A group of Russian-American political analysts have issued a detailed warning to US citizens. They note that allowing the regime in Washington to attack or provoke Russia might leave the US in ruins and tens or hundreds of millions of Americans dead. This could happen after a US attack on Russia, a provocation interpreted as an attack, or even simply a mistake, as has nearly happened numerous times in the past.
The analysts understand that Americans are still “excited” by war, since they are part of a relatively young country that has almost always been on the giving rather than the receiving end of the gun. However, in contrast, Russians have been invaded by Europe numerous times and have lost tens of millions of citizens. They “hate and fear war … but are also ready for it” with powerful and advanced weapons systems, the analysts say.
Contrary to prominent US corporate and government propaganda, “American anti-ballistic missile systems are incapable of shielding the American people from a Russian nuclear strike.” Russia will not initiate an attack, but if attacked itself, it can hit US targets with its “long-range nuclear as well as conventional weapons.”
“Even if the entire Russian leadership is killed in a first strike”, a prospect that makes some US elites giddy, “the so-called “Dead Hand” (the “Perimetr” system) will automatically launch enough nukes to wipe the USA off the political map.”
Thus, the Russian-Americans “appeal to the American people to take peaceful but forceful action to oppose any politician or party that engages in irresponsible, provocative Russia-baiting, and that condones and supports a policy of needless confrontation with a nuclear superpower that is capable of destroying America in about an hour.”
This raises the question of which US candidate is least likely to get us killed through nuclear war. All of the remaining candidates (Clinton, Sanders, Trump) agree that nuclear war is currently a huge existential threat, and so do experts on the subject. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists puts us at three minutes to ‘midnight’ – meaning very close to nuclear war. Why are we so close?
The reason is that the US, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has broken its promise to halt expansion of its military empire (called ‘NATO’ in the region in question) and has instead muscled its militants and lethal hardware up to Russia’s border through a process that, most recently, has included backing neo-Nazi extremists and integrating them with a dictatorship Washington helped install in Ukraine after toppling its elected president.
Ukraine is on the traditional route Western Europe has used to invade Russia. Thus, Russia has watched the expansion of a hostile US military alliance that is now pushing to take Ukraine, and feels as if the West may be thinking about another invasion of Russia or related scenario. This is the cause of the current high risk of nuclear war.
What do the US candidates say about NATO?
Sanders, while having supported major war crimes and acts of aggression committed by the US involving its NATO military camps, now says he is “against the expansion of NATO because it provokes unnecessary aggression from Russia.” Thus he is against further expanding a hostile military alliance towards Russia, not because doing so is Western aggression, but because it makes Russia respond aggressively, though without necessity, as US military expansion, since the time when US bases began being pushed towards Native American nations, is benign.
Partially contradicting himself or offering another option, Sanders has also said that NATO should be expanded, but to include Russia and some Arab states as partners.
Trump: The LA Times claims that Trump’s position on NATO is similar to that of Sanders, but it seems clear from the quotes they cite that Trump is actually more opposed to NATO than Sanders. The Times quotes Trump saying NATO is “obsolete. And there’s nothing wrong with saying it’s obsolete. But it is obsolete.” The Times only has Sanders saying Europe should pay more of the cost of NATO. This is objectively less critical than saying NATO is obsolete, but apparently the Times wanted to connect Trump and Sanders on this issue.
Why does Trump say NATO is obsolete? Prominent Russia scholar Stephen Cohen points out that Trump accurately recognizes that the stated reason for creating NATO was to counter-balance the Soviet Union. He says Trump has thus pointed out that “NATO was founded 67 years ago to deter the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ended 25 years ago”, which is what makes NATO “obsolete.” From this rhetoric, it would seem Trump would be less likely than Sanders to incite a nuclear war with Russia via NATO, though Sanders, while far more hostile towards Russia on this issue than Trump, does not seem highly likely to do so, either.
The third candidate, who has received more money from lethal weapons manufacturers than any other and is currently being considered by the FBI for criminal indictment, Hillary Clinton, is quoted by the LA Times issuing hyperbolic praise of NATO as “perhaps the most effective military alliance ‘in human history.'”
Clinton’s assessment of the situation in the region is closer to that of Sanders than Trump, but far more aggressive. She assures that NATO’s military expansion is completely benign – NATO would never hurt a fly – and, like Sanders, says it is Russia that is being aggressive. Going several steps further than Sanders, Clinton strongly supported the Western-backed overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president and the installation of a dictatorship integrated with neo-Nazis, partially by, in Orwellian terms given the neo-Nazi alliance to the US, referring to Russian president Putin as “Hitler”. Clinton thus demonstrates that she means to be as aggressive as possible both in deed and rhetoric, and seems to have a laser-like focus on a neocon reconquest of Russia.
While Clinton issues dangerous rhetoric to support the expansion of NATO and possible conquest operations against Russia, Trump is continually belittled by the corporate Democrats, including Clinton herself, for being ‘friends’ with Putin, and so forth.
Indeed, as Robert Parry notes, even when, in a speech this week, Clinton was trying to paint Trump as the bigger nuclear threat, she still could not help but further propagandize about Putin’s so-called “aggression”. She thus again illustrated, even while doing her best to prove the opposite, that a) she is obviously more aggressive towards Russia and is more likely to incite a nuclear war than the other candidates, and b) that she may lack the basic understanding, or simply not care, that the biggest threat of a nuclear war is between the US and Russia, because of the expansion of the military empire she aggressively supports (and not just in Europe). Driving this apathy or lack of understanding home even further, she stressed that Russia would be happy if Trump were elected US president. Yes… Russians would be happy to deescalate from the nuclear confrontation that has been inflamed by Hillary Clinton, the Obama regime, and the expansion of NATO and US-backed dictatorships up to Russia’s border. That Clinton appears not to perceive the contradictions in her statements seems hard to believe, unless she is just that fundamental in her US religio-supremacism. Maybe she is demonizing Russia as a tactic to stoke feelings of US superiority and attract US supremacist voters, but when nuclear destruction is on the line, that would seem quite careless.
John Pilger notes that the Obama regime, in which Clinton was perhaps the leading chicken-hawk until she left in 2013, has spent more on nuclear weapons than any other regime in the history of the weapon, and has also built more nuclear weapons than any other regime. For these and many other reasons, the highly respected and experienced journalist, Pilger, has assessed directly that “Hillary Clinton is more dangerous than Donald Trump.” Similarly, John V. Walsh has pointed out that while Trump issues ugly racist rhetoric and plans, so does Clinton, and given their records, she may be the bigger institutional racist.
A counter-point to Pilger’s assertion is given in the Huffington Post by Vincent Intondi, an associate professor of history at Montgomery college. He prefaces his piece by stating that after he read Pilger’s article on the dangers of Clinton (and Obama), he “simply could not answer. I was too infuriated to find the words”. Thus readers are warned early on that the author may have an emotional/ideological blind spot due to US party politics favoring the Democrats. Continuing, we see some incredulous and vaguely threatening statements directed to Pilger such as “how dare you”, and “stay in your lane”. Intondi also falls back on known lies and blatant omissions. He praises Obama for aggressively bullying long-time US victim Iran into not seeking a nuclear weapon (which it was not seeking anyway), while ignoring that Saudi Arabia, under Obama, announced that it was seeking nuclear weapons, then that it obtained access to them via US ally Pakistan. Saudi royals stressed that, unlike Iran, they would “never” renounce nuclear weapons. Around the time of this process, the Obama regime made a deal with terrorist Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s “king”, to sell him more weapons than the US, already the world’s biggest arms trafficker, has ever sold any regime in its history. This included internationally banned cluster bombs, which Abdulaziz has since used against Yemeni civilians, with US support.
In the last paragraph, Intondi suggests that because he has a “Hispanic wife, bi-racial niece, and hundreds of students each semester who are a majority nonwhite and immigrants”, he has thus “walked [further] in the shoes of those who have been most affected by Trump’s actions” than Pilger. This omits a) how Trump has managed to “affect” more nonwhite people than Clinton, who has been in or intimately connected to high seats of global power for several decades and involved in killing millions of nonwhite people (and even many white people, too), and b) that Pilger has been making documentaries in conflict zones around the world for over 40 years, some of which have looked at how the neoconservative/neoliberal policies Clinton has supported have killed millions of people.
Thus, the most prominent counter-point to Pilger’s piece, apart from the possibly confused and stunningly contradictory statements coming from Clinton herself, seems fraught with misinformation and omissions dictated by emotional, ideological blind-spots.
As the LA Times and others have shown, Hillary Clinton is clearly and by far, even by her own admission, the most aggressive towards Russia, and thus most likely to cause a nuclear war that could leave millions of US citizens dead and the country non-existent.
(If you haven’t checked her out, see Jill Stein – what a popular candidate might look like in a culture not dominated and corrupted by corporate cash.)
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.