The world stands in dire peril today, more so than at any time in the recent past. In an address on Russian TV, President Putin warned the he was prepared to use nuclear weapons if there was an attack on Russian territory: “Vladimir Putin has said he is prepared to use nuclear weapons as he warned the west: ‘I’m not bluffing.’
The Russian president issued the chilling statement in a rambling TV address in which he also confirmed plans to call up reservists ‘to defend our motherland’.
In a series of bizarre claims, he accused the west of threatening to use nuclear weapons against Moscow.
But he insisted Russia’s weapons were more advanced than Nato’s and he was not afraid to use them.
Putin claimed there were ‘plans in Washington and Brussels to move the military action onto the Russian territory’.
He added: ‘They are not just talking about Russia being completely destroyed – a battlefield. [They are] talking about political, cultural and all the typed of sovereignty with complete pillage.
‘Now they are talking about nuclear blackmail. The Zaparozye nuclear power plant was shelled and also some high position representatives of leading Nato states were saying that there might be possibility and permissibility to use nuclear weapons against Russia.
‘Those that allow such statements shall be reminded that our country also has various weapons of destruction, and … they are even more modern than the Nato ones and if there is a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and for protecting our people, we will certainly use all the means available to us and I’m not bluffing.’”
You might think that in the face of this comment, a rational person would think twice, to say the least, about escalating the Ukraine war further. Do we really want to see whether Putin is bluffing? Once nuclear war starts, the world could very easily come to an end. But in fact the warmongers aren’t saying this. Andrew Busch, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, says that the US must aid the Ukraine even more than it has already done and calls for an expansion of the conflict until Russia is decisively defeated. “Perhaps the ultimate argument for aiding Ukraine is to survey what is at stake at the highest level. Critics sometimes ridicule the pompous locution of the ‘rules based international order’ and blithely attach Ukraine to the list of recent failed Wilsonian projects. At the end of the day, though, there are rules, once called the Law of Nations and the principles of Just War, that are deeply rooted in our civilization, long predating progressive utopianism. These rules represent an imperfect but necessary attempt to make international relations something other than an unending and merciless war of all against all.” This is the policy that the great historian Charles Beard called ‘perpetual war for perpetual peace.”
Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump Administration, takes a much sounder view. Writing in the American Conservative, August 23, 2022, he says: “The hard truth is the introduction of new weapon systems won’t change the strategic outcome in Ukraine. Even if NATO’s European members, together with Washington, D.C., provided Ukrainian troops with a new avalanche of weapons, and it arrived at the front instead of disappearing into the black hole of Ukrainian corruption, the training and tactical leadership required to conduct complex offensive operations does not exist inside Ukraine’s 700,000-man army.In addition, there is an acute failure to recognize that Moscow would react to such a development by escalating the conflict. Unlike Ukraine, Russia is not currently mobilized for a larger war, but it could do so quickly.
American military and civilian leaders routinely ignore the historical record and its lessons. Most importantly, they ignored the criticality of human capital in uniform that frequently constitutes the margin of victory in war.
On June 22, 1941, the German Wehrmacht launched its invasion of Russia with more horses than tanks. For the most part, the German ground forces were composed of Great War-style infantry divisions dependent on horse-drawn logistics and artillery. The German soldiers were indisputably excellent, but only a minority were equipped with the firepower, mobility, and armored protection needed for warfare in Eastern Europe.
Of the millions of German soldiers who marched into Russia, roughly 450,000 to 500,000 were assigned to Germany’s mobile armored force, the offensive striking power that rapidly crushed its Polish, British, Dutch, Belgian, and French opponents. These soldiers were the best of the best with the lion’s share of the modern equipment.
A similar problem plagued the Luftwaffe. German industry could provide modern jet fighters, but the Luftwaffe could no more replace the losses of its best pilots than the German Army could replace its best officers.
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Meanwhile, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto understood the importance of human capital in uniform better than anyone. Yamamoto not only wanted to strike and annihilate the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor but also wanted to seize the Hawaiian Islands, declaring, “’To defeat the U.S. Navy we must kill its officers.’ Yamamoto understood how long it took to train and prepare officers for the Navy. Ultimately, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor allowed U.S. forces to kill off the best the Imperial Japanese armed forces had in the air and at sea.
In war and peace, human capital is everything. Sadly, Washington places almost no value on it, eagerly lowering standards of admission for soldiers and officers. If this attitude persists, and it probably will, relaxed standards will catch up with America’s military when our forces finally confront a capable opposing force in battle.
Ukraine’s war with Russia is at a decisive point. It is time to end it. Instead, the authors of the letter [calling for an expansion of aid to the Ukraine] seek to reinforce failure. They are demanding a deeply flawed strategy for Ukraine that will lead in the best case to Ukraine’s reduction to a shrunken, land-locked state between the Dnieper River and the Polish border. These are results of misguided policies originating in the 1990s under the Clinton administration, which drove Russia into political isolation from Europe and forged Moscow’s alliance with Beijing.
Expanding NATO to Russia’s borders was never necessary and has become disastrous for Europe. The longer the war with Russia lasts the more likely it becomes that the damage to Ukrainian society and its army will be irreparable. Neutrality on the Austrian model for Ukraine is still possible. If Washington insists on perpetuating Ukraine’s war with Russia, the neutrality option will vanish, NATO’s fragile ‘coalition of the willing’ will collapse, and Ukraine will become the new ‘sick man of Europe’ and remain a catalyst for future conflict.”
Christopher Caldwell adds additional points that make the case for an end to US involvement even stronger: “But the worst thing about this psycho-moral approach to Russian-Ukrainian affairs is that it produces bad foreign-policy thinking. It implies that, once you account for Putin’s personality, the war is actually about nothing—at least nothing political. And if the war is about nothing, then there is no need to consider what brought it about or where it might be going.
Few people have paid attention to how rapidly Ukrainian society has been evolving since the Maidan protests. In a recent interview in the New Left Review, the sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko described a power bloc that has lately come into being, uniting Ukraine’s globalizing oligarchs, Western-funded progressive foundations, and Ukrainian nationalists. The latter argued for ripping up the Minsk accords and ripping out the Russian roots of Ukrainian public life and high culture, leaving Ukraine with a hard-line form of political correctness. After 2014, according to Ishchenko, ‘a wide range of political positions supported by a large minority, sometimes even by the majority, of Ukrainians—sovereigntist, state-developmentalist, illiberal, left-wing—were blended together and labeled “pro-Russian narratives” because they challenged the dominant pro-Western, neoliberal and nationalist discourses in Ukraine’s civil society.’ Those who hold such views have often felt driven out of public life.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, today the symbol of resolute anti-Russian resistance, has himself undergone a transformation. An influential Ukrainian actor and TV producer, he won a landslide in 2019 on the promise he would render life tolerable for the Russia-friendly east. His popularity quickly eroded, according to Ishchenko, and shortly after the Biden inauguration, Zelensky began censoring Russophile channels, websites, and blogs.
For years, Aleksei Arestovich, a young polymath who is among Zelensky’s shrewdest and most voluble policy advisors, has been putting forward the idea that war with Russia is inevitable, and that it might even be in Ukraine’s interest. Arestovich believes that Putin has a long-range plan to reconstitute something like the Soviet Union, and that ‘if we don’t enter NATO, then it’s the end for us.’ In 2019 he told an interviewer that ‘the cost of us getting into NATO will be a huge war with Russia.’
Figuring out just how huge this war is going to be is the key to figuring out what the West should do next.
Those who back a bigger role for the West in supporting Ukraine often put their position in the form of a question: once he gets control of Ukraine, why should Putin stop there? The question has a simple answer: because he knows something about history and he can count. He doesn’t have the guns. He doesn’t have the soldiers. Putin invaded Ukraine with 190,000 men. That is just slightly more than the 170,000 Soviet soldiers who died trying—and failing—to retake the city of Kharkov in 1942. There were four battles of Kharkov in World War II, and Kharkov was only one of the cities fought over.
Poltava, Sevastopol, the clashes Germany fought on the road to Stalingrad and Kursk…Ukraine has always been potentially the most violent spot on earth. As the strategist Halford Mackinder wrote at the turn of the 20th century, ‘European civilization is, in a very real sense, the outcome of secular struggle against Asiatic invasion.’ Ukraine is the place where those invasions can be stopped by a combination of wide, defensible rivers and massive conscript armies. Wars fought there tend to be world wars. That is why Mackinder called this part of the world ‘The Geographical Pivot of History.’ Former secretary of state Zbigniew Brzezinski used the same ‘pivot’ metaphor to describe Ukraine in his post-Cold War book The Grand Chessboard (1997). ‘Without Ukraine,’ he wrote, ‘Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.’
Reducing Russia’s dimensions appears to be America’s overriding war aim. It is a risky one. Those Western leaders with the ambition to bring Europe to the gates of Moscow have sometimes brought the warriors of the Eurasian steppes onto the streets of Paris and Berlin.
Administration officials often describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a war of choice. Although this may have been true at the outset, it is not now. Vladimir Putin and the Russia he rules cannot stop fighting. As long as the United States is involved in arming Russia’s enemies and bankrupting its citizens, they are quite right to believe themselves in a war for their country’s survival. The United States, thus far in a less bloody way, is also involved in a war it chose but cannot exit—in this case, for fear of undermining the international system from which it has drawn its power and prosperity for the past three quarters of a century.
Now may seem like the wrong moment to make peace. But seldom in wars such as this one do the prospects for peace grow more favorable with time.” See this.
Unfortunately, brain-dead Biden and his gang of criminal neocons aren’t listening to these voices of wisdom. In a speech to the UN, Biden called for an expansion of the war: “Biden aides believe Ukraine’s recent wins prove it remains worth it for Europe to stand with Kyiv. The president hammered that point home from the rostrum in Turtle Bay, calling for the continent to stiffen its resolve as the United States continues to funnel billions of dollars of weapons and supplies to the Ukrainian resistance. Once more, he framed the upcoming century as a rivalry between democracies and autocracies, but also pushed non-democracies to stand with the West against Moscow.
Biden also responded to Putin’s comment about nuclear weapons in this way, according to the New York Times: “In an interview with the CBS News program ‘60 Minutes’ that is scheduled to air on Sunday, President Biden said that the United States’ response to any use of such weapons would be ‘consequential,’ though he did not provide details.”
Biden’s push for escalation knows no bounds, As Tucker Carlson has reported, there is every reason to think that Biden ordered the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines: “Tucker Carlson floated the possibility President Joe Biden is responsible for the suspected acts of sabotage on the Nord Stream pipeline.
European officials said they believe the two explosions along the pipeline that transports Russian natural gas to European countries were intentional acts. ..
The explosions caused leaks in the three Nord Stream pipelines connecting Russia and Germany, including Nord Stream 2, an unfinished project Germany put on hold after Russia invaded Ukraine in November.
Some of the officials blamed Moscow for the alleged sabotage.
During his monologue on Tuesday night, Carlson dismissed the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the blasts. A more likely culprit, he said, is Biden.
‘If you are Vladimir Putin, you’d have to be a suicidal moron on to blow up your own energy pipeline,’ Carlson said. ‘“That’s one thing you would never do. Natural gas pipelines are the main source of your power and wealth, and most critically your leverage over other countries. Europe needs your energy, now more than ever with winter approaching. If you can’t deliver that energy, then countries like Germany have no need to pay attention to what you want.’
He added, ‘It is true that blowing up Nord Stream does not help Vladimir Putin. He would not do that. Why would he? But that doesn’t mean that other countries wouldn’t consider doing it. They would consider it.’
Carlson then aired remarks Biden made in February and that they may indicate he was behind it.
‘If Russia invades – that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again – then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,’ Biden said at the time. ‘We will bring an end to it.’
When a reporter noted that the project is within Germany’s control, Biden replied, ‘I promise you, we will be able to do it.’
‘Notice how he phrased that,’ Carlson said. ‘He didn’t say, “I will pause the delivery of gas from Russia to Germany.” He said there won’t be a Nord Stream 2. We’ll take it out. We’ll put an end to it. We’ll blow it up.’
The host then pointed to remarks by a State Department official named Victoria Nuland in January.
‘If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,’ she stated.
‘One way or the other, we’ll stop Nord Stream,” Carlson responded. ‘Now, looking back, those words seem chilling eight months later.’”
In view of the fact that Biden is a “climate change fanatic,” it’s significant that he was willing to bomb the Nord Stream pipelines despite the tremendous amount of methane this released into the atmosphere. We serfs must control emissions but our high-minded masters in Washington don’t have to. “Scientists fear methane erupting from the burst Nord Stream pipelines into the Baltic Sea could be one of the worst natural gas leaks ever and pose significant climate risks.
Neither of the two breached Nord Stream pipelines, which run between Russia and Germany, was operational, but both contained natural gas. This mostly consists of methane – a greenhouse gas that is the biggest cause of climate heating after carbon dioxide.
The extent of the leaks is still unclear but rough estimates by scientists, based on the volume of gas reportedly in one of the pipelines, vary between 100,000 and 350,000 tonnes of methane.”
Don’t let the monster Biden and his gang bring the world to nuclear destruction! Peace was always the key issue for the great and heroic Murray Rothbard, and it should be our key issue too.
About the Author
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail], former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. He is the author of Against the State and . Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Article cross-posted from Lew’s blog.