Hypocrisy and “Tactical” Nukes

Don’t worry, it’s just a “little” tactical nuke!

W.J. Astore

With Russia issuing warnings about using all weapons at its disposal to protect its position in Ukraine, it’s a good time to talk about the distinction between “tactical” and “strategic” nuclear weapons.

Put bluntly, there’s no real distinction. All nuclear weapons, regardless of size and yield, are devastating and potentially escalatory to a full-scale nuclear war. Were Russia to use “tactical” nuclear weapons, the U.S. and NATO would likely respond in kind.  Even if a major nuclear war could be avoided, resulting political disruptions would likely aggravate ongoing economic dislocation, triggering a serious global recession, even a Great Depression, further feeding the growth of fascism and authoritarianism.

When you build weapons, there’s a temptation to use them. Weapons don’t exist in a vacuum. Within the military, people are trained to use them. Doctrine is developed along with contingency plans. Exercises are run to prepare for deployment and use in wartime, “just in case.” In short, we can’t count on sane heads to prevail here, not when some people seem to think you can use a “little” nuke to send a message.

Fortunately for the world, nuclear weapons haven’t been used in war since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. But they are used daily in the sense of intimidating other countries.  Currently, Russia is using its nuclear forces to try to contain US/NATO aid to Ukraine and involvement in the Russia-Ukraine War. Russia is drawing a nuclear red line, and I doubt it’s a bluff.

It’s hypocritical of both the US and Russia to accuse the other of nuclear brinksmanship since both countries have contingency plans to use nukes. Hopefully, it’s obvious to both countries how devastating it would be if a nuclear exchange, even a “limited” or “tactical” one, were to occur.

Even as bluffs, nuclear threats are reckless, since there’s always some fool who may seek to call the bluff. Let’s hope the US/NATO collective doesn’t play the fool. We have enough problems in the world without tossing nuclear warheads of whatever size or yield at each other.

84 thoughts on “Hypocrisy and “Tactical” Nukes

  1. The distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons was always a false one – based in any public mention on the weapon’s yield. It ignored the reality that use of nuclear weapons was, and is, an escalating continuum. Once the first weapon is used – whatever it is called, the pressure to escalate will be irresistible.

    We used to talk of the use of tactical nukes at sea – but I never believed it could be stopped there. That belief was reinforced when more details emerged of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and what would have happened if the Russian Foxtrot submarine B-59 had launched its nuclear torpedo in retaliation for the signaling depth charges dropped by the US Navy. There may not be a Vasily Arkhipov next time.

    As you stated, even if escalation could be avoided after limited use of nuclear weapons, it would be a temporary halt, as the resulting collapse of societies and the rise of authoritarianism and fascism would lead inexorably to a final annihilation.

    Any politician talking about any use of nuclear weapons is insane.

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    1. Tom, your mention of Arkhipov is thought provoking. One man that stopped a war on his own. In the Atlas and Titan nuclear missile silos where the command to launch the missile was executed, it took two people to simultaneously turn keys to do the job. I assume the same for the current Minuteman III missiles. Both were armed to kill the other if someone balked. We are to take it as sane that one person refusing to execute thousands is insane and that person should be killed rather than allowed to proceed with the slaughter, sane that a person would not hesitate.

      And we have one man, if a leader such as Putin and Biden, being able to bring civilization to an end, that facilitated by every individual down the chain of command to the missile launch crews showing mechanical obedience to end the world as we know it.

      These thoughts come to mind when I think of our inability to find a single instance of intelligent life beyond Earth, a puzzle that doesn’t consider how we humans, the most intelligent of all known life, behave.

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  2. The distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons is mostly the delivery method. Missiles and planes are strategic. Artillery is tactical. Now if they put them on drones ……

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  3. So….Russia has said, “We’ll use nuclear weapons to achieve our objectives, if we see fit,” and the U.S. has responded, essentially, “Don’t you dare!”

    Leaving aside all the “shoulda’s” that may have preceded this crisis, do you have any thoughts, Bill, about a resolution now that avoids nuclear deployment? In other words, how to defuse [no pun intended] the situation?

    I ask because I don’t see an obvious way out, unless Putin would be deposed with no warning. Otherwise, if he backs down, he loses face, and his ego might not allow that. If the West backs down, it may become hostage to any state or individual with a nuke. Perilous times, indeed.

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    1. It’s amazing how quickly wars escalate, as history has shown us.

      It doesn’t seem like the USA wants to defuse it, so it’s up to Russia and Ukraine. The less we mettle, the better, I think. The problem is that Biden and crew just love sending more weapons to Ukraine to kill more Russians in the cause of peace/victory. It’s not encouraging, is it?

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  4. The US is the instigator of all this and doesn’t seem interested in negotiations. Zelensky is not interested in talking to Putin now (though he kept requiring that before, and wouldn’t deal unless he talked to Putin) but I assume if the US told him to negotiate he would; he is, after all, our very own puppet.
    I personally kinda liked Elon Musk’s suggestion for a solution, even though I think he’s an odd duck, and I don’t much like him, he is clearly smart and his suggestion jibed with my own opinion of a solution. Musk said Ukraine and NATO should agree to keep Ukraine neutral, Ukraine should forget about Crimea , it’s Russian and always has been essentially, and as for Donetsk and Lugansk etc. the UN should have a new referendum vote and make sure it is genuine and what the people really want and then work things out from there. The Crimea vote was clearly a genuine vote and even years later when the local people are asked, this is what they want. But there are clearly questions about some of the areas in the recent voting. It wouldn’t hurt to get that cleared up.
    Anyway what do you think? Does Musk’s proposal make sense?

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  5. Waal, it aint just the Russki’s making all sorts of wooly-posteriored noises about nuclear weapons these days, you know. We have a bunch inside the Beltway these days who don’t seem to know better on that matter.
    One of my favoriter saying about tactical nukes is from decades ago now, when this one US Army officer said: “The problem with using tactical nukes in Europe is that all the towns in Europe are one-kiloton apart”.

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  6. While much of the present discussion focuses on Putin’s apparent willingness to use nukes if necessary, it is worth noting that Biden’s own policy declares that while the “fundamental role” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is to deter a nuclear attack, it leaves open the option that nuclear weapons could be used in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners,” (see: https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2022-04/news/biden-policy-allows-first-use-nuclear-weapons ). Very clearly, this is ambiguous and loose enough that the Administration could consider almost anything as a “vital interest” of the U.S.; and Ukraine can be considered an “ally or partner”.

    And of course, our British subjects, as represented at the moment by Liz Truss, makes clear that THEY are up to ‘pushing the button’.

    It’s pretty clear that for the most part, the U.S. is calling all the shots… directing not only theater operations, etc. but also policy, however macho Zelenskyy may consider himself. And the U.S. has made it clear since at least 2021 that there is no interest whatsoever in having a negotiated settlement of the conflict. If there had been any at all, the war would not have begun.

    Furthermore, it’s evident that Washington’s State Dep’t neocons are largely driving this and that they are treating this as a chess match, or perhaps a card game, gambling that Russia won’t force the nuclear issue. The Deep State has shown no hint that they have any concept of how dangerous Russia’s leadership has perceived the 2014 coup and its aftermath; the NATO-Ukraine courtship; and the declared intentions of an actively hostile Ukraine to retake Crimea. Either they’re oblivious or again, crazy enough to gamble that Russia would simply accept U.S. terms before escalating to the point of no return.

    Some may say that Putin is dangerous because of his ‘ego’. That kind of thinking seems like pop psychology to me. He, and Russia, are most dangerous simply because the nation’s leaders perceive these provocations as existential threats. They threaten the Russian government itself (which would quickly find itself functionally extinct should it abandon all the ethnic Russians in the Donbass and give up its vital Black Sea Access, place hostile ABM systems and other weaponry on its borders and let the U.S. control via extortion its economic and international relationships); and ultimately, negate Russia’s self-determination.

    How would any nation, having the means to prevent such self-destruction, act in the face of such threats? How would the U.S. act?

    As the answer to that last question is already known, it is shocking to me that Washington’s Deep State crazies can ignore this and continue with the path of final brinksmanship, when alternatives such as a negotiated settlement would NOT cost anywhere near as much.

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  7. Great post Roger. Good job. Thanks

    Speaking to Democratic donors today, Biden said he was still “trying to figure” out Putin’s “off-ramp” in Ukraine.

    “Where does he find a way out?” Biden asked. “Where does he find himself in a position that he does not only lose face but lose significant power within Russia?”

    Sadly this is how Americans think – Putin has committed cardinal sins. He is in deep doo doo of his own foolish makings. He has to find a way out. Nothing to do with what we Americans have done eh!

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  8. India has nuclear weapons.
    Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
    The Apartheid Zionist Entity Occupying Palestine has nuclear weapons.
    China has nuclear weapons.
    North Korea has nuclear weapons.
    Britain has nuclear weapons.
    France has nuclear weapons.

    Other “advanced” nations — say Japan, for example — have both the plutonium fuel produced by their many nuclear reactors and the advanced technological capability to produce nuclear weapons within a very short time — if they haven’t done so already.

    So, limiting the discussion of nuclear threats to just the US and Russia ignores any number of extremely dangerous flashpoints around the world that could easily trigger Armageddon if ignored as somehow “relatively inconsequential.” Only one nation, the United States, has ever used nuclear weapons. Therefore, no nation on earth can ever rest secure as long as the U.S. has even one of these things and they have none. Elimination of these things now lies beyond reasonable expectation. Minimizing their number seems the best hope that humanity could possibly entertain.

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    1. On September 20th, 2021 a controversial treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons opened for signature. This Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or, as some refer to it, Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country’s ratification.

      The Ban Treaty prohibits the development, testing, use, threat of use, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stationing, and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. These prohibitions go substantially beyond existing international treaties on nuclear weapons, such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Whereas the CTBT only prohibits explosive nuclear testing, and the NPT indefinitely grandfathered in nuclear weapons possession by five countries (while committing them to work towards disarmament), the Ban Treaty imposes a universal and absolute prohibition on all members.

      https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/understanding-the-new-nuclear-weapons-ban/

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      1. You left out two very interesting statements in the article, Dennis:

        It begins: “It has been called everything from ‘the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons’ and a ‘historic achievement,’ to a ‘shotgun treaty’ and an ‘ineffective’ and ‘counterproductive’ disarmament measure.”

        And it concludes with the following statement and a map: “However, the Ban Treaty’s ultimate practical implications are constrained by a stark participatory divide. NONE OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS POSSESSORS, OR SO-CALLED ‘UMBRELLA STATES,’ SUPPORT THE TREATY, MEANING THAT THEY ARE NOT LEGALLY BOUND BY ITS TERMS. [EMPHASIS added.]

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        1. Yes, on purpose. Not to prejudge the effort.
          I’m all for it. I’m with those who have called it ‘the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons’.
          The last sentence – I agree that this is a constraint that will have to be worked out.
          For the survival of mankind hopefully it can be.

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          1. A “constraint,” eh?

            The problem is that NONE of the eight nations who actually have or have tested nuclear weapons [nine, if You count Israel] have signed and ratified that Treaty.

            i’d call that a bit more than a mere constraint.

            In the Real World today ~ with Cold War II unfolding before our very eyes ~ that fact essentially makes the Treaty worth less than the paper it is printed on.

            And that is not the Unflinching Cynic or the Eternal Pessimist in me talking, Dennis. That is the Realist ranting.

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  9. This has absolutely nothing to do with nuclear weapons, “Tactical” or otherwise. But it does have everything to do with Hypocrisy… :

    Now that Mr Biden has issued Presidential Pardons to most federal possession-of-marijuana criminals, he needs to give serious exploration and thought to doing the same thing for all federal whistleblower criminals, starting with Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Daniel Hale, and Reality Winner.

    And if, as some suggest, Biden’s pardon may be an initial step toward decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, wouldn’t it be nice if pardoning Assange, et al, was a first step toward decriminalizing whistleblowing by federal government and/or federal government-contracted employees?

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  10. Anyone trying to distinguish tactical nuclear weapons from nuclear weapons as a category is a weasel. Same thing with torture. If something bumps up against some arbitrary defining line, then it’s close enough to get lumped in. Warfare is essentially an admission that other mechanisms of managing our affairs have broken down irretrievably. As I understand it, the Geneva Conventions were a hindsight attempt to manage war or at least define certain things as unthinkable and out of scope. Pushing against those determinations is, again, a weasel move.

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  11. WATCH: Assange Protests at UK Parliament & USA DOJ

    Protestors will march around Parliament in London and around the Dept. of Justice in Washington on Saturday to support press freedom and to oppose Julian Assange’s extradition. Consortium News will bring you both events LIVE.

    Watch LIVE from London at 1 pm GMT, 6 am EST and watch LIVE from Washington at 12pm EST, 5 pm GMT here: https://consortiumnews.com/2022/10/06/watch-assange-protests-at-uk-parliament-doj/ .

    Consortium News will be on the ground in Washington and in Westminster on Saturday to bring you LIVE coverage of a major event in the movement to save Julian Assange.

    Thousands of supporters are expected to gather in Parliament Square at 1 pm London time at the Churchill statue to begin their march around the Houses of Parliament. The aim is to have enough supporters to form a hand-in-hand human chain that will cross Westminster Bridge, cross back over Lambeth Bridge to surround the Parliament.

    Six hours later, a rally will gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in front of the Department of Justice building at noon for a slate of speakers, including Jill Stein, Ben Cohen, Chris Hedges and John Kiriakou. Supporters will then march around the DOJ headquarters.

    It is up to Britain to decide whether to extradite Assange to the U.S., and up to the DOJ to decide whether to continue to prosecute him under the Espionage Act for publishing truthful information revealing U.S. crimes and corruption.

    CN is setting up a live stream of both events which you can watch here. We will also record the events to be seen anytime afterward.

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  12. Back in my University days in the late 60’s I trusted BBC.
    Should I trust them now?
    Should we take anything the US puppet Zelenskyy says as the truth?

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  13. And this Australian station is a Robert Murdoch owned entity.
    I should know better that to watch this!
    But look at the depth this guy goes into to convince us that the Russians are being defeated!
    Very convincing – or BS?
    What to believe eh?

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    1. Once You recognize, realize, acknowledge, and accept the fact that the Mainstream Media is the Propaganda Wing of the Ruling Political Class, it’s not hard at all figure out who to believe.

      And if You don’t accept that fact, then Your opinion on this whole matter is meaningless and useless for anybody attempting to uncover, learn, and understand The Truth about all this Bullshit.

      And all the other Bullshit that has been going on with all cylinders at full force since 9/11.

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      1. You think this guy might be in bed with the Ruling Political Class Jeff?

        Rupert ( not Robert) Murdoch (born 1931) is an Australian-born American businessman, and media proprietor. Through his company News Corp, he is the owner of hundreds of national, and international publishing outlets around the world. Including in the UK (The Sun and The Times), in Australia (The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, and The Australian), in the US (The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post), book publisher HarperCollins, and the television broadcasting channels Sky News Australia and Fox News (through the Fox Corporation). He was also the owner of Sky (until 2018), 21st Century Fox (until 2019). With a net worth of US$21.7 billion as of 2022, Murdoch is the 31st richest person in the United States and the 71st richest in the world.

        Many of Murdoch’s papers and television channels have been accused of biased and misleading coverage to support his business interests and political allies, and some have credited his influence with major political developments in the UK, US, and Australia.

        Yes his SkyNews is bullshit, and I dunno why I am tempted to watch it.

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  14. And Biden is at it again!
    Good Lord!
    Why are they letting this guy threaten nuclear war every time he speaks?

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s warning that the world is at risk of a nuclear “Armageddon” was designed to send an unvarnished message that no one should underestimate the extraordinary danger if Russia deploys tactical nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine, administration officials said Friday.

    The president’s grim assessment, delivered during a Democratic fundraiser on Thursday night, rippled around the globe and appeared to edge beyond the boundaries of current U.S. intelligence assessments. U.S. security officials continue to say they have no evidence that Vladimir Putin has imminent plans for a nuclear strike.

    Biden veered into talk about Ukraine at the end of his standard fundraising remarks, saying that Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”

    “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he added. He suggested the threat from Putin is real “because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming.”

    It’s not the first time that Biden’s comments have appeared to push against the margins of U.S. policy.

    Asked about Biden’s remarks, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was crucial to speak with care on the nuclear threat.

    “I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially … when speaking of nuclear weapons,” Macron said at a EU summit in Prague. “On this issue, we must be very careful.”

    As for Biden’s latest eyebrow-raising remarks, “People sort of say, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s Biden. You know, he says this stuff,’” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, and a veteran of nuclear policy research.

    “But overseas countries are saying, ‘Whoa, this is what the U.S. president says,”’ Kristensen said. “And so that means we have to be really careful about using big words” that in themselves can escalate nuclear tensions unintentionally.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/bidens-armageddon-talk-edges-beyond-bounds-of-us-intel/

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  15. And to think this guy has his finger on the nuclear red button – seriously!
    is anybody other than me just a little more than concerned about this?
    Just “edging beyond the bounds of US intel” …..oh thats all…..thats ok then!

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    1. He does NOT have his finger on the red button. It’s not quite that simple.

      And were You as concerned when Trump “had his finger” on it?

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  16. “It’s OK Honey! It’s just a demented old guy edging beyond the bounds of US intel with his bathrobe chord stuck in the zipper of the briefcase that contains all the codes that let off enough nuclear bombs to destroy the World. We can go back to watching the ball game now!”

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      1. Perhaps You can explain, Colonel, what the process would be before the button is pushed and the missiles are launched.

        Or does the President have that button on his desk that he can just push whenever he feels like it?

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        1. “Despite Mr. Trump’s tweet that he has a “much bigger & more powerful” button than Mr. Kim, the fact is, there is no button.

          There is, however, a football. Except the football is actually a briefcase.

          The 45-pound briefcase, known as the nuclear football, accompanies the president wherever he goes. It is carried at all times by one of five military aides, representing each branch of the United States armed forces.

          Inside the case is an instructional guide to carrying out a strike, including a list of locations that can be targeted by the more than 1,000 nuclear weapons that make up the American arsenal. The case also includes a radio transceiver and code authenticators.

          To authorize the attack, the president must first verify his identity by providing a code he is supposed to carry on him at all times. The code, often described as a card, is nicknamed “the biscuit.”

          In his 2010 autobiography, Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the final years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, wrote that Mr. Clinton had lost the biscuit for several months without informing anyone.

          The president does not need approval from anyone else, including Congress or the military, to authorize a strike — a decision that might have to be made at a moment’s notice.

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            1. Nope, I wasn’t. This was the guy that said the US should have good relations with Russia.( And you are going to say I am naive for believing him!) In 2018, President Donald Trump privately raised the threat multiple times of withdrawing the United States from NATO, The New York Times reported. (I wanted to believe that too. Go ahead – Call me naive Jeff.)

              August 2017: (VOVWORLD) – US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he hoped the US could create good relations with Russia, which would be “good for world peace.”
              Trump made this statement at a joint press conference with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, adding that the US doesn’t consider Russia a security threat.”

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              1. Maybe You need to realize that the President of the United States is not the final “Decider” on the use of nuclear weapons; but that his owners, operators, commanders, and controllers are the ones calling the shots.

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                1. You often mention this cabal – owners, operators, commanders, and controllers – where do they hold their meetings? Do they go by Roberts Rules of Order you think? Do they elect officers?

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              2. i’m not going to say You were and apparently still are naive about Trump, Dennis. i’m just going to ask You if You know anything about the Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine during his reign.

                Did anything go on from January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2022 that has or had anything to do with America’s war with Russia in Ukraine today? Or did it all start with and is thus all on Biden?

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                1. It was all Joe Bidens son’s doing!
                  Why aren’t we hearing anymore about the laptop and Burisma Holdings Limited?
                  ….anything to do with America’s war with Russia in Ukraine today?

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                2. Didn’t Trump’s first impeachment have something to do with all this?

                  And didn’t Obama put Biden in charge of US relations with Ukraine right around the time of the Coup back in 2014? Think that has anything to do with all this?

                  And was American policy toward Ukraine any different under Trump than it was under Obama, or now is under Biden? Trump may have made noise about pulling out of NATO, but what was America doing about expanding NATO right to the border of Russia under him?

                  Source: https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/burisma-impeachment-trump/

                  And i’m sure we will all hear a lot more about The President’s Son as election day gets closer. Just part of the looming “October Surprise.”

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              3. Watching Donald Trump’s 2016 Election Campaign, I already understood Trump was a serial liar preaching Nihilism. I agree with his words if the US and Russia established good relations and that would be good for World Peace. Who could not agree with such a simple practical policy?

                The Difference between Words and Deeds!

                In deeds under Trump, in 2019 the US placed Economic Sanctions on any European NATO Company who defied US Dictates, and continued working in German waters to finish the last few miles of Nord Stream II.

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  17. The following Letter to the Editor of the Daily Sitka Sentinel in Sitka, Alaska, was published on 7 October:

    RUSSIANS IN ALASKA

    Two Russians sailing a small boat from Siberia to Alaska to seek asylum from their nation’s “mobilization” and military draft
    [ https://www.reuters.com/world/two-russians-fleeing-military-service-seek-us-asylum-2022-10-06/ ] should encourage Alaskans to give some very serious thought and consideration to the following facts:

    That Cold War I ~ from the end of World War II to the disintegration of the USSR and European Communism in 1991 ~ was fought in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and thus nowhere near Alaska.
    That the entire Arctic Region is heating up faster than anyplace else on the Planet; which means that the Arctic Ocean and all its natural resources will be becoming increasingly accessible to exploration and for exploitation. And thus, competition.
    That also means that the Arctic will become as open to merchant shipping and, particularly, combat naval vessels as is every other Ocean on the Planet. [ Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-arctic-is-warming-four-times-faster-than-the-rest-of-the-planet/ ]
    That Cold War II ~ currently unfolding in Ukraine, Taiwan, and elsewhere ~ has begun.

    Thus: At some point in the non-too-distant future, Alaskans will be on one of the front lines of Cold War II. And they need to start thinking about what that means, and what, if anything, they should ~ or even if they can ~ do about that.

    From Senator Sullivan’s statement that “our state has a vital role to play in securing America’s national security,” and from Senator
    Murkowski’s “the need for a stronger security posture in America’s Arctic,” there’s one thing we can all be reasonably sure of: Next year’s National Defense Budget will contain a significant chunk of money to increase that posture and upgrade the capability of Alaska to play that vital role.

    The question is: Is that a good thing for Alaska and Alaskans? And if it isn’t, what is the alternative?

    Jeffrey G Moebus
    Master Sergeant, US Army [Retired]
    Sitka, Alaska

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  18. How many Alaskans have answered your two questions Jeff? I suppose its only been 3-days?
    Or are these rhetorical questions?
    I’m wondering what projects Murkowski has in mind in Sitka to upgrade the capability of Alaska to play a bigger part in securing America’s national security?
    hehehe…. maybe there is some MIC money here for my old Marine Construction Company in Seattle?

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    1. No, Dennis; they are not “rhetorical questions.” Take a look on a world map at where Alaska is in relation to Russia and China compared to the rest of the United States, and You may see why.

      And whatever projects Murkowski comes up with will have one primary purpose: to bring jobs and more of Uncle Sam’s credit card’s free money to Alaska, and add more to the sovereign, national Debt of the United States. In any event, those projects will very likely have little ~ if anything whatsoever ~ to do with genuine “national security.” And more importantly, even less to do with the security of Alaska.

      And in any event, Murkowski will have little to say in what projects she comes up with. That’s what she has handlers and script writers for who will ensure that she is following instructions.

      Side Note: Murkowski is up for re-election next month against a Trump-endorsed MAGAt, and it will be interesting to see what sort of competing proposals for Alaska “national defense projects” the two come up with.

      Any further conversation on this will be conducted by email. ~ jeff

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  19. Jeff, forget Davos, Bilderburg and the Aspen institute!

    Historian Jasper Ridley argues that Freemasonry is the world’s most powerful Secret Society.
    In the US apparently the Bohemian Club; The Knights of the Golden Circle; The Order of the Star Spangled Banner; The Skull and Bones and the Illuminati.
    Holy Cow!

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    1. Dennis and Jeff: I know you enjoy (I guess) jousting with each other, but this site is not intended as the point/counterpoint for the two of you. Thank you.

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  20. The group Skull and Bones Society is a society that plays a role in a global conspiracy for world control. The Skull and Bones is a branch of the Illuminati, having been founded by German university alumni following the order’s suppression in their native land by Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria with the support of Frederick the Great of Prussia. The Skull and Bones itself controls the CIA.

    Maybe this Society is the US President’s owner, operator, commander, and controller – and the ones calling the shots and is the final “Decider” on the use of nuclear weapons!

    Waddayuh think eh?

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  21. I think, and I sure do hope, that we are not in pressing danger of a general nuclear exchange, an Armageddon as Biden said. There will be no winners in such a “war.”

    If the U.S. and NATO persist in arming Ukraine, if the U.S. was behind the strikes against the Nord Stream pipelines, and Russia can determine that for a fact, and if the war goes poorly for Russia, I can see a scenario that could lead to “tactical” nukes being deployed.

    Even “tactical” nukes would be a major disaster, an unsettling event on a global scale, and from a parochial American perspective I truly worry about Joe Biden’s fitness for office and as a decision maker in such a tense and complex scenario.

    As the cliche goes, Putin would be playing chess while Biden would be messing with checkers, a muddled and incommensurate situation ripe for chaos and disaster. (Don’t even get me started on Kamala Harris.)

    The Ukraine War needs to stop. Peace of a sort needs to be negotiated before we get to the chess/checkers calamity.

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    1. i wouldn’t worry about Mr Biden’s fitness for office, Bill. All he is doing is following instructions and reading scripts. Just like he has been doing for the 50 years he has been in Swampland. That’s why he’s been there for 50 years.

      And don’t forget that Other game that is being played: the ancient Chinese strategic board game of Wei Chi, more popularly known in the West by the Japanese name Go.

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      1. Never learned Go, though I read about it in books like “Shibumi.” It seems like a fascinating game of territorial control and denial through the subtle placement of stones. In other words, I don’t know much about it.

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        1. Hi Bill: It was Trevanian’s SHIBUMI that first introduced me to and inspired me to learn to play Go. That was 42 years ago when I was in Israel as part of the boots-on-the-ground implementation of the Carter-Begin-Sadat Camp David Accords that returned the Sinai to Egypt to settle at least That part of the 1967 Six Day War.

          And Your description of it as a “game of territorial control and denial” is spot on.

          If You’d like to know more about it, permit me to offer the following entry points:

          ~ The Surrounding Game movie [Official Trailer] : https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thesurroundinggame/
          ~ AlphaGo movie [Official Trailer}: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tq1C8spV_g
          ~ The American Go Association’s “Learn To Play Go” section : https://www.usgo.org/what-go

          And as far as Go being “The Game” being played in strategic global geopolitics today:

          ~ A survey of sources on the Geo-Strategic Lessons from Go: https://senseis.xmp.net/?GeoStrategicLessonsFromGo
          ~ What the US Army War College has to say about all this: https://press.armywarcollege.edu/monographs/771/

          And, from the AGA, here are the TOP TEN REASONS TO PLAY GO

          GO IS THE SIMPLEST OF ALL GAMES. When we play go, we try to surround territory and to avoid being surrounded. No muss, no fuss, no thought-up fancy rules. The distilled essence of “game” in one simple concept.

          GO IS THE MOST COMPLEX OF ALL GAMES. There are many more possible go games – 10 followed by more than 300 zeroes — than there are subatomic particles in the known universe. Unlike many other games, all moves are possible at all times, adding even more to the complexity.

          GO IS THE MOST POPULAR GAME IN THE WORLD TODAY. Although still rather obscure in the West, go is wildly popular in Asia, especially in China, Japan and Korea, where there are more than 100 million active players. Major tournament winners are international celebrities. With daily newspaper coverage, popular weekly and monthly go magazines, 24-hour “all-go-all-the-time” cable stations, go is an incomparably intense part of Asian culture, and its popularity is growing quickly in the West.

          GO IS ABOUT BUILDING, NOT DESTROYING. Most popular board games begin with a set position. Go begins with an empty board. Players seek to create strong, flexible structures. “Life and death” issues may arise, but many games end without the capture of a single stone. As you gain playing experience and the game begins to make sense, stones form meaningful, wondrous patterns, in the same way that letters and spaces can form a beautiful poem.

          YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHERE YOU FIT IN. All experienced players have a “rank,” like a handicap in golf, that expresses their playing strength. Players estimate their rank based on their result with other players, or earn an official rank by playing in AGA tournaments or on a prominent server such as The Internet Go Server or The KGS Go Server. Over time, properly handicapped players can expect to lose about half of their games. Go players ultimately want to raise their rank by improving their skills — we are competing with ourselves.

          ALL PLAYERS ARE EQUAL. Ranks are an essential part of a unique handicapping system that enables players of widely different strength to play on even terms. The weaker player simply places several stones on the board to begin the game. The number of stones placed equals the difference in rank. Thus nearly any two players can have a mutually challenging game.

          IT’S EASY TO LEARN FROM MISTAKES. “A stone laid is a stone played.” It’s easy to study and improve, because each move remains on the board for the rest of the game (unless captured and removed by the opponent). Each game is a record of itself, and the player can reflect on the consequences of early mistakes that are still staring him/her in the face. Thus, as in life, players have to live with their choices. But unlike life, the player can learn from their mistakes and try to correct them in another game.

          ANCIENT RITUALS IMPART IMPORTANT VALUES. As in the martial arts and other ancient Asian disciplines, many traditions have been passed down among go players that allow us to express respect for the opponent, humility, and other important virtues. Time-honored customs govern every aspect of the game.

          EVERY GAME HAS A WINNER. Some games can be difficult to win. Chess matches can go on for months as draws, stalemates, and zugzwangs pile up. Go results are based on a final score, and White wins ties (because Black has the advantage of playing first) so there’s a winner every time.

          GO IS THE OLDEST GAME STILL PLAYED IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM. When you place a stone on a go board, you join billions of people who have done exactly that act in exactly that way for thousands of years. Go probably originated in China or Tibet, no one really knows. 2500 years ago, Confucius advised his readers to avoid frivolous pastimes and learn the virtues of this already ancient and venerable game. In Japan, the strongest players have been viewed as national heroes for centuries. Koreans were playing at least 1200 years ago, even before the Japanese. With hundreds of millions of fans in these three countries and growing popularity in the West, it may be the most popular game in the world today.

          GO IS THE ULTIMATE MIND SPORT. It has no equal in the strategic gaming world. The learning path can seem steep at first, but it gets better as you go along. We welcome you.

          Like

    2. And this war has seen the loss of a major energy supply pipeline.
      And today the loss of a key bride between Russia and Crimea. Sabotage?
      Who suffers from these huge losses?
      The Russian and Ukrainian people!
      Both these infrastructures were incredible achievements for the good of mankind.
      Blown to bits, and lost in few moments over a stupid border dispute and game of geo-political chicken!

      Like

      1. That’s what War is, Dennis. And that’s what War does: Destroy things that are good for mankind; like energy supply systems, bridges, and so forth.

        The Russian and Ukrainian Peoples are not suffering from the pipeline closure. The Ukrainians are suffering by being Ground Zero of America’s War with Russia in their Homeland. And the Russians are suffering from “mobilization” and a military draft in order to wage that War, on top of the effects of the Economic and Financial War being waged by US-NATO.

        But the people of Western Europe are definitely suffering from the closure of Nord Stream; and their suffering will only get worse this Winter. Which may very well lay the groundwork for widespread civil and social unrest ~ if not chaos ~ just in time for the Holidays.

        And as this whole thing unfolds further, it won’t be long before folks in America start to get more and more of their fair share of the suffering, as well. It already is with what could turn out to be Weimar-style HyperInflation, food. fuel. and energy shortages. a new Flu [Pandemic?] Season coming on, and an election in one month.

        Like

        1. How your average Briton or German etc, is going to pay for heat this winter is very much uncertain. Better hope for global warming, I guess.

          Like

  22. Right on Bill. Sadly, the US has a poor record at being a peacemaker.
    Firing all those miscreant bureaucrats in the US State Department would be a good way to change this.

    Let Elon Musk take charge of the place for a couple of weeks.
    Founder, CEO, of SpaceX; Angel Investor, CEO, of Tesla, Inc.; Founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI This guy knows how to get big things done eh!

    Unfortunately this Bloomberg video is anti-Russia – I’m wondering what Bracing Views think about this video? It’s amazing the number of people attacking Elon, and accusing him of being” just an attention hog”
    Maybe there is a better video out there that discusses his plan – instead of spouting US propoganda.

    At least he’s trying eh! Which is more than what Biden and the US State Department are doing!

    Like

    1. Heh. Yeah. i see he also has a “Peace Plan” for Taiwan and China [ https://fortune.com/2022/10/07/elon-musk-peace-plan-russia-ukraine-now-china-taiwan/ ].

      But he needs to tread lightly on this if he doesn’t want to screw up his relationship with China so he can accomplish the following:

      TESLA SAID READYING ITS CHINA FACTORY FOR EVEN GREATER VOLUMES; TO DOUBLE CHINA OUTPUT

      Tesla Inc. is taking steps to ramp up output at its factory in Shanghai, partly suspending manufacturing capabilities at various points through early August to upgrade production lines, according to people familiar with the matter.

      The US-based electric carmaker plans to double its original planned annual target to 1 million cars, said the people, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

      Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-23/tesla-said-readying-its-china-factory-for-even-greater-volumes

      Like

  23. Tesla’s success is surely unheralded.
    Who would have bet that Musk could beat ALL the Worlds automakers at their own game?
    It seems like just yesterday his “goofy” electric cars, and his company, were being written off as the dreams of an eccentric millionaire.

    Back in my Dad’s day in New Zealand to have a really exceptional car was to have a Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet or Dodge! Now the only American cars you will see on NZ roads are new Tesla’s. And outselling the Japanese, Korean, German and Chinese electric cars. Good old American ingenuity!

    Surely Americans can look on this as an example that MAGA is not a “goofy” idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What percentage of all those Teslas on NZ roads were built in the U.S., as opposed to being built in China? Tesla is not a manifestation of America’s “good old ingenuity,” It is an example of Musk’s.

      And what does that have to do with “Making America Great Again”?

      Given that the term “Again” implies that America was once “Great” ~ whatever that means ~ but, alas, is no more, let me ask You ~ and everybody else at BV ~ the following simple questions:

      Exactly WHEN was the last time that America was “Great”? And exactly WHEN and WHY did it stop being “Great”?

      Like

      1. I would say America was “great” (as in powerful and even somewhat principled) in the aftermath of World War II. Then America decided to embroil itself in war after war while slowly destroying its own middle class in pursuit of profit for the very rich. And now America is no longer “great,” nor will it be “great again” under Republican or Democratic leadership.

        Like

        1. That being the case, Bill, how would You answer the following questions: Will the nation-state of the United States of America survive to celebrate its 250th Birthday on July 4, 2026, 1,364 days from today? And if it does survive, will it be in any condition ~ or have any desire ~ to celebrate anything?

          Before dismissing as implausible and impossible the demise of the United States in less than four years, consider the year 1987, and how things were going back then at the Berlin Wall, around the Warsaw Bloc, and in the USSR itself. And then remember how things had changed there four years later by the end of 1991, starting with the fall of that Wall in 1989.

          Like

          1. You’ve asked that before, Jeff. Who knows? I’m not a soothsayer, psychic, or have ESP.

            Remember ESP? We heard a lot about it in the 1970s. My wife asked me today to remind her what it meant. She said: Is it extra-special powers? No, I said, extra-sensory perception, but I like her guess even better. 🙂

            Like

            1. i’ve asked that question lots of times before, Bill, to lots of people in lots of places. It first emerged three years ago in the Fall of 2019 when i was pondering whether Election2020 would happen as scheduled.

              And the interesting thing is that Nobody i have ever asked that question to has ever given an answer.

              i didn’t ask You that question seeking input from a “soothsayer, psychic, or ESPer.”

              i asked that question to: 1] A retired US military Field Grade Commissioned Officer; 2] A professional Historian and Educator in both the military and civilian sectors; 3] An American Citizen living in the Lower 48; and 4] a Human Being who is aware of what the demise of the United States would mean to the Planet.

              And that question is coming from: 1] A retired US military Senior Non-Commissioned Officer; 2] a professional Student of history, geopolitics, and economics; 3] An American Citizen living in Alaska, about as far away from what is unfolding in the Lower 48 and still be in the United States; and 4] a Human Being Very aware of what the demise of the US would mean to the rest of the Planet.

              Like

  24. Off topic I know Bill, but lets say something great about America eh!

    In the month of September, the Tesla Model Y was the number one newly registered car in the country! With 1502 registrations, it outperformed both the number one selling passenger car in New Zealand (the Mitsubishi Outlander) and the number one selling commercial vehicle (The Toyota Hilux).

    Such is the Kiwi desire for anything Tesla, the Tesla Model 3 has been a sensation over the past few years, despite being a sedan, a typically unpopular vehicle class here. So now that there is an entry-level Tesla SUV to pick from, it could be that a whole new level of Tesla-mania is about to take hold.

    Like

    1. Since You keep bringing it up, Dennis: What percentage of Teslas now on the roads of New Zealand ~ or anyplace else, for that matter ~ were built in China, as opposed to being built in the U.S.?

      That “good old American ingenuity” is not America’s, but Musk’s.

      And what does building Musk’s cars in China have to do with “Making America Great Again”?

      Like

    2. I’ve seen Teslas in these parts too. Electric cars have mostly been viewed as toys or uncool, but Tesla has helped to make them respectable and cool. The traditional automakers, once again, have been caught flatfooted.

      Like

  25. Putin: Crimea bridge attack an “act of terrorism”
    Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the explosion on a key bridge linking Crimea and the Russian mainland was a terrorist act planned by the Ukrainian special services.

    In a video address on the Kremlin’s Telegram channel, Putin said:

    “There is no doubt. This is an act of terrorism aimed at destroying critically important civilian infrastructure…This was devised, carried out and ordered by the Ukrainian special services.”

    Like

  26. Another brilliant video from Alexander Mercouris.
    The truth
    But this video will have about as much effect on things as Hedges speech on Assange today.
    That is no effect.

    Like

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