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Just a few days shy of the first year since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States I think that it would be reasonable to say that pretty much everybody, besides the Neocons and a few unconditional supporters, is now feeling quite appalled at what the past year brought to the US and the planet. Those who hated Trump don’t hate him any less, while those who had hopes for Trump, such as myself, now have to accept that those hopes never materialized. I think that if we imagine a Hillary Presidency then the word “evil” would be a good way to describe what such a Presidency would most likely have been like. Likewise, if I had to chose a single word to describe the Trump Presidency, at least so far, I think that that word should be “stupid”. I won’t even bother, as I had initially planned, to list all the stupid things Trump has said and done since his inauguration (those who think otherwise might as well stop reading here). I will say that it gives me no pleasure writing this because I also had hopes that Trump would fulfill at least some of his campaign promises (even though most of my support for him was based on the fact that he was not Hillary who, I still believe, would have brought the US and Russia to war against each other). Furthermore, each time I recall Trump’s inauguration speech I have this painful sense of a most important and totally missed opportunity: to finally restore the sovereignty of the US to the people of the US and to return to a civilized and rational international policy. Alas, this did not happen and that is a reality we have to accept and deal with.

I also want to clarify that when I say that the Trump Presidency can be best summed up with the word “stupid” I don’t just mean The Donald himself. I mean the entire Administration (I don’t mention Congress, as Congress as been stupid for as long as I can recall it). If you wonder how I can call an entire administration “stupid” even though it is composed of often brilliant civil servants, lawyers, academic, technical specialists, etc I will simply reply that I don’t judge an administration by the resumes of those working for it, but simply by its output, what it actually does. If what this administration produces is a lot of stupid things, then this is a stupid administration.

Stupid can mean many different things. For example, it can mean stupid threats against North Korea. That is a very frightening kind of stupid. But there is also a very good kind of stupid. For example, I think that the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a wonderful kind of stupid which I warmly welcome.

Why?

Because it is the kind of stupid which tremendously weakens the AngloZionist Empire!

Think of the damage this truly stupid move did not only to the international reputation of the US (which indeed was already pretty close to zero even before this latest move) but also to the US capability to get anything done at all in the Middle East. The military defeat of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan and the political defeat of the US in Syria just needed a little something extra to truly make the US irrelevant in the Middle East and, thanks to Donald Trump, this has now happened! Furthermore, there was a dirty little secret which everybody new about but which has now become a public fact:

US= ISRAEL & ISRAEL=US

Again this is all very good. Even better is the fact that the only ones disagreeing with this would be Honduras, Guatemala, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Togo, Nauru, southern Sudan and, of course, Israel.

The US foreign policy has become so outlandishly stupid that even the most subservient US puppet regimes (say, the UK, Norway, ROK or Japan) or are now forced to condemn it, at least publicly. A lot of credit here goes to Nikki Haley who, following this catastrophic vote, decided to make things even worse by blackmailing the UN and all its member states. Finally, President Trump himself sealed it all by giving Nikki Haley’s speech a very public endorsement.

So stupid as this may have been, and stupid it really was, in this instance the results of this stupid decision were nothing short of a blessing for the Middle East: even Hamas is now finally talking again with Hezbollah and Iran!

Just as we can sincerely thank President Obama for pushing Russia and China into each other’s arms, we can now all thank Nikki Haley and Trump for uniting the resistance to the state of Israel and the entire AngloZionist Empire. I can just about imagine the jubilation in Tehran when the Iranians heard the good news!

But the good stupid does not stop there. The fact that the US elites are all involved in a giant shootout against each other by means of investigations, scandals, accusations, talk of impeachment, etc. is also a blessing because while they are busy fighting each other they are much less capable of focusing on their real opponents and enemies. For months now President Trump has mostly ruled the US by means of “tweets” which, of course, and by definition, amount to exactly nothing and there is nothing which could be seriously called a “US foreign policy” (with the exception of the never-ending stream of accusations, threats and grandstanding, which don’t qualify). There are real risks and opportunities resulting from this situation

  1. Risks: when nobody is really in charge, each agency does pretty much what it wants. We saw that during the 2nd half of the Obama Presidency when State did one thing, the Pentagon another, and the CIA yet another. This resulted in outright goofy situation with US allies attacking each other in Syria and Iraq because they all reported to different agencies. The risk here is obvious: for example, when US diplomats made an agreement with Russia in Syria, the Pentagon torpedoed it the very next day by attacking Syrian forces. The recent attacks on the Russian Aerospace Forces base in Khmeimim (and the latest drone attack on that same base) would exactly fit that pattern. The Russians have been complaining for months now that the US are “non-agreement capable” and this can clearly be a problem and a risk.
 
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Introductory note: I wanted to touch upon this subject for a long, long while, because it is one I care about a lot. However, it is also totally off-topic for this blog. However, since in Russia there is a lull (that is putting it mildly) between New Year and the Orthodox Nativity, I decided to “squeeze” it here in between those dates and while our usual topics are a little less pressing. Also, I friend of mine was recently thinking about getting a firearm for self-defense and a pseudo-expert wrote a lot of nonsense to her about semi-autos and revolvers. I wrote her an email to debunk some of that crap, then another even longer one, and then I felt “okay, let’s tackle this topic once and for all”. The result is the following article. My motivation here is not to engage in a sterile ideological debate about gun rights – there is enough of that 100% ideological and 100% detached from reality pseudo “debates” out there and they bore me to tears (guns are, along with abortion and drugs, a topic which tends to generate the worst, highly emotional and, mostly, a very uninformed debates, not only in the USA, but worldwide). First and foremost, what I wrote below is address to those in our community who are at risk because they are not wealthy, because they live in not too pretty neighborhoods, those who are sick and weak, the elderly, the lonely women and all those who typical are chosen by criminal thugs for abuse and assault (the rich and privileged rarely need guns because they can pay for their security in many different ways; those who most need guns are the weak, poor and otherwise defenseless). I was raised by a single mother, I have seen first hand how hard it is for a single women to survive in our putatively “civilized” society. So while this blog is definitely not a 2nd Amendment advocacy blog, but I cannot remain indifferent to the fact that we do live in a very dangerous world and that the upcoming year carries truly major risks for our planet. Put bluntly, there is a fair chance that the international economic system will collapse as a result of a US attack on North Korea or Iran. Should that happen, there is a fair chance that many western countries, including the USA, will enter one of the 5 stages of collapse defined by my friend Dmitri Orlov. If that happens, law and order could break down very fast and, frankly, in many parts of the word they already have. These are the latest stats this year for Chicago: Shot & Killed: 619 Shot & Wounded: 2911 Total Shot: 3530 Total Homicides: 670 [Typically, that is a city which has a most restrictive policy firearms thus only criminals are armed!]. Here is my bottom line: being able to use a firearm for self-defense already is a crucial skill needed for survival in many parts of the world and in the near future those parts will only increase in size and number. You are, of course, more than welcome to defend yourself with only words, but please understand that others might feel differently. It just so happens that, over the years, I learned a little something about firearms and that I have spent a lot of time researching this topic. I have decided to post this somewhat off-topic article in the hope that at least some of the readers will benefit from it. I would be grateful if we could keep the comments section focused on the issue discussed here and not the usual hatefest against an inanimate object (firearms) or those us of who believe in personal self-defense, including yours truly. Thank you.

The Saker

* * *

We live in a world of quasi-universal deceit. We also live in a world which proactively fosters a gullible, uncritical acceptance of mainstream myths and lies, especially those promoted by the corporate world. This reality permeates our lives everywhere, from what we listen to, to whom we marry, to how we raise our children, to what we eat, whom we trust with our health, whom we trust our children’s education and many, many other realms. Today I want to address a very narrow issue which is only relevant to those who are willing and able to defend themselves until the cops show up. To be clear, I am not addressing the following discussion to those who believe that firearms are the cause of violence, nor am I writing for those who believe that if attacked by criminals they will call the cops and that the cops will show up fast enough to stop the attackers. And I most definitely am not addressing the following discussion to those who live in safe areas (or think that they are). Finally, I am also not writing for law enforcement officers (this is crucial, see below!). My target audience today is a very narrow one. Those who fulfill these conditions:

1) Those who are willing to defend themselves or others until the law enforcement officers show up.
2) Those willing to use a firearm to protect themselves or their loved ones.
3) “Normal” civilians, i.e. *not* people with advanced training in the use of firearms.
4) Those who lived in jurisdictions which allow a person to use a weapon or self-defense.

What I want to do today is to debunk a very dangerous myth which is almost universally accepted and which is repeated with an almost religious fervor day after day and by almost everybody: that semi-automatic pistols are better for the self-defense needs of civilians than revolvers.

First, let’s cover the basics: semi-auto (aka “autoloader”) vs revolvers (aka “wheelguns”).

On the top left, you see a revolver (a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum model 686P) and on the bottom right you see a semi-automatic (a Smith & Wesson 9mm model M&P 9 with a flashlight/laser combo)
On the top left, you see a revolver (a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum model 686P) and on the bottom right you see a semi-automatic (a Smith & Wesson 9mm model M&P 9 with a flashlight/laser combo)

I think that we can immediately agree that the revolver looks much more antiquated while the semi-auto has a decidedly modern look. Though relatively modern, the revolver elicits images of cowboys at OK Corral while the semi-auto looks like the kind of firearm modern police and military forces would carry. And that it true, cowboys did carry revolvers (though their main weapon was aways rifle) and modern police and military forces almost exclusively carry semi-autos. Why is that?

Semi-autos come with a long list of advantages. Here are the main ones

1) semi-autos have a higher capacity (have more rounds inside)
2) semi-autos are faster and easier to reload
3) semi-autos are much cheaper (at least in most cases)
4) modern 9mm is an ideal caliber for shoot a person
5) semi-autos can easily accommodate accessories such as a flashlight or a laser pointer
6) semi-autos feel more “modern” and less “cowboy and shootout at OK Corral”
7) semi-autos are generally easier to shoot

It’s all true. But that is not the problem. The problem are the assumptions implicitly made when presenting these facts as arguments for the superiority of the semi-auto. In reality, these assumptions fail when applied to civilians. Let me explain.

What is the main difference between a civilian and a law enforcement officer?

It’s not the gun they carry, nor is it the quality of their training (cops are typically pretty bad shots). It is not the legal right to use deadly force, in self-defense civilians can do that (at least in those jurisdictions which allow civilians to carry a firearm to defend themselves). So what is it? It is the following crucial differences:

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Crime, Gun Control, Guns 
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If the first months of 2017 were a time of great hopes following the historical defeat of Hillary Clinton, the year is ending in a sombre, almost menacing manner. Not only has the swamp easily, quickly and totally drowned Trump, but the AngloZionist Empire is reeling from its humiliating defeat in Syria and the Neocons are now treating our entire planet to a never ending barrage of threats. Furthermore, the Trump Administration now has released a National Security Strategy which clearly show that the Empire is in “full paranoid” mode. It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year.

If we go by their rhetoric, the Neocons have all the following countries in their sights:

  1. Afghanistan (massive surge already promised)
  2. Syria (threats of a US-Israeli-KSA attack; attack on Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria)
  3. Russia (disconnecting from SWIFT; stealing Russian assets in the US; attack on Russian forces in Syria)
  4. Iran (renege on nuclear deal, attack Iranian forces in Syria)
  5. The Donbass (support for a full scale Ukronazi attack against Novorussia)
  6. DPRK (direct and overt military aggression; aerial and naval blockade)
  7. Venezuela (military intervention “in defense of democracy, human rights, freedom and civilization”)

There are, of course, many more countries currently threatened by the US to various degrees, but the seven above are all good candidates for US aggression.

Let me immediately say here that listing pragmatic arguments against such aggression is, at this point in time, probably futile. If anything, the recent disaster triggered by the US recognition of Jerusalem clearly proves that the US is run by people as least as stupid and ignorant as they are evil and arrogant, possibly even more so. The sad reality we now live in is one where a nuclear superpower lack the minimal intelligence needed to act in defense of its own national security interests, and that is really frightening.

Last week I took a look at the mindset of what I called the “ideological drone“. If we now look at the mindset of the US national security establishment we will immediately notice that it is almost exactly the same as that of the ideological drone. The biggest difference between them might be that the ideological drone assumes that his/her leaders are sane and mostly honest people, whereas those in the elites not only know that they are total hypocrites and liars, but they actually see this as a sign superiority: the drones believes in his/her ideology, but his rulers believe in absolutely nothing.

Take the example of Syria. All the US decision makers are fully aware of the following facts:

  1. Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc is their creation and they tried everything to save these terrorists.
  2. The joint Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah effort defeated Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc in-spite of AngloZionist support and attacks on Syrian forces.
  3. The AngloZionist forces are in Syria completely illegally.

Yet none of that prevents them from claiming that they, not Russia, defeated Daesh/ISIS/al-Nusra/etc. This is absolutely amazing, think of it – the entire planet knows full well what really took place in Syria, but Uncle Sam decrees that black is white, water is dry and what is true is false. And the most amazing thing is that they know that everybody knows, yet they don’t care one bit. Why? Because they profoundly believe in four fundamental things:

  1. We can buy anybody
  2. Those we cannot buy, we bully
  3. Those we cannot bully we kill
  4. Nothing can happen to us, we live in total impunity not matter what we do

Besides people with intelligence there is another type of person who has completely disappeared from the US national security establishment: someone with honor/courage/integrity. Let’s take a perfect example: Tillerson.

There is no way we can make the argument that Tillerson is an idiot. The man has proven many times over that he is intelligent and quite talented. And yet, he is Nikki Haley’s doormat. Nikki Haley – there is the real imbecile! But not Tillerson. Yet Tillerson lacks the basic honor/courage/integrity to demand that this terminal imbecile be immediately fired or, if that does not happen, to leave and slam the door really loud. Nope, the man just sits there and takes humiliation after humiliation. Oh sure, he will probably resign soon, but when his resignation comes it will have no value, it will be a non-event, just the sad and pathetic conclusion to a completely failed stint as Secretary of State.

The same goes for the US military: not one single officer has found in himself/herself to resign to protest the fact that the US is deeply in bed with those who are responsible, at least according to the official conspiracy theory, for 9/11. Nope, in fact US special forces are working with al-Qaeda types day in and day out and not a single one of these “patriots” has the honor/courage/integrity to go public about it.

Imbeciles and cowards. I also happen to think that they are traitors to their country and their people. Patriots they are not.

Delusional imbeciles giving orders and dishonorable cowards mindlessly executing them. That is the setup we are dealing with. As Trump would tweet “not good”.

Alas, this is also a very hard combo to deter or to try to reason with.

And yet, somewhere, to some degree, these guys must know that the odds are not in their favor. For one thing, an endless stream of military defeats and political embarrassments ought to strongly suggest to them that inaction is generally preferable to action, especially for clueless people. Furthermore, one simple way to look at risks is to say that risks are a factor of probability times consequences: R = P x C.

I don’t think that US decision-makers actually formally think that way, but on a gut level this is rather straightforward, even for ideological drone types. If we assume that this is the case, we can now revisit our 7 countries listed above as seen by Neocon decision makers (not me! I already outlined how I saw the risks of attacking these countries in this article written this summer):

 
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My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:

Example 1:

North Korea’s air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn’t even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the “fearsome” Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It’s a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA’s sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don’t forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia’s capabilities and denigrate the US’s capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.

Example 2:

Commander’s intent: Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.
Execution:
Phase one:
Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.
Phase two:
Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).
Phase three: “break the enemy’s will to fight” and destroy the “regime support infrastructure”
Phase four:
Regime change.
There you go….

Example 3:

I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.

These examples perfectly illustrate the kind of mindset induced by what Professor John Marciano called “Empire as a way of life” [1] which is characterized by a set of basic characteristics:

  1. First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence “arguments”. Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence, when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression “bird brain”). You will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type.
  2. A quasi-religious belief in one’s superiority which is accepted as axiomatic. Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just “because” – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the “there has to be” or the “would undoubtedly” in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic.
  3. Contempt for all others. This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like “sand niggers” “hadjis” and other “gooks” come from: the dehumanization of the “others” as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive. The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classical recipe for military disaster, but more about that later).
  4. Contempt for rules, norms and laws. This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of “my country, right or wrong” but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a “mission” or a “responsibility” to rule the world. This is “might makes right” elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged.
  5. A very high reliance on doublethink. Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as “the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts“. A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it”. Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or “protected” countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should “defend” “allies”, even if the latter can’t wait for Uncle Sam’s soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, North Korea 
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First, the bragging dummies

Trump and Haley are still at it. The want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea “into their hands” if China refuses to comply. Haley saidBut to be clear, China can do more, (…) and we’re putting as much pressure on them as we can. The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more. If they don’t do more, we’re going to take it into our own hands and then we’ll start to deal with secondary sanctions.”

First, let’s reset this scene in a kindergarten and replay it.

Kid A has a fight with Kid B. Kid A threatens to beat up Kid B. Kid B then tells Kid A to go screw himself. Kid A does nothing, but issues more threats. Kid B keeps laughing. And then Kid A comes up with a brilliant plan: he threatens Kid C (who is much much bigger than Kid B and much, much stronger too!) by telling him “if you don’t make Kid B comply with my demands, I will take the issue in my own hands!“. The entire schoolyard erupts in hysterical laughter.

Question: how would you the the intelligence of Kid A?

Anyway,

This would all be really funny if this was a comedy show. But what this all is in reality is a slow but steady progression towards war. What makes this even worse is the media’s obsession with the range of North Korean missiles and whether they can reach Guam or even the US. With all due respect for the imperial “only we matter” (and never mind the gooks), there are ways “we”, i.e. the American people can suffer terrible consequences from a war in the Korean Peninsula which have nothing to do with missile strikes on Guam or the US.

The lucrative target: Japan

This summer I mentioned one of the most overlooked potential consequences of a war with the DPRK and I want to revisit this issue again. First, the relevant excerpt from the past article:

While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong? What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends? What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate? Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo! Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region. The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain a huge number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles. Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse. So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet. During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind. The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war would lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so. And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear, by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!). So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes.

Yet, for some reason, the western media rarely mentions Japan or the possible global economic consequences on a strike against Japan. Very few people know for sure whether the North Koreans truly have developed a usable nuclear weapon (warhead and missile) or whether the North Korean ballistic missile truly can reach Guam or the US. But I don’t think that there is any doubt whatsoever that North Korean missile can easily cover the roughly 1000km (600 miles) to reach the heart of Japan. In fact, the DPRK has already lobbed missiles over Japan in the past. Some red-blooded Americans will, no doubt, explain to us that the US THAAD system can, and will, protect South Korea and Japan from such missile strikes. Others, however, will disagree. We won’t know until we find out, but judging by the absolutely dismal performance of the vaunted US Patriot system in the Gulf War, I sure would not place my trust in any US made ABM system. Last, but not least, the North Koreans could place a nuclear device (not even a real nuclear warhead) on a regular commercial ship or even a submarine, bring it to the coast of Japan and detonate it. The subsequent panic and chaos might end up costing even more lives and money than the explosion itself.

Then there is Seoul, of course. US analyst Anthony Cordesman put is very simplyA battle near the DMZ, directed at a target like Seoul, could rapidly escalate to the point at which it threatened the ROK’s entire economy, even if no major invasion took place“.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, China, North Korea 
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General Ratko Mladic, now 75, was sentenced last week to life in prison by the NATO kangaroo court known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It is worth mentioning here that, just like Bosnian-Serb President Radovan Karadzic and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Mladic was attested and handed over to this NATO tormentors by the Serbian authorities. That tells us all we need know about the current colonial status of Serbia and about the comprador nature of the regime in power in Belgrade.

For the AngloZionist Empire, this is all about humiliating the nation which dared to defy it. Because make no mistake, that is the true unforgivable sin that the Serbs are guilty of and for which they are now being humiliated: they dared to defy the AngloZionist Empire and they did so alone, without even any meaningful support from Russia. In fact, the Bosnian-Serbs alone dared defying the US, the EU and NATO not only without the support of Russia, but even without the support of the Yugoslav authorities in Belgrade (Slobodan Milosevic imposed sanctions on his Serbian brothers in Bosnia!). In doing so the Bosnian-Serbs showed the world a level of courage which the typical modern European can’t even begin to imagine, nevermind comprehend. Likewise, the war in Bosnia was largely misunderstood when it happened and now it is almost forgotten. Yet I would argue that this war played an absolutely crucial role in shaping the following decades. So let’s remember a few things which happened at that time.

First and foremost, this was a case of monumental, mind-blowing hypocrisy, betrayal and cowardice. Hypocrisy because the Serbs were given one Commandment “thou shalt not secede” while the Slovenes, Croats, Bosnian Muslims and, later, Albanians were given the exact opposite command: “thou shalt secede” by turning administrative boundaries into national borders. Betrayal because Yugoslavia was founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement but yet all the putatively non-aligned fully aligned themselves to the Empire and against Yugoslavia. And cowardice because nobody, not a single country, had the courage to speak the truth about the history of the WWII genocide of Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia while, at the same time, producing tsunamis of crocodile tears about Cambodia, Rwanda and, of course, the obligatory “Holocaust”. Everybody looked away, and those who yesterday had engaged in acts of unspeakable atrocities (Croats and Germans especially) “generously” told their Serbian victims that bygones should be bygones and that history did not matter. And when finally international law was overtly and viciously violated when the “western democracies” used their airpower to support the terrorists and thugs of the KLA, not a single lawyer or politician had the brains to realize that what died the day the first bomb fell on Serbia was the entire international order created after WWII. It is hard for me to imagine more shameful and disgusting behavior of all the European countries that not only did not defend one of their own, but even enthusiastically assisted the AngloZionists in their vicious and disgraceful war on the Serbian people.

Truly, that war had it all, every dirty trick was used against the Serbs: numerous false flags attacks, pseudo-genocides, illegal covert operations to arm terrorist groups, the covert delivery of weapons to officially embargoed entities, deliberate attacks against civilians, the use of illegal weapons, the use of officially “demilitarized zones” to hide an entire (fully armed) army corps – you name it: if it is disgusting it was used against the Serbian people. Even deliberate attacks on the otherwise sacrosanct journalistic profession were considered totally normal as long as the journalists were Serbs. As for the Serbs, they were, of course, demonized. Milosevic became the “New Hitler” (along with Saddam Hussein) and those Serbs who took up arms to defend their land and families became genocidal Chetniks.

One of the worst aspects of the war was the absolutely disgraceful behavior of Muslim nations and communities worldwide: they all supported their supposed ‘brethren’ in Bosnia even though the latter were 1) useful idiots for the Empire 2) mostly secular and 3) when religious, of an imported “Saudi wahhabi” kind (just like in Chechnia, by the way). Instead of trying to make sense of what was really taking place, the overwhelming majority of Muslims worldwide reacted in knee-jerk manner I call “wrong or right – my Ummah!”, even the Iranians fell into that AngloZionist trap. Muslims worldwide were conned by the Empire only to find themselves in exactly the same situation as the Serbs, only a decade later. Some would say that this is just karmic justice, but I take no joy in that since the Muslim who ended up on the receiving end of the Empire’s policies were overwhelmingly innocent victims and not those politicians who allied themselves with modern Crusaders and Jews against their Orthodox neighbors. Nowadays the (fictional) “genocide” of Bosnian-Muslims by Serb and, especially, the myth of Srebrenica is still used by the Empire to try to divide Orthodox Christians and Muslim to better rule over them all or, even better, to have them fight each other.

Yes, all the anti-Muslim GWOT-wars after 9/11 have their methodological roots in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. There will come a day when Muslims will come to understand that fact and they will then reevaluate what they thought they knew about the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Nowadays the same western hypocrites who whine about the “Russian occupation of Crimea” forget that a referendum was organized there in which 96.77% of the population voted to join Russia. Or when they do mention it, they say that it was illegal because people had to vote at “gunpoint”. But what is never mentioned is that in Kosovo no referendum of any kind ever took place, not even after the full ethnic cleansing of Kosovo (the biggest liar of them all, Obama, even stated that Kosovo only left Serbian after a referendum!).

[Sidebar: I realize that in the paragraphs above I used words which are not normally used in political analyses. Words like “hypocrisy” “betrayal” “cowardice” “shameful” “disgusting” or “disgraceful” are usually seen as too partisan, too emotional and not objective or neutral enough. Well, I *proudly* proclaim my totally non-neutral position on this absolutely disgusting and immoral war against the Serbian nation. How can we hope to ever make a change in the disgusting world we live in if we don't use moral categories and if we refuse to show outrage when outrage is warranted? Just like Kennedy declared that he was a Berliner and tens thousands of brainwashed TV-watching drones declared that they “were Charlie,” I hereby declare myself a proud and unrepentant Bosnian-Serb Chetnik! On the issue of the Serbian nation I have no and want no “neutrality”---period!]

 
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I am often asked if the US and Russia will go to war with each other. I always reply that they are already at war. Not a war like WWII, but a war nonetheless. This war is, at least for the time being, roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic. But in political terms the outcome for the loser of this war will be no less dramatic than the outcome of WWII was for Germany: the losing country will not survive it, at least not in its present shape: either Russia will become a US colony again or the AngloZionist Empire will collapse.

In my very first column for the Unz Review entitled “A Tale of Two World Orders” I described the kind of multipolar international system regulated by the rule of law that Russia, China and their allies and friends worldwide (whether overt or covert) are trying to build and how dramatically different it was from the single World Hegemony that the AngloZionists have attempted to establish (and almost successfully imposed upon our suffering planet!). In a way, the US imperial leaders are right, Russia does represent an existential threat, not for the United States as a country or for its people, but for the AngloZionist Empire, just as the latter represents an existential threat to Russia. Furthermore, Russia represents a fundamental civilizational challenge to what is normally called the “West” as she openly rejects its post-Christian (and, I would add, also viscerally anti-Islamic) values. This is why both sides are making an immense effort at prevailing in this struggle.

Last week the anti-imperial camp scored a major victory with the meeting between Presidents Putin, Rouhani and Erdogan in Sochi: they declared themselves the guarantors of a peace plan which will end the war against the Syrian people (the so-called “civil war”, which this never was) and they did so without inviting the US to participate in the negotiations. Even worse, their final statement did not even mention the US, not once. The “indispensable nation” was seen as so irrelevant to even be mentioned.

To fully measure how offensive all this is we need to stress a number of points:

First, led by Obama, all the leaders of the West declared urbi et orbi and with immense confidence that Assad had no future, that he had to go, that he was already a political corpse and that he would have no role whatsoever to play in the future of Syria.

Second, the Empire created a “coalition” of 59 (!) countries, which failed to achieve anything, anything at all: a gigantic multi-billion dollar “gang that could not shoot straight” led by CENTCOM and NATO, which only proved its most abject incompetence. In contrast, Russia never had more than 35 combat aircraft in Syria at any time and turned the course of the war (with a lot of Iranian and Hezbollah help on the ground).

Next, the Empire decreed that Russia was “isolated” and her economy “in tatters” – all of which the Ziomedia parroted with total fidelity. Iran was, of course, part of the famous “Axis of Evil,” while Hezbollah was the “A-Team of terrorism”. As for Erdogan, the AngloZionists tried to overthrow and kill him. And now it is Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey who defeated the terrorists and will call the shots in Syria.

Finally, when the US realized that putting Daesh in power in Damascus was not going to happen, they first tried to break up Syria (Plan B) and then tried to create a Kurdish statelet in Iraq and Syria (Plan C). All these plans failed, Assad is in Russia giving hugs to Putin, while Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Force Commander General Soleimani is taking a stroll through the last Syrian city to be liberated from Daesh.

Can you imagine how totally humiliated, ridiculed, and beaten the US leaders feel today? Being hated or resisted is one thing, but being totally ignored – now that hurts!

As for a strategy, the best they could come up with was what I would call a “petty harassment of Russia”: making RT sign up as a foreign agent, stealing ancient art from Russia, stripping Russian athletes from medals en masse, trying to ban the Russian flag and anthem from the Olympics in Seoul or banning Russian military aircraft from the next Farnborough airshow. And all these efforts have achieved is making Putin even more popular, the West even more hated, and the Olympics even more boring (ditto for Farnborough – the MAKS and the Dubai Air Shows are so much ‘sexier’ anyway). Oh, I almost forgot, the “new Europeans” will continue their mini-war against old Soviet statues to their liberators. It’s just like the US mini-war on the Russian representations in the US, a clear sign of weakness.

Speaking of weakness.

This is becoming comical. The US media, especially CNN, cannot let a day go by without mentioning the evil Russians, the US Congress is engaged in mass hysteria trying to figure out which of the Republicans and the Democrats have had more contacts with the Russians, NATO commanders are crapping their pants in abject terror (or so they say!) every time the Russian military organizes any exercise, the US Navy and Air Force representatives regularly whine about Russian pilots making “unprofessional intercepts”, the British Navy goes into full combat mode when a single (and rather modest) Russian aircraft carrier transits through the English Channel – but Russia is, supposedly, the “weak” country here.

Does that make sense to you?

The truth is that the Russians are laughing. From the Kremlin, to the media, to the social media – they are even make hilarious sketches about how almighty they are and how they control everything. But mostly the Russians are laughing their heads off wondering what in the world the folks in the West are smoking to be so totally terrified (at least officially) by a non-existing threat.

You know what else they are seeing?

 
Book Excerpt
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Today, with the kind permission of Phil Butler, I am posting the full text of my contribution to his book “Putin’s Praetorians: Confessions of the Top Kremlin Trolls“. There are a couple of reasons for that. The main one is that I strongly believe that this book deserves a much bigger visibility than it has received (this is also why, exceptionally, I am placing this post in the top “analyses” category and not elsewhere). Please read my review here to see why I feel so strongly about this book. Frankly, I am rather shocked by the very little amount of reviews this book as generated. I don’t even know if somebody besides Russia Insider has bothered writing a review of it or not, but even if somebody has, it is still a crying shame that this most interesting volume has been so far ignored by the alternative media including the one friendly to Russia. So by posting my own contribution here I want to bring back this book to the “front page”, so to speak, of our community. Second, I want to ask for your help. Right now the Kindle version of the book has 15 reviews on Amazon and only 1 review for the printed paper version. This is not enough. I am therefore asking you to 1) buy the book (Amazon wants reviews by purchasers) and 2) write a review on Amazon. Guys – that is something most of you can do to help, so please do so! We need to show the world that there is what I call “another West” which, far from being russophobic is, in fact, capable of producing real friends and even defenders of Russia. So, please, do your part, help Phil in his heroic struggle, get the paper version of the book and review it on Amazon!

Thanks a lot for your help, hugs and cheers.

By birth, experience, and training, I truly had everything needed to hate Putin. I was born in a family of “White Russians” whose anti-Communism was total and visceral.

My childhood was filled with (mostly true) stories about atrocities and massacres committed by the Bolsheviks during the revolution and subsequent civil war. Since my father had left me, I had an exiled Russian Orthodox Archbishop as a spiritual father, and through him, I learned of all the genocidal persecutions the Bolsheviks unleashed against the Orthodox Church.

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At the age of 16, I had already read the three volumes of the “Gulag Archipelago” and carefully studied the history of WWII. By 18 I was involved in numerous anti-Soviet activities such as distributing anti-Soviet propaganda in the mailboxes of Soviet diplomats or organizing the illegal importation of banned books into the Soviet Union through the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet (mostly at their station in the Canary Islands). I was also working with an undercover group of Orthodox Christians sending help, mainly in the form of money, to the families of jailed dissidents. And since I was fluent in Russian, my military career took me from a basic training in electronic warfare, to a special unit of linguists for the General Staff of the Swiss military, to becoming a military analyst for the strategic intelligence service of Switzerland.

The Soviet authorities had long listed me, and my entire family, as dangerous anti-Soviet activists and I, therefore, could not travel to Russia until the fall of Communism in 1991 when I immediately caught the first available flight and got to Moscow while the barricades built against the GKChP coup were still standing. Truly, by this fateful month of August 1991, I was a perfect anti-Soviet activist and an anti-Communist hardliner. I even took a photo of myself standing next to the collapsed statue of Felix Derzhinsky (the founder of the ChK – the first Soviet Secret police) with my boot pressed on his iron throat. That day I felt that my victory was total. It was also short-lived.

Instead of bringing the long-suffering Russian people freedom, peace, and prosperity, the end of Communism in Russia only brought chaos, poverty, violence, and abject exploitation by the worst class of scum the defunct Soviet system had produced. I was horrified. Unlike so many other anti-Soviet activists who were also Russophobes, I never conflated my people and the regime which oppressed them. So, while I rejoiced at the end of one horror, I was also appalled to see that another one had taken its place. Even worse, it was undeniable that the West played an active role in every and all forms of anti-Russian activities, from the total protection of Russian mobsters, on to the support of the Wahabi insurgents in Chechnya, and ending with the financing of a propaganda machine which tried to turn the Russian people into mindless consumers to the presence of western “advisors” (yeah, right!) in all the key ministries. The oligarchs were plundering Russia and causing immeasurable suffering, and the entire West, the so-called “free world” not only did nothing to help but helped all the enemies of Russia with every resource it had. Soon the NATO forces attacked Serbia, a historical ally of Russia, in total violation of the most sacred principles of international law. East Germany was not only reunified but instantly incorporated into West Germany and NATO pushed as far East as possible. I could not pretend that all this could be explained by some fear of the Soviet military or by a reaction to the Communist theory of world revolution. In truth, it became clear to me that the western elites did not hate the Soviet system or ideology, but that they hated Russian people themselves and the culture and civilization which they had created.

By the time the war against the Serbian nation in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo broke out, I was in a unique situation: all day long I could read classified UNPROFOR and military reports about what was taking place in that region and, after work, I could read the counter-factual anti-Serbian propaganda the western corporate Ziomedia was spewing out every day. I was horrified to see that literally everything the media was saying was a total lie. Then came the false flags, first in Sarajevo, but later also in Kosovo. My illusions about “Free World” and the “West” were crumbling. Fast.

Fate brought me to Russia in 1993 when I saw the carnage of meted out by the “democratic” Eltsin regime against thousands of Russians in Moscow (many more than what the official press reported). I also saw the Red Flags and Stalin portraits around the parliament building. My disgust by then was total. And when the Eltsin regime decided to bring Dudaev’s Chechnia to heel triggering yet another needless bloodbath, that disgust turned into despair. Then came the stolen elections of 1996 and the murder of General Lebed. At that point, I remember thinking “Russia is dead.”

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Russia, Vladimir Putin 
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SouthFront has just released a very interesting video analysis warning about the possibility of a war involving Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and, possibility, Syria, Iran, and Israel. That, of course, also means that Russia and the US would be involved. First, please see the video here:

https://southfront.org/israel-saudi-arabia-setting-preconditions-for-war-with-hezbollah/

What I propose to do is go over the implications of such a scenario.

The context: a total AngloZionist failure on all fronts

To understand the context for these developments we first need to quickly summarize what has taken place in Syria and the rest of the Middle-East in the past few years.

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan, but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone”, but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Breakup Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and forces the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all center of Shia power in the Middle-East.

That was an ambitious plan, but the Israelis felt pretty confident that their US vassal-state would provide the resources needed to achieve it. And now this entire plan has collapsed due to the very high effectiveness of an informal but yet formidable alliance between Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

To say that the Israelis are seething with rage and in a state of total panic would be an understatement. You think I am exaggerating? Then look at it from the Israeli point of view:

 

  1. The Syrian state has survived and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they *almost* lost the war initially? The Syrians had to bounce back, learn some very hard lessons, but by all reports they have made tremendous improvements and while at a critical moment Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints, now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
  3. Lebanon is rock solid, even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring.
  4. Syria will remain unitary and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

 

This is all a disaster for the AngloZionists who now are falling back to their typical attitude when met with resistance: if we can’t control it, then let’s destroy it.

The plan: force the US to attack Iran

The following is only my speculation and nothing more. I have no way of knowing what the Axis of Kindness (US-Israel-KSA) has come up with, but I feel that I can take an educated guess. For one thing, this is nothing new. The Saudis and the other Gulf states have in the past made noises about intervening in Syria and we know that the Saudis have intervened in Bahrain and Yemen. As for the Israelis, their record of (completely illegal) military interventions is so long that we can safely assume that the Israelis will be involved in *any* ugly or evil plan to lay the region to waste. The main problem for the Saudis and the Israelis is that they have bad armies. Expensive ones – yes. High-tech ones – yes. But their problem is that their only true area of expertise is massacring defenseless civilians, that they are real experts at. But in terms of real warfare, especially against truly formidable adversaries like the Iranians or Hezbollah, the “ZioWahabis” (what a combo!) don’t stand a chance and they know it (even if they never admit it). Imagine how frustrating that must be: you basically control the US which you have turned into a vassal-state, you spent billions and billions of dollars in equipping and training your bloated armed forces, but at the end of the day the Shias are just laughing in your face. And, for some reason you cannot fathom, every time you try to “teach them a lesson”, it is you who has to crawl back home in total shame to lick our wounds and try to hush up the magnitude of your defeat. That hurts, badly. So a plan to make the Shias pay for it had to be concocted. Here is what I think it will be.

First, the goal will not be to defeat Hezbollah or Iran anywhere. For all their racist rhetoric and hubris, the Israelis know that neither they nor, even less so, the Saudis have what it would take to seriously threaten Iran, or even Hezbollah. But their plan is, I think, much cruder: to trigger a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene.

I have written many articles explaining that the US military does not have the means to win a war against Iran. And that might be the problem here: the US commanders know full well that and they are therefore doing whatever it takes to tell the Neocons “can’t do, so sorry!” (that is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not happened yet). From an Israeli point of view, this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: simple force the US into a war they really don’t want. After all, who cares how many US goyim will die? As for the Iranians, the goal of a Israeli-triggered US attack on Iran would not be to defeat Iran, but only to hurt it, very very badly. That is the real goal. As far as the Israelis are concerned, not only don’t they give a damn about how many non-Jews will die (Judaic ethics teach that all non-Jews are most likely deserving to die anyway) as long as their Master Race benefits from it. Simply put: to them we are only tools, tools capable of thought, but tools nonetheless. That is also how Neocons view us, of course. In fact, I can just about imagine the glee of the Israelis seeing that the Shia and Sunni Muslims are killing each other. Throwing in a few Christians only makes it even better.

 
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There are two myths which are deeply imprinted in the minds of most US Americans which are extremely dangerous and which can result in a war with Russia.

The first myth is the myth of US military superiority.

The second myth is the myth of US invulnerability.

I believe that it is therefore crucial to debunk these myths before they end up costing us millions of lives and untold suffering.

In my latest piece for the Unz Review I discussed the reasons why the US armed forces are nowhere nearly as advanced as the US propaganda machine would have us believe. And even though the article was a discussion of Russian military technologies I only gave one example, in passing, of Russian military technologies by comparing the T-50 PAKFA to the US F-35 (if you want to truly get a feel for the F-35 disaster, please read this and this). First, I am generally reluctant to focus on weapons systems because I strongly believe that, in the vast majority of real-world wars, tactics are far more important than technologies. Second, Andrei Martyanov, an expert on Russian military issues and naval warfare, has recently written two excellent pieces on Russian military technologies (see here and here) which gave many more examples (check out Martyanov’s blog). Having read some of the comments posted under Martyanov’s and my articles, I think that it is important, crucial, in fact, to drive home the message to those who still are thoroughly trained by the propaganda machine to instantly dismiss any notion of US vulnerability or, even more so, technological inferiority. I am under no illusion about the capability of those who still watch the idiot box to be woken out of their lethargic stupor by the warnings of Paul Craig Roberts, William Engdal, Dmitrii Orlov, Andrei Martyanov or myself. But I also think that we have to keep trying, because the war party (the Neocon Uniparty) is apparently trying really hard to trigger a conflict with Russia. So what I propose to do today is to connect the notions of “war with Russia” and “immediate and personal suffering” by showing that if Russia is attacked two of the most sacred symbols of the US, aircraft carriers and the US mainland itself, would be immediately attacked and destroyed.

The aircraft carriers myth

I have to confess that even during the Cold War I always saw US aircraft carriers as sitting ducks which the Soviets would have rather easily destroyed. I formed that opinion on the basis of my study of Soviet anti-carrier tactics and on the basis of conversations with friends (fellow students) who actually served on US aircraft carriers.

I wish I had the time and space to go into a detailed description of what a Cold War era Soviet attack on a US aircraft carrier battle group would typically look like, but all I will say is that it would have involved swarms of heavy air and sea launched missiles coming from different directions, some skimming the waves, others dropping down from very high altitude, all at tremendous speeds, combined with more underwater-launched missiles and even torpedoes. All of these missiles would be “intelligent” and networked with each other: they would be sharing sensor data, allocating targets (to avoid duplication), using countermeasures, receiving course corrections, etc. These missiles would be launched at standoff distances by supersonic bombers or by submerged submarines. The targeting would involve space-based satellites and advanced naval reconnaissance technologies. My USN friends were acutely aware of all this and they were laughing at their own official US propaganda (Reagan was in power then) which claimed that the USN would “bring the war to the Russians” by forward deploying carriers. In direct contrast, my friends all told me that the first thing the USN would do is immediately flush all the carriers away from the North Atlantic and into the much safer waters south of the so-called GUIK gap. So here is the ugly truth: carriers are designed to enforce the rule of the AngloZionist Empire on small and basically defenseless nations (like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq). Nobody in the USN, at least not in the late 1980s, seriously considered forward deploying aircraft carrier battlegroups near the Kola Peninsula to “bring the war to the Russians”. That was pure propaganda. The public did not know that, but USN personnel all knew the truth.

[Sidebar: if the topic of carrier survivability is of interest to you, please check out this Russian article translated by a member of our community which is a pretty typical example of how the Russian don't believe for one second that US carriers are such hard targets to destroy]

What was true then is even more true today and I can’t imagine anybody at the Pentagon seriously making plans to attack Russia with carrier based aviation. But even if the USN has no intention of using its carriers against Russia, that does not mean that the Russians cannot actively seek out US carriers and destroy them, even very far from Russia. After all, even if they are completely outdated for a war between superpowers, carriers still represent fantastically expensive targets whose symbolic value remains immense. The truth is that US carriers are the most lucrative target any enemy could hope for: (relatively) small, (relatively) easy to destroy, distributed in many locations around the globe – US carriers are almost “pieces of the US, only much closer”.

Introducing the Zircon 3M22 hypersonic missile

First, some basic data about this missile (from English and Russian Wikipedia):

  • Low level range: 135 to 270 nautical miles (155 to 311mi; 250 to 500km).
  • High level range: 400nmi (460mi; 740km) in a semi-ballistic trajectory.
  • Max range: 540nmi (620mi; 1,000km)
  • Max altitude: 40km (130,000 feet)
  • Average range is around 400km (250mi; 220nmi)/450 km.
  • Speed: Mach 5–Mach 6 (3,806–4,567mph; 6,125–7,350km/h; 1.7015–2.0417km/s).
  • Max speed: Mach 8 (6,090mph; 9,800km/h; 2.7223km/s) during a test.
  • Warhead: 300-400kg (high explosive or nuclear)
  • Shape: low-RCS with radar absorbing coating.
  • Cost per missile: 1-2 million dollars (depending on configuration)

All this is already very impressive, but here comes the single most important fact about this missile: it can be launched from pretty much *any* platform: cruisers, of course, but also frigates and even small corvettes. It can be launched by nuclear and diesel-electric attack submarines. It can also be launched from long range bombers (Tu-160), medium-range bombers (Tu-22m3), medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft (SU-34) and even, according to some reports, from a multi-role air superiority fighter (SU-35). Finally, this missile can also be shore-based. In fact, this missile can be launched from any platform capable of launching the now famous Kalibr cruise missile and that means that even a merchant marine or fishing ship could carry a container with the Zircon missile hidden inside. In plain English what this means is the following:

  1. Russia has a missile which cannot be stopped or spoofed by any of the current and foreseeable USN anti-missile weapons systems.
 
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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Possible/likely consequences Probability Risk
Afghanistan (surge) more body bags high low
Syria (military intervention & attack on Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria) Iranian & Hezbollah counter-attacks high high