The Empire Has No Clothes – America’s Blindness to Its Imperial Nuclear Aggression

I grew up thinking our country stood on the highest of moral ground. But there it is, the first and only nation in the world to actually use nuclear weapons and do so against civilian targets (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the same nation that spends more on defense than the next nine countries combined (including Russia and China) — our nation — acknowledging, if not boasting, that it might throw the first nuclear punch in an international fistfight.

From the Independent

Scott Fina (second from right) and others have gathered outside the Vandenberg military base to protest the U.S. nuclear arsenal for many years

by Scott Fina
December 3, 2022

I’m part of a small group of people who protest our nation’s nuclear weapons program at Vandenberg Space Force Base on the Central Coast of California. Monthly, we gather on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway, aka Highway 1, just outside the base’s main gate. We are a collection of grey-haired and wrinkled folks committed to nonviolence.

We protest at Vandenberg because the U.S. tests its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system at the base. It periodically fires unarmed ICBMs 4,200 miles across the Pacific to tiny Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Vandenberg also trains the missileers who are responsible for launching U.S. nuclear armed ICBMs in an actual conflict.

Generally, the base security soldiers have stood by watching us, or ignored us. We have over the years, however, had our troubling interactions with them. Most of us have been arrested at some point, several of us have been imprisoned, and one of us landed before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Objective observers could find the optics of these moments comical. Visualize aged Ewoks holding peace posters, standing up to and then being carted off by stormtroopers armed with semiautomatic weapons (to borrow imagery from George Lucas).

These days we mostly stand quietly, looking into the faces of motorists on Highway 1. It can be monotonous. To pass the time, I survey motorists’ reactions. I compare the number who point a middle finger at us with the number who display the two-fingered peace sign.

Surprisingly, the number of motorists flashing peace signs has been increasing, and these motorists greatly outnumbers middle fingers as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. They seem to see something our government does not, something strikingly obvious to other governments around the world but our own is blind to: American nuclear aggression.

I came upon a blatant manifestation of this blindness while researching the size and formidableness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It’s in plain view on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) website: a content section titled “America’s Nuclear Triad.” Go there to be treated to a glitzy, multimedia, virtual tour of our nation’s capacity to hurl nuclear bombs across the globe from land, sea, and air.

The DoD website strikes me as part video game, part action movie, and part testosterone booster. It boldly acknowledges that our nation deploys 400 nuclear armed ICBMs in underground silos, 14 Trident submarines collectively carrying 240 nuclear “missiles with multiple, independently targeted warheads,” and 60 long-range nuclear-capable bomber jets, forming “the most flexible leg of the [nuclear weapons] triad, capable of providing massive firepower in a short time anywhere on the globe, even through the most advanced defenses.”

I initially questioned the website’s authenticity; its presentation goes well beyond transparency, like strutting exhibitionism. A statement at the top of the website, however, notes it officially belongs to the U.S. government and provides a link to prove it.

I then wondered if some DoD techies got high one night and altered the webpage to see what kind of a rise they could get out of people, such as the leaders of Iran and North Korea.

One statement in the “sea” section of the website astounded me: “Ballistic missile submarines … are on constant patrol with enough firepower to make just one [submarine] … the sixth most powerful nuclear power in the world.”

Continue reading

Putin’s conundrum

From Global Research

By Mike Whitney
December 16, 2022

The primary purpose of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is to deceptively “rebrand” the offensive use of nuclear weapons as a justifiable act of defense. The new criteria for using these lethal WMD has been deliberately maligned with the clear intention of providing Washington with a green light for their use and proliferation. Accordingly, US foreign policy warhawks have established the institutional and ideological framework needed to launch a nuclear war without fear of legal reprisal. These arduous preparations were carried out with one objective in mind, to preserve America’s steadily-eroding position in the global order through the application of extreme violence.

Vladimir Putin is worried. Very worried.

In a recent press conference, the Russian President expressed his concern that the United States might be planning a nuclear strike on Russia. Naturally, Putin did not state the matter in such crude terms, but his comments left little doubt that that’s what he was talking about. Here’s part of what he said:

The United States has a theory of a ‘preventive strike’…Now they are developing a system for a ‘disarming strike’. What does that mean? It means striking at control centres with modern high-tech weapons to destroy the opponent’s ability to counterattack.”

Why would Putin waste time on the various theories circulating among foreign policy wonks in the United States if he wasn’t concerned that these ideas were actionable?

The only explanation is that Putin is worried, and the reason he is worried is because he knows that these ideas (preemption and ‘disarming strike’) hold-sway among the elite cadres of powerbrokers who decide these matters in Washington. Putin probably realizes that there is a sizable constituency in Washington that support the use of nuclear weapons and who believe they are essential to preserving the “rules-based order”. In short, Putin believes these ideas are “actionable” which is why he expressed concern.

So, let’s think about the point Putin is trying to make. He’s saying that the US tacitly supports a preemptive “first strike” policy, that is, if the US feels sufficiently threatened, then it claims the right to launch nuclear missiles at an enemy whether that enemy has attacked the United States or not.

Does that sound reasonable to you?

And what about Russia; does Russia support the same policy?

No, it doesn’t. Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine explicitly precludes the first use of nukes. Russia will not launch a first strike. Period. Russia will only use Nuclear weapons in retaliation and only in the event that the nation faces an ‘existential threat’. In other words, Russia will only use nuclear weapons as a last resort.

US Nuclear Doctrine is the polar opposite of Russia’s because the US will not abandon its support for a first strike. And what’s more troubling, is that US Doctrine has been so grossly expanded that could be construed to include almost anything. For example, according to the recently-released Nuclear Posture Review(NPR), nuclear weapons can be used: “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”

Chew on that for a minute. That could include anything from a serious threat to national security to the sudden emergence of economic rival. Are we going to nuke Beijing because their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to be bigger than America’s within the decade?

We can’t answer that, but it certainly meets the NPR’s grossly expanded criteria.

Can you see why Putin might be concerned about all this? Can you see why Biden’s unwillingness to jettison the “first strike” policy might make Washington’s adversaries a bit nervous? Can you see why these new watered-down standards for the use of nuclear weapons might send up red flags in Capitols around the world?

Putin wants people to know what’s going on. That’s why he’s speaking-out at public venues. He wants everyone to know that the United States no longer regards its nuclear arsenal as purely defensive. It is now seen as an essential instrument for preserving the “rules-based order”. Can you see that?

And this is just part of what Putin said in a very short press conference. He also said this:

Now they (the US) are developing a system for a ‘disarming strike’. What does that mean? It means striking at control centres with modern high-tech weapons to destroy the opponent’s ability to counterattack.”

Continue reading

Information warfare: PBS NewsHour claims Russian airstrike footage against ISIS is U.S. airstrike

From Information Clearing House
By Moon of Alabama
November 20, 2015

U.S. media can no agree with itself if Russia is giving ISIS an airforce or if Russia pounds ISIS with the biggest bomber raid in decades. Such confusion occurs when propaganda fantasies collide with the observable reality.

To bridge such divide requires some fudging.

So when the U.S. claims to act against the finances of the Islamic State while not doing much, the U.S Public Broadcasting Service has to use footage of Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State while reporting claimed U.S. airstrike successes.

The U.S. military recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculous long tanker lines waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without any U.S. interference.

The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assemblies with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.

I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.

The U.S. PBS NewsHour did not find any either.

In their TV report yesterday about Islamic State financing and the claimed U.S. hits on oil trucks they used the videos Russia provided without revealing the source.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/PMermbclRXs&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

You can see the Russian videos played within an interview with a U.S. military spokesperson at 2:22 min.

The U.S. military spokesperson speaks on camera about U.S. airforce hits against the Islamic State. The video cuts to footage taken by Russian airplanes hitting oil tanks and then trucks. The voice-over while showing the Russian video with the Russians blowing up trucks says: “For the first time the U.S. is attacking oil delivery trucks.” The video then cuts back to the U.S. military spokesperson.

At no point is the Russian campaign mentioned or the source of the footage revealed.

Any average viewer of the PBS report will assume that the black and white explosions of oil trucks and tanks are from of U.S. airstrikes filmed by U.S. air force planes.

The U.S. military itself admitted that its strikes on IS oil infrastructure over the last year were “minimally effective”. One wonders then how effective the claimed strike against 116 trucks really was. But unless we have U.S. video of such strikes and not copies of Russian strike video fraudulently passed off as U.S. strikes we will not know if those strikes happened at all.

Propaganda and reality also collide in the larger U.S. policy on Syria. President Obama claims that the “overwhelming majority of people in Syria” want the Syrian President Assad to leave. But independent British polling in Syria found (pdf) that a strong plurality of Syrians prefers him as president over any of the available alternatives.

And while new research reveals extensive cooperation between NATO member and U.S. ally Turkey and the Islamic State the U.S. is asking for more cooperation with Turkey to shuffle more weapons into the Syria conflict and thereby, inevitably, also to the Islamic State. Some other U.S. allies are likewise deeply involved in financing and equipping the Islamic State.

But Kuwait just arrested a gang that was smuggling weapons from the new U.S. client state Ukraine to the Islamic State. Iraqi military and Shia militia find huge bundles of cash (vid) which were to be smuggled to the Islamic State. How does it come that the otherwise all-seeing (including your emails) U.S. secret services are unable to uncover Islamic State financing and smuggling when smaller states with much less resources can do so?

Does all this sound like the U.S. is really campaigning against the Islamic State? Or is this whole campaign just as fraudulent as the PBS video and Obama’s proclamations? Why is the U.S. so deeply lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article43492.htm

Global Research, November 22, 2015
Press TV 22 November 2015

A major US media outlet has been caught passing on footage of Russian air raids in Syria as American airstrikes in a bid to advance Washington’s military agenda, a new report reveals.

The US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), aired a program on the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group on November 19, purporting to show how their oil trucks were destroyed by US airstrikes, as part of Washington’s new plan to disrupt the group’s main source of income, according to the Information Clearing House.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it would escalate its airstrikes on Daesh and bomb the terrorist organization’s oil infrastructure in Syria.

The new operation is supposed to cripple eight major Syrian oil fields over the next several weeks, about two-thirds of which are said to be in Daesh’s hands.

On November 16, the US military claimed it has destroyed 116 tanker trucks carrying stolen Syrian oil from those fields, but failed to provide video evidence.

Two days later, however, the Russian Air Force destroyed some 500 oil trucks and promptly released footage of the airstrike.

On November 19, a program dubbed PBS NewsHour used the Russian footage and passed them off as US airstrikes, without revealing the true source.

“For the first time the US is attacking oil delivery trucks,” a voice-over said while the exact same video released by the Russian Defense Ministry was being shown.

Daesh is reportedly generating as much as $40 million a month by producing and exporting oil it steals from the areas under its control.

According to US military officials, the group operates a fleet of over 1,000 oil tanker trucks.

US military officials say that they have studied eight major Syrian oil fields, namely Omar, Tanak, El Isbah, Sijan, Jafra, Azraq, Barghooth and Abu Hardan and are gearing up to inflict upon them the kind of damage which takes longer to fix or requires specially-ordered parts.

NATO General Ben Hodges lies to National Public Radio (NPR)

By Eric Zuesse
Posted on Global Research, June 19, 2015

On June 17th, U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed NATO’s and America’s General Ben Hodges, who is the Commanding General of the U.S. Army in Europe, which is “NATO’s most senior land forces command.” He said (after 4:54 in the audio):

This notion that somehow, Russia, you know, has no choice but to respond or that the West is being provocative, really, I don’t think rings true at all. … We’re building up on NATO’s borders. These are NATO countries, these are allies of ours, that are concerned based on what Russia is doing on their borders, and they’ve asked for assurance that their allies are there.

The interviewer asked, “President Putin said that only an insane person could imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I mean, is NATO insane for worrying about a Russian attack?” Hodges replied (6:41):

I think that’s an irresponsible question. It is completely unimaginable to me that Russia would ever invade Crimea. I mean, this was the day after the Sochi Olympics, after the Russians had spent millions and millions of dollars, and then threw away whatever goodwill they had earned the following day by invading Crimea.

That’s so many lies in such a short span, so that unpacking all of them will produce a long article; but, those lies are the mainstream view in America’s news media, so, here goes the reality that demolishes them:

His Basic ‘History’ Is False

Everything he says about what preceded Crimea’s switching back to Russia (of which it had always been a part until 1954) is false.

The Sochi Olympics ended on 23 February 2014. Contrary to what Ben Hodges says, there was no Russian invasion of Crimea the next day (nor actually ever, but we’ll get to that later). According to wikipedia, which is edited by the CIA (and so it must be right, if not far-right — like Hodges is), the “2014 Ukrainian Revolution” started on 18 February 2014. This overthrow of a government was occurring in the one nation, Ukraine, that Zbigniew Brzezinski and others have said is the most crucial nation of all that must be turned hostile toward Russia in order for America to win against Russia. (Ending communism and the Soviet Union doesn’t slake the sheer bloodthirst of people such as Brzezinski and Hodges — and Obama: Russia must simply be crushed; the communist-v.-capitalist thing was just an excuse for these psychopaths; and the only reason why Obama in 2012 denied Romney’s “our number one geopolitical foe” remark about Russia, was in order to fool the electorate about Obama himself.)

Thus, grabbing Ukraine is more important to them (and their billionaire sponsors) than getting any of the twelve former Warsaw Pact nations that the U.S. had already brought into NATO. It’s not for what’s in Ukraine; it’s for what’s in Russia. (The Warsaw Pact itself had ended when the Soviet Union itself did, in 1991. The GHW Bush Administration promised Gorbachev that NATO would move “not one inch eastward,” but the U.S. constantly violates that promise, and then blames Russia for responding to its brazenness, as Russia must do for its own defense. If Obama and the U.S. Congress continue this, there will be a nuclear war.)

What happened five days before February 23rd, on 18 February 2018? Here is video of it; and, as is obvious there, Putin must have been fully informed of these rabidly anti-Russian riots in next-door Ukraine, even while he was at the Sochi Olympics. This video is from Hromadske TV. Hromadske TV was financed by three entities as shown in their 2014 Financial Report, a snippet of which is seen here, but the totality of which Financial Report was then removed from the Web because this information didn’t fit the West’s propaganda-line. I had read that Financial Report before it was taken down. This snippet published there is accurate. It shows that “Total cash inflows” during the second half of 2013 were $2,576,596, of which “Individual contributions” (by Ukrainian oligarchs) were $1,135,997; “The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands” was $793,089; “The Embassy of the United States of America” was $399,650; and George Soros’s “International Renaissance Fund” was $247,860. Consequently, that ’news’ report on Hromadske favored the people who were rioting against Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych; and this Hromadske report said: “New wave of riots tonight in Ukraine…. and the president of Ukraine does nothing about it.” It blamed Yanukovych, for those riots against Yanukovych.

Here is more from Hromadske TV about the riots on that day,February 18th.

And here is the bloodshed on 20 February 2014, BBC Newsnight’s telecast about the violence.

Here is more of that bloodshed 20 February 2014, film-footage which was never telecast by BBC, their cut-outs.

Here is an independent video that was uploaded to the Web on 20 February 2014, showing a sniper reloading his rifle.

And here is Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, simply assuming that the snipers on 20 February 2014 are “Police Snipers,”not U.S.-paid mercenaries who were merely dressed as if they were police.

But here is a video presenting evidence that U.S.-paid mercenaries is what they actually were.

And here is the shock that the EU’s foreign-affairs chief experienced when her own investigator told her that this was a coup, and not actually a revolution at all. (And yet, the EU went along with Obama’s sanctions.)

Well, what happened, then, on the day after the Sochi Olympics ended — the day that Hodges says that Russia “threw away whatever goodwill they had earned the following day by invading Crimea.”? Here is from the Guardian, reporting on Monday, February 24th:

Continue reading