Monday 21st of September 2020

WAR...

war...

War demands a lot of energy and a twisted sense of values.


From early motivation to realisation of war there are a lot of steps in between. But most of these steps have been already climbed by priming armies, airforces, navies to be at the ready. Manufacturing armament has been going gangbusters...

Victory is never assured despite the best of commitment. At this level see Japan's and Germany’s defeats. So why has war been so attractive to leaders from Napoleon to Obama?
War is often started “reluctantly" by such leaders who see no other alternative to protect their own freedomation and securationing as well as those of other peoples. I use two made up words here to show the delusion... Imagine being an Obama, a righteous moralisationer of pure ideals deciding to bomb seven countries including (un)declare(?) war on Syria and Libya. You would need to invent major alibis made of cast iron to defend your motivation. You would also need some mates in helping you formulate this (im)moral compass that exclusively points to Thor. War. War… WAR. Obama got Sarkozy-the-Devious and Cameron-the-English-Sausage to help him absorb the hypocriticalumination.

This was the case of George W Bush assembling a “coalition of the willing”. All blind bullies — partners in crime — because war is a CRIME, becoming moralisticationers (masticating morality) in the same shithole paintpot colour as whom they decided to war against. The US, the UK and Australian leaders became criminals when they decided to go to war against Saddam. They had to create rabid froth in their people starting from fear.

Political decisions. Political delusions. Political propaganda.
In order to motivate the populaces, leaders use the old tricks of propaganda. These leaders do not operate in a vacuum. They are influenced by sycophants, war specialists, lobbyists and wordsmiths (media) who can manufacture “reasons”, irrefutable “proofs” why war is probably necessary “at the last resort” to achieve “whatever” — including “non-conquest” in our modern wish to “liberate other peoples"… Caesar, the nearly-imperatur despot, would not have risen to the top if he had been alone in praising himself. Caesar had a bunch of generals, clever arse-lickers who would promote him to the rank of demigod by peeing glory and lies on the people. They would organise parades, build monuments and carve statues to place like beacons to all the corner of the “known” world. The concept of superiority would not go astray, as well as maintaining fear of "the others”. We had to destroy them before they destroy us. Pear Harbour never again, or may be once more, to give us the necessary fire under our arse… otherwise we might become soft in the moral peace braincells.

Nothing changed for more than 2000 years — until a Donald Trump came along… The last thing that the idiot Donald wants is WAR… So far in his presidency, Trump has not declare war on any other nations. By the end of his first tenure, Obama had already done assymetrical war with four countries. And he got a Nobel Prize for sowing peace-tacks, in the world... 

So Donald, soon to become a duck, has been undermined for various pretexts but the main reason is that "he has not fancied using the armies to defeat someone". He might use them to steal a bit of oil here and there, but these armies had been put in place by his predecessors — and he is trying his darnest to pull the troops back. He has to lie like an insurance salesman and wriggle like a devil-snake in the apple-tree to do so, as not to be seen as a wimp.

There are possibly more warmongers in the Democratic Party than in the GOP. They hate trump more for this than him being a silly twittering kook who signs his name in big letters. Say the Democrats had nicely lined up their warrior-princess to become the first female president and this peace-mongering dork steals the show with his lonely hubris! 

The army generals who spend years learning about the art of warfare now become redundant. They would be pink with porky infected rage. No bullet to be fired? No bomb to drop on an "enemy"? You’ve got to be kidding me! Trump must be a Russian stooge!...


More to come

Implementation of war demands propaganda to define the enemy, advertise its threat and prepare the best defence/attack.


Gus the elder
Peace-monger... 

a nasty deadly enterprise...

Implementation of war demands propaganda to define the enemy, advertise its threat and prepare the best defence/attack.


Making war implements is a full time job. It has been said that, directly and indirectly, the military is 20 per cent of the US economy. The gamut of weapons is impressive. Modern warfare has split in two main areas: the small conflicts in which the US and Russia have indulged in Syria with “improved” accuracy of traditional weapons, and the full-on destruction of all, using the big nukes — an option still in the mind of the psychopaths in charge. Presently, there is a third possible medium mad limited warfare being developed by the USA with small nukes. it is likely that Russia is countering this with their own developments.

Until the “invention” of the kaki uniform, fodder was provided by foot soldiers in red vests, while cannons did some limited damage. Then warfare became a massive industry to kill more efficiently. Swords had been replaced by bombs of increasing explosive power and guns with bigger calibre. Imagine that the barrel, of some guns developed for cruisers, were 20 metre long and weighed at 250 tonnes, each. The largest calibre guns ever mounted on a ship were the nine 45.7 cm (18 inch) guns installed on the Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi. The shells weighed 1,452 kg (3,200 lb) and could be fired 43.5 km (27 miles). Yamato and Musashi were the largest battleships. 

Tanks replaced horses. Hay was replaced by diesel and petrol.

There were some transitional wars such as the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the Russians and Balkan territories, followed by the Japanese defeat of Russia’s fleet in the East. Of this era, one ship remains proud in Saint Petersburg, The Aurora. For WW1 and WW2, an amazing amount of armament was conceived and fabricated. 

From heavy cruisers to fighter planes, the clever inventions came coming, including remote detection of the "enemy". Heavy plating was then defeated by specialised panzer-busters and such, with increasing range and accuracy. Nowadays, deplete-uranium shells are used. A million planes were build and destroyed. Thousands of ships got sunk. Most of the explosives uselessly fell in the water or in the wrong places. Luck was still an important factor in winning a battle… People? who cares… 

Now, more than one hundred modern nuclear submarines about ten times the size of a WW2 destroyer, sail under the seas, with more than a hundred-times the fire-power of the amount of bombs ever used in all war combined, EACH… And we have big rockets. Well, not us in Downunderland, but them, including the Indians and the Pakistanis...

Now, the new fashion is hyper-weapons which at 27,000 km/h can avoid detection and flight predictability. Moscow to New York in 10 minutes or less… The era of stealth-plane is finished for major conflicts, as new multi-wave radars are able to spot them like flies ten miles away… Modern subs are quiet and coated with rubber to become invisible to sonars. The "secret" props are designed to provide maximum power with minimum cavitation. In one of NATO recent exercise, a Norwegian sub was able to mock a torpedo attack on the biggest US aircraft carrier and virtually sink it, in the middle of a large fleet of destroyers, without detection. This was embarrassing for the brass who would have had to go back to war school. 


Meanwhile propaganda to get people “happy”, “enthusiastic”, "duty-bound” to participate is what is essentially a nasty deadly enterprise is going full speed ahead in the media. We got tricked (we were not on this site nor were we before hand in 2001, two years before "this" war) by the mantra of “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction"… We have enemies and we cultivate them like pot plants, otherwise we would not need our arsenal of secateurs, insecticides and shovels. Daily, the propaganda is rife, pushed by rumours that quickly become “facts” in the mouths of politicians in the same manner as the 5G network “spread coronavirus” in the chants of anti-radiation lentil-gobbler greenies. 


At present, few people in the general public are fully aware of what armament can do, even us who, in the 1970s and 1980s, protested against nuclear proliferation, need refresher courses in the nastiness of war, otherwise something might happen. We might be tricked in abandoning our hatred of war by a Scotty of Marketing trying to sell us idiotic missiles, while destroying the ABC.

Australia should stay clear and become a creator of peace, because in any event, even with the best defence available, we cannot compete with the big boys at this level. We can compete on a diplomatic and philosophical determination for solving conflicts before they happen. We need to be smartly developing the art of human understanding and of minimising the usual deceit. 

But our boffins in Kanbra (Kambri) are mostly religious and professional hypocrites. It’s the tradition.

More to come.

catching up with the catch ups...

In mid-March, the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov said that the country is continuing to build fourth-generation submarines, and is also involved in developing fifth-generation subs with more sophisticated specifications. 

US Lieutenant General Glen VanHerck has warned of a serious challenge that America’s “competitors and potential adversaries” currently pose to the country.

He made the remarks during Senate hearings on Tuesday to approve him as head of the US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defence Command.

“Over 32 years of service, I don't think I've ever seen as strategic and dynamic a national security challenge as we have today. […] Russia develops strategic capabilities, such as their submarines, which now are a significant challenge for tracking and pose the potential for cruise missiles that can strike the homeland”, VanHerck said.

He added that China "will do the same" as Russia "in the not so distant future as they continue to develop their capabilities and become more expeditionary”.

The general spoke after the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov told the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in March that apart from constructing fourth-generation submarines, Russia is also involved in developing fifth-generation subs.

“We must look ahead. This is imperative of our time for further development of the [Russian] navy. Therefore, it is no secret that work is underway to create fifth-generation nuclear submarines. They will be even more advanced in terms of performance specifications”, Yevmenov pointed out.

In a separate development in March, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that the nation’s Pacific Fleet had formed two new anti-submarine warfare strike groups, and the vessels will be tasked with searching for potential enemy subs.

The groups were formed “following the successful completion of combat missions at sea with practice firing of all types of ship weapons” and will operate in the country’s northeast.

 

The statement followed US Navy Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis saying in February that the country’s east coast can no longer be considered a "safe haven" for American naval ships due to the increased activity of more advanced Russian submarines in the Atlantic.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/military/202007291080009722-pentagon-official-cl...

 

Aussie subs are obsolete before we start...

 

Read from top.

 

others in the war business...

Israel Aerospace Industries (Hebrew: התעשייה האווירית לישראל ha-ta'asiya ha-avirit le-yisra'el) or IAI (תע"א) is Israel's major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian usage. It has 15,000 employees as of 2018. IAI is completely state-owned by the government of Israel.

IAI designs, develops, produces and maintains civil aircraft, dronesfighter aircraftmissileavionics, and space-based systems.

Although IAI's main focus is engineering, aviation and high-tech electronics, it also manufactures military systems for ground and naval forces. Many of these products are specially suited for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) needs, while others are also marketed to foreign militaries.

 

Read more:

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

 

 

For us, Aussies, we can't compete with this and we should go back to the days of being peace-loving beatniks and surfing sin-binners... Hum.... Sharks and global warming might go through our zinc cream defences, mind you... Presently being cooped up at home like chooks in an intensive barnyard, there is no chance of being sunburnt, unless we're like a tight crop of weed in an ultraviolet-lit cupboard, which can't happen because of the 1.5 metre rule... We could become depressed by this social distancing... but cheer up, winter is nearly over, despite the freezing cold on the highlands... And the government will give you cash to stay home... Do it for the country, not for bludging sake!...

cause for serious reflection on what nuclear weapons can do...

 

From the New York Times


It seems that the United States is plunging into a new arms race without learning the lessons of the last.


By The Editorial Board


The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.

 

The nuclear weapons dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago this week wreaked a devastation never before seen in human warfare. Yet they were firecrackers compared with the nuclear weapons that were soon developed — bombs, warheads, shells, torpedoes and other devices capable of vaporizing the human race in an apocalyptic flash.


For decades, that thought cast a pall of acute anxiety over America and the world. Whether because of that fear, a strategy of effective deterrence, chance or all the above, the United States remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons in combat. With the end of the Cold War, anxiety around nuclear war has receded. Most people probably are not aware that a harrowing and expensive new arms race is now underway.


Today Americans are more likely to identify climate change as the greatest man-made threat to the planet. Last year, in the list of what Americans fear compiled annually by Chapman University, “North Korea using nuclear weapons” and “Nuclear weapons attack” ranked 27 and 29, far below “Corrupt government officials” (No. 1) or “Pollution of oceans, rivers and lakes” (No. 2).


Yet even with the Cold War long over and stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the Russian and American arsenals sharply reduced through a series of nuclear arms treaties, to fewer than 6,000 warheads each, there are no grounds for complacency. The world can still be destroyed in a flash.

Nine states have nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. Iran’s nuclear program has been the focus of intense concern for years, and Saudi Arabia has vowed that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, it will follow suit. Consider also that two men have the power to unleash a nuclear barrage entirely on their own — President Trump and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, who are both working assiduously on modernizing their arsenals.


Mr. Trump has said he is working on a new arms control agreement with Russia and is seeking to include China in the talks. But his administration has always found it easier to tear up treaties than to sign them, especially if the result in any way restrains the United States. As the special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, boasted in May, “We know how to win these races, and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”


Before the coronavirus pandemic put millions of Americans out of work, spending so much money on new doomsday weapons was profligate. Now, it seems morally indefensible. This week, the Government Accountability Office said that, without changes, the Pentagon’s nuclear weapons modernization effort is on track to surpass its $1.2 trillion price tag over the next three decades. It seems as though the United States is plunging into a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China without having learned the lessons of the last one.


When briefed by the military in 2017 on the levels to which American and Russian nuclear arsenals had been reduced through arms treaties, Mr. Trump reportedly demanded that the United States increase its nuclear stockpile tenfold. According to some reports, this was what prompted the secretary of state at the time, Rex Tillerson, to call the president a “moron.”


Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal, and he has not yet extended the New START accord, the only agreement still in place limiting American and Russian nuclear forces, which was signed by President Barack Obama and expires in early February. In addition, the Trump administration was recently reported to be thinking of breaking the 28-year-old moratorium on nuclear testing.


The 75th anniversary of Hiroshima is a good time to revive serious public concern about nuclear weapons. The pandemic may leave little room for other fears, but public health and economic recovery should not have to compete for resources with a needless and enormously expensive new arms race. As Jessica Matthews, former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in the current issue of The New York Review of Books, it would be good for the five original nuclear powers — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — to formally endorse the principle set forth by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at their 1985 summit, that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”


Above all, the wrenching images of scorched rubble where Hiroshima had stood ought to be cause for serious reflection on what nuclear weapons do — and what they cannot do.

 

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The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

 


Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/opinion/hiroshima-anniversary-nuclear...

 

Read from top.

 

See also: time to reassess our future sticks and stones...

seeking to intimidate russia...

By Scott Ritter

 

The US bombed Japan in 1945 to demonstrate its power to the USSR. Intimidation, NOT deterrence was, is and always will be the goal


As the world reflects on the decision by the US to drop two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War II, the reality is that the US nuclear enterprise remains the greatest threat to world peace.

Seventy-five years ago this week, two American B-29 ‘Superfortress’ bombers departed Tinian Island, in the northernmost part of the Mariana Islands, some 1,500 miles south of Tokyo, armed with the world’s newest and most horrific weapon: the atomic bomb. On August 6, a B-29 nicknamed the ‘Enola Gay’ dropped a single bomb containing 64 kilograms of highly enriched uranium over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb, nicknamed ‘Little Boy,’ detonated with the force of 15 kilotons of TNT. At least 66,000 people were killed outright, with another 69,000 wounded, many of whom subsequently died of their injuries.


Two days later a second B-29, nicknamed the ‘Bockscar,’ dropped a bomb containing 6.4 kilograms of plutonium over the city of Nagasaki. This weapon, nicknamed ‘Fat Man,’ detonated with a force of 21 kilotons, killing some 39,000 Japanese outright and wounding another 25,000, most of whom, like those injured in Hiroshima, later died from their wounds.


American historians have struggled with the morality of dropping weapons that could destroy a city and its population in one mighty blast. Over the years, a consensus has been reached that justifies the horror of using the atomic bomb on the grounds that it helped shorten the war with Japan and, in doing so, saved hundreds of thousands of American lives that would have been lost in any invasion of the main Japanese islands, along with the lives of millions of Japanese, who would have died defending their homeland.


The problem with this narrative is that it provides an inaccurate picture of what really transpired. Certainly, the math regarding expected casualties in the case of an invasion of Japan is factually accurate, as far as estimates go. However, the reality was that Japan was on the cusp of surrendering and, had the US offered conditional terms replicating the post-war arrangement eventually reached by General MacArthur (the retention of the Imperial family, and a modicum of Japanese self-governance), there is every reason to believe that the Japanese would have surrendered without the US resorting to a costly campaign of conquest.


The fact of the matter is Truman’s inner circle, including Secretary of State James Byrnes and Secretary of War Henry Stimson, were in favor of dropping the atomic bomb on Japanese cities not so much because it would shorten the current war with Japan, but primarily because it would help deter a future war with the Soviet Union

Byrnes believed that “Russia might be more manageable” in a post-war reality shaped not by the theoretical possibility of an atomic bomb, but the demonstrated destructive capacity of the new weapon. As General Leslie Groves, the military director of the Manhattan Project that produced the two American bombs, relayed to the scientists involved, “the whole purpose of this project was to subdue the Russians.”


This distinction is critical to understanding the role played by nuclear weapons in American nuclear posture and policy today. Doctrine, like organizations and people, are heavily influenced by the circumstances of their birth. There is a huge distinction between the calculation required to justify using a weapon for the purpose of shortening a war and saving lives, and that used to seek to intimidate a potential future opponent by demonstrating the destructive capability of a weapon through the annihilation of two cities, and their respective populations, that otherwise need not have been targeted for destruction.


Americans like to embrace the narrative of the use of the two atomic bombs that targeted Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a perverse act of humanitarianism – we had to kill hundreds of thousands in order to save millions. Seen in this light, the continued possession of nuclear weapons by the United States is a necessary evil, as their existence helps prevent, through deterrence, the future employment of these terrible weapons of mass destruction.


But when viewed through a lens that reflects the reality of the genesis of the atomic bomb – that it was a force of intimidation the power of which had to be demonstrated through the murder of hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom were civilians who otherwise would have survived – the atomic bomb and its progeny were no longer a necessary evil, but rather pure evil personified.


The United States has long struggled with the need to balance the notion of ‘war made easy’ through the existence of nuclear weapons and the temptation to use them that such a philosophy promotes, and the harsh reality of retaliation at the hands of other nuclear powers should it be inclined to use them. The fact that, over the years, the US has been tempted to use nuclear weapons to resolve difficult non-nuclear conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq come to mind) only underscores the reality that intimidation, and not deterrence, is their principal value.


The fact that the US continues to design and deploy nuclear weapons based on their ‘usability’ should send a chill down the neck of every American citizen, and indeed of the neck of every citizen of the world. This is especially so now, given the current ambivalence of the US to the kind of arms control that previously helped reduce the risk of inadvertent nuclear conflict. In the past 20 years, the US has withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty, and is on the cusp of allowing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to expire without a replacement.

Instead of doubling down on trying to revive arms control, the US seems focused on flexing its muscle through the deployment of new ‘small yield’ warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). It’s also ‘up-warheading’ and flight-testing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with three multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles – despite the fact the operational Minuteman III force is deployed with only a single warhead.

American politicians and military planners may seek to mollify a worried world by insisting that these actions, and others like it, are meant only to bolster the deterrent capability of the US nuclear enterprise. But the world should not be fooled. Seventy-five years ago, the United States murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese for the sole purpose of seeking to intimidate Russia. A recent exercise involving the newly deployed ‘low-yield’ SLBM, in which the Secretary of Defense practiced the weapons-release procedures in a scenario involving the targeting of Russian forces in Europe, must be viewed in the shadow of this history. Intimidation, not deterrence, was, is and always will be the driving force behind America’s nuclear arsenal. Like any schoolyard bully, the concern isn’t if the US will use these weapons, but when.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/497209-intimidation-deterrence-nuclear-bombing-japan/

 

 

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of 'SCORPION KING: America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

 

 

Read also:  the next level of peace... in from victory via becoming rust at the bottom, with the sad loss of lives, to MAD...

 

 

we lied, we farted, he died...

by Philip Roddis

 

"Of course the people don’t want war. That is understood … But after all it is the leaders who determine the policy and it is a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

 

                           Herman Goering, on trial for his life at Nuremberg

 


This week, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of America’s militarily unnecessary[1] use of the atom bomb at Hiroshima, John Pilger wrote an excellent piece on the horrors of that day and its long bleak aftermath, linking them to the insanity of the drive currently underway for war on China.


(It’s in Consortium. The days are gone when Guardian or Mirror gave house room to Pilger.)


Our passive consent is once more being manufactured for another Empire Strike. Vilification of China in mainstream Western media, right wing and ‘liberal’ alike, is the new normal. Even the de rigeur demonising of Putin now takes second place to evidence-lite tales – “… intelligence sources say … it is believed that …” – of dastardly doings by the Yellow Man[2] in Beijing.


(Though of course, Moscow – knowing its turn would come next – could hardly sit idly by as full scale war was waged on China.)


Slavoj Zizek said it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Since its non negotiable demands for profits appear as existential truths – “of course we can’t produce wealth if it isn’t profitable to do so … of course we can’t feed the world, have clean streets or breathe clean air: who will pay for such things?” – an obscene global order is defended as far from perfect, to be sure, but the best one attainable by mere mortals …


…while those, like Jeremy Corbyn, who beg to differ draw the fury of an establishment which, however divided on lesser issues, will close ranks on matters of non negotiable importance ….


…ditto those, like Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping, whose very acceptance of the logic of capital in its monopoly phase of imperialism puts them on a collision course with Wall St, Washington and their junior partners in London and Paris …


…ditto those like Julian Assange, who breach media omerta to deliver hard evidence on how the state monopoly on violence is actually exercised, and for that crime must be humiliated, reviled and finally broken.[3]


That closing of ranks by our rulers is why the substantive positions of the Daily Mail on the one hand, Guardian on the other, are essentially the same in respect of those named in the previous three paragraphs. Sadly, such unity is widely taken, including by people who deem themselves critical thinkers, as a sign of incontestable truth.


Even when such ‘truth’ cannot stand up to the slightest scrutiny. This from my post of July 15:


Try today’s Guardian and tell me where – in the story on Russian state-sponsored hackers targeting Covid-19 vaccine researchers, or that on Russia interfering in the 2019 election – an iota of evidence is produced.


Unsurprisingly, I’ve had not a single reader take me up on this. The two articles – and thousands like it which make up a relentless demonising of America’s greatest military rival (Russia) and its greatest economic rival (China) – are spun from thin air by intelligence sources and journalists who have shown time and again that they cannot be trusted...


the global south, waged in the name of lofty ideals but always, in ways direct or indirect[4], in the interests of profit.

But now we are not speaking of states helpless in the face of the West’s might. Moral aspects of 500 years of colonial then imperialist[5] bullying aside, the difference between Latin America and the Middle East on the one hand, China and Russia on the other, points us to the reality that not since 1945 has a Western power confronted an adversary of remotely comparable weight.

So why now?

One answer is that the MAD (mutually assured destruction) doctrine is being challenged, in the corridors of US power, as never before. See this piece from 2014 by former Reagan appointee, Paul Craig Roberts. Those within the Beltway, and across the Potomac in the Pentagon, who believe a nuclear war with Russia and/or China can be won are no longer outliers on the far fringes of Sensible Discourse.

(Witness presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s plan to impose no-fly zones on Syria, a move that could not but provoke head on confrontation with Russian forces there at the behest of its lawful but equally demonised government.)

Here’s a second, complementary, answer from my January post, Talking WW3 Blues.

I can think of no precedent for a pre-eminent world power sitting back as the economic basis of its military might ebbs away. And Russia and China have time on their side.

Let’s take Russia first. This from a 2018 piece, again by Paul Craig Roberts:

Two factors are driving the world to nuclear war. One is the constant stream of insults, false accusations and broken agreements that the West has been dumping on Russia year after year. The other is Russia’s response, or, perhaps more correctly, the lack thereof.

… the Russian government’s factual, diplomatic, and legal responses actually produce more provocations and insults. See here and here and here.

Russia should turn her back on the West. The future lies in the East of which Russia is a part. She should focus on the partnership with China, and relationships in the East, and stop responding to blatantly false accusations and provocative insults.

Russia can be part of the West only by surrender to Washington’s hegemony. [Russia should] by now have figured out that Washington is determined to marginalize and isolate her, discredit her government, dislodge Putin and install a puppet [or] failing these efforts, push her to the point that her only alternatives are to surrender or go to war.

Did it ever occur to Lavrov or Putin that Russia’s President would be called a murderer by a British foreign secretary, on the basis of a fabrication created by the British government?

Are Lavrov and Putin finally getting the message that it is self-defeating to appeal to facts and law when the West has no respect for either?

Like his fellow Reagan appointee, Russia expert Stephen Cohen – and for that matter Reagan himself – Roberts had thought the cold war over with the fall of the USSR. Which goes to show that none of these three – for two of whom I have considerable respect – truly understood what the first cold war was about.

Here’s something I wrote three years ago:

Suppose the old cold war was not about ‘defending our freedom’. Suppose it was instead about one sixth of the world’s land mass – its vast resources and markets – being closed off to Profit. Why suppose any such thing? Because for reasons beyond my current remit, capitalism’s inner laws of motion demand ceaseless accumulation, even as they drive a tendency to falling profits. I haven’t the space here to prove these things, nor do I ask anyone to accept them on my say so. I ask only that for purposes of inquiry we suppose  them true. Things that don’t otherwise make much sense suddenly snap into focus.

Reagan won the old cold war for western capitalism. He forced the USSR into ever greater arms-spend when every rouble on defence bled the Soviet economy whereas, such is the insanity of capitalism, every dollar the Pentagon spent boosted a $10trn for-profit arms sector, biggest driver of the US economy. By this and other means – sanctions, funding terror in Afghanistan, manipulating world oil prices – Washington, aided by the USSR’s ossified leadership and brittle top-down economy, prevailed.

Such was Reagan’s vacuity, and such the figurehead nature of his office, he genuinely believed the cold war over.

And so for a while it seemed. As free-market capitalism sent Russia into a tailspin of chaos and gangsterism, Yeltsin did everything asked of him. He did his own rolling over on Yugoslavia, its dismemberment exposing Russia while unleashing the corrupt state of Kosovo. With touching faith he believed Clinton on NATO ‘not advancing an inch’, and opened up the economy. That’s where things went off-script for the West.

I don’t doubt that squadrons of glassy-eyed Chicago Schoolers really do buy their own voodoo economics. I’m even prepared to deem some at least of the IMF Taliban naive enough to toke the smoke on liberalisation as economic cure-all. But to believe the same of the wolves of Wall Street? Sorry, no can do.

For them, liberalisation means nothing if not boosted bottom lines and eye-watering bonuses. Read Naomi Klein: a good writer who documents meticulously. Chapters 10-11 of The Shock Doctrine chart exactly what went down in Russia.

The fruits of privatisation, you see, had been stamped ‘for western hands’. Instead – this is funny if you’re in a good mood – they were trousered by ex KGB; the now semi-feudal oligarchy that blossomed and flourished under Yeltsin.

In comes strongman Putin. He cracks down on corruption (but must play a long game, so is with breathtaking chutzpah accused of deeds done by his predecessor to nods in Washington). He fixes a torched economy, allowing him among other things to beef up defence – now why would he want to do that?  With Russia once more a global player, he stands up to NATO and effects his own rapprochement, with China, in part discussed in Perilous Days.

All this, mind, coinciding with the slow economic decline – making it triply dangerous – of the most powerful and reckless nation on earth.

As you see, I’m less inclined to look favourably on Reagan than Roberts and Cohen are. Less inclined too to take the West’s rationale for Cold War 1 at face value. On the other hand I’m kinder on Putin and Lavrov, whom I watch with guarded approval.

(Not that this matters much. As with Syria, my alarm and disgust at Western recklessness and venality are not premised on a Russia pure as the driven snow. And as with Assad, my refusal to damn Putin is not premised on his combining wisdom, nerves of steel and a pure heart with the strategic vision of a chess grand master.)

But what about China? This from The Guardian two weeks ago:

It has taken too many horrors, but at last the world is paying heed to China’s treatment of the Uighurs. Satellite pictures of detention camps, and procurement requests for spiked clubs, have been supplemented by leaked internal documents warning “allow no escapes”, and growing testimony from relatives and former inmates whose desperation has overcome their fear of retaliation for speaking out.

And this from The Grayzone last December:

Claims that China has detained millions of Uyghur Muslims are based largely on two studies. A closer look at these papers reveals US government backing, absurdly shoddy methodologies, and a rapture-ready evangelical researcher named Adrian Zenz.

You believe the Guardian if you like. For me, its credibility on matters of core importance ran out years ago. But even if every word on the Uighurs, the Spratly Isles (Washington’s ‘justification’ for insane but not illogical acts of provocation in the South China Sea), on TikTok and Huawei spyware and all the rest of the Empire Narrative were true, they’d add precisely nothing to our understanding of why America, its lesser partners riding its coat tails, is gunning for China.

 

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/08/08/our-beautifully-democratic-wars/

 

 

Note: more "may have" bullshit about the suicide of Georing:

 

It has taken almost 60 years, but historians may now have the answer to one of the oldest mysteries concerning the demise of the Third Reich. How did Hermann Goering, the former commander of the Luftwaffe and architect of the Nazi concentration camps, manage to cheat the gallows in Nuremberg by taking his own life on the eve of his scheduled execution after more than a year in captivity?

It seems that a 19-year-old American guard, charmed by a dark-haired German beauty, may have slipped him the poison.

Not provable and perhaps barely believable, but this - long-delayed - explanation of one of the last century's most teasing puzzles has come not from some scholar or researcher of the Nuremberg era but from that same guard, now a 78-year-old retired sheet-metal worker in southern California.

Read more "may have":

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/the-soldier-his-sweetheart-and-the-suicide-of-hermann-goering-5386315.html

 

Read from top.

Read also:  the next level of peace... in from victory via becoming rust at the bottom, with the sad loss of lives, to MAD...