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The Prospect of Nuclear War Is Getting too Close for Comfort
Paul Craig Roberts
Biden Regime Secretary of State Blinken has blocked negotiations between Russia and Ukraine by declaring it is US policy to drive Russia out of the reincorporated territories, including Crimea.
Biden’s announcement that the US will use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear threats, and the knowledge that US nuclear weapons are deployed close to Russia are forcing Putin to abandon his no first use of nuclear weapons pledge.
In other words, unlike the 20th century Cold War, today there is a hair-trigger on nuclear war. People who say nuclear war is impossible because there are no winners are out to lunch. Wars are the product of humans, and humans are emotional and stupid. They make mistakes hand over fist. Error is the human way.
During the Cold War, US presidents assured the Kremlin that the US had no intention of initiating a war. Today this assurance does not exist.
A Russian official has charged that the CIA and NSA were involved in the attack by drones deep inside Russia. So here we see the total validity of my warnings that Putin’s Goody Two Shoes behavior invites more and more reckless provocations. It is the inability of Putin to understand that Russia is at war with Ukraine and the US/NATO and that his “limited military operation” is nothing but his own delusion that is leading to nuclear war.
The United States government has now attacked Russia twice, not counting the attacks on the former Russian territory Russia has reincorporated, such as https://www.rt.com/russia/568031-melitopol-hotel-ukraine-himars/ . The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines and now drone attacks deep inside Russia are beyond Ukraine’s unassisted capability. Washington feels comfortable in these reckless acts, because Washington has dismissed Putin’s declared, but never defended, “red lines” as meaningless. https://www.rt.com/russia/567993-us-ukraine-attacks-deep-russia/
One wonders what is wrong with Putin and with the Kremlin in general that Russia forever complains but never acts. It should be self evident to the Kremlin that the longer the conflict and anti-Russian propaganda continue, the harder for the West to bow out. Prestige and predictions are at risk. a network of relationships develops. Powerful interest groups such as armaments corporations acquire stake in the conflict. With Ukraine facing defeat, there will be agitation for committing US and European soldiers. At first the claim will be that only one division is needed to bolster Ukraine at this or that point. Then to save that division another will be needed. We saw it all in Vietnam.
Will Putin finally realize that Russia is at war when Moscow goes up in smoke?
That would be a bit too late. Putin now admits that he waited too late to intervene in Ukraine, thus giving Washington time to build a Ukrainian military force. So why wait too late again? Can Putin learn from his mistakes? My fear is that Putin is unrealistic and does not comprehend the likely consequences of his Goody Two Shoes behavior. Putin’s restrained behavior gives the green light to greater provocations from Washington. These provocations are accelerating. Russia needs to use the force necessary to quickly end the war before it spins out of control.
Some years ago I wrote that Russia was disadvantaged, because Putin and the Russian liberals overestimated the humanity of the West. Now Putin says that “we may have realized too late” that Russia was being deceived. Nevertheless, he is still willing to negotiate and to be deceived again. Russian liberals, alienated from the Soviet government, were easy victims of American propaganda presenting the US as a light unto the world. This has had a disarming effect on the Russian ability to comprehend the West. https://www.rt.com/russia/567979-putin-biskhek-press-takeaways/
The Kremlin complains endlessly but never acts. Russia complains to the UN Security Council that weapons supplied by the West are used to hit Russian schools and homes. Why does Russia think the Security Council cares or will do anything about it? The real question is why does Putin by pulling Russia’s punches permit Ukraine the latitude to use the “foreign-supplied” weapons? The Russians are too diplomatic to say “West-supplied.” Russia says there will be legal consequences for the war crimes in the future. Why not military consequences now? Until Putin gets serious about the war, provocations will continue their escalation. https://www.rt.com/russia/567994-ukraine-warning-western-arms/
Another mistake Putin is making is not having a large professional standing army. Notice how long it took for Russia to mobilize 300,000 soldiers for reinforcing the “limited” operation in Ukraine. This should have taught the Kremlin something, but no, Putin announces no further need for more mobilization. Consequently, if the Ukraine situation does spin out of control Putin has nothing to fight with except nuclear weapons. Perhaps Putin fears domestic opposition from Americanized Russian youth that the Kremlin permitted American-financed NGOs to indoctrinate unhampered for years, or perhaps the Kremlin is “saving money.” How does Putin reconcile his statements that the West seeks the destruction of Russia with the absence of a large professional Russian army? That leaves him with only the nuclear option.
Commentators scoffed at my warnings that Western intervention in Ukraine was cooking up nuclear war. Now Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General says “I fear that the war in Ukraine will spiral out of control and become a major war between NATO and Russia. If things go wrong, they can go horribly wrong.” Amazing how long it took him to realize that. With dumbshits like Stoltenberg and the American neoconservatives running the show, how can war be avoided?
To come back to my 8 year old question: Why does Putin refuse to act and bring the conflict to a quick close before it widens out of control? The “limited operation” has not limited anything. It has expanded the war into attacks on Russia herself. Foreign Minister Lavrov has admitted that Washington and NATO are “directly involved” in war against Russia. How can the Kremlin make such an admission and do nothing about it? How provocative will the next attack be? Why not go ahead and win the war before the next provocation happens? Yes, I would rather Russia win the war than for the conflict to escalate into nuclear war. Until recently, Ukraine was a part of Russia for centuries. During the 20th century Soviet leaders attached parts of Russia to their Ukrainian province. These Russians were suffering under the neo-Nazi regime established by Washington in 2014, formed independent republics and asked to be returned to Russia. This legitimate request is no basis for a nuclear war.
Washington and Europe need to consider that sooner or later Putin will have to act if US/NATO keep pushing him into a corner. The harder and further Putin is pushed, the more limited his options. As Stoltenberg now realizes, the situation can spin out of control. Are American neoconservatives capable of this realization? Does Putin realize the situation is spinning out of control because of his inaction?
I was involved in the 20th Century Cold War. I helped President Reagan end it. The situation was never as dangerous as the current situation. In those days there were still intelligent people in Washington. Today there are none. In those days no one doubted that the Soviets would act. Today Russia is seen as all talk and no action. Consequently, push is coming to shove.