Chris Hedges Opinion Original

Chris Hedges: Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The longer the proxy war in Ukraine continues, the closer we come to a direct confrontation with Russia. Once that happens, the Dr. Strangeloves running the show will reach for the nukes.
Bombs Away – by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

I have covered enough wars to know that once you open that Pandora’s box, the many evils that pour out are beyond anyone’s control. War accelerates the whirlwind of industrial killing. The longer any war continues, the closer and closer each side comes to self-annihilation.  Unless it is stopped, the proxy war between Russia and the U.S. in Ukraine all but guarantees direct confrontation with Russia and, with it, the very real possibility of nuclear war.

Joe Biden, who doesn’t always seem to be quite sure where he is or what he is supposed to be saying, is being propped up in the I-am-a-bigger-man-than-you contest with Vladimir Putin by a coterie of rabid warmongers who have orchestrated over 20 years of military fiascos. They are salivating at the prospect of taking on Russia, and then, if there is any habitation left on the globe, China. Trapped in the polarizing mindset of the Cold War — where any effort to de-escalate conflicts through diplomacy is considered appeasement, a perfidious Munich moment — they smugly push the human species closer and closer toward obliteration. Unfortunately for us, one of these true believers is Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned. “Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated.”

Annihilated. Are these people insane?

You know we are in trouble when Donald Trump is the voice of reason.

“We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in world war three” the former president said. “And there will be nothing left of our planet — all because stupid people didn’t have a clue … They don’t understand what they’re dealing with, the power of nuclear.”

 I dealt with many of these ideologues — David Petraeus, Elliot Abrams, Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland — as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Once you strip away their chest full of medals or fancy degrees, you find shallow men and women, craven careerists who obsequiously serve the war industry that ensures their promotions, pays the budgets of their think tanks and showers them with money as board members of military contractors. They are the pimps of war. If you reported on them, as I did, you would not sleep well at night. They are vain enough and stupid enough to blow up the world long before we go extinct because of the climate crisis, which they have also dutifully accelerated.

If, as Joe Biden says, Putin is “not joking” about using nuclear weapons and we risk nuclear “Armageddon,” why isn’t Biden on the phone to Putin? Why doesn’t he follow the example of John F. Kennedy, who repeatedly communicated with Nikita Khrushchev to negotiate an end to the Cuban missile crisis? Kennedy, who unlike Biden served in the military, knew the obtuseness of generals. He had the good sense to ignore Curtis LeMay, the Air Force Chief of Staff and head of the Strategic Air Command, as well as the model for General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove,” who urged Kennedy to bomb the Cuban missile bases, an act that would have probably ignited a nuclear war. Biden is not made of the same stuff.

Why is Washington sending $50 billion in arms and assistance to sustain the conflict in Ukraine and promising billions more for “as long as it takes”? Why did Washington and Whitehall dissuade Vladimir Zelensky, a former stand-up comic who has been magically transformed by these war lovers into the new Winston Churchill, from pursuing negotiations with Moscow, set up by Turkey? Why do they believe that militarily humiliating Putin, whom they are also determined to remove from power, won’t lead him to do the unthinkable in a final act of desperation?

Moscow strongly implied it would use nuclear weapons in response to a “threat” to its “territorial integrity,” and the pimps of war shouted down anyone who expressed concern that we all might go up in mushroom clouds, labeling them traitors who are weakening Ukrainian and Western resolve. Giddy at the battlefield losses suffered by Russia, they poke the Russian bear with ever greater ferocity. The Pentagon helped plan Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive, and the CIA passes on battlefield intelligence. We are slipping, as we did in Vietnam, from advising, arming, funding and supporting, into fighting. 

None of this is helped by Zelensky’s suggestion that, to deter the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, NATO should launch “preventive strikes.”

“Waiting for the nuclear strikes first and then to say ‘what’s going to happen to them.’ No! There is a need to review the way the pressure is being exerted. So there is a need to review this procedure,” he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the remarks, which Zelensky tried to roll back, were “nothing else than a call to start a world war.” 

The West has been baiting Moscow for decades. I reported from Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War. I watched these militarists set out to build what they called a unipolar world — a world where they alone ruled. First, they broke promises not to expand NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany. Then they broke promises not to “permanently station substantial combat forces” in the new NATO member countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Then they broke promises not to station missile systems along Russia’s border. Then they broke promises not to interfere in the internal affairs of border states such as Ukraine, orchestrating the 2014 coup that ousted the elected government of Victor Yanukovich, replacing it with an anti-Russian — fascist aligned — government, which, in turn, led to an 8-year-long civil war, as the Russian populated regions in the east sought independence from Kiev. They armed Ukraine with NATO weapons and trained 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers after the coup. Then they recruited neutral Finland and Sweden into NATO. Now the U.S. is being asked to send advanced long-range missile systems to Ukraine, which Russia says would make the U.S. “a direct party to the conflict.” But blinded by hubris and lacking any understanding of geopolitics, they push us, like the hapless generals in the Austro-Hungarian empire, towards catastrophe.

We call for total victory. Russia annexes four Ukrainian provinces. We help Ukraine bomb the Kerch Bridge. Russia rains missiles down on Ukrainian cities. We give Ukraine sophisticated air defense systems. We gloat over Russian losses. Russia introduces conscription. Now Russia carries out drone and cruise missile attacks on powersewage and water treatment plants. Where does it end?

“Is the United States, for example, trying to help bring an end to this conflict, through a settlement that would allow for a sovereign Ukraine and some kind of relationship between the United States and Russia?” a New York Times editorial asks. “Or is the United States now trying to weaken Russia permanently? Has the administration’s goal shifted to destabilizing Putin or having him removed? Does the United States intend to hold Putin accountable as a war criminal? Or is the goal to try to avoid a wider war — and if so, how does crowing about providing U.S. intelligence to kill Russians and sink one of their ships achieve this?”

No one has any answers.

The Times editorial ridicules the folly of attempting to recapture all of Ukrainian territory, especially those territories populated by ethnic Russians.

“A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal,” it reads. “Though Russia’s planning and fighting have been surprisingly sloppy, Russia remains too strong, and Mr. Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down.”

But common sense, along with realistic military objectives and an equitable peace, is overpowered by the intoxication of war.

On October 17, NATO countries began a two-week-long exercise in Europe, called Steadfast Noon, in which 60 aircraft, including fighter jets and long-range bombers flown in from Minot Air Base in North Dakota are simulating dropping thermonuclear bombs on European targets. This exercise happens annually. But the timing is nevertheless ominous. The U.S. has some 150 “tactical” nuclear warheads stationed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. 

Ukraine will be a long and costly war of attrition, one that will leave much of Ukraine in ruins and hundreds of thousands of families convulsed by lifelong grief. If NATO prevails and Putin feels his hold on power is in jeopardy, what will stop him from lashing out in desperation? Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of tactical nukes, weapons that can kill tens of thousands if used on a city. It also possesses nearly 6,000 nuclear warheads. Putin does not want to end up, like his Serbian allies Slobodan Milošević and Ratko Mladić, as a convicted war criminal in the Hague. Nor does he want to go the way of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. What will stop him from upping the ante if he feels cornered?

There is something grimly cavalier about how political, military and intelligence chiefs, including CIA Director William Burns, a former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, agree about the danger of humiliating and defeating Putin and the specter of nuclear war.

“Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said in remarks at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, who also served as Defense Secretary under President Barack Obama, wrote this month that U.S. intelligence agencies believe the odds of the war in Ukraine spiraling into a nuclear war are as high as one in four.

The Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, echoed this warning, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in May that if Putin believed there was an existential threat to Russia, he could resort to nuclear weapons. 

“We do think that [Putin’s perception of an existential threat] could be the case in the event that he perceives that he is losing the war in Ukraine, and that NATO in effect is either intervening or about to intervene in that context, which would obviously contribute to a perception that he is about to lose the war in Ukraine,” Haines said.

“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength…Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier wrote in the Defense Intelligence Agency’s threat assessment submitted to the same Armed Services Committee at the end of April.

Given these assessments, why don’t Burns, Panetta, Haines and Berrier, urgently advocate diplomacy with Russia to de-escalate the nuclear threat?

This war should never have happened. The U.S. was well aware it was provoking Russia. But it was drunk on its own power, especially as it emerged as the world’s sole superpower at the end of the Cold War, and besides, there were billions in profits to be made in arms sales to new NATO members.

In 2008, when Burns was serving as the Ambassador to Moscow, he wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.” 

Sixty-six U.N. members, most from the global south, have called for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, as required by the U.N. Charter. But few of the big power players are listening.

If you think nuclear war can’t happen, pay a visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These Japanese cities had no military value. They were wiped out because most of the rest of Japan’s urban centers had already been destroyed by saturation bombing campaigns directed by LeMay. The U.S. knew Japan was crippled and ready to surrender, but it wanted to send a message to the Soviet Union that with its new atomic weapons it was going to dominate the world.

We saw how that turned out.


NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS FROM CHRIS HEDGES: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.


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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

56 comments

  1. To reissue one of the dumber lines in Forest Gump”Stupid is as stupid goes” What we have in our Government is a hell of a lot of stupid.

  2. Hedges has no idea whatsoever as to the mindset of Vladimir Putin – This article serves no purpose whatsoever – it is quite useless. I will leave it at that.

    1. He should have the same idea any person who’s been paying attention does re Pres. Putin; he’s extraordinarily rational. It is a pity, while Hedges is a smart guy and very passionate, he continually takes the cheap and distracting road of apocalyptic pronouncements and fear mongering. Barking nuclear war warnings is empty piffle. The US will let Ukraine be bombed to cinders before it even considers use of nukes, and it will see Ukraine be beaten to a pulp before it puts US forces into the conflict. And it is Putin’s rational, no-nonsense warnings that are the leash on the US mad dog.

      1. “Barking nuclear war warnings is empty piffle.” No, it’s a common sense warning to those in need of one. You rise to the top of that list. Hedges has written well in this article. More should listen.

    2. OK then what is the mindset of Putin in your opinion? I say opinion because unless you have some special insight into Putin’s thinking you are not much better than Hedges on this matter but it would be interesting nonetheless.

    3. panneta: us intell says 25% chance of nuclear war. panneta thought it was worth talking about. so do i.

  3. Difficulties with any pro-nuclear weapons use reasoning include:

    The Russian Armed Forces have conventional weapons with more blast power than small nuclear weapons, as do many states. That the Kyiv Government continues to function is their decision not to destroy it or not yet.

    Russia has anti-missile systems that some claim are superior to that possessed by The United States, that Russia can defend against a US first strike and that the US cannot defend against a Russian retaliation strike.

    Nuclear War Calculus for US War Planners – Russia has deep water submarines with super weapons that can strike anywhere. Across the vast territory of Russian forests their mobile ICBM launchers constantly move. Thus The United States cannot disarm Russia with their much vaunted First Strike Doctrine. As for what then happens to the United States, this simulation provides some insight to destruction and deaths on the US mainland – https://www.nuclearwarmap.com/map01.html.

    For these and other reasons, recent media pieces expressing concern over the use of tactical nuclear weapons in The Ukraine is misguided, hysterical and uninformed. Perhaps an example of independent media using the same fear tactic of The Mainstream to drive paid readerships?

    Two countries that came perilously close to launching nuclear armed missiles at each other were Pakistan and India, early 2000. Both American allies. Both with difficult, entangled, colonial histories. Both who went to war several times. Both who commit skirmishes into each other’s territory. One who praised God when their first nuclear detonation worked – God is Great. Both heavily invested in expanding their nuclear armaments complexes. Both with populations who hold to strong views on everlasting life. Just not in this life. One might think that holding to such beliefs would disqualify one from possessing nuclear weapons. One might think . . .

    Are you feeling lucky?

    https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-long-proxy-war-vi-god-favours

    1. No Russia does not,”… have conventional weapons with more blast power than small nuclear weapons,” nor “do many states.” Even a tiny tactical nuclear weapon is still in the kiloton range – some thousands of tons of explosive, obviously there is no conventional weapon that size as it would be undeliverable. The distinction of tactical weapons is that they are “clean” ie they do not have a “wrapper” that utilizes all their excess neutrons to create an extended reaction. Instead the neutrons are free to permeate various facilities or weapons like tanks. You have no information as to how close India & Pakistan came to using nuclear weapons, you overall conclusions are disjointed and inaccurate.

      1. C. Kent:

        Thanks for your comment. I did a cursory search on Google, to learn more about nuclear vs conventional weapons, and believe you are correct that nuclear weapons far outstrip any conventional bomb. As a comparison, one of the largest bombs known to the public, the US MOAB, weighs 22,000lbs with a blast yield of 11 tons of TNT (46 GJ). The smaller of the nuclear weapons used in Japan in 1945 (Little Boy) weighed 9,700lbs with a blast yield of 15 kilotons(!) of TNT (63TJ).

        Atomic vs Hydrogen bomb:
        Both are nuclear weapons, but the Hydrogen bomb is far more destructive (1000x more), a kind of advanced atomic bomb. Hydrogen (also called Thermonuclear) bombs use a fission reaction, like an atomic bomb, to then power a fusion reaction. See for example:
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/03/world/asia/north-korea-hydrogen-bomb.html

        Thermobaric bomb: Is a conventional bomb that releases fuel into its surroundings, then a second charge detonates the fuel cloud into a massive blast wave. The principle is the same as that of a flour dust explosion that may happen in a flour mill.

        There have been fears of nuclear escalation reported between Pakistan and India, so Les is onto something there. See for example:
        https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/night-murder-brink-nuclear-war-south-asia/

  4. The US anti-war movement must bloom and grow to end this planetary threat in Ukraine and elsewhere, like the growth of spring, to stop the Ukraine war and other conficts. Counter-recruiting must surge, protests at defense industry sites, military base protests, protests at military recruiting sites, rallies and events by groups like CodePink must be supported, letters to the editor and social media posts must flourish to demand diplomacy. We can leverage MAGA’s calls to negotiate without supporting the mobsters’ treason and treachery. Anti-war supporters can join with climate, womens’ rights, LGBTQ rights, and anti-racism activists to combine efforts and actions. We must mobilize! Thanks to Chris again and again.

    1. By calling Trump a traitor and mobster, you’ve identified yourself as a Democrat. The Ukraine proxy war is being prosecuted by Democrats and supporting Code Pink, writing letters or social media posts will do nothing because you will vote blue no matter who. Both of our right wing corporate war parties work for the rich and world domination for corporate profit is their policy. The US and NATO can no longer dominate the world. China and Russia have grown strong. Once the dollar is no longer the world reserve currency, the US empire will begin to fade, if the warmongering lunatics of empire don’t destroy us all in a desperate attempt to retain US hegemony.

      1. Trump IS a traitor and a mobster; also a fascist and narcissist. But I’ve never voted democrat or republican. I vote for socialists, as I am one. Stop talking down to people.

      2. I am glad someone brought up the US Dollar. Its reserve currency status allows it to run staggering deficits. Without its reserve currency status the US could not afford to spend all these billions on supporting Ukraine. It would have too many home grown problems fighting off high inflation and high interest rates.

  5. expected hedges is wrong—it is americans that are weak and cornered–desperate. less than 10%v of the Russian military haas easily routed 700,000 US funded and trained ukrops; the recent mobilization will increase the current number from 150,000 to 400+ thousand. american directed attacks on civilians and water, energy infrastructure has generated a like response by Russia. ukie electricity and transport infrastructure necessary to their terrorist war effort is being degraded in all regions. the american strategy has backfired for ukraine. the humiliation for the nazi/american position now guaranteed.
    concomitantly the Russian domestic scene has never been better–nearly no national debt, the reserve fund has increased by 100+ billion$ in 2022. Russian exports —mahines, tech, grain, vehicles , steel, energy, fertilizer, metals, etc has exceeded all previous years in revenue—NATO sanctions have harmed Europe helped Russia. due to import substitution Russia is now nearly self sufficient—the ruble stronger than ever…not only is domestic optimism at high levels, Putin’s approval now has eclipsed that of 2014. Polls show that 97% support the integration of Russian regions in former ukraine—this is now permanent. denazification of the remainder of ukraine will continue until full surrender and the creation of a security arrangement that emasculates nazi NATO in Eastern Europe. the tide has turned vs US imperialism—the evidence is BRICS, SCO, OPEC,, EEAU, etc—all that exclude USA and refuse to sanction Russia

  6. I amazed Chris’ work is not published accross America. But we all know why.

  7. “Has the administration’s goal shifted ….” NYT
    Naw, that was always its goal ….

  8. The article is basically one long handwringing session about how dangerous and reckless it is not to fold to Russia’s threats and blackmail attempts and. All under the guise of reason of course.

    What strikes me is that it never seems to occur to any of the authors here that it is Russia that is causing all this tension and that it is Russia that can put a stop to all and any nuclear threats simply by no longer making them.

    Even now Russia tries to maliciously obfuscate public opinion by preenting a totally idiotic accusation of Ukraine exploding a bomb to spread radioactive contamination on Ukrainian soil. There is no possible gain in any such action for the Ulraine as (a) that would mean their territory is going to be subjected to radioactive contamination and (b) it could only endanger the advance of their troops in liberating their territory.

    Unfortunately such a barbaric action totally fits Russia’s repeated behaviour in attempting to maximise the suffering of the Ukrainian people. From constantly committing war crimes by needlessly shelling civillian targets and launching Iranian drones at population centres (reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s terror attacks on London using their V missiles) to mining the Nova-Kakhova dam and senselessly destroying the Ukrainian power grid calculated to deprive civillians of light an heat. All we see from Russian warfare is malicious and vengeful terror attacks on the Ukrainian civillian population.

    And qwhile we are at it, let’s not forget that the only thing stopping the Ukraine (and the West) from repaying the favour on Russian soil is Russia’s nuclear threat. This way Russia can reduce the Ukraine’s easy-to-target and vulnerable infrastructure to rubble while having no worries about anything happening to its own infrastructure.

    I am pretty certain that this is a strong encouragement for Russia to feel free to expose its most criminal impulses.

    I also cannot avoid the impression that the reason Russia thinks it can carry out such a policy with impunity is online agitators who are constantly ready to give any bit of information about Russia’s atrocities a spin so as to smear the Ukraine and the West and somehow whitewash Russian behaviour.

    1. I see you have been paying paying close attention to the stenographers of power in the U S. corporate media.

    2. DEMONIZATION AND DEFLECTION
      @Golodh

      “online agitators” Cute phrase by which to demonize anyone not absolutely lock-step US/UK/Ukie cheerleading as an enabler. The irony of using propaganda techniques to denounce any dissent whatsoever as propaganda would make Edward Bernays proud.

      To explain to you what shouldn’t need explaining: consider the logical fallacy called deflection, in ordinary English known as what-about-ism. Whaddabout Hillary’s emails? Whaddabout Russiagate? As if we were allowed to pick only one side. For those who can still think independently, the obvious answer is to bring to trial all crooks and war criminals regardless of political party or nationality.

    3. This whole thing was never about Ukraine. The US doesn’t give a shit about Ukraine, only about weakening Russia (as the US “Defense” secretary clearly stated). This latest round kicked off when the US funded the 2014 coup

  9. Chris: I am a big fan of yours, but although most of what you say is spot on, the fact is Putin is not desperate and on the ropes and although the Russians have had setbacks they have not suffered many casualties or loss of equipment. Most of the Ukrainian advances have been accomplished do to Russian tactical retreat in order to reduce casualties and loss of equipment. Also the mobilization is for previously trained reservists who are relieving active military personnel who intern will reinforce forces in Ukraine. I am responding because if Americans think that Ukraine is winning this war they will continue to support this proxy war causing more loss of life. I have listenened to and read many of Putin’s speeches and press conferences. If anything he seems confident, intelligent, in control and concerned about his soldiers his people and even Ukrainians. You might ask yourself, why did he not take out all the infrastructure in the beginning and why is hitting only those infrastructures that are and support the Ukrainian military. In the end the Russians and the Ukrainians will have to share the same border no matter how the war turns out and Putin knows this.
    By the way thanks for all that you do.

  10. We’ll meet again. Don’t know where. Don’t know when.
    To stop all this nonsense, the privately held Fed, Bank of England, EU Bank and Bank of International Settlements must be made government/publicly owned. The BIS has immunity, not above the law but beyond the law. BIS is the Godfather of banksters. The pathological narcissistic banksters that control money are fighting desperately to keep Russia, China and others from leaving the hegemony of the petrodollar. Russia did that by trading oil only in rubles or gold. Scary if you are a bankster. When all institutions of law collapse because of the actions of the banksters, the survivors will attack with their pitchforks. No immunity will protect them. That is what frightens the billionaire class the most. That the 99% will awaken.
    Russia is one or two generations ahead of the US in military technology. We have had physical demonstrations of that. When 59 Tomahawk missiles were launched against a Syrian air field (not a small target) only 26 actually hit it. What happened to the rest? A great night time television event but just that. When Iran launched 22 missiles as retaliation for the murder of Solimeini in Iraq, all of them hit the announced target. Russia seems to be able to strike by air anywhere it chooses. Can Ukraine, armed with the best of the US do the same? How can that possibly be ? You ask. The US spends so much more on its systems. Our systems are made by for profit corporations whose mission is to make money. Russia’s and China’s are made by government owned institutions whose mission is to protect their countries. Seems to be a more ifficient motivation. Recently all 11 US aircraft carriers had to be retrofitted to replace copper wiring with fiber optic to try to protect them from being blinded by advanced Russian and Chinese tech. Still wasn’t enough. Almost a year ago the Russian defense minister announced the development of a nuclear powered cruise missile that could stay aloft indefinitely and target the entire planet. The stated purpose was to prevent some psychopaths from starting a nuclear war and escaping to the Southern Hemisphere. They named it the Revenge Missile. Kubrick could not have done better. Consider the talk of nuclear war on any scale as Kabuki Theater for the public. All noise and fury signifying nothing but to rally the people around their respective flags.

  11. “Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

    ‘To Love Your Oppressor’ is a goal for every tyrant regime on the Planet when their battered public just totally gives up and finally welcomes and embraces their full oppression. From the small grift-and-pillage nations to The Indispensable Nation to the Great Eastern Red Wave… for Tyrants to be loved and recognized as The Big Alpha is the final checkmate against humanity.

    All Tyrants lust to be the World’s Top Dog. The Big Alpha. And like dogs… They have a tendency to leave their crap everywhere and never clean it up.

    When Tyrants believe that the Earth is Their own private property and all life forms upon it are likewise owned by the same ‘Owners’.. then that Predator Owner Class feels fully entitled to do whatever They want to the place and all those upon it.

    The Predator Class are themselves ruled solely by obscenely-oversized egos and sickening satiated self-satisfaction. By threatening other nations and warning about using horrific weapons… they are just being the immature adolescents that They always are in going about comparing and measuring the size of their private parts to see who has the biggest. It’s an immature kids game being played with the deadliest of weapons and consequences.

    There is some kind of rule that the people of the World have to be ruled over by the worst of our kind. Given this, it’s a miracle that we’ve lasted this long on this battlefield Earth with conflicts that never end.

    Peace will never come to the Earth because the Predator Class won’t allow it. They gain nothing from Peace and everything from conflict and belligerence and self-seeking agendas with no regard for anyone else.

    These misfits don’t belong running Nations. They belong back on the schoolyard playground bullying other kids and teasing small dogs.

  12. @Canis Ursa
    When you write ” I have listenened to and read many of Putin’s speeches and press conferences. If anything he seems confident, intelligent, in control[…].” I would like to note that this holds too for a certain mr. Saddam Hussain.

    When you write “concerned about his soldiers his people and even Ukrainians”, I respectfully submit that sending untrained civillians straight to the front as cannon fodder to plug gaps in the Russian lines truly is the kind of ‘concern’ you would like him to display towards yourself or your children.

    When you write ” if Americans think that Ukraine is winning this war they will continue to support this proxy war causing more loss of life”, do I understand correctly that you believe that you know better than Ukrainians themselves whether this war against the Russian invader is worth it, and would advocate stopping US arms support and watching the Ukrainians be slaughtered? Is that your idea of ‘concern’?

    Can I also ask if you _really_ think you can judge Russia’s fortunes in its war against the Ukraine by reading Mr. Putin’s speeches and PR pieces?

    1. EITHER/OR FALLACY YET AGAIN
      @Golodh

      You’re pushing a either with us or against us narrative. Aristotelian logic obsolete for a century in the post-Einstein world of relativity and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

      Most of us here on SP are both/and, neither/nor. A stance also including much of the global South and indigenous peoples wherever.

      The comparison with Saddam sounds to me like a version of halting all discussion of whomever you oppose by comparing them to Hitler. Besides, it’s not even apt. Saddam Hussein did NOT sound “confident, intelligent and in control.” And don’t forget he was a made-up US neocon PNAC enemy du jour who did NOT have WMDS and had nothing to do with 9/11.

      Nor did Canis Ursa claim Putin IS any of those adjectives. C.U. used “seems” and it’s implied he means to him. He’s not asserting that what he writes IS the whole truth and there is no other. Unlike you.

    2. golodf—the liar—no untrained recruits among Russian military—your lies are tiresome

    3. Saddam Hussein was a US puppet: foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/
      Just as the Saudi Osama bin Laden was, and ISIS was. “The enemy of our enemy is our friend” doesn’t always work out the way America wants (but often works out the way the CIA wants. They thrive in chaos.)

      1. @michael888
        I knew personally a US agent who delivered weapons to Saddam when Iraq was fighting Iran. (Same chem weapons later used on Iraqi Kurds by Saddam’s govt.) The agent told me it was easy to provoke natives into fighting each other; something he’d been involved with all over the world. The one person I’ve ever met who totally scared the hell out of me.

  13. Chris:

    I ask you to look more closely at the Russian govt and its positions regarding nuclear weapons, and how it is executing its campaign against what it calls the Nazi regime in Ukraine. Like other journalists that are morally right to call out prevention of nuclear war, yet fail to evaluate Putin and the Russian side, you are both helping and hurting your case. From listening to other observers and Putin’s own speeches, he comes across as measured, rational, with no desire to see a nuclear conflict but a negotiated end to the war. Please consider interviewing Scott Ritter, Col Doug Macgregor, Andrei Martyanov or Larry C Johnson (sonar21.com) for a more informed and fair evaluation of Russia’s intentions and capabilities as deduced from Putin and Lavrovs’ speeches, and what can be known about battlefield conditions.

    A main contention is that this is a conventional fight where Russia dominates the air (via artillery, drones, fighters, missiles and electronic warfare). It has been like a hawk hunting rabbits on the ground.
    The reserves called up are for relief and support, and to help cover a wider territory, not due to Russian losses or missteps, which to my understanding, are a fraction of Ukrainian losses.

    I suspect Ukraine will resort to a “dirty bomb” as is being discussed in mainstream media, whether an actual weapon or one improvised from damaging a nuclear power plant, and then of course, the US media will blame Russia. My reasoning is that NATO cannot allow Russia to humiliate it by launching an assault over winter (once ground hardens) and wiping out what’s left of the Ukrainian army. Rather than allow a Russian victory the world can see, the US would deny a livable Ukraine. I hope I am wrong, and that NATO/Ukraine reaches a negotiated settlement with Russia, one that saves face for both sides.

    1. I watched Scott Ritter’s discussion about a Dirty Bomb and thanks to Scheerpost:
      https://scheerpost.com/2022/10/30/dirty-bomb-accusations-fly-between-russia-and-ukraine-w-scott-ritter-aaron-mate/

      Scott was saying that a “dirty bomb” is a conventional explosive which is supposed to spread a package of radioactive particles, but from known field trials does not work. My intention was to describe an attack or weapon that would create a Pyrrhic victory, one example being nuclear contamination of a large area of Russian held territory that would cause long term harm, but not implicate the US directly.

  14. With all the broken promises and deceitful lies; how else would anyone expect Russia to react? If the shoe was on the other foot……

  15. The theologically educated Hedges is devoted to apocalyptic warning. However, we are not near a scenario by which nuclear war is even on the distant horizon. In simpler terms: Hedges is a Chicken Little on this subject, no US politician will wage nuclear war over a Russian border conflict in a former Soviet republic.

    But Americans are in a different sort of apocalyptic war, that we are not only losing badly but won’t even acknowledged. The enemy is a cadre of our fellow Americans who work as scientists, philosophers, and schemers in Langley and Arlington Va., and at think tanks and research institutions. The war is on what you are told, it is waged via manipulation of information. The Intelligence Departments, the Pentagon, and the State Department are complicit in brainwashing the American public, and the reward for them is control of policy over military might and cash flow beyond the imaginations of 99% of people. The turning point may have been when it became impossible to nominate a President that would cross them. Obama referred to The Blob, this was a telling remark.

    America has had it’s informational systems decimated, overrun and occupied by a massive multi-pronged offensive of mathematicians and software algorithm engineers, public communications psychologists and propaganda writers, politicians-on-the-make in cahoots with corporate bought-off media. Where this ugly state of affairs began is debatable, Chomsky has referenced the “Mohawk Valley Formula” whereby big capital first responded with propaganda to break potential social change driven by organized labor in the 30s. The preeminent feature of the war on information is it’s success. It’s a 21st Century wonder that vast arrays of media can be in such agreement on such complex issues every morning.

    The fact is Americans should be worried to death not nuclear war but about our own institutions; the secret NSA budgets that only a few select uber-incumbent politicians get to see, the unknown cash flows at the Pentagon and CIA, the future planning going on inside the State & Defense. If the criminally unethical ideologues trained at US Ivy League schools get to carry on misguiding this country as they have since the US took over paying for the French war-crime tab in Indochina around 1955, a nuclear war might actually look pretty good by comparison.

  16. Would be really nice if karma was real and the universe really did have a self balancing out method for localized sociopaths that willingly cause so much death and suffering in so many lives for the absolute pettiest of reasons. When these scumbags secure in their clandestine bunkers with all the comforts they could squirrel away until the fallout subsides, decide to launch their attacks for “democracy” and “freedumb” . A fizzle and pop sound would happen then their illustrious fortresses paid for by the people they’re just about to sacrifice implode on top of them. That would be some good karma …..

    Thanks once again Mr.Hedges !

  17. Golodh First: as I stated before the Russians are not sending raw recruits to the front, they are calling up reservist who already have had military training. These recruits are not going to the front either. They are replacements for active duty personnel operating in other areas of the country who will be sent to the front.
    Second: as I stated before the longer this war goes there will be more casualties along with the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure, the Ukrainian economy and perhaps the Ukrainian culture. The neocons and neoliberals in Washington don’t give a rats ass about Ukrainian lives. They are using the Ukrainian s as cannon fodder for a proxy war in order to maintain US hegemony in Europe. They will destroy anyone who dares to be a peer as witness by the blowing up of the nordstream pipeline destroying the German economy, which was the strongest in Europe.
    Third: your comparison of Putin with Saddam is quite telling; my friend you have drank the cool aid. If you have read Putin speeches like you say you have, you would know how many times he has reached out to the west only to have it slapped away. Last September 30th in a speech he appealed for negotiations. I have, over the years come to the conclusion that Americans are bred to hate and fear Russians. No amount facts or evidence or even Russian good will can change that.
    My sources for my post come from former military such as Scott Ritter marine intelligence officer, Jacque Baud formal Swiss military and NATO intelligence, and Larry Johnson former CIA analist just to name a few. Who are your sources? The neocon and neoliberals that haunt Washington or perhaps MSM.

    1. @C.U. re: Golodh
      See what I wrote above defending you. On the basis of Golodh’s faulty logic; written before your well sourced rebuttal.

      1. RS: I have read your reply. I can only hope that we can convince Golodh and other folks that they are on the wrong side of history. Thanks for the reply.

  18. If Russia can reasonably consolidate the positions she wishes to maintain, including the four annexed Ukrainian regions, she could leave Ukraine to her marriage with the West and American influence. She would then create a no man’s land on her western borders fortified with whatever she needed of cutting-edge weapons and their required attendant technologies. If you think that the Cold War was a problem with Europe hand in hand with America, there will be a repeat performance that will be off the scale level.

    But, if Russia concludes that America deliberately intends to destroy her existence then be assured, she will retaliate, and if and when before she goes down, she will ensure that America, to hell with Europe, will go down with her.

  19. in failed oligarchy moron peasants prefer the senile vegetable installed by emperor gates–why worry?

  20. It’s only a proxy war in a sense that Russia is attacking Ukraine only – at the moment. Russia is targeting 13 other countries for occupation with populations well over double their own.
    Also, it’s not a new war, it’s the continuation of the cold war that was never properly defused. The bomb never went away. The Soviet Union only agreed to break up under the leadership of KGB, who come from the Pamyat populist nationalist and anti-Semitic movement, such as Gorbachev, Putin , Miller. and all the other security oligarchs. Those KGB agents envision to replace the communist USSR with a Russian sphere of economic and political control in the former Warsaw pact via its puppet regimes instead. This was to be done using the exact same nuclear threat that held the Warsaw pact together.

  21. A groundless assertion by Hedges: if Putin were ‘militarily humiliated’ he’d behave ‘in a final act of desperation’ and ‘lash[ing] out in desperation’ just like the vain, crass children in power in the US or UK and resort to nukes. That’s just silly projection.

    What scares the fools in US/UK/EU governmental power the most, however, is that Putin operates much more like Clausewitz. They detest to their core that Putin, and the Russian government hierarchy around him, are far more competent technocrats (and adults) who daily are humiliating and outwitting them and can play the long game till the crows come home. Meanwhile, the US/UK/EU imperialists can respond only with escalating provocations, the latest being the ‘dirty bomb’ that they’ve reportedly been hatching in Ukraine for the past ~2 years. The fools in power have come to realise this (and can’t admit it), but Hedges doesn’t.

    Hedges reinforces his lack of understanding of these ‘west’ vs. Russia differences by his claim that Putin ‘implied’ Russia would resort to nuclear weapons if its ‘territorial integrity’ were threatened, without at all mentioning the context of Putin’s remarks, as a firm and rational response to the loud pleading by the Pervitin-addled Zelensky for his NATO godfathers to launch a nuclear first strike on Moscow.

    And, as is clear to anyone who’s followed this conflict beyond cursory perusals of the bourgeois propaganda outlets, Russia has suffered no major ‘battlefield losses’ aside from its initial overextension of forces in February-early March. Russia and its allies performed tactical retreats, notably recently from Kharkov, to preserve men, materiel and machinery and allowed the Ukrainians to take empty territory and leave themselves open to slaughter on the steppe. Symbolic, battle-of-the-bulge PR ‘victories’ versus Clausewitz.

    Finally, Curtis LeMay wasn’t the model for Brigadier General Jack D Ripper. He was the model for General Buck Turgidson (George C Scott).

    1. According to an Economic Geography class circa 1964, there are 21 resources essential to an industrial economy. The USSR, and I assume Russia and its allies, had 19. The US had 10 or 11, Germany and all other European nations individually had 7-8. That explained the many invasions of Russia over the centuries. Russians understand this well and focus more on defense than offense. Russians do not need much from the rest of the world. Russia’s crime is that now they are trading in rubles and gold to bypass the Bank of International Settlements, the Godfather of banksters that is immune from any law and is the enforcer of sanctions. BIS agenda is the interests of banksters not people or their governments except as they may coincide, which they seldom do.
      As is patently obvious, banksters can create almost infinite amounts of money digitally. Land, labor and resources, real wealth, cannot be created digitally. The Ukraine represents much land and resources so the banksters through their mercenaries overthrew the elected government and installed a government that would follow the banksters directives. The land and resources were quickly privatized and such corporate criminals as Monsanto were allowed to operate in the country as they aren’t in Russia. The Russians are not stupid and are acting in self defense. There are no good wars and no bad peace, so I do not condone Russia, but I understand a little of the self defense war. It has long been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. We will probably never discover the complete truth for decades if ever.

  22. Good Riddance u.s.inhumanVirus
    needs Obliterating.
    Sowwy about destroying all of Creation.
    Vaporize d.c. first.

  23. not that long ago putin said, “what use is a world without russia” in response to questions about nuclear war. in his mind – like that of many russians – it’s a zero sum game where they’re either erased, balkanized and returned to the dark days of the 1990s or they take the west with them in a blaze of “glory”.

    i’d also throw in my two cents as an internet rando to say the west’s attitude toward putin – as well as trump, hitler, saddam,etc. – is a glaring symptom of the cancer of individualism. ditto their use of zelensky, guaido and other placeholding lackeys. russia is always “putin”. take him out and every problem is solved. get rid of qaddafi and libya will be a paradise. kill saddam and iraq will turn into an arab las vegas. everything was great until trump came along and broke the US all by himself. and so on…everything comes down to “that one guy”.

    i hate to break it to these mental patients running the asylum, but if everyone is “john galt” then no one is “john galt”. basic neoliberal types make excuses for thatcher’s “there is no such thing as society” but all she did was say the quiet part out loud.

  24. Damn Loiterers! They’ll kill us all!

    Leaders around the world must immediately commit themselves to renewed cooperation in the many ways and venues available for reducing existential risk. Citizens of the world can and should organize to demand that their leaders do so—and quickly. The doorstep of doom is no place to loiter.

    https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/

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