The Democrats’ Dangerous Diversion

Exclusive: The Democrats won’t admit that they lost to Donald Trump because they ran a deeply flawed, corporate-oriented candidate, so they blame Russia instead, a very dangerous diversion, says Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

The current debate over “fake news” has reminded me of a conversation I had several years ago with a former citizen of East Germany, now living in the United States. He explained that, in East Germany, everybody knew that what the media told them about their own country was a bunch of lies and propaganda. So they assumed that what the media told them about the West was just propaganda, too.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Now living in the U.S., he had come to realize that a lot of what the East German media said about life in the U.S. was actually true. There really are people living on the street, people with no access to healthcare, widespread poverty, a lack of social welfare and public services, and many other problems, as the East German media accurately reported, and as the Chinese government also noted in its latest report on human rights in the U.S.

My friend wished he and his countrymen had understood the difference between what their media told them about their country and what they reported about the West. Then they could have made more intelligent choices about which aspects of life in the West to adopt, instead of allowing Western experts to come in and impose the entire neoliberal model on their country.

In the West, of course, the state media of East Germany and other Communist countries were held up to ridicule. I remember hearing that people in the U.S.S.R. would open their newspapers in the morning and have a good laugh at the latest “fake news” in Pravda. But, as my German friend eventually understood, there was some truth amongst the propaganda, and the hidden danger of such a corrupted media system is that people end up not knowing what to believe, making informed democratic choices almost impossible.

In the end, people all over Eastern Europe were cornered into a false choice between two ideological systems that both came as top-down package deals, instead of being able to take charge of their own societies and democratically decide their own future.

In the U.S., we live under a two-party political system, not a one-party system as in East Germany, and our media reflect that. As each of our two main political parties and our media have fallen more totally under the sway of unbridled plutocratic interests, our mass media has devolved into a bifurcated version of what my friend observed in East Germany, triply corrupted by commercial interests, partisan bias and ideological and nationalist propaganda.

Down the Rabbit Hole 

Since the 2016 election campaign, our political system seems to have devolved into something like the nonsense world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, with Donald Trump as the Queen of Hearts, Hillary Clinton as Humpty Dumpty, the Republicans and Democrats as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the election as the Caucus Race (which Lewis Carroll based on U.S. political caucuses) and the whipsawed American public as the permanently baffled Alice.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

In Lewis Carroll’s Caucus Race, an assortment of creatures ran randomly around a racetrack with no start or finish line, until the Dodo called the race over, declared them all winners and told Alice (the public?) she had to give them all prizes.

In similar fashion, the 2016 election between two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in U.S. history seems to have no finish line, but to live on in round-the-clock campaigns to corral the public into one of its two camps. The artificial, top-down nature of both these campaigns should be a warning that, like the election campaigns they grew out of, they are designed to corral, control and direct masses of people, not to offer real solutions to any of the serious problems facing our country and the world.

On one hand, we have President Trump, Republican Congressional leaders, Breitbart, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, spouting nonsense worthy of Lewis Carroll, even in major presidential speeches, while dismissing criticism as “fake news.”

The Trump camp will never acknowledge that only a quarter of voting-age Americans voted for him, nor that even less of us share his views or the interests he represents. In this corrupt two-party system, no effort or expense is spared to persuade the public that we must vote for one of the two major party presidential candidates, whether we agree with either of them or not. But that cuts both ways, leaving most of the public unrepresented no matter who wins, and depriving any new government of a genuine popular mandate.

But Republican leaders play a more straightforward winner-take-all game than the Democrats. So they will try to ride Trump’s victory and their Congressional majorities as far as they will take them on all fronts: more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations; more draconian cuts in social spending; more privatization of healthcare, education and other public services; more detention and deportation of immigrants; a more aggressive police response to social problems and public protest; more destruction of the natural world and the climate; and more increases in a military budget that already broke post-WWII records under Bush and Obama, to fuel a more openly aggressive and dangerous war policy – in other words, more of all the things that most Americans would agree we have already had too much of.

On the other side, Democratic Party leaders and the CIA, supported by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC, have conjured up unproven charges that Russia stole the election for Trump as the heart of their campaign against him. In Trump, history has handed them a political opponent with a piñata of vulnerabilities, from unprecedented conflicts of interest to policies that benefit only his own wealthy class to willful ignorance of how almost everything he is responsible for as president really works.

And yet the cabal formerly known as the Clinton campaign shows little interest in pointing out that our new Emperor has no clothes on, let alone in seriously resisting his repressive, plutocratic policies, and is instead obsessed with convincing the public that a birthmark on his naked bum looks like a hammer and sickle.

A Saving Grace?

Paradoxically, if Trump really reduced tensions between the U.S. and Russia, as his hawkish Democratic opponents fear, that could be the saving grace of his entire presidency. George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s regime change wars, NATO expansion and the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine have ignited a new Cold War that many respected scientists believe has raised the risk of human mass extinction to its highest level since the 1950s.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

In the pursuit of false security based on post-Cold War triumphalism and a fleeting mirage of military supremacy, our corrupt leaders have jeopardized not just our security but our very existence, leaving us at two and a half minutes to midnight on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS)Doomsday Clock.

As Jonathan Marshall at reported on March 10, experts from the Federation of American Scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council and MIT wrote in a recent BAS article that new “super-fuzes” installed on U.S. nuclear warheads since 2009 have significantly increased the danger of nuclear war by giving the U.S. the ability to destroy all Russia’s fixed land-based nuclear missiles with only a fraction of U.S. own weapons.

Coupled with President Obama’s deployment of a formerly illegal ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system on Aegis missile destroyers and at bases in Eastern Europe, the authors wrote that this upgrade to U.S. nuclear warheads is “exactly what one would expect to see if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.” They concluded that “Russian planners will almost surely see the advance in fuzing capability as empowering an increasingly feasible U.S. preemptive nuclear strike capability.”

In the case of a suspected Russian nuclear missile launch, the U.S. satellite-based early warning system can give President Trump 30 minutes to judge whether we are really facing a nuclear attack or not. But Russia’s land-based early warning system is not so generous. In the case of a suspected U.S. nuclear launch targeting Russia, President Putin would have as little as 7 to 13 minutes to decide whether Russia was really under nuclear attack and whether to retaliate.

In the midst of escalating tensions over Syria, Ukraine, Iran or some other new crisis, a realistic fear of a U.S. first strike could force a hasty decision by Russian officials and seal the fate of humanity. The BAS authors believe that this predicament leaves Russia little choice but to pre-delegate its nuclear launch authority to lower levels of command, increasing the risk of an accidental or mistaken launch of nuclear weapons.

In an epitome of understatement, they point out that, “Forcing this situation upon the Russian government seems likely to be detrimental to the security interests of the United States and its Western allies.”

While U.S. officials are largely silent about the dangers of these developments in U.S. nuclear weapons policy, President Putin has spoken frankly about them and expressed dismay that the U.S. has rejected every Russian offer of cooperation to reduce these risks. Talking to a group of journalists at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2016, he concluded, “I don’t know how this is all going to end. … What I do know is that we will need to defend ourselves.”

But despite the existential dangers of deteriorating relations with Russia, Democratic Party leaders have grasped the CIA’s unproven “assessments” that Russia may have tried to influence the outcome of the U.S. election as a lifeline by which to salvage their positions of power after their party’s electoral implosion.

Since the leadership of the Democratic Party was taken over by the corporate-backed Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) a generation ago, it has followed an unwritten rule that it must never accept responsibility for losing an election, nor respond to signs of public disaffection with any weakening of its commitment to pro-corporate, neoliberal policies. In its desperation to prevent the democratic reform of the Democratic Party, it is aggressively tarring nuclear-armed Russia with the same brush it used to tar and feather Ralph Nader after the 2000 election.

The mortal aversion of Democratic Party leaders to progressive reform suggests that they prize their own control of the party even above winning elections, the rational purpose of any political party. Their ugly smear campaign against Keith Ellison, the progressive candidate for Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, mirrored the DNC’s corrupt campaign to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and the DLC cabal’s bare-knuckles response to progressive challengers for the past 30 years.

For the DLC Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of the long-term victory that the country’s shifting demographics seem to guarantee their party requires a truly historic level of corruption.

Their unshakable commitment to fight tooth and nail for the interests of their wealthy campaign contributors over those of poorer, younger and darker-skinned voters in every election, every national, state and local party committee and on every issue, even as they pretend they are doing the exact opposite, could only be a viable political strategy in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. In the real world, their demonstrated disdain for the people from whose votes they derive their power is a strategy for political suicide.

Different Kind of Politics

These corrupt party leaders and their corporate media cheerleaders dare not remind us that Bernie Sanders’s candidacy for president inspired more enthusiasm and drew bigger crowds than Trump’s or Clinton’s, despite one eightieth of the early media promotion lavished on Trump by some corporate media and the fact that almost the entire Democratic Party establishment lined up against him.

A sign at a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

For decades, DLC Democrats have run on vague messages about “values” to avoid being cornered into explicit progressive policy positions that might alienate their wealthy patrons. Sanders was greeted with open arms by younger voters ready for a renaissance of real politics based on actual policies that solve real problems, like universal healthcare, free college tuition, progressive taxation to pay for it all and a more cautious approach to U.S.-backed “regime change” in other countries.

By contrast, an analysis of campaign messaging by the Wesleyan Media Project found that “Clinton’s message was devoid of policy discussions” when compared to other recent presidential campaigns, including even Trump’s, and that this was a critical factor in her failure.

According to opinion polls, Bernie Sanders may now be the most popular politician in America. Polls consistently showed that Sanders was likely to beat Trump in the general election if the Democratic Party allowed him to get that far, but the DNC fundraising machine pulled out every trick in the book to make sure that didn’t happen. If truth be told, Sanders’s success was probably a more accurate reflection of the evolving political views of a majority of Americans in 2016 than the billion-dollar auction of the presidency between the Game Show King and the Queen of Chaos.

These two camps represent factions of the powerful interests that have controlled American politics for decades, from the military-industrial complex and the CIA to the dirty energy and for-profit “healthcare” industries, to say nothing of the commercial media industry itself, which covered this election all the way to the bank and for whom the show must go on and on and on … and on.

Lies of Both Sides.

Like the people of East Germany in the 1980s, we now face the challenge of a society in crisis, compounded by a treacherous media environment, with not just one, but two competing camps presenting us with false, self-serving interpretations of the multi-faceted crisis their corruption has spawned. While they compete for our trust, they share a common interest in insisting that one of the two mythological worldviews they have staked out must be right.

But as Cornel West recently told the students at my local high school in Miami in a Black History Month speech, “You don’t have to choose between the lies on one side and the lies on the other side.” So the question becomes where to turn for something other than lies, and how to recognize the truth when we stumble across it.

The paradox of our Internet age is that we nearly all have access to a wider range of media than ever before, yet we are still exposed and susceptible to corporate, partisan and ideological propaganda. In theory, we no longer have to be victims of for-profit media whose business models prioritize their profits over their duty to inform the public. But in reality, we do not form our views of the world as independently as we think we do.

This is easier to grasp in the case of commercial advertising than in the arena of political or ideological indoctrination. There is a well-known dictum in the business world that goes, “I know that half the money we spend on advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.” The flip-side of this is that the other half is not wasted.

So the advertising industry in the United States spends $220 billion per year, $700 for each man, woman and child in the country, to sell us products and services. And yet we still like to think that we make independent, rational choices about our spending, based on enlightened self-interest and cultivated tastes, not on the work of copywriters churning out pitches, images and jingles in ad agency cubicles.

One of the by-products of the mass monetization of American politics since the 1980s is that politics has become a profitable new arena for advertising, marketing and public relations firms. Its practitioners apply the techniques and experience they’ve developed in other areas to the world of politics, helping politicians and parties to convert the money they raise from wealthy campaign contributors into votes, and ultimately into power over all our lives. So we should be just as wary of political marketing and advertising as of the commercial variety. We should also be more humble in recognizing our own vulnerability to these profitable forms of persuasion and deception.

My copy of Alice in Wonderland has a quotation from James Joyce in the front of the book: “Wipe your glasses with what you know.” What we know is often our best protection against being misled by advertisers, politicians and pundits, if we will only remember what we know and trust it over the misinformation that surrounds us.

“Wiping our glasses with what we know” can provide a reality check on the current Russophobia campaign. We know very well that the U.S. and Russia possess the bulk of the world’s nuclear weapons, and that war between our two countries would likely mean death for ourselves and our families and the end of life as we know it for people everywhere.

We also know that it is our country and its allies, not Russia, that have launched invasions, military occupations, bombing campaigns, coups and drone wars against at least ten countries in the past 20 years, while Russia only recently become engaged in two of these conflict zones when its interests were directly impacted by our actions.

A wintery scene in Moscow, near Red Square. (Photo by Robert Parry)

So we can see that the greatest danger in this relationship is not the threat of some unprovoked and unprecedented act of Russian aggression. The more real and serious danger is that a confrontation with Russia over one of the hot spots we have ignited will lead to an escalation of tensions in which a mistake, a misunderstanding, a miscalculation, a bluff called, a “red line” crossed or some other kind of failed brinksmanship will trigger a war that will escalate to the use of nuclear weapons, and from there to Armageddon.

Even with the lines of communication set up after the Cuban missile crisis and the stabilization of the Cold War balance of terror by the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), we now know that we came very close to Armageddon many times, including simply by accident.

Instead of being corralled by either side in the “Russia did it” campaign, we should be urging our leaders to sit down and talk seriously with Russia’s leaders, to stop taking dangerous actions that exacerbate tensions, uncertainties and mutual isolation, and to return to serious negotiations to leave our children and grandchildren a peaceful world, free of nuclear weapons, where these dangers will no longer threaten them.

Amid lies and distortions on all sides, the corruption of politics and media by commercial interests and the billion dollars per year our government spends directly on public relations and propaganda, James Joyce’s advice can still serve us well. Make sure to wipe your glasses with what you know as you read or watch “news” from any source or listen to politicians of any party, and we may just find a way out of this rabbit hole before the roof crashes in on us.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

82 comments for “The Democrats’ Dangerous Diversion

  1. Joe_the_Socialist
    March 16, 2017 at 13:59


    Democrats are leaving the door open so they can run their next slate of deeply flawed, corporate-oriented candidates.





  2. Dora Knell
    March 14, 2017 at 15:05

    This is a gigantic waste of time reading this!

  3. Brad Owen
    March 14, 2017 at 04:51

    I do not think our oligarchs want a nuke war. They’re hoping to bluff a regime change upon Russia. The really sad thing is it does not have to be this way at all. Russia seeks our cooperation with them and China on the BRI. There is hope, however; Trump meets China’s President Xi at Mar-a-lago April 6th and 7th, where, no doubt, Xi wil discuss in full, the BRI with him. This is really great news, and FDR’s post-war vision will be vindicated (praise the Lord).

  4. Wm. Boyce
    March 13, 2017 at 23:14

    Based on “one woman, one vote, ” they DIDN’T lose. It’s the slave-enforcing Electoral College, bro. Nothing more and nothing less.

    • Brad Owen
      March 14, 2017 at 04:43

      OK. She is the Prez of California.

      • Brad Owen
        March 14, 2017 at 04:45

        Which, BTW, she did most of her cheating against Sanders. She shouldn’t even have been in the running.

  5. Bob Ford
    March 13, 2017 at 22:26

    The Democratic Party is cheering for the “deep state” to take Trump down. In other words, they are hoping for a nonmilitary coup d’etat. Literally. And they are treating the Vault 7 release by Wikileaks of the CIA’s Orwellian police state activities as no big deal. And they are, of course, clamoring for the U.S. to treat Russia as The Enemy. These three facts alone tell we all we need to know about the Democratic Party.

  6. March 13, 2017 at 18:11

    A brilliant article, The Democrats Dangerous diversion. How shockingly absurd communications have
    become in the age of modern technology, when important information is now so twisted by mainstream media. An added danger for the world is that Washington/ the Pentagon and the American Congress have been developing the potential for American nuclear primacy, or nuclear supremacy. In an effort to override general repugnance for use of nuclear weapons, the US is developing new nuke weapons with lower yield nuclear material and higher precision with the idea of using them in a war with Russia and possibly others, China, Iran etc. In this way, it’s assumed that one country, or even a key part of a country e.g. Moscow, can be targetted, and the damage thus limited. Of course Russia and China are aware of this, and feel obliged to try to defend themselves from this criminal lunatic plan by spending more on armaments. Just Imagine the accidents that can take place with this awful plan in train.. Also there’s the 19 military exercises involving NATO and the US to be held on Russia’s borders this very year. – Kay Weir, Wellington, New Zealand

  7. Heman
    March 13, 2017 at 15:10

    Since I inadvertently erased my earlier comments, the short version is that while the system of electing our representatives cries for reform, the first step should be media reform and breaking up its concentration and configuration. As of now, the media treats politics as infotainment and the larger the circus, the greater their profits. It, in the main, apt to resist reform for this and other reasons. Election reform, media reform. Money, money, money.

  8. Heman
    March 13, 2017 at 15:02

    Of course, the debacle begs for reform, taking the money out of politics. i.e. money in large chunks that buys our elected representatives. But foremost among the obstacle for reform is the system though which information flows, the media. As elections have morphed into circuses, it is the media who profits from the change. Selling reform with the current concentration and configuration of our media will be very difficult. This suggest that perhaps the first target of reform should not be the election process but the media, its concentration and configuration.

  9. Bill Bodden
    March 13, 2017 at 13:48

    During the discussion on this thread that included the possibility of the United States obliterating Russia and its millions of people with nuclear Representative Steve King (Repugnant-Iowa) was tweeting about defending our civilization. There are some people in the United States who seek to make this nation one that is civilized, but the barbarians among us have almost always been and are now the dominant force. Barbarians throughout history have been the antithesis of civilization.

  10. Jeff Snyder
    March 13, 2017 at 13:46

    Since any use of nuclear weapons means game over for big business, we have a strange opportunity. Our narcissist and their narcissist, plus the Business roundtable and the US/Global Chambers of Commerce, could announce and accomplish complete nuclear disarmament, become instant heroes and lead us into the non-nuclear dystopia of corporate bliss, shopping happily ever after.
    Furthermor, The “healthcare” fuss is all about harvesting the baby boomers’ premiums, deductibles and estates. If the bbs opted en mass for DNR care, we could have single payer in a week. Let me be first in line.

    • Anon
      March 13, 2017 at 16:20

      DNR care?

      • LarcoMarco
        March 14, 2017 at 23:43

        Do Not Resuscitate (pull the plug)

  11. Mark Thomason
    March 13, 2017 at 12:22

    Democrats’ extreme denial and fury make sense as Stages of Grief. It is not calculated. It is pure emotion, driven by very standard and well understood subconscious effects.

    The whole establishment of both parties was stunned by an unexpected outcome. They were so sure. That made it much harder to accept, the grief more profound.

    It is not a calculated diversion. It is an unreasoning emotional reaction.

    It is also a natural rear guard defense by those among Democrats who lost the election, seeking to keep control from those who could have won it. They’d rather control the minority than be kicked out of control of a new majority.

    It must fade as thinking begins. That is has so jumped the shark both makes it harder to back off and makes it more necessary to back off. They’ll get there. Painfully.

    • Sheryl
      March 13, 2017 at 13:38

      I think you are right.

  12. john wilson
    March 13, 2017 at 05:56

    Trump won the election according to the rules and Clinton lost according to those same rules, so Trump’s entitlement is beyond dispute. Over here in the UK we have a political situation that makes Trump’s election seem quite fair and reasonable by comparison. Our current prime minister and leader of the whole of the UK, got the position without a single vote by any member of the public! She was crowned the prime minister by a handful of members of her own parliamentary party. Her own political party which is in power actually only garnered one third of the popular vote, because over here in the UK we have three main parties and a number of other smaller parties which together make a up goodly chunk of the remainder of parliamentary seats. Many people over here in the UK, as in America, just don’t vote because they don’t like any of the parties standing for election. It was once suggested that voting should be made compulsory but that idea was quickly dropped when there was a demand that a choice to vote for “none of the above” should appear on the ballot paper. The hated ‘establishment’ were really worried that “none of the above” choice might actually win!!

  13. Uncle Sam's Comeuppance
    March 13, 2017 at 05:01

    Possibly even more dangerous than nuclear brinkmanship is Fukushima’s readiness to release 13,000 Times the radiation of Hiroshima. Here’s 10 minutes of video to share with your friends and families to get mentally prepared. We should recognize Fukushima as the potential life ending event it is and for a change declare war against a genuine threat.

  14. CitizenOne
    March 12, 2017 at 23:34

    The heart of the Cold War with Russia developed into the M.A.D. nuclear deterrent policy of Mutual Assured Destruction MAD created a line in the sand for nuclear war. Any first strike would be met with an overwhelming counter strike. The technology at that time could not conceive of an anti-ballistic missile defense system and so a treaty was formed to never develop such a system. The MAD policy was seen as an effective deterrent to unilateral launching of a nuclear war. Each side was comfortable and secure that a single country which decided to launch a preemptive ICBM strike would itself be destroyed. 30 minutes was the time frame to launch a counterattack.

    Reduction of that time frame for a credible, overwhelming counterattack has been growing ever since. Reagan was a proponent of Star Wars where incoming ICBM launched nukes could be shot down before they entered an orbital trajectory and before their MIRV or Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicles or nuclear warheads could be dispersed in orbit to inflict strikes on new targets from space. The reason was that MIRVs could be reprogrammed while in flight to new targets. This reduced the time for a response. The plan was scrapped since it would cost trillions of dollars, could be defeated by much less costly countermeasures and would not defend against submarine launched cruise missiles which also reduced the time frame for reaction to 5 to 7 minutes.

    We are still vulnerable to submarine launched cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, but the Nuclear Triad of ICBMs, Air launched nukes and nukes launched by submarines still is viable because ICBMs are not targetable with a defensive anti ballistic missile system which is not yet developed. Star Wars went nowhere.

    The prescription for a peace has been found in the fact that human piloted airborne nuclear delivery systems have become obsolete except for the possibility of nuclear drones and there is no countermeasure for either a Star Wars defense or a way to neutralize nuke equipped subs. Nuclear missile submarines would theoretically survive a first strike and would be able to launch a devastating counter attack. They are viable since their positions are not known traveling deep in the oceans with highly classified noise suppression systems. They are stealth subs. This leg of the Nuclear Triad is still strong.

    So there are two legs of the MAD plan still in a functional state. One is ICBMs since there is no current anti ballistic missile defense and the other is that the threat of retaliation from submarines is credible and has no known defense against. The problem is that the defense needs to respond to a sub launched nuclear tipped cruise missile attack in just one quarter of the time that an ICBM launched strike needs to make a launch decision.

    What I am troubled by is how the USA unilaterally breached the anti ballistic missile defense treaty and launched a multi trillion dollar program to defeat one leg of the Nuclear Triad. Thank goodness it did not happen since the obvious response of an adversary would be to simply build a gigantic fleet of ICBMs with nuclear warheads which would swamp any defense system. It was also ridiculous because merely launching a single atomic weapon in orbit packed in an outer casing of sand or some survivable projectile would incapacitate any Star Wars defense platform as well as wipe out all satellites by creating a swarm of miniature bullets . It was also stupid since it could do nothing to disarm submarine launched cruise missiles. But we went ahead under Reagan and pushed it anyway despite its fatal flaws. In effect, Reagan’s plan was purely destabilizing, meaningless for any real defense and was slated to cost trillions of dollars to develop. Thankfully we did not waste all that money on a boondoggle.

    Yet we have been engaged in ever more destabilizing weapons systems. Low yield tactical nukes launched by artillery guns, briefcase bombs etc. have reduced the time for response to almost zero. It is entirely conceivable that a terrorist detonated nuke in NY City could instantly end humanity under the current heightened tensions between the USA, Iran, Russia, North Korea, China etc. Also the potential for nuclear equipped drone aircraft would reduce the time for a response to a minute or so. There would be no way to tell if a drone was nuclear armed. The policy would be to shoot them down whenever they were in a range where they could launch a nuclear attack. Surprising we have not heard about this possibility despite the advances in drones.

    The overall development of the US military nuclear weapons platform offensive and defensive strategy and capability has been to tear up treaties designed to preserve MAD and to invent new platforms which destabilize MAD and make the possibility of an effective first strike a real possibility without a the threat of a credible response as a deterrent largely from the reduced time to respond with overwhelming force.

    Other misadventures in nuclear strategy are in the historical record. MX missiles with relocatable launch points utilizing missiles on trains that could be secretly relocated were an attempt to comply with limiting warhead treaties but would ostensibly enhance our ability to respond with a counter strike since the Russians would not know under which cup the peanut was hiding. Again, the obvious response from the other side would be to make enough bombs to just blow up all the cups. Who cares where the peanuts are. Eventually, the plan was scrapped, MX Missiles were housed in stationary silos and Start II eliminated MIRVs which again restored MAD without creating a nuclear arms race or the need for Star Wars.

    This is real history folks. Not made up stuff. You can read all about it. The folly of men under the sway of trying to devise plans to enable a successful nuclear war which would only lead to an ever more massive nuclear war were dropped.

    Trump’s plans to create an even bigger nuclear arsenal will just prompt Russia to reignite an arms race..

    It is a windfall for the Military Industrial Complex. But not anyone else.

    We are most secure when both sides realize he nuclear war is an unwinnable prospect.

    Donald Trump has called for more nuclear weapons. This could be understandable based on just the numbers but even a single nuke could end the World in 5 minutes.

    That is the reason that the doomsday clock is set to just 2.5 minutes from midnight. Piling more nukes into the equation will not set back the clock one second but will surely mean the devastation will be much greater if we slip up.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 13, 2017 at 01:37

      CitizenOne, what you just described here in fitting detail is what should be made known to the average American. I might add how others tonight on this comment board who have made similar comments about nuclear weapons also should be broadcasted in such a way as to alert and educate the whole world’s citizenry. Granted nuclear devastation conversations aren’t what a lot of people want to dwell on, but if our MSM were to cover this subject and give it enough play, well then I would think that the public would tear down the walls of all governments on this earth to do away with these nukes and be done with them.

      One is a lonely number when one is looking up to the corporatocracy we live under. In fact the media we people need to partner with to help us get out the truth of such things, as nuclear war, is owned by the very monster we the people are up against.

      We appear to be David without a slingshot. This is why nations need to keep media independently owned, and the smaller the better. Add this to taking out the larger political donor contributor, and stop with the commercialization of candidate politics (our voting process in America is a gift to the MSM) is also a big must. Like our healthcare system, we Americans have privatized our self to hell. We’ve even marketed our political system to look celebrity smart, cool, and always controversially sexy. Like any over advertised product their are those who find fault in it’s operating functions, and the corporate consensus to answer the many complaints is ‘where else are they going to buy one, so who gives a crap”. Then Oz sends our complaints down to the spinmeisters, and these talking butt heads sell us all some nonsense until we buy it, and then we the people become divided amongst each other, and then the corporatocracy wins. It’s like your washer on a never ending spin cycle, until we are all hung out to dry.

      I will do my part to reference friends and family to read some of these comments such as yours, but I’m not sure that will rival Maddow or Hannity. I say this, because sadly over this winter I have noticed more and more people around me starting to talk bad about Russia. The other subset of friends wants Trump to go kick some ISIS ass, but when I try telling these friends of mine that ISIS is supplied and funded by Turkey/Saudi/CIA and they all ignore me…I truly believe these lovable friends of mine just want to blow things up. I mean if your that afraid and pissed off, well then that kind of thinking makes sense….I guess???

      Good detail with your comment CitizenOne…. Joe

      • Sheryl
        March 13, 2017 at 13:33

        Surprisingly, my liberal friends, who believe Russia interfered in our election, also believe that we should withdraw our military from other countries. My conservative pro-Trump friends, who don’t believe Russia is the enemy, think that America is protecting its interests and shouldn’t withdraw. One conservative friend even argued with me that Vietnam and Iraq was justified. My mouth fell open. I know Democrats in Washington seem to be more pro-cold war, but I haven’t noticed that with liberal friends.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 13, 2017 at 14:28

          Perspective is 98% of the game, isn’t it?

    • Realist
      March 13, 2017 at 02:37

      C1, you have given us a plethora of details, all of which I am sure are accurate. I believe you are correct when you state that a single act of terrorism, such as detonating a suitcase nuke in Manhattan would precipitate full launch mode by all nuclear powers and that would be the end of humanity, nay, of the entire biosphere.

      What I have never seen addressed is the possibility of a nuclear device (in any of the missiles, bombs, torpedoes or whatever possessed by any of the nuclear-armed states, both the advanced sophisticated ones and those barely over the technological threshold, such as North Korea) being accidentally and spontaneously triggered to detonate through some random quantum fluctuation, some stupid little electronic malfunction. As I understand it, a barometric or radar-linked altimeter triggers a conventional explosive which in turn compacts the fissile material to achieve critical mass. Now, the probability of a malfunction anywhere in that chain might be reduced as low as humans can practically make it, but that would not be zero, especially involving multiple components any of which can fail. The possibility of malfunction would still exist.

      I’ve sometimes wondered about the consequences if one of the nukes carried in the belly of one of America’s behemoth aircraft carriers spontaneously detonated wiping out the entire carrier task force. Would we learn an important lesson in tempering our hubris or would we immediately lash out to precipitate a global conflagration. We’ve actually lost these things on the ocean floor and in the Spanish countryside. Luckily they have not spontaneously detonated–yet. Are they really worth the risk, even just to possess? Or are their keepers as mad as Golem?

      • CitizenOne
        March 13, 2017 at 22:09

        There is a reason that home built nukes cannot be created. It would be easy if highly enriched Uranium could be purchased. Fortunately for us, the equipment necessary to produce a fissile Uranium bomb is extremely difficult to obtain and manufacture. There is a requirement to build many gas centrifuges with enough energy to separate different isotopes of Uranium.. But once that is mastered and the Uranium is concentrated, the assembly of a fusion bomb is the easy part. Just shove two masses of highly enriched Uranium together which when combined will result in a chain reaction and a nuclear explosion. Just four packs of Smokeless Powder detonated the Hiroshima Bomb.

        I agree with the folks who suspect that Iran and North Korea understand the problem. For them, it is a matter of building the gas centrifuges and accumulating the Uranium. The rest is child’s play.

        There is even a more obvious danger that a fissile Uranium Bomb can cause Lithium to react in the neutron rich chain reaction triggered by the fissile bomb to become a Hydrogen Bomb or a fission/fusion bomb releasing much more power. A whole lot more power.

        It gets even more scary when one considers packing tons of the relatively cheap element Cobalt around the Lithium Uranium Bomb. The result is the creation by neutron absorption of Cobalt 60 which is a highly energetic emitter of gamma radiation which can blast apart the DNA of living organisms like a knife through butter and since it would be distributed high into the stratosphere by a thermonuclear fission/fusion device it has the potential to spread fallout over a wide area covering entire continents with a lethal gamma ray emitting dust. A Cobalt Fission/Fusion bomb or Cobalt thermonuclear bomb is called a doomsday device. A large enough Cobalt Thermonuclear device has the potential to wipe out life on Earth. Such devices could be hidden since it is not really a problem where they are located.

        The technology to eliminate life on Earth except perhaps microbes living underground is living along side of us today and has been a clear and present danger since the invention of the Hydrogen Bomb or Thermonuclear Bomb.

        So why hasn’t a Thermonuclear weapon been used or a Cobalt Thermonuclear weapon been used.?

        The answer is that nobody has been willing to use it. Wiping out all of humanity has not been an acceptable consequence.

        We live in a balance between existence and extinction which so far has favored existence.

        But what we are constantly fooling around with might end us.

        So what are we to make of all of this.?

        We must recognize that the means to enrich Uranium is the key to build a life ending bomb. We must try to preserve our peaceful intent to attack sources of Uranium enrichment programs while not killing civilians in a nuclear war aimed at stopping potential nuclear powers. We must guard against unwarranted uses of military power and to safeguard the nuclear genie in the bottle. We must show restraint where it is warranted and aggression where it is warranted. We must ourselves be a peace loving nation not ruled by tyrants. We must value humanity in all its forms and be willing to defend the right for humanity in all its forms to exist. We must never encourage the development of weapons which if they can be mastered by crazy people might end our existence. We must elect leaders who understand the fragility of our existence and who seek to protect and preserve human existence given the practical technology to end it and are willing to act to defend our existence in peaceful ways. We must not engage in a nuclear arms race. That race was the cause for the development of a doomsday device in the first place. The doomsday device does not require a counter strike. It does not have to be launched against a target by a missile. It can be housed in an undetectable location. The doomsday device will be used as a last gasp to strike back at the whole World if a nuclear war can be conceived where one side will win.

        It is rumored that Russia possesses such a device. Other nations may be building them.

        There is only one real clear strategy and that is to draw down conventional nukes, draw down conventional warfare which might lead to Nuclear War and to draw down an arms race in the making with our main stream press and neohawks trying their best to initiate a war with Russia.

        Such a war will most certainly result in the predicted consequences of a nuclear war but also holds the potential to end the existence of humanity if a doomsday device was the last act of a defeated nation.

        We really need to think hard about our recent McCarthyism and an attempt to recreate a new Cold War with Russia for the purposes of justifying a ever larger military budget.

        Money will surely not buy us love but it could by us a one way ticket to extinction.

        The old policy of MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction has taken on a more ironic twist. It might not be just the aggressor and defender that have a 100% probability of being destroyed but the rest of the World might also be doomed to extinction.

        Einstein predicted that WWIII would be fought with sticks and stones. He was, as usual, absolutely correct.

      • Sam F
        March 14, 2017 at 08:42

        In systems designed for high reliability, most of the remaining chance of failure is human error, things that look incredibly dumb in retrospect and make the designers put their heads in their hands.

        Many system operators actually play with the systems, deliberately causing subsystem failures to prove that the system is reliable despite this, which causes elaborate compensatory processes that the operators do not see, and as the operators cause more problems in rapid succession, the system can fail. Builders also often decide to simply skip design precautions that seem unnecessary to them (those silly engineers), causing hidden defects and complex failures.

        Other operators perform tasks around the system that violate the assumptions in the reliability model, as happened with workers under the control room of the Brown’s Ferry reactor 2 in 1984, testing new fire-protection insulation of wiring with a blowtorch that damaged that control wiring of the reactor while in operation.

        Those in charge of nuclear weapons systems have been found careless in implementing controls, and neglectful of precautions because “bad things never happen anyway” so “why don’t they trust us.”

        The human error factor is factored into the designs, but human error is remarkably able to defeat such protections, if only because they result in boring procedures that seem superfluous to the system operators.

    • March 13, 2017 at 11:04

      the tatical new generation warhead is a trillion dollar O program, O’s nuke budget was greater than cold wars nuke budget. this nuke buildup has been going thru a fw administrations.

  15. roksob
    March 12, 2017 at 22:45

    “The Trump camp will never acknowledge that only a quarter of voting-age Americans voted for him,” Your bias is showing. The same is true for the Clinton camp. She got roughly 27% of voting-age Americans. Neither was very popular.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 13, 2017 at 00:40

      I’d like to add to your comment that 40% of the 231,556,622 registered voters didn’t vote. The 40% who didn’t vote is numbered at 92,671,979 voters. In addition to that of the 138,884,643 who did vote it would be questionable to how many truly believed in the candidate they voted for. By referencing the people I met over this past year there were very few who believed in either candidate. The choice was clear to me that people weren’t voting too much over who they liked, but more over voting against who they didn’t like. Yes the lesser of the two evil syndrome was what the 2016 presidential election was all about. Now that the election is over I have come to the belief that the 40% who didn’t vote knew more of what they were doing than the rest of us who did vote. If somehow the voter turnout could have been less than 10% then the election would not have been legitimized…so if we do have a chance to save ourselves, then the next best thing to voting for the candidate of your choice is not to vote.

  16. David Smith
    March 12, 2017 at 21:33

    Your proposal is called “Launch On Warning” and has been adopted as policy by both Russia and China about 2015. Last year Russia activated the “Dead Hand” system which orders launch if leadership elements are “decapitated”. ” Launch On Warning” would not have to wait to observe missiles launching. An attempt at a surprise attack would betray itself by signals intelligence days in advance and heightened activity weeks in advance such as all naval vessels getting out of port. Merely watching the Upper East Side of Manhattan would give the surest warning. No young men who are obviously personal chefs shopping in the neighborhood market that sells only “baby vegetables”? Nuclear attack imminent!!!!

    • David Smith
      March 12, 2017 at 21:38

      Meant as a reply to Realist’s comment above.

      • F. G. Sanford
        March 12, 2017 at 23:28

        And all theoretical models and “war game” scenarios suggest that there is no viable defense against “launch on warning”.

      • Realist
        March 13, 2017 at 03:10

        I don’t pretend to be the first to think up the strategy. I know this has been agonized over for many decades with even a “Brat Pack” movie touching on the subject back in the 80’s. Apparently the wisdom resulting from Matthew Brodderick’s computer game didn’t “take.”

  17. Plincoln
    March 12, 2017 at 20:53

    Sadly the lies in our media have been ongoing for over 100 years, at least among the major publications like Reuters, NY Times, Washington Post and later the network radio/TV stations , hollywood and then cable news. There was truth being reported and there still is but its hard to know what to believe and many just accept stuff based on faith. They choose their political party like a religion or sports team and just root for it. Sort of makes you question the value of Democracy without a reliable source of truth except to give people hope that next time they may pick the right President and everything will be all right. It also allows those in power although unelected to hide behind the political shields while the transient figure heads take the blame.

    Also, one of the lies is we have a 2 party system. Both are chosen by the corporate elite who fund their campaigns. Its like in Iran where the Supreme Leader choses the candidates and the people vote. The 2 parties differ on tone and irrelevant social/environtmental issues but on matters of relevance to these guys they march to the same drummer.

    Catastrophic Climate Change due to mans CO2 is another of the lies. On and on it goes

  18. March 12, 2017 at 20:34

    Sadly, America throws cash resources away from domestic policy areas where they are desperately needed, such as infrastructure, universal single payer healthcare, higher education, green energy, alleviating poverty, etc., and into the mad drive to do what no other country in history has been able to do: create a one state global hegemony, a global empire. America is fast becoming a Potemkin village of a nation, militarily strong on the exterior, but rotting and decaying internally. It begs the question: Just what is America “defending” against externally that justifies allowing the nation to be threatened by internal atrophy and decline? As America furiously engages in a unilateral arms race against external “bogeymen” of our collective imagination, internally America is busily racing to the bottom to the status of a nuclear armed Third World country — like North Korea and Pakistan. America and the world desperately needs and wants peace, REAL PEACE, not a Pax Americana imposed at the point of a gun.

    • bob
      March 12, 2017 at 22:39

      The 400 US billionaires are not “racing to the bottom”. They are racing to become multi-billionaires so they can live in New Zealand in the style they are accustomed to. After the holocaust.

    • Realist
      March 13, 2017 at 03:06

      Excellent précis of the state of the union. You should have given the televised response to Trump.

  19. March 12, 2017 at 19:43

    The only solution left for society is to roundup these so called pillars of the establishment, and “Arrest Them.” [ But can it be done?]
    more info at link below

  20. March 12, 2017 at 19:35

    Companion bills in House and Senate by Ted Lieu and Ed Markey would prohibit any President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. United for Peace and Justice has a petition in support on their website.

  21. Litchfield
    March 12, 2017 at 18:48

    I wish this didn’t make so much sense . . . didn’t seem like the only message that might get through to these dinosaurs with the Earth’s fate in their hands. It is not only humans but ALL LIFE that would be extinguished. The truly innocent animal and plant life that make this planet habitable for all.

    • Litchfield
      March 12, 2017 at 18:49

      I mean, in their claws . . .

  22. Realist
    March 12, 2017 at 17:54

    ” In the case of a suspected U.S. nuclear launch targeting Russia, President Putin would have as little as 7 to 13 minutes to decide whether Russia was really under nuclear attack and whether to retaliate.

    The BAS authors believe that this predicament leaves Russia little choice but to pre-delegate its nuclear launch authority to lower levels of command, increasing the risk of an accidental or mistaken launch of nuclear weapons.”

    This sounds like an attempt by America to exploit the innate humanity of their Russian counterparts to gain hand in such a showdown, assuming that either Putin or his delegates wouldn’t have the “guts” to push the button, or that they would dither long enough to lose the opportunity to set in motion a counterstrike against a stealthy American first strike.

    In such a poker game I would play this card: tell the Americans that the Russian defense system is now being placed on full auto, taking the weakness of human compassion out of the equation. Should the Russian satellite system detect any tell tale contrails, heat flashes or whatever other signals they monitor over American launch sites, or should the satellites be blinded by laser, shrapnel or whatever other tricks militaries might use, everything in the Russian arsenal gets activated to full launch mode, no on-the-spot human strategizing involved or needed. It’s all preprogrammed, America, and we are telling you the unvarnished consequences in such detail as you can understand and appreciate. Try to punk us with nukes and it will be the last thing you ever do.

    I’d also let them know that should the ICBM’s in the hardened silos be vaporised before they can be launched within this 7-minute window, a dead man’s switch will full launch the entire nuclear missile arsenal from Russia’s global submarine fleet. There will be no agonizing by the individual captains as to whether they should launch or surrender. Same for the mobile missiles on railcars and trucks. All immediately launched and coming your way if our detection systems happen to see the signatures of a likely first American strike. You will receive the benefit of the best state-of-the-art AI analysis that can be done within those 7 minutes, but the errors and weaknesses of the human factor (which you obviously have no respect for in your willingness to annihilate at least half the human population to gain whatever it is you seem to want) will be eliminated.

    Maybe, knowing this, you will finally see the light of reason and repudiate, in a treaty together with Russia (and all other nuclear powers), the use of any such treachery. America’s mere threat to use a stealthy first nuclear strike, coupled with their actually putting the necessary pieces of hardware into place such as they are doing, pretty much makes the main event inevitable, though the time uncertain. Murphy’s Law is not just a joke, it comports with the probabilistic nature of reality. It will happen sooner or later, by accident or design. Russia can only eliminate the risk by causing the Americans to reverse their actions with threats just as consequential of their own. If the Americans are so insane that they still refuse to back off, they should also know that the Russians won’t be alone in experiencing biological extinction. Crazy? Yes, just like the previously employed MAD deterrent. But maybe the only way left to beat totally intransigent unprovoked crazy by the loons in the Pentagon and at Langely. Someone got a better idea? It’s got to include a massive threat comparable to the threat that America is pitching at Russia. (Sadly, they will probably “push the button” anyway, as they did in “Dr. Strangelove.”)

    • Kiza
      March 12, 2017 at 20:15

      What it all boils down to is that US tends to assume – our psychopaths are better than your psychopaths. Then if the Russians outsource the decision to an psychopathic automated launch system, there is no human weakness involved any more. For a normal person killing hundreds of millions of people is not a sensible decision, no matter that his family may have already been obliterated.

      But the most interesting is this – the US has been creeping closer and closer to Moscow with its nuclear arsenal, placing them in Romania and Poland, soon possibly in Ukraine and Georgia. This allows less and less time to deliberate a counter launch. So what do the Russians do – they automate the decision. Thus US could be destroyed either because of an attempted First Strike or because of a mistaken First Strike. Great strategic move US!!!

      • Kiza
        March 12, 2017 at 22:21

        The US has all these super-duper uber-bright academics in Strategy and in Game Theory but they cannot comprehend even the most basic laws of action and reaction, the natural trend towards balancing power and so on. When the US created a power imbalance by moving NATO and its missiles towards Moscow (Reagan: “we are not going to expand one inch Eastwards”), what did they expect would happen – that the Russians would through their hands into the air and beg to be dominated? No, when you shorten the available decision time down to 7-10 minutes, the other side does something utterly insane – automates the counter-launch decision.

        Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      • Realist
        March 13, 2017 at 01:51

        Precisely. You get it. Fully automating the system, using computers that make irrevocable judgments within nanoseconds, puts the onus on the Americans not to attack or even act in ways that can be mistakenly interpreted as an attack. In a rational world the brinksmanship would stop. Not sure the Pentagon or Langley think with their brains, however. More with their hypertrophied gonads.

        • Kiza
          March 13, 2017 at 02:48

          My point was slightly different – why US always assumes that the other side would surrender after its shock & awe or its debalancing of the MAD equilibrium instead of responding asymmetrically and sometimes insanely? It does not appear that there is much intelligence in US leadership, we do agree on that.

          Even if we survive this situation somehow, the nutties in the f’ed up country will keep trying to find another way to dominate. They have been trying since they invented the nuclear weapons first, everybody else has been playing catch up.

          • Realist
            March 13, 2017 at 06:01

            Pretty sure you were agreeing with my main point when you said “This allows less and less time to deliberate a counter launch. So what do the Russians do – they automate the decision. Thus US could be destroyed either because of an attempted First Strike or because of a mistaken First Strike. Great strategic move US!!!” As to your point that the arrogant Americans always assume that the other side are cowards and will immediately submit, I totally concur. I didn’t emphasize that point in this specific thread, but did touch on it in one up above when I said: “The claims coming out of Washington may well be a bluff, hoping that the Russians fold, quit the game and volunteer to become compliant American vassals.” The Americans take a long time to learn the lesson that other countries, no matter their wealth or armaments, will always inflict a major cost on the American invaders which is why our wars seem to go on forever. These victims would rather have their honor than their lives it would seem, unlike Americans who couldn’t stand to give up Monday Night Football, nachos and beer to go protest the encroaching surveillance state.

          • Kiza
            March 13, 2017 at 08:21

            Totally agree, especially your last sentence. Hate Russia is just a convenient media distraction from the loss of all basic rights by the police state.

  23. March 12, 2017 at 17:38

    It’s the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Americans are the Sleepy Dormouse. If Clinton had been installed, the Guardians of Privilege would be working on her impeachment instead of the Democrazies working on Trump’s impeachment. Meanwhile, the Trump camp hasn’t a clue what they’re doing, and the predecessor Obama cabal so soiled the waters that it looks like the entire US could be taken down with another economic collapse amid more messed-up international politics. The US is now back in Syria, which is illegal. Russia and China leading the BRICS nations are the only adults in the room. NATO has gone off its rocker. This cannot end well.

  24. ranney
    March 12, 2017 at 17:21

    Bravo Nicholas, you have delineated very neatly the whole very scary dilemma we find ourselves in – how do we choose one party over another when there are only two and we dislike and distrust them both, and how do we protect our planet for future generations.
    The problem with the lies and propaganda on both sides has now become toxic to our very existence. The quicker we understand that, the better chance we have of saving our children’s lives.

    • March 14, 2017 at 16:26

      There only has ever been one solution: a general strike of the People. Only if the People can somehow wake up and say “No More!”


  25. F. G. Sanford
    March 12, 2017 at 17:19

    OK, I read the BAS article at the link contained herein. Admittedly, I’m not a nuclear physicist, but I do have a scientific background. And, I occasionally read a book. Once upon a time, I read ‘Alice in Wonderland’, but it’s been long time, and I really don’t even remember how it ends. The “super-fuze” capability was a closely guarded secret back in WWII when they used to call it a “proximity fuse”. Its purpose was to produce an “air burst” rather than an “impact burst”. It thusly improved the lethality to ground forces or battlefield assets by maximizing the diameter of the useful(sic?) explosion. The scenario outlined here assumes that the “smart” capability of the fuze allows it to know EXACTLY where the target is. Inertial guidance systems don’t exactly have that kind of track record, and GPS would be a poor choice when satellite jamming capabilities are well developed and operational. And, since when does what one would expect to be highly classified information about weapons technology get propagated to the general public with this kind of boisterous pride?

    So…our submarines will launch hundreds of 100 kiloton missiles to take out Russia’s retaliatory capability, and still have thousands of 100 and 400 kiloton warheads left to finish the job? Trust me, if we launch 100 such missiles, the radiation from all those “air bursts” will kill us too.

    Sorry, but my take on this is that it’s 100 kilotons of hubristic American military propaganda. USDA choice “Grade A” bullfeathers never smelled any fishier than this. Putin must be laughing his socks off. But, if Americans are dumb enough to let their elected political incompetents try it, they richly deserve whatever they get in return.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 12, 2017 at 17:40

      The scenario outlined here assumes that the “smart” capability of the fuze allows it to know EXACTLY where the target is. Inertial guidance systems don’t exactly have that kind of track record, and GPS would be a poor choice when satellite jamming capabilities are well developed and operational.

      I must admit none of this “super-fuse” stuff makes any sense to me. If the device knows it is going to miss, why isn’t there a provision for a tiny change in the warhead trajectory so as to make a direct hit? Obviously I’m overlooking something, but darned if I know what it is.

      As for the satellites, the Chinese are reportedly working on a 5-ton chemical laser in an Earth-orbiting satellite to blind?/destroy? enemy satellites. I can imagine lurking “stealth” killer-satellites stalking their potential targets too. They’d do nothing whatever until they received a coded “GO” message from home – wherever home happened to be.

    • Realist
      March 12, 2017 at 18:24

      The claims coming out of Washington may well be a bluff, hoping that the Russians fold, quit the game and volunteer to become compliant American vassals. It is certainly an insane threat, that would cause Russia to be very concerned (not laughing, I assure you) whether backed by reality or not, and the only way to counter it is to make an equally provocative counter threat, which I outline in a comment below. Make the Americans question whether the Russians would really be crazy enough to do such a thing (i.e., a fully automated launch of its entire nuclear arsenal on detection of American missile signatures from high orbit, taking humans and their emotions and judgments out of the equation; no mercy, no dithering by Putin or his delegates; you launch in our direction and our machines will have a response for you within the crucial 7 minutes). They will either escalate and we will all be dead sooner than we planned, or they, hopefully, negotiate into oblivion the very thought, let alone the execution, of any nuclear first strike by any nuclear power. The idea must be outlawed and steps taken to make it impossible to implement. If it remains a possibility, some day it WILL happen by design or accident, even though it is so crazy as to be incomprehensible. Yet they insist on keeping it as an option.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 12, 2017 at 18:46

        The claims coming out of Washington may well be a bluff, hoping that the Russians fold, quit the game and volunteer to become compliant American vassals.

        The Russians didn’t quit when their situation was much more dire in World War Two. It is probably a very good bet they won’t quit now or in the near future in the face of threats from the U.S. and its NATO vassals in Europe.

        • Realist
          March 13, 2017 at 02:46

          No, that is not a realistic assumption I would make. But what the hell response are the American provocateurs expecting?

          • March 13, 2017 at 10:50

            money preparing for, population reduction, possibly countering lobal warming and their own survival

      • F. G. Sanford
        March 12, 2017 at 20:19

        Those missiles won’t be coming from “high orbit”. That’s the whole point of submarine launching them. The Russian response would be total and immediate. They won’t have to think twice, or even once. That’s why there are “launch protocols”. Get it yet?

        • Realist
          March 13, 2017 at 01:33

          You totally misunderstand: “detection…from high orbit” means detection of the missiles by satellites. The missiles would, of course, be launched from the surface (or underwater) for, as far as we know, no nation presently has orbiting nuclear weapons up in space. Do YOU get it? Respond to what I say, not your straw man.

        • Joe B
          March 13, 2017 at 16:05

          Now, boys, remember Shakespeare’s jester Touchstone describing the seven levels of disagreement between a criticism and a duel: you skipped the clarification, the if-you-meant-this-it-would-be-false, and the I-didn’t-say-it-for that-reason, etc.

      • Laird Wheeler Hastay
        March 12, 2017 at 22:59

        Sounds like a proposal to create a doomsday machine such as the Soviets had developed unbeknownst to the characters in “Dr. Strangelove.” Regardless, we certainly do need to pursue disarmament as rapidly as possible. Might I recommend a long out of print but still valuable book by Professor Amitai Etzioni, The Hard Way to Peace, published about 1962? It is very much worth a read, and the last I knew, the author was still alive.

  26. geoff
    March 12, 2017 at 17:04

    if i were asleep for twenty years and woke up to what is happening now, i would be in severe denial that would most likely lead to intense psychological evaluation. these so called leaders are extremely dangerous and the paradoxical obama is the most insidious. oh! yes we can!!!

  27. Zachary Smith
    March 12, 2017 at 16:56

    I can’t believe these two sentences were actually back-to-back.

    1) “In the U.S., we live under a two-party political system, not a one-party system as in East Germany, and our media reflect that.”

    2) “As each of our two main political parties and our media have fallen more totally under the sway of unbridled plutocratic interests….”

    Translation: we live in a fake 2-party system because the rich bastards control both parties. In the past the Democrats usually avoided coming off as totally insane, but they can no longer maintain that effort. IMO the Republicans always were nuts, something I can see now despite being an official Republican for most of my life.

    The Trump camp will never acknowledge that only a quarter of voting-age Americans voted for him, nor that even less of us share his views or the interests he represents.

    Would the author have expected Hillary to “acknowledge” the same thing, for the difference in their vote percentages was quite insignificant.

    My copy of Alice in Wonderland has a quotation from James Joyce in the front of the book: “Wipe your glasses with what you know.” What we know is often our best protection against being misled by advertisers, politicians and pundits, if we will only remember what we know and trust it over the misinformation that surrounds us.

    If it wasn’t for the option of the internet, I’d be as I was in years past – totally under the thumb of the BS put out on broadcast TV as well as the totally biased right-wing news and editorials peddled by the Indianapolis Star. When every single source of information to which you have access is untrustworthy, your chances of avoiding getting brain-scrubbed approach zero. Even with the internet there are risks, but at least for now there is an extreme menu of news and opinion sources, and it’s possible to get partially informed.

    • Peter Loeb
      March 13, 2017 at 07:08


      Historian Gabriel Kolko once wrote:

      “It is this illusion of the ‘accidental’ quality of the role of the
      United States…that has led over the past years to a kind of
      specious liberalism which believes one simply replaces
      individuals in office with other men…rather than solving
      with an altogether new system based on a radically
      different distribution of power and assumptions as to its
      application…Yet the assumption of marching in front of
      the Pentagon or the Democratic convention implies that
      implies that the existing system can be other than what it
      is short of actually depriving it of of access to power
      and levers for controlling society…”
      Gabriel Kolko,Beacon Press, 1969, p. 134

      Bernie Sanders’ allegiance to the Democratic Party
      may have been deeply sincere. This loyalty
      never made the jump that is needed but relied
      instead on liberal romantic delusions. Daniel West
      understood this and supported the ill-fated
      (US) Green Party.

      Nicolas Davies’ analysis unfortunately sees
      the candidacy of Bernie Sanders as a kind of
      solution, a solution which it never was or
      could have been. (Kolko’s analysis of the elites
      and [their] control of power is included in the Kolko book
      cited above).

      In my own opinion, it is time for us to move on,
      accept defeat of Clinton and Sanders with no
      illusions. (Both were inevitable).

      A more thorough investigation of the economic
      basis of US society today would be in
      order. (See: Jack Rasmus: PRELUDE TO DEPRESSION…)

      This author has found sources on the military of 20 years
      ago but lacks any documented sources of the structure of
      the US military that are more recent.

      Since funds can always, always be found for defense (being
      considered in the House this week and the Senate soon)
      it is evidently unacceptable for large bi-partisan majorities
      to spend on much-needed domestic needs and (to borrow
      a phrase!) “Make America Great Again!”

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 13, 2017 at 09:31

        Peter, while I do accept Trump as our legitimate president I also now believe without a doubt that there is a larger force beyond the president who call the shots. I’m not even sure our country is democratic as it is widely believed. Starting with our corporations being to big, and that this corporate power sees more advantage in going global, I don’t know how we the people can get noticed.

        • March 13, 2017 at 12:17

          Par exemple, une force de $54 milliard?

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 13, 2017 at 13:08

            Seulement quelque chose d’important pourrait recevoir autant d’argent si rapidement et sans poser de questions.

            Only something important could receive that much money so quickly, and without questions asked.

  28. D5-5
    March 12, 2017 at 16:54

    I’m sorry to be sounding a little impatient instead of grateful for another article of thousands of words telling us the same thing we keep hearing over and over again. “We have a two party system.” My God. We have a plutocracy running amok which employs two supposed “political parties” to do its vulture-capitalist bidding. Yes, we need a two party system, with that second system a People’s Independent Party vs The Plutocracy Parties, a PIP representing the public, and all multicultural wings of that public–very badly needed, and called for over and again, again and again and again. Are we due yet?

    As to Sanders, in my view if he’s the most popular politician in this country we are even further away from getting anywhere. Despite what the DNC did to him, he is STILL a democrat? and “reforming” the Dem party? with his “our revolution”? For a long time I questioned and wrote to Counterpunch in the campaign on its continuing critique of Sanders until I realized they were right on calling him out. The man quit on us right at the very time he was saying he would fight it out to the last vote at the Dem Convention. Recall he was on a roll up to the California primary. The night before the primary, and it seems to me immorally and unscrupulously, Obama said he was opting for Hillary. Elizabeth Warren also opted for HRC, possibly hoping for a VP position. The primary was then called for Hillary but with only a fraction of the votes counted, some 2 million of 8 million, I believe. What happened to the rest of the votes is still a mystery to me, maybe somebody will set me straight. Bernie then wilted. This is not the man we need for an independent party, and it’s time to stop saying an independent party can get nowhere and is an impossibility in American Politics. Now if ever is the time we need such a party.

    • Kiza
      March 12, 2017 at 19:56

      Sanders died for me the moment he endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election. I understand the responsibility the the party, but are we supposed to believe that this character would reform anything in the US when he cannot even resist the party’s pressure, by a party who stole from him, to endorse the candidate who stole from him. Just look what is going on with Trump – the pressure is so high that he gave up on detente. How is Trump going to reform anything in the US when he cannot resists the pressure of the MIC? The vested interests in the finance are probably several times stronger than those of MIC. But one has to be a totally lost-in-space left winger to believe that Sanders would have successfully reformed anything, absolutely anything. If Trumps policies are starting to resemble Hillary’s, would not the Sanders’ policies after the election been identical? There must be a good reason why everybody defaults to the same wrong policies (maybe they and their family do not want to end up like the Kennedys)!

      There is absolutely no chance of any kind of reform in US – US is a ship sailing in one direction only – towards some kind of iceberg: financial, economic, war or all of the above.

      • March 12, 2017 at 20:50

        To be an American today is like being a passenger on the Titanic, trapped, doomed, sailing quickly, quietly, inexorably, and needlessly towards the dimly perceived iceberg of foreign conflicts — the bloody, endless quagmire of the Syrian Conflict and the senseless, provocative NATO military buildup on Russia’s western border. A mistake or miscalculation in either could start WWIII, a disaster from which there may be no escape for anyone.

      • Skip Edwards
        March 12, 2017 at 22:56

        How do we convince enough people in our country of what you say? Without that the US has no chance of remaining a viable country in the world; and, the very survival of most life on Earth will remain in grave danger.

        • sierra7
          March 14, 2017 at 23:19

          Most Americans would not believe you if you held up documents or other proof of the horrible situation this country is in…And, if they tried it would turn their whole world upside down…and probably create some kind of mass hysteria.
          America has always been on the path of imperialism; our whole history lays it out quite nicely.
          And, with that said, as other imperialist countries in the past we will end up a pile of cinders, just like them.
          I’ve been studying and observing American internal and foreign policies for multiple decades; we continue to follow the same “kill them all and let God sort them out” policies and then posture to the globe on how “exceptional” we are….the problem is that most Americans eat that SH&* right up! It makes them feel good and vindicates their pathetic, materialistic driven lives.
          We are sliding into the abyss of history and there isn’t and damned thing any one or group can do about it.
          It’s too late.

  29. March 12, 2017 at 16:43

    Interesting article:
    Incompetence rules over us and we are prisoners of a system called “democracy” that is anything but democratic.
    [read more at link below]

  30. rosemerry
    March 12, 2017 at 16:39

    “The Trump camp will never acknowledge that only a quarter of voting-age Americans voted for him,” Careful, this was true for Ronald Reagan too, and probably others, given that nearly half of the eligible voters do not vote.

    “Nobody wins a nuclear war”, to quote the old posters, but since Clinton and WBush abandoned the MAD doctrine, we are closer to catastrophe than the “leaders” admit, and it is the USA ready to launch the first nuke, while Russia only reacts to threats if endangered.

    The whole US policy is threats and bribes, plus invasions and occupations. Never does diplomacy get a place at the table.

  31. SteveK9
    March 12, 2017 at 16:06

    The last five paragraphs tell you why we are fortunate to have Trump as President. There is at least a chance with him, although every power center in this country, mainly driven by the war (or fear) economy is trying to make it impossible for him to promote peace.

    • D5-5
      March 12, 2017 at 16:59

      I think there are serious doubts on this idea. Look at what is happening right now with thousands of troops arriving in east Syria and Kuwait, as we head for a big action in the east of Syria, plus all that’s at stake in pipelines and so forth. Additionally we have a highly divided administrative body that says contradictory things, as with the envoy Haley talking about Russia’s giving back Crimea and Mattis talking about boarding an Iranian navy vessel because the country fired a missile. It’s difficult to know what Trump is, given how much he craves admiration. That might even quite soon involve a military action so he can emulate George W. and his Iraq bravado.

      • Miranda Keefe
        March 12, 2017 at 20:51

        I do not support war.

        But it is important to know that Trump always said he’d go after ISIS. What he said he wouldn’t do is try to topple Assad or do other regime change.

        It is my understanding that what Trump is doing now is going after ISIS.

        • Brad Owen
          March 13, 2017 at 11:50

          Yes. Over on EIR was a story about how our troops are COOPERATING with the Russian troops in their activities supporting a Syrian military campaign to liberate another city held by ISIS.

          • D5-5
            March 13, 2017 at 12:30

            Keep your eye on this. I recommend taking a look at Moon of Alabama for March 10 also, including of course the comments there. The other possibility is a renewed effort to create a US presence in east Syria which allows “the moderates” to resume their activities in toppling Assad.

          • Brad Owen
            March 13, 2017 at 15:05

            Yes D-5, the situation is mercurial, because Trump seems pretty much mercurial.

    • Jim Glover
      March 12, 2017 at 17:09

      Good article and comments!

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