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Posts Tagged ‘Nukes’

The Ukraine War Shows Nukes Mean Safety from US-Led Regime Change

Posted by M. C. on April 14, 2022

More savvy regimes have always known that nuclear arms bring independence from Washington. It’s why the French pursued their own nuclear program not controlled by the US or by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. France wanted to make its own decisions. Both India and Pakistan did not want to take orders from the US in South Asia. And they both obtained their own nuclear arsenals. 

https://mises.org/wire/ukraine-war-shows-nukes-mean-safety-us-led-regime-change

Ryan McMaken

Some journalists like Steve Portnoy of CBS seem unable to grasp that escalations that might lead to nuclear war are a bad thing. The journalist seemed incredulous last week when asking White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki why the United States has not started a full-on war with Moscow. Psaki’s position—with which any reasonable person could agree—was that it is not in the interest of Americans “to be in a war with Russia.”

Washington’s reluctance to go to war might seem odd for anyone who has paid attention to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. After all, for more than thirty years, Washington has been enthusiastic when presented with opportunities to start wars with many countries—including the civilians who live there. Iraq has been a target twice. Washington made war on Afghanistan for more than twenty years. The US launched repeated bombing campaigns against Serbia and was happy to help bomb Libya. The US regime pushed for full-scale war with Syria, and ultimately executed a small-scale invasion. US troops are in Syria to this day. Iran has long been a target, and starting a war with Iran has long been a given, with John McCain once singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” But now even the White House admits war with Russia is not in the interests of “the American people.”

In the past, when the United States regime accused other regimes of war crimes and aggression, that meant regime change and war. It usually means widespread bombing campaigns against that “rogue” state’s cities, and it often even means military occupation. But now we see Washington accusing Moscow of very similar crimes, and yet no regime change is on the table.

Don’t think that foreign states haven’t noticed the abrupt change in enthusiasm over war when it comes to nuclear-armed Russia. The contrast between the US’s aversion to war with Russia and the US’s enthusiasm toward regime change in nonnuclear states, sends a clear message: states with nuclear arms won’t be targeted for regime change.

Why Regime Change Means Nuclear War

Yes, to some extent the opposition to war with Russia is due to Russia’s abilities in terms of conventional warfare. Moscow’s conventional defensive military capabilities far surpass anything that might have been used against US forces in countries like Iraq, Iran, and Syria. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Moscow’s military budget in 2020 was $66 billion. It was $12 billion in Iran during the same period. Both of these cases pale in comparison to the US’s gargantuan $700 billion–plus budget. But Russia’s conventional military can nonetheless inflict enough damage on US forces in a conventional war to the point of making such a war politically costly to prowar policymakers in the United States. But current military spending isn’t the whole story. Long-term war-making capability matters also. The total industrial capacity of the United States—thanks to remaining latent nineteenth-century laissez-faire liberalism—is vastly larger than anything the far more socialist state of Russia could possibly muster.

The reason the administration is minimizing even provocations of Russia, however, is Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. Like the United States, Moscow controls more than five thousand nuclear warheads, and more than enough are deliverable with ICBMs.

See the rest here

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Survey: Americans Have Remarkably Ignorant Attitude Toward Nukes And North Korea – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on June 28, 2019

“Most Americans have been taught that using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was justified because the bombings ended the war in the Pacific, thereby averting a costly U.S. invasion of Japan,” reads an excellent 2016 LA Times article on this subject by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik. “This erroneous contention finds its way into high school history texts still today.”

In reality, the sole purpose of dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was not to end the war, but to show the rest of the world in general and the Soviets in particular that the United States had both the capability and the savagery to wipe out any city in the world with a single bomb. The war, in fact, had already been won, and the Japanese were already on the brink of surrender as the fearsome Soviet forces entered into the war in the Pacific

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/26/survey-americans-have-remarkably-ignorant-attitude-toward-nukes-and-north-korea/

Half of the responders to an innovative new survey of 3,000 Americans conducted by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the British research firm YouGov reported that they would support a nuclear strike against North Korea if it tested a long-range missile capable of reaching the continental United States. A third said they’d actually prefer such a strike over other hypothetical responses.

“For example, while ‘only’ 33 percent of the US public prefer a US preventive nuclear strike that would kill 15,000 North Koreans, 50 percent approve,” the report reads.

The study found little change in preference for a preemptive nuclear strike whether the hypothetical scenario offered to respondents entailed the death of 15,000 North Korean civilians or one million. Preferences for a preemptive strike only dropped when the hypothetical scenario reduced the probability of success (meaning elimination of North Korea’s nuclear retaliatory capabilities) was reduced from ninety to fifty percent.

The survey found a large knowledge deficit in responders regarding nuclear weapons, with a majority reporting an unrealistic amount of confidence in both the US military’s ability to eliminate all of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in a preemptive strike and in its ability to shoot down North Korean missiles using current missile defense systems. This inaccurate perspective was significantly higher among Trump supporters.

While the study found that a majority of Americans would prefer to de-escalate against North Korea if given the choice, a jarring number of them would be willing to use nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat, and believe it’s possible to do so at relatively little risk to Americans.

“As we have previously found, the US public exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians,” write the report’s authors.

And really, why would we expect anything else? After all, Americans are taught the lie since they are children that their nation, the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, did so with the goal of bringing a quick and painless end to a horrible world war. Like so much else, this ultimately boils down to the effects of propaganda.

“Most Americans have been taught that using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was justified because the bombings ended the war in the Pacific, thereby averting a costly U.S. invasion of Japan,” reads an excellent 2016 LA Times article on this subject by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik. “This erroneous contention finds its way into high school history texts still today.”

In reality, the sole purpose of dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was not to end the war, but to show the rest of the world in general and the Soviets in particular that the United States had both the capability and the savagery to wipe out any city in the world with a single bomb. The war, in fact, had already been won, and the Japanese were already on the brink of surrender as the fearsome Soviet forces entered into the war in the Pacific. The narrative that the use of nuclear bombs was a tragic but necessary means to end World War II is a lie that the US has used its cultural hegemony to circulate around the world, much like the lie that America was mostly responsible for Germany’s defeat and not the USSR.

I always get a lot of pushback from Americans when I point to this, not because I don’t have facts on my side but because it’s so glaringly different from the dominant narratives that Americans are spoon fed in school. If you don’t believe me, read the aforementioned LA Times article titled “Bombing Hiroshima changed the world, but it didn’t end WWII“, or this article from The Nation, or this one from Mises Institute.

Seriously, read the articles if this is upsetting you. This is an established fact to which contemporary generals at the time have attested. The uncomfortable feeling you’re experiencing upon reading this is called cognitive dissonance. It’s what learning you’ve been lied to your whole life feels like.

This report on the American public’s widespread ignorance of and indifference to the consequences of nuclear weapons use comes shortly after the US Joint Chiefs of Staff briefly published and then removed from public access an update on their position on the use of nukes which contains the alarming line, “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability. Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

So the people responsible for forming America’s nuclear strategies believe using nuclear weapons is not just acceptable, but potentially beneficial. The mass media have been completely ignoring this horrifying revelation, and the public are too awash in disinformation to do anything about it themselves.

Anyone who believes it’s acceptable to use nuclear weapons for any other reason than retaliation against another nuclear attack shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery, much less participate in the formation of nuclear strategy for the most powerful military force in the history of civilization. The correct response to North Korea having nuclear retaliatory capabilities is the same as the response to any other nuclear power: leave them alone. The narrative that North Korea’s leadership is likely to launch an unprovoked attack is exactly as baseless and moronic as the narratives about Iraq or Iran launching an unprovoked attack. It’s not a thing.

As tensions continue to escalate between nuclear powers around the world while the faltering US empire becomes increasingly desperate to maintain its global hegemony, human extinction via nuclear annihilation is just as real a possibility as it was at the height of the last Cold War.

But it isn’t just the use of nuclear weapons which threatens us. Their very existence warps us as a species. Arundhati Roy writes the following in her book The Algebra of Infinite Justice:

“It is such supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they are used. The fact that they exist at all, their very presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meathooks deep in the base of our brains… The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti-national, anti-human, outright evil thing that man has ever made. Through it, man now has the power to destroy God’s creation.”

This needs to change. And it won’t be changed by those in power who benefit from the status quo. Humanity itself must awaken from the propaganda cages which have been built around our minds so that the people can use the power of their numbers to force a change. The time to wake up is now.

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