Thursday, April 7, 2022

Only An Abstract Grasp of What "Nuclear Holocaust" Means

 


In a recent post about liberal moral imbecility I vented about how pompous blowhards yammering about how Putin's crimes against humanity are so egregious that we must seriously consider the nuclear option must obviously not know what they hell they're talking about:

Sometimes I think that many humans know what words mean on a superficial level but they don't grasp their true meaning.  Idiot liberals pompously "weighing the option" of a nuclear war don't grasp that this means that they and everyone they love will be vapourized or doomed to a terrible death from thrist, or starvation and cancer.  And when they hear the words "vapourized" or "terrible death" etc., ... they don't really absorb what those words mean either.

Just yesterday, the excellent Caitlin Johnstone provided evidence of yet another mainstream pundit who is either insane enough to want risk Armageddon or he's insane enough to talk this way simply to put more pressure on the insecure, crumbling, delusional mind of President Biden to escalate the military conflict with the most nuclear weapons in the world:

"Pundits Who Advocate Hot War With Russia Are Enemies of Humanity"

In an appearance on the MSNBC show Velshi, The Modern War Institute’s John Spencer explicitly advocated direct US military conflict with Russia due to allegations of war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

“I’m ready to commit at this moment — unlike I was before this day — to put people in direct contact with Russia, to stop Russia,” Spencer said. “Call it peacekeeping. Call it what you will. We have to do more than provide weapons. And by ‘we,’ I mean the United States. Yes, we’ll do it as a coalition with lots of other people, but we are the example. So put boots on the ground, send weapons directly at Russia.”

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Asked by the show’s host Ali Velshi what he thought of warnings that direct military confrontation with Russia could lead to nuclear war, Spencer said, “It is a huge risk, I understand that. But today is different.”

Velshi himself was much more to the point than his guest, both online and on social media.

“We are past the point of sanctions and strongly-worded condemnations and the seizing of oligarchs’ megayachts,” Velshi told his MSNBC audience. “If this is not the kind of moment that the United Nations and NATO and the UN and the G-20 and the Council of Europe and the G-7 were made for, what was the point of these alliances if not to stop this? The world cannot sit by as Vladimir Putin continues this reign of terror.”

“The turning point for the west and NATO will come when the sun rises over Kyiv on Sunday, and the war crimes against civilian non-combatants becomes visible to all,” Velshi said on Twitter over the weekend. “There is no more time for prevarication. If ‘never again’ means anything, then this is the time to act.”

Asked what specifically he meant by this, Velshi clarified that he was advocating “Direct military involvement.”

“Lines have been crossed and war crimes have been committed by Putin that make direct military intervention something NATO now must seriously consider,” Velshi added.

...

When I called Velshi a fucking lunatic for expressing these views (to my mind the only sane response to such madness), he argued that going to war with Russia for Ukraine would not necessarily lead to nuclear war, claiming that “A no fly zone is not so different from the endless supply of weaponry the west is sending in to Ukraine.”

These are not sane or acceptable things for mainstream pundits to be telling people. Directly attacking the Russian military would indeed risk unleashing a chain of rapid escalations that could easily lead to full-scale nuclear war; there would be far too many small, moving parts for this to be anywhere remotely close to predictable or controllable. A no-fly zone over Ukraine would immediately put NATO powers in direct hot war with Russia, which is in fact completely different from shipping weapons to Ukrainian forces.

The fact that a nuclear superpower cannot be regarded in the same way as a nation without nukes has been basic, common sense orthodoxy for all major powers since Stalin got the bomb. This is not some kind of advanced esoteric understanding that you can only grasp if you’ve been studying this stuff for years; as far as I know children are still learning about the history of nuclear weapons and Mutually Assured Destruction in grade school. This isn’t something you should have to explain to grown adults, much less influential mainstream news media pundits.

But it’s becoming more and more common. The line that we’re already in World War 3 and need to begin acting accordingly is showing up more and more often. The idea that NATO powers might be able to get away with attacking the Russian military in Ukraine without sparking a nuclear exchange is fast becoming its own genre of western foreign policy punditry, and that trend looks to accelerate with the latest (arguably pretty dubious) claims of Russian atrocities in this war.

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You’ve also got opinion makers in outlets like The New York Times telling people that “The United States and NATO should be less deferential to Mr. Putin’s attempt to wield the threat of nuclear weapons — not only for the sake of supporting Ukraine but also to ensure global geopolitical stability in the future.”

There’s also the galling White House press conferences in which ambitious reporters aggressively demand to know why the Biden administration isn’t doing more to escalate against Russia, as clear an illustration as you could ask for of the fact that the mainstream press are only allowed to be pushy and confrontational with US government officials when they’re demanding more bloodshed.

As we’ve discussed previously, even if these increasingly loud calls for hot war between nuclear superpowers don’t immediately succeed, what they do is push the Overton window of mainstream discourse all the way over toward the most warmongering extreme possible so that calls for more escalation seem moderate and calls for de-escalation look like extremist apologia for Vladimir Putin. In the very best-case scenario they leave people far more open to consenting to far more nuclear brinkmanship than any thinking person should ever consent to.

This is not okay. It is not okay for them to do this to us. It is not okay for them to normalize the idea of escalations that could easily end humankind. That is the most insane position that any person could possibly take. More insane than Nazism, or any other extremist ideology you could think of. Supporting actions that may lead to human extinction makes these people enemies of our entire species.

Ukraine is still accepting foreign volunteers. If these omnicidal war sluts are so horny for “direct military involvement” against Russia, I wish they would just get on a plane and go do it themselves without trying to drag all of humanity into it with them.

You want direct military involvement? Fine. Go do it yourself. Be the direct military involvement you want to see in the world.

The claim that the Russian atrocity stories are "pretty dubious" links to the GrayZone which features a story about the alleged Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol as well as the supposed Russian massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha.  Long-stories-short: The maternity hospital had been taken over by Ukranian military (perhaps the fascist Azov Battalion) who wanted to use the electricity provided by its solar panels.  The pregnant women had been relocated to a nearby building.  A woman filmed in the aftermath of the explosion said they didn't hear a plane before the blast.  (If you've ever had a modern fighter-jet pass overhead you know it's a sound that's hard to miss.)  So, regardless of what happened, it's beyond dispute that the building was no longer being used as a maternity hospital or that there had been an airstrike.  Second story:  According to satellite photographs, there dead bodies lying in the streets of Bucha three weeks before the Russians left.  March 31st, the day the Russians left the mayor of Bucha is filmed announcing that the Russians have left.  Nothing is said about the dead bodies of the victims of the pitiless Russians.  No mention is made of them until April 2nd, after the Ukranian military has total control of the town and has been "clearing" it of saboteurs and those who collaborated with the Russians.  (None of the families of the murdered apparently ever tried, during the weeks the bodies were allegedly lying there, to claim and bury their dead.)

[Am I saying that the Russians are incapable of bombing hospitals and executing people in cold blood?  No.  I am not.  War is barbarism that produces barbarism.  Soldiers INEVITABLY rape and murder because human beings aren't supposed to live that way.  (I should qualify my statement to say that it is MALE soldiers who rape.)  Strong leadership can prevent isolated incidences of rape and murder from spreading out of control.  The absence of this leadership, or the collusion of the leadership in the brutality produces behaviour such as the Japanese Rape of Nanking or the behaviour of the USA's troops in Vietnam, or the behaviour of the Red Army in Berlin. What I am saying is that circumstantial evidence gives cause for a reasonable person to question the narrative of the Ukranian government and the war-mongering corporate/imperialist propaganda media.]


But supposing that the Russians did execute prisoners in Bucha.  Do you want to see yourself and all of your loved ones vapourized in a nuclear explosion over it?  Are you so incensed about this war crime that you are prepared to sacrifice your own life and those of the people you care about in order to punish its perpetrators?  If so, then why didn't you become equally enraged when the US military and its Afghan allies under the notorious General Dostum massacred hundreds, perhaps 3,000 ex-Taliban at Dasht-i-Leili?  

Although the Americans have been portrayed as tagging along with the Northern Alliance, Afghan forces followed their orders. U.S. troops were in de facto command of joint U.S.-Afghan operations, including Dostum’s actions in the north.

Five thousand of the 8,000 prisoners made the trip to Sheberghan prison in the backs of open-air Soviet-era pickup trucks. But Dostum’s soldiers were out for vengeance. They stopped and commandeered private container trucks to transport the other 3,000 prisoners. “It was awful,” Irfan Azgar Ali, a survivor of the trip, told England’s Guardian newspaper. “They crammed us into sealed shipping containers. We had no water for 20 hours. We banged on the side of the container. There was no air, and it was very hot. There were 300 of us in my container. By the time we arrived in Sheberghan, only 10 of us were alive.”

One Afghan trucker, forced to drive one such container, says the prisoners began to beg for air. Northern Alliance commanders “told us to stop the trucks, and we came down. After that, they shot into the containers [to make air holes]. Blood came pouring out. They were screaming inside.” Another driver in the convoy estimates that an average of 150 to 160 people died in each container.

When the containers were unlocked at Sheberghan, the bodies of the dead tumbled out. A 12-man U.S. Fifth Special Forces Group unit, Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 595, guarded the prison’s front gates and, according to witnesses, controlled the facility in the hopes of picking key prisoners for interrogation and possible transportation to Guant√°namo Bay. (This is how Lindh was singled out.)

“Everything was under the control of the American commanders,” a Northern Alliance soldier tells Doran in the film. American troops searched the bodies for al Qaeda identification cards. But, says another driver, “some of [the prisoners] were alive. They were shot” while “maybe 30 or 40” American soldiers watched.

Members of ODA 595, interviewed for the PBS program Frontline on August 2, 2002, confirm their presence at Sheberghan but cagily deny participating in war crimes. “I didn’t see any atrocities, but I easily could have. Some prisoners may have died because they were sick or ill, and Dostum’s forces just couldn’t give them any care because they didn’t have it.”

But even General Dostum admits 200 such deaths. And the Northern Alliance soldier quoted above says U.S. troops masterminded the cover-up: “The Americans told the Sheberghan people to get rid of them [the bodies] before satellite pictures could be taken.”

Did you, do you weigh the lives of those human beings less than you do those who were found in Bucha?  (Obviously, some shit-lib is going to respond to my pointing out these hypocritical double-standards with their magic word "whataboutism!" in the moronic hopes that the truth of what I'm saying will go away.  It won't.)

I'll only mention the US gunship firing on a hospital in Afghanistan.

Getting back to this Velshi character calling for nuclear war, he said:

“The turning point for the west and NATO will come when the sun rises over Kyiv on Sunday, and the war crimes against civilian non-combatants becomes visible to all,” Velshi said on Twitter over the weekend. “There is no more time for prevarication. If ‘never again’ means anything, then this is the time to act.”

Have no fear.  This imbecile will turn on a dime if circumstances dictate. The US-American press condemned the Pol Pot regime for killing two million of Cambodia's eight million people [Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman were labelled apologists for genocide for pointing out that whatever the murderous brutality of Pol Pot, the US Embassy in Phnom Penh had predicted that becayse if the state of the country, perhaps 500,000 to one million deaths from starvation and disease were inevitable.]  But when Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 after a series of Cambodian incursions, the whole US power elite moved to protect him.  Because the Vietnamese defeated the USA it was the greater enemy.  US diplomats, together with the Chinese, protected Pol Pot, and this sickening hypocrisy was hardly spoken of.   

"Never again" presumably doesn't count for Arabs or African or Latin Americans.  They can be tortured and killed with impunity.  Is he calling for the arrest of Donald Trump for pardoning that Navy Seal psychopath who killed a wounded prisoner with a knife and used innocent Iraqi civilians for target practice?  Is he screaming at the top of his lungs for America to live up to its professed values and drag Trump before a court of law?  Or george dubya bush and Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice for their war of aggression?  Velshi cheapens and degrades the sentiments behind the words "Never again."  He is using them for crude propaganda.

Either he doesn't understand what he's doing, in which case he's a hopeless idiot. Or, he knows what he's doing and is a degenerate psychopath.

I don't know if it's worthwhile to follow politics since so many of the liberals who do are just as debased and disgusting and stupid as the right-wingers they mock.



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