Civil Defense Perspectives Sept. 2015 Volume 31 No. 6
While some U.S. presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton, John Elias Bush [JEB], Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina) have expounded on the U.S. establishing a “no-fly” zone in Syrian airspace, Russia has established that it is not our airspace. U.S. pilots, conducting bombing raids on ISIS, were ordered to change course to avoid coming within 20 nautical miles of a Russian aircraft (http://tinyurl.com/poepl2q). Syria and our supposed ally Iraq have both invited Russia into their airspace to help quell ISIS—and the U.S.-supported insurgency that is trying to oust duly elected president Bashar al-Assad.
Over one week, Russia claimed to have destroyed 19 command facilities, two communications centers, 23 depots with fuel and ammunition, six plants for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and several training camps (RT.com 10/7/15, http://tinyurl.com/nvl5u6l). The U.S has not been announcing comparable claims. In addition to the well-tried workhorses like the Su-24 frontline bomber and the armored Su-25 ground-support fighter jet, designed decades ago, the Russian air force used the new Su-34, which can hit targets from an altitude of 5,000 feet, far from the range of the militants’ anti-aircraft weapons. The bombs include sophisticated laser-guided Kh-25Ls and steerable KAB-250s, and bunker-busting BETAB-500s (ibid.).
Four Russian missile ships launched 26 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea, 1,500 km away, flying through Iraqi and Iranian airspace, with permission. The missiles used are claimed to be capable of hitting a target within 3 meters at a range of up to 2,500 km. All 12 intended targets were said to have been hit. RT.com has posted videos of purported launches and maps of the flight paths (http://tinyurl.com/q4jdzcd). European officials have issued safety alerts to commercial airlines flying in Iraq (http://tinyurl.com/ogz4eef).
The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16, accompanied by a guided missile cruiser, has docked in the Syrian port of Tartus, according to DEBKAfile, a private website headquartered in Israel. Its warplanes and helicopters are expected to arrive by mid-November (http://tinyurl.com/o5wrl4o).
Western sources complain that Russians are not solely targeting ISIS but also the “moderate” rebels armed by the U.S. in order to overthrow Assad in a civil war now in progress for 5 years (CDP, September 2013, http://tinyurl.com/ogdpngk).
Putin states that using Russian ground troops in Syria is “out of the question” (RT.com, 10/11/15, http://tinyurl.com/ocr9lyb). However, Russian air strikes are expected to support a major ground offensive by Syrian government forces joined by Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian troops (Threat Journal 10/3/15, http://tinyurl.com/o4umeya).
The Obama Administration has spent billions of dollars backing different rebel groups trying to bring down Assad. Some have joined ISIS or al Qaeda, taking their American weapons with them. The stated rationale is Assad’s “brutality,” and the casualties of the civil war—with the largest number of reported deaths being regular Syrian soldiers and supporters of Assad. Assad is the last man standing after the U.S. “Arab spring” efforts, which brought down secular dictators Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, and Muammar Gaddafi, to be replaced with still more repressive, religious regimes. Assad’s removal is a principal objective of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Turkish president Erdogan, states retired admiral James A. Lyons. Opposing the alliance of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, he writes, is the emerging Damascus-Baghdad-Beirut-Tehran-Moscow axis (Breitbart.com 10/8/15, http://tinyurl.com/pxlvxn5).
Iran has long supported Assad, but its role had to be downplayed to avoid torpedoing the nuclear deal with the U.S. Now it appears that Iran wants to replace Saudi Arabia as the regional power broker, as Russia replaces the U.S. as the “superpower puppet master” (ZeroHedge, http://tinyurl.com/nhvq4co).
Syria’s position is critical because of oil pipelines and its position in the supply line between Iran and Hezbollah (TJ, op. cit.).
Have Moscow and Washington Reversed Roles?
In the past, Communism was an expansionist movement that championed “national liberation,” writes Justin Raimondo. After the Communist implosion, the U.S. and West Germany offered a quid pro quo: reunification of Germany for a promise that NATO would not expand eastward (http://tinyurl.com/norfpvo). Responding to New York Times report that the Pentagon could store“battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries,” Putin said that Russia would respond “accordingly” to NATO approaching its borders (RT.com 6/16/15, http://tinyurl.com/qyt9s66).
From 1981–1991, the U.S. Dept. of Defense published Soviet Military Power, which contained declassified information on the strategic military balance. I know of no comparable compendium available to the public after the end of the Cold War. Unquestionably, Russia remains a powerful nuclear state. Citing the Arms Control Association, Linda Chavez writes that Russia currently has 1,582 nuclear warheads deployed on 515 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines, and strategic bombers. In addition, Russia’s nuclear arsenal includes 4,500 stockpiled warheads and another 3,200 that are intact but no longer stockpiled, awaiting dismantlement under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Townhall 10/9/15, http://tinyurl.com/p262k99).
According to The Moscow Times on Sept 7, Putin placed the Central Military District on “full combat alert” (http://tinyurl.com/nl4b356).
Chavez and most U.S. presidential candidates urge the U.S. not to “back down” or “leave a power vacuum.” They have no problem with the U.S. waging economic warfare on Russia. Only Donald Trump has advised letting Russia deal with ISIS. Dr. Ben Carson notes the importance of understanding the geopolitical situation, and suggests the type of question any good physician would ask: What’s the best or worst possible outcome from action or inaction?
The question all candidates need to answer is this: Are they willing to take the risk of a nuclear attack on our homeland in order to determine the outcome of the Syrian civil war?
Flashbacks on War
War causes terrible destruction and suffering, yet there are interests that benefit—say the military-industrial complex. Could wars be deliberately triggered? Jeff Berwick, who predicted the entry of Russia into Syria, writes: “Historians are fond of blaming interlocking alliances for the conflagration that was World War One. Yet available information has expanded since the scholarship of the 20th century. The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand was accompanied by another attempt at almost the same time, one that failed.” The Russian mystic Rasputin was stabbed. Though he survived, he was never the same. Both these men were staunchly anti-war and in a position politically to significantly retard or halt any movement toward an inter-European war. Was someone was sending a message to those who would fight the onslaught of war (http://tinyurl.com/poallem)?
It is widely believed that Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union was sheer madness. It was impossible for little Germany to defeat Stalin’s vast resource-rich empire. But Victor Suvorov explains that both Germany and the Soviets were aggressors and had deployed their forces for attack only. Defenses had been dismantled. The forces of the side that did not attack first would be wiped out. When Stalin made the error of approaching too close to the Rumanian oilfields, Hitler understood the hopelessness of his situation. Stalin was completely unprepared—the Soviets had expected the war to be fought on foreign soil. The Germans at first wreaked enormous damage. In the end, the Soviet Union “won,” but had lost the best part of its male population and was severely hampered in its ambition to crush Europe and spread Communism worldwide (Viktor Suvorov, The Chief Culprit, 2008; CDP, Sept 2010, http://tinyurl.com/nh3fq2j).
One result of World War I was to dismember the Ottoman Empire, which at its peak in 1693 dominated the area from what is now Ukraine to the Arabian sea and from Algeria to the Persian Gulf. Turkish language and culture stretched all the way to the Pacific. Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are Turkic Muslim, as are large areas in Russia’s Volga basin and Siberia, and the huge Xinjiang area of China, writes Richard Maybury (Early Warning Report, September 2015).
In 1913, the Ottoman Empire covered most of what is now Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, plus a large part of the oil-rich area of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf. Turkey today has little oil, despite its dominant position in the oil corridor.
In World War I, the Turks under Kemal Ataturk were powerful enough to defeat the British at Gallipoli and to drive the mighty Allied powers out of Turkey. But they still lost their empire, and Ataturk concluded it was because of their backwardness. They needed to give up their Eastern ways and look westward. Ataturk’s revolution swept away the Islamic state and attempted to replace it with Western economics, politics, social conventions, and technology—a move millions of Turks still oppose.
Today, though largely ignored by the Western press, Turkey is a central player. These are key facts: (1) Turkey is 99.8% Muslim. (2) Except for the U.S., it is the only NATO member with the capability of fighting a “big iron” conflict. (3) Of 50 Islamic-majority nations, Turkey has by far the most effective military. (4) Attacks on Turks (false flag attacks?) might cause the Turks to take a more bellicose role in Middle Eastern conflicts.
The Russians report using “air bombs” in Syria. These fuel-air explosives mix a volatile chemical with air, and detonate it with a special, top-secret detonator. A detonation, which is different from an explosion, can produce a blast wave as intense as that of a nuclear weapon. Almost nothing can withstand it.
The late Cresson Kearny, asked by the military to come up with an expedient defense, tied fire lighters to large tumbleweeds with strings. When the gas blown out by the fuel-air bombs caused the weeds to tumble, they pulled on the strings to the fire-lighters, which caused an explosion before the gases were properly distributed for a detonation, greatly reducing the destructive effects. This worked in tests at China Lake many years ago; it is unknown whether bomb-makers have found a way around it (Access to Energy, September 2015).
To understand Iran’s nuclear intentions, American diplomat James Zumwalt suggested reading its constitution. It mandates the divine mission of exporting Islamic revolution. It requires the Supreme Leader to surrender power upon the arrival of “the Mahdi,” or “Twelfth Iman.” His return is to be triggered by world chaos, followed by Islam’s march to world domination. Iran’s Shia mullahs believe man can be a catalyst in expediting it, with Israel’s destructionas the trigger. Both current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimhave received a visitation signaling that the Mahdi’s return is imminent. Possessed by this belief, Iran’s leaders might feel driven to initiate a nuclear strike—and they have no fear of in-kind retaliation (http://tinyurl.com/ov37ztp).
A change that Barack Obama did not announce as part of the “fundamental transformation of America” is that Russia appears positioned to become the dominant power in the Middle East. Although the U.S. may still have the most lethal military in the world, “even the most powerful combat force is ineffective if the government is too broke to deploy it,” writes Simon Black (http://tinyurl.com/o3bogj8). The U.S. has benefited greatly from the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency, supported by the refusal of the House of Saud to accept other currencies for purchasing its oil. But the reign of the petrodollar and the dominance of the U.S. financial system may be ending.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 after the Saudi tribe, with the help of the British government, conquered most of the other tribes on the Arabian peninsula. The U.S. has supported the Saudi dictators since the time of Franklin Roosevelt (EWR, August 2012). Saudi Arabia is a brutally repressive theocracy, the world’s largest oil producer, and the second largest arms importer. It is currently involved in a bloody conflict with Yemen. Some forces may be destabilizing the kingdom to facilitate a new world currency (http://tinyurl.com/pq4yx4d).
As drastic realignments occur, we must watch the hardware, and recognize that the U.S. is the target of many hostile forces.
Civil Defense Perspectives 31(6): September 2015 [published Oct 15, 2015]