Monday 20th of March 2023

irrational on an epic scale... will 2023 be worse than 2022?......

Even though one has become accustomed to seeing the United States government behaving irrationally on an epic scale with no concern for what happens to the average citizen who is not a member of one of the freak show constituencies of the Democratic Party, it is still possible to be surprised or even shocked.


Shortly before year’s end 2022 an article appeared in the mainstream media and was quite widely circulated. The headline that it was featured under in the original Business Insider version read “A nuclear attack would most likely target one of these 6 US cities — but an expert says none of them are prepared.” The cities were New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco.

 Is Joe Biden willing to destroy the world to “weaken Russia”? 


The article seeks to provide information and tips that would allow one to survive a nuclear attack, repeating commentary from several “experts” in emergency management and “public health” suggesting that a nuclear war would be catastrophic but not necessarily the end of the world. One should be prepared. It observes that “those cities would struggle to provide emergency services to the wounded. The cities also no longer have designated fallout shelters to protect people from radiation.” It is full of sage advice and off-the-cuff observations, including “Can you imagine a public official keeping buildings intact for fallout shelters when the real-estate market is so tight?” Or even better the advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s “nuclear detonation planning guide” that for everyday citizens in a city that has been nuked: “Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned.” Dr. Ron Paul asks “Are they insane? They act as if a nuclear attack on the United States is just another inconvenience to plan for, like an ice storm or a hurricane.”

The article argues that the six cities would be prime targets as they are centers for vital infrastructure. The bomb blasts would kill hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans with many more deaths to follow from radiation poisoning, but the article makes no attempt to explain why Russia, with a relatively sane leadership, would want to start a nuclear war that would potentially destroy the planet. Also, the targeting list of the cities provided by the “experts” is itself a bit odd. Surely Russia would attack military and government targets as a first priority to limit the possible retaliation while also crippling the ability of the White House and Pentagon to command and control the situation. Such targets would include both San Diego and Norfolk where the US Atlantic and Pacific fleets are based as well as the various Strategic Air Command bases and the underground federal government evacuation site in Mount Weather Virginia.

Reading the article, one is reminded of the early years of the Cold War that sought to reassure the public that nuclear war was somehow manageable. It was a time when we elementary school children were drilled in hiding under our desks when the air raid alarm went off. Herman Kahn was, at that time, the most famous advocate of the school of thought that the United States could survive the “unthinkable,” i.e. a nuclear war. An American physicist by training, Kahn became a founding member of the beyond neocon nationalist Hudson Institute, which is still unfortunately around. Kahn, who served in the US Army during the Second World War as a non-combat telephone lineman, started has career as a military strategist at the RAND Corporation. Kahn endorsed a policy of deterrence and argued that if the Soviet Union believed that the United States had a devastating second-strike capability then Moscow would not initiate hostilities, which he explained in his paper titled “The Nature and Feasibility of War and Deterrence”. The Russians had to believe that even a perfectly coordinated massive attack would guarantee a measure of retaliation that would leave them devastated as well. Kahn also posited his idea of a “winnable” nuclear exchange in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War for which he is often cited as one of the inspirations for the title character of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film Dr. Strangelove.

The appearance of the Business Insider article dealing with a cool discussion of the survivability from a nuclear war suggests that the nutcases are again escaping from the psychiatric hospital here in the US and are obtaining top jobs in government and the media. While one continues to hope that somehow someone will wake up in the White House and realize that the deep dark hole that we the American people find ourselves in mandates a change of course and a genuine reset, there is little daylight visible in the darkness.

My particular concern relates to the entangling relationships that have kept our country permanently at war in spite of the fact that since the Cold War ended in 1991 no potential adversary has actually threatened the United States. Now, the federal government appears to be in the business of cultivating dangerous relationships to justify defense spending and placing the nation on the brink of what might prove to be catastrophic. The current US mission to “weaken Russia” and eventually also China in order to maintain its own “rules based international order” includes such hypocritical and utterly illegal under international law anomalies as the continued military occupation of part of Syria to deny that country’s leaders’ access to their oil fields and best agricultural land. A recent UN humanitarian agency investigation determined that the Syrian people are suffering and even starving as a result of that and US imposed sanctions that the Biden Administration maintains against all reason and humanity.

At the present time, however, the most entangling of all relationships, even more than with Israel, has to be the engagement of the US in the proxy war being fought against Russia on behalf of Ukraine, which is exactly what threatens to turn nuclear if someone blinks at the wrong time. Billions of dollars in direct aid as well as billions more in the form of weapons stripped from arsenals in Europe and the US have been given to the corrupt regime of President Volodymyr Zelensky while Zelensky continues to work assiduously to milk the situation and draw Washington into a deeper war directly confronting Moscow.

In fact, by some reckonings the war has already begun, with the US and its allies clearly dedicated to crippling the Russian economy while also getting rid of President Vladimir Putin. The 101st Airborne is now in place in Romania next to Ukraine to “warn” the Kremlin while the Pentagon has recently admitted that some American military personnel are already in Ukraine, contrary to the denials by White House spokesmen. The British have also revealed that some of their elite Special Ops personnel are on the ground. And there are reports that more American soldiers will soon be on the way, ostensibly to “track the weapons” being provided to Zelensky, which will include US-made, Patriot Missile batteries some of which might even be placed in NATO member Poland to provide air cover over Western Ukraine, a definite act of war as seen by Russia, which has warned that such a move would mean that the US and its allies had “effectively become a party” to the war in Ukraine and there will be “consequences.” “Consequences” means escalation.

The soldier-“trackers” mission may be in response to reports that weapons provided by NATO have been corruptly sold or given to third countries by the Ukrainians. The several US initiatives taken together could produce a rapid escalation of the conflict complete with dead Americans coming home in body bags and an inevitable direct US involvement in combat roles that could lead anywhere, but at this point it is the Russians who are acting with restraint by not targeting the NATO and US “advisers” who are already active in Ukraine.

Suspicion is also growing that the United States “green-lighted” in advance recent cruise missile attacks carried out by Ukraine against military targets deep inside Russia. Since the attacks, the White House has declared that Ukraine has “permission” to attack Russia and has basically conceded to the unbalanced Zelensky the right to make all the decisions and run the war that the US is largely funding, which is a formula for disaster. It is already known that Ukraine is receiving top level intelligence provided both by the US and also other NATO states. The precision attacks on Russia suggest that the Ukrainian army was given the coordinates of possible active targets, something that the US would be capable of providing but which would have been beyond the abilities of Ukraine, which possesses no satellite surveillance capability. If it is true that the White House was involved in escalating the conflict it would be a very dangerous move, inviting retaliation by Moscow.

To be sure, some idiots in Washington, mostly of the neocon variety, continue to see war against Russia as something like a crusade for world freedom. Rick Newman, Yahoo’s top Finance Columnist, observes how “Budget hawks in Congress are worried about granting President Biden’s request for an additional $38 billion in aid for Ukraine to help defeat the invading Russians.” He concludes “They’re right. Thirty-eight billion isn’t enough. Make it $50 billion. Or even $100 billion. The more, the better, until the job is done.”

Apparently, the bellicose Rick does not quite get that Russia has made clear that if it is about to be defeated by force majeure it will go nuclear. And Congress and the White House don’t seem to get it either, with both the Republican and Democratic parties oblivious to the real danger that confronts the American people. Nuclear war? Sure! Just hide in your basement, if you have one, and tune in.



Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is







By Eve Ottenberg


The American republic morphed well over a century ago into an empire of many endless wars. With U.S. troops still in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and numerous African countries, with over 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and a war budget of roughly one trillion dollars a year, it’s no surprise that one of our main exports is weapons and that arms merchants call the shots in Washington. Presidents come and go, but the wars don’t: they drag on. And when a president does manage to extract the country from one of these military quagmires, as Biden did in Afghanistan, he gets nothing but grief.

This only serves to encourage barbarity – like freezing Afghanistan’s $7 billion in the bank, while Afghans starve due to the U.S. having bombed their country back almost to the stone age. Afghans need their funds. They have an absolute moral right to them, as most of the world recognises, because famine kills them in greater numbers without those monies. Indeed, after the U.S. military departure, reparations would have seemed to be in order. But no. Washington just stole their money and walked away.

Critiquing this ongoing, multi-war U.S. fiasco over many years is professor Andrew Bacevich. His new book of essays, On Shedding an Obsolete Past, collected from over the past half decade, hammers it home over and over: the U.S. must change course, because the current one is not only unsustainable, it is wrong. Bacevich has a bone to pick with elite centrists like New York Times columnist David Brooks, former president Bill Clinton, prominent Dem John Kerry and the deceased senator John McCain, all of whom “see a world that needs saving and believe that it’s America’s calling to do just that…In fact, this conception of America’s purpose expresses not the intent of providence, which is inherently ambiguous, but their own arrogance and conceit. Out of that conceit comes much mischief. And in the wake of mischief come charlatans like Donald Trump.” With this misbegotten notion having dominated American political life for decades, it is no wonder, as Bacevich writes that “the evils afflicting our nation, lie beyond the power of any mere president to remedy.”

So if the president can’t, who can? An informed, adult population firmly convinced of the wickedness of racism, war and rampant materialism – Dr. Martin Luther King’s trio of American evils, to which Bacevich several times refers. Such people must control the levers of political power, preferably through an unbought congress and media. Unfortunately, they do not. Not even close.

To say Bacevich deplores U.S. military adventures is an understatement. He thinks they should never have happened – from Panama to Iraq to “Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Philippines to Afghanistan (again), Iraq (for the third time) or Syria, authorisation by the United Nations Security Council or Congress ranked as somewhere between incidental and unnecessary.” So they were illegal. Worse – they were imperial. Worse still, they were evil.

Biden did end the Afghan war, but the experience no doubt soured him on other needed military withdrawals, namely from Iraq and Syria. Even if it hadn’t, he would face an epic uproar from congress, the media and other elites, if he attempted such departures – and that’s before he even approaches the thorny issue of how to leave Syria without stabbing our allies, the Kurds, in the back, as Trump did. Thorny but not impossible. The main threat to the Kurds emanates from jihadists and Turkey – NOT from the Syrian government. But try suggesting a rapprochement between the Kurds and Damascus and see where that gets you in Washington. Persona non grata in short order would be my guess. So no, Biden won’t likely bend the rules to save our allies, and since he correctly took Trump to task for his abandonment of those same allies, he’s pretty much left with one option: doing nothing.

How long will U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq and Syria? Let’s just say that at the current rate of political change, if your grandchildren enlist, they could wind up there. The only real hope is that another president will do there what Biden did in Afghanistan, though maybe without the sanctions. That would be a distinct improvement. Meanwhile Bacevich urges his readers to drop the myth that we are part of an indispensable, exceptional empire. He calls for questioning or even ditching the three propositions that, he says, form the post-cold war “elite consensus”: 1) globalisation of corporate capitalism; 2) jettisoning norms derived from Judeo-Christian religious traditions and 3) muscular global leadership exercised by the U.S.

Supposedly “winning” the cold war warped the minds of American’s political class. “But here’s the thing: in reality the fall of the Berlin Wall didn’t change everything,” Bacevich writes. “Among the things it left fully intact was a stubborn resistance to learning in Washington. That poses a greater threat to the well-being of American people than communism or terrorism ever did.” Few have said it better than that.

Communism and terrorism are small potatoes compared to what our rapacious economic system, hyper-militarism and donor-bought government inflicts on Americans and on multitudes of the world’s people. From the vantage point of the 2020s, communism and terrorism look more like handy bogeymen, used for the vile purpose of manipulating American public opinion. Communism was thus deployed much longer, because even after the Soviet Union’s demise, mass psychosis regarding it continues to percolate through the American nation’s bloodstream, most recently causing fevers over China. The anti-communist spirochete appear incurable. Terrorism, on the other hand, only swung into sharp focus after 9-11, but soon achieved status as a national hallucination, revealing its utility as a casus belli in places that had nothing to do with the assault on the World Trade Towers.

So much for our noble wars. The world would be a better place, and so would the U.S., had they never happened.


First published in COUNTERPUNCH on DECEMBER 30, 2022







fighting the empire-within from within.............




weapon market....


sticking like a smelly turd on your shoe…..




american nuclear adventurism.....




So far only Russia has respected a red line, that of not attacking a NATO country. NATO did not respect any red lines.


Or rather, NATO pushed them back incessantly, from the supply of the first anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons to "patriot" missiles and tanks, including long-range multi-rocket guns (Himars) and another French Caesar cannon, and so, little by little, until almost direct confrontation with Russia by long-range missile attacks. This possibility can no longer be ruled out in the continual US escalation and the almost insane idea of certain bellicose circles that they can go ever further, without the risk of a global response from Russia.


How can they be so sure? Only the Russians today seem to fear a nuclear deflagration and multiply their warnings on this subject. When Vladimir Putin speaks of Russia's strategic superiority in terms of nuclear weapons, in particular with the new hypersonic weapons, Westerners answer him that it is boasting or that they are useless in Ukraine since it is This is a conventional war. They even laugh in his face, telling him that he should have invested better in equipping his soldiers than in such ultra-sophisticated weapons. They dismiss all his warnings with contempt. The United States only sees it as blackmail, a bluff.


They repeat it so often that we have to think that they really believe it and that it is not for them a simple tactic, a simple ruse of war. We are therefore obliged to try to understand why they believe it so strongly and to take this American conviction seriously. What is she up to? What mechanism does it obey? We have to find an explanation.

The explanation could lie in an approach to the nuclear question, or even in a nuclear ideology that was shaped as the war in Ukraine developed. This ideology has two components: a vision of conventional warfare and a vision of nuclear deterrence.


conventional warfare


For the United States, they have said it and brought it to light, the conventional war armed by them, led by Ukraine, must last and definitively weaken Russia. They manage it, they direct it, they orient it according to this geopolitical objective. In this vision, conventional warfare is no longer considered only as an option imposed by the nuclear environment of the conflict, but as the best means of achieving their objectives concerning Russia. This nuance is important. Conventional warfare then becomes itself a strategic objective, to be maintained, to be maintained. At each stage in the evolution of the conflict, there will be an escalation, intended to prolong conventional warfare, to develop it, to drive it further and further in terms of the consumption of material and human resources, in short to weaken more and more Russia following the decided strategy. Moreover, this logic inevitably leads to wanting to achieve military parity between Ukraine and Russia, that is to say, to equip Ukraine with American weapons equivalent to those of Russia, and therefore also to equip it long-range missiles. It can therefore lead to a global war.

The escalation in this conventional war thus becomes itself a necessity to maintain this war, and then relegates, among decision-makers in the United States, to the background, the awareness of the risks of this escalation.


Convinced of the merits of their strategy in Ukraine, sure that it allows them the maximum of advantages without great damage to them, obsessed with their geopolitical objectives, the United States can be blinded or blinded. They will then reason and act as if the two wars, conventional and nuclear, are impermeable to each other, whereas on the contrary, one can lead to the other by the very fact that it concerns two great powers. nuclear.


nuclear deterrence


But this idea that the war in Ukraine, come what may, is conventional may not be the main reason for the underestimation of the nuclear risk among American leaders. There is above all, in certain ruling circles, an idea, a subjective vision, a vision which rests on no objective foundation, on no empirical certainty, an idea which is in fact arbitrary, that nuclear deterrence imposes conventional warfare since it prevents any recourse to nuclear weapons, because such recourse would mean reciprocal annihilation.


Therefore, if one follows such reasoning, nuclear weapons cannot be used. But it is exactly the opposite: it is to the extent that nuclear weapons can be used that they are a deterrent. One can imagine the seriousness of the misinterpretation.


This is probably what Russia wants to signal by showing off its latest weapons. Moreover, even the theory of reciprocal annihilation deserves to be put into perspective since all the efforts of the major military powers consist in developing nuclear means which neutralize those of the adversary, which protect them from a first strike. enemy or annihilate it first. But it is this gearing which, in fact, represents an even greater danger.

Much of the conflict in Ukraine as well as the "NATO" of countries close to Russia's borders is part of this deadly spiral. It is the encirclement by NATO that pushed Russia to develop its nuclear technology to have weapons which compensate by their speed and their technology for this encirclement. We thus find ourselves, on both sides, Russia and the United States, faced with this paradox where nuclear deterrence constantly leads to a nuclear arms race, in order to gain an advantage over the adversary, and therefore upset the existing balance and therefore ultimately the situation of reciprocal nuclear deterrence.


In summary, the nuclear ideology of the United States, as it appears in the Ukrainian conflict, is revealed by the extreme risk behavior of its management of the conventional war in Ukraine. This behavior is only the counterpart of a conception of nuclear deterrence which tends to greatly underestimate the risk of nuclear war in a conflict which directly or indirectly opposes two major nuclear powers and which has geopolitical ramifications.


The red lines


By demonstrating its new nuclear weapons, Russia is not straying from the subject of the war in Ukraine, is not doing so, as stupid and primitive Western propaganda claims, because it is suffering military setbacks on the field, in conventional warfare, but to draw attention to the inevitable link between conventional warfare and nuclear warfare when the conflict involves two major nuclear powers. The demonstration that Russia makes of its nuclear forces would then have the intention of reminding the ruling circles of the United States, the least warmongering, the most responsible, of the existence of a balance of nuclear forces to the disadvantage of the United States. From this perspective, the possibility thus underlined of a nuclear war, real and not theoretical, would then come to retroact on the conventional war in progress and indicate its red lines.


It can be said that there is a vast underestimation of a nuclear conflict in a part of the current American ruling circles, the most warmongering part, the most dominating. They are the ones who are behind the devastating go-to-war propaganda that, from the United States, is spreading through all the Western media. Everything is done to demobilize people about the dangers of a third world war. Everything is done to minimize this danger. We make fun of those who invoke it, we treat them as defeatists. Everything is done to treat this war as a classic war, of one country attacking another, of a war bordering on colonialism. Everything is done to deny the new, historically unknown character of this war in Ukraine.


Imagine if in Yugoslavia, Iraq, or Libya, Russia or China had interfered and interposed as the United States is doing now in Ukraine. The situation would have been dangerous for world peace. They did not do this despite their extreme hostility to these adventures. They were responsible.


By their nuclear adventurism, those who currently direct the policy of the United States are not worthy of the responsibilities conferred on them by the enormous power of their country.


The minority that rules the United States exploits the power of the United States for its own benefit. She is carried away by a desire for hegemony, which blinds her. Only the American people could use this colossal power in a wise, responsible way, useful for mankind. Hopefully that day will come. Or is it a utopia? Or is it already too late?