It was reported yesterday that a Russian missile hit Poland, a NATO-backed country, however, it was announced today that the explosive weapon in question was not fired by Russia but by Ukraine. Due to the volatility and high tensions precipitated by this incident, the blame was placed solely on Vladimir Putin for starting the war in the first place. The timing of this questionable event is creating fear of a pre-emptive nuclear strike and WWIII. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with military strategist, James Ponder about DR. D3FCON – THE ROCKET RED SCARE.
We have arrived at a time in history when the threat of a massive nuclear disaster has returned.
For three decades, the INF Treaty remained in force, and NATO and the Russian Federation benefited from the absence of intermediate and shorter-range missiles. During that time, there were no war scares, no fears of surprise missile strikes against command bunkers and cities, and no need for new and better “Euro-missiles.” These days are now gone.
The INF Treaty was Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev’s most historic achievement. They didn’t care for nuclear theology and war-fighting plans. They agreed that a nuclear war could not be won and must never be fought, and they were both in a position to override their nuclear-military-industrial complexes.
The INF Treaty was the result. This time the question is whether or not we will survive a nuclear exchange because the major superpowers have now backed out of the peace treaties.
A nuclear disaster does not have to happen with intent – it could happen because of a miscalculation or accident.
Just like COVID-19, which people argue over whether it was an intentional release of the pathogen or an accident — the result is the same.
Nuclear wars and pandemics aren’t the same when it comes to death tolls. But they do share a penchant for culling the population, speeding along to worst-case scenarios while our indecisive bureaucratic structures trail them in the rearview. Like any other international crisis, they both depend on powerful people in rooms making decisions on behalf of the rest of humanity.
They also depend on the public’s implicit trust in those powers.
Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights.
People have questions — the government forms vague answers. People are frustrated because the questions go unanswered and paranoia and conspiracy theory are the result.
The questions focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them.
When I read the headlines in the morning I notice that most of them are political now — and others are about war. The threat of Nuclear war and how the politicians deal with it also reminds me of two movies. One is Stanley Kubrick’s, Dr. Strangelove and the other is a similar film called, Fail Safe with Henry Fonda.
Both movies show men operating within remorseless systems, namely the US Nuclear apparatus. It indicates that even back in the 1960s there was room for error and that Nuclear accidents or that accidental launches could happen anytime.
Fail Safe revolves around the inability of the United States to recall a squadron of nuclear-armed bombers inadvertently ordered to attack Moscow. The U.S. president played by Henry Fonda desperately tries to convince the Soviets that the attack is a mistake. In order to prevent an all-out nuclear war, the president states that he will order bombs to be dropped on New York City if Moscow is indeed attacked. Although the Soviets shoot down a number of the U.S. planes, one manages to drop its nuclear bombs. In response, the president follows through on his promise.
On June 3, 1980, at about two-thirty in the morning, computers at the National Military Command Center, beneath the Pentagon, at the headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command NORAD, deep within Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, and at Site R, the Pentagon’s alternate command post center hidden inside Raven Rock Mountain, Pennsylvania, issued an urgent warning: the Soviet Union had just launched a nuclear attack on the United States. The Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan, and the animosity between the two superpowers was greater than at any other time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
U.S. Air Force ballistic-missile crews removed their launch keys from the safes, bomber crews ran to their planes, fighter planes took off to search the skies, and the Federal Aviation Administration prepared to order every airborne commercial airliner to land.
President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched.
Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for the third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at NORAD headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents.
Twenty-seven years ago mankind nearly faced yet another nuclear extinction. It was considered one of the most dangerous moments of the nuclear age. It was the first time a Russian or Soviet leader had used a nuclear briefcase in response to an actual alert.
It was a rocket experiment that nearly destroyed the world.
The scientists had no idea that their experiment could spell the end of civilization. On Jan. 25, 1995, Norwegian and American researchers fired a rocket into the skies of northwestern Norway to study the Northern Lights. But the four-stage rocket flew directly through the same corridor that American Minuteman III missiles, equipped with nuclear warheads, would use to travel from the United States to Moscow.
The rocket’s speed and flight pattern very closely matched what the Russians expected from a Trident missile that would be fired from a US submarine and detonated at high altitude, with the aim of blinding the Russian early-warning system to prepare for a large-scale nuclear attack by the United States. The Russian military was placed on high alert, and then President Boris Yeltsin activated the keys to launch nuclear weapons. He had less than 10 minutes to decide whether to issue the order to fire.
Yeltsin left the Russian missiles in their silos, probably in part because relations between Russia and the United States were relatively trusting in 1995.
Times have changed and now a generation is now being programmed to hate Russia — and Russia has responded equally by bombing and attacking Ukraine.
As in every war, there are turning points where we wonder just how close we have come to Nuclear Armageddon or the full move toward World War.
Two people have been killed in Poland after two stray rockets landed near the border with Ukraine. The rockets have landed in a NATO state following Russia’s mass bombardment of Ukrainian cities which saw over 100 rockets launched.
Immediately Poland suspected that they were Russian Rockets.
This prompted an emergency meeting about what to do as this would mean that Russia attacked a NATO country and therefore there would be swift retaliation.
Yesterday it was reported that a senior US intelligence official said that the missiles were of Russian origin. Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has convened the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense Affairs “as a matter of urgency”, government spokesman Piotr Müller confirmed, with local news sites claiming this is likely the result of the explosions. A spokesperson for the Polish government said the readiness of their military units is being raised.
Russia has denied not only the missiles hitting Poland, but any rocket strikes near the border at all – despite mass explosions hitting cities near the border just hours earlier.
Poland was to trigger NATO’s Article 5 provisions, calling on all of the treaty’s members to attack Russia. According to Article 5, an attack against one NATO Ally is considered an attack against all Allies.
However, Warsaw considered invoking Article 4, which calls for Allies to consult together when “in the opinion of any one of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened”.
Russian state media agency TASS reported that, according to a source in Brussels, NATO’s response to the attack will depend on Warsaw’s statements about the “ownership” of the missiles.
Poland has consistently condemned the war and accepted millions of Ukrainian refugees during it.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the incident was a “very significant escalation and we must act”. Some Polish officials are stating that the act should create an “escalation of the situation, even if it was a mistake.
Moldova, another neighboring country of Ukraine, was also impacted by Russia’s massive missile attack after it caused a major electricity outage. The country’s foreign minister, Nicu Popescu, called on Russia to “stop the destruction now”, highlighting that “every bomb falling on Ukraine is also affecting Moldova and our people”.
Russia picked a horrible time to strike. Ukraine/Russia is being affected by a strong snowstorm. About two inches of snow already and coming down harsh. People are going to freeze and starve without power.
Much of Ukraine is without power and electricity.
The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said he was “very concerned” by the explosion. “It is absolutely essential to avoid escalating the war in Ukraine,” he said in a statement.
Since the beginning of the war, the United States and its allies have sought to keep the fighting limited to Ukrainian territory and to avoid direct confrontation with Russia, even as NATO members have supplied a steady stream of weapons to Kyiv.
Article 5 of the NATO charter commits its members to mutual defense, stating that an attack on one is an attack on all. That could be taken as requiring a concerted response to the blast in Poland.
Today It was reported that the Missile in question was not fired by Russia but by Ukraine. However, the blame was placed solely on that of Vladimir Putin for starting the war in the first place.
Volodymyr Zelensky had blamed it on ‘Russian missile terror’ and is yet to concede Kyiv’s involvement even though Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaking after a meeting of his security council said he has seen ‘no evidence’ the missile was fired by Russia and it was in fact ‘highly probable’ the Soviet-era S-300 rocket came from Ukraine.
Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles, unfortunately, fell on Polish territory,’ according to Duda, who added that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for the strike because Putin began the war in Ukraine.
Jens Stoltenberg, head of NATO, backed that analysis – saying the strike was likely a Ukrainian missile, there is ‘no indication’ it was deliberate and there is ‘no indication’ Russia is preparing an attack on NATO. However, he added: ‘This is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.’
Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Kyiv wanted access to the site and still saw a Russian ‘trace’ behind the attack.
So now it is a matter of debate — Zelensky claims it was Russian and Poland has now said it is not. It is evident that Zelensky wants this war to escalate.
It is now evident that Harsh political rhetoric, combined with the vulnerability of the nuclear command-and-control system, has made the risk of global catastrophe greater than ever.
This is why the war has to stop — it could escalate into nuclear war rather quickly — We almost woke up to World War III.
Before the Polish and NATO missile assessments, U.S. President Joe Biden had said it was “unlikely” that Russia fired the missile but added: “I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened.”
Three U.S. officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. That assessment and Biden’s comments at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia contradicted information earlier yesterday from a senior U.S. intelligence official who told The Associated Press that Russian missiles crossed into Poland.
When you destroy trust between nuclear powers you recreate the possibility of nuclear disaster, either by intent, or miscalculation.
The demonization of one nation creates an air of paranoia and what was once a country that could be considered a business adversary –Russia now sees itself as a nation that needs to be on the defensive and so we are now witnessing what happens—it fits a pattern of history and it has pushed us to the brink in the past, however, now we may not be so lucky.
A hot war can come from a new cold war.
The American military-industrial complex, with a turnover of a trillion dollars annually. Their entire revenues come from serving the war capability of US government. They have a huge interest in having a major enemy.
They tried to make terrorists that enemy, but that was not serious enough, so the neocons and neoliberals had a great interest in recreating the Russian threat.
From the neoconservative standpoint, they actually regard any country with an independent foreign policy to be a threat to the United States. So that part of the equation means that they can move the cold war into a hot war, it only takes a small amount of miscalculation.
Hybrid Warfare and nuclear danger is what lie ahead. Even without arms racing, nuclear dangers will certainly rise without treaties. New technologies that lend themselves to finding and exploiting vulnerabilities are already here, and they don’t require nuclear detonations to be effective.
The boundaries of war have widened significantly with the technological investments each new era brings. Some believe war has lost the boundaries it once possessed, prompting adoption of what some see to be a new way of war. The idea of “hybrid warfare” has become a 21st-century political obsession, and allegedly poses a problem for the United States’ military strategy against growing powers like Russia and China.
President Joe Biden apparently sought to lower tensions with China when he promised Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that Washington was “not seeking a new Cold War” with Beijing.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia. It was their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office in January 2021. While Biden was all smiles for a handshake photo-op, Xi looked noticeably reserved, like a guy who was bracing himself as one about to hear loads of BS.
After more than three hours of private discussions, the Americans and Western media subsequently tried to spin that both sides had agreed on condemning Russia’s alleged threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. This was the Americans taking license. Xi did not specify Russia, according to the White House readout of the meeting.
Both leaders condemned nuclear war and said it should never be fought, a rebuke that applies as much to the United States as anyone else. The Western media, however, tried to spin it as a joint condemnation of Russia.
The Chinese side had quite a different take on what was conveyed in the meeting. No wonder Xi had looked reserved when he greeted Biden earlier.
President Xi was quoted as telling Biden: “A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world… Instead of talking in one way and acting in another, the United States needs to honor its commitments with concrete action.”
This was pretty close to the Chinese president calling out his American counterpart as a bare-faced liar who can’t be trusted in what he says.
After all, Biden has continued the policy of massively arming China’s island province of Taiwan. China sees this as a direct assault on Beijing’s sovereignty and China’s territorial integrity as well as posing a threat to its national security across the 150-km Taiwan Strait. Biden has said publicly on four occasions that the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if the Chinese mainland were to exercise its legal right to use force for bringing the island under full administrative control from Beijing.
If we want to talk about baiting nuclear war we should equally blame all of those in power including our President.
At the G20 summit this week, Biden said there was no change in American policy on Taiwan, despite his previous flagrant statements to the contrary.
The Biden administration is planning to station nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in Australia aimed at provoking China as well as supplying Canberra with nuclear submarines as part of a new military coalition in the Asia-Pacific involving the United Kingdom, known as AUKUS.
Washington has also stepped up economic warfare against China with bans on the export of hi-tech semiconductors vital for Chinese industry.
The resumption of U.S. war drills off the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks after a three-year hiatus has sharply escalated tensions between North and South Korea which poses a destabilizing national security risk for neighboring China.
So, Biden’s talk of “not seeking a new Cold War” with China is such a contemptible lie in the face of empirical events and U.S. conduct.
It is significant that Putin did not attend the G20 summit this week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was deputized to act as Russia’s dignitary for the event. Why Putin did not go to the summit was not clear.
Also significant was a top-level meeting held in Turkey at the same time between the U.S. and Russia’s spy chiefs.
William Burns, the CIA director, met with the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence Sergei Naryshkin in Ankara. The meeting was widely reported in the Western media which is unusual for such back-channel encounters. The impression is that the Biden administration wanted this meeting to be widely reported for the optics and headlines. Western headlines dutifully reported that Burns purportedly “warned Russia against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine”.
The White House’s National Security Council emphasized that Burns was not engaged in talks to end the conflict in Ukraine.
The heavily reported narrative of “warning Russia against nukes” reinforces the contrived notion that Russia is a pariah state that is threatening to use nuclear weapons.
Vladimir Putin was blamed for the incident in Poland and yet it was shown to be a Ukrainian missile that was responsible for the deaths of two farmers.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that the war being fueled in Ukraine by the United States and its NATO partners could spiral uncontrollably into a catastrophic confrontation.
With this knee-jerk reaction from NATO and Poland, we should be very worried about what President Biden and his global partners
Who is implicitly threatening the risk of nuclear war? Claiming it would be survivable but is the US ready to be attacked by a Nuclear offense?
President Vladimir Putin’s warned in September that if Russia’s existential security is threatened by NATO then Moscow reserves “the right to use all means of defense”.
Meanwhile, Biden was trying to ingratiate himself with Xi as a way to undermine the strong friendship that has developed between Beijing and Moscow, especially under Xi and Putin’s leadership.
Biden’s bid to appease Xi by saying that there is no Cold War intended is a blatant lie that China no doubt can see through and certainly does more damage than helps. Biden has shown that he is not all that impressive is de-escalating the situation.
Why would he? The election showed that he has all of the support of the American people.
Does this make any sense?
Matters of war and peace rarely merit attention amidst the sound and fury of manufactured news, moral posturing, personal scandals, and tweeting exchanges.
All of the political divide and extremist posturing is good for TV ratings and maybe partisan advantage, but it is decidedly less so for addressing issues of world relevance.
We can continue the propaganda of Russia Bad — but it is getting old –as is the war itself. It is as if people want to the bombs to drop so that we can get over it and move on.
But things are not that easy.
The propaganda machine President Biden and NATO apparently does not care that it generated intensifying hostility directed at a major Nuclear power.
Nobody sees the harm that these kinds of actions are generating— they will always find an excuse to continue the anger that justifies their identity politics.
It is finally worth asking: exactly who are the extremists, aggressors, and warmongers seemingly invested in a nuclear exchange and why do they continue to foment such an action?
The limited nuclear war doctrine doesn’t burn the bridge between conventional war and full-on nuclear holocaust. It builds that bridge.
This should be common sense.
All you have to do is imagine what would happen if Russia dropped a relatively small, 10 kiloton nuke on an American military base in Europe. Would the US government respond with surrender?
Nobody in their right mind believes that.
And let’s pretend for a moment that a limited nuclear war is possible. What would that do? It would normalize nuclear warfare. It would make nukes a viable option in every single war.
Every conflict would leave behind a trail of radioactive fallout and mass civilian casualties.
The tragic thing is that the US government and others are increasing the role that nuclear weapons play in their “national security” policies.
In a matter of minutes, as easily as sending a tweet, a sitting U.S. president could decide to launch a nuclear attack, without anyone else’s approval or authorization. In a matter of minutes, millions of lives would be lost, and millions of futures halted permanently.
No nation on earth, including the United States, would have an adequate emergency response in the event of a nuclear exchange. Most Americans don’t want us to ever engage in a nuclear war, and the vast majority of us certainly don’t want the United States to be the ones to start a nuclear war.
The United States, like every other nation, has a vested interest in avoiding a nuclear conflict.
Yet unlike other countries, we currently have no policy against starting a nuclear war or what experts call a “No First Use” policy.
This opens the door to a possible preemptive nuclear strike. That weakens our national security, and it puts all our health and safety at risk – for a nuclear war no one wants.
SHOW GUEST: JAMES PONDER: