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Is America Planning a First Strike Against Russia?

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Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged Jesus, "Send us into the swine; let us enter them." So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

-- Mark 5:11-13

If there is a metaphor for the West now, it is the Gadarene swine, possessed by "unclean spirits," rushing madly down the slope and into the sea. The swine are the citizenries of the United States and its allies, and the spirits correspond to our modern MICIMATT, Ray McGovern's shorthand for the Establishment. Can anything in American history compare with the present hysteria regarding Russia and its glum leader Vladimir Putin? By this benchmark, McCarthyism was rinky-dink name-calling. Post-9/11 fright lasted for years, but anti-Saddam sentiment was a fad, and Osama bin Laden was a kind of honorary bad guy, the frail ghost of blurry videos. But the western media has granted Putin full arch-villain status as a figure of evil. Someone call Spiderman.

According to our Kevlar-toting reporters, this is Putin's war, fought with Putin's tanks, Putin's missiles, and Putin's bullets. Putin looked at photos of Mariupol and told his men to bomb the maternity hospital. Putin ordered his retreating troops to tie the hands of people and shoot them in the head -- though one wonders why he troubled his men to find ropes and binders. The media spares no effort to personalize the war, and pouchy-faced Putin makes the perfect creep. He is Hitler, a mafia don, and Charles Manson all rolled into one.

Thus does the media transfer the "unclean spirits" to the swine. Reporters upset their viewers with one horror after another, until by now a dreary pattern has formed: first the event, then the reports from journalists from dozens of nations descending upon the area (careful to keep out of each other's camera angle, for it won't do to show viewers more reporters than victims); next comes the world's shock and horror, then new American sanctions and more arms flowing from Europe, and lastly two days later alternative websites show evidence of yet another slapped-together false-flag op by the Ukrainians, who can't even get their dead to lie still for filming.

But the damage is done; the journalists scramble on to fresher meat, unmoved by the forensics of unwashed conspiracy theorists. For their job is not to inform but to scare, to disgust, to frighten their viewers into rushing not into the sea but into war. And it takes a lot of scaring and disgust for comfortable marketing execs to accept the justice of a nuclear strike against Moscow.

For that is where the Ukraine conflict is headed. The present process of shaming countries and companies into withdrawing from contact with Russia -- not to feed "Putin's war machine" -- has been cited by many observers as the real American objective: not just to break Germany off from Nord Stream Two, but to isolate Europe from Russia in any and all spheres; to re-establish American domination of Europe; to tear the global economy right down the middle and wall off Western markets from Russia and, soon, from China.

And the observers' analysis makes sense -- until one thinks over the consequences: shortages in the West of everything from fertilizer to microchips, the loss of Eurasian markets, the decline of American power in much of the developing world, as countries that are for once enjoying a modicum of prosperity throw in their lot with Russia and China. The West is looking at ten years of economic hell.

The fallout continues. Russia, China, and Asia in general, after some initial hiccups, will move on to growth and prosperity. And this being the age of Internet, the news of this will quickly spread, and Europeans will not happily pay for high-priced American gas and wheat, especially because they have little to trade in return. The dollar will regain the prestige it loses after so many countries dump it as a reserve currency.

A sad scenario indeed for Europeans, who have a fine grasp of international politics. Trumps and le Pens will quickly be elected, Europeans in one country after another will turn their backs on Washington and beg the Russians for gas, and the American mavens' control of the Old Continent will become tenuous.

No, this won't work. So the question becomes: How can the mavens allow the present global economy to continue to function but not allow Russia and China to gain ascendance on the world stage? There's the rub. And China being too big and too necessary, the Yankees' only play is to somehow take control of Russia again -- return to the good old Yeltsin days. They've surely tried this by subterfuge over the last twenty years, and it hasn't worked. That leaves conventional war, but this is, for reasons too obvious to list, a poor option. The deed must be done in a single blow -- and soon.

For there's the factor of time that comes into play here. The mavens have noticed that America is melting around them. The voters gave them no help in ousting Trump and the mavens had to do the job themselves. Political unrest is higher than it has been since the Civil War, the messages of Bernie Sanders resonate, the nation cannot agree on so much as a history textbook for children, immigrants are flooding across the southern border and being embraced by meat processors and day-care centers, crime is spiraling and police are quitting, the rich will not relinquish their grip on the economy, and the dollar's primacy is in serious doubt. And for the moment the American president is a foggy-headed grandfather whose term is going badly, and who can be bent to a new reality.

So those tactical nukes, the ones that will take out just a crucial few blocks of Moscow, or just a command center out in Siberia, shine brightly these days in the dark little minds that run American foreign and security policy.

For the groundwork has been laid. The prospect of Russian chemical and nuclear warfare is now commonplace on mainstream-media reports. Inventing an excuse to use nukes is but the work of a moment: Putin was about to fire, Putin did fire one at Mariupol but it turned out a dud (see fabricated photo), Putin again raised the nuclear alert status, satellite photos showed fat missile tubes being uncovered (see fabricated photo, but not under a magnifying glass). As to a Russian response, the betting among many Washington mavens, one hears, is that Russia will not shoot back. Or maybe they're thinking, as the Pentagon was when it presented JFK, two months before his death, with a first-strike plan against Russia, that American casualties would be limited: back then, their estimate was 12 million tops, and considered acceptable.

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"A Legacy of Chains and Other Stories" is Philip Kraske's lastest book. It can be found at his website: www.philipkraske.com

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