Reed & Starr
printf("Good morning, world.\n");
printf("Good morning, world.\n");
That's a bit of a takeoff on BWK of course. Objective was to see if the freaking system actually worked. Only after that could you proceed to Celsius and Fahrenheit.
This is a dire message. The hope is you share it. We're taking a bit of liberty here. We're confident the author of the first piece wants as many people as possible to read it, but we don't have time to ask. Should he object, of course we'd take it down.
Before you begin reading, surf to Rumble and pick up Tulsi's #2. It's with Jeffrey Sachs. If you don't know who Jeffrey is - and we didn't - then look him up. Stay for the entire segment and listen to what Jeffrey says about things you can do.
You in the US have a madman at 1600. Yes, a madman. Is he in complete control? Of course not. That's part of the point. There are other anonymous ghosts behind him, and nobody knows exactly who they are. Taken in totality, it's a genocidal situation, and yet it's the 'big guy' who ultimately calls the shots. If we're wrong, and he somehow shows perspicacity at the final moment, then good. Crisis averted. But this is the closest this planet's ever been to nuclear holocaust. Since the Cuban missile crisis, the supposed learned would hasten to add. This might not be totally true, but that's a discussion for another time under hopefully far better circumstances. Suffice it to say that JFK pushed back against the hotheads, as did Nikita. But people like JFK and Nikita are not in Washington any longer. The trajectory to where we are today was mapped out long ago, and many of us saw it coming as things inexorably deteriorated over the past two years.
People will discuss, until the end of time, whether the US 2020 elections were accurate. Those who understand a little more will say that perception is everything, and trust in election outcomes is paramount, and you can't achieve that with electronic voting. And they'll get no argument from us on that point. You need paper ballots, end of.
We don't care much for politics, never have, never will. We find the politically inclined boring and parasitic. But 'NIMBY' has to be extended to our own lives. Run a clean administration, represent us if that's the system, be accountable and be prepared to be replaced if you can't do the job, and, above all, don't lie to us, don't cheat on us, do not wage war or rattle sabres for any reason, at any time, anywhere. Otherwise go take a hike.
This just appeared at The Saker. The author is evidently well known. It garnered considerable attention and caught the eye of the second author featured here. In its entirety:
By Fred Reed
Pleasurable excitement ripples through the usual boredom of Washington, and the resident curiosities enjoy exquisite frissons, over the possibility of nuclear war over the Ukraine. Some official of the EU, or maybe it was the mediocrity in the White House with the truculence problem, but anyway one of the geniuses ruling the planet's fate has said that if Russia used nukes, the Russian army would be destroyed, grrr, bowwow, woof. Exactly how it would be destroyed, the sayer didn't say. Anyway, the threats and counterthreats swirl around the idea that a nuke war between Russia and the West might occur. Maybe, with tactical nukes in the Ukraine, about which nobody gives a rat's nether region. The world is full of damned fools.
The general staffs of both Russia and China are, whatever else you may think of them, sane. They know of America's massive nuclear forces. They are not going to launch an atomic war. Sane behavior cannot be relied on with Washington's second-rate lawyers, but the generals in the Pentagon are not crazy. They like hobbyist wars and big budgets, but if Biden ordered a nuclear strike, they would be likely to suddenly remember that Congress has to declare war and, seeing that their radar screens were empty of incoming missiles, and say, 'Mr. President, we are not authorized to do that'. And recommend a committee.
What would such a war be like? Let's guess.
America is fragile. We don't notice because it works smoothly and because when a local catastrophe occurs - earthquake, hurricane, tornado - the rest of the country steps in to remedy things. The country can handle normal and regional catastrophes. But nuclear war is neither normal nor regional. Very few warheads would serve to wreck the United States beyond recovery for decades. This should be clear to anyone who actually thinks about it.
Defense is impossible. Missile defenses are meaningless except as money funnels to the arms industry. This is not the place to go into decoys, hypersonics, Poseidon, maneuvering glide vehicles, bastion stationing, MIRV, just plain boring old cruise missiles, and so on. Coastal cities are particularly easy targets, being vulnerable to submarine-launched sea-skimming missiles. Washington, New York, Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle for starters, all gone.
A modern country is a system of systems of systems, interdependent and interconnected - water, electricity, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, transportation, pipelines, and complex supply chains. These are interconnected, interdependent, and rely on large numbers of trained people showing up for work. Modern warheads are not the popgun squibs of Hiroshima. Talking of repair any time soon after the nuclear bombing of a conurbation is foolish because the city would have many hundreds of thousand of dead, housing destroyed, massive fires, horrendously burned people with no hope of medical care, and in general populations too focused on staying alive to worry about abstractions like supply chains.
The elimination of transportation might cause more death than the bombs. Cities, suburbs, and towns cannot feed themselves. They rely on a constant, heavy influx of food grown in remote regions. This food is shipped by rail or truck to distribution centers, as for example Chicago, whence it is transshipped to cities like New York. Heavy megatonnage on Chicago would disrupt rail lines and trucking firms. Trains and trucks need gasoline and diesel which come from somewhere, presumably in pipelines. These, broken by the blast, burning furiously, would take time to repair. Time is what cities would not have.
What would happen in, say, New York City even if, improbably, it were not bombed? Here we will ignore the likelihood of sheer, boiling panic and resultant chaos on learning that much of the country had been flattened. In the first few days there would be panic buying with shelves at supermarkets being emptied. Hunger would soon become serious. By day four, people would be hunting each other with knives to get their food. By the end of the second week, people would be eating each other. Literally. This happens in famines.
Most things in America rely on electricity. This comes from generating plants which burn stuff, usually natural gas or coal. These arrive on trains, which would not be running, or in trucks, not likely to be running. They depend on oil fields, refineries, and pipelines unlikely to function. All of the foregoing depend on employees continuing to go to work instead of trying to save their families. So - no electricity in New York, which goes dark.
This means no telephones, no Internet, no lighting, and no elevators. How would this work out in a city of high rises? Most people would be nearly incommunicado in a lightless city. Huge traffic jams would form as people with cars tried to leave - to go where? As long as gasoline in the tank lasted.
Where does water come from in New York? I don't know, but it doesn't flow spontaneously to the thirtieth floor. It needs to be pumped, which involves electricity, from wherever it comes from to wherever it has to go. No electricity, no pump. No pump, no water. And no flushing of toilets. River water could be drunk, of course. Think of the crowds.
In all likelihood, civil society would collapse by the end of the fourth day. The more virile ethnics would surge from the ghettos with guns and clubs to feed. Police would have disappeared or be either looking after their families or themselves looting. Civilization is a thin veneer. The streets and subways are not safe even without a nuclear war. The majority would be unarmed and unable to defend themselves. People who had never touched a gun would suddenly understand the appeal. If you think this would not happen, give my best to Tinker Belle.
‘By the end of the second week, people would be eating each other. Literally. This happens in famines.’
Thus it would not be necessary to bomb a city to destroy it, only to cut it off from transport hubs for a couple of weeks. An attacker would of course destroy many cities in addition to necessary infrastructure. Those who plan nuclear wars may be psychopaths, or just insular geeks fiddling with bloodless abstractions, but they are not fools. They have carefully calculated how to most seriously damage a target country. In no more than a couple of months, perhaps two hundred million people would starve to death. Do you think this fantastic? Tell me why it is fantastic.
Parenthetically, in my days of walking the E-ring in the Pentagon, I read manuals on how to keep soldiers fighting after they had received lethal doses of radiation. They don't die immediately and, depending on dosage, might be administered stimulants to keep them on their feet, or so the manuals said. These manuals also discussed whether these walking dead should be told that they were about to die. The authors used the evocative phrase 'terrain alteration' to describe landscapes with all the trees lying on their sides, and we have all heard of 'overkill'. After a nuclear war, millions would slowly die of radiation - read up on Nagasaki and Hiroshima - and burned corpses would rot in the streets, too numerous for burial by survivors with other things on their minds.
How would the next season's crops be planted? Answer: they wouldn't be. Where would fertilizer come from? Parts for tractors, trucks, harvesters? Making these requires functioning factories which require electricity, raw materials, and workers. If the attacker chose to hit agricultural lands with radiation-dirty cobalt bombs, these regions would be lethal for years. Nuclear planners think about these things.
‘In all likelihood, civil society would collapse by the end of the fourth day.’
Among 'defense intellectuals', there is, or was when I covered such things, insane talk of how America could 'absorb' a Russian first strike and have enough missiles in reserve to destroy Russia. These people should be locked in sealed boxes and kept in abandoned coal mines.
Note also that Biden, Blinken, and Bolton, bibbety bobbety boo, and their families, live in DC, the priority target. While the rats are aboard the ship, they won't sink it. If they are discovered boarding a Greyhound out of Washington at three a.m., dressed as washerwomen, it will be time to worry.
Steven Starr is evidently quite the authority in his own right, and was provoked enough by the above piece to complement with the following.
This is an effective description of many of the prompt effects and somewhat longer term consequences of a nuclear war. I appreciate the imagery and details that, if seriously considered, should cause a reader to shudder.
But I would like to elaborate more on the likely scale of destruction based on the current nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia. And most importantly, we should not ignore the long-term environmental consequences of nuclear war.
The US and Russia each have close to 6000 nuclear weapons/warheads in their nuclear inventories. On each side, a few thousand of these warheads are classified as retired and 'scheduled for dismantlement' (but remain intact), a few thousand more are held 'in reserve' (meaning they can be uploaded in a relatively short time), and each nation has about 1600 or 1700 warheads that are kept ready for immediate use. (See the Nuclear Notebook by Hans Kristensen and Matt Korda in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for details on the US and Russian nuclear arsenals.)
Of these deployed and operational nuclear weapons, the US and Russia can each launch about 1000 strategic nuclear warheads (minimum explosive power of each warhead is 100,000 tons of TNT, or 100-kilotons) in a matter of a 15 minutes or less. The land-based ICBMs of the US and Russia can all be launched in a matter of a few minutes.
Both Biden and Putin are constantly followed by military officers carrying a 'nuclear briefcase', which is a communication device that allows either president to give the permission order to carry out a nuclear strike. The options can be for one warhead or an all-out attack with more than 1000 nuclear warheads. Unless the military refuses to obey the command, the attack will be carried out.
The US has roughly 350 cities of populations greater than 100,000; Russia has about 250 cities with populations of greater than 100,000. Each side can easily destroy every one of the cities of the opposing side (with an order that takes 5 minutes to carry out) and still have more than 1000 deployed and operational warheads for other targets.
Russia has about 700 strategic nuclear warheads that each have an explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. These are among the 'launch-ready' weapons they can launch in a few minutes time. Each of these warheads, on an average weather day, will ignite fires over an area of 150 square miles. In a matter of 10-15 minutes, these fires will coalesce into a single gigantic nuclear firestorm, with air temperatures of 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit and hurricane force winds blowing towards the center of the fire zone. No one in the fire zone will survive the fire. For details, see an article that I co-authored in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 'What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?' https://thebulletin.org/2015/02/what-would-happen-if-an-800-kiloton-nuclear-warhead-detonated-above-midtown-manhattan/
A war fought with hundreds or thousands of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons would ignite immense nuclear firestorms covering land surface areas of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles. Peer-reviewed studies have calculated that up to 180 million tons of smoke and soot would be created by these nuclear firestorms. See the https://nuclearfamine.org and http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/robock_nwpapers.html for details.
Most of the smoke from these firestorms would rapidly rise above cloud level into the stratosphere, where it would rapidly spread around the earth. In a matter of a few weeks, a global stratospheric smoke layer would form, which would block up to 70% of warming sunlight from reaching earth's surface in the Northern Hemisphere and 35% in the Southern Hemisphere. The smoke, being above cloud level, could not be rained out and it would remain in the stratosphere for a decade or longer.
The loss of warming sunlight would cause daily temperatures to fall below freezing every day for up to 3 years in central North American and central Eurasia. The intense cold weather would endure for many years, preventing crops from being grown. Most humans and animal populations would perish from starvation.
Unfortunately, those in charge of the US military have rejected the findings of the scientific studies on nuclear winter. I wrote about this for the Federation of American Scientists, see 'Turning a Blind Eye Towards Armageddon - US Leaders Reject Nuclear Winter Studies' at https://fas.org/2017/01/turning-a-blind-eye-towards-armageddon-u-s-leaders-reject-nuclear-winter-studies/
In 2010, at the UN meetings of the First Committee, I asked Rose Gottemoeller and Anatoly Atonov (during their briefing on New START) if they were familiar with the new studies on nuclear winter, which predict that a US-Russian nuclear war would wipe out most of humanity. Both answered 'no'.
Perhaps they have learned more about nuclear winter since 2010. But it is willful blindness to chose to ignore such information and criminal insanity to start a nuclear war that would amount to a mass extinction event.
I do hope that Fred Reed is right about the generals in Washington and Moscow, that they can prevent a nuclear war from taking place. But we are walking on very thin ice right now, with incompetent ideologues in Washington who clearly have no real understanding of the existential dangers of nuclear war.
There are attempts underway to offer pushback against the worst of this in the US. Of course Tulsi comes to mind immediately. But please don't forget the super-hot Kari Lake who knows the media in and out and never misses an opportunity to put them in their place. A lot of the blame for the current impasse goes to the media. As Julian Assange amongst others used to point out, the media have blood on their hands.
Until next time then, and let's all do all we can to make sure there is a next time.