MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

When the Non-Rational Trumps the Rational – And Fuels Our March Towards War

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/22/when-non-rational-trumps-rational-fuels-our-march-towards-war.html

Alastair CROOKE

On March 14, Russia’s National Security Council, headed by President Putin, officially raised its perception of American intentions toward Russia from “military dangers” (opasnosti) to direct “military threats” (ugrozy). In short, the Kremlin is preparing for war, however defensive its intention.

Why? Why would Putin do that? ‘Trump doesn’t want more wars… He has consistently called for good relations with Moscow. And now that Mueller has come up with zero…’

This is the familiar refrain that suggests that a confrontation with Russia simply cannot happen: “It wouldn’t make any sense: it would not be rational”. Well, maybe Russia is reading the ‘tea-leaves’ differently, and maybe they simply understand that when it comes to wars, it is often the non-rational that trumps the rational.

As Russia might view things, the precursors for a conflict in the Middle East are fast falling into place. On the one hand, we have a very hawkish Israel, ‘pie-eyed’ from large draughts of team Trump’s ‘Greater Israel’ cool-aid; then we have Bolton prosecuting his ancient hatred for Iran – trying to corner the Republic, and to implode it.

These represent major clashes of tectonic plates, especially as the northern tier of the region (including Turkey) is now with Iran (to one, or other extent). Moscow will be aware that colliding tectonic plates release hot plasma, which all too easily can spread to scald Russia.

And then, we have other shifts in the tectonic plates: Turkey is inching toward Russia and China, and so – it seems –might be Egypt (after Sisi’s recent altercation in Washington). Translated – this all says that the US is fast losing its hold over the Middle East. And Russia, whether intentionally, or not (more ‘not’, than actively ‘sought’), is increasing its’ reach.

Usually, such occurrences are met with Washington decreeing a hard slap over the head for Moscow’s Promethean ‘impudence’. But… actually, America is almost out of substantive allies in the Middle East – except ‘the one’…

During the Presidential election debate, Candidate Trump said in December: “The biggest problem this world has today is not President Obama with global warming … The biggest problem we have is nuclear – nuclear proliferation – and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That’s in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now… I think – I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation, is very important to me.”

“So for decades, it seems” David Corn has written in Mother Jones, “Trump has been haunted by the feeling that nuclear war may be inescapable. Now he is in a position to do something about the matter”. And, as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked, “[If] in a fit of pique he [Trump] decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him”. “The whole [nuclear weapons] system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”

In short, should a fatalistically inclined US President, order a nuclear tactical weapons strike (and America currently is taking delivery of tactical weapons, and exercising with allies, the air delivery of them) – possibly believing recourse to tactical nuclear weapons is somehow inevitable, and egged on by his messianic team – there is almost nothing to stop him.

Be seeing you

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