spoke to this week (maybe 40 people) said in one way or another that they felt things were off the rails. I have never seen that level of consistency in people's anxiety about the state of the nation. Amazing.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Annnnnd.....Russia is now officially blamed

I began writing this Russia piece nearly a week ago.  It did not take long for some of my main conclusions to get put into play.

Here we go folks:

US Officially Accuses Russia Of Hacking Democratic Party, State Election Systems 

In a statement, the US "intelligence community" said that it is “confident” that the Russian government “directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organisations”, the Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence on Election Security said in a joint statement. The US added that “these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process”.

(Source - ZH)

Here's what I wrote in a comment on another thread a few days ago:

All I know is that when I looked on the magazine rack here at the hotel this is what I saw staring back at me:

You see the choice presented?  You either believe in our election results or you have fallen for a Putin trap.

Never mind your investigations that show outside hacking is a near impossibility but inside hacking is a piece of cake.  And forget about the wildly and impossibly unbelievable election returns over the past four presidential elections.  

And don't ask why Putin seemed to care about deploying his hackers to install a Tea Party candidate Governor in KY in 2015, or managed to get Kerry to fold within hours of the statistically impossible win for Bush in Ohio.

None of that is relevant.  Either you are with us (the system) or you are with Putin.  Got it?

This is how they work.  How does one stand against this?

This is what Hillary represents to me...more of this.  And I am tired of this.

We have a multi-exojoule energy predicament before us and we cannot be spending our time fiddling around with ego-driven fantasies of total world power and domination.   Every minute we spend, and every BTU we waste going down the neocon path makes our eventual date with reality that much more difficult.

When is enough enough?  When is it finally time to say we don't have time for the sort of rubbish printed on the most recent cover of Time, or what the neocons have in store for us?  

If not now, when?  It's always a bad time to elect a buffoon, and every election is presented as if this one vote will either make or destroy us.  Ever since Nixon, always the same story.

Well, I'm done with the charade, and so are an astonishing number of young people I talk to.  They know this is all BS and and this is what has "them" (TPTB) so worried.

Hence the Time cover.

It's setting you up for anomalous election results that don't make any sense...unless we can blame it on Putin...then...ah...then...do you see?  The US will be completely justified in attacking someone who dares to mess with the very core of democracy itself; voting!  He will have desecrated our temple.  Bad juju that.

To which I say; Don't Fall For It!

(Same as the Time title, just an entirely different take).

++++++++

This is all just as obvious and heavy-handed as the run up to the Iraq war.  The pace of the talking point media war brings with it a sense of inevitability.  That this is too big and too fast to turn aside.  That's its intent.

*sigh*

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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And to think they did it without Monsanto's help

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-06/russia-upends-world-wh...

Russia isn't going to need many bullets to overthrow an over-stuffed, aggrandizing, hubris prone empire that relies more and more on its mendicant order of Neocon lobbyists for viability in an ever increasing, strategic, international, shell game.

No one is really working for peace unless he is working primarily for the restoration of wisdom. E.F. Schmacher

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Russia Warns Against US Acts Of War

Well, things are certainty heating up here.

I am quite stumped as to how this news is not being carried on the front pages of every US newspaper given the seriousness of it all and the implications.  It’s like an 8.0 earthquake struck LA and you have to hunt the edges of the internet to read anything at all about it.

In this installment, the CIA and DoD are in agreement that Russia needs to be “punished” for failing to live up to the cease fire and to maybe knock some sense into Russia so she’ll come back to the bargaining table chastened and ready to accept the US’s position.

Russia Warns US Not to Intervene in Syria, Threatens to Shoot Down Any Airstrike Attempts

Oct 6, 2016

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Pentagon was presenting the Obama administration with the option of strikes at meetings this week. The strikes, which the Joint Chief of Staffs and the CIA are now said to favor, according to the Post, would see missiles fired at Assad air force bases, intended to punish the regime for its failure to abide by the cease-fire, hamper attacks against civilians and pressure it and Moscow to begin negotiating again.

Comment:  First, any strike against “Assad air force bases” is a direct strike against Russian military hardware and personnel.  It will be considered an act of war against which Russia will both defend itself and strike back.  As would be the case if the situation were reversed and Russia lobbed a few cruise missiles at US forces lodged on Iraqi bases. 

Although, the strikes are now back on the table, President Obama is still very unlikely to approve them, according to administration officials speaking to the Post, as well as former State Department officials and outside analysts.

Comment:  Here again we see that Obama is not going along with the neocon war plans.  This is infuriating them.  The “accidental” strike by the US that killed more than 60 of Assad’s forces a few weeks ago was almost certainly not an accident but a covert attempt by the CIA/DoD to get this conflict with Russia bumped to a new level.  IT was an undeclared act of war by elements within the US intelligence and military structure.  You’d think such a thing would lead to some sort of consequences, but apparently not.

Moscow though has sought to head-off any U.S. intervention. Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian defense ministry spokesman, directly addressed the reports in a briefing on Thursday, when he warned that Russia may shoot down any aircraft attacking Syrian government forces.

Although Konashenkov did not directly say Russia would shoot down American aircraft, his point was unambiguous.

“I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to thoroughly consider the possible consequences of the realization of such plans,” Konashenkov said, before listing the array of anti-air defences deployed in Syria and saying they would be used if Assad’s or Russian forces were attacked.

Comment:  Yes, Russia has just declared its own no fly zone over Syria and now we have to see how the neocons will react to that “provocation.”  My guess is that Russia finally setting a boundary will be perceived as an attack by these wounded neocon individuals.  They will then need to lash out to “teach Russia a lesson.” 

Konshenkov warned that Russia had deployed advanced S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to its bases in Syria, noting that their range “can be a surprise for any unidentified flying objects.”

“It follows to really be conscious that there will hardly be time in the calculations of the Russian air-defense units to clarify on the “direct line” the precise flight-plan of missiles and who they belong to,” Konashenkov said, referring to the hotline already established by the U.S. and Russia to prevent clashes between their aircraft conducting strikes in Syria.

Comment:  This is a clarification by Russia which basically say, “Hey if you fly into Syrian airspace we won’t have time to work out your intentions before we have to act.  To protect our troops we’d have to fire our missiles in time to prevent your aircraft from dropping anything on them, and that doesn’t leave time to have a nice chat by radio first to sort things out.”

The strikes described by the Post would be launched from ships and aircraft belonging to the international anti-ISIS coalition assembled by the U.S., conducted covertly to avoid legal blocks as well as direct clashes with the Russians.

Comment:  WTF?  Seriously?   The way they plan to avoid a “direct clash with the Russians” will be to launch the cruise missiles covertly?  And this somehow dodges "legal blocks?"  What the hell does that even mean?  Like Russia will be confused about who launched them?  Like maybe Russia will have to consider that it might have been Argentina that hit them with a flurry of US Tomahawks that were tracked back to the same place a bunch of US warships are sitting?  The idea that such a move could be done covertly in such a way as to evade detection or legalities is so deeply out of bounds of rational thinking that I can hardly form the right words to confront it.

Konashenkov, however, suggested Russia would target any unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets and warned "American strategists" not to assume a covert intervention would go unanswered. “The illusions of dilettantes about the existence of 'stealth' aircraft may encounter a disappointing reality,” he added. Konashenkov also warned that Russian troops were now widely deployed across Syria, implying any strikes could hit them, pulling the U.S. into conflict with Russia.

Comment:  Here Russia is hinting that US stealth plane technology may not be as stealthy as thought for the powerful Russian radar systems on the S300 and S400 missile batteries.  We’ll see, but it’s an interesting little tidbit being tossed out.  It’s also being put bluntly on the table that anything that happens in Syria may not stay in Syria.  A wider war with Russia could get ugly fast.  Real fast.

Konashenkov referred again to a strike on Sept. 17, when U.S. military aircraft killed dozens of Syrian government troops accidentally. The Pentagon has said the strike was a mistake, but Konashenkov said Russia was prepared to prevent “any similar ‘mistakes’” against Russian troops.

The White House has been examining more so-called “kinetic” options since the cease-fire deal brokered by Secretary of State, John Kerry with Russia collapsed at the end of September amid mutual recriminations and Russian and Syrian government aircraft launched a ferocious air assault on the besieged city of Aleppo.

Comment:  Yep.  No more “mistakes.”  Russia has effectively declared Syria a no-fly zone for US and NATO aircraft.  The necons must be absolutely livid with rage at being stymied like this.  They set the rules for others to follow!!  

Summary:  This has all now progressed to the point that unless there's a major shift in diplomacy we have to consider the relationship with Russia too damaged for any other outcome than some sort of kinetic conflict.  Both sides will get to see if their systems are as good as they thought against a real foe with real capabilities.  Both parties are likely to come away bruised and battered.  

Nobody in the US administration has taken the time to explain exactly what sort of legal or moral basis the US even has for being in Syria, let alone why Russia needs to be demonized and taught a lesson.  That's because there is no good explanation.

This is all deeply irrational as I explained in my conclusion to the above report.  This is about wounded and psychologically damaged individuals playing out their unconscious fears...but with a nuclear superpower this time.

How this is not on the front pages of every newspaper is beyond me.  How it is that both presidential candidates are not being asked every conceivable question about their stance on this says even more.

Something is very, very broken in the US right now.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Off the rails

Looks like the NY Times has become a modern Völkischer Beobachter.

Many, many people in this country (Australia) also feel that things are off the rails, going seriously wrong, and exponentially so.

I have Russian and Ukrainian friends. I am concerned for their safety and well-being. With Australia being a US vassal state, should hostilities break out between the US and Russia, my friends could find themselves on the wrong side of barbed wire. A replay of the Great War! When Britain declared war on Germany, Australia automatically joined in, and we treated our German citizens appallingly badly.

In Oz we have psychopathy in government at the highest levels which simply cannot be reasoned with. They hold all the keys to the future and we the people don't. Full stop.

When people can't see reason, reason is not the problem.

Chris wrote,

They are driven by demons

You are more correct there than you can imagine. I'll leave it there.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Zweite Völksicher Beobachter

Time magazine, that is.

Déjà vu all over again.

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Russia Responds To Possible Ship Launched Cruise Missiles

Russia is bringing some strong hardware into the growing conflict.

I was wondering, briefly, what Russia might do if ship launched cruise missiles are sent its way from US warships.

The answer, it would seem, is to send a couple of ships equipped with anti-ship missiles.

3rd Russian Black Sea Fleet Missile Ship Heads to Syria

Oct 6, 2016

"The third Black Sea Fleet small missile ship, the Mirazh (Project 1234), has left Sevastopol for the Mediterranean Sea," a source in the Crimean security agencies told RIA Novosti.

The source noted that the vessel is equipped with the Malakhit anti-ship missile.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet confirmed that its third small missile ship has embarked on a voyage from Sevastopol, Crimea, to the Mediterranean.

"The Black Sea Fleet's small missile ship is planned to sail through the Black Sea strait and enter the Mediterranean Sea tomorrow, where it will join the Navy's permanent task force in accordance with the rotation plan," the fleet said.

A Russian navy spokesman said on Wednesday that two missile corvettes of Russia's Black Sea Fleet left their base in Sevastopol to reinforce Russia's group of warships in the Mediterranean.

The warships, The Serpukhov and The Zelyony Dol which are equipped with Kalibr long-range cruise missiles, left Sevastopol on Tuesday and are expected to reach the Mediterranean on Wednesday evening, Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet spokesman Nikolai Voskresensky said.

This is all heating up very quickly.  It won’t take much of a provocation to get a bunch of missile flying in all directions.  When the dust settles the only question will be if the genie can be put back in the bottle.

As a side note, I wonder if the ship really does still have the older Malakhit missile on board or if Russia has upgraded that launch tube to the SS-N-2 Sunburn?  

At any rate, by both bringing these ships into the region and then providing plenty of press about those movements, Russia seems to be signaling that it is serious about defending itself but also would rather not.  Otherwise we'd expect Russia to keep quiet about its military movements and say nothing.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Re: End of part 1

Wow. Was this written by a bot?

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Pawn to Bishop 4

https://www.rt.com/news/361976-russia-syria-base-unlimited/

It's snowing where I live, but I've felt a cold wind blowing for some time now. Wood shed's full, larder full, and we're worried about Donald and Hillary?  There are bigger fish in the ocean to worry about!

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mememonkey
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Sadly Correct on all counts

Excellent article Chris! 

I can't help but think that the timing of the quickening of events and accelerated demonization of Putin is  integral to psy ops involved in the election of NEO CON Clinton.  

Regardless of the timing,  we are at this critical juncture as an inevitable outcome of  the  vector we've on been  since the 9'11 false flag/coup  ushered in the Oded Yinon/clean break/ PNAC agenda as US foreign policy to remake the Mideast  by fragmenting Israel's enemies and forever rebranding Palestinians and Arabs as terrorists and to simultaneously enrich the powerful players of the  military/security industrial complex as they play the 'Great Game' feasting on the spoils of the forever war

With regards to the origins of the ' spontaneous' civil war' in Syria, here is a revealing video clip from the former French Foreign Minister

It is not hard to connect the dots if one cares enough to look.  The agenda was very public, the players obvious.

And yet most of the public buys the illusion  the propaganda and enculturation of American exceptionalisim is so pervaisive.   The control in mainstream media is total, and it's ongoing in social media. Even alternative and independent media is under attack and co option perhaps the last bastion of truth telling out there with  potential to  reverse the tide.

We are truly living the twin nightmares of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell

Putin is now our  Emanual Goldstein,  the latest (and perhaps last)  in a succession of evil henchman held up for our collective hate to justify our illegal wars.  Castro, Noreiga, Sadamn Hussein, Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Assad the barrel bomber...

the difference is that unlike the others  Putin does possess weapons of Mass Destruction.

That is a big difference!

mememonkey

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The Need For A War Declaration

Some on Congress and the Senate are watching and saying openly what should be obvious; any attack on Assad/Russia could have serious consequences and that an declaration of war would be needed from Congress before such bombing could be undertaken.

Sen. Mike Lee is warning the White House that a push to increase the U.S. military's involvement in Syria would require congressional approval.

The Utah Republican said reports that the administration is considering using airstrikes to target the Assad regime ... would represent "a major departure from our current strategy."

"[It] carries potentially cataclysmic consequences which the American people have never debated in Congress," he said in a statement. "If President Obama and his advisors want to increase the involvement of the United States in Syria in any manner -- including attacks against the Assad regime -- they have a constitutional responsibility to ask for a declaration of war from Congress."

[...]

With lawmakers out of Washington until after the November elections, Lee added that if Obama moves "ahead without authorization, then Congress must be called back into session to fulfill its obligation to debate and determine whether our nation should once again go to war."

Now that Senator Lee is speaking out, The Hill acknowledges that other Senators have said that the President needs an authorization for the use of military force from Congress to bomb Syrian government forces:

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has repeatedly warned that while he thinks the administration currently has the authority it needs to fight ISIS, going on offense against the Syrian government would be a different conversation.

"If they decided to go against al-Assad, then they would need additional authorities. And we stand ready if that's something they wish to do, to debate that. But thus far, they haven't made that decision," the Foreign Relations chairman told the Military Times late last year.

(Source)

I wonder what happened when such a declaration is not sought and a bombing happens anyway?

There should be rather dire legal consequences but such accountability has not been part of the US government’s MO for such a long time I rather doubt anybody would know how to proceed.

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Electioneering Brinksmanship

I agree with you mememonkey. I'm wondering if this is just a politically motivated stunt to discredit Trump (a hothead who can't be trusted with a "nuke" launch button) and make Hillary (sweet, passive, loving, Hillary who has actual experience as Sec. of State) look like the safer choice for the undecided voters. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, big lies usually are far from the truth.

I'll make sure the preps are in order - just in case. I really expect this to appear to remain on the verge of imminent war until the election is over. Hopefully, after that, our prince of nobel peace will figure out a way to back away from a conflict that has no political gain for him (or us.)

Grover

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Sic Semper Tyrannis

has been the web site I have read over the years for analysis of the geopolitical and military situation in the ME. It is run by Pat Lang and he knows of what he speaks.

And of what he speaks of confirms some of the more alarming concerns raised above. He closes this post of today with: "I am old.  I lived through the great days of the US.  I am ready for the cataclysm that may come soon."  pl

It makes my blood run cold.

SST is essential reading because that is what things have come to.

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Retracted

Comment #9.

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Neocon, Carl Gershman at the NED, calls for Putin Ouster

Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, Calls on the US to Oust Putin

Seriously!

The neoconservative president of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy [NED] has called for the U.S. government to “summon the will” to engineer the overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that the 10-year-old murder case of a Russian journalist should be the inspiration.

Carl Gershman, who has headed NED since its founding in 1983, doesn’t cite any evidence that Putin was responsible for the death of Anna Politkovskaya but uses a full column in The Washington Post on Friday to create that impression.

That Gershman would so directly call for the ouster of Russia’s clearly popular president represents further proof that NED is a neocon-driven vehicle that seeks to create the political circumstances for “regime change” even when that means removing leaders who are elected by a country’s citizenry.

... In 1983, NED essentially took over the CIA’s role of influencing electoral outcomes and destabilizing governments that got in the way of U.S. interests, except that NED carried out those functions in a quasi-overt fashion while the CIA did them covertly.

That makes Gershman an influential neocon paymaster whose organization dispenses some $100 million a year in U.S. taxpayers’ money to activists, journalists and NGOs both in Washington and around the world. The money helps them undermine governments in Washington’s disfavor – or as Gershman would prefer to say, “build democratic institutions,” even when that requires overthrowing democratically elected leaders.

But you probably won't notice that when "building democratic institutions" involves "overthrowing democratically elected leaders" that this is profoundly inconsistent. 

Here is the hubris and contempt aspect. 

We are brilliant and superior elite and you are the lowly and stupid masses.  It is our place to guide you and shape your world to our liking.  We are the shepherd, you the sheep.  We will eat your kind for dinner tonight.

-------------------

Did all of the humanitarian talk about democracy (GREEN Meme) hide the (RED Meme) power play from you?

Another summary of Gerschman.

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Time2help
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Lessons from the Bonobo

Ram_d wrote:

Maybe now some of us will come to term with our not so “PC” origin with the new discoveries in South Africa of the naledi dominant mindset evident by the repeated acts of cannibalism performed by the species ruling gang of males as well as recognizing the same forces of the same dominant mindset million years later try to cover its own origin and silence the statuesque shattering finds: Maybe now the few that do not share that kind of mindset will finally be able to do the same move that the bonobo did:

When they branched out and left behind the fear and the abuse to the chimpanzees and their cannibalistic hierarchies, persisting by its rotating members, males who are not necessarily kin, which are promoted according to their level of aggression and abuse and their level of contribution to wealth/wellbeing of the leaders of the gang, the same gang of males that we can find at the top of every abusive hierarchy (government, military, police, any corporation, business, religion, and worst of all the education system with the rotten apple of the universities).

Is there anything truly surprising about Homo naledi? (evolution.berkeley.edu)

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Mercenaries and the Sport of Kings.

Mercenaries do it for the money.

Soldiers do it for for their country.

Are your Generals mercenaries? One breach of the Constitution would have a Real Military haul the perpetrators away. That's their job, to protect the Constitution.  What are the Generals afraid of? Losing their pensions?

The Neocons dropped bombs on stubborn Syrians in Aleppo, so the Russians took out the clandestine Officers' HQ in Syria, killing Saudi, Israeli, American and British officers. SPLAT!  (Link lost.) Of cause the US could not whinge because these officers were not invited to the dance by Syria.

Some General was trotted out to bark at the Russians in response. How cringeworthy and  demeaning to his uniform! The Russians flipped him the bird.

I wonder what is being said to the parents of the killed officers? "We regret to inform you that your son/daughter was killed in a training accident. So sad."

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DEFCON 6-CPU Player Simulation

Game theory put into practice. Got any...[transmission terminated]

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Malaysian Flight 17

This is the recent (last month) conclusion of the Joint Investigation Team as to the cause of the crash of Flight 17:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_17

Quote:
Findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)[edit]

On 28 September 2016, the JIT gave a press conference in which it confirmed that the aircraft was shot down with a 9M38 Buk missile which it concluded had been fired from a rebel-controlled field near Pervomaisky, a town 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Snizhne.[116] It also found the Buk missile system used had been transported from Russia into Ukraine on the day of the crash, and then back into Russia after the crash, with one missile fewer.[8][117] During the investigation, the JIT interviewed 200 witnesses, collected half a million photos and videos and analysed 150,000 intercepted phone calls.[116] In June 2016, JIT had announced that it hoped to present its final results "within months" which would be presented as a criminal file to a court or tribunal.[245]

Also here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28357880

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Pressure from above, pressure from below

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Mooooooooo

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Troubling Gaps in JIT report

 

Full article is worth reading to understand the context of the JIT  investigation

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/28/troubling-gaps-in-the-new-mh-17-re...

By Robert Parry

The key conclusion of the Dutch-led criminal inquiry implicating Russia in the 2014 shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 relied heavily on cryptic telephone intercepts that were supplied by the Ukrainian intelligence service and were given incriminating meaning not clearly supported by the words.

The investigators also seemed to ignore other intercepts that conflicted with their conclusions, including one conversation that appeared to be referring to a Ukrainian convoy, not one commanded by ethnic Russian rebels, that was closing in on the Luhansk airport, placing Ukrainian troops deep inside rebel territory.

___________

Although the location of the Ukrainian Buk systems would seem to be crucial to the investigation — at least in eliminating other suspects — JIT operates under an agreement with the Ukrainian government that lets it veto the release of information. Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service, which represented the Kiev government in the JIT, also has among its official responsibilities the protection of secret information that could be damaging to Ukraine.

__________________

While the Western mainstream media has given the JIT great credibility, the JIT itself has acknowledged a dependency on Ukraine’s SBU, which shaped the inquiry by supplying its selection of phone intercepts.

Yet, the SBU is far from a neutral party in the investigation, nor does it have clean hands regarding the Ukrainian civil war that followed a U.S.-backed putsch ousting elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, and sparking an uprising among ethnic Russian Ukrainians who represented Yanukovych’s political base in the east and south.

-----------------

Earlier this year, an internal report describing the JIT operation revealed how dependent the investigators had become on information provided by the SBU. According to the report, the SBU helped shape the MH-17 investigation by supplying a selection of phone intercepts and other material that would presumably not include sensitive secrets that would implicate the SBU’s political overseers in Ukraine. But the JIT seemed oblivious to this conflict of interest,

___________

mememonkey

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Syria is where Russia makes a stand.

Syria is where Russia makes a stand.  If Syria falls then they know that they will be next in line for regime change. As simple as that.  Better to fight on Syrian soil than on home soil. A little leftfield but the key player for me is China.  What will the NeoCons do if China suddenly puts hardware on the ground in Syria in support of the Assad regime?

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Mh17

Doug

You obviously have not had the "aha" moment regarding the mainstream media version of events around MH17. It occurred for me when the BBC presented a documentary at the time of the tragedy fronted by Matt Frei. He showed a Novo-Russian rebel "callously picking through a dead child's belongings". A pro Russian site showed the same video with him saying a prayer over the Teddy Bear before replacing it. Frei also showed the unfeeling rebels throwing the dead bodies into railway cattle trucks. Unfortunately he omitted to mention they were risking their lives to gather these corpses under intermittent shelling from the Kiev Ukrainians. It was extremely hot, the corpses were decomposing rapidly and they had very few resources to deal with the problem. The stock wagons were a very practical solution to extracting the bodies. The Ukrainian shelling made it impossible for foreign teams to do this work.

Contrary to my upbringing I now take everything the BBC says with a big grain of salt.

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BBC as an arm of government

When it comes to geopolitical matters, the BBC are careful to only project the government line and by proxy the US line. When they get out line slightly the government threatens them with privatisation or a cut in funding.

British newspapers also ran stories that showed locals looting the crash site. They had pictures of then with personal items in their hands. Conclusive evidence. They fail to mention of course that they came from stills from videos which showed the locals putting the personal items back again. Can I make a public apology here at PP for going ballistic at my mother in law when she said how terrible it was that Russia had shot down the plane and were also looting the crash site. When asked (or demanded in a rather loud voice; sorry I couldn't contain myself) how she knew this, she replied because it said so in the Daily Mail (Britain's best selling newspaper) and showed me the pictures.

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Sorry I’m just raged for the ignorance of this community

Obviously you are not one of them.

Sorry again and thank you for thinking

Ram

NOT a robot like the rest

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"It" crossed the line

mememonkey wrote:

(...)

Earlier this year, an internal report describing the JIT operation revealed how dependent the investigators had become on information provided by the SBU. According to the report, the SBU helped shape the MH-17 investigation by supplying a selection of phone intercepts and other material that would presumably not include sensitive secrets that would implicate the SBU’s political overseers in Ukraine. But the JIT seemed oblivious to this conflict of interest.

mememonkey

As we know, Doug is especially fond of uncritically accepting anything and everything that comes from "official sources" - something about having a belief system that is not yet ready to accept that authority figures may, in fact, lie to him from time to time.  

So no surprise he's back repeating the JIT report without, I would bet, having read it or read around looking for holes in this report.

There were only two suspects that could have launched a BUK from the area that day; the Ukrainian government or the rebels.  Of the two, only the Ukrainians were known by all parties to have a complete BUK system- the rebels were known to have the missiles but not the radar truck necessary to actually use one.

Therefore there were two shooting suspects, but while both of them had bullets, only one of them had a gun too.

One of those suspects was not only allowed inside the "investigation" but they were allowed to supply "evidence" in the form of easily doctored audio recording, but also to veto information.

So let's examine just one of the critical claims, that the rebels got themselves a fully functioning, intact, BUK system from Russia.  Here's the data:

Regarding JIT’s claim that the Buk missile system crossed over from Russian territory, the video report states: “All telecom data and intercepted telephone calls that have been examined by the investigation team demonstrates that the Buk/TELAR (the self-contained operating system) was brought into Ukraine from the Russian Federation.”

But as evidence the JIT cites one phone intercept, which – according to the JIT’s translation – does not use the word Buk though referencing a piece of equipment that can move on its own or be transported by truck. That could be a Buk system but could apply to many other weapons systems as well.

In the intercepted call, one speaker said, “it crossed, crossed the line.”

The narrator of the JIT video report then adds, “The Buk/TELAR crossed the line, in other words, it passed the border.” But there are two assumptions here: that the unidentified weapon is a Buk and that the “line” means border. That could be the case but other interpretations are possible.

Another key point, the disputed location of the so-called “getaway” video of a Buk missile system missing one missile, is simply asserted as fact without an explanation as to how the JIT reached its conclusion placing the location near Luhansk.

While the Western mainstream media has given the JIT great credibility, the JIT itself has acknowledged a dependency on Ukraine’s SBU, which shaped the inquiry by supplying its selection of phone intercepts.

Yep, that's the data they have.  A telephone intercept supplied by the SBU that says "It crossed the line."

So you have to believe that "it" is a fully functioning BUK system and you have to believe "the line" is the border with Russia and you have to further believe that Russia, knowing full well the international condemnation that follows shooting down an airliner causes, decided to go ahead with this plan for some reason.

How's that for evidence and logical reasoning?

Alternatively, we could make a very strong case that the Ukranians would benefit enormously from shooting down a civilian airliner and then blaming it on the rebels.  And that's exactly what happened, the world revolted, quickly blamed Putin himself, and gave more attention and aid to the nazi thugs in Kiev...so it's really a shame that the US has refused to release any of its satellite data from that day and that Ukraine was allowed to be on the very inside of the JIT investigation the entire way.  

You really have to be either blinkered by beliefs or especially gullible or simply naive to geopolitical realities to believe the JIT report.  It's there for public consumption only and no serious intelligence analyst or major player would ever think of ingesting it as "truth" or anything close to it.

I feel terrible for the families of the people on MH17 because there's now no chance of justice being served. It's impossible for any conclusions drawn from having a key suspect on the inside of the investigation to be trusted and the other governments involved were, of course intelligent enough to know this, and so we have to wonder why they did not exclude the  Ukranians from the beginning?

Political optics on an investigation like this are exceptionally important.  

To use a CHS device, lets flip it. Suppose the JIT had excluded Ukraine, but had included Russia and took all of its key evidence from Russia and then concluded it was Ukraine that did it?   How would that look?

That's right, pretty awful.

Investigations have to be conducted in an impartial way or they are kind of useless.

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The Money and the Motivation.

The Dutch had the Black Box. They got their gold, Germany didn't get their gold. Join the dots.

What motivation did Russia have to shoot down a passenger jet? None. What motivation did the Ukranians have for instructing that airliner to fly low and slow over a battle field? Luisitania redux?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Lusitania.

Like Judas of old

You lie and deceive

A world war can be won

You want me to believe

But I see through your eyes

And I see through your brain

Like I see through the water

That runs down my drain

http://bobdylan.com/songs/masters-war-mono/

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Escalation fits with reported Sept 20th Kaliber missle strike

If you haven't seen this report it's because,  there has been no mainstream coverage, no official acknowledgement and has such remains unconfirmed. With no 'official'  presence  It has also not had as much   'reactive'  play in alternative media either. ( I believe T2H cited it here in a forum)   However given the provenance of the news release and the players involved the scenario is very plausible and the timing and logic fits well with events and rhetoric of this escalation.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-coalition-intelligence-operations-room-...

http://goldandliberty.com/the-resistance/russia-apparently-struck-coalit...

Gold and Liberty article wrote:

Russia Apparently Struck a Coalition Bunker in Aleppo, Killing 30 Foreign Intelligence Officers

On September 21, FARS reported that 30 Israeli, US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British intelligence officers were killed in a Kalibr missile attack in Aleppo. The strike was carried out in the immediate aftermath of (and in retaliation for) the coalition bombardment on the Syrian army (the one that was reportedly coordinated with ISIS in advance, but was a tragic mistake).

The FARS article cites a Sputnik Arabic report. The Sputnik report, as far as Google Translate is concerned, was reliably described by FARS. As with any news, and until it is further corroborated, its veracity is anyone’s guess. But let’s keep in mind the Sputnik agency is the successor to RIA Novosti’s international branch; it is owned and controlled by the Kremlin. This means anything Sputnik says, Russia says. So the report, regardless of other factors, must be taken seriously.

If the attack did indeed occur, it would make sense for Russia to do it covertly, and to advertise it primarily to an Arabic-speaking audience (the goal being to inform Assad’s supporters and adversaries, not to force NATO into a reaction by having to acknowledge or deny it). It would also explain why the American warmongers seem hysterical ever since; they say it is because of the humanitarian convoy; or because civilians are suffering in Aleppo. In essence, they are accusing Russia of having its own version of the Dahiya doctrine, and of inspiring terror (perhaps they’d blame Russia for seeking shock and awe). Coming from the bomber-in-chief, that however seems to stretch the possible hypocrisy a bit far. They are pissed about something else.

That would explain the escalation ever since:

  • The US suspends diplomatic talks with Russia over Syria
  • US General Joseph Dunford says imposing a no-fly zone is Syria would amount to war with Russia
  • The Aleppo propaganda is significantly ramped-up
  • The Obama administration starts contemplating strikes on Assad
  • The Russian Ministry of Defence says Russia, to avoid any further mistake, will strike down any plane attempting to attack areas controlled by the Syrian government
  • Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warns the US is ready to destroy Russia

It is also noteworthy that Trump changed his tone on Russia, as did his VP; would an attack against Syria (and thus a confrontation with Russia) be decided, Trump would have been briefed, and would have had to make sure he doesn’t appear “un-American” when it happens.

The escalation, so far, is merely acoustic. But the lunatics have a plan.

Had the freaks bombed Assad in 2013, when it was supposed to happen, they perhaps could have gotten away with it. We would have in Syria another resounding success as in Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen. The Shiite crescent would have successfully been broken. The chaos in the Middle-East would be even worse than today. Criminal interests in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, the UK and the US would have been properly served. The Islamic State would already have an embassy in Washington DC.

But the Russians stepped in first; so now, there’s no overthrowing the Syrian regime without going over Putin’s dead body.

Let’s hope cool heads prevail in Washington DC. Unfortunately it seems unlikely; for all intents and purposes, the Pentagon is now running American foreign policy. The propaganda seems to be preparing for the US, Israel, Qatar, and Saudi clowns to further confront China, Russia and Iran in the Middle-East (and wider Eurasia). Ayatollah Khomeini, for the first time, questioned Saudi’s guardianship over Medina and Mecca. If the war limits itself to Iran taking over the Arabian peninsula, the world could bare it (and perhaps be grateful for it); but if continental powers get dragged in, a biblical confrontation cannot be ruled out.

It seems the world is the closest to global war it has been since 1962. One thing is for sure, Obama is no JFK.

EOF

mememonkey

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Arthur R. and Andrew Jackson on the same page

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes."   Andrew Jackson

Duh?

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War and Debt Cancellation

Wow Chris, you have lots of say on these issues!
First the article.
And now all the follow ups in the comments.

Chris, do you know what has happened historically with debts, after a war comes along?

Have the debts or other obligations been wiped out due to the war?

Thanks a lot! 

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we're being threatened by Russian vaporware

That article on "russia preparing for a nuclear war" is chock full of threat assessments of weapon systems that do not exist.  What's more, the writer also makes some painfully simple-minded errors in assessing US vulnerability to a disarming first strike.

Example:

The Sarmat will weigh at least 100-tons and carry a 10-ton payload. That means the missile could carry as many as 15 independently targeted thermo-nuclear warheads. It has a range of at least 6,000 miles. Once it is operational, it will be the largest ICBM ever built.

Missile doesn't exist yet.  If and when it finally is deployed, it will just serve to replace the old SS-18 that are reaching the end of their service lifetime.  SS-18 had a similar-sized payload - maybe it was just a bit less capable.  The Russians will decomm the SS-18s, and replace them with Sarmats.  Am I scared by this?  I am not.

In a surprise attack scenario, the U.S. may be able to get some missiles off at the Russians, but the Russians also have the most advanced anti-ballistic missile systems in the entire world.  In fact, it is believed that the S-500 system will be able to intercept any of our missiles before they even get to Russia.  The following info about the S-500 comes from military-today.com

Yeah, the super-advanced walks-the-dog-and-mixes-the-drinks S-500 system doesn't exist either.  It has been delayed 4 years already.  As with all ABM systems, it is just vaporware until its been tested.  And of course, it hasn't been tested yet.  Wake me up once it successfully intercepts a warhead.  And then wake me up once again after they've actually deployed more than a couple of launchers.  From wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-500_missile_system

While Russian media has said that S-500 prototypes were “expected to enter service in late 2016 or 2017” to replace the S-300, U.S. observers say they have not yet been deployed and it is still in development, and question whether that timeline can be kept. Of particular uncertainty is the deployment of the 77N6 missile giving the S-500 ABM capability; while the U.S. conducted rigorous testing of ABM systems over a long period before fielding effective technology, there is little evidence that the Russians have carried out such testing.[21]

Once it stops being vaporware and it actually functions, the full deployment (taking four years) will eventually have all of 12 launchers.  Just one of our missile boats would easily be able to overwhelm all the S-500 launchers Russia plans on deploying.  Each missile boat can launch roughly 200 warheads.  Just do the math.  200 >> 12.  An umbrella doesn't do much during a hurricane.  Assuming they actually have an umbrella, which of course, they don't.

Another thing that has raised a lot of eyebrows is a massive “civil defense drill” in Russia that just concluded that involved 40 million people.  Many believe that the primary purpose of this drill was to prepare the population for a nuclear war.  The following comes from a major British news source

Again, a sub force strike against Russia will leave the place a smoking, radiating ruin.  There won't be a city over 100,000 people left standing.  Civil defense is just pissing in the wind if you are living near a target.  Plus - they might have "some place to go", but they'd have less than 20 minutes to get there.  That's the flight time of an ICBM...and its much less than that if the sub is off the Russian coastline.

...  These stealth submarines are so quiet and so invisible that they can come right up to our coastlines without us even knowing that they are there.

So someday a fleet of Russian submarines may suddenly surface just off both coasts, launch a barrage of nuclear missiles at us, and we would only have moments to try to decide what to do before our cities, our nuclear forces and our leadership started getting hit by nukes.

Super scary.  But once more, our sub force would survive any such surprise missile attack on the continental US, and its return strike would reduce Russia to a smoking, radiating ruin.  From a strategic perspective, the Russian subs will not give them the ability to execute a successful first strike.

The writer is desperately uninformed.  He is scared by Russian hardware that doesn't exist, he has no idea what capabilities the US has, and how survivable our forces are to an attempted disarming first strike.

I'm totally against trying to execute regime change in Syria, but seeing what sometimes passes for "informed strategic commentary" in the alt.media - well its just embarrassing.  Why would anyone take us seriously when this is the kind of crap our "experts" put out?

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The operating principle of the puppeteers of western nations

A very insightful article Chris. The US Government now runs on a single principle. Hypocrisy. The US Government works to undermine or crush democratically (or otherwise constituted) governments around the world year after year without any legal support whatsoever but has the gall to accuse Russia of supposedly undermining our elections while actively and blatantly working to cause an outright regime change for them! The US claims Russia is committing war crimes while continuing a 16 year rampage of mindless destruction through one country after another, with drone strikes on countless innocent human beings (they are not 'collateral' damage any more than our own families would be) and even US citizens, without trial, when deemed advantageous. Why was Obama so concerned about allowing legal suits against Saudi Arabia for 9/11? With that precedent now in place, how long will it be until he himself will be hounded by international lawsuits from at least half a dozen countries where he has overseen the deaths of thousands? If any other country did a tenth of what the US has perpetrated since 1999, they would be termed a 'rogue' nation. The Neo-Cons have studied Stalin - 'A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic'. It boggles any rational mind that the US government thinks it has any moral high ground at all when accusing other countries of lesser forms of their own 'unconscionable' behaviors. The US as purveyors of peace? Give me a break. What does the US know of making peace? Putin, Duerte and others are no angels but compared to the recent string of US presidents they are just pikers at committing violence on populations. What kind of chutzpah do people like Obama (and Bush before him) need to actually try to lecture anyone on civilized behavior? The last remaining power the US holds over the world is fear through economic and military terrorism. If ever other countries stop fearing the US (see Duerte in the Philippines, China and Saudi Arabia's recent treatment of Obama and Russia standing up to us militarily) then the 'empire' is done and the looting of it will begin. Have you ever seen what happens to the schoolyard bully when someone finally knocks them down? Trump and Bernie this year have been symptoms of the US population starting to rise up against the madness internally as well. Those in power need an external enemy upon which to focus the population's fear and anger soon, else it will consume them.

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So what then?              

So what then?                

Sounds like most of us agree that the West, the USA, is being run by maniacs intent on some kind of war to prove.....something.  I guess a neocon agenda.  So what then do we, as "free" citizens in a "democracy", do to change the tide?  I've written letters to my congress-critters, voted in the past, and exercise certain (at least at this point) constitutional rights to protect me and mine.  What can we do, beyond chatting here, to make a difference and put some pressure to bear on TPTB to, literally, save our own skins?  Is the military beyond reach (thinking of that "Oathkeeper" thing...) of rational thought and action?  Is some kind of domestic "sabotage" a viable plan?  I remember a young man who lost his legs trying to block a munitions train in Port Chicago during the Vietnam war.  I'm trying not to worry, but I'm vastly troubled, and flummoxed.  WTH do we DO?  Aloha, Steve

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MH17 again

I have just come across this on the "Saker" website and I think it is one of the clearest summaries I have read.  http://thesaker.is/mh17-report-taken-apart-by-saker-reader/

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We really don't want to go there

I'd imagine countermeasures are in place; not sure what those would entail or how effective they might be. Perhaps Dog's In A Pile might have some insight.

Given an Topol-M SS-27 "Sickle B" as a baseline (800 kt nominal yield), here's Bangor, Seattle and ​JBLM NukeMap plots for reference.

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Please read

This is your white pill where red and blue are just two colors in a wide spectrum

You are witnessing the exclusive fight club where the fight between two individuals is fought with armies and nations, where you are nothing more than collateral damage or wealth.

And you, you rather rant about the imminent evaporation of your family and friends and all living creatures around you in a nuclear war (or economic/climatic/ecologic/ you name it) or anarchy (fuck this bullshit gold fantasy) you rather rant about that individual or another while millions are about to be unleashed on each other, thousands miles away from their woman, kids, family and friends while nuclear fire or nuclear winter is killing the ones they sworn to protect.

Instead of being a man and save your family and their habitat, save your kids, save others’ kids: who in the world is letting kids die when he can prevent it?

You rather report another escalation and express again that you are furious on bits of 1 and 0 of the virtual world while your physical world is falling apart and soon to be gone in a mushroom of fire.

You supposed to be smart, you know your enemy, you know how its systems works and operate, you know each one of the controller of each system of destruction, distraction and deceive – you prove it in all your analysis, you prove it with your knowledge or your interest in that knowledge, you have all the knowledge and mental abilities you need to outsmart your enemy, that’s the weapon that they are afraid of most, that’s why they made the population dumb and docile, that’s why they silencing you and now censoring you: knowledge is their enemies’ stronger weapon and you holding a space programs type of knowledge and brain.

Knowledge is the combination of curiosity, sensitivity and objectivity and you are all showing strong signs of PTSD in the face of the horror show of a dying planet that is played in front of our eyes escalated exponentially and you the “exponential” flock can’t even recognizes the last doubling passing before your eyes in one minute.

How long? How long before you sound the alarm and openly declare war on the true enemies of everyone’s family, friends, neighbors and the rest of the people in all classes other then the 5% of every country?

How long before you openly organize and overwhelm the poor mercenaries of the 5%?

You deleted my previous post, you should have pay attention.

Please swallow the white peel and be like the bonobo but wear your chimpanzee mask now

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Topol-M

First, agreed we don't want to go there.  I'm just responding to the concept that "Russians are preparing for a nuclear war" - suggesting that if they prepared enough, that would allow them to ultimately "prevail."

Even if we assume away the environmental impact, the only way to prevail is to destroy your opponent's nuclear force before they can launch.  Today, that boils down to destroying the US submarine force that is deployed at sea.  If you can find and destroy all those missile boats before they launch, you can prevail.  If you can't, then your nation will be destroyed.  Its a very simple story.

Attacks on US soil, while very disagreeable for us, won't enable an opponent to "win".  The Topol-M does not target the sub force, so as a "first strike weapon", its more or less useless.  As you point out, it is great for targeting cities, but that won't allow anyone to "prevail" since it leaves the US sub force intact.

Topol-M is probably more survivable than the SS-18 (or the follow-on Sarmat) since it is mobile, while the heavy SS-18/Sarmat missiles sit in a fixed position in a silo, and would easy to target.

I'm sure Dogs knows vastly more than me, but I also suspect he's unable to comment.

So to summarize:

Will civil defense allow Russia to prevail?  No.

Will targeting US cities (with Topol-M, or SS-18, or Sarmat) allow Russia to prevail?  No.

Will striking first by surprise using submarines at the US continent allow Russia to prevail?  No.

If it doesn't target the sub fleet, it more or less doesn't matter - at least when it comes to a first strike anyway.  So "preparing to fight a nuclear war" = won't change the outcome in the slightest.  Both sides would be finished as civilizations, period.  All these "preparations" are thus meaningless.

A widespread deployment of a viable ABM system for ICBMs - and that means hundreds of launchers, that are proven in testing to have a high success rate at interception - that might change the math.  But no such system exists, on either side - at least no system that we know about anyway - and certainly not the S-500, which remains vaporware.

Here's an article that describes the progress of the US ABM program:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-limits-us-missile-defense-12503

Israel has several anti-missile defense systems - Iron Dome for the little stuff, and the Arrow series for long range missiles.  Arrow 3 is an exo-atmospheric interceptor for ICBMs - a recent test had it successfully intercept an incoming warhead, picking the actual warhead out from a group of decoys, which is a hard task.  But even that system has yet to be deployed.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/12/10/us-israel-arrow-3-intercepts-target-space/77087084/

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nickbert
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Posts: 1190
Time to take a deep breath

Interestingly enough, the international news and commentary here in Mongolia has not had much focus on the breakdown in relations between US and Russia.  The stories are mentioned, but pretty much given the same treatment as say the latest comment from Phillipine's Duterte or the latest global finance news from Europe.  None of the sensationalism or fear/anger you see in US mainstream media, Russian media, and most alternative media (interestingly enough we get most major TV news from all around the world here).  It is kind of refreshing to get some distance from the emotion-driven hype.

Does this mean there's nothing to worry about?  Sadly, no... I think the risks as presented are very real.  But while I'm wary of reading too much into it, I think this observation is telling me to see the potential for a shooting war between the US and Russia as just one of many potential outcomes... NOT a certainty.  It is the height of stupidity and arrogance that our leadership (and to an extent Russia's leadership as well) have even made it a possibility in the first place, but we can't resign ourselves to believe that war with Russia is inevitable.  This is a game of chicken where the goal is to get the other side to back down while keeping the military industrial complex flush with cash and new projects... an actual shooting war is a risk, but in all likelyhood NOT the intended outcome.  So yes prepare for the worst.... but have a little optimism at the same time.  The sociopaths pushing us closer to war (both the politicians and the ones who influence/advise them behind the scenes) are not invulnerable and do not have total control.  They have influence... sometimes very strong influence... but that is ephemeral, especially in the face of the massive changes ahead of us.  Already we can see their circle of influence diminishing globally. 

Anyway, while this post kind of went a different direction than I intended, I guess what I just want to say is that we need to take a step back every so often.  Nothing's written in stone, and we've still got a chance to change the course.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Posts: 131
Won't load

for me anyway. One can think of various reasons why it won't.

Tim Ladson's picture
Tim Ladson
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Posts: 59
The Saker

exlxq1949,

If you go into :thesaker.is, and scroll down to "Commenter's Corner" you will find the article on MH17

Tim

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Grover
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Link to Saker Post

http://thesaker.is/mh17-report-taken-apart-by-saker-reader/

On July 17th, 2014, in the midst of this violent offensive against the cities and provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk the air traffic controllers in Kiev re-directed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 200 kilometres north from its usual route over the Sea of Azov and ordered it to overfly the centre of the war zone in eastern Ukraine. No reasonable explanation for this change of route has been provided by Ukraine. The Kiev Air Traffic Control tapes were seized by the Ukrainian SBU less than an hour after the shootdown and have never been seen since. Where are they? The JIT didn’t ask that question.

It is hard to get just a little snippet of this post to capture the extensive coverup of events. This paragraph is somewhat typical where a statement is fleshed out and then the observation is made that JIT didn't ask that question. It is well worth the read!

Grover

H/T to ian.k for the link

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Time2help
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Rational Actors/Agents

Quote:

So to summarize:

Will civil defense allow Russia to prevail?  No.

Will targeting US cities (with Topol-M, or SS-18, or Sarmat) allow Russia to prevail?  No.

Will striking first by surprise using submarines at the US continent allow Russia to prevail?  No.

One of the key takeaways from this site has been that people are typically not rational, they are rationalizing. Information is gathered, compared with a belief system, and then "facts" are confirmed and "untruths" discarded.

Is anyone comfortable with the mindset / belief systems of those "calling the shots"? Not just the visible leadership, but the international banking interests pulling their strings?

And what happens when the lightweight judo study finally decides that the bully is never gonna stop pushing him, no matter what? Because the bully ain't right in the head? What if the one being bullied is a bit off kilter?

Faced with a no win scenario, at what point does the thought "He's gonna beat me really bad, might even kill me. But if I don't punch the fucker in the face hard, he's never gonna stop. He'll never back down. Because he can't control himself. And if he does kill me, he's gonna fucking die too. So fuck him." become rational?

Rational arguments are great. But expecting rationality when egos and emotions run high in psychopaths is a recipe for dissapointment.

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Michael_Rudmin
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Posts: 698
White pill

Ram_D, one of the basic docs behind The Matrix was a philosophical treatise _Similacra_and_simulation_.

The basic idea is that similacra--things like money, which is a similacrum for coinage, which is itself a similacrum for barter, which is also a similacrum for work-- allow more efficient use of wealth to generate wealth. The problem with similacra is twofold: first, people take shortcuts (simulate the similacra), and second, the similacra reward the simulators most of all, empowering them.

Now, you speak of warring against the chimp tribe, but the chimp tribe is far more powerful than the baby chimps they eat.

Point being, unless you can map a way from there to here and back again, there is no map.

And the chimp tribe takes deep offense at anyone abondoning the siystem of similacra which feeds them so well on baby chimp flesh.

So you are sitting there frustrated: "nobody's moving!!!" But you don't have a good plan in place to move.

So what do you propose: the babies overwhelm the eaters?

Sometimes, there really is nothing that people can do.

Sometimes, doing something is worse than doing nothing.

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cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 4986
HRC on the debate

Confirming my fears, HRC in the debate just demonized Russia not once, but twice.  

First, she blamed the image of the bombed child that swept the world on Russian bombers, when she knows better than anybody that the US (along with other western participants) started the conflict in the first place.  And, as far as I know, it's entirely unclear on who dropped the bomb or lobbed the shell that injured that child.   I think that's, um, well, deplorable.

Second, she ran with the utterly unproven assertions that Russia is somehow meddling with her election run by hacking and releasing emails to wikileaks.

Taken together, these are wildly dangerous assertions to my ears.  

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 4986
It just got serious...

CNN dropped the bomb and just compared Aleppo to the holocaust.  Such obvious propaganda.  OMG.

Then HRC demonizes Russia for Syria, supports the idea of war crimes trial against Russia and then blames Russia for trying to derail her presidential run.

Wake up folks.

This is now way beyond election posturing for the sake of winning points by beating up Russia.  The hand of the neocons has just been tipped.  This is about fighting Russia.

This is now very serious, and wildly dangerous.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2454
Empire

This is about hegemony.

This is getting ugly.

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Time2help
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Posts: 2454
Hans-Zandvliet's picture
Hans-Zandvliet
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 13 2010
Posts: 5
A very philosophical analysis!

Thank you so very much for your analysis, Chris.

I haven't read such a profound and existential analysis of you in a long time, though (I must admit) I've not read many of your analysis lately (instead, I was reading and listening a lot to Paul Craig Roberts and the like).

It seems to me that, with this analysis, you've surpassed yourself. Congratulations! It seems to me, you've turned a corner and started to realize that the contents of "the next 20 years being entirely different than the past 20 years", might have more to do with the fallout of geopolitical conflicts than the sterile consequences of your EEE-analysis (which remains at the root of all anyway). True to what John Maynard Keynes supposedly once said ("When events change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"), I regard it entirely fair that (if) you've turned a corner. I had to turn many corners since I became aware of your three E's, over 5 years ago.

I've come to believe that the decline of industrial civilization will be accompanied, somehow, by some sort of conflagration (authentic or orchestrated) that will get (authentically or orchestratedly) out of control. Although several alternative conflagrations might be identified, your analysis of the growing (and orchestrated!) conflict of the USA with Russia represents one of the most probable and acute of all. After all, how could the US-empire witness itself go bust (economically, monetarily or geopolitically), without preparing for a scapegoat (Russia) to blame?

So again, thank you so very much, Chris!

Hans Zandvliet,

La Paz, Bolivia

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