It took 60 years but the US finally did something more dangerous to world survival than the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Last year marked 60 years since the US provoked Russia to sneak nuclear weapons into Cuba to protect it from further US invasion or assassination of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Our humiliating loss at the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion did nothing to dampen America’s lust to oust the Castro government, returning Cuba to rapacious American capitalism and a Mafia playground, regardless of how many might die.
That triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, for 13 days, kept this high school senior on the cusp of nuclear annihilation. But knowing that the US red line against Russia putting nukes just a few minutes from the mainland could trigger nuclear war, both the US and Russia employed negotiations, defusing the nuclear crisis in under 2 weeks.
Yesterday (January 31) the Biden Administration announced yet another military aid package to Ukraine including yet more powerful weapons. This comes as a new PEW Poll shows that Americans increasingly believe that the US is doing too much to help Ukraine. Also today: The US government investigates its massive aid transfers to Ukraine and finds no misuse of funds. Shocker!
On Sunday (January 29) Ray McGovern briefed the stalwarts at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in the Northwest of Washington state, who witness to life in the dark shadow of nuclear armed Trident submarines, eight of which are based at a naval base adjacent to Ground Zero. (The other six Tridents are deployed on the East Coast at Kings Bay, Georgia, where the “Kings Bay Plowshares 7” did a nonviolent action on April 4, 2018 — which resulted in their having to spend considerable time in prison.)
The adjacent Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor is homeport to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear warheads in the U.S. The nuclear warheads are not only deployed on Trident submarines, but are also stored in an underground nuclear weapons storage facility on the base.
One Trident submarine carries the destructive force of over 1,200 Hiroshima bombs (the Hiroshima bomb was 15 kilotons).
Since the crisis in Ukraine has brought the possible use of nuclear weapons into rather Blasé conversation, it seemed good to provide a brief review of how we got where we now are in Ukraine and what we might try to do to end the madness. Since Ray focused on ‘Russia-gate: Can You Handle the Truth’ the last time he was in Seattle and environs he devoted some time to updating on that and relating matters.
A US Pentagon agency has released photos and details of the loading and shipment of Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine for the purpose of fighting Russia. While obviously such shipments can be tracked by governments, including by Russia, does it seem odd that the Biden Administration seems to almost be bragging about the long journey through international waters? Also today, a sad time for the once-neutral Swiss.
The Israeli government launched another attack inside Iran this weekend:
A drone attack on an Iranian military facility that resulted in a large explosion in the center of the city of Isfahan on Saturday was the work of the Mossad, Israel’s premier intelligence agency, according to senior intelligence officials who were familiar with the dialogue between Israel and the United States about the incident.
This attack is just the latest in a series of aggressive moves that the Israeli government has made against Iran over the last several years. Some of the coverage of the strike has framed it as part of an effort to “contain” Iran. As far as I can tell, there has been no acknowledgment in any of the reporting that the Israeli attack was unprovoked and illegal. Israel’s illegal attacks on Iranian and other targets in Syria and Iraq over the years have become so common that no one even blinks when another one happens. They are all defined as “defensive” strikes because the attacker says they are.
As I was saying last week, it is simply taken for granted that the US and Israel can launch attacks against Iran with impunity, and that is how this attack is being treated. US officials have wanted to make clear that this was an Israeli operation, but the administration apparently isn’t going to rebuke or even discourage the Israeli government from conducting more operations like this one. It is probably no accident that this strike came on the heels of the joint U.S.-Israeli military exercises last week that were meant to simulate an attack on Iran. If the US didn’t specifically give Israel the green light for this strike, it has certainly given the Israeli government no reason to think that it would disapprove.
It is worth thinking through what the reaction would be like if Iran had launched a similar attack on Israeli soil. The condemnation from the US and many of its allies would be immediate and deafening. There would be demands from hawkish members of Congress for more sanctions and probably for retaliatory strikes on Iranian targets. The US would hasten to show solidarity with Israel and pledge to provide it with more military assistance.
Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.
The latest “Twitter Files” release was a bombshell, detailing how a group of neocons got together to falsify information about “Russian disinformation” in 2016 to demonize Donald Trump and help Hillary Clinton. It turns out there was election interference…but it wasn’t the Russians it was the neocons. Also today: warhawks exaggerating the China threat.