— The “Doomsday Forum”: the Pentagon and war industry promote pre-emptive nuclear war

Global Research, April 28, 2017

Author’s Note

This article was first published on July 8, 2016

America’s pre-emptive nuclear doctrine was firmly entrenched prior to Donald Trump’s accession to the White House. The use of nukes against North Korea has been on the drawing-board of the Pentagon for more than half a century. 

In June 2016 under the Obama administration, top military brass together with the CEOs of the weapons industry debated the deployment of nuclear weapons against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The event was intended to sensitize senior decision makers. The focus was on building a consensus (within the Armed Forces, the science labs, the nuclear industry, etc) in favor of pre-emptive nuclear war 

It was a form of “internal propaganda” intended for senior decision makers (Top Officials) within the military as well as the weapons industry. The emphasis was on “building peace” and “global security” through the “pre-emptive” deployment of nukes (Air, Land and Sea) against four designated “rogue” countries, which allegedly are threatening the Western World. 

One of keynote speakers at the Doomsday Forum, USAF Chief of Staff for Nuclear Integration, Gen. Robin Rand, is presently involved under the helm of Secretary of Defense General Mattis in coordinating the deployment of strike capabilities to East Asia. Gen. Robin Rand heads the Air Force’s nuclear forces and bombers. His responsibility consists in “moving ahead with plans to deploy its most advanced weapons to the [East Asian] region…” Recent reports confirm an unfolding consensus within the military establishment:

“Military leaders regularly, and since the change of administration, have listed China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS as the major areas of concern for the future. From a security standpoint, tensions with North Korea continue to escalate, with reverberations throughout the region. In response to Pyongyang’s nuclear missile program, … the U.S. sped up the deployment of THAAD anti-missile interceptors to South Korea. This may reassure Seoul, and to a lesser extent Tokyo, but it has incensed Beijing.” Defense One, March 17, 2017

The unspoken truth is that the THAAD missiles to be stationed in South Korea are not intended for the DPRK, they are slated to be used against China and Russia.

Michel Chossudovsky, April 28, 2017

*     *     *

On June 21, 2017,  250 top military brass, military planners, corporate military-industrial  “defense” contractors, top officials and scientists from the nuclear weapons laboratories as well as prominent  academics gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico to discuss, debate and promote the Pentagon’s One Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons program.

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— Midnight approaching over Syria?

It is now two and a half minutes to midnight. The closest the world has ever been, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, to a probable “global catastrophe”.
Global Research, April 23, 2017

To the elation of the western corporate media, Neocons like John McCain and Democons like Hillary Clinton – who had only just called for Trump to attack Syria 24 hours before he obliged – the US President unilaterally ordered the US Army, on April 6, to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat near Homs. And managed to appease the entire ‘establishment’ he promised to oppose during his presidential campaign — that so vehemently attacked him for everything he did during his short time in the White House, previous to the attack.

Just to put their ‘elation’ into perspective: Of the top 100 newspapers in the US, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watch group based in New York City, reports that 47 ran editorials on the attack; 39 clearly in favour of it, seven ambiguous (although some may argue that they too were in favour), and only one opposing it. Journalist Brian Williams, who was caught lying about going to Iraq with a Navy Seal team in a helicopter that was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, described the images of the cruise missile launch as “beautiful pictures” live on MSNBC. What he didn’t mention was that the missiles in those “beautiful pictures” killed seven Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers and 7 (or 9) civilians according to reports.

The attack was justified by the US saying (without conducting an investigation or presenting any evidence) that President Assad had used chemical weapons on Syrians in Idlib. This is precisely what the Russian government and others protested in the emergency UN Security Council meeting, called after the attack. Asking, why the US would not wait for the United Nations or other agencies to complete their investigations to find out what had really happened before acting?

Especially after the Russian Ministry of Defence released information about a Syrian army airstrike in Idlib on a rebel warehouse allegedly housing chemical weapons which, according to them, released the chemicals resulting in the deaths that were being used to vilify President Assad. And after what had happened in East Ghouta in 2013 when the US almost went to war with Syria, accusing President Assad of having used chemical weapons (similar to now), which was later proven to be false by many different agencies and individuals — including Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist Seymour Hersh, Former UN Weapons Inspector Richard Lloyd, the UN and its former Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte (which was blacked out of the mainstream media).

Ray McGovern, who was head of the Soviet Foreign Policy branch of the CIA, reminded everyone in an interview with journalist Lee Stranahan right after the recent alleged chemical attack, that back in 2014, the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had confirmed the destruction of all declared chemical weapons held by the Syrian government on board of a US maritime vessel, under UN supervision, following the East Ghouta incident. Moreover, in January 2016, the OPCW had again certified that the Syrian government was free of all chemical weapons.

Despite the mainstream media’s failure to report on all of these and more, what it most criminally failed to do is point out the illegality of the US strike on Syria, perhaps unsurprisingly, as has been the case starting with the (illegal under international law but ‘humanitarian’) NATO-US bombing of Yugoslavia in 1995.

Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emeritus at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, wrote in Consortium News,

“Regardless of who is responsible for the Khan Sheikhoun chemical deaths…Trump’s response violated both US and international law”.

This is because the US War Powers Resolution act only authorises the President to introduce US Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities in three situations, according to the professor:

First, after Congress has declared war, which has not happened in this case; second, in ‘a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces,’ which has not occurred; third, when there is ‘specific statutory authorisation,’ which there is not”. Making it illegal under US laws.

Meanwhile, the UN Charter prohibits the “use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”, except for in two cases. One, when done in self-defence after an armed attack (the US was not attacked). Two, after getting approval of the UN Security Council (which was not even sought). Making it illegal under international law as well.

The US administration had to, of course, be fully aware of this. And of the fact that Russia already had some armaments and military personnel placed in Syria to fight ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and the 50 other shades of extremists running rampant in the country, alongside the SAA, which the US attacked — despite risks of sparking a greater conflagration — although, reportedly, only after informing the Russians about it.

And what was the Russian response? To immediately suspend its flight safety memorandum over Syria with the US. Which, according to veteran journalist and correspondent-at-large of Asia Times, Pepe Escobar, meant that Russia, “if it chooses”, could “intercept any Pentagon flying object” from then on. Additionally sending its frigate — Admiral Grigorovich — into the Eastern Mediterranean, towards the location of the US destroyer that launched the cruise missiles into Syria.

Its Prime Minister, clearly unhappy with where things were headed, said that the attack put the US “on the verge of a military clash” with Russia. Meaning that if nothing else, what the attack did manage to do was “push the doomsday clock closer to midnight”, shattering hopes of de-escalating tensions following Trump being voted into the White House (as his campaign rhetoric had indicated towards a possible reconciliation with the Russian and Syrian governments). 

The key point about the current situation, however, was stressed on by President Putin. That trust between the two nations, because of the attack, was at its lowest since the end of the Cold War. And what that does is increase chances of ‘accidental collisions/conflicts’ or worse, which can quickly get out of hand, unleashing a chain of events that both sides may not live to regret.

And that is why cooler heads need to prevail and fast. That dialogue between the two nuclear armed powers have resumed since the attack is a positive step towards the de-escalation of tensions. However, the international community must point out that the habit of unilateral aggression, illegal under international law, adopted by the US and its allies ever since the end of the Cold War, is both unacceptable and unhelpful when it comes to solving crises around the world.

And as the Russians have vehemently been saying for a while now, will only be tolerated by countries on the receiving end for so long, before they start to take things into their own hands. At which point, you will have nuclear armed powers pointing their nukes at each other with hands on triggers, wondering whether they will and when, be forced to do the unthinkable — start a nuclear war/Armageddon. [Israel also has nuclear weapons]

It is now two and a half minutes to midnight. The closest the world has ever been, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, to a probable “global catastrophe”.

Eresh Omar Jamal is a member of the Editorial team at The Daily Star.

— When Charlottesville was nuked

As the United States government is now upgrading its nuclear arsenal under President Obama’s orders, as first strike plans by the U.S. against Russia and other countries have been in place for decades, as U.S. foreign policy is pushing Russia toward nuclear war through Syria, and by encirclement via NATO and missile systems, this is a reminder of what nuclear war means. 

Pentagon officials talk about keeping U.S. attacks on other countries as an “away game”, but there is a very old American saying about the chickens coming home to roost. 

For the reality of American foreign policy, Global Research (www.globalresearch.org) carries excellent and ongoing coverage from independent investigative journalists and experts, and has in-depth reports including on Ukraine and Syria.

From David Swanson.org

November 2, 2016

Thirty-seven years ago, the United States Congress commissioned and published a work of fiction, an account of what life in Charlottesville, Virginia, might be like during a nuclear war. It’s contained in a longer report called The Effects of Nuclear War which came out in May of 1979. It’s widely available online.

I take an interest for 15 pretty solid reasons:

  • I live in Charlottesville.
  • The world still has enough nuclear weapons with which to destroy itself many times over.
  • We pay a lot less attention to preventing such a disaster now than we did 37 years ago.
  • More nations have nukes now and many more are close to having them.
  • We know more now about the numerous nuclear accidents and misunderstandings that have nearly killed us all over the decades.
  • India and Pakistan are actually at war.
  • The United States and Russia are as close to war as they’ve been in 98 years.
  • The United States is investing in newer and smaller, “more usable” nukes.
  • This Congressional best case scenario for a U.S. city during a nuclear war is deeply disturbing.
  • We now know that even a limited nuclear war would produce a nuclear winter, preventing the production of crops depicted in this tale.
  • It’s not so clear to me that Charlottesville would still rank last on a list of targets for nuclear missiles. It is, after all, home to the Army JAG school, the National Ground Intelligence Center, various weapon makers, a heavily militarized university, and the CIA’s underground hideout.
  • The United Nations has just set up negotiations for the coming year of a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons, and it’s worth trying to understand why.
  • If we survive our possession of nuclear knowledge, we still have climate catastrophe to quickly and miraculously evade or prepare for.
  • The Republican candidate for U.S. president.
  • The Democratic candidate for U.S. president.

So, here are a few excerpts that I encourage you to consider:

“[This account] presents one among many possibilities, and in particular it does not consider the situation if martial law were imposed or if the social fabric disintegrated into anarchy. . . .

“Refugees came from Washington, 130 miles to the north, and they came from Richmond, 70 miles to the east. A few of the hardier types continued on into the mountains and caverns near Skyline Drive; the majority sought the reassurances of civilization that the small city could provide. . . .

“At the sound of the sirens and the emergency radio alerts, most of Charlottesville and Albemarle County hurried to shelter. Fortunately, Charlottesville had a surplus of shelter space for its own population, though the refugees easily took up the slack. Many headed for the University grounds and the basements of the old neoclassical buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson; others headed downtown for the office building parking garages. . . .

“Most did not see the attacks on Richmond and on Washington as they huddled in their shelters. But the sky to the east and north of Charlottesville glowed brilliant in the noonday sun. At first no one knew how extensive the damage was. . . .

“The total dose [of radiation] in the first 4 days was 2,000 reins, which killed those who refused to believe shelter was necessary, and increased the risk of eventually dying of cancer for those who were properly sheltered. . . .

“Three days after the attacks, the next large influx of refugees poured into Charlottesville, many of them suffering with the early symptoms of radiation sickness. . . .

“After being turned away, the sick had no specific destination. Many still clustered around the middle of town near the two major hospitals, taking up residence in the houses abandoned by local residents several days before. With minimal protection from fallout and no medical treatment for other trauma, many died, their bodies left unburied for several weeks. . . .

“Unprotected farm animals were dead, while those which had been confined to fairly solid barns with uncontaminated feed had a fair chance of surviving. Many of these farm animals, however, were missing, apparently eaten by hungry refugees and residents. . . .

“During the third week after the attacks, the new rationing system come into force. Individual identification cards were issued to every man, woman and child. Food was distributed at centralized points. . . .

“By now, the emergency government recognized that the need for food was going to be acute. Without power for refrigeration, much food had spoiled; stocks of nonperishable foods were mostly exhausted. As the shortages became clear, the price of food skyrocketed. . . .

“In addition to those with terminal radiation sickness, there were those with nonfatal cases and those who showed some symptoms. Often it was impossible for doctors to quickly identify those with flu or psychosomatic radiation symptoms. The number of patients crowding the emergency rooms did not slacken off. . . .

“The supply of drugs on hand at the hospitals was dwindling fast. Although penicillin could be manufactured fairly easily in the laboratories at the university, many other drugs were not so simple, even with talent and ingenuity. . . .

“Food riots broke out 4 1/2 weeks after the attacks — precipitated by the first large shipment of grain. . . .

“One day, quite without warning, the city manager was informed that one-half of his fuel stores were to be confiscated by the Federal Government, for the military and for the reconstruction effort. . . .

“In Charlottesville alone, several thousand people died in the first winter after the nuclear attack. . . .

“It was clear that if the economy did not get moving again soon, it might never. Already there were indications that manufacturing was not reestablishing itself with anywhere near the speed the planners had hoped. . . .

“‘We will have survived biologically, but our way of life is going to be unrecognizable. In several generations, the United States is going to resemble a late medieval society.'”

http://davidswanson.org/node/5332