Nuclear War vs. Recession in the Land of Slaves and Tsars

I am becoming a little less secure in my belief that nukes will never be used.

There are three reasons for my anxiety. First, the spread of nuclear weapons to unstable countries such as Pakistan and North Korea. Second, the growing body of evidence about how close the world has come, at various times, to nuclear conflict. My third reason for worry is more immediate: a significant increase in threatening nuclear talk from Russia.

Both in private and in public, the Russians are now making increasingly explicit references to their country’s nuclear arsenal. A couple of weeks ago, I witnessed a prominent Russian warn an audience, at a private seminar in Washington, that “President Putin has put the nuclear gun on the table.” The Russian president has indeed told an audience at home that outsiders should not “mess with us”, because “Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers”.

Last week, Pravda – the Soviet mouthpiece during the cold war – ran an article headlined, “Russia Prepares Nuclear Surprise for Nato”. It crowed that Russia has parity with the US in strategic nuclear weapons and boasted: “As for tactical nuclear weapons, the superiority of modern-day Russia over Nato is even stronger. The Americans are well aware of this. They were convinced before that Russia would never rise again. Now it is too late.” _Nuclear War is Back

Urban Nuclear Blast

Russia’s Gift to Posterity

This is one piece of Putin’s propaganda puzzle presented to the western world. The threat of nuclear war goes along with the bomber flight airshows and other Putin propaganda extravaganzas. Costly, but the rubes eat it up.

Russia was already slipping into recession in May 2014 — although the massive Russ propaganda machine will not admit it. Western media will continue to be spoonfed the mantra that Russian government spending is under control, and the Russian economy is doing just fine without strong commercial and financial ties with the EU and the Anglosphere. But remember: State propaganda is the second largest Russian industry, behind oil & gas. Everything one hears from Russian sources complies with the propaganda mandate — under threat of death to dissident voices, of course.

There’s a 70 percent chance of a recession in the next 12 months, according to the median estimate of 27 economists in a survey Oct. 30. That’s the highest since Bloomberg started tracking the figure two years ago, up from 60 percent last month.

__ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-18/russia-sees-recession-next-year-if-oil-falls-to-60.html __

Putin has returned Russia to the era of gunboat diplomacy.

Deploying four very old warships to the Australian coast does not exactly impress anyone, and if the U.S. had sent a couple of carrier battle groups to those same waters, the Russian ships would have looked like so many tugboats by comparison.

The same is true of Russian strategic bombers patrolling the Gulf of Mexico. If the Defense Ministry carries out Shoigu’s instructions, Russian bombers will begin making regular patrols of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Russian strategic aircraft already fly “around the corner,” skirting Scandinavia and darting up to the Faroe Islands where they simulate a cruise missile attack against U.S. territory.

Now Moscow threatens to the do the same in the Caribbean. The problem is that, in contrast with the almost empty skies in the far north, in the south the Russian bombers will have to operate amid extremely heavy air traffic. That greatly increases the likelihood of a wide range of incidents, any one of which could have disastrous consequences.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putins-gunboat-diplomacy/511289.html

The article goes on to describe the strategic lunacy of Putin’s Potemkin gunboat diplomacy.

In Moscow, uncertainty is growing over where Putin’s rush to war is heading. Will Putin actually nuke the cities of Europe just to prove his manliness, or is there still a tiny streak of sanity and decency to be found in the Kremlin?

http://www.interpretermag.com/behind-the-scenes-in-the-kremlin-toward-a-dictatorship-or-a-shadow-government/

More on Putin’s strategic ineptitude:

By establishing a frozen conflict in Donbas, Russia has jammed a thorn into Ukraine’s side and, in the short run, complicated relations between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and the country’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. But it has also guaranteed that, in the longer run, the Ukrainian state will be reconsolidated around anti-Russian sentiment and policies – meaning that Russia will be unable to normalize its relations with Ukraine for decades.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/russia-separatist-elections-in-eastern-ukraine-by-stephen-holmes-and-ivan-krastev-2014-11

Putin had Ukraine over a barrel. Simple seduction would have sufficed to tighten economic and political ties between the two nations. But Putin would settle for nothing less than rape, theft, and brutalisation. Such behaviour is the mark of a thuggish fool.

In the meantime, Putin continues to destroy alliances across Europe, particularly in Germany. Simultaneously, Russia is over-extending itself all along its border with Easter Europe, from north to south.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/germany-worried-about-russian-influence-in-the-balkans-a-1003427.html

All of this from a nation with an economy that is smaller than that of a single US state — California. __ https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/russian-economy-smaller-than-californias/

It is clear that Russia cannot afford its superpower pretensions. But since Putin seems unlikely to submit to reality, the possibility of a Russian instigated nuclear war grows more realistic as Russia continues to decline economically, demographically, militarily, politically, medically, and morally.

Russia was already experiencing slow motion collapse from corruption / mismanagement, capital flight, brain drain, loss of its fertile female population, depopulation and loss of control in Siberia, a destructive influx of uneducable Muslims from Central Asia and the Caucasus, high death rates and low birth rates among ethnic Russians, a collapse of economic opportunity, a collapse of speech and assembly rights, and a long list of problems even more ominous to Russia’s long term future.

Now as Putin’s sustained global temper tantrum intensifies, Russia is doomed to fail even sooner than without his help.

Russian woe

More:

Will Kaliningrad Secede from Russia in yet another Colour Revolution? ….

The Russian Fear of Colour Revolutions …..

Fear of revolution is a constant worry for tyrants such as Putin.

Russia’s bloody headlong rush to disaster is driving more neighbors into the arms of NATO.

Who would have guessed back in 2000 that Putin would prove to be such a clumsy, suicidal fool?

The Russian president cannot help but realize that everything has somehow gone wrong and that he must make some sort of course correction, even if it means openly declaring an inhuman dictatorship. The problem is that he is not alone in the car: He is surrounded by powerful individuals who are perfectly happy with the current state of affairs and have no intention of letting him make any changes whatsoever. _MT

More:

Putin has painted himself into a corner

Russia stands to lose $140 billion a year as a result of lower oil prices and US and European sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said today. “We’ve seen a contraction of capital inflows into the country,” he said at a conference in Moscow. “We’re losing about $40 billion a year because of geopolitical sanctions, and we’re losing about $90 billion to $100 billion on the basis of a 30% decline in oil prices.”

Outside of the inner circle of power and the massive spy and propaganda machines, ordinary Russians are feeling the pain of Putin’s reckless aggression.

An analysis of the coming Russian invasion and attempted conquest of all of Ukraine Putin’s inability to let go of the grand Eurasian Empire delusion may be the death of Europe.

Looking at Putin’s Propaganda Apparatus: views of a former Soviet citizen and expatriate Propaganda is what the USSR did best. Putin cannot survive without a massive propaganda blitz, and masses of gullible naifs on both sides of the new iron curtain.

Low oil prices bring Putin to his moment of truth

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9 Responses to Nuclear War vs. Recession in the Land of Slaves and Tsars

    • alfin2101 says:

      John, if you follow your link to the original voltairenet article, you will find only one source link:

      http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80584

      The linked story describes the mission of the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea, but says nothing about the purported electronic warfare episode.

      That is the problem with unsourced stories: They are a waste of time and energy, and almost certainly originate within the propaganda apparatus of some nation or another, take your best guess.

  1. bob sykes says:

    Russia is determined that Ukraine not become part of NATO. The very aggressive bomber patrols and the repeated references to Russia’s nuclear arsenal are war threats. Considering Russia’s inferiority in conventional forces, the threat is nuclear.

    I am 71 years old and remember the Cuban missile crisis. We are closer to nuclear today than at any time in the last 51 years.

    PS. The idea that a Russian fighter carried electronics powerful enough to shut down an Aegis system is not credible, although buzzing an American warship is.

    • alfin2101 says:

      In the end, it will not be up to Russia whether Ukraine makes alliances of its own choosing — unless Russia is willing to unleash total war. In that case, the plans of billions of people around the world are llikely to be upset.

      I agree that the Lew Rockwell story linked by John is sensationalist crap lacking sources if you follow the link to the original Voltairenet story. It is something that a lot of people wish to believe however, so it draws in readers for Lew Rockwell, which helps pay the bills.

  2. A.B Prosper says:

    The thing about Russians, they aren’t Westerners and don’t want what we want. They also don’t have much altruism and as such can’t be expected to act like us.

    I’d say though that Putinism isn’t much worse than any of the other authoritarian system out there, the US for example has more people in prison per capita than any society ever and has absolutely no morals or ethics being happy to routinely torture prisoners (c.f Gitmo, c.f SuperMax) either by action or omission (c.f the mass amount of rape violence and conditions in US prisons) certainly these things go on in Russia too but they don’t pretend otherwise and they probably these days do it less than we do.

    I prefer my system of course as an American but really from a broader POV I’d judge a system but its results, Russia has a net natural increase in population albeit a tiny one and coming from a society that was essentially looted by Oligarchs and dying a few decades ago, its a pretty big turn around.

    The US isn’t as bad off but its not well, with 40 million on the dole and half its population locked out of the prosperous economy (50% make $12 US and under) many people think we all share

    more importantly the areas where population are growing are essentially ineducable to high order operations . They are not going to be able to replace the existing boomers or silents in any way.

    That assuming we don’t have a long overdo Civil War which looks more possible every day.

    We are brittle, overly connected, hijacked by oligarchs and if Dimitri Orlov is to be believed when we fall apart will be in a worse way than Russia was.

    More on topic, that alleged Kill Sat the Russians were messing with a few days ago
    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-11-18/in-the-sky-the-sign-of-a-new-cold-war

    is a greater threat than nukes. we are so reliant on GPS that a few well directed Kil Sats or EMP weapons aimed at civilian targets could end the US as thoroughly the fusion bombs, A lot of our food and material and military prowess depends on GPS . a lot of vehicles especially semis have GPS starter shutoffs, if seen buses go down this way and trucks shipping food could as well. One glitch or a few EMP’s could basically starve the US into oblivion. Now our military is mighty, far better than the Russian one but its a glass hammer.

    Europe is doomed harder than Russia is by a long margin with leadership that unlike Putin who is the standard Russian model, is opposed to the existence of their own societies . also without American help , I’m not sure say Germany (average age 40) could stand up to Russia in a fight now much less in the future if the Russian upgrades are good (they probably will be meh)

    Also re: nukes. The US should not be so sure of its nuclear deterrent against Russia or China . The systemic problems go deeper than the ones in the article and while we claim they are good for another 80 years, we lie as much as the Russians do.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2014/1114/Chuck-Hagel-orders-fixes-to-systemic-problems-in-US-nuclear-arsenal-video

    and while China looks tops, its just as much a Potemkin state as Russia is with equally bad air days and basically filthy ecosystem.

    So one is doing well and while he is not sweetness and light, Putin might be the last one standing.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Well, sure, if you believe Dmitry Orlov then anything is possible. You have to love the Russian propaganda machine dating back to the Soviets and beyond. You never know where you’re going to bump into it next. 😉

      It is true that some people believe that thieving Russian oligarchs were a thing of the 1990s, abolished by Putin, and never seen in Russia again. A great scam if the agitprop can deliver enough true believers. We’ll have to see if enough people believe the official line more than their own lying eyes.

      It is futile to compare the US to Russia to China, except in specific clearly delimited areas and terms. The societies are quite different, and if they fail, will fail in a number of different ways.

      A better question about Putin is when he goes down, will he take all of Russia and most of Europe down with him? That is the direction he seems to be taking. And China smiles.

      • A.B Prosper says:

        Euro Folk shouldn’t fight other Euro folk anymore but we are a fractious bunch.

        IMO Putin won’t be going anywhere for a while and probably won’t be brought down and will miraculous keep winning elections and switching with Medvedev. He might become defacto Czar who knows.

        if he goes down by force, it could get ugly. Its in his interest to push the nuclear war button if he can and is in fact the only rational choice.

        Consider what happens to Americas enemies in this era, Noriega, solitary for years (aka tortured) Saddam Hussein (humiliated and hanged) and of course Qaddafi (bayoneted up the backside) What happened to North Korea ? Nothing.

        If Europe gets taken down during this , it will be because of their own weakness. Hollowed out from within, saturated with hostile foreigners, natives unwilling to even have many children or a future and having no decent military is no way to live but its a great way to die.

        They are my people but they tolerate leaders who hate them for a pittance of a handout. Maybe they are broken from all the war but they are weak and Planet Earth isn’t for sissies. They brought any suffering they face on themselves,

        Now had they been strong, had their own nukes and germ warfare they’d have nothing to fear from a sickly old bear but no smart nation goes out with meat around its neck and a limp.

        As for the Russian Oligarchs, I am sure they are still around. Plentiful even though a few of them have actually gone to prison for misdeeds which is better than we’ve managed with our banksters

        Now granted the comparisons between societies are different. what a Russian would accept and still go one with a lot different than Americans or Euros would. It seems like the Russian model might work at least as well as ours though. As I’ve mentioned Russia may be a basket case but they are having more children than most of Europe and even a tiny natural population increase. In time they will get younger and Europe older.

        Also US stability isn’t guaranteed, Id suggest a fair chance, 25%-50% of a civil war in not that many years, my .mil friends unreliable as they are say 8-10 though that’s before the 2014 kabuki festival , err elections

        Actually there is a measurable chance, as high as 25% of war in January or February maybe March 2015 (yes a couple of months) . This would be triggered by Connecticut gun confiscation. Basically the Connecticut governor Malloy has threatened to confiscate personal unregistered firearms with SWAT teams going door to door and make felons of his political opposition. A fair number of people have stated they will resist with force.

        This is normally just a riot or just a few people shot or picked off but outside militias have also expressed an interest in aiding in Connecticut and other groups have already posted the names and addresses of the persons voting for it. Its set to avoid the “cold dea hands cowering at home” bit people assume and go immediately to 4th generation war.

        This could spiral very quick into big trouble and if the Feds bungle anything, the stress from the Presidential overreach on immigration, race tensions and the economy along with various law making fiascoes could provoke a big mess,

        I don’t think this will happen but the US isn’t magically immune to this kind of thing. We’ve actually removed by force bad local government (Battle of Athens) States as well and near dictatorships like Roosevelt a plenty.

        People are really really angry. I have no idea if its enough but nothing like the Bundy Ranch standoff happened in the 90’s and no society has ever had an arms buildup like ours. Lots of people civilians and government think we ginning up for a civil war.

        This would be great for Putin since a US internal issue of that magnitude would make our internationalism and adventurism a thing of the past,

        I think its pretty unlikely but its one scenario Russia would heavily benefit. Watch out Europe.

        • alfin2101 says:

          It always comes down to how much abuse people will take from their governments. Russians have been programmed for centuries to be subservient to oppressive rulers. Europeans only somewhat less so.

          Obama has found it more difficult to tame the North American spirit of the Anglosphere, but he is getting plenty of help from a toady US media. As the spirit of independence is diluted by unassimilable third world immigrants, North America and Australia are apt to become kinder to tyrants.

          You may not remember “Ruby Ridge” or “Waco” from the 1990s, or the strong mood of malaise and anti-government sentiment in the US in the 1970s under President Carter, Ford, and Nixon. Whenever the US government pushes against its constitutional limits, Yanks seem to push back. The problem is that their government becomes progressively larger, more powerful, and more oppressive with each round.

          Every society has its share of weak points. And each sub-population within each society has its own character, and its own limits of and tolerance to “abuse.”

          Russia has long been aware of fault lines inside Europe and the Anglosphere and has done a good deal for almost a century to help those fault lines to deepen and widen. It continues to do so as part of its massive system of disinformation and destabilisation. Nothing new about that.

          The idea that Russia’s ruling oligarchy has any concern for “the Russian people” whatsoever is whimsical, rather like one assuming that international banking interests have concerns for the little people within their own areas of influence. A clearer picture of the situation can be gotten from examining organised criminal groups, and past dictatorships such as Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy. The idea that wealthy or powerful Russians go to prison for their misdeeds is likewise whimsical. They are put away in power plays, for purposes of looting their wealth or for consolidating power.

          Many westerners have no internal defence against the type of networked, multi-layered misinformation apparatus that one finds in the USSR cum Russian Federation. China may have better hackers in some regards, but Russia’s propaganda machine is second to none — and far more subtle and sophisticated in what it shows to the west than what it shows its own people.

          The internet is a different animal behind the new iron curtain and behind the bamboo curtain, than it is on the outside. Still kooky, of course, but only particular forms of kookiness are allowed.

          How much can a people take before their cohesiveness unravels? That is really the question. A frog may be boiled alive in a pan if the process is prolonged and gradual (according to legend). Perhaps the same is true for most people?

          Dangerous Children are a different breed. But there are not very many of them. Anger is not nearly enough. Competence, vision, patience, networked cooperation, and perseverance are key. Otherwise, fear comes to dominate, and panic.

          • A.B Prosper says:

            BTW, I hope my replies aren’t too long. I can be a bit wordy and while I used to blog and probably should again I’ve lax about it finding conversations with select smart people like this much more useful right now,

            I quite remember Ruby Ridge and Waco but the difference is that RR was one family without friends and no way back in the 90’s would a lot of people simply show up armed one day to help.

            When I read the blogs the militia types of often say “No More Wacos or No More Ruby Ridges. Waco also provoked the same troubles of course but it hasn’t been forgotten or gone away.

            You are right about the push back but social comity hasn’t been this low in decades, maybe a century or more and combined with the nihilistic malaise people seem to have is a bit unnerving. A healthy society does not want a zombie apocalypse or a violent reset. Ours is still clinging to life but its not good any more than Russia’s is.

            Now as far as how much, what I think holds people back is not knowing what to replace the existing system with that would actually work. That’s harder than people think and thus far its been the bottleneck. Nothing yet is worth the cost.

            The Media is an interesting issue, they are fast losing power, there are moments in which the Weather Chanel has beaten CNN and all other media shows save Fox in the morning. Al Roker is quite likable but its more the weakness of the news than his strength.

            Also so many newspapers and magazines are dying its getting harder to propagandize. Colleges are next

            Worse Bill Clinton opened the door the the media as targets back in Kosovo This might have been his greatest mistake since he shifted the Overton window hard to making them primary targets . I think the media suck but they have uses and can properly harnessed calm people down. Its a very bad trend and is a portent for a very dirty war. If it happens.

            I think your points about propaganda defenses are actually quite amazing, Its so very true. Its compounded by the fact the US populace is probably among the most propagandized in the world by its media as well . Its so bad and so transparent some days I think I’m living in They Live and just put on the shades.

            A last note on politics, Russian politics including the looting is the norm for most of humanity and of history. Politics is mostly show and pretending to care but outside some monarchies tightly tied to their identity it is to be expected.

            As you said dangerous children something I endeavor to every day. And while I have the inner child part right,, we’ll see about the rest 😉

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