Putin Claims Strategic Parity, Respect

Vladimir Putin’s announcement of new weapons systems to achieve nuclear parity was the result of the erosion of arms control regimes, such as the ill-advised U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002, Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State-of-the-Nation speech Thursday represents a liminal event in the East-West strategic balance — and an ominous one.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, including the State Duma parliamentarians, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and other high-ranking officials, in Moscow, March 1, 2018.

That the strategic equation is precarious today comes through clearly in Putin’s words. The U.S. and Russia have walked backwards over the threshold of sanity first crossed in the right direction by their predecessors in 1972 with the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Amid the “balance of terror” that reigned pre-1972, sensible statesmen on both sides concluded and implemented the ABM treaty which, in effect, guaranteed “mutual assured destruction” — the (altogether fitting) acronym was MAD — if either side attempted a nuclear attack on the other. MAD might not sound much better than “balance of terror,” but the ABM treaty introduced a significant degree of stability for 30 years.

The treaty itself was the result of painstaking negotiation with considerable understanding and good faith shown by both sides. The formidable task challenging us intelligence specialists was to be able to assure President Nixon that, if he decided to trust, we could monitor Soviet adherence and promptly report any violations. (Incidentally, the Soviets did cheat. In mid-1983 we detected a huge early warning radar installation at Krasnoyarsk in Siberia — a clear violation of the ABM treaty. President Reagan called them on it, and the Soviets eventually tore it down.)

During the U.S.-Soviet negotiations on the ABM treaty, a third of the CIA Soviet Foreign Policy Branch, which I led at the time, was involved in various supporting roles. I was in Moscow on May 26, 1972 for the treaty signing by President Richard Nixon and Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. I recall not being able to suppress an audible sigh of relief. MAD, I believed, would surely be preferable to the highly precarious strategic situation that preceded it. It was.

Cornerstone of Stability

In his speech on March 1, President Putin included an accurate tutorial on what happened after three decades, noting that Moscow was “categorically against” the U.S. decision in 2002 to withdraw from the ABM treaty. He described the treaty as “the cornerstone of the international security system.”

Putin explained that under the treaty, “the parties had the right to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in only one of its regions. Russia deployed these systems around Moscow, and the U.S. around its Grand Forks land-based ICBM base [in North Dakota].”  (He did not mention the aborted attempt to deploy a second installation at Krasnoyarsk.)

The Russian President explained: “The ABM treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust, but also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons … because the limited number of ballistic missile defense systems made the potential aggressor vulnerable to a response strike.”

Putin was saying, in effect, that no matter how bad — even mad — the MAD concept may seem, it played a huge stabilizing role. He added that the U.S. rejected all Russian proposals toward constructive dialogue on the post-ABM treaty situation, and grossly underestimated Russia’s ability to respond. The Russian President then gave chapter and verse, cum video clips, on an array of new Russian weaponry which, he claimed, rendered missile defense systems “useless.” The show-and-tell segment of Putin’s speech has been widely reported.

New York Times Skeptical

David Sanger, the New York Times’ go-to guy on key issues, who is among the best in the trade on reporting as “flat facts” things like WMD in Iraq and “Russian meddling,” wrote the lede on Putin’s speech in Friday’s NY Times together with Neil MacFarquhar. The meme this time is not flat fact, but skepticism: “Do these weapons really exist? Or is Putin bluffing?”

In support of their skepticism, Sanger and MacFarquhar blithely report that “analysts writing on Facebook and elsewhere leaned toward the bluff theory.” So, QED!

And echoing former National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s insight that Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever,” Sanger and MacFarquhar remind NYT readers that “deception lies at the heart of current Russian military doctrine.”

The two NYT journalists did get one thing right at the very end of their article; namely, “For years, Mr. Putin has chafed at the perceived disrespect showed to him and Russia by the United States.  ‘Nobody listened to Russia,’ he said near the end of his speech, to huge applause. ‘Well, listen now.’”

Russians, like all proud and gifted people, resent attempts to demean or marginalize them. Putin may have seen his speech, in part, as a blistering response to former President Barack Obama’s dismissive comments that “Russia doesn’t make anything” and is no more than “a regional power.”

Door Still Open to Talks

It is to be hoped that the Marine generals running U.S. defense policy, rather than calling Putin’s bluff, will now encourage President Donald Trump to take up Putin’s latest offer to “sit down at the negotiating table” and “work together … to ensure global security” — taking into account that “strategic parity” is now a reality.

Referring to what he called “our duty to inform our partners” about Russia’s claimed ability to render ABM systems “useless,” Putin added: “When the time comes, foreign and defense ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire.”

Putin also said, “We are greatly concerned by certain provisions of the revised Nuclear Posture Review,” which envisages a nuclear response to “conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber threat.”

He described Russia’s military doctrine, as “very clear and specific”:  “Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threatens the very existence of the state.”

With burgeoning threats against Iran and Syria, it is to be hoped that someone in Washington thinks to ask Putin which countries he includes among Russia’s allies.

White Lies Nobody Believes

Dana White, Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters Thursday, “Our missile defense has never been about” Russia. Now, as Harry Truman would have put it, the Russians “weren’t born yesterday.”  Putin has been extremely derisive toward those promoting the bromide that ABM installations in and around Europe are designed to defend against missiles from Iran — or North Korea.

In an unusually candid remark on missile defense on April 17, 2014, the day before Crimea was annexed, Putin told a national TV audience: “Missile defense … is no less, and probably even more important, than NATO’s eastward expansion. Incidentally, our decision on Crimea was partially prompted by this.” (Emphasis added)

To take some liberties with Shakespeare, “The fault is not in our stars, but in our Star Wars.”  Ever since President Ronald Reagan was sold on the notion that a “Star Wars” ABM system could provide the U.S. with complete protection from missile attack, exceptional opportunities to restrain — or even put an end to — the nuclear arms race have been squandered.  Victory has gone to the arms profiteers — those whom Pope Francis described to Congress as the “blood drenched arms merchants.”

The ABM project has been called, with justification, the world’s largest corporate welfare program. Jonathan Marshall  today explains quite well what should scare us — still more billions likely to be thrown at the makers of systems that, most serious scientists and engineers agree, can always be defeated, and comparatively cheaply, way or another.

Three Decade-Old Conundrum

During the mid-80s, I had a front-row seat watching President Ronald Reagan blow what appeared to be a golden chance for a comprehensive peace. I had spent most of my CIA career focusing on Soviet foreign policy and was able to tell the senior U.S. officials I was briefing that Mikhail Gorbachev, in my view, was the real deal. Even so, I was hardly prepared for how far Gorbachev was willing to go toward disarmament. At the 1986 summit with President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland, Gorbachev proposed that all nuclear weapons be eliminated within ten years.

Reagan reportedly almost rose to the occasion, but was counseled to reject Gorbachev’s condition that any research on anti-ballistic missiles be confined to laboratories for that decade. “Star Wars,” the largest and most wasteful defense-industry program in recent memory, won the day.

I know the characters who, for whatever reason, danced to the tune of “Star Wars,” Reagan’s benighted, wistful wish for an airtight defense against strategic missiles.

The naysayers to peace included ideologues like CIA Director William Casey and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, windsocks like CIA Deputy Director Robert Gates and one of his proteges, Fritz Ermarth, a viscerally anti-Russian functionary and former Northrop Corporation employee, during Reykjavik.

According to author Jim Mann, several years after Reykjavik, Ermarth reflected on how he had been wrong in being overly suspicious of Gorbachev and how the intuition of Ronald Reagan and Secretary of State George Shultz had been more perceptive.

What Now?

By all appearances, President Putin is as interested in stemming the strategic arms race as was Gorbachev. On Thursday, Putin talked about this particular moment being liminal — he called it “a turning point for the entire world.”  Will there be anyone in Washington at the other end of the phone, if Moscow calls?  If, in effect, the military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media complex answers, ABM developers will continue to fatten their purses and squander our children’s future.

It may be time to recall the admonition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a speech he gave 65 years ago:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. … This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

‘Nuff said.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington.  He served 30 years as an U.S. Army Intelligence and CIA analyst, and in retirement co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

135 comments for “Putin Claims Strategic Parity, Respect

  1. Abe
    March 7, 2018 at 02:29

    “When Washington unilaterally pulled out of the ABM Treaty in 2002, the US Government began an aggressive series of moves including bringing NATO to the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe, fomenting a coup and civil war in Ukraine and other provocations that have led to construction of anti-ballistic missile bases in Romania and Poland—both NATO members, as well as in the Russian Far East in Japan and South Korea. Additionally, as Putin noted, ‘The US global missile defense system also includes five cruisers and 30 destroyers, which, as far as we know, have been deployed to regions in close proximity to Russia’s borders.’ This is no minor deployment in Russian eyes.

    “Trump Nuclear Posture Review

    “The decision by the Russian leadership now to unveil a daunting array of its cutting-edge military technologies […] was no election ploy. It was a clear and direct reply to the January 2018 State of the Union address to Congress of the US President and publication days later of their 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), and Putin says so.

    “The Trump 2018 NPR document is a radical shift from previous administrations. It abandons the earlier declarations of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons, and boosts nuclear modernization efforts including the intention to bring on ‘new’ nuclear weapons, restoration of submarine-launched cruise missile capability and low-explosive-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads, and to sideline arms control. In one section the new US Nuclear Posture Review declares that, ‘The United States would only consider the employment of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners. Extreme circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks…’ No definition of what Washington calls a ‘significant non-nuclear strategic attack’ is made. In brief, as one US nuclear analyst noted, the new US nuclear doctrine is based on competition and confrontation.

    “After describing repeated Russian efforts with Washington to reinstate the ABM Treaty after the Bush Administration unilaterally abandoned it in 2002, Putin noted, ‘At one point, I thought that a compromise was possible, but this was not to be. All our proposals, absolutely all of them, were rejected. And then we said that we would have to improve our modern strike systems to protect our security. In reply, the US said that it is not creating a global BMD system against Russia…’

    “That of course was a calculated strategic lie. Russia concluded, after repeated efforts at negotiation, that Washington, following the destruction of Russia’s military and economy in the 1990s Yeltsin era post-Soviet economic collapse, was determined to ‘pursue ultimate unilateral military advantage in order to dictate the terms in every sphere in the future.’

    “Nuclear Primacy

    “Nuclear First Strike or Nuclear Primacy as it is technically called, is the ultimate unilateral military advantage Pentagon strategists have dreamt of since the 1950’s when the USSR tested its first H-bomb and ICBMs. The primacy is the ability to launch a nuclear first strike against Russia with little fear Russia will be able to counter convincingly because US missile defense arrays have been able to knock out the vast majority of Russian nuclear weapons.

    “The US missile defense is not at all defensive. It is offensive in the extreme. If the United States were able to shield itself effectively from a potential Russian retaliation for a US nuclear First Strike, then the US would be able to dictate its terms to the entire world, not just to Russia. That would be Nuclear Primacy. As the late Lt. Colonel Robert Bowman, former director of the Reagan US Missile Defense Program expressed it to me some years ago in a private exchange, ‘Missile defense is the missing link to a First Strike.’

    “In his latest speech Putin describes the strategic reality Russian military security planners face: ‘The US is permitting constant, uncontrolled growth of the number of anti-ballistic missiles, improving their quality, and creating new missile launching areas. If we do not do something, eventually this will result in the complete devaluation of Russia’s nuclear potential. Meaning that all of our missiles could simply be intercepted.’

    “When the stakes involve unleashing a nuclear holocaust, even if it begins with ‘low yield’ nuclear weapons, against a backdrop of virtual new Cold War confrontations with Russia in recent years, it is no surprise that Russia’s military and security council have decided at just this precarious point in a growing East-West confrontation to unveil a sober response.

    “Blocking Nuclear Primacy: The Russian Response

    “Putin unveiled for the first time measures the Russian military R&D has pursued quietly since 2002 to counter the ever-more clear US Nuclear Primacy agenda. He noted that Russia has ‘developed, and works continuously to perfect highly effective but modestly priced systems to overcome missile defense. They are installed on all of our intercontinental ballistic missile complexes.’ However, the real new element Putin revealed is a staggering list of new advanced next generation missiles able to evade US or NATO anti-missile defenses. […]

    “Putin’s remarks conclude with the statement, fully ignored in the West, that, ‘We have repeatedly told our American and European partners who are NATO members: we will make the necessary efforts to neutralize the threats posed by the deployment of the US global missile defense system.’ He makes clear what Russia has warned Washington and NATO of since 2004: ‘Despite all the problems with the economy, finances and the defense industry, Russia has remained a major nuclear power. No, nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem, and nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now.’

    Putin Is Not Rattling Nuclear Sabers – It’s Real
    By F. William Engdahl

  2. March 6, 2018 at 16:11

    “Ain’t gonna study war no more …”

    ‘Nuff said. Thank you Mr. Ray McGovern and all true men and women peacemakers the world over.

  3. Zachary Smith
    March 6, 2018 at 14:34

    The RealClearDefense site is mostly rah/rah neocon, and the essay I’m linking is an example.

    “The Flawed Logic of Russia’s New Weapon Systems”

    The author claims Russia is wasting money which ought to be used to help poor Russians. Or to upgrade ordinary Russian weapons. I knew the fellow was peddling BS when I saw this:

    Moscow knows that the BMD system is aimed at defeating small numbers of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched from “rogue states”, such as North Korea and Iran.

    Is this fellow a for-hire writer? Another example which makes me suspect that’s the case:

    “In defence of surface ships”
    27 Aug 2015|Victor Abramowicz

    Here the man did his level best to claim that submarines are not as safe/useful as Major Surface Combatants, and that Australia’s money ought to be spent on the MSCs.

    He wasn’t very convincing on that effort, either.

  4. Hank
    March 6, 2018 at 11:13

    The Russians want war? Look how close they put their country to Our Bases.

    • mike k
      March 6, 2018 at 11:32

      Those nasty Russians! They even made war on Hitler!

      • mike k
        March 6, 2018 at 11:35

        (Everybody knows that the US Empire got many of it’s best ideas from Hitler, it’s secret mentor.)

  5. Mark Dennis
    March 6, 2018 at 00:47

    Putin is a murderer and a dictator. He has clearly broken the norms of international respect by interference in the American Presidential election. Mr. Gas Pump might now be dictator for life and he will always be a liar.

    • Skip Scott
      March 6, 2018 at 08:05

      Have another gulp of the Kool-aid, Mark.

    • mike k
      March 6, 2018 at 11:30

      A “mark” is the victim of a con game.

    • March 7, 2018 at 17:46


  6. Jim Smart
    March 5, 2018 at 17:24

    Another powerful piece by Ray! KEEP IT UP RAY!!

  7. Tom
    March 5, 2018 at 14:09

    It’s frustrating. But in a sense it’s also impressive how scared the Powers that Be are of McGovern. To be TOTALLY banned? And for what? For telling the truth.

  8. March 5, 2018 at 13:08

    It is always a pleasure to read what Ray McGovern has to say and his points are persuasive and fit with what is happening and the amorality and irresponsibility of our leaders. And I took note of Mr. McGovern’s comment regarding Obama’s childish dismissal of Russia and the degrading of our diplomacy by such behavior, but I have to say I got a real chuckles about the use of windsock. Marvelous.

    ..” windsocks like CIA Deputy Director Robert Gates …….”

  9. mike k
    March 5, 2018 at 12:49

    I am made of these poets, and so many other beautiful teachers. I am so thankful to them for offering to become part of me.

  10. Ray
    March 5, 2018 at 07:46

    Just remember not all Americans want war. its the rich and are outta control Government. we are also victims caught in the empires grasp.

    • mike k
      March 5, 2018 at 08:44

      Ray, we just haven’t figured out what to do about it. When we have realized that we are in the oligarchy’s deadly grasp, how do we break their grip?

      ” Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.”

      What to do??

      • mike k
        March 5, 2018 at 08:59

        “Ah, love, let us be true
        To one another! for the world, which seems
        To lie before us like a land of dreams,
        So various, so beautiful, so new,
        Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
        Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
        And we are here as on a darkling plain
        Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
        Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

        ~ Matthew Arnold

        • mike k
          March 5, 2018 at 09:05

          Long ago Earth had better things to offer–crops without cultivators,
          fruit on the bough,
          honey in the hollow oak.
          No one tore the ground with ploughshares
          or parcelled out the land
          or swept the seas with dipping oars–
          the shore was the world’s end.
          Clever human nature, victim of your inventions,
          disastrously creative,
          why cordon cities with towering walls?
          Why arm for war?

          Ovid, from Amores, book 3.

          • mike k
            March 5, 2018 at 09:07

            Our poets urge us to think and feel more deeply.

  11. CitizenOne
    March 5, 2018 at 01:11

    This seems to be such an obvious course of history that I wonder how anyone could doubt the facts McGovern lays out. From the original Cold War and the threats of nuclear annihilation then to the present time where the USA has shredded the rule book on nuclear deterrence.

    The USA has continuously attempted to cancel the nuclear strategy which assured that MAD would not allow one side to envision a nuclear victory. In the most honorable fashion, both sides decided to prevent the emergence of technology which would give one side the advantage and the sense that it could launch a preemptive nuclear strike but sustain any countermeasure.

    We have not only attempted to create a Star Wars reality where we had the capability to thwart incoming ICBMs but we have also abandoned the anti ballistic missile treaty creating anti missile defenses and lately installing those “defenses” along the European border with Russia. We have fomented civil war to try to peel away former Russian or USSR nations and align them with the western governments as in Ukraine. We are playing out a role in kind to the Cuban Missile Crisis where we are placing Russia in our sights.

    The big problem for the rest of the World is to come to terms with the why of our justifications for inflaming Russia tensions. Is it justified or is the US trying to agitate Russia to maintain our gross spending on defense or is there a real threat we don’t see. The article mentions the forbearance of Russia which has up to now not retaliated with their own arms race. Recent actions by Russia have revealed that they are not sitting idly by while American Manifest Destiny policies continue to erode long standing treaties and a system which can bring peace even in a nuclear armed world.

    If is the intent of the USA to inflame Russians and cause them to launch a new cold war then we need to face the reasons we squandered so much good will in the era of Glasnost and Detente and have arrived with a military industrial complex which seems to want to spark a war with Russia. There is no doubt that we are engaging in an anti-Russian onslaught of propaganda against Russians. The assault is led by the neocons and neoliberals who have joined forces to blame the Russians for invading Ukraine, interfering with our democratic election process, and are an emerging threat which must be dealt with in the strongest terms. So far we have had sanctions imposed on Russia but that is not all. We have staged anti ballistic missile batteries and have engaged in regime change efforts along Russia’s bordering nations.

    There is little doubt that if the USA was successful in peeling off Ukraine the next step would be to weaponize Ukraine with treaty busting armaments aimed at Russia further escalating tensions like a Cuban Missile Crisis with tactical nukes ready to strike Russia. Again is anyone not seeing why Putin made the speech he made? He intends to defuse the rhetoric and the anti Russian fever which has occupied our government and intelligence agencies and which have resulted in sanctions against Russia because of some allegations which were put out for American consumption showing us that Russia is the new (old) threat on the World Stage.

    Is the goal to start a new arms race? You bet it is. The government needs venerable flagships of the news industry like NY Times to corroborate and communicate the new threat from Russia to continue the efforts to maintain Russia on the official list of bad actors, sponsors of international terrorism and likely suspects for interfering with our national politics.

    Donald Trump has it right when he states that the Iraq war was a huge mistake but it has fallen on deaf ears. Britain reconciled their support for the war with the damning Chilcot Report yet we have never and are likely to never see our government launch the same allegations about itself and its role in the run-up to the war.

    This is precisely because we started it. We cannot go back and expose all the reasons our government and our media failed to tell the truth. We cannot go back yet the MIC can look forward to a time when we are seriously considering the nuclear war option whether or not we are actually pursuing it or not.

    But Putin’s response now is clear despite the downplaying of his speech as unsupportable.

    All this comes on the heels of a media system that finds any reason to beat the drums of war.

    Who benefits? I think we all know the answer.

  12. FobosDeimos
    March 4, 2018 at 21:32

    In his piece, Mr. MacGovern correctly deplores the militaristic policies carried out by the US after the fall of the USSR, especially those of Bush Jr. and Obama. The withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and the continued expansion of Nato, plus the threat to Russia posed by the deployment of ABM systems in Europe, have exhausted Putin’s patience. However, MacGovern gives Ronald Reagan a pass, presenting one of the worst warmongers of history as a benevolent old guy, who was sort of dragged into the SDI (Star Wars) initiative by evil characters. In fact, Reagan became the cheerleader and main instigator of that stupid program. His egregious violations of international law and common decency included: (a) aiding and abetting Saddam Hussein in his war of aggression against Iran (most of that horrible war happened during his two terms); (b) the gross violation of Nicaragua’s sovereignity, including the mining of its territorial waters; (c) the support for death squads in El Salvador; (d) the brutal invasion of tiny Grenada; (e) the bombing of Libya without any authority to do so, etc. Reagan was a disgrace. Star Wars itself was a gross violation of the 1972 ABM Treaty, a far more important violation than the USSR’s pecadillo in Krasnoyarsk. I just ran into this very good letter to the editor of the NYT, written in 1985 by then Senator John Kerry, where he correctly explains why the SDI program was in itself a violation of the ABM Treaty. Too bad Kerry ended up the way he did.


  13. Brad Owen
    March 4, 2018 at 10:13

    This site speaks only of secondary issues before humanity, and the moderator knows of what I speak. The global Deep State is slowly being disabled to free humanity so we can more fully realize our potential. We are kin to the Gods or Angels, call Them whatever you will, and we are being liberated from imprisonment within a false bestial nature imposed upon us by evil oligarchs. This evil system threatens Gaia Herself now, which sparked the Intervention at this time…we’ve gone too far in evil ways and the AllMother Earth is NOT ours to do with as we please.

  14. mike k
    March 4, 2018 at 07:18

    Saying that Ray McGovern is a “deep state actor” is a typical trollish accusation, without any basis.

  15. March 4, 2018 at 04:12

    Another excellent article by (I would say) the most important commentator we have, especially now that Robert Parry is gone. Paul Craig Roberts (a Reagan appointee) was right to nominate Ray for CIA Director, but I would rather see him (Ray) President.

  16. March 4, 2018 at 01:41

    “…the day before Crimea was annexed…” Is everyone here okay with that phrase? Is Consortium News okay with that line? Is everyone okay with this deep state actor telling us how things are? Because I’m not.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 4, 2018 at 01:58

      Are you complaining or commenting? Russia annexed Crimea to prevent Sevastopol from becoming an American naval base and probably also another Aegis Ashore ABM site.

      That’s how things are.

      • David G
        March 4, 2018 at 02:11

        I never hear anyone say West Germany annexed East Germany.

        Why not say Russia and Crimea reunified?

        • TS
          March 8, 2018 at 15:20

          > I never hear anyone say West Germany annexed East Germany

          Well, actually some people did (and do) — but those were/are people whose opinions you are not likely to find in any North American press outlet, and not just because they were against this happening.

          Note that a considerably larger percentage of the Crimean population was in favor than the percentage of East Germand…

      • March 4, 2018 at 03:17

        I can’t believe I’m seeing articles like this, and comments about them like this, here. :-(

        • Gregory Herr
          March 4, 2018 at 11:31

          Words are important, but I think you’re getting a little hung-up here. There was an administration appropriation, or “annexation” of Crimea into the Russian Federation at the request of Crimea. We all know that McGovern is not here referring to “annexation” in the sense of forcible and unsolicited appropriation of territory.

          Articles like this? As if this article pertained to some wrongheaded interpretation of the Crimean-Russian relationship? Come on.

          • March 7, 2018 at 17:42

            Ray should not use the term “annexation,” which would draw complaints on other progressive sites where writers used it, since establishment journos and spokesperson use the term ‘annex’ and we know what they mean. But, otherwise, I do agree with you. And to be honest, I found myself in exactly the same situation one time, referring to the ‘annexation’ of Crimea by Russia and then having to explain what I meant.

            I have never had any reason to doubt Ray. Somehow I mixed him up with someone else (Stephen Cohen, I believe), demanding that he spill the beans on the CFR, which Ray never belonged to. Indeed, No one belonging to the CFR would have been roughed up by cops the way Ray was. I know about it all. I really pissed Ray off, but it was a mistake. I apologized (in a previous article here), and Ray seems not to have seen the apology. I don’t have his email address and maybe he wouldn’t want me to have it, so an apology here will have to do. But was it accepted?

            Anyone can make a mistake. It wasn’t my first and won’t be my last. Neither will it, or trouble-makers, deter me.

    • March 4, 2018 at 05:25

      I don’t know who this Arby fellow is, but beware. I clicked on his avatar and got a warning, so I didn’t open it.

      • March 7, 2018 at 10:05


      • March 7, 2018 at 11:09

        So, Are you saying that you won a debate with Noam Chomsky, on your site? Just to be clear.

    • March 4, 2018 at 09:58

      Actor? who told you this lie? the loan officer at your bank? If you cant read…there are plenty of Youtube vids of Ray in full physical activism against the deep state…

      ray is one of our best windows into the shadows of the national intelligence world…

      beyond that you are entitled to your own opinion, no matter how uneducated it is..



    • Abe
      March 4, 2018 at 13:05

      Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and the Golan Heights in 1981. Israeli plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. The establishment of Israeli settlements constitutes a transfer of Israel’s civilian population into the occupied territories and as such is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      The official term used by the United Nations Security Council to describe Israeli-occupied territories is “the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem”, which is used, for example, in Resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980) and 484. A conference of the parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, have also resolved that these territories are occupied and that the Fourth Geneva Convention provisions regarding occupied territories apply.

      United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared the annexation of East Jerusalem “null and void” and required that it be rescinded. United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 also declared the annexation of the Golan “null and void”. Following withdrawal by Israel from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, as part of the 1979 Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty, the Sinai ceased to be considered occupied territory.

      While the Palestinian Authority, the EU, the International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council consider East Jerusalem to be part of the West Bank and occupied by Israel; Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital and sovereign territory.

      The 1947 UN Partition Plan had contemplated that all of Jerusalem would be an international city within an international area that included Bethlehem for at least ten years, after which the residents would be allowed to conduct a referendum and the issue could be re-examined by the Trusteeship Council.

      However, after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jordan captured East Jerusalem and the Old City, and Israel captured and annexed the western part of Jerusalem. Jordan bilaterally annexed East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank in 1950 as a temporary trustee at the request of a Palestinian delegation, and although the annexation was recognized by only two countries, it was not condemned by the UNSC. The British did not recognize the territory as sovereign to Jordan.

      Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. On June 27, Israel extended its laws, jurisdiction, and administration to East Jerusalem and several nearby towns and villages, and incorporated the area into the Jerusalem Municipality. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which was declared a Basic Law, which declared Jerusalem to be the “complete and united” capital of Israel. However, United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared this action to be “null and void”, and that it “must be rescinded forthwith”.

      The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem and considers it occupied territory. UN Security Council Resolution 478 also called upon countries which held their diplomatic delegations to Israel in Jerusalem, to move them outside the city. Most nations with embassies in Jerusalem complied, and relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities prior to the adoption of Resolution 478. Following the withdrawals of Costa Rica and El Salvador in August 2006, no country has maintained its embassy in Jerusalem.

      The pro-Israel Lobby pressured the United States Congress to pass the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995. The Jerusalem Embassy Act stated that “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” As a result of the Embassy Act, official U.S. documents and web sites refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since passage, the law has never been implemented, because of opposition from Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who viewed it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch’s constitutional authority over foreign policy; they have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

      The original 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act was supported in 1995 by Senator Diane Feinstein, but opposed by then-congressman Bernie Sanders.

      Pandering to the pro-Israel Lobby in July 1999, then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said she considered Jerusalem to be the “eternal and indivisible capital of Israel” and pledged that if elected to New York’s Senate seat she would be an active advocate to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

      On June 5, 2017, Diane Feinstein and Bernie Sanders was among 90 senators who voted in favor of Senate Resolution 176, which “reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45)”, which said that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital and the US embassy should be moved to Jerusalem.

      No U.S. president has accepted that vote — seen as largely symbolic — given the diplomatic and practical risks. The 2017 vote called on the recognition to be incorporated in “United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions”. Resolution 176 was voted on 90-0.

      On December 6, 2017, Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and ordered the planning of the relocation of the embassy. However, following the announcement, Trump signed an embassy waiver again, delaying the move, as mandated by the Act, by at least six months. Legally, however, the U.S. embassy can be moved at any time without reliance on the Act.

      On February 23, 2018, President Trump announced that the US Embassy in Israel would reopen at the Arnona consular services site of the current US Consulate-General in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

  17. March 3, 2018 at 22:32

    Thanks, Abe, for your comments and also for setting out so much of Putin’s brilliant address, i loved his elegant statement about Russians not claiming they are “exceptional”!

  18. March 3, 2018 at 20:04

    As your article makes clear President Putin, also along with some other notable world leaders, are sounding alarm bells as a result of the U.S. Empire’s actions. The Russians are right to be concerned, they have suffered greatly from wars launched against them. Other nations are under duress and the pressure of the U.S. is now a via policy of unrelenting economic and military pressure and devoid of a diplomatic component (apparently normal now as the war profiteers are in control of our all aspects of our government and the spending priorities here in the U.S).

    All guns, no butter, and better yet a horrendous future of conflict unending, where mankind seeks to out drone, out AI, out smart-weapon.

    I see no other relief from this other than as noted in the article that nations start to hold each other in respect and negotiate. However, from the west, the U.S. Empire dominated nations aren’t actually able to do so because these “governments” are in fact beholden to the war profiteers and global corporation’s who profit from war and the destruction it wrecks. They are not able to negotiate because the “Western Democracies” have been transformed into corporate states which cloth themselves in the veil of Democracy, as it is yet now only an odor of what once was. Thus the complete disintegration of what we have regarded as the “Democratic West” into a corporate owned war machine hell bent on profit.

  19. Hangem High
    March 3, 2018 at 19:50

    Exactly. To get it through thick US government skulls, the sheriff pulls his hypersonic sixguns. He’s enforcing the law of crimes against peace at gunpoint, just like he did in Syria.

  20. Alex
    March 3, 2018 at 19:21

    Thank you, Ray for your very nice and deep article and for the entire job you do. I also much appreciate very intelligent and pacific comments from the American citizens here. When I see such a wonderful intellectual and moral background in the US, I understand we must do all our best to build up bridges between us and suppress the warmongers. And I’m sure we all will win, but for that we all should do our bridge-building job by all possible means.

    Russian guy

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 4, 2018 at 00:00

      Alex not to wear out my welcome, see what I wrote to you above, but when we do finally meet upon that bridge then we will be what Putin always says we are ‘partners’. I might add, that for a very longtime I have felt that Russia and America could be natural allies. America with it’s two oceans, and Russia with it’s gigantic landmass, would in my mind be geographically perfect as allies. It is a no brainer to how both of our militaries would be more than enough to stuff out any terrorist activity, for the terrorist would be terrified of our two countries together for sure.

      On the soft side of our diplomacy maybe Billy Joel could book a new Russian tour, and get you Russians onto the dance floor with his pop music. The combinations of Russian food next to America’s multiethnic dishes, would make a French chef cry. Who knows maybe even you Russians could adopt American babies, and change the pace with that issue a little bit. I personally want a heavy duty Russian Ural truck.

      So Alex let’s you and I build that bridge, and when we meet to shake hands we will then officially be ‘Partners’. Joe

      • TS
        March 8, 2018 at 15:15

        If some public or university library near you had a subscription to the CoEvolution Quarterly back in the day, you should look for the issue featuring a thought experiment about a US-USSR confederation.

    • irina
      March 4, 2018 at 02:31

      This afternoon i went to see The Wizard of Oz, staged by one of our local high schools.
      Everyone did an absolutely amazing job and it was a wonderful performance. (Fairbanks,
      Alaska does have a reputation for being an arts/music/culture type of town). Having spent
      the morning reading about international politics, it was both heartwarming to see this show
      and scary to realize that the world these talented kids are growing into is so screwed up.

      Nevertheless, I too believe in bridge-building and would so very much like to see more
      arts and culture exchanges between our countries. It struck me that The Wizard of Oz is
      really a very Russian sort of story, and that it would be very well received in your country.

      Fairbanks used to have an active sister-city relationship with Yakutsk. That sort of fell apart
      but hopefully is a relationship that can be repaired. Alex, you might like to know that, when
      your Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was here in Fairbanks last May for the Arctic Council
      Conference, he walked down the river a short ways from the excellent Cultural Center
      (focusing on our Native Cultures) where the meetings were held, to stand in silent homage
      before a statue honoring the Lend-Lease pilots of WW2. I am happy he has that memory
      of my town, on a beautiful spring day, when the Arctic Council was in session and all member-
      states (Canada, Denmark for Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia and the
      US because Alaska) were collaborating on future plans for the Circumpolar North.

      • Bob Van Noy
        March 4, 2018 at 12:55

        Thank you for that story irina. I view Sergi Lavrov as a true Statesman and your story adds to that. Most helpful. Thank You…

  21. March 3, 2018 at 19:03

    Excellent article, thanks to Ray, and Russia Insider has an excellent companion piece by Gilbert Doctorow: “The US Just Lost An Arms Race It Had No Idea Was Happening — Heads Should Roll “. Arrogance is the number one reason for US stupid and wasteful decisions. US deep state old boys have no idea how intelligent Russians are while they congratulate themselves on their superiority. The old stupid western colonial mentality will not die easily. It is long overdue for all nations to get along, before we kill our precious planet, what’s left of it.

  22. elmerfudzie
    March 3, 2018 at 18:56

    Ray, good article but we all need to get past the old acronym, MAD and improve upon it by applying a new term, MAP or Mutually Assured Peace. MAP will be the direct result of a novel twist on the concept of “containment” where, the top ten corporate CEO’s directly associated with war making materials, provide their voluntary? signed pledge, perhaps published in the NYT and elsewhere, not to exit the good ‘ol USA in those critical days or hours leading up to, during and following a nuclear attack on our soil. They will stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow countrymen and not fly off with family and close friends, on a private jets, to some remote destination such as; Uruguay, Paraguay, Philippine or Greek Islands. In fact, our POTUS will, upon the insistence of our citizenry at large, will go a step further and put that stipulation, one might say, as a codicil into our COO, COG and war room SOP operations manuals. Example; no private jets or luxury cruising ships or other similar watercraft shall leave the territory of the United States during national emergencies or marshal law invocation! We will all stand together during times of crises! Not only the persons dedicated to warmongering but their properties will be open to carnage as well. Gone will be the days when war making factories go un-bombed whilst the neighborhoods adjacent to them are incinerated, Examples; during WW II, German and American owned factories, Swiss arms manufacturers as well, remained untouched by that war’s horror. Gone will be option for manufacturers and leaders responsible for war, running off to quiet Lichtenstein, South America, Africa, as Hitler apparently did. See attached CIA declassified doc @ https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird%5B…]es-Open-Declassified-World-War-2-Reich. With the threat of no-where to run, HEPA filters banned, aviation and maritime lock down orders in effect….MAP will succeed into the twenty fifth century!

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 20:07

      I like your MAP!

    • Skeptigal
      March 4, 2018 at 04:07

      Have you heard about the Vivos luxury bunkers in the German village of Rothenstein? It’s by invitation only.

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 4, 2018 at 10:12

      Excellent thinking elmerfudzie. A leap toward real sanity if you will.

      • elmerfudzie
        March 4, 2018 at 15:06

        Response to Mike K and Bob Van Noy. Thanks for your support. My final point to make is this, We, CONSORTIUMNEWS cognoscenti, have the map or MAP (I just love to play on words) but the deep state is doing all the driving. One occupant cannot do without the other. So far the only thing the driver wants to do is push the cognoscenti out the door- preferably at high speeds. The driver doesn’t seem to care that, he’s committing outright murder and going no where but fast. I’ve witnessed this sort of nihilistic gangster-ism before, where the “don” sits down in his favorite restaurant, knowing full well it’s bugged by the FBI and openly begins, “talking too much about the mob” deliberately jeopardizing cohorts and nearby collateral witnesses. You see this same nihilism resurface in public admissions or bloopers from people like Rumsfeld and Cheney. They just don’t seem to care who removes their mask, or when it just simply falls off..I think I’m just beginning to understand this kind of psychology or psychopathy; The devil has already caused the great harm and doesn’t care at all about the men he has entered, his lieutenants. The first one we know of was Judas. The plan can can only face defeat when it is challenged promptly just prior to or during the commission of the evil deed. For everyone else to ignore, pause, freeze, turn away or disbelieve the substance of the plot i.e., JFK assassination by comedian Mort Sahl at that time ignored and rejected by virtually everyone. These responses emotional or otherwise, ensures that evil succeeds. Examples; Gladio assassination programs in post WW II Europe, the JFK murder, 911 and so on. What good is it to cull the evidence and point an accusing finger, one, five or ten years down the-road, long after the events ! ?

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 4, 2018 at 16:53

          elmerfudzie, it’s always important to point out one’s belief in the truth no matter how early or late the injustice. It’s difficult both initially and well after the fact, but always necessary.

          I remember many years ago, after becoming personally convinced that JFK was assassinated by more than one shooter, reading Mark Lane for the first time, then later finding a video of Johnny Carson absolutely humiliating him in front of a nationwide TV audience. Later, I thought, Wow here’s this really decent, righteous man (Mr. Lane) opening himself up to national scorn, then wondering why, especially with so few paying attention. I now completely realize that timing is important but personal commitment is more important. Now, for me, it’s Johnny that looks foolish…


          • elmerfudzie
            March 4, 2018 at 18:18

            Bob Van Noy, your points are well taken, and upon reflection- quite true….I think Spartacus is a great open source library!

          • Bob Van Noy
            March 4, 2018 at 18:23

            Thank you, Mr. fudzie…

  23. Rowland
    March 3, 2018 at 18:52

    It would be ironic if the US response to the new Russian weaponry announced by Putin would be so costly that, as the straw that breaks the camel’s back and combined with the consequences of US debt meltdown, it would result in a collapse of the US Empire – an echo of the theory that Reagan’s Star Wars contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Civilised conversation is so much more effective. Let’s talk.

  24. Drew Hunkins
    March 3, 2018 at 17:34

    Putin’s air force operation in Syria starting in 2015 was one of the world’s truly greatest “humanitarian interventions” of the last 40 years. It ranks right up there with Castro’s intervention in the southern region of Africa to fight against racist rule.

  25. KiwiAntz
    March 3, 2018 at 17:22

    Putin’s announcement really exposes the utter failure & arrogant incompetence of the US Deepstate & the realisation that Putin has completely outsmarted them? America has thumbed it’s nose at Russia & looked down on it as a backward, inept Nation, unworthy of its respect, however that has now changed with Putin’s state of the nation address? America has been put on notice that “Russia is back”! The US & it’s failed economic model of Neoliberalism comprising its privatisation & outsourcing model of leaving everything up to the private sector, has exposed the utter bankruptcy of this economic & social model? The so called intelligent, privatised, US “Intelligence Agencies” & their exposure of spending ridiculous amounts of time, effort & money, chasing their own tails on the fake Russiagate & Trump conspiracy’s, have to live with the embarrassing knowledge that Russia’s technological rise has happened right under their noses & is a humiliating smack down, not only to the US Intelligence agencies, but also to American empire building & global hegemony? Putin has just rendered America’s entire Military & it’s Industrial weapons industry as a obsolete dinosaur, with its outrageous military budgets spending billions of dollars on useless, obsolete weapons that Russia has the capacity to circumvent & destroy. All the MIC missile systems are now out of date & useless pieces of junk! And what’s even more extraordinary is that Russia has achieved this without America’s awareness & for a fraction of the trillions that the MIC has spent on defence, which makes the humiliation factor even more greater? Will this bring America back to the negotiating table? Not a chance in hell? Their to arrogant & delusional for that to happen & will spend even more trillions on obsolete military technology whilst their people live on food stamps & with disappearing jobs, clapped out infrastructure & die from mass shootings & gun violence, opioid addiction & lousy, nonexistent healthcare, poverty & homelessness while their elites profit from the new arms race to come which Putin, the only adult in a room of infants, has rendered utterly useless! Putin comes across as a sane, sensible patriot whilst America ‘s Leaders are like the blind leading the blind! Blinded by their own hubris & arrogance & the sooner America wake’s up to the fact that their unipolar World,with them as the Worlds sole superpower is OVER!

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 18:35

      It is not in the nature of those full of hubris to ever admit they are beaten. They would rather die than lose face.

    • dahoit
      March 3, 2018 at 20:11

      Your comment is spot on.Putin is the leader of our world.da.An American patriot,thinks so.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 3, 2018 at 23:28

      One day, if we are all still around, the final analogy of what had brought the exceptional U$A to it’s final end will be summed up with one word ‘PROFIT’ brought down the great mighty American Empire.

  26. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 17:20

    Rethinking Putin: A Talk by Professor Stephen F. Cohen (2 December 2017)

    • Abe
      March 3, 2018 at 17:33

      Professor Cohen discussing Russia at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum (June 2017)

    • Abe
      March 3, 2018 at 17:43

      Professor Cohen discussing the ongoing role of false narratives and historical fallacies about the Cold War

      In the February 2018 audio discussion with John Batchelor of the Nation, Cohen notes that recent dangers are without real precedent during the preceding Cold War: the Department of Defense’s Nuclear Posture Review proposes new nuclear weapons and thinking that abet the possibility of an American first use of those doomsday devices.

      • mike k
        March 3, 2018 at 18:27

        The Empire is getting desperate. Let’s hope Russia’s recent warning doesn’t push the deep state lunatics to do something even more stupid than what they are already engaged in.

      • BobS
        March 3, 2018 at 21:44

        John Batchelor is not “of the Nation”- he’s been ‘of the right’ (which should be readily apparent to anyone listening to him) since WABC started running his show back around 9/11. His regular guest, Stephen Cohen, “of the Nation”, is an anomaly among the guests on Batchelor’s syndicated show- their discussions can be heard on Cohen’s page on The Nation website.
        More typical Batchelor guests are John Bolton, Gordon Chang, Victor Davis Hanson, Monica Crowley, and Devin Nunes (darling of the new consortiumnews readership). You won’t read too many of them in the pages of The Nation.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 3, 2018 at 23:16

          Bob do you think Batchelor’s conservative platform was the correct place for Professor Cohen to get his message out? I say this due to the fact that many on America’s Left are supportive of this Russia-Gate story, which leaves only the conservatives, outside of us here on ‘the Consortium’, who doubt every word of it,

        • Abe
          March 4, 2018 at 14:21

          Thanks for the clarification on Batchelor’s affection for right-wing pundits, BobS.

          Apparently the Nation did present Batchelor as an “author” back in 2010 https://www.thenation.com/authors/john-batchelor-show/

          Batchelor’s show has included discussions with Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen for several years.

          Cohen remains very much an outlier on Batchelor’s show, given the radio host’s penchant for pro-Israel Lobby figures, Republican apparatchiks, and representatives from the neocon Hoover Institution think tank and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

    • Abe
      March 3, 2018 at 18:00

      Professor Cohen discussing US-Russia relations

      In the January 2017 video interview with Abby Martin on the Empire Files hosted by teleSUR, Cohen emphasized that “no sensible person should trust the so-called nuclear safeguards. We’re on the razor’s edge of accidental nuclear war launch. Weapons on both sides are still on high alert. High alert means that the leader of the other country has somewhere between 13 and 25 minutes to know whether that’s a large seagull coming in or a nuclear weapon, and to retaliate because the whole system is based on ‘you won’t attack me because I’ll attack you [if you do].'”

      • mike k
        March 3, 2018 at 18:33

        That we are still holding onto nukes after all these years is a sure proof of our insanity. For the power addicted however, the simple act of letting go of something powerful is almost impossible. (Whenever I say we, it means those holding the cards of power.) I sure as hell would drop the nukes like very hot potatoes if I was in charge…………

      • irina
        March 4, 2018 at 02:38

        I’m not so worried about seagulls, but what about space rocks ?

        If not familiar with the Tunguska Event of 1908, readers are
        encouraged to research it. We had a mini-Tunguska in 2013,
        with the Chelyabinsk meteorite. While it didn’t do major damage,
        one unreported aspect was the near proximity of a big military air
        base, the Shagol Air Base. It doesn’t take much imagination to
        realize the possible consequences of a direct meteor hit on an
        airbase or metropolitan area or missile defense field or . . .

        And space rocks whiz past us all the time, usually detected just
        before or sometimes after they pass by, some closer than the orbits
        of our communications satellites. If they are detected at all.

  27. Hangem High
    March 3, 2018 at 16:59

    The UNGA explained Res. 3314 (XXIX), the definition of aggression, with an explicit warning of general nuclear war (“Considering also that, since aggression is the most serious and dangerous form of the illegal use of force, being fraught, in the conditions created by the existence of all types of weapons of mass destruction, with the possible threat of a world conflict and all its catastrophic consequences…”) The result was a sea change that inhibited US use of force with Nicaragua v. United States of America, Oil Platforms, and Aerial Incident, culminating in a case that adjudicated US armed attack on Libya and stopped it cold: http://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/89

    Russia’s public re-establishment of MAD is an opportunity to put some more teeth in international criminal law. If you look at postwar diplomatic history, it’s a 70-year effort to get the US government under control: CAT v. Operation Condor; the Rome Statute v. US use of force in Somalia, Bosnia, and Iraq; State Responsibility Articles v. US coercive interference; the list goes on and on.

    The most urgently needed curbs on US threats to peace include:

    (1) End the P5’s veto impunity
    (One way is by reviving the Small Five proposals, particularly
    ..Prohibit vetoes of UN measures against the most serious crimes;
    ..Require the P-5 to justify their vetoes in terms of international law;
    ..Require the UNSC to hold serious crimes to account under international law.
    Another way is by replacing the UN and institutionalizing genuine rule of law, which members have explicitly considered since the 80s.)

    (2) Eliminate loopholes the US slipped into the Rome Statute permitting P5 nations to avoid command responsibility for crimes, in the next Assembly of States Parties.

    Since crimes against peace are fraught, in the conditions created by the existence of Sarmat, Kinzhal, and Avangard… lets put some DCIs in the dock.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 18:24

      If only those who go by the law of might makes right could be persuaded to submit to a higher law? Unlikely. Maybe not a total waste of time, but I would not put too many of my chips on it.

  28. incontinent reader
    March 3, 2018 at 16:13

    Abe – Your commentary and cites are very valuable. Keep up the great work.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 16:43


  29. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 15:59

    Putin’s Address to the Russian Federal Assembly (Full video with English translation)
    (Watch minutes 1:52:30-1:59:00)

  30. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 15:25

    The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly on 1 March 2018:

    “I hope that everything that was said today would make any potential aggressor think twice, since unfriendly steps against Russia such as deploying missile defences and bringing NATO infrastructure closer to the Russian border become ineffective in military terms and entail unjustified costs, making them useless for those promoting these initiatives.

    “It was our duty to inform our partners of what I said here today under the international commitments Russia had subscribed to. When the time comes, foreign and defence ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire.

    “For my part, I should note that we have conducted the work to reinforce Russia’s defence capability within the current arms control agreements; we are not violating anything. I should specifically say that Russia’s growing military strength is not a threat to anyone; we have never had any plans to use this potential for offensive, let alone aggressive goals.

    “We are not threatening anyone, not going to attack anyone or take away anything from anyone with the threat of weapons. We do not need anything. Just the opposite. I deem it necessary to emphasize (and it is very important) that Russia’s growing military power is a solid guarantee of global peace as this power preserves and will preserve strategic parity and the balance of forces in the world, which, as is known, have been and remain a key factor of international security after WWII and up to the present day.

    “And to those who in the past 15 years have tried to accelerate an arms race and seek unilateral advantage against Russia, have introduced restrictions and sanctions that are illegal from the standpoint of international law aiming to restrain our nation’s development, including in the military area, I will say this: everything you have tried to prevent through such a policy has already happened. No one has managed to restrain Russia.

    “Now we have to be aware of this reality and be sure that everything I have said today is not a bluff ? and it is not a bluff, believe me ? and to give it a thought and dismiss those who live in the past and are unable to look into the future, to stop rocking the boat we are all in and which is called the Earth.

    “In this connection, I would like to note the following. We are greatly concerned by certain provisions of the revised nuclear posture review, which expand the opportunities for reducing and reduce the threshold for the use of nuclear arms. Behind closed doors, one may say anything to calm down anyone, but we read what is written. And what is written is that this strategy can be put into action in response to conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber-threat.

    “I should note that our military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threaten the very existence of the state. This all is very clear and specific.

    “As such, I see it is my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.

    “There should be no doubt about this whatsoever. There is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilisation. We have been saying this all along. All these proposals are still valid. Russia is ready for this.

    “Our policies will never be based on claims to exceptionalism. We protect our interests and respect the interests of other countries. We observe international law and believe in the inviolable central role of the UN. These are the principles and approaches that allow us to build strong, friendly and equal relations with the absolute majority of countries.

    “Our comprehensive strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China is one example. Russia and India also enjoy a special privileged strategic relationship. Our relations with many other countries in the world are entering a new dynamic stage.

    “Russia is widely involved in international organisations. With our partners, we are advancing such associations and groups as the CSTO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. We are promoting a positive agenda at the UN, G20 and APEC. We are interested in normal and constructive cooperation with the United States and the European Union. We hope that common sense will prevail and our partners will opt for honest and equal work together.

    “Even if our views clash on some issues, we still remain partners because we must work together to respond to the most complex challenges, ensure global security, and build the future world, which is becoming increasingly interconnected, with more and more dynamic integration processes.

    “Russia and its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union seek to make it a globally competitive integration group. The EAEU’s agenda includes building a common market for electricity, oil, petroleum products and gas, harmonising financial markets, and linking our customs authorities. We will also continue to work on a greater Eurasian partnership.”


    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 15:59

      Putin tells it like it is. A far cry from our forked tongue lying politicians.

    • Dave P.
      March 3, 2018 at 19:56

      A very important, timely, and pertinent address from a very rational leader – in fact a great leader – which The West should pay attention to. This address is an appeal for sanity, which the leadership in The West has lost.

      Thanks Abe for posting it.

    • Diana
      March 4, 2018 at 07:22

      Thank you, Abe. And while the U.S. crows about its “exceptional” status in the world, it seems to be overlooking signs of its own decline:

      “Similarly, in the critical race for worldwide patents, American leadership in technological innovation is clearly on the wane. In 2008, the United States still held the number two spot behind Japan in patent applications with 232,000. China was, however, closing in fast at 195,000, thanks to a blistering 400% increase since 2000. By 2014, China actually took the lead in this critical category with 801,000 patents, nearly half the world’s total, compared to just 285,000 for the Americans.

      With supercomputing now critical for everything from code breaking to consumer products, China’s Defense Ministry outpaced the Pentagon for the first time in 2010, launching the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-1A. For the next six years, Beijing produced the fastest machine and last year finally won in a way that couldn’t be more crucial: with a supercomputer that had microprocessor chips made in China. By then, it also had the most supercomputers with 167 compared to 165 for the United States and only 29 for Japan.

      Over the longer term, the American education system, that critical source of future scientists and innovators, has been falling behind its competitors. In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tested half a million 15-year-olds worldwide. Those in Shanghai came in first in math and science, while those in Massachusetts, “a strong-performing U.S. state,” placed 20th in science and 27th in math. By 2015, America’s standing had declined to 25th in science and 39th in math.” *

      So, when Putin mentions “Our comprehensive strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China…” we might want to reconsider this claim to “exceptional” status!

      * “In the Shadows of the New American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power” by Alfred McCoy. A deeper look at the book can be found at http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176331/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_the_global_war_of_2030/.

  31. cmp
    March 3, 2018 at 14:29

    George Carlin in 1972, he listed the 7 dirty words for us in his monologue “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”

    But George did leave out the dirtiest of dirty words, that has been considered highly inappropriate and unsuitable for broadcast on the public airwaves in the United States. And Trump, he just happened to say it last Thursday.: “.. tariff..”

    Now, there’s a low down – dirty fightin’ word..

    This is in no way an endorsement. But, was he trying to keep the puppets in D.C., busy on Thursday?

  32. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 14:25

    “The nuclear sword continues to hang most dangerously over the peoples of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, described by the fantasists in the Pentagon as ‘provoking’ the US when it is the US that is provoking them. Nuclear war is threatened against all four nations simply because they have reacted to American aggression and threats and are trying to defend themselves.

    “The American view of their role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as expressed in this new Policy at the very end of the document, in a short section thrown in to fool idiots that they search for peace, is as world cop allowed the use of nuclear weapons by some divine right while denying them to everyone else.

    “They repeat the lies that Russia has violated various nuclear arms treaties and committed acts of aggression and that North Korea is in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when North Korea is no longer a party to it. China is accused of similar violations and aggression in the South China Sea while Iran is accused of being on the verge of violating their commitments not to build nuclear weapons. All those nations are described as ‘revisionists’, ‘aggressors’, ‘threats to the world order’ or, when some honesty slips in, a threat to American interests, which means a threat to American tyranny over the world. But nation states are not the only possible triggers of their ‘ultimate solution.’

    “They even go so far as to state their intention to use nuclear weapons on any state that provides a nuclear weapon to a “terrorist” group. The document states on page 67,

    “‘The United States will hold fully accountable any state, terrorist group, or other non-state actor that supports or enables terrorist efforts to obtain or employ nuclear devices. Although the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in countering nuclear terrorism is limited, for effective deterrence our adversaries must understand that a terrorist attack against the United States, or its allies and partners, would qualify as “extreme circumstances” under which the United States could consider the ‘ultimate form of retaliation.’’

    “Since we know that the United States has used false flag operations as pretexts for its aggression this is a very dangerous position for it means that the United States could simply accuse [a nation] of providing nuclear weapons or parts of weapons to some group and use that as its pretext and justification to launch a nuclear attack”

    US Nuclear Policy Review; The World Is Our Enemy
    By Christopher Black

    • Abe
      March 3, 2018 at 14:37

      The 2018 US Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review was released on 2 February 2018.

      The DoD report claims that “the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction. They have added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals, increased the salience of nuclear forces in their strategies and plans, and engaged in increasingly aggressive behavior, including in outer space and cyber space.”

      The DoD claims the “review candidly addresses the challenges posed by Russian, Chinese, and other states’ strategic policies, programs, and capabilities, particularly nuclear.”

      In fact, the DoD review ignores aggressive US actions that have destabilized the nuclear environment and increased the potential for conflict.

    • Abe
      March 3, 2018 at 14:44

      “Washington’s recently composed Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) with the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives on February 6 […] does not fit well with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in which it is agreed by almost every country in the world that the nuclear arms race should be halted and that all possible measures should be taken towards achievement of nuclear disarmament.

      “But Washington’s notions of global nuclear disarmament are curiously ambivalent, as there is unconditional support for Israel’s highly developed nuclear weapons’ capabilities […]

      “Washington now rejects the policies of ‘sole purpose’ (nuclear weapons to be used to deter only nuclear attacks) and ‘no first use’ (nuclear weapons only to be used if another state uses such weapons first). The message to China and Russia is that if the US considers there is a non-nuclear threat to its interests, then there could be a Pentagon nuclear strike. The example set to nuclear-armed nations such as India, Israel and Pakistan is unambiguous, in that the deterrence aspect of nuclear weapons has been superseded by what might be called ‘First Threat’, meaning that the more nuclear weapons that can be deployed by a country, the more assured will be its dominance. In the words of the State Department, ‘the declaratory policy of the United States [is] that we would consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances.’

      “The Pentagon has gone right back to the dark days described by Daniel Ellsberg in his memoir The Doomsday Machine. The Financial Times review summed up the threat of apocalypse by observing that ‘Most terrifying of all, Ellsberg discovered, any US attack, whether prompted by the outbreak of a real war or a malfunctioning system, would follow a stunningly inflexible plan. It would result in the indiscriminate obliteration of not only the Soviet Union but also China.’ And now the inflexibility is the Pentagon’s intention to develop and employ ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons in the utterly mistaken belief that in some weird way an enemy against whom they are directed will refrain from taking maximum retaliatory action. ‘Low yield’ weapons do not contribute to deterrence. They add to the probability of worldwide fire and fury.

      “A nuke is a nuke is a nuke. No country in the world is going to lie back and do nothing when a US bomber drops a ‘low-yield’ weapon. How could it possibly know that the attack is not part of a wider foray? Or that it will not be followed up by, say, a submarine-launched onslaught by mega-nukes directed at its cities? Ellsberg makes the point that nothing should be taken for granted. To make this a fundamental part of nuclear policy is lunacy.”

      Racing Towards a Low-Yield Armageddon
      By Brian Cloughley

    • March 4, 2018 at 22:47

      Here is a fairly good scientific breakdown on Russias new nuclear missiles…fairly unbiased compared to most of the western reporting ive read…




  33. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 14:12

    “Trump would surely like to replicate the boost in popularity and esteem that the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars provided Bush – at first. How else could he salvage his presidency? Strategic thinking is hardly his forte, but it is not beyond his ken to figure out that what was good for the last numbskull Republican president who couldn’t get any respect could work for him as well. […]

    “The de facto Salafi-Zionist alliance that has sprung up in recent years is easily as worrisome a development as North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. […]

    “AIPAC can deploy its carrots and sticks on Congress and the White House alone.

    “Of late, the Israel lobby is more than usually motivated to do precisely that – not just because, in the face of Palestinian resistance, Israel has effectively exhausted what little moral capital it could convince liberal Zionists it had left, but also because the Netanyahu government is tottering under the weight of its own turpitude and corruption.

    “As much or more than Trump, Netanyahu could use a war – to strengthen his own position and to bring wavering American and European Jews into line.

    “His problem, though, is that were the vaunted IDF to take on Iran – either directly or through proxies – without substantial American aid, it would soon find itself in such desperate straits that the very idea of Israeli invincibility would cease to be a factor in the politics of the region.

    “The solution is clear: goad America to do to Iran what Trump was not long ago declaring he would do to North Korea.

    “Obama had a gift for backing off when situations threatened to get out of hand. In that respect, Trump could not be more different.

    “Combine his mindless instability with the Russophobic paranoia that the Democratic Party has taken to cultivating and the likelihood of bumbling into a war to end all wars, along with everything else, is alarmingly high.”

    What Next for Trump: War?
    By Andrew Levine

  34. Zachary Smith
    March 3, 2018 at 13:55

    Putin explained that under the treaty, “the parties had the right to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in only one of its regions. Russia deployed these systems around Moscow, and the U.S. around its Grand Forks land-based ICBM base [in North Dakota].” (He did not mention the aborted attempt to deploy a second installation at Krasnoyarsk.)

    Surely Mr. McGovern knows that a single large radar at Krasnoyarsk hardly constituted a “system”. I’d wager the Soviets made a major mistake during the negotiations and tried to bluff their way out of it by plugging the hole they’d left in their radar screen while portraying it as a “space” -related survey . After all, they knew very well that the enormous structure wasn’t something they could hide.

  35. Abe
    March 3, 2018 at 13:31

    “NATO claims that the missile shield was not built against you but against Iran”.
    Putin’s response in the documentary film, “Ich, Putin – Ein Portrait”
    (Watch minutes 19:40-22:30)

    in 2011 and 2012, German journalist and documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel became the first Western journalist to accompany the Russian President Vladimir Putin for several months. The German public broadcast consortium ARD aired the documentary in February 2012.

    • incontinent reader
      March 3, 2018 at 15:33

      Abe – Thanks very much for this. It is a marvelous interview.

      • incontinent reader
        March 3, 2018 at 15:34

        I should have said interview and documentary.

  36. mike k
    March 3, 2018 at 13:10

    Putin is speaking for all the nations and people abused for years by the USA bully. He is calling Uncle Sam’s bluff, and saying ENOUGH!

    At the same time Putin proffers the olive branch of peaceful relations. We are very lucky to have him as President of Russia. He represents the world’s best chance for a peace beyond the belligerent antics of the US.

  37. Bob Van Noy
    March 3, 2018 at 13:07

    As always Ray McGovern, thank you.

    Also, let’s not forget that the original Darth Vader, Edward Teller was whispering in President Reagan’s ear about “Star Wars”. I will link him below, but I’m wondering if he was associated with Operation Paperclip?

  38. mike k
    March 3, 2018 at 13:00

    Can ANYONE in DC think outside the box of groupthink there? I cannot think of a single senator or representative who has a really clear and open view of our present realities. They all restrict themselves to the vocabulary of lies current in our government and MSM.

    • hawii'oh
      March 3, 2018 at 15:56

      Tulsi Gabbard

      • March 4, 2018 at 17:01

        Tulsi voted for sanctions on North Korea, Iran, and Russia.

        • Nancy
          March 5, 2018 at 13:40

          Thanks. We must always focus on what they DO, not what they SAY.

    • mark
      March 3, 2018 at 16:20

      Is there anyone in DC who is not a bought and paid for 30 shekel whore kowtowing to the Kosher Nostra?

  39. Michael Kenny
    March 3, 2018 at 12:21

    This is essentially the same message as is being presented by Gilbert Doctorow and Jonathan Marshall, and my response is essentially the same. More interesting is that the editors present three articles on the same subject on the same day. That looks very like panic. Looks like everyone agrees that defeat is staring Putin in the face!

  40. Skip Scott
    March 3, 2018 at 11:56

    Thank you Ray for another great article. Even after our withdrawal from the ABM treaty, Star Wars was always a pipe dream, and MAD was still the reality. These latest Russian arms just drive the point home. Maybe someday we’ll get somebody with some sense and some guts into a position where they can sit down and talk peace and cooperation with Russia, but first we will have to do some serious house cleaning in DC. Imagine the good that we could do at home and abroad if could really beat our swords into ploughshares. Keep fighting the good fight Ray, you’re a true American hero.

    • nonsense factory
      March 3, 2018 at 19:26

      The best technical expert to listen to on why the missle defense program is bogus is MIT Professor Ted Postol:

      “The reality is that the defense system will have little or no capability. The early warning radars have no ability to discriminate between warheads and decoys (these particular radars are a very low resolution) and the SM-3 interceptors would not be able to know which of many targets it might encounter is the warhead. Nevertheless, the appearance that the United States is striving to have the ability to defend itself with hundreds of interceptors will raise profound and highly problematic barriers to future attempts at arms reductions.”

      What it really means is that the US arms contractors have a nice cash cow in the missile defense program, which they have used to line their pockets with bloated government contracts ever since 2002. Obama picked up where Bush left off, and Trump isn’t going to cancel it, even if he wanted to, the corporate media would scream about ‘exposing us to North Korean nukes’ or something like that (corporate media shareholders being the same interests that invest in arms contractors) – it’s as bad as Brezhnev’s Soviet Union and their bloated military apparatus, which ended up bankrupting the Soviet Union.

  41. rev.Spooner
    March 3, 2018 at 11:29

    I went and checked two British News papers today, and this news about the new hypersonic missiles is given absolutely no importance. In fact one newspaper; The Indie, I think, has someone with a very Russian name, all but calling Putin a liar and claiming these weapons do not exist. The poisonous Guardian which is so toxic I would advise folks not to use it even as an ass wipe, did not allow comments as is their custom now. Another thing I would like clarified, who are the friends Putin referred to. Some sthan in central Asia, Iran or Syria?

    • mark
      March 3, 2018 at 16:17

      The faux Left Guardian under Freedland is just a piece of Zionist toilet paper. It always has been, It was shilling for Israel even before Israel existed. There are a lot of these controlled opposition left outlets, like the Soros-bankrolled DemocracyNow.

  42. Joe Tedesky
    March 3, 2018 at 11:06

    Being raised around ‘the Greatest Generation’ who had suffered through the depression and World War II, upon close examination and looking back, they were pretty cautious when it came to respecting the might of the nuclear bomb their generation had created. Bethrand Russel spoke about a nuclear parity between rivals that would end war because of the fear of using nuclear weapons. I recall in my Freshman year in High School reading a book called ‘Fail Safe’ whereas the horrors of using such nuclear weapons, was portrayed in it’s most ugliest images of innocent people dying all because detente was not observed to it’s fullest.

    Then I look around me now, and one of the things I take note of, is to how many of our American leaders who are now a days calling the shots never even have been in the armed forces let alone had seen the carnage and destruction of war. Unlike this generations prior leaders who respected the nuclear bomb age with the most fear and respect they could muster, this generation seems to strut their stuff all around the global barnyard making suggestions to possibly using this nuclear bomb terror as they discover what a bullying tool their forefathers had left them. Gee thanks Mom & Dad.

    The one thing that should be taken away from Putin’s announcement of his nuclear and conventional weapon upgrades is that now it is time to sit down and talk nuclear restraint until our throats run dry, and then some. This means it’s time to stop with all this American exceptionalism and to start negotiating to bring these stockpiles of nuclear armament down to their disappearing off the shelf. Although, in reality this nuclear weapon disappearance would probably never happened to completely wiping them out, their existence would serve as a reason to maintain the peace for as long as peace could prevail.

    Putin’s Address should be looked upon, as now Russia has surpassed nuclear equality with the U.S., which means it’s time to sit down with this very pragmatic leader and talk. After all ‘the Gipper’ did.

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 12:53

      Good, sensible thoughts, Joe.

    • Alex
      March 3, 2018 at 19:14

      I’m glad to see that our Russian message reaches the minds after all. And I’m also very happy to see that there are a lot of really good minds and good will in America. A lot of people thinking deeply and correctly. That gives a hope to all of us, to the entire humankind.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 3, 2018 at 22:57

        Alex trust me there are a lot of good Americans who feel your pain, as there are quite a few Americans who aren’t buying what our National Security Deep State is selling. This whole Russia-Gate nonsense is a modern day psy-ops maneuver created to distract people from Hillary’s unsecured computer emails, and add to that Russia-Gate is an even bigger maneuver as it is being used to fortify America’s NATO allies with a Russian enemy. I might also add that the Russia-Gate story is busy ramping up our corporate media’s commercial revenue, as everyone is ‘stayed tuned’ for the next evidence absent allegations on how Russia is stealing our American democracy.

        Seriously Alex there is lots of money being made here over this invented Russian scandal. Our Military Industrial Complex is an ugly over fed monster who the more you feed it the more it demands to be fed. Our corporate owned media in plain words has no shame, as much of their reporting is just factually wrong, and to make matters worst some of it’s news reporting is just simply made up to fit their desired narrative.

        Alex it would probably upset you to no end, but our American media describes RT as it being the old communist Pravda. This sells to the masses here on Main St U$A on some level, but not so much with the crowd here at ‘the Consortium’. Oh and what I find on the English version of the real ‘Pravda’ is short little articles that look like they just got ripped off of the busy news wire with no to none of an editorial, but with instead just the plain facts.

        When I see to how this young country of America has succumbed to take so many low roads, all due to America’s success with money, I can’t help but think of Nikita Khrushchev predicting of how the Russians will still be around to bury us over fed capitalist. I realize Khrushchev was speaking about communism over capitalism, but at the rate we Americans are going, I fear this fiat dollar financed global war machine will be what takes us Americans down. Well that is if the monkey butts in Washington don’t end it all by pushing their ‘Big Red Button’.

        As a side note I find it amusing that a couple months ago it was Kim Jung un and Donald Trump who were comparing ‘Red Button’ sizes, and then suddenly comes Putin’s Russian Federation State of the Union Address…. can you hear the crickets stridulating?

        My Uncle Gil who fought as an American GI in WWII told me of how he spend sometime with the Russian troops after the defeat of Hitler. My honest and good Uncle who was a sergeant when in dove in the foxhole, was to join the officer ranks when he emerged from his self made dugout. Yes, all of my Uncles commanding officers had died, thus my Uncle became a Lieutenant on the battle field that day. Uncle Gil had all the respect in the world for his Russian counterparts, and he said to me of how the Russians he met were just like us Americans except for one thing, everyone of the Russian troops he had met had loss a loved one or more to Hitler’s Nazi’s…..as that memory always left my Uncle a little speechless, with his redden sad eyes.

        Let’s both hope our two nations may see ourselves through these difficult times, and let’s both pray that rational minds prevail. You take care Alex. Joe

        • Gregory Herr
          March 4, 2018 at 01:30

          Your Uncle Gil was a good man Joe. I’m pretty sure I recall you relating that story before and am glad you bring it up again, especially for Alex to know. In watching an excerpt of Putin’s recent address in which the camera panned out quite often to the present audience, I felt that same sense of our common humanity. Uncle Gil’s respect was surely warranted.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 4, 2018 at 10:37

            Thanks Greg. My Uncle was a good man. He hated the McCarthy era. Joe

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 4, 2018 at 22:29

      Here is one opinion of what America looks like to the outside world.


  43. martha hennessy
    March 3, 2018 at 10:10

    Thank you Ray for your diligence and dedication in this matter of working for world peace.
    I wish voices and memories like yours prevailed in the White House today. God help us.

    • Sam F
      March 3, 2018 at 13:15

      Yes, a very good article by Ray McGovern, worthy of a wide audience.

      We may hope that the promise/threat of strategic parity moderates the US warmongers who urged “limited” nuclear responses to cyber attacks that are never even accurately traced. They are tyrants who want to talk big, pose with the flag, and demand domestic power as fake defenders. They would not wish to cause a major war, but will bully until the opposition confronts them with a bigger gun.

      If Trump is urged by others, this can be the occasion to seek negotiations with Russia without seeming to be led by them. Tillerson could propose treaty negotiations, rebutted with some loud grumbling from Trump to drown out the right wing; then Trump “comes to his senses” to seek the “economic benefits” of cooperation.

  44. deschutes
    March 3, 2018 at 09:20

    The US military bureaucracy will never learn. They stink of the same smug, complacent foolhardy arrogance that the Nazis first had when they invaded Russia. What is amazing is that the USA seems to think that going to war with Russia and N. Korea will be as easy as attacking and destroying Iraq was (keeping in mind American forces were still struggling to destroy Mosul completely last year–15 years later still no control over Iraq). The US government: incredible, asshole arrogance! A nuclear war with N. Korea seems inevitable as well, what a tragedy all of this is given that it is ONLY the asshole US government and military industrial complex that is to blame for this immanent nuclear war. No other country in the world wants war: only the USA hungers for more and more wars worldwide, war without end. America is hell bent on total world domination, a unipolar world where every country is subjugated. I certainly hope Russia, China and the rest of the world’s countries put a stop to such stupidity. A multi-polar world of peace and cooperation is the only way forward. The USA sucks ass bigtime!

    • mike k
      March 3, 2018 at 12:51

      Well said!

    • Rob
      March 3, 2018 at 14:30

      I can name one country that most assuredly does not want nuclear war with North Korea–South Korea. If they have any say in the matter, it will not happen.

    • March 3, 2018 at 18:07

      One trait of psychopaths is that they do not learn from their mistakes. Doesn’t that explain what some are calling American amnesia?
      Doesn’t that explain why American elites continue to repeat the same mistakes as if they cannot learn from history??? I’m convinced we Americans need to start understanding psychopathy so we can recognize what and who is leading us toward destruction so we can throw the brakes on.

      • nonsense factory
        March 3, 2018 at 19:14

        I agree, it’s the psychology of these people that’s so problematic. Equal parts greed and paranoia, perhaps. The person who did the most to sell Reagan on Star Wars, by the way, was Dr. Edward “Strangelove” Teller, who gets my vote for the most evil genius within the American military-industrial complex. His personal ambition for power within the complex drove much of the American nuclear weapons project for decades; no doubt he had his counterparts within the Soviet system, but he stands out for having gone to Reagan with his Star Wars proposals (“Better a Shield than a Sword”).

        The fact is, there is this relatively small group of insiders within the MIC whose personal wealth and status depends entirely on the arms race continuing indefinitely into the future, and they’ll do or say anything to keep it going.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 3, 2018 at 23:38

          Hey nonsense factory not to scare you, but on a short list to replace Lt H R McMaster I saw the name John Bolton. I will bet that MIC crowd is loving that nominee, what you think? Joe

          • nonsense factory
            March 4, 2018 at 15:01

            Bolton is a clown – a dangerous idiotic clown, but still a clown. Here’s a nice list of the various neoconservatives who sold the Iraq War to the US; it is incomplete as it doesn’t contain most of their neoliberal interventionist partners (Hillary Clinton, Ken Pollack, etc.), but Bolton is heavily featured:
            This connecting link between the neocons and the neolibs is interesting:
            Robert Kagan
            Co-founder with Kristol of PNAC the main neocon lobby.
            Signer of 1998 PNAC letter to Clinton advocating Iraq War.
            His wife, Victoria Nuland, was National Security Advisor to Cheney from July 2003 until May 2005. Focused on Iraq.

            Nuland was likely Hillary Clinton’s top choice for either Sec State or NSC advisor, which is why Hillary Clinton is best described as a neocon on foreign policy issues. John Bolton is on the record as an admirer and supporter of Victoria Nuland-led policies. . .

            So if Trump appoints Bolton to the NSC, he might as well have Hillary Clinton replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and she can bring in Victoria Nuland as her deputy, and we can all roll around on the floor laughing about the grossly corrupt and incompetent US government.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 4, 2018 at 21:26

            Thanks I got a lot from your answer. Joe

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 4, 2018 at 22:08
        • ToivoS
          March 4, 2018 at 04:32

          The Russian counterpart to Edward Teller was Sakharov. As you must know he gave up his high position in Soviet society to be an advocate for personal freedom within the Soviet Union.

          • nonsense factory
            March 4, 2018 at 15:09

            I see few parallels between Teller and Sakharov; Teller never opposed the US military-industrial complex and was an incredibly dishonest advocate of Star Wars programs. Sakharov’s counterpart is probably Ted Taylor, America’s leading fission bomb designer who defected from the nuclear weapons program and began publicly opposing it in the 1970s. John McPhee wrote a great book about Ted Taylor, called “The Curve of Binding Energy”, that is a must-read for anyone interested in the issue. See also “Arsenals of Folly” by Richard Rhodes on the legacy Edward Teller left behind him.

            It’s harder to find the Soviet counterparts to Teller due to the great secrecy of the Soviet weapons programs; Lysenko comes to mind, as does General Kalinin, the head of the Soviet biological weapons program known as Biopreparat, who ran the program from 1973 onwards; supposedly it was disbanded when the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s, although nobody really knows its current status, just like nobody really knows the current status of the CIA/military biological weapons program in the United States.

        • irina
          March 4, 2018 at 16:29

          Dr. Teller was also the person behind ‘Project Chariot’, the plan to create a
          deep water port on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula near Nome by — using nuclear
          bombs. This triggered a suprisingly successful wave of Native resistance (once
          the Natives learned about the secret scheme). Dan O’Neill documents the
          events in his excellent book The Firecracker Boys.

      • March 5, 2018 at 00:28

        I am fish head
        You Tube

      • Broompilot
        March 6, 2018 at 14:26

        Diana, you make the mistake of thinking these military misadventures are a mistake. Destroying countries in the Mideast is their fallback position if they can’t install a puppet government that will make the country beholden to Western banksters.

    • Michaelwme
      March 4, 2018 at 03:32

      I fear you don’t read the great expert, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, who assures us that Bush, jr transformed Iraq from an impoverished, brutal dictatorship, state sponsor of terror, participant in the 9/11 attacks, and planning another attack on the US much worse than 9/11, into a peaceful and prosperous democracy, and Obama did the exact same beautiful transformation of Libya, and his greatest failure was not finishing the good job he started in Syria.

      Most Americans do read Friedman (and his many clones) and believe them. After all, aren’t they the experts?

      Concerned Scientists put the Doomsday Clock at 2 minutes to midnight. Those Concerned Scientists are all Pollyannas.

    • Kieron
      March 4, 2018 at 06:08

      Absolutely, however, unless this stupidity is recognised and halted by the American people, firstly, by taking control of the media, who else can stop this madness ?

    • March 4, 2018 at 10:25

      Wonderful article. McGovern has to be considered a national treasure–people like him (and there used to be people like him at all levels of government at one time) are absent from decision making in Washington–911 guaranteed that.

      I’m not so sure the USA is bent on world domination at this time. On all levels of life including national security policy the US is fragmenting. Belligerence makes money for the military/”security”-industrial/consultant-Congrssional-complex. Peace is a non-starter in Washington because money talks and bullshit walks. All the “policy” bullshit is just that at this time. People running policy are incompetent and delusional not because they are special but because North American culture has become delusional in a way I haven’t ever seen. Nothing is real other than the everyday deals that keep things running mainly on momentum from the past and the extraordinary growth in intelligent systems. It is now almost certain that machine intelligence will be forced to take over control of the country because the humans that run the country have lost their minds and the citizenry is no better.

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