“He’s not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.
I allude of course to Roger Wicker, who is a U.S. Senator from Mississippi.
The senator seemed to be stepping out of the Cold War movie “Dr. Strangelove” when he commented on how the U.S. should react to the current kerfuffle in Ukraine.
“I would not rule out American troops on the ground,” Wicker told Neil Cavuto of Fox News. “We don’t rule out first-use nuclear action.”
That echoed a line from that classic 1964 Stanley Kubrick movie. It came when an Air Force general played by George C. Scott told the president that we could catch the commies “with their pants down” if only he would authorize a full-scale nuclear strike on the Soviet Union.
After the president pointed out that a Soviet reprisal could kill millions of American civilians, the general replied, “I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed. But I do say 10 to 20 million killed. Tops!”
Wicker didn’t give us an upper limit on the number of American civilians that would be killed if we got into a nuclear war with the Russians.
But that 20 million would be a low estimate, said one New Jersey politician who knows his way around nuclear weapons.
“Does he realize the Soviets have ICBMs and nuclear submarines?” Mike Doherty said of Wicker. “There’s gonna be a nuclear response if we use nuclear weapons.”
Doherty, who is a state senator from Warren County, certainly realizes that. Straight out of West Point, he commanded a nuclear artillery battery in Germany.
Back then it was thought that the NATO allies couldn’t repel a Soviet attack without tactical nukes. But now that the Cold War’s over, we should let the Russians and Ukrainians work out their differences without U.S. intervention, he said.
“How is Ukraine in the national security interests of the United States?” Doherty asks. “You can’t get one out of a thousand Americans to pick out Ukraine on a map.”
When it comes to foreign affairs, Doherty is part of the Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party, which is often derided as isolationist by the neoconservatives who dominate the GOP.
The neocon Daily Caller, for example, just ran an article deriding Biden for what the writer said was his suggestion to the Ukrainians that they should grant autonomy to the parts of the country where pro-Russian sentiment is predominant.
Whether Biden is really doing that remains to be seen. But another Cold War veteran, former Defense Intelligence Agency operative Pat Lang, argues that the Russians rightly fear that the U.S. wants to extend the NATO alliance to include Ukraine.
“Consider the analogy if Canada had decided to join the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War,” Lang said. “Would we have liked that?”
As the Soviet Union was breaking up, the first President Bush told the Russians we had no intentions of extending NATO into Eastern Europe, he said. Bush 41 even counseled the Ukrainians that it might be wise to stick with the Russians.
“Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism,” Bush said during his visit there in 1991. “They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred.”
That was widely derided as Bush’s “Chicken Kiev” speech. But in retrospect it was realistic.
Lang runs a blog that is a center for military and intelligence realists.
But “realism” is a dirty word in D.C. Any suggestion that the U.S. shouldn’t sort out the world’s problems is seen as a sign of weakness by the party in power.
At the moment it’s largely Republicans calling on President Biden to do something to teach those rotten Russkies a lesson. But the hard-liners have a presence in the Democratic Party as well.
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on Biden to threaten Putin with “the mother of all sanctions.”
“The Russian bank sector would be wiped out. Sovereign debt would be blocked,” said Menendez, adding that the sanctions “would cripple the Russian economy.”
Perhaps they would. But what would happen to the European and American economies if all that Russian gas and oil were taken off the world market?
Either way, we shouldn’t put Putin in a position where he’s willing to risk a shooting war, Lang said.
“These people are playing with fire,” he said. “Putin has said ‘Whoever attacks us, we’re going to attack their platforms and their command-and-control centers,’”
Lang noted that the distance between his home in Virginia and the U.S. command-and-control center, the Pentagon, is about three miles as the crow flies – or the guided missile.
Either way, when it comes to Ukraine we shouldn’t risk even one American life. Tops.” Mulshine
Do these chickenhawks believe their ass is safe in a nuclear tit-for-tat?
What does it say about American voters that keep re-electing these unserious people?
To quote the linked Daily Caller story” “We have … it’s a sacred obligation,” Biden said.”
God obligated us to defend NATO? I think his theology is off a bit.
“China has long mirrored Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine with its own threats to retake Taiwan by force.” Taiwan and Ukraine are thousands of miles apart. Anders Hagstrom should go back to Hillsdale and ask for a free geography lesson. After he serves a tour of duty, of course.
Where’s Germany going to get all that natural gas it needs this winter, via the Nordstream 2 pipeline that avoids Ukrainian territory or the Ukrainian one? Where’s the origin point for all that gas to begin with? Questions the press and Senate seem incapable of asking.
Do any of these senators share the same concern for America’s Southern border? Maybe they should make a visit, and not the Kamala kind either.
Heinlein famously wrote that an armed society is a polite society. By extension, relations between nuclear armed powers with the capability to bring our civilization to an end ought to be excruciatingly polite. And yet this most basic wisdom has somehow contrived to evade some of our elected representatives, in a place where ‘“realism” is a dirty word’.
Several aspects of life in today’s world imitate Kubrick’s fine cinematic art. From insane Dr. Strangeloves to the continuing Eyes Wide Shut saga uncovering (or not) Epstein and Ghislaine’s secret world. I’d also argue that A Clockwork Orange-like future, where “white rage” is cured by psychological torture, is exactly the one the Marxist proponents of Intersectionality have in mind for us. And still, despite warnings from some of the smartest folk around (Kissinger, Lovelock, Hawking) the headlong rush to develop better-than-human AI has us on the path which surely ends with a potentially murderous HAL 9000. Kubrick saw all this and gifted us parables of warning. The least we can do in return is pay heed to them.
Yes, White Christians in two nations should nuke each other. We’re about 8% of the global population, would that bring the percentage down to about 4%?
I’m thinking maybe the USA and Russia should nuke the rest of y’all. There’d be abut 500 million people left, we could probably live in peace then.
This is typical of western corporate media attributing failure to bad strategic decision making. They could never write that many decisions are made for the personal benefit of a few who happen to have their hands on all levers of power.
On this topic the prophetic words of Sir Jimmy Goldsmith should never be forgotten. And Ross Perot among others who warned in unmistakable terms what the end game would be.
As a reminder this classic debate between Jimmy Goldsmith and Laura Andrea Tyson, Bill Clinton’s trade representative is so representative of the many debates. Obfuscation and sophistry the primary tools of those selling the American working class down the river.
Note that when it comes to foreign policy we have the neocon/ziocon axis and on economic policy we have the Wall St/Private Equity and Big Business axis and their fellow travelers in BOTH parties who rule the roost.
Explosive. I’d never seen it before and am so impressed by the clarity of Goldsmith’s opening argument.
History bore him out. The Trump 2016 earthquake was a direct result of that process of destruction of Western economies and societies that Goldsmith foresaw.
The media’s recent hysteria about the threat of Russia and China has more to do with future budget concerns of the established military-industrial industries and the revolving door of present and future lobbyists now in Washington. It has nothing to do with any actual threat to the homeland. The growth of China is due more to our (corporate America) enabling their ambitions in aerospace and manufacturing in an effort to gain access to the huge consumer market they dreamed of opening in China. Relying on manufacturers in Asia and long and vulnerable supply lines has been deplored by the blue collar Americans who do all the fighting. The only field we should worry about is space.
As Barbara Ann quotes Heinlein, the opposite seems to be in effect, so why? Is there some sense this is all just theater, or professional wrestling and they have an audience they want to hold, with a bit of over the top drama? Or maybe distract, from other issues going on?
Or is the world just that freaking crazy?
The reason we have legally bound governments is because the people who experience the alternative understand they serve a valuable function.
Is there some sense this is all just theater, or professional wrestling and they have an audience they want to hold, with a bit of over the top drama?
If I read you correctly, that’s the argument of Scott Ritter, hat tip to Bernhard.
Biden has successfully solved the Ukraine crisis he manufactured,
Like Generals Turgidson and Ripper, Roger Wicker was an Air Force officer.
I forgot to add Major Kong.
By the way, on active duty I was an Air Force NCO.
There have always been those willing to spout the big talk about plunging the world into Armageddon. Surely many here remember the talk in the 80s about a very survivable nuclear war. All we had to do was dig a hole, throw a couple of doors over it and shovel three feet of dirt on it. With enough shovels, we’d all survive. Reagan and Bush the Elder were pushing that. They tried like hell to stop the airing of “The Day After” showing what a nuclear war would really be like. But it sure changed their minds.
That change of minds was apparent in Bush the Elder’s handling of the fall of the WTO and the USSR. Such restraint and complete lack of gloating was admirable and prudent. It was a dangerous time.
Today’s tough talkers should be ridiculed. I’m glad Biden and Putin are willing to continue discussions and I’m glad Biden ruled out sending US forces to Ukraine. That would be exactly like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Perhaps Putin should realize that his positioning of a potential invasion force on the Ukrainian border is also playing with fire. But those actions and his tough talk about striking our platforms and command and control centers is just as bad as our own tough talking minions. As a head of state, he should know better. At least our minions are impotent.
“As a head of state, he should know better.”
What if he DOES “know better”?
What would that mean?
“But what would happen to the European and American economies if all that Russian gas and oil were taken off the world market?”
Well the state dept knows that.
When they “accidentally” put sanctions on Rusal (aluminum producer) it had a immediate effect and in the end sanctions were lifted.
If we look at the main imports of Russia, it is oil, gas, metals and minerals. Those things are easy to replace.
They may be replaceable but at what price and timescale? Take the Russians out and there is a very serious problem with feedstock mix in US refineries. Take out their titanium cast products and the RD rockets and there are all kinds of issues.
The US wants the world to continue as it has since WW1, no chaos and destruction on US soil (apart from a blip in Hawaii that was repaid with mushrooms), only on its enemies and friends territory. But those in charge got too arrogant and ignored the changing world but the changing world did not ignore the changes in the US.
For the first time 50 or so years the Russians have the military and economic strength to stand up to the US with China covering their back. So Putin is making his moves, challenging the US.
guys, u all have forgotten the crazy one in kiev – he got a plan – at the election @ 2018, he started with a party called “servent of the people” – he isn`t that!
so what is he up to? war? ethnic cleansing?