The Road to World War III

metro-2033-tunnel

There are some fairly good reasons in favor of Russia’s decision to intervene in Syria, which is why I have always been modestly if unenthusiastically supportive of it:

  • It is basically a giant and continuous live training exercise for Russian pilots and generals, making it almost “free” in financial terms.
  • The value of the Khmeimim base is modest, but not entirely negligible.
  • It supported Russian weapons sales.
  • Fighting Islamic State made for good PR.
  • Could potentially be used as a bargaining chip for concessions elsewhere (e.g. the Ukraine).
  • One commonly cited but fake reason: Supporting an ally. As I have long been pointing out, it was Vladimir Putin himself who pointed out that prior to the war, Assad had visited Paris more frequently than Moscow.

However, there were always a couple of major downsides:

  • Supporting Assad placed Russia at odds with all of the powerful players in the region – the US, its European allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arabs, and Turkey. The only exception was Iran, and even its interests are far from synonymous with Russia’s.
  • The modest Russian expeditionary force in Syria there is completely overawed by, and surrounded by, military assets belonging to states that don’t really want them there. This makes it highly vulnerable.

With the defeat of Islamic State, Russia’s continued presence in Syria has become much more dangerous, since neoliberalism.txt could now revert to its old mantras about Assad “killing his own people” without the superlative evil of Islamic State spoiling the optics.

Indeed, as I speculated at the start of this year, the drone attacks on Khmeimim could have been a message to Russia that it was time to pack up its bags.

Recent developments over the Douma false flag gas attacks have basically proved that my gloomy presentiments were correct, e.g. see this from February:

And the Russian air presence in Khmeimim remains absolutely overawed by the resources at CENTCOM’s disposal.

Hopefully Syria doesn’t launch any more large-scale chemical weapons attacks, false flag or otherwise (admittedly, controlling for false flags is hard). Because while the kremlins might be forced to swallow the deaths of a few dozens “They’re Not There” mercenaries, explaining away RuAF hunkering down in Khmeimim as Turkish/Israeli/US-backed jihadists overrun Syria – or worse, getting themselves wiped off the face of the earth in a futile attempt to fight back – will be orders of magnitude harder.

Indeed, this is a theme that I have been noting since the very start of Russia’s intervention in Syria, in both my posts and many  comments on the Unz Review, in the face of persistent and often vicious naysaying – no matter that this is a rather obvious geopolitical reality.

I do know know the immediate outcome of the immediate crisis. Most likely, it will be a much larger-scale repetition of the mostly symbolic strike on Shayrat AFB in April 2017. Maybe a miracle will happen and it is called off entirely.

But maybe things will go in a much more disastrous direction, in a scenario that will be the subject of this post.

However, even if the outcome for now is relatively “good”, the underlying issues that got us where we are will not go away. As I noted in the aftermath of the 2017 strikes – indeed, as Putin himself pointed out – the Syrian rebels, and/or their sponsors, now have a perverse incentive to stage further false flag attacks, in the sure knowledge that Trump will no longer have any option but to respond with ever greater force. As this cycle of escalation increases, the chances of Russian soldiers getting hit by US/coalition strikes rises to unity.

I do not know if the present crisis will culminate in conciliation or catastrophe.

I do think that the probability of catastrophic outcomes will continue increasing so long as the Assad government remains in power. Contra the trolls who will bloviate about hasbara troll Karlin’s defeatism in the comments, this is not an argument for Russia bailing out of Syria. Nor, for that matter, is it an argument that Russia should stay. To the contrary, it is just a reality that needs to be confronted, in the eventuality that the Americans start going beyond the limited, one-off strike that they committed in 2017.

khmeimim-damanged-fighter

1. The Khmeimim Crisis

I hope it goes without saying that Russia has absolutely no way to win in Syria should its forces enter into a full scale regional conflict with CENTCOM.

It is not going to be a trivial fight by any stretch of the imagination:

  • There are two S-400 complexes guarding Khmeimim, and several Pantsir systems.
  • Though composition varies from month to month, there are usually around a dozen air superiority fighters (Su-35, Su-35) and a dozen other fighters, as well as a few military helicopters.
  • Around 4o Pantsir systems total in Syria
  • Two Kilo submarines are currently in the region, though not the formidable Moskva cruiser, with its S-300 system
  • Two Bastion anti-ship coastal defense systems
  • Stand-off cruise missiles (Kh-32, Kh-50, Kalibrs) can be fired from deep within Russia, or from Caspian/Iranian airspace

But here are the forces ranged against them:

  • A single carrier such as the USS Harry S. Truman has around four to five dozen F-18s
  • Hundreds of F-15s and F-16s in US bases in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE
  • Hundreds of Tomahawks can be fired from US Navy ships
  • The air forces of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France and Britain, and possibly that of Israel and Turkey
  • B-52 bombers from half a world away

This is a totally lopsided match, which even the optimistic Russian military analyst Andrey Martyanov acknowledges:

Of course, US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there, from several SU-35s to S-300s and S-400s and, possibly, make Peters’ wet dream of keeping the whole ordeal confined to Syria very real. This would work, say against anyone’s military contingent except Russia.

The true extent of Russia’s defeat will depend on the precise composition of its forces and enemy forces come the day, as well as on the specific circumstances in which the showdown happens.

(a) If Russia is able to strike first, for instance, during a US attack on Syrian units when they are not expecting Russian interference, it’s plausible that it could down a few dozen fighters and two to half a dozen frigates and destroyers.

(b) If on the other hand it is the US that attacks without warning – for instance, including Khmeimim in its upcoming Tomahawk barrage – then Russia would be lucky to get even just a dozen kills. The Kilos and Bastions might still be able to sink a few a ships.

(c) A third scenario, and I suspect the likeliest one, is a mistake or “mistake” in which Russian air assets or air defenses gets targeted by a sweep of Syria by coalition air forces after the initial Tomahawk barrage – perhaps by an incompetent Saudi airman, or Israelis seeking to provoke a major escalation that would lay the groundwork to finish off Assad once and for all.

In this scenario, Russia’s air defense systems will be partially depleted from knocking down the initial Tomahawk barrage, and its responses will be confused rather than planned. However, a majority of the attacking force will not be expecting the Russians to turn hostile either. Consequently, the damage inflicted on the US in this scenario is somewhere between that of (a) and (b).

I doubt that Russia will manage to sink or even disable an aircraft carrier in either of the latter two scenarios. Contra the War Nerd’s fantasies about suicide motorboats taking them out, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is a 100,000 ton metallic honeycomb with hundreds of watertight compartments, protected by a screen of smaller ships, submarines, and fighters. Sinking these leviathans is really, really hard.

Of course it would be trivial to do so by launching a couple of ICBMs that disperse nuclear warheads in a grid pattern around the carrier’s general location. However, the US will treat this as a full-fledged nuclear attack. In any case it’s not even clear what such a cardinal violation of ethical and military norms would change in the big picture. The US would still have 10 aircraft carriers left.

In any case, the ultimate outcome is clear and near certain: The Russian military presence in Syria will be eradicated within a week (mostly within the first two days).

Furthermore, US and EU sanctions will be drastically stepped up in the following weeks. In particular, I expect the latest US sanctions against the companies of Deripaska, which bar US nationals from any dealings with them, compel US nationals to sell any shares they have in them, and freeze their US based assets, to be extended to all the major Russian corporations – with their consequent expulsion from the wider Western financial system. And I also expect this to be the point at which Russia gets cut off from SWIFT.

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2. Retreat or Escalation?

Putin will now have to make some hard choices between dishonor, war, or some combination of the two. These constitute a number of non-exclusive options.

2.b. Hunkering Down

Militarily, this is the least risky option. However, Putin will face rising domestic discontent as Western attempts to strangle the Russian economy transition to a new and far more intensive phase, and living standards collapse.

How long will the “buffer” of 80% approval ratings hold up? People don’t like losers, as the Argentine junta discovered.

And it’s not only internal affairs that people will Russia will have to worry about. Not only does nobody like losers, but this period will see secular trends in the post-Soviet space coming to their logical conclusions. The ageing post-sovok rulers of Central Asia are getting replaced by nationalists and Islamists. The overthrow of Lukashenko by the Belorussian nationalists (zmagars) his regime has been quietly cultivating. The Ukraine will continue to recover economically and consolidate politically. By the early 2020s, oil prices may start to collapse due to the exponential rise in adoptions of electric vehicles.

If the Americans supported Chechen rebels even under “Boris and Bill” in the 1990s, it goes without saying that Western efforts to stir up separatism and color revolution will be doubled and redoubled.

Russia may partially mitigate this by intensifying its reorientation to the East, especially China. But this will not be a silver bullet that solves all its problems.

In my assessment, in this scenario there is a significant chance that Russia will eventually be forced or manipulated into acceding to Western terms, if not capitulating entirely.

syria-civil-war-2018-future-map

2.b. Syria

  1. The most obvious option, and the one pushed most energetically by The Saker, would be to continue the struggle in the Middle East, especially Syria.

Obvious objection: Using what, to do what? At this point, shorn of Russian air support, incredibly demoralized, and getting swept up by continuing air strikes – Israel in particular will use the opportunity to wipe the Iranian presence from the Syrian map – the Syrian Arab Army, which has never been a very functional fighting force, will collapse once again as jihadis take the initiative.

Within months, they will overrun much of the country, with perhaps only Latakia and Tartus continuing to hold out (and even that’s not certain, considering the extent to which those regions of core Assad support have been bled out since 2011).

There will also probably be a genocide of Alawites and the remaining Christians in Syria, which the Western media will most certainly not televise.

As for Turkey, here is what I wrote about it at the start of the year:

Erdogan would prefer an Islamist Syria to Assad, but would prefer a unitary Syria even under Assad to a powerful Rojava occupying half the country’s territory. This largely explains his heel turn in Syria. Even so, there is nothing stopping him from doubling back should circumstances on the ground change yet again.

It will be largely immaterial whether or not Turkey closes the Bosphorus to Russian shipping (which would be a formal act of war). By this point, the Mediterranean will be a completely American lake anyway.

This in turn makes the logistics of supplying any further expeditions to Syria untenable.

On the off chance that the infamously deceptive Erdogan actually refrains from placing yet another “knife in Putin’s back”, the best that could be hoped for from him is providing cover for Russia to evacuate what remains of its shattered forces in Syria.

strait-of-hormuz

2.c. The Persian Gulf

The American victory in Syria will be an even greater defeat for Iran in terms of both geopolitics (unlike Russia, Iran really does have a vital interest in breaking out into the Mediterranean) and legitimacy (its pretensions to leadership of the global Shiite community).

Just like Russia, Iran too will have a choice between hunkering down/capitulating or carrying on the fight.

If it chooses the latter, its best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and ensuing recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

The best ways of doing that at Iran’s disposal are:

  • Anti-ship missiles
  • Mines

Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers – enough of a risk, possibly, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters). Ironically, at this point, many of them might start using the Northern Sea Route.

Mines: Iran’s naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far harder afterwards. (However, since the US will be very much on the watch out for this in the wake of its destruction of Syria, a covert mine-laying operation will not stay secret for long).

One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add body-bags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

Iran might also consider launching IRBMs at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast, or sabotaging them with special forces. However, oil and gas pipelines can be easily repaired, and Iranian missiles aren’t all that accurate, so I don’t see this having much of an impact.

Without Russian intervention – for instance, if Russia goes down the Capitulation route – Iran’s attempts to strike back are likely doomed to failure. But its prospects improve cardinally with Russian help.

Bastions can proliferate on the mountainous coasts of southern Iran, and Russia can launch long-range cruise missiles from Tu-22M3 bombers to shut down sea traffic through the Persian Gulf (at least so long as China acquiesces). The success prospects of any US landing operations also decrease drastically.

2.d. The Ukraine

Options here range from formal recognition of the LDNR to a resurrection of the Novorossiya project.

russia-vs-ukraine-military-power1. Recognizing the LDNR, or even incorporating them into Russia, will temporarily assuage dissatisfied nationalists and send a signal that Russia is not backing down before the West.

However, this will come at the cost of even more sanctions from the West and what is sure to be even greater support of the Ukraine in the wake of the Syria imbroglio. In particular, it seems likely that NATO will start pushing through expedited membership for the Ukraine. It is also unlikely to add all that much to Putin’s approval ratings.

  1. A full-scale invasion and occupation of Eastern Ukraine and/or Novorossiya is still plausible, but it will be an order of magnitude more difficult than in 2014. The Ukrainian Army is more experienced, better funded, has been purged of its pro-Russian elements, and its disposition is no longer concentrated in the west of the country.

Here is what I wrote about Ukrainian military developments a few months ago:

If there was a time and a place for a Russian invasion of the Ukraine – in reality, not in Western/Ukrainian propagandist fantasy – it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest.

Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. Since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have grown from no more than 100,000 troops (almost none of them combat-worthy) to around 250,000. It can now carry out complex tactical operations: In an August 2017 report at Colonel Cassad, Vladimir Orlov noted how night vision equipped Ukrainian spec ops used highly technical means to kidnap a Russian citizen serving with the NAF.

It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 2.5%-5%.

This translates to an effective doubling to quadrupling in absolute military spending, even when accounting for Ukraine’s post-Maidan depression. Russia can still crush Ukraine in a full-scale conventional conflict, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

Of even greater import is that the Ukrainian military now completely overshadows the Novorossiya Armed Forces.

The latter have no more than 40,000 troops, and with the exit of the more “idealistic” warriors in 2014-15, it has succumbed to low morale. Alexander Zhuchkovsky, a Russian directly involved in the NAF, estimated that they would be unable to hold out for longer than a week against a full-fledged Ukrainian assault without help from Russia. The Maidanists dream of a repetition of Operation Storm and – absent serious Russian intervention – they are probably already capable of it.

In reality, fighting the Ukraine in the wake of a debacle in Syria will be even more difficult.

stratfor-russia-invasion-of-ukraine

In 2014, the US geopolitical analysis website Stratfor war gamed three scenarios of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

The maximal one involved an advance to the Dnieper, which they estimated would require 91,000-135,000 troops and could have been accomplished in 11-14 days. They also estimated that Russia would need counter-insurgency forces of 28,000-260,000 to secure the area, depending on the intensity of partisan resistance. Since considerable percentages of people throughout putative Novorossiya supported joining Russia in 2013-14, I would have leaned towards the lower end of those estimates at that time – especially considering that “Russophile sentiment” went up by about a standard deviation in Crimea after its annexation, with support for joining Russia going up from ~40% to ~90%. However, in the rest of the Ukraine, “Russophile sentiment” collapsed by a standard deviation in the course of 2014; support for joining Russia in Novorossiya collapsed from ~25% to ~5%. Consequently, assuming this collapse was “deep” as opposed to temporary, the garrisoning forces required now might be much larger than four years ago.

Nonetheless, it could probably still be accomplished – the Ukrainians still have no counter to Russian air power and advanced EW capabilities – although there would now be thousands of Russian military deaths, as opposed to hundreds in 2o14. Even if NATO were to have decided to mount a major air intervention, Stratfor estimated that the deployment of 22 fighter squadrons to forward areas in Eastern Europe would take 11 days – that’s around the time at which Russian spearheads would be reaching the natural defense line that is the Dnieper, along with their mobile air defenses.

A huge NATO ground mobilization would still be able to overwhelm and push Russia out of the Ukraine in the long-term. However, it is very unlikely that even the Americans – let alone Germans – would want to do that for the sake of a non-NATO member, especially since Russia would likely still not be formally at war with them.

Meanwhile, even the maximal estimate of the needed numbers of occupation troops – 260,000 for Eastern Ukraine – could be matched by the 340,000 troops at the disposal of Russia’s National Guard.

This “regathering of the Russian lands” would restore the legitimacy of the Putin government.

Nor would the financial cost be unduly high.

For instance, out of Novorossiya’s eight oblasts, Donetsk (mining) and Kharkov (science, heavy industry) would be net contributors to the budget immediately or almost immediately. Donetsk has coal, and generated something like 25% of the Ukraine’s foreign currency earnings and as well as a disproportionate share of gov’t revenue. Kharkov is the Ukraine’s second hi-tech/science city after Kiev, as well as a major industrial center. Odessa (main Ukrainian port), Zaporozhye (Motor Sich), Nikolaev (shipbuilding), and Dnepropetrovsk (industrial) would have started off as recipients but could have been expected to transition to net donors after a few years of convergence. Only Lugansk and Kherson would likely remain net recipients indefinitely.

Still, 6/8 is a great deal. Much better, say, than the North Caucasus ethnic minority republics (0/7). If anything, it would be Kharkov subsidizing, say, Pskov, as opposed to “Russia” subsidizing Kharkov.

This demonstration of force would also rescue Russia’s much diminished authority amongst countries such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, which in the wake of its humiliation in Syria would otherwise be rushing to disassociate themselves from Putin’s Russia.

Nonetheless, it’s pointless to pretend that this strategy will be without its risks.

First, Russia will be injected with a certain demographic highly hostile to it, especially if this project was to extend beyond Novorossiya. Second, Moldova might join up with Romania, making Transnistria officially part of a NATO country with all its attendant consequences. Third, sanctions will be ramped up to a near total level, and the prospects of reconciliation with the West, including the EU, will go from minimal to effectively zero.

suwalki-gap

2.e. The Baltics

By far the riskiest but highest potential pay-off strategy would be to invade the Baltics immediately after the Syria debacle, perhaps after giving them a 24 hour ultimatum to denounce NATO (which will certainly be declined).

In the first days of the war, the residents of Saint-Petersburg will see their Internet speeds slow down to a crawl, as NATO trawlers cut the submarine fiber-optic cable linking Western Russia to the global Internet. The Unz Review and other alt media sites that host Russian propaganda will also be shut down right about this time. In general, communications and trade links between the two blocs will be rapidly severed, while traditional wartime mechanisms of authoritarian control reappear.

The main advantage of this strategy is that a fast and relatively bloodless victory is all but assured, as Russian armored spearheads sever the Suwalki gap to connect Kaliningrad to the mainland, while others race towards Tallinn and Riga.

This is not just my opinion, but that of the RAND Corporation in its 2016 report Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank: Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics:

In a series of wargames conducted between summer 2014 and spring 2015, the RAND Corporation examined the shape and probable outcome of a near-term Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The games’ findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members. Across multiple games using a wide range of expert participants in and out of uniform playing both sides, the longest it has taken Russian forces to reach the outskirts of the Estonian and/or Latvian capitals of Tallinn and Riga, respectively, is 60 hours. Such a rapid defeat would leave NATO with a limited number of options, all bad: a bloody counteroffensive, fraught with escalatory risk, to liberate the Baltics; to escalate itself, as it threatened to do to avert defeat during the Cold War; or to concede at least temporary defeat, with uncertain but predictably disastrous consequences for the Alliance and, not incidentally, the people of the Baltics.

The obvious downside is that Russia will now likely be formally at war with much of NATO, assuming that most of its members choose to honor Article V, at least in words.

The upside is that retaking the Baltics would be prohibitively expensive – Kaliningrad represents one of the greatest concentrations of military power on the planet, while the Baltic Sea itself would become a death zone under Russia’s A2/AD bubble. Western nuclear escalation is unlikely to be credible, since it’s hard to imagine the US trading New York for Riga. Meanwhile, a failure to mount a credible intervention risks demoralizing and cracking NATO itself.

My guess is that the likeliest outcome is (1) a consolidation, rather than cracking, of NATO; (2) a long and possibly permanent “phoney war”, such as the one that prevailed between France and Germany for the first eight months of World War II.

Still, the risks are extremely high.

If NATO fully consolidates and fully mobilizes, then Russia’s conventional defeat becomes inevitable – the military-industrial divergence between the two blocs is simply too great. But here’s the crux of the matter – such a conflict will go nuclear, at least if Russia follows its own military doctrine, which relies on the concept of limited “de-escalatory” nuclear strikes (a strategy that bears a resemblance to NATO’s during the Cold War when the Warsaw Pact had military superiority in Central Europe). If NATO checks or raises instead of folding, Russia will continue reraising, up to and including a full scale nuclear apocalypse. It’s a reckless strategy, sure, but as a weak player with no other chips left, it has no other choice.

Conversely, if it is NATO that fails to consolidate and enters an existential crisis after Russia conquers the Baltics, it is the US that might escalate to the use of nuclear weapons in a bid to preserve its global hegemony.

Consequently, it is highly unlikely that the highly cautious men in the Kremlin would embark upon such an adventure.

2.f. China

cmp-usa-russia-china-1940-2015

There’s a small possibility that China will use the opportunity to seize Taiwan and solidify its hegemony over the South China Sea, though it’s not really militarily ready for that yet (many of its weapons system are close to qualitative convergence with the US, but it has yet to mount a credible buildup, which will take another decade or two).

Still, the US being so preoccupied elsewhere might be too juicy of an opportunity to miss out on.

Although it is uncertain to what extent China will help out Russia, it is not in its interests to allow it to collapse and drift over to the Western camp. Russia is China’s strategic rear, and a secure source of hydrocarbons and minerals should tensions with the US increase to the point that they shut down its sea routes to the Middle East.

Still, on the off chance that China decides to join the West in pressuring Russia, then the latter’s situation becomes hopeless, and it might as well capitulate sooner rather than later.

metro-2033-moscow

3. Nuclear War

It is unlikely but not impossible that World War III will escalate to a major nuclear exchanges between the US and Russia.

Since the tone of this article has so far been pessimistic, now is as good a time as any to inject a “positive” note.

Even a full-scale thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the US is patently survivable. The theory of “nuclear winters”, at least in its wilder variants (drops of many tens of degrees), has been long discredited. The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 was approximately equal in megatonnage to that of all the world’s current nuclear arsenals, and yet it merely led to a single “year without a summer” that did not even produce any major famines in a pre-industrial world. Fallout radiation levels decay rapidly, and it will be safe to emerge from shelters almost everywhere after just two weeks. Most rural areas and many small towns would be almost unaffected, at least directly. Sadly, there will be no monster mutants roaming the post-apocalyptic plains – even in the Fallout video games, that was the result of a biological weapon, not of nuclear weapons.

Now to be sure, some modest percentage of the world population will die, and a majority of the capital stock in the warring nations will be destroyed.

However, this destruction would have been far from total even during the 1950s, when missile accuracy was lower, urban population density in the US was higher, and total megatonnage was much larger. Here is a table of the percentage of capital stock that nuclear war theorist Herman Kahn (On Thermonuclear War) expected to survive in the US following a nuclear war with the USSR:

nuclear-war-capital-stock

As Herman Kahn might have said, this is a tragic but nonetheless distinguishable outcome compared to a true “existential risk” to the human species.

Now to be sure, they will be some pretty cardinal changes.

There will be a modest global cooling, and a collapse of the global economy. Many Third World countries may indeed slip into famine due to the breakdown of global trade.

The US, Russia, and chunks of Western Europe will be economically and demographically shattered, having lost 10%-25% of their population and perhaps 80% of their GDP.

Although the majority – probably the vast majority (90%+) – of the world’s population will survive, that is extremely unlikely to include myself. Although Moscow has the A-135 anti-missile system, which uniquely uses 10 kiloton nuclear missiles to knock down incoming nuclear missiles – in the process flattening much of the surrounding Moscow oblast – it cannot stop a barrage of hundreds of missiles. The most it can do is buy a bit of extra time for the Kremlin elites to descend into the D6 secret subway system and spirit themselves off to remote control bunkers such as the one at Mount Yamantau.

Meanwhile, the world’s new hegemon – assuming it managed to mostly stay out of the line of nuclear fire – will be China.

Although some Europeans, especially our best representatives, might rue this development, it would on some level be quite well deserved and even appropriate.

That is because getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes is really, really retarded, and stupidity needs to be punished.

Comments

  1. sudden death says

    tbh, exactly Russian imperialists are the only ones getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes as no one else is even contemplating escalating to nuclear strikes because of Syria deals, except them.

  2. Just have to rush in down here before the door closes.

  3. German_reader says

    There will be a modest global cooling

    That sounds quite positive as well, at least one wouldn’t need to have to worry that much about global warming then.
    Very gloomy scenario on your part, looks to me like you see no good way out for Russia.

    That is because getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes is really, really retarded

    Fully in agreement. If it does come to a general conflagration, I hope that at least a few nukes will also land on Tel Aviv, Ryadh and Ankara.

  4. The reality is that risk of nuclear war in the near future, is probably somewhere like 0.1% chance. Sometimes in tense moments the risk increases – maybe as far as 0.2% or 0.3% chance (illustrative numbers- but you get the idea.)

  5. Felix Keverich says

    This is bigger than Syria. We’re talking about rules of international order here. We want the USA to accept some limits on its behavior, you can’t just invade countries and overthrow governments on a whim.

    For the first time in a long time US is being forced to consider the costs of its agressive foreign policy. Mattis said it himself today: the reason why USA is not bombing Assad already is because of a risk of “uncontrolled escalation” in the region, i.e. they are scared that Russia will kick their ass. Trump also apprears to have backtracked today.

  6. In a cheerful mood this morning, I see.

    Worth considering one point. The vulnerability in extremis of the Russian expeditionary force in Syria was always obvious to anyone informed, and undoubtedly will have been uppermost in the minds of Putin and all the senior military men in the Kremlin at the time the decision was made to deploy. These are not reckless men. If it was and is a gamble, it’s a calculated one.

    The point is they’ve already got plans for how to respond to a full US attack, whether it’s to fold or to escalate elsewhere, or whatever.

    The way I see it, there are only really Russia, Iran and China and their allies standing between the world and return to complete unipolar US dominance, which this time would be pushed all the way to full world government from Washington – the fabled leftist boot stamping on humanity’s face forever, with nowhere to escape to or to show a different way, because there’s nowhere “outside”. So there isn’t really much choice – retreat or appeasement just means fighting them later in a less advantageous position. But longer term, time is against the core US sphere, as their share of world gdp shrinks inexorably. All that is needed is to sustain resistance for a little longer. Then we can all breathe a sigh of relief before moving on to fighting desperately against the next major threat to humanity – probably how to deal with excess Chinese power.

    Accepting the risk of nuclear devastation rather than giving in is a necessary part of that resistance. It’s no big deal, really. If it happens, it happens. Those of us older than about 40 years old grew up with it and only some of us let it break us and drive us to drooling unilateralism.

  7. fredyetagain aka superhonky says

    “If it does come to a general conflagration, I hope that at least a few nukes will also land on Tel Aviv, Ryadh and Ankara.”

    Ditto. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

  8. This is bigger than Syria. We’re talking about rules of international order here. We want the USA to accept some limits on its behavior, you can’t just invade countries and overthrow governments on a whim.

    Exactly. Either the US comes to terms with that, or they’ll have to be made to behave – probably ultimately by increasing Chinese power and influence.

    In the meantime, they need to pay a price whenever they resort to brutish threats as in this case. The best way in this case would be to beef up support for the Syrian government – the one thing guaranteed to make the lobbies pushing for US attacks grind their teeth.

  9. Spisarevski says

    Carriers are not easy to sink, but I think you overestimate them, and underestimate the various missiles that can deal with them, including the newest Kinzhal. Carriers do not have the armor of the battleships of WW2.

    As for all the bases nearby, a a bunch of nuclear tipped cruise missiles will quickly erase that advantage.
    So then the Americans will be the ones who will face the tough choice – strike Russia itself and commit suicide, or back off? Precisely because NATO has so many bases around and Russia doesn’t, once these bases are wiped out (which can be done with nuclear tactical weapons like cruise missiles and Iskanders, not ICBMs) then NATO will have a balance sheet of 2 destroyed Russian bases in Syria against many more NATO bases destroyed in the Mideast and Europe.

    Of course, wiping out all nearby NATO bases with tactical nuclear weapons still takes balls, and looking at the latest incident with the Russian fishing ship arrested by Ukraine (which Russia can absolutely ruin in so many ways without even trying, and still doesn’t respond) doesn’t give me much hope.

  10. Thorfinnsson says

    I doubt that Russia will manage to sink or even disable an aircraft carrier in either of the latter two scenarios. Contra the War Nerd’s fantasies about suicide motorboats taking them out, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is a 100,000 ton metallic honeycomb with hundreds of watertight compartments, protected by a screen of smaller ships, submarines, and fighters. Sinking these leviathans is really, really hard.

    The truth is that we have no idea.

    The gayvy refuses to conduct objective tests of the Aegis BMD, rolling airframe missiles, or standard missiles.

    This suggests their performance is not what is claimed.

    We also don’t know how good Russian antiship missiles are. How many of them are there?

    Regardless of the size of American carriers, enough missile strikes will at least result in a mission kill if not a sinking. They are also not armored in the way earlier naval warships were, something that was shown to be critically stupid during the Falklands War.

    Damage control will be non-existent owing to the fact that one-fifth of the crew consists of women. The moment the ship is hit all the women will become hysterical, and men will focus on the women instead of the ship.

    The justification for not armoring warships was the Operation Crossroads Test Baker, but this was a dubious conclusion. The ex-German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen for instance only sunk because it had no crew and thus succumbed to flooding.

    Owing to the short range of the F/A-18 Sucker Hornet the gayvy might need to put its carrier(s) in range of coastal batteries, which means that aircraft (or ships) don’t need to get in missile shot range and expose themselves to Aegis or fighters.

    Tankers and AEWC aircraft will need to stay far away from Syria owing to the S-400. Deployment of MiG-31s and more Sukhois can increase this.

    Russia obviously can’t win any extended campaign in Syria, but it’s quite possible that by prepositioning enough anti-ship missiles and firing platforms that it could defeat an allied naval squadron. This would then put NATO+GCC in the gloomy situation you described for Russia following a defeat in Syria, with the exception that NATO+GCC can double down on Syria which Russia cannot.

    So a deterrent strategy could be very publicly deploying Tu-22M3 and MiG-31 squadrons to Syria. The Tu-160 units could also be deployed to Southern Russia. A squadron of Tu-160s could penetrate Turkish airspace unintercepted and fire a salvo of perhaps 100 or so anti-ship missiles.

    The gayvy’s doctrine is to prevent its ships from being found by an adversary, but I really do not see how this is possible in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Martyanov is ridiculous but he may have a point on this matter.

    Then there’s submarines. Unfortunately for Russia there is no way to introduce additional boats into the Mediterranean without detection, but this could be a feature rather than a bug. The gayvy in its own exercises with NATO allies routinely gets its carriers sunk by other NATO submarines.

    Admirals are aware of these exercises, and within the gayvy itself submariners have a pithy saying:

    Shit floats to the surface

    .

    Russian subs entering the Mediterranean in numbers would be a deterrent, and in a shooting war could undertake missile shots on surface ships and potentially torpedo attacks if they can get in range.

    The Kilo-class boats already there may already be in range undetected.

    Trump’s reaction to a naval squadron being sunk would of course be to escalate. But Britain and France might react differently.

    For that matter what defensive purpose does Russia’s surface navy really serve? Russia is a continental power with no dependence on seaborne imports and can thus risk its entire fleet. Deploy the entire fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean, North Sea, and Eastern Seaboard. Yes they’ll be lost in a real war, but people will think twice about starting that war. Russian warships physically visible to people in, say, New York City might cause them to think twice about poking the bear. Punishing the Assman seems much less appetizing when the prospect of a cruise missile striking your office is very real.

    Think like Trump. Go big or go home.

    Militarily, this is the least risky option. However, Putin will face rising domestic discontent as Western attempts to strangle the Russian economy transition to a new and far more intensive phase, and living standards collapse.

    How long will the “buffer” of 80% approval ratings hold up? People don’t like losers, as the Argentine junta discovered.

    Capitulation would result in a coup d’etat orchestrated by Rogozin and Shoigu I suspect.

  11. The new American secretary of state is sounding aggressive in relation to today.

  12. sudden death says

    We’re talking about rules of international order here. We want the USA to accept some limits on its behavior, you can’t just invade countries and overthrow governments on a whim.

    It is more than ironic that the main beef of Russian imperialists and their propagandists against Putin is that he did not invade whole of Ukraine and overthrow their government on the whim 🙂 So they indeed do not care about rules of international order at all.

    It is needed to concede, however this argument so far cannot be used against Putin himself as he left about 85% of Ukraine directly untouched yet 😉

  13. Anonymous says

    I think more people will die than that. Capital destruction, loss of roads, and spoilage will see 50 to 90 percent of the population of the first world. Internet infrastructure will be badly affected, and large numbers of health services will cease to be able to provide. Worst of all, research into artificial wombs(and thus the ability to remove women from existence) will be halted.

    1. As I mentioned in the other thread, the most likely likely scenario where Russia invades the Baltics starts with NATO blockading Kaliningrad exclave (naturally, without acknowledging that that’s what they are doing.)

    2. Syria was an old Soviet ally. After the collapse of the USSR, America did a thorough job of punishing old Soviet and Russian allies; and Russia could not help them. Many of them got the message and tried to reorient themselves toward the West, but even that didn’t help some of them. Anyway, those who said that Russia was supporting an ally were not wrong.

    3. Not that I think that occupation of Novorossia is necessarily a good idea, but there would be no partisan resistance there. Especially if Russia immediately raises pensions and government workers’ salaries to the Russian levels.

    4. “Support [in Crimea] for joining Russia going up from ~40% to ~90%.” As has already been pointed out to you, you are comparing apples and oranges.

  14. “Sadly, there will be no monster mutants roaming the post-apocalyptic plains – even in the Fallout video games, that was the result of a biological weapon, not of nuclear weapons.”

    Whilst on the topic, do you know of any other, non-nuclear, WMDs that may be deployed in a full blown war, and their effects on the population? There’s some pretty creepy stuff like ebolapox ( or even novichok ) that’s mentioned on the web, but there’s a dearth of any info on their efficacy.

  15. Felix Keverich says

    The Ukraine has no government, it has a junta that seized power in a coup. The coup was funded and directed by the US. Or to put another way, the Ukraine is a territory, where US-backed “moderate rebels” won. You only see a contradiction because you’re misinformed about events in the Ukraine.

    PS: you sound a lot like Mr. Hack, is this your new account?

  16. Thorfinnsson says

    It is more than ironic that the main beef of Russian imperialists and their propagandists against Putin is that he did not invade whole of Ukraine and overthrow their government on the whim 🙂 So they indeed do not care about rules of international order at all.

    It is needed to concede, however this argument so far cannot be used against Putin himself as he left about 85% of Ukraine directly untouched yet 😉

    Why would they care about the rules of the international order? These rules are gay and the product of the demented fever dreams of the cack-brained President Wilson.

    I wish some UNSC permanent member would start vetoing everything in order to cripple the Gaynited Nations.

    The Ukraine is a gay, fake country conjured into existence by the Imperial German Great General Staff. Its very existence is deeply offensive and it must be destroyed.

  17. OPCW inspectors will begin its work in Syria on Saturday (14th of April).

    So it seems nothing will happen this week.

    https://www.rbc.ru/politics/12/04/2018/5acf82c79a794783205fa03d?from=main

  18. Interesting poll results, in part encouraging and in part unsurprisingly discouraging:

    Fewer than a quarter of Britons (22%) say they would support these attacks, with almost twice as many opposing (43%).
    ….
    This is despite the fact that the majority of Britons (61%) believe that the Syrian government or their allies probably did carry out a chemical attack. Only 10% think that either there probably wasn’t a chemical weapons attack or that something else happened. The remaining 29% said that they don’t know.
    ….
    The question on missile strikes was one of several on possible interventions we tested this time around (or equivalent to show we’re back to talking about current stats). Options to send in British and allied troops to either protect civilians or depose President Bashar al-Assad see even higher levels of opposition (50% for the former, 51% for the latter).

    However there is majority support for the enforcement of a no fly zone over Syria, with six in ten (60%) saying they would back such a measure and less than one in ten (9%) opposed.

    Even though most Britons believe a chemical attack has been perpetrated, only 22% of Britons would support a cruise missile attack against the Syrian military
    [1600 adults, questioned 10th/11th April]

    Rather bizarre when you consider that “enforcing a no fly zone” would be a dramatically more provocative policy choice than “launching cruise missile strikes against Syrian military targets”.

    As we have seen in past research, such as when we last looked into RAF strikes against ISIS back in 2015, there is a dramatic gender gap. Only 14% of women support missile attacks, with 47% opposed. Amongst men those figures are 31% and 40% respectively.

    And here’s the encouraging bit for the Israeli/jewish lobby advocates amongst us, showing how easy such opinion is to manipulate:

    In the past we have seen support for foreign interventions fluctuate as events develop. A good example of this is when YouGov tracked public opinion towards RAF strikes against ISIS in Syria during 2014 and 2015. At the end of August 2014 the numbers were finely balanced, with 37% in support and 37% opposed. Just a week later, after the release of a video in which an Israeli-American journalist was beheaded, support jumped up to 48%. Support then peaked at 60% in September 2015

  19. sudden death says

    Why would they care about the rules of the international order? These rules are gay and the product of the demented fever dreams of the cack-brained President Wilson.

    But they are pretending to be caring, that is the most funny thing of all 🙂 On a more serious note, in fact there is no and never has been any rules rules of the international order except “might is right” and so called “rules” are just following from that one rule.

    The Ukraine is a gay, fake country conjured into existence by the Imperial German Great General Staff. Its very existence is deeply offensive and it must be destroyed.

    As Syria is a gay, fake country conjured into existence as a product of dismantling Osman empire by the Allies after WWI 😉 But still officialy no one in power at the West is calling to eradicate Syria as entity so at least this is not inconsistent with politics of safeguarding Ukraine from RF.

  20. A very good article.

    If I want to nitpick (for which I apologize) it’s only Baltics. Don’t see that as possible as the rest in the article.

    And, the result of nuclear war feels a bit optimistic. Haven’t, though, dug into that deeply enough recently.
    Still “On the Beach” mode.

  21. Greg Cochran once suggested you could go evil with smallpox: https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/weaponizing-smallpox/

    But really, there’s a reason that nukes are what we mean by WMD’s 90% of the time and why powerful states allow them but frown on the others.

    They’re much more powerful than chemical weapons, and much more controllable than biological ones.

  22. Agree.

    Except for

    It’s no big deal, really. If it happens, it happens. Those of us older than about 40 years old grew up with it and only some of us let it break us and drive us to drooling unilateralism.

    On my way to work I pass by a couple of kindergartens and primary schools. Doesn’t feel right.

  23. Highly encouraging – and genuinely surprising (to me).

    So WTF is up with the comments threads I’m seeing, on Reddit (/r/worldnews, not neoliberalism.txt hive minds like /r/politics), on the Guardian, etc.

    Are most of the actual bots run by Langley?

  24. sudden death says

    “The Ukraine has no government, it has a junta that seized power in a coup. The coup was funded and directed by the US. Or to put another way, the Ukraine is a territory, where US-backed “moderate rebels” won. You only see a contradiction because you’re misinformed about events in the Ukraine.”

    Leaving aside semantics, your “concerns” about invading countries and overthrowing governments on a whim goes out of the window as soon as you consider those governments illegitimate for any reason you may like. So what is any difference there from those who consider that Syrian government is just illegitimate for any reason they like too? 🙂

  25. Daniel Chieh says

    If you really wanted to end the world as a final spittle from hell’s heart, though, biological weapons would quite effective. The Black Death, not even an engineered agent, killed around 30%/60% of the European population.

  26. Interesting comments, thanks.

    Capitulation would result in a coup d’etat orchestrated by Rogozin and Shoigu I suspect.

    Very much doubt it will come from either of them (someone like Sechin is I think the likeliest candidate for that, yet still totally unlikely)

    Shoigu is notably unenthusiastic about politics, and if Mikhail Zygar’s account in All the Kremlin’s Men is to be believed, he was even against the Crimea operation in 2014.

    Rogozin is one of the few bona fide Russian nationalists in a senior position, but I don’t think he has any patronage network around him. He is not actually a silovik.

    This is not the first time that you have alluded to the possibility of a silovik coup. Note that the siloviks are a disparate lot. Sechin is merely capo of the biggest subgroup.

  27. Thorfinnsson says

    But they are pretending to be caring, that is the most funny thing of all 🙂 On a more serious note, in fact there is no and never has been any rules rules of the international order except “might is right” and so called “rules” are just following from that one rule.

    Russia’s relative lack of might is of course why they appeal to these so-called rules.

    As Syria is a gay, fake country conjured into existence as a product of dismantling Osman empire by the Allies after WWI 😉 But still officialy no one in power at the West is calling to eradicate Syria as entity so at least this is not inconsistent with politics of safeguarding Ukraine from RF.

    Syria is a fake country but it is not gay. The Assman is the world’s greatest survivor outside of the Kim dynasty.

    In the Middle East nations largely don’t exist so political organization above the tribal level is best done on imperial or religious lines.

  28. Polish Perspective says

    https://i.imgur.com/8hRI8ev.png

    These “positive” test samples will likely be a re-run of the notorious so-called “slam dunk” yellow cake evidence which was presented in the propaganda push before the invasion of Iraq.

    This is on the heels of Mattis admitting in February of this year that there was no evidence of Assad using chemical weapons. Taking time to manufacture evidence implies a much greater degree of seriousness this time.

    P.S. I strikes me that the only voices that are resolutely against war are now on the dissident right. The so-called “anti war left” has completely collapsed. In the US, the so-called “liberal” media is parroting the same propaganda line. The only difference is that they are calling for taking more refugees in the fallout.

    I believe this is inevitable if you’re unwilling to discuss the elephant in the room: the Israel lobby and its central role in pushing for this war. And the left is unwilling to go there. So is the mainstream right.

  29. German_reader says

    Rather bizarre when you consider that “enforcing a no fly zone” would be a dramatically more provocative policy choice than “launching cruise missile strikes against Syrian military targets”.

    I think many people don’t quite understand what enforcing a no fly zone would actually mean…if they did, opposition would probably be higher.
    I don’t think opinions on strikes against ISIS are really comparable btw, I personally supported that given that ISIS was a clear security threat to Europe. Assad’s government has never supported terrorism against European or American targets and is no threat to us, that’s a rather different situation.

  30. Thorfinnsson says

    I’m not Russian and don’t speak Russian, so I rely on you (and some mil bloggers) for information on Russia.

    I also won’t learn Russian because I decided that I hate foreign languages and learning them is beta.

    I picked Shoigu and Rogozin simply because of their positions in the power structure and because Rogozin is known to be a nationalist.

    It doesn’t need to be them. It could very well be people I’ve never even heard of.

    I just don’t see Putin surviving if he completely gives up after being humiliated by the “main adversary”.

    For that matter China might not have much use for Putin if he gives in either. Russia’s natural resources and defense technology are attractive to China, but the main benefit China provides to Russia is its stubborn resistance to the West and willingess to wheel and fight (to use Pat Buchanan’s language).

    China doesn’t appear to have extensive political espionage capabilities the way the West and Russia do, but it does have a lot of money.

  31. Shoygu actually has some popularity – if not with ordinary people, at least with the kind who are commenting on message boards. None of them have the personal skills or charizma to replace Putin.

  32. Anonymous says

    Anatoly, I think the death rates around the world would be much higher due to dependence on electrical and computer infrastructure for basic necessities.

    EMP attacks alone, without nuclear warheads actually striking and physically destroying anything, could potentially kill off the vast majority of Americans.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5012655/North-Korea-wipe-90-cent-population.html

    “A single warhead delivered by a North Korean satellite could shut down the entire electric grid and other critical infrastructure for more than a year.

    In that time, Mr Pry contends up to 90 per cent of the US population could perish from starvation, disease and societal collapse.”

  33. Big question: do you nuke a place like Detroit?

    I wouldn’t, but I don’t know if they ever remove target cities. Probably not.

  34. Anonymous says

    I think more people will die than that. Capital destruction, loss of roads, and spoilage will see 50 to 90 percent of the population of the first world. Internet infrastructure will be badly affected, and large numbers of health services will cease to be able to provide. Worst of all, research into artificial wombs(and thus the ability to remove women from existence) will be halted.

    I agree. I have researched this stuff since the 80’s. I would say nuking (thermonuclear) NYC, DC, Boston alone would be a crippling blow to U.S. You add in LA, San Fran, Chicago, Philly, Seattle, & Dallas and the U.S. as we know it is done. That’s just 9 targets. Ending Western Europe would take about the same. Now, here’s this problem with this. I live in D.C. and Boston. I would miss out on the fun of the post-apocalyptic world that I grew up imaging about and wanted to get the chance to experience. The cool, apocalyptic opening scene to the movie The Stand, with The Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper, almost made me become a virologist. https://youtu.be/636vGZK0EdA

  35. Polish Perspective says

    OT: I recently found out about Hans Stimmann, one of the few architectural heroes of the last few decades. He was responsible for urban planning in Berlin from 1991, when it became unified, and kept it for about 15 years. An interesting profile of him from about a decade ago, when he finally retired. Most of his rules are still intact.

    http://archive.is/F82Qd

    And a more personal interview:

    http://projectbaltia.com/en/interview-en/4397/

    If you’re interested in urban planning, architecture etc, it’s a very interesting read.

  36. Using Herman Kahn as your go-to authority on the survivability of nuclear war is very like using Anthony Watts as your go-to authority on global warming.
    I don’t agree with anything else in this piece either, but you can probably guess that.

  37. Seamus Padraig says

    I don’t frequent Reddit, but The Guardian’s gotten pretty notorious for censoring their comment section over the past few years.

  38. Highly encouraging – and genuinely surprising (to me).

    To me, as well, so I can’t help you with an explanation. I think it’s just general opposition to military action despite believing (mostly) the “gas attack” nonsense.

    So WTF is up with the comments threads I’m seeing, on Reddit (/r/worldnews, not neoliberalism.txt hive minds like /r/politics), on the Guardian, etc.

    Are most of the actual bots run by Langley?

    The Guardian’s pretty tightly policed and the management there has been obsessive about “Russian propaganda” in the comments for several years now, so that might be the explanation there, along with a selective readership effect.

    I’m not familiar with Reddit but that should be less policed, by reputation, surely?

    By the way, I’m not a big fan of the Guardian’s cartoonist Steve Bell, but I thought this one was funny in the light of Trump’s tweet contradiction today:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/apr/12/steve-bell-on-trumps-tweets-on-syria-cartoon

  39. Seamus Padraig says

    There is one other reason for Russian intervention in Syria: to prevent Saudi Arabia and/or Qatar from building their pipelines through Syria into Europe. That would enable the Germans to finally ditch Nordstream II (and probably Nordstream I, as well), which would immensely please Washington. As long as that doesn’t happen, the Euro-weenies remain in an awkward position: they keep sending their money eastward to pay for Russian oil/natgas, but–thanks to their own, boneheaded sanctions–get no money back from Russia anymore. (The Russians, of course, have simply started sourcing more of their purchases to Asia, or stepping up their own domestic production.)

  40. I don’t think opinions on strikes against ISIS are really comparable btw, I personally supported that given that ISIS was a clear security threat to Europe. Assad’s government has never supported terrorism against European or American targets and is no threat to us, that’s a rather different situation.

    I opposed them (my feeling was the Iraqis, Syrians, Russians and Iranians were more than capable of dong the job and I didn’t trust my government or any of the European US poodles not to misuse any authorisation for military action to actually help the jihadists, because they transparently were all in the Israeli/US bag on Syrian regime change), but I recognise the argument is not the same.

    However, I only referenced that bit to draw attention to the ease with which the polling results can be influenced.

  41. Yeah, your earlier description of those comments sounded a little too pessimistic.

    Maybe the situation has gotten so bad as of 2018 that most “Russian trolls” and those who know more about the real alternatives to Assman just stay away even from those sites, from those type of articles and certainly from the comments.

    How does the Guardian (etc) differ from the rest of the MSM, atleast when it comes to things like Russia and Assad? Most people certainly don’t give a shit about Syria.

    Some of those results are really bizarre, though. Most don’t seem to know what a no fly zone means. I guess it sounds harmless. They also don’t seem to realize there are Russian planes and other assets in Syria.

    Also, do they really think that the Syrian “rebels” are some kind of pro-Western freedom fighters? That they couldn’t possibly be behind the attack? Of course none of that is surprising, when looking at the MSM’s coverage.

  42. That was just the economic aspect.

    Survivability of nuclear war is comprehensively covered here: http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p904.htm (full book is there in HTML)

  43. By the way, I seem to recall the commenter London Bob (I think) had a better read on public opinion yesterday or the day before – he commented iirc that the public is against it. He’s usually pretty switched on generally.

    Maybe if he shows up he’ll explain how he came to that conclusion. Perhaps he just mixes with a better set than I do….

  44. It’s something that politicians like to fearmonger about – there has even been a wonderful book about it (One Second After) – but I recall reading that actual EMP tests suggest that survivability of civilian electronics (e.g. most vehicles) will actually be quite good.

    Note that things will only become catastrophic enough to cause a population collapse if virtually all vehicles (esp. trucks) get knocked out. If it’s “only” 90%, that should still be enough to haul around the basics such as food and fuel. Third World countries do with as little or less.

  45. I strikes me that the only voices that are resolutely against war are now on the dissident right. The so-called “anti war left” has completely collapsed. In the US, the so-called “liberal” media is parroting the same propaganda line.

    In the UK, Corbyn (and George Galloway, although he’s not very important now) have at least been consistently good on the issue of American Imperialism.

  46. How does the Guardian (etc) differ from the rest of the MSM, atleast when it comes to things like Russia and Assad?

    Luke Harding works for the Guardian.

  47. LondonBob says

    This topic is a case of bad timing given the US military’s desire to avoid WWIII has won the day.

    The reality is we don’t really know how well all these systems work. Is the S400 really all that, the US isn’t keen to find out? Bear in mind the S200 shot down two of the latest Israeli F16s. This means that the US can be tamed in Syria using old 1967 technology. It’s missiles (on a F-18) couldn’t even down a SAA Su-22 from 1970.

    The reality is Russia doesn’t want to use the S400, having to do so would be a failure. The threat of the S400 is where its strategic value lies.

  48. Thorfinnsson says

    Doomerist salesmen like Alex Jones also go on about this. Nothing against Alex Jones of whom I’m a big fan, but most doomerism is nonsense.

    Take cars and trucks for instance.

    The vast majority are made out of steel. This inhibits magnetic fields (generally).

    Below is a photo of an engine control unit made by Robert Bosch GmbH, the world’s largest manufacturer of ECUs:

    http://cdn.bmwblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ECU_E46M3-BOSCH-MS40_Bosch_Motorsport_ECU_for_E46_M3_kit_ECU.jpg

    Surrounded in metal as well.

    The typical car is a rolling faraday cage. There have been cases of cars being directly struck by lightning and continuing to function.

    Cars & trucks which do get taken out by EMPs would not be out of service forever either. ECUs from warehouses would be installed, and if really necessary clever rednecks would jury rig cars into service with hand-made carburetors and throttles.

    Communications networks would also not be totally wiped out. Fiber optic lines for instance would not be taken out by EMP attacks, and many cellular and radio networks would survive. Remember these are already designed to survive lightning strikes.

    The biggest b.s. is how “the grid” would be taken out due to transformer construction. It is said these transformers have such long lead times that civilization would simply collapse before new ones could be built.

    The alleged constraints here are tight supply of grain-oriented electrical steel and high purity copper magnet wire.

    The truth is these are not needed to produce transformers…at all. You can make transformers out of pig iron and aluminum wire if you want. That’s not done because it results in great efficiency losses. Nobody is going to care about that in the event of recovering from a nuclear war.

    I am sure you can go right down the line with all of these doomsday civilization collapse prophecies and find that they’re all b.s.

    The only existential threat to industrial civilization is population replacement by Africans.

    The oft-repeated example comparing the trajectories of Hiroshima and Detroit since 1945 are illustrative.

  49. LondonBob says

    Gut feel, friends, Twitter and comment threads. The desperation with which the media has pushed things is a good sign.

    Interestingly even Andrew Neil seems highly sceptical, not just about Syria but even Salisbury.

  50. they can take out the nato bases without using nukes,.-

  51. Woefully overpessimistic. NATO put up a thousand planes over Kosovo for 78 day’s and fired 349 HARM missiles at Serbian SA-6 systems…and scored only three kills (on 22 targets).

    The gap between what the Serbs were using and what the Russians have at their disposal in Syria is enormous, whereas the improvement in SEAD capability has been relatively minor.

    Syria is also within combat range of Flankers taking off from Russia’s southern military district, so there’s more than just the aircraft at Khmeimin in play.

    It is very unlikely that hot combat in Syria would last more than a day or two, perhaps even an hour or two, before risk of escalation to nuclear war would lead both sides to a ceasefire. Russian forces in Syria are fully equipped to survive a situation like that.

  52. Thorfinnsson says

    This topic is a case of bad timing given the US military’s desire to avoid WWIII has won the day.

    Indeed, but the threat could materialize again later. The enemy is determined and evil and will continue false flagging. They will stop at nothing to destroy the Assman.

    The reality is we don’t really know how well all these systems work. Is the S400 really all that, the US isn’t keen to find out? Bear in mind the S200 shot down two of the latest Israeli F16s. This means that the US can be tamed in Syria using old 1967 technology. It’s missiles (on a F-18) couldn’t even down a SAA Su-22 from 1970.

    The reality is Russia doesn’t want to use the S400, having to do so would be a failure. The threat of the S400 is where its strategic value lies.

    Right, we have no idea. That said I assume the S-400 is more likely to work than Aegis BMD for the simple reason that Russia actually feels threatened. There’s plenty of graft in Russia’s military-industrial complex, but it seems to routinely successfully execute major projects. Meanwhile the US military-industrial complex produces failure after failure this century.

    The new Gerald Ford class aircraft carrier is a case in point. $13 billion and it cannot launch or recover aircraft because the catapult and arresting wires don’t work. But it does have gender neutral bathrooms so the transgender sailors Mad Duck Mattis so loves can feel “comfortable”.

    The gayvy is arguably easier to fight today then it used to be. Carrier air wings are now 50% smaller (wouldn’t want to give up a precious, precious hull) and the F/A-18 Sucker Hornet is worse than the aircraft it replaced. Carriers also no longer have ASW aircraft. Hulls and aircraft are older now, and training time is down.

    Of course even during the Cold War the gayvy wasn’t a serious force other than its subs. Rather than get the F-111B to work they moved onto the F-14. A fine aircraft in many respects, but it lacked the necessary range to intercept Soviet naval aviation.

    The F-111B would’ve worked just fine with the F-15 engine (only two years away when the F-111B was canceled) and by not putting it on Midway-class carriers, but they canceled it anyway. The reason reason was that the gayvy hated the idea of sharing an aircraft with the chair force.

    The entire surface fleet is just Pacific War LARPing whose sole purpose is to have as many capital ships as possible so as to create as many flag officer ranks as possible. The flag officers in turn are only interested in toeing the contractor line so they can get cushy contractor jobs in retirement.

    The gayvy doesn’t actually see China and Russia as its adversaries. If it did it would take ASW seriously. The real enemies are the army and the chair force.

    If Russia wants to strike first they should do so during the Army-Navy football game.

  53. reiner Tor says

    You can make transformers out of pig iron and aluminum wire if you want.

    Only Autobots, or Decepticons as well?

  54. I can’t understand Anatoly’s obsession for occupying Ukraine. If there is a face-saving revenge operation, occupation is unnecessary. Both Ukraine and the Baltic mini-states can be easily reduced to rubber just by carpet bombing them and by injecting chaos afterward to impede the creation of new governments there. The will be reduced to Somalia/Libya in in East Europe. Cheaper and less troublesome than grabbing them.

  55. Anonymous says

    Here’s a different view than the one Karlin gave. Karlin sounded convincing until I heard this guy. This is Yakov Kedmi, a former Israeli Defense Forces Special Ops officer, talking about a possible U.S. and allies confrontation with the Russian military. Unlike Karlin, Kedmi says the U.S. forces would be hit hard like never before and there’d be catastrophic losses pretty quickly. They’d not be prepared for the hits they’d get for a real military like the Russian military. I don’t speak Russian so I had to the read the subtitles: https://youtu.be/hdp36IQGqXU

  56. reiner Tor says

    Is it available in written form? My family is sleeping around me, and it’d be difficult to get a headphone or go to another room right now.

  57. Anonymous says

    Just watch with the sound turned down and read the English subtitles.

  58. Daniel Chieh says

    The most it can do is buy a bit of extra time for the Kremlin elites to descend into the D6 secret subway system and spirit themselves off to remote control bunkers such as the one at Mount Yamantau.

    I have been thinking about this for awhile, actually. What are the preparations that Russia had for the presumed nuclear apocalypse? Was there a doctrine of second strike? I heard of the Dead Hand system(which seemed to automate retaliation?); was the idea of remote control bunkers such as you mentioned an additional support to ensure that if, for example, traditional nuclear winter was triggered, retaliation would continue until all such bunkers were destroyed by enemy action and/or all weaponry exhausted?

  59. German_reader says

    The Israeli guy claims there’s a “very high chance” of US destroyers which fire missiles at Syria being sunk (presumably by Russian submarines or missiles) within a short time after the start of hostilities.
    He also claims the US military knows this and will advise Trump against strikes, due to the Russians’ warning they might take out launching systems and not just intercept missiles.

  60. LondonBob says

    Ah yes Serbia, wasn’t it also the case they couldn’t bomb in bad weather, cloud over the target being a WWII problem. Although Balkan geography is more favourable, not that Western Syria is desert like the East.

  61. reiner Tor says

    I always think about how the Japanese destroyed the HMS Prince of Wales or how the battleship Bismarck was destroyed. Maybe shipbuilding technology advanced a lot since then, and of course the old battleships were smaller than current US CVNs, not to mention the level of protection they have, but I’m sure the things hitting them are also way better.

    Overall I’m unsure about the ultimate fate of these things under the circumstances of a modern war against a peer (China in 20 years) or near peer (Russia or China currently) adversary. Martyanov is so over the top that I don’t find him so convincing.

  62. reiner Tor says

    Anatoly, you forgot to continue how the war was going to unfold. You only described the beginning, the nuclear exchange, and then talk about how society would survive.

    But it means that the war would continue. Or do you think there would be an immediate ceasefire?

    Also, I like the idea of taking out carriers with ICBMs. The Russian command should do that if it comes to a full nuclear exchange, so that the US Navy is taken out in its entirety. That’s important for the continuation of the war effort after the nuclear exchange.

  63. LondonBob says

    I like Martyanov, his expertise is missed. Ships are just floating targets these days. Even in the Falklands War a few were sunk and missile technology is far superior now.

  64. reiner Tor says

    I also like reading his whitepilling articles, but he keeps going so vehemently that I always keep discounting what he says. I’d be happy if he proved right, because a serious American defeat might be a way to de-escalation. For example if NATO allies decided to leave the sinking USA ship, or something.

  65. reiner Tor says

    I think I can only set the YouTube app volume if I start it, so cannot avoid a few seconds. Anyway, I prefer reading. German_reader already wrote most of the important points. I might watch tomorrow.

  66. reiner Tor says

    Thanks!

  67. OK, so the headline is maybe a little misleading, but this is welcome news regardless:

    In surprise move, China to mount live-fire navy drills in Taiwan Strait ‘in show of support for Russia over Syria’

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2141505/surprise-move-china-mount-live-fire-navy-drills-taiwan

  68. You hugely overestimate Russian vulnerability in Syria. As Martynov has already explained in several articles, the new Russian weapons are a game changer. CBG are little more than a defenseless, floating mass of metal against them. If the US military attacks for real, they will suffer huge losses.

  69. Thorfinnsson says

    I always think about how the Japanese destroyed the HMS Prince of Wales or how the battleship Bismarck was destroyed. Maybe shipbuilding technology advanced a lot since then, and of course the old battleships were smaller than current US CVNs, not to mention the level of protection they have, but I’m sure the things hitting them are also way better.

    Very few battleships that were underway were actually sunk solely by aircraft during the war. Note that America kept fighting with battleships through the entire war, though obviously the carrier air wing replaced battleship guns as the main instrument of naval striking power owing to the much greater range of aircraft (battleship gunfire is in fact far more destructive–even today).

    The HMS Prince of Wales, along with Italian battleship Roma, are rather exceptional in this regard. And the Roma is even more exceptional in that it was struck by a guided bomb.

    Compare the fate of the Yamato to the HMS Prince of Wales. The Yamato was attacked by nearly three hundred aircraft and hit with a dozen bombs and at least six torpedos.

    Anti-ship missiles typically have significantly smaller warheads than WW2 torpedoes and armor piercing bombs, though they impart more kinetic energy and any unused propellant can increase damage.

    Modern torpedoes are if anything less powerful than the Long Lance was.

    The main advantage over WW2 anti-shipping weapons is range and guidance.

    Armor can’t make a ship (or anything else) invincible, but it allows it to take more damage and remain on station.

    The combat record of American battleships in the Pacific War is illustrative. After Pearl Harbor not a single American battleship was sunk during the rest of the war. This isn’t because they weren’t attacked or hit. They were routinely attacked and hit.

    Take the USS South Dakota (BB-57), a “treaty” battleship and lead battleship of her class. At the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands the Sodak as she was known was hit by a 550 pound bomb and collided with a destroyer, but she kept on fighting.

    At the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal she took at least 26 hits from Japanese warships, yet still she continued fighting.

    The Sodak was also struck by a 550 bomb at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, but was able to remain on station until the threat had passed.

    Lastly she suffered a magazine explosion in 1945 which caused a fire and kill some of the crew, but the damage was contained.

    Armor and damage control sustain combat by allowing a warship to take more damage yet continue fighting.

    Unarmored warships are easily mission killed (and sunk) even with excellent damage control as the Falklands War proved.

    Armor technology has improved a lot since WW2, and armor is a lot cheaper than, say, the Aegis BMD.

    I am sure our CVNs have excellent, well-thought out automatic and passive damage control systems.

    However human damage control will be awful in combat as was proved by the near sinking of the USS Cole. The USS Cole was attacked by about 500 pounds of high explosive (so comparable to the WW2 Japanese bombs that struck the Sodak) molded into a primitive shaped charge.

    This created a 40 x 60 foot hole in the ship and nearly sunk it. The immediate reaction of the women onboard was to scream and cry, and many men attended to the women instead of saving the ship.

    Something like this literally could not have happened with a WW2 warship of similar displacement, such as a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser.

    The effect of armoring modern warships would be to allow them to soak up a lot more damage. The adversary would then need larger and/or more antiship missiles to successfully cripple or sink them.

    Overall I’m unsure about the ultimate fate of these things under the circumstances of a modern war against a peer (China in 20 years) or near peer (Russia or China currently) adversary. Martyanov is so over the top that I don’t find him so convincing.

    I really don’t know a lot about the Russian or Chinese militaries other than what weapons they have.

    Even then we don’t truly know how good these weapons are, and I’m unsure of what their warstocks are.

    We seem to have a solid technological and quantitative edge over both of them in general, but I have a low opinion of our officers. The enlisted men are decent, but they’re not well-trained.

    But that doesn’t mean Russia or China have better personnel or training.

    Martyanov is no different than The Faker. An internet Russia STRONK buffoon who lives in America. I especially enjoy his absurd, demented hatred of Anatoly Karlin.

  70. Sorry, I meant Martyanov.

  71. RadicalCenter says

    Hey, you’d probably be fined or jailed for that kind of “anti-Semitic” or “racist” comment in Germany, since your proposed targets are cities full of Jews, Arabs, and Turks, respectively. I hope you’re im Ausland.

  72. RadicalCenter says

    What would the US government warmongers and tough-talkers do if CHINA sent some “military and technical advisors” to a Russian-run base in Syria?

    Would the US government be willing to risk killing Chinese personnel?

    I fear and distrust China, but this warmongering crew in charge of “my” country’s government and economy needs to learn that they are not invincible, that threats have consequences whether they are backed up or not, and that not everyone in the world lacks the strength to say “mind your damn business and back off.”

  73. “This is a totally lopsided match, which even the optimistic Russian military analyst Andrey Martyanov acknowledges:”

    ‘Of course, US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there, from several SU-35s to S-300s and S-400s and, possibly, make Peters’ wet dream of keeping the whole ordeal confined to Syria very real. This would work, say against anyone’s military contingent except Russia.'”

    That quote says just the opposite of your analysis. It doesn’t acknowledge your conclusion but contradicts it. Read it again.

  74. Thorfinnsson says

    .

    You hugely overestimate Russian vulnerability in Syria. As Martynov has already explained in several articles, the new Russian weapons are a game changer. CBG are little more than a defenseless, floating mass of metal against them. If the US military attacks for real, they will suffer huge losses.

    How many of these new Russian weapons does Russia have?

    Do they actually work as advertised?

    How good are US CIWS, BMD, electronic warfare, and passive countermeasures?

    Are any of these new Russian weapons in the theater?

    Which platforms can these new weapons be used from?

    Lots of unknowns as you can see.

    What is known is that the US and its allies have far larger forces available to them, and it is easier for them to move these forces into the theater.

  75. @AnatolyKarlin

    the Syrian rebels, and/or their sponsors, now have a perverse incentive to stage further false flag attacks, in the sure knowledge that Trump will no longer have any option but to respond with ever greater force

    It is almost certain that Western – read US Government/Deep State – planners either direct or encourage these forces to conduct false flag attacks simply because they do not have to draw “red” lines in the first place. They’re not drawing it for Israel or Saudi Arabia for example. They not only don’t even just sanction them but enthusiastically supply arms. L

    So it’s fairly clear that the Western response to Syria now is driven by two primary imperatives:

    1. The old one: Continue to overthrow all Arab nationalist regimes that while corrupt cannot be bought to support/pose no threat to Israel (like the Gulf can). Either leaving the in a state of generational chaos or ruled by a weak Islamist regime giving plenty of bombing practice for future Western/Israeli administrations is preferable to have strong, independent, nationalistic societies.
    2. The new one since the Russian intervention: use this as a staging ground for what hardliners – which is pretty much now everyone in the US Deep state – see as the inevitable showdown with Russia which has so far resisted all forms of intimidation and attempts to cripple its development. (This is not to say Russia has not been impacted. In a different world, with the exact same regime but w/o Western sanctions or media hostility, Russia could have been much more successful.)

    These are the Western aims. Like in Chess, none of this is hidden: the Western Deep State knows it as does the Russian Deep State. (The difference between the two Deep states is that the Western ones hide behind a rotating cast of figureheads who get elected one every 2/4 years and take some time to understand their place as to who really is in charge (as Trump is finding out), whereas the Deep State in Russia is clearly visible – it’s Putin and co.)

    Putin knows he cannot defeat the West. The best he could do is resist and carve out a space till the West implodes under its own weight (read internal contradictions, demographics, debt as China/India/others and their populations and economies slowly but surely revert back to the historic share of global GDP till 400 years ago). The West however needs to keep expanding to stay alive – the moment it stops, let alone contracts, it will implode. Again, both sides know this.

    Syria is one theater, Ukraine is another, where the West can rob Russia of the time to develop as well as satisfy its own urge to expand. For a Western planner with the above aims, to humiliate Russia in either theater using overwhelming force is too good an opportunity to pass up.

    The only way I see Russia being able to resist in this case is to explicitly alter its nuclear doctrine to state that not only any existential threat to the home land but any key strategic bases (eg in Syria) allows use of nuclear weapons in defense. Thus by treating these bases as de facto Russian exclaves like Kaliningrad would mean that any attempts to wipe out these bases would represent an existential threat which would allow a nuclear response.

    I’m not sure what the Russian or Syrian legal implications are to alter the nuclear doctrine in this manner but I see this is the only way to give pause to Western planners who at the end of the day know they have more to lose in a nuclear exchange than Russia.

  76. Russia with or without Syrian imbroglio has genuine reason to be skeptical if not downright paranoid of America- UK. This is historical. It can be compared to as if Saddam’s Iraq had come out of death totally rebuilt , and is seeing America doing a similar cameo on other countries to which Iraq has relations.

    US has started backtracking . It has folded before on China on NK and has just pumped more spins and tweets. Syria can be destroyed so can be Russian presence but the day after will be pretty painful for Americans. The pain will be felt in many realms of life but the worst scenario is the likely occurrence of total crash on Wall Street

    Then America would be fighting the crowds inside and the foes outside. It can earn the fate of WW1 Turkey

  77. for-the-record says

    Don’t you have a mute button? All my low-tech stuff does.

  78. Had to give up on commenting on Russia articles at the Guardian since my comments would barely survive more than ten minutes even when on my best behaviour. The strong arm moderation began about four years ago IIRC.

  79. Yakov Kedmi

    https://www.quora.com/Is-Yakov-Kedmi-famous-in-Israel-and-other-countries-What-do-people-think-of-him
    For me ‘Yasha Kedmi’ was sort of vague voice from the past, like previous commenter mentioned until I received several links of his performance on Russian TV propaganda shows. I realized he’s still alive and kicking.

    I was quite upset from what I saw. His personal views don’t matter, I am not sure he has any views at all. Seems like he’s just a paid panelist who says exactly what he is told. I remember him praising Stalin’s policy in one of the recent shows.

    He has no position in Israel but he’s presented as former Chief of Israeli Intelligence, so any nonsense he says is supposedly reflects position of Israel which is hopefully not true.

  80. I think they will have ‘evidence’ of chemical weapons and conjecture regarding who used them. I can’t believe some idiot on the news kept using the phrase ‘weapons of mass destruction’. The tape of ‘survivors’ shows a lot of them alive. Mass destruction? It’s just chlorine. This is pathetically lame. Civilization won’t end because Syrian civilians are gassed.

    The only skeptic in the media is Fox’s Tucker Carlson, but the small OAN (One America News) is refreshingly skeptical about WMD. God…how many times will people go along with idiocy. I guess forever.

  81. Karlin is right about Russian disadvantages.

    US air power can do lots of damage.

    But air power alone cannot gain long-term dominance.

    US used shock and awe before the invasion of Iraq.

    But shock and awe alone couldn’t do much. US had to invade.

    So, if US goes for massive bombardment, Russians should try to avoid the barrage as much as possible. Hunker down and re-emerge and regroup once the bombardment is over.

    The question is, what will US do next? Keep shooting more missiles? But how long can this be kept up?

    In the end, if the US really wants to gain control, it has to send in troops, and this could be bad for the US.

    It could end up to another quagmire like Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Also, everything that goes wrong will be blamed on Americans.

    Europeans will be pissed by new around of refugee crisis.

    And Americans will not supportive of US troops fighting another ground war in the Middle East and returning in body bags.

    US can do serious damage in the short-term but I don’t think it can be sustained in a long-term struggle.

    Also, Russia can go for a protracted strategy in Syria. If US were to gain control of Syria, Russia can aid and arm any group that is willing to harass and harm Americans.

    Protracted struggle will wear down a nation like the US.

  82. reiner Tor says

    Thanks.

  83. RadicalCenter says

    He didn’t “invade” Crimea, either. Do you honestly believe that the majority of people living in Crimea did NOT want the Crimea to return to Russia?

  84. RadicalCenter says

    The last sentence is kinda sick. But funny in a cruel way if one has just been dumped or divorced, I suppose 😉

  85. Carriers don’t have to be sunk to be made useless. Just mess up the surface and jets can’t land. Just hit the command tower, and it can’t maneuver.

  86. reiner Tor says

    Worst of all, research into artificial wombs(and thus the ability to remove women from existence) will be halted.

    At least, there will be some improvements then.

  87. So, did Assad do it or did rebels pull a false flag?

  88. Can someone please explain to me why exactly Syria is worth a World War or even why Syria is worth any concessions in Ukraine?

    I mean, I am certainly not very fond of Assad and am in favor of the Syrian Kurds (who appear to be a relatively progressive bunch in spite of their low average IQs). However, I certainly don’t want Islamists and jihadists to seize control of a post-Assad Syria and engage in genocide there and I also certainly don’t want the conflict in Syria to spark a World War!

    Also, out of curiosity:

    @Anatoly Karlin: Do you believe that Tsarist Russia should have flooded the Baltic states with Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians back when it controlled these territories? Basically, I am thinking of the Baltic states getting the northern Kazakhstan treatment back in the 19th and early 20th century so that Petrograd/St. Petersburg could have more security (after all, ethnic Balts were a potential security threat to the Russian Empire in wartime).

  89. RadicalCenter says

    And when I get home, I pass a kindergartner and other beautiful little people on the way in the door. One can ‘t be paralyzed by fear, but I can’t say “if it happens, it happens”, either.

  90. RadicalCenter says

    How was ISIS a security threat to Europe?

  91. I’m not a bull on India. Average IQ is too low, and that matters.

    China also has a rather severe problem – the CCP will never willingly give up power.

    That said, both will continue to rise in relation to the West because the West has severe problems. Just don’t expect India to match China, or either to be like the US would have been, if it had never imported its rather severe demographic problems.

  92. TheJester says

    Anatoly,

    I question a number of your assumptions.

    NATO: Having been assigned to NATO and functioned as a military advisor to Saudi Arabia, I doubt if NATO (aside from the Americans) can function as a military organization. The national characteristics of NATO forces introduce too much “organizational friction” for effective military operations. NATO forces in Europe are nothing but a “target rich” environment for Russian military forces.

    The Saudis and other Middle Eastern allies: Incompetence is an understatement … and complex Western weapons only complicate the problem. At best, Gulf military forces can at best put on a “comic” performance. Effective military operations in Gulf states, when they are performed, are almost universally conducted by Western and other-world mercenaries.

    The United States: You have to understand that the US military is currently led by military sycophants more interested in feminism, affirmative action, and the sacralization of homosexuality than the military arts. Obama purged the US military leadership of competent generals over these issues. The recent surge of ship collisions in the Pacific and the increased incidence of aircraft accidents worldwide are only the tip of the iceberg with respect to growing US military incompetence. The junior officers got the message. They are with the program, at least those who could stomach the mess and stayed in the service.

    Bottom line: “Organization friction” will severely demean US and NATO military power severely below what their order of battle would suggest.

    Then, there is the political environment. If the US loses a destroyer (much less a carrier) there will be a loud calliope demanding nuclear retaliation … without any awareness regarding the sophistication and competence of the Russian nuclear deterrent. On the other hand, countries such as Small Britain will turn tail and leave the American consortium under the fear that “two nukes” might fall on them and destroy their country. If there is a nuclear exchange with Russia, the “outbacks” of Russia and the United States might survive … but Western Europe is history.

    Another wildcard in the analysis is China’s response to the mess. It certainly knows that the animosity toward Russia is calculated to motivate the “Atlanticists” to force Putin from power and forestall the feared Russia-China alliance. If China stands down on this, it knows it will be next without the formidable Russian military power on their side. If Russian goes down, it is the “Anglo-Saxon Naval Empire” against China to do what the British Navy did in WWI and the US Navy did in WWII against Germany … and that is to prevent a Euro-Asian power from consolidating control over the Asian landmass — the “World Island” — using internal lines of communication. If Russia does down, China goes down with it.

    The danger is that this is Sarajevo – 1914. The United States believes the Russians (and Chinese) will stand down. The Russians (and Chinese) know the consequences of doing so and will not do so. In any “hot” confrontation, it is a given that the US will escalate to the point of a nuclear exchange … something that some US political circles have pressed, regardless of consequences, since the end of WWII.

    Israel is fanning the flames in all of this. Two nukes on Israel would accomplish the same thing as two nukes on Britain … “end of the game” for these countries. At least this might put a final end to Middle Eastern animosities that precipitated this in the first place. We will have experienced the second Holicaust and the end of Jewry as a global political and economic force. Jerusalem will be “glass” and exit the historical narrative.

    My bets: There is a strong chance of nuclear war based on miscalculations on the part of military sycophants. At the same time, there is a “peace party (ironically the globalists) pressing the alternative. Nuclear war is very bad for business. Given that and the prospect of someone nuking Israel, I place my bets on peace.

  93. Thorfinnsson says

    Can someone please explain to me why exactly Syria is worth a World War or even why Syria is worth any concessions in Ukraine?

    I mean, I am certainly not very fond of Assad and am in favor of the Syrian Kurds (who appear to be a relatively progressive bunch in spite of their low average IQs). However, I certainly don’t want Islamists and jihadists to seize control of a post-Assad Syria and engage in genocide there and I also certainly don’t want the conflict in Syria to spark a World War!

    I’ve never been able to understand this either.

    I think it’s some weird pride thing on the part of the globalists.

    They’re angry that the Assman dares to fight or something.

    : Do you believe that Tsarist Russia should have flooded the Baltic states with Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians back when it controlled these territories? Basically, I am thinking of the Baltic states getting the northern Kazakhstan treatment back in the 19th and early 20th century so that Petrograd/St. Petersburg could have more security (after all, ethnic Balts were a potential security threat to the Russian Empire in wartime).

    The actions of the ethnic Balts as well as the Baltic German nobility suggests yes.

    Of course it’s possible these problems were created by the Russification policy, as previously Baltic Germans had a long tradition of distinguished service to the Empire.

  94. But air power alone cannot gain long-term dominance.

    In Syria it can. The air power can destroy Russian contingent in Syria and prevent any resupplies from Russia.

  95. German_reader says

    The only skeptic in the media is Fox’s Tucker Carlson

    I can’t watch American tv (don’t want to tbh), but there seems to be at least some resistance by prominent (ex-?)Trump supporters in the media:

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-populist-right-winning-its-pressure-campaign-against-25336

    At least that’s encouraging…Trump may be lacking in principles, but media-fixated as he is, he might at least notice that there is opposition against bombing Syria.

  96. German_reader says

    It inspired terrorism and provided a base for training jihadis.
    Granted, it was only a danger to European interests because of Europe’s lax policies towards citizens engaged in jihad (readmitting them into European countries and often not even punishing them…instead of stripping them of their citizenship, declaring them enemies of the state and killing them if possible) and Germany’s open borders madness.
    But an Islamist quasi-state in Europe’s neighbourhood shouldn’t be tolerated imo. Randal is probably right though that it’s better to let regional powers deal with such issues if possible, since Western interventions tend to make things worse and even have the perverse consequence of aiding jihadis.

  97. Anonymous says

    But a lot of 3rd World countries and countries in the pre-industrial past are/were pre-adapted to less dependence on advanced infrastructure. In contemporary advanced industrial societies, a significant fraction of late middle-aged and senior citizens depend on a continual supply of drugs, insulin, medical supplies, etc. for survival. A disruption would mean that a lot of them die. And most ordinary citizens depend on advanced infrastructure for food and water. A disruption would mean that lot of them would die as well, as most people don’t have stockpiles and our infrastructure is based on just time high efficiency logistics. There’s very little slack in the system.

  98. Thorfinnsson says

    NATO: Having been assigned to NATO and functioned as a military advisor to Saudi Arabia, I doubt if NATO (aside from the Americans) can function as a military organization. The national characteristics of NATO forces introduce too much “organizational friction” for effective military operations. NATO forces in Europe are nothing but a “target rich” environment for Russian military forces.

    Wishful thinking imo.

    NATO isn’t as good at cooperation was it was during the 1980s with its annual REFORGER exercises and Canadian Army Tank Gunnery Trophy, but they have plenty of experience in joint air operations.

    Gulf War, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and the ongoing activity in Syria.

    NATO forces in Europe have more men and firepower than the Russians do, but they’re spread across the continent. Quality varies by nationality of course.

    It’s not the 1980s anymore and the Russian armed forces aren’t that large. Maybe equivalent to Britain & France combined.

    The Saudis and other Middle Eastern allies: Incompetence is an understatement … and complex Western weapons only complicate the problem. At best, Gulf military forces can at best put on a “comic” performance. Effective military operations in Gulf states, when they are performed, are almost universally conducted by Western and other-world mercenaries.

    They’ve shown in Yemen at least that they can fly planes and drop bombs, which is a start.

    Arabs have a deservedly poor reputation in war, but perhaps under the guidance of Western advisors they managed to recruit a few hundred guys who are actually pretty decent pilots.

    The United States: You have to understand that the US military is currently led by military sycophants more interested in feminism, affirmative action, and the sacralization of homosexuality than the military arts. Obama purged the US military leadership of competent generals over these issues. The recent surge of ship collisions in the Pacific and the increased incidence of aircraft accidents worldwide are only the tip of the iceberg with respect to growing US military incompetence. The junior officers got the message. They are with the program, at least those who could stomach the mess and stayed in the service.

    This isn’t new and didn’t start with Obama.

    See here: https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-blog-about-military-matters/60879683-the-u-s-military-s-marathon-30-year-single-elimination-suck-up-tournament-or-how-america-selects-its-generals

    John T. Reed’s many military articles are generally worth reading. He is a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam and grew disgusted with the Army’s culture of lying and ass-kissing.

    See also Henry Kissinger’s views from when he visited Vietnam: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/henry-kissinger-vietnam-diaries-213236

    Kissinger was disgusted. “Since I have last had contact with it,” he noted scornfully, “the Army has degenerated. They have produced a group of experts in giving briefings whose major interest is to overpower you with floods of meaningless statistics and to either kid themselves or deliberately kid you.”

    The situation has of course grown worse. American pilots used to train about 300 hours a year for instance, now it’s around 170. The Army has more “mandatory training days” than there are days available, and most of this training has nothing to with combat.

    And the gayvy, as you noted, keeps crashing ships owing to promoting incompetent lady and wetback captains who can’t read a nautical chart.

    Bottom line: “Organization friction” will severely demean US and NATO military power severely below what their order of battle would suggest.

    Definitely true, but as Comrade Stalin said quantity has a quality all of its own.

    Another wildcard in the analysis is China’s response to the mess. It certainly knows that the animosity toward Russia is calculated to motivate the “Atlanticists” to force Putin from power and forestall the feared Russia-China alliance. If China stands down on this, it knows it will be next without the formidable Russian military power on their side. If Russian goes down, it is the “Anglo-Saxon Naval Empire” against China to do what the British Navy did in WWI and the US Navy did in WWII against Germany … and that is to prevent a Euro-Asian power from consolidating control over the Asian landmass — the “World Island” — using internal lines of communication. If Russia does down, China goes down with it.

    China is conducting live fire drills in the Taiwan Straits in support of Russia on Syria.

    The naval blockade in WW2 was not decisive as Germany was able to plunder its conquests as well as trade with some countries it couldn’t during WWI (Spain, Portugal, Russia until Barbarossa).

  99. Re: India. A couple of things:

    1. Most western analysts of India miss the basic fact that India as an entity is more like Europe than say a more homegeous culture like China is (Han Chinese are the overwhelming majority though there are scores of other ethnicities). Each state in India is politically mostly divided by language (like Europe mostly is) and have their own histories and states of development/education/culture – and this is not taking into account the strong influence of religion/caste another differentiator within and across states, and the more common economic strata and urban/rural divide) so that lumping a state like say Arunachal Pradesh with Andhra Pradesh is as odd as lumping Poland with Portugal in some aggregate statistics. So various “average IQ of Indians” (a number like 82 was once calculated) and correlating to National Income miss the fact that the richest states by capita or often not the “smartest” states (tho it is true that the most intellectually backward states are the poorest). India in many ways has achieved (some would argue because of being forced together by successive Moghul/British Empires) and so far maintained what Europe still has not: a common currency and free movement of labor and capital within a federated union of disparate nations – states with their own distinct language, culture, cuisine – with differing rates of growth operating as a single country with a recognized capital, and domestic and foreign policy in a chaotic but still functioning democracy. So there are regions/states in India on a much faster trajectory than others (eg Germany vs Greece).
    2. The other aspect is sheer numbers. Even if there is large amount of poor, the middle class in India – educated, wanting material goods, etc – is larger than that in the US/EU combined. Given the median age of this cohort is estimated to be 27, there is a tremendous growth potential which is reflected in various projections which have India overtaking the US in PPP and later in some GDP in a few decades.

    Admittedly China as a whole is way ahead – both because its market liberalization efforts started 15 years before India’s – as well as having a much more centralized top-down approach that makes long range planning and execution more successful rather than parliamentary democracies which operate in shorter cycles till the next election. Yet, both population dynamics as well as areas of high growth are pulling the rest of the train along.

  100. Would the US government be willing to risk killing Chinese personnel?

    Yes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_bombing_of_the_Chinese_embassy_in_Belgrade

  101. Good post.

  102. Daniel Chieh says

    Correct. It would mean virtually nothing.

  103. The danger is that this is Sarajevo – 1914. The United States believes the Russians (and Chinese) will stand down. The Russians (and Chinese) know the consequences of doing so and will not do so. In any “hot” confrontation, it is a given that the US will escalate to the point of a nuclear exchange … something that some US political circles have pressed, regardless of consequences, since the end of WWII.

    My bets: There is a strong chance of nuclear war based on miscalculations on the part of military sycophants.

    My sentiment.
    Keyword “miscalculation

  104. Daniel Chieh says

    And Global Times beat the war drum again today. China’s trying to annoy the US into spreading out forces, I believe. No other reason to abruptly start something now.

    Doesn’t really seem to be working, though.

  105. The only way I see Russia being able to resist in this case is to explicitly alter its nuclear doctrine to state that not only any existential threat to the home land but any key strategic bases (eg in Syria) allows use of nuclear weapons in defense. Thus by treating these bases as de facto Russian exclaves like Kaliningrad would mean that any attempts to wipe out these bases would represent an existential threat which would allow a nuclear response.

    Exactly. This is what was missing in AK’s write up. Russia by being weaker in conventional forces must fall back on nuclear deterrence sooner than the US. Putin’s ‘Why would we want a world without Russia?’ speech might have been an attempt to communicate that the nuclear doctrine has been changed. However I would not mind if Russia communicated it more clearly and more bluntly so everybody knows that any military setbacks within the sphere of Russia’s influence suffered by Russia will lead to a nuclear attack. Furthermore Russia should make this as a warning to all nuclear powers, specifically Israel. Every Israeli should live with the awareness that they will be the first to go.

  106. John Q. Public says

    Since war is at hand, isn’t it about time we Americans should register our preferences about what we think Russia should nuke? Well, after crippling US C3 to reduce the US government to helplessness, anyway. We request that the following be nuked:

    • Langley
    • Fort Meade
    • Capitol Hill
    • Sallie Mae
    • (And an airburst with Tsar Bomba for the Beltway as a whole please, to be on the safe side)
    • Corporate HQs of bank beneficiaries of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
    • F.O.P HQ in Nashville
    • The Facebook Campus in Menlo Park
    • The Harvard Kennedy School
    • Verizon Corporate in Basking Ridge, NJ
    • CONUS south of the 42nd parallel
    • New York City
    • Rose Bowl Stadium.

    Obviously, this is only a start.

  107. For what it’s worth, the ultra-rad-trad-Catholic circles I frequent are uniformly and absolutely opposed to intervention, generally at least mildly pro-Russia, and do not believe that Assad was behind the attack.

    You can see their petition against the strikes here:

    https://www.change.org/p/declaration-against-the-expansion-of-the-syrian-war

    I don’t think these feelings are isolated to that crowd, but maybe I don’t get out much.

    As to the Reddit groups etc. — birds of a feather flock together and tend to drive out the others.

  108. “If NATO fully consolidates and fully mobilizes, then Russia’s conventional defeat becomes inevitable – the military-industrial divergence between the two blocs is simply too great”

    Anatoly, on what planet do you live that you believe that NATO has conventional superiority against Russia in Europe?

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/16/nato-dangerous-paper-tiger.html

  109. Some thoughts..

    Russia doesn’t need to sink an aircraft carrier. It needs to disable it, or at least ruin the runways.

    The weakest link in the yankee empire is Saudi Arabia. Prior to capitulation, Saudi will have to be given a push.

    Iran should be provided the most advanced weapons immediately after any strike.

    Russia should blanket the earth (Iran, Burma, and other future targets) with S-400.

    If Russia is likely facing defeat then I agree that moving on Ukraine or Baltics is useful. At that point Russia must engage in an existential struggle against the USA. All the things it is accused of doing it will have to do. Leak, steal, undermine, hack. Whittle away.

    Russia pushed out of SWIFT opens the possibility that it can annihilate ‘neo-liberalism’ at home. A smallish central European country in the 30’s provides a guide to success. A country doesn’t exactly need western usury to be strong.

  110. Thorfinnsson says

    Poor article. Patrick Armstrong is one of those strange souls who has transferred his patriotism to another country, and it clouds his judgment.

    Most of the alleged NATO destroying superweapons exist in only low numbers or are still in the prototype stage. Russia’s military modernization efforts have been inadequately funded, and it doesn’t help that it’s often stolen.

    Many NATO countries profess readiness problems (which is often actually just goldbricking from the armed forces and defense contractors), but it’s not like training has been abolished.

    The fact remains that NATO has overwhelmingly more forces at its disposal, and it has far more war potential in every regard. More manpower, more industry, more financial might, and higher technology.

    This is why Russia always resorts to “international law” and attempts to spook people with terrifying doomsday weapons.

    https://southfront.org/nato-and-russia-weapons-in-figures/

  111. Strong voice of Catholic Church on many issues is sadly missed. It certainly is not what it could have been. The CC was neutered. Child abuse campaign was the most recent act in the anti CC campaign that goes back to the French Revolution. Neocon Catholics (like Weigel, Novak) tried to get blessing form JPII for the Iraq war but failed. After that there was no mercy for the CC while the Evangelical Death Cult Zionist nuts prospered. Without the moderating influence of the CC the world will worse off.

  112. The weakest link in the yankee empire is Saudi Arabia.

    I have thought of it before that it would be good to destabilize them. I am not sure if Russia and Iran have what it takes to do it.

  113. So you follow-up an ad hominem against Patrick (after I reference an article where he cites every single one of his sources) with an article on bean-counting between NATO and Russia? Well, I’m convinced.

  114. No mention of pipeline geopolitics. How can we take your analysis seriously? Freeing Europe of Russian energy dependence is a priority for the US and some of its allies, and Syria stands in the way of this project.

  115. Thorfinnsson says

    Ad hominem attacks are permitted under the Federal Rules of Evidence in court for the purpose of delegitimizing the credibility of a witness. Armstrong here, is in effect, a witness.

    Armstrong has transferred his patriotism from his native country to Russia. His credibility is therefore suspect.

    You then disparage tallying up the rival force levels as…bean counting. Well these “beans” do count. Numbers aren’t everything, but generally in war you can bet on the side with more weapons and soldiers.

    Here’s a fun video showing just the EU (so no USA or Canada) against Russia:

    Binkov’s videos don’t consider training, morale, etc. but they are well done and based on good information.

    If you want a blast from the past he has a great three video series about NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact in 1989. 🙂

  116. Thorfinnsson says

    I’ve heard this many times and I just don’t get it.

    Does the Assman hate pipelines or something?

    And what’s the reason this pipeline must go through Syria?

  117. Great link. Trump [maybe] doesn’t want to get rolled again like on the budget. If it later becomes less or uncertain that Assad did it. and if it isn’t surgical — he has just lost his base.

    Who is he going to believe? John Bolton or his lying eyes [and his base].

  118. Simple order:
    America leave the Med in 24 hours or we nuke DC and Tel Aviv. Any counter attack will mean full nuclear launch.
    And retake Alaska if it goes down just to humiliate.
    Let the Orange clown chew on that one.
    There is no defense against a morally just threat to nuke.

  119. But Mattis added that even if the investigative team is allowed by the Bashar al-Assad regime to get to the site, “we will not know who did it — they can only say they found evidence or they did not.”

    Mattis blurted the truth. Go figure.

  120. SimplePseudonymicHandle says

    The Saker being so much tiresome bluster, this was refreshing reading on Unz.

    That said: one wonders how it’s possible that the US and Russia, at the highest levels, are not clear that the US and Russia must not fight.

    One hopes that if it’s anything then it’s a game of high-stakes chicken.

    And WTH? anyway with our government. First they gin it up with China in the S. China Sea, then with N.Korea – when that turns cold they gin it up with Iran, when that turns cold they gin it up with Russia.

    It’s like a bunch of recovering alcoholics who have to gin up drama or else they don’t feel like they’re alive – only the kind of drama they can gin up can destroy nations and worlds.

  121. Third World countries do with as little or less.

    Hmmm, I live in a third world country in S.E. Asia, and I don’t see a problem if Tel Aviv gets Russia, and the U.S. to “go at it”.

  122. For instance, out of Novorossiya’s eight oblasts, Donetsk (mining) and Kharkov (science, heavy industry) would be net contributors to the budget immediately or almost immediately. Donetsk has coal, and generated something like 25% of the Ukraine’s foreign currency earnings and as well as a disproportionate share of gov’t revenue.

    You’re dreaming again, Anatoly. Just to put Donbas back together again would cost somewhere in the neighbohood of $20 billion dollars. This is a major reason that neither Russia nor Ukraine are in any hurry to take responsibility for Donbas. And your dreams are ever more ones of the past, which is very strange for somebody who professes to have an avid interest in future trends. Coal is becomming more and more obsolete as an energy source (who is in any hurry to rebuild a dying economy?).

    Kharkov is the Ukraine’s second hi-tech/science city after Kiev, as well as a major industrial center. Odessa (main Ukrainian port), Zaporozhye (Motor Sich), Nikolaev (shipbuilding), and Dnepropetrovsk (industrial) would have started off as recipients but could have been expected to transition to net donors after a few years of convergence. Only Lugansk and Kherson would likely remain net recipients indefinitely.

    Another one of your half baked ideas. Even by your own estimates, taking the eastern half of Ukraine would be a difficult if not unclear operation. War in the eastern part would most assuredly involve all of Ukraine supported by the US and NATO (not directly, but with advisers and weapons), and would result in much devastation. If Donbas would cost $20 billion to restore, have you considered how much more all of Eastern Ukraine would cost to rebuild?…Perhaps $100 billion? Where’s the money going to come from? Not to mention additional sanctions and ‘a certain demographic highly hostile to it, especially if this project was to extend beyond Novorossiya.’ And I can’t imagine how you might think that it wouldn’t? And all for what? As if Russia is really in need of more ‘liebenstraum’??….

    And the crux of your piece is to suggest that Russia might possibly risk starting WWIII for more of Ukraine? This sounds really pretty stupid to me!

  123. Northern Kazakhstan was russian through and through from the start, and giving parts of it away is yet another travesty of USSR dissolution which will eventually be righted. Kazakhs would do well to remeber that without russians they would still be living in tents on the steppe and no, chinese will not treat them as anything more than a resource to be spent.

    But then again, they are steadily regressing to the tents state anyway.

  124. Fran Macadam says

    Whatever the actual realities, you can bet this pessimistic assessment, of Russia’s inability to resist harder measures is shared by John Bolton and Mike Pompeo and they intend to see it implemented.

  125. Tsar Nicholas says

    I am sure you can go right down the line with all of these doomsday civilization collapse prophecies and find that they’re all b.s.

    Your post encapsulates the conceit of modern civilisation, and not just in the West.

    Energy is required for all economic activity and the tremendous rise in material living standards over the past two centuries has been due to the increase in energy availablity.

    With the peaking of conventional oil resources in 2005 the world economy began to run into difficulties and is still in difficulties. Not surpising, given that there is 0.99 correlation between GDP growth and energy consumption growth.

    The difficulties have been masked to some extent by the rise of oil from unconventional sources such as fracking. However, the problem (aside from the environmental one) is that fracking requires a lot of energy to extract the energy. So, whereas the oil at Spindle Top, Oklahoma in 1901 produced a hundred times more energy than the energy used to extract it, the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of fracking is maybe as low as 5: 1. Once you get to 1: 1 EROI the whole exercise becomes pointless. Similar considerations apply to deepwater oil and to the tar sands. The fact that we are relying on the tar sands tells you something about the world’s desperate energy plight, optimistic bs from the US administration notwithstanding.

    Since oil prices dropped in 2014 the financial plight of the fracking industry has become more pronounced. The companies have never made a profit – never – out of fracking and have only been kept going by the availaiblity of very low interest rate loans (another of the many gifts of QE) . While the fraction of operating cash flows (of fracking companies) devoted to loan debt servicing has jumped from 25% to 75% in just a few years it is little wonder that fracking companies have been slashing capital expenditure on significant items like exploration. This is a very real problem since fracking wells’ lifetimes are of the order of 5 years (as opposed to, say, the half a century of the Saudi Arabian Ghawar field’s production). A liquid fuels crisis is looming.

    Conventional economics treats energy as just another sector of the economy when in fact energy is the basis upon which all other economic activties are predicated. The idea (as Karlin posts above) that if just 10% of vehicles survived an EMP pulse that would be OK for delivery trucks and the like misses the point entirely ( I am used to Anatoly doing this). If you have little or no energy, how can you produce any stuff for delivery vehicles to deliver? How can you harvest the fields?

  126. IMO an excellent and informed article, although I can’t see the Russian interest in the Baltics.

    To summarize, it seems to be saying that Russia saves face (and its economy) by abandoning Syria and Iran where it has no prospect of winning. The destruction of these two would proceed – giving the US/Israel hegemony over the Middle East and absolute control of oil, and other things being equal, remove risk to the US $ based global economy.

    However, other things aren’t equal, with the prospect of a Pyrrhic victory for the US. The Syrians and Iranians will resist, and the domestic political opposition in the US and Europe will be great (the public strongly oppose more ME wars in both places), with more $ Trillions in debt being added to the already almost unsustainable pile. There’s also the future open ended cost of somehow controlling on the ground a defeated Syria and Iran.

    From the Russian POV, they’ve abandoned the ME, and can maybe watch a US economic and social implosion.

    However, the Russians themselves could be due for “Regime Change”. Zionists are very hostile to Russia, and it’s also a major oil producer. This seems to be the key Russian calculation. Do they fight now in Syria/Iran using it as a nuclear trigger, or wait to see if the US implodes socially and economically.

    Logically they should pull out and wait. If the Zionists/US move to attack Russian territory then it’s still a nuclear exchange and most major Western and Russian cities disappear from the map, along with Israel, and the world becomes a more rural place.

  127. Our political and military leaders are nuts. This makes them very hard to deal with, especially since they’ve made noises about going nuclear if things don’t go their way.

    I grew up during the Cold War and even at the worst of times our political leaders back then weren’t anywhere as crazy as they are now. Even Reagan was a model of restraint compared to the loud mouth that currently resides at the WH.

    These SOB’s are quite capable of kicking over the proverbial table and starting shit that can’t be walked back as they have no one in the U.S. to tell them “stop it or we hang your sorry asses”.

  128. Tsar Nicholas says

    However, the Russians themselves could be due for “Regime Change”

    If, given the remarks of people like Nikki Haley (“We will never be friends with Russia . . we will keep slapping them around”) and of Victoria Nuland and of Mike Pompeo ( We are ending our soft on Russia policy) together with the actions of the West (NATO expansion, endless sanctions etc), the Russians cannot see the existential threat from the West then maybe Russia does not deserve to continue as a nation.

    PS Surprise of the day. War in Syria has been opposed . . . by Sarah Palin! (There is more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repenteth than of ninety-nine righteous).

  129. Ilya G Poimandres says

    The Ukranian government is illegitimate because Ukraine had a constitutional process for selecting its government. When the coup happened, that constitution was not followed, it was abandoned, and reasonably – terminated.

    It would be the same if any US citizen group decided to take Congress, the Executive and the Judiciary through a process that is outside of the US Constitution, and then enforce their own view of government on the whole population. Would 100% of the US citizenry agree to this? Would it be illegitimate for those to disagree with the change in the process of selection of representatives?

    The legitimacy of a government system is subject to that society’s choice. At no point, from Daraa at the beginning to now, was the Syrian government system legitimately threatened by its own citizenry – there were dissenting voices, and even some protests initially, but overall – the majority – considered it ok. Same as now, the majority of US citizens don’t want Sharia Law to be the legal system for the US.. some do, but not the majority.

    There is the current system of law for nations, international law. It has the UN Charter, and a bunch of treaties that most nations have signed. If a nation disregards these, how is it not exactly what John Adams said was not correct – a nation of people, not a nation of laws? Again, the vast majority support this system, at least the letter of the law is decent, if not the designated bodies (UN etc) that monitor them.

    The choice is between the absurdist who wishes to tear down the whole system because of some inefficiency, and the rationalist who wishes to fix the inefficiencies within the mostly functioning system.

  130. reiner Tor says

    When she was vice presidential candidate, there were fears about the possibility of her becoming president. It turns out that she’d have been the sanest US president since Bush the Elder.

  131. Since Tucker Carlson is on record that America is only invested in Syria because of Israel,
    and since Russia needs good relations with America more than with Israel, why doesn’t Putin just declare that the price for dead Russians won’t be dead Americans but dead Israelis?

  132. reiner Tor says

    there is 0.99 correlation between GDP growth and energy consumption growth

    But is it true? Then GDP is not a good number. The thing is, we’re better off per unit of energy than we were fifty years ago. Electronics and the internet are obvious examples, but even cars are better, more horsepower with less fuel consumption. (The latter could be untrue in the USA: cars there had a lot of horsepower in the 1960s. But I think even there cars have better fuel economy and so probably contribute more GDP per unit of fuel consumption.)

    So GDP cannot correlate that well with energy consumption, or else there’s a problem.

  133. jilles dykstra says

    Just this morning Erdogan’s adviser explained on RT that Trump’s war rhetoric is just for domestic consumption.
    The alliance Russia, Turkey Syria has beaten the USA.
    I hope he’s right.

  134. It’s been a while since I binge read about this, but yes, Dead Hand – or Perimeter as it was formally called – was a system developed in the late Soviet Union. If sensors located throughout the Soviet Union detected that the country had been the victim of a nuclear strike, and no orders were being received from commanding authorities (likely because they had fallen to an American decapitating strike), the system would launch special rockets that would transmit launch orders/codes to the country’s surviving nuclear forces while in flight. Perimeter presumably still exists today, but is apparently dormant most of the time, only getting switched on during periods of high tension.

    Mount Yamantau is probably the rough equivalent of Mount Cheyenne (probably because it is much more shrouded in secrecy). Presumably it is a wartime command center and a potential refuge for top Kremlin/military officials and their families.

  135. animalogic says

    “This is bigger than Syria. We’re talking about rules of international order here”
    Absolutely.
    Really, what options does Russia have: either bend over or draw lines in the sand?
    Look at the Western provocations over the last 10 or so years: Chechna, Georgia, Ukraine, downed airliners, sanctions, sanctions, sanctions, (Iraq, Libyia) Syria, alleged chemical attacks, all hyped to the point you’d think Russia guilty of crucifying you-know-who.
    If Russia is guilty of anything it is grossly under estimating the pathological nature of Western politics. At least the Stavka has been initiated.
    As an aside, I am increasingly disappointed in China. Do they not see that Russia is merely the first course ? THEY are the main meal. Its about time they asserted themselves: old story – hang together, or be hanged alone.

  136. Impressive analysis quantitatively.

    War is obsolete, whether the Western elites realize it, regardless of public stances, will be a trade-of between the psychology of greed and the psychology of fear for their own skin.

    Probably, a few more rounds of trade and mining by China and Russia, might balance Western elites into greed rather then fear. “Angst” is a potent driver though!

    It is evident, that either the West declines, Western corporate dominance according to “Jewish” models of loyalty and competence, wanes, when somehow “military capitalism” is not engaged as a last resort. There cannot be a status quo, our global economical system is religious, there can only be one single god.

    The world has entered a new phase, where the obvious loser now is the global human masses, and confining them, then reducing them by any means, to make sense as to the global quality of life of the remains. There is no way the real problems of our moment in history, as population density and total numbers, resource exhaustion, toxicity, will not lead to crisis after crisis of elite also affecting issues as migrations, waste lands, resource exhaustion, mere breathing space, the control of obsolete “workers”, and waste cycles of consumption.

    The obvious choice will be probably wastefull and laughable power games till drop dead, rather then courage to envision the globe in history abject new ways. Thus, although obsolete as war can be, including local of-shore and nuclear, our Western “elites” do they realise that yet, or is it gut feeling that will prevail?

  137. for-the-record says

    US secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo has promised that he will be willing to break from President Donald Trump if necessary, saying he will take a tough line on Russia and wants to “fix” the Iran nuclear deal.

    Mr Pompeo, who is currently director of the CIA, blamed tensions between Moscow and Washington on Russia’s “bad behaviour” and said he would support more American sanctions against Russia.

    “[Russian President] Vladimir Putin has not yet received the message sufficiently,” Mr Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his relatively smooth confirmation hearing.

    Mr Pompeo also appeared to be the first US official to publicly confirm that US forces had killed hundreds of Russians in Syria in February.

    “In Syria, now, a handful of weeks ago, the Russians met their match,” he said.

    “A couple hundred Russians were killed.”

    Mr Pompeo said Russia’s push into Ukraine and other countries needed to be curbed.

    “We need to push back in each place and in every vector,” Mr Pompeo said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-13/trump-nominee-pompeo-pledges-to-be-tough-on-russia/9652198

    When Clinton’s former running mate Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) asked if the US should back off from regime change and democracy promotion because Russia or another country might feel justified to engage in the same policies, Pompeo responded with a variant of “it’s different when we do it.”

    This is a unique, exceptional country,” he said. “Russia is unique, but not exceptional.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/423982-pompeo-russia-exceptional-hardline/

  138. reiner Tor says

    As far as I know, quite sensibly the Dead Hand was not fully automated. A group of relatively high-ranking officers are stationed there and would be warned by the fully automatic system that a nuclear attack has just taken place. They would have some time to try to verify the information, for which they’d have a number of tools. Then they’d decide to launch a few rockets which would send launch signals to any remaining nuclear units.

  139. for-the-record says

    The independence of Europe is truly awe-inspiring. Two examples in just the past 24 hours:

    Progress in Iran deal talks, but Trump stance uncertain

    WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – European officials are making headway toward an agreement to address U.S. concerns about the Iran nuclear deal, a European diplomat said on Thursday, but a second diplomat said it was unclear if U.S. President Donald Trump would embrace their work.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-diplomat/progress-in-iran-deal-talks-but-trump-stance-uncertain-idUSKBN1HJ38G

    EU extends Iran human rights sanctions by a year

    http://www.dw.com/en/eu-extends-iran-human-rights-sanctions-by-a-year/a-43361971

  140. This is really far too difficult to predict.

    In most fiction, nuclear war is immediately followed by total Mad Max style apocalypse or even extinction, which is very inaccurate.

    Another possibility:

    Had everything managed to remain conventional to this point, it is here we see the point at which the survival of civilization as we know it hangs in the balance. The temptation on the American president would be enormous to start wiping out these gargantuan Soviet armies with the equally vast American nuclear arsenal. Equally, the temptation on the Soviet leadership would be substantial to trade queens with her great adversary, through counterforce first strike on American nuclear forces. Were the US to strike tactically against the Soviet invasion force, escalation to countervalue strikes (against economic and population centers), was Soviet retaliatory doctrine itself, and the entire war would enter a new phase of global mass murder, as the Americans inevitably retaliate when their cities are vaporized by Russian rocketry.

    In the post-nuclear novel and movie, this is the point at which World War III ends and we are all reduced to wearing bearskins and roaming around stateless post-technological deserts. But the reality was probably a substantially worse world. If anything, disaster and mass murder tends to increase the authority of the state over populations, not collapse it. Was the power of the Nazi state more or less complete when her cities were smoldering ruins? In such situations people are rendered completely dependent on even a damaged state, when all other sources of power have been disrupted or destroyed…and in our scenario here, these are states which would not be inclined to give up the war having already lost so much. As the pre-war nuclear stockpiles are expended (mostly canceling each other out, rather than falling on cities), much of the population of both the United States and the Soviet Union would survive. Particularly if the build-up was a conventional escalation, allowing for the inevitable panic evacuation of dense urban areas.

    Therefore if you want a true retrofuturist nightmare-scape, imagine a nuclear World War III, but one in which after the horrendous nuclear exchange is largely over, you haven’t the saving grace of a desolate but free world and the end of the war. Imagine suffering a nuclear attack and yet the war going on…in a newly mass mobilized and utterly militarized and depopulating society….potentially for years, even decades.

    OTOH, the situation today is not quite comparable, because there was an overriding ideological component to the Cold War. Moreover, with much of the biggest cities – and the country’s elites with them – destroyed, there would surely be a general disintegration of state authority, with the state either (1) splintering apart as localities take control, or (2) the passing of effective political power to the military (ironically the institution that might well best survive a nuclear war, because many of them will not be in big cities, in bunkers, etc).

    I would think that the surviving citizenry will not be okay with transitioning from a nuclear war straight to a total war for the sake of Damascus or Riga or whatever. A totalitarian regime might be able to pull it off, but this doesn’t apply here; indeed, establishing one in the post nuclear war aftermath would be difficult, since a large percentage of the mid-level bureaucrats would be dead, and because the legitimacy of the state that had led the country to such a disaster might well be dead too.

  141. anonymous coward says

    This is a totally lopsided match

    Is it? There wasn’t a single war in all of human history that was won by military technology.

  142. Tsar Nicholas says

    I have my own difficulties with GDP. For example, a hurricane that wipes out a city is good for GDP because it measures only the post-disaster rebuilding.

    However, the decline in EROI offers a very good explanation for the continuing stagnation and decline of living standards of most people in countries like the US and Great Britain.

    Even if the correlation between the two variables can be reduced to less than 0.99 there will come a point at which real material production becomes difficult (for inability, for example, to complete supply chains because you can’t afford to ship components half way around the planet) or just impossible.

    We can’t see this in the West because we assume there’s no material basis for reality. Everything is a social construct and we manufacture our own reality – that’s the basis of our way of thinking, Left and Right.

    I leave you with the cautionary tale of two economists who, at 9am find themselves trapped in a cellar without a key or realistic hope of rescue and no food or water. At 11.30am one of the economists expresses his discomfort and anxiety because of hunger and thirst.

    “Cheer up!” is the reply from the other economist. “Don’t you realise that our demand will eventually create its own supply of sandwiches and water?”

  143. Китайский дурак says

    Anatoly, your years spent in the US did not apparently avail you of a new understanding into the mindset of the globalist elite, in particular their collective psychic characteristics, or the psychic conditions of American society overall. Pardon my directness, but your views on the fate of civilizations obviously carried a heavy Silicon Valley tint.

    We all know the limitation of Russia with respect to its economy, its high tech sector, its financial markets, its conventional arms, its units in Syria. You have revealed no news in this long article.

    Indeed, why not pack up and go home then. Bow your heads, kowtow to the ground. Concentrate on structural reform, high tech, give back Crimea. Revert to Medvedev, or better, to Gorbachev. We will disband the Donbas militia. Send their kids to study computer in California. Russia will be a normal country, a small European country, a big Lithuania. What is pride? Nothing. We bother no one. No one bothers us.

    I am sure Mr. Chubais could not agree more with you.

  144. reiner Tor says

    Mr Pompeo also appeared to be the first US official to publicly confirm that US forces had killed hundreds of Russians in Syria in February.

    Regardless of whether the true number of Russians was lower or whether they were not really Russian soldiers, it seems to confirm the view of those of us who argued that the lack of an immediate forceful Russian response would be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

  145. animalogic says

    I read a survey recently in which 87% of western respondents agreed Israel should be bombed, invaded & reconstituted as a non apartheid, democratic State…oh, damn, it was only a day dream. Sorry to get people’s hopes up.

  146. animalogic says

    Here’s a question: if you nuked Detroit would the rest of the US notice ?
    (Its one way to clean up the accounts: it would be “writing (righting) off debts”)

  147. reiner Tor says

    I personally think that the states would move to totalitarian levels of control. The media and press would come under totalitarian level government control, and so the population would believe that the other side was responsible for the war. This would make them both angry and frightened of an enemy victory, and so more willing to sacrifice for war. The military grabbing power would be a possibility, though for example Trump would also acquire near dictatorial powers. Politically he’d be stronger than ever. So maybe he’d just go on to become the unironic God-Emperor?

    In any of those scenarios, I wouldn’t expect the war to end quickly.

  148. Anonymous says

    Maybe someone could explain this to me?

    If they were so desperate to build their gas pipline from quatar why dont they just by pass syria i.e though SA and up the red sea?

  149. This is a good and encouraging development.

    Also a good rejoinder to that The Faker troll who infests The Saker’s blog with his claims that China is rolling over for the US.

  150. This is Michael D. Weiss so take it for what it’s worth but if true Macron is an unhinged maniac.

    There seems to be a struggle in the White House between Mattis (who presumably wants a limited strike presumably along the lines of Shayrat 2017) and Bolton (who wants something much more extensive).

  151. reiner Tor says

    You seemingly have a talent for misunderstanding and misrepresenting the main point of an article. I’m thinking of how you could use this talent for anything useful. Can’t think of anything, though.

  152. LOL.

    I was banned at The Guardian in the early 2010s when I correctly pointed out that Luke Harding is a plagiarist.

  153. Well…this has to be the most asinine ‘article’ I have yet seen on this website…

    This author somehow assumes he has the technical creds to state as flat fact that Russia’s ‘tiny’ and supposedly weak contingent in Syria would without any doubt be quickly overwhelmed…

    If I were to ask this author…just as an exercise in demonstrative logic…if he could solve even an elementary Newtonian physics problem along the lines of…

    ‘…if I hurl a rock into the air at speed x and angle y…how long before the rock hits the ground…and how fast will it be going when it hits..?

    I might as well ask my cat…

    Yet he somehow has screwed into his tiny head that he can talk authoritatively…not about hurling mere rocks…but about missiles…ships…and aircraft…

    It boggles the mind…

    For the benefit of some readers here who have demonstrated at least some basic logic on the matter …let us look at the details of what is involved here…

    The point of this discussion will be to examine technical details involving the kinds of weapons capabilities that might figure into this confrontation…as well as examining some credible historical analysis of recent US-Nato assaults of this type…

    Let’s assume that the US along with Britain and France decides to launch a massive barrage of cruise missiles from ships, submarines and aircraft from standoff range…ie out of range of Russian long range surface to air missiles…such as the S400 which everyone talks about…but which is only of peripheral importance to this war scenario…[more on that later]

    What is the best defense against such an assault…?

    Is it to try to knock down those missiles with Russia’s air defense rockets…thereby depleting their stock of munitions [which are intended for different kinds of targets anyway]…?

    Or is it to hit those ships, subs and airfields from which the attack is coming…and thereby neutralize the threat as quickly as possible..?

    The answer is quite obvious…perhaps even to someone as lacking in actual knowledge as this ‘author’…

    One commenter early on in this thread mentioned the use of Russian long range bombers which have for decades been designed for the very mission of taking out US carrier groups…

    A little background here…the Russian answer to the devastating power and long distance force projection of the USN carrier groups was asymmetrical…ie not to field their own such massive naval might…but to counter them with effective weapons that could quickly neutralize them…

    One such weapon system is the Tu22M long range, supersonic bomber carrying ship killer missiles…

    Let’s look at what this means in nuts and bolts…

    ‘…The Soviet Navy alone had more than 10 Tu-22M3 regiments organized with five air divisions. The Soviet Air Force had about the same number of the bombers.

    Each regiment comprised 20 Tu-22Ms capable of hauling 40 or 60 Kh-22 missiles depending on the range to the target, according to Russian Navy historian Dmitry Boltenkov.

    A primary target for the Tu-22M3s were US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups.

    A salvo by a Tu-22M3 regiment would guarantee the elimination of the carrier itself and all of her escorts – cruisers, destroyers and guided missile frigates…’

    Let’s drill down a bit and explore the capabilities of this weapon system…the Raduga Kh22 anti-ship cruise missile has been in service since 1962…

    It is a 13,000 lb bruiser that reaches a top speed of Mach 4.6 [nearly six times as fast as a Tomahawk]…and has a 600 km range…

    The Tu22M which has a maximum takeoff weight of 140 tons …nearly twice the weight of a Boeing 737…can carry three of these missiles…

    A single regiment of 20 aircraft even carrying two missiles each [trading payload for fuel for extra range]…means 40 such missiles against a carrier battle group…

    The missile carries a 1,000 kg shaped charge warhead…more than twice the weight of a Tomahawk warhead…[the kinetic energy at impact would be 36 times greater than that of a T-hawk…as kinetic energy increases by the square of speed…]

    ‘…Soviet Tests showed that a Kh-22MA equipped with 1,000 kg [2,205 lb] RDX warhead and with an approach speed of 800 m/s [Mach 2.4], used against an aircraft carrier, will make a 22 m^2 [240 sq ft] hole, and the warhead’s cumulative jet will burn through internal ship compartments up to a depth of 12 m [40 ft]…’

    Here’s an interesting one from the photo album…

    https://s20.postimg.cc/q5orqkust/Backfire-_Cockpit-_DN-_SC-91-02246-1_S.jpg

    That’s Adm Charles Larson former commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet trying out the driver’s seat of the Tu22M…

    We note that the Kh22 has since been supplanted by the Kh32 with 1,000 km range…and a speed of Mach 5…[nearly 7 times that of the T-hawk…]

    The flight distance from Beslan airfield to Damascus is 1,293 km…

    https://s20.postimg.cc/955vi4mz1/Beslan_Damascus_Flight_Distance.jpg

    That’s about an hour dash for the supersonic Tu22M which has a top speed of Mach 1.9 [2.050 km/hr]…and a range of 6,800 km…

    This strike force would be accompanied by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-35#Specifications_(Su-35S)Sukhoi Flanker air superiority fighters which have a combat radius of 1,500 km…by far the longest legs of any fighter in the world…more than twice that of the USN F/A 18 Super Hornet with its combat radius of 722 km…

    There are also MiG29s at the Russian 3624th Air Base in Armenia…flight distance to Damascus 1,041 km…that’s a half hour hop for the supersonic jets…

    https://s20.postimg.cc/4xb395o1p/Yerevan_Damascus_Flight_Distance.jpg

    With the 1,000 km range of the Kh32…the big Tupolev bombers would hardly need to get too far away from Russia’s shores before launching…

    There is hardly any need to even think about the newly announced Mach 10, 2000 km range Kinzhal…launched by the Mach 2.8 MiG31…although it might be fun to see it in action if the opportunity presents itself…

    This is the punch that the opponent packs…and which this ‘author’ is blissfully ignorant of…

    An aggression by the US on Russia in Syria would certainly be met with swift and deadly force…why…?

    Because it would be militarily stupid not to use it…is a boxer going to pull his punches once he’s in the ring…?

    Once a war starts the generals call the shots…that’s how it works…

    I have not even begun to mention the Russian ships and subs in Tartus…all of which are also armed with very deadly anti-ship missiles…as well as anti-sub missiles…yes there is such a thing…[more on that later]

    The S300/400 in Syria is not there to shoot down cruise missiles…as plenty of nitwits in Western media claim…

    Their purpose is to impose a no-fly zone over Syria and keep enemy jets out of Syrian airspace…which it most certainly is very capable of

    This no fly zone de facto exists but has simply not been announced [as of yet…although that would be the first announcement in case of an aggressive US move]

    Those surface to air missile launchers and their radars are all truck mounted and extremely mobile…which means their location once a shooting war starts would not be known to the adversary…

    They cannot therefore be targeted by cruise missiles which can only hit pre-programmed targets whose locations are known…and which cannot move…

    The big S3/400 guns are also protected by point defense SAMs such as the Pantsir S…

    ‘…Originally Soviet strategic missile systems had been placed in fixed, hardened sites.

    Newer systems such as the S-300PS/PM (SA-10/20) on the other hand was much more mobile which reduced its vulnerabilities to attack

    However, once the S-300 unit was found by enemy forces it was still very vulnerable to precision weapon systems. One of the roles for the Pantsir-S is to provide air defense to the S-300 missile systems…’

    An astute commenter here mentioned the US / Nato air war against Serbia in 1999 which involved over 1,000 fighter jets, Awacs as well as jamming aircraft etc…

    He correctly mentioned that they were able to take out only three of Serbia’s mobile SAMs…despite firing more than 750 precision missiles designed to home in on air defense radars…called HARMs [high speed anti radiation missile]

    That’s a kill ratio of one third of one percent…

    In return…the Serbs downed the USAF F117 ‘stealth’ aircraft and severely damaged another that never flew again…they also shot down the F16 of Current USAF Chief of Staff General David Goldfein…

    The trophy F117 canopy in the Belgrade Aviation Museum…

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/F-117_canopy.jpg

    And the tail feathers from then Col Goldfein’s F16…

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/F-16_tail.jpg

    This author might start by reviewing the study published by Dr. Benjamin S Lambeth in the Aeropsace Power Journal…the USAF’s ‘professional flagship publication’…

    ‘…NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb IADS…

    …and NATO aircraft operating over Serbia and Kosovo were always within the engagement envelopes of enemy SA-3 and SA-6 missiles— envelopes that extended as high as 50,000 feet.

    Because of that persistent threat, mission planners had to place such high-value surveillance-and-reconnaissance platforms as the U-2 and JSTARS in less-than-ideal orbits to keep them outside the lethal reach of enemy SAMs.

    Even during the operation’s final week, NATO spokesmen conceded that they could confirm the destruction of only three of Serbia’s approximately 25 known mobile SA-6 batteries…’

    So little Serbia…with its 1950s and ’60s era equipment was able to fight a 1,000 plane armada to a standstill

    And here is what might have been…

    ‘…in future contingencies [US / NATO] will almost surely have to contend with threats of double-digit SAMs, namely the Russian S-300PM (NATO code name SA-10) and the comparably lethal SA-12 through SA-20…

    The SA-10 and SA-12 are lethal out to a slant range of 80 nautical miles, five times the killing reach of the earlier-generation SA-3. [Note…this paper from 2001 is out of date…the S300/400 equipment in Syria has more than double this range…]

    One SA-10/12 site in Belgrade and one in Pristina could have provided defensive coverage over all of Serbia and Kosovo.

    They also could have threatened Rivet Joint, Compass Call, and other key allied aircraft such as the airborne command and control center and the Navy’s E-2C operating well outside enemy airspace.

    Fortunately for NATO, the Serb IADS did not include the latest-generation SAM equipment …’

    Nothing has changed in terms of US-Nato’s SEAD capability since 1999…[suppression of enemy air defenses]

    Yet the ‘author’ of this silly article states quite flatly that…

    ‘…I hope it goes without saying that Russia has absolutely no way to win in Syria should its forces enter into a full scale regional conflict with CENTCOM…

    This is a totally lopsided match’

    Actually…the lopsided match would be my cat vs this author in a math contest…

    This is not 1999 anymore…and Russia is not Serbia…

    More to come…

  154. Anonymous says

    I think there’re two possibilities:

    1. It de-escalates and a face saving solution is found
    2. America + the two stooges do something, Russia takes revenge on one of the the two stooges or both.
  155. Can someone please explain to me why exactly Syria is worth a World War or even why Syria is worth any concessions in Ukraine?

    Your guess is as good as mine. These are levels of globalism that shouldn’t even be possible.

    Do you believe that Tsarist Russia should have flooded the Baltic states with Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians back when it controlled these territories?

    Highly unlikely. How would it have done so? Late Tsarist Russia was a capitalist economy, they couldn’t just order masses of people to go and settle somewhere (Siberian and Central Asia colonization was accomplished through land grants, and naturally through availability of large territories).

    Riga would have probably become significantly more Russian because its the Baltics’ premier industrial city, the others – probably not.

  156. Tsar Nicholas says

    A doubtful possibility, very doubtful.

    Readers of the Unz Review tend to discount the significance of ecological collapse and its implications for the human race. In that respect they are an analogue of those on the Left who think gender is not related to biology.

    We are already undergoing what has been referred to as a “biodiversity crisis.” This very real diversity problem should not be confused with the liberal and SJW obsession with racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender and sexuality quotas. The web of life is exactly that – a web with the biosphere’s functioning highly dependent on a complex interaction between numerous organisms, both macro and micro, and you mess with that interplay at your peril.

    Humans don’t grow food in a vacuum. Aside from the huge amounts of fossil fuels that we use to keep agrictural output at a level high enough to feed the world, we rely on living organisms, such as insects. Not just pollinators but a whole variety, And yet it looks like 80% of the world’s insects have disappeared since 1989.

    The first inkling of this was people who drive noticing the disappearance of insect splats from their car windshields over the decades. Then a shocking peer reviewed paper published in October last year, charting the 76% decline of flying insect biomass in protected areas of Germany over the period 1989-2016.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that insects will die in a nuclear war, along with most other creatures. Contrary to popular myth it’s not likely that cockroaches are going to inherit the earth. The work of biologists like Timothy Mousseau at Chernobyl and Fukushima suggests that short life span creatures like insects display genetic abnormalities much quicker than longer lived ones like mammals. Put simply, without insects we will not have food.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/27/insect-decimation-upstages-global-warming/

  157. LondonBob says

    I got banned and a threatening email from Conservative Home this week. I think given the articles and links they are an Israeli outfit masquerading as a British political website.

  158. for-the-record says

    it seems to confirm the view of those of us who argued that the lack of an immediate forceful Russian response would be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

    And if the Russians are perceived to have “given in” by letting the US launch an attack, unimpeded, it will be the end of any hope that aggressive US action can be curtailed in the future (notably, Iran).

    There is a certain asymmetry here. An attack on Estonia is an attack on the US (Nato Article 5), yet the US and Israel can attack Syria with impunity, so long as Russian forces are not put at risk. Putin is too cautious (or sensible if you prefer), but it would be interesting to see what would happen if Russia announced an “Article 5” arrangement with Syria and Iran.

  159. Tsar Nicholas says

    This is a totally lopsided match’

    Actually…the lopsided match would be my cat vs this author in a math contest…

    LOL!

    Brilliant.

  160. for-the-record says

    I got banned and a threatening email from Conservative Home this week.

    Out of curiosity, what was the specific threat? And did you really say something that “outrageous”?

  161. reiner Tor says

    I have already thought about it. Now would be the time to just conclude a mutual defense treaty with Syria and Iran. An attack on any of the three would trigger the other two into a war.

    But unilateral guarantees tend to have the same effect. For example when Poland was given a British guarantee against any attack by Germany, to use the most commonly cited example.

    The problem is, of course, that Hitler attacked anyway. And so might the US/NATO.

  162. LondonBob says

    Nothing too outrageous, criticising the lobby. Just told not to post there.

    What all this does show is the value for Russia building up Iranian forces, if Iran could field a couple of dozen latest tech aircraft this could just about tip the balance, Iranians have the IQ to use them properly. I note the Iraqis purchased some T90s so in time they could also be built up too.

  163. reiner Tor says

    I would be happy if what you wrote were true (I still fail to see why you have to be a prick, though), but I think the safest assumption is that Russia would be the weaker side in this conflict. At least until the nukes start falling.

    If life would continue (I hear what Tsar Nicholas is saying, but I tend to disagree), then the argument Randal often uses (namely, that it’d be impossible for even the top leadership to think that they could personally escape all the negative consequences of the war) will considerably weaken. Moreover, it doesn’t even have to be true: it’s enough if the top leadership thinks (and I’d guess in both countries they’d think) that it was possible to survive.

  164. reiner Tor says

    The problem right now is that the war might come in days or weeks. There is no time to train the Iranians, and however competent they’d use those planes, they’d still be considerably less competent than the Russians.

    So I think that they should only provide Iran weapons if we survive the present crisis without a nuclear war. Which unfortunately seems far from a certainty.

  165. Anonymous says

    Torpedos have become way more destructive. They don’t aim for the hull but explode under it, taking away enough water mass supporting the ship that the hull will crack or break. The effect is at least doubled by the mass of returning water overcompensating and bending the hull in the opposite direction.

  166. That’s perfectly natural.

    You’d be under Chinese suzerainty of course but that’s probably inevitable this century anyway, and probably won’t be that bad of a deal anyway.

  167. for-the-record says

    The problem is, of course, that Hitler attacked anyway. And so might the US/NATO.

    I don’t think so, there’s no way that the US launches a war on Russia (as opposed to a “punitive” attack on Syria). Instead, they would be reduced to taking further (drastic) measures to isolate Russia from the “Free World”: expulsion from SWIFT, sanctions on Russian exports, etc.

  168. Mr Pompeo also appeared to be the first US official to publicly confirm that US forces had killed hundreds of Russians in Syria in February.

    Is there any good reason to believe it just because it comes from the mouth of the likes of Pompeo? The question answers itself. After all, if that were the standard we use, what about all the senior US liars who have blithely announced that “there was a gas attack by Assad” in relation to several highly dubious alleged incidents over the past couple of years? Pompeo was transparently trying to justify the policy of aggressive confrontation he seeks and is no better in this regard than the likes of Bolton.

    Just more empty jingoist words from an empty jingoist.

    I’ll stick with the only plausible actual direct investigation report I’ve seen about the incident:

    The Truth About the Russian Deaths in Syria

    When Clinton’s former running mate Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) asked if the US should back off from regime change and democracy promotion because Russia or another country might feel justified to engage in the same policies, Pompeo responded with a variant of “it’s different when we do it.”

    “This is a unique, exceptional country,” he said. “Russia is unique, but not exceptional.”

    Pretty much tells you all you need to know about Pompeo.

  169. And the crux of your piece is to suggest that Russia might possibly risk starting WWIII for more of Ukraine? This sounds really pretty stupid to me!

    Well, the alternative to that – if the standoff there goes hot – is for Russia to be humiliated and retreat to stew in its own juices, isolated by the West and under increased and increasing sanctions anyway. Post-Crimea consensus probably gone, regime facing challenges from both liberal and pissed off nationalists, other ex-USSR states rushing to distance themselves from losers, etc.

    I am not advocating anything here, just describing the options that Putin will have to decide on.

    To some extent I am even glad I am not the one who has to take them and bear responsibility for their outcome.

    Just to put Donbas back together again would cost somewhere in the neighbohood of $20 billion dollars.

    Russia keeps the LDNR humming along with something like $1 billion worth of subsidies per year. Note that this is an unrecognized territory that has been shorn of many of its economic traditional economic links that exists under an atrocious legal regime – all problems that will go away.

  170. The Alarmist says

    “There will be a modest global cooling, and a collapse of the global economy.” .”

    It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good. As far as population decimation goes, your 90% survival rate for humanity is too optimistic: A number of prominent globalists are on record that the sustainable population is somewhat less than a billion.

    “Many Third World countries may indeed slip into famine due to the breakdown of global trade.”

    Both sides will need to ensure they keep enough nukes and forces available to deal with the inevitable flood of refugees. After a nuclear exchange, maybe the West will be in the sort of mood that finally allows it to defend itself from the invading masses.

    It is is an ill wind that blows no good.

  171. LondonBob says

    Thing to bear in mind is almost all European countries have declined to take part, if British planes do get shot down then things will turn very nasty for the government given the distinct lack of public support.

  172. reiner Tor says

    Randal, I believe your Spiegel account. But it seems that

    1) Russians were killed by the Americans

    2) with nary a word of protest from the Russian government

    I’m sure that makes the likes of Pompeo think that if they again kill some Russians accidentally, then Russia will do nothing. So this makes them less eager to avoid any and all accidental Russian casualties. This also makes it easier to sell the policy of aggressive confrontation.

    I fail to see how the exact circumstances or the exact number of those killed matters, as long as the core of the issue (Russians killed by Americans with no protest or public countermeasure from Russia) is true. And we both no it’s true, because your source says so much – Russians were killed, and Russia didn’t protest. As we both can see, the likes of Pompeo interpreted this as a sign of weakness, and I’m sure most normie observers do the same thing. I cannot count the times I’ve heard this Deir ez-Zor argument (“the Russians won’t do anything, see, they didn’t do anything the last time either”) in Hungary.

  173. reiner Tor says

    “If they’re Allah akbaring each other, let Allah sort them out.”

    That’s an awesome line, though the actual wording was I think somewhat less awesome (but still very much awesome).

  174. LondonBob says

    The Russians destroyed the Ghouta rebels in retaliation.

  175. reiner Tor says

    They’d have destroyed them anyway.

    And even if they wouldn’t (hardly believable, the only reason they’re there is to destroy the rebels anyway), the optics is still there.

  176. reiner Tor says

    For the Americans it wouldn’t be a bad deal – they can kill Russians with impunity, and in exchange the Russians are killing some Allah akbaring cannon fodder. Politically not a bad deal to sell the American public. Or even the American military.

    The reason the Americans are right now vacillating is because Dunford and Mattis got cold feet about potentially losing planes and surface ships, and they also fear uncontrollable escalation in such a situation. However bad they are, they probably still learned something about nuclear strategy and so probably mostly understand the risks involved. Unlike the bumbling idiot in the White House.

  177. Indeed some sources said China already have their full range of senior advisors & SF there to train for future real war.

    They won’t make any different, unless China openly involve in the war. Then its total game changer as China has proven itself how much damage its willing to take in counter US in Korea war, and last year confrontation over SCS that force Obama to backoff.

    USM will not want to risk a full war with China, they know China always mean what they said, no bluffs, unlike Russia repeating their old tunes of bluff warnings.

    China has the will to swap US Nato off Syria, but whether it want to pay the price by direct confrontation with it still growing limited projecting power. I would think a second front in SCS & trade war is in China plan as intense painful acupuncture point to press on US without killing it. That will give Russia some relieve.

  178. https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/inlineimage/2018-04-11/Syria-01.png

    This poll certainly cheered me up.
    On the other hand, what can anyone really do if she decides to go through with it without a vote in parliament?

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2018/04/12/two-one-public-oppose-missile-strikes-syria/

  179. Bardon Kaldian says

    Problem with analyses like this one lies in the complexity. Simply put- one cannot disentangle various threads & there are too many “what if’s”; just remember WW1, its course & results, when all predictions turned out to be wrong.

    Although AK has many sound arguments, I think that there are way too many other variables which cannot be accounted for. Also, I don’t think that humankind would survive nuclear war. Pollution, ecological disaster,…. would be too widespread & no country (or continent) would last more than 10-40 years after it.

    I’ve read some predictions re this matter, and they all seem childish and/or wishful thinking.

  180. reiner Tor says

    What ever happened to the famous checks and balances? Was Orbán the Viktátor the prime minister of the UK, having destroyed all of those checks and balances? How is it possible that just one person (the prime minister) or a small select group of politicians (her government) could decide whether or not to join an aggressive war, in contravention of the UK’s international obligations (e.g. the UN Charter)?

    I cannot believe it’s happening. Was there a vote in France? In the US?

    Apparently one big advantage of having a democracy seems to have disappeared, a similar small cabal of politicians can decide to start a world war as in 1914.

  181. for-the-record says

    57% of Brits are not opposed to a missile strike, I hardly call this good news.

  182. reiner Tor says

    The glass is half empty…

    As long as May will go through with it, it won’t matter at the end of the day.

    Even if it was a small salvo of missiles (a somewhat bigger version of the Sharyat strike), I’d try to sink a British vessel, if I were the Russian military leadership.

  183. Utgardsloke says

    The central weakness of US & Allies is casuality aversion bordering on phobia. A full scale attack on russian assets in Syria would come pricey considering Russia can launch retaliatory strikes against US ships, bases and resources in the larger Middle East area, in a scale that US & allies has not experienced for many decades.

    So the question is: Are US & allies ready to accept Vietnam era losses in order to punish evil Darth Putin and his puppet the Gas Killing Animal Assad? Are they willing to furhter escalate a crisis that is already approaching a scenario where we are just a cunt’s hair away from potential nuclear holokosher?

  184. for-the-record says

    So which “state” is Lavrov referring to, do you think?

    Lavrov: Intel services of ‘a state’ that promotes Russophobia behind ‘staged’ Douma chemical attack

    We have irrefutable evidence that it was another staging, and the special services of a state which is in the forefront of the Russophobic campaign had a hand in the staging,” Lavrov said at a news conference with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Friday.

    “God forbid something adventurous will be undertaken in Syria similar to the Libyan or Iraqi experience… I hope nobody dares to,” Lavrov told reporters.

    Otherwise, a new wave of refugees will surge into Europe and in other directions, the foreign minister warned. However, this scenario does not bother those “who are protected by an ocean” and can rip apart the region for the sake of geopolitical interests, he said.

    https://www.rt.com/news/424007-lavrov-syria-staged-attack/

  185. … just remember WW1, its course & results, when all predictions turned out to be wrong.

    In 1906, Admiral Fisher, Britain’s chief of naval operations told Edward VII that a war would be started by Germany in 1914 when Germany’s Kiel ship canal would be improved to be able to take battleships between the Baltic and the North Sea. On June 14th 1914 newspapers reported the ceremony opening the canal to accommodate the largest naval vessels. The Germans waited until August to start the war admittedly.

  186. reiner Tor says

    Well, I guess it’s not called a “republic,” nor a “kingdom,” or a “union,” it’s just a generic state. I vaguely remember a state which is officially called the “State of [something],” but I just cannot recall which one exactly.

  187. The best option Russia has is a dramatic de-escalatory escalation: visibly deploy nuclear weapons to Syria. This may panic the Empire enough into backing down. It may also encourage other world powers, namely the Chinese, to encourage the Empire to back down. Russia should also commit to doing as much damage as possible to the US in the region if they are going to lose. The should obliterate Saudi oil fields – or at least they should lead others to believe they will in the advent of war.

  188. jilles dykstra says

    Hitler knew quite well that GB could not do anything.
    If any country was betrayed by the west it was Poland, it disappeared until 1990.
    What Hitler did not expect was GB’s declaration of war.
    But also GB could do little, Hitler therefore tried to force GB to peace by beating France in three weeks.
    We, the Netherlands, and Belgium, collateral damage.
    With Churchill out of the way, no army, Hitler then could turn his attention to the USSR.
    He had quite well understood Molotov’s veiled threats when Molotov visited Berlin.
    What Hitler underrated was the USA.
    And, I suppose, he did not expect capitalistic communist cooperation.

  189. jilles dykstra says

    Germany did not start the war, it did fire the first shots, in an attempt to prevent a two front war.
    It failed.

  190. jilles dykstra says

    This morning on Russia Today an advisor to Erdogan explained calmly ‘much ado about nothing’.
    Trumps rhetoric is just for domestic USA consumption.
    Like his last attack in Syria, a number of missiles will be fired that will hardly cause any harm.
    The allies Russia, Turkey and Syria are not going to allow the USA to cause more mischief in Syria.

  191. LondonBob says

    They had Austria-Hungary start it. Anyway the real traversty of WWI was that a peace deal wasn’t arranged when it was clear that there would be no real winner, perhaps after Verdun. There was a reasonable push in all the countries to do so at the time.

  192. for-the-record says

    I vaguely remember a state which is officially called the “State of [something],” but I just cannot recall which one exactly.

    Perhaps it was

    (1) the Plurinational State of Bolivia ?

    (2) the State of Eritrea?

    (3) the State of Palestine?

    (4) the Independent State of Papua New Guinea?

    (5) the Independent State of Samoa?

  193. reiner Tor says

    All leaders knew it would be political suicide to return to the status quo ante. How to explain to the masses that so many millions died for exactly nothing? They knew that unless they win, there’d be a revolution. As indeed happened.

  194. Utgardsloke says

    They dont even need to deploy anything.

    Imagine the evening news, especially in Europe:

    moments ago, as US & Allies are amassing in the Med preparing for a strike, Kremlin announced that the nuclear forces of the Russian Federation has mobilised and entered combat alertness, pending developing potential threats to Russian forces in Syria.

  195. reiner Tor says

    By the way this is exactly the reason I think the result of a full nuclear exchange cannot be an immediate truce. They will keep fighting, or else how to explain the nuclear exchange?

  196. These are some main reasons for individual parties.

    But another real main driving force behind is said to be TPTB, deep states like Rothschild struggle to control the global money printing by retaining Petrol Dollar. Those who control petrol, control the world. The few countries still under US attacked now all have refused to comply Fed style central banking.(Globalresearch).

    For Russia:

    -Oil & Gas is the main reason USM & West going in. They wanted to lay a pipe through Syria, for Saudi Gulfs & Israel new stolen offshore oil gas field to supply EU. That will cutoff Russia main biz with EU. Assad refuse the bad deal, so he must go, terrorists proxy war start. So Iran & Syria looked up Putin, he agreed to intervene.

    -Stop West aggression East wards, as Iran will be next easy target after Syria down. Then Russia has its West South all encircled, except China border. Missiles & Nato troops will be stationed right at borders.

    -Geopolitic influence in ME, Russia last & only base in ME is in Syria.

    -Display of military might & weapons to show its a superpower, not gas station as insulted by US.

    -Fight terrorists(Chechnya) in Syria instead of back home.

    Iran & Syris, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiah fighters
    -Existential threat.

    US:
    -His masters(Israel Aipac, deep states, bankers, Petrol Inc., MIC, ) command.

    -As all above of Russia.

    -Fulfil Israel dream.

    -Control of all ME oil gas supply, Iran is the last one in its jigsaw puzzle.

    -A withdrawal is too humiliating now, and lost of USM credibility in the world.

    UK, Fr, Nato:
    -Lackeys only ask how high to jump when commanded by US-Israel. Then get some bread crumbs & bones throw at them. Vultures & hyenas move in team.

    Israel:
    -Their Greater Israel dream, steal more lands from Golan Hts. Remove any reliable resistance, Syria & Iran. Lay its Oil gas pipe.

    Saudi & Gulf states:
    -Why they are killing own Muslims to help Israel ruling ME!? The AngloZionists are very good in splitting along racial, religions, sects. Sunnis Saudi & Gulf is played against Shiah muslim Iran & Syria for dominant. These fools exported Wahabism & funded Al Queda to fight Soviet in Afghanistan, now become a terrorism tool for US geopolitical.

    Turkey:
    -Renew Ottoman Empire wet dream by stealing Syria land & oil.
    -As Nato member, still wet dreaming of EU membership as reward.

    China:
    -Existential threat. If US Nato control all ME oil gas supply, its a death nail to China sovereignty, it will be subjected to blackmail at any cost & price.

    -Petrol yuan gone case without free ME oil trade.

    -Fight thousands of Uyghur terrorists trained by Turkey under CIA command in Syria before they return.

  197. for-the-record says

    They will keep fighting, or else how to explain the nuclear exchange?

    This argument has of course been used many times throughout history to prolong wars (WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc.), that those who have already died “shall not have died in vain” (St. Abraham).

  198. US want EU to cutoff from Russia energy supply, hence a ransom Russia can use to control EU. USLNG is too expensive, and EU didn’t want to invest on expensive LNG storage & berths if Russia can supply cheaply through pipeline.

    Saudi & Israel wanted to link up its gas field pipeline to EU via unlucky Syria & Turkey route, the cheapest land way instead of underseas. Syria Assad refused a bad deal offered, he must go by all interest parties.

    Iran wanted to pipe it to EU via Syria too, so Russia see that as competitor, only after some deal agreed with Putin, Russia intervene. Russia is been promised to build all the Iran-Syria-EU infrastructure & pipes.

  199. “1) Russians were killed by the Americans 2) with nary a word of protest from the Russian government. I’m sure that makes the likes of Pompeo think that if they again kill some Russians accidentally, then Russia will do nothing.”

    That’s why I think the prospects of a dramatic escalation here are higher than people might think. The Russians will accept exactly what you have stated and will blame their prior weakness for the current situation. They will want to redeem themselves by drawing a line in the sand in Syria. If they do not, the next war could be fought closer to home with US support (Ukraine, some separatist region of Russia, etc.).

    Frankly, I think the Russians do have to draw a line in the sand here a la the Cuban Missile Crisis – even if that leads to a nuclear exchange. In fact, much of Karlin’s analysis here applied to the US during ’62 (the possibility of being overwhelmed in Europe over a less strategically important piece of real estate). The Americans rightly calculated that they could not back down as that would only encourage a war later down the road as the Soviets continued to demand concessions until they reached something they would never concede: Berlin.

    Eventually, the US will try to draw Ukraine into NATO, and it will continue to sanction Russia to encourage regime change, etc. They’ve made it very clear they are planning a long war on Russia and China. That fool Pompeo just announced that the era of being “soft” on Russia has ended. Can Russia afford to put themselves into such a strategically weak situation by capitulating in the face of this aggression and guaranteed future aggression? If they yield here, a war may be guaranteed a few years down the line, so why not just fight it now when they are in a very slightly better position?

    The same Cuban Missile Crisis calculus applies here. The Russians really can’t back down. They must find a way to discourage attack, possibly by deploying nuclear weapons to Syria.

    If conflict does come, they should considering hitting those carriers with nukes. Karlin asks what that will accomplish. Well, by his own article, they will have 10 left, and after losing two, they will have incentive to not lose any more due to how long it takes to build more in the face of a growing China. Besides, there is an outside chance that dramatically nuking a carrier would cause the US military to rebel against an unstable American leader and offer peace. Perhaps the American public would also rebel and demand a cease fire. Regardless, it’s better than nuking some desert base no one has ever heard of. Nuking a carrier at sea would 1. limit civilian casualties and thus be somewhat more acceptable to the public 2. be visible to the American public and panic them in a way that nuking some far away Middle Eastern base would not.

    Also, the threat of destroying Saudi oil fields as a result of conflict might further deescalate the situation. Rich people sure care about their cash.

  200. I am sure it is just a coincidence that in the last week the Trump lawyer’s office and home were raided after Trump said the lawyer was the one who paid Daniels, and Mueller scents a way to get indictments over the the Stormy Daniels payments, and Trump is amping up the prospect of getting into a war with Russia far beyond what was expected. The worse things look for Trump with Mueller, the more Trump is going to take risks against Russia, which in any case needed to be taken down a peg after Obama let it get away with murder.

    Mueller will look pretty stupid trying to officially question Trump about a porn star and collusion with Russia while America is in a Cuba style crisis against Russia. Trump has every incentive to take America to the brink of war with Russia and keep it there until Mueller submits his report. I hope Russia realizes what Trump is up to

    Well, the alternative to that – if the standoff there goes hot – is for Russia to be humiliated and retreat to stew in its own juices, isolated by the West and under increased and increasing sanctions anyway. Post-Crimea consensus probably gone, regime facing challenges from both liberal and pissed off nationalists, other ex-USSR states rushing to distance themselves from losers, etc.

    I am not advocating anything here, just describing the options that Putin will have to decide on.

    Putin has been acting of late like he was almost seeking to turn away the West , which would necessarily make Russia very (relatively) friendly with China–a diplomatic outcome that America would hardly welcome.

  201. reiner Tor says

    Yes. Is there any reason to expect that it will be any different this time?

  202. Whoever bcom Potus doesn’t matter, they are front door salesman. Deep states akar Fed owners, bankers, MIC, Israelis …control everything. Obey or be assassinated/ impeached. Just look at the history.

  203. “They dont even need to deploy anything.”

    It would be a good move to deploy nukes to Syria rather than simply put Russian forces on alert as pictures will count far more to the American public than mere words. Panic them into forcing their reckless leaders to back down. Also, doing so might strengthen Russia’s bargaining position: they could offer to remove the weapons in exchange for guaranteeing Syria’s sovereignty.

  204. Frederic Bastiat says

    Quote: “There are some fairly good reasons in favor of Russia’s decision to intervene in Syria, which is why I have always been modestly if unenthusiastically supportive of it: […]”

    Anatoly, you missed the elefant in the room: hydrocarbons, i.e. oil, gas but also coal.
    These are still major strategic world ressources for the foreseeable future.
    The shift to a hydrocarbon-independent energy generation and transport infrastructure will take decades. Even if tomorrow all transport were suddenly changed to electro-magnetic technology, electricity generation would still require a significant amount of hydrocarbons.

    Thus, anyone who is in control of major hydrocarbon sources and transport routes (as is currently the case with the US), has the ability to influence political decisions to his favor in all non-energy self-sufficient countries world wide.

    The struggle for the middle east boils down to the struggle between a unipolar world order, with the US and its allies at the helm, and a multi polar world order, with US, Russia, China, and possibly Brasil and EU each acting independently within their own spheres of influence.

  205. By posting military forces 6000 miles away from home on the other side of the oceans and near other nation’s border by definition is aggression. American will be recorded in the history as aggressor and perpetrator in the next world war by this fact alone.

  206. The majority of those forces would be irrelevant in a war in which the Russians are defending its territory and securing its near abroad. As for “mobilization,” given the state of American and European men these days, I wouldn’t place hope on that. The moment Westerners start seeing body bags by the thousands amidst 24/7 news coverage, any major mobilization efforts are likely to fail.

    Since I’ve learned that ad hominem attacks are permissible, I’d say your patriotism to a country whose military track record is unimpressive, but that has gotten better and better at ignoring and shrouding that fact, is clouding your judgement.

    Thanks for the Kermit the frog video. If this is what passes for evidence in support of conclusions today, then I apologize for wasting your time.

  207. reiner Tor says

    If conflict does come, they should considering hitting those carriers with nukes.

    Since, as explained previously, the war would continue even after the full nuclear exchange, they’d actually need to nuke all of them (including the ones under construction) to prevent them from being used later on. It’d definitely be worth more than nuking Detroit.

  208. sudden death says

    He didn’t “invade” Crimea, either.

    Surrounding and blocking UKR army bases by armed forces sounds like nothing but invasion, except it was succesful one, which had no immediate cost in very short term.

    Do you honestly believe that the majority of people living in Crimea did NOT want the Crimea to return to Russia?

    It is not doubtful that majority of Russians in Crimea indeed wanted to separate from Ukraine and join RF, but such argumentation is very feeble when you remember what happened when majority of Chechens also wanted to separate 🙂

  209. “By the early 2020s, oil prices may start to collapse due to the exponential rise in adoptions of electric vehicles.”

    Stop reading at this point, author is not intelligent.

  210. The problem here is always that each side dramatically overstates its own case. I believe Karlin and those here who insist that nothing really unexpected will happen and all the American stuff will work fine are unrealistic in their low assessments of likely losses, but I also believe your insistence that the air defences will work near perfectly and that Serbia is a valid comparator with Syria in terms of the difficulty of locating and attacking air defence systems are also unrealistic. The attack on Serbia was a very tentative operation with very tight engagement rules, hugely casualty averse, and very slow buildup by the US side. The Serbs fired a few SAMs every night, and often tens of them in a night, but only shot down two aircraft, while NATO used aircraft from B52s to A10s to attack Yugoslav targets. Little of this is likely to be relevant to an open war in Syria.

    A lot depends on exactly how the conflict breaks out – the initial conditions can change the early outcome from massive losses for the US side to prompt destruction of the Russian side, as can unexpected capabilities. If one side gets the jump on the other, if one side’s ew systems work better than expected, or are unexpectedly hard countered, etc etc. Nobody really knows how these systems will interact because nobody has any directly relevant experience of how they will interact in full and open use.

    Cruise missiles certainly can be used to target mobile sam systems, if you know where those systems are located, although they aren’t the most effective weapons against dispersed vehicles. If they are constantly moving, they can’t be used effectively. And a sam battalion has a limited number of long range missiles in its launchers. They will not achieve 1:1 kills with those missiles (the hit rates are not 100% anyway, some will fall to countermeasures, and often they will fire two or more at a given target). The situation of the Russian ad operators in Syria would be a seriously unenviable one. The skies around Syria will be cluttered to a degree never encountered by such systems with all kinds of targets – aircraft, missiles, drones. Both sides’ ew systems will be operating at maximum.

    US ships in the eastern Med will be catastrophically vulnerable to attack from submarine, air launched and ground launched missiles. So of course will Russian ships, but even more so.

    It’s likely to be much more of a bloodbath for each side than the extreme advocates of each are claiming for their own side. Things will not work as expected. Missiles will get through when they ought not to. Other missiles will completely fail. Each side will likely field completely unexpected capabilities.

    Uncertainty, not certainty, should be the essence of predicting the outcome of such a war. Most likely, though, numbers will tell in the end, rather than particular systems.

    I suspect that’s at the heart of the evident debate within the US regime over whether and how much to attack. Probably the generals are not giving Trump the assurances he needs to hear about the ability to control escalation and the risks to US systems and personnel, and that’s making it hard for him to sustain his gung ho ignorant jingoism even with support from Bolton.

  211. for-the-record says

    If anything good is to come of this, hopefully it will put a definitive end to the constant (and, frankly, nauseating) practice of Putin, Lavrov, etc. referring to “our partners”.

  212. “Since, as explained previously, the war would continue even after the full nuclear exchange, they’d actually need to nuke all of them (including the ones under construction) to prevent them from being used later on. It’d definitely be worth more than nuking Detroit.”

    I’m not so sure about that. There is a small chance that dramatically nuking an American carrier during a conflict started by the United States may increase the odds of a ceasefire because the United States does not want to lose too many of them. They take years to build while China is rapidly building up her navy. Further, those carriers cannot simply materialize on Russia’s border; they are located all over the world. It would take time for the rest of them to reach the area – more than enough time for things to calm down after a limited exchange. How likely is any of that? I don’t know. But surely someone in Russia is thinking the same about now.

  213. sudden death says

    The Ukranian government is illegitimate because Ukraine had a constitutional process for selecting its government. When the coup happened, that constitution was not followed, it was abandoned, and reasonably – terminated.

    If you really care or just pretend to care that much about following Ukrainian constitution you should also know that according to the same constitution the authority which is capable to say whether Ukrainian constitution was violated or not is Ukrainian consititutional court but not some commenters on the net 🙂 IIRC Ukrainian consititutional court did not found any abandonment or termination of the constitution during those events, so that is just your wishful fantasies and nothing else.

  214. Russia only has 2 military bases outside Russia , and the USA has 800 -1000 military bases outside the USA , occupation bases around the world .

    The US does about 50% of the military spending of the world , and if you add all the NATO countries we do 75% of the world military spending

    What do you think of these figures sudden death ? who are the imperialists ?

  215. “Trump has every incentive to take America to the brink of war with Russia and keep it there until Mueller submits his report. I hope Russia realizes what Trump is up to.”

    It is shameful that an American president would risk his countrymen’s welfare in order to shield himself from prosecution. That’s like taking a woman hostage and holding her in front of you as the police close in. The Russians probably do see this and are likely frightened by a man who would do such a thing.

  216. reiner Tor says

    How could things calm down after a full nuclear exchange? I definitely wouldn’t bank on it.

    If it comes to a full nuclear exchange, Russia should concentrate on taking out the important military assets and industrial centers of NATO in order to make it difficult to continue the war. They’d need to deploy their tactical warheads subsequently to prevent any further movement. They’d also need to recreate their industries (especially their nuclear and aerospace industries) right after the destruction, because then it’ll become a war similar to WW2, where industrial production will win the day.

    Probably China’s stance will be crucial in that second part of the war.

  217. ThreeCranes says

    Remember too, that most trucks use Diesel engines, and diesels use mechanical fuel pumps and fuel injectors. True that some of today’s diesel trucks may use computer brains for some functions, but I’d wager that it would be easier to circumvent these than it would be to cobble together a carburetor for a gas engine.

  218. reiner Tor says

    I’ve used up both of my agree buttons (one for each device), but I agree.

  219. Anonymous says

    usa doesnt do asymetrical well
    arm taliban
    destroy saudi/uae refineries
    lift blockade north korea guarantee them wont be reimposed
    maybe destroy satellite that inconveniences us consumer the most

  220. This article can be an evidence in the international criminal court to convict the American as war criminal after the WWIII like convicting the Nazi and the unrepentant war criminal Japanese after WWII.

  221. Russia by being weaker in conventional forces must fall back on nuclear deterrence sooner than the US. Putin’s ‘Why would we want a world without Russia?’ speech

    Oh, goodness. Open Russian Military Doctrine for starters–may help.

  222. for-the-record says

    I agree in general, but an important point to keep in mind is that the US — both general public and military — are absolutely unprepared to accept substantial losses.

    US society was completely fractured by the losses it sustained in Vietnam (about 4 days’ worth of Soviet losses in WWII, if I’ve done the calculation correctly), and since then their feeling of invincibility and overwhelming arrogance has been fed by a series of glorious and heroic invasions of 3rd world countries (see NYT article below).

    The fundamental question, it seems to me, is whether Russia is prepared to offer more than “passive” resistance, should an attack occur (and, it is difficult to see how Trump can back down now, but the one certain thing about Trump is that one can never be certain of what he will do). I think the prime reason for not offering active resistance is that this will effectively be the end of any pretense of Russian “partnership” with the West (bye bye World Cup).

    But if Russia does choose to offer active resistance, I don’t think the prospects are probably as bad as most here seem to think, they simply have to hold their own until “time out” is called.

    MEDALS OUTNUMBER G.I.’S IN GRENADA ASSAULT

    Army officials said today that about 50 of the achievement medals went to personnel who got no closer to the fighting than the Pentagon

    https://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/30/world/medals-outnumber-gi-s-in-grenada-assault.html

  223. “How could things calm down after a full nuclear exchange? I definitely wouldn’t bank on it.”

    I was referencing a limited exchange.

    The chances may not be good, but that does not mean all strategies yield the same probabilities. Attacking a target at sea is less likely to lead to a full exchange than attacking a land target and killing huge scores of civilians. By how much I don’t know.

    “If it comes to a full nuclear exchange, Russia should concentrate on taking out the important military assets and industrial centers of NATO in order to make it difficult to continue the war.”

    Yes, full exchange. But anything less than that and they are better off just sticking with nuking the carrier. Attacking a land target, especially one with a significant civilian population, would guarantee a full exchange.

    “They’d need to deploy their tactical warheads subsequently to prevent any further movement.”

    Why? Like I said, it would take quite some time for those carriers to reach a position where they could be dangerous to the Russians. That’s more than enough time to find a peaceful solution. Attacking all American carriers assures a full nuclear exchange. Attacking only the ones coming to the Mediterranean carries a lower probability of a full exchange and higher probability that the situation can be contained.

    “They’d also need to recreate their industries (especially their nuclear and aerospace industries) right after the destruction, because then it’ll become a war similar to WW2, where industrial production will win the day.”

    Yes, if a full exchange were to occur, but that’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m suggesting a limited exchange, should it come to that, against a sea target, then either offering peace or hoping the Americans break and offer a ceasefire. The Americans have more to lose here (goodbye global superpower navy in the face of a rising China), and Russia could conceivably use that threat to deter attack. Two destroyed American aircraft carriers would be a huge loss to the US and would take years if not a decade to replace.

    The chances of that successfully working are low, but the chances are higher than any peace effort should the Russians stupidly fire everything they had at the first sign of trouble.

    “Probably China’s stance will be crucial in that second part of the war.”

    Yes. That’s why the Russians might want to force them into the situation as mediator by committing some kind of dramatic escalation (deploying nukes). Of course, that carries a huge risk as the Chinese may decide to distance themselves from such a reckless partner in the future…but Russia may not have a choice in the matter if it wishes to avoid attack.

  224. for-the-record says

    It is shameful that an American president would risk his countrymen’s welfare in order to shield himself from prosecution.

    As someone once said, I’m shocked, shocked that such a thing could occur!

  225. OT: In the face of the we-could-all-die situation this week, why is the most popular and most discussed article here about Asians dyeing their hair?

  226. Another alternative, one that puts Rusia back on track to becoming a much greater power than it is today is put forth by Китайский дурак:

    Indeed, why not pack up and go home then. Bow your heads, kowtow to the ground. Concentrate on structural reform, high tech, give back Crimea. Revert to Medvedev, or better, to Gorbachev. We will disband the Donbas militia. Send their kids to study computer in California. Russia will be a normal country, a small European country, a big Lithuania. What is pride? Nothing. We bother no one. No one bothers us.

    I would just add, that in retreating back Russia would buy some time to make amends with Ukraine for its vicious and clumsy behavior. Before 2014, Russia had great influence in Ukraine. Sure, Putin didn’t quite get Ukraine to enthusiastically embrace his Eurasian Union dreams, but he could have used Ukraine effectively to market Russian goods to Europe at discounted prices. The European Union is weak and falling apart, really not a big overbearing threat to Russia. As you correctly point out, Russia has invested billions into Ukraine already, and what does it have to show for this today? And to totally destroy Ukraine, in order to control it at the cost of hundreds of billions to rebuild it? Ridiculous. Russia could have had what it wanted in Ukraine, by just being a good neighbor, not an overbearing bully. It still can (although it will take longer today).

  227. Colleen Pater says

    Ah but we can we do it all the time have been for centuries, we are actually creeping up on the roman record.

  228. I agree in general, but an important point to keep in mind is that the US — both general public and military — are absolutely unprepared to accept substantial losses.

    I’m absolutely no expert in military technology, but I’d say that’s the absolutely critical point. I think America has “a glass jaw.” Since America’s society is shocked and horrified at even dozens of casualties, I doubt it would hold up well when faced with thousands of sudden deaths. My impression is that nearly all of America’s volunteer servicemen are joining because they can’t find jobs after high school or can’t afford college or want an inside track to a well-paid government job. Fighting and dying isn’t something for which they signed up.

    And consider Russia’s situation from a broader perspective. For the last couple of decades, America has been constantly attacking other countries and or overthrowing their governments, behaving in a more and more crazy manner. At some point, a rabid dog must be confronted.

    Furthermore, consider the totally bizarre domestic behavior of our elites, tearing down more and more of America’s historic statues and monuments, behavior not that unlike that from the Taliban or ISIS or Mao’s Red Guards.

    Suppose during the Cultural Revolution, while China’s Red Guards were wrecking total internal havoc, China was also constantly attacking and invading other countries externally, and talking about ruling the world. Wouldn’t it be absolutely natural for other countries to become greatly alarmed and try to put an end to the rampage?

    Obviously, there are huge dangers in every option, but I really do think Russia needs to stand its ground in Syria.

  229. Swedish Family says

    They dont even need to deploy anything.

    Imagine the evening news, especially in Europe:

    moments ago, as US & Allies are amassing in the Med preparing for a strike, Kremlin announced that the nuclear forces of the Russian Federation has mobilised and entered combat alertness, pending developing potential threats to Russian forces in Syria.

    I recommended this approach in another thread, and I believe Randal agreed on its merits. The idea is not simply to raise the stakes, although there is that, but to rouse the Western masses from their slumber. The moment common people notice that something very bad is about to happen, Macron and May, in particular, will likely face far greater political risks in taking action. For even more dramatic effect, the Kremlin should consider issuing separate threats to those two countries. It will be a headline-grabber for sure (“Putin Threatens to Sink HMS So-and-So If Britain Attacks”).

  230. anonymous says

    I think you’re intentionally trying to miss his point. A world without Russia is a world not living in.

    Remember that.

  231. anonymous says

    Under the new doctrine, Russia continues to develop and modernize its nuclear capability. “Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened.

    Russia does not have a “no first use” policy.

    By the next year, Russia had issued a new military doctrine whose main innovation was the concept of “de-escalation”—the idea that, if Russia were faced with a large-scale conventional attack that exceeded its capacity for defense, it might respond with a limited nuclear strike.

    https://thebulletin.org/why-russia-calls-limited-nuclear-strike-de-escalation

    So yes, more likely use of nuclear weapons. I do hope that if the world ends, that Ukrainian trolls get a few more nukes their way just for existing. Specifically Mr. Hack.

  232. This would be the perfect time if and when the US and it’s poodles, the UK and France, decide to punish Syria and Russia for the supposed gas attack. As the missiles take off and pound Syria and indirectly Russia the Russians should target one or two Frog or Limmey ships in the Med. Fry a couple of hundered Anglo French sailors, sweet.
    If it escalates to nuclear Tel Aviv has to go, maybe a combined Russo-American attack, lol. The way the Jews own America they’ll get the Americans to nuke themselves!

  233. deschutes says

    This has to be the dumbest, stupidest, shittiest article I’ve read in a very long time. The author is so delusionally sure of his predictions of a USA/NATO mop up–everywhere–against Russia it is utterly laughable.

    The fact that the USA has been struggling in Iraq and Afghanistan for 15+ years to win doesn’t register in this idiot Anatoly Karlin’s childlike mind. How can the USA defeat Russia/Syria/Iran/Hezbollah if it cannot control all of Iraq? All of Afghanistan? And when has the USA ever had the balls to take on a rival which even remotely matches it’s military might? Nope, never. Not even in WWII, where the USA of course let the Russians do the heavy lifting to defeat the Nazis.

    I would also point out the register of this idiot author reads like someone describing a baseball world series championship, or a world cup football match. What a fucking idiot.

    Strange how Mr. Karlin’s analysis of nuclear armageddon is so utterly at odds with those of Daniel Ellsberg–a man who actually worked for the US government on what would happen in a nuclear exchange and has recently published a book on it, detailing how humanity would for the most part be wiped out. Or for that matter Einstein who famously remarked ‘“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

    This article is a good example of why this website is an alternative right fringe publication with bizzare authors like mr. karlin writing fantasy war game nonsense like an adult GI Joe playing with his plastic dolls in mommy and daddies basement.

    Just shamefully pathetic.

  234. From the same source, however outdated–a lot happened since 2014:

    Today, Russia can boast of a new generation of long-range air- and sea-launched cruise missiles, as well as modern short-range ballistic and cruise missiles and precision-guided gravity bombs. Theoretically, the cruise missiles could carry nuclear warheads, but their envisioned role is primarily conventional. Additionally, Russia’s GLONASS satellite constellation now enables precision targeting and communications across the globe. Russia has also begun developing a global strike capability, analogous to the US Prompt Global Strike initiative, in the form of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that the military has said is primarily intended to carry conventional warheads.

    In general Western “interpretations” of Soviet/Russian doctrinal thinking… well, sucks. Russian Military Doctrine of 2014 reiterates the same from 2010 version–a strategic power (force) containment using high-precision stand-off weapons. Article 26, IIRC. In your place I would discard most what is written in US on Russia’s military thinking. Moreover, concept of deescalation is primarily about attack on Russia proper–but that principle in different variations was around since 1990s.

  235. My impression is that nearly all of America’s volunteer servicemen are joining because they can’t find jobs after high school or can’t afford college or want an inside track to a well-paid government job. Fighting and dying isn’t something for which they signed up.

    Aren’t you pretty much describing all volunteer servicemen around the planet, from the beginning of time? Anything more is the stuff of Hollywood movies:

    https://youtu.be/HdNn5TZu6R8

  236. I agree in general, but an important point to keep in mind is that the US — both general public and military — are absolutely unprepared to accept substantial losses.

    This is true, but it can change significantly according to national mood. As I’ve noted here before, on 6th December 1941 Americans were not remotely willing to consider the kinds of costs and losses a war, let alone a war to unconditional surrender, with Japan would entail. Two days later, they were up for it. Context matters.

    It’s fine to say that Americans today would not be willing to face the kinds of losses Americans in WW2 were, but they will not be asked to volunteer to do so. The issue is what the risks are perceived as by the Americans making the decisions and whether those Americans think they can be managed with the American people, bearing in mind the tendency of Americans to swing behind the leadership in war, and to stay there provided victory can be claimed. If they think they can “win” then quite a lot of losses could probably be gotten away with. If they are perceived as losers then each and every American death will be another nail in their political coffin.

    But if Russia does choose to offer active resistance, I don’t think the prospects are probably as bad as most here seem to think, they simply have to hold their own until “time out” is called.

    I’m not an advocate of the US attacking either Syria or the Russians in Syria. And as I suggested, I believe there’s massive uncertainty about the likely progress of such a war and the costs to each side. But the odds are pretty stacked, so it’s hard to see any ultimate outcome other than Russian defeat in theatre. How long it would take probably depends on how much US buildup time there had been, how cautious an approach the US sphere takes, and how many casualties the leadership are willing to risk.

    Certainly if they adopt the kind of cautious, half-hearted approach that characterised the initial stages of the Kosovo war, the chances of casualties and equipment losses creating a backlash against the war in the US and forcing a ceasefire would likely be very high, because the Russians are immeasurably more capable and better equipped than were the Serbs. But in contrast, it could also be substantially over in a week, with no time for political opposition in the US to overcome initial jingoism.

  237. The Kh-22 missile (a long service, proven technology, not one of their cutting-edge maybe in service, maybe not weapons) is a 1000kg warhead hitting a target at up to Mach 4.5.

    For comparison, the Iowa’s 16-inch guns fired a 1200kg armor-piercing shell at a muzzle velocity of around Mach 2.7.

    In a test firing, the Kh-22 blew a 22 square meter hole (234 square feet) in a target to a depth of 12 meters.

    The beam of a Nimitz at the waterline is about 40 meters. A Burke’s is about 20.

    One of those hits a carrier and it’s gutted. One of those hits a destroyer and it’s sunk within minutes.

  238. So which “state” is Lavrov referring to, do you think?

    Sadly the most obvious suspects are likely to be the UK, given the “form” in the case of the Skripal and Litvinenko stuff, the British involvement in Syrian rebel propaganda, etc.

    Behind them would probably come Israel, with the Saudis, Turks and American some distance further back.

    Certainly the Russians have no reason to feel anything but coldly hostile to the British government at the moment, and I think that probably emphasises the risks of Britain participating in any actual strikes on Syria. Missiles can be launched from low level, out of range of Russian air defences, but the base at Akrotiri is well within range for Russian retaliation from a variety of platforms.

  239. It is shameful that an American president would risk his countrymen’s welfare in order to shield himself from prosecution

    It would be kind of ok if it was only US citizens that he put at risk here, however we are now very seriously discussing nuclear war and the end of civilization because of domestic US politics. Just think how surreal this entire situation is, if Trump does not start WW3 then he will be accused of being a Russian puppet.

  240. This article is a good example of why this website is an alternative right fringe publication with bizzare authors like mr. karlin writing fantasy war game nonsense like an adult GI Joe playing with his plastic dolls in mommy and daddies basement.

    Maybe so but just look at where we’re at. The Zionists have almost total control of the West. Trump is in the WH and has just put in chicken hawk NEOCON stooges in positions of power around him. Chicken hawks and NEOCON’s infest the US congress, Tom ‘Pikkin’ Cotton comes to mind. This is eerily like the great novel by Pat Frank ‘Alas Babylon’ (1959) and I can’t help but think of other allusions to Armageddon. What better way to end it all. (Grin)

  241. reiner Tor says

    1) Could anything come close enough to the carrier to fire the missile at it?

    2) Could the missile go through the active and passive defenses?

    3) If both of the above are true, could it hit the carrier with the required accuracy?

    If the answer to all of the above is true, then yes, a few of these (with some luck, even one) could easily destroy it.

  242. reiner Tor says

    Yes, it’s beyond bizarre. A fittingly stupid ending to our increasingly stupid civilization.

    1. The Nazis “struggled” against partisans in the occupied USSR (despite being orders of magnitude more brutal than the US), but that didn’t stop them from penetrating the USSR up to Moscow and Stalingrad.

    These are two entirely different things.

    1. Misrepresents the article. It will be a US mop-up (though a painful one) only in Syria. In the Baltics, for instance, it will be a Russian mop-up. Geographic context matters.

    2. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Funny quips are funny, but not necessarily accurate.

  243. Looks like Turkey managed to broker a peace between US – Russia and if Trump doesn’t go berserk US will not attack Assad regime. Obviously Turkey will get something in return for this.

  244. Randal : you say ” The way I see it, there are only really Russia, Iran and China and their allies standing between the world and return to complete unipolar US dominance ” ……

    Do you realize that now most of the people of the world does NOT wish to return to US unipolar dominance ?, you have bombed too many nations , your culture has produced too many perversions , you have abused too much , you have bragged too much …

    Maybe just the english speaking : usa , usa -north ( canada ) , australia , and england would …. But the rest of the world NO , not asia , not africa , not latinamerica , not Russia , and not england-free europe …..

    You must live in hollywood , or maybe you watch too much american TV , come back to earth man , we are in 2018 !!!!

  245. The Nazis “struggled” against partisans in the occupied USSR (despite being orders of magnitude more brutal than the US), but that didn’t stop them from penetrating the USSR up to Moscow and Stalingrad.

    Partisans came later after Germans already penetrated Russia thoroughly. Partisans main job was not to fight German army but to provoke reprisals against the local population who resigned themselves to German occupation under which life often was better than under the Soviet rule. Partisan warfare was about hearts and mind. It did not weaken German war effort and had no impact on the final outcome.

  246. Look at the bright side folks: a nuclear war will result in global cooling, just the antidote needed for the global warming that is threatening mankind with extinction.

  247. Killing the Chicken, to Scare the Monkeys

    It is all about Israel. To stop this insanity the chicken needs to be killed. Bloggers TT and Vojkan at Israel Shamir thread make this point.

  248. reiner Tor says

    It did not weaken German war effort

    That’s I believe an exaggeration. It did weaken the German war effort, though not by a wide margin. The main effect on the German forces was psychological, lowered their morale, made them more exhausted, harassed them a lot, etc.

    But you’re correct that it had no impact on the final outcome (Germany would’ve lost anyway) and its main goal was to thoroughly turn the population (or at least large segments of it) against the Germans by provoking ever escalating German reprisals. It largely achieved that goal.

  249. ploni almoni says

    You make it sound like it is a problem.

  250. jilles dykstra says
  251. for-the-record says

    I have spent the past few minutes watching the French representative at the Security Council announce that France will assume its responsibility to put an end to the series of chemical attacks in Russia. It was the height of cynicism for the Syrian “regime” to carry out this barbarous attack on the “last inhabitants” of Douma at a time when negotiations were going on to put an end to the conflict.

    For anyone who wants to follow the proceedings

    http://webtv.un.org/

    and note that you can select the language (original, etc.) at the lower right.

  252. Michael Kenny says

    Good analysis. Surprising though. I thought articles which didn’t predict the imminent and inevitable elevation of Putin to be Tsar of all the Eurasias were banned from the US internet! A small point re Ukraine that the author didn’t mention: keep clear the distinction between ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking ethnic Ukrainians, which Putin has fudged, no doubt deliberately. Being Irish, that is to say, English-speaking but (very definitely!) not English, I’ve very conscious of the difference between ethnicity and native language. If you look at the Ukrainian census figures (Wikipedia), you’ll see that, apart from Crimea, ethnic Russians are in a minority in literally every other province, with the largest Russian minorities being in Lugansk (39%) and Donetsk (38%). In Kharkov, for example, it’s 25%. Thus, the claim of a “Russian” eastern Ukraine is a propaganda lie and if Putin were to try to annex any of the above provinces, he would find himself with between 60 and 75% of the population opposed to the Russian presence, the inevitable rigged referenda notwithstanding. It was precisely the attempt to control non-Russian inhabited territory by force that first overstretched and then brought down the Soviet Union. I agree with the author that one of the reasons why Putin blundered into the Syrian civil war was because he thought he could trade off Syria for concessions in Ukraine. He must now realise that he’s going to have to back off in Ukraine so as to avoid a humiliating defeat in Syria.

  253. blahbahblah says

    The Russians are now saying they have proof the chemical attack was staged by the UK.

    https://twitter.com/AP/status/984807120406286336

    This better be undeniable for they’re hurting themselves… especially on the Skripal affair.

  254. solontoCroesus says

    MoonofAlabama posted a graphic CNN is using to define US intentions; it features bold text, “PUNISHING SYRIA” w/ a geographic map in background.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/cbsiran.jpg

    Any guesses how many Americans notice that the map is Iran, not Syria?

    And one MoA commenters pointed out (what I interpret as) the extraordinary dance Trump and Putin are cooperatively dancing — they are both taking steps to expose and corner neocons.

    I think you missed the point. I don’t think Trump blinked. Trump said he wanted troops out in six months. The deep state and Israel went wild. Then comes the fake chem attack and they are all howling at the moon to attack Asaad. Trump wants out not in deeper so he raises the ante. If we are going to attack, we are going to go BIG. He knows Russia will have to respond. The deep state hacks don’t mind killing other people, but they don’t want to die, so the chickenhawks chicken out. Trump ran on ending the wars. He said a couple of weeks ago he wanted out of Syria in six months. The person with the widest range of behavioral strategies is typically going to prevail in any encounter. That is basic NLP. Trump has no problem making an ass of himself in public in negotiation. That is why the politicians can’t stand him. I think he won this round. They will have to impeach or kill him to win.

    Not sure who is leading in this tango: Putin matched step-for-step by putting the Russian people on a war footing
    Russian TV Vesti broadcast told their citizens to prepare for WW3 Aramageddon
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/russian-tv-vesti-broadcast-told-their-citizens-to-prepare-for-ww3-aramageddon-j.html

    It will be hard for Netanyahu to further traumatize the Israeli people since Israelis and Jews are warned of a second holocaust more regularly than a pubescent male masturbates (at least such a male in the former dispensation when boys were male). In fact, according to Israeli-born psychologist Avigail Abarbanel, war is the only thing that unites Israeli Jews, “during the 2009 bombardment of Gaza,” she wrote, “Israelis were orgasmic for war on Iran.” Abarbanel has assessed that impending annihilation is a major element of Jewish identity predating WWII by several millennia — it is embedded in Hebrew scripture (see http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/traumatized-society-dangerous/ ) .

    Based on the congress critters ZUSA Congress is deploying to zionist occupied C Span, the Izzie Lobby is deploying Team Black to deliver the talking points:
    – Congress must debate a new AUMF
    – There must be a grand strategy
    – US must form and lead the international community in “protecting the Syrian people from evil bastard reincarnation of Hitler really bad guy Assad who gassed his own people and what should really happen is an expert body should investigate and that is in process but we know Assad did it because he’s an evil rat bastard.”
    Black congress-rank talking heads who thus sang for their supper were Gregory Meeks of NY (Apr 12) and Barbara Lee (CA) (Apr 13).
    In comments this morning, Paul Ryan paid his dues on the way out, and other White Supremacist congress men, eager to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and multiculti by killing more brown, Arab, Muslims have climbed on board the C Span soul train.

    Ironically, Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna (probably not a white supremacist) has joined Rep. Thomas Massie and Sen. Rand Paul, both of Kentucky, in a letter urging the president to abide by Constitutional principles before engaging in military action in Syria.

  255. reiner Tor says

    This better be undeniable

    Why? The UK accused them of the Skripal affair without any evidence whatsoever. No doubt it was a chemical weapon of a type used by the UK in the Great War.

  256. for-the-record says

    Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia: “We continue to observe dangerous military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state in what would constitute a breach of international law . . .We call on the leadership of these states to immediately reconsider.”

    “The sole thing they have an interest in is to oust the Syrian government and more broadly to contain the Russian Federation.”

    Nikki Haley: “I’m in awe that you can say what you say, Vassily, with a straight face. I really am.”

  257. Randal, I believe your Spiegel account. But it seems that

    1) Russians were killed by the Americans

    2) with nary a word of protest from the Russian government

    Well it isn’t “my” account – it’s just the most convincing examination I’ve seen.

    But what grounds had the Russian government to complain about Russians present in a war zone in a private capacity being killed as collateral damage in an ongoing war, and in a location known to be highly dangerous? The world would have laughed at them, and rightly so.

    I’m sure that makes the likes of Pompeo think that if they again kill some Russians accidentally, then Russia will do nothing. So this makes them less eager to avoid any and all accidental Russian casualties. This also makes it easier to sell the policy of aggressive confrontation.

    Yes, though I suspect Pompeo is more liar than fool in this case.

    I didn’t suggest otherwise.

  258. Daniel Chieh says

    It really doesn’t matter what is or isn’t undeniable at this point. Truth has become multiple-choice at this point.

  259. reiner Tor says

    But what grounds had the Russian government to complain about Russians present in a war zone in a private capacity being killed as collateral damage in an ongoing war, and in a location known to be highly dangerous?

    According to previous agreements, the US had no business killing anyone in that location, and should’ve clarified with Russia that they were to attack that location. (The Russians apparently only OK’d that they were to destroy the attacking column, but not that they were to thoroughly destroy the location where the Russians were stationed.)

    If Pompeo understood the situation, he would not be pushing for a forceful attack (basically, the way I understand it, a bombing campaign) against Syria. So he certainly is a fool. I have no reason to doubt him that part of the reason he thinks the danger of some Russian collateral damage matters very little is that Russia did nothing when its semi-official mercenaries were killed.

  260. I haven’t heard about chemical attacks in Russia. Where were these attacks? Any reports on the casualties? Anyone claiming responsibility for these chemical attacks in Russia? Maybe it was the Chechens? How come these attacks aren’t in the news? Is there a cover-up?

  261. SolontoCroesus says

    PS Is an AUMF the same as a Declaration of War?

    Seems to me an AUMF is an abrogation or deferral of Congress’s responsibility to declare war. An AUMF amounts to Congress vesting in the president the decision to declare war and to thereupon order military action.

    It would be interesting if some group mounted a constitutional challenge, in court, to congressional legislation creating an AUMF.

  262. And it took Russia 3 weeks to come up with it? Russia’s propaganda machine is inept. They should have been flooding media with a possibility of a false fall on the 2nd day.

  263. What democracy? The Italians just voted out the shit libs that allowed all those young negro men to flood their country. The people want those invaders gone. It’s been a month and still no government and even the right wing parties have to tread lightly over the ‘racist’ issues of kicking out all those maggots. Democracy? In a pigs eye.

  264. ploni almoni says

    But is does have doomsday weapons.

  265. RadicalCenter says

    Well, he’s definitely intelligent, but you’re right, Nate, that EVs will not displace nearly that many of our combustion-engine vehicles by just a couple years from now.

    People in the USA and elsewhere will be burning fossil fuel in quantity for some time to come, it seems, though hopefully at declining levels.

    China might be forward-thinking and heavyhanded enough to drastically cut gas/oil-burning vehicles in favor of electric vehicles sooner than we do.

    Personally, I love the idea of much lower tailpipe emissions where we work, live, and walk. (understanding of course, that the power plants providing the electricity for all these new EVs will still spew air pollution themselves, and we will still be adversely affected to some degree by that pollution). The electric plants need to reduce THEIR use of fossil fuels as well, switching to solar where that is feasible and to nuclear otherwise.

    If we are lucky and haven’t destroyed ourselves in a pointless war against Russia by then, maybe we can shift the majority of vehicular traffic off gas, especially heavy-polluting trucks, by 2035-2040. EVworld used to be an interesting site, ignoring the founder’s lefty sensibilities.

  266. Now that is a magnificent assessment in each particular.

    If you have the time, expand it to an article. And then dare the Neocon monsters to reply here.

  267. for-the-record says

    I haven’t heard about chemical attacks in Russia

    Chemical attacks in Syria, sorry.

  268. blahbahblah says

    “We managed to find direct participants in the shooting of this video and interview them. Today we are presenting a live interview of these people. Duma residents in detail told us how the filming was conducted, in what episodes they took part themselves and what they did,” Konashenkov said.

    https://sputniknews.com/russia/201804131063516609-russia-douma-chemical-incident/

  269. blahbahblah says

    The Syrian chemical attack was only 6 days ago.

  270. Truth is irrelevant to British secret service and its 3 offspring of note (CIA, Mossad, Saudi General Intelligence Presidency), as well as to the mass media that serve them.

    They all are permanently lying whores with a taste for large scale slaughter.

  271. I think that after the first strike into Syria, Russia would take out a few ships, and then
    the world, even Trump and Putin, will step back after they gaze into the abyss. The duration of the conflict. limited to this initial exchange , will favor Russia. Another round, maybe questionable but probably favors Russia. Massive commitment and third plus exchanges involving all theater assets favors the US, but global thermonuclear war would probably favor Russia, which has there head into this kind of fight for some years, and the US has discounted it as a realistic thing to plan for. So then, looks like a 2 for 3 round fight to me, after which the world and Russia and the US will pull back and negotiate some kind of arrangement. This is all predicated on the assumption that there is not already some kind of kabuki dance being planned in back channels to allow both sides to back off their positions after round 1. If some Mig 35’s with large missiles slung underneath, Donald Cook is toast. I don’t think the carrier is on station yet but when it is, it is toast too.

  272. SimplePseudonymicHandle says

    Sadly – not in-the-writing/literary “sadly”, but literally sadly – I completely agree and really don’t have much to add to that.

  273. The unrepentant war criminal Toykyo and inhumane caste system New Delhi also deserve to be on the list “at least a few nukes will also land on.”

  274. RadicalCenter says

    Good point about Russians not being safe with Islamists right next door in Syria.

    Furthermore, will Russia (and Poland) be able to tolerate Islamist regimes to their west in Germany, France, and formerly-great formerly-Britain?

    Like us, the Russians had better get back to having children. Sadly, they’re going to need the troops. They’re going to be faced with Muslim-majority countries in western and Central Europe, two of them possessing a small nuclear arsenal (“the us” and France).

  275. A little cherry on the pie: http://theduran.com/russia-may-stop-titanium-exports-to-boeing/
    They (the US & EU) really asked for that: “Russia’s Federation Council continues to explore the adoption of counter-sanctions against the United States.”
    “Russia may ban the supply of RD-180 engines used by NASA and the Pentagon. These rocket engines are used not only by NASA, but also by the Pentagon on their satellites. It means the US uses these rocket engines to launch their military satellites.
    According to State Duma Vice Speaker Ivan Melnikov, the Russian response would include ending cooperation with the US in the nuclear industry, aircraft building and airspace.
    Under the proposed response by the Russian government, the US and its allies could also be banned from participating in Russian privatization deals. At the moment, the list of legal entities that can organize privatization transactions in Russia includes Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, UBS, Citi and several other foreign banks.
    Russia may also limit the supply of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol from the United States.
    As of last year, 40 percent of Russian titanium aircraft parts were sold to Boeing and 60 percent to its European rival Airbus, according to a spokesman for Russia’s Rostec corporation.”
    — Long overdue.

  276. Daniel Chieh says

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    Not long before everyone in the Machine died, they were still arguing about music. In the end, their greatest terror was silence, because they had lived in the Machine for so long, the idea of not being constantly distracted by trivialities was worse than anything.

  277. According to previous agreements, the US had no business killing anyone in that location, and should’ve clarified with Russia that they were to attack that location. (The Russians apparently only OK’d that they were to destroy the attacking column, but not that they were to thoroughly destroy the location where the Russians were stationed.)

    Well all I know about it is what is in that piece, which suggests there was a mutually understood condition that the village of Tabiyah was not to be used as a base for attacks and this was breached, giving the Americans a legitimate excuse to flatten the place. Who knows what the real truth is, but equally, who sheds tears for mercenaries apart from their friends and relatives?

    If Pompeo understood the situation, he would not be pushing for a forceful attack

    I see no reason to suppose this incident plays any part in Pompeo’s desire for an aggressive policy of military confrontation in Syria. That’s all about Israel and Iran and the geopolitical situation. I don’t believe it even affects his position on Russia’s likely response, because I’m confident Pompeo knew full well that he was lying.

    I have no reason to doubt him that part of the reason he thinks the danger of some Russian collateral damage matters very little is that Russia did nothing when its semi-official mercenaries were killed.

    He’s a militarist US politician with an ulterior motive telling an implausible tale that suits his objectives. What more reason is needed to presume dishonesty?

  278. ploni almoni says

    It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good. As far as population decimation goes, your 90% survival rate for humanity is too optimistic: A number of prominent globalists are on record that the sustainable population is somewhat less than a billion.

    That is certainly a good thing. The bad part is who survives.

  279. If you think Einstein was making a ‘funny quip’ with that quote, this only reinforces my opinion that your comprehension is a bit off. The point of his quote is that nuclear armageddon will put us back into the stone age, only much worse than that as untold millions will die from radiation poising’s cancer, that will drag on for decades of death and misery. Leaving you to your GI Joe war games,

    DM

  280. Daniel Chieh says

    I disagree. Even in the event that 99% of humanity dies, the remaining 1% will have enough genetic variability that the species can survive as a viable entity(minimum population to avoid inbreeding is only 4000 or so). While cancer and other hazards will further reduce biodiversity and lower the overall standard of life, humanity as a species will survive and it is probable that technological advancement can restart again after some time. This cannot be the “stone age” as metals and other advanced material will remain present in the ruins to be salvaged.

    Note even in Chernobyl, animal life remains:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/060418-chernobyl-wildlife-thirty-year-anniversary-science/

    Mr. Karlin is his usually astute self: traditional assumptions are based on models which may not have been reflected several decades later upon analysis.

  281. reiner Tor says

    there was a mutually understood condition that the village of Tabiyah was not to be used as a base for attacks and this was breached, giving the Americans a legitimate excuse to flatten the place

    The US still had to ask for clearance from the Russians (there is a reason why they asked if the attacking troops had any Russians among them). Either they asked about Tabiyah specifically (in which case the Russians shouldn’t have OK’d them, instead they should’ve told them to hold off until the Russians could evacuate their semi-government employed mercenaries), or they didn’t (in which case the Russians should’ve publicly protested for attacking a location without asking for permission and killing Russians in the process.

    You cannot give a scenario where the Russians couldn’t have avoided the situation: either they OK’d it, in which case they were stupid and/or incompetent, or they didn’t, in which case they had a good reason to be outraged.

    It definitely gave a propaganda coup to the Americans.

    who sheds tears for mercenaries apart from their friends and relatives?

    They are basically employed by the GRU. They are not like US private military contractors in the sense that the company employing them would be illegal in Russia if it wasn’t for GRU running the show. So they are at the very worst still Russian government employees. If the Russian government doesn’t care that the US kills its employees with impunity, then that’s a problem in itself. And of course it gives the Americans propaganda coups.

    I see no reason to suppose this incident plays any part in Pompeo’s desire for an aggressive policy of military confrontation in Syria.

    I see no reason to think otherwise. We’ve already established that Pompeo is genuinely stupid (he clearly doesn’t understand the risks, or he wouldn’t be advocating for such a dangerous course of action which could easily result in his own death, or at least a much less comfortable life for himself), so what reason is there to think he doesn’t believe much of the stupid things he spouts? As I said, I’ve encountered the Deir ez-Zor incident in the arguments of many normies, whose ingenuity (genuine stupidity) I had no reason to doubt, and they clearly believed that Deir ez-Zor was a template for how the Russians would likely react. Is there any reason Pompeo is any different from those Atlantist normies? If you take out Deir ez-Zor, there’s really little reason to genuinely believe that Russia won’t retaliate at all to the death of its servicemen.

  282. Tsar Nicholas says

    “By the early 2020s, oil prices may start to collapse due to the exponential rise in adoptions of electric vehicles.”

    Stop reading at this point, author is not intelligent.

    It takes about thirty times the weight of an average car in fossil fuels to manufacture that car, so yes, you are right.

    Why do people think manufacturing is an energy-free process?

  283. Chinese is not the West which is a remorseless and hypocritical tribe. Chinese believe Five Principle of Peaceful Co-existence that treats all nations large and small equal with respect. Chinese believes peace, harmony, cooperation, developments and mutual benefits are the trend of times.

    After few hundreds of years of experiment, the Western system, culture and framework has proven inadequate, flawed and not working for the long term survival of humanity not to mention the building prosperity for humanity.

  284. Daniel Chieh says

    Chinese believes peace, harmony, cooperation, developments and mutual benefits are the trend of times.

    Yes, the Red Guard was very kind and loving when they completely executed every one of my mainland family member for being landowners. This was an excellent demonstration of peace, harmony, cooperation, development(s) and mutual benefits for “trend of times.”

    Eff off.

  285. Kevin O'Keeffe says

    For the first time in a long time US is being forced to consider the costs of its agressive foreign policy. Mattis said it himself today: the reason why USA is not bombing Assad already is because of a risk of “uncontrolled escalation” in the region, i.e. they are scared that Russia will kick their ass. Trump also apprears to have backtracked today.

    Thankfully, they seem to have realized the gravity of the situation, and sobered up.

  286. RadicalCenter says

    Exactly right. Need to have a long supply of medicine on hand for diabetes, gout, hypertension, etc., along with the usual water, canned food, ammo, batteries, first aid supplies, etc., in the event of such a breakdown.

  287. reiner Tor says

    The generals (Mattis and Dunford) understood the situation, but according to rumors, not Trump, nor Bolton. Trump only backtracked (rather postponed: he only said the attack might take place later) because the generals forcefully resisted. If I were a general, I’d probably threaten to resign in such a situation.

  288. RadicalCenter says

    Treated with respect like the Tibetans, Mongolians, and Uighurs?

  289. reiner Tor says

    Even the generals either don’t fully understand the situation, or they have already partially given in to Trump. Because even they accept the “one-off strike.”

  290. Kevin O'Keeffe says

    The moment the ship is hit all the women will become hysterical, and men will focus on the women instead of the ship.

    I think you’re generally right about the women, but the the bulk of the men will tend to their duties regardless. Hopefully, we won’t be finding out anytime soon.

  291. There is reason Asians have the highest IQ on the planet. China is simply playing the “let’s you and him fight” card. Even if they are the “main course”, by the time the US gorges itself on a Russian appetizer, it will be too weak to take on a China that has only grown stronger between courses (even if not in absolute terms, at least relatively).

  292. The sea floor of the Med is completely mapped at a fine scale. It would be hard to hide a minicar there, far less a submarine.

  293. Well, Hurricane Harvey caused a 500 year flood, which means 0.2%. It was preceded by two earlier floods which were supposed to be only 1%. So, in three consecutive years, 1%, 1% and 0.2% occurred. Humans are less predictable than nature.

  294. RadicalCenter says

    Good point. But we need to know how much fossil fuel is consumed building a plugin hybrid or all-electric vehicle compared to building an internal-combustion vehicle.

    Also, the power plants that generate the electricity for the electric vehicles need to be powered by something other than fossil fuels themselves.

    Nuclear power seems like the choice here, at least for the near term (realizing that environmentalists in California and elsewhere will fight that tooth and nail).

    And solar arrays where that is economical (and it is in much of New Mexico, California, Arizona, etc., I’ve seen it long term with family who have residential solar power in NM and CA.). My sister’s solar system provides enough energy to power her house and appliances, and her plugin hybrid car, AND have power left to sell to the utility company each month.

    Though with solar, too, your point stands that it takes energy, usually fossil fuel, to manufacture solar panels and equipment.

  295. Daniel Chieh says

    China has been beating the war drums and threatening to invade Taiwan and presumably, attack US naval assets in Asia – which I think are 3 carrier groups at this moment. Its all they can do at the moment, they don’t have any heavy military equipment deployed in Syria but the military is clearly intent on showing support for Russia.

    Its the reality of the situation, at the end of the day: China can’t project power at the moment. Everything is pretty tailored for a fight in the Pacific Ocean.

  296. Kevin O'Keeffe says

    Removing women from existence, seems ill-advised. I’m about as misogynist as it gets, but c’mon. Get a grip, man.

  297. No Silivok will enjoy lasting public support. They have been dragging Russia into confrontation for pointless reasons of vanity since 2004.

  298. Astuteobservor II says

    That is because getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes is really, really retarded, and stupidity needs to be punished.

    haha, this is why anatoly’s articles are being dismissed wholesale by the msm/think tanks, he dares to criticize 🙂

    comments about “rules of the international order” are some of the funniest there are. for even thinking there are rules or an international order. I expected better of people who actually took the effort of finding unz review.

  299. You cannot give a scenario where the Russians couldn’t have avoided the situation: either they OK’d it, in which case they were stupid and/or incompetent, or they didn’t, in which case they had a good reason to be outraged.

    Not if as the Americans see it the Syrian side had breached an agreement in the first place. You aren’t going to get the Americans to feel bad about breaching an agreement in response to a breach of an agreement, as they would see it, and nor are you going to get any particular sympathy from neutrals. And, yes, it’s probably cynical opportunism. So what?

    It definitely gave a propaganda coup to the Americans.

    Well yes. That’s life. A Russian response (that was significant and direct enough to be even noticed) would just have given the Americans and their militarists and other backers another excuse to claim to be outraged and aggrieved, because they wouldn’t accept that Russia had any legitimate cause to “respond”.

    They are basically employed by the GRU. They are not like US private military contractors in the sense that the company employing them would be illegal in Russia if it wasn’t for GRU running the show. So they are at the very worst still Russian government employees. If the Russian government doesn’t care that the US kills its employees with impunity, then that’s a problem in itself.

    Deniable cuts both ways. Do you really think no American or British operators of varying degrees of officialness have died in actions in Syria, without any protest or acknowledgement? If Russia doesn’t want its “employees” killed then it shouldn’t park them in high danger spots in war zones. If it expects them to be treated like formally employed Russian military men then it should flag them appropriately and formally tell the Americans when it deploys them to a sensitive location.

    I see no reason to think otherwise. We’ve already established that Pompeo is genuinely stupid (he clearly doesn’t understand the risks, or he wouldn’t be advocating for such a dangerous course of action which could easily result in his own death, or at least a much less comfortable life for himself), so what reason is there to think he doesn’t believe much of the stupid things he spouts?

    Well he clearly disagrees about the risks, and he advocates taking them because he presumably regards them as lower and sees the gains from taking them as worthwhile, because of his different objectives (Israel and US militarist dominance). Different goals and weights, not necessarily stupidity.

    It’s reasonable to call him stupid as a shorthand for pointing out that his behaviour is stupid if you take his claims to value genuine American interests at face value, which is the basis on which I usually call such people stupid. But he clearly isn’t stupid in the sense of being unable to reason competently. He just has other goals than those he ought (Israel and US militarist supremacy, as previously noted).

    But unlike the normies to whom you refer, it’s highly unlikely he has their defence of ignorance to call upon. He must have had access to fairly detailed US intelligence on this incident, and he surely is well aware that there were no “hundreds” of Russians killed, just as he must know that there were no Russian military personnel nor any Russian government operation involved.

    If you take out Deir ez-Zor, there’s really little reason to genuinely believe that Russia won’t retaliate at all to the death of its servicemen.

    No, this is clearly a non sequitur since there were no Russian servicemen involved in the incident under discussion. Only ignorant normies would think that way, though others with real knowledge might claim to for tactical utility as Pompeo does.

  300. Spisarevski says

    Chinese believe Five Principle of Peaceful Co-existence that treats all nations large and small equal with respect. Chinese believes peace, harmony, cooperation, developments and mutual benefits are the trend of times.

    Dude, you literally called for the nuking of Tokyo and Delhi 10 comments back…

  301. Are most of the actual bots run by Langley?

    I have noticed a big and fishy shift in tone on reddit. This coincides with initiatives to ‘counter russian disinformation’ which the reddit owners will doubtless cooperate with. Underscores the importance of having some platform that is capable of saying no to the US. Would be nice to have a platform that could say no to everyone, but due to the infrastructure involved in having a serious social media platform that looks like it isn’t going to happen.

  302. You are comparing Russian brochureware with real US systems that have been used in operations. Could it be possible that Russian weapon systems have drawbacks not mentioned in the sales pitch (or even known of).

  303. Anonymous says

    The whole article reads like George Soros himself wrote it – including the ridiculously rosy full-on nuclear war predictions. 90% survival rate is a delusional fairytale. More people would die just from fighting each-other for water.

    Who the fuck is Anatoly Karlin and who’s paying him for this tripe?

  304. Need to have a long supply of medicine on hand for diabetes, gout, hypertension, etc.,

    I do not think that post apocalypse civilization needs losers with gout and hypertension to survive.

  305. You are comparing Russian brochureware with real US systems that have been used in operations.

    You mean like inability of Patriot PAC2 to intercept primitive ballistic target launched by Houthis and which sparkles as a lit up Christmas tree on the LCD of acquisition radar, on several occasions, with one of the missiles homing on “friendlies”. Or do you mean F-35? Or do you mean “self-propelled 57-mm gun” for 660 million USD, aka LCS. Do you also mean a “successful” flattening of Raqqa by indiscriminate bombing? In the end, what are YOUR experiences and credentials on any of the real weapons and real operations issues anywhere? As per brochureware–it is precisely this brochureware which is largely responsible for eliminating ISIS and other “democratic” jihadists in Syria. Russian systems, as any systems, do have drawbacks, but comparing them to US systems is not only warranted but irresistible. Yes, I am comparing them now.

  306. Daniel Chieh says

    You can learn about Mr. Karlin here:

    http://akarlin.com/

    You can contribute to him here:

    https://www.patreon.com/akarlin/posts

  307. Thorfinnsson says

    The majority of those forces would be irrelevant in a war in which the Russians are defending its territory and securing its near abroad. As for “mobilization,” given the state of American and European men these days, I wouldn’t place hope on that. The moment Westerners start seeing body bags by the thousands amidst 24/7 news coverage, any major mobilization efforts are likely to fail.

    Since I’ve learned that ad hominem attacks are permissible, I’d say your patriotism to a country whose military track record is unimpressive, but that has gotten better and better at ignoring and shrouding that fact, is clouding your judgement.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with this, cool your jets.

    NATO’s forces are spread all over Europe and the world, and since the end of the Cold War joint training has greatly reduced.

    Russia’s forces are largely concentrated on its western frontiers. I suspect they could overrun the Baltics and much of the Ukraine, but not advance much further.

    The idea of Russia pushing into Germany or even much of Poland is on the other hand very dubious.

    Russia would likely be able to defend its gains as well unless NATO chooses a longer war.

    If you read my previous comments you’ll note I rated Russia’s chances in Syria itself, while doomed, much higher than the blog author.

    Lastly, yes I love my country. I try not to let it cloud my judgment, and I certainly don’t love my government. Patrick Armstrong on the other hand loves another country which is very weird indeed.

    Thanks for the Kermit the frog video. If this is what passes for evidence in support of conclusions today, then I apologize for wasting your time.

    Do you want the OOB tables instead?

    You can’t pretend force levels don’t matter.

  308. jilles dykstra says

    https://kenfm.de/tagesdosis-13-4-2018-russland-zeigt-die-zaehne-nicht-die-kehle/

    In den letzten 24 Stunden haben Washington und seine NATO-Vasallen verstanden, dass Russland unter dem Druck der westlichen Kriegsvorbereitungen sich nicht in einem Akt der Unterwerfung auf den Rücken rollt und den imperialistischen Kriegsverbrechern die Kehle anbietet. Als vorgestern 11 russische Kriegsschiffe im Hafen der syrischen Stadt Tartus den Anker lifteten und ins Mittelmeer ausliefen, war der Jubel in bestimmten Kriegstreiberkreisen groß. Die Börsenkurse schossen nach oben. Aber nur für kurze Zeit. Denn inzwischen war klar geworden, dass sich die russischen Schiffe vor der syrischen Küste, außerhalb des syrischen Hoheitsgebiets, wie ein Riegel vor die herandampfende US-Kriegsflotte geschoben hatten. Zudem kündigte das russische Militär umgehend die Aufnahmen von Manövern mit scharfer Munition an, was de facto dieses Gebiet zu Lande und zu Luft in eine russische Sperrzone verwandelte. Spätestens dann ist scheinbar in Washington auch dem letzten Dummkopf klar geworden, dass die Russen für den Kampf gegen westliche Ziele bereit waren. Seither kommen wieder entspannende Signale aus Washington.

    Title:
    Russia shows the teeth, not the throat.
    Summary of the text:
    Eleven Russiann warships left their Syrian base, taking up positions just outside Syria’s territorial waters.
    Warning was given for excercises with live ammunition, thus effectively blocking water and air access.
    At the same time Washington’s hawkish language diminished.
    My idea:
    the Syrian and Skripal shows, a disaster for western bluff.

  309. Abelard Lindsey says

    The basic question, at least for Americans like myself, is “Why the hell do we even want to involve ourselves in this ME mess?”. Our fracking revolution has made us energy independent for the first time since the early 70’s. This will be supplemented by Thorium and Uranium MSR fission and later fusion power (from start-ups, not ITER). We no longer have a vested interest in this region.

    Furthermore, I do not understand this obsession with the idiots in Washington D.C. with constantly needling the Russians. Its like they have a total hard-up for screwing with Russia. It is totally and utterly irrational.

    Russia is a declining empire. The Muslim Middle-east is a dying civilization (read Spengler’s “How Civilizations Die” to get the full story). Let them decline. Even declining societies can be a serious danger when messed with. So, why mess with them?

    If we do have WWIII, it will all be on Washington, not the Russians.

  310. One-for-Truth says

    Anatoly Karlin is a windbag provocateur!

  311. German_reader says

    It did weaken the German war effort, though not by a wide margin

    It only became somewhat important in 1943/44 iirc, especially during the collapse of Heeresgruppe Mitte in 1944 when partisans blew up railway lines and significantly impeded German ability for troop movements and retreating.
    But yes, it probably didn’t affect the final outcome that much.

  312. Poor article. Patrick Armstrong is one of those strange souls who has transferred his patriotism to another country, and it clouds his judgment.

    He’s Canadian eh? What constitutes a Canadian patriot? Someone thinking along the lines of Chrystia Freeland?

  313. As late as the early ’60’s, I collected water for my Grandmother from the village tap and the butchers and greengrocers bought a lot of supplies locally. WW2 was still recent so the structures of digging for victory were in place. Both my grandfathers had allotments. The gas works supplied the town and the electricity generator that existed before the grid was still in its shed. Locality = sustainability. Now everything is centralized.

  314. Tsar Nicholas says

    Good point. But we need to know how much fossil fuel is consumed building a plugin hybrid or all-electric vehicle compared to building an internal-combustion vehicle.

    About the same, I would guess. Focus on the car body. All that mineral ore has to be mined, processed, transported, all those electronic components built, copper cabling, rubber and so on.

    As for renewables, a wind turbine requires many tonnes of steel, plexi glass, copper cabling and concrete (a 3Mw turbine requires 400 tonnes of concrete). All this has to be transported to the site of construction by fossil fueled tucks. You can’t build a renewables-based society without a fossil fuel platform base.

  315. RadicalCenter says

    Not all cases of either condition can be fully staged off or sufficiently ameliorated by a healthy restricted diet, although that is the first and main thing anyone should adopt if diagnoses with or at risk for either condition.

    As for diabetes, people who genetically have diabetes — so-called juvenile onset or type one — having a stupid unhealthy diet and lifestyle are NOT the reason that these people have diabetes. So they’re not “losers” for needing insulin or whatever to address diabetes.

    That particular comment had a kernel of truth but was way too broad to be fair, dude.

  316. for-the-record says

    Here’s the former British Army Commander in Iraq on Sky News posing the question of why Syria would launch a chemical attack at the precise moment when they are winning. Watch the reaction.

  317. Anonymous says

    You can learn about Mr. Karlin here:

    The site is unreachable ATM.

    You can contribute to him here:

    Haha, no.

  318. To anyone who came from Marginal Revolution and read up to the comment 323 – welcome! There are more speculative and evil links on top and on the right.

  319. Anonymous says

    You can’t build a renewables-based society without a fossil fuel platform base.

    Sure but a well built wind turbine requires minimal maintenance while a car battery must be replaced every 3-5 years.

  320. RadicalCenter says

    Without truly substantial nuclear power production, that seems right.

    Perhaps we need massive solar capacity as primary source for gov buildings, businesses, Homes, where it’s feasible (SoCal, AZ, NM, Florida, etc) backed up by fossil fuel capacity if nukes aren’t locally acceptable.

    In areas where enough of the public will acquiesce in nuke power and solar power isn’t realistic, you could have nuke backed up by a slowly declining number of fossil fuel plants.

    China is continuing to add civilian nuke capacity, and Russia specializes in mini-reactors perhaps?

    France had the majority of its power generated by nuclear, IIRC, though I haven’t checked whether that is decreasing as plants are phased out due to enviro concerns (which are somewhat understandable too).

  321. Well you can’t have airtime being given to obvious Kremlin trolls and disinfo agents, can you?

  322. foolisholdman says

    I think the most serious effect of the EMP would be on the mains (grid) power transformers. Even now, if one burns out, the time to get another is months or years, if it is really big. If most of the power grid transformers and generators were knocked out, the factories making transformers would be unable to work. So would the factories making copper wire, as would also be the factories making the special steel needed for the core of the transformers and the mines digging the iron ore etc., etc.

    If the vehicles survived they would probably have to pump the fuel into their tanks by hand. (Assuming the pumps were built to allow that.) Oh yes, and the oil refineries, even if they had autonomous supplies, those would probably be knocked out too.

  323. Here is how the oil supply/demand curve looks:

    https://d1o9e4un86hhpc.cloudfront.net/images/tinymce/Evan1/ada713.png

    Small declines in demand = big falls in the oil price. One commenter here (Polish Perspective) recently had a projection that indicated EV sales will be translating to a one million barrel annual decline in oil demand by the early 2020s.

    Of course it won’t be as “bad” as that – oil demand will continue creeping up for plastics production, aircraft, etc. – but still, EV’s will be a huge factor.

  324. Anonymous says

    Don’t forget the nuclear plants. How many would go into meltdown? 50? All of them?

  325. martino from barcelona says

    dear karlyn: if russia were so weak as you say , EEUU was hit now Something you loss…

  326. What would the US government warmongers and tough-talkers do if CHINA sent some “military and technical advisors” to a Russian-run base in Syria?

    Would the US government be willing to risk killing Chinese personnel?

    As PeterAUS pointed out, they were happy to do so in the Kosovo war, and the Chinese certainly haven’t forgotten or forgiven that one. China is a lot more substantial now, but even so it lacks any ability to respond directly in theatre.

    I fear and distrust China, but this warmongering crew in charge of “my” country’s government and economy needs to learn that they are not invincible, that threats have consequences whether they are backed up or not, and that not everyone in the world lacks the strength to say “mind your damn business and back off.”

    Well the suggestions in comments here that China might be doing something to distract the US in the Pacific are encouraging. That’s exactly what they ought to be doing. This kind of moment is a big test of how far the Chinese can be relied upon by Russia when the chips are down.

    Personally I’d like to see some kind of big public announcement by the Chinese. I think they perhaps don’t realise how big an impact such a gesture could make. Something like an announcement that any attack on Syria in response to allegations, regardless of truth or not, without UNSC authorisation would be illegal and China will support Syria (not necessarily militarily) in coping with any such illegal attack, would make quite a stir in neutral and even US sphere populations. Ideally they’d do it whilst announcing a deployment of HQ9s to Damascus for joint exercises with the Russians.

    The practical effectiveness is irrelevant – the symbol is what counts.

  327. German_reader says

    There are now reports that Trump is actually the one pushing for escalation:
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-dangerous-do-somethingism/

    Talking to Pentagon officials after the apparent gas attack, Mr. Trump called for a more sweeping retaliatory response than the military advised, one White House official said. He asked to consider options that would punish not only the Syrian regime but also two of its sponsors—Russia and Iran. “He’s pressed back” on suggestions from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that the response should be more limited in scope, the official said.

    (originally from a Wall Street Journal article that’s behind a paywall).
    Doesn’t look like Trump knows what he’s doing, let alone that he’s fighting some nebulous Deep State pushing him into confrontation.

  328. Be that as it may:
    The situation is serious. Some people react to that by discussing it. Tiny minority, as we here.

    The majority, as always, doesn’t care much (at least my observation).

    As long as discussion is within polite parameters, why not?

  329. Swedish Family says

    Sorry if already posted, but this is good news:

    The Kremlin says Putin and Macron spoke over the phone today, and have agreed to coordinate their actions to avoid further military escalation in Syria.

    During their conversation, the Presidents had lauded the upcoming visit of the international chemical watchdog’s fact-finding mission to Syria and pledged to join efforts to provide necessary assistance to that mission

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5612881/Russia-accuses-BRITAIN-faking-horrific-chemical-attack-Syria.html

  330. martino from barcelona says

    all the world against russia, could not win. bolas and nukes. and inteligence. go back to eeuu.

  331. German_reader says

    Interesting article about the Skripal case:
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-skripal-controversy-guide-the-perplexed-25363

    Contains some information and possible explanations I hadn’t seen before:

    Might Kadyrov and the so-called “Chechen mafia” have had access to Novichok? The Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has done some courageous investigative reporting on other matters (and employed Anna Politkovskaya prior to her murder), says yes. In an article published last month, the newspaper reported that court testimony indicates that samples of Novichok had been sold to organized crime figures, including a Chechen, in the 1990s, and that a crime group had used the nerve agent to assassinate a Russian businessman in 1995. Putin could hardly admit that Kadyrov or other unauthorized Russians might have mounted the attack, however, without appearing weak in the eyes of domestic constituencies and incompetent abroad.

    By extension, if organized crime circles in Russia have long had Novichok samples, then it is plausible that Ukraine and other countries could have it, too. Obtaining an alleged Russian assassination manual would be fully consistent with a third-country deception campaign, reminiscent of the ways Iraqi oppositionists fed false reports to the U.S. in the run up to the Iraq War. Moreover, numerous Chechens have joined ISIS and fought in Syria, and the U.S. Department of State recently indicated that ISIS has a chemical weapons program overseen by a French national, suggesting that ISIS and other Syrian groups could have produced or procured the nerve agent used against Skripal.

  332. Thorfinnsson says

    He’s Canadian eh? What constitutes a Canadian patriot? Someone thinking along the lines of Chrystia Freeland?

    Canada is a gay and fake country just like the Ukraine, so pretty much the same thing as svidomi minus the Neo-Nazism.

    They’re anti-American and constantly inventing dubious reasons as to why Canada is allegedly better than America, most of which relate to being even more pozzed than we are.

    Prior to Lester Pearson (inventor of the current Canadian flag) and especially Pierre Trudeau (yes, Justin’s father, and founding father of Canadian multiculturalism) Canada had more of a British identity comparable to what still exists in Australia and New Zealand. Many of Canada’s early Anglo settlers in fact were Americans who supported the King and got deported as a result.

    So Canada for instance had a tradition of “Northern” literature and film to compare with our “Westerns” which made the point that on the Canadian frontier, even in the Klondike country, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was in control and keeping the Queen’s peace–unlike America’s lawless Wild West. Canadians stressed, “Peace, Order, and Good Government” as opposed to America’s “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

    Canada got dominion status in 1867, and that plus their enormous sacrifices in World War One became the basis of their own patriotism. Canadian troops were, along with Australians, considered the elite shock troops of the British Empire on the Western Front. Canada’s losses in WWI were in population terms about half of what Russia’s were as an example.

    Now that’s all gone. The link to Britain was severed when Britain joined the Common Market, and the British identity buried by Trudeau’s multiculturalism. All that’s left is anti-Americanism and being pozzed SJW faggots. Canadians will seriously assert with a straight face that they love their country because of…healthcare.

    Canadian patriots also like to obsess over this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_CF-105_Arrow

    So in fairness to Armstrong I guess why not become a Russian patriot? 🙂

  333. Anonymous says

    The majority, as always, doesn’t care much (at least my observation).

    So far. Almost everyone starts paying attention when their own neck (and their children’s/dog’s necks) gets jeopardised.

    This is why the Internet has a built-in kill switch. Plan accordingly.

  334. ….global thermonuclear war would probably favor Russia,

    Now, that is an interesting thought.

  335. martino from barcelona says

    firt was napoleon.: rusians in PARIS. After was Hitler: russians in berlin. Next another moron: USA. I want Usa startting a war with russia. :Russians in Whasington DC. But this time dont let anybody alive, The UK first. Sorry for the kind people of USA and the UK.

  336. There are now reports that Trump is actually the one pushing for escalation:

    That’s certainly my impression from public sources today (see the final paragraph of my 213 above).

    Doesn’t look like Trump knows what he’s doing

    Seems to me that’s pretty firmly established now, though inevitably there are still dead-enders making increasingly desperate arguments for it all being secret genius by Trump.

    The problem is that you can keep on doing that right up until he does something that can’t be spun as anything other than disastrous. But by then it’s too late.

  337. The Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta

    You can stop reading after that. This is not to speak of National Interest itself being generally a low quality geopolitical tabloid whose 90% of material is written by fanboys for fanboys. With some rarest of the exceptions, most of what they write on Russia is BS. Well, look at their headlines.

  338. Philip Owens is an industry expert on Russia and an expert on Russian technology, manufacture and “lack of” electronics. He has been published in major magazines – I think I have seen his name in Forbes and has better education than you do, more money than you do, and can proudly say his people make the best countries in the world where you choose to live in.

  339. German_reader says

    I obviously can’t judge the merits of Novaya Gazeta, but I find it interesting that even an anti-Putin newspaper has dug up information that indicates this Novichok substance might have found its way to other parties than Russian security servives. If it is indeed true that it was even used by organized crime groups in the 1990s, the claim that only the Russian state can be behind the Skripal poisoning looks even more dubious.

  340. The fantasy that Trump is “fighting some nebulous Deep State” might be just a disinformation meme spread by Breitbart and other Zionist outfits while Israel and its goals were the real objectives from the day one. Many Trump fanboys eat it up and keep hoping against hope. Hope dies last after all. People running on hope alone are very vulnerable to manipulation.

    The only pre-election promises that Trump has kept were (1) be good to Israel and (2) be bad to Iran. I have noticed that Breitbart was very critical of McMaster and was very lukewarm on Tillerson for no specific reason. But apparently they had to go and be replaced with Bolton and Pompeo to proceed to the next phase of being good to Israel.

    The question one may ask to what extent Trump is a willful participant or whether he is just within a funnel that was designed and built for him by the neocons and CIA while Mueller probe and Stormy Daniels are the piston that pushes him deeper and deeper into the funnel. It is possible that the Trump operation manual was written long time ago and now it is just being used.

  341. The basic question, at least for Americans like myself, is “Why the hell do we even want to involve ourselves in this ME mess?”.

    Because the expansion is at the core of US way of life (crudely put).
    In order to sustain that way of life it has to expand. ME is part of that expansion.
    Should ME get assimilated now, the expansion will continue somewhere else.
    Russia, itself, is the last asset to be acquired.

    Or…should the expansion stop, that way of life will change.
    That is the problem.

    You………must……….expand.

    Or…somebody should come up with something not requiring expanding. Don’t know what it is.
    Even “Communist” USSR was expanding.
    Different topic.

    So, what is missing in this discussion is:
    Russia has a very good reason to desist here.
    But, and that is the clincher, The Borg…I mean West/USA, has also a very good, existential reason, to push.

    So..here we are.

  342. Another round, maybe questionable but probably favors Russia. Massive commitment and third plus exchanges involving all theater assets favors the US, but global thermonuclear war would probably favor Russia, which has there head into this kind of fight for some years, and the US has discounted it as a realistic thing to plan for.

    Personally I think this is a useful and important way to look at it. So long as the matter stays mostly in theatre and conventional, the US has escalation superiority. But at the level of strategic nuclear war, Russia has at least effective parity with the US, even if only because both sides can effectively destroy each other and both have solid second strike capabilities.

    That suggests Russia in extremis could gain from raising the stakes to the brink of the strategic nuclear exchange level by, say, hitting a US carrier with a nuke.

  343. foolisholdman says

    I understand that the liberation of East Ghouta destroyed far more than the Jihadists, the SAA captured several hundred Saudi, Israeli, US and UK military specialists who were directing and controlling the Jihadists’ fight. They also captured more than 100 51mm VX shells coming from Porton Down and a number of chlorine shells made by Merck in Germany.

    veteranstoday.com/2018/04/08/proof-intel-drop-trump-bolton-behind-syria-chemical-attacks-confirmed

  344. for-the-record says

    And here is another complicated story which also suggests that the argument of “no plausible alternative” is fading fast.

    By the way, the press yesterday considerably overstated what the OPCW report actually said, even in the confidential report available only to State Parties (at least according to Lavrov) there is no specific mention of “novichok”, only a “long chemical formula”.

    . . . What the affair does show, however, was that in the crippling poverty of the Russian 1990s, dangerous military-grade poisons did occasionally go walkabout. And it is not likely that Professor Rink was the only scientist unable to resist criminal forces. Mr Mirzayanov himself told The Independent that he was also approached by criminals looking to obtain chemical weapons.

    “It’s the first time in telling anybody this, but yes, in 1994, once, I was offered a million rubles to synthesise a poison,” he said. “It was a very short conversation. I said no. Everyone makes their own choices. When I didn’t have money, I went out and sold jeans on the highway.”

    Such revelations undermine British suggestions that the Kremlin was “overwhelmingly likely” the only Russian actor capable of implementing a chemical weapon attack using novichok in Salisbury. With the substance floating about on the black market, any number of criminal and near-state groups could potentially have that capacity.

    Three experts surveyed by The Independent agreed novichok-type substances sold in the 1990s could retain lethal potency two decades years later.

    But even if poison were successfully smuggled into the UK, there are other barriers to it being used in an attack. Its application would, for example, likely require making a suspension with oil, and the substance would be very volatile. This, at the very least, would suggest expert involvement.

    “These suspensions are so dangerous that even the smallest mistake will result in tragedy,” says Mr Mirzayanov. “You’re bound to have a mistake if you have no experience. And it’s here that we’re clearly talking about a state or military level of expertise.”

    Concurrently, poor handling would also affect the potency of any nerve agent.

    “One of the biggest drawbacks of novichok is that it is hydrolysed immediately,” said Mr Mirzayanov. “In retrospect, only an idiot would choose to use it for a murder in England with its 100 per cent humidity.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sergei-skripal-yulia-nerve-agent-russia-spy-poisoning-salisbury-murder-ivan-kivelidi-a8303501.html

  345. reiner Tor says

    You aren’t going to get the Americans to feel bad about breaching an agreement in response to a breach of an agreement, as they would see it, and nor are you going to get any particular sympathy from neutrals.

    It’s not about sympathy, or making Americans feel bad. It’s about showing weakness (as happened) or strength (as could have happened), making Americans scared shitless about even ruffling the hair of one Russian soldier, official or not. Americans had no reason to think that they could breach an agreement with Russia in response to a Syrian violation. There could’ve been official Russian soldiers at the settlement, after all. They should have asked. Or, if they asked, but the Russians said they weren’t there, then that was just stupid.

    Deniable cuts both ways.

    There was nothing to deny about the mercenaries’ presence there. Unlike with the British/American/Qatari/Whateveristani operators who might or might not have died in Syria. The argument about deniability only makes sense if there was any reason to deny their presence. Russia uses mercenaries for this type of role is to minimize official military losses. They could be used for plausible deniability, but in this case deniability played no role, so there was no reason for Russia to deny their presence.

    this is clearly a non sequitur since there were no Russian servicemen involved in the incident under discussion

    It’s a non sequitur in the sense that obviously Russian behavior in this case wouldn’t prove that Russia would do the same thing when Russian servicemen were involved. Actually, even if the Deir ez-Zor victims were Russian servicemen, and Russia did nothing, it still wouldn’t prove that Russia would do nothing next time. But certainly a forceful Russian response (even if just a verbal protest and some symbolic gesture) would’ve clearly decreased the probability in the minds of most people (including yours truly) that they’d just lie low and accept the deaths of some Russian servicemen. I don’t even understand how you can debate this point.

    But unlike the normies to whom you refer, it’s highly unlikely he has their defence of ignorance to call upon.

    But other than the number of deaths, what is it that they don’t know? The Americans attacked a base in breach of an agreement, without telling the Russians, some Russians died, and Russia just ate its spinach. I’m sure it makes a lot of people more confident Russia will do the same if the Russians in question won’t be semi-official mercenaries, but fully official servicemen. It makes no one less confident that Russia won’t dare shooting back.

    Anyway, we’re just repeating our points. Could we just use a Swedish arbitration court to decide that I’m right, and you’re wrong?

  346. the SAA captured several hundred Saudi, Israeli, US and UK military specialist who were directing and controlling the Jihadists’ fight. They also captured more than 100 51mm VX shells coming from Porton Down and a number of chlorine shells made by Merck in Germany.

    The problem with this kind of story is that the Syrians and the Russians would have to be absolute idiots not to have paraded it all in the media by now. That’s exactly what the likes of RT exist for.

  347. Spisarevski says

    Sinking carriers with nukes makes about as much sense as hunting wild boars with a bazooka.

  348. So far. Almost everyone starts paying attention when their own neck (and their children’s/dog’s necks) gets jeopardised.

    Scenario:
    Nobody cares now in West, especially where it matters, say, Northern Hemisphere. Night falling now.

    Western forces launch tonight, say, 2 AM, while “most everyone” sleeps.
    Russians retaliate, sink a ship, at 5 AM.
    West retaliates and swamp the Russian bases there at 8 AM.
    DEFCON up. Russian nuclear readiness up.
    People start paying attention.
    Russians retaliate and swamp one of US bases there at 11 AM, say, CENTCOM.
    DEFCON up. Russian nuclear readiness up.
    People start paying more attention. Talking.
    2 PM, DEFCON up all the way. Strategic forces on both sides on full alert and readiness.
    People start getting really worried.
    Doesn’t matter. The matters are out of their hands.
    Maybe out of anybody’s hands.

    The time for paying attention was 5 minutes after the announcement of chemical attack. Say, the same type when a new iPhone is coming out. Or celebrity breaks a fingernail.
    The time for doing something, say mass show of displeasure, was when the leaders of the West started blaming Russia without any evidence. Say, the same type of displeasure when a white cop kills a colored suspect.

    That’s “us”.

  349. Daniel Chieh says

    Could we just use a Swedish arbitration court to decide that I’m right, and you’re wrong?

    Isn’t that what drinking contests are for?

  350. This is really a case where the public perception of nuclear war is completely dominated by scifi representations of it.

    They can be artistically good, but as a rule, not realistic. E.g., On the Beach, everyone dies. Dr. Strangelove actually more realistic, but that is because in that film, the Soviets seed their nukes with cobalt (which they don’t IRL). Fallout and Metro 2033 universes are awesome but complete fictions (ironically, scifi biological weapons play a key part in both).

    Ironically, main exception is the very good 1980s British film Threads, which you can download on the torrents sites. Assessment of wartime deaths due to the Soviet strike is realistic (around 20 million – note the US will have less relative deaths, because its a larger, less densely populated area). However, after the blasts, population proceeds to fall to a medieval level of around 10 million. This is much less realistic, because as Thorfinnsson explained, industrialism will survive; nuclear winter will last no more than 2 years; and the effects of nuclear blasts on the ozone layer are greatly overestimated.

    Serious literature about nuclear war estimated around 60 million deaths for the US in a full scale exchange with the USSR (I can hunt down the sources when I have more time). Substantial numbers of famine deaths in the Third World from the cessation of international food shipments. “Nuclear winter” will be a 1-2c cooling that lasts 1-2 years, not a decadal plunge into a new Ice Age.

    Unfortunately, realistic discussion of nuclear war impacts (which are bad enough as they are) was overwhelmed by sensationalist crap due to post-1960s atomophobia, and people generally lost interest in the subject after 1991.

  351. It is usually not in my rules to respond to some anonymous trolls. But I will respond here:

    Philip Owens is an industry expert on Russia and an expert on Russian technology, manufacture and “lack of” electronics

    I can guarantee you and Mr. Philip Owen, if he reads this, that he has no even remote clue on how any Russian weapon system operates and what goes into them from design to requirements, to manufacturing–I do. Unlike him, who wouldn’t be allowed miles near any serious Russian military-industrial complex facility, through 1990 I held a Soviet Code Word-equivalent (Osoboi Vazhnosti) clearance and originate from a family of career naval officers and my father was one of the leading radio-electronics engineers in ERA (Electro-Radio Automatics) and worked on such ships and subs such as Oscar-class SSGNs or pr. 667 BDRM SSBNs, just an example. I hold degree in naval engineering, with specialization in gyro-inertial navigational complexes of strategic missile systems (navy-based). Specifically for the projects of 667B-BD (NATO : Delta I-II). So, yes–Mr. Owen is NOT an expert on any Russian military technology, not even close. I will omit here my military service experiences.

    I have seen his name in Forbes and has better education than you do, more money than you do

    You can see my name on the United States Naval Institute Proceeding magazine, which is unlike Forbes, is a professional publication of military professionals, their blog, my book on precisely sheer incompetence of such rags as Forbes and other “expert” publications, including most of US “Russia expertdom”, especially military one, is about to hit shelves. Hell, I might as well plug it in here:

    http://claritypress.com/Martyanov.html

    The second one is in works. I wish Mr. Owen all money he wants and wish him only the best in his professional and human endeavors, but his opinions on anything Russia military (and technology) related is worth as much as your opinion–that is Zero. Am I in a ballpark? Do you need my further elaborations?

    P.S. If it of any consolation to you–I most likely make way less than him. I learned to live with this sad fact long ago.

  352. It’s about showing weakness (as happened) or strength (as could have happened), making Americans scared shitless about even ruffling the hair of one Russian soldier, official or not.

    But making a big fuss wouldn’t “make the Americans scared shitless”, it would just have made the Americans fall about laughing. And as I note above, a substantive response (killing some Americans) would just have been portrayed as more Russian evil, likely triggering a US retaliation in turn. It’s not in Russian’s interest to escalate these issues (or they would probably have done it on this occasion).

    As a matter of interest, I saw a Tucker Carlson interview posted earlier in which Stephen Cohen says that his Russian contacts suggest the Russians “let it pass but they said that if it ever happens again they will retaliate”.

    https://youtu.be/h_xbECML9Bs

    The argument about deniability only makes sense if there was any reason to deny their presence

    Deniability is about responsibility, not necessarily presence.

    Anyway, we’re just repeating our points. Could we just use a Swedish arbitration court to decide that I’m right, and you’re wrong?

    Probably a good idea. What could possibly go wrong…

  353. Sinking carriers with nukes makes about as much sense as hunting wild boars with a bazooka.

    Well if you’re not planning to eat the thing, what’s wrong with a bazooka for dealing with a wild boar infestation?

  354. I think Mr Pres went WWW or whatever that wrestling org is called.

    Flex muscles and threaten annihilation. Make the studio warriors face the possiblity of no future and burning hair.

    Everything will then calm.

    Trump and Putin win. Shitheads will have to think of something else. Already behind.

  355. Russia officially outing UK today as a main culprit in Douma false flag, inevitably brings up, in force, two questions:

    1. Skripals obvious false flag;
    2. Steele’s dossier.

    Political ramifications of that are gigantic, in fact–global. Militarily, UK was put today on notice that, God forbids, anything bad happens those will be UK military assets in region which will be shot down or sunk first in response. It is also learned today that it seems that RAF stopped all flights in the area since 9th. If it is true, I can only speculate what Russia has on UK but I begin to lean towards the fact that messages are being delivered.

  356. reiner Tor says

    I think I’m younger than you, so the drinking contest proposed by Daniel Chiah also appeals to me.

    It’s a pity it’s basically impossible to organize a meetup.

  357. ThreeCranes says

    We must expand because we have printed more dollars than we can cover with our current or forecasted rates of productivity. Only by enlisting more peoples of the world in the use of petrodollars can we sop up the excess we have borrowed into existence via our trade deficits.

    It is indeed, as many another has pointed out, a Ponzi scheme and like all such will end in a crash and misery for all those who are too poor to isolate or insulate themselves from the fallout.

  358. Ironically, main exception is the very good 1980s British film Threads

    I agree, this is one of the most realistic of the nuclear holocaust films, allowing for the limitations and ideas of the time. I haven’t watched it for decades now, but from memory the portrayal of ordinary life in Sheffield is good (as it happens I was living there at the time, round the corner from one of the main locations) , the portrayal of the attack and the dependence on government, the helplessness and the long slow grinding decline of survivors, again very convincing imo.

    It didn’t shock me because I had a particular interest in the consequences of nuclear war and had prior knowledge, but I think it legitimately shocked a lot of viewers.

  359. You would definitely win a drinking contest (and you wouldn’t even have to be much good yourself). If I were but 30 years younger ……

  360. http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-caste-as-social-capital-1387350

    Because worshipping homosexuals is the only way to live life? Except better from a Chinese.

  361. I wouldn’t want to be at Akrotiri right now.

  362. As a matter of interest, I saw a Tucker Carlson interview posted earlier in which Stephen Cohen says that his Russian contacts suggest the Russians “let it pass but they said that if it ever happens again they will retaliate”.

    It is officially admitted on both sides that Pentagon and Russian MOD are in constant and multi-level contacts. I know it may struck some as surreal, as it did me at some point of time, but it is now defense line of “Mad Dog” Mattis and Dunford against real mad dogs in US Congress and White House, which jammed an extremely dangerous escalation. For now. In fact, a surreal scenario becomes possible (how probable–I don’t know) of Russian and US military “coordinating” some kind of attack on some “high value” targets in Syria. In the end it was Mattis who honestly admitted that US will not be able to control escalation. Yes, it is US military which, paradoxically, does not allow that cabal of draft-dodgers, lawyers, journos, political pseudo-scientists, banksters and other useless parasites, known as US Congress and establishment to have their war-mongering way.

  363. Daniel Chieh says

    Ironically, main exception is the very good 1980s British film Threads, which you can download on the torrents sites.

    I will have to check it out. Thanks.

  364. I wouldn’t want to be at Akrotiri right now.

    No real military professional on any side wants to be in the position they all are in now due to lies, incompetence, cowardice and bellicosity of West’s so called political “elites”. They are rotten and corrupt to the core.

  365. Anonymous says

    Because the expansion is at the core of US way of life (crudely put).

    Not exactly. The US goyim have been forced to do with less since the 70s.

    And the global growth is nothing but a mirage since the 2007 crisis.

  366. Who the fuck is Anatoly Karlin and who’s paying him for this tripe?

    Whoever benefits form the nuclear-war-is-winnable-and-survivable meme will appreciate this article.

    You could also ask who the fuck is Andrei Martyanov. Only American MIC benefits from his writing and some die hard Russian patriots who want to sooth their wounded souls.

  367. Tsar Nicholas says

    If you kill off the natural world you kill off human food sources.

    Something or some combination of things has killed off 80% of the insects across the planet. Nuclear war will finish the process.

    This hasn’t been mentioned in sci-fi, so far as I know, but the Martians in War of the Worlds succumbed to earth’s bacterial life. Don’t discount the lttle things.

  368. Making Xinjiang & Malaysia muslim to spite India, very harmony।।

    oocities.org/somasushma/tarim.html

    http://www.indiandefensenews.in/2016/08/history-of-indian-ocean-shows-how-old.html?m=1

  369. Daniel Chieh says

    I doubt it – fallout won’t be enough to wipe out all natural life. It’ll irradiate and increase cancer rates, but for animals with short life cycles such as insects, they will be able to recover faster than usual. I do believe that the complex food system we have which effectively has reduced soil to basically medium to add fertilizer and pesticides will have a hard time surviving. However, humans will survive, it’ll just be at a lower level of living standard and eventually the species will recover in time.

    I do believe if biological weapons were unleashed at the same time, it would make things more difficult. I still believe humanity would survive as a species.

  370. reiner Tor says

    I think it’s theoretically possible to design a biological weapon which would wipe out all humans, or even all mammals, for example. Probably you could even create biological weapons which would only target one tribe of humans, though there’d inevitably be people killed outside the tribe, and members of the tribe spared.

  371. One thing I have occasionally wondered about is why China spends so little (<2% of GDP) on the military.

    I know the standard arguments ("peaceful rise", etc.) but surely one shouldn't drink one's own Kool-Aid.

    There is also the argument about not falling into the USSR's military overspending trap. But the USSR spend at least 12% of its GDP – possibly much more – on the military. 5% is patently sustainable. Even 10% is probably ok (1950's USA; Israel until quite recently).

    In their place, I would have been spooked by this back in 1996 and sought to at least match the USA’s 3-5% of GDP spending forthwith.

  372. Civiliki are very weak cucks who will have even less support.

  373. Daniel Chieh says

    I remember reading about this and it had the amusing conclusion that in the event that a genetic weapon was made to target, for example, race-specific genes, Middle Easterners would be subject to its effects regardless of who it targeted due to the admixture in their genes. This also makes them the most difficult to target in the specific.

    There could also be theoretical versions of this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoherbicide

    Wiping out plantlife in an area, or significantly stunting its existence would cause immense damage to the targeted area, especially if the agent can remain in the soil and continue for many years.

  374. Probably nothing will happen this week and all could change.

    The OPCW don’t start to work until Saturday.

    And the significant American navy group will not even be in the region until about 20th of April.

  375. It’s not a meme, it’s reality (a “tragic but distinguishable outcome”, in the words of the great Herman Kahn).

    Anyhow, as I said, this “rosy” prediction doesn’t apply to myself – I am in one of the very worst spots on the Earth for surviving a nuclear war. Which is why I don’t even bother with preparing for it. Not an efficient use of resources, time, etc.

  376. In many ways we are in genuinely uncharted territory here. Cold War Cuban Missile Crisis analogies do not account for the sheer complexities of the ME situation, the multiple interests all with their own ways of manipulating events and disseminating propaganda, nor for the starkly delusional nature of US leadership.

    As I noted the other day, it could all blow over and the usual suspects will all claim there never was any real danger, it was all under control, multi-dimensional chess by grand master Trump.

    But the reality will be that the White House pulled the trigger on an empty chamber and we got away with it. This time.

  377. Daniel Chieh says

    In part its because they really did drink their own Kool-Aid, and in part it was due to a strenuous belief that high-tech weapons would not be as impactful as promised in a ground war in Asia; the example of Vietnam and the like. Furthermore, the PLA traditionally had an overwhelming dominance by the Army with reduced emphasis on their Navy and Air Force(both traditionally high spenders).

    Realization that running on tracks had to change came from 1)bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade and 2)2003 invasion of Iraq. The former signed a level of disrespect for Chinese lives by the West that could not be accepted, and the former indicated that “fighting on the cheap” with Army-dominated units was clearly no longer viable.

    Eventually this led to military reorganization to produce a central command, increased the relative power of air and naval forces, and indeed the recent open emphasis on the Navy though it clearly has been building up with the modernization and expansion of their shipbuilding capabilities.

    Fundamentally, the idea of power projection has been avoided by China has an expensive boondoggle and to focus on defensive weaponry. Evidently, this is changing.

  378. annamaria says

    “The generals (Mattis and Dunford) understood the situation…”
    But Israel-firsters are furious. Here is a militant ziocon attacking Tucker Carlson for a truthful reporting (which is very rare in MSM) — basically for the same statement that was uttered by General Mattis: http://theduran.com/tucker-carlson-rips-into-propaganda-accusations/
    The Israel-firsters (the parasite’ tentacles) want the slaughter to continue: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/europe/russia/tucker-carlson-russian-line-syria-trump/

  379. In many ways we are in genuinely uncharted territory here. Cold War Cuban Missile Crisis analogies do not account for the sheer complexities of the ME situation

    Agree completely.

    As I noted the other day, it could all blow over and the usual suspects will all claim there never was any real danger, it was all under control, multi-dimensional chess by grand master Trump.

    This, I don’t know–after all, it seems even presstitudes are now scared. Good, I want those ass-holes, who helped to precipitate this to go in their pants, preferably live on TV. Low lives, most of them.

  380. At least buy some guns me & my friends want to kidnap Kavkaz & Turk whores in the aftermath, will you join?

  381. Johnny F. Ive says

    “That is because getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes is really, really retarded, and stupidity needs to be punished.” True!

  382. Daniel Chieh says

    No, he’s going to have to fight Dark Ones in the Metro.

  383. Thorfinnsson says

    My understanding is that the CCP identified over-militarization as a significant contributor to the collapse of the USSR.

    It also has something to do with China’s internal political dynamics–namely making sure the party stays on top. This is no doubt one of the motivations behind the SOE privatization process ending in the naughties as well.

    Beyond that, I would not be surprised if someone in the CCP was influenced by Seymour Melman. Melman was an industrial engineer and operations researcher who argued that America’s vast military-industrial complex was the reason it fell behind some other advanced industrial countries in advanced manufacturing.

    Like everyone else obsessed with a single theory, he definitely oversold it. During the 1970s he blamed inflation on the Pentagon, for instance.

    A (well run) military-industrial complex can develop emergent technology and increase the demand for engineers (and thus not constrict supply to civilian manufacturing), but at some point in time the diversion of resources from the civilian sector must be harmful (as seen in the USSR?).

    That said with its large current account surpluses, China could’ve simply increased its arms imports from Russia. Convenient way to get rid of excess foreign exchange reserves.

    I know the standard arguments (“peaceful rise”, etc.) but surely one shouldn’t drink one’s own Kool-Aid.

    The peaceful rise was working about as well as could be expected under Hu Jintao, but China’s actions in the South China Sea under Xi have dashed that. Seems like they should’ve increased spending prior to starting this.

    In their place, I would have been spooked by this back in 1996 and sought to at least match the USA’s 3-5% of GDP spending forthwith.

    They did get spooked by that, as well as the Gulf War.

    China’s A2/AD efforts as well as its program to acquire and master advanced Russian defense technology started in 1993, when Jiang Zemin ordered the armed forces to prepare for “local wars under high technology conditions.”

    Around the same time the Chinese also incorporated “Revolution in Military Affairs” into its strategic doctrine and translated more or less everything ever put out by the Office of Net Assessment.

  384. Baizuo won’t be able to manufacture & export dark ones post nuclear war, I hope।।

    Anyway it will be motorcycles vs horses.

  385. Daniel Chieh says
  386. Procurement also takes a bureaucracy which they’ve likely kept limited to avoid American waste।।

    They’d rather focus the bureaucracy elsewhere, & lot of military expense might be hidden elsewhere।।

    Either way, we forget the interstate was a military project & China is at that stage in build-up।।

  387. Yes, I picked the racist ending।।

    USA & Jews are too bitch to pull the trigger।।

  388. Stonehands says

    Since war is at hand, isn’t it about time we Americans should register our preferences about what we think Russia should nuke?

    The Federal Reserve system here in Philly, New York. Dallas etc,…. in addition,of course ,Wall St. and their back -up in Jersey City…thereby leaving the collection agency the Internal Revenue Service BTFO’d and irrelevant.

  389. Tsar Nicholas says

    It’ll irradiate and increase cancer rates, but for animals with short life cycles such as insects, they will be able to recover faster than usual.

    I wish I could believe that but the evidence suggests otherwise. Mutations show up early and in, say, just five years you can have at least 5 generations (more with some species) suffering accumulated genetic damage, getting worse in expression with each generation.

    I suggest you look up the work of Dr Tim Mousseau who has studied the situation in Chernobyl and at Fukushima (the latter still leaking out massive amounts of radiation seven years after the initial triple meltdown).

    some propaganda sources will have you believe that wildlife is thriving in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone but this is far from true. Some species of mammal that might ordinarily be hunted down by humans are prospering but the overall picture is gloomy. Many trees that died decades ago have not decayed because the bacteria that consume them are themselves dead! this points to that nuclear accident being a sterilising event.

    Can you tell me of any humans who have recovered from genetic damage suffered by past generations? the damage is cumulative down the generations That’s true with victims of Agent Orange and it’s true with British ex-servicemen exposed to radioactive fallout in the south Pacific in the 1950s. And who know what subtle damage has been done to the general population since the first atomic bombs were exploded? A 60 year old British man who fathers a child is five times less likely to produce a child with Down’s Syndrome if he has sex with a 20-year old female than a 20-year old man who does the same!

  390. Anonymous says

    I don’t even bother with preparing for it

    No one cares for your wrinkled ass, believe it or not.

    • Every nuke can be made effective by setting the warhead to detonate at ground level – regardless if the rocket gets hit. Game over. MAD assured.
    • More than 10% of the population would perish day one.

    • Every nuclear plant in the world would go into meltdown in short order.

    • 80% of the immediate survivors would kill each-other for water in the first 30 days.

    • The rest will wait underground to inherit the Earth that won’t be suitable for complex life for many, many, millennia.

    So, I’m not surprised you didn’t prepare for it. Why are you selling this suicidal garbage to others?

  391. ‘Wrinkled ass’

    This is a faggot free zone।।

  392. ….this is one of the most realistic of the nuclear holocaust films..

    Agree.

    There is one interesting point, overlooked by most I am sure.

    Just before the “exchange”, and after the H.M.G. declared that “state of emergency/whatever” all potential troublemakers were rounded up. Wasn’t shown what happened to them.
    Makes you think, I guess.

    BTW, good posts re this topic.

  393. Russia has biggest natural resources in the world, and China has biggest production capacity in the world. Though USA have natural resources but it does not have the capability turning them into items to support their current living standard, while EU has no natural resources to keep their societies functioning in any meaningful period of time if war breaks out. Besides during the war only tangleable stuff matters, SWIFT and fiat money USD will be as good as dodo, if not being a handicap to the West war effort after it being hacked.

    It is puzzling the author keeps on saying the West can strangle the Russian economy, it seems the author completely oblivious about the fact that Russia does not need the West for essential necessities or modern convenience, while the West is completely exterior dependent for their living standard and social stability.

    USD and SWIFT will be the first casualty if war breaks out, it surely will be a fast and shortcut way to collapse the Empire of Chaos and end the American bellicosity and hubris.

  394. EliteCommInc. says

    My problem is not at all with the numbers. And then if Russia had to take on NATO — though should full scale conflict emerge Europe will eat the worst it.

    That’s not really a concern, until I take a look at history. If we go to are we prepared to own Russia and at what cost.

    It’s not as if the Russians have not been outgunned and out ‘technologized’ before.

    Unfortunately, we wait for cooler heads to prevail. I am not a fan of just because we can — we should.

  395. EliteCommInc. says

    Even I thought this bit of levity humorous.

    I had a pleasant laugh.

  396. Anonymous says

    Lol!

    Apparently not. Anatoly doesn’t even care about protection. Go big or go home.

  397. Daniel Chieh says

    No one is going to “own” Russia. You’re going to be too busy dealing with the aftereffects of nuclear fallout.

  398. EliteCommInc. says

    A little dust —-

    no way.

    The comment introducing the film

    Threads

    appreciated that

  399. Everybody is mutant

  400. Citizens way to fight back against these sick psychopaths is to expose the truth in the face of their litany of shameless lies …..

    Vanessa Beeley Exposes the White Helmets:  

    Eva Bartlett Exposes the Lies on Syria: 

    Listen, for instance, to the citizens of Aleppo and their own opinions of the white helmets and their true motives:

  401. Dear god I hope so.

  402. Listen to Trump — he goes bonkers over “that man who gases his people – Assad”

    Trump will avoid the charge of starting a war, by focusing on Assad. One way or another, Trump will assassinate Assad.

    If Assad is dead, Syria will be broken up, much of it falling to the Jews – end of story. The non-Sunni will have to fight for their very lives. Turkey will take the north. Jorden the south. Lebanon will be halved – and a final solution to the Palestinians will happen.

    That is the Jew agenda – who is foolish enough to think it is not? With the US government’s power behind them – who can stop the bastards?

    Think Peace — Art

  403. Joe is a soul-mate of Godfree Roberts. That’s all you need to know.

  404. There is one interesting point, overlooked by most I am sure.

    Just before the “exchange”, and after the H.M.G. declared that “state of emergency/whatever” all potential troublemakers were rounded up. Wasn’t shown what happened to them.

    Funnily enough, that exact thought did occur to me when I wrote that comment. I’ve no illusions on that score – if there’s time to impose a state of emergency and round up assumed and suspected unreliables, I reckon my name will be on the list and no personal contacts will make any difference then. It’ll be a nondescript and probably improvised camp or detention centre followed by a bullet in the head, or just starvation, if the nuclear balloon actually goes up.

    The best defence is that there just aren’t enough police and military bodies to do it easily today, as there were then, and conscripting and organising people is going to take time in itself. Probably all be over by the time they get far enough down the list to reach me.

    BTW, good posts re this topic.

    Cheers!

  405. That is not how I read the article, that’s not how I remember it. I think Anatoly actually wrote that NATO can’t fully “strangle” the Russian economy without China’s support. However, it’s obvious that a total Western embargo would lead to a huge drop in living standards at first, but Russia would survive and slowly adjust, more or less.

  406. Russian officials interviewed two people involved in the fake Douma “gas attack”:

  407. There won’t be a war the whites have diverted focus to India fake atrocity Literature

    https://mobile.twitter.com/squintneon/status/984801311039242240?s=20

    https://mobile.twitter.com/padhalikha/status/984664960486772736

    The west deserves everything that’s happening to it।।

  408. He used to post a great deal here. The moderator went to considerable lengths to get rid of him, deleting his posts (which ruined nested threads), banning his IP addresses &c. Eventually he gave up. He wasn’t a problem and the moderator tolerates all sorts of bad behavior, so his insistence here never made sense.

    Just a note that the Unz.com commenter Art Deco is a lying scumbag.

    I have made a grand total of about a dozen comments on MR, most or all of which went through so far as I know.

    While I don’t really mind people who criticize and insult me to my face here, just making up stuff on other places that I am unlikely to notice is despicable.

  409. That suggests Russia in extremis could gain from raising the stakes to the brink of the strategic nuclear exchange level by, say, hitting a US carrier with a nuke.

    I agree that Russians would gain by getting to brink of nuclear exchange level as fast as possible, but it would be politically advantageous to do this conventionally without using nuclear weapons – for example destroying a US carrier with non-nuclear missiles.

    There is a large psychological difference between using nuclear weapons and conventional weapons although the effect on the carrier would be the same (it sinks).

  410. USA only has 10 cities with population more than a million; knocking out those 10 cities is knocking out the USA’s civilization. The USA is very vulnerable and fragile in a war that bombs can land on its home turf. Where would the USA get the manpower to continue the war after its civilization got obliterated? It is a reality the author does not want to touch with a ten feet barge pole.

  411. reiner Tor says

    Where did he lie in the thread you linked to?

  412. Yup.

    We both live in places with similar setup.

    We are, here, just smaller, population wise, and bigger re space.
    We also do have access to some weaponry too. That’s something I’ve been contemplating recently.

    With us, here, it could very well start with confiscating those firearms on a large scale.

    So, I have a dilemma: shoot or not in that case.
    Joking.
    Sort of.

    If they are just coming for me re “troublemaker”, no dilemma. Yes, I know, easy to say. One way to find out.

    Hehe….and now I definitely got on that list.

  413. German_reader says

    Just do ctrl+f for “Art Deco”, time is April 13, 2018 at 5:08 pm.
    He also claims AK lived in the US for 25 years which is factually wrong as far as I know.

  414. Daniel Chieh says

    Well, your fame is increasing.

  415. Indians covered you this time with fake news,

    If you’re gonna die in Nuclear Fire might as well do it armed to the teeth, with a minimum 300lb bench & Wearing Symbols of Perunas।।

    Stronglifts.com

    Will take you like 7 months to hit 100kg Floor/Bench Press।।

    https://i.imgur.com/hO9it6S.jpg

    THE RODNOVER SIKH CONFEDERACY BRINGS YOU THIS DECLARATION।।

  416. Stonehands says

    Armstrong has transferred his patriotism from his native country to Russia. His credibility is therefore suspect

    .

    Most people I know are completely fed -up with the disgraceful, degenerate, clown -show that the United States has become.

    Are you willing to lay down your life for the values that your country truly espouses? Sacred homosexuality? Feminism? Cultural Marxism and all the hedonistic material values that revolve around a profligate lifestyle?

    I understand the efficiency of your logistical presentations…and dont dispute the numerical advantages that you outline, but, in this instance force alone will not prevail.

    Power emanates from an intelligible, circumspect people grounded in absolute, transcendental truth. Without an appeal- and consequent direction from the Almighty, our society has become ANOMIC…and does not have the guts, nor the right, to win an all-out war.

    Supporting an administration and its military- that has expressly rejected self-regulatory values and OPENLY celebrates sodomy is suicidal- and should always be scorned and ridiculed until- by the Grace of God- the whole matter is tossed into the lake of fire.

  417. : Couldn’t a more pragmatic (and surviving) Tsarist Russia have engaged in land reform–including in the Baltic states?

    I mean, obviously the peasants living there (in the Baltic states, ethnic Baltic peasants) would have first dibs at the land, but given the low population density of the Baltic states, wouldn’t there be some land left over for ethnic Russians/Ukrainians/Belarusians who will want to move there?

    If free or cheap land was enough of an incentive to get ethnic Russians to settle in Siberia and northern Kazakhstan, wouldn’t the same have also been true in regards to the Baltic states?

  418. Tucker Carlson is doing God’s work on the MSM surrounded by vipers even in his own network. I’ve said this before and it has to be repeated!

  419. reiner Tor says

    Dunno how I missed it the first time. AK even answered him. Though I didn’t find the statements so outrageous, I wouldn’t have responded so sharply. (Though I’d also have corrected the factually wrong statements.)

  420. anonymous says

    Five days since the orange baboon opened his big mouth and promised immediate retalitation, and no WW3 yet.
    Disappointing and sad. Especially today – Friday the 13th would be awesome day for Armageddon.

  421. Well over here a shotgun licence (the only realistic option) just bumps your name up the list for either conscription or internment, I suspect.

  422. If you kill off the natural world you kill off human food sources.

    Something or some combination of things has killed off 80% of the insects across the planet. Nuclear war will finish the process.

    I don’t believe this at all. And the reason is basically Chernobyl. At the time the hysterical consensus was that all life would be destroyed (or horribly mutated) in the exclusion zone. In fact the exclusion of humans had a dramatically positive effect with an explosion of wildlife and reestablishment of whole food chains including top predators such as wolves.

    Somehow or other it is humans that are the problem, and when they are excluded, I’m sure that the insects and wild animals will do fine.

  423. Despite the long rant and numerous maps, this guy is full of it. If you want to be confused about what is happening in Syria now, just keep reading his educated nonsense.

  424. “…making up stuff on other places that I am unlikely to notice is despicable…”

    Agreed. Did Art Deco really do that? I’ve had my disagreements with the guy, but I wouldn’t have thought him capable of that.

  425. Daniel Chieh says

    Hey, a Reddit bot. Cool.

  426. annamaria says

    “It is puzzling the author keeps on saying the West can strangle the Russian economy, it seems the author completely oblivious about the fact that Russia does not need the West for essential necessities or modern convenience, while the West is completely exterior dependent for their living standard and social stability.”
    — Agree.

  427. John King says

    The Yinon Plan explains the current importance of Syria. Oded Yinon wrote in 1982 that in order for Israel to become the sole regional power in the Middle East all of the Arab countries needed to be turned into mini ethnic fiefdoms. In 2003, this plan was effected in Iraq. In 2011, it was effected in Libya. After this, attention was turned to Syria. If Syria falls, then the final part of the plan will be to tear apart Iran.

    The other part of the plan requires more Jews to move to what will become the area of a Greater Israel. The Muslim terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere might convince some Jewish people to believe that they will be safer in the Middle East than in Europe. At any rate, a greater Jewish population would seem desirable if a Greater Israel is to come into being.

    The one glaring weakness that I see with the Yinon Plan is that it ignores the possibility of trans-national ethnic Arab alliances forming in the wake of national division. For example, in the original document Yinon correctly notes that Iraq can be divided into three separate ethnic zones based on the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. However, it fails to note that this division might lead to an enhanced alliance between Shia Iraq and Shia Iran.

    I guess the second weakness is that the Yinon Plan requires a major power in order for it to be carried out. So, a second weakness is if the major power decides that dividing up the Middle East jeopardizes its own interest.

  428. Thorfinnsson says

    Congrats on making MR. MR is one of the few cuck sites worth commenting on. One, Tyler Cowen is interesting despite being a cuck. Two, comments are relatively uncensored there.

    Perhaps Art Deco is a sock puppet controlled by Andrei Martyanov, Lazy Glossophiliac, and other Sovok-American patriots?

    It may be time for Andrew Martinson, a retired US naval officer and scientist who now lives in Khabarovsk, to strike back at this Sovok-American sock puppet defamation army.

  429. anonymous says

    If the Neo Conservative Zionists get the USA/UK to launch a huge attack, Iraq style invasion against the Russians and Assad’s Syria I sincerely hope:

    Every US and Israeli Consulate/Embassy in the Arab, Iranian ME, France, Germany and England gets torched.

    I hope the Poles break off diplomatic relations with Israel, give the Red card of expulsion to any J tribe dual citizens. Hope they bull doze the Auschwitz Disney Land Holocaust guilt theme park and then they just turn it over to housing developers and build a modest Polish Catholic Church named after the Polish Pope, all that remains is some small place acknowledging the many people who suffered and died in the last months of World War II, but also acknowledged all the millions who died in similar forced labor camps in the old Soviet Union.

    I hope Palestinian equal rights activists target Zionist, Neo Conservative or just degenerate “targets” in Europe, USA – like the hard core porn industry, CNN, commencement ceremonies at Harvard Law School.

    I am feeling so down and depressed as I am today at the prospect of yet another God awful Neo Conservative USA/UK attack, war against an honorable nationalist people, complete with pathetic lying war attrocities of Assad and the Russians GASSING LITTLE CHILDREN.

    How many?

    6 Million?

    F**** these people.

    Can’t someone on our side please dox all of the worst Neo Conservative Zionists like Max Boot, William Kristol, Richard Pearle, David Podhoretz, all the Js left at Jonah GOldberg’s National Review, all the Neo Con rats that left the sinking ship to go over to The Atlantic Magazine which used to be my favorite honest, secular Liberal magazine.

    God I hate these people.

    Think we should go back to blaming them for killing Jesus as they slaughtered scores of Palestinians in Gaza on Good Friday.

    God I hate cowardly American Christians who do nothing for all this sh**.

  430. Thorfinnsson says

    I comment on the Unz Review.

    I am a dissident.

    I don’t love my country’s values or government.

    I love my home.

  431. Anonymous says

    Gen. James Dunford grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, a few towns over from where I live. He, like me, is Irish Catholic. He went all through Catholic schools (St. Ann’s in Quincy, Boston College High in S. Boston, St. Michael’s College in Vermont). But his formative years were spent with the nuns at St. Ann’s, a school which no longer exists. I pray to God, to JMJ+, that the wisdom of the nuns at St. Ann’s has stayed with him and he remains strong, shows the virtues of fortitude and prudence, and doesn’t allow the demonic characters pushing for war to get their way and allow a nuclear armeggeddon to unfold.

  432. Anonymous says

    Tucker Carlson is the last honest man of courage on “American” (yeah right) television news.

    How long is he going to last with the Murdoch Children purging anyone and anyone that opposed the cursed Neo Conservative/Zionist liars/war mongers.

  433. Mr Chieh, I appreciate you provide this site with voices of people other than WN and am sorry for your mainland family members. However, the land reform PRC conducted is necessary and may be the most important factor that contributes to China’s rapid growth after Deng opened up China. Plenty of countries have cheap labor, but what makes China especially appealing for foreign investors is its highly efficient infrastructure, which would not be possible had it not been for the land reform to end the concentration of landholding in the minority landowners. India, on the other hand, did not go through land reform after its independence, so its manufacturing base can hardly be developed in contrast to Japan, China, South Korea.

  434. Daniel Chieh says

    There are plenty of ways to accomplish land reform that don’t involve struggling people to death. Plenty of things are necessary: but necessary ends do not mean that the methods used can just be excused or even praised.

    Mostly its just to snap back at J. Wong, who has a ridiculously cheerful view of China bordering on self-parody.

  435. You’ve been making so much useless noise here that I have to wonder why they let you out of your birdcage…?

    From your comment #239…

    ‘…But the odds are pretty stacked, so it’s hard to see any ultimate outcome other than Russian defeat in theatre….’

    From your comment #348…

    ‘…So long as the matter stays mostly in theatre and conventional, the US has escalation superiority…’

    and…

    ‘…That suggests Russia in extremis could gain from raising the stakes to the brink of the strategic nuclear exchange level by, say, hitting a US carrier with a nuke…’

    Since your statements are delivered with such conviction [not to say authority] I will cede the floor to let you explain some of the nuts and bolts of how exactly the scenarios you envisage here would play out…

    I realize of course that you actually know nothing of the nuts and bolts…ie the technical aspects of air combat…[or even the well known historical facts for that matter]…but since you have been clamoring so much I think it is only fair to give you a chance to explain yourself…

    Why not start with the last statement about Russia ‘nuking’ a US carrier…?

    Please tell us what weapon system exactly is in the Russian inventory that is designed to hit ships with a nuclear warhead…?

    Of course there is none…but that should not stop a buttwhistler like yourself from blowing something out of your incredibly prolific bunghole…

    Not to mention that I have already described the decades old Russian doctrine and existing conventional weapons systems that are designed expressly for annihilating an entire carrier group in a single strike…

    Perhaps you missed that part from my comment #155…?

    And in fact I had only presented one leg of the anti-carrier triad…the long range aviation part…not having yet gone into the other legs such as surface and submarine based…as well as the short-range aviation…

    But no matter…

    Next…perhaps you could explain exactly how the US has ‘escalation superiority’…?

    What exactly does that mean anyway…?

    Inquiring minds want to know [the workings of a birdbrain]…

    And then you can get to the meat of the matter which you have decided [quite foolishly] to contend here with me…

    How exactly are the odds ‘stacked’ and the ‘ultimate’ outcome being a Russian ‘defeat’ in theater…

    It is all well and good to state one’s opinion…and if you want to admit it is simply an unfounded opinion then I will accept that…and move on to more substantive questions that require some discussion…

    And by discussion I don’t mean simply opening your beak and letting squawks come out…but actually bringing facts and technical details to the matter…supported by actual authoritative citations…

    I have said quite clearly that we may soon witness an actual shooting war between the US and Russia in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean…gaining some insight into that requires more than just opinions…

    Now I have also stated quite clearly only one method by which Russia could respond and sink not just a ship or two but an entire carrier group…I have given technical details that are not in dispute…

    I will quote here another opinion…that of a person a million times more qualified than a birdbrain like yourself…

    PCR stated on April 10…

    ‘…The Russians know that they can, at will within a few minutes, sink the entire US fleet, destroy every US airplane and ship in the Middle East and within range of the Middle East, completely destroy all of Israel’s military capability and wipe out the military of the two-bit punk state of Saudi Arabia.

    All the sitting ducks have been set up for Russia by the arrogant and stupid Americans. Just a few minutes of Russian attack and all ability to conduct war would be stripped from the Middle East. This would be a good thing…’

    Now I have chosen to present an opinion that is coming from someone who has good reason and experience to form such an opinion…a man who was a high cabinet official and received training in handling the ‘nuclear football’ since he was in the line of succession in case of a nuclear decapitation…

    As far as I can tell…you are still on the waiting list to receive nuclear football training…

  436. But the reality will be that the White House pulled the trigger on an empty chamber and we got away with it. This time.

    Maybe they haven’t. It’s still Russian roulette and the US hasn’t pulled the trigger yet. How many bullets are in the chambers? The gun could have 5 bullets in 6 chambers giving an 83% chance of Armageddon.

  437. RadicalCenter says

    I’m a fan of both AK and Martyanov (though some will say that’s like rooting for both the Yankees and the Red Sox, or both the Israelis and the Palestinians 😉

  438. Tsar Nicholas says

    I don’t believe this at all. And the reason is basically Chernobyl. At the time the hysterical consensus was that all life would be destroyed (or horribly mutated) in the exclusion zone. In fact the exclusion of humans had a dramatically positive effect with an explosion of wildlife and reestablishment of whole food chains including top predators such as wolves.

    Somehow or other it is humans that are the problem, and when they are excluded, I’m sure that the insects and wild animals will do fine.

    I covered all your points in post number 395 above.

  439. I guess in parallel universes Karlin would the first guy who will die in the nuclear apocalypse, the first to be sent to the corrective labour camp by GULAG, the first that who would be purged from the navy by Admiral Martyanov. Now described as evil by venerable Professor Cowen, described famous antisemite by rationalwiki – he will soon probably be banned from the UK for intellectual crimes.

    It’s kind of ironic, as he is probably the only blogger on this site who behaves in a too civilized way, seems not to do any propaganda, not engage in personal attacks, open to reasonable discussion and argument, etc.

  440. The best defense is that there just aren’t enough police and military bodies to do it easily today, as there were then, and conscripting and organizing people is going to take time in itself. Probably all be over by the time they get far enough down the list to reach me.

    This is a good point. The result depends on the number of active citizens. With effective mobilization, they can easily swamp the “security” forces (who have their own doubts), and get at government leaders.

  441. India did land reform, it just has horrible labor laws so capital intensive manufacturing is only possible.

    It’s leader in armor, steel & auto manufacturing for example but paradoxically sucks at low end of value chain।।

    On topic Rus has the technology but I don’t think in sufficient quantity atm. Same problem with Hind & China where they have decent tech like Brahmos or that cheap Missile corvette but not enough atm.

    Also, realize the significance of the fact that this is far from Rus borders the Deplorable Badass Alliance can now conventionally deter JEWSA farther from borders than before. This alone is achievement,

    Gulf War 1 is no longer possible tbh,

  442. seeing-thru says

    How about China sending a troupe of dragon dancers and Kung Fu fighters to hold a parade through Damascus? Now that would send a message! It is about the max message that China will risk sending. That or “golden silence” as prescribed by Confucius.

  443. It’s kind of ironic, as he is probably the only blogger on this site who behaves in a too civilized way, seems not to do any propaganda, not engage in personal attacks, open to reasonable discussion and argument,

    Laughable & totally false.

  444. The way I see it, there are only really Russia, Iran and China and their allies standing between the world and return to complete unipolar US dominance, which this time would be pushed all the way to full world government from Washington – the fabled leftist boot stamping on humanity’s face forever, with nowhere to escape to or to show a different way, because there’s nowhere “outside”. So there isn’t really much choice – retreat or appeasement just means fighting them later in a less advantageous position.

    That sums it up pretty well.

  445. NoseytheDuke says

    I think that you love what you would like your country to be rather than what your country actually has become and you are certainly not alone in that.

  446. Thorfinnsson says

    Now I have chosen to present an opinion that is coming from someone who has good reason and experience to form such an opinion…a man who was a high cabinet official and received training in handling the ‘nuclear football’ since he was in the line of succession in case of a nuclear decapitation…

    As far as I can tell…you are still on the waiting list to receive nuclear football training…

    PCR was assistant secretary to the Treasury. I doubt very much he received nuclear football training.

    His views on Russia are taken directly from the Faker.

  447. for-the-record says

    Thanks, the report it cites on Iran, from a brief look, is quite amazing in its frankness for “regime change”:

    WHICH PATH TO PERSIA?
    Options for a New American
    Strategy toward Iran

    Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, 2009

    https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06_iran_strategy.pdf

  448. If it does come to a general conflagration, I hope that at least a few nukes will also land on Tel Aviv, Ryadh and Ankara.

    Perhaps that’s the one thing that might restrain the American leadership? The thought of Los Angeles or Chicago or Moscow or London being reduced to a pile of radioactive rubble doesn’t bother them in the least but the idea of Tel Aviv being reduced to a smoking ruin would horrify them.

  449. Well I far prefer Tel Aviv, to Los Angeles.

    To great cities of London and Moscow, no.

  450. Tsar Nicholas says

    Given that PCR has repeatedly expressed his fear that Moscow doesn’t recognise the duplicity and the psychotic intentions of the West in general and the enocons in particular, do you share his pessimism?

    I ask because you have brought him up.

    A very enlightening series of posts by the way.

  451. Thorfinnsson says

    Martyanov’s naval-technical writing is good and interesting, though a bit too much on the RUSSIA STRONK side for me. But that’s common to nearly all mil-bloggers and thus forgivable (other than, you know, his not living in Russia).

    But once he wades into the comments…lol. The many demented pathologies of Martyanov the commenter:

    1 – Twisted hatred of Anatoly Karlin for the crime of not being a Sovok
    2 – Complete dismissal of anything in the economy which doesn’t support the military-industrial complex as worthless
    3 – STEMcuck and credential cuck who expects you to fax him your graduate level engineering degree in order to have an opinion
    4 – Building on the former, an education cuck who actually thinks schools are good
    5 – Constant recommendations of psychiatric treatment, something shared with fellow Sovok-American Lazy Glossophiliac
    6 – Dismissal and denigration of all sources other than obscure naval academic journals
    7 – All around belligerence and hostility

    This should not be taken as a denunciation of Martyanov, incidentally. On the contrary he should comment more. 🙂

  452. Tsar Nicholas says

    Given that PCR has repeatedly expressed his fear that Moscow doesn’t recognise the duplicity and the psychotic intentions of the West in general and the neocons in particular, do you share his pessimism?

    I ask because you have brought him up.

    A very enlightening series of posts by the way.

  453. Everyone else here – I haven’t read them all, but I sometimes go onto other blogs here (and always get chased away by Americans who seem to hate everything I write) – is doing cheap propaganda.

    Karlin – I haven’t seen him making any propaganda. He’s actually a much more civilized kind of blogger that write interesting points of view (whether you agree or not), likes to exchange opinions (even with the people he disagrees with), and doesn’t try to propagandize other people to agree with him.

  454. About a decade or so back Purdue University did an engineering study of the amount of stationary electrical generation power it would take to replace fossil fuels for all ground transport vehicles in the US by converting them all to batteries or fuel cells. They assumed reasonably achievable figures for the efficiencies of transmitting electrical power, charging or refueling the vehicles, operating them etc. It was also assumed the cars, trucks, trains etc would be the same weight, carrying capacity and performance of their current fossil fueled versions. Basically it would require almost tripling the present power generation capacity of the US from the then 650 GWatts, to about 1800. Doable, but a formidable task without some breakthrough such as pebble bed fission reactors, nuclear fusion or solar power so cheap that you can replace all the commercial and domestic building roofs with solar panels.

  455. I think Martyanov is the only other good blogger here. But he gets angry when you correct him in comments section.

    Israel Shamir is literally insane – but I respect that he talks to us on here, as he is somewhat a well-known journalist.

  456. NoseytheDuke says

    If we do have WWIII, be sure to give due credit to all of the idiots who have maintained here and elsewhere that the collapses of the WTC buildings were due to fires and not deliberate controlled demolitions. The morons of whom I speak have introduced doubt and provided cover for the criminal, treacherous perpetrators who have escaped accountability and have now moved on from that outstanding success to the instigation of much, much greater destruction and the grave situation that we now face.

  457. German_reader says

    L.K. is one of Unz Review’s resident Holocaust deniers and Nazi apologists, he’s just sore that AK doesn’t want his blog taken over by such obsessives.

  458. Thorfinnsson says

    Steve Sailer is excellent but perhaps not relevant to you. Fred Reed is good when he is not Federico Reedriguez.

    Shamir is entertaining but cack-brained.

  459. German_reader says

    Fred Reed is good

    Fred Reed doesn’t even believe in evolution.
    He seems to hate American blacks and thinks a race war is just around the corner…but then he writes all those panegyrics about how wonderful Mexicans are. Pretty strange.
    Tbh much of the content on Unz review is probably pretty worthless. It’s still my favorite site though, it has a great commenting system (much better than Disqus or similar crap), and lots of interesting commenters. And AK’s blog is definitely one of the best parts of it.

  460. ThreeCranes says

    You don’t know jack sh*t about the USA.

    Many of us grew up weeding a vegetable garden. Most men are familiar with firearms. Most older guys are good mechanics. Some of us even hand dug wells on our property in our youths. A simple hand-driven sand point well 20′ down will provide drinkable water in many places in the USA. Most men can hunt. Many wouldn’t have any trouble learning how to care for a milk cow and a hog or two. Life would go on even with out television or–gasp–the internet!!!

    You’re just projecting your incompetence on us. If you want to believe what you’re peddling, go ahead. But don’t be surprised when we don’t lie down and roll over dead for you.

  461. redmudhooch says

    Trump says hes launching missles at Syria, to destroy the evidence I suppose.

    Atta boy Trump, do as you’re told. Sucker.
    -B Netanyahu

  462. redmudhooch says

    German_reader is one of the truth deniers that still hasn’t come to terms with being on the wrong side of history. Apparently never read a bible either.

    Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.

  463. Astuteobservor II says

    to be honest, defensive weapons are 100% ok, china just needs to back it up with 1000 active ICBMs.

  464. “One thing I have occasionally wondered about is why China spends so little (<2% of GDP) on the military."

    Chinese military spending has probably increased substantially in real terms over the last few decades. However, the Chinese do not want their economic rise linked with a rise in military spending as a % of GDP; that might invite hostility and deter investment. As China's economy grows, they increase spending, but not in accordance with GDP %. This makes it harder for the outside world (the US) to notice and to confront.

    …Chinese leadership is very crafty, unlike American "leadership."

  465. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Cuck.

  466. Beefcake the Mighty says

    The US has begun bombing Syria. We’ll now see what the Russians are made of.

  467. Here………..we…………..go.
    It’s on.

    Watch and enjoy the show.

  468. We’ll now see what the Russians are made of.

    Yup.

  469. SolontoCroesus says

    World War pee

  470. Anonymous says

    Let’s watch Andrei explain this one lol

  471. And of course venerable Yan Shen, how could we forget 🙂

  472. Whatever else happens, it will be interesting to see how Trump pursues a second term. Maybe this is him admitting he didn’t want one.
    Rumor: this is arranged with the Russians, it’s staged to impress a certain Korean before Trump meets him later, and it will not depose Assad or kill many Syrians.

  473. I like Karlin’s blog has generally nice and civilized European atmosphere in the comments.

  474. At least at the moment, America has very few naval assets in the area.

    There is a carrier strike group on the way to the area, but not arriving until after April 20th at the early – so it probably will not be used.

  475. ‘… I doubt very much he received nuclear football training…’

    Why don’t you ask him…?

    He wrote about it in one of his columns…he wasn’t high on the succession list…something like number 30 if memory serves…but the secret service nuclear suitcase training was still mandatory for him…

    As for where he gets his ideas…I would say having had the experience of being in the inner circle of POTUS would have counted for something…over and above reading the Flaker…

  476. I watched Trump’s speech – the message of the speech seems to imply that it will be a limited strike, maybe with more targets than in April 2017, but not so much more (he claimed it was only against chemical weapons capacities). Of course, this could be a deception by him.

    At the same time, America has very few naval assets in the area at the moment. There were a lot of reports about a carrier strike group on the way, but this has only left Virginia on Wednesday – so will not arrive in the region for a long time.

  477. German_reader says

    That stupid bitch May went ahead with it without asking parliament.
    And of course they didn’t even wait for an investigation.
    Pathetic.

  478. Does anybody see the “Wag the Dog” angle with the Stormy Daniels stuff in the news?

    هممممم

  479. redmudhooch says

    Listen to Trump, hypocrite is an understatement. Sounds like 0bama, or Bush, no different. Its clear now that your vote means nothing, has been for a long time, but this should leave no doubt for even the brainwashed.

    How many people has America murdered, just since 9/11, all over proven lies. The enemy is our ally according to the goons that call themselves Americas leaders.

    21 trillion in debt, Americans homeless, addicted, sick, suicidal, uneducated, the country falling apart yet we send billions to Israel and other foreign nations that hate us.

    Makes you ashamed to be associated with these lowlife criminals. This is not America. This is what happens when a hostile foreign nation takes over another nation it wants to destroy to further its own agenda. Zionists, Wall St, Bankers, dual citizens, MIC, CIA, the treason is deep.

    Sad!

  480. Duke of Qin says

    The best answer is that the PLA or at least the Communist Party doesn’t expect a war any time soon and thus doesn’t feel like spending preparing for one. With a 82.5 trillion yuan economy and barely 1.11 trillion in defense spending out of government budget of 21.5 trillion yuan, China’s spending levels is barely better than Western European levels and below France and the UK. This level of pacifism is dangerously complacent considering the Anglos are murderous piratical scum, the deceitful heirs of Hengist and Horsa while the Americans are the same except combined with Trotskyite messianic insanity. China needs to triple her defense spending now and exponentially increase her strategic nuclear arsenal in a sprint to parity with the US. This wouldn’t even be a big militarization as it would be merely restoring defense budgets to those of the mid 80’s. It would on the other hand give us an aviation and fleet larger than Nato combined.

  481. OPCW investigators only start to work tomorrow. How does it work? It doesn’t seem like a very pleasant job to have airstrikes just as you arrive to the hotel.

  482. Beefcake the Mighty says

    The Americans are destroying the evidence (or rather lack of evidence in this case).

  483. Byrresheim says

    True.

  484. “…. a limited strike….”

    WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday ordered precision strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities after a poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people last week.

    Trump said a combined operation with France and Britain was under way and that they were prepared to sustain the response until Syria stopped its use of chemical weapons.

    I ordered …. strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities…

    Considering that <b>there was no chemical/gas attack</b> [by the SAA, perhaps not by "rebels" either], just what are France/UK/US striking?  "Capabilites."  Must translate: any military hardware.  "Sustain the response?"  Britain &amp; France will want to get their licks in as long as possible.  
    

    Note how they moved before the OCPW could investigate. Sickening.

  485. Thorfinnsson says

    Fred Reed doesn’t even believe in evolution.

    I like this.

    Not that I agree, I simply like dissidents.

    He seems to hate American blacks and thinks a race war is just around the corner…but then he writes all those panegyrics about how wonderful Mexicans are. Pretty strange.

    It’s not THAT strange.

    Blacks are genuinely awful (if entertaining), and while I’m not convinced race war is around the corner race relations are certainly bad and getting worse.

    Mexicans are much better than blacks, but Federico Reedriguez pretends they’re Italians in making as a result being married to a Mexican.

    He has this terrible schtick of rewriting the same column over and over where he demonizes the alt right for objecting to America being invaded by Mexicans, and then also claims we’ll never get rid of them because it’s “impossible”.

    I’ve been working at getting under his skin with increasingly unhinged insults and extreme suggestions and got results in his last column. However, the ever civil Ron Unz then talked me down and we had a good exchange.

    The truth is I guess that Fred Reed has peaked. He still often has a lot of good stuff, but he’s been writing publicly since at least 1980. His older stuff about policing and the military is really, really good. And I still like his Virginia boyhood nostalgia pieces.

  486. Byrresheim says

    True.

  487. random rand says

    Taiwan card is going to get played sooner or later. Been quite obvious for a while now considering how all the “China watchers” and “China experts” on twitter have been harping about Taiwan.

  488. “The sea floor of the Med is completely mapped at a fine scale. It would be hard to hide a minicar there, far less a submarine.”

    Putting a submarine on the sea floor of the Med after it has been mapped and then finding it would be very difficult. The Med is a large place.

    https://gentleseas.blogspot.de/2015/05/aussie-submarines-victory-over-us-navy.html

  489. Thorfinnsson says

    Theresa May is indeed a stupid bitch. Although I prefer to call her a childless, deranged cat lady.

    But there is no need to ask parliament in the United Kingdom.

    The power to declare war and make peace is reserved to the monarch. As long as she consulted with the Queen, nothing improper took place.

    David Cameron submitting the same to a parliamentary vote was an Americanized aberration. Quite similar to his idiotic BREXIT gambit.

  490. China – a nation formed peacefully, no wars of mass slaughter, and then no wars against small nations like Tibet and Vietnam.

  491. Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence.

    Just ask Saddam Hussein.

  492. redmudhooch says

    Keep in mind that all of this started with the 9/11 lie, yet Saudis and Israelis are still our #1 allies. The Neocons, dual citizens, PNAC, traitors are all still walking free, and apparently still running the country. The “media” that lied to the people, leading to the deaths of millions of innocent people, still free to lie some more….

    and the FBI still lying about it, the FBI/Mueller wonder why they have no credibility. Our “government” as a whole has zero credibility.

    Guess they had to destroy the evidence before their narrative was destroyed once and for all though huh?

    No one believes the BS narrative anymore.

  493. Oh please. The nation that invaded Tibet and is still occupying a piece of it is India.

  494. Yesterday AM at a congress hearing – Mattis said, he was waiting for confirmation of Syria’s use of gas.

    Just now at the military briefing he very tersely said, that he received confirmation yesterday.

    I do not believe him. It is said that Trump made his decision on MONDAY!

    They do not have the proof – if they did, they would take the time to show it.

    They are all liars!

    Think Peace — Do No Harm — Art

  495. SolontoCroesus says

    >>Guess they had to destroy the evidence before their narrative was destroyed once and for all though huh? <<<

    The strikes that hit early Saturday in Syria came hours before inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were set to arrive to inspect the sight of the apparent attack. https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-plans-talk-allies-syria-strike-decision-045056593–politics.html

  496. Beefcake the Mighty says
  497. ‘…Given that PCR has repeatedly expressed his fear that Moscow doesn’t recognise the duplicity and the psychotic intentions of the West in general and the neocons in particular, do you share his pessimism?

    I’m not sure I would describe PCRs view as ‘pessimism’…

    I think realism is more like it…

    PCR is the Jeremiah of our time…and our world needs a Jeremiah now more than ever…

    The problem is not only the neocons but the rampant delusionism among the ‘insouciant’ populace…to use his turn of phrase…

    This is the far bigger problem in fact…and is reflected right here on this website…not only delusion…but lack of rigor in terms of basic critical thinking…

    A perfect example is this ridiculous ‘article’…

    This clown has no business yapping about stuff he knows nothing about…there used to be a time when only serious people would write about serious subjects on which they are qualified…

    But that is the mindset of our times…anyone and everyone thinks they can fling poop at the wall and see if it will stick…

    As for PCR and his occasional frustrations with the Russian leadership…let’s remember that PCR is first and foremost a true American patriot…hardly anyone these days actually knows what that means…or even cares…[with some exceptions on the comments sections here it must be noted]

    As such he has seen his country taken from him and his children…he has seen his country fall into a state of cognizance that is lower than that of the baboon…

    Who could possibly be happy and sanguine about this…what he is doing is analogous to an intervention when someone in the family is destroying themselves with drugs…

    So he looks to Russia as a last hope in setting the world on an even keel again…he recently wrote how the breakup of the Soviet Union was the biggest tragedy for the world…he is right…because the checks and balances have been removed…and the bestial impulses of the very powerful are free to trammel unopposed over every decent impulse that humans naturally have…

    The trampling of truth is an existential threat not just for any particular country but for humanity as a whole…

    So he gets frustrated from time to time when he sees that the Russians are not reacting forcefully…or not reacting quickly enough…

    However…we must remember that the US and Russia have never come to actual blows…

    That is uncharted territory…

    Many in the US are living in a delusion that if they hit Syria…and somehow avoid hitting Russians there…that it will just blow over…

    But that is not what will happen…when the gloves come off the smashmouth action begins…that’s how it works…

    Last night on News with Ed on RT…Schultz had Bill Richardson on…the former Clinton guy who is an archetypal establishment denizen…

    He kept saying that the only solution is for the Russians to cut Assad loose…that some kind of ‘deal’ can be struck with the Russians on that…

    And he kept repeating that Assad has ‘no support’…

    At first I was puzzled by that since Assad’s support among the Syrian people is very high…especially now after this hell that people have lived through…and which they realize fully has been imposed on them from outside…

    And then at one point he started mentioning in the context of ‘no support’ various regions of the world like South America…Asia etc…

    So then it made sense to me…the vassal states of the US…what it considers the so-called international community…are going along…or being dragged along…in this crusade to get rid of Assad…

    That’s what he means by ‘no support’…

    It boggles the mind…the US and people like Richardson…not to mention everyone in Washington and the media still don’t get it…this is not 1999 anymore…the world has moved on…people are not going to be dictated to anymore…least of all Russia…

    There is a real danger here because there is no question that the Russians are not going to give one more inch…

    Even a ‘symbolic’ strike on Syria will be a step too far…the bough can only bend so far before it breaks…

    So there are only two possibilities here…either the US comes to its senses and finally abandons its regime change project in Syria…or the Russians are going to hit very hard at the first excuse they are given…

    This claptrap article about how the Russians don’t have the muscle to hold onto Syria is so wildly off base that it boggles the mind…

    I have tried to bring some idea of the military nuts and bolts to this discussion…but it is met only with squawking from birdbrains…

    But here is the big question…

    Does anyone really think that Putin…on the competent advice of his highly competent military men would even have gone to Syria in the first place if he did not think through the possibility that at some point he might need to defend it by force of arms…?

    That is insane…that is only how children think…or those who go through their lives without really knowing what it means to have anything at stake…

    Putin has his entire country of 140 million people at stake…the idea that Putin will allow Russian forces to be kicked out of Syria by force is insane…

    And that’s what it has come down to…the US is determined to push through with removing Assad…Russia is not going to let them…

    It’s as simple as that…

    The Russians easily have the military capability to stop the US military in its tracks…

    …notwithstanding morons who write ‘articles’ like this know nothing about actual military capabilities…nor even historical facts…

    If the attack comes expect the reaction to be ferocious…

    Why…?

    Because Putin has figured out long ago that if push comes to shove in Syria he must go all in…there is no other calculus here…

    He knew this going in…

    Basically I can’t believe the stupidity being circulated here about how the US could take over Syria…no they can’t…

    Syria with Russia behind it is not Iraq 2003…after 12 years of crippling economic and military blockade…

    Like I said already…people who have no qualifications of even a reasonable layman’s understanding of military capabilities should not be spouting garbage…

  498. Johnny Rico says

    I totally agree with your assessment of Karlin. I am an American and you are one of ten or so of my favorite commenters on UNZ. Jus sayin

  499. There is no wisdom among the US brass — they are tools of ziocons: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/the-russian-general-staff-has-a-grip-on-reality-the-pentagon-sadly-doesnt-j.html
    And there is no honor among the US brass and Congress.

  500. redmudhooch says

    Sorry for the long post, but…

    Donald J. Trump? @realDonaldTrump
    Ron Paul is right that we are wasting trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    6:28 AM – 13 Aug 2011

    Donald J. Trump? @realDonaldTrump
    @BarackObama has a record low 39% Gallup approval rating. Why so high?
    August 17, 2011

    Donald J. [email protected]
    When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first.
    12:43 PM – 7 Oct 2011

    Donald J. Trump?Verified account @realDonaldTrump
    It is time to get out of Afghanistan. We are building roads and schools for people that hate us. It is not in our national interests.
    11:34 AM – 27 Feb 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    China is getting minerals from Afghanistan http://usat.ly/t69pc1 We are getting our troops killed by the Afghani govt’t. Time to get out.
    11:54 AM – 29 Feb 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Afghanistan is a total disaster. We don’t know what we are doing. They are, in addition to everything else, robbing us blind.
    March 12, 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back? Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!
    9:05 AM – Aug 21, 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    84% of US troops wounded & 70% of our brave men & women killed in Afghanistan have all come under Obama. Time to get out of there.
    11:40 AM – 11 Sep 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
    October 9, 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Pervert alert. @RepWeiner is back on twitter. All girls under the age of 18, block him immediately.
    November 7, 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Karzai of Afghanistan is not sticking with our signed agreement. They are dropping us like dopes. Get out now and re-build U.S.!
    9:14 AM – 6 Dec 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    “You can’t con people, at least not for long. If you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” – The Art of The Deal
    December 10, 2012

    Donald J. [email protected]
    So Obama and Congress can waste billions in Iraq & Afghanistan building roads & schools but can’t get money to the NJ & NY Sandy victims?
    January 3, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.
    10:55 AM – 11 Jan 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan. We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!
    3:59 PM – Jan 14, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Our gov’t is so pathetic that some of the billions being wasted in Afghanistan are ending up with terrorists http://t.co/bso3k1pR7l
    April 17, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.
    11:10 AM – 1 Mar 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Amazing how the haters & losers keep tweeting the name “F**kface Von Clownstick” like they are so original & like no one else is doing it…
    May 3, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Obama wants to unilaterally put a no-fly zone in Syria to protect Al Qaeda Islamists http://t.co/DCgP83Oxas Syria is NOT our problem.
    May 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO
    June 16, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Remember, all these ‘freedom fighters’ in Syria want to fly planes into our buildings.
    August 28, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can’t we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?
    August 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    @walaa_3ssaf No, dopey, I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted all over the media like fools.
    August 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Let the Arab League take care of Syria. Why are these rich Arab countries not paying us for the tremendous cost of such an attack?
    August 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
    August 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    If we are going to continue to be stupid and go into Syria (watch Russia), as they say in the movies, SHOOT FIRST AND TALK LATER!
    August 29, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    If Obama attacks Syria and innocent civilians are hurt and killed, he and the U.S. will look very bad!
    12:26 PM – 30 Aug 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!
    4:02 PM – 30 Aug 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    How bad has our “leader” made us look on Syria. Stay out of Syria, we don’t have the leadership to win wars or even strategize.
    August 30, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Be prepared, there is a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III.
    August 31, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    “@mguarino64: @realDonaldTrump ” How would you treat the Syria situation if president ?” I’d let them all fight with each other-focus on US!
    September 1, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    What I am saying is stay out of Syria.
    7:00 PM – 3 Sep 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.
    September 3, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    “@BigSexyBDAvis: @realDonaldTrump mr trump would attack Syria or no?” No, lets make our country great again as they fight their war!
    September 4, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!
    September 5, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A.
    September 5, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Russia is sending a fleet of ships to the Mediterranean. Obama’s war in Syria has the potential to widen into a worldwide conflict.
    September 5, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Many of the Syrian rebels are radical jihadi Islamists who are murdering Christians. Why would we ever fight with them?
    September 6, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    If Syria was forced to use Obamacare they would self-destruct without a shot being fired. Obama should sell them that idea!
    September 6, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day!
    September 7, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Don’t attack Syria – an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!
    September 9, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Obama must now start focusing on OUR COUNTRY, jobs, healthcare and all of our many problems. Forget Syria and make America great again!
    September 11, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    We should stop talking, stay out of Syria and other countries that hate us, rebuild our own country and make it strong and great again-USA!
    September 13, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!
    3:06 PM – Nov 21, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024-with all costs by U.S.A. MAKE AMERICA GREAT!
    8:12 AM – Nov 21, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Can you believe that “President” Karzai of Afghanistan is holding out for more, more, more and refuses to sign deal. Tell him to go to hell!
    November 28, 2013

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The global warming we should be worried about is the global warming caused by NUCLEAR WEAPONS in the hands of crazy or incompetent leaders!
    May 8, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Obama is, without question, the WORST EVER president. I predict he will now do something really bad and totally stupid to show manhood!
    June 6, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Five U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan by so-called friendly fire. What are we doing?
    June 10, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!
    August 2, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Any American who fights w/ ISIS in Iraq or Syria should have their passport revoked. If they try to come back in, send them to Gitmo.
    September 4, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country—I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!
    September 10, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels pledged their allegiance to ISIS after Obama’s address. We should not be arming them!
    September 12, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    So Obama wants to bomb ISIS in Iraq & arm them in Syria? What is he doing!
    September 17, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Do you believe that Obama is giving weapons to “moderate rebels” in Syria.Isn’t sure who they are. What the hell is he doing.Will turn on us
    September 20, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    President Obama – close down the flights from Ebola infected areas right now, before it is too late! What the hell is wrong with you?
    October 5, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Now Obama is keeping our soldiers in Afghanistan for at least another year. He is losing two wars simultaneously.
    1:20 PM – 1 Dec 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully or write poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.
    December 29, 2014

    Donald J. [email protected]
    No @JebBush, you’re pathetic for saying nothing happened during your brother’s term when the World Trade Center was attacked and came down.
    8:29 PM – Oct 16, 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Jeb, why did your brother attack and destabalize the Middle East by attacking Iraq when there were no weapons of mass destruction? Bad info?
    8:29 AM – Oct 18, 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Jeb is fighting to defend a catastrophic event. I am fighting to make sure it doesn’t happen again.Jeb is too soft-we need tougher & sharper
    8:36 AM – Oct 19, 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The last thing our country needs is another BUSH! Dumb as a rock!
    3:59 PM – Dec 18, 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Between Iraq war monger @krauthammer, dummy @KarlRove, deadpan @GeorgezWill, highly overrated @megynkelly, among others, @FoxNews not fair!
    9:12 AM – 15 Dec 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    A suicide bomber has just killed U.S. troops in Afghanistan. When will our leaders get tough and smart. We are being led to slaughter!
    December 21, 2015

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Now that George Bush is campaigning for Jeb(!), is he fair game for questions about World Trade Center, Iraq War and eco collapse? Careful!
    6:04 AM – 15 Feb 2016

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart! December 30, 2016

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Russians are playing @CNN and @NBCNews for such fools – funny to watch, they don’t have a clue! @FoxNews totally gets it!
    December 30, 2016

    Donald J. [email protected]
    The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad…..
    9:23 PM – Jul 24, 2017

    Donald J. [email protected]
    When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!
    November 12, 2017

    Donald J. [email protected]
    Does the Fake News Media remember when Crooked Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was begging Russia to be our friend with the misspelled reset button? Obama tried also, but he had zero chemistry with Putin.
    November 12, 2017

  501. Is this shit really happening? I’ve gone numb.

  502. AS OF ONE HOUR AGO:

    IT’S ON! THE STRIKES HAVE BEGUN!

    IT. IS. ON!!!

  503. Beefcake the Mighty says

    You are right that Russia has quite adequate means to strike back. So, why don’t they? Isn’t enough enough? American actions (along with their disgusting French and British poodles) are so transparent, it has to be clear to the Russian leadership that war is unavoidable, no?

  504. German_reader from Tel Aviv, please, articulate your grievances in a letter to Mrs. Nuland-Kagan; she is responsible (along with the CIA activists) for the practical apologia of Nazism in Eastern Europe. Then you could proceed with sending similar letters to Chrystya Freeland (Canadian Foreign Minister), a darling of ziocons and a progeny of a “victim of Soviets” who was spectacularly successful in using Jewish property and glorifying Wehrmacht. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/chrystia-freelands-granddad-was-indeed-a-nazi-collaborator-so-much-for-russian-disinformation
    Chrystya Freeland is another practical Nazi apologist, like the Kagans’ clan; this is why she is so tenderly loved by the Lobby:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/27/a-nazi-skeleton-in-the-family-closet/
    https://www.themarketswork.com/2018/03/09/victoria-nuland-alexandra-chalupa-ukrainian-ties-the-steele-dossier/

  505. Daniel Chieh says

    Maria Zakharova speaking of dire consequences, naturally.

  506. German_reader says

    But there is no need to ask parliament in the United Kingdom.

    The power to declare war and make peace is reserved to the monarch. As long as she consulted with the Queen, nothing improper took place.

    True enough, but I still find it highly dubious and depressing.
    One of the advantages of “democracy” supposedly is that there are controls for this sort of thing so that a small clique can’t just take an entire country to war…but as so much else with “democracy”, this turns out to be a grotesque fiction.

  507. Karlin, channeling the demented Hymie Kahn, suggests 75% to 90% of the US population would survive a full nuclear exchange. This is the exact opposite of reality. Several nuke generated EMP pulses would take out the US electric grid, resulting in the death of 90% of the US population within a year. Americans would live in the dark and eat each other…….widespread cannibalism would be the norm. Hmmmmm…….finger licking good.

  508. Grahamsno(G64) says

    The mixed messages coming out between Mattis and Trump strongly suggest that Mattis is not on board he has said that this is a one off. I strongly believe that the target list was vetted by Russia and the strike is scripted. The bottom line is that there can’t be a regime change without US boots on the ground and there’s no political will for that.

  509. I wonder if this is all a set up, based on a quid pro quo with Russia…

    -Trump announced a couple of days ago on Twitter that smart missiles would be coming
    -That gives Russians a good amount of time to move their resources and people around to make sure only cannon-fodder Syrians get whacked
    -Takes headlines off Stormy Daniels crap
    -Gets boost across MSM (since Left and Right are neocon)
    -Gets headlines off Israelis
    -Gives Israelis cover to launch strikes of their own focusing on specific things on their Hanukkah list
    -Staus quo on ground remains

    Peace.

  510. Well…let’s how this unfolds…

    If Putin just keeps letting Tomahawks fly over his head he might as well let them shit on his head…

    He needs to step up to the plate and swing for the fences…

  511. I fear and distrust China

    Thats rich innit ?
    the world, in particular the Chinese, have
    101 reasons to distrust and fear fukus..

    opium war,
    eight nations alliance,
    burning of yuan ming yuen [1]
    covert war Tibet 1959,
    proxy war India, 1962,
    covert war 1989 [TAM]
    covert war 2008 Tibet,
    Covert war 2009 Xinjiang,
    proxy war TW straits,
    proxy war Korean Peninsula,
    proxy war SCS,
    proxy war ECS,
    trade war 2018….

    Robber crying…….

    [1]
    The Brits are shamelessly auctioning off the booty from Yuan Ming Yuen right now !

  512. Grahamsno(G64) says

    Putin’s biggest problem is that if he attacks any coalition assets the Nato charter of collective defense will be invoked and he will find himself at war with the whole west and Turkey! So he won’t attack until Russian forces are personally attacked and it seems the US has carefully avoided any Russian targets.

  513. I strongly believe that the target list was vetted by Russia and the strike is scripted.

    Probably. From now on Netanyahu will be telling Putin what does and what does not go in Syria. Great win for Israel.

  514. Let the murderers adjust a rope for their own hanging.
    The US strike seems to be intended for getting more info on the Russians’ capabilities and to shoo away the Russians on the orders from the Lobby/The Friends of Israel who want to proceed with Oded Yinon plan for Eretz Israel, by any means.
    The amoral ziocons know that Russians have morals and would not initiate a nuclear strike until a catastrophic turn of events.
    Take a note that the attack also comes just hours before experts from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were scheduled to visit Douma on Saturday to determine whether chemical weapons had indeed been used there.
    The dishonorable Mattis was “confident” that chlorine was deployed during the April 7 incident in Douma, and did not “rule out” that sarin, a nerve agent, had been released. Dunford mentioned that one of the Homs facilities contained precursors and production equipment for sarin, though did not clarify if it had been in active use after Syria destroyed its declared chemical weapons arsenal in 2013.” https://www.rt.com/usa/424092-pentagon-strikes-one-time-shot/
    The zionized US military and US Congress have succumbed to Israel-firsters (the parasitoid). What a pitiful image!

  515. Treated with respect like the Tibetans, Mongolians, and Uighurs?

    Treated with respect like the Tibetans,

    damn right,
    No tax,
    free education,
    Subsidised economy,
    exempt from one child rule……

    If anglos are so into Tibetan welfare, why dont they wanna talk about the Tibet in India, a hand me down from the Brit colonists .

    Whatever happens to that English edict,
    Charity starts at home ???

    The anglos like to gloat about the rail road and a ‘democratic system’ they bequeathed to India.

    Well,
    Here’s a dirty little secret…..
    The Indians inherited a big chunk of Tibetan land and its peripherals robbed by the Brits, where the Mongoloid indigenous wanted nuthin to do with the Indian heartland after India got its own independence.

    To subdue the ‘chinky faced terrorists‘, the Indians rely on the most dracanion ‘anti insurgency’ law in the world, the dreaded AFSPA, another hand me down from their former Brit masters who used the same law to quell Indian resistance, what an irony !

    The Tibet that no anglos wanna talk about

    A license to kill and rape ….

    ‘Drawing from the colonial Armed Forces Special Provisions Ordinance, 1942, which was used to quell the Quit India Movement,

    AFSPA was introduced in 1958 in Nagaland to fight the Naga secessionist movement and was later applied in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir, and some other parts of the Northeast.

    Activists say that the armed forces abuse the law to rape and abduct women with impunity. “Violence against women is three times more in our area. They can rape and kill and we can’t even go to court,” says Nepram. “What’s more, the charges of rape are not recorded. Not a single soldier has been tried or prosecuted.”

    https://www.telegraphindia.com/1130619/jsp/opinion/story_17023481.jsp

    Mongolians,

    The Mongols genocided the Hans in 15C,
    When The Ming brought down the Yuan , no reprisal from the Hans,
    The Mongols have been a part of the big Chinese family from then on,

    and You should complain ?

    and Uighurs?

    These were Hans victims of murkkan sponsored head choppers in Xinjiang 2009,

    http://inapcache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/xinj_07_08/x07_19590639.jpg

    http://lollitop.magicgate.eu/media/LollitopMagicgate_007/ethnic_clashes_in_urumqi_china_5.jpg

    There’r 102 reasons the Chinese should fear and hate murkkans,
    and you should complain ?

    P.S.

    Here’r some of those ‘chinky terrorists’ in the Indian Northeast..

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4186/33790357643_6afaa6cb35_c.jpg

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/403/31830784823_db18c4dbe1_c.jpg

  516. China also has a rather severe problem – the CCP will never willingly give up power.

    That’s why they have a chance of surviving. If they ever adopt democracy then they’re as doomed as the rest of us.

  517. Grahamsno(G64) says

    Neytanyahu is already doing his shit in Syria without any great drama they have already launched a hundred plus strikes in Syria. He has a good relationship with Putin and he owns the US – in short like every good Jewish financier he’s perfectly hedged! Very smart.

  518. Well…it is starting to look like an annual light and sound show from Dump…

    But I wouldn’t go so far as to agree with the Syrian cannon fodder idea…

    Mattis is saying that the whole thing was over in 60 minutes and that it was a one-off…unless Assad ‘uses’ chemical weapons again…

    Also mentioned that the deconfliction line with the Russians was used all week…but no apparent warning given…

    Also reports that the Syrians evacuated everyone out of those targeted areas several days ago…

    Some video from Syrian sources showing some missiles getting intercepted…

    So lots of details here to take into account…

    It would seem that Mattis and the military were fighting hard against the crazies in the White House…but the orange scumbag decided that he needed to look presidential and tough…

    Of course this is a huge loss of face for Putin…regardless of how scripted this may have been behind the scenes…

    Like I said earlier…the US and Russian militaries coming to actual blows is unprecedented and would be very serious…surely neither side wants this if you ask the men in uniform…

    I would say that the spineless Dump is simply a national disaster at this point…he is simply not someone who can be taken seriously…anyone who still believes in him I feel sorry…

    The question is…how long is he going to just drift with the tide…clearly it’s not going to stop here…there is a much deeper agenda

  519. It would seem that Mattis and the military were fighting hard against the crazies in the White House…but the orange scumbag decided that he needed to look presidential and tough…

    Of course this is a huge loss of face for Putin…regardless of how scripted this may have been behind the scenes…

    Agree!

  520. Who selected the targets? Israeli intelligence? That way, they don’t even have to expend their own missiles.

    Agree on Trump being nonsense.

    Peace.

  521. Probably. From now on Netanyahu will be telling Putin what does and what does not go in Syria. Great win for Israel.

    Russia pared down from 40k nuke warheads to under 10k. Since all these treaties are null and void my guess is Russia will immediately start bulking up its thermonukes and hypersonic missiles. Not that 9k nukes isn’t enough times a thousand, but more is better. It’s like have FU nukes.

  522. RE: Anatoly Karlin In regards to your statement:
    “Even a full-scale thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the US is patently survivable. The theory of “nuclear winters”, at least in its wilder variants (drops of many tens of degrees), has been long discredited. The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 was approximately equal in mega tonnage to that of all the world’s current nuclear arsenals, and yet it merely led to a single “year without a summer” that did not even produce any major famines in a pre-industrial world. Fallout radiation levels decay rapidly, and it will be safe to emerge from shelters almost everywhere after just two weeks.”

    First, I am surprised that anyone would cite a 1987 update of a 1979 report as a creditable source on atmospheric effects of nuclear war. In reality, a Nuclear Winter would be worse than predicted due to massive quantities of sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, soot, and dust+radiation entering the upper atmosphere as well as dramatic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. A more accurate accounting of the atmospheric effect of a 5,000 megaton nuclear exchange is as follows:

    (1) sulfur dioxide release:

    The Mount Tambora eruption in 1815 “threw 55 million tons of sulfur-dioxide gas (50 Tg of SO2) more than twenty miles into the air, into the stratosphere.”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/1816-the-year-without-summer-excerpt/
    By comparison, the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption generated some 20 million tons of SO2, yielding a global temperature reduction of 0.5 degrees C.:
    http://history.aip.org/history/climate/aerosol.htm
    Thus the Mount Tambora eruption would have been expected to cause a 1-1.5 degree C drop in global temperatures due to sulfur dioxide

    The sulfur contribution to a Nuclear Winter event would be considerable, as modern houses contain a lot of sulfur in the form of gypsum (CaSO4-2H2O). The average home size in America is almost 1900 sq ft and contains 1.6 pounds of gypsum/ sq ft, for a total of almost 260 Kg of sulfur per house. To inject 5 Tg of sulfur into the atmosphere in a nuclear exchange would involve the vaporization at high temperature (>1500°C) of 10 million US homes in the nuclear fireballs. If worldwide 100 million homes are incinerated the sulfur dioxide contribution to a nuclear winter event would approximately equal the Tambora eruption of 1815.

    (2) oxides of nitrogen
    An air burst, for example, is estimated to produce about 1032 molecules of nitrogen oxides per megaton TNT equivalent.
    Based on 5,000 Mt yield in an allot nuclear war there will also be 24Tg of NO released in the atmosphere just from the reactions with atmospheric nitrogen gas. Additional nitrogen compounds from materials within the blast and forest fire zones will slightly add to this total: https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1983/baker83a.pdf

    (3) Soot (carbon black)

    Toon et al. in 2007 pointed out that 5 Tg of soot (50 15kt nuclear weapons) would reduce the global average temperature by 1.25°C for 3–4 years and by more than 0.5°C for a decade. They also indicate that the carbon black is likely to become coated with sulfates, organics, and other nonabsorbing materials, which could act as lenses, refracting light onto the BC. This effect might increase absorption by ∼50%, leading to potentially greater impacts than those we modeled.

    The Toon et al. study considered only a nuclear exchange of about 750 kilotons (TNT equivalent) when a full scale nuclear exchange would yield over 5,000-6,000 times thIS amount of carbon black generated. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WILL BE FAR BELOW FREEZING FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.

    (4) dust+radiation

    Dust entrained in the upper atmosphere would be highly variable depending on the megatonnage of air vs surface blasts in a nuclear exchange. As far as I know no one has analyzed the effects of a nuclear war on dust contribution to the upper atmosphere. Needless to say any dust would contribute to further reduction of light to the earth’s surface.

    Radiation would be the least of the worries for those who survived the global cooling from Nuclear Winter. A fairly complete accounting of the radiological effect of nuclear war can be found at:
    https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/effects/eonw_9.pdf

    A portion of the nuclear weapon targets are hardened facilities where a ground blast would be employed. Some of these are nuclear weapons facilities (naval bases, etc) containing considerable nuclear materials. Other sites, include Hanford spent fuel storage and nuclear waste tanks along with the 4,000 spent fuel ponds on the planet cumulatively represent the radiation of over 60,000,000 Hiroshima sized bombs if targeted.

    (5) Carbon dioxide

    The resulting firestorms from nuclear detonations would be dependent on other climate factors and have not been modeled as far as I know. While not a factor in global cooling, the enhanced carbon dioxide levels will add to global warming once carbon black, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are washed out of the atmosphere.

    For those interested in further reading, a Federation of American Scientists review contains a summary of the more recent peer-reviewed studies on nuclear winter (which US leadership has decided to ignore or reject), see “Turning a Blind Eye Towards Armageddon — US Leaders Reject Nuclear Winter Studies”
    https://fas.org/2017/01/turning-a-blind-eye-towards-armageddon-u-s-leaders-reject-nuclear-winter-studies/

  523. “Suppose during the Cultural Revolution, while China’s Red Guards were wrecking total internal havoc, China was also constantly attacking and invading other countries externally, and talking about ruling the world. Wouldn’t it be absolutely natural for other countries to become greatly alarmed and try to put an end to the rampage?”

    Sounds a lot like Napoleonic-era France: a revolutionary government 1. destroys its cultural symbols and traditions 2. attacks surrounding nations in an effort to spread revolution 3. an alliance of nations comes to together to stop them 4. situation ends in war and military defeat for France after they refuse to accept a large concession and peace offer.

  524. “The bottom line is that there can’t be a regime change without US boots on the ground and there’s no political will for that.”

    I don’t agree. Qaddafi was overthrown by an air campaign and no boots on the ground. The Empire will calculate that they can kill Assad, degrade his army, and have their rebels take over.

  525. “China was also constantly attacking and invading other countries externally, and talking about ruling the world. ”

    The country you described is India. India has invaded and grabbed land from every single of its neighbors. I am sure you have never read about it in MSM and I don’t blame you. And Indian’s superpowerdom fetish is legendary.

  526. Now this is an interesting subject – the matter of China’s very small defense budget (1.5 – 2% of the GDP).

    In the very rapid ascent phase of the South Korean, Taiwanese, and Singaporean economies, in the 20th century, they all (rightly) prioritized long-term economic and technological development. They all spent, for decades, 5.5 to 6% of their GDP on defense.

    It’s as if they all independently concluded that this level was not going to slow down their economies one iota, while allowing them to maintain the maximum sustained level on the military.

    It’s based on a historical observation – it takes economic power to build and deploy military power. Economic power is the invisible, unglamorous foundation, while military power is the impressive house you erect on top of that.

    Above 6%, you slowly run into problems.

    At 7% of GDP (Israel level, not counting the billions from the U.S.), you can still have a developed economy, but notice that Israel has a lower per capita GDP today than comparatively sized Singapore or Hong Kong – this MIGHT or might not be a result of a tad too much defense spending (not that they think they have a choice). So it bites in the long run.

    At the Reagan-era spending level of around 7 – 8% of GDP, during the 1980s, the United States progressively lost its industrial and economic edge. The Vietnam-era, which saw sustained 9 – 9.5% of GDP American military outlays, saw our economic edge erode even faster than in the ’80s, but we felt so invincible in the ’60s, no one noticed.

    Go to 10%+ as a sustained fraction of GDP devoted to defense (ex. Khomeini-era Iran, Ghaddafi’s Libya, Hafez Assad’s Syria) and you truly start under-performing in the over-all economy. Do not pass GO, go on to Third-world status, or at best oil-kingdom status if you have oil and a moderate population.

    At even higher levels, 13-15% (former Soviet Union), 20%+ (pre-1982 China, Saddam-era Iraq, North Korea TODAY) and hoo boy, forget even the mainstream Third-World, get ready to be a true basket case (on the economic side) in pretty short order.

    As a layman, the interaction between Power NOW (defense outlays) versus Power In the LONG RUN (economic development) is “fascinating”.

  527. Fan of:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/

    Jim Jatras and some others there put out heady commentary.

  528. Some occasional duds. John Feffer is rather Sorosian, in addition to carrying on like one at FPIF. Another was the woman who suggestively presented herself as a Russian – despite her Turkic name. Unz ran her article comparing Russians with others, including her apparent ethnicity. Guess who she favored and did so rather faultily? Likewise, with the chap saying he voted for Putin, while spouting some standard Western mass media BS about Russian misbehavior.

  529. Ask not what Bibi can do for you, but what you can do for Bibi.

  530. Putin needs to fight now because the total lack of US national interest in destroying Syria maximizes the chance of a split in the US elite.

  531. pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a ‘world-wide command-and-control system

    ‘.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1221.htm

    PNAC running like clockwork…
    Its the agenda, stupid !

    Clintons, Obama, Bush, Trump…..
    = New wine in old bottle,

    What’ll they think of next,
    Niki Haley as prez ?
    and murkkans sheeples will swoon over their new great white hope,
    perhaps lady has a softer touch you know ?

    hehehheh

  532. As of this writing, it looks like cosmetic spin. Trump admin highlighting more bombs than last year, with the inclusion of the Brits and French. Just saw a mass media segment, where the talking head described hits in areas believed to be able to produce chemical weapons.

    Western mass media covers up Mattis, recently contradicting the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons the last time the US bombed on the same premise. Likewise, Obama noted to Jeffrey Goldberg that the 2013 claim on the Syrian government using chemical weapons isn’t a slam dunk.

  533. What did the US government forces and its two allies actually hit? Will it make a significant difference? The answer to these questions might not make the Russian government as limp as you suggest.

    Notwithstanding, I don’t think what Russia’s ambassador (to Lebanon) said was productive:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/13/cruising-for-bruising-with-russia.html

    In any event, Russia’s reason for militarily being in Syria remains well premised enough:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/10/09/answering-russia-critics-on-syria.html

  534. As of this writing, it looks like cosmetic spin.

    Correct.
    If…if…all that stops now.

    Next couple of weeks will define all.

    If it goes on, on the same pretext, the game just changed.

    In that case God help Syrian people loyal to Assad. The same for the Russian contingent there.

    The regime in Moscow will buy some more time.

    All good.

  535. Rumor: this is arranged with the Russians, it’s staged to impress a certain Korean before Trump meets him later, and it will not depose Assad or kill many Syrians.

    Been reported with no noticeable second guessing that there were behind the scene Russian-US talks beforehand. As of this writing, there were apparently no Russian assets hit.

    Trump feels the need to put on an act, which contradicts his prior take:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/11/anti-fake-news-president-beats-war-drum-over-fake-news.html

    In turn, the Russians have some definite limits. Meantime, the status quo in Syria doesn’t seem to have dramatically changed.

  536. If you really believe all that good on you.
    If you are trying to spin here it’s not even funny.

    If you don’t get what just, maybe, happened, good on you too.

    I say “maybe” in the case that all that stops now. And, make no mistake, it will get repeated sooner than you think. That’s the best possible scenario for the “Team Russia” anywhere.

    If all that does not stop now but keeps going, on the same pretext, let’s just say we have different perceptions of reality here.
    In that case I’d focus on perception of reality of Syrians loyal to Assad and, not so much less, to the members of the Russian contingent there.
    Hint: US/allies air strike can happen any time anywhere where Assad forces are. Or anything useful for those forces and the regime itself.

    Let’s wait and see what happens in next, say, two weeks.

  537. reiner Tor says

    Please tell us what weapon system exactly is in the Russian inventory that is designed to hit ships with a nuclear warhead…?

    Kh-22: “The Kh-22 (Russian: Х-22; AS-4 ‘Kitchen’) is a large, long-range anti-ship missile developed by MKB Raduga in the Soviet Union. It was intended for use against US Navy aircraft carriers and carrier battle groups, with either a conventional or nuclear warhead.”

    It raises some questions about whether you have any idea what you are writing about.

  538. Expect some men walking unshaven around in Moscow today. They will find it too hard to face the mirror in the morning.

    But on the other hand there will be some like this fellow, who can swallow 12″ dick, on Martyanov blog:

    kudos to russian govt decision to weather this event like a rational adults , unlike the ‘drunk with power’ neocon west who think they are untouchable..

    though i fear their media will smear / insult russia for their ‘falure’ to stop the ‘noble’ western attack on ‘animal’ syria

  539. The meta-risk is that because everyone thinks the risk is that low, it increases. It’s taken some luck to avoid it up until now.

  540. Mattis has been paraphrased for cryptically indicating that this is a one time deal, unless the Syrian government acts up again. The assumption being that there was a Syrian government chemical attack, which I’m not (at least for the moment) inclined to believe.

  541. One of The Saker commenters:

    The big schoolyard bully said to the little boys big brother, kindly step aside so I can punch your little brother in the face and kick him him the gut a few times. Im not such a bad guy; I will even let you hold his glasses and his watch while I kick the shit out of the defenseless little tike. I will even be sure not to get much of his blood on your fine clothes. Now step aside.

    Ok I will; but I’m warning you if you get any blood on ME you’ll see. There will be consequences.

  542. reiner Tor says

    Steve Sailer or John Derbyshire are very civil and certainly not engaging in any kind of propaganda. I actually like the writings of Ron Unz, too, but I don’t think you would like him so much.

  543. Fred Reed doesn’t even believe in evolution.

    You have a soul of a snitch. BTW, I wonder how strong is your faith in evolution. Would it survive torture?

  544. You are reaching.
    Who cares who thought and said what.
    Time for blabbing is over, don’t you get it?

    One side keeps blabbing, the other bombing.
    If that can’t wake some people and make them face the harsh realities…well…good.

    One side just bombed the ally of the other side on the basis of no rational pretext whatsoever.
    Ignored, while getting ready, all processes and procedures agreed upon by civilized world.
    The most important, ignored all warnings from the opposite side too.

    I’d be the last to cheer a hard response from Russians. M.A.D.
    But, those “Team Russia” spins are becoming boring, fast.

    It is true that Russia acted as a smart side. It was/is facing a psychopath on the loose.
    Doesn’t matter in the game of power.
    They blinked.
    The opponent read them and made a move. That’s all what matters.

    I was 50/50 this would happen.
    Now I am 90/10 it will happen again, soon.
    And, if it just keeps going, for which I am also 50/50, well………..spin that one up.

    True, nothing of substance has changed.
    The weaker opponent will keep buying time in the game. The stronger will keep pushing.
    The little players, especially on the weaker opponent side, are for hard times though.

    More importantly, the stronger side got emboldened even more.
    The most important result of all this, actually.

  545. German_reader says

    Would it survive torture?

    Probably not, but that’s a very strange question. I hope you don’t want to suggest that I should be tortured into accepting creationism (and no, I’m not a snitch, criticising a columnist in a comments section isn’t the equivalent of reporting someone to the secret police).

    As to the Syrian issue, I have to admit I’m relieved that at least for now it seems the strikes were limited and that there was no direct clash between Russian and Western forces.
    On the other hand, the war party in the US will probably be emboldened by what they perceive as Russian weakness. And next time Trump probably won’t be restrained anymore and will escalate. Still a very bad situation.

  546. As I stated previously, what substantive damage has actually occurred?

    Are the Russians now going to leave Syria, with Assad eventually being overthrown by either Jihadists or a Western neolib/neocon stooge government?

    BTW, Kuwait abstained at the UN rather than going with the US and its allies. Iraq isn’t in the anti-Assad alliance. Is the Egyptian government so gung ho against Assad?

  547. From Russia Insider

    Out With a Whimper: Trump Blinks, Delivers Limited Strikes

    Exactly as I had predicted and posted. US fired missiles into the equivalent of an empty parking lot, declare victory and go home with tail between legs.

    Russia won the fight without firing a single bullet exactly as Sun Tzu said “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Its stern warning scared away the US.

  548. reiner Tor says

    More importantly, the stronger side got emboldened even more.
    The most important result of all this, actually.

    This.

  549. You framed it in terms of faith. And you have denounced somebody for the lack of it. The Holy Office of Current Faith may appreciate your obsequiousness but at the same time may wonder whether it is not a mask of a weak faith. Torture is the best way to test it.

  550. Impressive trolling.

  551. reiner Tor says

    He didn’t frame it “in terms of faith.”

  552. With Afghanistan as one example, US forces can’t do everything as hoped.

    Moreover, there’s some realization among US officialdom that Assad getting toppled doesn’t necessarily, or even likely lead to a better situation with US interests included.

    I read between the lines of standard pious BS, while noting some realist points that get thru among US policy elites.

  553. The Kulak says

    I understand Anatoly’s black pilling, especially on days like today where the #NeverTrump ers and more braindead Trump supporters are celebrating the ‘smart’ missiles strike. It’s quite easy to be overawed by NATO military power and the chorus on RU-net of ‘Putin sold out Syria and soon Iran and Donbass’ will only rise — many of them may actually have Russian rather than the usual Ukrainian or Israeli IP addresses.

    However, there are several quick points without getting into a long rebuttal of Anatoly’s black pill version of events.

    Nothing near Tartus or Kheimmim was hit, and Mattis/Dunford reportedly dialed back the strikes to avoid hitting anything Russian, showing the Pentagon at least is not as gung ho on risklessly ‘killing Russians’ as the CIA and doesn’t believe the rah rah bs story about hundreds of Wagner mercs slaughtered with impunity by U.S. troops (more like about a dozen PMCs died and maybe twice that were wounded, as the Der Spiegel debunking reported, the Russians didn’t even know the Kurds who were supposed to hand over the oil field would have the Americans blast them, or they would’ve demanded Russian Air Force cover or artillery backup). The French MoD said the Russians were forewarned about specific sites to be targeted, contradicting the Pentagon lie to appease the muh Russia set in Congress.

    The actual damage despite using twice as many missiles as last April’s post Khan Sheikhoun raid on Shayrat appears fairly minimal beyond the supposed chemical weapons precursor facilities at emptied bases.

    Washington, London and Paris have all made a mockery of their claims to solid chemical attack evidence, though no doubt they will massively pressure the OPCW — who didn’t even make it to the Douma scene before the missiles were flying — to produce blood and tissue samples consistent with their findings. The chain of custody for which will be said to be ironclad as after Khan Sheikhoun when it was all delivered to the dubious hands of the Turks.

    Finally there’s still the matter, regardless of what neocons like Michael D. Weiss think, of the Euphrates not being some sort of magic force field against infiltration by pro-Assad elements. The Iraq insurgency playbook is known to Assad and his Hezbollah allies, and the risk of IEDs going off and U.S. troops facing ambushes in retaliation is real. Assad and especially his Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia allies have the capability to make Trump into Dubya 2.0, an unpopular president large swathes of the country detest presiding over a wildly unpopular occupation of a Mideast country that was sold as something that could be done on the cheap if not paid for by the oil and gas we’d grab (the neocon Josh Rogin line: take the oil Mr. President, or it goes to Iran).

  554. Greasy William says
    1. I was the first to shout “false flag” when the news about the gassing came out, but right now I think it is pretty clear that Assad did use gas like the west has alleged.
    2. It’s totally irrelevant, however, because the US has never before attacked a country for using gas. They didn’t care when Nasser did it, they didn’t care (and may have ever supported the first time) when Saddam did it (2x) and they didn’t care when Assad Sr. did it.

    3. However, the western alliance has staged a lot of their credibility on preventing the repeat use of gas by Assad. It was stupid for them to do so and the smartest thing to do would just be to cut their losses, but internal political reasons prevent that from being an option.

    4. Russia has decidedly NOT blinked. The strikes tonight were done in coordination with Russia and the targets were selected to ensure that no Russian personnel or equipment would be hit. Neither Syrian infrastructure nor the Assad regime was targeted. Instead a narrow list of targets directly linked to Assad’s chemical capabilities were hit.

    It is already widely agreed that these attacks did essentially nothing and therefor there was no reason for Russia to escalate over this.

    Bottom line: Assad isn’t going anywhere and he hasn’t even been damaged. The US and it’s allies have shown that they are willing to make use of force when their red lines are crossed (even if we disagree with those red lines) while still remaining responsible and avoiding escalation with other great powers. No civilians and the situation on the ground in Syria remains EXACTLY the same as it was 1 week ago.

    What’s not to like?

  555. German_reader says

    You framed it in terms of faith.

    I could of course have written “Fred Reed doesn’t even accept the theory of evolution”…but unless you’re into serious nitpicking, it should be clear that’s how I meant it.
    In any case, your insinuation that I should be tortured is rather excessive.

  556. Not so sure of that. Spin aide, it appears to be a limited bombing campaign.

    A main concern are staged chemical attacks, along with a mass media and body politic, which refrain from critically second guessing the otherwise obvious.

  557. This is one of the stupidest analyses I have ever read. Anatoly Karlin should stick to something a little more his speed, like shoving X-men action figures up his ass. This is truly unbelievably shallow garbage. What a waste of time.

  558. German_reader says

    but right now I think it is pretty clear that Assad did use gas like the west has alleged.

    I’m personally not convinced that the alleged gas attack was a false flag operation (it doesn’t matter to me that much, I would be opposed to intervention in any case), but how is this supposed to be “pretty clear”? It’s not like there was any independent investigation that could have confirmed this.

    It is already widely agreed that these attacks did essentially nothing

    If they did nothing, what’s their point? They set a precedent, if there’s another incident with gas (real or fake), there will undoubtedly be an escalation.

  559. Greasy William says

    If they did nothing, what’s their point?

    There is no point. Don’t you see what’s happening here?

    This is all theatre. The war is over, Assad has won, Russia is in Syria forever and even the west accepts all of those things now, they just can’t come out and say it.

    But nations have to worry about “interests” and “prestige”. These things don’t matter to real people but they are extremely important to the types of people who run countries. When Assad launched such a blatant gas attack, he basically sent a signal out to the entire world that “you don’t need to be afraid of US military power anymore.” Such a message weakens the ability of the US to negotiate with Iran and NK along with whatever other stupid imperialistic projects they are currently running (I can’t keep track). Do you agree?

    So tonight the US showed that it still able to rally it’s allies and launch targeted attacks on unconventional weapons even over Russian opposition. The message to Iran and NK is “if we can target Syria’s chem plants, which we don’t even care about, even when Russians are in theater, what do you think we can do to you if you don’t play ball?”.

    For the record, Trump wanted a much more expansive strike, as recommended by Bolton. Mattis said that would be a mistake and Trump changed his mind. Trump is not this mad man loose cannon people are portraying him as. He listened to the right person. Time for you to give him some credit.

  560. reiner Tor says

    Trump together with a very large portion of the USA elite is insane. They are like the banks buying repackaged subprime mortgages. Except with much graver consequences.

    Taleb is right, most people don’t understand unnatural risks (i.e. anything new on evolutionary timescales). This includes the risk of nuclear war.

  561. doesn’t even accept the theory of evolution

    I can see you feel very strong about this article faith. Would you have a one night stand with somebody who does not accept… ? Is it a first question you ask on the date?

    But as Fred is concerned he just raised several issues on which ToE is rather weak in evidence and basically consist of vigorous hand waving. But apparently in your universe it is not permitted and one had to be denounced as a heretic or unbeliever.

  562. Yeah……….
    Anyway.

    I’ll just wait and watch. 72 hours only.

    If this stops now, say, no repeated strikes in the next 72 hours, this very episode is over.
    Very soon we’ll see something similar. Similar pretext, similar bombing. Maybe not even any pretext.
    And again. Open season whenever they feel it.

    If this does not stop now, say, we see repeated strikes, on the same pretext (this very “gas incident”), well, I am sure that will create a very unfriendly environment for Assad forces there. For Russians too. Very…….changed on the ground there environment. Very.

    But, really, the best about all this is how the “teams” here haven’t changed their position one bit.
    The resident “Team Russia” will keep their tune and the rest will keep theirs too, as nothing happened.
    As…….nothing……..just ………happened.

    Now you know why “they” don’t need to shut down the Internet. No need. On the contrary actually.

  563. Trump has a pragmatic side to him as well. This wasn’t such a great US victory and Russian defeat.

    A number of US elites are overrated and overly promoted. The Anglo-American mass media promoted Steve Fish and Scott Lucas come to mind on that score.

  564. Greasy William says

    This wasn’t such a great US victory and Russian defeat.

    In some sense it was a Russian victory. Russia showed that it can prevent the US (and certainly Israel, by extension) from forcibly removing Assad.

    Really tonight was a victory for everybody who opposes a superpower clash in Syria. People here are just upset because the US wasn’t totally humiliated and Assad was made to look like the weakling he is.

  565. Greasy William says

    But, really, the best about all this is how the “teams” here haven’t changed their position one bit.
    The resident “Team Russia” will keep their tune and the rest will keep theirs too, as nothing happened.
    As…….nothing……..just ………happened.

    Nothing did happen. The SAA’s capabilities are exactly the same as they were a week ago. Syrian infrastructure is virtually all in tact. No civilians were killed. No Russian or even Iranian bases were targeted.

    Nothing happened.

  566. reiner Tor says

    I question the judgment of people who don’t accept evolution. What else did they get wrong?

    Though you’re correct in that it’s in itself a pretty harmless belief, but often correlated with Christian Zionism and dispensationism.

  567. LondonBob says

    More kabuki theatre like last time. Russia now has a greenlight to speed up the end of the war.

  568. LondonBob says

    I don’t accept macro evolution, the fossil record doesn’t support it, no present day examples and a fish magically sprouting legs, gills transforming in to lungs and deciding to walk around on the land all of a sudden is pretty fantastical.

  569. Notwithstanding, it doesn’t look good when a Russian ally is attacked like that. A US ally attacked by Russia isn’t as likely to happen. That’s said without considering Russia’s “near abroad”, like Ukraine and Georgia (which aren’t in NATO or the EU), where Russia has greater strategic clout.

    The US can project power outside it’s region in a way that Russia can’t away from its near abroad. Then again, Russia doesn’t have such an adventurist foreign policy, as erroneously suggested in some circles.

    In Syria, the US can’t rely too much on Turkey and Iraq, with Kuwait abstaining at the UN, rather than going along with Washington.

  570. ThreeCranes says

    “In the councils of government….We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    We should take nothing for granted.”

    This from a guy who had seen it all, first as a General and then as a politician.

    Nothing, it seems, is as it seems.

  571. for-the-record says

    Thanks, it’s very useful to have someone reply on this with updated and more comprehensive information, as I found the peremptory statement that the effects of nuclear winter have long been “discredited” to be very suspect (without having the evidence to challenge it).

  572. Greasy William says

    Notwithstanding, it doesn’t look good when a Russian ally is attacked like that. A US ally attacked by Russia isn’t as likely to happen.

    Russia has been basically attacking Israel for the last 3 years and the US (correctly) hasn’t done shit.

    Notwithstanding, it doesn’t look good when a Russian ally is attacked like that.

    And America doesn’t look good when Russia, without firing a shot, prevents the US from bringing serious consequences to Assad for thumbing his nose at them (the US).

    So I guess a lot of people don’t look good today.

    I really feel proud of how America has handled this and I hope Russians are proud of how they have acted as well. It was a difficult situation but everybody worked together to make the best of it.

  573. for-the-record says

    Really tonight was a victory for everybody who opposes a superpower clash in Syria.

    What it really was was further proof that world peace depends on the Russians maintaining their “cool” (and being seen to stand down, much like the Cuban missile crisis where the American concessions were hidden from the public for 25 years or so) in the face of behaviour which is absolutely crazy and reckless.

  574. I question the judgment of people who don’t accept evolution. What else did they get wrong?

    The overwhelming majority of people lacks cognitive apparatus and knowledge base for evaluating to what extend or in what sense ToE is right or wrong. Their acceptance or rejection of ToE occurs on sociological level only. The indoctrination is not qualitatively different than teaching kids catechism. For most it is just an article of faith which is necessary for smooth and unproblematic functioning in the society. For savvier yet uneducated folks it is a recognition of social signs about what is in or what is out. It is like when you walk into some dive bar within several minutes you will know who is who in the social structure of the bar. Who is the top dog and who is the underdog and how the various cliques are delineated. And if you want to function in this bar without a conflict you better accept this structure. From the bar you can walk out but from society you can’t.

    So what does the acceptance of ToE measure? It is possible that among people who do not accept the ToE or have some doubts and questions about it you may find, besides cranks and some Christian fundamentalists, also a very interesting individuals who may have insights and understanding of surrounding us reality much deeper and more challenging than what you may get from types with the obsequiousness of German_reader. Personally I do not like Fred and his writing because he is not really sincere and all what he believes in is the well being of his selfish libertarian ass; he gets off on irking people yet, I think, he is more aware of social reality he inhabits than German_reader is. He is less of a sleepwalker than German-Reader is.

  575. “We should take nothing for granted.”

    This from a guy who had seen it all, first as a General and then as a politician.

    But he counted on the pension that he later drew.

  576. How has Russia been “basically” (as you put it) attacking Israel for the past three years?

  577. Anonymous says

    More importantly, the stronger side got emboldened even more.

    That’s how it might look on the surface. Both sides discussed, and almost certainly negotiated, their moves before the strike. Unless we see escalation in the next few weeks it’s very possible that the Russian side agreed to appear weak in order to achieve some other goal. It would have to be something significant, though, since they do look weak now and optics are important.

    That’s all speculative of course, but I don’t believe that Russia is genuinely retreating from this fight. Time will tell.

    (hope I don’t sound like a “n-th dimensional chess” Trumpster, haha)

  578. Greasy William says

    They’ve given air cover for Hezbollah and Iran to set up bases and both those groups are directly attacking troops on the Israeli border.

    That Syrian missile that brought down the f-16I inside Israeli airspace might as well have been launched by Russia, as Syria would never have dared if they didn’t know that Russia would force Israel not to retaliate.

    This is the War of Attrition all over again. And just like then, a direct clash between Russia and Israel is inevitable. Hopefully the sides are able to work something out because Israel is about to bring Iran, Syria and Lebanon a world of pain and they won’t be standing down this time, no matter what Putin does.

  579. Gleimhart says

    Please show the mathematical equations you employed to arrive at 0.1% chance.

  580. Gleimhart says

    By all means, cheer for the Chinese.

  581. a direct clash between Russia and Israel is inevitable

    The best thing I have heard in a very long time.

  582. Greasy William says

    I wouldn’t get too excited. It’s gonna end the same way it did in 1970. Except with a lot more dead Arabs this time.

  583. “OT – Are they Russians ever going to respond? At what point will popular opinion turn against Putin for sitting on his hands? At some point you’d think they would have to respond to save face, even if it meant risking a wider war. How much humiliation can Russia take?”

    I’ve thought the same. They have publicly stated that there will be consequences for this attack, so we’ll see in the coming days if there is.

    As an aside, there is no way the Russians didn’t know about this attack as it was happening, whatever anyone may say. These were all cruise missiles, so they could have been shot down – cruise missiles are relatively slow flying and non-stealthy; therefore, they are more easily intercepted (even by fighter aircraft) and destroyed.

    If I were a Russian advisor, I might recommend attacking Libya in response. The chances of retaliation from the government are very low, it’s nearby, and there are probably at least a few good targets there – including American contractors they could target in revenge for Russian contractors being killed a few weeks ago (Pompeo crowed about it recently: “they met their match”). They could justify it as a humanitarian mission but attack their oil facilities while they are at it and give a boost to the Russian economy.

  584. anonymous coward says

    Never mind the fossil record, the “”theory”” of Darwinian evolution violates basic laws of probability theory!

    (“Theory” is in scare quotes because it really isn’t; it doesn’t manage to actually predict or explain anything, being an elaborate just-so myth.)

  585. “Such a message weakens the ability of the US to negotiate with Iran and NK along with whatever other stupid imperialistic projects they are currently running (I can’t keep track). Do you agree?”

    Not at all. The lesson those countries will take away from this is that the US is a reckless, lawless, and dangerous country that can only be deterred by great force. The North Koreans would be fools now to give up their nukes, and Iran will do everything possible to build up a conventional deterrent as well as keep the Empire away from its borders by causing distractions elsewhere in the Middle East. This was a big loss for US security.

    “I really feel proud of how America has handled this and I hope Russians are proud of how they have acted as well. It was a difficult situation but everybody worked together to make the best of it.”

    I’m ashamed how the US acted tonight. This attack was immoral, illegal (under both international law and the US constitution), and reckless.

    And Russia must respond in some way (unless there has been some secret deal to remove US troops from the theater in a few months); otherwise, more attacks will be coming as evidenced by the nomination of Mike Pompeo demonstrates. This isn’t over, or at least is shouldn’t be by a long stretch for any self-respecting nation. You don’t just murder hundreds of Russian civilians, bomb a country’s ally, and mouth off about challenging Russia everywhere (Pompeo) and get away with it.

  586. Spisarevski says

    Syria has at least 40 Pantsirs, a good part of them should be in/around Damascus, while the americunts launched a total of 100 missiles, some of them at Homs, so the Pantsirs in Damascus should not have been oversaturated. And yet it looks like they did not manage to intercept the majority of missiles, and Tomahawks are old and slow.
    I expected more to be honest.

    RT is only mentioning Buks, Kubs, s-125 and s-200 regarding the few successful interceptions and these are not great at shooting cruise missiles in the first place.

  587. “Never mind the fossil record, the “”theory”” of Darwinian evolution violates basic laws of probability theory!”

    Says someone who doesn’t understand basic mathematics or even the underpinnings of the theory in question. As one poster above said, most people simply lack the intellectual faculties to objectively judge anything remotely complex (or even something very simple as in the ToE). Most humans are low IQ sheep – biological machines designed by evolution to simply fit in with social groups by regurgitating accepted talking points.

  588. They had Austria-Hungary start it.

    It took the collective stupidity of all the Great Powers to bring Ww1 about.

    That’s the great thing about alliances – they make wars much more likely.

  589. jilles dykstra says

    ” I really feel proud of how America has handled this ”

    Weird, war for seven or so years, countless deaths, misery, much destruction in Syria, even to monuments, Palmyra, the suq in Aleppo, ending in a Vietnam type defeat, and yet someone is proud.
    I do not mention the cost in money to the USA taxpayer.
    And then, the loss of prestige of the USA, in fact the whole west, the self appointed international coalition, in the world.
    On top of that, a Syrian migrant problem in Europe.
    If indeed 71 out of a 100 missiles were intercepted, maybe USA warmongers will think twice before they commit further mischief.
    Possibly the last thing is the only positive, there is not such thing as a missile shield, no reason to think that the USA’ s systems are any better.

  590. jilles dykstra says

    Just GB, France and the tsar.

  591. Greasy William says

    If indeed 71 out of a 100 missiles were intercepted

    They weren’t

    …there is not such thing as a missile shield…

    There is

    …no reason to think that the USA’ s systems are any better.

    There is

  592. “But there is no need to ask parliament in the United Kingdom. The power to declare war and make peace is reserved to the monarch. As long as she consulted with the Queen, nothing improper took place. David Cameron submitting the same to a parliamentary vote was an Americanized aberration. Quite similar to his idiotic BREXIT gambit.”

    I don’t agree. Consulting Parliament is an acknowledgement that the Queen is simply a figurehead. Surely, she’d never refuse the PM. Therefore, in practice, the executive has all war making authority in the UK – now THAT is an AMERICANIZED concept. Theresa May should have respected the convention that has been in place since the Iraq War; Parliament should have been consulted here.

  593. It’s fine to say that Americans today would not be willing to face the kinds of losses Americans in WW2 were

    American losses in WW2 were very light. There’s no way the Americans in WW2 would have endured the kinds of losses that the Germans, the French and the Russians suffered in WW1 or that the Germans and Russians suffered in WW2. The U.S. has always had a glass jaw.

  594. reiner Tor says

    I think it’s difficult to know. While they were more sensitive to casualties, they were quite willing to accept very high levels of casualties in the Civil War, and likely would have endured way higher casualties than they did. Human psychology being what it is, the sunk costs would have compelled them to endure yet more. Up to a point. That point was probably lower than elsewhere, but I think far higher than their actual casualty levels.

  595. One side just bombed the ally of the other side on the basis of no rational pretext whatsoever.
    Ignored, while getting ready, all processes and procedures agreed upon by civilized world.
    The most important, ignored all warnings from the opposite side too.

    I’d be the last to cheer a hard response from Russians. M.A.D.
    But, those “Team Russia” spins are becoming boring, fast.

    It is true that Russia acted as a smart side. It was/is facing a psychopath on the loose.
    Doesn’t matter in the game of power.
    They blinked.
    The opponent read them and made a move. That’s all what matters.

    This is clearly true, and it’s pretty much what was expected to be the outcome, provided nobody did anything really stupid and no big mistakes were made.

    As you say, the bottom line is that the Russians did fold and let the US get away with attacking their allies. On the other hand it’s also true that Russia did what it had to – contrary to the obsessives here, they are the weaker side in theatre and they know it, and furthermore not folding involves an unacceptable risk of escalation to nuclear war. And it’s also fair to say that the Russians also stood their ground to some extent and at least made the US side be seen to back off from what initially looked as though they might be more serious measures. So weaker than the US side, but not entirely helpless.

    So I’m pretty cheerful this morning – it could have been a lot worse. Nothing has really changed. Yes the crazies are somewhat emboldened, but on the other hand time is still on the side of the Russians in Syria, and it seems unlikely these strikes if we have seen them all (for now) as Mattis has reportedly suggested will have any material effect on the government or seriously reignite rebel support and activity.

    Both side have valid arguments to claim a “win”, but both side’s arguments are overstated by their advocates. Another bad precedent is set, but there are many of these. As I see it, nothing is resolved. As you say, that means the aggressors are emboldened and will likely push again soon enough. But on the other hand the defenders have more time to prepare and to strengthen their positions.

    There’s a lot of catching up to do on what really went on in the background, as well, both within the US regime and amongst the resisting powers especially Iran and China. Their responses on the ground, as well as Russia’s, over the next few weeks will tell us a lot.

  596. “The U.S. has always had a glass jaw.”

    Not quite. The US has more of a conditional glass jaw. Under limited circumstances (if attacked) they can and have sustained large casualties. During the American Civil War, the Southern States lost a non-trivial portion of their population, and they are the backbone of the current US military.

    However, things change. Those statues that were pulled down were mostly from the Southern States*, so I question whether even they would be willing to fight a substantial war for this country any more.

    I don’t believe, however, the US can simply pick a fight and lose a few thousand people without the public demanding an end to the conflict. The US would have to be directly attacked in some cowardly act for the public to tolerate losses.

    *Even at the lowest point of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the Southern States still supported them and were willing to take even more casualties. That was mostly a patriotic thing, but those states have been slammed by cultural Marxists since Obama. I don’t think they’d go all out for this country any more (see their enthusiastic support of Tucker Carlson and Tomi Lahren’s denunciations of escalation in Syria + their embracing the supposedly anti-war Trump during the election…even in South Carolina).

  597. Tsar Nicholas says

    The Cabinet Manual – described by gov.uk as ‘the ultimate user’s guide to government’ – recognises that such a constitutional convention exists in relation to consulting parliament on military action. It states that:

    ‘In 2011, the Government acknowledged that a convention had developed in Parliament that before troops were committed the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter.’ Since this statement, many a government minister and senior official have repeated a commitment to the convention (including the then Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood).

    And it was widely thought to have been consolidated in 2013 by David Cameron’s decision to respect the House of Commons vote against military action in response to a previous chemical attack in Syria. Indeed – in 2014 the current Business Secretary Greg Clark, and then Constitution Minister, told Parliament that the Cabinet Manual ‘should be updated to reinforce the importance and value of that convention by reference to the events of 29 August [2013]…’

    But I agree with you about Mrs May being a stupid bitch.

  598. That’s true, but it’s not really relevant to the point I was making.

  599. The fantasy that Trump is “fighting some nebulous Deep State” might be just a disinformation meme spread by Breitbart and other Zionist outfits while Israel and its goals were the real objectives from the day one.

    It’s starting to look that way.

  600. The US would have to be directly attacked in some cowardly act for the public to tolerate losses.

    Or at least, the US public would have to be told that they had been directly attacked or threatened in some “unprovoked” aggression.

    Personally I think it mostly depends on whether the American people see their side as winning. I doubt casualties would be much problem in any war in which the rulers can present it as being a win for America. It’s when it becomes hard to sustain that idea that casualties become a problem.

  601. for-the-record says

    They weren’t

    Are you sure?

    A senior Russian military official has said that Syrian air defence had intercepted at least 71 cruise missiles fired by US, UK and French forces.

    At a news conference in Moscow on Saturday, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy said at least 103 cruise missiles, including Tomahawks, were fired into a number of targets in Syria.

    “Russia has fully restored the air defence system of Syria, and it continues to improve it over the last six months,” Rudskoy said . . .

    Among those targeted by the US-led operation was the Al-Dumayr military airport outside of Damascus. Russia said all 12 missiles directed at the airport were intercepted.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/russia-syria-air-defence-intercepted-31-missiles-180414065923075.html

  602. Thorfinsson is correct that prior to that convention being adopted it was the case that the government did not need Commons approval for such things. But that’s how precedent works. If May gets away with ignoring it, then the convention is weakened and if it is ignored a couple more times without punishment, it is gone and we are back to the former situation.

    I imagine May’s decision to go in without Commons approval was heavily influenced by the fact that in the end it was decided these were to be symbolic strikes with no risk of Russian retaliation. If she had gone in without approval and there’d been any military pushback at all, she’d have been toast.

  603. The battle to spin the outcome is on …..

  604. for-the-record says

    The battle to spin the outcome is on …..

    Here is some more spin from the Russian General Staff, or perhaps simply a restatement of facts:

    “We believe that this strike is not a response to an alleged chemical attack, but a reaction to the success of the Syrian armed forces in the liberation of its territory from international terrorism.”

    “The strike was carried out exactly on the day, when the OPCW special mission was set to start its work in Damascus to probe the incident in the city of Douma, where chemical weapons had allegedly been used,” the Russian military emphasized.

    And perhaps the first concrete reaction:

    “A few years ago, we refused to supply S-300 air defense systems to Syria due to the request of some of our Western partners. Taking into account what happened, we consider it possible to return to this issue. And not only with regard to Syria, but with regard to other states,” the General Staff stated.

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201804141063542460-russia-air-defenses-syria-us-missile-strike/

  605. Tsar Nicholas says

    They may have been symbolic airstrikes, but given that Russians might have sustained casualties there was a huge risk. I doubt that Maggie Thatcher, even as she went mad with power towards the end of her term of office, would have risked a nuclear confrontation and the very existence of her country.

    Mrs May has been lying again on the news channels today. She claims these strikes were legal. Well, they were not. You can only attack a country if it is in self-defence or if there is a Security Council Resolution authorising it. Neither condition applied, so the Vicar’s daughter was found to be lying yet again.

    The Cabinet meeing to discuss this went on for an amazing seven hours, suggesting that – contrary to Mrs May’s claims – there was no unanimity. Brexit minister David Davis left after about three hours and told the press that there had been a “robust” discussion, not least on the need to consult Parliament.

  606. Russia had put off a deal to sell six S-300 batteries to Bashar Assad’s regime after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in May 2013.

    Netanyahu is said to have warned Putin that the sale of S-300 to Assad would invariably push the Middle-East into war and it had no relevance to Syria’s civil-war battles.

    http://www.defenseworld.net/news/22337/Russia_Plans_to_Reopen_S_300_Anti_aircraft_Missile_Systems_Sales_to_Syria#.WtHkNWeouUk

    A very good response, imo.

  607. Mrs May has been lying again on the news channels today. She claims these strikes were legal. Well, they were not. You can only attack a country if it is in self-defence or if there is a Security Council Resolution authorising it. Neither condition applied, so the Vicar’s daughter was found to be lying yet again.

    Obviously. But the easy tell that May is lying is that her lips are moving.

    They may have been symbolic airstrikes, but given that Russians might have sustained casualties there was a huge risk. I doubt that Maggie Thatcher, even as she went mad with power towards the end of her term of office, would have risked a nuclear confrontation and the very existence of her country.

    If there had been any significant risk, military or political, I don’t believe she’d have done it. She’s a coward as well as a liar.

    There were certainly huge risks in the whole idea of lobbing missiles at the ally of a nuclear armed state, but I think those were mostly talked out over the past few days, and in the end Trump backed away from anything really significant, and the Russians were forewarned of what was coming and were prepared to tolerate it, perforce, and respond in other ways (see for instance for-the-record’s post above).

  608. annamaria says

    “This is the War of Attrition all over again. And just like then, a direct clash between Russia and Israel is inevitable. Hopefully the sides are able to work something out because Israel is about to bring Iran, Syria and Lebanon a world of pain and they won’t be standing down this time, no matter what Putin does.”
    — You missed the historical fact that Russia had been already dealing with the Jews. — Remember the Bolshevik Revolution, the establishment of the GULAG, and the inordinate presence of Jewish sadists among the secret police?
    You could lull yourself with the mighty ideas of destroying the Middle East; up to date, the Zionists are guilty of 4 million of deaths due to the zionized US’ “humanitarian interventions” aimed at implementing the Oded Yinon plan. At least a quarter of the dead are children.
    You could jump up and down proclaiming your various virtues and rights and moral superiority and eternal victimhood, but nobody wants to hear you… The zionized MSM is not trusted anymore by ALL decent people. You — Israelis and the Lobby — are disgusting.
    The Lobby has become the worst enemy of the American citizenry (see Iraq war, PNAC, Wolfowitz doctrine, and similar bloody lunacies). The Friends of Israel have become the worst enemy of the Brits (see the Iraq war, the face of Blair, and the “beauty” of the Skripal affair).
    By the way, you need to take care of your schizophrenic thinking: it is either “a direct clash between Russia and Israel is inevitable” or “hopefully the sides are able to work something out.”
    Yours is a country of mad rabies, Moldovan bouncers, and sanctimonious hypocrites that love — love! — murdering the unarmed natives in the Gaza Ghetto. What was it yesterday — the remembrance day for Warsaw Ghetto? — So timely. Such a powerful reminder of the Israelis crimes on the occupied territories.

  609. Yeah, nuking USA aircraft carriers makes a lot sense after your explanation, China built aircraft carrier killer ballistic missiles for the same reason.

  610. annamaria says

    “If I were a Russian advisor, I might recommend attacking Libya in response.”
    — Let me guess, you are Jewish?

  611. The last paragraph sums it up beautifully. The question is a simple one.Why are Chinese troops in Syria?.Who has the most to gain in a conflict between Russia and the west.Sun tzu otherwise known as Sunny tzuzie,the great Chinese philosopher wrote “who flung dung”. Exactly my question.

    http://www.newsweek.com/china-military-joins-syria-war-deabte-displays-new-weapons-home-824429

  612. I didn’t understand the tizzy on display by the “bash America first” crowd in the comment section. A repeat of Shayrat was always the most likely event. Russia firsters and Assad supporters could claim that there was little damage and most of the missiles had been deflected or shot down anyway while the U.S. and allies could claim to have destroyed mucho war resources and all with few casualties. I think it’s called a win-win.

  613. deschutes says

    Well, I happen to think you’re full of shit, so we agree to disagree. Unlike you and this wackjob hack warmonger Karlin, I don’t think full scale nuclear war is the way forward.

    You are an unhinged ass monkey if you think anybody will survive WWIII full scale nuclear war. What a fucking loon you are, trying to look on the ‘bright side’ of nuclear armageddon. You actually have the suicidal stupidity and gall to say the following-

    “While cancer and other hazards will further reduce biodiversity and lower the overall standard of life, humanity as a species will survive and it is probable that technological advancement can restart again after some time. ”

    Take a moment and re-read that. Yes, you are evidently fine with 99% of life being exterminated on Earth, and leaving it a radioactive ash heap where what little remains can try to continue.

    What a total, complete, delusional fucking asshole you are. As I said earlier, this Unz website if full of alt-right shit heads like you, fringe wackos who seem to look forward to nuclear annihilation as is the case with you.

  614. Nothing did happen. The SAA’s capabilities are exactly the same as they were a week ago. Syrian infrastructure is virtually all intact. No civilians were killed. No Russian or even Iranian bases were targeted.

    Nothing happened.

    It’s an opening shot. US navy forces are moving into position for more.

    US Zionists want “regime change” with the destruction of both Syria and Iran, not a few pre-announced bombs in a Syrian parking lot.

  615. Greasy William says

    Yeah but it’s clear that Russia really won this round. US needs to cut it’s losses and leave. There is no support in the west for any kind of conflict and it divides Trump’s base.

    Let’s declare victory and go home.

  616. Greasy William says

    It’s an opening shot.

    No it isn’t. It’s over.

    In fact, if Trump hadn’t had that twitter meltdown immediately after I don’t think the US would have even struck at all.

  617. It’s an opening shot. US navy forces are moving into position for more.

    Are they? Or are they mostly routine redeployments?

    Regardless, if nothing else the resistance side has time to respond and prepare.

    US Zionists want “regime change” with the destruction of both Syria and Iran, not a few pre-announced bombs in a Syrian parking lot.

    Indeed, but that doesn’t mean they will get what they want. If nothing else, this latest close shave will have awakened a few more people to the stakes in Syria.

    Glass half full or half empty?

  618. Speaking of spin, it’s amusing to read all the establishment media reports uncritically repeating shamelessly dishonest government spin about having targeted chemical warfare stocks and facilities. If there really were such stocks, why didn’t the US and its poodles demand peremptory inspections? If nothing else, a refusal could have been used as propaganda.

    There also seems to be rather subdued initial response to the May government’s breathtaking dishonesty in claiming to have had “no alternative” to waging (albeit briefly) an illegal war of aggression. Even if you accept the false premise that there was an established Syrian use of chemical weapons, there clearly were alternatives. Why didn’t the US seek a General Assembly vote to try to overturn the UNSC veto? If they haven’t even tried that then clearly they haven’t pursued possible alternatives. Why didn’t they demand peremptory inspections of the places they claim to “know” were used to make and store chemical weapons? Again, clearly they were not in the slightest interested in alternatives.

    It will be interesting if the generally rather useless Corbyn will have the balls to take these issues on properly, or if as usual he’ll adopt the weak sauce “well, Assad was bad, but you really shouldn’t have bombed him without a vote, but yes, Assad is really bad and chemical weapons are very nasty” line that leftist politicians always seem to, when responding ineffectually to these kinds of “humanitarian” aggressions.

  619. ussr andy says

    It is possible that among people who do not accept the ToE or have some doubts and questions about it you may find, besides cranks and some Christian fundamentalists, also a very interesting individuals who may have insights and understanding of surrounding us reality

    that’s not Fred though.

    http://www.unz.com/freed/the-bugs-in-darwin-580/

    from cursory skimming I can tell those are very basic-b**ch objections – muh complexity, the eye, insect metamorphosis, morals… sufficiently dealt with by pop-sci lit on the subject or the Index to Creationist Claims.

    Their acceptance or rejection of ToE occurs on sociological level only.

    that’s all things.

    through decade-long bipartisan effort, ToE has become one of the fronts in the American culture war so of course most people defending it and denying it alike are gonna do it for bad reasons. That doesn’t mean it’s false.

    Most that society can do is to encourage people to try to be less wrong. Christian Right is an especially egregious example where a whole subculture sunk and reveled in error. The Left destroyed them by relentless pounding making the way free for a smart Right wing.
    Now would that the Right save the Left from the cretinous, but trendy, segments of itself.

  620. I was a bit surprised to find out that the UK PM, like the U. S. prez, can initiate war without the approval of Parliament (Congress).

  621. Let’s declare victory and go home.

    It took many years for us to do this in Vietnam, all the while suffering extensive casualties and with a serious anti-war movement in the populace and in Congress.

    There is no anti-war movement.

    I think it was just a reminder to Putin and Assad, mostly Putin, that you don’t get to rest on your laurels, you have to commit resources for a very long haul.

  622. Take a moment and re-read that. Yes, you are evidently fine with 99% of life being exterminated on Earth, and leaving it a radioactive ash heap where what little remains can try to continue.

    Why does D_C’s opinion as to the likely outcome of a nuclear exchange give any clue as to whether or not he’s “fine” with it?

    If he wrote that if someone were to chop his (D_C’s) finger off it would hurt like hell and handicap him for life, but he probably would survive, would that imply D_C is “fine” with someone chopping his finger off?

    Isn’t the issue of what the effects of a nuclear exchange might actually be, one for legitimate discussion?

  623. for-the-record says

    Excerpts from statement of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin:

    On April 14, the US backed by its allies carried out a missile strike against military and civilian infrastructure facilities in Syria. Without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, in defiance of the UN Charter, norms and principles and international law, an act of aggression has been committed against a sovereign state, which is at the forefront of the war on terror.

    Russia is convening an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the aggressive actions by the US and its allies . . .

    Through its actions, the United States is increasingly exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and bringing suffering upon civilians, and actually collaborating with terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years and provoking a new wave of refugees from that country and the region as a whole

    Once again, just like a year ago when the US attacked the Shayrat Airbase in Syria, a staged chemical attack against civilians was used as a pretext, this time in Douma, a Damascus suburb. Russian military experts who visited the site of the alleged incident found no traces of the use of chlorine or other chemical agents. Not a single local resident confirmed that a chemical attack had taken place.

    . . . a group of Western countries cynically ignored that [OPCW mission sent to Damascus to “clarify the situation”], conducting a military operation without waiting for the results of the investigation. Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate government in the war on terrorism.

    http://tass.com/politics/999748
    http://tass.com/politics/999762

  624. Hey Randal, since you are keen on enforcing agreements, do you have an answer to Haley’s comment that if Russia had honored its chemical weapons agreement, none of this would have happened? Or do you just want to enforce agreements on one side?

  625. “Are they? Or are they mostly routine redeployments?”

    One carrier group, yes. But there was another carrier group heading to the region. I don’t know if that’s changed now. If it has, we are out of the woods. If not…

  626. I recounted the following anecdote in a reply in another thread, and think it bears repeating now.

    Foreman, the great power puncher explained his loss to Ali in the 8th round in Kinshasa…

    I thought he was just one more knockout victim until, about the seventh round, I hit him hard to the jaw and he held me and whispered in my ear: ‘That all you got, George?’ I realized then that this ain’t what I thought it was.

    Foreman had been power punching for 7 rounds, landing 100s of blows, to little effect against Ali’s rope-a-dope strategy. Deflecting, letting the ropes absorb the impacts of body blows, ducking, bobbing and weaving, Ali allowed Foreman free rein to flail away. Occasionally, some got through, but by the 7th round even his best shot wasn’t enough.

    Team America may not be as insightful as Foreman, but they too will eventually come to realize that Syria, the Ukraine, the SCS and DPRK ain’t what they thought they were either. They’ll realize it when they take their best shot and hear “That all ya got, Uncle Sam?”, and they’ll hit the canvas in the next round just like Foreman did.

  627. reiner Tor says

    Haley’s comment that if Russia had honored its chemical weapons agreement, none of this would have happened?

    How did Russia breach the chemical weapons agreement?

  628. “if Russia had honored its chemical weapons agreement, none of this would have happened? Or do you just want to enforce agreements on one side?”

    The US is really in no position to talk about enforcing agreements. It abandoned the ABM treaty, routinely ignores UN treaty obligations per the use of force, ignores its own constitutional checks on executive war making ability, vetoes every UN resolution regarding Israel, and its Secretary of State nominee recently told Congress that the US was “unique and exceptional” in the context that it didn’t have to obey any laws or international norms.

  629. “How did Russia breach the chemical weapons agreement?”

    I think he is referencing Skripal.

    Interestingly, I had the feeling that the British might be responsible for the Sarin gas attack when I heard of it – assumed it was a British plot to draw in a retaliatory strike on the Russians.

  630. Well it’s an interesting comparison and contrast I suppose.

    The constitutional background is that Presidents theoretically shouldn’t be able to initiate wars (as opposed to defensive military action) without Congressional approval (but in practice do), whereas Prime Ministers were always seen as exercising a royal prerogative to do so, which was not dependent on Commons approval.

    In recent years, the precedent has been established that in fact PMs should seek such approval, but it’s just a precedent and as we have just seen a PM can defy it if he (or she) thinks he can get away with it. Which I suppose brings us back into line with US reality.

    But I suspect May will insist there was some spurious urgent necessity that required her to ignore the precedent on this occasion. Nevertheless her action has unavoidably weakened it, if she is allowed to get away with it, which of course she will. And clearly there will be those in the military and in the political and media establishment who will see that as a good outcome. Mind you, if there had been any military response from Russia at all, involving say a missile attack on a plane or on the Akrotiri base in retaliation, I suspect she would have been toast politically for going ahead without approval. So I feel she will only have committed to the action when it was absolutely clear that no Russian feathers were going to be unduly ruffled by it.

  631. reiner Tor says

    I thought there was no evidence.

  632. I get the point of enforcing laws of war in theory, and the aversion to gas in particular. But the laws of war were never really about third world countries no one expects to follow them, but about major powers.

  633. for-the-record says

    If there really were such stocks, why didn’t the US and its poodles demand peremptory inspections? If nothing else, a refusal could have been used as propaganda.

    OPCW EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
    25 September 2017

    NOTE BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
    PROGRESS IN THE ELIMINATION
    OF THE SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMME

    Progress achieved by the Syrian Arab Republic in meeting the requirements of Executive Council decisions EC-M-33/DEC.1 and EC-M-34/DEC.1

    6. Progress by the Syrian Arab Republic is as follows:

    (a) The Secretariat has verified the destruction of 25 of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) declared by the Syrian Arab Republic. During the period under review, the Secretariat has continued the preparatory work to carry out an initial inspection to confirm the current condition of the last two stationary above-ground facilities.

    (b) On 14 September 2017, the Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the Council itsforty-sixth monthly report (EC-86/P/NAT.4, dated 15 September 2017) regarding activities on its territory related to the destruction of its CWPFs, as required by paragraph 19 of EC-M-34/DEC.1.

    Progress in the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons by States Parties hosting destruction activities

    7. As stated in previous reports, all of the chemicals declared by the Syrian Arab Republic that were removed from its territory in 2014 have now been destroyed.

    https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/86/en/ec86dg23_e_.pdf

  634. Beefcake the Mighty says

    It appears these strikes were a big zero and are more damaging to American reputation (what’s left of it, that is), than Russian. In that sense the Russian non-response (that we’re aware of at least) was appropriate and prudent. Time is ultimately on Russia’s side. But it just as apparent that false flags work, so sadly this is far from over.

  635. for-the-record says

    do you have an answer to Haley’s comment that if Russia had honored its chemical weapons agreement, none of this would have happened? Or do you just want to enforce agreements on one side?


    OPCW Marks Completion of Destruction of Russian Chemical Weapons Stockpile

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands –11 October 2017– In the margins of the 86th Session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a ceremony to mark the completion of the destruction of the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons took place today at the residence of Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW. The Permanent Representatives and delegates from States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and OPCW Technical Secretariat staff attended the ceremony.

    The Head of the Russian National Authority, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Georgy Kalamanov, delivered a statement expressing his thanks to the OPCW and States Parties for supporting the destruction programme.

    OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, acknowledged the remarkable achievement by the Russian Federation and presented a memorable certificate to Deputy Minister Kalamanov marking the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of Russian chemical weapons. He also gave a commemorative plate to General Viktor Kholstov to recognise his personal commitment to and efforts in achieving this milestone.

    The OPCW’s inspection teams have verified the destruction at seven chemical weapons destruction facilities in the Russian Federation. On 27 September 2017, the last of these facilities, located in Kizner, officially concluded its operations.

    With the total elimination of Russia’s declared chemical weapons programme, 96.3*** per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification.

    https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-marks-completion-of-destruction-of-russian-chemical-weapons-stockpile/

    ***[Left unsaid] A significant part of the 3.7% not yet destroyed being represented by the undestroyed portion of the stockpile of the USA.

  636. do you have an answer to Haley’s comment that if Russia had honored its chemical weapons agreement, none of this would have happened?

    Well it’s hard to see any reason to treat anything the Haley creature says as worthy of consideration, let alone a reply. Your quote seems to reinforce that approach, since there’s no reason to believe in any alleged (by the known liars in the US regime) Russian breach of any agreement, and many good reasons to disbelieve in it.

    If the Yanks are claiming the Syrians had stocks of chemicals and chemical weapons research facilities (that they bombed) why didn’t they demand an inspection and expose it to the world?

  637. The Secretariat has verified the destruction of 25 of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) declared by the Syrian Arab Republic. During the period under review, the Secretariat has continued the preparatory work to carry out an initial inspection to confirm the current condition of the last two stationary above-ground facilities.

    Are you aware of the fate of these last two sites? I assume (but don’t know) that neither of them were amongst the sites claimed (with impressive chutzpah) by the US as chemical weapons sites targeted last night:

    At a Pentagon briefing shortly after Mr Trump’s announcement, General Joseph Dunford listed three targets that had been struck:
    ◾A scientific research facility in Damascus, allegedly connected to the production of chemical and biological weapons
    ◾A chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs
    ◾A chemical weapons equipment storage site and an important command post, also near Homs

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43762251

  638. for-the-record says

    why didn’t they demand an inspection and expose it to the world?

    . . . inasmuch as the OPCW inspectors are already on site in Syria.

    OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Continues Deployment to Syria

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 14 April 2018 — The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma.

    The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.

    https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-fact-finding-mission-continues-deployment-to-syria/

  639. Beefcake the Mighty says

    As well as aversion to military deaths, an important psychological consideration here is the extent to which Americans fail to understand that, for all their military bluster, they have not fought an opponent on comparable terms since China intervened in Korea. Few Americans understand that, e.g., the vast majority of the Wehrmacht’s best troops were on the Eastern Front, Americans fought mainly subpar forces in the West. Yet they think WW2 was a crowning glory of American military history. The public shock that will arise from a capable opponent (like Russia) fighting back will go far beyond a schoolyard bully getting his comeuppance, it will have major political ramifications.

  640. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Yes, you are right, things aren’t as dire this morning as they appeared last night.

  641. “In fact, if Trump hadn’t had that twitter meltdown immediately after I don’t think the US would have even struck at all.”

    That puts the situation in an interesting light.

    Here’s one interpretation: Trump’s generals urge him not to attack, he goes nuts on Twitter in order to force them to allow it, they tell him they will make it happen, he – as is common once he gets his way – is magnanimous and Tweets follow-up nicey nice things.

    Did Trump throw a tantrum to get this attack?

  642. for-the-record says

    Are you aware of the fate of these last two sites?

    No, I don’t, but the OPCW can demand an inspection at any time if they have any doubts, and this wasn’t done. And it should be noted that Syria has promised full cooperation with the intrepid OPCW inspectors who, despite the inclement weather, are continuing with their mission.

  643. Greasy William says

    That isn’t going to happen.

    1. There will be no conventional clash between Russia and the US.
    2. If there was such a clash, nobody who knows anything about military forces and equipment would predict anything other than an overwhelming US victory.

    3. Russia would respond to such a defeat by launching WWIII, which is why it is never going to happen.

    The US strategy is publicly available:

    1. The US finishes defeating ISIS and making sure that it can’t regenerate.
  644. The US essentially makes Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan an unofficial protectorate and keeps an open ended commitment there to make sure that Assad doesn’t get those regions back.

  645. The US and it’s partners keep the fronts within Syria alive to continue draining Assad and his Russian and Iranian patrons.

  646. The goal is to keep Syria isolated either forever or until Russia and Iran throw in the towel; whichever comes first.

  647. This was the strategy before last week and nothing has changed. Time is certainly not on Russia’s side. This war is putting a strain on their budget and it will only get worse for them. As long as Russia and Iran are sinking resources into Syria, the Pentagon is getting what it wants.

  • Greasy William says

    Here’s one interpretation: Trump’s generals urge him not to attack, he goes nuts on Twitter in order to force them to allow it, they tell him they will make it happen, he – as is common once he gets his way – is magnanimous and Tweets follow-up nicey nice things.

    Did Trump throw a tantrum to get this attack?

    I think his tantrum was a combination of things. He was pissed about internal political stuff and furious when the generals told him he couldn’t abandon the Kurds like he promised his Rust Belt supporters he would. Then Assad does something that not only puts Trump in a difficult situation, but that Trump takes as a slap in the face.

    So he goes nuts on twitter in thoughtless rage and by the time he realizes that he is powerless against Assad he has already talked himself into a corner where he has to do something.

    Everything after the “animal Assad” tweet was damage control. And it ended up working out pretty well for everybody.

  • “Time is certainly not on Russia’s side.”

    How much longer can the US establishment hold off an anti-war candidate who would withdraw? Each election cycle sees an ever more skeptical public vote for an ever more skeptical, anti-war candidate. Perhaps time isn’t really on our side.

  • reiner Tor says

    Meanwhile, the Russian news agency RIA are reporting that Moscow is in touch with the US and other countries about the attack and is interested in cooperation with Washington on Syria, deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

    The Americans strangling them with sanctions and bombing their allies notwithstanding, they are still keen on cooperating.

  • It will be interesting if the generally rather useless Corbyn will have the balls to take these issues on properly, or if as usual he’ll adopt the weak sauce “well, Assad was bad, but you really shouldn’t have bombed him without a vote, but yes, Assad is really bad and chemical weapons are very nasty” line that leftist politicians always seem to, when responding ineffectually to these kinds of “humanitarian” aggressions.

    Speaking of useless, weak sauce leftist politicians’ ineffectual responses:

    Corbyn said. “This legally questionable action

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/14/jeremy-corbyn-calls-syria-airstrikes-legally-questionable

    “Legally questionable”!? It’s flat out, straightforwardly illegal, Corbyn, you idiot.

  • Greasy William says

    I like you reiner, but I feel like you aren’t seeing the big picture.

    You want to stop US imperialism, right? Well as I have proven on this very message board, the US is going to be gone in 20 years. But you know what will still exist in 20 years? Russia

    So here is the choice:<