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The U.S. Needs New Nukes? Really?

Trump adds “tactical” weapons to America’s arsenal.

|||Paul Zinken/dpa/picture-alliance/NewscomPaul Zinken/dpa/picture-alliance/NewscomLast week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D–Wash.) introduced the No First Use Act, designed to prevent the U.S. from using nuclear weapons in a first strike without congressional approval. What should be the lowest possible standard of sanity—that the Oval Office shouldn't be able to drop the big one without any oversight—has been introduced before, but it didn't make progress.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D–Calif.), whose similar Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 stagnated, but was re-introduced last week as well, makes no secret of the fact that Donald Trump makes him particularly nervous here, but the broader idea of not letting any president have the uncontested power to start global thermonuclear war is something libertarians and Ted should share.

The Federation of American Scientists suggests that the United States has about 6,500 nuclear weapons and Russia has around 6,800. Will Saetren, a specialist in nuclear security at the public-private nonprofit CRDF Global, suggests the American number is closer to 9,000. Whatever the correct number is, it's slated to increase: The Trump administration is putting a new weapon into production. The new project, dubbed the W76-2, marks a reversal of the last 40 years of concerted removal, control, and destruction of nuclear weapons since the U.S. arsenal peaked with about 31,000 nukes in the late 1960s.

According to NPR, the W76-2 is a 5- to 7-kiloton version of the W76-1, an approximately 100-kiloton weapon. It's a low-yield weapon, but it's still a nuclear weapon, and the use of terms like "low-yield" and "tactical" obfuscate the reality that it's still a nuke, and that once one weapon is used, others will follow. In his Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Daniel Ellsberg recalls learning during the Eisenhower years that there was no U.S. plan to attack only the USSR: China was part of the deal by default, as if leveling just one country was too subtle. Furthermore, as Ellsberg told Reason, governments hate to rule anything out, no matter how apocalyptic. "I don't think any president has ever said to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'Nuclear first use by me, by the US, is off the table'….so that's never been our policy." Today's precise plans for nuclear war are secret, thought reportedly quite loose, but the world contains a suicidal level of these weapons. Gambling on a new low yield arms race staying contained is a bizarre risk to t take.

Why the W76-2? The main argument for it is that Russia is doing it so we have to too, to keep up and therefore prevent actual use. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reports that Russia has embraced "tactical" nukes in order to ward off NATO. The U.S. will respond in kind by putting the W76-2 on submarines, starting in October.

The latter prospect horrifies Saetren, who notes that once a nuclear sub fires a missile, even a smaller one, its stealth is now gone and any further payload is endangered.

Technology is flawed, Saetren notes, and one "problem with nuclear weapons is that it has to be perfect." And they aren't perfect; accidents happen. In 1961, a B-52 carrying two hydrogen bombs broke up over Goldsboro, North Carolina. One bomb's chute deployed, and on the other four of the five safety mechanisms shorted out—"and the one that worked," Saetren says, "was the technical equivalent of a light switch." Another near-miss followed only months later.

It's just "dumb luck and statistics," he concludes, that have kept the world from turning into a revival movie house showing of Threads. Well, that and men like Vasili Arkhipov and Stanislav Petrov, who refused to authorize nuclear strikes in the face of what appeared to be (and in the former case was) a real threat.

Donald Trump's fans and foes both tend to think of him as a radical break with the past, but there are important ways that he's like every other president of the last few decades. One is that no matter how much he occasionally says he wouldn't want to use nukes, he's determined to preserve his privilege to use them without restriction.

In other ways, he's now going backwards. Casually placing small nukes on submarines does nothing but create more chances for a deadly accident—or a choice that cannot be taken back.

Photo Credit: Paul Zinken/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

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  • Eddy||

    Better to have 'em and not need 'em, than need 'em and not have 'em. USA! USA!

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Better yet to recognize that you will never even need 'em.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Except to save nearly a million US military lives in WWII, against Imperial Japan.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    No shit. Also saved 100K Chinese dying every month, and 5-10M Japanese lives.

    Backpack nukes are a disaster waiting to happen.

    ICBMs with 7K nukes are a joke -- the recipients aren't going to know what size is incoming and will react like it's full-on war.

    What part of useless don't you understand?

  • JesseAz||

    You need to educate yourself more. the same arguments were made against smart discrimination weapons.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    You need to reply better. What part of "incoming ICBM" is so hard to understand? What part of "nuclear bomb went off" is so hard to understand?

    In both cases, the recipient has precious little time to figure out if it's "only" a Hiroshima-size warning, or a real one.

    Anyone who thinks a 7K nuclear bomb is safe to use is an idiot who doesn't understand squat.

    Anyone who rebuts that with "unh uh" is an idiot, period.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Very convincing alphabet troll. Very convincing.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Your knowledge of things military is lacking. So,just stop. They're not useless, you're just an idiot.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Then explain how they are useful. Don't just assert it. Don't say "Hiroshima". Say something relevant.

    But you can't.

  • MJBinAL||

    Tactical nukes are often neutron bombs. The primary feature of a neutron bomb is that produces short half-life radiation, lot of high energy particles, and minimal physical damage. They can be used to bomb a location using a cruise missile or a drone and achieve a very high kill rate and a location that can be taken over by troops in a little as a day, certainly 2 or 3.

    In short, they are not coming in an ICBM, and they are used in conditions that are not MAD scenarios, but rather in support of military actions where one side actually can "win"

    The Russians and the Chinese developing and deploying these weapons when we do not puts us in the "Nuke the World" or be defeated militarily box.

  • Johnny Galt||

    We've never had a nuclear war. That is because the other guys know we would wipe them out.

    Somebody doesn't understand the concept of "deterrence."

    That is why nobody has put you in charge of our military.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Alphabet douche, I don't need to explain anything. All you've done is spout inane garbage not the least bit accurate, and betraying your massive ignorance of the subject matter.

    You have stated nothing of tangible value that requires refutation.

    Now cease your buffoonery.

  • BYODB||

    Everyone know's Rome will never need the Legion. After all, it hasn't needed them yet (except for the time they did), and as we all know past trends continue forever.

  • Zeb||

    Past trends of not making new nuclear weapons don't necessarily continue forever either.

    Is this something to do with Russia? I can't imagine any scenario where getting into a nuclear conflict with Russia would be better than not getting into a nuclear conflict with Russia.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Some people claim Russia has been talking of making small nukes, possibly backpack nukes. It's probably about as accurate as Saddam's ABC weapons.

  • JesseAz||

    Your ignorance on the subject is actually pretty humorous.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Your rebuttals aren't even rebuttals. Try some actual information. Or maybe you are a lc1789 fan.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Alphabet troll is just gonna double down at this point.

    It thought is could sneak in some non-sequitur and not get bogged down in something interesting where quite a few ex-military folks regularly comment.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Alphabet troll can at least formulate a thought and express it clearly which is far more than JesseAz, LC1789 and little shitty can do. If you're going to refute something then you should at least offer something better than "Your ignorance on the subject is actually pretty humorous." Come on you can do better than that. On second thought, you probably can't....

  • JesseAz||

    You didnt even bother to read up on the use case of tactical nukes, did you. You prefer Hiroshima events and collateral damage it seems.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    You have apparently never pondered what any military commander or politician would do when any nuke goes off anywhere near. You apparently think they'd just ho-hum and go back to sleep.

  • Longtobefree||

    Little boy was a tactical nuke. It was rated at 15KT.
    It only killed about 70,000 people, with a total including from sickness and injuries around 90,000 to 160,000 depending on whose numbers you use.
    For reference, the firebombing of Tokyo killed about 100,000 directly, and nobody cared enough to count how many of the one million homeless died from disease or starvation afterwards. (In 'conventional bombings' the infrastructure is destroyed, mingling sewage and water supplies, and cholera and diphtheria usually run rampant.)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    LongtobeFree +100

    H-Bombs can yield 1,000 times more destructive power than a fission bomb like Little Boy at 15 kilotons of TNT.

    Some of the current US arsenal of nukes include 475 kiloton warheads. These can be packed on a missile as MIRVs.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Exactly. How is the intended recipient supposed to distinguish one 7K warhead ("OK, we can ignore this puny little piker") from a MIRV with a dozen big ones ("Hit that red button for me, will ya?")?

    Answer: they can't, and they won't.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Exactly. It's a hermetic argument.

  • MJBinAL||

    True, but these are not tactical nukes. And by modern standards Little Boy was not tactical either. Not because of size, but because of type.

    Modern tactical nukes would be delivered via drone or cruise missile.

    As I posted above:

    Tactical nukes are often neutron bombs. The primary feature of a neutron bomb is that produces short half-life radiation, lot of high energy particles, and minimal physical damage. They can be used to bomb a location using a cruise missile or a drone and achieve a very high kill rate and a location that can be taken over by troops in a little as a day, certainly 2 or 3.

    In short, they are not coming in an ICBM, and they are used in conditions that are not MAD scenarios, but rather in support of military actions where one side actually can "win"

    The Russians and the Chinese developing and deploying these weapons when we do not puts us in the "Nuke the World" or be defeated militarily box.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    This is well known. It has nothing to do with the wisdom of using tactical nukes in the hope that the recipient will understand it is only tactical and therefore requires to retaliation, either in kind or at the next level. This last is the most amazing aspect, since the first tactical nuke to be used will itself be a next level retaliation.

    It is telling how all the responses here have zero information and are 100% insults.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It sure is a good thing you're the top expert on nuclear weapons and know more than any military commander or strategist. What would the Pentagon do,without you?

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Have you anything useful, any real facts? Can you show your military intelligence? Ca you offer any realistic practical example of when escalation by use of tactical nukes won't further escalate into full-blown nuclear war?

    No, you are just all blabber.

  • ||

    Also, better Tactical than Strategic.

  • Longtobefree||

    A nuke is a nuke, there is no difference. The use of weapons of mass destruction is a political decision.
    The response is expected to be use of all nukes, before they are preempted.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    People seem to be incapable of understanding this distinction. They seem to expect the response to be .... nothing. They don't expect an equal response, let alone an elevated response. And they don't even understand that the first use of any ABC weapon is by definition an elevated response.

  • Kevin Smith||

    I understand the distinction I just think it's silly that a 15 kiloton nuke is a weapon of mass destruction but a bomber loaded with 125 kilotons of conventional explosives is just business as usual

  • Kevin Smith||

    I mathed wrong, a bomber obviously cannot contain 125kt of bombs, but the point stands, the smallest nuke has a 10 ton yeild, which is lower than the largest conventional bombs, yet only one is considered an escalation

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    When it's coming at the pointy end of an ICBM, how can you tell the difference before it's too late to retaliate?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    And when both are more likely on cruise missiles, then what?

  • MJBinAL||

    And Strategic Nuclear Weapons like alphabet soup talks about are generally too heavy to be delivered on a cruise missile.

  • MJBinAL||

    And Strategic Nuclear Weapons like alphabet soup talks about are generally too heavy to be delivered on a cruise missile.

  • MJBinAL||

    Tactical Nuclear weapons do not come "at the pointy end of an ICBM" and your continued insistence that they do just demonstrates your complete ignorance in the matter.

  • MJBinAL||

    There most certainly IS a difference, as I have explained.

    http://military.wikia.com/wiki.....ear_weapon

    http://www.nuclearfiles.org/me.....n-bomb.htm

    "The tactical neutron bomb is a nuclear weapon that maximizes damage to people but minimizes damage to buildings and equipment. It is also called an enhanced radiation warhead. The neutron bomb is a specialized thermonuclear weapon that produces a minimal blast but releases large amounts of lethal radiation which can penetrate armor or several feet of earth. "

    I am sure glad all you genius' know everything about tactical nukes. What would those of us who actually read and study do without you.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The Federation of American Scientists suggests that the United States has about 6,500 nuclear weapons and Russia has around 6,800.

    So we obviously need at least 301 more...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Kong Rides the Bomb (1964) HD

    Fuck that. We only need more brave motherfuckers like Kong.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Daniel Ellsberg recalls learning

    About how to be a traitor? LOCK HIM UP!

  • John||

    Yes we do need new nukes. The nukes we have were all built during the cold war and contain parts that are degrading and need to be replaced. These weapons do not last forever sitting in the ground. They degrade over time. Unless you want to start underground testing again, we need to replace the existing nukes because there is no way to be totally sure they will still work as they age.

    We are building smaller nukes because it gives us more flexibility in our response should we ever use one. Smaller nukes can be scaled and give us the option of doing something besides just destroying cities and nations.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Smaller nukes can be scaled and give us the option of doing something besides just destroying cities and nations.

    Which we can already do with conventional weapons.

  • Kevin Smith||

    The smallest nuke we ever made is the equivalent of 10 tons on TNT, while the MOAB bomb is equivalent to 11 tons. Our nukes pick up exactly where our conventional weapons leave off

  • JesseAz||

    Most of our current set of bunker busters are useless against modern bunkers. Tact nukes can replace a while generation fairly easy.

  • BYODB||


    The nukes we have were all built during the cold war and contain parts that are degrading and need to be replaced.


    ^ This. It's amazing how few people seem to realize this. You can't just build these things and keep them around forever. They do require maintenance, and they do become obsolete. How many other common items do people have laying around that were manufactured in 1962, as an example?

  • John||

    What would shock people is how much of the technical skill and capability necessary to manufacture them is gone. A lot of the parts are going to have to be refurbished and reused because the contractors who made them and the equipment that made them is long gone.

  • BYODB||

    Indeed. We may be relegated to buying Chinese nuclear missile parts to deter...Communist China from using their own nuclear missile designs on India. I mean, that's something of an absurd 'what if' scenario but it's an example of how incredibly out of date the American nuclear program really is.

  • JesseAz||

    Nope. We have domestic suppliers for the parts. Dod pays quite well to ensure we arent using foreign parts.

  • MJBinAL||

    To some extent this is true. But much of the electronics in our modern weapons are sourced from |China because we no longer have any domestic industry to provide them.

  • Overt||

    And the factories were all shut down (c.f. Rocky Flats in Golden Colorado).

    Other than Kansas City and Oakridge, I don't know that we even have facilities any more capable of manufacturing warheads and triggers.

  • John||

    WE have the facilities. Los Alamos also can make those things and the final assembly and repair of warheads is done in Amarillo.

  • DesigNate||

    Can't we just 3d print everything we need now?

  • JesseAz||

    When they pass milspec standard and 30 year shelf life, sure.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    John makes a good point. And this is also why certain things need to be made here irrespective of free trade. National security is important, and being potentially dependent on a hostile foreign power for strategic items is just batshit stupid.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup guys.

    Germany was 100% dependent on Romania, Hungary, and Italy for oil in WWII. Germany was very dependent on Sweden for iron ore.

    When the Allies cut off oil supplies from Romania, Germany started having planes that could not fly, vehicles that could not drive, and ships that could not sail.

    People who don't think those things are important to some degree, don't know history and don't want the USA to win any attack upon us.

  • Zeb||

    We could, you know, build the stuff when we need it. Like we did for most of the major wars we've been involved in and won.

  • JesseAz||

    Factories dont spring up in under a week. Mines dont produce by snapping ones fingers. Transport routes and infrastructure don't fall out of the sky.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    some People don't understand the concept of readiness.

  • MJBinAL||

    That was easy when we had extensive domestic manufacturing of similar items for civilian use. We don't have that any more because we buy so much from China. This is why we need to maintain more domestic manufacturing of consumer items.

  • Trainer||

    I live in a Ukrainian Khrushchyovka. Everything lying around is from around 1962 (including my fridge) and they all work just was well now as they did when they were new which is to say, they don't really work at all.

  • Zeb||

    OK, that's a fair point. Especially with radioactive items. I have tons of shit lying around from 1962 or before, but none of it contains large quantities of radioactive materials.

  • ||

    OK, that's a fair point. Especially with radioactive items. I have tons of shit lying around from 1962 or before, but none of it contains large quantities of radioactive materials.

    At the very least, we should upgrade the 'lightswitch' that saved Goldsboro, NC to the thumbprint recognition found on any cell phone.

  • Longtobefree||

    "How many other common items do people have laying around that were manufactured in 1962, as an example?"

    A hell of a lot of mighty fine automobiles, my friend - - - - - -

  • NashTiger||

    So you are telling me that a Ford that rolled off the line in 1962 and hasn't ever been driven in nearly 60 years will be reliable enough to get you to the hospital when your life depends on it?

  • Zeb||

    We should test out the old nukes on the moon. Come on. Nuke the moon. I don't see the downside.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Just take an existing ICBM. Replace some of the exterior with a patterned carbon fiber, put a black turtleneck on it and call it tactical.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Casually placing small nukes on submarines does nothing but create more chances for a deadly accident—or a choice that cannot be taken back.

    "In my humble opinion, in the nuclear world, the true enemy is war itself."

  • Tu­lpa||

    Are you suggesting... A War on War?

  • Kevin Smith||

    Gotta nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Goddamn it! I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would do any good!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I was just quoting Crimson Tide, stupid. Learn your history, boy.

  • Tu­lpa||

    Nick Saban is an oracle.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ROLL... TIDE!

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    Great movie. RIP Tony Scott.

  • ||

    The War on the War on Drugs on Drugs is going well...

  • BYODB||

    So, we're just assuming there is no risk whatsoever that Russia will ever use a nuke? Only we are so dangerous?

    Say, don't a lot of countries have nuclear weapons who would love to expand their borders? China's been perfecting theirs for decades, but since everyone know's China is perfectly peaceful I'm assuming we're not concerned about that because...

    Is it because we're inherently acknowledging that the United States is one of the sanest nations on Earth with nuclear arms, even while you're shitting your pants? Or is the idea that the United States is a deterrent for the entire rest of the world to use theirs? I'm confused since your point is about as muddy as the Rio Grande.


    Why the W76-2? The main argument for it is that Russia is doing it so we have to too, to keep up and therefore prevent actual use.


    No offense, but if you aren't a subscriber to MAD theory then what the fuck is your theory? So far, MAD theory seems to have worked given that Earth is still here, so what exactly are you saying here?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It's quite shocking.

  • Jerryskids||

    Just out of curiosity, what are the Russian or Chinese equivalent of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? And MAD theory always was a bluff against a non-existent threat, a way to assure our European allies that they needn't bother to develop their own nukes because the US had their backs. Ask Charles de Gaulle what he thought of America's promise that they'd trade New York City for Paris if the Soviet tanks started rolling.

  • Tu­lpa||

    Ha! Ask a frog about fighting he says!

  • BYODB||

    Just out of curiosity, what other nations had nuclear weapons at the time for MAD theory to even apply at all?

    The answer is none at all. So returning us to an era where only one nation has nuclear weapons would appear to be advocating for the use of nuclear weapons. Essentially, a return to the era of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Notably, I might add, two cities where people still happily live and work.

    And MAD theory always was a bluff against a non-existent threat, a way to assure our European allies that they needn't bother to develop their own nukes because the US had their backs.

    So, you're saying it's just dumb luck that nuclear war has never happened even though Europe now has their own nukes? You're saying the Soviet Union was never an existential threat, and that all those nuclear weapons pointed at each other were always imaginary? Say, why didn't the Soviet's launch their thousands of nukes? Was it perhaps because they rightly knew that given the travel time and early warning, we would surely retaliate in time to ensure their destruction?

    Interesting.

    Note that I'm not saying there is no alternative to MAD theory, merely that you have no compelling alternate viewpoint.

  • ||

    Was it perhaps because they rightly knew that given the travel time and early warning, we would surely retaliate in time to ensure their destruction?

    Cuban Missile Crisis = Fake News.

  • Zeb||

    you're saying it's just dumb luck that nuclear war has never happened

    As I understand it, there were at least two occasions where we got close enough that dumb luck could have made the difference.

  • BYODB||

    It wasn't 'dumb luck' it was the knowledge that no one could even theoretically 'win' in a full scale exchange of nuclear weapons, hence the theory of mutually assured destruction.

  • Longtobefree||

    The only way not to lose is not to play

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Jerryskids, you know which countries didn't have nukes that the Commies rolled over?

    Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Korea, Manchuria, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iran, Afghanistan, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan.

  • ||

    The collective destruction of Hiroshima *and* Nagasaki is a rounding error in the Gulags, Holodomor, and Great Chinese Famine. Nevermind that the bombings are generally regarded as having saved lives *and* were a retaliatory act that pretty much any 'No First Use' policy would fail to prevent.

    Like Eddy said the other day: people crazy enough that they want to murder cops at the drop of a hat but manage to control their rage until right after the cops kick in the front door.

  • BYODB||

    It's a bit insane to say that Japan had done nothing to earn it's cities being bombed, or that somehow invading full-force with your infantry and shooting anything that moves is somehow more humane or honorable than using bombs.

    Using that logic, firearms shouldn't be allowed in warfare only kicks, punches, and maybe a rock or stick. Although, if we're being honest, Khan did pretty fucking well with rocks and pointy sticks and he wasn't known for being super humane with conquered territories.

    So it's pretty clear that it's not necessarily the weapons that you use, but rather the context in which you use them.

  • Longtobefree||

    Just for the record; rounding is a mathematical process, not an error.

  • ||

    Just for the record; rounding is shorthand for several mathematical processes.

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes, and we made Ukraine and Georgia give them up when they split from the USSR. The Russians of course rolled over both of them taking part of those nations back into the Russian Federation.

    I believe a case could be made that Russia would have been hesitant to do that if those nations had nukes pointed at Moscow and St. Petersburg. I remember saying at the time that giving them up was a mistake.

  • ||

    No offense, but if you aren't a subscriber to MAD theory then what the fuck is your theory?

    This is Reason. They're perfectly content with one-sided destruction just as long as the means aren't too much of the wrong kind of violence.

  • Zeb||

    Is one sided destruction worse than two sided destruction?

  • ||

    Is one sided destruction worse than two sided destruction?

    Actual destruction is empirically worse than the stand off over any destruction that may or may not happen.

  • ||

    Would you feel better if the Federal Republic were dissolved and a socialist state erected in its place but no shots were fired? If there were no Mutually Assured Destruction because, in a one party state, only the party has (nuclear) weapons?

  • Trainer||

    Russia has been moving nuclear weapons around just in the past few months and aiming them at Ukraine and other former USSR states. The thing with people who are passive-aggressive is that they are only passively aggressive as long as it's working. Once it stops working, they quickly become actively aggressive. Putin is willing to destroy what he can't have. He just still thinks he won't have to but it's starting to dawn on him that he can't.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If only we'd have been a little tighter on previous presidents and their war-making capabilities this wouldn't be so hard.

  • Don't look at me!||

    If Trump brings us nothing else, he will be a hero for having brought an age of tightening limits on presidential power.

  • JWatts||

    LOL, sure, all the way till 2021 anyway.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Warbertarians > Lawbertarians tbqh

  • $park¥ is the Worst||

    New nuclear missile:

    1 nuclear warhead
    1 roll duct tape (gorilla tape can be used if necessary)
    1 drone

    Done. Please send $30 billion to my home. You know where it is.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    You're right, we know where it is. We'll just send the drone.

    /The Govt.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) introduced the No First Use Act, designed to prevent the U.S. from using nuclear weapons in a first strike without congressional approval

    Fucking moronic Lefties publicly telling us how they want the USA to disappear.

    If some future enemy knows that we cannot defend ourselves without Congressional approval, then they nuke a full building of Congressmen first.

    They're traitors is what they are.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    "then they nuke a full building of Congressmen first."

    It's always good to notice that enemies often have a few redeeming values.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Haha. I was in a dilemma when writing it.

  • Kevin Smith||

    It only prevents the US from striking first, so we let the nuke congress, but then the gloves are off and we can nuke them back without congressional approval

  • Zeb||

    Did you miss the "first strike" part?

  • JWatts||

    This is a poorly written article:

    "The latter prospect horrifies Saetren, who notes that once a nuclear sub fires a missile, even a smaller one, its stealth is now gone and any further payload is endangered."

    Does this person not realize how nuclear subs work? They fire the missile from under the ocean. Then they sail away. Even if you can pin point them precisely at the time they fire, they can easily be 5 miles away in 15 minutes, running in silent mode. That's a 75 square mile area of ocean.

    "The new project, dubbed the W76-2, marks a reversal of the last 40 years of ..the late 1960s."

    Sigh, this is also wrong. All of the types we currently use have been introduced since the 1960s. If he's talking about pure numbers, then the US had over 10K warheads in 2002. A few hundred tactical nuclear weapons aren't going to change the strategic calculus.

    "Daniel Ellsberg recalls learning during the Eisenhower years that there was no U.S. plan to attack only the USSR: China was part of the deal by default, as if leveling just one country was too subtle. "

    This point seems to be a total non sequitur.

    "Technology is flawed, Saetren notes, and one "problem with nuclear weapons is that it has to be perfect." And they aren't perfect; accidents happen."

    No, they don't have to be perfect. Oh wait, in the very next sentence he disproves his point.

    Did they get someone from the High School debate team to write this?

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, take the time to look up how many countries the USA impacted during the Eisenhower presidency without resorting to nukes. Back then the President knew the cost of war, and the CIA knew how to do the job assigned..

  • Toranth||

    "Rep. Ted Lieu (D–Calif.), who threatened to nuke American citizens if they didn't disarm for him, proposed an unconstitutional law that would have Congress infringing on the Commander in Chief's performance of his military duties."
    FTFY.

    Of course, the entire article is ignorant fantasy - she has been watching too much TV. No, SSBM commanders do not go rogue and start launching missiles. No, WOPR is not going to launch them, and neither will they accidentally launch themselves.

    Yes, smaller nukes are generally better than giant city-busters. No, getting rid of nukes completely is not an option. There, we're done. Lucy, you can go home now.

  • mtrueman||

    " No, getting rid of nukes completely is not an option."

    The more powerful we get, the fewer options there are.

  • Ron||

    If you go after Russia you do have to go after China because they would try to come in and sweep up whats left of both so you have to destroy everything

  • JWatts||

    What about the Indians? I heard they have nukes now.

  • Trainer||

    As do the Pakistanis.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It would likely solve our Global Warming "problem".

    Nothing like an atmosphere filled with ash to block out the sunlight for awhile and cool the Earth down.

  • Trainer||

    Tse pravda!

  • ||

    Nothing like an atmosphere filled with ash to block out the sunlight for awhile and cool the Earth down.

    I'm sure the 40-yr.-old ash cloud models run like well-oiled machines.

  • MJBinAL||

    Of course, the evidence for Global Cooling is starting to pop up! LOL

  • Gary in Texas||

    There is a decades long pattern of people who claim to be "anti-war" opposing US nuclear forces while being seemingly okay with whatever forces the Soviets (during the cold war) or Russia and China (recently) have or are building up. Opinions vary as to why this is. I prefer to err on the side of making quite sure that US forces are strong and survivable enough to provide deterrence and maintain superiority over potential enemies. As to the idea of not allowing a president to use nukes without the approval of congress if the US is not attacked or about to be attacked, I wish we took the Constitution seriously enough to prevent the president from starting any sort of war in the absence of an attack (or an eminent attack) on the US without a declaration of war by the congress.

  • mtrueman||

    "(or an eminent attack) "

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Look, you can't have unilateral disarmament and a welfare state. You just can't.

  • Longtobefree||

    The other term for unilateral disarmament is "surrender".

  • Trainer||

    But Russia started it! But honestly, Putin's been moving nukes to the Ukrainian border over the past several months. Of course, Ukraine gave Russia their old-Soviet era nukes at the suggestion of the US who promised to protect the country. People in Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea can tell you how well that worked out.

  • mtrueman||

    "People in Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea can tell you how well that worked out."

    I'm not sure your point. Aren't these areas of Ukraine that are the most sympathetic to Moscow?

  • Trainer||

    Great job believing the propaganda. They are parts of the country that were invaded and now occupied by Russia. Many of the people are Russian speakers but that's because the USSR sent millions of their people here over the years but that doesn't make them sympathetic to Moscow. And even they were, it was illegal and immoral for one country to 1/5 of another country by force, killing people and destroying whole villages because it wants their resources. America told Ukraine they would protect them if they gave Russia the nuclear arms to be dismantled (which they were not) and we didn't follow through.

    I live about an hour from the conflict zone. The difference between here and the conflict areas is the difference between East and West Germany but with on going fighting. Most of Ukraine is prospering and well fed. In contrast, the people in the conflict zone are so hungry that Russia offered cabbages to people who voted in their sham elections and people took part so they could have some food. Millions of people have left the area and gone to other parts of Ukraine so they don't starve (part of my job is work with internally displaced people) and the ones left are only there because they can't leave or because Moscow is paying them to be there to continue the fighting.

  • Nardz||

    I'm guessing you work for a neocon NGO.
    What of:
    -outlawing Russian language
    -neonazis, real ones, committing atrocities
    -bombing power plants and residential areas of eastern Ukraine

  • Trainer||

    No, I work for good old Uncle Sam and my position is completely apolitical. If I get involved in politics here in anyway, the only option I'll have is whether I want a window or aisle seat for the plane ride home. I'm not quite sure what the rest has to do with this discussion.

  • mtrueman||

    Still not sure what your point is. The people of these areas are fighting the Kiev government and are supported by Moscow, it seems you are saying. This supports my assertion that these areas are sympathetic towards Moscow, otherwise they'd be supported by Kiev and resisting Russia. Please clarify if you can.

  • MJBinAL||

    The point is you don't know what you are talking about. The guy on the ground there tried to give you the real facts and you apparently can't comprehend what you read.

    Go back and try again.

  • mtrueman||

    I believe he said that the people of the Donetsk etc. are fighting against Kiev with the Russians, receiving their support. Here's the exact quote:

    "Moscow is paying them to be there to continue the fighting."

    This was after I asked whether it was true that these Eastern parts of Ukraine were the most sympathetic to Moscow. I was rebuked as a propagandist for my effrontery, though it seems as though my suspicions were correct.

    "The guy on the ground there..."

    I doubt this guy is in the Eastern Ukraine areas we've been talking about.

  • Nardz||

    The guy on the ground there might just be full of shit.
    "I work for good old Uncle Sam and my position is completely apolitical."
    "(part of my job is work with internally displaced people)"
    Hmm...

    I know an American freelance journalist who's been living in the Donbass region. His characterization of the conflict is a bit different.
    http://www.opednews.com/author/author58313.html

    Further,
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Donbass
    Scroll down to the controversies dection.
    "The guy on the ground" above seems to have an agenda, and its definitely not presenting objective observation

  • Trainer||

    There really isn't anyway to prove that I'm in Ukraine but I think my history on the Reason website speaks for itself. I've been here several years now (since before I moved to Ukraine) and post often. I'm kind of low key but I have posted about wide variety of subjects and I'm consistently libertarian in my views. I try to be reasonable in posts- I don't personally attack people, I don't get angry and I don't cut and paste propaganda. Can the same be said for my accuser?

    So, unless you believe that I'm with an agency that knew what was going to happen in Ukraine before it happened and they started setting this up years ago just so I could be a propaganda plant now, it should be obvious that I'm just here because I enjoy reading Reason, reading the comments and posting from time to time.

  • Nardz||

    You do you, man.
    But you're going to get called out when you post bullshit.
    I dont think you job is to troll and never said so.
    I do think you're just a true believer with an agenda.

  • Trainer||

    Moscow moved in Russian soldiers under cover of darkness in unmarked vehicles to start the conflict and continue the fighting. That was widely reported and isn't even up for debate. That differs from the people whose parents and grandparents were moved here by the USSR to help russify the area to make it easier to control. Most of those people are happy to Ukrainian now and help make up the forces that are fighting against the soldiers placed there by Russia.

    Of course, many of the people have fled the conflict area because living in a war zone is not healthy- there are illegal landmines, daily shelling and causalities and lack of basic services like water, heat, medical care and electricity. Some went back to where their families came from in Russia and some moved to other parts of Ukraine- there are millions of internally displaced people here, many of them ethnic Russians.

  • Nardz||

    Russia moved in forces after conflict had started.
    "Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the border into Ukrainian territory"
    "As a result of the August 2014 events, DPR and LPR insurgents regained much of the territory they had lost during the Ukrainian government's PRECEDING military offensive."
    [Emphasis mine]
    A ceasefire was signed on Sept. 5th. It, like dozens of others, did not last.

    "Amnesty International noted that pro-Kiev volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine."
    "Human Rights Watch said that Ukrainian government forces, pro-government paramilitaries, and the insurgents had used unguided Grad rockets in attacks on civilian areas, stating that "The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes"."
    "The New York Times reported that the high rate of civilian deaths had "left the population in eastern Ukraine embittered toward Ukraine's pro-Western government", and that this sentiment helped to "spur recruitment" for the insurgents."

  • Nardz||

    Russia moved in forces after conflict had started.
    "Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the border into Ukrainian territory"
    "As a result of the August 2014 events, DPR and LPR insurgents regained much of the territory they had lost during the Ukrainian government's PRECEDING military offensive."
    [Emphasis mine]
    A ceasefire was signed on Sept. 5th. It, like dozens of others, did not last.

    "Amnesty International noted that pro-Kiev volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine."
    "Human Rights Watch said that Ukrainian government forces, pro-government paramilitaries, and the insurgents had used unguided Grad rockets in attacks on civilian areas, stating that "The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes"."
    "The New York Times reported that the high rate of civilian deaths had "left the population in eastern Ukraine embittered toward Ukraine's pro-Western government", and that this sentiment helped to "spur recruitment" for the insurgents."

  • Nardz||

    Russia moved in forces after conflict had started.
    "Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the border into Ukrainian territory"
    "As a result of the August 2014 events, DPR and LPR insurgents regained much of the territory they had lost during the Ukrainian government's PRECEDING military offensive."
    [Emphasis mine]
    A ceasefire was signed on Sept. 5th. It, like dozens of others, did not last.

    "Amnesty International noted that pro-Kiev volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine."
    "Human Rights Watch said that Ukrainian government forces, pro-government paramilitaries, and the insurgents had used unguided Grad rockets in attacks on civilian areas, stating that "The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes"."
    "The New York Times reported that the high rate of civilian deaths had "left the population in eastern Ukraine embittered toward Ukraine's pro-Western government", and that this sentiment helped to "spur recruitment" for the insurgents."

  • Nardz||

    Damn you, squirrels

  • Trainer||

    Wow, you guys are fast! Unless, of course, you want us to believe that you wrote, search, copied and pasted from all those sources in a matter of minutes. And the little Americanism at the end? Impressive.

  • Nardz||

    Yep, Russia troll farm is ubiquitous.
    Couldn't possibly be that the page was already open to, I dunno, look up the name of the neonazi paramilitaries I referenced downthread. Nope, must be a team of foreign nationals working together to rebut generic talking points in a days old thread on that most influential US media source, Reason. The libertarian crowd is that important to Putin's diabolical plans to take over the world.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Comrade Nardz, the jig is up! Imperialist dog Trainer has outed us! We must return to Fearless Leader for new instructions!

  • LiborCon||

    I was going to say that we would need an "alien invasion" exception to any No First Use law.

    But I've watched enough Sci-Fi to know that nukes never work against aliens.

  • Dillinger||

    stuxnet. not just for earthicans.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Yes, America needs new nukes.
    The old ones have dry rot.

  • JesseAz||

    We didnt need smart weapons either. Fuck the collateral damage of dumb bombs. Send the MOAB every time.

    What a stupid article.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. War is hell. If you are going to do it, do it all the way. You don't pretend that it can be made into something less horrible than what it is.

  • mtrueman||

    " You don't pretend that it can be made into something less horrible than what it is."

    Nonsense. We do it all the time. When was the last time America's corporate media showed an image of a dead US soldier? Not a civil war casualty or one from the last century, but a freshly killed GI from one of the many wars the US is involved with now.

  • Tu­lpa||

    "We do it all the time."

    And it's never worked, and never will. Which was his point that you were too stupid to grasp.

  • mtrueman||

    "And it's never worked, and never will."

    It's working now, as I write this. I suggest you watch the television coverage of America's wars, scanty as it is, more carefully.

  • Moderation4ever||

    What I really don't understand is the logic for using a nuclear weapon. In WWII it was obvious, we (USA) have the bigger bomb and you (Japan) must surrender. What is the logic for a war with a similarly armed enemy. We can make the world uninhabitable faster that you can? We need to maintain a working nuclear stock pile as a deterrent, but once you have enough to kill the world as we know it, you have enough. I would think that with American technology and ingenuity we could render the world uninhabitable for most species (cockroaches excepted) with far less that 6500 weapons.

  • ||

    You assume that nuclear weapons have absolute and fixed efficacy. That no one could possibly figure out a way to minimize the effectiveness of those weapons technically or just numerically in half a century. Otherwise, they'd devise a way to neutralize, say, 50% of the 3250-weapon stockpile and you *could* just bump that number up to 6500 to compensate.

  • mtrueman||

    "Otherwise, they'd devise a way to neutralize, say, 50% of the 3250-weapon stockpile and you *could* just bump that number up to 6500 to compensate."

    Why would these devisers stop at 50%? Doesn't make sense as only one bomb can level New York or Washington, and only a handful would bring the nation to its knees.

  • ||

    Why would these devisers stop at 50%? Doesn't make sense as only one bomb can level New York or Washington, and only a handful would bring the nation to its knees.

    50% was an arbitrary metric that may, in no way, reflect reality. They may be technically or theoretically capable of reaching 100% but only logistically or fiscally capable of reaching 10-20%. They may be financially and logistically capable of reaching 90-95+% and the 6500 number, minus 6495, represents the handful of nukes required to bring any one nation (hopefully only one) to its knees.

    I'm not exactly arguing in favor of increasing the stockpile, just that the "What's the point if they have nukes too?" line of thinking he proposed followed a very... narrow or discrete line of thinking.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I would like to make a prediction.

    Sometime in the next 50 years, the Russian Federation is going to launch an invasion of Eastern Europe, and then officially proclaim that it is extending its nuclear umbrella over the rapidly occupied countries.

    And when the USA, after a period of hair-pulling vacillation, decides to launch a conventional counter-invasion to expel the Russian presence, the Russian government will follow through on its threat, and deploy tactical nuclear warheads on the NATO forces, as soon as it becomes clear that Russia is going to lose the conventional war.

    Either that, or just use the tactical nukes in the initial invasions, in hopes of shocking the West into accepting the situation and acquiescing to their demands out of fear.

    A dark reprise of the Falklands War, with bigger players, weapons, and consequences.

    I am not predicting that this could happen.

    I am predicting that it will.

    And when it happens, the US will have no choice but to punish them with equivalent nuclear strikes, lest they use the threat of further strikes to gain de facto control over all countries on earth that don't have nuclear arsenals of their own.

    So: if that happens, do you want America to be forced to respond with nukes larger than the ones the Russians used on us, or with nukes about the same size?

    Because those are the two options. You will not get a third.

  • mtrueman||

    Surely you understand that when Russia invades Eastern Europe, they will also level Washington and other cities of note in the US, the only threat to Russia and head of NATO. Russians play for keeps.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    The Russians are pretty stupid, mtrueman, it's true. But they're not mtrueman-level stupid.

  • mtrueman||

    "The Russians are pretty stupid"

    They aren't, and you shouldn't need me to tell you this. And the US can't even manage to expel Russian advisors from Syria, let alone a force occupying Eastern Europe.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Not "can't". Won't. Syria isn't worth starting a global war over. The NATO members of Eastern Europe will be. You might be willing to feed the crocodile in the hope it will eat you last, but America as a whole will not be.

    And any country that thinks that conquering small neighboring countries is a viable path back to superpower status is stupid by definition. The last few countries that tried that certainly were. Russia is merely walking the same path that Germany, Japan, Italy, and Argentina once did- and it will share those countries' fate.

  • Nardz||

    "The NATO members of Eastern Europe"

    Damn those Russians for being so aggressive and expansionist!

  • Azathoth!!||


    "The NATO members of Eastern Europe"

    Damn those Russians for being so aggressive and expansionist!

    And just who are the NATO members from Eastern Europe?

    Why they're countries that had been conquered by the Soviet Union. They joined NATO after the Communist Utopia's rotted corpse collapsed in upon itself.

    Why'd they join NATO though?

    Because they knew that the beast was only mostly dead.

    Ah.

  • Nardz||

    The economic benefits are just a nice perk, I'm sure

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    What benefits? The Eastern NATO members meet their treaty obligations.

  • Nardz||

    Estonia, Greece, and Poland do. Every other country but the UK and US does not.
    Weird, considering that these Baltic states are in fear of imminent attack...
    And I suppose you think that having US troops, bases, interests in an area doesn't bring any money in

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Latvia and Lithuania are only just short, and their only hope of resisting a Russian invasion without Western support would be a guerrilla insurgency anyway, so it's impressive they spend even as much as they do.

    And how on earth could US military bases bring in enough money to sway the entirety of a country to feel the way they do? You do realize those countries have a combined 6 million residents? A few local special interests trying to bring home the bacon would not be enough to persuade that many people to pursue a course they would know full well would piss off their much larger neighbor, even if that neighbor really hadn't had any aggressive designs before.

  • MJBinAL||

    Dude, do they give you an office in a consulate to work from, or do you post from a home office as a sleeper?

  • mtrueman||

    " Syria isn't worth starting a global war over."

    And Eastern Europe is? Good Lord, Telcontar the Wandchipper, I thought it was the Russians who were pretty stupid. It was you all along.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Aww! Thanks, mtrue. There is nothing more vindicating than the knowledge that you disagree with something I have said. Honestly, I was starting to worry I might've brought you around to my position, and then, well, I don't know what I'd have done. Probably would've had to go and take those night school classes after all.

  • mtrueman||

    "There is nothing more vindicating than the knowledge that you disagree with something I have said. "

    You're assuming I understand (or think I understand) what you've written. It seems you are carrying on an age old American tradition of handwringing over Russian ambitions in Europe. Berlin was the focus of tin-eared American obsession in the 50s and 60s. The Russians were always more interested in places like Vietnam and Cuba.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Which, in turn, was a continuation from the handwringing in the 30s and 40s over Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe.

    Hey, wait a minute...

  • Nardz||

    You mean the Soviet Union

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Which was... not dominated and controlled by Russia in your version of reality?

  • Nardz||

    Well, it's leaders at the time of expansion were a Georgian and a Ukrainian

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Whose armies were primarily Russian, and actively attempted to "Russify" the occupied territories, under them and their Russian-born successors.

    How do you think this line of argument absolves Russia, or mtrueman, of anything?

  • Nardz||

    What line of argument attempting to absolve Russia are you imagining?
    I merely pointed out that the Soviet Union is not the same as Russia, and that Stalin and Kruschev weren't Russian.
    You're trying to paint Russia and Russians as some inherently aggressive entity, but you don't know your history.
    Even including the Soviet era as one with Russia, historically they have been invaded far more often than the converse.
    In fact, except for the Soviet Union's conquests along their march to Berlin, Russia has lost millions of acres of territory. Most of those Baltic states had been Russia much longer than they've been independent nations.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Which is why those countries don't really mind the prospect of being assimilated again, right?

    The ratio of "times invaded by others vs. times others invaded by" is irrelevant. Being invaded is about as good an excuse for invading, as being beaten as a child is good an excuse for growing up to beat your own children. The only thing that matters is that under the Tsars and the Reds alike, Russia still maintained a consistent pattern of trying to suppress and assimilate its near-abroad over their extremely persistent objections, and all of its behavior over the past two decades is consistent with that centuries-old pattern.

    Saying "it was the Soviets, not the Russians!" comes off sounding a lot like an evasion, considering that "the Soviets" continued and perhaps accelerated the Tsarist policy of crushing nationalist sentiment in their colonies, and capped it off by moving in large numbers of ethnic Russians to try to seal the deal. There is no point served by trying to delineate the USSR from Russia's history of expansionism: it was a vehicle thereof.

  • MJBinAL||

    Wow, no wonder he can post so quickly, he just cuts and pastes from the official Russian talking points.

  • mtrueman||

    "Which, in turn, was a continuation from the handwringing in the 30s and 40s over Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe"

    I don't think so. Americans were typically not concerned over the fate of Eastern Europe in the 30s and 40s. They had to be dragged into the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Given the number of right-wingers who wanted to ally with Nazi Germany against the USSR leading up to WWII, I'm going to say you're wrong.

    They didn't have their "dictator-confronting" priorities straight, of course. Yet that didn't make their predictions about what Russia wanted to do wrong.

    Specifically, the part where they conquered Europe right up to the point they bumped into Western occupying troops blocking their advance. "Tin-eared, obsessed" Western troops, no doubt.

  • mtrueman||

    "Given the number of right-wingers who wanted to ally with Nazi Germany against the USSR leading up to WWII"

    You haven't given me any number. How many right wingers in the USA were wringing their hands over Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe in the 30s? I'm sure there were some. I believe though their numbers are dwarfed by the post war bi-partisan consensus on the issue, as I have stated before. I've also stated before that America was not sufficiently interested in participating in WWII until Pearl Harbour, at which point the Soviets became American Allies.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Charles Lindbergh. Given that he had millions of supporters, presumably a large number of them too. Beyond that, I couldn't say.

    Nor do I need to, given that I only brought them up in the context of pointing out that the Russian-dominated Soviet Union had, in fact, invaded and oppressed several countries of Europe in the years immediately preceding the period in which you refer to opponents of further Russian expansionism in Europe as "tin-eared" and "obsessed".

    Which, if you were capable of introspection, you would recognize as "refutation of your dismissal of US Cold War-era fears of Russian expansionism in Europe".

  • mtrueman||

    "presumably a large number of them too"

    Presumably not large enough to make a difference. And certainly only a fraction of the number of those who followed the bipartisan post war consensus, as I pointed out several times.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Re-read my last comment until you understand it, or die of sleep deprivation. You'll come out a more thoughtful and insightful person either way.

  • Nardz||

    Western Europe has lived in fear of the "Russian bear" for centuries.
    The historical record makes those fears look much more like paranoia than anything.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Which part of the historcal record would that be? The part where Poland, the Baltics and the rest of now-independent Eastern Europe chafed under Moscow's monarchist yoke for centuries whenever they couldn't manage to shrug it off, or the part where they chafed under Moscow's communist yoke for decades until said yoke rotted itself off?

  • mtrueman||

    You know that during the war Americans actually connived with the Soviets to make their occupation of Eastern Europe possible, supplying them with weapons and all manner of war making equipment. It was only after the war with the bipartisan consensus that fears of Soviet ambition in Europe came to the fore. All your rabbiting on about sleep deprivation and my personal shortcomings don't change any of this.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Yes, we sort of had a Nazi problem to deal with first. Priorities.

    That's no excuse for pretending that Russia's annexations during said period were not indicative of their future ambitions. Which is what you have been denying and/or evading since 2.6.19 @ 11:35PM. Which brings us back to the "sleep deprivation and personal shortcomings" issue.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yes, we sort of had a Nazi problem to deal with first. Priorities."

    So you agree that the handwringing was a post war phenomenon. Fuck me, Telcontar the Wandchipper, it took you long enough to agree with me. Not long ago you were insisting millions of Americans were champing at the bit to join the Nazis in stomping the Bolsheviks.


    "That's no excuse for pretending that Russia's annexations during said period were not indicative of their future ambitions."

    I keep telling you Soviet post war ambitions did not lie in Europe, as their redeployment from Austria and Greece should tell you. Russia's ambitions lay in places like Africa, Vietnam and Cuba. They even stationed nuclear missiles in Cuba. I understand you've been taught that Russians will march on Europe one day. You've absorbed well the lessons of the post war bipartisan consensus. But look at the facts is all I've asked of you.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Which ones? The fact that Lindbergh's comments were before Germany declared war on us and thus neither count as "post-" nor "during the" war, the fact that a country of 133 million citizens could and almost certainly did have multiple millions of people supporting Germany against Russia in that pre-war period based on simple statistical likelihood, the fact that those millions most certainly merely represented the tip of the iceberg of antipathy to communism that had already exerted itself during the First Red Scare and thus indicates that a much larger group of Americans were in fact wringing their hands over the soon-to-be-realized imperialism of Soviet Russia even if they themselves didn't go so far as to take Germany's side as their allies on the fringe did, or the fact that any Russian redeployment from Europe during the Cold War cannot be considered outside the context of the NATO forces and warheads arrayed in West Germany with the express purpose of deterring them from pursuing any acquisitional designs they might have had in the region any further?

    Because you see, I'm afraid I've already looked at those. Now, you try.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    This is fiction-style imagineering. It takes some facet of current society / geopolitics and extends it as if nothing else will change in reaction.

    It's exactly as plausible as dystopias where half the population is zoned out junkies supported by state welfare.

    Just canna happen.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Russia isn't going to become a democracy as long as Putin and his successors are still able to bring home military victories to distract the Russian people from their domestic problems.

    Russia isn't going to stop attempting to expand as long as Putin and his successors still need military victories to bring home to the Russian people in order to distract them from their domestic problems.

    Russia's leaders are smart enough to know that they cannot invade Ukraine, the Baltics, or Scandinavia without triggering a NATO response.

    They're also smart enough to know that they cannot win a protracted conventional war with NATO.

    But they and their people are also deeply enough under the influence of fascist propaganda, that they are beginning to think that the Western Powers are so "weak", "decayed", and "decadent" that they can be intimidated with sufficiently aggressive threats.

    And they have several decades ahead of them, for the domestic situation to degrade even further, and the current dictator to come to feel he has no choice but to attempt the biggest distraction of all.

    And when they try it, NATO is not going to just allow them to get away with it out of fear.

    And when we counter-attack, Russia's dictator will never allow himself to lose face by failing to follow through on the threat. He will convince himself a limited strike can be the end of it.

    You disagree? Then stop preening and explain why.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I told you why. Your scenario simply exaggerates current affairs as if the bad bits will get worse with nothing else changing, just as the dystopias from several decades backed assumed there would be more and more junkies, until half or 90% of the population were junkies who contributed nothing.

    You make now allowance for any changes, in either Russia or teh rest of the world. You assume the Russians will get more and more greedy and aggressive, and no one else will change in the slightest.

    That is not how life works.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    It is, actually, how it works. Sometimes.

    I simply happen to believe, with great confidence and greater dread, that this is one of those "sometimes".

    You still haven't told me why you think "things won't get worse". You just assert that they won't. Assert that Russia's dictatorship is going to become less aggressive, despite being a highly nationalistic regime in a world where numerous other highly nationalistic regimes, from Napoleonic France to the WWI Powers to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, have displayed equally self-destructive overconfidence in the past few centuries. Or assert that they will abruptly become a peaceful democracy some time in the coming decades without external conflict, despite Putin regularly achieving 80% approval ratings and arresting anyone that poses a significant electoral challenge. Or that the West's efforts at a "reset" are going to start producing different results than they have under our last three presidents. Or, perhaps, that NATO will simply retreat before their advance.

    I don't know which of those above listed possibilities represents your view, but I do know you have yet to offer any empirical arguments on their behalf. And if you continue to choose not to, in favor of peremptory dismissal, then I will be forced to conclude that it is because you are not able to.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I said before, and I say it again, your scenarios are nothing but the exaggeration of one trait which you dislike while no one else modifies their behavior in reaction. You assume Russia will get greedier and greedier, more and more aggressive, and the rest of the world will continue as if nothing is happening. Recent history alone shows how wrong you are; there have been military and political reactions to Putin's aggressiveness. But you pretend it is insignificant and immaterial, and discount it, and pretend nothing further will happen either.

    Other more historical scenarios do not play out like you imagine either. Take everybody's favorite appeasement, Munich and other events from the Treaty of Versailles to the invasion of Poland. There were reactions as Hitler got greedier and more aggressive. Only fools would say otherwise, and I reckon you are one of them, because it doesn't fit your narrative.

    Dystopias remain fiction, yours included.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    You "pretend" that those "reactions to Putin's aggressiveness" have actually fundamentally changed his regime's approach or worldview while providing no examples of his expansionist policies suffering any lasting setbacks or his governing philosophy being lastingly modified due to any of those "reactions", cite previous "reactions" in the 1930s to an instance of nationalist expansionism that ultimately resulted in exactly the sort of overconfident aggression I predict specifically because those reactions in the 1930s were in fact insignificant and immaterial, and then claim that "dystopias remain fiction" immediately after citing an example of appeasement in living memory that objectively, demonstrably and empirically resulted in the entire European continent being for a period of 6 years transformed into a dystopia that made the cruelest depictions of fictional hellscapes by Orwell, Tolkien and Lovecraft seem like brochures for Caribbean resort getaways by comparison.

    Your obviously intentional efforts to undermine your own credibility and embarrass your family name and ancestral spirits are reflective of incomparable panache and are characterized by the most incandescent verve, and I must applaud.

  • Trainer||

    Maybe his ancestors are proud. Maybe his family name is Stalin.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Stalin didn't suffer fools. Apart from himself, at least.

  • Nardz||

    Except he treated Kruschev like a court jester

  • Trainer||

    That is how it works in this case. Russia is getting greedier and more aggressive daily. You're just not hearing about it in the states. Putin is actively working to overthrow and destabilize the governments of former Soviet states so that Russia can take them over.

    This happens daily. From journalists and activists who are killed by Russian agents to bombings to staged protests to actual invasions, Moscow today is just as aggressive, oppressive and immoral as it was under the communists. Every time they are successful, they are emboldened.

  • Nardz||

    The McCain is strong in this one

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Better than being more bot than man now, twisted and evil... seduced by the power of the Lindbergh Side.

  • Nardz||

    Right.
    The sign of a strong argument: plagiarized cold war fantasies, plus nazi-sympathizer and Russian bot ad hominem.
    Who's the NPC?

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    The one who keeps telling their opponents "You're an NPC! You're an NPC!" in a repetitive, copy-and-paste manner.

  • Nardz||

    No, I keep telling YOU you're an NPC.
    You haven't displayed a single deviation from progressive/neocon talking points or an original thought

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    As you have told dozens of other commenters you've disagreed with from the moment the NPC meme became popular.

    Oh, and I do hate to break it to you, but: I've heard every single one of your arguments before, too.

  • Nardz||

    I've called you, Tony, and baculum NPCs.
    It really is an appropriate meme.

  • Nardz||

    Actually, I dont remember if I've called baculum an NPC.
    Maybe you can refresh my memory.
    And if people keep telling you that your opinions are nothing more than rehashed cold war fantasies, maybe its because your opinions are nothing more than rehashed cold war fantasies.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    They are rehashed Cold War fantasies.

    Because real life is now a rehashed Cold War fantasy.

    I tried to call the '80s to give them their foreign policy back, I did. But they just laughed and hung up.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    My Cold War fantasies have a lot more hot chicks with big boobs in them. Including 80's Shannon Tweed and Traxi Lords.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I forgot to include it, but I also predict that the officer who orders the retaliatory tactical strike against Russia will be played by Alexandra Daddario in the rushed Netflix film adaptation afterward.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Am I on the Russian payroll? And if so, where the Hell is my check?

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Well, if you wanted paychecks to be delivered on time, you shoulda thought of that before signing up to work for commies, now oughtn't ya?

  • MJBinAL||

    touche'

  • Trainer||

    Sometime in the next 50 years, the Russian Federation is going to launch an invasion of Eastern Europe, and then officially proclaim that it is extending its nuclear umbrella over the rapidly occupied countries.

    In progress. They've invaded Ukraine and moved nuclear weapons to the border. And Ukraine isn't the only one. Any time you hear about "a peoples republic" that is set up by "citizens" of a former Soviet state, it's Russian placed and back soldiers who have invaded and taken over. Then there are the countries who are willing to sell their souls to Moscow to keep from being invaded. They've basically become Russian puppet states and Moscow determined who would win elections.

    Of course, they tried rigging the Ukrainian elections but Ukraine didn't roll over like a submissive bitch. If you haven't watched the Netflix documentary Winter on Fire, do it today. Now Russia controls a large part of the country and is constantly fighting to control more. Mariupol is the next area. That's what the recent attack on Ukrainian naval ships in international waters was about. There are still people who are being killed in the conflict zones almost daily as Russia tries to advance.

  • Nardz||

    Neocons and neonazi, a match made in Kiev.
    Seriously, you're both fucking warmongering morons.
    "The US press is covering for Putin!"
    Wow.
    How many times has Putin offered to join NATO or create some other alliance?
    How many times have the reporter murder stories been debunked?
    Who broke their word about not expanding NATO eastward?
    All Russia has wanted, historically and even during the Soviet days, is a buffer zone. They've always been more scared of the west of them.
    Makes sense - Sweden invades and ravages, Napoleon invades and burns down Moscow, Hitler invades and kills millions.
    Since the Soviets took Berlin and half of Europe, precisely which countries has Russia invaded?
    Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine.
    Except Afghanistan was the Soviets, while Georgia and Ukraine were situations where the locals started butchering their own Russian populations. Ukraine is still doing so. The atrocities in that conflict are completely one sided. NATO staged a coup (McCain and Nuland email chain bragging about getting their guy in) and Russia has to draw the line somewhere. Crimea is a vital organ, and voted overwhelmingly for annexation at any rate.

  • Nardz||

    But democracy! Dictatorship!
    Well, let's look at who democracy (us) has invaded since Putin took over:
    Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and added Hungary, Poland, Czech Rep, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Albania, and Montenegro to our NATO empire, while also attempting to bring in Finland, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine.
    Hmm, it's almost like Russia is being encircled by a hostile power...
    Nah, Russia is totally an aggressor and intent on building an empire.
    Disingenuous fucking neocon

  • Nardz||

    Seriously- look at that shit.
    And now we talk about Russia hacking our election and committing an act of war?
    Putin and Russia have been remarkably restrained as we slowly strangle them geographically and economically.
    And everyone who isn't 100% on board with Russia as world villain #1 and doesn't want to push us to the brink of war is smeared as a puppet of Putin.
    Shut the fuck up, you parrot warmongering bitches.
    There is no legitimate reason to be antagonistic with Russia, our ONLY nuclear rival. NONE whatsoever. It's all manufactured bullshit. And someday our faggot (stronger together) global socialist "elites" are going to push too far, or someone who's not as capable as Putin is going to take over for him, and the shit is going to hit the fan.
    But let's ignore that, because fascist! Narrative! Progress uber alles!

  • Nardz||

    Come at me telecontar, trainer
    What've yall been spouting?
    Looks suspiciously like nothing but stereotyping and propaganda stretching reason to it's most absurd limits, piling opinion onto the barest of facts.
    Yall want us to trust your judgement and take your word as you spout the same nonsense that Powers, McCain, Rubio, Clinton, etc hand down.
    Where does that ever lead?
    Only a world of hurt.
    Anyone who wants world peace should be rooting for a full alliance between the 2 countries who have more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons.
    Anyone have a counter argument?
    I'm waiting

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I was going to disregard and ignore your comments as the ill-digested Russian state media excreta of an incontinent ethno-nationalist quote-mind-unquote that they are.

    But if you want to challenge me directly to a fight, then oh, have you got one.

    Just to start things off:

    Try saying the words "anyone who wants world peace should be rooting for a full alliance between the 2 countries who have more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons" to an anticommunist conservative in the year 1980.

    What response do you think you'd get?

    Not a positive one. And why?

    Because "world peace" between a liberal democracy and an expansionist autocracy is a euphemism for "that democracy giving that autocracy everything it wants, right up until it demands something that even the pacifists and isolationists aren't willing to part with". And it will demand that, eventually. Every time.

    And it's true that bitching up to fasci-communi-whateverists is a great way to create "world peace".

    That is why those who would live free, choose war.

  • Nardz||

    Please explain to me how Russia is the expansionist in the relationship with US/NATO

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    @ 2.7.19 12:33 AM

    Because the ratio of "Eastern European countries that have had territory seized by military invasion" between Russia and America is 2 to 0.

  • Nardz||

    And NATO has seized through military invasion Iraq and Afghanistan, plus you could count Bosnia and Serbia- unless you dont count "peace keeping" forces that happen to... influence loyalty.
    Then, unless one is totally committed to denial/ignorance, Maidan is a gray area

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Except for the parts where America never actually annexed Iraq or Afghanistan and allowed the former to democratically elect a government that turned on and evicted us, only attacked Serbia as far as was necessary to allow a million people to return to their homes, and never actually deployed any air, sea or ground forces against the government of Ukraine, your argument is perfectly sound.

    Pity that accounts for all of it.

  • Nardz||

    Pity that you have a complete inability for strategic thought or insight.
    And yes, the US always fights for Good. Theres never any more to the story than that. Never gray area. $6 trillion on Iraq - for democracy!

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    There are only gray areas.

    But one side is always a darker shade.

    And it's not the one you seem to think it is.

  • Nardz||

    "But one side is always a darker shade."
    Profound!
    What spy novel did you read that in?

    And no, I don't think one side is always darker than the other.
    Geopolitics is not moral studies, and thinking of it in such terms is stupid and shallow.

    I like the US more than Russia, but I'm not going to pretend that we are the absolute Good and they are the absolute Evil.
    I'm simply capable of seeing more than one perspective and applying logic to the information at hand.
    There is no strategic nor moral reason to treat Russia as an enemy. There are definitely strategic reasons to form bonds with them.
    Unfortunately, I don't trust that our leadership has the best interests of Americans, rather than those of themselves and their international cadre, at heart.
    I'm sure you're much more trusting of the benevolent and altruistic motives. I mean, they're not Russian so they must be The Good Guys!

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    A basic familiarity with statistics, or economics, would allow you to recall that there is essentially no such thing as "breaking even".

    There is always a side, in a conflict, that would make the world a slightly better place if it won. And vice-versa. Once you have established that "good" and "evil" exist, and I would hope you have, then simple mathematics inform us that they can never be evenly distributed across discrete factions.

    How to tell which side is the "lesser evil", then? There is no perfect metric, it's true.

    But historically, "majoritarian democracy with a strong Bill of Rights leading an alliance formed of voluntary entrants" vs. "country which arrests or disqualifies rival presidential candidates, suppresses non-state media and militarily assimilates territories in its near-abroad" has had some consistent correlations to offer.

    But of course, I wouldn't want to puncture your conviction that your moral relativism makes your positions so much more... profound than mine. There certainly aren't enough post-modernists at Reason (*swig*) as it is, so it would be a pity to subtract further from their ranks.

  • MJBinAL||

    NATO, does not "seize" anything. NATO is a mutual defense treaty organization. None of the nations in NATO are owned by NATO, politically controlled by NATO. As demonstrated by the French, a country can leave, or not join NATO as they desire.

    The Warsaw Pact on the other hand, was virtual, if not actual, ownership by the Soviet Union. No choice in joining, no choice about staying. Hungary is just one example of the Soviet Union sending troops to re-enforce this fact.

    You ARE doing a great job spewing the office Russian taking points though.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Now, let's go down your membership list of Victims of American Imperialism Not-So-Anonymous:

    -Serbia, a nationalist dictatorship that was at the time actively attempting to ethnically cleanse several hundred thousand people via forced exile or murder, which we stopped and reversed
    -Afghanistan, an Islamic dictatorship that just had sponsored the worst terrorist attack on our country in its history
    -and 3 countries which we incompetently, but gamely, tried to liberate from murderous dictatorships, only failing because none or almost none of the resident populations were interested in creating anything better than the deposed regimes, despite the Iraqis being handed electoral democracy on a platter

    So: American stupidity?

    In 3, arguably 4, out of 5 instances, yes.

    But stupidity =/= empire-building.

    Oh, but what am I saying. I forgot all those occupied countries toiling under NATO's cruel yoke!

  • Nardz||

    The point of expanding NATO is to literally surround Russia.
    Riddle me this: how is it in our interest? How does pledging to send US soldiers to die for Montenegro and Estonia help Americans?
    What is our goal?

    Serbia was doing as you say - just as the Bosnians, Croats, and Albanians were. I'd ask what our interests were there, but obviously Clinton got to flex some muscle and put a no joke crime lord into power in Montenegro.

    Afghanistan was perfectly understandable - doesn't mean Russia has to be comfortable with it. The fact is that evidently hostile forces are at another point of Russia's border.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    @ 2.7.19 12:43 AM

    If you understand that America was not trying to annex those 5 countries, than why did you bring them up as a comparison? Do you not understand that "occupy" and "annex" do not mean the same thing?

    It is a funny sort of "anti-globalist" that preoccupies themselves with casting their own country in as negative a light as possible, while apologizing for a hostile foreign country at every turn.

  • Nardz||

    Not annex, just occupy with military bases.

    The whole point I'm making, which seems wasted on neocon ideologues such as yourself, is that Russia isn't some evil aggressor (no more so than the US, to say the least) that we - as in, the American people - have any reason to vilify or be in conflict with.
    The neocon global socialist "elites" running Western Europe and the US, on the other hand, are well served by the Russian boogeyman narrative

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Yeah, "neocons" that want to cut the US military in half in order to pay for solar panels and Teslas. The truth is out there!

  • Nardz||

    Are you asserting something about your beliefs?
    How nice of you to share.
    Probably should've kept that to yourself though, because it simply confirms that you're a moron.
    I'm not surprised that your ideology lacks consistency.
    You do you though

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Helpful hint: try to confirm your opponent's beliefs before you mock them. Saves on embarrassment.

    I think that AOC is as vacuous as the halfway point between the Earth and the Moon.

    As do any "neocons" that actually care about NATO, and thus presumably don't want to cut US military spending in half.

    I realize that lumping all of the people you disagree with into one homogenous mass is both easier for you to comprehend and more effectively feeds your victimhood complex. But it is my task to make the lives of people like you less easy.

  • Nardz||

    "Telcontar the Wandchipper|2.7.19 @ 2:23AM|#

    Yeah, "neocons" that want to cut the US military in half in order to pay for solar panels and Teslas."

    I have no idea how you jumped from "neocons" to "solar panels and Teslas" - thus I asked if you were making a statement about yourself, as the context indicated.

    Maybe... is that what you got from the "global socialist" description? There's no context for that in the discussion, unless you have an extremely limited understanding of the term socialist.

    The rest of your statement is just sad lashing out from someone who can't comprehend the discussion he's in and seems to be insecure about his own position.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Affected contempt can be difficult to distinguish from insecurity, so I understand your confusion.

    Speaking of that contempt, it would've been immediately obvious to anyone who isn't an inchoate nationalist conspiracist that "neocon" and "socialist" are not and have never been the same thing, given that both factions actively hate each other and the latter, as I mentioned, now apparently plan to cut military spending by 50%, if they are able, in order to wage their War on Exhaust Pipes, continuing the long-standing desire of a majority of leftists to reduce military spending in a distinctly non-neoconservative fashion. And this, combined with the derogatory manner in which I referred to "solar panels and Teslas", would've immediately allowed a clear-headed reader to get the point I was trying to make.

    But you did not. And it is obvious from your other comments that the reason why you didn't, is itself the point I was making: that you have persuaded yourself that everyone who disagrees with you is working together to destroy all you hold dear. And I do not blame you. It is so much easier to feel aggrieved that way. A Persecution complex naturally attends a resentful mind.

  • MJBinAL||

    The point of allowing Eastern European nations to join NATO, is that they were insecure (quite reasonably), believing it was only a matter of time before Russian reclaimed them forcibly.

    So while I might believe it was unwise to expand NATO, it was not forced on those nations, the asked to join. In fact, they all but begged to join.

    So yes, not so much as to surround Russia, so much as to provide security to nations like Poland and Hungary.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Yes, those oppressed, enslaved Slavic colonies of the American Empire. Where to begin, in documenting our trespasses against them?

    Our exploitative (and probably profit-motivated!) efforts to convince them to accede to our coercive annexation, in the immediate aftermath of several decades of economically undermining and intimdating Russia in its efforts to protect them?

    Our diabolical scheming, via the CIA, to trick 200,000 lumpenproles (suffering from false consciousness, natch) to come out and protest the president of Ukraine's attempt to secure Russian protection from the capitalist imperialists' plans?

    Or our continued ignoring of the expressed will of the people that the foreign invaders be expelled?

    And that's not even getting into the mass executions, nationalization of industries, public puppy-shooting contests...

    Truly, I am glad to see that you, too, are woke to the institutional hegemony of Western colonialism. The People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appreciate your solidarity, comrade!

  • Nardz||

    You're a fucking idiot who can't comprehend basic logic.

    1. Of course the former Warsaw states want us there, see us as protectors. We are, and they hate Russians (why not Georgians or Ukrainians, considering the nationality of Soviet leaders) and want to stick it to them. What the fuck is it our business to do so? Just to gain forward operating bases.
    2. Yep, Ukrainians got screwed by Moscow's oligarch. Now they're getting screwed by McCain's oligarch, and they're mired in a civil war.

    You haven't even presented an argument above, you've just mocked my points. Funny. The people of Donetsk and Luhansk dont want to be part of Russia- but they don't want to be ruled by Kiev, either. They want a federal system with local autonomy, so they can do things like continue speaking Russian instead of being ethnically cleansed.
    Keep pushing Nulands and Powers MSM narrative though

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Ah, I see.

    So, Russia is trying to reconquer its near-abroad, and it's just none of our business... but the allegations about Russia wanting to reconquer its near-abroad are also unfounded fear-mongering by neoglobalisociothingies trying to frame an innocent country for predatory ends.

    You know, I didn't actually think you were a Russian bot, but now I'm not so sure. You certainly have the whole "doublethink" concept down pat.

    Anyway, I'm a firm believer in not "breaking the kayfabe" around kids who haven't yet been "let in on the secret" about things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, so I'll let you keep thinking that Russia ever has any intention of granting Donetsk and Luhansk "local autonomy". It would just be cruel to do otherwise.

  • Nardz||

    Your act is weak.
    You assert Russia is trying to reconquer former Soviet territory without any evidence but propaganda fairy tales and their limited participation in Ukraine's civil war (which we just happened to have a greater or lesser hand in syarting). Crimea voted for annexation. If Puerto Rico does the same, are we to regard it as the US conquering our near abroad?
    The question of Donbass' local autonomy doesn't rest with Russia, it rests with Kiev. How is the situation different than our martial aid to Mexico or Colombia?

    Try making a fucking argument, with evidence and demonstration. All you have are bald assertions, "nuh-uh", and stupid appeals to groupthink memes.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I am responding to your assertions, denials, and appeals.

    Which is why the onus is on you to provide evidence for them.

    Specifically, for such assertions as:

    -that Crimea's vote was not fraudulent
    -that the country which invaded Georgia and Ukraine has no further ambitions to do the same to other countries
    -that the governments of Georgia and Ukraine were "butchering" anyone, and that this butchering was "exclusively one-sided" (direct quote)
    -that the people of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc., are suffering from false consciousness when they claim that they are under imminent threat of invasion
    -that the Russian government has not been responsible for the murders of hundreds of journalists, defectors, and electoral challengers

    Honestly, I'll even let you get away with citing RT or Sputnik at this point. I was clearly asking too much of you.

  • Nardz||

    Damn, you really dont understand how this works.
    - burden on you to prove fraud
    - burden on you to prove ambitions
    - okay, mischaracterized that one. Abkhazia and South Ossetia wanted independence and Russia backed them, citing Kosovo as precedent
    - strawman. Burden on you to prove imminent invasion
    - burden on you to prove Russian govt murdered hundreds of yadda yadda. I'll spot you Litvinenko, but that's it

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    No, the burden is not on me to prove that elections held in Crimea after being invaded by "little green men", with a 96.7% approval rate, were fraudulent.

    No, the burden is not on me to prove that a country that has invaded its neighbors twice in a decade and constantly threatens and harasses the remainder does not intend to keep doing so.

    No, the... oh, you actually backed off that one. Thank you, I respect that.

    Anyway, no, the burden is not on me to prove that the great majority of Eastern Europe's NATO population, who actually live in the areas that you and I are discussing from afar, are simply being paranoid.

    And no, the burden is most decidedly not on me to prove that those hundreds of murdered "yadda yadda" just so happened to be poisoned or shot whilst in the midst of investigating oligarchs, trying to defect, or running against Putin in elections. I don't need to be "spotted" any of them. And I'm sure as fuck not spotting you any.

  • Nardz||

    You have absolutely no substance to any of the assertions you've made.
    If you assign cause, you have to demonstrate it.
    For example:
    -Crimea voted for annexation. That's a fact. I haven't made any statements addressing why they did so. You did. Thus, you have the burden of demonstrating "why".
    -Certain Russians have died or been murdered. I didn't say who killed them. You did. Burden of proof on you.

    To be honest, you've not shown the capability to engage in a rational debate, and you haven't gone beyond talking points that are rote in mainstream articles.
    I'm getting bored.
    If you can't come up with anything original, there's really no point in you responding further.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Pointing out that Crimea had already been occupied at the time of the vote, and that the official final tally is blatantly unrealistic, is absolutely substantive.

    Pointing out that it is incredibly statistically unlikely that so many dissidents and journalists could have just "happened" to die after opposing their government is absolutely substantive.

    Pointing out that a country invaded two of its neighbors, with the regional public opinion of at least one of them not necessarily being in favor of the invader, is absolutely a substantive argument that they pose a threat to those neighbors they haven't invaded yet.

    And pointing out that Estonia et al are in a better position to evaluate the threat Russia poses than two American armchair commenters blithely jawboning about their fate from several thousand miles away is absolutely substantive.

    It does not matter that you are getting bored of reading that.

    It just proves that you haven't got any smarter since the first time you read it.

  • MJBinAL||

    You are so full of shit and you just keep repeating the same crap over and over.

  • MJBinAL||

    And the "you" above is "Nardz the Russian Troll"

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Coming back and reviewing, I notice two blatant lies that I shouldn't have let pass before:

    Lie #1:

    "I haven't made any statements addressing why they did so"

    You brought up the Crimean vote in the middle of a paragraph defending Russia's actions. You noted the vote was "overwhelming", while also saying that Crimea is a "vital organ" of Russia. That is a clear statement in defense of Russia's decision to annex the region. And it is a defense that obviously would not work, if the vote was fraudulent and not reflective of the will of the people. Ergo, your statement clearly asserted that the vote was not fraudulent, and thus the burden of proof is on you.

    Lie #2:

    "I didn't say who killed them"

    In your very first comment in this thread, you referred to the allegations that Putin was responsible for the deaths as "debunked". You didn't say "dubious". You didn't say "unsupported". You said debunked, which is a clear statement that you believe the allegations are false, and thus the burden of proof is on you.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    And now, let's finish up with some good ole'-fashioned line-iteming:

    "Neocons and neonazi, a match made in Kiev"

    Oh, so having far-right neo-Nazis in your political coalition is disqualifying now?

    "How many times has Putin offered to join NATO or create some other alliance?"

    To provide his plans a veneer of legitimacy? Oh, countless times I'm sure.

    "How many times have the reporter murder stories been debunked?"

    By Sputnik and Russia Today? Oh, countless times, I'm sure.

    "Who broke their word about not expanding NATO eastward?"

    Who cares what we foolishly promised to an autocracy in a moment of naiveté?

    "All Russia has wanted, historically and even during the Soviet days, is a buffer zone."

    And if you think that the people that live in those "buffer zones" shouldn't get a say in their status as human shields, that's a great point.

    "Georgia and Ukraine were situations where the locals started butchering their own Russian populations. Ukraine is still doing so. The atrocities in that conflict are completely one sided"

    Citations not sponsored by Russian taxpayer rubles needed.

    "Crimea is a vital organ, and voted overwhelmingly for annexation at any rate"

    After being annexed, yes. That does tend to make unanimity easier to come by.

  • Nardz||

    Shorter telecontar: "nuh-uh!"

    Maybe do some research from a VARIETY of sources. You do realize that there were protests that were both pro and anti Maidan, and that's how violence started.
    You might come across some stories about actual neonazis, such as Right Sector and the Azov battalion, and some of their activities.
    And you realize that those Baltic states are now much more likely to be used as human shields, than simply enjoy the label.

    Anyway, begone warmongering thot.
    Nothing more pathetic than resorting to the DNC "you're a Russian troll!" fallacy.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Ah, I've been trying to get around to this one for hours. Let's see:

    -it wouldn't really have made sense for me to type "Oh, so having far-right neo-Nazis in your political coalition is disqualifying now?" if I were trying to deny their presence in the Ukrainian coalition. Indeed, it ought to have been fairly obvious, from that remark, that I am fully aware of their presence, and simply don't see how that absolves their adversary of their greater crimes- any more than the presence of white supremacists in the ranks of Western nationalism (ie your ranks) absolves the "globalists" of their various inadequacies. A faction at war cannot be picky about its recruits.

    -pointing out that lots of Ukrainians support the Russians doesn't actually mean that their goals aren't dictatorial and expansionist. About half of the USA's populace were neutral or loyal to the British crown during the revolution, you know.

    -I'm sure the people of Estonia will be glad to hear that you know their circumstances and best interests better than they do.

    -I have not called, and am not calling, you a Russian troll. I am calling you a useful idiot for Russian interests.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    And please note that when I said above that you were "more bot than man now", that was clearly in the context of paraphrasing a Star Wars quote for comedic effect, a nonpartisan obligation of all patriotic and basically decent Americans that exceeds all prerogatives of professional political propriety.

  • Nardz||

    "more bot than man now"

    Ah.
    Ok, funny.
    Unfortunately I'm not as proficient with Star Wars references as others.
    I now appreciate the quip!

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Thank you.

  • Nardz||

    Look at you putting in hours of work to come up with a comment! Attaboy.
    - Ok, fair point. It struck me as you mocking the idea of significant Ukrainian neonazi factions because you invoked the laughably insignificant "white nationalist" meme in the US. But if your point is just very broad I won't contradict, other than to say the fact that it IS significant in the Ukranian Maidan forces discredits the Good vs Evil narrative our press and politicians like to paint
    - Eastern Ukrainian support for Russia does not necessarily mean Russia isn't expansionist, but it does show that the people in Donetsk have independent agency and that there are other reasonable motives for Russian involvement. If Russia wanted the region, why not annex it along with Crimea? Doesn't fit your narrative.
    - I don't care about the people of Estonia, Ukraine, or Russia all that much. They all have their own interests, as I and Americans at large have ours.
    - I'm comfortable with my position. As anyone reading through the thread can see, I have arrived at it via a fairly thorough thought process and independent research. I'll do me. You do you

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Took me hours to get around to it. Because I kept having to respond to your others.

    -multiple political killings by white supremacists that identify with the Right wing is not "insignificant", but that aside, Ukraine doesn't have to be very good, in order to be better than Russia as I perceive it. It has malignant elements, but it is still a democracy. Russia is not.

    -you once again describe Russia's presence in Eastern Ukraine as if it isn't already annexation. The "People's Republics" are dependent on Russian military aid, and this page gives plenty of reasons to think that Russia controls them (see: uncooperative DPR leaders being executed by death squads or "held" at the Russian border, etc.)

    -what difference is there between Estonia and the Sudetanland, as far as "America's interest" is concerned?

    -everyone who actually is a useful idiot thinks that of themselves, too.

  • NashTiger||

    God bless the poor Poles and the Baltics, victims of American Expansionism...

  • NashTiger||

    "AAttempting to bring in" - we are begging them to join, or they are begging to join and we are not letting them in deference to your mad dictator paymaster?

    I've got an idea, since Russia feels so threatened they can invade whomever inconsequential subhumans that are unfortunate enough to inhabit the same hemisphere as them to install a totally necessary 1000 mile 'buffer zone' around themselves, maybe Trump could try the same thing, and invade Mexico, and install a friendly puppet there. Then we can just build a small wall on THEIR southern border, and we'd enjoy a 500 mile buffer from the refugees and the drugs. This is starting to make a lot of sense.

    And when we get any flapback from those ungrateful Mexicans, we could just starve 1/3 of them, forcibly move another 1/3 to Alaska, and move a lot of our own people down there. And if they ever get their country back and try to outlaw English as an official language as a relic of our oppression, we can invade them again and be Totally justified....

  • Nardz||

    Russia =/= USSR
    Putin =/= Stalin (Georgian), Kruschev (Ukrainian), or any of the others.
    The argument you're using is the same argument that assigns modern day Americans responsibility for slavery, Jim crow, Indian "genocide", etc.
    It's immature and fallacious.
    You're position, along with telecontar, is that having an informed opinion contrary to the popular narrative is outrageous.
    Why? Does it offend your delicate fucking sensibilities?
    You haven't justified why I, and the US, should view Russia as (The) Enemy.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    No, my position is that people who have self-declared "informed opinions" that closely adhere to the claims of state-run media in autocratic countries should cite independent sources to back up those claims.

    Waiting.

  • Nardz||

    Fuck off.
    You can find them above.
    And your quip about state run media is a joke totally lacking in self awareness. It's Tony level.

    And you've yet to vote a damn thing. I guess that's tough when you've got nothing but shallow talking points, eh

  • Nardz||

    *cite, not vote

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I did, actually, post a link above. And I'm not sure what point there is in citing any others, given that you will most certainly delegitimize them as being part of the "vast left-wing conspiracy" merely for disagreeing with you. At least I limit my efforts at delegitimization to sources that are overtly funded by the Russian state.

    You still haven't posted any cites for the assertions you've made to me.

  • Nardz||

    I really hate the "I won't vote because youll discredit my source" tactic. Chemjeff uses it all the time, and its annoying. That shit is fantasy, not fact. Post your source and deal with the rebuttal when it comes. Assuming a bad faith response is just a bad faith excuse for not showing your work.
    You linked to a Gallup poll that showed Eastern Europeans like the US more than Russia (don't know if it said anything beyond that, I just glanced at it). No surprise. Eastern Europeans have legitimate reasons to dislike and even fear Russia. That doesn't necessarily justify the NATO using their countries to encroach upon Russia's borders. In my opinion, definitely not for US interests.
    And I'm not going to apologize for viewing the NYT, CNN, WaPo, et al with the same amount of credibility as RT or Sputnik.
    As you can see in my posts above, I've used Wikipedia (which is biased, but not quite as professionally so as the MSM) for links, as well as an an independent freelancer in Donetsk.
    Most of what I've been saying has simply been logical reasoning, while I'm not going to take the time to cite historical knowledge

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    So, you admit that you don't believe anything the MSM says... yet you still apparently want to read links to what the MSM has to say.

    You really shouldn't have a hard time figuring out why, after learning that you don't believe the links people provide you with, those people start to wonder why they should bother providing them at all.

  • Trainer||

    Your propaganda is showing.

  • Nardz||

    Great reply.
    0 substance.
    You already use all the material provided in your pamphlet?

  • NashTiger||

    Wow, an actual Russian propaganda bot. I doubted they really existed

  • Nardz||

    Feel free to counter the points I've made rather than act as an NPC

  • Trainer||

    I'm actually really humbled that what I was saying was worth their time and effort. And here I thought the Motherland didn't care about little ole me.

  • Nardz||

    Again, 0 substance.
    Go shill at WaPo, nobody there will take the time to contradict you

  • MJBinAL||

    Yeah, he is the first Russian bot/troll I have ever knowingly encountered as well. Apparently they only use references from RT. Seems like that would blow their cover.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The alphabet troll has a point.

    This is a static world with a dynamic Russia in it.

    What happens when Putin dies?

    What happens after Trump's elected again?

    What happens as each EU nation leaves the EU?

    What happens as former Soviet vassal states across the world turn their backs on Putin?

    There are too many variables for something so straightforward.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Variables are only variable until the events actually occur.

    Then, having happened, they become, in hindsight, straightforward.

    Ergo, simply saying "there are lots of variables in play" means nothing. Because my prediction by definition represents the way in which I anticipate those dice of brinksmanship rolling to a stop, chips of popular opinion falling, and roulette wheels of geopolitics ceasing to spin.

    Statistically speaking, my predictions are guaranteed to be less than perfectly correct. Given that I presented two significantly different possible series of events in my very first comment, I am obviously aware of that. I simply stand by my assertion that the course of events I predict is the closest to what will actually happen. By a significant margin.

    History is not over, nuclear weapons have not been used for the last time, and the wars of centuries past will pale in comparison to the wars of decades and centuries yet to come.

  • Nardz||

    You presented an early 80s Tom Clancy novel.
    Your "predictions" are nothing more than regurgitated generic plots from the cold war

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    So are Putin's actions.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Actually, hell, what am I saying: so were the 9/11 attacks.

    Debt of Honor, specifically. And that wasn't even one of his good ones!

  • Nardz||

    I liked the one where the SOYU got hit and Jack Ryan became president.
    Harrison Ford always makes for a badass POTUS

  • Nardz||

    I liked the one where the SOYU got hit and Jack Ryan became president.
    Harrison Ford always makes for a badass POTUS

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I am perfectly willing to admit that I do not remember that book well enough to be able to sustain any criticism of it. I respectfully concede the point.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Your own attempts at counter-examples strike me as rather odd. As far as I can see, they only reinforce my forecast:

    -a successor to Putin is likely to have a less magnetic personality, and thus have greater need of military interventionism to distract the populace from his inadequate leadership

    -Trump is as, or less, likely to respond to Russian aggression as any other president, due to his expressed inclination to give Putin the benefit of the doubt and avoid direct conflict

    -the break-up of the EU, if it actually happens, would leave Europe in a more internally divided and bickering state (irrespective of any other benefits that might result from secession), emboldening Russia's ambitions

    -I don't know who exactly you mean by "former vassal states", but I'm pretty sure Russia wasn't counting on Cuban or Vietnamese support to turn the tide of battle for them, if that's the kind of nation you were referring to

    So, no. The "alphabet troll" does not, in fact, have a point.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    I should clarify:

    Any US president would be forced to retaliate in force against a Russian invasion of NATO territory, ergo the desire of Trump or any other president to "avoid direct conflict" will only exacerbate the chances of Russia initiating an invasion (by encouraging them to underestimate NATO's resolve), without ultimately effecting the nature of the response.

  • Telcontar the Wandchipper||

    Gah!

    Affecting the nature of the response.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Next week: Warren and her pussy hat comrades, stealing an idea from 4th wave feminists, propose a bill that requires us to ask the intended target for permission before using nuclear weapons on them. In detail, the bill describes how we must receive written consent for each step of escalation, and we must ascertain that the target country is not incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs.

  • mtrueman||

    "Next week: Warren and her pussy hat comrades, stealing an idea from 4th wave feminists, propose a bill that requires us to ask the intended target for permission before using nuclear weapons on them"

    Why not? Would you prefer your government focus its efforts on making nuclear conflagration easier than it already is?

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