OBAMA WON’T TELL PUTIN IF THE U.S. IS PLANNING A FIRST STRIKE
KEEP QUIET AND KEEP’EM GUESSING
A year ago Vladimir Putin was bragging about his willingness to use nuclear weapons. I wrote about it in my little Quick Study Book, IS RUSSIA DESTINED TO NUKE THE U.S.? The backdrop to the storyline was the crisis in Ukraine – what was going on then when the “little green men” with unmarked uniforms were lurking in eastern Ukraine, after the fall out of the annexation of Crimea was beginning to settle, and the future of Russian involvement in the Ukraine was far from certain. This led to sanctions against Russia, its being kicked out of the G7 summit in 2015 (with Putin disinvited), and biting recriminations on the part of European leaders against Russia “being on the wrong side of history” (a somewhat trite phrase employed by diplomats to shame the other party into doing what is right).
Since 2004 with the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, Kiev has been topsy turvy, mostly listing toward the West, with occasional decided leanings the other way, toward Moscow. I provided this overview of the relevant recent history in my aforementioned book :
During the past two decades, the United States has supported Ukrainian desires to participate in the European Union and join NATO, while Russia has argued these actions foment rebellion among what they regard as a minority of Ukrainians. Underneath these somewhat superficial arguments, Russia worries about its largest submarine base in Crimea at Sevastopol, which they consider utterly vital to their security. Additionally, Russia aggressively continues to seek a geographical buffer between itself and Europe having been devastated by two great wars during the past 100 years. Europe protests the incursion but seems unwilling (and unable) to use military force to push Russia back from its designs on Ukraine and Crimea. Only the U.S. displays the willingness to hold the line and demand Russia back down. Now the U.S. increases its rapid deployment force and naval assets to the region to put Russia in check. But what motivates the U.S.? [ 1 ]
That question, what is the U.S. really up to with its implementation of a BDM (Ballistic Missile Defense System), seems more pertinent than ever. The NATO military buildup continues. While it is likely far fewer in number than the militarization of Russian troops, it still is the largest troop movement within Europe since the Cold War ended. This has led to some furrowed brows in Moscow. Putin seems worried that the U.S. is preparing to attack Russia. According to Eric Zeusse, of Global Research (originally published on June 6, 2016 in The Saker):
Russia’s concern is that, if the “Ballistic Missile Defense” or “Anti Ballistic Missile” system, that the United States is now just starting to install on and near Russia’s borders, works, then the United States will be able to launch a surprise nuclear attack against Russia, and this system, which has been in development for decades and is technically called the “Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System”, will annihilate the missiles that Russia launches in retaliation, which will then leave the Russian population with no retaliation at all, except for the nuclear contamination of the entire northern hemisphere, and global nuclear winter, the blowback from America’s onslaught against Russia, which blowback some strategists in the West say would be manageable probems for the U.S. and might be worth the cost of eliminating
Russia. [ 2 ]
Obama is not just keeping a pokerface, he is keeping his lips tightly sealed. Exactly what does he hope to accomplish with what seems a sudden shift to a saturnine demeanor? Is he paying Putin back for the Russian President’s braggadocio a year and a half ago? Or is he just too busy making new friends in Havana, Hanoi and Hiroshima? And of course, he has built a host of new friends in Tehran. Commenting on the irony of the “defensive shield” put in place to protect Europe, the “Angry Patriot” made this observation about the recent events:
The Obama Administration, throughout the process of establishing the system’s deployment, has maintained the shield is necessary for the protection of Europe from a newly empowered Iran. Ironically, it was the Obama Administration who almost single-handedly empowered the Islamofascist nation to attain new missile and nuclear technology. [ 3 ]
As I wrote yesterday, from all sources I’ve read, the U.S. is way behind in the world of applied nuclear technology – applied that is, to brining new and improved nuclear WMD on line. What signals could Obama be sending? He does seem to be “feeling his oats” these days as he sings his swan song, warming up his vocal cords for doing what he likes best, which is campaigning (presumably on behalf of Miss Hillary). His behavior is most ironic in that his recent trips abroad (Havana is that far abroad of course) has been to once again “set the record straight” – or more accurately – reverse the historical record of America’s would-be dominance of smaller-scale Marxist regimes (which in Cuba’s and Viet Nam’s case didn’t work out of well for these United States). Obama started off with an apology tour when he was first elected and he seems to be finishing up the same way he started. Most conservatives would prefer that Obama heed the advice of one-hit wonder and author Eric Segel, noteworthy for his 1970’s sappy classic Love Story. What advice? “Love means never having to say your sorry.” Saying “we’re sorry” has been one of the things that Obama has done best – and will be a major aspect of his legacy.
That’s why the snubbing of Putin seems to be so out of character. The attitude of the U.S. has more than a few people worried. This statement was made by emigres from the former Soviet Union just a few days ago, on June 1, also published by The Saker. They offered this rather alarming assessment:
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. [ 4 ]
The point I’m making here, and it might be misunderstood given what I blogged yesterday, is that the U.S. would probably be wise not to go picking a fight with Putin right now. The Ruble stinks, the price of oil continues to sag ($49 a barrel today), and the sanctions against Moscow still haven’t been lifted. The Russian economy remains in the tank and Putin might find going to war the best way to keep himself in the thick of things; that is, in power inside the Kremlin. Given the wisdom of “the devil you know” (with the prospects of President Donald Trump staring him in the face), Putin might figure the time to act is now with the often indecisive Obama – the next U.S. President isn’t likely to tolerate anything less than finishing in first place. That goes double for nuclear weapons.
Plus, if those Russian emigres who spoke a few days back are right regarding the situation looming for the U.S. should a nuclear war commence, there aren’t many reasons to be chipper. Their chronicle of provocations might be disputed by those among us who believe that our conventional weapons superiority is all that matters. But the probable outcomes they enumerate from a nuclear strike on our homeland are much harder to circumvent:
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. [ 5 ]
Arguing that any belligerent can win a nuclear war stands as perhaps the toughest debate for anyone to reckon just how they will come out on top. However, coming out on top in regards to launching a nuclear war amounts to an even harder assignment.
As I said in yesterday’s post, the only angle one can pursue in attempting to win a nuclear war, must be built upon possessing a nearly impenetrable defense. The U.S. has created strong defensive systems for Israel. Now the U.S. through NATO has improved the BDM for Europe. So why, pray tell, does the U.S. have virtually no missile defense system to protect its homeland? Is it a good time to be playing “bluff the bear” with Russia?
We should ask exactly what defenses have we assembled lately that we can boast about? We are especially good at insisting everyone take off their shoes before they get on airplanes to keep those aerodynes from crashing into any more sky scrapers. That’s worked pretty well since 911. Maybe the same person that came up with that brilliant idea can devise a way to keep our enemies from detonating ICBMs above our cities by everyone wearing missile repellent hats at the same time.
There are times to keep your cards close to your vest and their are times to keep your eyes from meeting those of your opponent. But if the guy across the table has called your last bet and put his Colt 45 on the table next to his poker chips, you might want to break your silence and show your cards. After all, you can’t get back home safely – enriched with the proceeds from a winning hand – if all you’ve collected before leaving the table is a slug of lead just below your sternum. Make no mistake: the U.S. really does need to play its cards right, right now. Otherwise, a diplomatic miscalculation on missile defense at this moment might mean we will have no more games left to play.