The Unthinkable: Possible Nuclear War with Russia
by Stephen Lendman
Lunatics running things in Washington make anything possible. Obama looks like Bush on steroids.
Neocons infest his administration and Congress. Permanent war on humanity more than ever is official US policy.
Ukraine is ground zero. Ongoing conflict risks the unthinkable - direct US confrontation with Russia risking nuclear war.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned Ukraine's conflict could "unavoidably lead to a nuclear war.."
Nuclear arms expert Steven Starr warned about things headed recklessly toward this possibility.
Nuclear expert Helen Caldicott believes US/Russian confrontation risks nuclear war. Things today are more dangerous than any previous time in the post-WW II period.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark said "(n)othing is more dangerous than the aggressive US/NATO troop movements right on the borders of Russia."
He called US funding and supporting Kiev fascists "a provocation against the entire region."
War on Donbass followed "immediately after visits to Kiev by US officials." Washington's intervention in Ukraine "and (its) ever-increasing campaign to surround and isolate Russia (risks) the hell of war break(ing) loose," Clark warned.
On February 11, former Reagan administration ambassador to Soviet Russia Jack Matlock spoke at the National Press Club.
His topic: "The Mistakes We Made with Russia - and How to Stop Making Them." Highlights from his address were as follows:
"The West's top priority should be to reestablish civil relations with Russia - and ease tensions to minimize the risk of spiraling confrontation," he said.
Despite Donbass ceasefire terms agreed on in Minsk, "we are still a very long way from peace."
Providing Kiev with more weapons will "end up killing more Ukrainians."
"Merkel and Hollande made it very clear that weapons should not be supplied to Ukraine."
"I think we should listen to them. It's their continent. Let them have the lead."
"…Ukraine cannot have a united and successful society unless it has a reasonable relationship with Russia."
"(I)t is not in America's best interest to intervene and risk another nuclear arms race."
"The most important thing we did in ending the Cold War was cooling the nuclear arms race."
"If there are any issues for this country to face that are existential, that's it."
"(I)f the United States gets further involved, then what is in the minds of the Russians (regarding) territory which historically has been part of their country?"
"Given the present atmosphere, I don't see how we are going to prevent another nuclear arms race. And that's what scares me."
Obama should stop "public(ly) duel(ing)" with Putin. His State of the Union comments were "totally out of place, and I know they have a negative effect."
Reagan never publicly denigrated his Soviet counterparts. He used the term "evil empire" once, said Matlack.
"(B)ut he never denigrated any Soviet leader by name…What do we see now?"
A polar opposite very dangerous policy. And not just by Obama. By neocon administration members and congressional hawks.
Matlock called current US/Russian relations "poisonous…How do we get out of this mess," he asked?
Not quickly or easily, he stressed. He urged greater back channel diplomacy and lots less public hyperbole. So far not a sign of it in sight.
European media raised concerns about possible US/Russian nuclear confrontation.
On February 13, Der Spiegel
headlined "Nuclear Spector Returns: 'Threat of War Is Higher than in the Cold War."
Saying Ukrainian crisis conditions "dramatically worsened relations between NATO and Russia."
Deep mistrust persists. It gravely affects US/Russian cooperation on security matters, said Spiegel.
Both sides "are investing giant sums of money to modernize their nuclear arsenals, and NATO recently announced that it was rethinking its nuclear strategy."
Former communication channels don't exist. Reestablishing them is vital.
Former Senator Sam Nunn said "(t)rust has been eroded to the point of almost being destroyed."
"You've got a war going on right in the middle of Europe. You've got a breakdown of the conventional forces treaty.
"You've got the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty under great strain. You've got tactical nuclear weapons all over Europe. It's a very dangerous situation."
In late January, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) set it Doomsday Clock at 3 minutes to midnight. The first time it's been there since 1983.
The risk of nuclear war perhaps was never greater. Lunatics in Washington make anything possible.
BAS warned of "extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity."
Spiegel called ongoing heated rhetoric "poorly suited to reducing the threat."
Former US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiator Richard Burt said both sides are "on a kind of hair-trigger alert."
Nuclear weapons could be launched in minutes. "(T)hat is a dangerous state of play," Burt stressed.
Former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Cold War security mechanisms prevented confrontation.
"Now the threat of war is higher than during the Cold War," he stressed.
On February 15, London's Telegraph
headlined "Putin: Will he go nuclear?"
Saying "(t)he Ukraine crisis has turned into a potentially apocalyptic nuclear stand-off as President Vladimir Putin primes Russia for conflict with the West."
The Telegraph should have said Obama heads America toward possible nuclear war with Russia. At stake is what he does, not Putin.
Political strategist Sergey Markov said the "threat of nuclear war should be taken seriously."
"In Russia, we believe that Ukraine has been occupied by the US."
"And that this occupation is not about democracy, or even money, but that it is the first step in a war against Russia."
"The US is seeking to undermine our sovereignty, neutralise our nuclear potential, and steal our oil and gas."
"Under these circumstances, the danger of nuclear confrontation is very real."
Russia's Zvezda TV channel warned about "Russia and the US…on the verge of nuclear war." Washington wants Russia to "disappear as an independent country."
Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon accused Moscow of "lower(ing) its threshold" for using nuclear weapons while "integrating nuclear and conventional forces in a rather threatening way."
The Telegraph irresponsibly blames Putin for US belligerent policies. Will nuclear war follow?
Hopefully enough cooler Western heads will prevent it. Otherwise all bets are off.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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