US Russia World War III

The End of M.A.D. — The Beginning of Madness/ 5 Reasons Washington Has Already Decided to Go to War with Russia/ A Russian Warning

from The Saker: The End of M.A.D. — The Beginning of Madness

by Eric Zuesse

John Helmer, who explains military-strategic matters better and more knowledgeably than just about anyone, headlined on May 30th, “The Red Line Crossed, In the Cross-Hairs, At Trigger Point”, and he opened:

First there was the red-line announcement. On Friday [May 27th] in Athens there was the cross-hairs statement. By the month of October, the month before the US presidential election, there will be the trigger point.

The US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies are going to war with Russia, accelerating the inevitability that Russia will strike in self-defence. This is what the first and second statements by President Vladimir Putin warn. There will be no statement of warning.

News media in the West treat any such report — that Russia might be placed into a situation in which a blitz nuclear attack against the West would (and maybe even will) be Russia’s rational response to Western operations to surround Russia with hostile forces on its borders — as if there’s something kooky about any such opinion: they treat it as if the West weren’t ruled by people who are that evil, as if recognizing such evil in a ruler in the West is to be prohibited (especially if that ruler is America’s President, instead of, for example, Turkey’s President, whom apparently one is allowed to impute to be evil). On the present occasion, however, they should pay close attention to the situation Helmer describes, and they should report about the matter, while there might still be time enough to avert an unimaginable catastrophe, which (as Helmer explains in detail) could quite possibly happen this year.

The West is in stark reality-denial. Whereas the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, between JFK and Khrushchev, was accompanied by an appropriate public fear on both sides, the even more dangerous situation this time, between Putin and Obama, elicits such fear only among the Russian people, not at all among Americans and other Westerners.

Mutually Assured Destruction, or M.A.D., isn’t only a reality in a nuclearly armed multipolar world, but it is also, and equally importantly, also a mass-psychology, of belief that there cannot be any winner of a nuclear war — that (especially regarding a nuclear conflict between the two nuclear superpowers) any nuclear war will destroy the planet we all share. This sense of a shared fate on both sides, is central to M.A.D., as what it was — the foundation-stone of the post-world-war era, the era in which existed the longest extended period without a global war, since the advent of global war in 1914.

That era is, tragically, now over.

M.A.D. ended as a mass-psychology in the West, but not in the East — not in Russia, and not in any other of the world’s free nations, otherwise known as the independent nations (the nations that aren’tunder the control of the U.S. aristocracy and of any of the aristocracies that are allied to that aristocracy — nor of any other foreign nation’s aristocracy), or also called the “BRICS” nations (which just recently lost its “B” when Brazil underwent a coup, which changed Brazil to becoming now a satellite of the U.S., which will probably (if nuclear war is averted) then be ‘rescued’ by IMF loans that will increasingly strip the Brazilian public and leave them with even lower living-standards and even deeper indebtedness, which will increasingly be owed to foreign lenders).

M.A.D. resulted from the balance that existed when America’s NATO alliance was counterbalanced by the USSR’s Warsaw Pact alliance. Therefore, the very idea of nuclear ‘conquest’, in a military sense, was simply assumed to be impractical, not only by the publics on both sides, but (at least as crucially) by the two opposed aristocracies, West versus East, U.S.-allied versus U.S.S.R.-allied.

The end result of U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush’s secret strategy, in 1990-1991, of terminating that M.A.D. by his regime’s lying so as to fool Gorbachev to terminate the USSR and its Warsaw Pact while Gorbachev (and then his successor Yeltsin) allowed continuation and even expansion of NATO, has become, in the West, a total lack of the near-hysteria of mutual fear of nuclear annihilation that had existed in both the West and the East during the Cold War, and its replacement now by a nonchalant West and an increasingly terrified East, as the West is making preparations for what the U.S. aristocracy seems increasingly to believe to be a previously unprecedented situation, in which the U.S. aristocracy and its allied stooge-aristocracies (in Europe, Japan, and Australia) can emerge as actual victors after a nuclear war.

Thus, in the West, there is no hysteria, such as once existed, for everyone to build his/her own family bomb-shelter, even as the West now is tightening its nuclear noose around the Russians’ collective neck. Instead, that previous fear and sometimes even hysteria, has been replaced by a situation in which only some individuals (no one knows whom nor how many) from the West’s aristocracies, have purchased elaborate hardened underground luxurious bunkers, in preparation for their increasingly likely future existences in a presumed post nuclear-holocaust world, and meanwhile the Westernmasses are not at all outraged at their being left fully exposed with no bunkers at all; and, the reason they’re not, is that they believe that, as their country becomes ‘protected’ by a ballistic-missile-‘defense’ or BMD or ABM (anti-ballistic-missile) system against the ‘enemy’ (now just Russia), they’ve got no more need to worry about ’the enemy’.

The Reagan-era ‘Star Wars’ anti-ballistic missile defense dream for the American aristocracy, is now starting to be realized finally in an Obama-era Lockheed Martin “Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System” nightmare for the Russian people alone, as the putative imagined pathway towards global victory for America’s aristocracy is becoming installed in eastern Europe and other areas bordering on and close to Russia. The American and other Western publics are blithely unworried about it, because the aristocracy’s ‘news’ media have told them that this is ‘just a defensive measure against possible further Russian aggression’ (not a reach-for-global-conquest by America’s aristocracy, which it actuallyis).

This is one of the reasons why, from the standpoint of America’s rulers, it’s so vitally important for information about those luxurious bunkers to be circulated only in publications for the elite, such asFORBES. If the general public were to become increasingly aware that the few billionaires amongst them are making their own preparations for living in a possible post-nuclear-holocaust nation, then the uncomfortable questions would arise as to why the federal government is not assisting the general public to do likewise (or at least to live in some kind of bunker, such as did happen back in ‘the good old days’).

This is also the result of the ‘libertarian’ or ‘neoliberal’ ideology, the ideology of ‘individualism’, which the aristocracy has systematically inculcated now into generations of people in the West, which denigrates the government’s obligations to the public, and which raises instead to the ideal, the belief in the rightness of ‘every man for himself’ and ‘we are not in this together’, because ‘the masses of lazy bums and stupid people should get nothing more than whatever they deserve’. If, perhaps, a billionaire can afford to live ‘safely’ deep underground, then “more power to him,” according to this ideology, which proclaims that equality of rights is wrong, and that instead a person deserves to have no more rights than he or she has property, wealth, dollars — things to trade with other individuals who possess wealth. In the U.S., this transactional basis for individuals’ rights was the ideology of the Supreme Court in a series of decisions such as the 2010 Citizens United decision, that a person’s right to ‘free speech’ should be proportional to how much money he/she spends to buy it so as to persuade others to vote the way one wants them to vote, or to buy whatever else one wants them to buy.

This transactional concept of an individual’s rights is a protection of dollars, not really of people. It’s for (and in service to) an aristocracy, not a democracy. This Supreme Court has supported aristocracy, not democracy. And, since, after WW II, this has increasingly become the new ethos, not only in the United States but in all countries that take the U.S. to be the ideal, Western publics are not at all outraged at being left high-and-dry in the event that perhaps the new military-security system, which is replacing the shared safety of M.A.D., is replacing it with the competitive and non-shared safety of ’nuclear primacy’, and will end up leaving the public out in the cold nuclear winter in the enemy’s camp.

After all, in the totally competitive world, what’s won is taken, and what’s lost is given; and, ‘to the victor belong the spoils’. This might not necessarily be so in economics, but it certainly is so in the military; it even defines the military outlook — which, after all, is what we’re talking about here.

And, if people have to pay for their rights, then the ‘enemy’ isn’t the aristocracy — certainly not that of one’s own nation — but instead, it is the people who don’t have the money to buy their own rights. Some people call this type of political system ‘liberty’ or ‘libertarianism’ or ‘liberalism’ or ‘neoliberalism’; but, by whatever name it is called, it certainly isn’t democracy, and it certainly isn’t equality of rights, and it certainly isn’t equality of opportunity. It is, in a word: fascism. That’s an extension of the military outlook, into everything.

But another accurate term for it is: madness. However, it is a madness that has been sold, by Western aristocracies, to the publics in the West, which is the reason why the belief in M.A.D. is now gone from the West. The popular belief there now is: eat or else be eaten. And, what is to be eaten isn’t the aristocrats who are selling this poison; it’s ‘the enemy’. (Meanwhile, America and NATO can call thugs like this ‘friends’ and even “members of NATO” and still call themselves supporters of ‘democracy’, a term that’s now devoid of meaning in the West.) This is why Western publics don’t care about the fear that the Russian people feel concerning the installation of America’s anti-ballistic missile systems.

In the most fundamental sense, the concept that we are all in this together is gone, in the West. If it doesn’t exist in both the West and the ‘East’ (namely, in Russia, where it does exist), then a nuclear war is extremely likely, and the real question is: When will it be likeliest to happen?

by Peter Lavelle for The Duran 5 Reasons Washington Has Already Decided to Go to War with Russia

The writing would seem to be on the wall – Washington and its stenographers union (better known as the west’s mainstream media) are all fired-up and strategically positioned. The War Party has ascendancy and the window of opportunity is wide open, though slowly closing. The long desired wish to tame Russia is now in its final stage. “American Exceptionalism” must subdue any real or imagined threat. Importantly, intentionally generated phantom threats are given the most attention and media space. Russia is in this category. The reasons are patently obvious:

Russia refuses to take the bait: From the proxy-backed South Ossetian conflict in 2008, to the forced regime change in Kiev in 2014, and to the defense of Syria’s sovereignty in its fight against western supported terrorists, Russia has stood its ground against western-inspired machinations. In all three cases, Washington’s attempt to lure Moscow into confrontation has failed. In fact, the west has been the net loser in each of these foreign policy maneuvers – all three attempts ending in fiascos.

Result: We should expect Washington to up the ante – direct confrontation with Russia via its NATO minions.

Sanctions against Russia have failed: Western sanctions attempting to control Russian “behavior” have had the opposite impact. Step-by-step – without fanfare – Russia has retired 30% of its external debt in only two years. Import substitution has continued apace, leaving a number of European markets stagnate with relief nowhere in sight. Sanctions against the banking sector certainly have been not without pain. Though there is an upside: Russian businesses are in the process of withdrawing from the west’s toxic financial sectors. When the next bubble bursts, Russia will avoid much of the damage the U.S. will export to the global financial system.

Result: We should expect more faux media-inspired circuses like the “Panama Papers” attempting to discredit Russian businesses and finances.

Humiliating the Empire never goes without punishment: Washington and its allies are not used to taking the answer “no” lightly. Through hook and mostly crook the “Washington Consensus” gets its way almost all the time. When there is a dissenting voice vast resources are marshalled to silence and destroy the contrarian. Russia is the quintessential “Contrarian Power” in the Washington-centric world. Russia has and will defend itself against the NATO alliance moving to its borders, it will respond in kind to missile defence aimed at its nuclear deterrent, it will defend its sovereignty and those of others (like Syria if Moscow has the resources), it will demand equal treatment on the world’s energy markets, and it will not turn a blind eye to Washington’s addiction forcing illegal regime changes around the world.

Result: We should expect the west to invent a crisis in one of the Baltic States. Even though many ethnic Russians face discrimination and hardship in these states, many do actually have a stable life. There is zero evidence they want this to change. But never underestimate Washington’s fear mongering!

Those damn Russians refuse to be isolated!: It is repeated over and over again that Russia is isolated internationally. There is no evidence of this whatsoever beyond no longer being a member of the G8. The fact Russia was excluded from this group is a blessing in disguise. It is the G7 countries that account for most of the world’s woes and suffering. Come to think of it how often does Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov visit Washington? Interesting – it seems U.S. Secretary of State is constantly on a plane to Moscow to meet with Lavrov and/or Putin. Moscow has on numerous occasions proposed a solution to the Syrian quagmire; it is Washington that can’t stomach defeat there (even though defeat has been staring Washington in the face for years). Years from now history will record how the “Washington Consensus” isolated itself in a world undergoing incredible transitions.

Result: Washington will continue its “the worse the better” approach in Syria and the Middle East and blame Russia. Russia didn’t destroy the Middle East starting a vast immigrant/refugee crisis. Europe will continue to pay a high price for its senseless and cruel meddling. Of course Russia will be blamed.

Putin’s authoritarianism or western-made global rock star?: The simple fact is there is no political, social, or grassroots opposition ready to initiate a people’s uprising against the hated “Putin regime.” Widespread dissent against the current political establishment is pure western media fantasy. Putin is widely popular and respected, though there are those who openly speak out against the Russian president. There is nothing extraordinary about that. Actually, Washington and Co have given Putin a significant boost in his poll numbers. After two years of recession in Russia there is no indication the people at large blame Putin. Standing up to the west has seen Putin’s poll numbers soar. Most importantly for the majority of Russians their country has returned to the world stage as a proud power defending its own interests and international law. Putin gets the credit.

Result: Once the west calls someone Hitler, then there is no way back. The demonization will continue. The results of such a policy have already been shown to be counter-productive and dangerous.

Peter Lavelle is anchor of RT political debate program CrossTalk. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

 from The Saker:  A Russian warning

We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy as being in shambles and the Russian military as weak—all based on no evidence. But we—knowing both Russian history and the current state of Russian society and the Russian military, cannot swallow these lies. We now feel that it is our duty, as Russians living in the US, to warn the American people that they are being lied to, and to tell them the truth. And the truth is simply this:

If there is going to be a war with Russia, then the United States
will most certainly be destroyed, and most of us will end up dead

Let us take a step back and put what is happening in a historical context. Russia has suffered a great deal at the hands of foreign invaders, losing 22 million people in World War II. Most of the dead were civilians, because the country was invaded, and the Russians have vowed to never let such a disaster happen again. Each time Russia had been invaded, she emerged victorious. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia; in 1814 Russian cavalry rode into Paris. On July 22, 1941, Hitler’s Luftwaffe bombed Kiev; On May 8, 1945, Soviet troops rolled into Berlin.

But times have changed since then. If Hitler were to attack Russia today, he would be dead 20 to 30 minutes later, his bunker reduced to glowing rubble by a strike from a Kalibr supersonic cruise missile launched from a small Russian navy ship somewhere in the Baltic Sea. The operational abilities of the new Russian military have been most persuasively demonstrated during the recent action against ISIS, Al Nusra and other foreign-funded terrorist groups operating in Syria. A long time ago Russia had to respond to provocations by fighting land battles on her own territory, then launching a counter-invasion; but this is no longer necessary. Russia’s new weapons make retaliation instant, undetectable, unstoppable and perfectly lethal.

Thus, if tomorrow a war were to break out between the US and Russia, it is guaranteed that the US would be obliterated. At a minimum, there would no longer be an electric grid, no Internet, no oil and gas pipelines, no interstate highway system, no air transportation or GPS-based navigation. Financial centers would lie in ruins. Government at every level would cease to function. US armed forces, stationed all around the globe, would no longer be resupplied. At a maximum, the entire landmass of the US would be covered by a layer of radioactive ash. We tell you this not to be alarmist, but because, based on everything we know, we are ourselves alarmed. If attacked, Russia will not back down; she will retaliate, and she will utterly annihilate the United States.

The US leadership has done everything it could to push the situation to the brink of disaster. First, its anti-Russian policies have convinced the Russian leadership that making concessions or negotiating with the West is futile. It has become apparent that the West will always support any individual, movement or government that is anti-Russian, be it tax-cheating Russian oligarchs, convicted Ukrainian war criminals, Saudi-supported Wahhabi terrorists in Chechnya or cathedral-desecrating punks in Moscow. Now that NATO, in violation of its previous promises, has expanded right up to the Russian border, with US forces deployed in the Baltic states, within artillery range of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, the Russians have nowhere left to retreat. They will not attack; nor will they back down or surrender. The Russian leadership enjoys over 80% of popular support; the remaining 20% seems to feel that it is being too soft in opposing Western encroachment. But Russia will retaliate, and a provocation or a simple mistake could trigger a sequence of events that will end with millions of Americans dead and the US in ruins.

Unlike many Americans, who see war as an exciting, victorious foreign adventure, the Russians hate and fear war. But they are also ready for it, and they have been preparing for war for several years now. Their preparations have been most effective. Unlike the US, which squanders untold billions on dubious overpriced arms programs such as the F-35 joint task fighter, the Russians are extremely stingy with their defense rubles, getting as much as 10 times the bang for the buck compared to the bloated US defense industry. While it is true that the Russian economy has suffered from low energy prices, it is far from being in shambles, and a return to growth is expected as early as next year. Senator John McCain once called Russia “A gas station masquerading as a country.” Well, he lied. Yes, Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and second-largest oil exporter, but it is also world’s largest exporter of grain and nuclear power technology. It is as advanced and sophisticated a society as the United States. Russia’s armed forces, both conventional and nuclear, are now ready to fight, and they are more than a match for the US and NATO, especially if a war erupts anywhere near the Russian border.

But such a fight would be suicidal for all sides. We strongly believe that a conventional war in Europe runs a strong chance of turning nuclear very rapidly, and that any US/NATO nuclear strike on Russian forces or territory will automatically trigger a retaliatory Russian nuclear strike on the continental US. Contrary to irresponsible statements made by some American propagandists, American antiballistic missile systems are incapable of shielding the American people from a Russian nuclear strike. Russia has the means to strike at targets in the USA with long-range nuclear as well as conventional weapons.

The sole reason why the USA and Russia have found themselves on a collision course, instead of defusing tensions and cooperating on a wide range of international problems, is the stubborn refusal by the US leadership to accept Russia as an equal partner: Washington is dead set on being the “world leader” and the “indispensable nation,” even as its influence steadily dwindles in the wake of a string of foreign policy and military disasters such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. Continued American global leadership is something that neither Russia, nor China, nor most of the other countries are willing to accept. This gradual but apparent loss of power and influence has caused the US leadership to become hysterical; and it is but a small step from hysterical to suicidal. America’s political leaders need to be placed under suicide watch.

First and foremost, we are appealing to the commanders of the US Armed Forces to follow the example of Admiral William Fallon, who, when asked about a war with Iran, reportedly replied “not on my watch. We know that you are not suicidal, and that you do not wish to die for the sake of out-of-touch imperial hubris. If possible, please tell your staff, colleagues and, especially, your civilian superiors that a war with Russia will not happen on your watch. At the very least, take that pledge to yourself, and, should the day ever come when the suicidal order is issued, simply refuse to execute it on the grounds that it is criminal. Remember that according to the Nuremberg TribunalTo initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Since Nuremberg, “I was just following orders” is no longer a valid defense; please don’t be war criminals.

We also appeal to the American people to take peaceful but forceful action to oppose any politician or party that engages in irresponsible, provocative Russia-baiting, and that condones and supports a policy of needless confrontation with a nuclear superpower that is capable of destroying the US in about an hour. Speak up, break through the barrier of mass media propaganda, and make your fellow Americans aware of the immense danger of a confrontation between Russia and the US.

There is no objective reason why US and Russia should consider each other as adversaries. The current confrontation is entirely the result of the extremist views of the neoconservative movement, whose members have infiltrated the US Federal government, and who consider any country that refuses to obey their dictates as an enemy to be crushed. Thanks to their tireless efforts, over a million innocent people have already died in the former Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia and in many other countries—all because of their maniacal insistence that the USA must be a world empire, not a just a regular, normal country, and that every national leader must either bow down before it, or be overthrown. In Russia, the irresistible force that is the neocon movement has finally encountered the immovable object. They must be forced to back down before they destroy us all.

We are absolutely and categorically certain that Russia will never attack the US, nor any EU member state, that Russia is not at all interested in recreating the USSR, and that there is no “Russian threat” or “Russian aggression.” Much of Russia’s recent economic success has a lot to do with the shedding of former Soviet dependencies, allowing her to pursue a “Russia first” policy. But we are just as certain that if Russia is attacked, or even threatened with attack, she will not back down, and that the Russian leadership will not “blink.” With great sadness and a heavy heart they will do their sworn duty and unleash a nuclear barrage from which the United States will never recover. Even if the entire Russian leadership is killed in a first strike, the so-called “Dead Hand” (the “Perimetr” system) will automatically launch enough nukes to wipe the USA off the political map. We feel that it is our duty to do all we can to prevent such a catastrophe.

Eugenia V Gurevich, PhD
Dmitri Orlov
The Saker (A. Raevsky)

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