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August 3, 2014

Beyond the mushroom cloud: what planners have in mind

By Peter Duveen

Judging from the incredibly aggressive and abrasive posture the United States has of late taken toward Russia, the No. 2 nuclear power in the world, it's time for Americans to ask if a nuclear exchange is in their future.


Many of those who are closely following the events in Ukraine have come of late to believe that a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States is within the realm of possibility. For example, Economist Paul Craig Roberts warns in a recently published column: "Russia has a nuclear arsenal as large as Washington's, and Russia is very much aware that for 13 years Washington's lies and demonizations of countries are the preludes to launching military attacks on the countries."

Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped.
Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped.
(Image by Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory)
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The reasoning behind this train of thought is as follows:

Both nations reserve the right to a first strike.

In order to act on this right, each nation must attempt to anticipate the actions of the other, so it can "beat the other to the punch."

We are thus operating under a hair trigger situation, in which a nuclear conflagration could become a reality at any moment.

It is perfectly clear to astute observers that the United States has virtually declared war on Russia. It wants Russian President Vladimir Putin dead, just as it killed Muammar Gaddafi and destroyed his country. In fact, Libya is a model for what the elite in Washington would like to see happen to Russia.

Russia, however, unlike Libya, is a nuclear-armed nation, and, after the United States, has the greatest stockpile of operative nuclear weapons of any country.

Both nations appear to have eschewed a retaliatory strike as the only nuclear option.

The tensions between both countries, which have been deliberately exacerbated by the United States in recent weeks, are at an all-time high. The United States has shown, through its rhetoric and actions, that it wishes to provoke Russia into war, and has actively demonized Russian President Vladimir Putin as a way to prep Americans so it can assume an aggressive military posture against Russia while minimizing popular domestic resistance to any action it might take.

A nuclear option has been on the table for quite a while.

The Hart-Rudman Commission Report outlined what might occur in the first quarter of the 21 st Century as America developed a more aggressive military and domestic security regime. The report raised quite a few eyebrows at the time of its release (in three parts, 1999-2001). The press reported at the time, if my memory serves me, that millions of body bags were being stored in the mountains to be readied in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Such a calamity could take the form of a nuclear or chemical/biological weapons attack. A quote from the report itself reads: "The President should develop a comprehensive strategy to heighten America's ability to prevent and protect against all forms of attack on the homeland, and to respond to such attacks if prevention and protection fail" (my emphasis).

Our "Homeland Security" regime, including the name we use for it today, was originally a recommendation from this pre-9-11 report.

Interestingly, I raised some issues covered in the report at a town meeting a number of years ago, and, instead of being shouted down, several people in the audience volunteered pertinent comments.

One county worker said she was told she had to sign a paper saying she would do certain things, which she would not reveal, in the event of a catastrophe. Another volunteered that the state government approached him to do a survey of available burial space, as he was the custodian for a local cemetery. It was later found that this was part of a state-wide survey of cemetery space.

We know that there are comprehensive plans in place for the government to maintain authority in the event that Congress becomes inoperable after a catastrophic act of war against the United States. Such plans and actions are usually described under the heading, "Continuity of Government."

The picture becomes quite clear. It is obvious that the reckless provocation of Russia by the United States is not inconsistent with the expectation that the end result could be a nuclear exchange. The United States government has an apparent disregard for the lives of Americans, and a nuclear confrontation would be amenable to at least a class of US planners, who might think the cost in mortality and destruction of infrastructure is a palatable risk. These planners apparently have huge underground cities in which to retreat. It is said that Dick Cheney, who became incommunicado for a time after 9-11, was hanging out in one of these underground metropolises for months after that unexplained calamity. That is where he operated his command structure for the post-9-11 world. As a unique event, 9-11 seems incomprehensible, but in the context of a lead-up to a nuclear confrontation, it would be hardly a blip on the screen. Discussions among policymakers cite 9-11 as small potatoes compared to what is likely to happen in future years.

In short, everything is in place, at least on the national level, to address the aftermath of a nuclear exchange. This begs the question as to whether these preparations are just contingencies, or if they are being readied as part of a proactive plan. Although it is difficult to imagine what would be gained by nuclear war, it is hard to fathom exactly what the U.S. Leadership has in mind from day to day anyway. A nuclear encounter would be in line with those of the elite who believe the world's population needs to be reduced. It would also eliminate popular resistance to the government as a result of worsening economic conditions. It would allow America to readjust the balance of world power by destroying Russia, its foremost competitor on the world stage. These are merely speculations, but COG and the Hart-Rudman Commission and its conclusions and recommendations are not speculations, nor is the incredibly reckless, belligerent and provocative attitude the United States and its NATO allies have of a sudden taken toward Russia. One might even argue that the existence of nuclear arsenals themselves are evidence of an intent to use them, since the world has had ample time to rid itself of them since they came into existence in 1945.

Americans should think about adjusting their lives so they can greet the new post-nuclear-war reality. Each of us could, I am sure, come up with a list of ten actions that would enhance our survivability in the event of a nuclear attack.

What can Russia do? Russia should make it clear that those of America's allies that have a sense of exceptionalism in their national ideology would be among the first and primary casualties in a nuclear exchange. Such countries have an ideological bias in favor of the survival of their populations above all others, and if their existence were at risk, they would apply pressure to the US government to avoid a confrontation rather than be wiped out. Such countries are likely to have the ear of the U.S. Congress and the president. In contrast, Americans these days seem to carry zero weight with their government, since they are not well organized, and since any influence they may have had has been almost completely undermined by domestic intelligence efforts.

The survival of world civilization is in Russia's, and thus, Russian President Vladimir Putin's hands. Putin's ability to effect a winning strategy will influence the outcome for all of us. In the meantime, we should err on the side of caution and prepare for a nuclear attack. It's not as far-fetched as it may seem.


Authors Bio:

Born in New York, March 14, 1949. Staff writer for the New York City Tribune, Economic Growth Report, Register-Star. Presently publish on OpEd News. Mr. Duveen heads up a project known as "The Museum of Brooklyn Art and Culture,' which explores cultural subjects of Brooklyn's past and hosts periodic exhibitions and lectures. He is co-proprietor, with his wife, Junalyn, of "The Siberian Coffee Pipeline Company," which aspires to supply the world with freshly brewed coffee generated from major brewing installations in Siberia. He has also created a planning system known as the Millennial Flexi-Planner, which accommodates short-term and long-term (1,000 years or more) scheduling in a single compatible framework.